You get those magazine articles about how so-and-so knew so-and-so and how amazing it was that they had discovered that one of their great grandmothers had had tea with the queen and that the other had had a relative who just happened to be pouring that very tea ……. or some such!! Makes you smile ……. and then life moves on; really too inconsequential to think more about. Or is it?
Do you know how many babies are born in a single hour on Planet Earth? In round terms 15,000! An average of fifteen thousand an hour, 360,000 in a single day. Seems a lot huh! If you’re interested in such things you might start to wonder whether there is any predictability about when babies are born. There was a large statistical evaluation carried out concerning 6 million French babies born between January 1968 and December 1974. What it found was that there are two different rhythms at play in frequencies; a weekly one and an annual one. The lowest number of births occurred on a Sunday and the largest number on a Tuesday, whilst the month of May was the most popular with the lowest number of births in the months of September and October. This latest figure surprised me as I had always thought lots of sexual activity took place in the Northern Hemisphere winter months of January and February, so there should have been a peak in the autumn. Mind you I have no idea whether the converse is true in the Southern Hemisphere. You can of course prove anything by statistics!
Did you know that a statistical analysis of birth distribution in lunar months shows that more babies are born between the last quarter and the new moon, and fewer in the first quarter of new moon. All those concerned with birthing, midwives, nurses in labour wards, busy doulas and experienced childbirth educators, all believe in the power of the full moon plus changes to barometric pressure from cold-warm fronts to move things along. And why not? Our bodies are, after all, some 65% fluid and we are aware of how the earth’s waters are affected by the lunar pull. If you have every stood on Portland Bill on the English Channel or on the deck of a yacht between the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney ……… and watched the sea being forced by some unseen hand in one direction, in the latter case possible causing the yacht to go backwards relative to the seabed …… …….. so why should we be immune to this lunar pull?
Back in February this year, the full moon was on Saturday 11th and the start of the last quarter the following Friday, the 17th. If you were born around this time, your ‘Star’ sign would be Aquarius and this year you would be a Rooster, according to the Chinese Zodiac which started on 28th January. Aquarians have “a desire to deal with the problems and hopes of all mankind; they are very concerned with the life of the community rather than any particular individual. They need to be in the spotlight and will do anything to attract public attention no matter how freaky or perverse.” As a Rooster you would be the epitome of fidelity and punctuality, and the human representative of confidence and intelligence! And if you want to buy some jewellery for an Aquarian, choose an Amethyst.
You might think by now that I have completely lost the plot, more than usual some might even think, but all this has been leading up to the main event, a simple record of connections. On 17th February in London, sometime in the afternoon, Douglas Henry William Yates was born. Douglas is the first son of my nephew Hugh and his wife Hannah (see PC 41); Douglas was one of some 3800 babies born in the UK that day but no doubt to Hugh & Hannah the only one!!
All family babies are a celebration and his birth was exactly that. However, my clock was ticking. My mother-in-law had a bet that her second grandson would also be born on the same day. Celina’s brother and sister-in-law met Hugh & Hannah at our wedding in August last year but had just moved from Rio de Janeiro to Estoril in Portugal; both women were pregnant! Now in Portugal about 520 babies are born each day and completely coincidentally Camila went into labour earlier in the day. That evening, on the 17th February 2017, on the first day of the last lunar quarter, at around 2325 Joaquim Vasconcellos Rocha Miranda, Camila’s second son was born.
I have known Hannah for many many years but Camila only since 2012, when she was pregnant with her first son. That they met in August last year was not so remarkable but both being pregnant was, surely? I can’t honestly remember when the mythical ‘due date’ was in either case but to have them racing towards the finish line together, living in two different countries but connected loosely by my marriage, was worth a bet huh?
This is a nice story, isn’t it? (and we need nice stories!)
Richard 15th July 2017