Times of my birth

I’ve already mentioned when and where I was born, and I’ve already mentioned Hadrian’s Havenue. I’ll now share more stories I’ve been told about my birth and my sister’s, focusing on names and dates.

If I’d been a girl, my name would have been Katherine (and apparently Mum had a vivid dream to this effect). The male name picked for me was Paul (Dad’s middle name), but after I was born Dad decided that it didn’t suit me. After that, my parents took three days going through the book of names, starting at the Z page and eventually finding their way to A for Adrian. (“Paul” became my middle name too.)

(By the time my sister was born 18 months later, “Katherine” was no longer under consideration because by that time a Catherine had been born among my more distant relatives. My parents consulted the name book again, this time starting from the beginning of the alphabet, and eventually deciding on Rebecca. My sister’s middle name is Sylvia, after a great aunt of Mum’s.)

There’s a curious coincidence concerning birth dates. I was due precisely on my father’s father’s birthday (29th May), and Rebecca was due precisly on my father’s mother’s birthday (my grandmother was born on Christmas Day of the year that World War One ended, for which reason her middle name was Peace). I was actually born fourteen days after I was due (12th June), and Rebecca fourteen-plus-one (9th January).

Mum’s pregnancy cravings were, in my case, poached eggs and tomato juice, and, in Rebecca’s case, after dinner mints.

Website recommendations relevant to this post include Behind the Name (a comprehensive list of baby names) and Name Voyager (a graphical tool in Java showing the popularity of names over time).


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