I spent the Christmas break, treading the windy (as in oft swept by the wind) windy (as in torturously convoluted) halls and corridors of Dandy Towers, reading great leather-bound volumes of Chaucer and yelling selected quotes out of the window at the unkindness of ravens that seem to have taken up semi-permanent residence in the trees between the southern tennis court and the helipad.
“Time and Tide wait for no man!” I would scream repeatedly at their dispassionate mawkish beaks
“Murder will out, this is my conclusion!” I shouted more than once (Mainly because at that point, I had accidentally misidentified them as crows)
It was usually at the point when my face started to turn a rather fetching shade of puce, that Heckmondswyke would appear from the serving staff’s hidden walkway to bring me a steaming cup of weasel coffee and the latest edition of ‘Making a Gimp-suit for your Clydesdale’ (Part 1 - £1.99 Remaining 624 issues - £5.99) to calm my nerves. I would sit on the granite window-seat of the Ladies Tower wondering exactly how I would tell Mrs. Dandy that I had, once again, accidentally defaced another pair of bespoke doe-skin promenading trousers during my excursion.
It was whilst I was being given a wet-shave by the upper-bathroom houseboy that the dear Memsahib suggested that we try an alternative method of recreation that evening… Knowing my love of entertainment where fresh-faced Sons of the Empire (The British Empire, that is) take on the foul revolutionary Colonial powers and give them a sound thrashing, often seeing them on the business end of a bloodied nose and comically disheveled hair, she suggested that we watch the splendid Colin Firth vehicle ‘Kingsman’ – You should all go out and watch this film immediately. It is splendid, as I may have mentioned previously.
It led, as most things seem to do, to a heated discussion, as to what constitutes a ‘Real’ Gentleman – And more worryingly, whether today’s modern woman actually wants a Gentleman as a partner in the first place. As you may probably have gathered from the name of this blog, I consider myself sufficiently more flamboyant than the average person to identify with the ‘Dandy’ classification. As funds, situation and time allows – I generally overdress for any given occasion. It’s my ‘thing’… Along with identifying with the tenets of an earlier, simpler, age, and attracting peoples’ attention by poking them firmly in the shoulder or haunches.
To my mind there are several, easy things that one may do to be perceived as a Gentleman. (In no particular order)
- Never eat until all participants in any given meal have been served.
- If the meal is self-service, serve yourself last.
- Always hold open a door, and in the case that you are holding it open for another male, offer a questioning glance. If the glance is replied to with a shake of the head, let the door go and do not look back.
- Never wear a hat indoors. Unless it is used as an obvious Gentleman’s affectation.
- Realise that a hat may be reversed only under specific circumstances (e.g. driving in an open-topped car)
- Never give advice that has not been requested.
- When walking with a female, or child, always walk on the side nearest the road. When walking a dog, the opposite is true.
- Always be kind to shop and/or restaurant staff.
- Know that there are a selection of situations where it is preferable to come second, especially when it is not technically a race.
- Judge a person’s character on their deeds, rather than their appearance.
- Be able to shine a pair of Oxfords to a mirror finish.
- Admit when you are in the wrong.
- Correctly wear cufflinks as often as humanly possible.
- Respect the opinions of others, no matter how obviously wrong they are.
- Tell the truth, constantly (people get used to it eventually) and as a continuation, do not cheat, or steal – For that way Caddishness lies
- Know which cutlery to use for eating a banana.
- Be able to launch (and safely recover) a falcon.
- Never get angry to the point where you lose yourself in an argument.
- Be able to identify the birds, trees and animals of your native country.
- Do not hesitate to put a suffering animal out of its misery.
- Never start a fight, but always finish one.
- Know that there are circumstances where each and every one of these rules may be safely bent and/or broken, so that your Gentlemanliness will remain intact.
Leave me your thoughts… Gentleman – Could you keep to these rules more often than not? Ladies – Would a Gentleman be more attractive to you if he did?
Could you suggest any more?