Society designer Nicky Haslam is updating his list of things that he finds vulgar.
And, I can reveal, top of his customary tea towel of what is distasteful for 2021 will be the word ‘woke’.’That’s dead common,’ Nicky sniffs.
The friend of the royals and arbiter of everything that should be avoided by those wishing to mix in polite society has confided to me that ‘swimming with dolphins’ and ‘red geraniums’ will be among his cocktail of coarse and common traits (pronounced ‘tray’) to be printed on the tea towel, or ‘drying-up cloth’ as he insists.
He is also tempted to include Netflix this year as he says ‘all those shows are exactly the same’.
But why does natural male enhancement work the 81-year-old have it in for the red geranium?
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Society designer Nicky Haslam is updating his list of things that he finds vulgar
‘They’re all right in Austria, or on Capri, but not in the gardens of England,’ he explains.
‘They are planted in rows in Buckingham Palace and look terrible. White and pink ones are fine, though.’
‘I love fake flowers,’ he adds. ‘But they have to be silk or china. Fake magnolias are wonderful. I have fake bullrushes in my garden. I have fake grass in my bedroom, as I did in my room at Eton in 1953.’
His random totems to tastelessness that have made his two previous lists include palm trees, rinsing fruit, Woman’s Hour, ‘Love’ on cushions and exclamation marks.
Haslam added knighthoods to his pot-pourri in 2019, pooh-poohing the notion of wanting a gong himself. ‘I think Sir Nicholas Haslam sounds like the head of a car company in Birmingham,’ he said.
Nicky has been spending the enforced lockdown doing up his country house on the Daylesford Estate in Gloucestershire.
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: I can reveal, top of his customary tea towel of what is distasteful for 2021 will be the word ‘woke’.’That’s dead common,’ Nicky sniffs
He has been enjoying his ‘flower-bed-free’ garden of lawns and trees and arranging his planters of Stinking Irises (real).
One thing that will not be on his list is a black Pekingese puppy.
He has just ordered one from ‘the best breeder in England’.
‘I’ve had about 20 over the years — the last one went to Canada and never came home. I’ve called them all names starting with the letter Z. It’s my favourite letter.’ So, no Zeds on this year’s list either.
Dame Sian Phillips has been spending lockdown learning to speak her native language again.
‘I was brought up solely speaking Welsh — but after my mother died in 1985, I had no need for it,’ says the celebrated actress.
‘Then last year I was in Wales and realised how much the language had changed.
Since then, I’ve been doing two hours of Welsh every morning — and I’m almost back up to speed.’
Phillips, 87, who was married to Peter O’Toole for 20 years, adds: ‘Even if I can’t hear what a Welsh person is saying, I can understand what’s being talked about just by the sound of their voices.’
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