Our extensive A-Z guide will prove invaluable to current or future
residents. Due to its comprehensive nature we suggest you print
it out and read it with a glass of sherry in your hand and your
feet up on a well upholstered foot stool or pouffe.
A is for ANNUAL INCOME
Don't even think about moving to Haywards Heath unless you or your
partner earns at least seventy five thousand pounds a year. You will not
be invited to any dinner parties or be able to afford the de rigueur
2 holidays a year (summer and winter).
B is for BARBECUE
Barbecues are a prime opportunity to subtly tell everyone your
annual income (see above). You should never mention a figure, just
hint. You could mention your new car for example.
C is for CHILDREN
Children can be a vital asset in Haywards Heath or an enormous
liability, so raise carefully. Your child should be average in most
areas but precociously talented in one. Preferably music or some
sort of élitist sport. For a boy, golf or tennis and for
a girl something to do with horses.
D is for DINNER PARTY
We cannot over emphasise the importance of the dinner party. From
cuisine to interior decor, the dinner party is an essential source
of information for the guest and a potential mine field for the
For food, we recommend Delia Smith or the River Cafe cook book.
But remember to add an obscure spice to mask the recipe's origins.
Desserts must NEVER be bought from a shop. After dinner mints are
the norm and should never be served form the box (After Eights included).
This is a time when the whole family must pull together. Ladies,
the fate of your family depends on your creme broulé. Gentlemen,
family saloons and golf are the main conversation piece and will
always get you out of a tricky situation. Blue jokes can be told
but we suggest you leave it to your discretion.
Children should remain silent at the table (not under it) and be
confined to the playroom when not dining. The playroom should of
course belong to the nearest Boarding School - We wouldn't dare
suggest that you would be looking after your children yourself.
During the Holidays if your child posses musical skills a short
solo, post-dessert, would be the norm. Should your child play a
classical piece make it a well known one, you don't want to highlight
the ignorance of you guests unless that is the specific purpose
of you dinner party.
E is for EDUCATION
All children should be educated up to the age of 18 in one of the
many Public establishments in the surrounding area. They should
then be sent to a Swiss Finishing School for girls of the British
armed forces for boys. State schools should be avoided at all costs
even for charitable purposes. Your child is allowed one state school
educated friend to illustrate the class divide and to show that
you are on the right side of it. Whenever possible your child should
board and return every fifth weekend for display purposes only.
F is for FAMILY VALUES
The family unit is sacred and to the outside world should be seen
to be perfect. Part of maintaining a strong family unit is inviting
the child of a divorced family to tea at least once a week.
G is for GOLF
Golf, the sport of kings and the ultimate opportunity to climb
the social ladder. Your income should be stretched to breaking point
to maintain your status in the golf club. If possible you should
be on the committee. But remember always vote WITH the club captain.
Keep a careful eye on trends in golfing attire but always remember
to add that personal touch. You car should be clean at all times.
Should you not be able to afford an expensive car, buy a small European
hatchback and pass it off as your wife's. Remember it is possible
to have a mortgage secured on your set of golf clubs.
H is for HOME
Where do we start? You home speaks volumes about you, your family,
your background and your income and is fraught with potential slip
ups for those not familiar with the rules of interior decoration.
As a minimum, your home should have four bedrooms, two should be
quest rooms. The guest rooms should be inoffensively furnished and
on standby at all times.
Painted wall coverings are the norm these days though the downstairs
lavatory should be papered. Look to nature for ideas on colour coordination.
Floor coverings can be of carpet or wood. Should you favour a floral
theme on the walls a quality deep pile carpet is the floor covering
The master bedroom should be off limits to guests but don't cut
corners here, you never know when a guest may snoop. The communal
bathroom should be white or an earthy pastel shade. Avoid sky blues
or pinks. Children's' bath time toys are acceptable but only in
moderation. The en-suite bathroom should, again, remain private
but the same rules apply as to the master bedroom.
For the kitchen, the country theme is always popular but don't
be afraid to experiment here. The catering style is very popular
and can indicate your wife's prowess in the kitchen. Should you
want to sit somewhere between modern and country classic, the 'Shaker'
style is traditional yet contemporary. Appliances should be of a
premium brand and do try to avoid coordinating your kettle and toaster
in anything other than stainless steel or dark neutral shades, no
flower prints here please. A cafetierre should be prominently displayed
as should a quality kitchen knife. Spend some money on quality wine
for display but do remember to rotate your selections so as to give
the impression that you actually drink them. Three types of pasta
should be visible at all times but make sure you are able to name
The downstairs lavatory, or 'cloakroom', should be immaculate.
