Christening and Naming Ceremony?Think of the Child

I think being ‘forced’ to be raised as a Christian or any other faith is wrong. I like the idea of ‘naming ceremonies’ so the child can choose whether it wants to follow a religion or not. I would respect the child’s wishes.

One of my relatives is a Catholic and already, the baby is going to have a christening because ‘it is tradition’. This totally disrespects his own future beliefs. I would actually say that the Christian faith is so dominant, that even the atheist father has ‘no say’ either. I would add that he is not too happy either, but ‘is going along’ to keep the peace.

The baby has godparents too, but they appear to be Church of England and not Churchgoers, unless, of course, there is a wedding, christening and funeral.I don’t think they could even find Catholics!

I am not attending the Christening as it is a religious ceremony and it goes against my own values, but I am getting them a nice present which has no religious meaning, but is thoughtful. The parents are ok about that, as ‘they know what I am like’. Going would also be ‘feeding this culture’ of forced religion.

I was brought up in an atheist and Christian household. I was lucky to have one atheist in my family rather than two true believer Christians. However, I was very much ‘verbally, physically and spiritually abused’ if I did not go to Sunday School by one parent. I was forced to go to a Christian school, one being a Convent too. I had no say. I was an atheist throughout my whole life and remember saying so in childhood.

When the nuns asked me if I would like to be confirmed, I said ‘No’. This gave me a feeling of triumph. I was well aware they had previously used the cane too and I have seen abuse in the Convent by some teachers. They had lower values to me. I have other experiences of the faith too, mostly negative. However, I thought that was the first time I was heard, and that was actually in a bloody Convent. I did have a lot of respect for some sisters, like Sister Bernadette, but not for the other ones. She used to show us secret war-time tunnels in the Convent Chapel, and I loved that, but not her religion, although I thought some rituals were ‘cool’.

Choosing to be follow a religion, should not be taken lightly, particularly with Catholicism, with its outdated rules, and also as so many priests have abused children. This is now a worry to me as a friend was abused by someone in the Church of England. He hasn’t gone to the police yet though. I will have to keep an eye on the child’s safety, from a distance.

Come on parents, let the child choose whether it wants to follow a religion or not. Give them a Naming Ceremony. Otherwise it is a form of abuse, and the child won’t have respect for you.


Love it! Traditional Chinese Baby bangles

I wanted to buy my new baby nephew something special, and something to hand down in the family. I didn’t want and ‘baby tat’.

So I bought a beautiful Sterling Silver chinese baby bangle. I have never heard of this concept (bear in mind I am never around babies). I was aware that some babies these days have earrings, but I thought that was dangerous, and a bit tacky. I was lucky to have strong Chinese connections myself, even though I am not Chinese, but I have always been very drawn and interested in their traditions, ideology and thoughtful idea.

I was lucky to find a local jeweller at a stall at the Surrey Quays, in Rotherhithe, London who sells wonderful, intricate and meaningful silver baby bangles.

Chinese bangles are a traditional custom for Chinese famillies to give to newborns which helps give them good luck. These bangles are adjustable and can fit a baby up to a child of five. In a world where things are more global, I think it is great to spread this idea to Western babies too.

The one I have in the photo has a message to give the baby which is ‘protection wherever the baby goes‘ and it is decorated with cherry blossoms. My nephew was born in the spring of 2017 so it is ideal. My own great-aunt gave me a chinese silver token when I was a child and I thought it was nice that I could carry on this one. It is really cute and the baby would love the jingly bangles.

I decided not to tell the family what the message was, but leave it up to them and the child to find out for themselves so it would add more fun and meaning. It will also be a talking piece. This are wonderful gifts for a baby shower and particularly by close relatives and special people.


A little world of caution: Some people can be allergic to silver, so you can try the bangle on a different arm and see what happens. This item would not be good for a baby who is teething.

For famillies (and expats) who are looking for Chinese baby gift ideas and inspiration, see

I’m an Aunty, and I am not happy!

Last week I became an Aunty.

I come from a ‘super child-free’ household with a child-free attitude so the whole thing was a bit of a shock.

You see all these Youtube videos of women screaming, delighted that they will be an Aunty, but it is taboo subject, that  some new aunties, are not pleased. Even some child-free aunties are delighted for various reasons.

I also felt sad that the new parents would now have to fork out £250,000 over 18 years or more and have all the stress of having a kid and not have any time for themselves.  It would be a drain on the planet and resources. 

Anyway, it turns out that my supposedly childfree  brother, who in his late forties, secretly married his girlfriend overseas a few months ago, and last week, I was presented with a* secret* baby! Yes, is like something out of a soap opera.My head has been going round in circles ever since.

Apparently the baby was born early in Spring and they kept it quiet for a month.The grandparents knew about all of this but no one told me, the sister. They mumbled when I asked when they got married. When asked why they didn’t tell me, they just said ‘they couldn’t find the right moment’.

I couldn’t believe the baby was theirs at first. The ‘girlfriend’ wore baggy clothes throughout. I thought my brother was joking, but they showed wedding photos and a photo of his new wife in the hospital. So I have a new sister-in-law too. I am supposed to be suddenly ‘delighted’.I have a lot to digest

I am still very hurt that they failed to tell me about all this earlier and the secrecy was very cruel.They only told me ‘when they had to’ and that was when the baby was born. I mean, who does that?

After our get together over a coffee,they reminded me when his birthday was and ‘suggested’ that I should get the baby presents.They also said I could make booties. (Perhaps if they told me earlier, then I would have had some ready). Now, I feel they want to ‘use me’for freeloading presents. I am not really a bootie-making person and I am not maternal whatsoever. Maybe I will take the child out doing something interesting when they reach a toilet-trained age, ,but I can’t think of what else I would do.I am a busy person… agggh!

They  also knew my thoughts of babysitting and I always said that I wouldn’t do it. I am just not baby-minded, not every woman is.

I know I will I have to do something as an aunty, but I am not really sure what that will be, I just hope that will be a lot less than most aunties!