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April 1965
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Thursday, 1 April 1965 KCT
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Letter from Cynthia today to say that Sue had had her appendix out on Monday. I hope she is not feeling too bad - and if it is an April fool joke I shall murder Cynthia.

It wasn't.

After breakfast, could not do much really felt bad about it, and wrote a letter to Sue c/o Minehead hospital, if there is such a place.

Then maths, and Jimmy gave us permission to borrow books from the maths Library if we wanted to, and so I borrowed a couple of books on calculus, and spent the period reading them.

Then study period, which I spent reading Daw's esquire book of what a young man should know. Very interesting.

After break, chemistry, and when Clod turned up, typically, he carried on as if the term would never end. Then to housemasters, but Skiv did not turn up until 1156. Period finished at 1200.

After lunch, down to the hangar with Cookson, and we took our trunks up, as per usual, and had quite a bit of fun getting them into big school.

After that, did little - hardly knew where to start, and was half inclined not to, but eventually got to work. I don't know why this end of term seems so different from all those which have gone before, but such is decidedly the case, and I spent a good deal of the time wandering all over the place - nor was I absolutely finished with the packing by the time specified, but muddled through somehow, and then went to the common room and tidied up my scob, and went after that to the wireless club, and tidied vaguely up there.

Then roll call, scob inspection, and after that went to change into my sunday suit, and then found Callow and we went to look for a place to smoke, and ended up with Risso-Gill and Moore in the senior colts pavilion, and narrowly escaped being caught by Tyson.

Then makan, etc, and a film, “Our Man in Havana”, and I thought little thereof. Then house celebrations, which really are a bit of a bind.

Green, Walker, Stanley arguing far too long after lights out, damn them.


Friday, 2 April 1965 KCT → Newton Abbot → Chagford → Gidleigh Park Hotel (Dartmoor) Images for 2 April 1965
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Up as usual at the end of term at 0525 this morning, and down quickly to the common room to get what I had to be done before breakfast, and just about did it.

After breakfast, got all my stuff on the bus, got my packet lunch, and after a bit of flirtation with one of the female skivs, went off on my bike, and got there about 30 seconds after the bus. Lot of cursing and swearing, but eventually got all onto the platform, and then waited for the train. Contrary to intentions, took my bike all the way to Newton, and over to wake up Mum and Bev.

Then did a bit of messing round town trying to buy some last-minute requisites, and had some makan at Madge Mellors - breakfast to them, lunch to me - then, after checking the bus service to Chagford, went up to Netherton, where such suspicious types as Mali Mustafa and Jean Watson were back.

Spent a good deal of time checking all the stuff we have, and burnt quite a considerable amount of it - it is amazing how much useless stuff does turn up. Also made up a couple of parcels which were to be sent back to Malaysia, and then called Dinkikab back into town, sent my bike to Exeter, and down to have my sunglasses evaluated - £8-10, and I only paid £1 for them.

Then on the bus, and had a bit of fun with the conductor, who is nuttier than a fruit cake, and finally made it to Chagford, and rung up Mr Daniells, who runs the joint. Promptly picked up, and we were taken to our bungalow, which, although not too hot in outward appearance, is nevertheless very good inside. Went up to the hotel to have tea, and while there noticed a bird obviously suffering from lack of people of her own age. I shell have to help out.

Then down to the bungalow, changed into some clean clothes, and went up again for makan. I shall get to know that bird. I hope she is not too neurotic.

Quite a bit of fun unpacking.


Saturday, 3 April 1965 Gidleigh Park Hotel → Exeter → Gidleigh Park
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Up at a fairly reasonable hour this morning - about 0730 - and in to see what was happening to Mum and Bev. Although they had not opened any windows, they had frozen, and I just about had to get electric fires, etc, going before I could coax Mum out of bed.

Once out of bed, we prepared for going up for breakfaat, and quite a bit of preparing there was too, and I spent it playing some music on Altblockflöte and Fagott, which I am leaving out permanently (or more or less so).

Finally up for breakfast. Must get to know that bird. Rather better dolled up this morning.

Then down to the bungalow again, and made our beds, etc, and then did some more music, while Mum and Bev prepared the menus for the next few days, or sowhat.

After a while, it dawned on us that Mr. Daniells had not yet turned up to take us into town, and I went up to see him, and he gave some excuse or another, but had already been. Set off, although vaguely against Bev's will, on Shanks' pony, and got a lift at about half-way. Caught a bus (alone) fairly soon after that, and into Exeter. Spent most of the time looking at the reflection of the bird behind me in my sunglasses. Not bad, but not perfect.

Then got out at Exeter, and tried to find some bulk lengths of film, and after a lot of swearing at [Ilford] FP3, etc, found some [Agfa] KB17, which I would like to try. Should be safely about to rate it at 23 DIN - 0.3 for safety factor, 3 for Promicrol.

Then in to have my waistcoat dry cleaned, and will have to collect it on Tuesday. Then down to St Davids station, got my bike, and set off in the wrong direction.

From recollection, I turned left out of the station and ended up heading towards Crediton, which some years later was the way from the university to my house in Bow.

After going 4 miles, decided I had been going the wrong way, turned around, had a drink in Exeter, and then set up the long way upwards home. It was absolutely - they somehow managed to get the roads uphill all the way both ways. This is the last time I cycle anywhere in Dartmoor (I hope). Finally got to Morton Hampstead [completely the wrong direction, but I didn't seem to have found out], and discovered myself going in the direction of Princetown (where, I believe I am correct in saying) there is the world famous prison.

Yes, that's the punctuation.

I hope we don't have any breakouts while we are here. Finally got back at 1800, and the girls had been enjoying themselves trying to cook all sorts of goodies, which I greatly appreciated. Then loaded some film for Bev, using here as a measure for the film - it might not quite make it.

This was clearly lengths of film reloaded into a used cassette. The normal length of a 36 exposure film was 1.64 m, but that didn't divide nicely into the 50 ft rolls of bulk film, so I chose 5 ft, or 1.525 m, about Bev's height. This gave 33 or 34 exposures per film.


Sunday, 4 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Up a little later this morning, and out to find Bev frantically trying to work out how to get the Rayburn stove going, and took the whole thing (rather rashly) into my hands, and, apart from the fact that it was still going vaguely, and I rather burnt myself, I finished off the matches without much sign of life, and tried to clean it out, got a light from the electric fire, and after opening the whole thing out to clear it of CO₂ I managed to somehow get it going. Then Bev and I prepared breakfast in bed for Mum, and had to do it on the electric stove, as the other one was by no means ready yet. Mr Daniells turned up just before we had got it going, with the Observer and an article about “Sukarno's truculent Indonesia”, and noticed that we were having some trouble.

