Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Hyacinth Bucket approach to carpets

There is a very simple rule: never ask visitors to your home to remove their footwear when they enter (except if they are wearing wellington boots or are particularly muddy). The only people who demand guests are exposed in socks are those who model themselves of Hyacinth Bucket (from the BBC series Keeping up Appearances). Of course, a gentleman should obey such demands, but no gentleman should issue such a demand. Instead, in your own home, place a doormat by the door for guests to wipe their feet, and choose hall carpets that are up to the task (e.g. from Brintons).

A gentleman believes that form and function go hand in hand. A Barbour jacket is designed to be used: a Hyacinth Bucket will always want it to look immaculate but a gentleman’s Barbour will look warn over time. Similarly, a Filofax can eternally look immaculate if one does not use it, but it is designed to look used over time. The sort of person who insists on footwear removal is the sort of person who buys an expensive, mahogany dining room table and then insists on serving dinner on it with a tablecloth hiding its beauty. They should have just bought something made from MDF.


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