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Other than being the name of this site, I've used the handle Dawtrina a lot over the last couple of decades. I'm often asked about the name and what it means, and I'm also often mistaken online for a woman because my handle ends with a letter A and thus sounds feminine. Well, here's where I conjured the name from.
Initially Dawtrina was a character I invented as a birthday present. I've long felt that birthdays are times when people give because society tells them that they have to, rather than because they just plain want to. It's just so easy and convenient to do something that doesn't take much effort, like posting a birthday card or ordering something from Amazon (though these are, of course, still good things to do). Instead I wanted to do something special back in 1998 for the woman I loved, so I gave her a dragon.
The dragon was in a story, that I naturally entitled Happy Birthday, and the main character in that story was a young girl named Dawtrina. I won't name the lady I'm talking about, especially as circumstances, troublemakers and our own naïveté (especially mine) meant that we didn't end up together, but I formed Dawtrina as an anagram of her name.
What made that story even more special for me was that I didn't just inject her into the story as a name but as a person too. She is the character of Dawtrina in so many ways, but she's also every other character in the story. Each of them is based on a single part of her, good or bad, and when added together they form a strong and resonant memory of her that I treasure. At its heart, the story is about hardship and giving, and that works for her too. She's been through more than she should as a human being but she has never lost her generosity.
You can read Happy Birthday and the other Dawtrina stories at Scribbles, the part of this site that hosts my writing. I wrote a new one every year for quite some time and uploaded them on her birthday, 22nd October.
From being a fictional (though not too fictional) character, Dawtrina became my domain, dawtrina.com, and thus also my e-mail address and everything else associated with the domain. At that point Dawtrina was quickly becoming more than one very special person, it was also becoming part of myself too.
Then in 1999 I formed my company, Dawtrina Technology Ltd, which I ran until I emigrated to the United States in 2004. I was the managing director and sole employee of the company, keeping it something personal.
The company existed because I was an IT contractor and some agencies in England will only deal with contractors who have limited companies behind them. I would contract myself out to these IT agencies, who would contract me out to IT service companies who would then put me to work on site at an end user client. It was a complex chain but it worked, and kept me busy for six years.
It also meant that I dealt with the name Dawtrina on every timesheet, every invoice, every tax return. Just as my company became my life to a large degree, so therefore did Dawtrina.
While all of this means that Dawtrina has always been special to me, it has also become more and more useful as time goes by. It's especially useful online where there are always new sites to join and so many handles already registered. I invented the name Dawtrina, so it's always available when I need to sign in somewhere. It means I can be the same person all over the web and I don't have to live with numbers in my name.
I can't swear to it, of course, because anyone can use anything that hasn't already been used, but if you see Dawtrina anywhere online, it's pretty much guaranteed to be me and I'm sure that it will find its way to many more places over the years to come. I also know that every time I use the name or see it online it brings back memories that I treasure.
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