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Polly

 

Well I can only tell you one thing I get moments when I can’t remember terribly well and don’t forget it’s a hell of a lot to remember. I was born in Shanghai. I can’t remember the year... too long ago. I was born in Shanghai and when I was eight years old we had to leave because they were getting a bit stroppy... Chinese were getting difficult and people were being murdered all over the place... everywhere I went fell... life was always exciting. When you’re young and still good looking you have a wonderful time that’s all.

So we took a fast boat back to England... I came back here and went to school... as one does at that age... I was eight... and I went to a boarding school... I went to school until I was what?... seventeen... and then I went back to India. India’s a wonderful place to go back to when your eighteen... all the dances and debutantes and coming out... doing all that... so lets see if I can remember... it’s a bit confused because there was always so much going on... so I thought everybody’s in the army so I’ll join the W.A.C.I.’s.. I did have one bit of fame I was known as the Belle of Bangalore... because I wore a uniform and I had red hair... my hair was very red... it’s all gone now... but it was very red back then... a true Scot... William Wallace was my Great Grandfather times six... you know... and that’s... I’m afraid... that’s my army career.

I wasn’t a great beauty... my sister was a really beautiful girl... but I was very attractive... but you know life was easier for... it’s always easier when you got... get things easily... when it’s all on wheels... and being attractive helped a lot... and there were big dances all over the place... and you couldn’t go wrong really... even if you looked like the back end of a horse and even then you’d probably do quite well... but the splendour of India you have no idea what it was like... it was wonderful... my girlfriend was a millionaires daughter so I used to go and stay with her... and everything was so glamourous... it really was... I emerged in Bangalore... I’d left school... I’d left any form of Education... I went out... I was a bit wild... it was just fabulous... I had the whole of Bangalore at my feet... it was a religious thing you see... if you’ve got red hair... that means you’ve been touched by God...  and don’t forget I wore a uniform and I had red hair... I looked pretty good.

I came back to England... got in with a very, very interesting group in London... artists...  all sorts of things... I had my photograph taken and this, that and the other... and I became a model... by now I’d been married once... I got married very quickly... and walked out on him three days later... changed my mind... swimming along...  I didn’t realise what I’d done... I did the run away thing that I do... I do that all the time... I’ve got a perfect setting... nothing could be better... and suddenly I think “Shit I can’t take this any longer” and go... just like that... I’ve done that all my life but I’ve met some very interesting people doing it... I think it’s more interesting not to be perfect... if you’re a perfect couple nothing is going to destroy you but if you’re not everything is going to be there as a temptation so you have to make up your mind what you’re going to do... well if you meet your perfect other half you never go anywhere else... but I’ve never been on my knees to anyone.

I lived with Alec Waugh for a little while... because I liked Evelyn so much... but he was already married so I lived with his brother... I was with Alec Waugh for about four years and we went back to Tangier and did a lot of things... and had a lot of parties... and... Tangier was terrific in those days... I’m afraid it’s all gone now... Tangier was wonderful... wonderful... I was a bit sort of Queen of it all... and... I indulged... I went to millions and millions of parties... came back to London... London was so gay then... but... you know it isn’t as first class as it used to be... times have changed... it was champagne all the way then... now everybody’s drinking beer. It was a very small clique of very distinguished people... now they are just extinguished... if you know what I mean... London then was terrific... terrific... I was always in the right place at the right time... always... I just got in at the end of it... you know... but I was there.

My greatest friend was Betty Sauders... we lived together in London... we lived together for years... she was known as ‘Betty the Bullfighter’... she actually lived with the man I ended up with... Louis Osio in Madrid...  she lived with him... then I came along... and by that time she’d gone but I would have seen her off anyway... maybe if I’ve got a tiny regret in my life it’s that I didn’t marry him... I should have done... he was a Spaniard... probably suits my temperament more... because I need to be controlled a little... I was a little bit out of control sometimes... but I must say it was a very exciting time in my life in Madrid too... Betty was a wonderful woman... I had no idea that she was going to turn out to be the worlds first woman bullfighter... lady bullfighter as she was... she was terrific... and actually she only fought the baby bulls... but she actually fought them... she was an incredible woman.. no innuendo’s at all we were just very good friends... but I wish... she was like Gloria Swanson... Betty Saunders... Betty was a fine looking girl... fabulous... she went on the stage and that’s what I wanted... I always wanted to act but I kept on getting married... it got in the way of my acting career...  I either found myself getting married or being divorced... or something or the other... one of the untouchables... but I had my moments of glory... no... I had a bit of adoration in those days... it was wonderful... cos I was on the stage for a while... I’m a failed actress... I was dying to go on the stage... instead of that my family sent me to Shanghai... I loved that life... I loved the stage life... I would have been good... I know I would... I knew Noel Coward... not terribly well but he used to call me “My little darling”... but then he was very generous with his vocabulary... and he was very sweet... but that’s me I never know what’s the best way to be... whether you just carry on and you know... I was feted when I was young and I don’t expect to get the same treatment now... actually I don’t do too badly really... now I walk with Jesus... but that’s it...

I’ve had enough.