Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Holding my battered old paperback copy of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold yesterday brought back memories of the time I let my house in 1982 to be a location for BBC TV's serial of John le Carre's Smiley's People. I was a single Mum at that time, and the three weeks rent paid for a holiday for me and the girls at the recently-opened Forte Holiday Village in Sardinia. They used the first floor drawing room as George Smiley's bedroom, because the houses in the Chelsea street where the fictional character is supposed to live are too small to film inside. In the series, we see George Smiley (Alec Guiness) and his other colleagues, family and friends approach a front door in that street and then - they are in my house. Alec Guiness used my small office on the ground floor at the back overlooking the garden as his sitting room. While we were away, the cat had kittens behind my filing cabinet and the carpet was alive with fleas. What could Sir A have thought? No further forward today with The Lighthouse Stevensons but am sticking with them.

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