There’s an art to being a gentlemen, don’ t you know…

AM I a gentleman? Gosh, that’s a tricky one. Thankfully Country Life magazine is on hand with a list.

I seem to have mislaid the latest edition of the rural glossy – mislaid as in never read a copy in my life. Luckily today’s Daily Telegraph has a report on these rules. That newspaper too is somewhere I don’t usually tread, but have laptop will travel.

The magazine has come up with a list of 39 rules for the modern gentleman. Did they run out of steam before they got to 40? I suspect it is because odd numbers stand out, especially online, where the neatness of an even number is less noticeable. This is an old rule too: if John Buchan had called his classic thriller The Forty Steps, it would probably never have been noticed.

So let’s navigate these 39 rules and see how one slightly worn male measures up.

1: Negotiates airports with ease (does negotiating a bicycle with ease count?)

2: Never lets a door slam in someone’s face (does anyone do that?)

3: Can train a dog and a rose (can move an inconveniently placed cat)

4: Is aware that facial hair is temporary, but a tattoo is permanent (yes, but please define ‘temporary’)

5: Knows when not to say anything (um, ah…)

6: Wears his learning lightly (you’d hardly know it was there)

7: Possesses at least one well-made dark suit, one tweed suit, and a dinner jacket (owns two old suits and four old jackets)

8: Avoids lilac socks and polishes his shoes (recently bought a lilac shirt; shoes occasionally attended to)

9: Turns his mobile phone to silent at dinner (leaves it forgotten until battery runs out)

10: Carries house guests’ luggage to their rooms (sometimes helps Airbnb guests with their bags)

11: Tips staff in a private house and a game keeper (you what?)

12: Says his name when being introduced (as opposed to saying someone else’s)

13: Breaks a relationship face to face (long time since one of those got broken)

14: Is unafraid to speak the truth (guess so… please define ‘the truth’)

15: Knows when to clap (not when David Cameron is on the TV news)

16: Arrives at a meeting five minutes before the agreed time (ah, a definite yes to that one)

17: Is good with waiters (is bad with all that stuff, so no)

18: Has two tricks to entertain children (do jokes count?)

19: Can undo a bra with one hand (can take own pants off with one hand too)

20: Sings lustily in church (sings nowhere, lustily or otherwise)

21: Is not vegetarian (no, but married to one)

22: Can sail a boat and ride a horse (what, at the same time?)

23: Knows the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson (you can’t beat a glass of Glenda at the weekend)

24: Never kisses and tells (kiss my wife sometimes but keep quiet about it)

25: Cooks an omelette to die for (cooks one that will do)

26: Can prepare a one-match bonfire (never been called on to do that)

27: Seeks out his hostess at a party (what is a hostess and what sort of a party is that?)

28: Knows when to use an emoki (doesn’t even know what one of those is)

29: Would never own a Chihuahua (or any other dog)

30: Has read Pride and Prejudice (does Mansfield Park count?)

31: Can tie his own bow tie (don’t own one of those)

32: Would not go to Puerto Rico (would go there tomorrow if you gave me a ticket)

33: Knows the difference between a rook and a crow (those are both birds, aren’t they?)

34: Sandals? No. Never (always when the sun shines and sometimes when it doesn’t)

35: Wears a rose, not a carnation (never wears either, prefer Levis)

36: Sweats flies and rescues spiders (do you mean swats? If so, yes)

37: Demonstrates that making love is neither a race nor a competition (damn, so now someone tells me)

38: Never blow dries his hair (hot air sometimes leaves my head, but is never directed at it)

39: Knows that there is always an exception to a rule (bloody hell, wish I’d read that one first)

So, no I guess I am not. Well not that sort of gentleman, thank heavens.

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