|Friday, 1 April 1966||KCT → Netherton House → Upton Cross|
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Woke at 0330 hrs, and could not get back to sleep, and as people showed signs of life in the showers at 0500 hrs, went down and joined them. Turned out to be Hugh Lane and Tim Russell. Then packed up, and over to the Sheldon room with all my barang, and had a cup of coffee while I yet had time on my hands.
Then breakfast, over which over to Miss Gill's house, and changed, breaking the zip on my pants in the process (damn!).
Off, and walked about 2 miles before I got a lift with a BRS lorry, who dumped me at a transport café inside the Devon border, and got another lift there to the Newton Abbott turn-off, and another from there to the Penn Inn. On Shaldon road, got a lift by a woman - first time ever!
Dashed into Netherton, and got some clothes out, and then back into town in the car, and was dropped on the Ashburton side of town, where I soon got a lift to Ashburton, and another from there all the way across Dartmoor into a little Cornish border town 5 miles from Callington. Another lift nearly into Callington where I enquired at the police station as to which would be the easiest way to get to Upton Cross, did not take the fellow's advice, and walked to Linkinhorne, which just about killed me. There had a snack in lieu of lunch, and was given a lift to Plushabridge, and walked about a mile and got to Downbridge, about a mile from Upton Cross, where the publican in Linkinhorne had told me that Caradon Villa was situated.
Downbridge must be minuscule. The distance from Plushabridge to Upton Cross is 3 km, and Google Maps show nothing in between.
She was wrong, however, - it was nearly another mile away, and I could hardly take it. Stopped at one place to ask the way, and the old girl there had compassion on me, and invited me in for a cup of tea. Very kind of her.
Then staggered on the last few hundred metres, and got there at 1417 hrs. Mrs. Rounsevell [?] is a tiny little old lady - can't be more than 1,5 m tall. Up to my room - double bed and single bed - and then had a bath, which more or less revived me, and then stared wonder where Lesley would be. Inquired from Mrs. Rounsevell, who had little idea even where Higher Stanbear was,
Neither does Google. It's somewhere north of Upton Cross.
This I did, and eventually got there. It appears that Lesley and Tony arrived in Liskeard at 1417 - coincidence. Also, I am apparently not allowed to see Lesley in Cornwall - or rather, presumably she is not allowed to see me here. But nobody directly concerned seemed to object. Mr. Chamberlain (who, presumably, is Mrs. Cannings father), said “Don't you mind me. I'm just their grandfather”. So.
Round this time, I also supported the Whigs. I don't know if this was independent of Lesley's leanings, or a result of them, but I suspect it was the former.
Watch the election results, etc, for some time, and then off, and made arrangements with Lesley to see her at 0900 hrs tomorrow.
Food at Caradon Villa is excellent, if tonight's makan is anything to go by. Early to bed - exhausted.
|Saturday, 2 April 1966||Upton Cross → Liskeard → Plymouth → Upton Cross|
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Woke up earlier than I intended this morning, at 0610 hrs, but could not get back to sleep, and so lay awake, hundreds of thoughts passing through my mind. Eventually got up, dressed, washed, etc, and then down for a breakfast, easily as good as last night's makan, which all contributed to my general feeling of well being. Then into the drawing room, and wrote up my diary, and decided to go down to Pensilva to get hold of a newspaper. On the way, a fellow stopped and asked me if I wanted a lift to Liskeard. What are people suddenly so willing? Perhaps the absence of barang.
Got to Pensilva—they did not have the Times, and thought I would have to go to Liskeard or even Plymouth for it. Set off, and over to Higher Stanbear to see Lesley, and got a couple of lifts there, and as a result arrived only 10 minutes late. But I need not have bothered, for Mr. Chamberlain had decided that Lesley was going to do her homework alone, and would not let me in.
Disappointed, but not annoyed, decided to hitch to Liskeard, and first of all to get on the main road, and got a lift with a father who was teaching his daughter how to drive.
Liskeard is a hole—I got my copy of the times, all right, after a bit of a search—but for some reason felt like buying a 5" slide rule, and so thumbed a lift to Plymouth, and did it in 2 [lifts]—second almost all the way there. He was hitching yesterday too—couldn't be much older than me.
In Plymouth, forgot about the slide rule, and decided to have a look round for a Leica in poor condition. One place they had a Зоркий [Zorkiy or Zorkij]—copy of Leica II—for £10 with faulty shutter, rangefinder and winder, and f/3,5 Индустар [Industar]—copy of Elmar.
Sorely tempted, but at Dixons (“Hey, Fred, where's that horrible, decrepit old Leica? We've got a buyer!“) came across the bona fide article in good working order with f/2 Summar for £13··10··0, although it looked a little grotty. As they were about to send it off to be tidied up, I was forced into a decision, and realising the importance of being Ernst, I bought it. Now to pay for it.
Hitching back home again—got a lift with a couple of newlyweds. Very kind of them. If I were in their position, I would not give anybody a lift.
Then a lift back to the front door from a fellow who lived in Pensilva, and quite an intellectual bloke. Loaded a Pan F into my camera—now I see the importance of a long leader—and cut out a hole for the camera in my CDC [camera case, full of foam to be cut out]. Rang up Lesley, and over, and took a couple of photos of her indoors—must watch that moving shutter dial—and then outside, with a view of going to Cheesewring, but ended up down in the valley, messing around generally.
Back a little soon, and sitting in what is probably the kitchen, talking to Lesley, and we arranged to meet without tomorrow at 1330 to see Cheesewring, and also so that Grandfather would not know I had seen her. Why is she so worried? Does she thing he will split on us? Maybe he will...
Had makan at the pub in Minions, and then back home to read the Leica guide in more detail. This is probably the first camera to have a coupled rangefinder (34 years ago. Lesley thought it was about 10). There seem to be dozens of obsolete accessories available for this camera. I must keep my eyes peeled for them.
|Sunday, 3 April 1966||Upton Cross.|
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Ah, what bliss it is indeed to get out of bed in the morning and find the sun shining! Alas, it is all too seldom an occurrence in this country, but it happened today.
With a song in my heart, down to breakfast, thinking of all the good things in life - and how many trivial things can please me on a morning such as this! Mrs. Rounsevell helped me by telling me that, if I liked, I could have my “evening meal” at 1200 hrs. I decided that that would be an excellent idea - who ever heard of having a light meal for Sunday lunch?
I was paying for “Bed, breakfast and evening meal”, so this didn't sound as strange as it might appear.
Then into the drawing room, of which I also have the run - I am treated like a King at this place. It is quite pleasant, and I could quite see myself spending a whole holidays here - but not these holidays. Wrote up my diary and considered the result of Thursday's general election. The Liberals have apparently gained. Good. I wonder when they will get in again.
Then off in the general direction of Upton Cross village intending got get there in time for the 1000 hrs service, and took my Leica with me - I appreciate its lesser weight. Some quite nice photos to be taken round here. I wonder how the Summar will reproduce them.
The church service was rather interesting - the organist was appalling. I wish they sang the mass. But there was a litany - and Christ, did it drag!
Met the bloke who gave me a lift to Liskeard yesterday - greeted me, etc. Parson (rat-faced) was pleased to see me.
Back home, and fairly soon had a decent olde English roast beef makan, although no doubt Mrs. Rounsevell will consider it Cornish. Then off for my rendezvous with Lesley at 1330 hrs.
My suspicions were justified - she turned not up. Why? After climbing about to the top of Cheesewring (close enough to get it in with my 135×3 lens), I decided to go down to the house and see what was going on there. All were out - God knows where - and so I decided to head for the Tor further North, and quite exhausted myself just getting there, and then started to climb. Had to leave my camera case halfway up, but got to the top myself. According to the sticks there, it is called Sharp Tor. A good name. It is an evil looking thing.
Saw a car going into “Shalisha” through my 135×3 on tripod, which was trained on it, and so down, and saw Lesley, whose great aunt Clare is now convalescing there.
Managed to get Lesley to come out by herself, although it is obvious that, as I feared, her grandfather does not like this much. Lesley said something about going back to Beckenham on Friday the 15th, so so I decided not to go and see Jenny after all, but instead to sort of live off my friends for a while, and when I got back home decided to ring Ricky Cookson, and asked him also to receive any mail for me re my Leica, which I am going to advertise in PNW for £25. That should easily get me some type of Leica III. Also rang David Hargrave and Paul Hallett (what, Leica MII?) I suppose he has never heard of the non-M Leicas.
No makan, but no matter.
|Monday, 4 April 1966||Upton Cross → Plymouth → Upton Cross|
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Unfortunately the weather has not held out (people always complain that in England on always talks about the weather. Well, why shouldn't they? - It gives one something to blame). Up at much the usual time this morning, and, as I had no prospect of seeing Lesley, at any rate until the afternoon, decided on a fairly leisurely morning.
Brokefast as usual, as also the after breakfast period promised to be - but suddenly the spirit of adventure stirred in me, and I decided I could do with a lens or two on free trial, and so decided to go into Plymouth and see what I could do. Got a fairly quite lift into Liskeard with a Scot - when I tell people I am Strine, they usually pipe up with “Oh, I have a friend who went to Australia”. It becomes monotonous. Then another to Saltash, and that was as far as the lifts went, and I discovered the hard way that the Tamar bridge is a long way from the centre of Plymouth.
Finally got there - no Leica screw lenses at most places. One had a 90 mm Elmar, and also 105 mm f/4 Soligor with v/finder and rfc [Rangefinder coupling?] Might also fit Pentax. Interesting. Rang up Lesley (it is, thank God, a local call - 936363), and asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She didn't mind telling me, either. Obviously has a different attitude towards gifts. Reminded me also that I wanted some infrared film, and so tried the photo shops again. No go. Will have to order some from Kodak.
