As the young Paddy Leigh Fermor embarked upon his European Odyssey in December 1933, would he have ever imagined that he would still be writing the story of that first adventure seventy eight years later? Today we all celebrate Paddy’s 96th birthday, and I would like to send Paddy all best wishes on behalf of all those who have subscribed to the blog and those that have made over 50,000 visits since we opened for business less than 12 months ago.
The last I heard from people who have some contact with Paddy he was well and even taking the odd swim. Let us also hope that he is writing, and has time to celebrate this birthday with some friends.
The Marques de Tamaron who is a friend of Paddy’s and was the Spanish Ambassador in London, wrote this in a review for the Spectator in 2003:
“Some years ago, a group of friends gathered to celebrate Paddy’s birthday. John Julius Norwich wrote and sang a new version of ‘You’re the Top’ in his honour:
You’re the million volts of the thunderbolts of Zeus,
You’re Leda’s swan, you’re the square upon the hypotenuse! …
And you’ll fill and thrill our hearts until we drop:
So from Bath to Burma, Fermor, you’re the top!”
I am sure that we all agree. Once more, a very Happy Birthday Paddy.