Greg
Greg's diary
August 1964
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Saturday, 1 August 1964 K.L. Images for 1 August 1964
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Woke up rather late this morning after last night's antics, and hung around quite a bit without doing anything constructive, until breakfast, which was pretty average.

After breakfast, Dad had intended to go to the office almost immediately, but he wanted to see the fellows who were working on Bev's house. While looking at the (rather slow) progress, Dad confided in me that this was in fact the prototype of some little playhouse for children, costing about $200, and taking less than a day to erect and demolish. However, as in all prototyping, there were difficulties, not the least of which being the fact that the men on the work were complete and utter fools.

Finally we got on our way, after Mum had also waylaid us, and got me to go to the Supermarket and get her some food for lunch. Went with Rahmad (the Syce), who seems an amiable enough chap, although Dad reckons he is a bit money-grabbing. The supermarket is a hell of a place, but I managed to find my way about the place without too much difficult, and was back shortly after.

I hadn't been in Malaysia for nearly two years, and this might have been the first supermarket I had ever seen. By modern standards it wasn't very big.

Then out again to town with Rahmad, and popped into Williams [music shop], which has not changed much, although they have a new front to the place. Then up to see the tanks, and other photographic gear at Eastern photographers. Quite reasonable. Must drag Dad along this afternoon. Then along to Caxton and got a new pen, which was only just in time, as the old one is falling to bits.

Rahmad thought that I had lost him, and when I got back to Mountbatten Road, he waved violently to attract my attention.

Got home, and in due course arrived Tony Brown and Dad and we had lunch quite late. Then along to the Merlin, whose board have all resigned today - nobody knows why - and then to Eastern Photographers to buy some photographic equipment, and then back and out for a swim. Tony came as well, and blew a roll of colour film (which he had just bought, and borrowed money from Dad therefor) on the three of us swimming.

I thought that this was a terrible waste. A whole film! How times change. Tony was a press photographer, and for some reason—possibly his attitude to current events—I wasn't very positively impressed. But of course we talked about cameras. I was bemoaning the lack of any kind of rangefinder in my camera, and he told me about this new kind of camera with mirrors inside so that you could look straight through the lens! I was interested, but didn't think that it sounded very practical.

When we got back, Dad & I had tea, and then I went into the bathroom, and started making solutions of developer, hypo, etc, but could not find a decent sized bottle for the former, and gave up until I could go to Nainas on Monday, and buy some, and also some corks to keep the air out, and started talking about going to Germany in the holidays to Mum. She wants to renovate a home somewhere near Frankfurt im [sic] Main, and renovate an old house, but not till next Easter. Out for chinese dinner in the evening, and very good 'twas, but I feel that 100 year old eggs, seaweed and sharks fin soup do not mix with cider. Ate too many chilies.


Sunday, 2 August 1964 K.L.
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Not much of excitement happened today, and it started off rather badly by Dad not waking me up until 8.30. I wish he would wake me up earlier.

Then downstairs, and had a look at the paper during breakfast, which I think will become my time for writing up my diary while I am here - it must survive the summer holidays.

After breakfast, Eileen had asked Dad to go to the market to get some food, etc, and while we were at it, we took Theo [dog] as well, as he was getting rather bored being cooped up all day long, and he was also not likely to cause any trouble.

This we did, and apart from being attacked by a couple of dogs, he behaved very well,

Got back, and Dad decided to go off to the office. No day of rest for him, obviously. Meanwhile, I decided that Sue might object if she got no letter from me fairly soon, and so borrowed Mum's typewriter, and, after putting in a new ribbon, wrote a letter, quite long, and complete with menuett for her to play on her recorder.

This took until lunchtime, which was a curry, and Lalita Rajasooria came. After taking some photos of Bev's little house, in which Bev managed to finish off a roll of film, we had lunch, and Lalita asked me to do a roll of film that Tony had exposed for her. That fellow is crazy, as we have all by this time decided. He must have a pretty bad financial status - he is at the moment out of town, in Tanjong somethingoranother, and trying to get to Tanjong Malim. He must have Tanjongs on the brain.

My recollection was that Tony was a photographer or reporter by trade, and our main surprise was the amount of film he exposed. How times change.

The spelling “Tanjong” was correct at the time. After unifying Malay and Indonesian spelling, it is now spelt “Tanjung”.

In the afternoon, wrote a letter to Maria, whom I also must not neglect. I wish Mum would do something about posting these letters.

Then Dad wanted to go out and look at some land that he wanted to buy, or at least look at, and this he did, taking all the family with him, not to mention Swoopy [dog], who was badly in need of a walk, but nevertheless made a damn nuisance of himself. Dropped him at the house, and then went to the Golf club, in order to have a swim, and had a bit of fun jumping off the top board, once I had plucked up enough courage to do so.

In the evening, after makan, and after Mum had read through some of Dads stuff, we went downstairs, loaded the film and developed it. Bevs went fine, but we had a bit of trouble with Lalis. Apart from that, Tony only took 20 - probably didn't realize it was 36 exposures.


Monday, 3 August 1964 K.L.
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Dad annoyed me rather by not waking me up until 9.00 am this morning, when he knew that I wanted to get up early.

He left almost immediately after breakfast, and left me to sit and brood - not for long, however, for Mum decided that I would be the ideal person to help her do the washing, but before long all sorts of complications, but yet Mum did not let me go. Finally I got off, and by this time a little girl whom Mum knows had come to see the puppies.

I carried on with the letter to Parsifal which I started yesterday, and while I was doing this, the post came, in which there was a letter from Sue, so I tore open her letter, which I had not yet posted, and, after finishing off to Parsifal, wrote another page or so her. This took quite some time, and I spent a bit of time during it looking at the gram [gramophone] - the “33⅓” went at 29¾ rpm. In the end, I did what I though what I had intended doing on Friday - checking if all the batteries were the right way round. That was the answer, of course - one was the wrong way round, and when that was over, all was fine. Volume up a bit too - not that that should be surprising.

Then put a record on the thing for the little girl, and then retired to my room. There stayed I until lunch time.

After lunch did not do much for a while, and then Mum decided that we could go into town and do some shopping, and this we did, first stopping at the Mercantile Bank just as it was about to close.

Then along to Batas, and didn't find much of use there. From there we went to Robinsons, where Mum bought some cloth, and from there to Dyalchands, where I was measured for some trousers, and then dropped Mum off at a building in old Market Square, and ourselves to the Supermarket, where we had not much to buy, and got home before 5.00 pm.

After that, I decided to fill my pipe full, just for a laugh, and see how long it lasted. With pretty heavy smoking it lasted me ¾ hour, which satisfies me. Spent the rest of the time until Mum came back reading, and then we had tea, in which, however, Dad did not participate, as, as he later told me, he had had to see Tun Abdul Razak - he got biscuits and cheese for tea.

I think the implication was that this wasn't very much.

After makan, we decided to do some more photography, and made 5 prints of 2 negatives before I broke the glass, which was a rather damn nuisance. Bev was rather interested in the whole proceedings, as we had guessed she might be.


Tuesday, 4 August 1964 K.L.
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Up at 7.00 this morning, and got dressed and immediately down to the golf club, where we had an early morning swim, a which did not, however, go with the tea that I had just had very well. Stayed there for about half an hour, during which time we had that whole expanse of pool to ourselves, and quite enjoyed it. Then back home for breakfast, during which Dad & I decided that Bev should have $3 a week, and he told Mum so. I also decided to go into town to do a few odd jobs, and for this purpose he gave me Rahmad. First, after dropping Dad off was to Robinsons, and had a haircut there, which, for $1.50, is pretty good. Then down to Williams, and said good morning to all, and up to Eastern Photographers, and had my film developed, and was also given a new contact frame free.

Back to Williams, and must have annoyed Mr. Heng by looking at all the musical instruments they had there (or that I could play). Then went to look for Rahmad, and after 2 searches found him. Then to the USIS, and joined the library, and borrowed a couple of books on photography, which looked pretty comprehensive.

Back home again, and carried on reading these until lunch time, and then had little to do for the afternoon, as I had made no plans at all. When Dad had gone back to the office, and Mum had gone somewhere, I got out my flute and recorder, and started (tape) recording them on Dad's (tape) recorder, but, however, this latter is not of the highest fidelity I have ever heard.

This I carried on doing, and in the process used up about 120 ft of tape, but it sounded so lousy that in the end I erased the lot.

This took most of the afternoon, and after that I went int do some reading, and read about color photography (as opposed to colour phtgy.) While so doing, Mum & Bev went out somewhere, and I went to sleep on the couch. I really must get more sleep at night.

Then Dad came back and I decided that it would be just as well to make some hardener for the various films, negatives, prints, etc, which tend to be rather slimy. This I made, out of alum and K₂SO₄.

Then had tea, at which meal Lali was present.

