Published on November 9th, 2012 | by admin0
At Town Crier, we occasionally get letters from readers seeking advice on all manner of personal situations. They could be questions of etiquette, social faux-pas or family matters. We are always happy to help and so we have enlisted the help of a local stalwart who in her own words has seen it all and calls a spade a gardener. Lady Ophelia d’Knight, (Offa to her friends, but we’re allowed to call her lady d’Knight), will be happy to answer any of your queries in future issues.
Dear Lady d’knight
My friend and I are hoping that you will be able to lay to rest an argument that we have been having. She is French and I am English. She claims that French Women have much better underwear than British women and more of it and I believe that this being the home of Marks and Spencer, purveyors of knickers to princesses and pop stars, that we have drawers of draws. (Speaking personally, it certainly wouldn’t be my knickers that would let me down if I got run over).
Your name would imply that you have got some French in you, whilst also being an expert on British etiquette and as such will be able to give us an unbiased opinion.
Thank you in advance
I don’t normally discuss underwear in public, but I shall make an exception. My French name comes courtesy of my second husband, but I am well versed in French women and their ways having spent some years living in Paris. I also consulted my good friend La Comtesse de la Frou Frou to ask for her opinion.
She said that on the whole French women think that British women may have lots of underwear, some of it might even match, but they don’t take care of it properly. In fact she said that when ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ first came out, the French thought it must be a British underwear range. Oh how I laughed, well at least to her face.
I think it is true to say that the French certainly produce some of the most expensive lingerie ranges, and very pretty some of them are too. But when you live in the country that uses the least soap per head in Europe, wearing pretty pants doesn’t count for anything, as I pointed out to the Comtesse. I did worry a little later that my memory may have let me down, and that the survey I had seen some time ago, was in fact referring to soup. Oh well, we are no longer speaking so it doesn’t matter. C’est la vie…
Dear Lady d’Knight
My husband and I have been invited to a friend’s daughter’s wedding. When enquiring about the gift list, we were told to buy John Lewis vouchers, which seems terribly impersonal to me. Do you think that we should stick with this or is it acceptable to go ‘off list’ and choose a gift?
I know that it goes against the more traditional grain and feels crass to give the bride and groom what effectively amounts to money, but in this day and age when couples ‘shack up’ before they’re married, they will have already furnished a property. I find it quite a relief in some ways that I’m not subjected to other peoples’ terrible taste. Some of the gifts that have featured on wedding lists are just embarrassing. I remember one particular item – a spiral spice rack that played a Spice Girls tune when turned, just hideous.
Buy them the vouchers safe in the knowledge that you’re giving them what they want, what they really, really want.
Lady Offa d’Knight