If James Bond celebrated Christmas with the same sort of festivities enjoyed by Ian Fleming (not an unreasonable assumption, given that Fleming gave many of his own idiosyncrasies to his creation), then based on the letters of Ann and Ian Fleming, Bond might either take to the slopes in St Moritz, or escape to some cosy, romantic spot – a secluded hotel or country-house estate, perhaps – and eat tangerines, Stilton, and smoked salmon, drink vodka, and play Scrabble, bridge and table tennis.
I admit I was struggling to picture James Bond play Scrabble (and indeed table tennis), but I recently discovered some evidence that suggested that he played Scrabble, or was present when it was being played, at least one Christmas.
I acquired a set of reproduction lobby cards for film of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. As I was looking through them, and wondering why the poster campaign would include images of production crew (in one Telly Savalas is having his coat brushed as he sits at his desk presumably waiting for the cameras to start rolling), I noticed an interesting detail one of the photographs.
The image shows James Bond (a kilted George Lazenby) enjoying a drink with one of the 'Angels of Death' ('the Jamaican Girl', played by Sylvana Henriques). The set had been dressed to convey notions of homely seasonal conviviality, and in the background on a wooden cabinet to the left there's a pile of what appears to be reading matter and games. The object at the top of the pile is especially interesting. The image is fuzzy here, but it is just possible to make out a box marked Scrabble in the familiar colours and style.
|James Bond with 'the Jamaican Girl', and a set of Scrabble in the background