Staying in Harry Potter’s Cupboard BY Judith Thomson

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I was looking for reasonable accommodation in Canberra. The ad stated “Rent unique places to stay from local hosts.” This was my first foray into www.airbnb.com.

For someone on a budget, and aware of my carbon footprint this spiked my interest. That is how I came to be staying in Harry Potter’s cupboard. Yes, it was a cupboard under the stairs as the pictures show but luckily it had adult muggle-size clearance.

A group of ANU students had convinced a friend to write an ad for Airbnb to help support their monthly rent while filling their vacant cupboard space. What was it like? Warm, snug and when the light was off, extremely dark. As I remind family and friends, no different to accommodation on-board a submarine or sailing boat. My feet slid under the bottom of the stairs while the pillow sat under the first landing and the coat hooks where used for their intended purpose.

The darkness played havoc with my internal clock but in the morning as the house stirred, I was reminded of that scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where Dudley Dorsey jumps up and down on the stairs to wake Harry up. For me it worked perfectly as an alarm clock.

It was a fun few days and continues to be the topic of conversation at many gatherings.

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