Greg's diary
August 1967
Translate this page
Select day in August 1967:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Select month:
1967 Jan Feb Mar Apr
1967 May Jun Jul Aug
1967 Sep Oct Nov Dec
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Previous month
Next month
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information

This page contains a significant number of German words and phrases. Possibly Google Translate can help, though it's pretty flaky.

Tuesday, 1 August 1967 Lohbrügge → Hamburg → Lüneburg
Top of page
next day
last day

Woke up yet again late—that makes every day I have been here, which is a pretty good record. I don't suppose it worries Otto or Else much, though I would like to have said goodbye to Otto, which I didn't really do.

In any case, eventually staggered out, and found Else doing some washing in the kitchen. Then had breakfast, and then said something about washing my hair. Else said that her Fohn [sic; should be Fön] was kaputt, and that I should go down to the hairdresser (heaven perish the thought) just down the road, and seemed a little put out when I suggested that I do it myself and left it to dry naturally [like I always do]. Nonetheless, she didn't put up much opposition, and gave me some shampoo, and left me to it, and off to read my University entrance folder.

Eventually out I came, and discussed University entrance with Else, who found it all just a little confusing (don't we all at first?).

Eventually got it all worked out, and then into the other room, and started packing my stuff, while Else went up into the attic and had a look round for a leather strap to help me carry my bag, and came down with something that looked quite serviceable, and helped me to attach it.

Then had a lunch, preceded by several glasses of Schnapps, and accompanied by a glass of Bier, so by the end of it I was feeling quite happy, and so off with my barang (and Else to help me) to the bus stop, and thence to the ZOB. About 50 meters after I got off the bus, the handle came off my case, and I could not get the thing back on again, which was all very confusing, and so thus over to the station, and only just caught the train by the skin of my teeth.

Arrived in Lüneburg at 1556, and outside met another bloke from Kent, who was also doing the course, and so we left our heavier stuff floating at the station, and off to look for the Institut, this being little helped by the fact that nobody knew where the place was. Eventually got somebody to show us after having walked just about all over the place, and went through a quite interesting and efficient check-in system, where we each had to pay DM 3.50 exchange on the cheques with which our fees had been paid.

Then off to find my Familie, and had been given the wrong address—Igelweg 15 instead of 5, which rather gummed things up. Eventually got to the right place, and literally only had time to say hello and goodbye before I had to set off again for the Hotel Scheffler for a rather greasy makan of chicken and rice, though hardly in Asiatic style, and after that off with a bloke called Marvin something or another, and later joined up with Guy Cheeseman—the bloke I met at the station—and off for a beer with a couple of other blokes. Then Guy and I talking about cameras—he wants to buy an SLR—and off back to show him mine, stopping for further refreshment on the way, and back into town to take a couple. Very late to bed, which helps little.

Wednesday, 2 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Something was said last night about getting to the Institut at 0700 for breakfast, so up I got at about 0630, and staggered about and out, and then down to the Institut, where I arrived at about 0715, and there were only about 2 other people there, so hung about in the foyer reading the Frankfurter Allgemeine until we were invited in for breakfast. Seemed to attract like types—2 blokes came over and sat next to me, both with beards, and got talking to one, who proved to be James Bell, whom Marvin had taken me for yesterday. Out, eventually, from breakfast, and was nearly knocked over (figuratively rather than literally) by a stunning french blonde, and then into the hall to be welcomed by all to the place, and had a nice long introductory speech, in German, English, and French, telling us what was (mainly) and was not expected of us, that we were to work hard and not have women in our rooms—pity: I like that Sylvie Mutafion (as her name proves to be). Also details of where to eat—place called Frau Becker.

After a Pause, in which I got a letter from Sandy and a not very happy one from Dad, had a test to ascertain our ability, and which I (as of old) finished first.

After eventually getting out (but with a promise of more tests afterwards) off to Frau Becker's, led by a bloke who had been here before—this idea of doing a course twice slightly sickens me, though I suppose it is slightly different here from OBS.

After that—quite a nice meal, though we were expected to fill out cards with out names on for some indeterminate purpose.

Then we had in the order of 2½ to 3 hours to spare, and first a whole group of us off to find some coffee, and then I and James off to look for a pipe for me, and then bumped into Guy, who was looking at some cameras, and off, with another bloke called Tex, and also a frog [Frenchman] whose name I don't know, and had some beer, and hung about talking for a while.

Back to the Institut, and had another test. That Sylvie girl really gets me in the gland (to use an American expression), and I had just a little difficulty concentrating on the paper, and so made a mess of the first question, and had to rewrite it, and so was not quite the first to reach the end. Then another paper, which I finished so fast that Herr Doktor whatsisname [later addition:] (Glade) gave me another of the same, and was astonished when I pointed out that I had just done that one. Weather doing all sorts of wierd [sic] things in this time. Out after that for a Pause, in which it eventuated that James, Guy, Marvin and that lot were all cheesed off because they were in Grundstufe 1 [the lowest level].

Then a Nacherzählung, which I finished in about ⅓ the time allotted, and off to have a look round town and buy some writing paper, before anybody else came out, and then off for makan, after which messing around in town, and, despite all good intentions, got no work done. I really must do something about this.

Thursday, 3 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Up later this morning—hardly surprising, for I did not get to bed very early last night, and I was pretty tired, in any case—but as a result had to really move when I did get up. The thing that makes me wonder is, is it really worth my while getting up early? What do I get out of it? Just the couple of Butterbrots and a couple of cups of tea. Na, wenn es nur Kaffee wäre!

Eventually over to the Goethe-Institut, and had breakfast, where I was shortly joined by Sylvie, whom I studiously ignored, except to the extent of showing her how to use the sugar jars. She managed to make a pretty average mess of that—the willingness with which the other blokes helped her!

Then eventually, Unterricht, and, as I had hoped, I am in the Mittelstufe. No Oberstufe, so I am in the top class—and so is Sylvie, though not near me. Note her birthday is 4/X/1948 [6 days after mine]—I was somehow expecting something like that. In the first period had a sort of general question time, and discovered Sylvie was studying to be a Dolmetscherin, and spoke English better than Deutsch. This goes from good to better—but she doesn't eat at Frau Beckers.

Second period—after an apologetic letter from Dad, saying he trusted me to make a go of it—was devoted to a quite easy prose on the use of Autobahnen, with which we made surprisingly slow progress.

Then to lunch, and after talking to James, as we were both in need of money, and as we both had to go home, agreed to meet at the Frau Becker place afterwards, and so off and took a lot longer time than I expected to get to and from the house. By that time, James was gone, and so over and had a look at the Volksbank, which was closed until 1500 hrs, and so off, met him, and spent the next while looking for some cheap beer, and eventually got a couple of bottles at the Supermarket, and off to drink it am Markt, and discussing women, and then disposed of the bottles, and over to the Volksbank, and wrote out a cheque on Lloyds/Sandown for £25 and opened up an account on the strength of it.

Then off again, both of us feeling quite happy, and had some pastries on the money which James had changed, and then round doing little of much use. To the Institut, and had difficulty finding my books, and then off again to see James, as I discovered I had no prep worth doing. Followed a few birds around for a while—surprisingly childish action, but what do you do in a foreign language? Saw a few just before makan, bout couldn't find them after, so I off home to write some letters, and do a bit of work as well, and before I had much chance, in came Frau Füssan [sic; should be Fussan], who has been very good to me—even fixed up my green pullover for me—and started talking, damit ich gut Deutſch lerne (I can see I will be writing this diary in German before long). Also wrote a letter to Jenni, and finished the one to Sandy, who, it seems, is thinking of coming over here.

Friday, 4 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Woken up this morning by one of the daughters, at the unearthly hour of about 0615, and carried on with this half awake state until about ah hour later, at 0720 odd, when it occurred to me that I had better get a move on, unless I wanted to be late for breakfast, and so up, and quickly dressed and off in the direction of the Goethe-institut, suddenly becoming very aware of the need even for a 2CV—I think, seeing as though relations with Dad are becoming better, it might be worth putting the situation to him—though it looks to me as if I will have a bit of fun with results of tests, etc.

