If, like yours truly, you’re crippled with socialist guilt and rather concerned about being misjudged, you will take every opportunity to emphasise how banal and trivial you find the issue of class-consciousness. In fact, you might go as far as underline your own class-aversion and refusal to be shoehorned into any social class purely on the basis of your everyday activities, habits, or places you frequent. You would never Facebook-check-in at your King’s Road Waitrose but instead wait for a once-in-a-while opportunity when you visit Camden Market and drop it in every dinner conversation you end up having that week (or, actually, that month). Only in close circles might you complain about Ocado failing to stock your favourite kale chips or your yoga teacher leaving to work in a studio south-of-the-River.
I always perceived gardening to be a middle-class endeavour, well-maintained gardens being one of those Keeping up Appearances indicators, which tend to be used by status-aware individuals to distinguish their flock. I rarely admitted to engaging in such activity, lest I be judged and pigeon-holed. But once you commit to blogging, you open up your life to your readers and your everyday activities become the point of discussion. So here I am, announcing that last Sunday, I welcomed the British Summer Time by doing a spot of gardening. Not, I hasten to add, to blend in with the middle-class vibe, but because the sun was out, a garden centre is nearby, and I needed something non-digital and tangible to make me feel real and grounded for once.
Snowdrops, lily-of-the-valley, lavender, and jasmine now take a proud place in my back yard (well, a deck, really – here in London, you make do with what you have). In the front I planted purple and yellow heather; inadvertently, its variety turned out to be called The Chelsea Collection. Don’t judge me.