“I am extremely happy living in London and West Sussex with my property developer husband Rod Weston. But I feel very lucky, too, to have had the history I’ve had.
I took this picture of my first husband George Harrison when I went to India with The Beatles in 1966.
Being on a houseboat in Kashmir with floating gardens around us and Ravi Shankar teaching George to play sitar was wonderful. Then we went on to southern India.
George was lying back reflecting and didn’t know I was going to take the photo, but if I saw him looking beautiful I couldn’t resist photographing him.
I grew up in Kenya and loved how we used to find wild animals in our garden – I guess I later went on to wild men! This teddy bear was given to me by my grandmother when we were in Africa.
I brought him with me when I came to boarding school in England aged nine. I cried for the first few nights, as did the other girls – we hated being away from home.
But Teddy was my saviour, I told him all my secrets and dreams. He knows everything about me.
One afternoon Eric Clapton took me to his house in Surrey to listen to a song he’d written. He turned up the volume and played me the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard. It was Layla, about a man who falls hopelessly in love with a woman who loves him but is unavailable. Eventually the song got the better of me – I could resist him no longer and he became my second husband. I treasure this original artwork from the album because of its association with that special song he wrote about me.
I used to have two cats, and when they died I was so sad. I decided that I must have another animal and preferably one that is very low maintenance. So I got three alpacas, which sit in a field and eat grass all day long. They’re frightfully boring, but they look amusing. And then we got Freddie our Irish Terrier, who’s now four. He’s great fun and couldn’t be more charming and polite – he’s so friendly with everyone.
This antique music box has always meant so much to me because it was a Christmas present from Eric one year and was addressed to me, ‘From your darling songbird.’ When the lid opens, a little blackbird turns around and chirps the most beautiful sounds. He does it again, and then a gold mesh opens up and he goes back into his nest and the lid closes. It’s Swiss and made in the 1930s, and I’ve always thought it the most beautiful object. When I was modelling I started to think that I actually hated being in front of the camera and that the guys behind the camera were having far more fun and had more control of everything. I decided that’s what I wanted to do, so I watched many photographers and learned from them. I also started collecting cameras like this lovely old Rolleiflex that I bought in 1975. I have since been on a photography course and I love shooting flowers and landscapes, wherever I travel.
Pattie’s next photography exhibition starts at Aalders Gallery in La Garde Freinet, southern France, on 18 June.
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