Eventually got the the Institut, and had breakfast—not that there is much to do there—and then off outside to discuss the state of the nation with James, and then into the first class, where I suddenly discovered that I was supposed to have prepared a Referat after all last night, and so quickly got moving on it while I was not listening to the only bloke, but fortunately Dr. Glade was sympathetic and let me leave it until after the Pause. Suddenly I am becoming more interested in the USA bird next to me, rather than Sylvie, who is rather unobtainable.

Went OK with the Referat after the Pause, and then on—we are slowly getting through this thing about Autobahnen, and if fact do not have to do any more, as we have finished it.

Then to lunch, which was stuffed tomatoes or something—hardly very filling, and then trying to work out how to spend the rest of the day, and came to the conclusion that I might as well go back to the Institut, and started to read yesterday's Frankfurter Allgemeine (I am obviously going to have to do something about getting hold of my own earlier in the day), until James rolled up, and we ended up in a conversation as per usual, about women, and thus on for quite a while, and then inside, James to write some cards and I to decide that I had better go down town and buy a Heft for my Diktat, and on the way back, bought a Bratwurst, of which I was badly in need.

After that, Diktat in the class, which I found very easy, even though I probably made a few mistakes. Then talking about clothing—I didn't know until today that one wore a beard in this country (presumably implying that one takes it off to wash underneath it).

After the Pause, a hell of a laugh, as Herr Dr. Glade opened up the Tafel and found caricatures of, left to right, me, Sylvie, himself and Fräulein whatshername who teaches us (I personally think that Hakim did them. Very good—I wish I were really that close to Sylvie).

Back home almost immediately after makan, and was soon visited by a drunken Herr Fussan, and soon ended up in the loungeroom with all of them, being really welcomed to the family, and being told what a rotten lot that last mob were. I am just a little worried that they are insincere.

Saturday, 5 August 1967 Lüneburg → Hamburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

And up as usual—at least this long walk every morning is becoming more bearable on an empty stomach than it was at first.

I was way out of town, 3.2 km from the Institut. The bridge (Friedrich-Ebert-Brücke) across the Ilmenau was not there in those days.

In breakfast, that bird Sylvie again sat down next to me—was soll das bedeuten? Itis all very well to be continually thrown into contact with a beautiful, unobtainable bird, and, with a little bit of difficulty, one can resign oneself to it, but when this bird then starts to make signs that she might be obtainable, then what? She also moved aside for me to sit down when I was floating around, looking for a paper, and I would like to know what that means.

How can anybody be so naive?

Eventually into the Klasse, and there were told that we would have a Nacherzählung, and so proceeded to decide what hundreds of words which occurred in the story actually meant. Then heard the story through a couple of times, and then was already time for the Pause, and expected then a letter from either Jeni or Corinna, or better both, but unfortunately got neither, and so into the Klasse just a little less content with life (if such were possible—I was not in a very good state of mind today), and so on with the Nacherzählung, and after that reading (alone) an article in the paper about drugs, and then just about had time for one of the Referate before the end of classes for the week, and then off to the Hotel Scheffler (for some reason, Frau Becker does not cater for us today), and so waited a long while for some not-too-bad food, though it seems to me that rice must be cheap in this country—but why do they have to make it so greasy?

I suspect that the “grease” was butter, which is used in rice cookery in Germany, but not in Malaysia.

In the afternoon, David (i.e. James—using his wrong name. Confusing) and I decided that it might do well to get his trunk and bassoon from the station, so first down to the place where he is staying, and then, after discovering that 1961 models of 2CV, ID19 and DS19 were respectively 900, 1000 and 950 DM, off to the station, and found that his trunk was noch nicht da, and so, a little discouraged, back to David's digs, and trying to find a laundry,, which we were told was shut today. Accordingly ended up wandering down town, and did little apart from get more and more bored. Found the St Michaliskirche [sic; should be Sankt-Michaeliskirche] in the Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Platz, where this gentleman sang in the choir between 1700 and 1702,


and heard the organ he played. Then getting very depressed, so decided to go to Hamburg and see Corinna after all, and thus back to the house, and got involved in a party with the Besuch, and damn nearly didn't get away again, and then off to makan, after which down to the station and off to Hamburg, and rang up Corinna from the station, and she said something about meeting her there in an hour, and so round town, met her, and off to a place called the crazy horse. This bird has an interesting way of kissing, and I am not sure whether I like it or not. Home quite early, and hardly made it, we were stopping so often to kiss,. Too late home to Dietrichs, though, so off to the Bahnhof, and slept there for a while, until about 0145, when they were shutting the place up, and so I...

Sunday, 6 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

... spent a while looking round the place trying to find somewhere to sleep, and eventually ended up in the Post office, on a windowsill opposite the stamp machines, and slept quite well there until about 0530, and then went back again to the Bahnhof, which was again open, and slept for a couple of hours where I had before. Then, very cold, down to Lohbrügge, and it appeared that Otto & Else were not yet up, and so slept outside on a bench until they got up. Went up to see Else, who was apparently rather annoyed with me, and said, much as it disturbed her personally, she could not have me in her home, and proceeded to tell me what she thought of me. The shock of this, combined with the way I had been feeling anyway, made me feel sick as hell, and I nearly fainted at one stage, and so was eventually invited in, and given a lecture about being anti-social by Otto, and explain a few facts of German life—I know am I am sadly lacking, but I think they are paying too much attention to external appearances. Then I was given some breakfast—Else softened up a bit when she realised a) I was not a queer b) I had not run away from the Goethe-Institut, and while they prepared the house for Annemarie's visit, they gave me something to sleep on on the floor, and then off to sleep, and after waking up, off to the phone booth to ring up Corinna, as we had arranged, but either I had the wrong number, or she no longer wants to hear from me, and so I was told that they had never heard of anybody by that name.

Back to the house, and hung about for a while, reading and writing up for yesterday, and then came lunch, as usual half an hour late. Apart from the buffet and knick-knack cupboard, which had been changed on Friday, I might never had been away. Felt nevertheless a little grotty, and did not eat too much for lunch. After lunch, as per usual, Otto and Else went off to sleep, but I did not really feel tired, and so sat outside on the balcony, and read and watched gliders floating about all over the place, and eventually in again, shortly before Else got up.

Besuch zum Tee—Gertrud Riepling [Else's maiden sister, if I recall correctly], who is very happy about the fact that she has just got herself a new Wohnung, and had quite a conversation with her—I am not quite sure what is happening to Hedwig [the other sister], but I gather that she is not coming mit. Then Gertrud off, and talking to Otto about buying a car—he doesn't recommend VW, though there are plenty floating around for only 250-300 DM, and I am not altogether convinced. Eventually off, Elschen and Otto both a lot happier about me, and to Lüneburg, where first of all to see David, and stayed a while bei him reading Pardon, and still feeling a bit grotty, and then both down to my place, where I told them that Otto was very ill, and that satisfied them, and we even got a couple of bottles of Bier out of them—as well as a lot of conversation.

Monday, 7 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Boy! Getting up at 0715 after the affairs of the last 2 days was no mean effort, but somehow or another I made it nevertheless, though it was just a purely subconscious (or, at any rate, semiconscious) function, as I was still just about completely dead. Staggered off in the direction of the Goetheinstitut, trying my best to keep awake, eating the packed makan that Else had made for me yesterday, and eventually arrived, more or less alive, ad the Institut, though still feeling far from well, so arranged with David to have some of his Excedrin, which were at his house, and off on his (rather more than grotty) bike to get them from his digs. Back, and took a tablet, and then into class—Sylvie had obviously decided to miss breakfast, as she first came into sight (and boy, was I watching out for her!) at 0845, when we went in, and were told something about a few kurze Referate, and then heard these—Fräulein Schnackenberg [?], whose Christian name I really must find out, Hassan [?] (aus Iran) and Sylvie. Oh, that girl really hits me.

Then on, with nothing in particular, like Prädikatsergänzungen, and so to break, and then out, and before long in again with a pretty thorough post mortem of our Nacherzählungen, which, I suppose, was pretty necessary under the (rather grotty) circumstances. All I could think of was Sylvie, and how she looked in that pullover... even if I got her, she would not stay mine for long. I should keep to my earlier resolution to keep girls until I get to Hamburg—and Sylvie is too nice a bird to ever let go.

