Back Story

I went to a friend’s funeral last week. Dougie was old and increasingly dealing with complaints that come with the passing years. I only knew him in his latter years, though his skills as a theatre set designer were apparent around his home on the Essex borders from the posters of iconic plays from the 50s and 60s.

We talked about the man and his legacy and meeting some of those who’d learnt at the end of his paintbrush – he taught at RADA for 25 odd years – was revelatory.

It’s good to celebrate a life fully lived.

My last memory of him is him playing a dodgy vicar in a murder I wrote for his and our families a year or so ago. He wasn’t very mobile, but he added his usual cheek and humour to his part.

On the way back – he lived at the Eastern end of the central line – I needed to pass through Leytonstone.

Leytonstone is the birth place of Alfred Hitchcock . I’ve stopped before, but back then, I was in a bit of a rush. The reason to break my journey was to view and photograph the mosaic panels erected in his honour on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1999. These screens line the underpasses that serve as access to the tube line and are small delightful joys. Each is labelled, but the game is to try and guess which of his films is being captured. PS There are some images that reflect Hitchcock’s life and times, just to confuse you. Ready…?

As I took time appreciating the skill of the artist, I thought about Dougie and his talents at creating illusions on stage. Every picture tells a story, eh. Oh, to have that talent for storytelling.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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22 Responses to Back Story

  1. Erika says:

    Those panels are amazing! What a fantastic idea to make them. And I am sorry for your loss, Geoff. But what great memories you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    I love those panels – identified Psycho, The Birds, Read Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo. I’m truly sorry for the loss of your friend but his was a great life, with celebrating!


  3. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! That’s a nice set of closing words he sound a fun and talented friend, sorry for your loss.🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    Always sad to lose a friend, but it sounds like he lived a good life. I too love those posters. I identified a couple of the obvious ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joylennick says:

    Sorry to hear of your friend’s death, but he seemed to have had an interesting life. Being an ‘old-Essex girl,’ I went to Pitman’s College, near Leytonstone and often visited. How fascinating to see Hitchcock’s films depicted there. I recognised many of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, you do have your own talent for storytelling and who knows, maybe one day you’ll have a mosaic in honour of one of your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Geoff. Those panels are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Geoff. Look no further than your keyboard for a storytelling talent. (no I don’t want anything for saying so)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JT Twissel says:

    Your friend looks like he was a character! Sorry for your loss. I was just thinking of Hitchcock’s brilliance yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jennie says:

    The tile panels are incredible and a perfect tribute to Hitchcock. So sorry to hear about your friend’s passing.

    Liked by 1 person

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