After that, decided to give her back her film, and did. I think she is going to wrap it around his neck. Also made a print of her and Mum, but it was rather underdeveloped. Gave it to her (still wet) to take home.

After makan, made some more prints, and then Bev insisted that we play pontoon, which we had begun last night, and I ended up with a quite high total and with the Bank. Dad, however, was not so fortunate - he got -80 in the end.


Wednesday, 5 August 1964 K.L.
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Dad was up with the dawn this morning to go out to P.J. to see a sawmill there, which he had designed,*

Comment at some later time: * General sawmills (Chan Peng Hong & Mob).

and also to show it to a fellow from the Borneo company, with whom he has quite a bit of contact.

I got up at about 7.10, and went downstairs for breakfast, and he got back just as I was finishing off. He had not yet had breakfast, and as a result we got off rather later than we had expected. We took a couple of dawgs with us, and had to stop off at Dad's office before we went any further.

Finally got out there, at about 10.00 am, and was promptly introduced to a fellow with the very irish-sounding name of Paddy o'Halohan [?]. Went round looking at all the sites, and noticed that Dad could find dozens of faults with any house he chose. Blew the foreman up right left and centre, and then proved quite conclusively how lousy they all were.

Then off to P.J. and to the Agong's house, which is already complete, and which he has let to the Sultan of Selangor. Very good indeed. One of the best houses I have ever seen.

Then to Tun Abdul Razak's house, which is not yet complete, but looks again as if it will be, when it is finished. The staircase is rather novel - supported only in the middle of each step. The steps were not yet there, so we had to go on the supports.

Then dropped some more film in at Eastern Photographers, and then home. After makan, Dad was once again off, and Bev and I decided to go to the golf club, and have a swim, although my main reason was to find some interesting birds. Alas! 'twas in vain. All the girls there were the wrong age, and rather drack. However, for Bev's sake, I stayed on, but, while changing, I discovered that Bev was not classed as a child, and is therefore allowed to swim without being supervised. I shall have to go to the Lake club tomorrow.

Got back, and almost immediately came Lena O'Hara (these irish names are getting me down) with her son Aubrey. Also came John Hazel of Guthries, and with him had quite an interesting conversation about all sorts of things. He wants me to join a cross-country running side. Also played a bit on my clarinet for his and Dad's benefit.

Then he left, and I downstairs to look for some likely negatives to develop, and found a whole lot of the things of Dads which he had taken many years ago. Some were over 20 years old, but I made one or two quite acceptable prints - one of Dad in his sailor suit.

Then to see the “Pink Panther” again, and it was quite good, but they have cut a few bits out. Mum and Dad met some friends after the show - did not get to bed until 12.45.


Thursday, 6 August 1964 K.L.
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As I was afraid, my long hours have had a rather disastorous [sic] effect - today I slept on until 11.45 am, and, for about the first time these holidays, was, as they say in Germany, ausgeschlafen. When I finally emerged from my hole, Mum was entertaining a friend, by the name of Mary Bunbury, whom I have apparently met. Had a cup of morning coffee, and then got caught in a conversation with them, which was not, in fact, all that boring.

However, when her husband one of of her sons came, I grabbed an excuse to hoppit, and went into my room to write about what happened yesterday. Alas, however, my attempt was in vain, for I was soon joined by 8-year-old John Bunbury, and he wanted to hear me play my recorder, and made me get out every one and play it before he was called off. His father cam in an told me (I was playing a Händel suite) not to give him big ideas. Last thing I wanted to do.

Then lunch, which was a symposium of leftovers, and we just about managed to fill ourselves up. This is what will probably happen every week on Eileen's day off.

After lunch, I had nothing particular in mind, as it was quite late by this time, and decided that it might be worth my while improving my proficiency at loading 35 mm film into the tank spiral. It was okay with some colour film, but did not go so well with the other, mainly, I think, because it had been bent round an oval form.

Gave that up, and discovered Mum on the phone, being asked to to Guthries to do some secretarial work for them. $15 an hour, which is a damn side [sic] more than she used to get from them.

After that, I went upstairs to read “The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” and read a few more stories, although Bev wanted to make some drop scones, and prevailed upon me to lend her some cream of Tartar and bicarb of soda. The nearest I could do for the second was potassium bicarbonate, but they tasted not as good, but then she only put in a tenth of the amount, and so they did not rise.

Mum took quite a while to come back, and as a result I read a lot of Sherlock Holmes, and used a lot of tobacco. Dad got home first, and Bev took a few photos of her little house in the twilight. I wonder how it will come out.

Then to the golf club for makan, but Mum stayed at home and asked us to bring her something home. Had a swim while we were at it, and saw the same bird in yellow whom we saw yesterday. Could be interesting, but not all that wonderful.

Dad off to the office for a couple of hours. Read Sherlock Holmes. Most interesting book.


Friday, 7 August 1964 K.L.
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Woke and up fairly early this morning, and down to breakfast fairly soon after Dad recommend me all bran for my constipation, and so I had that instead of the more usual bacon and eggs.

After breakfast I was at a loose end, and hung round doing anything that I felt like doing. Noticed the 3 clarinet reeds which I had bought at Williams on Tuesday, and decided to try them out, and accordingly downstairs and tried to play the St. John Passion on it, but were rather too stiff. Did a bit of scraping, but in the end gave up.

Then upstairs, and got out all my records, and finished reading “The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes”, to the strains of Dvořák's 5th Symphony (“From the New World”). This is the book in which he gets killed. Rather interesting, if tragic.

Nowadays the New World is called Dvořák's 9th symphony, but at the time it was called the 5th, and that's what's on the record.

Then lit up a pipe, and concentrated more on the music, and carried on thus till lunch time, which Mum & Dad spent reading my report, which arrived this morning. It was not too bad, I suppose - Mum has decided that Mansell is an absolute nut case.

After lunch, hung around doing nothing for a while, and then Bev said something about going to the Golf club. This bird is an absolute fanatic. Apart from anything else, I was trying to get a bit of a rest - I wonder why I am always so tired lately. I am sure it is due, at least in part, to the inactive life which I lead lately.

Anyway I went, nor was I disappointed, for I saw a beautiful female there, whom Bev purports to know, by the name of Cynthia (wonder what that means). Bev says that she is no older than I. She must be pretty well advanced for her age. I wonder if I dare strike up an acquaintance with her.

After that, went home, and while we were preparing to go into town, Motion Smiths arrived with Dad's drawing board. After a bit of argument with Mum, it went downstairs.

Thence into town, and bought a pair of shoes - size 46, by their measurements. That was about all we did, as the Church Bazaar place was shut. Got home with an hell of an earache, presumably due to the swimming this afternoon. Next time I go, I will just sit and stare at the girls. It is safer (provided the birds don't object). Went straight off to bed, and to sleep. Woke up a couple of hours later, and it was yet worse.

Finally, Mum gave me 2 Saridons, which, after a bit of time, did the trick. Nor [sic; Tengku Noor Zakiah] turned up for tea, and to watch the slide show of the Agong's house. She is the first woman I have me who smokes cigars. She offered me one while she was at it.

Felt lousy in the evening - must have been the after effect of the Saridons. Spoke to Mum about tape recorders.


Saturday, 8 August 1964 K.L.
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Up rather late this morning, and down to breakfast almost immediately. It took Eileen some time to get it ready, and I spent this time doing little. Did a bit of reading the paper, but the situation in general, and particularly in S.E. Asia, is rather grim, and I was glad when breakfast came. Dad gave me the $3 pocket money during breakfast, and then he was off.

Retired upstairs, and waited for Bev to rise, with the suggestion that if she doesn't want her drop scones like pancakes, she should use more NaHCO₃ (or KHCO₃).

Then got out my Altblockflöte, and started playing bits from the St. John Passion, but it was rather dicey, and when Mum asked me if I would like to go with her, Bev and Clare Bunbury to the Supermarket, I accepted. I should have known better, however, for the place was crowded out, and I spent 10 unsuccessful minutes at the meat counter, and in the end Mum decided that it would be easier to get some frozen chicken pieces.

Got back, and I went into the lounge room and did a bit of listening to records, and during the second half of the St. John Passion went to sleep on the couch, which is happening far too often lately.

Little happened during lunch, except that we had about 6 people there with Mum, to come and see “The Vagabond King”.

As usual, it was a hell of a rush, and by the time we had arrived, it was already under way, and it took us about 5 minutes to settle down, as Bev and Clare were too small to see over anybody's heads.

During the first of the 3 intervals, I went down and examined the orchestra and pit, and there met up with Mahmuddin bin Ngah, whom I have not seen for all but 2 years, and he was delighted to see me, and insisted that I come back with him after the show and see his new house. This I agreed to do.

