Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

Some people get into the choosing of tap fittings. I am not a person who gets into the choosing of tap fittings. After a day looking at tap fittings, I don't so much feel like I'm choosing tap fittings as the tap fittings are choosing me.

It is imperative I do this quickly. A short sharp tap choice. Bang. Belgravia Lever Traditional. Or possibly Ultra Chrome Beaumont. Or Ultra Chrome Luxury Beaumont for only £10 more. Damn it!

One thing I do know. I'm not having anything with 'Quest' in the title. I don't want a tap that thinks it's on a Quest. That's allowing a tap way too much self-importance. Nor do I want a 'waterfall' bath or sink fitting. Or a 'zest' shower. It's too tiresome. I want water to come at me in a bog standard way.

The bog had better be standard too. I don't want any funny business.

The last time I went to Japan, I had to avoid the jet wash and dry. Morally speaking, there is no excuse for it. Damn the impudence of a loo that thinks it can take such liberties. Yes, loos and showers are tricky. They've got ahead of themselves. Too clever for their own good.

Last time I went to the Plumb Center with Tony the plumber, I ended up with a £650 fixed rainfall shower that was meant to have a detachable head -- to wash the dog off, for example. But it turned out to have a hose that you had to pull in and out of a chrome ring. It made a sickening whirring sound and was apt to fly about like a demented snake. It did my head in and meant I could very rarely face washing the dog off.

Why are these appliances not designed so we can do with them what we want to do? When I asked Tony why the detachable shower wouldn't detach, he shook his head and said: 'It doesn't want to detach, my dear.' Well, so long as it's happy.

Oh, I should explain. I'm looking at taps because I've got a date for completion. The house sale will go through in the next few weeks.

It appears that the Good Lord, who must get thoroughly sick of complicated demands, decided to intervene in my year-long conveyancing nightmare after I begged him to help by saying: 'I'm really, really sorry to bother you but if you could just sort this I'll leave you alone for a bit. …

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