Education matters

We went to register the baby last Thursday. It involved a pink snowsuit with ears, walking to town with a sling, meeting the registrar and a deputy registrar and making sure everything was spelt correctly.

This meant that we were expected to spell our own names, places of birth and intended name for our daughter. I asked about what happens if someone comes in wanting to spell a name incorrectly. The registrar cannot overrule a parent’s spelling, however bizarre, although they can refer an obscene or offensive name to a senior person and postpone the registration. I did notice a dictionary of baby names on the shelf.

My place of birth was spelt Penbury by the deputy registrar, and had to be corrected. She also offered a spelling for Juliet which hasn’t appeared on any of the cards we’ve received.

You might think that a key element of becoming a registrar is spelling ability and attention to detail. Maybe she was on work experience. The spelling I see in maths coursework is frequently poor, even when the mathematical grade is good. There must be reasons many people don’t pay attention to details like this any more. I don’t know what they are, and have no interest in becoming a politician.

Our town now boasts signs as you arrive which look like they might tell you who we are twinned with. They say ‘University Town’ in big letters.

We walked on into University Town; Lily’s first outing, with a view to picking up some essentials and stopping at the Nappy Network for a cup of tea and a feed. As it happened, the shop was going to close five minutes after we arrived, so we bought a couple of things quickly instead. We did not come home with the things on the receipt…


 … which was probably for the best.


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