Fiona Duff: Child naming.. be very careful

David Beckham and his daughter Harper. Pic:  DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
David Beckham and his daughter Harper. Pic: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
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Of all the end of year round up reports that are carried in the media, I am always fascinated by the changing nature of what new babies are called.

Having a child is a life-changing experience for any couple, but naming the child is something that should not be taken lightly. My first born was christened Betty (not Elizabeth) because it was a name that her father and I really liked.

It was fun without being daft and there weren’t many children of that name around although everyone knows a Betty. “My granny was called Betty” is indeed how many people reacted when they met her.

The second born was a boy and my favourite name was Frank. There are a lot of people out there who will know that this would be very silly.

As we swivelled about this name I knew that any time a repeat of Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em was shown on television they would give me a great deal of grief. Not that they don’t give me enough of that anyway. So he was named William and known to all, apart from the headmaster of his school, as Bill.

So to 2014, when ‘old-fashioned’ names such as Doris and Edna are reportedly making a comeback. I imagine Betty will appear on that list in a few years time as well. The highest climbing new girls’ name is Harper, made popular by the Beckhams’ daughter.

This is something I don’t understand – following in the wake of a celebrity couple. Is this a bid to put a bit of glamour in one’s life or just because the wee mite’s face is in so many magazines that it feels familiar?

Mind you, any little Harpers rolling around chewing wrapping paper have got it easy – someone called their son Dyson. Is he really going to grow up thanking his parents every time he looks at a vacuum cleaner or dries his hands on a super fast dryer? I doubt it very much indeed.

If his parents wanted to ensure when they called his name in the school playground he would be the only one to come running, I imagine that they will have succeeded.

Indeed, when I was growing up it seemed that I shared a name with every other girl in the class; it was only when I moved to London that I felt a little bit different.

So to any prospective parents out there a word of caution.

What you think is fun and different could be a millstone around your child’s neck.

Sixteen years is a long time for Dyson to wait until he can get a deed poll to become David.

Celebrities’ books hit rock-bottom with Middleton’s party pooper

SO farewell then to those piles of celebrity autobiographies. It seems that publishers have finally woken up to the fact that just because Kelly Brook’s agent might say that she’s got a lot to say, and will spill the beans for a cheque with lots of zeros on it, not many people will really want to read the final result.

Oddly enough some of the best-selling autobiographies in the past couple of years have been those by Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane, which slightly weakens the argument that football fans don’t read books.

However, one of the biggest disasters in this arena must be when some numbskull gave Pippa ­Middleton, below, £400,000 to write a book on having parties.

Words fail me here – but who in their right mind would hand over close to half a million to someone famous for having a small bottom (albeit along with a face like a plate of mackerel) and by a quirk of fate is aunt to a future king of this land?

They sold 2000 copies and dropped her like a hot mince pie. Frankly if I want to learn how to blow up a balloon I can think of other people I would ask – in fact most of these books are so full of hot air that I would just pop into Waterstones.

Facial cupping is great for a New Year treat

DO YOU remember seeing the photos of Gwyneth Paltrow sporting large red marks on her back after having a cupping detox treatment? I was intrigued to see “facial cupping” being offered by OMH Therapies which has just moved to Randolph Crescent; I am a sucker for anything marketed as “anti-aging” so despite my fears of looking like a circus freak I booked an appointment. Afterwards, when I looked in the mirror I was delighted to note that I had glowing skin and not a red circle in sight. I think I’ve just dis-covered the new treat for my tired old physog.

HMV’s surprise gives me hope for high streets

TWO days before Christmas my daughter informed me that the CD I had bought for my niece had already been given to her by someone else. I trudged wearily to HMV on Princes Street with a copy of Now That’s What I Call Music 89. I had no receipt and not even a carrier bag with the shop’s logo (every 5p saved helps a little), and therefore was not expecting anyone to believe that I had already paid for it and wanted to swap. But Alastair behind the till was full of Christmas spirit and allowed me to exchange.

So much simpler than having to deal with a website and I am pleased to report that the shop was heaving with shoppers.

There’s hope for the high street; that’s my prediction for 2015.