Then to lunch, as usual, or perhaps a bit better, and hung about there for a while until everybody was ready, and then off to a coffee place for some coffee—I am not quite sure why we didn't go to the old 20 Pf place, but this place was charging 78 Pf—not that it worried me, since I walked out before the rest, and, as I discovered, I did not pay. Then saw Guy and Tex, and off to a couple of photographic shops, and had a look at an old Praktica FX, a 35/3,5 Ennalyt, a 90/2,8 Auto-Travegon, and a 100/4,5 Kosinon [?] before we got tired. Then off to the Schule, after buying a couple of Hefte and a tube of Zahncrem [sic], and started doing a Verbesserung of my Nacherzählung and the Diktat, and this took me half an hour. Saw Sylvie, who said she was just about to start—must take advantage of next time I see her alone—and pointed this out to her, but she apparently had not done anything by the beginning of the period, in which we subsequently had an oral Nacherzählung, and then started reading our thing about the changeover in Sweden—leider nothing about the H Büstenhalters.

Then off for makan, in which I discovered Tex has a Pentax H 3v [American model number for the SV], and so off later with him and Guy to his digs, and then off to a view [?] to take some photos, and then to have something to drink, and got through 1½ litres before off to do some work, though even Herr Doktor Glade wanted me to watch TV.

Tuesday, 8 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Well, as I thought I would, I finally succumbed to the temptation, and overslept. I really must get a car—this 2 mile walk before breakfast is hardly something to look forward to, and this morning I just got up, and then decided that a couple of Butterbrötchen and tea just wasn't worth it (as luck would have ad it, I later found out that his morning we had peaches as well), and so got back into bed, and then did my matinal staggering act.

Arrived at school just before periods began, and showed Tex my 28/3,5 [Super-Takumar], which I had offered to lend him, and then into class—I wonder what time Sylvie got up at this morning. I think she is losing interest fast in favour of a Yank, though in the Pause she said something to me about getting no letters, which seemed a pretty leading statement—it all hangs with where one eats, of course, and she is at the Bahnhof.

Periods today were with Fräulein Breuninger, and she is not too bad, though not nearly so easy to understand as Herr Doktor Glade. Today, apart from a Referat (only one a day now), we were on about all sorts of things, stealing beans, and God knows what else—all this is a bit slow, and I am letting my mind wander too much... Sylvie. Why does she have to be in this class?

Then to lunch, which was as grotty as I have seen here, though I fear that my judgement was influenced by what the others think. Certainly Frau Becker seemed a little disappointed that I even didn't have any more. But I don't like spaghetti sauce in my beard.

After that, off trying to find Tex and Guy, but no go, so soon off to the Institut, after looking around—I am still interested in an 85/90 mm lens—and to the class, but no go, so hung about outside reading „Spiegelreflex Praxis“ for a while, and in the process was hailed by Herrn Doktor Glade, who said he had a Rolleiflex (about which I had been reading), and I tried to persuade him that the Praktisix or Pentacon Six was better, and he seemed more or less interested. Said something about my text book, and that if I didn't have the money to pay, I would be able to borrow the money from him, but Fräulein Richter wanted the money soon.

Off after that back home, where there was a letter from the bank, quoting my balance as something in the order of DM 280, and so wrote a letter to Dad telling him about the situation, and then off to the Bank, where, after a bit of argument, I managed to get myself a cheque book. The idea of accounts over here is different—no cheque tax, for one thing.

Then to post Dad's letter, and off to the Institut and did a bit of study. Where does everybody go on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons?

Eventually drpoped off to sleep, and then up again, and staggered round town looking for something to do, and saw Herrn Dagler before going off to makan.

After makan, and a beer with Tex and Guy, Tex decided to buy an SP—they all do sooner or later—and Guy offered to buy his SV (sorry—H3v) for £40, and spent the rest of the evening discussing that, as Guy (like Paul Hallett before him) is worried about customs.

Wednesday, 9 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

This morning, thouggh waking momentarily at 0445, did not really wake untl 0750, which was somewhat irritating, as I would have liked some breakfast, but still it was not to be helped, and so I just got aup and set off for school. At least I don't have to worry about anything like when I was at school, when I felt hungry as hell if (as I so often did) I missed breakfast.

Arrive at school to find David saying soemthing about a litter for me, and Tex saying that he could not wind on after only 34 hots—prived the film was finishe, so rewondi it an had a look. Sure enough, the mirror will go up first if one is very careful with the shutter. Interesting. Also can be locked up by the SP type tap on the shutter.

THen into class—I am getting depressed by these, especially as we seem to be getting nowhere in particular fast, which hardly helps much. I wish we had some more definite work to get on with—of course, this is just what I won't be getting in Hamburg, so maybe this is just as well. I should do a bit more work, though, although the social system around here is hardly conducive. Letter from Jenni in the Pause—might just as well have sent me an extract from the local paper.

After that, off to the makan place with Frau Becker—she was not very helpful, with another couple of platefuls of shit for lunch. Something tells me that they are gradually droping the quality for the food here now that we have been her for a while.

After makan, off with Peter, David, and Anne-Marie for some coffee, for which I eventually got stung 70 Dpf—why don't we just have some at the stand-up for 20? In any case, spent time there discussing hotting up petrol engines with Peter, and it seems that I can get hold of a supercharger off an old XK Jag car, which might be a good idea, and then off down towards the Institut, David and I stopping on the way to buy some pastries, as we were both pretty hungry. Later back to buy some bloody awful tobacco, and then off with a Bratwurst to the Institut—Learnt about Jugendherberge, and then off eventually into class. It looks as if Sylvie is hooked, and Caroll (Schnackenberg) is not particularly interested. Besides, she is 2 years older than me.

On through the Pause, in which Herr Doktor Glade squeezed 10 DM out of me, whith the promise of another 2.60 tomorrow, and which was otherwise boring.

After makan—a bit better, as we had roast beef and chips—off to the favourite pub with Tex and Guy, the former getting worked up about his bird from München and the book she sent him. Worries me a bit—innocent love. To the Institut, did some work, Home, saw some grotty slides, wrote a letter to Jeni telling her what love was about (and thus goodbye) and to bed.

Thursday, 10 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Today was as ever, and I just could not be bothered to get up if only to go to breakfast, so, as usual, off to school at round about 0800. I am sure that my getting up in the morning would be a lot more pleasant were it not for the thought of that long 2½ odd mile walk to the Institut. Discovered when I got there that there was nothing out of the ordinary for breakfast, anyway, so it was not altogether wasted.

After that, into classs, today with Frl. Breuninger, and was suddenly reminded that I would have to fill in hundreds of forms if I wanted to stay in this country, especially if I wanted to say more than 3 months, and so they wanted my Paß, which of course I had not. Filled in 5 forms in any case, which should be all I will need to fill in for a while, and this took most of the first period, the rest of which I spent watching Frl. Breuninger talking about relative pronouns.

Letter from Jeni, in effect saying goodbye, in the Pause. Rather nasty of her, but if that's the way she wants it, it is, almost by definition, the best way.

Then back into class to do some more work, and after relative pronouns (which took up a remarkable amount of time) had some Prädikatsergänzungen, and then Schluß for the morning.

After that, with Tex and Guy while they looked for old army coats—very nice one for only DM 75—and then to lunch. After lunch, in which we discussed my letter from Jeni—and Tex called her a bitch and suggested that I ought to tell her to go to Hell—off to a record shop and persuaded Guy to lend me his bike so I could go back to the house and get my Paß, and at the same time write a little covering note to the letter I wrote last night, and ended it off saying goodbye, which is going to be really the end. I knew this was coming—I feel sad, but that is about that. After that, off to post the letter, and talking with Guy about Infra-red film, off to look for Tex, and Guy home. Found Tex, as I expected, in his room, and so hung around reading Donald Duck cartoons in German for a while, and then Tex thought that it might be an idea to take some dirty clothes down to the laundry to get them washed, and so off with his rucksack to find that the place was closed on Thursdays, off, tried another place, and then found, in Karstadt, a Pentacon 35 mm tank for only DM 4,90, which I find astonishing. Trouble is, there are no good developers over here—or in other words, no Promicrol.

