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Royal Baby names: Hippo or Mary Poppins

Shortly there’s going to be a new ‘most famous baby in the world’. The bookmakers have gone through all possible names and somehow come up with odds. My money is on James for a boy, Sophie for a girl. These are royal names befitting a new member of the monarchy.

But my heart is hoping for something much more exciting/weird. Something a little less royal. Perhaps Hippo for a boy, and Mary Poppins for a girl.

They are not the only couple having children at the moment in the UK. Everyone I know seems to be having their first, second, third, fourth or in one case, fifth child. The most striking thing about a couple with a baby versus a couple without one is the amount of kit that travels with them. The huge cars parents buy are not for the children. It’s for the 17 bags and boxes that come with the children. It’s as if all babies are old-fashioned royalty with a knackered two-person entourage dragging everything the nipper’s heart might desire around with them.

A change of clothes. Another change of clothes. A dummy, a spare dummy, loads of plastic bottles, a travel cot, a buggy, nappies, wipes, toys, a sanitising kit, a harness for carrying baby on one’s front…I could go on.

I do want a baby at some point but I worry about trying to get anywhere with the child without a minibus to transport everything. Airports with children? The idea makes me want to weep. I suspect Will and Kate don’t worry too much about such things. They probably have a little help and don’t have to struggle through security at Heathrow or JFK.

But when I start holidaying with children I suspect I’ll be more than a little petrified and may end up giving up long before boarding.

Oddly enough, considering I’m not even pregnant yet, I have been researching ways to make travelling with bambinos a little easier. Hire a nanny seems to be the consensus. But if you don’t have the means for such luxury there are some interesting ways to reduce the size of your train.

Hotels are set up for children. And if they’re not they are very honest about it. So once you arrive there’s nothing to worry about. Planes on the other hand are not geared towards parents. There’s the hatred of all the other passengers to deal with of course. There’s the tiny amount of overhead locker space. And there’s not much there to entertain a nipper. So the key is to be on the plane for as short a time as possible!

With that in mind I’ve picked my top 3 places to go from my base in London when babies (hopefully) start turning up. It’s purely distance so I use the very snazzy SLH map. I’d be interested to hear which are the three nearest places to you by plane.

Mine are:

De Witte Lelie 4

Belgium.  It’s not just chocolate they’re good at, they’re good at hotels too. Brussels and Bruges are my favourite spots, but only because I haven’t been to Antwerp. So I’m going to choose De Witte Lelie, a tranquil retreat in the cultural old quarter of the city.

Dylan 2

Netherlands. There’s very little not to like about Amsterdam, in fact I can’t think of anything. It’s a beautiful city with astonishingly friendly people. As far as I’m concerned I’m not in Amsterdam if I can’t see a canal from my bedroom window which is why I’ve opted for former 17th century theatre The Dylan.


France. With a good pair of binoculars you can see England from the coast by Chateau La Cheneviere. So pretty safe to say it’s close by! Aside from that this 18th century mansion and farm has a heated pool, tennis courts and a spectacular golf course. Tres Bien!

Right. I’m off to let Henry know that I want to call our children Hippo and Mary Poppins. Wish me luck!

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