I hope this blog finds you well, and thank you for finding this page.
It has been another really busy week. I was interviewed by Kevin O’Sullivan on talk radio last Saturday, and by Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ radio on Tuesday morning. There were also some press interviews, and I wrote a piece for a magazine and all will be out soon. I am trying to get Christine’s Campaign out there.
Having a mild form of dyslexia the writing of blogs and articles takes a lot of time and energy. I find writing professional emails and letters straightforward enough, its mostly terminology or standard phrases that you just get used to typing out, but creative writing is much harder. So it only seems fair to thank any readers for their patience if they trip over my typos on this website. I am happy to be told about them and I do update them.
I get some readers’ questions about Chris and I wanted to answer some this week. I was asked about Christine and how she felt about being photographed as she got older, and it is a brilliant question because I think it says a lot about the person I grew up with.
I am often asked for personal pictures of Christine and family pictures and the truth is, there aren’t very many at all. We forget now how easy it is to take pictures, but when I was growing up, we didn’t have a camera, as they were expensive and film was expensive too.
I was given an old camera by a friend of my mother’s. It was in a brown leather case and had a heavy lens. It just needed film and I remember thinking it was very beautiful. I had recently met my father and he was very wealthy, so Christine suggested that next time I saw my father maybe I could ask him to get some film and the very next Saturday I was due to see him I took my camera with me to his large house in Chelsea.
I remember there were friends of his there when I showed him the camera and I told him I just needed film, but my father said something along the lines of - it needs film so he could see why I brought it now, but he was looking at his friends when he said it
and the grown ups gave each other knowing looks. It made me feel like the poor child from a council estate even though I knew it was a dig at Christine. I was very young but I felt humiliated, so I left the camera there and I never saw it again. Sometimes when a marriage breaks down it ‘salts the earth’ and the hate between two people colours everything.
Chris hated having pictures taken of her. She would put her hand in front of cameras and say “no no”. Part of that was about vanity. She would say “how old I look”.
We talked about getting old and she would say “I still feel eighteen, inside... but then I catch myself in the mirror!” And we would laugh and talk about covering all the mirrors in the house like the crazy old ladies in literature. “I’m not a crazy old lady” and we would laugh even more, because she was a bit.
Chris also said how she worried that personal pictures could just appear in the papers. She worried about that. At some stage she was betrayed to the press by nearly every member of her family, so Imagine the betrayal she would have felt if a picture taken by her son hit the papers? It would be too much. Imagine how I would feel if I betrayed her that way? We only once asked Christine for a picture and that was with her granddaughter a few weeks before she passed. She was so happy having that picture taken, talking to her about modelling shots and asking her granddaughter “What is your best side?” in a photo.
There are only a few pictures of Christine and I. A few photos from my wedding, press pictures from the movie Scandal, and one picture from when I was young that I have already posted on an earlier blog, and that is it. But thats ok I don't need anymore, I was there.
Just to let you all know we have released a campaign image to help with some of the costs in running this website and with Christine’s campaign. We also need help spreading the word about our campaign to pardon Christine so please let friends know, like and share posts. It all helps.