Then got some money out of the bank, and lent Tex DM 100, as he needs ready cash for going to München tomorrow, and then bought some beer and down to his place to drink it, and had a chat with his roommate, who is in our class, and then inside, as it began to rain.

Later off for a kalte Platte makan as last week, and after that, off for a drink, with this Marvin bloke, unfortunately. After that, everybody home, and I, feeling depressed, accosted by a neo-Nazi, eventually off to see David, though his Hausfrau was not very pleased to see me. Nice bassoon he has there, though had little chance to play the thing.

Friday, 11 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

And on grinds life. I am not too worried about missing breakfast any more—I rather have got used to it, and a bottle of milk at 1000 hrs helps quite a bit. And to think that at school in England, I drank 3 times as much milk and ate quite a bit besides in the break. Amazing how one's metabolism can respond.

Soon after we got in this morning, Herr Doktor Glade decided that it would be a good idea if we were to do a Nacherzählung, as we had not done one since the day we got here (well, the 2nd). Then spent a long time learning to words for all this stuff, which was rather easy anyway—when finally it came out, it was only something about a bloke drunk in charge of a car, or something.

Wasn't really expecting another letter from Jeni today—in fact, I never expect one again—but instead got one from Corinna, who, as I expected, is annoyed about marks on her neck, and is currently wearing a Pflaster to cover them up. Pleased to hear from me, but not overly, and I do not think she is too well worth knowing, though I shan't break it off. I am feeling a little fed up with women in general of late. Damn Jenni—why did she have to be such a dud? And why did I take so long to find out?

After the Pause, more Nacherzählung, and then nothing in particular until lunch time. This place is getting me down—I just have to have a car, or life will hardly be worth living.

After lunch, off with Tex and Guy to a shop round the corner, and bought a liter [sic] of Bier each there, and then off to Tex's place with it to drink it. Good old Guy—only drank ½ litre, so I had 1½. After a while, that got a bit boring—started raining, which it is doing with monotonous regularity of late, and so inside, and later off with Tex to the laundrette, and arranging to buy a crate of Bier, and then I off, still a little full, to the Institut. I must remember not to drink so much in the middle of the day in future. I reckon what I save on Bier if I buy a car will be enough to pay for its running expenses—even, I expect, for a D type.

Diktat afterwards, and that was, I think, easy enough, as long as my script was legible. I was pretty well out for the whole afternoon, so I shall just have to cut down my consumption.

After classes, off with Guy to buy the case, which came to DM 16, with 5 back for the bottles. Left it outside while we had makan, and then Tex and I down and started drinking, shortly to be followed by Guy. Started off well enough, but gradually got fuller and fuller (with Fuller and Cheeseman). Round about 2045 joined by a couple of Krauts who live nearby, then staggered down to the station, and back again, with Tex on the train (I hope). Couldn't hold anything more after that, which was a pity, especially as I slept in Tex's bed, and didn't do it much good.

Saturday, 12 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Rather unpleasant night, with my guts fermenting away—do they knock off the yeast in this Bier before they bottle it? I rather think not, to judge by the mess it produced. Anyway, finally got through the night, dressed, and over to the Institut, and had breakfast there, which did not do me much good. I did not feel too bad at all before, but afterwards came the symptoms of a mild hangover. Ah well, what the hell.

Into class, and before Fräulein Breuninger came in, had to do a bit of hurried revision for the end of week test, which, when it came, was fantastically easy. The thing that puzzles me is just how the end-of-course Prüfung can be so hard, when to date everything is so easy. Walked out before time, and speaking with this American bloke with the Porsche, who reckons a Porsche has better road-holding than a Citroën D type or a Cooper. I have my doubts.

Back into class again, and talking for a while on such things as what Aufgabe we had, Prädikatsergänzungen, and so on, and then onto punctuation, which I find, on the whole, more than a little obvious, though I suppose to the majority of the class who do not speak English, it might not be quite so obvious.

After that, off to lunch, bei Scheffler, which I do not like nearly as much as Frau Becker—to start with, the service is so slow, and the atmosphere is completely and utterly different.

After that, the old problem—how to waste the afternoon? This place really gets me down. With David and Peter to find where the Strawberry was, and then to David's place, where I left my books, as they were an encumbrance. After hanging around for a while, off back into town to look for something to do, and in a photo shop discovered that Neofin Blau and Rot knock up film speeds, and so bought an ampoule of each of them (though they are not cheap) and a Pentacon tank for DM 4,90 at <Karstadt, and then off, saw Guy under shelter (it was pouring with rain) and after talking a while, decided to go home, and so into my room unnoticed, and sat there contemplating the depression of life etc, for a while, and also did a bit of reading. I shall just have to get myself hold of a car, as there is little else to do.

After while, back into town for makan, feeling utterly depressed, and wondering how I am going to last out this course. It strikes me as odd that at OBS I was fed up because we had so much work to do, and here I am fed up because I have so little to do. Oh, what the hell.

Makan awful, as usual bei Scheffler, and after, off with Guy for a drink, and then off home, where Here Fussan wanted to know why I had not come home, said I had better get drunk again.

I feel lonely, without a soul as my friend.

Sunday, 13 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Didn't sleep very well last night—why exactly, I don't know. The thing that worries me is the way I still have these dreams about missing out pages in my diary—though in 4½ years I have never missed a one, which should be good enough. This time, I had just arrived in Japan (Tokyo, in fact) from San Francisco, and was wondering how to avoid the blank page.

This is a surprisingly realistic dream. At the time, I had only crossed the International Date Line once, ten years earlier, and I have never flown from San Francisco to Tokyo. In later years, the problem did occur, and I had to accept an empty entry.

Problem, I suppose, that exists in real life as well. Amazing how little I dream of Jenni, though—I would have expected, following our parting (which, as I knew it would be, hat to be bitter), I would have a lot of dreams about losing her, etc. I suppose the fact is, I lost her a long time ago—if I ever had her.

Herr Fussan (from the sublime to the ridiculous!) in at about 1000 hrs to tell me that breakfast was ready, and so up, got dressed, even washed, and in to sit down on the couch next to Erika to eat a not very appetising breakfast. What makes them think that they can match me off with her, just because we are about the same age? At the moment, I am sufficiently disappointed with women to more or less not even want to meet any more for the while.

After breakfast, into town to get my books from David (left them there yesterday afternoon). Frau Ulbrich was not very nice to me, and wanted to know how long I was staying. Stayed only my promised 5-10 minutes, and then off with David to the station, and while he bought some postcards, I bought „Der Boß ist eine Frau“, which is translated from American, so the sense of it should not be too foreign to my own.

Back, and before getting very far with the book, was called to makan. Of course, I am only paying 5 DM for the meals for today, but I have my doubts as to if they are worth much more. Will see what I can do next weekend.

After lunch, did what Aufgabe I had for the weekend. I really must spend a bit more time in revision, but of late I am getting hellishly bored, and even more than anything, lonely. I need somebody to love me, somebody I can love, who will understand me, somebody to trust me, to turn to me when she is sad, worried, or in trouble—not a girl for a night in the Strawberry, or the cinema, to dance with, or kiss, or sleep with. Somebody with my own interests—interested in me, not in males. And where can I find somebody just like that who could fulfill these requirements?

Messing around with my new tank, and checking my old films: one coming from where I don't know, though it must be over 12 months old, and tried loading some dud, mouldy, glazed film into the tank—went in beautifully.

We had frequently had difficulties loading films into the spirals of Paterson tanks, so this was good news.

After Abendbrot, went outside for a walk, and round Lüneburg, though did nothing. Looked into the Strawberry, but then saw a long haired blonde with a navy blue coat and pale grey slacks, so went home and meditated further on my loneliness.

I think this must have been a memory of Jenny.

Monday, 14 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Previously (i.e. last week) I though it mainly due to laziness that I do not get up in time for breakfast. Now I am beginning to wonder. I honestly do not feel like eating what grotty breakfast they serve up—or at least, this is the way I felt after breakfast on Saturday. As a result, although I got quite early to bed last night—and why not?—there is nothing to do in this town.

