Stuck under the stairs with Harry Potter




One of the drawbacks of living in a flat is that there is no cupboard under the stairs, which means nowhere to stick unused ironing boards, broken step-ladders and whinging boy wizards.

Years after reading the Harry Potter books, the sad image of little Harry living in his little Privet Drive cupboard is still one that resonates with my kids, though that might have something to do with the way I used to threaten them with Harry's under-stairs fate if they transgressed Dad's Law.

(Note to Social Services: the threat wasn't real, because there was no under-stairs cupboard, remember!)

Anyway, a survey of friends' houses suggests that the days of the under-stairs cupboard are numbered, even in places that have staircases. Some people have gone the open plan route; others have created a PC work-'station' and a few have squeezed in a toilet facility.

If there weren't already plenty of reasons to visit this new Harry Potter exhibition, coming under the spell of what could be the last working under-stairs cupboard is a clincher. If someone could swipe me a step-ladder, that'd be great.