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The Book

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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

Latest Comments
The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Wednesday
    Jan202016

    Lunch at work, part 1: the pre-lunchtime discussion

    It would seem it's impossible to have lunch during the working day without there being some sort of chit-chat about it. Everywhere I've worked there's been an increase in chatter from about 12 noon, in the more extreme cases as early as 11.30am, as people begin pondering their lunch options.

    The comments can be incredibly tedious and detailed, as people go through their options, hopes and justifications. They think they'll get a hot wrap, it's one of those days, they hope Pret's doing the chicken one... That said, yesterday they had quite bad heartburn all afternoon and were really sleepy so maybe actually hot food is not a great plan in the middle of the day, maybe a salad...

    And as the morning marches on the chat gets less theoretical and more strategic: they ask around to find out who's been out, has anyone been to Pret, what's the soup today, is it raining? The culmination of all this is they either finally head out at about 1.30pm to get their lunch, or they wait until someone else looks like they're heading out and cheekily ask them to pick them up a burrito because they just can't get away from their desk. It's a relief when they finally have something to stuff their face with and stop talking.

    Flickr: Ambernectar 13

    Sunday
    Jan172016

    Chattering class: quibbles and queries

    TV shows on dieting

    Ugh, enough now! Oh alright, just one more...

    People leaning forward in train seats

    Annoying and intrusive

    Metcalfe's Skinny popcorn

    Favourite niche snack about to go mainstream

    Tax returns

    Absolutely love sharing misery on Twitter

    Books received for Christmas

    No idea how/when to get through the stack

    Doddle

    Still not convinced it's a doddle

    Dry January

    Would be easier if people didn't stop talking about it

    People who breathe really loudly in yoga and pilates classes

    Do please shut up

    Kale and spinach

    Why do they come in such huge bags?

    A newly filled fruit bowl

    As satisfying as fresh bed sheets

    Thursday
    Jan142016

    Middle-class office-speak: 'I'll raise it in the 3.30'

    The word 'meeting' is over, it would seem. I'm lucky enough not to have had to go to many meetings in my career. But everywhere I've worked I've heard people around me talking about them – arranging them, fretting about what to say in them, then fretting about what was said and moaning about how pointless and/or long they were. And these days they tend to refer to them just by the time at which they are held: 'David was saying in the 11...', 'I'll raise it in the 3.30'.

    I quite like this format in its brevity and plainness. Everyone understands that a meeting is being talked about; the word doesn't need saying and nor does the agenda need referring to. The world of work has come to realise that saying 'I'll bring it to the resource strategy meeting' is pointless because everyone knows meetings never stick to their agenda and usually fail to achieve anything. So you may as well just be honest about it being nothing more than some people sitting down in a room at a certain time with the aim of feeling a bit more useful by talking about some stuff.

    It's the sort of office speak that's actually an improvement on communication at work – a rare thing indeed. 

    Sunday
    Jan102016

    Chattering Class: January Jabber

    Shortbread

    A wonderful thing. Fork marks are a must

    War and Peace

    Finally, something really properly proper to watch/fall asleep during

    #puddlewatch

    Baffling at first, then captivating

    'January sales'

    Sort of nostalgic for this concept

    Having to talk about how your Christmas was

    Beyond tedious

    Saying 'Happy new year'

    An incurable reflex, it seems

    'I got completely and utterly soaked'

    Why are we all so competitive when it comes to weather?

    Sainsbury's 'twist your favourites'

    Kind of fun. But, cranberry sauce in a cheese toastie? Please. That's just obvious

    Spiralising

    Nearly over it

    Master Pan

    Amazing school-dinner-tray-ish way to cook fry-up

    Wednesday
    Dec232015

    Have a merry ruletide

    How excited MCs get about rules and regulations – and never more so than at Christmas. The complex festivities demand clear guidelines and decisive leadership. Standard rules for the MC Christmas might include:

    • cards only for people you got one from last year
    • gifts only for people you're actually seeing on the day itself
    • presents to be opened after lunch
    • no TV before Doctor Who

    Gift giving is where you'll find most of the Christmas rules lie, because the more potential there is for awkwardness, the more rules MCs will try to impose. “One gift per household/family” is a rule that you'll often hear about these days, along with the increasingly popular Secret Santa arrangement, which has extended from workplaces to families: everyone is to buy one present for one allocated recipient, and sometimes there's a rule on a spending limit.

    Being MCs we love making our rules complicated and with exceptions, so in many MC Christmases you'll find the rule is gifts-as-usual within immediate family and Secret Santa for anyone outside the nucleus. Or one-gift-per-household with the exception of the family that includes two young children, who each get their own individual gift.

    Are MCs ruining Christmas with all these rules? Or is this the only way we know how to really enjoy it? We'd love to hear some of your Christmas rules and regulations. Please do share, and have a very happy ruletide.