Had to catch a train back from Plymouth, as I had a date to keep with Lesley at 1330, which I found difficult to keep nevertheless, owing to the fact that most people seem to go to Launceston the other way, or something.
Finally, after getting back home, off, and got to Cheesewring at about the same time as did Lesley and Tony, and as it was pretty damp, we voted that we had better go into the garage (my suspicions about Mr Chamberlain are confirmed. He is not happy about me seeing Lesley). Finally, however, it cleared up, and so down into the valley to look for some well or such like - I don't know. I was just following Lesley and Tony, the former swearing at the latter. Does it do any good for a girls reputation with a boy for him to see her playing (OK, not quite) with her brother? Lesley and Tony certainly seem to get along like a house on fire - there is enough heat.
Finally got back out of the gorse, and by this time Lesley had decided that she was allergic to gorse - something to do with having been in contact with TB, I believe, although I don't see the connection. She has now changed her mind about leaving Sue's place, and does not want to go to Beckenham until Monday, 18/IV.
Tony is a nuisance. Came and disturbed Lesley and me in the middle of a passionate kiss. I will catch him at it sometime - and take a photo. I have decided to go to Scotland after all.
Called in at Minions on the way back - bought a bit of food.
Wrote a letter to Jenny in the evening, telling her that I was coming to get her. I hope I make it.
|Tuesday, 5 April 1966||Upton Cross → Liskeard → Upton Cross|
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And once again talk about the weather holds ones interest. Almost as if to prove Lesley wrong in saying that the mornings were much better than the afternoons, this morning was a real stinker, about which no bones could be made. Admittedly, it was not coming down as it does in Malaysia, but for sheer persistence and misery I have not seen its like.
Mrs. Rounsevell obviously felt similarly, for she decided to light the fire, as I was obviously going to stay in. I did not even bother to ring Lesley - were she fool enough to go out in this weather, she were not good enough to be my bird (no, perhaps that would appear a little strong, in light of what follows).
Spent a good deal of time reading about the Leica, which I find a truly fascinating camera, and felt like trying to adjust the rangefinder (which, although OK horizontally, had a vertical displacement, a fault I have noticed in quite a few CRF cameras - in fact, nearly all that I have seen (unless they have almost never been used).
The weather was much the same in the afternoon, and besides, I had no pants to wear, so I decided not to go with Lesley to Sharp Tor - no doubt again she will have to understand.
Started reading a book called “Lucinda”, but did not get very far - my thoughts kept straying to vertical displacements in rangefinders, and so on, and also to the fact that I could do with some more clothes, and, as the rain had finally more or less subsided, and my pants dried up, and so into town to buy some screwdrivers for adjusting and taking to bits my Leica, and discovered that none such were to be had, and so got one bloke to file some down for me, which he did willingly, and without adding a penny to the price. Took a couple of photos of him doing it - he looked wonderfully grotty.
Then bought some pants and a pullover, after ringing Mrs Baudouy to get her to pay for them.
Then back home, and finished the film in my Leica, and proceeded to take the camera to pieces and did so, far more than I need have done merely to adjust the rangefinder - but learnt a lot about what makes a Leica click. Very Heath-Robinson arrangement about the half-coppered glass, which, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at stabilising, I secured with Araldite (this after makan, prepared my Mrs. Rounsevell, and all very good), and put on the mantlepiece in the kitchen to set, and discovered that a visitor she had had an Exa IIa, and was very happy with it. Got into quite along conversation with him.
Still all sorts of doubts and apprehensions about the rangefinder, but I think all is well.
|Wednesday, 6 April 1966||Upton Cross → Exeter →|
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Decent weather again, and thank God, for I did definitely want to go over and see Lesley this morning, but on the other hand, did not wish to get soaked as did I yesterday. Besides, this time I had a present to take as well.
Set off almost immediately after breakfast, stopping only to put my Leica back together again, and discovered that in one of the rangefinder windows was an adjustable prism. Here's a pretty kettle of fish! Either way, it was out, so I had to adjust the infinity setting all over again.
When I got to Lesley's house, it seems that they had just been phoning to get me to come and have tea with them this afternoon, and they did so directly, and also invited me into the lounge then, while Lesley showed me the 3 pairs of underpants she had got from her mother, and so on, and also opened my present (photo holder - her idea, not mine), and proceeded to fill it with photos.
Mail also arrived - she has an interesting way of opening these covers. She apparently was amused by my film.
Set off shortly after that to go into town and buy a copy of the AP, but hitching was non-existent, and by the time I had got to Caradon Villa, I was so fed up that I just went in and sat down, and had a snack which I tried to pretend was lunch.
After that, had nothing in particular to do until 1400 hrs, when I was due for tea at Lesleys place, and so strolled up to the top of Caradon hill, which was, unfortunately, rather damp. Just standing on a rock looking over Cheesewring when a little below me went a dirty great jet. I was so taken aback that I didn't take a photo, and it didn't come back again. Pity.
Then down to Lesley's house, and arrived there right on the dot of 1400 hrs. Went in, and was introduced to “Aunt Clare”, who does not look the invalid she makes out to be - as Lesley was complaining. She suggested that Lesley and I should go for a walk, as the rest of the family were away somewhere.
Accordingly up to the top of Sharp Tor, where Lesley wanted to look for the gloves that I lost there on Sunday. Of course, we did not find them, and so down again, listening to all Lesley's complaints about life. No doubt she would (or will) make one hell of a nagging wife. Who will be the lucky/unlucky one?
Then for tea, which, thank God, was comparatively informal - Aunt Clare looked as if she would be very much the type to stand on formalities, and indeed she did apologise for not doing so.
Back home - got a lift from Mr. Chamberlain - and it occurred to me that I might just as well set out for Edinburgh then, and get the night ahead of me, and accordingly did so, and discovered that hitching at night, particularly when it is raining, is a slow business, and was on the Exeter bypass at 2300 hrs, after going 5 hrs and 4 lifts, when I got almost immediately with a lorry to Stamford in Lincolnshire, ...
|Thursday, 7 April 1966||→ Edinburgh → Armadale|
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... on the A1, a distance of well over 100 miles.
The North country accent takes a bit of getting used to to judge by this fellow, for at times I found him quite unintelligible. However, all went well. Stopped in Taunton in East reach for a coffee and a bite to eat. Offered him a couple of my caffeine tablets, which he insisted on referring to as “pep pills”. Ah well. After getting out of Bristol, and thus out of the West Country, I decided that I was exhausted, and so put my head on the partition and was out like a coal fire (for it was vibrating pretty heavily).
Woke up at several points along the way with various extremities asleep. One could hardly call it a comfortable way to spend a night.
Fog all down the road, which was obviously tiring, for the bloke stopped a couple of times along the road to “rest his eyes”, which in fact meant getting a bit of sleep.
Dropped me near Stamford on the A1, which was a clearway, but I managed to get a lift (with a woman) as far as Newark again on the (dual carriageway) clearway. Difficult to get a lift, but finally got another with a fellow called Roscoe, who used to teach maths at KCT. Coincidence. He took me about 10 miles, where I got a lift with another bloke (at Transport Caf) to the Doncaster Bypass, where I got a lift to Durham and invested in a plate of egg and chips and a cup of hot water (had my own Nescafé)
Motorway ahead, and quite a bit of traffic, what with all the Easter traffic up to Scotland. Still very tired, and got a bit more sleep. The lorry driver was not very intellectual (“I though [sic] Australia was part of South America”), although he had a Voigtländer camera. Interesting.
This part of the world depresses me. It reminds me of all the slums that exist in this country, the high level of unemployment, poverty, etc. (Which reminds me of what Dad told me to write in my first ever diary, which I bought in Karachi, well over 9 years ago: “Never in all my life have I seen such poverty”. Well, admittedly, it is pretty bad in Karachi).
The fellow dropped me on the Clearway about 8 miles from Durham, where it took me ½ an hour to get a lift, and the blokes dropped me 4 miles further on at a transport caré where they were all going south again. Thumbing, without any success, and was just giving it up and planning to walk through to Durham when a fellow stopped and offered me a lift. Proved to be a photographer by hobby who had gone professional, so that he could afford it. Most interesting bloke. Took me well out on the other side of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and then got another lift 10 mile further on, and the next bloke took me all the way to Haymarket in Edinburgh. All very encouraging. Arrived, as the fellow certified, at 1904 hrs.
Took me quite a while to get out of Edinburgh - these entreating looks may, I suppose, put people off - but, however, when I did get moving, I did the 22 miles to Armadale in 4 lifts and 45 minutes.
I have Jennys address wrong - went to where I thought she lived, and made a fool of myself. Booked in at the Highlander Hotel (B&B 21/-: scandalous) and found later where she lived, but all were in bed.
|Friday, 8 April 1966||Armadale|
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Woken at abut 0630 this morning, as requested, and all the usual preliminaries before breakfast, which, considering the price they had asked, was pretty grotty, and service was even worse.
Then decided to go and make another attempt to locate Jenny, and up to the place, where I was greeted with open arms by her Grandparents, and they said they would get her up if I would wait just a little while, and they even offered me a bit of breakfast - in fact, they well-nigh forced it on me, but I did not mind. Jenny eventually down, looking rather tired, but greeted me fairly warmly nevertheless. Her hair seems to have darkened, as well as lengthened - may be easily bleached by the sun (or chemical means? I very much doubt it).
Then over to the bank, and to look for cheaper accommodation, accompanied by Jenny, but on both counts was unlucky - the bank was closed, and no cheaper accommodation. Decided to go into Bathgate, and first back to Jenny's place so that she could change, but when we got there Mrs. Paton said that I might just as well stay there, as they had a spare bed.
It's surprising that I expected anything to be open on Good Friday. But the experience didn't stop me continuing.
