A Typical Routine Day

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


It was the beginning of a typical routine day for Bond. It was only two or three times a year that an assignment came along requiring his particular abilities. For the rest of the year he had the duties of an easy-going senior civil servant — elastic office hours from around ten to six; lunch, generally in the canteen; evenings spent playing cards in the company of a few close friends, or at Crockford’s; or making love, with rather cold passion, to one of three similarly disposed married women; week-ends playing golf for high stakes at one of the clubs near London.

He took no holidays, but was generally given a fortnight’s leave at the end of each assignment — in addition to any sick-leave that might be necessary. He earned £1500 a year, the salary of a Principal Officer in the Civil Service, and he had a thousand a year free of tax of his own. When he was on a job he could spend as much as he liked, so for the other months of the year he could live very well on his £2000 a year net.

He had a small but comfortable flat off the Kings Road, an elderly Scottish housekeeper — a treasure called May — and a 1930 4 1/2-litre Bentley coupé, supercharged, which he kept expertly tuned so that he could do a hundred when he wanted to.

On these things he spent all his money and it was his ambition to have as little as possible in his banking account when he was killed, as, when he was depressed, he knew he would be, before the statutory age of forty-five.

— Ian Fleming


About Fabrizio del Wrongo

Recovering liberal arts major. Unrepentant movie nut. Aspiring boozehound.
This entry was posted in Books Publishing and Writing, The Good Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Typical Routine Day

  1. Callowman says:

    Read the first and fifth Bonds a couple summers ago. Are you on Moonraker? Early Fleming evinces a weary postwar cool that was passé by the 60s, but still works for me. À propos of what happened to cool, I think a lot of that mindspace is nowadays taken up by rappers and their ilk, whom I find offputting. Sadly, you don’t get much cred for behaving like the early Bond. He’s still the coolest in my book, though. There’s a brutality about him, but he’s not a thug.


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      Yeah, I’m reading “Moonraker,” which someone told me was the best Bond novel. I’ve read a couple of others, but it was years ago — when I was a kid.

      Are there adult male fantasies like Bond today? He’s a controlled, collected, hyper-capable grown-up. Nothing ironic or self-effacing about him. And he unabashedly likes the finer things in life — and knows them inside out. I guess black rappers are the closest thing nowadays. But, for me, they’re too ostentatious and blowhard-y to be “cool” in the James Bond sense.


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