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Penelope Lively’s notebook: Coal holes and pub opera

Plus: Seasonal Shakespeare with six-year-olds

13 December 2014

9:00 AM

13 December 2014

9:00 AM

I have been having my vault done over. Not, as you might think, the family strong room, but the place beneath the pavement — the former coal cellar — pertaining to an early 19th-century London house. The vault opens onto the area — mine is the last generation to know that that is what you call the open sunken space between the basement and the pavement — and has been given the latest damp-proof treatment, plus shelving and smart lighting, so that I can use it for storage.

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Penelope Lively’s latest book is Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time. Her 17 novels include the Booker-winning Moon Tiger.

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