Saturday 12 June 2010

Dinard, Hitchcock and The Birds

Dinard's such a lively and pretty place! It's an old-fashioned Breton seaside town, nestling around white sea-strands and an emerald sea.
In the late 19th century American and British aristocrats popularised Dinard as a fashionable summer resort, and they built stunning villas on the cliff tops and exclusive hotels such as the 'Le Grand Hotel' on the seafront during the French "Belle Epoque".
It's rumoured that Alfred Hitchcock (who spent time here) based the house in 'Psycho' on one of these villas.
Dinard has a British Film Festival each October, and to acknowledge this, a statue of the film director- complete with birds- stands on the promenade by the Plage de l'Ecluse.
A well-placed bench overlooks this and, as I sit and draw, a flock of marauding seagulls sweep down to the beach and attack the belongings trustingly left on the beach by some unwary bather.
In a callous and uncaring way I'm secretly delighted as a plastic bag of, I presume, culinary delights for the returning swimmer, is mercilessly torn to shreds before a sunbathing 'neighbour' stops the destruction by shouting and flapping his arms.
As I continue with my sketch I wonder if Hitchcock ever witnessed something similar? Before me, his bronze statue looks out over the scene and his dead eyes glint in the hot sun, but he remains understandably impassive....

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