At the beginning of class, was given a letter with a Sandown postmark, which proved to be from Paul, although first I had hoped it would be a letter of apology from Jenni—not that, come what may, I would ever take her back (or at any rather, that is how I feel now).

Oh, these classes get me down—though admittedly not so much today as last week. Damn it, when it is all boiled down, it is not even as bad as it was at school—and besides, what to do when I get out? Read Paul's letter—very amusing, as he usually is. I shall have to put a bit more humour in my own letters. Also letters from Sandy, Mum and (in the same envelope) Maria. Not bad—each from a different continent. I shall have to get to know somebody in Africa, though I fear that the Postal Services in Antarctica are almost non-existent.

Diktats back after break (Pause)—not very good, mainly because of my somewhat inebriated state last Friday. I shall have to stay sober—though I would like to know what use Diktats are anyway.

Then to lunch, which I have decided must cost Frau Becker less than makan malam [evening meal], for at any rate it is not so pleasant (not that I say that when Frau Becker comes along at the end of the meal and demands „Schmeckt es Ihnen“ in her impersonal way.

After lunch, to my little stationery shop, and bought some airmail stuff in more practical format than the stuff I bought a couple of weeks ago, and off to the Institut, where I wrote a lengthy reply to Paul's letter (which, after all, was the first), and then off to post it, and back again to correct my Diktat and write an Übung on what we had done this morning.

Then, too soon for my liking, having consumed the most disgusting cigar (or, to be more precise, Zigarillo) that I have ever consumed, back to class, and got Saturday's tests back, which, fortunately, were not nearly as bad (or at least, mine wasn't—got a 2, and only one bloke got a 1), and spent the rest of both periods going through them. A couple of silly mistakes, but mainly a case of not knowing—I shall have to study a bit more. Nevertheless, I think my German is improving in the spoken language, which is what is most important.

In the evening, delay at makan, but ended up so „sat“ [sic; should be „satt“, i.e. satiated] that I could hardly move. Wrote a bit to Sandy before the light failed (in TV room,) and a bit later, saw a film on the life of Mozart, which was not very good—made him seem like a nice bloke.

Tuesday, 15 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Up even later than usual today, at 0800—not that it makes much odds, and I suppose I might as well make a habit of it. Why is it always raining in this country? Or at any rate, I must admit that one of Fräulein Breuninger's sentences today is far too close too the truth: In Lüneburg regnet es jeden Tag.

Nothing of fantastic interest happened today—one of these days when I wonder how the hell I can get down to the bottom of this page, not that that is difficult. Frl. Breuninger taking us, of course, and not of course is: ... „Na wer macht heute ein Zeitungsinserat“, and of course we had Frl. Siedl's mumbling into where I would have a beard. [?]

Then got our Nacherzählungen back—Frl. Breu was quite pleased, said, and wrote, that it was schön. Not even any complaint about writing, and got a 2+. Things are looking up, though I don't see it happening again.

Spent the rest of the period going through my mistakes in class—don't know why, but in any case it doesn't really worry me. That Sylvie girl is a lazy bitch—I will be surprised if she passes the test.

Then the Pause, and, as usual enough, no mail—who else can I write to?

After the Pause, nothing of fantastic importance happened. More verbs—my vocab should be better after all this.

After that, to lunch, though nearly got dragged away by Tex to see a leather overcoat. Tex likens me to an abo running a rabbit into the ground, letting it die of exhaustion, and then eating it. Says a lot for his opinion of my stamina—even if it does mean being called „abo“.

“Abo” is short for (Australian) aborigine. In the politically correct 21st century it's considered offensive (the correct term is “Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander”, even though these are two unrelated groups), but at the time, at least in the circles in which I moved, it wasn't intended offensively.

After that, having second helpings of sausage soup, and so missed Tex and Guy, and after wandering aimlessly around town for a while, decided to get things more organised at home, and so bought a manila file and a hole puncher, and home, where first of all I started off (in a large box file that I bought yesterday) my file No. 2 of letters from girls (though I have other letters there too—won't be properly organised until I go back to England. I should have a pretty good reference in to the past then with this diary back to January 1963, and letters back to September 1962—5 years ago and 3 large box files of them. Then wrote, and finished, my letter to Sandy—5 pages. Off to sleep, which puzzled me, as I had a good 8 hrs last night, but slept for a further 1 or 2 anyway, and then off into town to send my letter to Sandy. 15,5 gm—should be 14.7. Dam this ink: 0,8 gm of carbon, just enough to put me over the line. Sandy, you won't get too many letters at DM 2,50 a go.

Then to makan, which Tex overslept, and Guy and I saw him just as we were going out, at 1830. Had a drink with Guy, recommending to him to buy a Pentax meter, and then off home, did my Aufgabe, and reading more of „Der Boß ist eine Frau“, and little else till bed.

Wednesday, 16 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Well—I had been waiting for it to happen, and now it has. When I woke up this morning, the time registered 10·40, and so I swore, and then noticed that it had stopped, at 2240 last night, so, after a bit of pondering, outside to look for a clock, and found Herrn Fussan sleeping on the couch, and he assured me that it was only 0540, and so set my watch, and back to bed until the thing registered 0800, when, as usual now—what the hell use is breakfast anyway? Maybe I could organise myself something like an egg flip or something in the morning, but the jam we get at school is something abominable.

Going past the station, I noticed something to the effect of 0845—my watch was 20 minutes slow. Swore again, and along to the Institut, where I arrived 10-15 minutes late. No complaints, however, and so on with the referats—to make up for lost time, we are at the moment having a run on the things.

In the Pause, as usual, nothing in the way of mail—I hate to admit it, but I do miss Jenni, though whether because I want her back or whether I want to see her wanting me back, I don't know. I think, though, more pride than love.

Nacherzählung after break—here goes to show that it was only a fluke last time. Took a photo of Dr. Glade after I had finished, and this amused the rest of the class greatly.

Off to lunch, in which talking to David, who is today somewhat tired, having only had about 2 hours sleep in which to sleep off his hangover, and so feeling particularly grotty. Off with him to the Post office, where I posted a letter for Tex, and then off to look for Tex and Guy, and ended up chasing them all over town. This idea of a beer at midday is not too conducive to good work in the afternoon—I think I shall have to swear off beer except at meals—in any case, I am worried about my finances. I seem to have spent a hell of a lot of money in the past few weeks, and will have some accounting to do to explain it all to Dad. Accordingly back to the Institut—I really must find something constructive to do in the after-lunch period, though at the moment the weather is too bad for any reasonable photography.

Then back to class again—these afternoon classes are the most langweilig, and the really can drag sometimes. Why not more in the morning? I would much rather carry on working every day until 1300 or 1315, and then have the afternoon off.

First period was more Referate, and then reading about die Liebe again. Diktat in second—I might be a little better at it when sober—and then finished off the time with more Liebe. To makan, while it obligingly poured with rain, and afterwards somehow ended up at an Italian Ice-cream parlour.

Off eventually home, messing around with a lens assembly which I calculate to have a focal length of ca. 1875 mm—God knows what aperture.

Thursday, 17 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

I don't know why, but I consider one of the important dates in my life was the day I met Lesley Cannings. I suppose it was because she was my first real girlfriend, as opposed to my juvenile messing around in days go by—somehow, María del Castillo never struck me that way. Anyway, it was two years ago today—in some ways, it seems a hell of a long time, in others, I am astounded that it is so short. A hell of a lot of water has flown [sic] under the bridge since then—I have travelled, myself, the equivalent of 3 times round the world, which is quite a way. And the things I have done in that time—I sometimes think that nothing had quite that wonderful feeling abut it as the first time I kissed Lesley, not quite 2 years ago—the first time I had ever kissed a girl and she had wanted it. The wonder of it all... if it were to happen again for me to kiss Lesley (or any bird) at a party, I would never even think of it again.

Oh, Gaston, you old sentimentalist, you. I suppose, though, to use another cliché, that's what life is made of, and what I should look back on—not what I did today, like getting up, getting dressed (in a suit, for a change), walking to school, and spending a morning as boring as usual. (Just looking through these pages, I have already, I noticed a day without a place name at the top. The date? .... 14/IV/67—a year to the day that I met Jeni Hallett. What does it all mean? Oh, please tell me!). I don't suppose it makes much odds, but these days really drag, and I wonder just how much better it prepares us to speak the language. Learnt how to write letters of application today—at last it was a little more practical.

