Inside Story Of ‘Tatler’ Magazine Reveals Life On Another Planet - CATEGORY Daily Report: TITLE

One day Jane asked me if I knew the difference between upper and lower-class legs. Confessing my ignorance, I was instructed that upper-class legs are thin and have a kneebone equidistant between the hipbone and anklebone. Lower-class legs, by contrast, were thick with a long thigh and short calf. It's a Tatler lesson that has stayed with me ever since, along with the folly of wearing flowing silk outfits to parties on Cap Ferrat in summer (much too hot).

Other gems I picked up included the fact that champagne makes your breath smell and that canapés at parties are best avoided as the ones that fall on the floor get put back on the trays. I can't remember who told me, apropos of air travel, that in economy you make enemies, in club you make comrades and in first you make friends, but I'm pretty sure it was someone at Tatler.

Tatler was a cornucopia of freebies. If the loos were often occupied by weeping staffers (skins were very thin), the basins were permanently crammed with bouquets sent to the fashion girls. And all manner of the usual glossy-mag largesse rained down on the other departments, plus a barbecued turkey that one restaurant sent the magazine every Christmas. It mostly passed me by. Despite being deputy editor, the only freebie I was ever sent was a small plastic-handled knife which was part of a Eat British Apples promotion. Oh, and a bouquet that someone else didn't want: it was about six feet tall and made up of thick-stemmed exotic blooms lashed around with kerosene-scented rope. Getting it home on the 73 bus was quite a challenge.

Tatler was a brilliant place to work if you had a sense of the absurd, partly because so few of the other staff had. Or, if they did, they kept it under wraps. No one ever giggled in the occasional meetings of the associate editors; a bunch of society dames whose mission was to boldly go and find what was hip and happening among upmarket types. We had serious discussions about the merits of jewel-festooned tomato sauce-bottle holders., set News, Photos, Profile, Video, Artist & Celebrity World complete.

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