The play itself was very good, and I noticed the prominence of the flute in the orchestra. Mahmuddin must have been enjoying himself. Ended up well, as always these things do. Mum was a bit worried about me going on the back of Mahmuddin's scooter, but all went well. All the family is well - his daughter is developing nicely. Also son [Ahmad?] is getting taller. Several photos were taken - his son has an Instamatic, which is what Dad wants to get Bev.

Then back home, offered Mahmuddin tea, and then played some stuff on my clarinet for Lalita. Also tried on my stuff from Dyalchands, and all fits me well.

After makan, over to the office, and helped Dad fix up some prints of plans, etc, for Joe Dabrowski.


Sunday, 9 August 1964 K.L → Labis
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Up with the tea this morning, but no doubt we annoyed Eileen no end by not drinking it. However, we had far more important things to do, and by 8.00 am we were completely packed and waiting only on the girls, who kept us waiting another hour, which infuriated Dad.

After a bit of trouble, we finally got away, and were thus by 9.10 am and out of K.L.. Mum once again expressed her opinion that she did not approve of my smoking. I long ago realized that fact. I wonder what she intends to do to stop me. I can always threaten to smoke cigarettes instead.

Arrive at the site of the new house of the Dabrowskis at about 12.00 am [sic], which was exactly when Dad planned to be there by. We were promptly whisked off by Marisia Dabrowska to the Rhodes Club nearby, where there was a swimming pool. I had not intended to go in, on account of my earache, and spent about an hour sitting talking to Mum. However, when two beautiful, eligible wenches appeared on the scene, I quickly decided that what was about to happen was more important than what happened yesterday, and went and changed. Bev is a wizard. When I got in, she was talking to the younger of these birds (b. 29/IX/1950), who, considering that she is only 4 months older than Bev, looks very mature indeed. Also a very nice girl. Bev managed to find out her name and address for me, and after our curry puffs, I blew about 10 exposures trying to get a photo of her. I think I got something worthwhile. She did not, however, take too kindly to this last movement. I must send her a birthday card on her next birthday - name, incidentally, is Linda Brown, and goes to some school in Worcestershire. One more correspondence affair would not do much harm. I hope I did not annoy her too much by taking a photo. Her sister, 4 years older, was not much cop.

After that, back to the Dabrowskis house, and were shown where we were to sleep. Dad promptly took advantage of this, and went to sleep. I stayed with him, to lend moral support or something, but my thoughts keep straying to Linda.

Was called to watch the bears being fed at 4.00 om, and used up the remaining 3 shots in my camera on that.

Then back to bed, and stayed there another hour until tea, during which time I put various reminders in my diary for birthday cards, etc, which might please the heart of some pretty wench.

After tea, took Amber, the Dabrowski's golden labrador, for a walk, which the fellow seems to need. Got rather dirty myself, and had to had a wash when I got back.

Then to bedorom, read a bit more, and then in for a game of scrabble, makan, (during which we had an argument about England vs. Poland. Daborwskis are much the same as the fellow from Danzig (20/IV/1964)). Then finished off scrabble, and to bed.

The diary reference was in fact the early hours of 21 April 1964


Monday, 10 August 1964 Labis → K.L.
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Woke at 7.00 am this morning, to find Joe already gone, and then went back to sleep, to get up at about 9.00 am.

Almost immediately, I was filled with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, which is becoming rather boring lately. I shall have to change it. Then settled down to read a book about France, but before I was permitted to do much, I was called in to help pack up. Some stay this has been. Spent most of the time sleeping, and Linda was all that made it worthwhile.

After leaving the place, Dad first of all went to have another look at the Dabrowski's new house, and took some photos of it while he was at it. Then along to Chemplek, a sittlers [sic] site, Phase 1 of which had long since been finished, and quite a few people showed interest in our presence, including some bird who came right up to the window of the car and looked in, without even saying "apa khabar" or some such greeting.

This was a Federal Land Development Authority scheme, of which my father was the only architect. The site is now called Chemplak, which looks wrong (modern spelling would be Cemplak). I don't know if my spelling was right at the time or not.

Dad was furious at the way the were going with phase 2, and drove on to Segamat, and there rang the fellow in K.L. in charge of the lot, and told him to get them to stop work until they could sort out the mess that they were making.

Had lunch while we were at Segamat, and then carried on to K.L., my arm, which was leaning out the window, becoming redder all the time.

At about 2.45 we stopped at Seremban for a malted milk, which Dad shouted all of us, and had it in some milk bar branch of Supermarkets (Malaysia) Ltd. Changed sides of car, for my arm's sake.

When we got back to K.L., there were a couple of letters waiting for me, one from María and one from Parsifal. The one from María was dated 1/VIII/1964, which is a long time for a letter to take, no matter what part of the world it came from.

This was from México.

Parsifals was rather amusing. He seems to have bought some “Black Bell Shag”, which burnt his pipe out, and his lungs need decarbonising. Has been doing some painting lately - good v.s. evil.

Wrote a reply to him, instead of going running with the Harriers, and wrote about the longest typed letter I have ever written. Made a few interesting comments about hookahs, silvan perambulations, etc

Then to María, and also met a St. Bernard, who teaches Mum & Lali french, and his pipe is almost identical to mine.

After makan, developed my film that I finished yesterday, and Dad gave me rather too slow a time, and all came out underdeveloped, dammit. Did Bev's, more success.


Tuesday, 11 August 1964 K.L.
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Today started off fairly normally, but that was about as far as it got, and ended up quite catastrophically.

Once again, I got up too late to have some breakfast with Dad, and ate it at about 9.30 am. I really must buck my ideas up about getting up at the proper time. It would help if I got to bed early, I suppose.

Looking round for something to read, after I had already read all the comics that were in the bookcase, I discovered a few booklets published by Canon, about cameras, lenses, etc, and proceeded to read these as well.

Became more and more interested in the same, and eventually settled down and lit a pipe, and just at that point Mum called me in to have a pedicure, which is one of the most painful things imaginable. She was not in a very good temper today, to boot. She threw in a manicure after that, but was not very successful.

Then had lunch, and 'twas there that the trouble started. Mum was annoyed because Dad had not closed her car door last night. Then he left, and Mum made some adverse comment thereon. Bev defended him, and Mum lost her temper and did her one or two - in fact, probably more. Bev burst into tears, and walked off. Enter Dad, to hear what all the noise was about. Went to look for Bev, and I went to take the Dogs for a walk.

When I got back, a heated argument was ensuing, the exact reason for which I am not sure, and she was screaming her head off at Bev &  Dad. Then, somehow, Dad locked her out, which she did not like, and she smashed open the window with his camera. I managed to save the camera, but the window had had it. Then upstairs, and she tried to get into his room to murder him. Finally, however, she quietened down, and I went off with Dad to the office, and got $5 out of him for various odds and ends - first to eastern photographers, and got a 36 exposure cassette of +X pan, and then to look for some glass, but at the place I went to they did not have the right guage [sic]. Then to the mercantile bank to change 10/- St and £A 1. They would not take the latter, however, and ended up by changing it a the Hongkong and Shanghai bank. The £ St has gone down by 4¢ and the £ A up by 1¢ in the past 2 years. Not bad.

Then back to the office, and Dad wanted the glass, right guage or not, so back I went and this time they had the right guage, and, after a couple of misfires, I got the stuff I wanted - only cost 60¢.

Then back to the office again, and thence home.

Had tea, at which Lali, as always, participated, and then back with Dad to the office again, he to work out accounts, and I to design a clip-on telephoto lens. All I need now is to find just what a galilean telescope is.

Ananda Krishnan arrived back in K.L. today - came along to see us after makan.


Wednesday, 12 August 1964 K.L. Images for 12 August 1964
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Once again up late this morning, and down immediately for breakfast, and then upstairs again to examine how slow this new 125 ASA film really was, and took a few exposure meter readings upstairs. Was soon joined by Bev, who decided that she would like to take a photo from the window, and did, at f 32 - 'twas a bright day.

It's interesting to compare the speeds and exposures. Only a few years later 125 ASA (22° DIN) was considered normal for black and white film. And an exposure of f/32, even on a bright day, suggests a shutter speed of only 1/50 s. This must have been Bev's camera, since I'm sure my own had a minimum aperture of f/16.

Then downstairs, and she wanted to get a photo of me with Dads hookah, and outside for this purpose, and while we were at it, the postman came and was most startled by the proceedings.


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After that, Bev had the brilliant idea of playing Monopoly with me, and got the thing out. We had just about got started when Mum decided to get up (about 11.30 am), and called Bev upstairs for a routine blowing up or something, and to lacquer up her hair for her, so that it would be sticky.

Then she decided that we could have lunch at the Oasis, and told us to go and get dressed for it, and I discovered that Dad had pinched my shoes, and were in his car - at le Coq d'or. As a result, I was not allowed to go, and had to wait for them to bring me something back for me. Meanwhile, Dad arrived back, and helped me to a bit of scrounging, but before we got very far, Tengku Nor arrived with 2 kids, and we got something for them to drink, which successfully disrupted my scrounging.