After that, along for a lunch of Pilze and potatoes (always potatoes), and spending a not of time trying to remember the name of Amanita Muscaria—Herr Gallantino (what a name—Guiseppe, too!) tells me that the Italian word is fungi [sic; should be funghi]. Ugh.

After lunch, off to a music shop in the middle of town, and, after a lot of searching, which must have endeared me to the salesman, bought a couple of Loeillet sonaten (notice he comes from Gant, which suddenly has a significance), and after showing them to David, who was passing by, off home to play them, having shit myself Am Sande—those mushrooms were pretty potent.

I think they were Pfifferlinge, which can cause stomach issues of this nature.

At home, changed my underpants, and struggled through the Loeillet, being burst in upon by Henry at one point to be shouted “Bravo”. Then working out my finances, and discovered that I had little difficulty in accounting for my expenditure, and so off down town again to buy a cashbook to ensure that I don't get behind again. I shall have to see about doing it along with this diary.

Then to makan—I don't mind a good kalte Platte, but I don't catagorise [sic] this as that. After that, nearly got hooked into a pub, and then off home, wrote a letter to Corinna, and then spent my time floating around reading about Galileo (in German). Pity I finished „Der Boß ist eine Frau“. Will have to get something else.

Friday, 18 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Overslept today, which, with my tight programme, might well have proven disastrous, even though it was only for 10 minutes. Then quickly dressed, and off to school without washing, as the bog was being used at the time. It is amazing how little hunger I experience nowadays in the morning—missing breakfast is no longer what it used to be to me, and I hardly notice it now.

Managed it to school just about on time, as a result of quickening my pace. I suppose, if it came to the point, I could always take a bus, though I wonder how much quicker that would be, what with waiting and inaccuracy of position.

First period had Fräulein Breuninger, to punish us for our sins, and learning (or at any rate taking notes) about temporal conjunctions. After all this, I ought to know German Grammar better than the average Kraut.

Letter from Dad in the Pause, and he wants to know how I got the money for getting over to Europe, who I borrowed it from, and if I had paid it back. I expect I shall have had to get an overdraft—none of this is really new, as I expected it since Monday, when I heard what Paul had to say.

More temporal conjunctions—I am not too happy learning so much theory, which, in any case, is more applicable to science than such indefinite things as languages.

Makan bei Becker is definitely deteriorating—today we had meat balls, potatoes (of course) and something that looked and tasted for all the world like cooked cucumber, and was pretty inedible.

After lunch, floating round town, looking at cameras—looks as if the Edixa Auto Diaphragm stuff does not work too well on Pentaxes, which is a nuisance. I wonder how the Praktica goes. Then bough a book, „Menuett im Park“, which looks romantic (style, not appearance), and off to buy some cheap Russian bon-bons in Karstadt, as I think that my lethargy of late may be doe to the fact that my carbohydrate intake of late has been approximately nil (or anyway, mono- and disaccharides), and so started putting these away.

Then more Unterricht, this time with Herr Glade, who got through a hell of a lot more in less time. Started on some more temp. preps, which annoyed me, as I had the others in alphabetical order. Then got our Diktats back—I came 2nd in the class, with 4½ mistakes, 2½ of which were punctuation—Dr. Glade worried about my writing, also about my taking a photo of him with Hitler-type salute.

After makan, in which a light bulb above us exploded, off to the Institut to do what work I had, and then off to see „Blow-Up“, in German—the dubbing removes a lot of the impact, unfortunately. The end, I think, is the only notable difference.

Saturday, 19 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

And again woke up late-I think this was a deliberate trick of my subconscious mind, though I should like to know the reason why. In any case, 0810 it was again, and I was a little slower off the mark today, partly because I managed to get in to the bathroom and wash. Arrive at the Institut at the same time as ever, and then on with Frl. Breuninger to learn some interesting new facts about German Grammar—in fact, the hundreds of ways they have to avoid the Passive. Sylvie has done something crazy to her hair—I think she (rather unsuccessfully) tried to dye it blue, which did not do it much good, though now the overall effect is to make it look more like Jenny's—oh, what the hell. She went to see Blow-Up last night, though I suspect not alone. Why do I worry about women? I should have a pretty good choice when I go to Berlin Hamburg.

“Berlin” was clearly a mistake I recognized immediately, and I crossed it out. But why did I write it at all?

No mail in the Pause, and Tex tried to borrow 200 DM off me. It irritates me the way he is so rich and yet doesn't take the trouble to get his money from home. Backfired today anyway—I didn't have any. I feel pretty fed up with most of the English speaking people round here anyway—they are all a little crazy. Got talking with a Portuguese bloke who wanted to borrow a flash—can't remember anything about his camera except that it had a Tessar.

On after the Pause, with nothing of much interest, but got given a hell of a long exercise to do over the weekend, not to mention the business letter and the langes Referat—at least we are gradually getting some work to do.

Off to Scheffler's—boy, do they take a hell of a long time to serve things up there. I should take advantage of this and go there after Frau Beckers—I would not be late.

After that, floated around town, looking round Karstadt—Blaupunkt portable TV for 498, some other make for 398—how to incorporate that into a D Type? I think, if I did manage to fit one, it would have to be one of those mini Jap jobs.

Then home, and wrote a letter to Paul, explaining he would have to get a bloody move on if he expected to get over here before October, and telling him how to. Suggested that we might even burn down to the DDR, Dresden, Jena and Görlitz. Could be fun.

Jena and Görlitz were mainly of interest, I suspect, because of the photographic manufacturers there.

Back into town, and the sun was shining beautifully, so, after posting Paul's letter, finished off the films in both cameras, and made great inroads into the new ones. Lüneburg is an extremely beautiful town when (as is all too rare) the sun shines.

Then to makan bei Scheffler, which was grotty, and, as usual, at two helpings. They are very reluctant to supply us with black bread. After makan, off with David and got his Pardon, and home to read, write my Referat (5 pages now) and watch TV, a dubbed English film, grotty.

Sunday, 20 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

My watch stopped again today, rather to my annoyance. What is wrong with the thing? I suppose I am going to have to get the thing cleaned out fairly soon—there is no point in letting it continue like this. As a result, I do not know what time it was when finally I staggered out of bed, but I expect it must have been about 1100 hrs, later rather than earlier. This really is a waste of time—why can't I feel less tired, or something?

Got dressed, and started wondering what was going to happen about breakfast (as I didn't know what time it was), and eventually decided that, as the sun was shining ad it was such a lovely day, I might as well go out and again try to find the Heide.

Got down town, and discovered it was already 1255, so thought about getting some food inside me, and also looking for the Heide, when I bumped into David and Peter, who were looking for somewhere to buy some food to cook at Peter's place. Stayed with them for a while, while they managed to buy some eggs, and then left them, and off to a Bavarian type restaurant am Sande, and here had some very nice hungarian Goulash, as well as a rather expensive half litre of Löwenbräu (by German standards at any rate), and then out, and, without much success, tried to thumb south. I think the beard is pretty much a hindrance—but Sunday afternoon drivers don't stop anyway. Back, saw Sylvie with her two-tone hair rattle past on her bike, and then had a Bratwurst and off back home, to consider my work for the afternoon, and it occurred to me that I had better write a letter to Dad, and so got down to that, and explained to him what actually did happen coming over here (a little diluted, of course). That took considerably longer time than it takes to tell—I am just a little worried, though, that what with that and what I have to say about the motorbikes, my name is going to be some shade of mud for the next couple of weeks, at any rate. We shall just have to play it by ear...

It is amazing how time flies when one is so occupied. Started doing a bit of messing around with my camera after that, and thought about going out again, but didn't get round to much. Read a bit of „Menuett im Park“, which I bough the other day, and it is quite interesting, not even as difficult as I had feared.

After that, decided that one meal a day wouldn't really suffice, and so off again down town, and while I was at it had a good look round town, and then into a pace [sic] called Zum Rosenkrug am someplace or another, and had a very good and ample as you like makan there for 8 DM—the place is 500 years old. I wonder how much Lüneburg has changed since then.