After giving Mum breakfast, she got up, while we washed up, and we started getting stuff ready for lunch, and decided, after they had started everything off, that, as it was a nice day, and we had little to do, we might as well go for a walk, and took our cameras with us. Got back at about 1210, and makan was by no means ready, so I decided to retire to my room and play my Fagott for a while, and then out to plague them about how long makan would be, and ended up by helping them. True to Bevs anticipation, it was ready by 1400 hrs, and we carried on preparing as we ate. It was decidedly one of the best roasts I have ever eaten, and Bev really did herself proud with the lemon meringue pie she produced for sweets. By the time we had finished, it was 1500 hrs, and we had quite a bit of washing up to do, and I decided to retire to my room as quickly as feasible, and spent some time reading Omar Khayyam (the edition Mum bought in Tehran), and while I was there, in came Mum to pick my spots for me. A little after that, became restless, and decided to play a sonata or 5, and did, getting out all my instruments in the process, and having tea as well to keep me going. Then in to the lounge, to help Bev get Lux, and read some photographic books, and then makan, which lived up to Mum's and Bev's already high standards. Bev went to bed after that, but Mum and I stayed up quite a bit longer, and I had a bath, and we both had some coffee, and spoke at great length about the present situation in Malaysia, etc, and decided I would have to get myself a red identity card in the summer if possible.

The red identity card was for non-citizen permanent residents.


Monday, 5 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Up at much the same time as yesterday, mainly because Bev always manages to get up at about 0745, and that she called me to tell me that the Rayburn had gone out, and so I hopped out of bed, put some more coal on it, opened the ventilators, and, lo and behold! back to life it came. Then started preparing Mum some breakfast, and while we were engrossed in the middle of the iniquities of the Bellamy's grill (nearly set fire to the bread board), along came Mr Daniel, and brought the paper, letter from Sue and a bill for Mum, which I delivered, and then read Sue's letter. Poor girl. She is leaving hospital in Minehead today, and will spend a couple of days at St. Aud's before going back to Cambridge, and is terribly bored. Wrote her a 7-page letter, which, with my writing, should keep her going all day long.

Then got Mum up and returned to my room, made my bed, etc, played my Fagott for a while, and then in to hear a dissertation over morning coffee about the characters in the Le Hey/Leahy/Herbert/Hay family. Quite a few things I had not heard of before, and it might be worth doing some tracing next time I am in Melbourne.

Then had makan, which was very informal and mainly veg. soup and then, as we had intended to walk into Chagford after lunch, wrote a letter to Clement Clarke and mob in Taunton, and asked them to send my glasses to this address. I hope I get them soon.

After that, hung around, playing Blockflöte for a great deal of the time while Mum and Bev tidied up and prepared to go into town. They have started objecting to me chewing garlic - why I know not, for 'tis a most pleasant taste.

Finally, at about 1430, set out for town, and got there by foot eventually, and I set out to post some letters, and got Sue a get well soon card. Ended up with a humorous one, although a bit flat, and sent that off there.

Then looked around at an estate agents, and saw Mr Daniel when we came back, and he gave us a lift back. Then, after getting our stuff up, up to pay 2 weeks rent in advance, and to ring up for a TV rental, and can get it for 15/- a week.

Had tea, makan, etc, played quite a bit of music and discussed at length our past and future with Mum after Bev had gone to bed.


Tuesday, 6 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Bev up at the same sort of time this morning, but I was much more tired, and slept on for about another hour. Then in came Bev, and asked me to stoke up to [sic] Rayburn. This time it really was out, so swore and went look for some kindling wood, got it going, and according to the instructions, left it to go on of its own accord.

It did not go of its own accord. When next I looked at it, it was completely out, so more swearing and tried again. Used a lot of pine cones, and after quite some while, some semblance of fire emerged from the mass and had quite a bit of trouble to wonder what to do, but left it, and when Mum got up, she decided it was OK. ½ an hour later, I saw her trying at it herself. Then she and Bev decided to prepare us some brunch, while I sat down and read “Doctor in the House”.

Eventually brunch was ready, and we had that, and then coffee, tea, and Mum and Bev washed up. The time is getting rather boring now. After a while reading “Doctor in the House” again it occurred to us that Mum had ordered a TV. Went up and rang up, and it appeared that somebody had not realised how much the EHT was, and had half killed himself on it.

Saw a hunt going by - do not know what they were after, but took quite a few photos, finished off my film and made quite an impression into the KB 17 in Mums Pen EES.

After that, life settled down into its mundane routine, and I played some more music, etc, and then had tea, and I decided to go for a walk to get away from it all, and this I did, pretty aimlessly. For some reason I feel lonely. I wish Sue were here. I hope I get a letter from her in the near future.

After that, ended up sitting in the middle of a stream considering the mass flowing past me with acceleration g sin α, and wondering what was the point of it. I will end up a philosopher yet.

Got back, finished my book, and then had makan. Loaded a new film into cassettes after supper, and had a bit of trouble with my tank. Must get a Kindermann.


Wednesday, 7 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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I know not what time Bev got up this morning, but I suspect it was not much earlier than I did. I lay in bed until 1000 hrs, and then suddenly the thought that perhaps a letter from Sue had arrived made me hasten out of bed, up and about. I might as well have stayed in bed for all I got from Sue. However, I found that once again the Rayburn had gone out, cursed and made a firm resolve to do nothing whatsoever about it. Then went into the lounge and started reading Pop Photography while Bev and Mum got the brunch ready. In point of fact, it soon dawned on me that perhaps they were not doing so, and before long I was helping hem with the housework. After that, had brunch, and in the middle of it, the fellow turned up with a TV and proceeded to install it, and I noticed that he had a bit of trouble with a valve in the tuner on the IF. Got it right, had a cup of tea, we paid, and off he went.

After lunch, set to the task of writing up my diary for yesterday, which I had neglected to do last night, and at the same time resolved not to do so again, and before long had finished it. Then set to work on “Goldfinger”, and after a while when Mum announced her intention of going into town to do some shopping, I was so engrossed that I decided to stay at home and carry on reading.

After a while, nevertheless, I grew tired and went for a walk, and once again down by the river, but was shood [sic] off by some old bag who wanted to exercise her white poodles - all 20 of them.

After that, got back home, and carried on reading Goldfinger, and after about another hour and a half, Mum and Bev came back, having spent the past 4 hours having a cream tea - now I know what goes on behind my back.

After a while, I decided I could do with some tea myself, and got it. Then sat back and argued with Bev, who insisted that the presence of milk is necessary to make yeast ferment sugar.

After assuring that her yeast was still alive, she set to making some bread, and it was quite good when it finally appeared. Meanwhile we went up to the hotel and rang up Harriette, whom Bev persuaded to be at St. Davids at 1230 tomorrow afternoon.

TV IF did not work - all cursing the fellow. In a way 'tis a blessing.


Thursday, 8 April 1965 Gidleigh Park → Exeter → Gidleigh Park.
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Times change. Now all I want is a letter from Sue, and once again will I be happy. I wonder how long I will remain interested in her - if her plans go as they should, until the end of the summer term, I suppose.

After that, up and stoked up the Rayburn. Not it, but Mum promptly blew its/her top, and said it would put the fire out, and in trying to get the coal out succeeded in putting the fire out as well, cursed me, and got Bev and me to go and get some pine cones and twigs, etc.

Then up to the hotel, rang up the TV mob, who promised to have someone over by 0930. Sure enough, at 0930 on the dot, a fellow turned up with a new TV, and plugged it in. Nothing. After a lot of testing, etc, he finally found a join in the cable which was giving rise to all the trouble, and the thing started behaving better again.

Then gave us a lift into town, and we caught the 1115 bus to Newton Abbot/Exeter. The good weather which has been going for the past 2 weeks has finally come to an end, and today it was positively [crossed out] raining.

