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WARD'S WORLD: New arrival pending

Hearing from somebody recently that their daughter is expecting their first child is at least some happy, welcoming news for the family amid the current crop of doom and gloom we have all been through over the past year or so.

After making assorted preliminary inquiries as to what is hoped or wished for, the happy parents to be are not bothered but realise it will mean the start of sleepless nights and irregular meals.

Things nowadays have obviously changed since a few decades back in so many ways when it comes to the expectant mum.

Columnist John Ward. (45374378)
Columnist John Ward. (45374378)

From another angle in the not so distant past a family I knew by way of a friend, who was a brother of another friend, said that his daughter-in-law was expecting their first baby and in true modern tradition she decided to let people know in the following way.

First off she sent a message to all of her followers on her assorted social media platforms (nothing to do with trains or buses for those not into such terminology) or in real terms those few hundred hangers-on she wouldn’t know if she ever met them to be precise.

Next in the queue were those where she worked, followed by getting in touch with somewhere she used to work before then plus in descending order her hairdresser Anne, then her nail polisher.

Then it was the turn of Pat who worked part time at their usual takeaway, Andy in the shop where they bought their scratch draw cards from with eventually both sets of grandparents to be – but until promoted, they remained as both sets of mums and dads.

You can’t get more traditional than that or at least this is how it goes – or can go – nowadays as none of that sissy stuff like trumpeters doing their stuff followed by the town crier bellowing it out from a parchment script on the town hall steps.

Once this news gathers momentum ‘open season’ is unofficially declared as assorted folk go out their way to get assorted baby items for the as yet unborn.

These can range from assorted hand knitted footwear and dresses to woolly hats and bonnets.

Assorted ploys are used to further ascertain as to what gender the baby will be so as to get either dresses or trousers followed by: “So what are you going to name him/her then?”

Once a name or two is suggested its then expedition time to possibly Skegness, the Las Vegas of Lincolnshire, on a sunny day being planned with assorted ideas of looking out for a souvenir cup or mug with the expected baby’s name stamped on it.

The idea being that whichever it turns out to be, be it a Kevin or a Keely, the one it’s not will end up at a car boot sale or a charity shop.

On the positive side it got them a day out in Skeggy with a game or two of bingo slung in to ‘justify’ the trip.

On one occasion I was a guest on a daytime telly show discussing assorted items that could be used or recycled from stuff thrown out that seemed to go reasonably well being the collective opinion of those involved plus eventually viewer feedback in due course.

After the show went out it was then a cuppa afterwards before departing for home. During the refreshments I was asked casually if I could do anything with ‘baby paraphernalia’ and being curious I asked such as what it was.

After the tea and biccies I was taken into the labyrinth of the studios below ground to find boxes and boxes of baby clothes and toys – you name it and it was quite possibly there – all brand new plus a lot of the clothing was hand knitted or made.

I picked up assorted knitted items as Richard, the programme researcher, suggested that whole herds of sheep must have been shorn to provide all the wool used in the production of those items.

On inquiring it was explained that a ‘well known personality’ had appeared on a programme a few months previously but was expecting a child to which this was mentioned in her interview. Cue the caring, sharing viewer.

Within days of the show going out, parcels started arriving at the studios, care of said personality, which contained baby items from hand knitted clothes to bought, brand new baby cups, bowls etc.

It should be noted this was a well known real personality and went beyond the now few weeks in the spotlight type before a replacement fills their space on the constant ever changing conveyor belt of churning such people out that we have today.

When the personality in question was contacted by the studio to see if she had access to a lorry or three in order to receive them, her response was rather muted as she was not interested as she pointed out she would choose what she and her husband wanted.

She suggested donating it to worthy a cause, not knowing or possibly realising the extent of it all.

So in fairness what I was being shown was waiting to be picked up by assorted charities that would make good use of it, but mind-bogglingly there were items still being received now months after the programme had been seen.

I suggested it might be down to slow knitters possibly or the right shade of wool being in short supply – perhaps caused by lots of people suddenly deciding to knit baby clothes for ‘a well known personality’.

Richard shuddered to think what Buckingham Palace went through when a Royal birth was announced if this was anything to go by as this personality was small fry in comparison.

It was assumed it was sent all in good faith by good, kind hearted people but clearly their not fully understanding the circumstances as in this case, as Richard said, this personality was ‘not exactly stuck for a few bob’.

However, what motivates somebody to spend hours working on or knitting something that will be sent to a total stranger, who was on-screen for about six to eight minutes, plus the postage cost on top of the item, is a mystery.

One point though was, quite a lot were sent anonymously so not a case of people craving attention by doing so although while it’s all very kind hearted on the face of it, it’s a bit misguided all things considered.

Getting back to the beginning, the next thing on the agenda is actually sorting out a name for the now expected new arrival and no doubt could end up with the name of somebody who has appeared on ‘Celebrity Baked Beans on Toast Master Chef’.

It’s been ages since I have heard of something obscure for a child’s name only to find out that Zartoo was the name of an ancient Aztec war lord or a planet in the solar system as yet not listed on sat nav devices, possibly due to the post code not being recognized.

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