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He didn’t tell the boys until later and they were very miffed not to have been there. Apart from their regular travels, Douglas and Marianne shared a simple domestic lifestyle at Black Point Road, with Andrew and their cat Chicky and dog Puppy. In 1983, Douglas organised substantial new landscaping in their garden—but also talked to Marianne about moving to Europe. He desired new visual and mental stimulations but his Scandinavian wife, happy in her ‘tropical paradise’, was unenthusiastic. Family and friends noticed that Douglas mellowed with Marianne—she said partly because his eyesight and health were in decline. After the 1976 heart attack before Patricia died, Andrew remembered him having several strokes in Honolulu, although Marianne said she did not realise the seriousness of his condition. Increasingly worried about the effectiveness of his medication, Snelling wrote to his doctor friends in Sydney, Olga and Abe Assef, on 8 August 1985: This is to tell you I will be in Sydney about 28 August with Andrew, who has returned home after being in Canberra with his uncle, John Gale. We are selling the house so I am leaving here; Marianne to take care of business—I plan to return to complete documents. Meanwhile, we[‘ll] still be at the Savoy Knox Hotel and expect to see you shortly. Abe, I’ve been going to a doctor here but do not have too much faith in him, although he is reputed to be a specialist in the heart. He has prescribed for me half a tablet of Corgard 40mg #20 per day. I take this religiously but I am not sure it is any good! I do not have much faith I guess—and the medicos here are very vague and do not make house calls either. Please can you get me any equal drug? I really need my ole pals, I guess. Thanks—see you all soon. Love to you all—your architect. Andrew recalled this situation differently: that another minor stroke persuaded his father that they ‘suddenly’ had to return permanently to Sydney. Despite remonstrations, Douglas was insistent—‘you could tell his brain wasn’t working quite right’—and booked tickets for himself and Andrew, leaving Marianne to sell the house. On 2 September, Andrew and Douglas arrived in Sydney and checked into the Savoy Knox Hotel. Within half an hour of their arrival, Douglas had another stroke and Andrew called the hotel attendants, who summoned a doctor from across the road. He also solutions as Snelling had been in Sydney. Ossipoff and Snelling became friends. A few months later, Snelling again tried to settle himself and the boys back in Australia. Staying at the Savoy Knox Hotel in Double Bay, he enrolled the boys in school and began looking around for a BMW—‘as they are class German cars but sell for a whole lot less than Mercedes, about 25 percent more than United States prices.’ Again, however, Snelling’s resettlement plans were abruptly curtailed—this time by an Australian Government decision to outlaw family trusts. After meetings with lawyers and accountants, he was advised that if he again resided in Australia, his tax burden would ‘jump fantastically. So I trod softly!!!’ Snelling seemed frustrated by these barriers. On 8 August 1979, he wrote to Dudek: As I have indicated, food here is fabulous and cheap—probably the best in the world. But the politics stink, what with the unions etc., the country is in a mess. Dudek and Snelling were purchasing adjoining 17th floor apartments in a new 42–storey block at 2121 Ala Wai Boulevard, overlooking the city canal. Now, after major travel expenses, Snelling moved into one of these flats with the boys—as soon as they stepped off the plane from Sydney just after midnight on 1 September. ‘They were roughing it,’ Marion said. After some time cramped together in the Ala Wai Boulevard apartment, Douglas bought a significant Vladimir Ossipoff–designed house at 4025 Black Point Road, Diamond Head—wrapping around a garden and swimming pool and with ocean views from its cliffside position. He added more rooms in a compatible style to the original architecture and put up his old shingle at the front door: Douglas B. Snelling Architect. In January 1980 and again in May, Dudek returned to Honolulu— but he noticed that Snelling had ‘started slipping; his driving was bad, in fact he used me as his driver’. In mid 1980, Gwen and Douglas separated. Shortly afterwards, at a dinner party with neighbours across the road, Douglas met Marianne Sparre, a Swedish countess, then aged 38, who had arrived in Honolulu a year earlier. She was painting tropical garden and flower scenes for local shops to sell to tourists. She recalled: Our relationship developed really quickly, that’s for sure. Next day, I heard from my friend that he’d asked for my phone number. Although he was 21 years older, he asked me to marry him very quickly. I think we got DOUGLAS SNELLING DOUGLAS SNELLING 98 99 1976–1985 1976–1985