Then Mum came back, and brought some rather unpleasant [?] hamburgers back with her, and then everyone except myself went off to see the Agong's new house in P.J.. I, however, tried to eat all the stuff which Mum had brought me home, and ended up giving most of it to the dogs - and they refused some of it. The people in this town seem to have lost the ability to make a good Hamburger.

Then upstairs, and did little until Mrs Fraser, whom Mum &  Dad met after the film on 5/VIII/1964, came along with 3 kids, and that said Mum was expecting her. She did not particularly want to come in, but walked around all over the place, and we lost one of the pups in the process. While helping me look for it, Mum arrived back, and was furious about the whole thing, but the pup was found, and all was well. Then had tea, which Dad and I spent doing some mathematical calculations, such √13, and then worked out a guage for his prefab. houses so that they put them up sqare [sic].

Then back to Dads office, as it seems I will be doing quite a lot lately, and was more or less successful in designing a telephoto lens for my camera, and will only need usual refinements now.

Ananda back in the evening - He has had a haircut.


Thursday, 13 August 1964 K.L. Images for 13 August 1964
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As we had previously decided, up at 7.00 this morning, and off to the golf club, and in for a swim. We really must do this more often. Dad was discussing swimming pools for our new house, and was horrified to find that the pressure at the bottom of an 8 ft deep pool would be 500 lbs/sq ft. I have a feeling our swimming pool will not be so deep.

Then back home, and Dad off to the office, and I stayed at home, doing little, and just sitting in my room playing stuff on my sopraninschabelflöte, and writing about what happened yesterday. Then Bev called me downstairs to play Monopoly, or rather to finish yesterday's game, and we got down to the real business of the game, and I made quite a packet out of her and then the tide turned, and, after landing on Mayfair twice, and owing some £4000, I gave up in utmost despair. Then Bev wanted to play “Risk”, but 'twas a deathly boring game, and I told her it could go to hell, and went upstairs again, only to be blown up by Mum. However, got over that.

For the third time in 3 days, Ananda showed his ugly mug, this time to come for lunch, but at least he did not eat much. I think he and Dad are having a competition as to who is the fitter. Ananda should not worry. He has a long lead. As he was leaving, we noticed that his trousers were in the condition that mine were on the 10/IV/1964, and Mum suggest that he change them pretty smartly. He agreed. Then we were off to the Istana Negara to pick up Sharifah Endah to go to the flicks.


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The film, “The Hunting Instinct”, was by Walt Disney, and was not much cop. First of all, there was a thing, “Disneyland by Night”, and that was also pretty lousy. Mum nearly walked out in the 2nd film, which was just a collection of the films that we saw in London just under a year ago - September 1963.

Thence home, but first to the Weld Supermarket, where I was told to get the girls a a drink. They thought differently, however, and ended up having only an icecream each. I had a drink nevertheless. After that, along downstairs, and helped Mum search for the stuff they were looking for, and finally home, and just in time to watch the Flintstones, which were not as good as usual, and then had tea, after which I retired to the bedroom and had a rest - getting up at 7 am does me no good at all.

Up again at about 8 pm and almost immediately had makan - only Bev, Endah and myself, as the Cummings celebrated their somethingoranother wedding anniversary today, and had invited Mum & Dad out. With a little experience, one now notices Phyllis' welsh accent.


Friday, 14 August 1964 K.L.
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There must be something very wrong with me - sleeping sickness or something, or it might just be that highly virile life that I lead. At any rate, I have seldom been up before 8.00 am all holiday, and today got up after 10:00 am, which really goes a long way to wasting a morning.

Almost as soon as I got up, the post arrived. Quote Bev “Who do you know in México, Greg?”. She ought to know know, anyway. This letter only took 6 days to come, which may have been doe to the fact that she wrote it in her father's office. Makes me feel a heel for not finishing that letter to her earlier.

Mum also off to some job, and as a result Bev & I were left alone, and Bev immediately insisted that we play Monopoly. She even promised to introduce me to a few birds at the golf club this afternoon, should I play. I gave in.

We played until Dad came home for lunch, and there seemed to be a bit of susa about the car situation, and Mum, who was still at the Merlin, was screaming her head off. Then she came in person, in her own car, and after saying hello to the dogs, went back again.

Dad said that he would send Rahmad along with the car after he had got to the office, but something went wrong, and Bev & I ended up walking to the Golf club, and then the place had hardly any decent ones there. It really is all rather off-putting.

Stayed there for about ¾ hour, and when Rahmad had still not come and the clock registered 3.55, Bev got rather worried, and we ended up walking home, and the time when we got home proved to be 4.00 pm - the golf club is 10 minutes fast, and Mrs Bunbury had already been and gone, and Bev was furious with Mani as a result.

Then Dad rang up, and aid he would send Rahmad over to take her riding. Then Mrs Bunbury came, and she was gone by the time Rahmad came, so he had to go back. Then up rang Dad again, and wanted to know what was going on.

Lalita also turned up, with an umbrella of Mum's, and then out again.

Off to Dad's office, and did little there until Dad started looking for his cheque-book, and ended up trying to pick the lock to Sim's drawer. Bit of a laugh.

Early night, or supposedly, to get up at 6.00 am tomorrow to go to Singapore.


Saturday, 15 August 1964 K.L. → Singapore → K.L. Images for 15 August 1964
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Enter Eileen with tea at 5.55 am this morning, and we just about managed to rouse ourselves by the time the alarm went, set for 6 am. Did a quick bit of packing, and then downstairs to wait for Rahmad to turn up, and ate fruit. By 6.30, we were at the airport, and I writing up for yesterday, and had a cup of coffee while we were waiting.

Pretty average flight to Singapore, and arrived at 7.55 am, ahead of schedule, with one hell of a bump. Had a breakfast at the “International Airport Restaurant”. Tasted like it had been done in coconut oil.

Then Dad to Malayan Timber Industries at 226 Lavender Street, which I had always thought to be a den of Brothels. I to Change Alley to have a look at tape recorders for Mum and flash attachments for myself. Found some quite interesting ones, and then decided to go to the city book store, which was my rendezvous with Dad at 10.30 am. Had a look at some of the books, and then met Dad at 10.20 am. Then to a mob called Lals, at 13 Change Alley, and apparently the fellow there is a friend of his—has been since 1956, but he still does not know his name. Found some more flash attachments, and finally managed to persuade Dad that, with the combined efforts of me, Dad and Grandma, that I could afford an electronic flash unit, which the fellow let me have for $40. Before he got much further, I persuaded him to buy me a telephoto lens in advance for my birthday, and had a bit of fun choosing this. Then went to look at the selection elsewhere, and we bought ourselves some sunglasses on the way, complete with polaroid test things, and thence to Robinsons, where we had lunch, and then down again, and more looking for taperecorders. Rang Mum up at 2.00 pm, and decided to get Sony model TC-200, and got it for less than ½ the K.L. price, which Mum said was over $800—we got it for $400.

After that, we had little to do, but Dad bought Bev a new camera, [A Yashica 635 6x6 TLR] with many interesting features, including taking 35mm or 120 film, which appears decidedly useful. Then looking round for some item of Chinese cutlery for Mum, and no luck.

Managed to get on the 3.30 plane by the skin of our teeth, and back in K.L. by 4.50—the plane was behind schedule, and we had a bit of fun trying to clear it [clearly the goods we had bought] from Customs, but finally managed to do it, and back home, where all were surprised to see us, but Bev was the only one delighted. Mum took one look at the taperecorder and promptly decided to dye Bev's hair for her. She finally finished this, and then we had a go at finding out how to record on the thing, and had quite a job. Finally, in between T.V. programs, managed to work it out.

Bev was trying out my flash unit on her camera—took a few photos.

Looking back at this day 45 years later, I'm amazed how much we squeezed into one day. I don't know if I'd be able to manage it now. Clearly air travel has only progressed to a certain point.

Sunday, 16 August 1964 K.L. Images for 16 August 1964
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Rather restless morning, but was finally woken at 8.50, by Dad, who had only just got up himself. Then was told that we had to leave for the Lake Club at 9.30, so told Eileen to prepare breakfast, and rushed like mad.

This was for the annual (?) “Swimming sports”, a competition amongst the members, mainly their children.

As usual, something went wrong - Mani, the new amah, had not given Dad back any of his underpants, and as a result there was a hell of a susah about it.

We go there just as it was beginning, with all the little childrens races, and I promptly got us a place and looked round for some chairs - the place was packed. Then had a bit of fun trying to fix my telephoto lens onto my camera. Dad managed to find a boy to bring us 4 chairs, and then fixed my telephoto lens onto my camera for me, and was more or less successful. Then Gillian da Souza of 1961 fame, who has matured considerably since then, turned up, and started talking to Bev. She did not even appear to recognise me. Surely I have not changed that much?

