Category Archives: Baby Naming

View, Weaving and Cake

I arrived at the venue for the Humanist Baby Naming I was conducting this afternoon and what a view! The wind dropped, the rain held off and we had the most joyous ceremony you can imagine.

Across the Carrick Roads

Friends and family were asked to write their wishes for the little boy’s future on coloured strips of linen. They will be woven to make the body of the sailing boat which is made up of cream linen strips on which friends and family wrote wishes for the lovely young parents when they were married. What a beautiful idea!

Linen wish weaving

Also saved from their wedding six years ago, in the traditional manner, was the top tier of their Wedding cake decorated by the bride, to which their little boy, who will be one year old on Monday, has been added.

Wedding Cake


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Syncopation, Baby Naming and ‘Making it up”

1    A brilliant singing session where we had to work really hard with some tricky notes and syncopation and then a lovely coffee session with friends in the cafe downstairs.

2    Spent a happy hour with L, Choir-baby T’s Mum, planning  his Humanist Baby Naming. He slept throughout and woke just as we finished.

Choir-baby T

3    The following poem by John Siddique, a particular favourite of mine which I give to parents of new babies, is probably going to be included.


Fold yourself the mind you want.

Make a paper hat

and wear it on your head. Hold it tight

when the wind blows.

Paint yourself the heart you desire. Pin it

on your jumper, be proud of your colours.

Pin it fast and don’t mind the rain.

Write yourself the love you love. Hold that

paper tight in your hand. Unfold it often,

read your plan aloud in sun and in snow.

Walk yourself the world you want. Each step

is breath. It’s your life. Stamp big-footed.

Walk soft. Dance your way in all the weathers.

John Siddique

NB  I posted this yesterday, 27th September, and had some likes and comments but it has since disappeared and shows now only as a draft with no tags/ categories so I’m publishing it again. Just found that it has already been published twice on my Facebook page – all very odd!


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Arizona Boots, A Baby Naming and My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes

1.   My lovely sister had these boots made for me by an artist in Prescott, Arizona after I had so admired hers. I always wear them for Baby Naming Ceremonies.

Boots for Baby Namings

2.  Two days of downpour prevented today’s Baby Naming Ceremony from being in the garden but it all went off very well in the Village Hall. H was delightful and did listen when I spoke directly to him – “We have come together here today to formally introduce you, H, to our world. Please treat it gently, with respect and with a curious mind.”

With my lovely Baby Naming Family

3.  I was reminded today of a beautiful picture book for children which we must read to Jake. Go to Sam and Holly‘s blog  for a review of ‘Rosie’s Walk’.   I don’t seem to have the copy we had for our four but came across this old favourite in the collection that I have kept for the next generation. We all loved the rhyme and the fun and had a couple of cats who loved to hide in boxes!

An old favourite


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Curiosity, A Stream and A Peacock

1   Curiosity landed on Mars! Isn’t that just a lovely thing to hear? I love that name!

2   I parked near a stream this morning when I went to meet my Baby Naming family. It was so lovely. The sound of the water was beautiful, the reeds lovely and the whole experience very peaceful and I loved it. I just wish I could give you the sound as well as a photo.

The stream in St Erth

3   Driving home from a fabulous choir session tonight (where my part was changed to my initial consternation but in fact it is a beautiful part that suits my voice even better! Thank you Claire and I’m sorry I was grumpy!) I came across this peacock in a garden!  I stopped to take a picture but was somewhat hurried so unfortunately it’s a bit blurred but how often does that happen?!

Peacock in someone’s drive!


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Hitching a Ride, White Dahlia, Baby Naming and No 4

1      I was stopped for a while behind a van this morning and noticed three snails hitching a ride on the back doors!

Snails on the back of a van – look closely!

2  This dahlia was broken by the wind so we have brought it in. Isn’t it just beautiful in the almost invisible vase?

White dahlia

3   I’ve been working on a Baby Naming Ceremony this afternoon and the following is one of the readings the parents have chosen. It’s more words that I usually give you but it’s worth reading.  I would add just one line – ‘Look every day for the beauty that is all around you.’  I’ve put my favourite lines in italics.

Everybody’s Free  (to wear sunscreen) Mary Schmich  Chicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97… wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography, in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.

Everybody’s Free  for the Baz Luhrmann version.

4    Especially for  ChocChip Uru who loved the poppy seed head yesterday – a side view, a flower and a bee.

Poppy, seed-head and bee


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First Bluebells, Coloured Pencils and A Baby Naming Ceremony

1  On the lane we take to walk into town, I saw the season’s first bluebells – such a rich colour, ‘like a piece of sky’ as the inspiration for my blog, once said.    We also saw some beautifully veined leaves but I have yet to find out what they are.

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2    We went into town to find small presents to take to Senegal for Ndeye Marie, the 3 year old daughter of our son’s fiancee – so our soon-to-be  Granddaughter!  We found some bright and chunky coloured pencils and some paper for her and lots of biros for the other children. We know from our Voluntouring in South Africa that such pens are much treasured by the local children.

We have also bought Ndeye Marie  some picture story books, one of which is about The Heligan Giant. See my previous post to see this delightful mud sculpture:

3   I’ve visited a delightful family in St Erth this evening to talk about their son’s Baby Naming Ceremony. It’s already sounding charming and we’ve hardly started.


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