Nevertheless into Bathgate - neither Jenny or [sic] I know why - but bought an AP, and then back, which was just about in time for lunch.
Decided that I ought to go to Edinburgh in the afternoon, in order to trace John Hay - Mrs Paton said that her maiden name was Hay, and that the place with [sic] crawling with Hay's, and John Hays particularly - in fact, she had 2 close relatives of that name. It would be interesting to find that I was related to Jenny.
John Hay was my great-great-grandfather, about whom various legends have been told.
Weather was pretty awful - in fact, I decided that it would not be worth hitching, as I would get soaked, and so caught the bus, which was just conveniently approaching the bus stop, and so into Edinburgh, but when I got there discovered that the place I was looking for, Register House, was shut, which was rather a nuisance, but eventually decided that as I had blown 5/9d on a bus ticket, I might as well stay there long enough to do something, and so around looking for various photographic equipment, and at one place had a look at a couple of tripods for 35mm cameras - I hate these ciné things. They are not nearly steady enough. But these ones are quite expensive - about £9. I can think of quite a few other things I could do with for that price.
My recollection was that I had lost my old flimsy tripod en route to Edinburgh. It's surprising that I didn't mention it here.
I wonder how the sale of my Leica will go - if it is successful, I might have quite a fair mount of money at my disposal. What should I do with it? Buy a Leica III or IIIa? It might be useful, but the one place I went to had a slow timer for the II for only £3··5··0. Also some cassettes, which might be useful. 12/6d a go.
Then back again, and arrived at about 1630 hrs, after they had just had tea, which corresponds to the Australian meal. I wonder if the latter is derived from this part of the world.
|Saturday, 9 April 1966||Armadale|
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Woken up by Mrs. Paton at the terribly late hour of 0900 hrs this morning, and discovered that Jenny had already gone skating. Got up, washed etc, down for breakfast, which Mrs Paton worried over terribly, and did a very good job over.
Sat around doing little in the morning - the weather was abominable, and the general situation was depressing. I wish this country (or, to be more explicit, Britain) had better weather. Over to the bank, and there cashed a cheque for £2··10··0 to keep me going for a while, and back then to the house.
What does Jenny think of me? I wish I knew. But staying at a bird's house, I always feel (which is a rather strong way of putting it, after only having done it twice) - is depressing, and tends to make me feel unwanted. I suppose, however, that it is inevitable that they will talk about other blokes, etc, etc. And Jenny has a lot of cousins around here.
Jenny came back at about 1100 hrs, and I gave her back the 10/- that she lent me yesterday.
Lunch fairly shortly after that, and then in to listen, Jenny playing the piano - she is quite good. I wish I had the courage to make advances at her, but I feel it is rather difficult, especially with her grandparents about. I don't think Mrs Paton would exactly approve of such things.
Watching TV, and the television of a climb of some hill/rock face in Wales - all very interesting, and I could hardly tear myself away. When the programme changed, out to the kitchen, and Jenny told me that it seemed that Mrs Paton was expecting me to leave sometime tomorrow evening, and that I had told her I was going up to Thurso in my last letter. Produced on this for a while, and then decided that it might not be a bad idea at that, and so off to ring up Simon and tell him I was coming. After getting no reply from Thurso, rang him up at Kinlochewe, where he was. It seems there is another Armadale in Sutherland, and he thought I was there, but said he could pick me up at Inverness when he found out where I really was. But on Monday ... I would not be able to find out about the Hays. However, I did not feel like going all the way to Thurso by thumb, and so accepted.
Back home again, and told Jenny of my plans. I wonder what she feels about all this. I may be mistaken, but I have just the slightest feeling that she is not displeased - but then, that may only due to the fact that she is worried about what her grandmother thinks. Anyway, I wish I could find out.
After a while sitting round and watching more of this climb on TV, decided that I had better ring up Ricky Cookson and tell him that I would not be coming down on Tuesday. He did not have any money with him, and so it looks as if his idea about getting an Exa 1a will go the way of all Rickys ideas.
Watching TV in the evening not, I hope, because I am addicted to it, but rather because it is all there is to do.
Oh, to get a chance with Jenny!
|Sunday, 10 April 1966||Armadale|
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For some reason I cannot (or should I say, canna') wake up at a sensible hour in this place: no matter how early I get to bed, I always wake up later. Still, Jenny is no better than I, but what consolation is that?
Then down, and was boiled an egg - which, I suppose, is fitting for Easter day.
Jenny was right - there is very little to do in this place, particularly on a cold, wet Easter day when she is not about. I am rather getting the feeling that she is not so fond of me. Is it, thinkst thou Gaſton, wise to stay at girl's homes? I have my doubts.
Jenny off to David's house (whoever David is - some relative or another, one is led to believe - but I feel that I have heard his name pronounced “Gordon” before). Ah, I feel fed up with women - why I dinna know, for I have not even put Jenny to the test yet.
She came back quite a bit later, saying that she had had to make breakfast for David, who had not yet got up, and had come in at 0300 hrs this morning from a party and forgotten to lock the door.
Ah folly, folly, I should forget about women and keep to myself for a while, I suppose. I rely too much on other people to make me happy. Why don't I ask Jenny to let me take some photos of her?
Lunch, which, Mrs. Paton assured me, was the usual Paton Sunday lunch of bacon and eggs. It certainly is rather an odd thing to have, but doubtless it is something to do with some old (Hay?) family tradition. After all, as Jenny told us, she brought up the family, not the old man, who was away at sea most of the time - and, as the old girl herself (who obviously does wear the kilt in this family) told me, they have been married for 50 years last St. Paddy's day.
Reading the AP when I should have been writing up my diary, and more thoughts about the products of Ernst Leitz and Co of Wetzlar. They may make excellent cameras, and may have done so for some time, but I am beginning to feel that my needs centre round single lens reflex cameras. Accordingly, assume that I could get the £25 I asked for my Leica and looked to see what sort of SLR body I could get for that price. Results were not at all discouraging. Several Praktikas going - IVF and FXII. The advantage of the latter is of course, that it has a waist level viewfinder, which could be distinctly useful - and both have Pentax thread, so I would need no further lens. FXII body only £15 - that would mean an overall price of £3½. That would make it quite worthwhile - and what has the Leica II that the PXII has not (apart from the f/2 Summar?).
Decided against going up to Thurso tomorrow - I want to find out about John Hay - and so asked Mrs Paton, who did not appear to mind, and then rang up Simon, who did not seem to mind anything except the fact that I was interrupting something between him and his girlfriend.
Evenings were wasted by the CRT with the P4 phosphor. I wish they had the willpower to drag themselves away - but I can't talk.
|Monday, 11 April 1966||Armadale → Edinburgh → Armadale|
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As usual in this place, woke up late. I feel I am beginning to resemble a fish as well - Mrs Paton is no longer quite so eager to fill me up with food - even though I am related to her - or so it seems likely, any way.
In any case, it dinna worry me mooch, for I am quite used to a light breakfast - I should find it difficult to forget how difficult I found it to stomach bacon and eggs that Eileen prepared for me - although, admittedly, it was pretty grotty. But again, oh, to be back in Malaysia. This country is again getting me down. I am just not made for England, and I am occasionally convinced that university life here would well-nigh kill me.
Decided that I might as well go into Edinburgh today, as I did not have anything to do elsewhere, and there is still the question of John Hay to trace. Asked Jenny if she wanted to come. Surely there is something more than just conscience in the fact that she said she wanted to work?
In by bus - I should be more careful about the amount of money I spend, or I may well end up broke. I do not, if possible, want to cut into the backstop - although I could I suppose. I suppose it would help to sell my Leica. Then there are CDC gadget bags and things to pay for. Ah well I shall somehow survive.
To a photographic shop where I went on Friday, where I tried the 3pod they had shown me with my 1200 mm lens. Quite good - in fact, as good as I have ever seen, though the fellow told me that rubber feet were a disadvantage. Still, it suits me, so I bought it.
Then looking for an upholsterer to make some alterations to my CDC case, and although his terms were reasonable, his times were not. What the hell. I shall get Chee Seng to do it - and they had better not bugger it up.
To register house, and got some manuscripts regarding court cases in Edinburgh during the period 1829-1860 odd. Not a single mention of John Hay - just reports on “Madhouses” and medical reports and petitions.
Then over to the justiciary, and there found the real book, and had a look through the ones from 1844 to 1851, and found only one John Hay, who was convicted to 7 years transportation, so left it at that, and then over to the crown office, who showed me the indictment, and let me photocopy [photograph] it, but after that I came to a dead end, and they suggested I tried the registrar of births, deaths, and marriages.
Unfortunately I have lost the negatives from this time up to the early 1980s. My mother had told me that he was transported because of his Chartist beliefs. My recollection from the records was that he came from Inverness and was an accomplice in the theft of a silver watch, a silver watch key and a piece of black lace. He would have been transported in about 1844.
Gave it up for the day, and of back home, after an infuriating half hour wait for a bus. In the end, decided to hitch, which proved much better going, and got a bus for the second half of the way.
|Tuesday, 12 April 1966||Armadale → Edinburgh → Armadale|
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I am sure that if in a year's time I read about this stay in Scotland, I will find it difficult to distinguish between yesterday and today. Almost exactly the same things happened.
Up at the usual ninth hour or thereabouts. Again, just toast for breakfast, and it is probably just as well, but it does leave rather a hungry feeling in my stomach. Ah, what the hell!
Of, fool, fool, why must thou spend so much money on transport? Penny foolish, pound wise? It does not add up. Suffice it to say that I blew another 5/9d on a bus. I suppose I could claim that the snow outside made it decidedly uncomfortable to hitch, but that is irrelevant.
