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TALES OF OUR TIME: Inspired by Bond, Michael Hayman tackles Operation Lockdown

This piece by Michael Hayman originally appeared in Country & Town House, August edition. 

‘Do you expect me to talk?’ ‘No Mr Bond, I expect you to die.’ So says Gert Fröbe’s Goldfinger to Sean Connery’s delicately placed Bond.

In so doing he delivers the defining moment of the entire franchise. The world has suddenly become enough. Enough to want to make it stop.

Because for the first and, some argue, the last time in a 007 movie, we witness a truly monstrous and deadly villain, one of such menace and a moment of such high tension that we believe the threat uttered to Bond means that the spy’s next witticism might well be his last.

‘There is nothing you can talk to me about that I don’t already know,’ Goldfinger brags, which to be fair is how I often feel when I’m breezily answering James Bond questions on a Zoom quiz. Specialist subjects: Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore.

All the rest, for my money, were pretenders to the majesty of the secret service of these two knights.

Nobody does it better and while this may be a terrible sky fall moment for Daniel Craig devotees, I say live and let die. Because what lives on in all the movies is a passion for marvellous motors and stunning cinematography.

Operation Lockdown might have sounded like the high jinks of an evil Bond mastermind, but it was also – until very recently – the precarious nature of our daily lives. This life hiatus forced us to find ways to both hang on to and explore our inner creativity.

I discovered Amy Shore, a brilliant British photographer following her passions. Her work focuses on the glamour and lustre of classic cars. But it is no elite sport either and the message is a democratic one.

The best camera you can have? The one ‘you can get your hands on’. And her top tip? Love what you do on your own terms because ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.

It inspired me to up my game on taking photographs of my family and, after two months off the road, to get driving again. And while I can’t claim to be whizzing around in a debonair DB5, I am back at the wheel.

For my family it leaves them shaken. Stirred? I have told them that I don’t expect them to talk.

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