How to make going to the seaside less working-class

FANCY the seaside but fear being surrounded by common plebs? Middle-class father Nathan Muir explains how to avoid them:

Do things ironically

It’s fine to sit on the beach or eat candyfloss as long as you smile ruefully about how predictable it is. Just don’t admit to yourself that you really enjoyed shooting a BB gun on the pier and feel incredibly proud and macho after winning a cheap, unlicensed Peppa Pig.

Make an artistic sand sculpture

The lower classes and their spawn will be making pathetic little sandcastles or just digging holes. However you should make an elaborate sand sculpture, even if your kids are bored shitless by it. The more pretentious the better, eg a scale model of the Vatican, or a disquieting rendering of novelist Zadie Smith.

Enjoy ball-achingly dull cultural activities

The seaside is fun because it’s a bit shit: you can play miniature golf, splash around near a sewage outlet pipe and eat greasy doughnuts. Eschew these pleasures and go to a resort with cultural stuff, eg Bournemouth’s Victorian art gallery or Tate St Ives. Less fun than getting pissed on lager in a plastic glass or looking at dead crabs, but you’ll feel superior.

Be a tiresome know-it-all

Did you know Clacton-on-Sea was regarded as a possible beachhead for French invaders during the Napoleonic Wars? Swotting up beforehand will enable you to share extremely dull ‘educational’ facts, eg Llandudno is one of the few places in the UK with ideal nesting conditions for puffins.

Don’t actually go to the seaside

Okay, maybe have a quick look at the sea and the vile, unwashed masses from the safety of your Volvo. Then spend the afternoon in a restaurant trying a Rick Stein tasting menu. That’s what a trip to the seaside is all about.

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Five sickeningly high-achieving children

FEEL shit about how little you’ve achieved in your life? These exceptional children will make it even worse:


Started playing the harpsichord at three, composed his first piece of published music at five, and was writing symphonies in his teens. Yes, he missed out on a normal childhood, but where did kicking a ball against a garden fence get you?

Louis Braille

At 15, around about the time you were attempting to make fake IDs, Braille had come up with his alphabet of raised dots that would go on to transform the lives of the blind around the world. Still, that one time you managed to get served before being thrown out of your town’s shittest pub was worth it, right?

Greta Thunberg

Long before she turned 18, Thunberg was an expert on climate change and global geopolitics, and world leaders were desperate to have an audience with her. At the age of 15 she already knew what her values were, and she lived them. You still can’t be arsed to put the recycling out.

Malala Yousafzai 

This fearless human rights advocate became a Nobel Prize laureate at 17, probably around the time you were trying to smoke dried banana skins and telling your parents you hated them. Her campaigning started an international movement. Your dog still does not listen to you.

Your own child

Achieving more than you have isn’t difficult, and yet you still begrudge your child the decent A-level results they got because they studied hard rather than wasting their teens masturbating to All Saints videos like you did. The upside is that they’ll get a good job and be able to keep you in your old age.