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ALEXANDRA SHULMAN'S NOTEBOOK: Get the latest status symbol... separate bedrooms 

When Carrie Symonds goes to Balmoral in September, she and Boris will be allocated separate bedrooms. The Queen doesn’t do unmarried sex.

Well, no doubt she’s perfectly aware that it happens but at Balmoral the bedroom arrangements conform to her great-grandfather Edward VII’s template – at the time, devised to actually aid extra-marital activities. Single guests are given their own rooms but diplomatically positioned close enough together to allow for corridor creeping.

Joy unconfined. The creaking of the floorboards as you tiptoe along in your pyjamas, the click of the heavy bedroom door terrifyingly amplified in the night-time hush of the castle, a whiff of the illicit, the delightful hurly burly of the four-poster – surely a bit of an escapist thrill for a man with the nation’s future in his hands.

At Balmoral the bedroom arrangements conform to her great-grandfather Edward VII’s template – at the time, devised to actually aid extra-marital activities. Single guests are given their own rooms but diplomatically positioned close enough together to allow for corridor creeping

Sometimes it seems that half of life is spent desperately wanting to share a bed and other half trying to avoid it. Most of us remember longing to be allowed to sleep with our boy or girlfriend at home and the parental disapproval to be overcome.

Even nowadays it’s hard to know what’s right when it comes to our own children.

But bedroom dilemmas are not the sole province of the young. Recently, I’ve noticed how many people I know prefer to sleep separately – and not just the aged.

Temperature preferences, incompatible body clocks, chronic insomnia, jet-lag, a World Service habit – are all quoted as reasons for one of them taking over the spare room.

Of course, the Edwardians got it right in the first place, placing small dressing rooms next door to the marital chamber with a convenient single bed for husbands to retire to on occasion.

Separate bedrooms are becoming a lifestyle status symbol. Perhaps Boris and Carrie will adopt the practice back in their Downing Street flat…

‘Carbon offsetting’ is just a lot of hot air

Elton John’s carbon offset payment for the Sussexes’ private flight got me curious. How much, I wondered, would it cost for me to offset my BA flight to Croatia?

It turned out to be £18 if I flew economy, £27 for business. It didn’t offer a discount for Ryanair.

That seemed a meagre price to pay for a clean conscience. However, in the small print was the troubling fact that this trip alone apparently used up my total annual allowance of carbon emissions.

Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to stigmatise people for using private jets or owning private yachts – and often caused simply by envy.

How many of us would turn down the chance of a champagne-fuelled trip on a Cessna?

But it’s equally daft to believe making a carbon offset donation can in any way neutralise the gas-guzzling consequences of rich people’s toys.

My Brexit bonus is a decluttered kitchen!

I discovered that for some peculiar reason we have enough French mustard to keep us going well into 2020 and we’re good for olive oil too

Last week, supermarket supremo Justin King told Radio 4’s Today programme that if each of us bought only one extra item of food to prepare for No Deal, we would cause substantial shortages in the supply chain. After hearing that, I did exactly what you aren’t supposed to do and rushed to see what I might need to get in.

I discovered that for some peculiar reason we have enough French mustard to keep us going well into 2020 and we’re good for olive oil too. But there’s cause for concern over our supply of bottled Spanish chickpeas, pine nuts and fancy Italian canned tomatoes.

There wasn’t a spare inch in the larder to house any stockpiling, so I spent a happy hour binning out- of-date spices, moth-infested bags of flour and a ridiculous number of ancient bottles of soy sauce taking up much needed shelf space – while simultaneously, naturally, feeling guilty about food waste.

However, the cupboard now looks immaculate with space to fill with the tinned goods I might need to nab pre-Brexit. Who needs Marie Kondo for decluttering inspiration when you’ve got No Deal?

If minis come back, I’ll have to leg it...

I knew it couldn’t last – fashions never do. The midi length that has been so popular this past couple of years is on the way out and the mini is returning. This no doubt will be joyous news to the many men who haven’t been loving the fashionable but prim Little House On The Prairie style. And it might even be good news for the country at large if the famous hemline index, which twins minis with economic booms, is to be believed. But it’s a bit of a bummer for those of us whose legs have never been our finest point.

It was once said posh British men married American women for their fine legs (although some of their substantial fortunes might have played a part) but I inherited Canadian pins from my dad. Sturdy is the kindest adjective. Minis, even a couple of inches above the knee, have never been my best look, let alone the new flouncy mini smocks, which, due to their baggy shape, need to be balanced on elegant limbs.

If we get a Government of National Unity, I suggest Phoebe Waller-Bridge, above, to lead it. She never seems to put a foot wrong – and we could all do with a good laugh

Despite my personal shortcomings, I appreciate it’s high time legs were out on show again and no doubt a pair of trusty opaque tights will go a long way to help. But personally, I am putting my money on a revival in black which I am convinced is on the cards. No more ditsy pastel florals and clashing prints. Surely time for a return to the sophisticated, Italian widow mode. At least I won’t look like Bette Davis’s terrifying Baby Jane.

Why Phoebe should be running Britain

If we get a Government of National Unity, I suggest Phoebe Waller-Bridge, above, to lead it. She never seems to put a foot wrong – and we could all do with a good laugh.

Flower power beats the fear of flying

As a nervous flyer, my journey to Croatia was made so much more pleasant by my discovery of passion flower supplements. I don’t usually subscribe to alternative therapies, but this stuff has changed my life. It takes the edge off anxiety without leaving any hangover and also soothes middle-of-the-night motor-mind. Highly recommended.

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