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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

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Chattering class: this week's ups and downs

    Nigella's halloumi and salad recipe

    She's let us - and herself - down

    People on Facebook doing "'like' if you remember Woolworths"

    It's too soon for this nostalgia, says @kloob. Quite right

    Worrying about what container to use for your work packed lunch

    Old Carte D'Or tubs are not OK

    Christmas lunch in pie form, as witnessed by @ginandcrumpets

    Not sure about this. Not sure at all

    House of Fraser's Christmas ad

    A bit too out there for our liking

    Boomf personalised marshmallows


    Personalised children's books


    Calling them 'roasties'

    Tiresome, especially in gastropubs. Jamie Oliver lingo is very old hat

    Being asked if you want your panini grilled

    Well, yes, obviously! 

    Christmas decorations on exterior of homes

    Lights: a few are OK. Flashing lights: no


    Art of hot desking: being seen to be displeased by a dirty mouse

    Having to sit at a different desk every day or for a few weeks at a time is increasingly normal in offices, as the management tries to facilitate flexible working and foster more creative environments, etc etc. But, the one thing nobody talks about amid all the guff about dynamic workspaces is the business of having to deal with someone else's filth.

    If you have your own keyboard and mouse at the same work station every day you can relax in the knowledge that it's only your own questionable sticky blotches on the mouse and only your own splashes of wasabi sauce smearing the space bar. But if you're having to jump on to any old desk every day your first five minutes at work will be spent inspecting those smears and addressing the situation with antibacterial wipes.

    And we love being self-righteous about it, don't we? We like to flap a bit as we're disinfecting the mouse and make comments about other people's dirt and low standards, to make sure everyone in earshot understands that we don't approve, and to imply that we would never leave a work station in such a state – only to go on and scatter flakes of croissant in between the keys and conveniently have to 'rush off' at the end of the day without making time to clear them up.

    Flickr: Martijn van Exel


    How to respond when someone says they're an accountant

    It's Christmas party season, which means MCs up and down the country will soon be asking each other that most boring of questions: “What do you do?” But what on earth do you do if you get the apologetic, verging on self-loathing, answer: “I’m an accountant, I’m afraid.” Or: “Accountant. Very boring, I know.” It’s an etiquette minefield.

    It seems that no matter what you do you’ll end up making things worse. Here are four ways MCs tend to respond when faced with a new acquaintance who works in accounts.

    1. Have recourse to Dharma by sagely talking about how “everyone has a role to play. Where would we be without accountants? All those creatives wouldn't make a living without an accountant to sort them out.” Pretty patronising, this.
    2. Make the accountant feel better by playing up the downsides of your own job: “Well, at least you have nice regular hours and know where you are. You wouldn’t believe how draining it can be having to travel all the time.” A bit insulting.
    3. Protest too much. “No, no, NO! There’s nothing boring about accountancy. I imagine you must work on some tremendously exciting projects and meet lots of different people!’ Implausible and embarrassing.
    4. Struggle for words and fail to find any. Make a little “ah” of feigned interest and wait for the accountant to change the subject. Awkward.

    Tumblr: Uber Brick


    Secret Snob #18: traditional Welsh blankets

    The duvet has a lot to answer for. Much as it revolutionised middle-class life, it also meant blankets, and the blanket box, ceased to be essential items, disappearing as we de-cluttered our households and embraced our continental lifestyles.

    On the plus side, once something is no longer “essential” we can start to appreciate its finer qualities and move it into the category of items classed “object of desire”. On that basis, it’s time to stand back and appreciate the work of craft that is the traditional Welsh blanket.

    You’ll be vaguely familiar with the pattern: a checked arrangement of fuzzy squares and lozenges – currently being replicated on tea trays and lampshades by admiring designers – and the slightly coarse texture of the thick, woven wool. These are heavy-duty blankets for a pre-central heating world.

    Over in Pembrokeshire, Melin Tregwynt is wooing the design shop market with some contemporary patterns and mid-century modern crossovers, while Trefriw Woollen Mills in the Conwy Valley stick so closely to tradition that they even spin their own wool. But today we are heading to Rock Mill at the heart of Welsh blanket country on the Ceredigion/Carmarthenshire border. Not only is it the last water-driven woollen mill in Wales (check out the water wheel), but the low stone mill was built by the present owner’s great-grandfather. 



    Advent calendars

    When did we all get so snooty? Chocolate ones are perfectly acceptable

    Being able to order 'the usual' in your daily coffee shop

    You can't force it. The staff have to take the lead. Can take years

    Christmas crockery

    Awful. Better to use plain china and dress up with festive napkins etc

    The smaller the poinsettia...

    The naffer it is. Go big or not at all

    Having a box of tissues in the car

    There's something lovely and thoughtful about this

    Marcus Wareing

    Doing a great job on MasterChef this year. He gets twinklier and twinklier

    People parking in front of your driveway and only moving if you ask

    Just not on

    Excessive announcements from train guards

    We're trying to read! Be quiet!

    Multiple Christmas trees

    No, says @cunarders: yes to proper decorated tree in main room, twig-like tree with just lights in secondary room

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