Fun Cushions is Featured in Tatler Magazine - October 2017<< Back
"They might be on the sofa or on a bed. In an ashtray or on a coaster. They will almost certainly be found on a tea towel. ‘Labradors are people too,’ your cushion might say. Or ‘Happiness is being out on the hunting field.’ A little wooden sign that says, ‘Save wine, drink water,’ might hang from a cupboard door in the kitchen. Then there’s the ‘You never know...’ genre. ‘You never know how popular you are until you own a grouse moor,’ says a sofa cushion in Northumberland.
Sloanes love a slogan. Copies of The Iliad in the original may not be readily available in Sloane households, but cushions and mugs that make jokes about dogs and drinking will be ubiquitous. We’re not talking complicated political messages or provocative philosophical statements. They’re a comfort blanket, reminding Sloanes how they feel about certain issues without the need to retain the actual information in their brains.
At Sandringham, I once spotted a cushion embroidered with a pheasant and a line reading, ‘Good shots never grow old, they just pick up less birds.’ As a member of staff explained, ‘That was given to the Duke of Edinburgh one Christmas.’
Dukes are especially fond of a slogan. The late 11th Duke of Devonshire liked them so much he had them stitched onto several navy-blue jerseys that he would wear with a tweed jacket and a scarf while pottering around Chatsworth. One said ‘Bollocks’; another, ‘Get up and do something.’ Also, ‘Never marry a Mitford’ – a ducal joke, since he had married the youngest Mitford sister, Debo.
The craze for putting them on household items started in 1985 when the Earl of Teesside wanted to annoy his son-in-law, whom he disliked because he’d been to Eton instead of Harrow. The earl duly commissioned a local seamstress to knock up a cushion that read, ‘It’s hard to be humble when you’re a Harrovian.’ This one was deliberately placed on a bed one shooting weekend when his son-in-law came to stay. The Cleveland-based seamstress, smelling a business opportunity, started stitching other cushions. These days, she’s gone, but you can still buy the cushions from a website called Fun Cushions, run by a lady called Natascha Weatherby. Cushions on her site include ‘Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to St Mary’s Ascot’ and ‘Milton Abbey boys have got what it takes.’ Whatever that is. She also makes university cushions. ‘A cultivated chap from Cirencester,’ says a white cushion with pretty red piping, £55 for the 14-inch size with feather stuffing.
‘Sometimes I drink a glass of water... just to surprise my liver,’ proclaims a sign in the kitchen of a friend who must remain anonymous. Elsewhere, in another kitchen, I’ve seen a small chalkboard declaring, ‘Many have eaten here, few have died.’ On Weatherby’s site there’s an Aga topper that reads, ‘No woman has ever shot a man while he was taking the bins out.’
And if you fancy immersing yourself in the world of slogans, head to Percy Bass, on Walton Street in South Kensington – especially around Christmas, when it throbs with locals rifling the shelves. ‘Vodka! Cheaper than Botox and paralyses more muscles,’ says a small cushion next to another that announces, ‘Money isn’t everything, but it does keep you in touch with your children.’ Voltaire for Sloanes, that is.
- Your dog loves you when nobody else does
- This house is operated for the sole convenience of the dachshund
- Only dogs on this sofa
- Pugs are people too
- If you want the best seat in the house, just ask the dogs to move
- Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go to Bedales/Benenden/Cheltenham...
- It’s hard to be humble when you’re a Harrovian/Etonian/Roedeanian, etc
- Another good sport from Stowe
- Downe House girls are dynamite
- A great games player from Gordonstoun
- I’m not clever, I’m only a Wykehamist
- Heathfield girls are not perfect but parts of them are excellent
- Uppinghamians are always up for it
FOOD AND DRINK
- I’ve started a gin and tonic diet
- So far I’ve lost two days
- Chocolate makes your clothes shrink
- He who indulges bulges
- Happiness is an elasticated waist
- I’m trying to lose weight but it keeps finding me
- I love to cook with wine.
- Sometimes I put it in the food
- Life is too short to drink cheap wine
- Fish tremble when they hear my name
- We interrupt this marriage to bring you the racing season
- If it flies, it dies
- Life is a game but bridge is serious
- Hold hard, I’ve 16 hands between my legs
- My body is here but my heart is at Stamford Bridge
- I used to be rich but now I have horses
- When God made man, she was only joking
- Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all
- Some mornings I wake up bitchy, other mornings I let her sleep
- Be nice to your children because they choose your nursing home
- I’ve never had a parrot but I’ve kissed a cockatoo
- You are leaving on Sunday, aren’t you?"
Visit our Fun Cushions website for more ideas including wedding cushions (cushion with wedding invitation embroidered on it), fun AGA topers and more