Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Memory


When I first started modelling – in the mid fifties – my husband took me to meet his cousin Barbara. She had given us some beautiful Bristol blue glass liqueur glasses; alas only one survives. She was a very popular member of the family and I soon realised why. She was vibrant, witty, full of life and wonderful company.

. She had three sons and the middle one – just about to leave school – was there. He was like a gentle shaggy bear – not unlike the young Alan Bates who later acted in many of his plays.

Barbara told me that she and Simon would go to the theatre as often as possible – sitting in the gods, so it was no surprise to me, when he became a successful playwright.

Barbara suggested I might like to go as Simon’s partner to a Ball but I knew my husband wouldn’t approve so had to refuse

Over the years I went to see many of his plays but it was his dairies which really fired my enthusiasm. I am sad that he has written his last one

Simon Gray 1936-2008



OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

So sorry to read this Pat....I am familiar with Simon Gray....This is a terrible loss to all who knew and loved him and also to all those who he touched with his fine work....! I am sorry for your very personal loss, my dear Pat.

Dr Maroon said...

Holy Moly Macaroni!
The list of your friends is a veritable Who's Who of the great and the good of English theatre.
His diaries are tres good (understatement).
Howard Jacobson gave an affectionate farewell to him on Front Row the other night. You maybe heard it.

Just read your comment at Eryl's re your M.I.L.'s knitting. You've got the gift Pat. I don't know what it is, but you've got it.

Mei Del said...

the ex and i went to see the old masters at the comedy theatre back when we were getting used to being separated and seeing if we still could enjoy going out together. i really enjoyed the play and was able to lose myself in it. but it was the last time we went out on a date so i guess it wasn't a comfortable experience after all...

and what a gorgeous glass - i love that deep blue

PI said...

Naomi: there are too few writers of that ilk for him not to be greatly missed.

Doccie: I missed Howard Jacobson. i wonder if Pinter has written about him - they were great chums and both suffered awful illnesses. Simon said he expected Pinter to still be here when he had gone, just as he was already here when Simon was born. We are having a newspaperless week-end as neither of us can be bothered to go and get one.

Mei Del: that could have been a very uncomfortable experience. Good job you were able to lose yourself.
I'm hanging on to my last blue glass like grim death.

ms ralph said...

hello pat, michelle sent me!

nice to meet you.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I heard about how he'd passed today as well

Michele sent me.

PI said...

Hi ms ralph and welcome!

Jean-Luc: we don't seem to be doing too badly at Beijing BTW.

john.g. said...

I read his obituary in the D.T. the other day, quite a character!!

R. Sherman said...

Now, upon your recommendation, I shall repair to Google to find out who this gentleman was. I'm sure his family appreciates this tribute.


PI said...

John.g and Randall: it occurs to me that both of you may appreciate 'The Smoking Diaries', which I am presently re-reading and enjoying. So much easier than Salman Rushdie.

Eryl Shields said...

Doc's right, you seem to have connections with all the most interesting people.

I didn't recognise the name, bad with names, so I googled it and found I knew his writing. Or, at least, had come across bits of it and enjoyed it. I'll have to get his memoirs now, they sound fascinating. Sixty five fags a day, smoking must have been a full time occupation for him, I wonder how he had the time to write!

Sorry for your loss.

PI said...

Eryl: the fags were ever present; he started aged 7 when he lived in Canada during the war; his mother was the same. We all smoked like chimneys; it was the smart sophisticated thing to do.

problemchildbride said...

Oh how sad. I read his "Smoking Diaries" a few years ago and thought it was excellent.

RIP Simon Gray

PI said...

Sam: I'm re- reading and marvelling how he has these loving relationships with men. Very Greek like. I can see Barbara his mother so clearly when he writes about her. She deserves a book to herself. His
mother was my MIL's sister and I recognise so many family traits.