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Gerrie Llewelyn Davies talks about Mary Hodgson and her own impossible position at Campden Hill Square...
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Mary Hodgson of course was absolutely demented. She literally had a form of mania apparently. When did you first meet Mary Hodgson? When I was taken around Barrie's flat. I was staying at Barrie's flat. He took me out to meet Mary and see Campden Hill Square. An incident in which he walked into the room -- Mary took one look at me and I said Oh Mary, take a look at this -- something somebody sent us, wedding present -- she took one look at me and walked straight out of the room. No words, no nothing. Did she do that in front of Barrie? In front of Barrie. Did he say anything? Nothing. He was terrified of her. He was frightened of her as well? He was terrified of her! It was an extraordinary situation. It was quite outside my orbit. I was completely taken aback. It was terrifically peculiar. In Scotland, our maids were a sort of funeral. They were there before I was born and still in the house after I left it. They sort of went on forever you know. Eventually my husband got some sick leave you see and Barrie said we better go live at Campden Hill Square. He wanted me to be sort of Wendy with the boys. It was quite hopeless. I was far too young. I didn't meet immensely sophisticated children. I had a brother the same exact age as Nico. Comparing the two, you know, it was quite a different world. I was completely out of my depth. I mean how do you go and run a household in wartime, in London? When you don't know any set-up. I hadn't run anything in my life. I didn't have the least idea of how to make this flat for the boys. Mary saying, will you please carry on? We didn't communicate at all. She merely sent you messages through the boys. Which of them? It didn't much matter. Probably Michael. Do you think Michael got along well with Mary Hodgson? Well yes, they all did. After all she brought them up. You got on well with Michael as well? Me? Oh yes. Very well. You never talked to Michael about Mary Hodgson. No I couldn't, it was a poor subject. Or Nico? Well Nico was too young. Michael was young enough. He was years younger than me. You never asked them to help you with this business with Mary Hodgson? No, it never occurred to me. There might be some sort of pride in me, or reserve or something. I don't know. I was very shy. It was a situation, it was quite unconceivable. I could cope with it now but I could never cope with it when I was young.