‘Do you mean it?’ – Tracy, On her Majesty’s Secret Service
The long corridors beneath the Alpine Room were lined with Bond posters, chronologically, the good ones. The cartoon ones. It then eddies through the Daltons, Brosnins’, finally coming to a pitiful stop with a solitary shot of Daniel Craig wearing a roll neck and shoulder gun holster. If ever there was a more linear depiction of creativity being lost in the arts, capitulating during the 80’s, prolapsing through the 90’s then finally flatlining in the 21st century, look no further than the Bond posters.
Inside the museum we were free from the Chinese tourists, hah! Fucking charlatans. A mere selfie on the skydeck with a Lazenby statue and that’s that box ticked. But this. THIS was for the purists. Seeing Blofelds Coat of Arms, (apparently created by the College Coat of Arms especially for the film, details in the appendix) learning that Diana Rigg never bothered to learn to ski and did all the scenes pulled in a sled on her knees, how Lazenbys’ stunt double slipped from the cable cart scene into a valley, only to be saved by an outstretched hand by an employee of the cable cart company who so happened to be at a foot of a pillar. Had he not, he would have plummeted into the ravine ‘unchecked’.
There’s the toboggan simulator, which looks like neither of the two from the film. It’s a bit of rubbish really. There is rubbish here. The souveneir shop is rubbish, the perfunctory Bond cap, the arbitrary Bond Snowglobe, a flimsy over priced coffee mug. There’s a magazine that looks like a panini sticker album from the early 80’s. Sadly no book by Charles Helfenstein on the making of the movie, (apparently the bible on such matters) or any original artwork.
Back down in Birg, the skywalk takes you round the edificial facias. This is free, yet inside you pay through the nose for a shot of grappa. It got the juices flowing, the rest of the day, the missus and I got suitably sloshed at the foot of the slopes, with a bottle of Gewurztraminer in typically Brit-abroad fashion. We talked about how logistically we could get married in Bond land.
Two bottles later we went from hiring the John Barry orchestra, requisitioning Tracy’s dress from the Bond memorabilia hotel in Milan, getting Lazenby himself to do the ceremony, to a small reception in Montagu Square under a 10 man tent. At some point I asked the missus to marry me under my breath.
I’d never asked anyone before, Bond himself only asked once, on this very mountain no less. She impassively told me I can’t afford it. Later during the dinner I told her implicititly, somewhat smarted, ‘that wasn’t a proposal you know, you do know that don’t you. I can’t be refused on Bonds mountain. I’m not sure what happened back there, but one thing is for certain, I didn’t propose.’ The conversation moved swiftly on.
Later we had cocktails facing the resplendent and quite unequivical Jungfrau. Some sturdy looking ladies below us bellowed on with their alphorns that sang across the valleys. A few precocial shops threw up their closed signs, another shit day at the dog ends of a season. The Murren people really can’t make out what all the fuss is about. About a film that was shot here 50 years ago, that has now transubstantiated into a hybrid of a skiiers pit stop, a Chinese tourist check point, and a Bond geeks wet dream. Either way it brings in an unusual buck for them. It brings a tear to my eye.
The Boar Motif: Used to reflect Blofeld’s ferocious character.
The Mountain: Used to reflect Piz Gloria
Pearls on the crown: These determine rank, there are 9 which signifies a Count
Mascles: The diamond shapes on the shield are on the actual Blofeld arms and are there for realism
Double cross of Lorraine: Signifies Blofeld’s Western European ancestry
The Motto: Arae Et Foci – Of the Air and Soaring
These arms were actualy created by the College of Arms for the film.