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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Entries in Siobhan S (7)

    Friday
    Mar012013

    Class Phwoar: The Bobble Bottle  

    Every now and again, a completely random, seemingly pointless and somewhat surprising item can become something most desired and sought after by MCs. Introducing the Bobble Bottle... 

    But what makes it a Class Phwoar? We’ve pondered this for some time, is it really necessary (especially priced at £9.99 for a medium bottle), will it ever be used and why are we piling into Oliver Bonas just to get our mitts on one? OK it's got the usual middle class fayre: 

    • Style: looks rather striking, ergonomic and definitely expensive 
    • Eco-friendly: It’s reusable, and made of environmentally friendly materials – win, win.  
    • Taste: It has a replaceable carbon filter which means your water is filtered (and just like Evian) when you drink it

    But as with any Class Phwoar there's ALWAYS one killer feature, be it mini pumpkins or a squashed peach, and for us the Bobble bottle just has to be touched. It's so tactile you just need it in your hand - like the football you can't resist kicking. Go on, you know you want to. 

    Thursday
    Feb142013

    A Very Middle Class War: £20 Valentine’s Meal Deal Face-Off  

    It’s Valentine’s Day – and the two supermarket juggernauts, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, are going head to head with their £20 Valentine’s meal deals. On paper the deals look too good to be true: a choice of starter, main, side dish, dessert, box of chocolates and a bottle of wine (or, um, Waitrose candle) for a crisp £20. 

    With a penchant for pretty much any type of bargain, we’ve taken one for Team MC and taste tested these meal deals for YOU. Hard-hitting, independent and completely official given we can no longer fit into our overpriced jeans, here are the results…

    Marks & Spencer Valentine’s Dine In for £20

    Starter: Tomato and camembert tarts 
    Like: the simplicity of the idea
    Gripe: where do we start – very, very bland
    Verdict: 2/5 

    Main course and side dish: The cook menu chicken parma ham; broccoli, carrot and fine beans
    Like: flavour was pleasant, if a little salty
    Gripe: presentation once cooked – cheese everywhere! 
    Verdict: 3/5 

    Dessert: Raspberry panna cotta
    Like: refreshing, light and creamy - bloody tasty
    Gripe: served in tacky plastic cups and we had been promised 'luxury'
    Verdict: 4/5 

    Wine: Romeral crianza rioja
    Like: the price
    Gripe: inoffensive to the point of offensive
    Verdict: 3/5 

    Chocolates: Dine in chocolate box of hearts 
    Like: at a push, they did taste of chocolate
    Gripe: if there is a more boringly packaged box of chocolates we'd like to know
    Verdict: 1/5

    Total: 13/25 

    Waitrose £20 Valentine’s Dinner for Two

    Starter: Hebridean mini dressed crab
    Like: presentation, wonderfully presented in crab shells
    Gripe: small (needs a few leaves to make a substantial starter)
    Verdict: 4/5

    Main course and side dish: Easy to cook salmon, feta cheese, mint & lemon; parmentier potatoes
    Like: enough for seconds, seriously hassle-free (just pop in the oven for 20 minutes), properly crispy potatoes
    Gripe: strange mix of flavours, needs something green to go with it 
    Verdict: 4/5

    Dessert: Seriously triple chocolate mousse
    Like: seriously tasty
    Gripe: seriously rich
    Verdict: 3/5

    Wine: Prosecco san leo NV
    Like: wonderfully drinkable
    Gripe: packaging a little too 'own-brand' for its own good
    Verdict: 3.5/5

    Chocolates: Indulgent & irresistible dark, milk & white Belgian chocolate collection
    Like: taste and look expensive, really good selection
    Gripe: gripeless
    Verdict: 4/5

    Total: 18.5/25

     

    Wednesday
    Dec052012

    A CRAFTY GUIDE TO HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS  

    You only have to put one foot into the home departments of John Lewis or Next to see that we’re all craving homemade goodies and wholesome British products with aisles full of cupcake stands, knitted hot water bottle covers and the like. 

