Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Same (Belgian) Time, Same (Belgian) Channel

I’ve just been reading a wonderful autobiography by actor David Suchet about his portrayal of the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot created by Agatha Christie called Poirot and Me. It is a loving account of the 25 years he spent inhabiting that character and is full of method acting anecdotes as well as descriptions of every Poirot episode ever filmed—which totalled 70 in the end.


But the thing that made me jump up and down and run around the room in a circle clutching the book to my chest was this. In 1990 he and his wife and children lived in Pinner.



Have your little grey cells worked it out yet?

In 1990, Spiderman and I were part of the LC/MC exchange student programme where we spent 3 months living and going to school in London. This programme opened our eyes to the wider world and once they were opened we could never look back. We got engaged on that trip and were married two years later and vowed that we would somehow, someway return to our beloved England.

And we did.

Alright, you murmur. That’s the 1990 part sorted but what has this to do with Pinner? Didn’t you just say you lived in London?

Just wait, mon ami, and all will be made clear.

We did a month homestay on the trip and Spiderman and I lived in Pinner a few streets away from each other. We knew Pinner had some famous residents:

Mrs Beeton and her husband were living in Pinner when Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management was published.

Sir Elton John was born in Pinner and grew up there. We actually sent him a large poster sized pen and ink drawing of Pinner High Street that he kindly autographed for us.

Simon LeBon of Duran Duran grew up there as well and attended the local Grammar school.

But in 1990, David Suchet and his wife and young children were living in Pinner! We were there, living in the same town as Hercule Poirot and we didn’t even know it!


Did we ever see him in 1990? At the supermarket? Hanging around the Woolworths? The park? Spiderman believes we definitely walked down Church lane where his house was at least once.

Spiderman also thinks we probably didn’t see him as he was busy filming Poirot. But I like that we were somehow entwined.

After all, David Suchet began playing Poirot in 1989 and Spiderman and I had our first date in 1989.

David Suchet was living in Pinner in 1990 and so were we.

David Suchet portrayed Hercule Poirot for twenty-five years and Spiderman and I have been a team for a quarter of a century.

So, mes amis—au revoir and merci.


  1. you're a sweet little dingbat. . . . . .or as Sweetie used to say. . . . . . .