Class conscious

The story is told (mainly by upper-middle-class Englishmen) of the upper- middle-class Englishman who is asked by an awed foreigner how he makes his lawn so perfect. "Well," drawls this gent, "it's very simple: you just water it, weed it, apply moderate vigilance and common sense . . . for 300 years."

Lawns are an English speciality, and therefore a class thing. Every street has a person who, when not cleaning the car, is watering the lawn, because cars and lawns are among the pre-eminent status symbols of our time - with the consequence, incidentally, that so are hoses, which should ideally terminate in a sort of ray gun. My wife, in a vaguely parodic way, is one of these aspirational waterers. She aspires to be able to see her face in the paintwork of our brand new . . . OK it's a Skoda but the engines are by Volkswagen you know . . . and as for our lawn, her goal is not quite the 300-year-old look, but what, after many years in north London, she has come to call "Jewish grass". (She's Jewish herself, I should mention, so she's allowed to say that.)

Jewish grass, according to her, looks like a bright green carpet; it does not look like grass. By the standards of Jewish grass, most lawns look like a lot of hay.

At the time of writing, however, our grass is far from Jewish. It's got these great bald patches on it, and so, every couple of weeks, I must buy a small packet of grass seed from the garden centre, which involves the slight but ever perceptible humiliation of admitting that I have a small lawn (or "pocket hand- kerchief" garden, as the sales assistants are trained to euphemise it). These packets reinforce lawn snobbery by being covered with a picture of an irritatingly rich man reading a broadsheet newspaper in a landscaped garden about three feet away from a tiny token bald patch, about which he is - not surprisingly - managing to remain totally unflustered.

The grass seed is slow to take, so I don't know what to do. I could persist with it, or I could consider returfing. The question is, which is the least naff option?

Answers on a postcard please.