The Roderick Watson Memorial Library


We were staying at Roddy’s flat in Dundee to be near him as he was recuperating, or, as it turned out, dying. We got an emergency phone call to come in and see him at once. That afternoon he had been chatting away. But when we got to the hospital, he was no longer in his bed. He had been replaced by a detailed waxwork, remarkably faithful to the original save for its yellowish-grey skin tone, the work evidently of a skilled but heartless artisan.

The mannequin was so convincing one expected to it to make eye contact and say “Here he is,” or “Hello David and Fiona,” or “Talk of the devil.” But on the other hand, it was so evidently an inert and lifeless thing that one did not expect anything from it at all. The features hinted at the outsized personality that had once animated Roddy, but they in no way added up to him.

We spent today getting the death certificate and registering the death and then came home to Edinburgh. Some daft compulsion made me take away all the horror movie books we’d bought for Roddy’s birthdays and Christmases over the years, even though it just about broke our backs. There had been a lot more, but who knows what he did with them.

20 Responses to “The Roderick Watson Memorial Library”

  1. Thanks for sharing Roddy with us. Enormous love to you and Fiona.

  2. I know I’m just some commenter on your blog, but love to you and Fiona at this difficult time.

  3. I’m very sorry for your loss, David – my condolences to you and Fiona.

  4. Oh I’m so sorry to hear this. Love and sympathy to you both x

  5. Judy Dean Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I always enjoyed reading about Roddy’s reactions to the films you watched together.

  6. Sad news, David. Love to you both.

  7. Sincere condolences, Fiona and David.

  8. John Seal Says:

    I will miss Roddy’s contributions to the blog. Take care.

  9. Simon Fraser Says:

    I’m really sorry guys. Be well the two of you.

  10. Colin M Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Condolences to you and Fiona. A lovely man.

  11. So sorry for your loss, David and Fiona. Always enjoyed reading about Roddy on this blog. Please accept my condolences. xx

  12. I’ve already said something on Facebook but since I came to meet you & Fiona via the blog, it only seems right I should express my sadness here too. I never met Roddy but I know how worried you both have been recently about him, and I can only say that at least now he’s at peace. And my thoughts are with both of you.

  13. Thanks, everyone.

  14. So sorry to hear this. I always looked forward to the Roddy posts.

  15. Roddy was a wonderful and unique contributor to the blog (and the community it sustains), and my thoughts are with you.

  16. My condolences to you both. He was a vivid presence here.

  17. La Faustin Says:

    Every time he made a Shadowplay appearance, it was clear what a dear and well-loved man he was. Wishing you consolation and strength.

  18. Again, thanks.

    The funeral will be on Monday 20th. All my film festival activities will be before then, which will make kind of a weird bubble.

  19. Roddy was a magic character. I’m sure you’ll always have tremendous tales of his life and film experiences.

  20. Very sorry to hear about this. My condolences to you and Fiona. My thoughts are with you.

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