Got to Edinburgh, and to a camera shops and asked to be show a Nikon F, so that I might be able to form a better opinion of the instrument. It is undoubtably [sic] one of the best cameras I have ever handled. The only real thing I can find wrong with it is a practical point: price, and the fact that all these wonderful accessories are not readily available for it.
Accosted by a fellow photographer in Princes St. Wanted a meter reading for the castle, which I had just taken. Had an SV as well-they are extremely popular.
Then to Register House again, and was directed round the corner to the registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, who charged me 5/- for the privelige [sic] of looking at the parochial records of the parishs [sic] round Edinburgh from about 1820. Absolute waste of time. The number of John Hays born much run into 3 figures. I shall obviously have to try something else - but not this time.. I shall come back sometime, stay somewhere where I am not likely to impose on my host, and spend an unlimited time searching all the records. There is, I suppose, a possibility that it is not even John Hay that I found in the court records. I must check up with Mum. Maybe the Melbourne Police force could tell me when John Herbert joined their ranks.
Bit more messing around in the afternoon - I gave the search up as a bad job, and waste of 5/-, and looked around various places. Got hold of a Clan Hay tartan tie which, I feel, is one of the better ones available even if, like most of them, it is predominantly red.
Then back, and despite my efforts, arrived late for tea. They certainly have it early here, considering it is their evening meal. Anyway, they gave me some fish (no significance, I hope).
Then the usual evening of watching TV. Nothing spectacular on, although there was quite a good play, “Make me an offer”, all about antique dealers. Portabello now reminds me vaguely of Change Alley. I didn't know they had such places in this country.
|Wednesday, 13 April 1966||Armadale →|
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Despite all attempts, again woke up much the same as ever, and down for another couple of lumps of toast and the inevitable tea, which I am beginning to find a bit depressing. Coffee is much better stuff anyway.
After that, did not feel like staying here a moment longer than necessary, and so up and finished off what packing I had to do, and discovered quite a bit of Couch's saffron cake hanging about, and proceeded to devour the same, which took quite a bit of doing, and I now have a slight suspicion that it was slightly mouldy. Ah well.
Down again with everything ready, and hung about waiting for lunch (for I felt I could do with a bit, as it is a bit hungry, hitching).
Eventually up came some lunch, which I devoured with relish (in fact, after the saffron cake, it proved just a little too much).
Then off, after picking up my bag, and the handle falling to bits. Mr. Paton dragged a length of rope out of the garage and made a harness for me with that, and then all the usual mushy farewells all over again. It is all a little too over-sentimental. Jenny said something about seeing me in Malaysia - and she will not be going out again until summer 1967.
Bit of trouble getting through Musselburgh, and then got a lift to Berwick on Tweed, where more trouble getting through town. Then a short lift out to a golf club, and fairly shortly after that another fellow gave me a lift to “Wide Open”, where i got a lift into the middle of Newcastle with some student who was working at the playhouse there, and so got a bus to the outskirts of town, where I had one hell of a job with getting a lift. In accordance with my policy of counting the cars as they go by, I counted at least 110 before somebody stopped for me - but it was well worth it, for they proved to be going to the other end of the Doncaster bypass, where I had intended to head anyway, as there is a very large transport cafe, and I could probably get a lift all the way to London from there.
140 miles is also, of course, no small hitch, and they did it in about 2 hours, which in view of the 70 mile an hour speed limit, looks fishy, but I'm not complaining.
Had makan at the transport café, and things looked a little bleak for just about everybody there was staying the night. Then came a dirty great motorbike gang of about 20 yobs of both sexes.
Eventually got a lift to Hatley, and the fellow was some Xray technician for Marconi. Rather interesting to talk to.
That took most of the night - another long lift, since Hatley is only 21 miles from London.
Then a lift to Tower Bridge with a lorry driver who ...
|Thursday, 14 April 1966||→ London → Sandown (I.O.W)|
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... was terribly embittered about life in general, and so he might have been, the way it treated him. He drove lorries alternate nights as a sideline to selling ice cream—only slept every other night.
Finally he dropped me at Tower Bridge, which, as I discovered the hard way, is one hell of a distance from Oxford St, where I had intended to head for rest until I could go and wake up Gui in Bayswater. Got there at about 0130 hrs, and the place was quite crowded.
I think this must have been a Wimpy Bar.
Set up my tripod, and got moving taking some photos of the people there. Quite a nice bird there, unfortunately already spoken for, called Madgie Marshall, of whom I took quite a few photos, and also got her address.
Then the place closed down for cleaning, and off with another bloke to look for another place in Praed St, which was also temporarily closed, so hung around Paddington Station until it opened. Then, after a bit longer, off to Gui's place, and so in and woke him up, and got some breakfast.
After breakfast off round town to look for a second hand 35 mm SLR body with Pentax thread, and then rang up a few friends to see who would have me, and decided to go to the I.O.W. and visit Paul Hallett, and then off and continued my search. Quite a lot of grot in Praed St., but nothing of value.
In fact, very little at all anywhere until, in New Bond St, I went to Wallace Heatons, and they had an Edixamat body with Pentaprism (removable) and other such feature, in pretty good working order, for £16—and he said he would give me £17 for my Leica, so all looked pretty good.
Looked round a bit further, and nothing there, so off to get the Edixa, and had just pulled the Leica out of my CDC when the fellow said “That's not a Leica, Sir—that's a FED”. At one glance. And, on checking, there is no doubt that he is right. Over to Dixons to go up the wall, but it was all rather lost because I didn't have the receipt.
Gave it up after a while, and the off to Gui's place again, back, bought the Edixa, and back again, and off to try hitching to Sandown.
This was an EdixaMat Flex S, and that it came with a pentaprism and waist-level finder with a plain glass focusing screen. It could have looked like this:
After, I got the tube to East Putney, and then had a hell of a job getting a lift. When I got on the right road, it took about half an hour to get a ift, but when I did, I got a lift with a fellow who was going all the way to the Isle of WIght, and he even took me on the ferry, free, which was convenient—although we had to wait a hell of a long time for it.
Rang up Paul in Portsmouth, and then off. The fellow took me to the bottom of the road, but Paul had already gone to Ryde to meet me. Ah well. Such is life. He has quite a nice sister—another called Jennifer, 10 days younger than Jenny Paton. Such is life.
|Friday, 15 April 1966||Sandown.|
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Paul in to wake me up at about 0900 hrs today, just as I had already woken up, and so I got up, and in, where all were having breakfast, and so joined in on it, although I had not yet washed.
Breakfast in this place is pretty informal, of which I approve - rather enjoy the atmosphere in this place. Mrs. Hallett is quite a pleasant type. They also have trouble with hounds - all over the place, trying to get food - only they have a dirty great black Labrador called Prince.
After that, to wash, and to the living room, and Paul was thinking of taking all sorts of photos, etc, and was most interested in the new equipment that I had bought, and was doing quite a bit of messing around with the stuff. In general, had a good general discussion of the old kind, talking about cameras, Nikons, what we had done since we had last seen each other.
Unfortunately, however, Mrs. Hallett developed a rather severe migraine and went to bed. Strangely enough, however, this did not seem to bother many people. Ah, well. Such is life.
Then more messing around, and before long came lunch, which was cooked by Jenny, and despite the usual family comments, it was quite good. I rather like her even if she does look very much like Paul.
After lunch Paul and I had arranged to go into Sandown, but that was all a bit of a waste of time, for by the time we got moving all the banks had shut (shades of KL - this family is very much like our own in many ways).
Walked into town, taking the dog with us (perhaps this was a mistake, but i like animals, and decided to leave it go).
To a photographers, and there bought a cable release (wire braid type, with an interesting self-locking collar which I rather like). Had to pay by cheque as I had no ready cash.
Then got upto the front, and the pier and took some photos there - I must get used to the fact that this Edixa has no auto diaphragm mechanism, which is not very easy to do. Then back again, and to Paul's room, and there had a look at some of his old photos, which were rather amusing, and spent quite a bit of time in there. Suddenly it occurred to us that it would be worthwhile measuring the different apertures on our lenses with Paul's Spotmatic, and had quite a bit of fun at that, and also discovered that there is very little difference in speed between the f/1,4/50 and the f/1,8/55 Super Takumar, and Paul, I feel, was quite disconcerted at this. More exhaustive tests later on in the kitchen - interesting. My 55/1,8 has a minimum effective aperture of f/11, which confirms my suspicions, although it does not help.
I suspect that the full aperture measurements fell foul of the size of the mirror.
Evening meal in kitchen (I think that is what they call it), and after that, more sitting around doing nothing, and talking with Hallett seniors about oil companies.
|Saturday, 16 April 1966||Sandown → Ryde → Sandown|
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Up at a more human time this morning, and in and got washed, and then in to wake up Paul - in other words, to drag him out of his bed and make absolutely certain he was up. This worked, and then in to have some breakfast.
After breakfast, spent the morning much as yesterday, except that Mrs. Hallett was up and about, and so Jenny was in with us. I am getting rather to like her - I wonder how easy I would find her. Taking more photos, and Paul messing around with my 400 mm lens quite a bit - this place is ideally located for this sort of work, admittedly.
Then talking about Leicas, and decided to show Paul my Leica/Fed, and accordingly took the whole thing to bits, after I had transferred the film into my Edixa - I have been taking quite a few photos of people round here, particularly Jenny, who is one of the few girls I know who does not mind her photo being taken.
Had a bit of difficulty, associates with the lens mount, in getting the Fed back together, but eventually arranged it.
Then makan, which is quite good here, and talk about going into Ryde, and also about birthday presents for Paul, which Jenny wanted to buy, and Paul did not know what he wanted - especially as Jenny did not intend to spend more than about 10/-. After spending quite a bit of time discussing what to get, decided that there was nothing he needed in that category, and decided that, as Jenny's hockey match had been cancelled, it would probably be worthwhile going into Ryde, and accordingly all got ready, and eventually departed.
