Lionel Walsh • My Life and Times

20 March 2010

A lunchtime chat

Randy Holden

< Chapter 18 <


The first time Lionel and I got together for a “chat” set a record for Randy-lunch duration that remains unbroken to this day. We met at a restaurant that, in spite of its typical French fare, was called Le Roi de Siam — and we sat there, eating, talking, and drinking rosé for a full six hours!! Many more lunches followed; it got to the point where his assistant, when informed that he was leaving the office to have lunch “with Randy,” would — quite innocently and without a drop of irony — ask: “And will you be coming back at all today, Mr Walsh?”

Lionel will also of course forever be associated with raclette, and countless dinners à deux to discuss the state of the world. (“Lionel, were we drinking Fendant or Apremont?”)

My message? Simply that the man’s professionalism, his world wisdom and knowledge of history, his kindness, his humour and — perhaps above all — his courage have always been, and will always be, an inspiration to me. I am so proud to have him as a friend. And please, please Lionel: never stop badgering me with that question you come up with every time we talk: Randy, where’s that second novel?!


See extracts of speeches and tributes from Michael Walsh, Mohsin Ali, Michael Reupke, Donald Armour



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