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The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

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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

Broadchurch

Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!

Bin-mageddon

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

S-Town

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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    Entries in MCH (107)

    Wednesday
    Apr302014

    Chattering Class

    Putting chocolate in the fridge

    Always pleasing

    Chelsea Flower Show

    Lovely as ever, but MC opinion divided about the WW1 garden

    The Cbeebies Prom

    Who needs Glastonbury?

    Hot Punch Nike Frees

    When did these become obligatory for MC school-run mums

    “’Slaw”

    Can we stop this, please? It’s “Coleslaw”. Thank you.

    Frozen-themed children’s parties

    An MC epidemic: snow-effect cake decorations now sold out across the internet

    Texts

    Somehow more appealing than a DM

    TNT delivery people

    Rubbish service, nice bikes

    Tyrion Lanister’s trial speech

    A great moment from a great MC hero

    Capital

    Very interesting but does anyone really know how to pronounce Piketty?

    Friday
    Jan172014

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Butter

    Who knew something so pure and comforting as butter could elicit such fierce emotions? Well, of course it does, this is MC world and we are nothing if not particular about our brands. 

    But a note before we start. In this thoroughly scientific investigation it has been necessary to narrow our focus: 1) Only butters have been examined. It has been assumed that margarines, being a synthetic product rather than a lovely natural one, are automatically inferior, socially speaking. 2) The spreadable vs block debate is a minefield demanding its own separate exploration. 3) Although unsalted butter is preferred for baking, when it comes to something to melt on toast, it seems only the obtuse and health freaks can resist the salty crystal. 

    Self-actualisation – Président
    Or, for those with deep pockets, Echiré (which even has its own appellation). French butter is to other dairy spreads what the wines of Burgundy are to those of the New World. These pale lactic butters (to do with the presence of lactic acid which lends a slight tang) tend to be more popular on the continent than in the UK, our home-produced butters being of the creamy variety. Hence the attraction. What better way to show that you are a cut above the common butter-eating class than by demanding something that not everyone likes?

    Esteem – Yeo Valley
    One word: organic. And Yeo Valley are nothing if not the kings of organic dairy produce. 

    Love/belonging – Lurpak
    Before Borgen, before The Killing, before Arne Jacobsen, there was Lurpak. And bacon. Basically the Danes once owned breakfast. It is still easy to appreciate Lurpak’s understated lack of pretension. Which is probably why two thirds of it ends up in the UK.

    Safety – Anchor
    The cheery yellow wrapper. The happy cows. The nostalgia. This is all about your mum treating you to a knob of better on your potatoes at tea. And now that Anchor’s being produced in the UK rather than New Zealand, you can get over your food miles guilt.

    Physiological – Country Life
    You can see what they’re doing here. By slipping in the word ‘country’, and turning the Y into a tree, they think they’ll conjure up images of small-scale producers living a simple life amid rolling hills. Rather than big supermarkets and sister brands such as Cathedral City cheese. Well you are way too sophisticated to fall for that

    Wednesday
    Sep042013

    Middle-Class Colour Chart: Yellows

    Friday
    Aug162013

    CHATTERING CLASS: THIS WEEK'S FIDDLE-FADDLE

    Babybel

    Must be MC; they have a waxed jacket, says @heidistephens

    Mini M&S 99p cheeses

    Compelling

    Personalised gifts

    Always luggage, never towels. Distinction c/o @ohchrisburton

    Cheese toasties

    Need a more grown-up name, says @Gary_Bainbridge

    America's "grilled cheese"

    Not good enough. Implies there's no bread involved

    Croque Anglaise

    Possible winner from @Robins_Books

    Supermarket pasta salads

    Always, always rubbish

    Andrex's "rollaphobia" campaign

    No, we do NOT leave loads of rolls around the house!

    Gladioli

    Grand and colourful; very MC

    Monday
    Aug122013

    Secret snob #16: The most skilfully grown english roses

    Can you get anything more quintessentially English than a rose garden? Maybe one with more than 800 varieties of bloom, one that includes the National Collection of English Roses and is tended by a multiple RHS gold-medal winner at Chelsea who also boasts an OBE ‘for services to horticulture’. 

    Here at MCH, we love a specialist. The expertise. The passion. The skill. The attention to detail. The exceptional standards. The decades of hard graft to become a master of their trade. All supremely admirable qualities, we say.

    David Austin Snr has been breeding roses in Shropshire for 50 years and, along with eldest son David CH Austin, oversees one of the world’s larges garden-rose breeding programmes in his beautiful centre at Albrighton. Among the 200+ roses he’s created in his time are the Constance Spry, the Gertrude Jekyll, and the Darcey Bussell.

    Yes, you can go online and knock yourself out ordering from the overwhelming selection (Which? magazine has heaped praise on their service), but you’d be missing the spectacle (and heady scent) of the two acres-worth of formal and walled gardens, shrubberies and floral hedging, open to the public all year round. As middle class days out go, we can’t recommend it highly enough.

    davidaustinroses.com