In V. S. Pritchett’s wonderful memoir of his childhood and youth, A Cab at the Door, ‘VSP’, as his friends called him, grew up in the shadow of a father whom his own son, our regular contributor Oliver, describes as very like Dickens’s Mr Micawber – expansive, extravagant, insanely optimistic, always certain that ‘something would turn up’. Usually it didn’t – hence the ‘cab at the door’, waiting to bear the family quietly away from another clutch of creditors. It is also a vivid evocation of London during the First World War and contains a hilarious description of Pritchett Senior’s conversion to Christian Science, featuring its American leader Mrs Mary Baker Eddy – known to VSP’s resentful mother as ‘that woman’.
It’s impossible to sum up a book of such vigour and originality in a few words. It simply has to be read. Do read on for an extract and a few suggestions for presents for this coming Father’s Day, or indeed for any occasion.
If the fathers, grandfathers or other special gentlemen in your life have no need for books, may we suggest you quickly check their vital signs, and then scroll down for a selection of non-book present ideas from our friends at Blue Bowl.
Our offer of a gift box for Mothering Sunday went down extremely well back in March, and it seems only fair that our fathers should receive equally handsome presents so, as before, we’re offering a complimentary gift box for orders to the value of £30 or more. We do recommend ordering today for delivery by Second Class post in time for 18 June (UK), but we also offer First Class or next day delivery for any last-minute emergencies.
This morning we’ve been busying ourselves restocking the packing table with gift cards, brandishing the scissors, wrestling with rolls of brown paper, and twirling great lengths of foxed ribbon in the hopeful anticipation of a flood of gift-wrapping requests. We’ll leave it with you!
Meantime, best wishes as ever from the office foxes
Jennie, Anna, Olivia, Hattie & Katy