BIRTH is a natural process. So is death. Yet we try and do our best to make death as comfortable and painfree as possible. So why not do the same with childbirth?

For years having a natural birth was a sort of competition among certain types of women – the rest of us were just grabbing the gas and air and any drugs on offer – with the implication that medical intervention was some sort of failure. Ha!

After 20 hours of agony I shall never forget the joy of the epidural. “You’re having a contraction now,” said the consultant as I beamed at him blearily, blissfully pain free at last. That’s more like it. Bring it on.

A natural childbirth is a splendid ideal and can be wonderful – but it’s not for everyone.

But if anyone organises, say, a hip operation to fit in with their life, work and family commitments they’re considered sensible. Do the same with birth – an elective caesarean on a certain day when you can be sure of all available help – and you’re considered. well, unnatural.

Now the Royal College of Midwives has just relaxed its hardline guidelines on natural birth as a reluctance to intervene seems to have induced a sense of failure and, more importantly, contributed to a number of deaths and injuries of babies and mothers.

There are other factors as well of course, including shortages of midwives and doctors.

But the chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents, has talked of “a cult-like fixation with so-called normal birth.”

Claims against the NHS for botched births are rising every year – up to £1.9 billion.

It’s not as if normal has always had a huge success rate. Childbirth has always been a dangerous time for mothers and babies. Which doesn’t say much for how clever Mother Nature is really. There’s a serious design fault somewhere.

We now have the knowledge and experience and intervention that makes giving birth safer than it’s ever been, so why still pretend we don’t?

All that matters is that when it’s all over, you end up with a healthy baby and a healthy mother. Everything else is just so much flim and flam and doesn’t matter a jot..

A FEW years ago after he’d finished filming Sceptre, Daniel Craig said he’d rather slash his wrists rather than play Bond again.

Then , guess what? Yep – he’s just signed up for another Bond film.

Mind you, for a rumoured fee of over £100million, I guess I would too. Wouldn’t you?

YES, of course, by the time we’ve got to the airport, queued for hours, battled with the automatic gates, got half undressed, taken our shoes off, emptied our pockets, got dressed again, repacked our bags, been beeped at through the security arch and been patted down by some boot-faced official, OF COURSE we’re ready for a drink. It’s meant to be a holiday after all and by the time you get to the departure lounge you feel you’ve already accomplished the equivalent of a medieval quest and need a holiday just to get over that.

BUT… Didn’t they have rules about not letting people in board if they were drunk?

The number of drunks on planes – despite the much publicised recent increase in arrests – is still pretty small compared to the millions of sobersides who manage not to grope the flight attendants or attack their fellow passengers, or even kick the back of the seat in front of them.

If a few more raucous stag and hen parties were publicly left stranded at the airport having to fork out serious money for later flights, the message would eventually get through.

Then the rest of us could enjoy our drinks in peace.

DAVID BECKHAM spent six days assembling a 4,000 piece Lego castle for six year old daughter, Harper.

A labour of love certainly. But…um… isn’t the whole point of Lego for the child to build it themselves?

Otherwise it’s a bit like giving them a colouring book with all the pictures already coloured in.

Still, Beckham looked very proud of himself. Let’s hope Harper plays with it. If only to knock it down and start again.

THERE’S always something a bit dubious about people who set out deliberately to be “eccentric”, otherwise known as posers. Are they so dull or inadequate that they have to try so desperately to be interesting?

So it is with Jacob Rees-Mogg, with his old fashioned suits, and carefully cultivated air of having escaped from another century.

Fair enough when he was lurking on the back benches. But now he’s being seriously touted as the next Tory leader, this is a joke too far.

How can he have time to run the country or even a political party when he has to spend so much time constructing his image?

HELEN Mirren, still look great at 72, says she wasn’t happy with the way she looked when she was young. In the days when everyone wanted to be like stick-like Twiggy “My cheeks were too fat, my legs too short, my breasts too big. I fell into the cliché of sexiness.”

And she calls that a problem?

CONGRATULATIONS – or commiserations – on all those A level results. I hope you’ve done well enough to get where you want to be.

The new grading system is going to confuse us all and we won’t have a clue if you done brilliantly or disastrously. Is 1 good or bad? Is 9 brilliant or terrible? Nothing like yet another new system to cause chaos.

It would be much too simple, of course, just to give everyone their actual marks.

Still, I expect we’ll get used to it in time – then they’ll change it again.