London High Society
seen through the eyes of a disillusioned dole monkey
Fri, 16:09pm Being
unemployed, there is nothing I love better than an afternoon in with the Tatler
(or Twatler, as I have heard it referred to in the past). Just when I may be
getting ideas above my station and am fantasising about a possible high-flying
career in the media, a good read of this magazine will always put me firmly
back in my (proletarian) place. Nothing brings out the Marxist in you better
than 200 odd pages of toff whimsy. So let’s get started.
16:12pm I need a
cigarette to start. No wonder only rich people read this- it comes in at a cool
£4.10, about the price of a pouch of Golden Virginia. This month’s Tatler has
that posh one off Peep Show on the cover (Big Suze)
16.14pm After skipping
through about thirty pages of ads, I finally reach “Here’s Looking At…Alannah
Weston.” What does the Selfridges heiress have to say for herself? Little of
consequence, it turns out.
“My daughters will
pluck a little pink sparking thing from my cupboard that looked like a good
idea from the beach in St Barth’s and say, “Wear this Mummy!”
So far so inane. But
who is the real Alannah Weston? What makes her tick?
“Her voice is strong
and fearless but is that of Tinker Bell with a twang.”
`’I wear what are
described as “architect’s wife’s clothes.”
What wouldn’t she
wear? “Vintage. I don’t like the smell.”
Frankly, I am none the
16.20 Time for another
roll up. I can feel my pulse quickening and my temper rising. The next page is
a feature on yellow, or, to be precise, Grazia yellow. It’s been nearly four
weeks since Grazia co-opted yellow and I have yet to see anyone on the streets
of London wearing it, but perhaps it’s because I don’t travel by town car.
16.23 Had to lie down
for a minute after seeing a pink and white diamond bracelet advertised for
£190,000. It’s utterly rank, btw.
16.24 Get ready. It’s
the Tatler list of “The People Who Really Matter.”
Some of the women who
matter and what Tatler says about them:
Cara Delevigne: “the
best eyebrows and the sweetest temperament we’ve ever seen.”
Samantha Cameron “just
like the rest of us, LOVES to holiday in Ibiza.”
Natalie Massenet: “has
an almost infinite capacity for sleep, cuts her own hair and mints make her
Rachel Whetstone: “has
two children and houses in Queen’s Park and Oxfordshire.”
The Duchess of
Devonshire: “Heavenly manners, the softest hands and obsessed with chickens.”
I have to pause here
because I am laughing so much tears fill my eyes and I accidentally swallow
half my fag.
Shadow Home Secretary
Yvette Cooper: “Does a great job of balancing motherhood with politics,
watching the X Factor and eating chocolate digestives”
“Hates summer, loves peanut butter and has a thing for owls.”
16.31pm I think I can
see what they’re doing here. Tatler is obviously trying to display a degree of
self-awareness by describing their “people who matter” not by their
achievements but by listing seemingly irrelevant trivia. They’re trying to be funny, because they know full well that
nepotism and family connections are the main reason that most people are on
this list, right?
16.36 Read that
Richard Curtis brought an end to fagging while head boy at Harrow, and retract
16.38 Abandon the
Tatler List of People Who Matter and eat three pages of Das Kapital to make
myself feel better
16.44 Are you Tatler’s
next Top Model? “Tatler has a tradition of spotting stars virtually at the
16.47 “How long should
you wait to change your Facebook name after you accede to your father’s title?”
16.49 “The thing is,
it is cool to be knighted or
introduced to the House of Lords because you done good, or to inherit a family
title because your ancestors once done good.”
I have news for you
Tatler. The posher you are, the less cool you are. This is something that
everybody knows. Think about when rockstars come out as Tory and what it does
to their rep. Think about how mad the Smiths were when David Cameron said he
liked them. You may dominate the proles of this country, but you are doing it
whilst wearing chinos. Never forget.
housekeeper might refer to you in front of your friends as Lord So-and-so but
your wife cannot.”
16.54 Quentin Letts.
Can’t face on a full stomach.
16.55 “Country house
beef” (Perhaps with a side of those country-house capers?”
16.57 Dinner for two:
£250 aka a package holiday for a family of four to Tenerife.
16.58 “This is a
bodice-ripper: there are bosoms galore.”
17.00 Bumper feature
on a member of Chaka Khan’s divorce. Can’t face. Resolve dwindling.
17.01 Oh, wait, it’s
17.02 I’m everyyyyy
womaaaaan. It’s all iiiiiin me.
17.03 Skip Big Suze
straight to article about Norland Nanny College.
17.13 Cigarette. Feel
sad for all those kids growing up without mums.
17.15 Ring my mum to
tell her how much I love her and to thanks for never having had a career.
17.28 Have just about
enough emotional energy left for the party pages. Porcine, red-faced public
schoolboys frolic with waif-like, horse faced blonds and double-barrelled
cherubim offspring. It’s clay pigeon shooting, alarming hats and open-necked
shirts a plenty. Then I see the Claridge’s children’s Christmas Party, attended
by 300 hundred children called Leopald and Celestine, and I lose all hope in
magazine needs to die.