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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

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Entries in Laura S (24)


    Ten of the Best - Middle Classes At Work And Play 1900-2000: Savvy Londoners give us some strike survival tips

    We could learn something from the middle-class heroes in this clip. It shows savvy businessmen and women in London coping with a tube strike; on such an occasion, don’t panic – get creative! Why not skate to work on precarious homemade skates? Or illegally carry passengers in the boot of your car? The voiceover explains that the authorities turned a blind eye for a day, so why not give risking your life a go? Jogging in your undergarments is suggested, but sprinting from middle-class commuter havens like Guildford or Horsham doesn’t seem appealing.

    It is comforting to see not much has changed for the commuter though. Buses were hopelessly inadequate and the bridges carried standstill traffic. Apparently nine out of ten commuters were late for work on the occasion of this strike, but how that’s different to any other day is beyond us. If recent times are anything to go by, we’ve learnt nothing from our ancestors about how to survive a strike – this is the film version of “keep calm and carry on”.


    Ten of the Best - Middle Classes At Work And Play 1900-2000: When does dog grooming become cruelty by humiliation?

    It appears the 1950s heralded the age of the ill-advised fashion choice, and this didn’t end with swimming caps. Not content with making themselves look silly, the middle classes thought it necessary to tart up their poor pets too. This clip shows the owner of a poodle being offered a selection of dyes whilst the dog is blissfully unaware of what’s coming, or maybe it has resigned itself to humiliation after being snipped and shaped like a garden hedge already.

    The trend for dog grooming, then, has its roots in middle-class ladies of the 50s and their preoccupation with standout fashion. Similar videos have appeared of dogs dressed up in clothes looking equally perplexed. Not content with status handbags and hats, pets were suddenly becoming fashion pieces as well. This trend continues today, but where it was once a poodle painted pink, it is now a Pomeranian in a bear suit.


    Ten of the Best - Middle Classes At Work And Play 1900-2000: We’ve all been fooled by the “staycation” before

    Remember the trend for “staycations” a couple of years ago? Where someone started a malicious rumour that it would be a really great idea to stay in the UK for a holiday? Well they’ve told that lie before. We’ve been fooled twice.

    Check out this video trying to trick the poor middle classes of the 30s into visiting Torquay instead of the South of France – the voiceover informs us that it is the equivalent of Cannes or Nice. You might just have believed it if you’d never been to Cannes or Nice and had no knowledge of the area.

    This clip is just fantastic for its downright lies – proclaiming that the sea in Torquay in February is as warm as the Mediterranean is like saying Blackpool Tower is as impressive as The Eiffel Tower. If it’s so warm, Mr Voiceover, then why are the middle-class family on the beach wearing coats and furs? If you’re worried about being tricked into a staycation again, this MCH blog might be useful.


    Ten of the Best - Middle Classes At Work And Play 1900-2000: Unwavering middle class pastimes: Tennis

    What could be more middle class than Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world? Every year thousands of middle-class fans flock to South West London to queue for entry to the coveted courts. The decadence, the strawberries and cream, Cliff, the British guy never winning – what a tradition. This documentary clip shows the changes in tennis through the decades from 1900 to 1952. Compared to today’s revealing tennis gear, the players of the first half of the century wore the sporting equivalent of dinner suits and evening gowns. The crowd sit poised in hats and ties, clapping politely.

    This shows the middle classes at their best and tells us that one thing certainly hasn’t changed – you’re probably not welcome if you’re not in this bracket. However, it’s a testament to our stoicism that Wimbledon has remained so very British when no British men have won since 1936. We don’t care about winning of course, the reason the middle classes love tennis is the same reason they love a royal wedding or VE day – it’s an excuse to dress up and drink Pimms.


    Ten of the Best - Middle Classes At Work And Play 1900-2000: The MC garden party a la Bridget Jones’ bunny faux pas

    The middle classes are known for their eccentricities and this clip, filmed sometime during the 1910s, proves that this has always been the case. What appears to be happening is a fancy dress competition for the whole family, which has been organised to military precision and where no one seems to be having fun - quintessentially British then.

    A procession of seemingly random groups of fancy dressers passes by the crowd, and we can assume there is no theme because in the parade is everything from Little Bo Peep to two baby minstrels in full black face. Charmingly, this sort of thing drew huge crowds once upon a time, but now we make every effort to avoid any kind of fancy dress involvement.

    Garden parties can be awkward, and adding fancy dress into the mix can cause disaster – we’ve all seen Bridget Jones. However, it’s good to know that dressing up was once a wholesome family activity before drunken teenagers and hen parties went and ruined it for everyone.