Ryde is quite a place - a little larger, I think, than Sandown. Mrs Hallett left us on our own, and gave Paul some money to buy himself a sports coat, and asked me to guide his choice.
First to a place where they had a few cameras on sale, and then asked to be shown a more modern Edixa, which I think, was somewhat beyond the capabilities of the dealer. Ah, these illiterate dealers.
Then bought Paul a sports jacket - he got something which quite suited him. In fact, it went very well indeed on him. Down after that to the front, where there was another photographic shop, and had a look at a 300 mm f/5,5 Hanimex (or was it Tamron? They are all the same) lens and took a couple of shots of it while I was there.
This could be the same model lens that I bought in September 2002:
Image title: Hanimex 1 Dimensions: 4032 x 3024, 928 kB Make a single page with this image Hide this image Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page All images taken on Tuesday, 14 July 2009, thumbnails All images taken on Tuesday, 14 July 2009, small Diary entry for Tuesday, 14 July 2009 Complete exposure details
Back after forgetting my exposure record, and retrieving it just in time, and did little apart from have tea, and tease Jenny about some “Squash” she was going to. All sounds very odd.
TV is a curse in any civilised country - everybody spends the evening with eyes glued to it.
Jenny back quite late, and then the 3 of us stayed up late to give Paul his bumps at midnight (17 tomorrow). Ended up locking him out, turning out all the lights etc. Just got my arm round Jenny when parents called, kicked up fuss. Pity. But seems propitious.
|Sunday, 17 April 1966||Sandown → Ventnor → Sandown|
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Woke up considerably later today, no doubt owing to last night's late night, and when I did, it was because Paul came in and stripped my bed off for me. Accordingly up, chased him out of the caravan, and got dressed, and in to wish him yet again a happy birthday, and had breakfast, while Mrs. Hallett, in a sarcastic manner, doubtless caused by years of practice, wished me a good afternoon.
After breakfast, Paul outside to take some more photos with the 1200 - I have now adjusted the infinity stop on the 400, and we have no more difficulty getting it to focus properly. Then Jenny and I got ready and gave him the remaining 8 of his bumps, and got him further covered in mud.
The rest of the morning passed fairly uneventfully - Mrs. Hallett went off to visit some elderly relatives, who were both sick in bed, and so Jenny had to cook the makan. Paul and I in a couple of times to see what she was going, and also a bit of general chaos when Prince got hold of the dish mop, and chewed it to shreds.
Makan much as usual, except that it was pork. Tidying up afterward, and more messing around. Girl called Peggy, Deutsch, from next door, came over to see Paul if the rumours can be trusted. Talking about photography - she brought over an Agfa Silette and showed that to me. Some cordless flash gun required for it.
A bit later, Paul decided to ice his birthday cake, and would not take no for an answer. Accordingly got Jenny to make him some icing, and he had some fun icing the thing. Before at all long, I decided that this was worth blowing some Eastmancolor on, and got my equipment. In the ensuing fuss, etc, chipped my pentaprism for my Edixa, which is a bit of a nuisance, and I would have cursed heartily, but restrained myself. It sill works apart from a slight darkening and Newtons rings around the bottom.
Peggy in again, and joined in taking photos of the cake, which by now was decorated with Christmas ornaments and dud AG1bs as well. To this, she added a PF1b. I wonder how many birthday cakes have been decorated thus.
Then, after a bit more messing around in the lounge room, had tea, which was quite hilarious, and then decided to go on the last train ever from Shanklin to Ventnor, and by the time we were ready to go, the train had already left, so on a wild goose chance to Ventnor to get the last train back, and discovered that it did not leave until 1930, and so to visit some relatives there, and after a while got fed up with that, and so Paul and I set off, accompanied by Ann, to get what photos we could, and in the process lost one of my 3pod straps. Damn.
Finally got the train back, which was quite a farce, and got all the timetable numbers from Ventnor station, and pulled the emergency cord getting out and [sic] Sandown. Also got quite a few photos.
|Monday, 18 April 1966||Sandown.|
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I wish I could wake up earlier. Admittedly, at 0830, I was up an hour earlier than yesterday, but the summer time does not help (God knows why it is called summer time - it is still damned cold). Mrs. Hallett repeated her sarcastic comment from yesterday. I wish, however, that somebody would give me a shout earlier than does Paul, who is usually up late himself.
Once again the weather was atrocious, and there was little one could do. Jenny seemed to have absented herself, but proved to be upstairs in her room writing thank-you letters, to which activity Paul and I soon put a stop, and generally messed around. It is quite an amusing room, really up in the loft. It must be hell for her to have to share her room with a girl only half her own age. She keeps a diary, and though not on such a scaled as this dirty great volume, still a sizeable thing. about a week to a 13×8 opening (same size as this page). I must read it some time.
Talking with Paul about my designs on Jenny (which I have been nurturing since Saturday night), and he went up to have a look at her diary. Said something about not being able to read it. I wonder - is it a characteristic of diaries that they are written in illegible script. But it seems that she has some entry about what happened on Saturday night.
After lunch, Jenny wanted to do some maths prep. I wonder, now with Rücksicht, whether that was deliberate - and naturally, I volunteered to help her, and discovered that ad. maths O level on the Cambridge board is getting on for being as tough as maths for science A level on the Oxford and Cambridge.
What the hell - where am I getting? Paul seems to think nowhere, and sometimes I wonder. Still, I don't care. Jenny is very nice, and I might be able to make off with her.
Then tea, which went on for quite some time, and rather in the tradition of tea at home, except that it is in the kitchen.
Back again, after a while, to help Jenny with her maths, this time at the table, which was rather more convenient, and managed to get my arm round her. Paul is still sceptical - we even got to the handies stage, and no doubt would have got further, had parents not kept hopping in and out. Also Ann was there, and Paul for some of the way.
Then down to post a letter to Lesley saying that I am staying with Paul, and would not be down for a while. Back again, and after a while, Jenny managed to get Paul to ask Penny [sic] over to show some slides. That was a waste of time, for she had an “automatic” projector, and thus took about 2½ times as long as I could do a manual one.
After makan, parents out, and got locked in with Jenny, and after Paul went out (good boy!) kissed her. Boy - can she kiss. Easily as good as I have had. And quite passionate too. Why write it down? Language fails me.
|Tuesday, 19 April 1966||Sandown.|
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Ah, and into the midst of another love affair! How happy I am, and in a way glad that I did not go up to Beckenham. It will give Lesley a few things to think about, and besides, I am not too sure that I care what she thinks any more anyway. I am beginning to wonder what I saw in her anyway. Oh, but to be able to see straight! The field of view is clouded over with emotion. But, attempting to resolve fine detail, Jenny is possibly not as beautiful as Lesley, but more photogenic, which easily makes up for it. Then, she is a better lovemaker than Lesley, who, lets face it, left it all to me. One of these days Lesley will learn how to kiss. But the time is not yet nigh. Jenny knows. What I do owe to Lesley is the fact that she awoke me to what love is - but have I now passed her? Anita Wong, Anne Day, Tina Law, jenny Williams, and now Jenny Hallett - they all know much better how to kiss. Surely it is more than just pressing ones lips together?
It's somehow depressing to read this 50 years later and realize that I only know half of these names.
Up very early, and dragged Paul out of bed as well, and as a result Jenny was the last up. Mrs Hallett was, not surprisingly, astounded to see us all up so early - but I had to give Paul 50 mg of caffeine to keep him going.
Did little in the morning - the weather was atrocious, and Jenny was elsewhere a lot of the time. We have given up worrying if Paul or Ann are present - I doubt the latter knows what is going on, and the former does not give a damn.
Taking some telephotos out of the window, and Jenny and I wrapped together. She puts something into it (I feel just a little guilty about saying this, after just having said what I did about Lesley, and what I did just after I had met her).
After makan, Jenny again absented herself for a a while to help tidy up, while Paul and I, the male firstborn, who are to be called holy in the eyes of God, lazed around and did nothing.
Eventually Jenny came in, and more maths, and so I again offered by assistance, and was again accepted. Paul came around wanting to take photos, so we posed for him - but carried on kissing long after he had the photo, in fact until Ann came in a couple of minutes later. Then Paul started talking about Lesley - fool. That ended in a fight, and Jenny went off, looking about to burst into tears. Finally went up, and saw her, and she was worried about breaking up existing friendships, and instead broke the one most important to me for the moment - that with her.
After that, sat in Paul's room, feeling like death. I have a feeling that Paul, whom I had given both a verbal and physical bashing, and Jenny, did not feel much better.
Eventually in, and Jenny was doing maths. Out to the caravan, moped, in again, and offered my help again. Alleluia! Sie liebt mich noch. Back to the knot again - all tied up in each other.
Then, after tea, for a walk up to the downs, which were unfortunately too windy, and so took few photos, and soon down again. Back to help Jenny with her maths, and in the midst of it Paul tried getting his “slide projector” to work - a light bulb, tin, and f/1,4 50 mm Super Takumar. Very Heath-Robinson. Early night - nothing happened. Jenny is learning to imitate Clod - ni!
|Wednesday, 20 April 1966||Sandown.|
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And again up early today - maybe the time at which I rise has something to do with my expectations for the day. If so, it sheds some light on the way I have been feeling recently.
But the early morning is hardly the best time to make love - one is yet too tired (unless it is part of pre-breakfast-in-bed, in which case it is understandably different). Contented myself with playing footies with Jenny wen she finally got up and had breakfast.
As usual, she got involved in some housework or something, and so I contented myself reading for, I think, the third time, Jules Verne's wonderful “Around the world in 80 days”, on which I found a bit difficult to concentrate - a growing emptiness presented itself in my heart, or neighbouring part of the anatomy.
