Maximalists in cramped spaces

The Japanese will tell you they feel perfectly adequate living in a capsule, as long as they get into the right frame of mind

‘Respect knuckles’ to old fogeys

I particularly like the words ‘shu’ up’, when shouted out slowly without the sound of the consonant

Why have personalised number plates?

‘I remember the wife of porn king Paul Raymond once had a Jaguar with the registration FU 2’

Plane talk sends me into a tailspin

Dearest Tracey, you stick to your bed, and try not to unmake me in my column

Chaucer reversed

‘In any vast lift lobby, there would always be an ocean of people moving with bowed heads and arched elbows’

My ‘Carry On’ with a Blue Nun

We should never forget the good old days when there wasn’t so much snobbery about wines

The day I smoked a $4,000 cigar

It was the most extravagant thing I had ever done in my life and bordered on being obscene

What ever happened to tiffin?

Would one prefer to spend the money on a jacket, or spend it on a journey to see how ethical fashion is executed?

Tattooed pigs, and life after ‘Top Gear’

In a hypothetical world, we could cast Oddjob as my driver Alex, and maybe a hungry Jeremy Clarkson as Tang

The real meaning of ‘high’ tea

At school it usually consisted of sandwiches made with Marmite or cheese or both

Are stuffed animals acceptable in the home?

It would be splendid if Damien Hirst’s stuffed cow were to be found in, say, a massive larder

Tangos and teacakes

It is mesmerising to watch couples, some gay and most of them elderly and properly dressed, dancing their cha-cha-chas

Wine etiquette at dinner parties

If one is serving plonk, decanters can be used as decoys for the plonkiness of the vino

Beauty is in the eye of the hoarder

The nouveaux riches simply do not appreciate jumbled piles of stuff. Anathema to them is anything old

How not to prepare your home for a photo shoot

‘Artistic directors’ must not be allowed to rearrange your furniture or add to your natural surroundings

Why lift engineers have got it wrong

Horizontal buttons would satisfy normal people of average height, giants, dwarfs and chairpersons

Car door etiquette and my driver of 30 years

He has certainly never got out of the car to open the door for me, if only because he is very well-built and takes forever to shift

Rise of the smartphone zombie

Dinner is now an assembly of family members talking silently among themselves individually

Why I’m not a fruitcake

The only response when confronted by these pieces of walking toast is to pretend not to notice

Legal highs and peaceful meals

Clarke’s in London was the first restaurant I took my future wife, precisely because I knew it was a quiet place to eat


David TangDavid Tang, the FT's Agony Uncle, answers readers' questions about property, interiors, architecture and gardens although he often strays beyond his remit to debate concerns about everything from etiquette to grammar.

Tang is the entrepreneur who founded China Tang and iCorrect, and he has homes principally in Hong Kong, mainland China, London and Essex .

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