Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(113) The Moon´s a Balloon

On the afternoon of July 8th 1995 I passed by a shop in Hastings Old Town which had a few second hand books for sale outside and noticed that one was a copy of David Niven’s autobiography, The Moon’s a Balloon.

I had several times mentioned to Fiona how good it was, and so bought it as a surprise present.

Over an hour later I arrived back and gave it to her.
She remarked that she was just thinking of it, for only five minutes earlier there had been a question on the TV show that she was watching "Who’s autobiography was The Moon’s a Balloon?".

On the morning of Friday December 8th 1995 I returned to work after a few days absence and discovered that Jason Cope had moved seats and was now seated next to me.
Many tele-sales people adopt soubriquets and to my surprise I heard him introducing himself down the phone as ‘Philip Bouverie’.

That made me think of a person whom Niven mentions in his autobiography, circa 1934; Anthony Pleydell-Bouverie. Not your every day name.

I therefore wondered whether Jason had been influenced by the book, so I asked him whether he had read it.

He replied that he had and added that his father had been David Niven’s lawyer.

I explained my reason for asking the question and he said that his mother’s family name was the same, Pleydell-Bouverie, and that the character in The Moon’s a Balloon was a deceased relative.

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