At about 1000hrs, or shortly after, in came Jenny with a cup of coffee for me, and, after saying good morning in a more demonstrative fashion than at breakfast, prevailed on her to bring in her coffee and drink it with me. I wish we did not have to keep this so much under cover. But they have all read my letters to Paul, describing as they do my behaviour of 18/19/XII/1965, and Mrs Hallett is resolved that I am a dirty old man (or at any rate, she was when she read it, and no doubt still is).
After lunch, did nothing for a while, and then decided to stick together a swallow for Mrs. Hallett. in which I succeeded in doing nothing but earn Jenny's interest. She was feeling slightly unwell after having eaten overwell, and I spent some time helping her recover (well, I hope it did, and she said it did).
Then she went upstairs, or something, and I messed around with my new cable release, which obligingly fell to bits on me, and so Paul and I organised an expedition into town to claim the five year guarantee. What Paul had neglected to tell me, however, was that the shops in Sandown shut on Wednesday afternoon. Dear, bright Paul.
At school he had acquired the nickname “thicky”.
Accordingly into some amusement arcade, and blew 7d there. I must, someday, calculate the odds of these things, and find out which one is most profitable.
Then back again, and was greeted by the sight of Jenny smiling at me through the lounge room door - in and made my claim. Fairly shortly after that, Paul wanted to take a photo of us together - not kissing, which tends to destroy the identity. Unfortunately, Ann kept popping in and out, about which we had to do something, and got her running round the house. Still no good - people kept popping in and out for the next hour or so.
After tea, outside, and did some photography, and then in, and took some of Jenny. I think she is no longer so worried about me - got Paul's photos, too. She was worried about my comment that Tina Law's tits were small, the implication being obvious, yet almost directs my hands to her own. Still, I feel very strongly for thee Jenny. If only our worlds were one and the same.
|Thursday, 21 April 1966||Sandown.|
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And on with life. The weather is now improved, and I only wish I could go on thus ad infinitum, without anything to make a nuisance of itself. But unfortunately, such a situation is clearly impossible. Even as it is, certain factors are present to mar perfect happiness. Paul is still behaving very childishly - perhaps he is jealous, and I must admit, I can hardly blame him. After all, I did come here as his friend, not as Jenny's - but then, surely he must realise what a woman means to a man. The only thing that surprised me is that he has not got a girlfriend. Perhaps Peggy will be willing to help out there. I pity her. She is so much closer to our own age than to that of her husband.
Up late, because of I knew of Jenny's intention to stay in bed to study, and only got up when I did because I heard Ann (outside) say something to the contrary - still “afternoon” by Mrs. Hallett's clock.
Almost immediately after breakfast, Mr & Mrs Hallett and Ann off somewhere [?], but did not have a chance to do anything because Jenny was still in bed.
Later on, helping Paul and Mr. Hallett pull out some poplars. Back in to get my camera, and Jenny was alone, so kissed her good morning, and she told me that her mother had said that she wanted “no funny business” while she had been out. Told Paul this on the tractor, and he said that she had told him to ensure that “Gregory does not worry Jennifer while I am out”. When he asked her why she said that, she answered “Well, needn't I?” So. Also.
After lunch Paul was busy preparing a blackbird's nest for photography, and Jenny and I were just hanging around enjoying ourselves, and then Paul off to help with the trees. I decided not to bother, as my feet did not agree with the nettles in the area - I have, in accordance with one of my more baroque customs, been going barefoot recently. Peggy finds this hilarious.
Jenny kept popping in through the outside door after tapping on the window. I think she really likes me, but am not sure. Oh, for life to be frozen forever as it is now - I wonder if I will ever see her again after these holidays. I rather fear not, and yet - could I bear never to see her again? She is one of the best birds I have ever met - I don't think she could rate, in affection, with anybody except Lesley Cannings - even if the latter does profess more show of loyalty. An interesting thing is that they were born within 24 hours of each other - Ni! I have been destined for a girl born on the 5/6/IV/1950! I shall have to watch out for similar dates and go for any bird born at that time. I shall have to get back to some bio-rhythm curves. I wonder what they would show.
Later on in the afternoon, sitting holding hands with Jenny when Peggy walked her pram by the door. Those people are nuts. Anyway, Peggy came by and wagged a finger at me, etc, etc. I wonder what she thinks.
Then tea, and had a bit of trouble getting rid of Peggy first. Eventually managed, and then to tea, in which Prince was drooling excessively - we timed 50 large drops (≐ 0.2 cc) in 75 seconds. The floor was covered in saliva. Peggy back in later - all sorts of pretexts to get me alone. I am worried. This is an unforeseen development. Still, got rid of her again. Jenny is wonderful. I wish we could be alone in the evening. But I know they are on to us - and Paul does not help.
|Friday, 22 April 1966||Sandown.|
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Jenny stayed in bed again this morning again [sic], no doubt, to do her study. Nevertheless, it is somewhat annoying and frustrating. I wish she did not have to do so much work - yet I suppose it really shows Paul and me up, seeing as though we have A levels to study for, and are doing very little about it. I suppose we really out to, as we do spend quite a bit of time just lounging around doing nothing.
Up again fairly early, and am finding it increasingly difficult to persuade Paul to get up at the same hour. Had breakfast while I was waiting this morning, and then back in again to tell him that everybody else had already had breakfast, which Jenny, who had just finished her breakfast in bed, endorsed. Ended up by having a couple of slippers chucked at me, and finally he had to get up to retrieve them.
Up to Jenny's room with Paul to observe the birds (blackbirds) which Paul has been photographing, while Jenny asked questions about amphoteric oxides. Then decided to go down town and buy an AP, and accordingly, after various people had placed bets that I would not go down town barefoot, set off there, and discovered that the AP had not been printed for the second week running, and in disgust looked round the town for other things to buy, and in the end bought a neck strap for my Edixa for 2/11d, and set off back home. Most people were rather put off by my bare feet, and we spent quite a bit of time laughing at various people's reactions thereto.
Back, kissed Jenny good morning, and up to look at the birds again. I do not blame Jenny or complaining about the intrusions - Paul can be rather untidy.
After lunch, all sorts of people were over the place - Lesley, a friend of Anns and a bit later Sally, a friend of Jenny's. Decided, when Jenny set off, to leave her to it, and after kissing her until this evening, off into the caravan, and was joined a bit later by Paul, who lured me back into the lounge room with my diary, which Jenny wanted to read, as I confessed to having read hers.
When we entered, Sally was already there. I do not know what I expected her to look like, but she entirely did not live up to it. Compared to Jenny, who is so good looking, she is an absolute bag, and, it would seem, completely devoid of any imagination. Nevertheless, the 4 of us ended up playing 500, and later poker, together. Despite jenny's injunction to me to behave myself, I could not withhold myself for a sufficiently long time, and so ended up in various affectionate poses. She was reading my diary - when she got to the bit about her yesterday, she said “Oh, you are nice!”. Nice of her. I hope she does not feel that this is all written for her benefit. I should almost write something nasty about her just to make the point.
In the evening, fortune telling with cards, which was not wildly successful. Later she said to her mother that my diary was what one expected a diary to be - not like hers. I wonder. Paul got some cigars in the evening had one apiece in the caravan.
|Saturday, 23 April 1966||Sandown.|
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Despite the 6½ odd hours that I slept last night, when I woke at 0650 this morning, I was not tired, which is fortunate, and in, apparently earlier than usual, to wash, etc, and to wake up Paul. This shaving daily, which is now a distinct necessity, is becoming an equally distinct nuisance - especially as I have no shaving cream left, and have been reduced to using soap.
Eventually got Paul up, and also Jenny, and had breakfast, albeit rather later than usual. Jenny tried to enlist Paul's and my help to wash up, but only got mine. Had a session of whistling while we were at it as well, and in general had rather an amusing time. She has a nice sense of humour.
Made some comment about people not wiping noses - it was pointed out to me that William Shakespeare was born too early in the year for runny noses to be about. I am wondering what one should wear for Anzac day, which is just around the corner (or should I say over the page?).
Did not much in the morning, but very happy just to be with Jenny, who was still reading my diary. More talk about going to Ryde again this afternoon - I wonder why.
Should I say I love Jenny? I doubt it. I suppose I am, on the whole, a little too generous with my terms of endearment. But I like her very much, to say the least.
Makan as usual, and I seem almost to have assimilated myself into the family. This may or may not be a good thing - I am undecided.
After lunch, talking about our future, and Paul and I both agreed that we ought to work harder in the next term in order to get our A levels - he does not reckon that will suffice.
Eventually, parents and Ann to Ryde, leaving the 3 of us and Keith, the carpenter, here. As the latter must would [?] not interfere, and Paul not care (I am beginning to wonder about this, however), Jenny and I had a couple of hours to ourselves, and made good use of them. Started off in a couple of chairs, and gradually down onto the floor, and gave up trying to read my diary, and devoted ourselves to the business of the afternoon. I now a little too late, discover that she does not like onions - a slight nuisance, as I had been eating them for lunch. She said that had I been different, and also the circumstances different, she could really have fallen for me, but that as it was, she knew what a Casanova I am, and knew it would not last. Damn. I wish, just for once, that a girl would take me seriously. But she will always remember me as her first boyfriend.
After a couple of hours on the floor, she was exhausted. Gave it up, and upstairs, and got her diary. She referred to me as “Le Hey” before she met me - ugh.
I don't know why I found this distasteful. We called each other by our surnames at school, and that's the way I spelt mine at the time.
I have a feeling, though, that she does not really care much about me. She says she has been trying to imitate my style over the past couple of days the only difference seems to be a couple of transcriptions.
In the evening, family row. It is Daddy in this house who has the temper - otherwise it is similar to us.
