I’ve been known to throw a three-day hissy fit (R: “Year. You mean a three-year hissy fit.”) if whoever does the decorating paints a door without removing all the door furniture first, or at least loosening it enough to mask the edges from paint. But this raises the absence of basic competence almost to the level of art. Then you add in the rust, and the apparent attempt to obliterate one of the numbers, and it becomes a thing of wonder. I briefly took issue with the ugly modern screws – seriously, what are they doing there? They’re disproportionately big and heavy, especially given that the plaque is visibly painted onto the door anyway – but then I realised that their pointless ugliness is most likely a deliberately jarring note, to provoke debate. Genius.
The purpose of modern art, so I keep hearing, is to make people think, and this certainly did that for me: I could barely tear myself away from it. The door belongs to a bakery in Cardiff, where I was buying coffee and cake while R and the Boy Wonder were playing on the swings in the nearby park. It started out as an ordinary door in a Victorian terrace of brick-built houses, but now sits at one side of the bakery’s commercial frontage. The public space inside the building has barely more floor area than a decent sized doormat, and to maximise customer throughput, and minimise customer contact, the staff hustle you through your purchase then ask you to wait outside. A large hatch has been cut into this door, and any drinks you’ve bought are ultimately passed through it. It’s a rather odd arrangement, if practical, and it was while I was waiting for my coffees and contemplating the architectural changes that have been made to the terrace over the years that my eye fell on the lower half of the door, and its furniture. There’s also a Victorian letterbox – a rather nice curly thing, but with its flap removed and the hole blocked with plywood – but it’s less successful as a work of art. I couldn’t help wondering, as I usually do in these circumstances, what the original owners would say if they were teleported forward in time and asked for an opinion on the changes to their property.
In other news, we had a good time with the BW, who was engaged and engaging throughout. My best Boyism of the day came late in the afternoon, when I walked into the playroom and from up on the sofa he pointed at the carpet and screeched, “Oh no! Quick! The floor is lava!!” “Aaarrrgghh!” I said, hopping onto the sofa next to him. “Can you squidge up a bit? I need to get my feet up too!” “Yes you do!” said the Boy. “Zackerly right!”