Bev did very well - came first in the 2 lengths girls 11-14, in which Gillian came a very close 2nd, and she came 2nd in the pyjama race, which was really one hell of a fiddle, and she should have come first.

Spent a lot of my time looking around at the birds, but, apart from the low necklines, there was little to see.

Then to the Dog for lunch, and while we were there, Joe Speelman turned up, and was horrified to see how large I have become - said so to Dad. Not much to say about music.

Then back home, with intent to write up yesterdays events, but time was against me, and I could not but have a rest, following after Dads example, and woke up at about 5-20, and then out for tea, in which Bev voiced her opinion that she wanted a 35mm film in her camera, so Dad and I spent most of tea trying to find out how to use it as such, and more or less had worked it out by the time tea was over.

Then I discovered that we had lost Dad's exposure meter, and looked all over the place, but in vain. Finally gave up, and Dad off to the office in disgust. Watched TV a bit until he came home, and then had makan, after which we had intended to develop the film of Bev's which we got her with her camera, and did so. I must be getting more proficient now - it definitely takes less time to get it into the spiral. All came out well except the flash - Bev was using “M” synchronisation instead of “A”.

Also did some prints, but got a bit of fixer stain.


Monday, 17 August 1964 K.L.
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Up comparatively early this morning, in order to go to town, and went in with Dad. Just at the last minute, Bev wanted to go to the Golf club, but 'twas shut, and so she decided to come into town with me and help me do some shopping.

First stop was Kodak in Pudu road, and tried to get 100 ft reels of 35 mm film, but no go. According to the fellow there, they never have made it. Then back home, got some books, rid of Bev, and went back to Dad's office, and he reckoned that I ought to get a 36 exposure reel without cassette, and this I did, and also got some different, ultra-fine-grain developer made by M&B and called "Promicrol”. Supposed to be much better than Microdol. Returned the books to the USIS library, and got 2 more out, not as good, but nevertheless quite interesting.

Got home, and loaded the film into a cassette, and then put it into Bev's camera, and tried to get it to work, but the thing does not lock properly - just gives a click after winding. Left it for examination at a later date.

Then Mum decided that my complexion was not suitable, and proceeded to boil my head, which was not very comfortable.

Then tried to fix up the exposure meter which Dad bought the other day, and whose scales are slipping. More or less did it.

After lunch, had little to do, and read the instructions to the promicrol stuff again - had already made up the solution. Damn good stuff, if the instructions are anything to go by.

Thence upstairs, and got out this book on photography which I had got out from the USIS this morning. Quire interesting, and they gave some “laboratory experiments” on the subject - it must have been written some time ago, as they did not seem to have heard of tanks. It must be rather tiring running the film up and down in total darkness.

Then Mum was called out to do some work, or go to a french lesson, or some such thing, but first of all insisted to get me dressed in some odd getup of Dads to go running with the Harriers tonight.

About an hour later, along came John Hazel and picked me up, and took me over to his house, and gave me a shirt to wear instead of the thing that I had on. Was picked up and then taken out by his girlfriend, whose father was also running - her name is Hazel. I don't think he has much risk of marrying her.

The run was hellishly tiring - I don't think the spirit has much to do with whether you want to run or not. To make it worse, my shoes shrank while going through a swamp. Got back and was filled with drink, including, by way of a change, champagne. Then back to John's house, had makan and lot of booze - John Duncan lost his pants in the process.


Tuesday, 18 August 1964 K.L. Images for 18 August 1964
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Enter Bev this morning, and asks me if I feel like meeting Jacky Webb. Ever game, I quickly up and out of bed, and down for breakfast. Almost immediately thereafter, left for the golf club, and met Alec Crawford on the way.

Met Jacky Webb, who is a most attractive girl, but she has a rather odd temperament. I wonder - she is the type that makes me wonder. Reminds me a bit of María.

Did not swim for long, so there was little to do, and instead came out and started taking some photos with my telephoto lens, mainly of Jacky.

Both of them!

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Then decided to get some suntan, and went up onto the sun deck, but was too busy sitting up and looking at the women below to get much tan anywhere except on my shoulders.

Then back into the water to try and get on with some birds I had noticed, but not much luck, and by this time Bev & Jacky were prepared to leave, so I soon followed suit, and rang up Mum. On the way back home, considering my flight on the same flight as Sue.

Almost as soon as I got back, I decided that it was no use delaying until I got a letter from her, as I had not had one for half a month, and so wrote back to her, one of the longest airletters I have ever typed.

After lunch, had little to do, as afternoons so often find me lately, and sat down in a chair and read more photography, which, although interesting, is scarcely the best way to spend an afternoon.

As a partial result, decided to do a bit of listening to some records, as Mum would not let me do any recording on her tape recorder - does not trust me with it, and no doubt will first have to show me how to use the thing.

This was extreme sarcasm. My mother had very little technical ability.

After that, had tea, in an unusual manner, as neither Dad nor Bev were there, at least for the start, and we did not have any cake. Bev came back in the middle, and fairly soon after both she and Mum went out to Petaling street, to do some shopping, and enter Dad, and I had tea with him to keep him company. Finished off all our tobacco in the process.

Then had a general conversation until the girls came back, laden down with barang as is their wont.

Had makan fairly soon after that, and then I started examining the Riepling family tree, and decided to retype it - it was full of spelling mistakes. I don't think it could have been written by a german.

Partially, at least, I was wrong. The Rieplings were described as „Erbhofbauer“ (hereditary farmers) at the end of the Thirty Years' War (church records having been destroyed before then). I didn't know the word, and replaced it with „Erdhofbauer“ (soil farmers).

Finally did some tape recording, and had quite a bit of fun playing duets with myself, but must perfect my technique.


Wednesday, 19 August 1964 K.L.
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Dad up and away to the airport fairly early this morning in order to catch the flight to Ipoh, and I with him to the airport. After that I decided to go and see how Vincent Josef was getting and - this in the car - and Rahmad had the time of his life trying to get down Jalan Kolam Ayer - especially as all the ways I knew of getting there proved to be too small. However, we finally made it, and, fortunately, Vincent was there, and pleased to see me, asking all sorts of questions, including why I did not come over earlier, etc. He is starting to grow a beard. Looks rather amusing. Showed me his new guitar, and as it is an electric one, he would like a pickup and amplifier for the thing. Then took me outside, and showed me how the place has changed - and changed it had. There was some chinese temple going up, but he was ignorant as to its dedication. Then to some friend's place, whose name I have now forgotten, where also was Hari Nyar.

After a bit of talk about this fellow's sisters' wedding in Ipoh on 29/VIII/1964, out, and down in the general direction of Sentul Pasar, where we came across a group of birds - one of whom was Vincents girlfriend - and she arranged to meet him in JKA at 12.00 am [presumably intended to mean midday], so back we headed and hung round the rendezvous for a while, while Vincent decided where he would go. In the end, I lent him $1 to buy some drinks, and then went to pick Mum up to bring me home, and finally got home, and had a lunch of curry puffs and things.

Then upstairs to read the “Playboy book of party jokes”, which Vincent had given me this morning - He must be reforming, or something. Anyway, he was a fool to part with it. A little after that, he rang up, and asked if 'twas OK to come over. I said 'twas, and back to my book. Then to the Supermarket, and bought some weed - Escudo De Luxe and Capstan Navy Cut. My apologies to Parsifal - the former is much better than the Balkan Sobranie, unless the rubbed flake has anything to offer.

So wasted I the whole afternoon, and then Mum went to collect the girls, and I had to look after the puppies. Then back again, out again, after locking the puppies in, and I back upstairs again.

They came back again with Jacky Webb, whom I cannot make out whether I like or dislike. When one sees her hair, she looks less like María.

Down to where my chemicals are kept and searched through for some interesting chemicals, and found a fair amount. Must do something about Na₂O₂ - tin decrepitating.

Then Mum and Dad off to a cocktail party, and we had to stay at home and be bored to tears. I made some developer, or tried to, but was not very successful.

They returned with a curry makan.


Thursday, 20 August 1964 K.L. Images for 20 August 1964
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Down to Dads office this morning early to collect Vincent, but Dad had given Rahmad the morning back [?], so when I finally did find Vincent, we had to catch a taxi home, and the fellow tried to cheat us, but we had already noticed the distance.

Got home, and immediately Bev commented on his beard.

I showed him the stuff where I did all my photographic stuff, and he was rather impressed, although his first question was “Where is the thing for making prints?” (enlarger), and I had to confess that of these I had none. However, I invited him over on Tuesday evening to develop some films with me, and he accepted.

Then back to the Hall, and had a pretty general conversation about life in general, and spent some time thereover. He had a go at reading my writing, but soon gave up in disgust,

Typing this in 50 years later, I can't blame him.

and we headed upstairs for him to say hello to Mum, and she also commented on his beard.