Jenny and I are cautiously throwing caution to the wind. I, for one, wish for a speedy end to this farce. Boy, can she kiss!
|Sunday, 24 April 1966||Sandown → Ventnor → Sandown|
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Up rather late this morning. I am beginning to get a little fed up with Mrs Hallett saying “good afternoon” to me whenever I get into the kitchen later than about 0800 hrs. As I observed, while sitting down to eat the brownest egg I have ever seen, this time yesterday nobody had started breakfast. Then in to wash, and after that up to see what was going on in the blackbird's nest (I suppose it would be rather ambiguous just to call it “the birds nest” - or could one go a step further and call it a ”Crow's nest”?), and nothing much seemed to be happening.
Messing around all over the place, and decided to go in the end into the lounge, and got various things out of the way, and had another go at fixing my metal braid cable release, which is still on the blink. Jenny came in and we did the bird. Then tried to do a bit of ballroom dancing, which was by no means successful. Mrs Hallett came in in the middle of it - found it amusing.
Then teaching Jenny to play the recorder - she is quite responsive. Fingers, as ever, a problem.
Counting exposures, and in came Paul to tell me that the cat was out of the bag, and that Ma had asked him if “Jenny is Gregory's new bird?”. In came Jenny a couple of moments later, and we both told each other the same thing. I think she finds it hilariously funny. In, and played “Happy birthday to you” on Sopraninschnabelflöte, which was for Peggy's birthday - she is 22 today. I felt like wishing her a happy 16th birthday - she is always wishing she were that old.
Lunch soon after that, in which we discussed the invitation to tea to Ventnor, to the same place as we went last week. Paul alone did not want to go, and now that the cat is out of the bag (and I am very pleased about it), I decided I might as well go. Out after a while, and tidied up, and changed into something more respectable. Persuaded Paul to come in the end, and meanwhile took the lens mount off my Pentax, exposing quite a bit of mirror mechanism, but not, I hope, much film. Combed my hair forward, mainly to keep it tidier. Jenny said as soon as she saw it “You look like Dave Clark”. Nice of her. But when Ann, completely independently, also said so, I began to wonder.
At Ventnor, went for a “blow” (walk), and Paul, Jenny, and I soon left the rest behind. By Steeple Hill[*] (I think) Jenny slipped down some stairs, and, put me off my balance (I was holding her hand) and landed upside down on her back, having badly grazed her legs, and absolutely ruined her stockings. At least she did not feel badly hurt. Went back a bit later, after doing an emergency tidy-up job.
* Steep hill Lane
Tea was good. Then playing a card game, called “Newmarket”. Jenny and I backing A ♥, and first time he lost. Last hand, though, got it all back - only stakes, and I managed to lead him. Hilarious.
And unintelligible now.
In the evening, back at home, no longer had to worry about holding hands, and by the end of the evening a little petting under way. Paul obligingly turned out the lights. Jenny admits that since this afternoon/evening she likes me a lot more. I wonder what instigated the change. Rubbed some Savlon into her legs for her - badly bruised.
|Monday, 25 April 1966||Sandown|
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And up again late this morning, and decided that this time I would say “good afternoon” to Mrs. Hallett. Unfortunately, she is more than ready for it, and, almost without batting an eyelid, replied to me “Good evening”. I give up.
Ah, Jenny, what hat thou done to me? Oh to be able to see straight, or to love you wholeheartedly for ever more, and to get the same treatment from you! But, I fear, such is not the way life goes.
After breakfast, as ever into the lounge room, but fairly soon outside, for the weather was herrlich (I can't find an English word which conveys the meaning properly), and Jenny decided to do a bit of latin revision, as she was sure she would get a latin text when she went back to school tomorrow. I decided otherwise for her. I wonder why she has suddenly got so fond of me. But it does not really worry me. She dragged out a photo of me that she had found in Paul's drawer, and I gave her another, passport but passable. Then out to take more photos, and she took one of me with my new “Dave Clark” hairstyle, which I am not permitted to loose. Temperature went up to 25° in the sun, which is astounding for this country.
Ann is interested in this new situation. She said to me just before lunch “When are you going to buy Jenny an engagement ring?”, and carried on to tell me how to get married.
One hell of a gutsache afflicted me just before lunch, and I did not seem to be able to do anything about it, so tried, unfortunately in vain, to forget it. I had never, until today, had macaroni (or should I be pseudo and say meccharoni?)
Not if you can't spell it right. Should be maccheroni.
as a sweet, and should not care if I never did again. Much the same as rice pudding. Then into the lounge again, and more time with Jenny. Decided that, in this glorious weather, we ought to go for a walk, but before we knew where we were, we were called upon to help move the Greenhouse, which turned out to be less difficult than expected, for the whole thing was set on rails, and all it needed was one hell of a hefty shove from the whole family and me. After that, Jenny and I decided to absent ourselves, so I put on some shoes, and she a coat - God knows why, for it was beautifully warm - and we set off in the direction of White Cliff bay, and took our time over it - but then it is difficult to move fast when wrapped together. Still, we made fairly good progress, and, although we had to strip off our clothes somewhat, made it after stopping only once for a rest. Jenny told me that one of the first things that she liked about me was the fact that I was always laughing when I talked, and observed that so did she. I had never noticed it, but suppose I should admit it as a virtue.
Finally up to the top, and lay down for another orgy. Jenny had little stamina, doubtless stemming from little practice. Ah well. She still has the right idea.
I felt, today, really happy. Summer is as good as here, and Jenny with me - and she is obviously very fond of me.
When we got back, after 3½ hours away, and Mrs Hallett had said “Good morning” to me - this is getting past a joke - Peggy burst in in the middle of tea to talk to me - she is obviously making advances, and Jenny is jealous. Jenny tried to take off her pullover, and took off her blouse as well by mistake - wow. Wish I had a camera. In the evening, sitting on my lap most of the time. Both washed our hair.
|Tuesday, 26 April 1966||Sandown → Ryde → Cowes → Newport → Sandown|
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Jenny back to school today, so up at a befitting hour to see her off, and, as it turned out, before anybody else. Ah well. I like to make sure. Finally she got up - even she did not look too hot in summer uniform - it includes a terribly billowy short skirt which must be hell in any sort of wind.
I am exceptionally fond of Jenny, and can hardly let myself forget it. Oh, to be with her all of the time. But such, unfortunately, is not to be. Off she went at 0740, and I was left with the job of rousing Paul, which, in the next half-hour, I accomplished. Then spent quite a bit of time discussing with him what we would do in the day, and decided on nothing for quite some time, but eventually were moved to do a bit of hitchhiking. Also, as I was almost completely out of film - I have no spare B&W at all - decided to order some from DPS, and accordingly wrote a letter asking for 50ft of Pan F, which I am using quite a bit of the time - though I am not sure how well suited it is for f/3,5 lenses, and am convinced it is not for my f/8 Soligor.
Finally off, with 3 cameras, and it dawned on me that I had no spare film, and was almost finished in one camera, and so when, after being given one lift by a woman, we got to Ryde, I bought an EX 135-36 due to expire on Saturday for 15/-, and then decided to walk to Fishbourne, which was not a very inspiring experience, except that I saw my first Hovercraft in the flesh, and it strikes me how dirty the beaches are in this part of the world. I have yet to see anything like Pantai Chinta Berahi.
Then got a lift to Cowes, where we had lunch, and took a couple of photos, and was a little afraid that the waitress at the Wimpy bar was making a pass at me - what a horrible thought, for she was at least 40.
Trying to hitch to Freshwater from Newport, which, for some reason, was well nigh impossible, and in the end we gave it up as a bad job. I wonder if it is anything to do with the weather, which was good. I have never tried to hitch in good weather before. Perhaps it puts people off. Anyway, I wanted to be back in time to meet Jenny, and, after walking about 5 miles back through Newport and into the Shanklin/Sandown direction, finally, just as I was giving up hope, got a lift into Sandown, and walked to Brading, and got there just at about 1525, just before the bus came along. Ah, Jenny, Jenny, what hast thou done to me?
Walked up to the house with her, and when it was prepared, had a high tea, and carried on with this for quite some time. Then into the lounge with Jenny - ah, I am so happy that it is now public. After a while, out with Jenny to take Prince for a walk, and then to see the aircraft carrier in the bay. Peggy saw Jenny and me arm in arm - doubt she approved.
Following Ann's injunction about marriage, Jenny and I fixed the date, place and where we would spend our honeymoon. 1/VII/1971, Luccombe church, Pulau Perhentian besar. She was sitting on my knee all evening. Mmmmmm.
There's a Luccombe on the Isle of Wight, too, only 7.4 km from the Hallett's house. I didn't know about it until I entered this text in May 2015. Jenny specifically meant the one in Exmoor: she had been particularly taken by the church.
|Wednesday, 27 April 1966||Sandown|
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And again up, although not so early as yesterday, early, and in just as they were having breakfast - omelettes, which were nice and light. Ah Jenny - where would I be were it not for you? In Beckenham, probably. One thing I like about Jenny - she shows some signs of jealousy even if, as I feel, she would not violently oppose me going off with some other bird, she would not like it. But Lesley did not give a damn. In her own prudish way, she wanted to be a bit of a flirt. A thing she told me on 1/IX/1965: „You'll have to be prepared to be my boyfriend for a long time. I keep them once I've got them“, or words to that effect - what rubbish. I only wish it were true. But no longer - now I have Jenny, and I hope this is a little more successful. Went, at her wish, to school with her today, but as it was raining, Mr. Hallett drove us all the way. Ah, well. Then stopped in town on the way back, and tried again to get an AP, but it was not published. But they told me it had been published last week. Damn.
New fridge arrived today, and Paul was all set on making all sorts of goodies, and so into the kitchen to do a few rather simple again [?] preparations, which, owing to lack of the correct reagents, did not quite come off as might they have. Mrs. Hallett was throwing a fit by the time we called it a morning, having made ice cream, milk shakes, ice cubes, and half a gallon of fruit punch, which, owing to lack of citric acid, was well nigh undrinkable.
