When I started Livejournal, I didn't want to be Cleanskies. I wanted to be Welkin. Cleanskies, you see, was only ever a second-choice name, possessed as it was with an irritating tendency to be mistyped as the more obvious "Clearskies" and with slight but significant environmentalist overtones. Welkin, however, was already taken, and not even by anyone cool, but by this idiot, who had contributed five lame-ass "I don't know what to post" posts, and a story in which the whinging git claims that the reason why his housemate scores and he can't is entirely down to the ability to raise one eyebrow. Re-e-e-ally. Nothing to do with being a bit of a whiner, then? He also tries (and fails) to teach himself to raise one eyebrow, in order to become more charming. What a loser. Anyway, this guy shouldn't have Welkin, I should. And do you know why? Because not only do I have a modicum of committment toward keeping a journal, but I actually can raise one eyebrow, and not because I'm intrinsically charming, either. I taught myself how.
It was down to my father, who is, in his own way, a very charming man. His face is extremely expressive, and when I was a child I envied his ability to independently move parts of his face, compared to mine which all moved as one piece; angry face, happy face, sad face. My Dad could be happy with his mouth, sad with his eyebrows, and angry with his eyes, all at once (and frequently was). And he could wink, and raise one eyebrow on different sides of his face. Which seems pretty cool, when you're eight.
So I tried it for myself, in front of a mirror. I could just about wink, but that was it; and I didn't look cool when I was winking, I just looked like I was screwing my face up. Still, I persevered, and improved my wink a little bit, but was still no nearer to being able to raise one eyebrow. But then I had a breakthrough. I couldn't raise one eyebrow because I wasn't able to figure out in my mind what it would feel like to do that. If the muscles knew how it felt, then they'd be a step closer to being able to do it independently. I went to the bathroom, climbed up onto the box, and, looking in the mirror, pushed one eyebrow up while firmly holding the other still. It didn't work straight away, of course, but it's amazing what brute force and determination can achieve given time. The trick, it seemed, was to relax, push my face into shape, and then slowly tense up the muscles till I could let go. Piece of cake. In no time I was, well, no actually I wasn't really wowing anyone with my ability to raise one eyebrow because frankly, Welkin, no-one cares (except possibly the most rabid of Connery fans) but I found it personally satisfing.
I then set out to teach myself to wink in exactly the same way as creepy baby-doll Hamble (who belonged to whichever sister was least creeped out by her at the time -- probably Vic) but that's another story.
Now I'm pretty resigned to being cleanskies. There's a consistent neatness to having the same single simple word for name -- username -- website, even if I did arrive there by accident. And it's still a sky-name, like all my aliases, and that's what matters.
So why did I want to be called Welkin? It's an isolated (half)line from a translation of an Anglo-Saxon gnomic poem, "The Welkin moves." ... which produces, from generation after generation of first-year english students at Oxford, the question: what's a welkin?
Some git who can't raise one eyebrow, it seems.