There was a survey today which offered a list of things which officially make you posh which was rather useful as my plan of action for today was to wash a couple of my cars, however it hasn’t stopped raining all morning so I decided to while away some time completing the survey in a vain attempt to prove that I am as posh as I think I am.

You went to boarding school.

There, I’ve fallen at the first hurdle, I went to Haberdashers Askes School which was a decent enough school and my father wanted us boys to board, however I was adopted and my mother was extremely protective so I’m afraid to say I didn’t board.

Had I have boarded it might well have made a man of me but as my mother was over protective, as a young person I had very little self confidence although as I have reached 70 it’s probably safe to say I now have far too much confidence for my own good.

You have antiques and family heirlooms.

This is very much a matter of opinion as I would answer yes, however my wife tends to view my treasured family heirlooms as a load of old junk, but as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

You have a wine cellar.

We do not have a wine cellar although we have a large collection of wine in what might be termed the boot room.

You have paintings of your ancestors.

I’m afraid I don’t have any paintings of my ancestors, I have quite a few photographs of my grandparents and parents, two I particularly like are those of my father and my grandfather in their military uniform, although all these wonderful photographs also come under my wife’s category of junk.  

You belong to an old private members club.

I belong to the Bentley Drivers Club which is the closest thing you can get to an old members club which probably explains my wife’s reluctance to join me at our monthly meetings.

You NEVER discuss money.

We only ever discuss money when it’s necessary for example when we have to pay for something, which usually involves the phrase, “how much!” I believe to be properly posh with regard to money one should never pay tradesmen or your tailor.

You call your parents ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’, even when you are an adult.

I used to call my parents Ma and Pa although I have no idea where that came from, I think it was an abbreviated version of Mama and Papa.

You have a family coat of arms.

Sadly, I do not have a coat of arms which I have to admit is a tad lacking, especially as I have purchased a Lordship from the Principality of Sealand an off shore war time fort off the coast of Essex, I feel Lord Joe Wells should have one though.

You ride horses.

I have never ridden a horse for I have no need to as I have a Bentley Arnage with a 6.75 Litre engine and a turbo charger which has more than enough horsepower for me.

Your dinner parties are catered.

Yes, my dinner parties are catered by my wife who is an extremely good cook and is far cheaper than staff.

You know how to eat properly with a knife and fork (and would never say cutlery).

I do know how to eat properly with a knife and fork, I progressed many years ago from a silver spoon and pusher, although once again this item still remains in my collection of antiques and heirlooms.

You have a gardener.

Yes, we have a gardener, we call him “Mellors” although I have no idea what his real name is.

You call dinner ‘supper’.

What else would one call it?

You have silver.

As I mentioned before, I have a spoon and pusher together with a napkin ring and an egg cup all the silver implements a young child needs to sustain himself into adulthood.

You send proper invites to parties in the post.

In Victorian times one could post an invitation to one’s Maiden Aunt to come for afternoon tea but as the postal service is not what it was, we now resort to email which I agree is nowhere near as posh.

You have a family tree.

As I was adopted, I am lucky in that I have two family trees, on one I am Joseph Charles Wells 3rd and on the other I am Michael Nolan 2nd which is more than enough for any man.

You shoot.

I have never shot either clays or game, I did however once shoot my brother on the forehead with an air pistol.

You ski.

I have been skiing twice but I was a teenager at the time and have very little recollection of it apart from the extremely old-fashioned boots and fixings.

You wear tweed jackets.

I have an extensive collection of tweed suits and jackets, so I can make some attempt at looking posh even though I seem to be failing miserably with this questionnaire.  

You call everyone darling.

As a legacy from my days as an actor I do call people darling, that and the fact that I have an abysmal memory for people’s names.

You play croquet.

I do not play croquet although I would love to, but as “Mellors” only seems to be equipped with a lawn mower and no roller our extensive lawn is far too undulation for the purpose.

