Upon being commissioned to design and create a bespoke OM for Tim Burton, we assumed that our latest departee would find a nice, quiet spot in the home our favourite film-maker shares with Helena Bonham-Carter, his long-time partner and significant other.
It was – still is, we maintain – a reasonable assumption. But – and we suspect this happens a lot in Tim’s unconventional world – a small complication has arisen.
More than that, in fact, it’s a rather large spanner in the works, the most significant of flies in the ointment. You see, the Burton-Bonham-Carters (or The BBCs, for short) do not share a home.
They’re still together, their 10-year relationship still strong, and their postal codes – for this most unusual of couples live in London these days – match. But as for sharing a home, forget it.
Confused? Us too for a time, until we set our top investigators to work. It didn’t take them long to discover that in Hampstead, to the north of the English capital, The BBCs are, in fact, next-door neighbors.
That’s right and do you know something else? The BBC Juniors – that is, the couple’s two small children – don’t share either house.
Billy Ray BBC and Nell BBC – the offspring in question – live in a third house on the same street in Hampstead. Please agree, we couldn’t have been expected to know all this!
There is a small rider to this most unusual tale, and it is this:
The BBCs’ respective dwellings – individual, separate abodes in their own right – have been joined, a long, communal passage linking the houses, avoiding, at least, the need to use the front door in order to visit. But still, to call this arrangement unusual is a massive understatement.
Each house is, we’ve learned, a good deal different. Helena’s has been described as girly, chintzy, light and bright, Tim’s as a ‘gothic melange of skeletons and other weird things’. Each house has a kitchen, although Tim’s doesn’t get much use, and a TV room, although the pair tend to share Helena’s – she says her half is ‘cosier’ – because her house has the sole fireplace. The pair sleep in their own houses, Helena soundly, Tim, an insomniac, pacing the hallways and dreaming up weird and wonderful ideas for his movies.
It’s not quite what we had in mind when we embarked on this project!
Nevertheless, the BBCs seem happy, content and connected – spiritually, by their enduring relationship, physically, by their shared passage – and we’re confident our OM will find a home in Hampstead, a good home, a home of happiness, for beneath the slight strangeness – and the BBCs have no complaints about being described as the movie world’s Odd Couple – it feels like such a place, a good place.
If all else fails, perhaps our OM could have his own home in Hampstead, his own conjoining passage, for he soon will become part of this, the quirkiest of families.
Providing he remains connected, we’ll have no complaints about the living arrangements.