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TOYAH WILLCOX'S CANDLES

'The house has an energy of its own,' Toyah Willcox has declared of her Wiltshire manor, once owned by the photographer Sir Cecil Beaton. It's difficult to disagree: the combined wattage of the various standard lamps, chandeliers and candles suggests inhabitants of deep space have a clear view into Toyah's place of an evening, nets or not. 

The former high priestess of punk also claims to have seen Beaton's ghost doing the rounds - and by the looks of her drawing-room, you can't blame the old boy. One candle gives a nice glow: 47 looks like an invitation to anyone from the other side who happens to be in the area. Nowadays, of course, candles are part of the essential tool kit for the armchair spiritualist and can be found in any good Mind Body Spirit section of a department store near you. Funnily enough, these days Toyah herself is to be found on digital channels with names like Wellbeing or Balance - either there or on her mantlepiece, anyway. Because, unless that's an injection-moulded plastic Toyah candlestick or some sort of retro 1980s carriage clock (and you wouldn't bet against either in this room), she's finally thrown off the shackles of convention and possibly even gravity. But then, she always did Want To Be Free. 

Sunday Telegraph Magazine
9th February 2003
Thanks to Paul Lomas