This month we have learned of the sad demise of MicheleFerrero, the Italian inventor of Nutella, the tasty chocolate spread that both Apprentice Man and Little Girl would always try to add to my supermarket trolley when they were young enough to find grocery shopping an adventure.

It has also been reported that a French court has refused to allow parents to name their daughter Nutella. Some might regard that as a victory for common sense; others as unwarranted interference by the state.

I was surprised to learn that a country which I have long associated with liberty should have a law that essentially restricts free choice in the naming of one’s child. Here in the UK our laws relating to the registration of births are far more liberal and generally only names deemed offensive would be prohibited.

However, it seems that fortunately most parents are sensible and the selection of offbeat names is reserved for the offspring of certain celebrities. So last year Sophia, Emma and Olivia topped the list of most popular girls’ names and there was not a Nutella, Marmite or Plum Jam in sight.

Imagine however the ambiguity that would arise were it ever to become common to designate sandwich fillings as children’s names. “Don’t forget Peanut Butter,” could have all manner of hidden consequences and were the idea of using spreads as names to catch on, it presumably would not be long before we would find both Wide and Bed in the front row of the Reception Class too.

Your Ex, Your Significant Other, and You

Are you divorced and in a serious relationship, but still are cordial and interact regularly with your ex? Maybe the two of you stay close because of the kids. Or maybe you and your ex had a tight social network that you both stayed part of after the split. No matter the reason, it can become complicated when you are in a dedicated relationship with someone else. If you have experienced this awkward transition, there is a new documentary series that is casting for people just like you. If you’re in a dedicated relationship and one of you still has ties to an ex, they want to hear your story. For more information, please email [email protected] with a brief description of your situation. Participants who are chosen will be offered compensation. Good luck!
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Amicable divorce

I recently heard someone use the term “amicable divorce” when they described collaborative divorce. I’ve never used that term to describe collaborative divorce, and it got me wondering why. It seems like “amicable divorce” is maybe a quick and easy way to explain what I do. “I help people have an amicable divorce.” But that’s […]

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The Pub Landlord’s Family Friendly Policies

It looks like we are gearing up for one of the longest election campaigns ever . However, news that Al Murray’s The Pub landlord will be contesting the South Thanet seat, as too will Nigel Farage, has certainly added some joviality to the proceedings and will no doubt continue to do so.

Clearly The Pub landlord  has been formulating  his policies for some time and I was delighted to learn that he does have some pro-family views. Indeed it was reported in The Guardian that he thinks it would be good for the country if everyone was obliged to turn off their internet connection from Friday evening until Monday morning to avoid “drunk tweeting” and “vengeful e-mails to the ex.”

Obviously I know that I am probably even more naïve than The Pub Landlord when it comes to politics, nevertheless I can’t help thinking:  what a good idea!