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The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

Middle Class Handbook on Twitter
Chattering Class

Prince Harry

Even republicans approve, surely?

Microwaving tea

Recommended by scientists, apparently. Disgusting

No televised election debates

Disappointing; we were rather looking forward to May vs The Sturge


Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!


“I queued for THREE BLOODY HOURS at B&Q for a new recycling bin! The entire town’s in CHAOS”


To be listened to whole on a long journey for maximum effect

Using a proper paper map

Strangely satisfying

The “Flash” Flash ad

It’s back! Possibly the best ever singing dog in an advert ever

Crap tacos

Reheated, with too much chilli: middle-class kebabs, basically

Latest Comments
The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    When posh meets trendy

    There was some more news in the paper today about the 2010 Olympics costing more money, or not having enough sponsors or something. Thinking about London 2012 makes me feel weirdly anxious. it has done ever since I watched the bit with the bus, Jimmy Page, Leona Lewis, dancers etc etc at the end of the Beijing games last summer. I don't want to be negative, but I have to say I thought it was awful. I always find it a bit cringeworthy when posh people start trying to mix it with trendiness. Remember those terrible pop culture floats at the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations? It seems to me that Britain is very good at posh people, and it is very good at trendy people, but when the two come together it reminds me of the teachers trying to dance at school discos. Can't they just put Chris Hoy in charge of it all?


    Are we all sitting comfortably? NO.

    My sister has come to stay with us for the weekend, so this evening we went to the pub for a drink. We decided to go to the trendified gastro place on the main road road; mistake. It was too busy, so many people were eating that it felt more like a restaurant than a pub, but worst of all the manager has replaced most of the tables and chairs with large leather sofas. I hate these sofas in pubs. If you sit in them properly you can't hear what people sitting across from you are saying. If they come and sit next to you, you have to sit sideways on as if you are about to try to kiss them or something. I usually end up with them sitting across from me, and me sitting forward on the edge of the seat, but this means that I keep sliding off. Worst of all, as happened tonight, the cushion can tip up, making me fall forward and spill my drink. Sister and dear wife agreed with all this. Why do we need sofas in pubs anyway? To me they are a symptom of the modern refusal to let things be what they are, ie a pub can no longer be just a pub - it has to be a restaurant, hotel lounge and possibly nightclub as well. It's the same thinking that leads to cashew nuts in breakfast cereal (see below). Worst of all, it means that pubs, which were often unifying places where all creeds and kinds mixed together, are now more and more specialised, attracting specific types of people. This seems a bit sad, somehow.


    The gulls have gone. Possibly.

    It struck me this morning that we have not heard the foul mewl of seagulls from our roof for several days. Please, please let them have gone. In fact, please please let them have fallen into the sea and drowned, and let the entire species become extinct as soon as possible. If you are a seagull-defender and that offends you, GOOD.


    Which is more middle class - a lane or a road?

    Villagers in Kent have been arguing about this question. It's like World War III, apparently.


    Muesli: the eternal disappointment

    There's no really nice brand of mueseli is there? We try to eat it because it's healthy, and alternate brands because we keep thinking that THIS TIME we have found the right one. Alpen is too sugary and powdery, no-sugar Alpen is just powdery, Waitrose own-brand is like pet food, Jordan's has just enough nuts and oats to feel like punishment. We did think that Dorset Cereals, despite that babylike copywriting on the box (why do all brands now feel they have to talk to you like a chummy primary school teacher? It drives me mad) were the answer, but you soon get sick of there being too many big "Chilean Flame" raisins and the fake-fruit flavoured oats.  We've just gone back to Waitrose own-brand (we're a bit skint, credit crunch etc etc) weetabix.

    By the way, when did we reach the point where "raisins" had to be "Chilean Flame"?