Hand towels should be coordinated with paper and soap if possible.
Use soap bars rather than pumped liquid soap to avoid any similarity
with public conveniences. Cleaning liquids and utensils should be
out of sight. Use an old ice cream tub to keep them in one place.
The window should be slightly ajar and a room deodoriser subtly
placed out of sight. Spare paper should not be visible as it is up to you to
make sure your guests are adequately catered for. The flush mechanism
should be well maintained and discrete in use. A basket of dried
flowers can be placed on the cistern but do make sure it is well
Please make sure that you or you cleaning staff are familiar with the correct orientation of loo paper on dispenser. Paper should never be hung the 'common way round'. For the uninitiated (we trust this isn't you) paper should be presented in the 'sheet forward' style unfurling towards your guest. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to mount the paper with the sheet hanging to the rear, nearest the wall. If you do not understand these instructions, please move to Burgess Hill.
The sitting room, never to be referred to as 'the lounge', should
be comfortably appointed. Televisions should be confined to
a separate room as their cultural value is low. No guest should
ever struggle to find a place for their drink. Magazines should
be for display purposes only and if possible should reflect an élitist
pastime. A real fire is essential, attractive logs can be laid on
the hearth or placed in a wicker basket. Family photographs should
be displayed on a medium height table in one corner of the room
to provide a talking point should the conversation begin to lull.
The dining room of course indicates your social and entertaining
prowess. Avoid hostess trolleys and hot plates. Make sure your guests
have adequate space and a confusing array of cutlery. Fancy crockery
and glassware should be reserved for the dining room but should
not appear so. Serving hatches make your dining room look like a
canteen and should be removed.
Of course your ultimate aim should be to move into a converted
I is for INCOME SUPPORT
J is for JACUZZI
Should your budget allow, a Jacuzzi should be installed. On no
account should you have your Family bath converted, this is common.
A Jacuzzi should be placed next to your swimming pool as a relaxing
compliment. Not all your guests will feel comfortable in a Jacuzzi
but to more liberal guests it is seen as an ideal opportunity to
get to know the neighbours a little better.
K is for KITEMARK
The Kitemark is the official kite-shaped mark on goods approved
by the British Standards Institution. Unless German, no product
you buy should be without this mark.
L is for LABRADOR
Your choice of dog is very much a personal one but we recommend
a Labrador. The Labrador is the ideal accessory on the Sunday walk.
The Labrador says a lot about you. A small dog says 'I have a small
house'. A large dog on the other hand says 'I have a large house
and garden, a utility room to house the dog's bed and a large car.
Remember, large dog - rural, small dog - lonely. Your dog should
have a human name, we suggest Ben for a dog, Lucy for a bitch.
M is for MARITAL DIFFICULTIES
To the outside world these do not exist and should never be divulged
to your children let alone those outside the family unit.
N is for NEW YEARS EVE
Always try and host the new years eve party. The same benefits
associated with the dinner party and barbecue can be gleaned but
in a more relaxed party atmosphere. The party should be arranged
with military precision but always seen to be spontaneous. Games
should be arranged to suit the mood but do avoid anything too competitive.
A successful party gains more points than winning at a well known
intellectual board game. Please try to avoid shagging someone else's
O is for OTHER PEOPLES HOMES
Those new to Haywards Heath may think that other peoples houses
are a potential source of interior decoration ideas when in fact
they are an example of what not to do. Why? Because your house should
always be better than theirs.
P is for POOL
Whenever possible your house should have a swimming pool. This
not only opens up an alternative method of entertaining but also
hints at your financial status. Swimming pools should be under cover
if your budget allows to make it a year-round resource. A changing
room for your guests will always impress. You should always describe
your pool an extravagant expense but a necessary feature you simply
could not manage without.
Q is for QUALITY
When allowing people into your home, quality should ooze from every
brick. But remember, you are unlikely to be able to afford the complete
lifestyle so spend your money wisely. Anything your guest comes
into contact with should be expensive. This means furniture, teacups,
carpet and the downstairs lavatory. If possible a few expensive
little items should be scattered around the sitting room, the eagle-eyed
guest will always notice.
R is for RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE
Should you reach the dizzy heights of Haywards Heath residence
you should already be well versed in restaurant etiquette. However
some new skills are required. Conversation should be in the dinner
party style. However upon the telling of a joke one should laugh
loudly to illustrate your comfort in the surroundings and the possibility
that you may be a regular in the particular restaurant and friends
with the restaurateur. Upon arrival of the bill always attempt to
be the first to open your wallet as this represents an ideal opportunity
to show how many and more importantly the colour of the credit cards
you possess. Of late, gold has been overtaken by platinum (not to
be confused with silver).
