Having a little (much-needed) ‘First World’ break in England, it was with great satisfaction yesterday that I bought a cappuccino and a giant chocolate chip cookie from a phone box on Hampstead High Street. You see, about five years ago I wrote ‘Seeing Red,’ a post expressing my concern for the future of the iconic, red, British phone boxes which have stood sentinel on countless corners and even country roads for decades.
While my call box anxieties were met with bemusement, especially from South Africans who have much bigger, more threatening fish to fry, I was reassured to find a letter in the December 2012 issue of National Geographic (no less) from someone in the States expressing similar ideas.
And now I’ve found Umar Khalid…
…who runs a thriving coffee business (Kape Barako) from an otherwise-obsolete call box. He’s there from Tuesday to Sunday and – along with the ever-popular creperie over the road, has become a very familiar figure on the High Street.
I carried my cappuccino and choc chip cookie home and savoured every mouthful. They were delicious and made more so by a generous sprinkling of self-satisfaction: My random red call box musings might not have been so far-fetched after all….I