Sunday 18 May 2014

Snobbery in Love, Nina

Nina Stibbe's book Love, Nina purports to be a collection of letters she wrote her sister while working for a literary lady (MK) in grand Gloucester Crescent in the 80s. The funniest parts are about the snobbery shown by her employer – and others. Of course MK is an Upward.

MK looked at the ceiling (which in her language means “idiot”).

[The bin lid has been thrown away but] MK doesn’t care about having all our peelings and fag ends on display… MK never mentions the mess or seems to care.

MK mostly calls men fellow or chap, sometimes bloke, but never guy (or man, come to think of it).

MK asked what had happened to Sam’s hair – meaning it didn’t look very good.

MK is very understanding of unreasonable behaviour but quick to judge other types.

If you want to sit in the garden here, you just take a hard chair from the table and sit out there, bolt upright, alone, in a drainy area near the small blue shed. There’s no lounging.

MK: Do you have to say "tasty"?

I remember once asking MK if she’d had a nice weekend and I could see it didn’t go down well so never asked again.

There’s no way she’d have plastic wood however convenient or tough, she’d always want wood, however limited and useless.

MK has a good memory for certain things – things you wish she’d forget such as the first things you did/said on Day One… You can’t get away with anything. You can’t change your mind about a thing, otherwise it’s “I thought you said you hated daffodils” type thing.

Told MK and S&W about Gunter and his canary and they all thought I was being judgemental. They never slag people off (except me, for slagging people off).

[Another character] is just an ordinary posh person who’s been taught to share her opinions with all and sundry.

[At the polytechnic] The ones who went through sixth form don’t take sugar. The ones who left school before exams always take two sugars.