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Painting Paddy’s Greece

Features |

Katyuli Lloyd was 20 when she met her hero Patrick Leigh Fermor. What a joy then to illustrate new editions of his books 

On a drizzly, windy day in January 2005, my sister and I drove to have lunch with Patrick Leigh Fermor in Dumbleton, Gloucestershire, his family’s English home. I was 20 and he was just about to turn 90. We were led through to the drawing room where Paddy and Mougouch Fielding (the widow of Xan Fielding, Paddy’s fellow Cretan war hero) were waiting. ‘Ah, these are the Champagne girls,’ said Paddy, introducing us to Mougouch. He was referring to our grandfather, Christian Heidsieck (of the eponymous Champagne house), a good friend of his in Greece after the war. Lunch was intimate, being just the four of us, but elegant and formal. The housekeeper served us a beautiful, three-course meal. Paddy was wearing neatly pressed trousers and a gamboge V-neck jumper, and he seemed very relaxed. But his eyes were alert and aware, and he was keen to chat more about Homer...

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