The Bond series is fifty years old, imagine!
If JB was a real person and hadn't always managed to stay roughly the same age throughout his various incarnations, I expect he 'd be a nonagenarian by now. I can just picture him in a Home Counties nursing-home dedicated to the care and welfare of retired operatives of the British Secret Service. It would have to be a place especially comfortable, for those exceptional agents who carried a double-o prefix - who knows, perhaps his old sparring partner 'Q' is there too! And maybe he's busy dictating his memoirs to a certain elderly lady called Moneypenny - a 'Miss' rather than a 'Ms' - who spent her life swooning and waiting for the adoration of one man to be reciprocated.
My first encounter with Bond was at the age of nine when my grandad, Dycu (Duck-Key) to me in my family's Valleys' dialect but officially Dadcu (Dad-Key), took me to see Goldfinger. The year in question would have been 1964. Dycu was an avid reader and it was probably from him that I picked up the habit myself. The man almost always had a book in his hand; Nevil Shute, Dennis Wheatley and Ian Fleming were amongst some of his favourites I recall. He must have liked them a lot, because he had whole shelves dedicated to these writers, and there were countless others too whose names I can't remember.
And what about the film? It was the most exciting thing I had ever seen! My mother came to meet me and Dycu as we came out and I reckon our eyes must have been popping out of our heads, because I recall Mam saying,"Well, I can see you both enjoyed that!"
After Bond I required my pearly-handled six guns with the low-slung holsters that I sported about our garden in Wales considerably less. I started to wear a trilby hat, had a card in my pocket that bore my secret service number (licensed to kill of course), when taking refreshments in our kitchen I sipped small glasses of Tizer pop (shaken not stirred) and always carried a gun discreetly in a shoulder holster. Cowboys were out - secret agents were in!
For the next twenty years I went to see every new Bond movie. Roger Moore made the series fun, but Connery, with a little touch of sadism about him, was always best in my eyes. I loved Thunderball as a boy with all its underwater action but as a man I think I like From Russia with Love most of all. And Goldfinger , the template for every Bond film that came after it had the best villain, best villain's henchman and best theme song, sung of course by 'Our Shirl from Tiger Bay'.
I really like Adele, think Daniel Craig's great as JB, but honestly let's face it, they don't really stand a chance against the wide-eyed-awe of that boy I've been travelling with since 1964!
Happy Fiftieth Birthday Mr Bond!