Travel – As a journalist Fleming was sent on assignments around the world and developed a passion for travel. This is reflected in the exotic locations of his Bond books which are set in places such as Japan, Istanbul and Jamaica.
Cars – Fleming adored cars and bestowed Bond with a Bentley convertible in his stories. Another example of this passion is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which was based on a series of real cars built by racing driver Count Louis Zborowski in the early 1920s.
Golf – Fleming greatly enjoyed golf and his favourite course, the Royal St George’s Club at Sandwich, Kent, is thinly disguised as the Royal St Mark’s in Goldfinger, where James Bond and Auric Goldfinger have their famous contest. Shortly before he died, Fleming was made Captain Elect at Royal St George’s Club.
Skiing – After leaving Sandhurst, Fleming continued his education in Austria and Switzerland and took a keen interest in skiing and mountain-climbing. This passion is reflected in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which is set in the Alps.
The ground shook violently under Bond’s skis and the swelling rumble came down to him like the noise of express trains roaring through a hundred tunnels.
– On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Ian Fleming
Bridge – Fleming enjoyed playing bridge at his London club Boodles. His hobby is brought to life in a scene from Moonraker, where Bond plays the game with villain Sir Hugo Drax at the club Blades.
Book collecting – Though this does not feature in Fleming’s novels, this was an interest he pursued from an early age. In the 1930s and 50s he gradually built up a distinguished and original collection of first editions of books that represented ‘milestones in human progress’. This important collection, which was ahead of its time, now resides in the Lilly Library in Indiana.
Food – Fleming often wrote about sumptuous food in his Bond books. Bond was often described as dining on the most lavish and exotic dishes, delivering a taste of the unknown to many of Fleming’s readers. However, Fleming’s favourite dish was actually scrambled eggs, which James Bond is often found to be eating!
SCRAMBLED EGGS ‘JAMES BOND’
For four individualists:
12 fresh eggs, salt and pepper, 5-6oz. of fresh butter
Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well. In a small copper (or heavy-bottomed saucepan) melt 4 oz. of the butter. When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, stirring continuously with a small egg whisk. While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove pan from heat, add rest of butter and continue whisking for half a minute, adding the while finely chopped chives or fine herbs. Serve on hot buttered toast in individual copper dishes (for appearance only) with pink champagne (Taittinger) and low music.
– 007 in New York, Ian Fleming