The crossed out mess has a * and the footnote:

How can I stop daydreaming about Sue?

Finally got into Exeter, and after getting my waistcoat and having a bit of a row with the bird there because it had not been properly cleaned, we went and had a look for a place to have makan, and ended up in some dingy little café of Mums choice - she discarded all mine as being too expensive, but had nevertheless to pay 17/6 for a snack.

Then they went to have their hair permed, and I, after buying some penlight batteries for my electronic flash, proceeded to go and look for some black writing paper. Not a hope. I went all over Exeter, and nobody even had any idea where I could get hold therof [sic]. I suppose I shall have to impregnate paper with AgCl and develop it.

After that, got a couple of Wimpys to keep me going, and then on the bus back home, which was plagued by some small schoolboys acting up. Whew.

Finally got home, and the Rayburn had gone out again. Retired to my room, but did not feel like playing any music, and read “Live and Let die”.

Henry VI” on TV. Not bad.


Friday, 9 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Overslept par excellence this morning, and well I might too, for there was not a single letter for me - I only hope Sue has not received that letter of mine - and I can see reason enough why she might not - nor even my glasses, which should arrive fairly soon from Clement Clarkes. If they do not arrive tomorrow, I shall have to send them another little note.

Up pretty late, as I mentioned, and as soon as Mum got up, she got me to go and look for some wood, pine cones, etc, for her, as, as usual, the Rayburn had extinguished itself in the night. I am fed up with doing all the dirty work.

Then, as I wanted to write to Sue, I decided to go into town to get some envelopes for enclosing the photos, and at the same time offered to get some stuff for Mum, and did most of that.

Arrived back home at about 1215, and got Mum to warm up some food, while I read the stuff she had got from Oxford Uni re a questions about Bev, but which applied to me.

After that, retired to my room, and started putting the technical information down on the back of the prints, wrote a fairly short letter to Sue (it has suddenly occurred to me how long my letters tend to be. Even a short letter is about 3 pages of 800 paper, and a long one could conceivably be up to 20 without undue strain. I shall have to try it for fun one of these days.

Then carried on reading “Live and Let Die”, and it has occurred to me that I am getting through books at a phenomenal rate, and have nearly finished this one.

Then was interrupted by Mum to go and get her some wood, and, rather unwillingly, did so, and back, played a bit of music, and carried on reading, while they sat in the lounge, burnt my wood, and played the TV too loudly for me to be able to concentrate on James Bond.

After that, finished the book, and went and watched TV with Mum and Bev for a while, and then had tea. Went back to my room for a while, but all in all spent too long this evening watching the TV, and must confess rather enjoyed it.

Then had makan, and carried on watching TV for there was quite a good program on, and even Bev did not go to bed until quite late. Then Mum & I watched Not so much a program, more a way of life, and then spoke about the land situation in KL town until it was too late to have a bath.


Saturday, 10 April 1965 Gidleigh Park Hotel.
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Up late once again, though not as late as I had expected. In point of fact, I was just sitting in bed when in walks Bev with a small parcel from Clement Clarke in Taunton, and I opened it up, put them on, and then went into Mum's room to show them to her and to have some tea. Quite a bit of other mail as well, and I wish I had one from Sue.

As Mum's birthday is on Monday, I decided, and Bev agreed with me, that it would be worthwhile going into town and buying her a card or something. Accordingly, after a great deal of fun, partly because the Rayburn had gone out since, we got up and trust Bev (typically) had told Mum what we were getting, we set out.

Yes, it doesn't make much sense, but it's my best guess.

Halfway there, and a Royal mail van reminded me that I had forgotten my letter for Sue, but all I could do was to swear.

Got back, and almost immediately Mum (who was still grappling with the Rayburn), decided that we had better have lunch.

After lunch, did a bit of washing up for Mum, accordingly got blown up, and shortly later was told to go and get some 1/- coins for the electricity meter, could not find the Daniels, and as Mr Daniels had told me he was not going into town this afternoon, I decided that I would have to go and post Sue's letter, and I might as well get the other stuff while I was at it. Accordingly ended up with a fairly steep bit of stuff to get.

Finally got into town, and did most of what I had to do. The notice in the post office amuses me: “Prevention of Consumption - Public are requested not to spit in these promises”. Supposedly there since the building was.

Got back, and almost immediately sent out to get some wood, and then back to watch TV, but nothing much was on, and we did little but stare blankly thereat until Mum turned up with tea, by which time the programmes had improved greatly.

After tea, remained just about glued to the TV, which for me is an unusual phenomenon. However, it was Saturday afternoon, and the program ought to be better than usual.

Then makan, and watched Sherlock Holmes. Had a waistcoat chain identical to mine - I suppose it was made in his time (1870 approx).

Then after makan retired to do some fluting, for a very short time, for the TV programmes remained pretty good, and then Bev went to bed, and we did a bit of changing the plug to the kitchen. Carried on until 2300 hrs.


Sunday, 11 April 1965 Gidleigh Park Hotel
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Up very late indeed this morning, in true Sunday morning fashion. In fact, I am getting int a rather bad habit of waking up and then not getting up for another few hours. Thus it was this morning. I woke up at about 0800 hrs, but slipped in and out of sleep until about 1100 hrs, and did not get up until 1130, by which time I felt like nothing better than a good lunch/brunch. However, Mum decided to make 2 separate meals of it, mainly because she had to get the Rayburn (which has clearly manifested itself as the bane of hour existance [sic]) going, and to cook the roast.

Had breakfast, then, at 1230, and then went, with Bev, to find some twigs, and bits of tree, and in general, wood, for the Rayburn. I also up to the Hotel to get a couple of shillings - the radiators use up a phenomenal number of the coins, or their equivalent in electron flow.

After that, hung around doing little, and decided to do a bit of reading, and, as there was little else to do, chose the 1st of the 2 companions to “Doctor in the House” - “1 pair of hands“, by Monica Dickens. Rather amusing, although not in quite the same vein as its predecessor.

Then, wonder of wonders, Mum finally got the Rayburn going, and all rejoiced, but there was still the other one to go, and was forced out to get some more twigs, etc, and we eventually managed to get that moving as well.

Then had lunch, at 1500 hrs, and, as usual, it carried on for an hour. This is as bad as bei Söhl last Christmas, and it left little time in the afternoon after it, and in this time I carried on reading, while Mum and Bev indulged in their customary Sunday occupation of baking cakes.

Then had makan in the middle of watching TV, which was by no means appetising, and it occurred to me that I would have to be careful, or I would become addicted to it, and reflected on what trash most of this really was.

After that, Bev went off to bed, after helping me fix up a table leg which I had inadvertently knocked off, and we turned off the TV for a while until the final edition of Not so much a program, more a (way of life/waste of time). Had a bit of an argument with Mum. She reckons that it is the fault of my conscious mind that my eyesight is defective, and refuses to let me wear my glasses except in emergency. Had a bit more fun...


Monday, 12 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Mum's birthday

... with the Rayburn, which objected to being stoked by going out, and so, on the morn of her birthday, Mum stayed up until 0100 hrs coaxing it to get going again. Good old Mum.

Woke up, as per usual, very late - at about 0945, and in to wish Mum a happy birthday, and present her with 8ozs of Bev's chocolate, and cards galore, etc.

