Tag Archives: class

seeing stars again, not cut from gold paper this time

I post the reply to the wedding invitation. We’re definitely not going – It’s for Steve’s nephews second wedding and is tooth grindingly formal. Now each to their own and all that but I fail to understand the “etiquette” of expensive wedding. The woman he’s marrying is the daughter of a lord and a deb. She’s also been married before, is over thirty and, as far as I can see, independent. So why are the wedding invitations couched in the language of chattels and dowries? More pertinently , why does she allow this? It’s all embossed, silver gilded, high cartridge pomposity. It’s also morning suits and no children and “carriages at midnight.”

I’m slightly mystified by the last and Steve and I spend idle moments wondering over it. My friend N solves it at a glance. “it means everyone out at midnight, that’s when it ends.” Later on Steve slyly says she’s blown her working class credentials out of the water. We swop suitable cryptic notes to include on a good old WC wedding – no hits til after pics (no punch ups ’til after the photographs) Hip it, no whippets (put your special brew into a hip flask for the church and no dogs at the reception.)

It’s the last couple of weeks before my birthday and I’m definitely in a grey trough. Unreasonably, I blame the crackers (Baphomet curse them *shakes fist*) but trudge on. I focus on the passing minutes and painstakingly collect beautiful things.

Today N gave me a lift to B&Q for more sand…and a couple of cut price stones….and some mortar. Poor love, Baal bless her and her lovely car. Ida and I poured sand and spread it out and I lugged a few slabs about. It’s coming on, slowly and wonkily – which is just how I like it. There was an incident with Ida, a trowel and my eye. She was trying to lever something up and slipped – you can imagine how sharply the metal trowel jerked into the air and then collided with my eye as I was bending over dropping a slab into place.

There was cursing.

Also a lot of Sow-ee ‘s and kissing better from Ida, mostly on my knees as she hugged them as I reeled around blinking furiously. We went in for a cup of tea after that…

Zeph has gone up a stage in swimming – Huzzah! – he finally managed the 10 metres of butterfly, a feat that had stalled him. Last term his teacher said to me he needed a bit of work on his butterfly stroke. Hmm, yes, I believe that’s why I’m forking out for lessons…because I swim like a decrepit gorilla. I’m really pleased for him, slightly less pleased when I see this stage mysteriously costs more. Bastards.

Steve comes home with a polystyrene tray of Saxifraga’s, “to go between the slabs” I am deeply impressed, he finds it hard to distinguish between pansies and daffodils. I suspect an outside influence but it turns out he read one of my wistful flora lists I leave around the place one the back of envelopes.

Zeph and I are childishly excited about going to the theatre tomorrow night. We’re going to see English Touring Opera’s Fantastic Mr Fox. He asks if there will be singing – “I would hope so…” I’ll let you know.

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patchWorking Class

I ‘ve just done this BBC Class Survey.

You may recall my ongoing tease with a friend and the subsequent class rant of that blog post. This didn’t really answer any of my questions but I’m looking forward to reading the conclusions they draw. I was also intrigued by some of the questions.

My results left me 53% economic and 100% social and cultural. I’m slightly adrift as to what this means apart from I have a broad range of interests and friends…

Have finally wrestled the sewing machine into submission so managed to finish the two patch work sides of the bag. Just got to put it together with a decent lining and make some handles and viola – a patchwork shopper. My patchworking is definitely not best practise. I can see all the pieces would fit together a lot better if they were cut perfectly but cheerfulness and a nice hot steam iron work wonders and I think wonkiness will always be my trademark.

I shall take Bagpuss as my idol and set his happy seventies haphazard seams as my guide. Praise you Postgate and your beautiful shedcrafted wooly darlings.

Todays BT – marmite on hot toast, hot buttery toast. I don’t have to share with anyone because I’m the only one in the house who can bear it, mmmmm.

Class wars

A friend and I have been having an ongoing tease about class. I maybe think she’s a bit posh and she refutes this and doubts my working class roots. It’s a complex one when you get down to it – how do you make the distinction? My Dad would be horrified at any impugning of his WC credentials, staunch trade unionist that he is. He works physically hard with his hands everyday, and those poor hands are cracked,calloused and work sore but his idea of enjoyment is reading obscure Italian art histories . His break out weekends are spent in galleries and he’s an inspiring experimental cook and gourmet. Culturally he’s easily MC but are you allowed to judge it culturally?

Officially it’s on your parents shoulders – do they have a degree, are they paid a wage or a salary? Or is it the size of your TV screen, your class dropping proportionally in relation to the size of the screen. Or is it if you know what Bright House is or what you choose to read, whether you do read? Or, as I tease N, whether your childhood holidays were spent in day trips to Weston-super-mare or in France, as your family do up a battered jete?

But mostly, does it matter? I think you’re in f’ing cloud cuckoo land if you believe in Blairs’ *spit* classless society. The broad fact of the existence of the over advantaged against the woefully under privileged is clearly evident but does it divide into working etc anymore? or has it evolved into educated/ un-educated, breast feeders/bottle feeders, Nigella watchers/Iceland customers . Is the fact the boundaries are so tangled and blurred mean they’re on the way out?

As usual I’m all questions and no answers. I was thinking earlier about the gentrification of crafting activities. Look at Kirstie Allsopp swanning about rug ragging etc and the rise of “up-cycling” and allotments amongst people who choose to feed themselves from them and make do rather than need to.

I’ve made a kind of dragon pie today – which is like a vege cottage pie – my bottom is various veg, a tin of tomatoes, aduki beans, pearl barley, red lentils with cumin,coriander, fennel seeds, garam masala and lots of garlic and my top is mashed swede,potatoes and carrot – with cheese grated on top. We’re not vege, I used to be but since being with Steve we’ve settled on happier, better kept meat less often. I genuinely love cooking which is lucky because I’m very greedy (and as previously mentioned, far from little). I think chopping veg is very soothing. I  read lots of cook books, salivating but am free and easy with recipes. A recipe’s just a starting point, don’t you think?

The best bit about being at home is having more cooking time. I always cooked real food even when working but we had a lot of stew type meals (made the night before and heated up) or pasta and veg sauce. It’s great to have more time to make bread and experiment. Also cooking thriftily is really satisfying, using everything up. Cooking to a specific recipe is quite different from surveying what you have in the cupboard and garden etc and concocting something. Both are enjoyable though!

Got to go now and supervise, please let it be the last of them, thank you cards writing… will it ever end?