Then lunch, and we have had to turn round the table in order to fit the fridge in, and the whole kitchen now looks completely different - but I am not too sure how I prefer it.
After lunch, finished writing a letter to the Rank Organisation about the difference, or rather lack of it, in speed between the 50 mm f/1,4 S-Tak and the 55 mm f/1,8 Super Takumar. Then went down to post it, after arguing to Paul as to whether we should go into Sandown/Shanklin or not. As I pointed out, it was a half holiday, and so went down to the post box by myself, and left him to catch up on his sleep - he seems to need a hell of a lot of it, for some unknown reason.
Back again, and had little to do, as the place was, literally dormant. The only other two people at home were Paul and Prince, who were both asleep. After a while, decided I might as well get up and go down to the bus stop to meet Jenny, and did so, and sat on a gate waiting for her and meditating.
Back up with her - how sad that this should have to stop in only 2 days time - but, as Omar Khayyam would say, „Tomorrow? Why, tomorrow I myself may be with yesterdays 7000 years“. And true enough.
Jenny had some homework to do, which was rather unfortunate, and so I elected to help her with it. The maths was all right, and I did that for her in 15 minutes, but she had a bit of trouble following it herself, and that took longer than the actual working out.
Then finished off testing her on 90 lines of Vergil, and sat together, Jenny feeling depressed. First girl who has ever cried to be parted from me. Ah Jenny, I feel that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Portent in the evening - kissing her goodnight, and the coat rail behind me fell off.
|Thursday, 28 April 1966||Sandown|
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Ah, too soon draws this happy time to a close. But, reflecting, I feel that I have been indeed fortunate over these last four, and, more especially two weeks, and that I have learnt much more about the meaning of life and the secret of happiness - I hope it makes me into a better man.
Up at about the same time as yesterday, but today the weather was again herrlich, and in with a smile on my face to wish all the world an excellent good morning. Jenny wanted me to walk to school with her, and so did so, from where Mr. Hallett dropped us outside Ann's school.
Then walked back home, and felt warm enough to have to strip off my coat - oh God, I hope this will be a warm summer.
When I finally got back, Paul was up, and wondering what had happened to his breakfast. Did exceptionally little in the morning - took a few photos of us fooling around, and did even a bit of sunbathing, which was unfortunately spoilt all too soon by gathering clouds. I must develop a bit of tan before going back to Malaysia this summer.
On the whole, little went on in the morning, and I am not particularly worried about it. The weather was enough to make it worthwhile for me.
Lunch, just before which we decided that yesterday's fruit punch was too sweet, and so shoved some yeast in to convert it into C₂H₅OH, and hope that it will do so before tomorrow.
After lunch, down town to get some money, and to buy some photographic accessories, and a hell of a laugh getting the money. The girl looked at my photo, and then at me, with an astonished/amused look on her face. And to think it will be August 1970 before I can get that passport changed.
Then photographic gear, and got a new battery for my flash gun, which has not been working properly lately, and a L IFF 135-36 to take some photos of Jenny, which I intend to blow up at least to mural size - I expect that, with the new enlarger and my 28 mm Super Takumar, I shall be able, without much difficulty, to make 20×24 [inch, i.e. 50×60 cm] blowups, and larger if only I had the paper.
Then, after expending a bit of time in the public library, off to see Jenny at her school, and very nearly missed her, but got on the bus, saw her, and sat down next to her before she noticed me.
I feel possessive about Jenny - I want to have her for my own, and not share her with anybody - admittedly a bad trait, but one about which I can do little.
Walked back to the house, although we could have got her mother to take us, as she was just up the lane.
After tea, taking some photos of Jenny on L IFF. This is new stuff - like improved FX, it has an anti-halation backing of green gelatine. I wonder what it is like.
With Jenny the whole of the evening, until she went to bed - I hardly let her out of my arms.
Tidying, packing up to go back to school tomorrow.
|Friday, 29 April 1966||Sandown → Portsmouth → Salisbury → Taunton (KCT)|
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Up at a fairly normal time this morning, and got all my remaining barang together, and in to see Jenny drying her hair. She got up quite some time before me to revise her St. Joan. I wish she hat told me the truth about it, and done it last night - but doubtless she had wanted to be with me as much as had I with her.
Then had breakfast, and decided to set off for her school at round about 0730 hrs, and did so - walking all the way. The weather has been glorious lately, and I feel terribly unhappy about having to go back to school. At times, I feel that I could happily throw away all chances of academic success, and settle down somewhere, earning enough for a bare existance [sic] with the love of my life (Jenny? I wonder).
But Jenny is definitely very fond of me - she cried again when I said goodbye in the park, for we could not do so outside the school. I had to leave before she lost control of her tears, and went back with a heavy heart.
Once home, did little for some time, and eventually were driven to Ryde to catch the ferry to Portsmouth, for which I had to pay through the teeth (I am told that in this counrty, one pays through the nose. Ah, well).
Then got on a train to Southhampton [sic], and was told to pay at the other end, and took advantage of this offer, and went all the way to Salisbury, and said I had come from Southhampton, and then out and started hitching. It is quite difficult, I have decided, to get a lift on a good day, and resigned myself to the fact that I would not get there much before 1500 hrs. The first lift was by mother and daughter to Warminster, where I ate the packet sandwiches which Mrs Hallett had packed for me, and then walked through the town, and after thumbing too many cars, got a lift to Frome with some press bloke.
Next bloke said he was going to the outskirts of Taunton, and had quite an interesting conversation with him. Then he dropped me by the station, and actually thanked me for the company. Nice of him. That makes 66 lifts I have had these holidays, and God knows how many miles I have travelled - I should imagine it is getting on for 1000 odd.
That's something that's a lot easier to calculate in the 2010s:
|1 April 1966||Taunton||Upton Cross||142 km|
|2 April 1966||Upton Cross||Plymouth||40 km||via Liskeard|
|2 April 1966||Plymouth||Upton Cross||33 km|
|3 April 1966||Upton Cross||Plymouth||33 km|
|3 April 1966||Plymouth||Upton Cross||33 km|
|4 April 1966||Upton Cross||Plymouth||33 km|
|4 April 1966||Plymouth||Upton Cross||33 km|
|5 April 1966||Upton Cross||Liskeard||9 km|
|5 April 1966||Liskeard||Upton Cross||9 km|
|6 April 1966||Upton Cross||Aramadale||951 km|
|13 April 1966||Armadale||London||672 km|
|14 April 1966||London||Brading||131 km|
|26 April 1966||Brading||Brading||48 km||via Ryde, Cowes, Newport|
|29 April 1966||Salisbury||Taunton||150 km|
That's the best part of 1,500 miles.
Then walked to Dillys, stopping on the way at the Taunton Camera Centre, which is run by the bloke who used to do the photographic stuff at Maunders, and I am thinking of changing our account to him. Gave him my Leica to sell - he is advertising it for £17··10··0, of which £15 is for me (posession [sic] is 90% of the law). He is thus getting a good commission.
At school, made up some Promicrol, and developed 6 films - nearly all Pan F, and then down and wrote a letter to Jenny. I could hardly think of anything to say.
Skiv saw me about long hair and working harder - what a waste of time. I intend to slog my guts out anyway. I am surrounded by Richards in dormitory - Cookson, Brown and Rosser.
|Saturday, 30 April 1966||KCT.|
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This dormitory is rather nice to wake up in in the summer, and I enjoyed doing so this morning. Thank God the weather lately has been so good - I am almost happy, were it not for the fact that I have had to be separated from Jenny.
After breakfast, which was 15 minutes later than usual, presumably to ease the transition - what a waste of time in my case - over to Stoneleigh to unpack, and as I had left most of my clothes here from last term, had singularly little to do, and decided to unpack my books (which are in my trunk) as I need them, in order not to have barang cluttering up the whole bloody place.
God! Is it hot in this place, for once! I only hope we will soon be allowed on shirtsleeve order.
Assembly, and Pen had the usual lot of rubbish to say, especially to all leavers - I wonder what that fellows priorities are.
Then Pad, until 0930, after which supposedly art lecture, but Cocky-Locky was in London giving a private exhibition.
Chemistry - Clod showed us a new book, and then went down to the printers for something to do with the school calender [sic].
Flute lesson - she certainly gets down to it early in the term. Rather interested to hear what happened to me in the holidays.
Rest, and, unfortunately, as ever, I rather wasted it, going around doing little odd jobs, but nothing of much importance. Saw Drax about driving lessons, etc., and then hung around until all went out. Then inside to write up my diary, which has suffered, as ever, by the beginning of term, and also to re-read letters from Dad and others about various topics, notably from Dad about what one hell of a dreg I was, and that if I failed my A levels, he would disown me. In a way, I feel like failing my A levels. This is altogether too much of a strain for my feeble resources.
After 1330, did little for quite a time - looking at the enlarger, trying to work out what all the knobs were for, and also managed to borrow a bike from Procter in [sic] which to go down town. Donald Tyson also heard me playing my recorder, and came in and said “Händel? I must get you to come and play with my harpsichord” (If he thinks what he has is a harpsichord, he is sorely mistaken. It is nought more than a spinet).
Down town. The Agfa filters still are not arrived, and so I cancelled the order and reordered them from the Camera Centre. Got a 150W bulb for the enlarger, and some 142 and 326, and ordered also thermometers from the Camera Centre. On the way down Bridge St, braked suddenly with front wheel only, and went head over heels. What a nuisance.
In the evening, demonstrating the new enlarger, which went well, and also developed a film for Mao, which unfortunately he had neglected to expose. Pity. It was like that last term, too.
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