Then into my room, and the “Lalat” of old emerged, and he wanted to see my comics, which were in the bookcase, and he spent quite some time reading the same, while I played some music from a book which was there, and which proved to have been Vincents, in order to see if he still recognized it.

Then came Ananda, just back from the east coast and Dungun, and we had coffee. Carried on again reading after that, and had to get a fellow to take some Venetian blinds to be repaired - he saw my photographic stuff, and commented thereon quite favourably.

Lunch, and Vincent was rather at a loss as to how to use the massive amount of cutlery placed at his disposal, and started to drink his tomato juice with his spoon. However, we soon put him right.

After lunch, gave him quite a few chemicals from my collection, and also more comics, and took him home in the car, and thence out to a place where he was to have some elementary maths tuition.

Then back home, and took Bev's camera and humidor to Eastern photographers to be looked at, and thence home again.

John Hazel was present at tea, after which we watched the Flintstones, and recorded the same.

Then got ready to go out to the Bohemian evening at David Wehl's, and almost immediately we got there, we were sent back to get the tape recorder.

The number of musicians there was minute - apart from David and myself, there was hardly anybody who could play anything, but the leading lady from “The Vagabond King”, Pat somebody or another, was there, and we did quite a bit of recording of her singing together with quite a few other people who joined in.

Got to bed at 1.30 am.


Friday, 21 August 1964 K.L. → Kg. K. Kemaman Images for 21 August 1964
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Woken up at about 6 am this morning, which was not much fun after last night's late night, and promptly went back to sleep again, to wake up at about 8.50, and had breakfast, and over to see Dad, who gave me a cheque for $200, and told me to get some stuff at Eastern photographers - Kodachrome X - 36 exposures, 160-20, 8mm ciné - Kodachrome II, and some VP120 for Bev, and her camera.

When I got back with all this mess, went back home, in order to be off by our estimated time of 11.00 am to the East coast.

When we got back, there was nobody home, and it developed that Mum was with a friend, and that that we would be having makan here. Dad decided that we would be lucky to get away before 2.00 pm.

As usual when we are alone in the house, Lalita arrived, and wanted to know where Ananda's bag was - Mum had given it to somebody to give to him. Then she rang up, and was waiting with this friend of hers at the American embassy for something or another. Said she would be back as soon as possible, and was true to her word.

Had morning coffee - seems to be becoming a way of life now - and then, almost immediately, had lunch, which was early, in order that we might get off early, but as is usual with one of Mums friends, we took about an hour over it, and left at about 1.30, half an hour earlier than Dad had expected, and took Theo with us.

Car rides are seldom very interesting - they take up time, and that is about all. The conversation was pretty dead up to Temerloh, and I spent most of my time considering the letter I got from Sue this morning - brush off. Oh well, I can take it (so say they all). I wonder if she can. We will see. As long as I still have María.

After Temerloh, where we had tea, we went on, and Mum expressed her interest in starting up a holiday home after the manner of Netherton. The whole family was wildly enthusiastic thereover, and we spent the next few hours discussing the details, and so on. It looks as if we might get started in less than 2 years - Christmas 1965, with any luck. I am sure Mum would do much better than Mrs Baudouy.

Came to a Motel on the North side of Kemaman, there to spend the night, and there met, of all people, John Katrawas [spelling?] and his wife. The were, as I, interested in seeing some turtles, and after makan there was a general expedition to see the same, down to a place about 5 miles south. Took my flash stuff with me, and when we got down there, after finding a tortise [sic] on the road, we discovered that one had been in as early as 8.00 pm.

We did find one, and took quite a few flash photos, but the fellow laid no eggs. Flash must have scared him off.


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Saturday, 22 August 1964 Kampong Kuala Kemaman Images for 22 August 1964
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Dad woke me at some very early hour this morning, in order to find out whether I would like to go for a swim or not. I replied very emphatically, and turned over and went to sleep.

I was woken once again a little after 9.00 am, by which time the weather had also cleared up considerably. Got up, dressed, down, gave Bev an exposure meter reading, and went in for breakfast. As for last night, we had rather a long wait.

Finally did finsh, having also given Theo his share, and then got ready and down to the beach, after a bit of administrative checking up, during which we found that we could stay here for tonight as well.

Down at the beach all was well, and we rented an umbrella for the morning. Mum, however, soon out again, and all was well with Theo.

Thus we stayed for quite some time, and then out and decided to go for a walk. This we did, and then Bev & I lay down on a log to get some suntan, while Mum & Dad went for a walk. Then in again for a swim, and Dad in too when they came back, but not Mum, which rather peeved Bev. As a result, we had an argument before lunch, and then Mum had lunch before the rest of us.

After lunch, which finished very late - about 3.00 pm, and after that Bev had wanted to go for a row in one of the boats that may be procured at this place. Dad and I, however, having seen the turtles last night, were a little tired, and as a result went upstairs, to come down at 4.00 pm. At least that was what we intended to do. In fact, we slept until about 5.30. We went down, and was a hell of a susah about all sorts of things, but we finally got down there.

The waves were insurmountable, and as a result we had to content ourselves with paddling up and down near the shore. Thus we carried on for quite some time, and had a fair amount of fun, and Mum came down, apparently better after this mornings messup. Thence up again to change for dinner, and were ready and were waiting, having ordered by 7.50. Then followed the longest wait we have yet had for a meal. Fully 1¾ hours we waited - their excuse was that the place was crowded. In fact, there were not more than 5 tables occupied, out of a total of about 15.

However, at about 9.40 we finally got some food, and one must admit that the food is good, although not worth waiting that long for.

After that, discussing building our own motel round the corner. Dad reckons he could build one for $100,000, as compared with $750,000 for this monstrosity.

Ultimately this pipe dream came true, not round the corner, but at the Pantai Chinta Berahi. But that took another 6 years.


Sunday, 23 August 1964 Kampong Kuala Kemaman → Kota Bharu
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Up literally at the crack of dawn this morning, and about the first thing I did was to take a photo of the sunrise over the sea - a very interesting subject, and got one of a couple of boats silhouetted against the rising sun.


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Then up, and prepared for going to K.B., and did get away fairly early - just after 7.30. I was in a pretty bad mood - I am not getting enough sleep lately, and must do something thereabout.

As it was, almost as soon as I got away, I went off to sleep, or at least into a sort of doze, for quite some part of the journey, and also had a bit more conversation about the holiday home. The outlook for the future looks quite bright.

Stopped for a snack at Kuala Trengganu, which was fatal, and when get got back to the car there was a great long scratch all along the side. However, Dad reckons that he will just add that to the great list of things that need doing during the next, long overdue overhaul.

Then just after crossing the next ferrey [sic] we had a puncture, and had a hell of a lot of fun trying to change the wheel. We moved the thing up and down about a dozen times, and finally were more or less right. About 50 Kampong malays had gathered round to watch, and got $1 for helping Dad by supplying him with a plank. They really were stunned.

Then on, ever on, and before we knew what was happening, we were on our way to some F.L.D.A. site near Jerteh. Nothing much was wrong with the houses - they only needed building.

Then on to K.B., and arrived at the hotel Irama - new since I was last there - at about 2.30 pm, and after discovering that 2 chalets had been reserved for us, went in to have a quite lunch of nasi goreng, and then over to discover that our chalet had only 2 beds, and was absolutely filthy, so went back to stay at the Irama.

Almost immediately, I up to have a rest, but Dad soon woke me to tell me that I had an appointment with Mr. Chiem to look at my teeth, and, after the initial shock, recovered enough to be able to go. In point of fact, he only looked at them, and gave Mum some advice on what to do.

Then along to the Kelantan Silversmiths, to buy some cuff-links and got some police ones (Polis di-Rajah Persekutuan), and a Malaysia tie clip to go with it, and some matching Kelantan Tie Pins and cuff links. Then back to the hotel, where Dad was entertaining, and fairly soon went off to sleep, only to be woken a little later to go to the Union club with Dato' Nachiappan, and to have some makan, which finally put me into a bit better mood. Went home in preference to the flicks, and wrote a letter to Jan.


Monday, 24 August 1964 Kota Bharu
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Dad up and about fairly early this morning, with a hell of a lot of work for Foo Say Lee, and I did a bit of dozing, and finally woke up at about 8.30, and had breakfast.

At 9.00 am, Dad had an appointment with His Highness Sultan Yahya Petra, and was this almost instantly away. I away to the centre of town with Theo to take him for a walk, as he was becoming a bit restless. When I got back to the hotel, up came a fellow to me, and said hello, shaking my hand vigorously, whom I guessed to be Pui Cheng Wui, nor was I wrong. It eventuated that he had come here for the express purpose of seeing me, and I had saved him the trouble of a trip upstairs. Took Theo up to Mum and Bev, and then down again. He has now got his own driving licence, and he had brought a car with him, and so out we went to Pantai Chinta Berahi, and it has changed considerably of late, as the sea came right up to the hotel there, and taken away a lot of trees, and the place really looks bare now. Spent most of our time there talking about our respective future careers, and it eventuates that he might be going to Cambridge. After all these years, we may end up in our studies together again.

