Monday, January 19, 2009

A talent for being loved: my father, John Mortimer

Being with him made you feel better about yourself, recalls Jeremy Mortimer, son of the writer and libertarian, who died on Friday.
from The Telegraph, 18 Jan 2009

Pic right - English stage and screen writer John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, sits barefoot in the garden, circa 1985 Photo: Hulton Archive

My father was a man of many contradictions, which was one of the fascinating things about him. Growing up with him was never predictable.
He was the most stoical hypochondriac, for instance: when he had a cold, he would say that he felt like he was dying. Yet when he was actually dying, and suffering a great deal, he was extraordinarily brave.
Another example was his intolerant libertarianism. He believed passionately in people's freedom to do things, but he could also get incredibly irritated when they did things he didn't approve of.
He didn't understand the concept of patience. Attention, service, champagne – there was no time to waste. It was the same with his work. If he wasn't writing, often two or three things at once, he wasn't really living.
Read Jeremy Mortimer's full piece at The Telegraph online.
Jeremy Mortimer is an executive producer for BBC Radio and lives in north London with his wife and three children

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