Tuesday evening saw us round up six of M’s friends for dinner and then a trip to ‘the ballet’: in this case, Ballet Central at the Gulbenkian Theatre. It was a belated birthday celebration for M, and a wonderful time was had by all. We were particularly impressed — not to say gobsmacked — by the table behaviour of the group! To a person, they sat still for maybe 40 minutes, eating and playing self-generated games like Chinese whispers etc. R and I stood in the kitchen next door, gratefully sipping white wine and stuffing in ham sandwiches. Real conversations! True friendship! Great to witness.

This year M has discovered that she’s a Taurus, and has ended up doing some online research into this. So the last couple of weeks we’ve been treated to things like: mummy, when can we plant up the pots outside? Tauruses have green thumbs. And to her brother: If you say that again you’ll make me angry. It takes a lot to make a Taurus angry, but when they go, they really go! This was enough to elicit a rather stunned cessation in the teasing, so I guess it did the job.

She’s pleased to know she’s an Earth sign, like her father. Home-loving, she says. And don’t we know it. She likes her nests, a kitchen full of cooking, and to know where we are at all times. Tauruses are good at the arts, she also informs us. And so she is, of course, even gifted at them.

She doesn’t like, though, the other bits, which she, being honest, dutifully recites to us: tendency to be sulky when crossed, stubborn, slow to change. Saying that, she relishes our stories of her spectacular tantrums: once, on the High Street, I had to hold her in her buggy, while she screamed like I was inflicting the worst punishment in the world and wouldn’t someone come help her please! Strangers stopped and glared at me. Her healthy lungs nearly landed us in a private room from all the noise on the day she was born; so when she uses them, watch out.

And yes, somehow, she often, very often, manages to get her way. This getting of her way is not at all a spoiled thing. She just doesn’t give up. Ever. She knows what she wants, how she wants it, and finds ways to get it. Determined. I’ve always thought, despite the early days of horror at how single-minded she is, that it’s a desirable characteristic in a girl, a woman especially. Less likely to get stomped on. Although fierce loyalty is also in her deck of cards, so it may take her a while to realise if something’s going wrong.

But realise she will. Forget astrology. She’ll believe herself.