Back home again, and decided to develop the Pan F I finished yesterday, and cut myself on the phial in the process. Came out very well, and it is a pity, I think, that I had to break with Jenni. Some of the photos are very sexy.

Monday, 21 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Oh, these horrible Monday mornings. What is it that makes these days so terribly boring—the whole thought of 33 days more to go gets me down—or, if it comes to that, do we leave on the 23rd or 24th?

Managed to get up at 0800 this morning, not that it made much odds. I still arrived at the Institut at about the same time, and almost straight into class—I noticed the absence of Guy and Tex, though they had intended to be back by today—oh well, let's see what happens.

On with class, and Herr Doktor Glade first of all told us what we were liable to get in the test this afternoon—very nice of him. They obviously believe in preparation for tests in this place. I only wish I did not live so far away from the Institut, as it is a hell of a fag carrying all my books there and back every day. Then onto the question of roles (or at any rate, I presume that is the translation of Rollen), and then the Pause, which for once we made gleichzeitig. Oh, I am fed up with waiting for mail. Why can't somebody write me some letters. I expect sooner or later some will come, but I only wish it were sooner.

More messing around in second period, thinking about Prädikatsergänzungen and still more verbs in the wordfield Sagen. [?]

Eventually off to lunch, and it occurs to me that the food is not really all that good here—easily edible, but hardly first class. Ah, what the hell. Some of these tarts could do with a good fuck, and the way I am going the will get it.

After that, got an L IF from Peter to develop, and down to Schneiders (what a name for a photo shop!) to buy some darkroom equipment, and talked with the bloke there about the choice of developers, and he doesn't think much of the grain on Neofin. Obviously more of a high-definition developer, though a bit better than Promicrol.

Back to the Institut, did a bit of work, and then off to post my letter to Mum and Dad, and after that bought some chocolate and back again, and got down to studying for the test, and not really enough time. Easy test, again, only the sentences are all loaded, and if you get a gender/ending wrong, you loose [sic] all points for that sentence. We will see what happens, anyway, but I don't think I did too well. In any case, neither did anybody else. Took a photo of Sylvie and Dr. Glade, and when Sylvie found out she was on it, mock surprise, but I think she liked it—got a nice smile after. Boy, can she smile.

Last period was the Nacherzählung back—3 this time, but most were 4's, so not too bad. Rather a rowdy class, Sylvie and I playing each up Prädikatsergänzungen, and even more amusing—got a really marvellous smile from her after... I wonder what else she can do with her mouth. Felt on top of the world for the next couple of hours, and washed my hair at David's place as a result. Saw Sylvie again—that smile, that mouth.

At home, developed the L IF for Peter. Quite good.

Tuesday, 22 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

I had intended to get up and go to breakfast this morning, on the off chance that Sylvie might be there, and sit next to me, but somehow I couldn't make it—either old habits die hard, or I had more than a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn't lead to anything. As I write this, and let my thoughts run away with me, I am reminded of G & S “Faint Heart never won fair lady”. Oh, what the hell, sag rapes [Strine: sour grapes], she is a tart anyway.

Got to school at about the same time, and met Christen Prout on the on the way, having breakfast. Gave me a digestive biscuit, and the news that Tex was coming back tomorrow, and that Guy was already back. Good for Tex—must be having a wow of a time.

After that, into class with Frl. Breuninger, and Herr Glade—we are really doing well today, and so, as I had my Elektronenblitzgerät [electronic flash] handy, took quite a few photos. Sylvie—thou art a paradox.

Took another of her in the Pause—I really must get an 85/1,9 STak or a 75/1,4 Pancolor—and then back in for more heavy syntax, which I made quite clear I thought was irrelevant. I can't see that, for the purpose of speaking a language, one shouldn't just remember rules as they come, rather than try to find the Ursache.

Eventually out—well, she smiled at me... Oh, what the hell [in a loud, fed-up voice]. Mana kita sekarang [Malay: where are we now]?

After lunch, well aware that we had a pretty hefty Aufgabe this afternoon, decided to stay in town, as it was not worth going into town just to come back again at 1500 hrs, and so hung around in town, again resolved to think about my present state of life—but this did not succeed to me (German syntax creeping in—ugh!). I only seem to be able to do that when I am sitting here in bed looking back on the day (and maybe the rest of the year). But it is undoubtedly women that worried me. If Sylvie had come along there, and sat down, I am quite sure I could have put my arm around her without any further ado.

Eventually put aside my thoughts of nothing, got off my bench, and inside to do a marathon 5 pages of solid Aufgabe—I really don't think that this course is really intensive enough, though. Saw Herrn Doktor Glade after that, and asked him what he thought I should do about Universities. He didn't really know what was good for Universities for Chemistry, but suggest that when we made the Ausflug to Hamburg, that I asked there.

After that, off to float round town, and actually found some Hanimex auto extension tubes that more or less worked, more on the stop-down side than umgekehrt. 24 DM—I'm going to buy them. They have another set which might be better—we can see which works out.

Got an FP3 from Guy at makan, and pretty well immediately after went off home, and developed the films (loaded in the Cellar). Mess of the loading—undeveloped patches. Also a lot of fog on both films—think it is the developer. Oh, for Promicrol.

Wednesday, 23 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Woke up again at 0810, but couldn't be buggered to hurry up about it. I wish I knew why I was so tired—I am sure that it is all psychological, and that if I had a bird or some other diversion, I would be much more lively. That brings me to another thing—why is Sylvie? I don't any more think that she is interested in me, but I just wish I understood her.

Despite lack of hurry, got to school on time. This is bad—tomorrow I will be late, for sure.

After finally starting with Dr Glade, did nothing of paramount importance—said something about Prädikaesergäzungen or something, but I was miles away, dreaming of Jenni—why should I? That was suppose to be over and done with. And if there is anything that hurts, it was her wish to remain friends. But I had a dream last night that she was here, at the Institut.

Nacherzählung sort of loomed up in front of all this. Sylvie and I finished by the Pause, and then floated around until 1030 before we got moving again, this time on more minor bits and pieces of Grammar.

Eventually off for lunch, and then thinking of Auto tubes, so off to Schneiders, had a look at the other set as well (later decided against them) and eventually bought them, and at the same time got a Deutſcher Photo=Katalog 1967-8, which looks like a lot of crap to me.

Back to the Institut, and reading this Katalog, and then got down to some work, mainly enlarging my Wortschatz, which is still rather poorly memorised, especially for someone with as good a memory as I pride myself on.

Off to buy some pipe cleaners and, despite all resolutions, a Bratwurst. Oh well, I will just have to tell Dad that we are not properly fed here, and that I can't make it from one meal to the next.

More work, and read Monday's Times—that paper has really gone to the dogs, what with 8 columns and 1" headlines—England (and, for that matter, the World) has lost its last really good newspaper.

Then, in 3rd period, had the Director of this place, whose name I suppose I shall some day remember, with a mündliche Übung, which I found easy, though not so the others. Halfway through, down to the Keller for a mündliche Nacherzählung, with Doktor Glade about Newton and an old woman—supposed to write it up—ugh.

After the Pause, off with a Diktat, which was probably easier than last, and I might even do better on it. Got away without my Zeitungsreferat, but will have the pleasure of doing both of them tomorrow.

Back to the Institut after makan—saw a drawing of a mosquito on a hand—Herr Aboud really is pretty good. Home, finished off my film on a grasshopper, and developed it in Neofin Rot. Not bad, but I don't like this fog.

Thursday, 24 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Oh, my God, here we go again—I think I have passed the point of no return. Anyway, woke up at 0825, swore, and decided that I was going to be late, so it didn't matter whether I hurried on not.

When I arrived at school, Frl. Breuninger had taken my place, and so I took the seat which here [sic] Giuliani had left when he left the class. Herr Doktor Glade on some subject to do with grammar (I think). Boy, is that ever boring. Spent my time only about half listening, and writing down what appeared to have some interest content.

In the Pause, letters—they never come alone (unless they happen to be from Jenni. What the hell about that—I dreamt about her last night).

