I recently experienced a massive flash back to my childhood.
I have taken it upon myself to read the Harry Potter books. I know I am rather late to the party but couldn’t let life tick by without reading this great literature phenomenon of recent years.
Having purchased the first two books from the ‘Pottermore’ official website for my Kindle (not into pillaging music, films or literature) I settled down on holiday to indulge in some wizardry (in between easy holiday chick -lit).
This extraordinary flashback was conjured up by the realisation that Harry spent his early years, under the jurisdiction of his despicable aunt and uncle, in a room under the stairs.
You see, I too spent the summers of my early childhood under the stairs
I don’t have a picture but it looked something like this
And I didn’t even have a door. I had a curtain.
Now before someone notifies the NSPCC, I loved my room under the stairs.
In the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, days when only the rich or boho spent their holidays aboard, my parents ran a 12 bedroom seaside hotel in Llandudno, North Wales.
Hotel rooms at the seaside were booked up months in advance. Every available bedroom at the hotel was a premium space from which to make money to even out the lean winter period when most hotels like ours closed down. So it came to pass that for a few summers, at the peak of the season, I was made up a bed under the stairs.
My father lined one side of the under stairs space with shelves on which to keep all my precious books. I had a strip light by which to read and a sleeping bag on a thin camping mattress laid out on the floor. It sounds horrific, but I don’t remember it that way.
The stairs, under which my bed was made, led from the first floor (dining room and lounge area) to the very popular cellar bar. I remember the thud, thud of visitors tramping down the stairs in anticipation of another holiday evening after their routine post diner walk along the promenade.
I was lulled to sleep by the tracks of Abba, Kate Bush, Phil Collins and various compilation albums of the early 1980s – Chart Hits 1981, Raiders of the Pop Charts, Now Thats What I Call Music I, II & III, belting out of the cassette player above the bar optics.