Then Bev drew me privily aside, and told me she had had a letter from Dad, containing £1 to buy her the biggest bunch of violets that she had ever seen, and to attach to it the accompanying greeting.

Accordingly, offered to do some shopping for Mum, and went in on my bike, and when I got there, there were no violets available, so I ran the risk that Mum would not like carnations, and bought her a dozen of these, which Bev got from me, when I came back, and we managed to smuggle them in and attach Dad's card before presenting them to Mum. That is the last time I will ever carry flowers on my bicycle.

Then observed Mum and Bev do a bit of spring-cleaning, while I played some music on my flute, recorder, and was just warming up on the clarinet when makan was announced ready, and in we went. Must congratulate Mum - not at all bad.

Then, after makan, sat down in the newly-tidied lounge, and spoke, listened to the radio, etc, and I tried to do some partial differentiation on the lens formula, without any success.

After that, I decided to take a still life photo, but Bev got rather enthusiastic, and, I fear, rather cluttered it up. Nor did Mum help.

Then played Bev chess, and to my disgust she beat me. Retired to my room in a state of shock, returned later, and beat her hollow 3 times, after some rather refreshing tea.

Then read a while, and watched TV, until makan was ready, and after makan, Bev decided that we would play a game of 500, and I very nearly won, but we did not finish. Spoke with Mum about the family tree again. Must get hold of some old great-aunts before they die.


Tuesday, 13 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Gawd! What a lot of wasted mornings - unless dreams about eloping with a cook (inspired by “One pair of hands”) can be considered a useful way of spending ones mornings.

In fact, did very little else before about 1030, apart from give a brief reply to Bevs questions, and even gave her 4 penlight batteries to operate her tape recorder with, and then back to sleep.

Finally got up, got breakfast for myself, and then was asked if I would please go into town on my bike to get some stuff for this afternoon, when the Andrews family would be coming to tea, and had quite an argument with Bev about whether we should get orange crush or the fizzy muck, and I eventually prevailed, after reducing Bev to tears, and got the former.

Then into town and bought just about all we needed, posted various letters, etc, and in the end crammed all of the stuff I needed into my saddle bag, and was just about home by 1200.

Then to my room, where Mum insisted on tidying the place up, despite my protests. I wish I were allowed my room to myself without any outside interference, and thus was just a little annoyed when Mum blew me up for not being grateful.

Then did some bassoon practice, and discovered that I can quite easily get a high B' and C' thereon. This brings me right up into the treble clef. Mum, however, was not so pleased, and told me not to play any music while the Andrews were here, which hurt me to the quick, and I very nearly went bolshy, but not quite.

After about an hour after the appointed time, the Andrews arrived, and all was very nice except that I felt entirely superfluous. After a while, however, got talking with Mr Andrew about the bungalow and houses in general, and then we had tea. Spoke at the higher level for a while, and then went to watch Richard beat Bev at chess, which (me watching) Bev objected to violently.

Then all except Harriette) left, and Bev went off with her to push her into the river or something.

Had a good makan, after which Bev managed to teach Harry 500, and Mum and I beat Bev and her.


Wednesday, 14 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Once again the morning was a sort of scrambled job. Mum walkes [sic] in with a paper and a cup of tea, and tells me that when I come back on holiday from Oxford she would spoil me thus for the first week, and then let me do my share.

Finally got up at about 0930 (wonders will, in all likelihood, never cease), and washed before getting dressed, and then in to observe Bev and Harriette playing some card game - probably pontoon. I wonder if Harriette is an avid a gambler as is Bev.

After that, breakfast was coming up, and Bev wanted me to play her in chess, and so, over breakfast, we played 3 games, one of which she won, damn her.

After that, the weather was of exceeding bleak aspect, and the idea of going into town was hastily abandoned, especially when the butcher arrived with ample meat for lunch and makan in the evening.

Lunch was pretty average - I was dragged from my flute and clarinet, upon which I had been playing recorder sonatas, therefor.

After makan, got the coffee, and Bev and Harriette announced their intention of going for a long walk and not returning until 1700 hrs, and I sat down and read “Brothers in Law” - about a barrister in the first year, as a pupil. Interesting. Mum was also reading - “The pass beyond Kashmir”, I think, and between us we polished off another 4 cans of coffee. No doubt one of these days I shall become addicted to caffeine - if it is at all possible.

Then Mum and I went out to get some wood, and got plenty of that, and then went out again and collected some flowers, which were particularly abundant, and then had a look at the Old Farmhouse down the road, and Mum fell in love with it.

Came back only about 10 minutes before Bev & Harriette, and I retired to my room to finish “Brothers in Law”. I do not see the significance of “Brothers”.

Then had makan, and after that Bev started to play me another game of chess, but gave up in favour of TV. Retired to my room to start “Doctor in the Ship”, and only came out when they were off to bed, to have a cup of coffee with Mum.


Thursday, 15 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Very late up this morning - in fact, not until 1130 hrs, as Mum did not get up until shortly before that, and so I had not been disturbed. Then, however, being woken by the the advent of a travelling salesman, I looked at my watch, and shortly later out to find Mum in the bathroom ahead of me, and so started to read the paper, and Bev asked me for a game of chess. Got washed, etc, and then, not unnaturally considering the circumstances, Bev beat me, and that really got the day off to a bad start. Into my room, ad on with “Doctor at Sea”, and then, after a while, played some music, and in particular the Bach recorder sonata on the flute. I have come to the conclusion that the flute is the oldest of all the woodwind family. My compliments to Theo. Boehm.

Then had a late makan of bubble and squeak, as Mum was up too late for anybody else. After makan, to illustrate how different it was from normal, I even forgot the coffee, and back to my room. I do not think “Doctor at Sea” can compare with “Doctor in the House”.

After that, all else wanted to go to town, and I suggested that we had tea at the Old Forge, and his suggestion was taken, so it was too good to miss going.

After a bit more music practice, and an argument about what had happened to all Mums money, and then being presented with a bill for some prints made last May (£2··8··6), we set off, I in none to [sic] good a mood, and arrived a good ¼ hour before them.

Then to the grocers, and thence the bakers, and then we branched out, and before too long we had all the shopping done, and to the old Forge, where I had the messiest tea of my life, and I did not even get a serviette.

Bought some penlight batteries, and some chocolate, and got home in record time, and then to my room, and d a bit of music, and finished “Doctor at Sea”, and found a book, “Man Overboard” by Monica Dickens, and decided to read it, and then in to watch “Top of the Pops”, which is a rather lousy program.

Late makan, then played 500 until about 2200 hrs, and did not get to bed until 2400 hrs.


Friday, 16 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Good Friday

For the first time in I don't know how many years, today was not such a bad day. No doubt it has something to do with the fact that I no longer believe the Christian faith - still, we will have to wait and see.

To start the day off well, Bev brought me in tea and also a post-card from Phithaya Boukaman, but no paper, as they were not publishing today. Phithaya wanted to know when Mum would be arriving in England. I fear he is slightly behind the times, but Mum will be going back through London, and can see him then.

Finished my tea, after being harried by Harriette, and then up, got some clothes, and dressed - I have been wearing much the same clothes since I have been here, and must snap out of it.

