Fresh - August 15th


My Lovely Parent
Online dating in 2012 is splintering into myriad unexpected niches; Uniform Dating, Positive Singles, Date A Reptile-Lover, Lonely Hot-Air Balloonists... and the latest drop in the ocean is My Lovely Parent.
It's actually quite a good idea. For a start, the recommendations are made by grown-up children with parents over 50 (so it's not the schoolyard free-for-all you were picturing); they write a glowing profile for their divorced or widowed parent and help them to find love. Because frankly, over-50s are helpless in this area: they can't go to nightclubs because they'd look lecherous, most people their age are shacked up so they can't pull at work or in the pub... what are they supposed to do, ask people out in the supermarket? Ew.

Gotham Box
Another day, another curated-content delivered-to-your-door subscription service. This one, Gotham Box, offers regular food parcels themed around a particular locale; for example, their New York box contains Lobster Newberg, Waldorf salad, Delmonico steak and Eggs Benedict (it doesn't, I made that up), showcasing foods that are unique to or representative of that area. It's aimed at people who have moved away from their hometown and are feeling homesick, although it also serves to introduce people who've never visited the place in question to the native cuisine. I wish I'd had a box like this with a chilli dog in it before I went to Chicago, I'd have known to ask for napkins. I got chilli inside my elbows.

Baby names
Coming up with a good name for a baby is very tricky indeed. It requires a lot of thought, both in terms of how the name/s will match the surname, but also who else has - or will have - the name. (Some people don't bother thinking it through, though. I went to school with a girl called Sharon Mells. 'S.Mells', really...?)
We were very keen on calling our daughter Matilda until we discovered that it was one of the top ten names in our borough for the previous two years; being a Daniel I can vouch for how confusing it is to be in a classroom full of people with the same name.
Of course, you can't account for what will happen in the future. Imagine the number of Adolfs and Myras that had to change their names...
Linked below is an article that discusses how names go in and out of fashion, and how we're influenced by famous names. Will Ethel, which features nowhere in the top 100 list, make a comeback now that Lily Allen's daughter has the name? Almost certainly. Will EastEnders' Derek Branning inspire a generation of Dereks? Er, possibly not.

Daniel Bevis

15th August 2012