Then back to the hotel, and had a bit of a talk there, and Mum & Bev finally got up, and almost immediately out to Shaw & Hazels place. Then Dad off to a rotary meeting and I down to the dining room to grab a bit to eat, shortly to be joined by Mum & Bev, who spent their time de-ticking Skocker [?]. The food was a bit busoh [rotten], and we ended up by sending two of the dishes back.

After that, back upstairs again, and did a bit of reading Dad's files, and then along to see “Lawrence of Arabia" at the Lido, and met Cheng Wui there while I was at it, but as he was going downstairs, and I up, we could not sit together.

The film was very interesting, but I feel that it requires a lot of thought, and as it was so long, I would really need to see it again before I could really know what to think of it.

After that, back home, and had to change into a white shirt etc, and Tie, and then along to look up Kenny Wong, but he was not in, so then along to see Joe Chiem and family, and only stayed there about 10 minutes before going on to Dato' Nachiappans, and there spent about half an hour looking at photos of Nachi's capricious [probbaly not the word I meant] family, and so on.

Then had one of the most enjoyable meals we have ever had, and all ate with fingers, except for Mum, whose fingernails were too long. Dad said it would go down in the family annals, but I doubt it will get further than this diary.


Tuesday, 25 August 1964 Kota Bharu → Kuala Lumpur
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Up very early this morning, to get an early start in the direction of KL, but even so not as early as Dad had wanted, and we did not get away before 7.30 am, and then made a hell of a belt in the direction of Trengganu, and the south in general.

Nowadays the journey goes through the centre of the country, and is about 450 km. In those days there was no road between Kuala Krai and Kuala Lipis (over half the total journey today), and we had to go along the coast to Kuantan, crossing numerous ferries on the way. The total distance was about 640 km, though nowadays even that journey is only about 607 km, presumably because the road across the hills to the east of Kuala Lumpur have been greatly improved.

This in itself was utterly boring, and the only highlights were the bumps in the road, which, at 75 mph, because more than a little objectionable. In fact, I bumped my head on the roof at least a dozen times.

While waiting for the first ferrey [sic], a Bev noticed a monkey nearby, and as a result we nearly missed the ferrey, and also wasted a fair amount of film thereon.

Then on, ever on, not even stopping at Kuala Trengganu, and instead stopped at a beach about 20 miles further on to look at it, as Mum liked its looks.

On to Kijal, where we were to meet some Hamzah fellow to show us Nachiappan's beach, but he was away, and so some other fellows showed us the place instead. Absolutely idea for a motel.

Then on another few miles to the Kemaman motel, and had lunch with less of a wait than usual, while I decided that unless I washed my face more often, I would get spots more often.

Makan over, we left, and on again by 3 pm, and on to Kuantan, where we stopped to buy food to nibble and chew, and discovered that Theo liked peanuts in their shells, but would not eat shelled peanuts, and so we ended up with a great pile of peanut shells on the floor.

At Temerloh, stopped for tea, after a record breaking run behind a car belonging to D.Y.M.M. Sultan Pahang. He was really pushing it, but we just about managed to keep up with him, touching 90 [mph; 145 km/h] sometimes.

After tea, on to K.L., thorough all the difficult mountain passes quite late at night, when it was dark, and thus even more difficult to see ones way.

We finally got home at about 8.45, and all were pleased to see us, and, as is usual after a long car journey, and letter from Parsifal awaited me, complete with Shakespeare illustrations all over the place. At any rate, it took up space, and he further helped this by not typing, but writing the letter - father using the typewriter.

Wrote a letter back to him - one of my longer, and it took me quite a long time.

Exhausted after that, and as I intended to rise early tomorrow, went to be before 11.00 pm.


Wednesday, 26 August 1964 K.L
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I had intended to rise with Dad this morning, but he was up far too early for me, and I went back to sleep, not very reluctantly.

Woke up again at about 9.30, and almost immediately Dad rang up to ask me to buy him a comb.

Had breakfast, and then prepared to wait for Rahmad, but Mum wanted to get me to get some stuff for her at the Supermarket, and kept me waiting another ¾ hour while she made me make out my lists of things from The Supermarket and from Nainas.

After ¾ hour, Dad rang up to say that he had not yet sent Rahmad, as an emergency call had come through, and he had to drop everything else. Finally Rahmad came, at about 11.00 am, and went with Bev to the Supermarket, where we had quite a bit of fun trying to get stuff that was out of stock.

Then back, dropped Bev, and over to Dad's office, and had an agreement with him about what to get, and then into town, back home to get my passport for verification purposes, and meanwhile that damned fool Rahmad went back to the office, and so, at such an advanced hour, I could not really call him, and decided to go after lunch, and meanwhile started typing out some stuff on development times for various films in Promicrol.

Lunch was sandwiches, which Mum insisted we made ourselves, while Dad went to the Rotary luncheon, as per usual.

When he came back, I back with him, and extracted $1 from him. Then to to the Brickfields road post office, and got the parcel which Dad had wanted me to get, and then went along to Eastern Photographers with Bev's camera, but Bev did not want to have to wait a week for her camera, so nothing could be done about that. Then got my camera, to be fitted with a lens cap, and all that happened was that the damn fool there pressed the shutter and wasted a slide - he did not even manage to find a lens cap for the thing.

Then back home, and had tea, and then with Dad to his office, where he had left this diary, and wrote up for yesterday.

Then back home for makan, which we had to make ourselves. I shall try not to be at home next Wednesday.

After makan, got round to developing my films, which I finished on Friday, and it works out as my first completely successful 35mm film - something is wrong with my counter in my camera, and the telephoto lens cuts the edges slightly.


Thursday, 27 August 1964 K.L
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Once again up very late this morning, much to my disappointment, but there was little I could do about it.

Down, and had a breakfast of sausages - forgot that we had papaya, and was not reminded until lunch time, by Dad.

After breakfast, almost immediately downstairs, and cut up my photos into 5 - exposure lengths, as this suited the envelopes that I was keeping them in best.

Before long, Mum wanted me about something or another, and before much more time had elapsed, we were furiously shouting our heads off at each other, and calling each other all sorts of names. This carried on for quite some time, and in the end, we both gave up. Then on to do a bit of reading, and carried on for quite some time, and was told to write a letter to Mrs Galea thanking her for some Batek, and this I did, but she insisted on reading it, which annoyed me afresh, and once again we were screaming at each other. At this dramatic juncture entered Dad, and we had quite an interesting and lively conversation, and then lunch.

After lunch I resumed my arguments, and as a result, persuaded Mum to try and be nice and coöperative as well - I wonder how well it will go. Then off into town, and into Jalan Kolam Ayer to see Vincent about going to the MAHA exhibition, and then had a general talk with him, and gave him the formula for solving quadratic equations. Off again, and dropped Dad's ciné film at Eastern Photographers, and then round various book stores to look for photographic magazines which were more than a collection of nudes, and found a couple going at a rather exorbitant price, but they were all that were worth getting, and so I bought them.

Back home, and read photo magazines, and discovered that they are doing a thriving business in America selling different brand lenses to a particular camera, and so on.

In the evening, there was a barbecue on at the lake club. Almost as soon as we got there, we were beset upon by Gillian de [sic—should be da] Souza, and she in turn was joined by a good looking bird from New Zealand, who has obviously not been here long, to judge by her accent, and I started going for her. Name of Jennifer Williamson - lives somewhere near the Spooner Road Mess.

After a rather exciting squash ball & spoon race, we won - Bev, Gillian, myself, and 2 others whom she knows. Then, after makan, the barbeque itself, and then prize-giving - $5 each.

Wet film - “Tom Thumb”. Only thing of interest was a treble (not descant, but treble!) recorder played by one of the stars.


Friday, 28 August 1964 K.L Images for 28 August 1964
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Up fairly late as usual, which is a habit which I must break, and almost immediately down and forgot the papayas again.

Then upstairs, and carried on reading “Around the world in 80 days”, despite frequent interruptions from various quarters. Finally Mum made me one of the honorary staff of the Austral secretarial service, and made Bev and me proof-read some stuff of hers, and this really took a hell of a long time, although it probably seemed longer than it really was. In the middle of it, the post came, and a letter from Jan came, but I could not open it until I had finished the work. When I finally did open it, however, I was so excited that I opened it the wrong way, with most peculiar results. Answered it almost immediately, and that took me a long time as well. Meanwhile, Mum & Bev went out for a shopping spree at the Supermarket, leaving me home in exchange.