Had a sort of breakfast by myself at about 1030, and then back to my room to read “Man Overboard”, which is taking me rather a longer time than usual, doubtless partially because it is a larger book.

Being rather optimistic, I was hoping for lunch to be ready by 1200 hrs, but such was not the case, and I had got through quite a few pages and sonatas before the first course was announced.

Then retired to my room to wait for the 2nd course, and after a while went out and suggested we had tea while we were waiting - and was taken at my word.

After tea, back to my room again, and then after yet more reading, lunch was announced at 1615. Taking local time [17:15 BST] into account, this is the latest I have ever had lunch.

After that, Bev, Harriette and I went for a walk, and quite an interesting one it was too. At one point, the river is just what Somerset Maugham's “Flotsam & Jetsam” conjures up in my mind.

Nobody fell in today, fortunately, and when we got back, we discovered Mum had been paid a social call by the milkman, who expressed a desire to be alone with her on the moor.

Then into my room, and demonstrated my “pipes” to Harriette. So much for Bev telling me the other day that the Andrews did not like woodwind music.

Saw an Italian film and the Passion music from the Messiah on TV - latter especially is very good.


Saturday, 17 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Bev in again this morning with a cup of tea for me, but the hour was not sufficiently advanced, and I went back to sleep again, and was woken up a little later to be asked by Bev if I would like some more tea. Sat up in bed, and had my first cup, and also started reading last month's Popular Photography.

Got up eventually, and we had quite a bit of confusion, as Mum and I were both getting up at about the same time. Went back to my room, got dressed, and up just as everybody was tidying the house up, and very soon had a violent attack of sniffles, sneezes, etc, but which I was quite overcome and was forced to sit down with a supply of Kleenex tissues and sneeze into them until I could control myself again.

Then had some toast as a substitute for breakfast, and sat and watched while everybody else got lunch. Also carried on reading “Man Overboard”.

Then had lunch, which was a rehash of what we had beenhaving over the past week, but which was, nevertheless, quite palatable.

After lunch, Mum was also feeling rather unwell, and when Bev and Harri managed to put out the Rayburn, that was just about the end. Had to go out into the rain and get some wood, but eventually the thing was going again.

Then Bev and Harri went into town to get some food for tomorrow and the next day, and I sat down to finish “Man Overboard”, after wrapping Mum up in my eiderdown with a hot water bottle and the radiator going. After I had finished the book, had a go at the Promicrol curves, but got fed up, and started thinking about the uses of Na₂SO₄ in the tropics to harden the emulsion and to slow down development, and it may be worthwhile preparing also a very large amount of Na₂SO₄ soon.

Then they came back with food, while I read about colour film and Bev and Harri prepared makan.

Watched TV after makan, and once again late to bed.


Sunday, 18 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Late mornings certainly do become a habit, one into which I have at the moment fallen. Woke up several times throughout the morning from dreams about what I have been lacking at this place - baccy, birds, and booze - and staggered out to get washed, and Mum, who thought it about 0900 hrs, got a hell of a shock when I told her that it was in fact 1135. And she had wanted to have the roast done by 1200 hrs.

Then back to my room, got dressed, out again, and Mum demanded to know what I was all dressed up for, and promptly, to make her point, made me do the dirtiest job she could find, and told me that she had no time for gentlemen. No wonder there are so many teenage marriages. I shall have to get a wife to do my share of the housework for me.

Then had some breakfast, and retired to my room, and waited for my fits of sneezing to wear off, got my diary out, and wrote up for last night. Then got Pop Photography. for last month (I will be glad when I get hold of this month's) and sat down and read for a while.

Eventually there was some talk about the first course of makan being made, and about an hour later, while I had been fiddling round with some +50 to +150 dioptre lenses [really?] associated with my 116 camera, I went in, and soup was waiting for me. I shall have to build an astronomical telescope one of these days.

Then had a fairly well integrated makan and watched a trash western film on TV, and finally finished makan at the fairly normal time of 1600 hrs, and then I started reading a couple of Kodak books concerned with photography, and Bev and Harri went for a walk, and I helped mum do a bit of sewing. Played a few games of poker when the [sic] came back, and after that Harri made a few thick comments about photography and my “ruler” (slide rule), and I demonstrated the latter to her.

After that, did little, and TV took over for me, but it was such a deathly boring film that I started wondering how cheaply I got get Ektachrome film for. It certainly bears looking into.

Then makan, after which the girls went to bed, and I watched a program “And so to Ted”, which was not very good, and ended up talking to Mum about school.


Monday, 19 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Bev, damn her, upon whom I put all the blame, came in this morning with a cup of tea for me at the unearthly hour of 0730, and I put it on the table, turned over, and went back to sleep again. 'Twas stone cold when Mum came in an hour later, and so I declined to drink it, and once again turned over, and when I woke next time managed to knock it onto the floor, and cursed, at which Mum came in, saw what had happened, and did likewise. Fortunately, nothing was too violently damaged, and fairly soon I was left to finish off my sleep.

Got up not much later, at 1015 hrs, and then got dressed in some highly casual clothers for once, and Mum, who has been campaigning for this for some time, immediately said how nice I looked, and then I had to go and put on the jumper she knitted for me, and out again to read the paper.

Did not have any breakfast, but lunch was soon upon us, and so did not feel the absence much. In fact, we started at about 1145 - an unusually early hour.

After that, retired to my room, but did little, and soon felt overwhelmingly bored, and went out to find Mum keeping watch over the Rayburn, and feeling similarly. Joined her, and read the paper, and then Pop. Phot., and was just, for the umpteenth time, looking at the ads for Ektachrome, when it occurred to me that 5½" is 140 mm, and that if I could slit it down the middle, this stuff would yield what I have always been on the lookout for - 70mm Ektachrome. And it is by no means expensive, although Mum thinks differently.

Went outside, and walked, in my usual restless manner when contemplating some pleasing discovery, and then inside again, had tea, and after that got my camera and went for a walk. Also noticed that it might be possible, by changing the front element of my lens, to change the focal length of the lens, and make a telephoto out of it, which should be fun.

Came back, and out went the girls, and when they came back there was such a program on TV that I just could not miss it, and so I sat down and worked out various details about Ektachrome at the same time. Intended to get an early night to be up at 0600 tomorrow, but no luck.


Tuesday, 20 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Woke up, in my best subconscious tradition, at 0558 this morning, which, allowing for up to 2 minutes inaccuracy in my watch, is a pretty good try for 0600hrs. In my best dormant tradition, however, I turned round and dreamt of offering a rotten apple to a fox to save it from the hunt. Mum roused me from this at about 0730, and brought in, not, as I had specified, a cup of mocca (a drink, unfortunately, seldom consumed in this country), but one of tea, which I nevertheless consumed, went back to sleep, and was woken again not much later to finally get up. By this time the girls had gone up to see what busses [sic] were leaving for Tavistock, but came back with a most depressing itinerary, and so we sent them up to tell Mrs Andrew that that was no good, and when they finally came back, it was to say that Harriette would be staying a day longer, and we would have a picnic tomorrow.

Morning dragged as well, but as Bev and Harri went into town to do some shopping, Mum and I spent the morning drinking tea and talking, and the girls returned only just before 1200 hours, so lunch, which was mainly sausages with trimmings, was rather more at the sort of time that one expects here.