You ask people, ‘where did you school?’

I have to admit, I don’t.

You call Champagne ‘Champers.

I usually call Champagne, “shampoo” although once again I have no idea where the expression came from, let’s hope it isn’t some awful working-class affectation.

You call the toilet ‘the loo’.

I do call the toilet the loo, also the khazi.

You drive an old Land Rover Defender.

I have quite a few different cars and one I would love to add to my collection is a short wheelbase Land Rover.

You wear an old Barbour jacket.

Yes, I do have a couple of Barbour jackets, how can one live in the country and not have one.

You know Latin.

I know very little Latin, however these two may be of use should you need them, firstly, “never look a gift horse in the mouth,” Noli equi denti inspicere donate and secondly “always in the shit, only the depth varies,” semper in excretia sumus, solim profundum variat.

You have shelves full of books.

Along with absolutely everybody who is interviewed on television we have a rather lovely bookcase full of antique books which is right behind me and would be perfectly in shot should I have occasion to be interviewed on television in the modern zoom call fashion.

You eat partridge and grouse.

I’m afraid I have never eaten either of these, I have trouble dealing with a fishbone when having a fish supper let alone trying to cope with a mouth full of lead shot when trying to eat game.

You call their friends by their second names.

This is a legacy from schooldays but I am so far away from those years that anyone I would have called by their second name would have fallen by the wayside by now.

You are good at small talk.

I’m good at trivia although I’m not sure that is quite the same thing.

You have a double-barrelled name.

I suppose I could join my birth and adopted name and call myself Wells-Nolan although it seems to me that far from being posh to have a double-barrelled name nowadays is generally a lower-class habit signifying that the parents are not married.

You love cricket.

I love the idea of cricket as it is such a British institution, I feel sure that when I am asked to become a member of the MCC I shall be a regular at Lords and as someone who loves a blazer, I shall be delighted to wear theirs.

You wear a gilet.

I have on occasions worn a gilet.

You like rugby but not football.

I have to say I am not a great fan of rugby and I absolutely loath football and can remember many a happy hour when at school round the back of the pavilion having a crafty fag whilst these activities were taking place.

You say ‘napkin’ instead of ‘serviette’.

Yes, I do say napkin.

You laugh very loudly.

I’m not aware that I laugh very loudly but just because I am not aware does not mean I am not doing it.

You have an Aga.

Although we live in the countryside, we do not have an Aga and during the last year or so we have given up using our log burning stove in the kitchen much to the chagrin of my wife who very much enjoyed it, I have to say it was given up more as it was a very expensive hobby than as a means to stop global warming.

You prefer loose leaf tea to tea bags.

I’m afraid that I make my tea rather like dishwater in that I use vast amounts of milk making it very weak, there is no chance of my tea ever getting described as a cup of builders, so loose leaf would be wasted on me.

You live in wellies.

I do not live in wellies, although I have a pair of boots that I wear all time, in fact I imagine most people who come to the house think I am a tradesman of some sort and are quite surprised when they catch me in a tweed suit with all the trimmings.

Having completed the questionnaire and had a quick head count although not striving for complete accuracy as too many negative answers may have led to disappointment, I seem to have scored 15 yes, 9 no and 19 perhaps which makes me virtually posh in my own mind at least and it has stopped raining now so as I’m currently dressed like the dustman I think this may be a good opportunity for me to take the bins out.  

Having completed the survey which clearly points to the fact that I have ideas above my station I’m thinking I should have a man for that sort of thing!

The perils of being posh | The Spectator

About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase.
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  1. My Mum always used to tell us that we were as good as anyone, and better than most. That is good enough for me!

  2. One always travels that way , never forgetting to take one’s solar topee, jodhpurs, riding boots and crop, quinine for anti malaria and making sure to have copious quantities of Bombay Gin and tonic and India pale Ale sent out on a regular basis, that way one is prepared for virtually anything.

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