All arrived back home at about 1 pm, and we did little except prepare for lunch - I have the feeling that my mornings are wasted lately. Fazzia Mubarek (uncertain of the spelling) was also there, but would not have anything to eat with us, but just played round with our dogs. After lunch, the fun started when they wanted to go to the golf club, I to take photos round town, and Dad to have an appointment at the C.E.B. at 2.30. Anyway, somehow we managed it, and I ended up, after taking my camera case in for first aid, in front of the Secretariat buildings, and started taking photos there, of the secretariat (quite a few required without a wide-angle lens),


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the High Court, the Post office, etc,


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I have forgotten where the High Court was, but I don't see any photo that matches.

all this time drifting down Jalan Rajah to Victory Avenue, got the Bank Negara,


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Masjid Negara (still under construction),


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Railway station


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and then up Jalan Damansara to the new Muzium Negara, which is certainly a very impressive building,


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and so in, and immediately had my camera grabbed from me, but nevertheless enjoyed it considerably, and am considering the possibility of smuggling a sub-miniature 16 mm camera into the place.

Then into the lake gardens, and after taking a few of the place in general (now with parliament house in the background)


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went up to look for the place where Jenny lives, and I think I have found it.

Then over to the lake club - had a drink, and I discovered her father's application form for the club membership, but unfortunately it gave his business address, not his private one. I shall have to do more snooping.

Back home with Dad at about 5.30, and then down to the golf club to look for Bev, and discovered that Eileen had boobed again, and back home and find tea.

Then working out some formulae for colour developing, which certainly does take its time—a minimum of 80 minutes, and likely to take all but 2 hours.

After makan, developed a film of Bev's—in Promicrol, and water bath to keep temperature down between 19,5 and 20,2°C. Went well.


Saturday, 29 August 1964 K.L
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By great excercise [sic] of will power, I managed to get up this morning with Dad, at 7.45 am, which is quite early enough for me. Had breakfast also with Dad, and then into town with him, after the now-daily share prices examination.

First of all to Vincent's, and there discovered that he did not intend to go to MAHA, as his father would not let him.

Then down to Chee Seng's about my camera case, not really expecting to to be ready, but it was, and only had to pay $4, which I considered to at all bad, and then I along to the Lake club, to write up for yesterday, and got it finished fairly early for a change. Old Whatsisname of the Harriers came also, and said hello. Nice, but that was about all.

Thus sat, staring at the sparse population of decent women about, when I was approached by a fairly nude, good looking bird with a camera - SLR - to ask me to take a photo of her and a friend, and after working out the rangefinder, did this. One of the sparsest bikinis I have ever seen. Got me to take another after that. It is rather confusing for the thing to black out after each exposure.

If this is the occasion I'm thinking of, the camera was an Exakta, and indeed the bikini was revealing, especially for the time, showing at least one nipple.

This incident is also interesting because it was probably my first exposure to an SLR. It was only at the beginning of the month that I first heard of such a thing. I recall being surprised by the black-out of the non-instant return mirror.

Then did a bit of sunbathing, but there were no decent birds, and ended by walking past Jalan Lembah, where I think Jennifer lives. I must find out for sure. Then to the British Council, but was not allowed to join. Ended up at the Dog waiting for Dad, and when he finally arrived he decided that he might as well go along to the long bar and have a drink, and so he did, and I went as well.

Finally got home at about 1.30, but yet was lunch not ready. Bev had a couple of friends with her, and we had to take them home. Katriona Moss is an interesting looking bird.

Out to P.J., and it was pouring with rain, in such torrents as can only be found in the tropics. Once out there, along to general sawmills, where John Chow is now working. Odd fellow. It seems we have not yet paid for my oscilloscope, and he doesn't really care.

This was the oscilloscope that I had built in July 1963. That's really a long delay.

Then along to Tun Abdul Razak's place, but it has not changed much since I was last there.

Back home, and Lali was there as of old. Had a fairly good tea, but Mum & Bev had made the cake, and 'twas a bit stodgy.

Downstairs to look at formulae for colour printing, but it is all a bit out of date, and I think I will chuck it all, and have a go at finding out what Eastern Photographers use for processing Ektachrome.

After makan, did little, but before I had tried some stuff with 35 mm, but without much success.

That's what I wrote

Very late night - 12.30 pm [sic]


Sunday, 30 August 1964 K.L
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Getting up as early in the morning as I did yesterday seems to have an unsettling effect on the next day, and this morning I slept very late indeed, and immediately the fan stopped, which was due to a power cut - rather ominous on the eve of Merdeka. Down to breakfast, and asked Eileen to make some toast, but by this time power was on again. Stopped yet again, however, before I had finished. This time rung up Dad, and confirmed that he also had no power - however, also the telephones were yet working. Rang up CEB, but go on crossed lines with a fellow in the Pahang road area, complaining about the same thing. Before I actually got on to them again, however, power was back, so so much for that.

As usual, along came Lali fairly soon after that, and Dad was as well. Had makan, then upstairs, discussing whether Tun Abdul Razak was pure Malay, or whether, as Lali suggested, his father was J.A. Clifford.

I have no idea who this could have been. The name Clifford was well-known from Hugh Clifford, but it's unlikely to refer to him.

The latter seems highly unlikely to me. Then got Mum's tape recorder ready, and listened to the tapes that we made of David Webb's party on the 20th. The thing was not too bad, but I have heard better singing than that on side 2 of this tape. This carried on for quite some time, and Lali soon walked out. Dad immediately in for a sleep - curry always makes one rather tired - and I played back the Flintstones of the 20th, but nobody was particularly interested, so I took it off again, and put the whole affair away. Then in to wake up Dad, who was due to go and meet Tun Abdul Razak at 4.30, and I decided to go with him. On my way, took a photo of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, which I had missed the day before yesterday, and then on.


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Got to his house before the Tun, and watched Dad give the foreman a systematic blowing up before he arrived. When he finally did arrive, he was rather surprised to find that Dad had a son of my size. He forgets that I am only about 3 years older than his sons. He was very pleased with the way the house was coming up - he could hardly bear to part with the place. Sons did not think much of it, however. Dad tells me that they are a couple of little bastards.

His elder son is Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, and as I type this in, the current Prime Minister of Malaysia. At the time he was 11 years old, nearly 5 years younger than I.

Then took a shot of a Thai temple nearly, with a rather striking colour scheme,

The only photos I have are clearly of a mosque. Could I have mistaken it for a temple?


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and thence back home again, where we had exceptionally little to do for a quite some time, until makan, and I made what use I could of this time by making contact prints of a few of Bevs last 2 films.

After makan, even less to do, and listened to a speech by Y.T.M. Tengku Abdul Rahman on the subject of Soekarno. Most interesting. Very late to bed, despite attempts to the contrary.


Monday, 31 August 1964 K.L
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MERDEKA

Dad woke me up fairly early this morning to tell me that he was going to the office, but I managed to dissuade him, and as a result he went downstairs, and carried on there. I back to sleep, and woke up at about 11.30, which thought I none too good, and promptly up and about, and down to see what Dad was doing - he had just finished the draft of the house that he wants to build for us out at UKay heights, and pretty good it looks, too.

Then had morning coffee, although it was by this time well after noon, and as a result, lunch was also late, and was but a warm-up of the rather considerable remains of yesterday's curry.

After that, I wished to go for a walk with Dad, as the whole place was rather dreary, and it had been pouring with rain in the morning, which Dad thought was just as well, as it would dampen the spirits of any high-spirited people about today.

My guess is that this was a reflection of a certain political apprehension: this was the first ever celebration of Malaysian independence, since the Indonesians had been opposing the formation.

However, he had different ideas about going for a walk as well, and instead spent a large part of the afternoon doing the plans of the new house, after Mum had looked at them & criticised them. I meanwhile out, looking at various photographic magazines, and desperately trying to find anything of interest. Finally, however, he was finished, and together we went upstairs to show the same to Bev, whom it rather interested. He still is rather undecided about some details, nevertheless, and no doubt there will be many more drafts and designs after this.

Then hunted out the dogs, in order to finally go for a walk, and discovered all sorts of consequences, and finally ended up by changing all the dogs leashes round, and putting some rather decorative collars on all the dogs, and finally set out with some rather interesting looking assortment, and spoke to each other about education mainly, but Dad was also rather preoccupied with the house. I reckon that I can almost definitely leave school in July 1966, taking double maths and physics at 'A' level, and chemistry at 'S' level. If I fail, I can go back just for the exam.

Got back pretty well dead heat with Lali, and she was hoping that it would pour with rain in order that she would not have to compere some Merdeka celebrations in the open air in the Lake Gardens. She was very much in luck. Absolute torrents came down.

Mum felt like going out this evening, and so we booked some seats at the Rex for “The Night of the Iguana”, which, as I later discovered, is by Tennessee Williams. Somehow I always find the fellow unbearably depressing, and tonight was no exception.


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