Lunch, as usual, dragged, and so after it we all decided to go for a walk, I pocketed (yes, pocketed!) my 116 camera and after waiting for Mum, we finally set off. I think she is afraid of the milkman calling while we are away.

Went first to see Bev's horses, and Mum & I stayed in the background, while Bev and Harri fed their rotten apples to the horses.

Then went almost home again, and then along the public footpath to Gidleigh, which includes some rather dicey stepping stones, but all was well.

Finally ended up going past the horses for a second time, and then Mum and I went home, while Bev and Harri messed about by the river, and, true to Mum's expectations, Harri managed to fall in. It will take a hell of a time to dry her boots.

After tea, retired to do some reading, and then a mob came along to have a look at the Bungalow, as a friend wishes to rent it in the summer.

The evening was much the same as usual, but Mum (food for her) prepared a roast, which really delighted my stomach, if not my palate. Saw a film by Alec Burgess (ex KB), on TV, and mum told me all the scandal about him.

This was really Anthony Burgess


Wednesday, 21 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Once more I was brought tea. I am being spoilt - though I don't think this habit of mine of having a little doze before drinking it is up to much. Up not much earlier than usual - not enough to make much difference.

Had breakfast, or rather a bowl of Corn Flakes, and then sat down to find out what was going on in the world, but soon gave up in favour of reading “We Joined the Navy”, and before long it was time for morning tea, and as the rest of the cake that Bev & Harri made yesterday was going, I joined them.

Not too long after that Mrs Andrew and Vicki turned up, but the others did not. I rather like Vicki, apart from her strong resemblance to Harri.

Quickly set off for town, and there got some food for our proposed picnic, and then ended up on a tor at the top of the moor.

Had makan there, and, as ever talked, and it appears that Mrs Andrew would like me to come and stay with them whenever I am at a loose end. Would give me a chance to get to know Vicki anyway. I wish I knew how old she was. Bev makes her 13, but I think she is 14. Must check up. She is as well developed physically as Harri if not more so, and what I really like about her is her voice. She would make a wonderful contralto.

Messed around quite a bit on the moor, hopping about from stone outcrop to stone outcrop like escaped Dartmoor prisoners.

Finally that came to an end, and we had to set back, and after confirmation of my invitation and Mum and Mrs Andrew saying a lot of goodbyes, we finally left them and walked home. I wonder what Vicki thinks of me.

On the way home, at the manor, we met a Mrs Pike, who has relations in Malaya, as well as a pair of tan Dachshunds, and spoke at length.

Finally got home, and the Rayburn had gone out, but apart from that, all was well, and I retired to my room, put a bit of film in the sun to see how dark it will go, and set down to continue reading.

Before long, in to watch TV, and Mum saw something on Nepal, so there was no peace until that was over.

Makan, and after that watched a play, “Auto-Stop”, which was quite good. Not much on TV.


Thursday, 22 April 1965 Gidleigh Park Hotel
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Tea in as usual, and Mum almost insisted that I finish it immediately, and indeed got little chance to doze, but remained in bed until the end of a ridiculous story about a diabetic eating gobstoppers, and by that time 'twas 1015 hrs.

Up, dressed, after finding all my clothes, and then had breakfast, and hung round reading the paper, and discovered Mum intended to go for a walk or something, but paid little attention, but instead read, and nearly finished “We joined the Navy”.

After that, outside, and by this time Mum had decided that our walk would have to lead us into town. It is beyond me why we could not just go along the road.

In any case, it was decided that we would go after lunch at home, and so we had the usual - sausages and eggs. This whole place is getting me down, and I am obviously going to have to do something thereabout.

After a while, Mum and Bev decided that we would go into town, and I oped out because a) I was feeling fed up and b) I was feeling unwell. They promptly, just to spite me, decided to go to the old Forge for tea, which I thought a most nasty thing to do. 10 minutes after they had left, I changed my mind and headed after them. Got to Chagford, and 40 minutes later they turned up. Meanwhile, I went to the newsagents and ordered a copy of the Amateur Photographer, which should arrive tomorrow.

Then went round with Mum and Bev doing the shopping, and then eventually, down to the old Forge. God knows why I come - it is all terribly messy, and all is too rich to be able to eat much. However, I helped finish it off, and eventually we set off home again.

Got home about 1705, and the Rayburn was just showing the last spark of life before going out. Went into my room, and finished the last few pages of “We joined the Navy”, and then played a bit of music, and read Pop. Phot., and started thinking about cutting up bits of 5½" wide film, etc. It would certainly make my 116 camera a much better object, and I must make it worthy of colour film, and, most of all, calibrate its lens better.

Moderately good makan - just better than what we get at school. Had a bit of an argument with Mum abut the root of all evil - the love of money.


Friday, 23 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Mum in and woke me up this morning and told me that we were short on corn flakes, and we would just have to have porridge. I was just sitting up in bed and resigning myself hereto when I noticed this week's AP on the dressing table, so I spent the next 10 minutes reading through that. An interesting article on Hanimex SLR lenses, and with them a large blow up from a 55 mm f/1,8 Super Takumar. Absolutely perfect, which is more than I can say for the Summicron-R.

Eventually got up, dressed, and started waging war on Mum's like of porridge indistinguishible [sic] from paste, and when I finally did get it more to my liking, it was far too salty. Then Mum and Bev went up to the hotel in order to make a phone call. They left me to myself for about an hour and a half, to which I did not object violently, but I began to wonder where they were. Eventually it turned out that they had (as I had guessed) not been passing the time of day with the grocer all that time, but had been talking to Mr. Daniel about Gidleigh Park, and had been told enough about the farmhouse to fall violently in love therewith.

Had a quick makan. Mum, who herself now eats little, forgets that she has a growing son. I am sure I am getting an unbalanced diet, which will be one of the advantages of getting back to school.

I must have been enjoying myself.

After makan, looked through the papers, and discovered “A Severed Head” was showing in London.

It's not clear what I meant by “showing”. The film wasn't made until 1970.

The word “sex” was mentioned, and so all of us wanted to read it. I got there first, and discovered that 3 impressions were published within a month of the first.

After a while, down to the farmhouse, and took some photos, and managed to get in and have a look through a window which somebody had smashed. Rather decrepit inside, though it has distinct possibilities. Could turn one room into an idea bed/darkroom. Only snag is that only about 1 of the doorways is high enough for me to get through without stooping.

Then came back, had a very short wait, and then Mum wanted us to go out and see the powerhouse, but that was not much cop, and so back again.

Then they started preparing makan, while I read “A severed Head”. Most interesting, and better than I expected.

After makan, loaded another film into my backing paper. I think this is the 10th!


Saturday, 24 April 1965 Gidleigh Park.
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Woke up this morning at 0930, and lay in bed until it occurred to me that there was a german program on at 0945 which Mum and I wanted to watch, and so got up, washed, and woke Mum up, and we sat there watching it in our dressing gowns. All about “Auf der Straßenbahn”, and considering that Heidi and Dieter were Germans, they were pretty thick to make more mistakes than we did when we first boarded a german tram. At the end of that, they said, daß es weiterging auf der [sic] Rundfunk mit „Es geht weiter“, and this was, to judge by the title, harder. Accordingly tuned onto the home service and listened to a story about some stolen money and damaged machine tools sent from Naples to Hamburg - it was very interesting, and by no means too difficult. I wish I could listen next Saturday for the next instalment.

