The Middle Class By Zebedee Helm

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

THE MIDDLE CLASS - by Zebedee Helm

Date: 1st June 2015

THE MIDDLE CLASS

It is said that every cloud has a silver lining and last weekend was no exception. I had to drive to Gloucester to attend the Memorial service to the husband of a very old friend. Least said about the nightmare drive on the M.25 it took me over 5 hours to do a journey which should have taken 3 and a bit. I was doing a reading and arrived 15 minutes late and only just in time to ‘do my bit’. The Church at Sapperton was packed - a tribute to the popularity of Martin Neville.

I was billeted with a friend of my friend in one of the most idyllic spots in this green and verdant country of ours. The setting and the views were breathtaking.

My hostess announced that a young neighbour was going to come over to cook us a Fish Curry dinner. Oh Lordie, thought I - bet it is a fish stew with two teaspoons of Curry powder. I could not have been more mistaken. This delightful young man (well everyone is young to me nowadays) arrived in a very businesslike apron, carrying a basket of tools and spices. My father would have soundly approved because Zebedee was making the curry from scratch - and I ended up as the chief pulveriser of the spices. The resultant end product was delicious and a very convivial evening was had by all. I was only grateful that I didn’t have to drive anywhere as my hostess lived deep in a valley down a very narrow lane!

It transpired that Zebedee is an illustrator of some considerable note and during the course of the evening I established that he had a few copies of his book ‘The Middle Class’ - a toilet loo book (that’s how the title appears). Next morning I passed by his house and bought a copy. it was a long drive home and needing to stop for refreshment and a rest,  took the book with me. I got through the two first chapters - the A’s and B’s of the Alphabet - and was laughing out loud. Just as well that there were few customers around or they might have carted me off to the funny farm.

Most of the text was  written by Zebedee Helm with a little help by Fi Cotter Craig and illustrated entirely and amusingly by  Zebedee.  I hope he will approve  if I type just one small excerpt for you:-

The whole book is written like an Alphabet - so here goes

Au Pairs …… It is questionable whether an Au Pair is of actual use to the household, but they are a Middle Class trophy nevertheless. They can’t drive on the left, have no sense of ironing, flirt with husbands, are hopeless with children and eat like horses. Like Cinderella, they dream of marrying a prince, otherwise known as a Premiership footballer.

(With apologies to Au Pairs)

There’s a quote from Stephen Fry - ‘I never ever do jacket puffs. Even for indispensable and entirely charming books. I never make an exception. Except this one.

You couldn’t get much better praise than that, could you?

The details

THE MIDDLE CLASS
A B C
a toilet loo book
www.johnmurray.co.uk
ISBN 978-1-84854-680-6 

price £14.99

THE MIDDLE CLASS - by Zebedee Helm

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.