Susan Morrison: Our first brush with posh life

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The hallway required redecoration. This presented some particular challenges, according to the Estates Management and Maintenance Division, aka Husband. An outside agency would need to be brought in.

Specialist equipment would be needed to tackle the height of the ceiling. I think he means a ladder. Expertise would be required, he said. Indeed, expert expertise would be 

What he meant was we needed a painter and decorator.

At last, I thought. We’ve arrived. Getting someone in to do the wallpapering proves conclusively that we have moved up the social scale. People who get people in to do stuff in the house are like, posh, innit?

They’re the sort of people who grace the pages of glossy Sunday mags, photographed in their converted butcher’s shop which they’ve wittily transformed into a two bedroom pied-a-terre.

Tamsin used vintage inspired wallpaper, which was a bargain at only £235 a roll. Her partner/boyfriend/floppy-fringed fella Sebastian had the floor varnished so you can see the blood stains under the old butcher’s block. Darling, it’s just gorgeous.

Tamsin and Sebastian run a design agency in the New Town and are 

Once we’ve had a decorator in I thought I’d be able to have dinner parties with my posh friends – note to self, must acquire some posh friends, I wonder what Tamsin and Sebastian are up to of a Saturday night? – and moan about how traumatic it was, darling.

Everyone knows that you just can’t get the staff these days. Look at me. Could I get a handyman, cook, IT specialist, chauffeur and chief bottle washer? No, I had to marry one.

One just can’t find a decorator, you know, and when you do, darling, the mess! And they said only a week – well, heavens, that was four months ago and the patina still hasn’t been applied (you’re right, I haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. Never stopped me before). And the cost? Well, for the price we wound up at you could have wallpapered the Scottish Parliament. And a tram.

I instructed chef to start thinking cutting edge vegetarian cookery – which, being from Yorkshire, he translated as a cheese sandwich.

We’d be tickled pink if you offered your services to the History Festival

You, yes you! Do you like history? Do you like volunteering? Would you like to work for free alongside some other schmucks who are also working for free to get Scotland’s History Festival off the ground for the third fantastic year running?

Do you have what it takes to listen to a deranged festival director who wants Edinburgh Castle painted luminous pink without calling for the straightjacket?

Well, we want to hear from you – we being Previously . . . Scotland’s History Festival. Yup, we are determined to lift this R100* off the ground, so if you, or if you know someone who is willing to work for the love of history and a good laugh, please check out our website,, and drop us a line.

* R100 was the airship that worked. The R101 didn’t. We don’t talk about that one.

No complaints? I’ll get my coat

Our decorator arrived and promptly gave us a quote for the job. He turned up when he said he would. He did exactly what it said on the sheet, and more.

He appeared to be fuelled on tea and chocolate biscuits, which he asked if he could fix for himself. He listened politely to my ravings about interior decor and diplomatically suggested a better way of doing it. He cleaned up every single day and left the house spotless and sent a bill which exactly matched the amount on the quotation, an achievement unmatched by either the parliament or the tram builders.

The work was impeccable, on time and on budget.

No drama. No stories. I guess that means no dinner parties. What on earth do posh people talk about over the sherry trifle if they can’t swap tales of woe about the staff, darling?

Oh well, it’s back to takeaways with mates and handing out my pal Michael’s name to anyone who’s looking for a good, reliable decorator.

One must have been amused

You have to hand it to the Gay Pride drummers. When they realised they were being ticked off in spectacular manner by Dame Helen Mirren dressed as the Queen, giving vent to regal fury using “thespian language”, they just packed up and moved on.

That is a clustercrash of icons you just can’t top. The day, my friends, cannot get better than that.

Somewhere in Buckingham Palace, I wonder if HRH allowed herself a tight little smile. C’mon, you’re not telling me she hasn’t occasionally had the urge to holler at people to get the *insert thespian language here* out of the way.

Don’t forget, the young Liz wore a uniform during the Second World War. You can’t tell me that back in the day she didn’t hear the sort of language that troopers famously use.

Especially when Philip stubs his toe.