Then did little for quite some time, apart from play some German music, Herr Schmitt's adaptation of which I knew.

Pretty average makan a bit later - left over stew, and bits of rather bad toast which I made, and I decided not to worry, and hope for something better tonight.

Then retired to my room, for “Grandstand” was showing on TV, and looking likely to for some time to come. I like the sound of “Dort unten in der Mühle”, although I suppose the rest of the house will get to hate it.

After a while, Mum asked me if I would like to come into town with her - Bev was watching “Grandstand”. Accepted invitation, and then wrote a letter asking for bits of photographic stuff, etc. Then set off, in mild but persistent rain, and hoped for a lift from Mr Daniel, who, however, was not forthcoming. Walked all the way, talking about what we could do to The farmhouse, and then did all our shopping, etc, and, as usual, ended up at the old forge, having paid all our debts, including the newsagents. Also posted a lot of letters.

After that, went to the church, which, it appears, was founded in 1261 - over 700 years ago. It is really a delightful little place, and Mum was really taken thereby - especially for an atheist. Put our names in the visitor's book, and then set off home, after getting something for Bev.

Back how, did little till makan, but planned to go to see Exeter on Monday. Mum will even give me an EX 135-36. Excellent makan.


Sunday, 25 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Bev in this morning at about 0930, and brought a cup of tea, for which I cursed her heartily, but nevertheless, especially after prompting from Mum, drank.

Up not much later, after reading a bit more of “A severed Head”, and then washed, dressed, etc, and had yet another unpleasant surprise in store for me - porridge, which at the best I dislike, and at the worst it becomes completely unbearable.

Mum decided, for some unknown reason, that it was about time that we changed our sheets, and got me, sneezing my head off, to help her change mine. It beats me why we can't leave them on until we leave - only 3 days. Probably wants to put up a pretence of regular cleaning etc, etc.

After that, sat in my room and read up about time exposures with Ektachrome film, and it would appear that yellow filters are quite essential. Also got round to writing up a better record of films developed in this year. Must also find out how many I did last year.

When thus at work, the old bird from next door came in, but I did not stay to help the conversation.

After that, had makan just about on time, and then back to my room, and it occurred to me that we were to visit Gidleigh Castle today, and this I told Mum, so she said we might as well go, and so we prepared therefor, and shortly set off behind the hotel.

Before too long, we were in Gidleigh, and got down to the castle, which I found rather disappointing. Very little indeed is left of it, and the original Gyddah Leah is now an ornamental flower garden. Nevertheless, I got quite a few photos of the Norman Keep, and so it was not quite a waster 2/6.

Then had a look at the Gidleigh church, which is quite a nice little place, though 'twould not compare with Exeter or even Chagford.

Then set back home again, and stopped off at the hotel to talk to Mr Daniel and also to look for Gydda's tunnel, which, however, we did not find.

Then read, and finished “A severed head”, despite an interruption from Mum, who wanted some firewood.

Supposed to have an early makan tonight, to get up early tomorrow to go into Exeter, but nobody would have known. Also Mum kept me up to translate a letter for her into German - for Else. Did not get to bed before 2230.


Monday, 26 April 1965 Gidleigh Park → Exeter → Gidleigh Park
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Woken as promised at about 0620 this morning by Bev laughing, and could not get back to sleep, so, after Mum brought in the tea, I got up, dressed, etc, and then got some toast for all of us. Ate that, ant then prepared all my photographic equipment, of which I had much, and then, before the girls could finish their breakfast, Mr. Daniel came along, and we were off to Chagford. Bumped into some very famous Major-General or someone on the way, and then off to Exeter.

Uneventful journey, apart from the fact that we nearly got onto the Newton Abbot bus at Moretonhampstead, and then, at Exeter, first to a supermarket, where Mum bought some string, and insisted on tying a parcel on the spot. Parted subsequently at the post office, and then cashed some travellers cheques and to Hinton Lakes to get an EX 135-36, and the silly bird there nearly gave me a KX. Then to the “Turk's Head” next door to the Guildhall, and while Mum and Bev wen to order some coffee, I went and got a VP116, which the others were out of. Then gain after coffee, , to buy a calatherm [?] cloth for all the lenses which I now have in my possession, and then to visit the cathedral, which is a beautiful place.

Then to the Ship, in Martins lane, or “as the people have it, Fyssh street”, and had makan there.

After that, split up for a while, and I down to the other end of town to examine some cameras I had seen, but, of the 2 116 cameras I saw, 1 had a faulty shutter, and the other was not much better. Both had f7,7 lenses, and 15/- 12/6 respectively. Back to Hinton Lakes and there to examine the Leicaflex. While I was waiting, a fellow came in and was, in quick succession, after he asked for a CX 135-36, offered a KX 135-36, a KR 135-36, and told that CX 135-36 had not yet been brought out. So much for that mob. I was disappointed with the Leicaflex, but got a leaflet thereon.

The films in question were all from Kodak::

CX       Kodacolor X (18°/64 ISO), colour negative
KR       Kodachrome (14°/25 ISO), colour slide
KX       Kodachrome X (18°/64 ISO), colour slide

135-36 meant 36 exposures of 35 mm film.

Got back to Chagford, and a complete reversal of weather - from sun to rain. Got some photos of the church notwithstanding, and then we got a taxi home - far too wet to walk.

Then filed a few more leaflets, etc, and made an index to my photographic folder, which occupies 4 sides in itself. I shall have to get a bigger folder.

Did a lot of film chopping and changing in the evening, and finished the tin of KB17.


Tuesday, 27 April 1965 Gidleigh Park
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Mum had promised to wake me at 0700 hrs this morning, and when she did come, I assumed he was on time, but was sadly mistaken - 'twas in fact about 1015 hrs, and when I found out, I was out of bed within the hour.

Finished off the corn flakes for breakfast, an then to my room to do a bit of tidying up, and then out to see if Mum would let me pack anything, but she would not, so I put away my musical instruments, after tidying them all out and playing a Händel sonata.

Then started reading about the Nikon F - I am beginning to get interested in this camera, and although the Pentax has some valuable features which it lacks - notably microprism focusing - I think the Nikon is better. Must send for some literature.

After that, before long Bev called me and told me that makan was served, and so in, and had bacon, for which Mum apologised profusely, but which I nevertheless had to eat.

After that, retired to my room and started reading about various colour films, finding further fault with the Leicaflex, and also playing my Sopraninschnabelflöte, which I have just rediscovered, when a large afternoon mail arrived, including a card of Liège posted in Vienna. Thank God for that - sie liebt mich noch! What the hell she is doing in Vienna, I don't know - that is not the way to improve one's french.

Nor German, for that matter. This must have been Sue Peters.

Delighted, went for a walk, despite the weather, and then sat on a stone in the middle of the North Teign, about 100 yds up from where it meets with the south Teign. Once again am I happy - once again is life worth living.

Came back and wrote an 8-page letter to the Newnham Walk address, and this took me until teatime, and then looked for an advertisement for Rayburn cookers, and gave up, and still had nothing to do, so did nothing for a while, but learnt a bit about colour film.