    It’s no surprise then that in recent years we’ve gone all crafty, with inspiration from Great British Bake Off and Kirsty’s Homemade Home, and with Christmas on the horizon some MCs may be considering doing a homemade Christmas all of their own.  

    It is with this notion that we warn you to step forward with care. I too love some arts and crafts, and thought why not make all of my Christmas presents this year? But as I started to discuss it with friends, the more issues came to mind.  

    It only took one friend to say “Oh really, I didn’t know you could knit – are you any good?” to seed doubt into my mind. I mean, I think it looks good but realistically, my knitting quality is probably a bit more Matalan than M&S and who wants a gift from there? My jam making certainly isn’t on a level with Delia’s either. 

    For all MCs thinking about doing a homemade Christmas, here are 3 tips from me for avoiding homemade Christmas chaos:

    1. Quality Control: be realistic and recognize your strengths. If you last used a sewing machine in home economics class, now probably isn’t the time to test your skills. 
    2. Family Only: if you’re going to go down the homemade route stick to family only. If you’ve misjudged your skills, there’s nothing more awkward than presenting your boss with a pair of poorly knitted socks. 
    3. Children: the exception to the family rule is children. I don’t care how into unique clothing little Finn is, he’s not going to want a knitted jumper or quilt for Christmas. If you want to make them clothes, don’t pass it off as a gift. 

     

    Thursday
    Oct112012

    One love: one MC woman defends her right to wear a onesie

    In response to your recent blog about onesies I felt compelled to offer a defence of this garment. You see, I happen to be the proud owner of a onesie and *sigh* I really quite like it. 

    Yes, you look like a giant baby, yes it's made of *shudder* polyester, and yes I may be 26 (and three quarters), but the comfort factor really does outweigh any issue I may have had about looking silly. (Well, actually my onesie happens to be in the style of Minnie Mouse – complete with giant ears – so I do look quite ridiculous). But who cares? It was a gift from my mum, so it would be rude not to wear it ... 

    I do admit though that the onesie does need to be approached with care. To avoid being judged by your fellow MC’s, follow these simple rules: 

    1. Never leave the house in your onesie. You are not an X Factor contestant, and you do not want to look like one
    2. The sillier the better. If you’re going to wear a onesie, embrace the fun of it and show you couldn’t care less about how childish you look. Think animal ears, fluffy bodies with tails and you’ve got it. 
    3. Avoid wearing it in the day. Unless you’re ill or it’s minus 5 outside, there really is no need to wear a onesie at midday on a Thursday. Failure to take note of this rule could risk rumours circulating about depression, the loss of your job or even that you’ve signed up to be on the next series of Jeremy Kyle. Take heed. 

     

    Monday
    May282012

    MIDDLE-CLASS PAVEMENT CODE: THE WALKING OVERTAKE

    The concept of overtaking is usually linked to cars and roads, but the rarely talked-about Walking Overtake is actually just as common, and it’s part of a wider Middle-Class Pavement Code. If you’re not familiar, what I’m talking about is that moment when you’re walking along the street and you realise that the person in front of you is walking just a little slower than you, and therefore it’s inevitable that you are going to begin encroaching on their space. You have to make a decision: either slow down, or speed up so that you can overtake them comfortably and put a decent distance between you again.
      
     As with all things, though, there’s always someone who does not abide by the rules, throwing caution to the wind and happily mooching along at their own pace. Not caring that they are actually walking just a metre behind you and at the same pace. It is in these instances that you must employ the ‘fake slowdown’. Good ways to do this are: fake an untied shoelace; make a fake phone call; suddenly spot a very important flower that you would like to stop and look at for a moment. Any of these will give them an opportunity to overtake you. Quickly and without fuss, the awkward moment passes and pavement peace is restored.