Wednesday, May 07, 2008


GibraltarThe Wednesday quotation, part X: I have just, rather belatedly, learned of George Sassoon's death.

I met George a number of times, many years ago, on the Isle of Mull. On the first occasion, it was the morning after what had evidently been a long night in which he had set out to disprove, by direct and copious scientific experimentation with himself as the guinea pig, the notion that whisky and oysters were a combination fatal to the human frame. He wrote the Island's telephone directory, which included an entry for his cow. He would talk of tram parties in Vienna with Erich Von Daniken.
Despite increasing illness from a slow-moving cancer, George Sassoon remained interested in many aspects of life. He liked to attend conferences on extra-terrestrial activity, and wrote a number of articles on the subject.

He was also a keen student of international affairs, advocating a solution to the problem of Gibraltar that involved offering Spain a reciprocal enclave in southern England - perhaps Dover or Folkestone - which would become a centre for bullfighting and other facets of Spanish life. ("George Sassoon". Daily Telegraph [March 17, 2006])