B&HPerhaps it’s just as well that I am without issue because had I ever had children, I’d have had two: a boy called Tadhg and a girl called Maud. And I wonder how happy they’d be with their solid, old-fashioned names in a world where calling your twins Benson and Hedges is perfectly acceptable and calling your kid ‘Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii’ gets her made a ward of the court so that she can, at nine, legally change her own name.

Sweden has blocked attempts by parents to name their children Superman, Metallica, and Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 – mad. But a not-so-fortunate kid in New Zealand is walking around with the name ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter’. I can’t help wondering at the logic of needing a licence to have a TV or get married but being able to have kids and name them at will.

I know of just two parents in the last 20 years who have called their daughters Mary. But it’s starting to come back in vogue, seen as it is as a solid, traditional name. I was christened Mary Martha. And for years and years and years I hated that name. Whenever it was trotted out, I knew I was in trouble. For my cousins, it was the weapon of choice when it came to needling me. But then I realised that Martha is quite a cool name and now I quite like it. But it’s too late to go back to the double barrel…

I was copied on an email not long ago, one with quite an extensive To list. I’d have used BCC myself, but hey, I wasn’t sending it. I always look at who else has been addressed and this time I laughed out loud. The descriptives used to describe the journalists included were amusing: bald guy with glasses, quiet chap from ME, woman with donkey laugh. This is what happens when your email address doesn’t state your name. You get qualified. I got off lightly with Merry M.

I do some work for a UK publisher who uses typesetters in India and the Philippines. I have trouble with some of the names and rarely, if ever, can identify the gender behind the name with complete certainty. Today I got an email from a new contact whose name is … Lovely. The email address itself doesn’t help in clarifying who is behind this moniker so I don’t know if Lovely is a lovely man or a lovely woman. But it’s a lovely name, Lovely. Made my day.