|George & Mary Christie in their organ room at Glyndebourne Opera House, and David Mlinaric with his son Max|
Hector, the eldest son of George and Mary Christie, was a child, he asked
his hostess at a local party: Wheres your opera house?
This was part of the above article, written by my partner in crime, Nicholas Hill, the best interiors writer on the planet. Only Nic could ask the man who owned Ffyfes Bananas 'If I had ten bananas in my hand, how many of them would be yours' as a means to asking what percentage he owned of the banana market. He is bananas. But I often saw him treated like the TV detective Columbo by the less astute and more pompous interviewees, who underestimating him would let some tasty morsel slip out, and live to regret it.
Our subject matter was frequently 'old pooves' as Nic called them, who as I was formerly the younger and more handsome, would take a shine to me and find Nic's insistant line of questioning tiresome, -Micahel Tippett even said 'I've been asked all this before' [Ducky] and pointed him towards some good reference material he could research for his article.
Whenever we worked together, which was frequent, it was like the Sunshine Boys, we always argued, and although we' d done many articles together, I always imagined people thought we'd never worked together before, and probably never would again! Nic always saw it one way, and I another, and I wouldn't compromise with the way I wanted to shoot it, with Nic resigning himself to my being difficult as usual with, -'Do you really think so Victor?!'
We'd leave a shoot and talk about it all the way back to London as if reviewing a film, ...'and did you notice when we were having lunch, she said...,' and 'when you asked him to move that awful sculpture out of the way I thought he was going to have a coronary' -laughing all the way back as he suffered the music which I always played ('Do we have to have this on?). I like to think my observations or opinions may have influenced his article just a tad, but I was probably barking up the wrong tree just as he was in what he thought might make 'a marvellous photograph from the other side, don't you see?!'
The first time I met him I disliked him on sight (he was late to the session, I was early, and just as I'd got the vibe just right, everyone nice and relaxed, -cool about everything, he arrived and suddenly everyone was charging about having to show him this room and that, all on high stress mode!). After we'd packed up the car, and he emerged from the house, he wanted to bum a lift back, which meant we had to re-pack it(!), but it was when we pulled away and the tripod in the back fell down with a thud and Nic nearly jumped into next week, that I first began to like him! He's my favourite type of friend, double the value as I can laugh at him and with him.