Wednesday, 13 July 2011
I was only a kid, and there had probably only been three Bonds, when I first witnessed this topic of conversation / game and learnt that my first Bond wasn't the only Bond. He was, of course, my favourite, and it was only when Roger Moore passed the baton of being Bond along that my taste developed.
I am a traditionalist: Sean Connery is my man now.
There are so many more choices today than there were when I first learnt that Roger Moore was not the one and only. Timothy Daltion was never given a fair shake, based, I am afraid, on looks alone because he is certainly the finest actor of the bunch. The current Bond ... if based on looks alone ...
Well, hello Mr. Bond
... would be mine.
But I'm not here to talk about who gives the best rendition of the Bond character. Nor who's the hottest.
I sat alone at my table at Mansons (which used to be Balthazar; an unfortunate name-change required by some trade-name infringement. To remember the new name I have to think of mass murderer Charles. Not the association the restauranteurs want, I suspect) and munched merrily away on a salad of crispy pork and lavender dressing.
Exquisite. Words like "crispy pork" do not do it justice.
Two men sat down at the table next to mine. From the window-side table I had spied them parking and getting out of their van. I had assumed they would be going to the oom-pah-pah German pub, "The Fest" next door. It looked more in tune with the pair. When they came into Mansons instead of carrying on next door, I thought perhaps they were checking on some work done or to be done. But, their exchange with the restaurant manager resulted in their being placed at the table next to mine. They knew exactly what they wanted to order after a quick scan of the menu. They went as traditional English fare as Mansons does. Hearty. Some kind of meat with mash. Upscale style though. They didn't appear to flinch at the prices or squint unknowingly at the arcane menu vocabulary. Their body language said they'd been here before. Looks can be deceiving.
At some point the subject of Bond came up.
"This new Bond is the gay Bond" one of the two said.
Who are you kidding? He's hot and not in a pretty boy way.
"I mean he's blonde. No real Bond is blonde. Bond's got dark hair."
A Connery man?
"Yeah." the other guy agreed. "Bond has definitely got to have dark hair. Who's your favourite then?"
What?! But he's ginger!
If Roger Moore is not ginger, he is certainly fair-haired.
I resist making this point to the gentlemen at the table next to mine.