Hertford

Where I Live

Oliver and Olivia most popular baby names in Hertfordshire

Oliver Cheshire

Oliver Cheshire, from Hitchin

I just discovered that Oliver and Olivia are the most popular baby names in Hertfordshire, according to the Hertfordshire County Council 2014 Registration Service.

Can’t think of many famous Hertford Olivers, but Oliver Cromwell stayed overnight at the Salisbury Arms in 1647. He liked it so much he now haunts it.

Sadly, I can’t find any famous Olivias whatsoever from these parts. But Olivia Coleman’s from Norfolk. Not too far.

olivia coleman broadchurch

In Hertford, the most popular boys’ names are William, Henry, Oliver, Theodore, Alexander, Edward and George. George Ezra is from Hertford and is called George, obviously. George-Ezra

For Hertford girls, it’s Isabella, Alice, Georgia, Olivia, Eva and Penelope.

No comment. Don’t want to get beaten up in Waitrose.

As I said to my cat Bollinger earlier, name snobbery is a terrible thing. I’m not a name snob as such, but I do find unimaginative copycat naming a bit sad. And I am partial to an unusual name.

Over the years, I’ve worked with a Horatio, an Anastasia, a Che (named after Guevara), a Byron and a Hieronymus … but I do work in the media.

Meanwhile in real life, I have a friend called Jesus. My godson is named after a medieval Japanese knight (but shortens his name to something more normal-sounding). My friend H (a novelist) once had a hamster called Clytemnestra. And I had a great uncle called Theodore Octavius Christiansen Peter Tversted. We called him Uncle Teddy.

Anyway, must rush. I have to feed my Pit Bulls Chantelle, Charmain and Tyler. Talking of which, here’s Katie Hopkins being a ridiculous name snob

Katie? What sort of name is that? Sooo Stevenage.

London to Hertford fare shoots up

‘A single to Hertford North please,’ I said to the man at Euston (19 miles from Hertford). ‘That’s H.E.R.T.F.O.R.D.’ I always say that as no-one can spell anymore. ‘No, there isn’t a Hertford North,’ he informed me. I decided to…

Tour de France 2014 – guide to the perils of Cambridgeshire and Essex

Not that I’m envious , but it appears the Tour de France 2014 is snubbing Hertfordshire and has opted for Cambridgeshire and Esssex instead. Presumably they chose Cambridgeshire for its challenging and frankly stunning scenery. As for Essex, well let’s…

Doughnuts are from Hertford

Hertford is, as you know, responsible for many iconic phenomena – notably evolution and toothbrushes. But I’m delighted to report that Hertford is the home of the doughnut, AKA donut if you’re of an American bent. I must confess to…

Draped In Exquisite Natural Daylight

A leaflet advertising Down Hall Country House caught my attention today, largely thanks to its rococo wording. Not only does it possess ‘tranquillity and serenity’, ‘high ceilings and wireless internet’, but it boasts that it’s ‘draped in exquisite natural daylight’.…

The Wind Not In The Willows

Nooooooo. They’ve pollarded the neighbourhood willows. But they do look stark and impressive at sunset. If you look closely, you can see the North Star in these pics.

Hertford Sky

Well, who’d have thought a 1960s Methodist church could look sublime and Titianesque? Virtually everything in Hertford looked fabulous in this wispy autumn sunset.

Hertford Carnival 2013

Who needs Rio? Hertford Carnival 2013 was infinitely more spectacular – pirates, morris dancers, shire horses, luminaries in their regalia, a brass band from Germany and 101 barking children dressed as Dalmatians. After the procession, there was more merrymaking on…

Summerhouse On The River Near Hertford

During the summer (ie. last weekend) I took a stroll down the river onto the mini-peninsula where it curves round towards Ware. This was the view. It must be idyllic to live in the house with the lawn sloping down…

Cute Coot Casts Beady Red Eye Over Onlookers

The Hertford Basin coot has returned to its usual nesting location, teetering on the brink of the weir. If you’re not sure how to tell a coot from a moorhen, it’s quite easy. Coots are larger, with white beaks. Moorhens…