August 13, 2016


Spy Vibe Tour! James Bond author Ian Fleming passed away this week in 1964 on August 12th. He had been struggling with stress and poor health and he sadly died in the early morning of what was also his son Caspar's twelfth birthday. I'd always wanted to make a pilgrimage to his gravesite and I finally made the journey last month. Ian Fleming rests in a family grave, alongside his son and wife, in a tiny graveyard in Sevenhampton. One can spot the small church while driving up through the hills, but it is quite easy to miss once you wind your way up along the road. The church stands next to a house and one enters the churchyard through a long gated passage connecting it to the road. The Fleming monument stands out among the surrounding, smaller headstones, and each of the family members is represented by a small plaque and quote. It was a terribly hot day when I visited, but I did take time to photograph the site and to make an emotional connection with one of my favorite writers and inspirations. Maybe it was my age, but I was surprisingly aware of the physicality of where I was and the deeper mortality it represented. My thoughts stayed oddly to an awareness that my hero was buried below and that his remains were returning to the earth. I worried I was being too morbid and made an effort to think also of Fleming's fabulous writing style and of his great influence on me as I wrote my spy novel, Miki Zero. I thanked Ian for sharing his creative gifts with us and made my way back to the car. It wasn't until I returned home did I realize the weird connection to the quote on Ian's grave and my dark musings. His plaque reads "Omnia perfunctus vitae praemia marces", which translated means "You are rotting away now after having had a great life". He was ultimately a sensual being who relished and understood the physical world and its senses. I thought I'd share some of the photographs I made at the site so Spy Vibers can get a virtual view through my eyes. Related post: Ian Fleming memorial tribute. Enjoy!

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