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Chattering Class

Leicester City overkill

Yes we get it, it's lovely. But can we talk about something else now?

Online petitions

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Zootopia

The new Frozen

Artisan marshmallows

Unconvincing

The word “artisan”

Overused

Discussing sourdough recipes

You buy it? Might as well wear a Burberry baseball cap

Getting the right shade of fake tan

“Just enough to stop my legs looking like something I dug up”

Travelling off-peak on rural branchline trains

Lovely

Pointless gadgets made by start-ups

Usually no better than Innovations catalogue stuff

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Entries in Amy H (2)

    Sunday
    May062012

    Squeezed middle brands and how to warm up a dinner party  

    Being several months pregnant I recently took some (slightly) poncey lemongrass or lavender type bottles of soft drink (which was outrageously expensive – probably more than a decent bottle of wine) to a dinner party.  And, shock horror, a bottle of Orangina.  Everyone lapped up the Orangina & we had lots of nostalgic convos about our love for it (maybe it was because we are all Brits living in the US and the displacement heightens these things) but no-one touched the posh one at all, in fact they all sneered at it.  

    I’m not saying we should all start pitching up to parties with bottles of Iron Brew and Pickled Onion Space Raiders, but I think there’s something interesting in those brands that sit somewhere in the middle of posh vs chavvy. So in case you’re interested, next time around I’m planning to re-launch McCoy’s crisps & Rich Tea biscuits, all washed down with lashings of Old Jamaica Ginger Beer. 

    Sunday
    May012011

    Letter From America #7: When one’s stiff upper lip goes limp

    Flickr: jasonawhite
    In true British middle class tradition, we sneered at the convenience of it all when we arrived fresh from London in the US of A.  When driving around the city for the first time, we asked ourselves, “Really…how lazy do you have to be to use a drive-through pharmacy?  Doesn’t a grid system make a city just so characterless?  Aren’t all these strip malls so depressing?  Our horror at how quickly we were becoming Americanized peaked following a trip back to the UK when upon leaving the airport car park and paying at the gate, our two year old son asked the parking attendant for “Fries and an apple juice please”.  Oh dear.
     
    But the other night I did start to wonder why I felt the need to resist it so tirelessly.  It was late, about 11pm.  Dark, cold and pouring with rain as it always does in Portland.  We had been out and were driving back home.  We needed cash for the babysitter and we were bickering over who would have to get out of the car to get it.  Problem solved and argument avoided - rather than stopping at the ATM near to our house which was on the way home but involved disembarking from the car, we took a slight detour so we could go to the drive-through ATM instead.   To my delight, not only could we withdraw cash without having to find somewhere to park and dash out in the rain, I could also purchase the book of stamps I’d been meaning to for the past week but kept forgetting every time I got to the till at the shops.  Now that is convenient.  
     
    For the short drive back, we asked ourselves why we felt the need to dismiss this more convenient way as beneath us when it does in fact make everything so much more….well, convenient. Why do us Brits need to cling on to this impulse to make life harder for ourselves just to prove a point and what point exactly are we trying to prove?  Am I worried that by using a drive-through pharmacy that I’m going to become fat and start thinking George Bush was a great President?  I do hope not because I hate to say it but the convenience of it all has won me over...and I didn’t put up much of a fight.