The, almost before I knew it, TV started in earnest, and I was not free until the end of a programme marking the decenary of the death of Albert Einstein. Mum and Bev were busy packing, so I had a bath, and they were still going when I got out. Eventually, however, they finished, and we got on to mine at about 2230, and I must hand it to Mum that she knows how to pack. Finally, after drinking a lot of tea, to sleep at about 0130 hrs.


Wednesday, 28 April 1965 Gidleigh Park → Newton Abbot (Queen's Hotel)
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These early mornings get me down. I shall have to do something about getting earlier nights or later mornings - this is the advantage of school discipline. At least we are, as the Germans say, ausgeſchlafen by the time we have to get up. Nevertheless, this morning up at 0600 hrs, and then outside to get more or less organised - that is a word which I am beginning to hate, like the German word “ordentlich”.

Eventually had breakfast, and God knows what happened, but all 4 eggs we tried were off - think Bev must have over-boiled them.

True to his word, Mr. Daniel turned up at about 0735, and started loading stuff into the car. Then down to the square, where we just caught the bus, and I posted some letters, and then along to get a receipt from the newsagent, but he could not be found.

Finally got into Newton Abbot, got a taxi up to the Queens, and they had forgotten our reservation. Nevertheless, I managed to get us a couple of rooms.

Then into town, and first the camera centre, and there saw 3 plate cameras, of which I would dearly like to gain possession - especially the ½ plate job. Expose bromide paper in it, and reverse it!

Then to Clement Clarkes, paid my bill, and had my glasses adjusted, and also assured (for Mum's benefit) that they would do me no harm at all.

Also bought a 2½ litre tin of Promicrol, which Mr Bibbings is now using himself. He prefers it to Microdol - no highlight blocking.

Then had lunch, and to to Netherton, where nearly everybody has left. Very depressing., but one person whom I did like the look of was Vicky, who, however, turned out to be 20. Looks much younger than that.

After a while, we got Alain to take us in together with quite a few other people, including Vicky, whom I made sure of sitting next to and got talking. Quit [sic] a nice person, really.

Then down with Mum to the post office, and over by myself to see if I could find any reference to the St. Audries affair at the end of last term, but no luck.

Then looking for flash equipment, but again no go. Back to the hotel, after having bought some black art paper suitable for letters, and some white ink. Took it back home, cut it up, and wrote a letter to Jan, who deserves one.

Then read until Mum and Bev came back, and dozed until makan, which we had at the hotel, and after that up to my room again to read, and got quite an early night (in comparison).


Thursday, 29 April 1965 Newton Abbot → Penzance (Union Hotel)
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Intended to be up at 0700 hrs, but Mum and Bev overslept, and I did not wake until 0735, and immediately up, dressed, and in to see what had happened. The girls took quite some time to get ready, but we were down there before the breakfast went off at 0830. During breakfast, Bev caught sight of a letter I had written to Jan on my black paper, and was very taken therewith.

After breakfast, I volunteered to go down to the post office to post the letters, and Bev gave me 2/- to get her a sheet of black paper and some white ink, and had to extract a promise from her that she would not write them to anybody whom I was likely to write them to.

Then down, at the same time checking on the train, and it eventuated that the 1000 train connected at Plymouth, and the next one would be 1121 direct to Penzance. Then down for the rest, also bought some stuff for my glasses, and met Taleb, who wants to buy some cuban [?] heels!

Then back again, told Mum about the train, and into town again for a while, bought some more stuff, and then up to the station and to wait for the train.

Train journeys are inevitably boring, and today was no exception, and I was grateful for having a lot of reading matter with me. However, we spoke quite a bit, especially after the spanish mob in there with us left at Redruth (I think).

Finally arrived in Penzance, and after checking in at the hotel, we rang the Queen's about my overcoat, which I had left behind. Then out again, and managed to meet Mum at 1540 at the hotel, and into a shop to examine the Exa 1A and IIB cameras. The fellow there seemed very pleased to be able to shew them to me, and also shewed me the extension tubes and a 135 mm telephoto lens. I am rather taken with the IIB. Forgot the time, and when I looked at my watch, 'twas 1610, and left, but fortunately Mum and Bev were just outside, and so no blowing up.

Up to the school, were we did little, and ended up with Harrie in the dormitory, and then down to the Admiral Benbow, where we had a good makan, and spoke with Mum about musical instruments, wireless, and photography, and Mum reckoned that I should get either an Exakta VXIIB, or a Pentax Then shewed her the specifications or each, and she is for the SV. Will even advance $100 [Malaysian] thereto, and expects Dad to do the rest!

My recollection is that she was particularly taken with the level of research that I had done on the merits of the various cameras.


Friday, 30 April 1965 Penzance → KCT
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Up at 0715 this morning - the silly fool who brought in my tea a) did not wake me up and b) put my glasses face down on the table, thereby inflicting quite a large scratch, which rather annoyed me. Up fairly quickly, and down to see Mum who was already getting dressed, an then rang up the station to find when the trains went, and decided on the 0945 train.

Then, after a long wait, down and had a rather appropriate naval breakfast - or rather, the usual fish.

Then up again, and managed to pack just about everything, and then went on to get the porter and order a taxi. Wet to the camera shop, and show Mum the IIB and the Pentax S1a.

The Pentax S1a was effectively an SV without self-timer and 1/1000s shutter speed. The shutter could be set to the 1/1000th position, so I always assumed that the shutter was not as reliable as on the SV. It also came with a 55 mm f/2 Super-Takumar instead of the 55 mm f/1.8 Super-Takumar of the SV. Again, the lens appears identical except that the aperture doesn't open as wide.

She actually found the Exa easier to focus - I suppose the split image is, at any rate, more obvious than the microprism.

Then got the taxi down to the station, and had a bit of fun there, as Mum had to make a claim on the ticket or something. Finally got onto the train, and we started talking about lenses and other accessories for the Pentax. Eventually, we decided that if I bought a 135 mm f/3,5 Takumar in the summer, and sold it just before I came out to Malaya again, I could afford to buy, with the money got for it, a 28 mm f/3,5 Super-takumar and a 135 mm f/3,5 Super-takumar, which, apart from the extension tubes, and such things, would do me.

The distinction here is important: the 135 mm Takumar had preset aperture (focus at full aperture, but stop down to a preset value before taking the photo), while the Super-Takumar performed the stop-down automatically.

The train broke down about an hour out of Plymouth, and did not get moving for another hour, and thus we were late all the way.

Finally, at about 1520, got into Taunton, and after a long wait for a taxi, I decided to walk to walk to Crane & Reeds to have my hair cut, and then, after talking with the fellow about how strict Ben was, and that Pentney would, perhaps, be worse, I went back to look for Mum, did a bit of repacking, and then tried to get a taxi, and in the meantime had tea.

Ben (or Benjy) was the outgoing headmaster, Randal Carter Unmack. Richard Pentney was his designated replacement as from September.

Eventually got to school, and discovered that there has been no change in the East wing small, which is good. Booked up for the darkroom for tomorrow and Sunday.

Then Mum wen to see Benjy and Skiv, in that order, and I may go out with her tomorrow.

Kodak have brought out a new film - 1600 ASA!

This would have been Royal-X pan, really 32°/1250 ISO.


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