Sunday, 11 December 2016
Although I first saw him pausing looking inquisitively at a pavement near Baker Street before disappearing into his apartment block, I imagined Lord Larry Long-Gone breakfasting alone on fine coffee and four slices of toasted Mothers Pride or lounging languidly on his chaise longue in his top floor Marylebone flat bought long ago in a quilted dressing gown smoking hashish leisurely and reading the Spectator and Country Life then pausing for thought and then getting up to look out of the window to a London he had hoped to influence once but he now found bewildering and scary. He wished he was back at his ancestral home in Gloucestershire but they had to sell that off to pay family debts years ago.
Lloyd Long-Gone, Larry to his friends.Why Larry? No-one knew - it was
coined in his childhood and then everyone called him Larry at Sandhurst (as in ‘Larry flunked the assault course twice but tried again … gort through on the 3rd attempt’ ) and so ‘Larry’ it had been ever since.
The party once had high hopes for Larry but he disappointed and beyond chairing a couple of committees he didn’t get anywhere. He never held office he tried as an earnest young lord in his twenties but they just laughed. They loved his aristocratic bearing it was the real thing, but it exuded bumbling eccentricity rather then authority. And Larry, being a basically benign bloke was appalled by the intolerance and hatred of some of his colleagues which seems terribly coarse ‘they are just not very nice, not very English where does it come from? Its not from here’ he would say assuming you knew exactly what he was on about. He didn’t get invited to the big occasions any more- funerals, investitures, state openings. But he didn’t mind as he waddled about Marylebone deep in thought with furrowed brow in his long coat and Homburg looking at pavements.