Saturday 10 December 2016

David Robbins: The missing years, spent with Poirot on a Nile riverboat

Published 09/04/2011 | 05:00

I would hear the door creak open first. Then there was the heavy padding across the landing. This would be followed by snatches from 'Some Enchanted Evening' or 'Strangers in Paradise'. My father was up and about.

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The smell was of talcum powder, shaving soap and Brylcreem, for my dad grew up before the age of the day spa, exfoliation and the modern mantra of "cleanse, tone and moisturise".

I would sneak into my parents room and wait for him. I wanted to have a chat, and to see what he was reading. His night-stand was like a time-capsule of his life: a pair of specs, a set of dentures, Andrew's Liver Salts if it had been a hard one the night before, and a detective book.

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