By Paul M. Allen
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Extra info for Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning at the Edge: A Biography of Alan Ayckbourn
A. ' For the first five years or so the boys got on pretty well. Alan was not only older, he was tall for his age. Christopher and his father were of stockier build. So Chris, in his own words, 'followed Alan around like a little dog'. When they went to the pictures together, scrounging money off Lolly so they could see both programmes at the local cinema each week, Alan would walk the mile each way while Chris scampered behind, trying to keep up. Afterwards they would re-enact some of the films.
I bet he can't tell me much that I don't know already! I am looking forward very much to seeing you at the Coronation and to tell you the truth I feel rather homesick. Still I expect I'll get over that after a bit I hope so in any case. I haven't ridden my bike for quite a long time as I haven't felt up to it really. In fact to sum up this miserable letter - I'm damned unhappy. My love and best wishes to you all, Alan 26 Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning at the Edge He was 14. The misery may have been partly physiological in origin - he used to have 'a sort of health lapse' at some point i n every term - and this is the only letter in this mood.
Cecil was no more an ogre than Lolly was an immoral bitch; the destructiveness was mutual, but the solution was still for her to leave. So the boy's first really adult act was to find her a flat and a job - secretarial work for another writer. There was someone else to offer practical aid to Alan - the sister who had been Lolly's sole comforter when she left Neville - and he duly went to live with his Aunt Peggy in a flat near Sloane Square in London. Peggy was supposed to keep him on the straight and narrow - he wasn't that adult but she mixed with a hard-drinking Australian crowd and gave him a very good time.