Those of you who have visited Lawn Road on occasion may remember the rather snug, but friendly first floor loo – the one with the discreet but very efficient Victorian lock that no one can ever find!!
Well, thanks to our new high pressure hot water system, it has undergone a bit of an upgrade and grown significantly in size! This has meant that it could accommodate a whole new Ikea-best bookshelf, and more…
As a result, not only have the large piles of books which had been accumulating on most surfaces round the house found a new home, but we now have special shelves for jig saws, for overflow cookery and diet books, a poetry shelf and….. a dedicated perfect-reading-for-a-loo shelf! (The one conveniently placed above the loo roll holder which also accommodates a pair of all purpose reading glasses for anyone foolish enough have locked themselves in without bringing theirs.)
Depending on how long you plan to spend in there, we can offer Neil MacGregor’s splendid tome on Germany (normally about 10 pages per essay so only suitable for a long session), Heath Robinson cartoons, essays from Fergal Keane, Simon Hoggart and Matthew Parris, a delightful book about an Irish garden, some much treasured and very yellowed 1970s Giles annuals – and a copy of Fire & Knives…. Issue No. 5.
I have no idea where I got this and it has obviously been mouldering in a dark corner for years as it looks as though it may date from 2010 – but what a discovery!
It is a charmingly designed quarterly of short ‘foodie’ essays edited by writer and broadcaster Tim Hayward. Now I am normally extraordinarily curmudgeonly about all things ‘foodie’ so it is the last thing I would expect to enjoy. But so far my loo sessions have been hugely improved by Audrey Gillan’s elegy on fresh coffee in a combat zone, a lovely tribute to Syd’s Victorian coffee stall still operating in Shoreditch High Street, Carolyn Gaskell’s extraordinary series of photos of tripe and Tim Hayward himself musing on the indignities that have been inflicted on Brown Windsor soup. I look forward to Felicity Cloak on truffles, Andrew Webb on funeral food and Tom Herbert ‘baking on embers’.
However, what is now frustrating me – and I am hoping that someone can help – is that I cannot find any way to subscribe to this splendid publication. The website, www.fireandkinves.com, takes me Fitzbillies café and caterers in Cambridge, www.fireandknives.co.uk takes me no where at all and nor does any other version of the website that I can come up with. I am fearing that maybe it was only a short-lived, if splendid venture as, if you go to Magpie you get as far as issue 14 – and even my poor maths suggests that, at four a year, that probably means that it stopped publication in 2012/13.
What a shame! My loo will be the poorer. Oh well, back to Neil MacGregor then….