S is for SUMMER HOLIDAY
Two family holidays per year is the required norm, one summer and
one winter. In terms of the summer holiday, it is considered a faux
pas to holiday in a resort that has been featured on television.
You should always be seen to be discovering new places that have
not yet been commercialised. Take ample photographs and select
around thirty of the best to be passed around at a dinner party
to be arranged upon your return. The simple rule of thumb is thus:
5 of the children playing happily. 5 of you and your wife illustrating
the strength of you marriage. 5 of the local sites, 3 of which must
not appear in any guide book. 5 at a range of local restaurants,
no two should be the same please. 5 of you and the family you befriended
whilst you were there (always choose a photogenic family, no one
will know they were from the North). 5 of the local peasants. See
W for a guide to winter holidays.
T is for TORY
This is a simple rule that needs little explanation. T is for Tory
and not Tony. You should, under all circumstances, vote Tory if
you wish to be accepted by the social elite.
U is for UNDERSTATEMENT
Mastering the art of understatement is key to overstating your
achievements. It's what you don;t say that's important here. If
you create the right illusion by following our advice, your guests
will always make the mistake of over estimating the details you
As an example; you have bought a mid size premium German saloon.
It's a lower model so rather than draw attention to the fact understate
a minor feature of all models in the range. You would say of your
car, 'It's very comfortable on the motorway cruise'. Your guest
would think 'I'm not surprised with that massive engine that only
comes with the top of the range model you rich sod'. You have understated
the many virtues of your car, they have assumed you are a success.
This illusion is more easily created if you follow our advice on
the choice of vehicle.
V is for VEHICLE
This is the single most important purchase bar you house. The vehicle
you choose for you family says a lot about you, but most important
of all it should say a lot about your income. The trick here is
to make sure your vehicle appears to be at least 25% more expensive
than it actually is. When purchasing options go for the exterior
ones first, metallic paint, sunroof, alloy wheels and of course,
remember to have that telltale badge removed. Try and stretch your
budget to leather trim, velour has no place in life. Do not garage
your car, no one will see it. Any premium German or Swedish car
is suitable but try to avoid the base model for anything but a second
car. Four-wheel-drives are popular and ideal for parking on the
pavement. People carriers are passé you car should
say 'We're going to the races' and not 'We're going to Lakeside'.
The tow bar remains a grey area. To you it says 'I have a boat'
to others it may say 'I have a caravan' , disastrous.
Items to be scattered in your car should include a road map of
France, premium boiled sweets, an expensive pair of sun glasses,
mineral water in a blue glass bottle and a branded golfing umbrella.
A neat trick is to have two sets of car keys. One set should be
normal and be used when around people who know you. The second set
should be attached to a cork ball suggesting to those who don't
know better that you have a boat. A second car is essential
and should be German if your budget allows or French if money is
tight. Avoid personal number plates unless the plate has been in
the family for several years. Remember, the number plate says how
new your car is.
W is for WINTER HOLIDAY
Do not follow the same rules for the winter holiday as you would
for the summer holiday. Always go to a well known and expensive
resort. Ski, don't entertain the idea of snow boarding. Skiing is
harder, so if you're good at it, it illustrates you've been going
on winter holidays for some years. You should always have your own
ski equipment. This should be placed in the hallway of your house
7 days before your holiday so visitors know you are going. Only
take a few pictures, the skiing holiday should appear routine and
not a special occasion so why have a pictorial record. If you do
take pictures make sure you have one of you youngest child looking
comfortable on skis. A child can never be too gifted. Ski racks
and snow chains should be fitted to your car the weekend before
you leave, just to make sure everything is in order or course.
X is for XYLOPHONE
Never encourage your child to play a percussion instrument, they
are uncouth. Piano and violin is the norm, the flute is ideal for
girls. Boys should cease music lessons at the age of 11 and be encouraged
to play cricket and rugby and taught how to cheat without anyone
Y is for YACHT CLUB
There is no yacht club in Haywards Heath but don't let that prevent
you form joining one. It is important to extend your social reach
beyond the town's boundaries. Joining the yacht club is an invaluable
way of meeting people richer and therefore better than you and will
give you a goal to aim for. Don't forget to wear your sailing jacket
when out and about during the winter.
Z is for ZOO
Going to the zoo is no longer considered an appropriate day out.
Animals should be protected in their natural habitat preferably
by your monthly direct debit donation to the World Wide Fund For
Our thanks to Dave for pointing out that the farm/barn outhouse
style dwelling is the greatest aspiration of any dedicated Haywards
Please, do keep your letters coming in.