There's something about Molly and Martha - but nothing about Mary
It’s cool and still traditional, with just the right amount of trendy old-lady fustiness. And your daughter definitely won’t be one of five in her class.
It is, of course, Mary.
Two studies in recent weeks added to the growing pile of contradictory advice given to pregnant women.
The first, an American study, says doctors should give pregnant women more information about environmental risks such as mercury, pesticides, air pollution and others. The second claims that drinking as little as half a pint of beer a week during pregnancy can cut a baby’s intelligence by several IQ points.
As well-meaning as this is, aren’t pregnant women already bombarded with enough information? Drink in moderation. Don’t drink at all. Avoid tea and coffee. Drink coffee but no more than 17 cups a day. Don’t eat peanuts. Eat peanuts. Don’t eat cured meats, Brie or chocolate. And, my favourite, in the light of all the others, whatever you do, don’t get stressed.
My New Year predictions
It’s the time of year when journalists traditionally make predictions for 2013, only for their forecasting skills to be proven as accurate as a cross between Bertie Ahern and the Mayan Long Count Calendar. I’m nothing if not a traditionalist, so here, in no particular order, are some of mine.
1 The Gathering will happen, but by the end of the year we’ll still be no clearer on what it was all about.
2 Ryanair will start charging passengers to wear shoes on flights. And to sleep. And to sit down other than during take-off or landing. We’ll continue to fly Ryanair in larger numbers than before.
3 Carbonated sugary drinks will begin to be seen as the tobacco products of this generation.
4 We’ll start paying for stuff using our phones. We’ll stop paying for calls from landlines. We’ll stop having landlines.
5 In the new season of Love/Hate, Nidge will run his operation from Spain.
6 In the new season of Homeland, Brody will find himself on an island surrounded by the airplane crash survivors of Lost.
7 The Duchess of Cambridge will not be seen in public until a French magazine publishes photographs of her in labour.
8 Renting DVDs, buying CDs and watching live television will start to take on a cool, almost retro vibe.
9 People will say many, many stupid, ill-informed things about women’s bodies and reproductive rights.
10 A caller to Liveline will suggest we change the date to 20131 and 20132 to avoid courting any more bad luck.