This time from Dad, in a more friendly, fatherly tone that [sic] I have been wont to receive—the old bastard is lonely, in fact, and I sympathise with him. Suddenly I know how he feels, over there in Kuching, working away all night on Sekama Road—there's dedication for you. Said something about buying a bike. Might be a good idea at that—if he includes the term motor bike. Letter from Corinna, without much in it.

Referate in the 2nd period, and I really came into the limelight with 2 of the things. Also Herr Prout with the first langen [sic] Referat, which was not too bad.

Talking to Peter and David about buying a bike during lunch (in which Frau Becker also got some money out of me for beer) and then off home, on the way to deciding to go back into town and have a look for some bikes there. This I did in due course, and was disappointed. One would have thought there would be at least one bike dealer int town, but no. Sure, scooters galore, but who wants one of those?

Back again to the house, and started writing a letter to Dad, and in the process mentioned to him the possibility of the bikes, and then considering (in secret) the possibility that at Gießen they might accept my 'S' level exam as my Pre-diplom, which would mean I could get my diplom—the more I think of it, the less likely it seems, but it strikes me that 'S' level is a hell of a lot higher than Abitur standard.

Then was given a couple of pastries for tea, together with some milky coffee, in remembrance of the fact that today is Frau Füßan's [sic; should be Fussan] 21st wedding anniversary—that explains why her 28 year old daughter is here—actually, she looks so different from the other kids that I expect she is from a former marriage. Started a few lines of letter to Corinna, and then off to post my letter to Dad, and on the way saw David—he has had his beard trimmed. Looks grotty.

Kalte platte makan—ugh. After that, back home, did my Aufgabe, and finished 4 pages to Corinna, and then in to say hello to the mob celebrating inside, and got rapidly drawn into more than lusty festivities, and ended up sitting there, singing until 0130. Bitch of a woman—why does she have to keep repeating the same old themes like a worn record player?

Forgot: 2 years ago I first kissed Lesley!

Friday, 25 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Woken up at 0800 today—like hell. Had asked for that, but didn't wake up until 0815, which meant that, yet again, I was late for school, though not by so much this time. Makes a change, anyway, and today Frl. Breuninger was not there, so I had my place. On, with her teaching us (or at any rate, talking) about word order and so on, which all seems to me to be particularly useless, and a thorough knowledge of the spoken language seems more important to me. Still, there we went, on and on with Vorfeldern and Satzfeldern and Nachfeldern ad nauseam.

Eventually Pause, in which again no mail, though David got hold of last week's Exchange and Mart, and I am thinking of having a look through it for the odd bike.

Back into class again, and on with that. Oh God, my God, what is the use of all this? It is enough to drive me up the wall, spending 2 periods on stodgy syntax.

Eventually we were free to go our way, and off to Frau Beckers where eventually we had some fish, though this time with Kartoffelsalat. Had a look through Exchange and Mart then for some Citroens, but nothing much going, so gave it up as a bad job. Anyway, why should I want to buy a Citroën in England? At least you don't have to worry about which side the drive is on with a bike.

After that, had just started my daily round of the camera shops—it is about time I had a new camera—and decided I could do with some money, so off to the bank, and then into Karstadt and bought a couple of magazines—Hobby and Motorrad. Back to the school to read them for a while, before I started to get hungry, so, against all intentions, off and bought a Bratwurst, ice cream and a couple of candy bars in quick succession, and also would fain have taken some photos had the lighting not been so bad.

Back again to the school, and after a bit of reading, off to sleep, and in the middle of that came Dr. Glade and took a photo of me, unfortunately forgetting to do anything about exposures.

Got our tests back—we all did pretty grottily, so I am not too worried about my 3. At least it wasn't a 4. This took all the first period going through the sentences, and then in to see David, who claimed to have found me an Ariel Square 4 combi for £20, which looks interesting. Still a bit high, but what the hell?

On with the tests, and then did an Übung orally, a couple of Referate and Galilei, and that was that. The usual Hähnchen for makan, and again got charged for my beer. Hell.

Then back to the institut, where I did my Aufgabe, and Dr. Glade corrected it on the spot, and then off to see „Toll trieben es die alten Römer“, which was not what I expected of it, but probably better. Colour TV for the first time in Germany today.

Saturday, 26 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

By some supreme mental effort, managed to wake up today at only 0805, with the result that, with a little bit of movement, I was able to get to school before the Unterricht started, which was more than convenient.

Frl. Breuninger today, and if ever there is a subject I am getting sick of, it is Grammar. Today we spent the whole morning going through double conjunctions, which is a bit of a waste of time, as most of us (including me) knew them all, so just sat round doing nothing, and yawning frantically (I must see if I can do something about that).

Talking with Frl Liew [?] in the Pause—in Malay. I have forgotten a lot. They must not bother to give out the letters on Saturdays—today Sylvie went up and came down with a letter for me from Sandy, who apparently did not leave for Surfer's until Thursday.

2nd period was about equally much a waste of time, and after finishing off the double conjunctions, were demonstrated to that Prädikatsergänzungen could also have adverbial connotations. Then read my letter from Sandy—not as interesting as usual, but what the hell—and off to Scheffler, where I was in for a long wait. I wish to hell they were a bit quicker off the mark there.

Then more or less immediately back home, and there sat down and wondered what to do, and came to the conclusion that I might as well write a bit to Sandy, and so wrote 2 or 3 pages then, but did not bother to post it, as she will not be back from Surfer's until 7/IX/67. I wonder why they are going so early—it seems a little odd to me.

After that, could not be bothered to do much, and lay on my bed reading „Hobby“ until I was interrupted by Erika, who wanted me to come out and meet Amina, the Negro girl from Somaila who they claim is beautiful and so good a Deutschsprecher [sic]. I must disagree on both points—I am getting a bit more than a little fed up with this family, and I will be glad when this course is finally over.

After that, Herr Füssan messing around with my shoes, and managed to get them looking a little better, and then got my camera gear together, and off to look around, and to makan. Saw a bloke in a D type, american registration. Interesting.

After makan, this Tanzfest thing, which, as I saw it, was a pretty complete and utter flop, though people seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I took far too many photos, most of which will probably not come out worth printing.

Sunday, 27 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

What makes me sleep in so long on Sunday mornings? I honestly think it is the fear of getting up, rather than anything to do with being tired. In any case, today, despite waking up and wondering why I didn't get up about every hour from 0900 hrs on, I didn't make it until Ulla stuck her head in at 1130 and shouted back outside „Greg schläft noch“, and so proved her wrong, got up, and after washing, wondering what the hell to do then. Admittedly, this place is a hell of a drag on Sundays, and I expect this has a lot to do with how long I sleep of a morning. I hope this will improve when I get to Hamburg, though I see no reason whh it should not, as I will be with my own type of people there, and in any case, I will have my photographic and (hoffentlich) my radio gear here, and with any luck even a bike—that would be fun, spending and afternoon burning round Schleswig Holstein or Niedersachsen—with a decent 200 or 300 [cc] I ought to have a range of about 300 km, which is a long way in Western Europe. Ah, that will be the life... I only hope I can find decent digs. I wonder if Corinna was suggesting any form of help—I would not really like to stay even as a paying guest of the Graf von Fisenne, though—I would always have to be on my toes, and what happens when I break with Corinna? Still, she might have some other suggestion.

I don't know why I wrote “Graf”. Maybe it was an assumption based on the name, but it was incorrect.

After reading and writing a bit, into the lounge room for lunch, and this almost the same as last fortnight, and at least I got a better bit of Schweinfleisch [sic]. After that, pretty quickly out and into my room, where I lit up a pipe and did what we had in the way of Übungen, Aufgabe, etc, and then on with „Menuett im Park“, which is getting quite interesting. There are not too many words that I do not understand, though before too long (when I have more time) I shall have to keep a Vokabel of the more interesting words, so that I can build up my Vocab thus.

Then it occurred to me that I had a großes Referat to do something about, and so wrote a couple more pages about that. I now wish to hell I had offered a subject about which I know more, like „Die Geschichte der einäugigen Kleinbildspiegelreflexkamera“ [history of the 35 mm single lens reflex camera] or something—not that I expect I could get away with it. Still, I shall just have to hope that Frl. Liew doesn't know too much about the subject, and then I will be able to get away with murder.

After that, having pulled a hair with a particularly interesting root out of my beard, got round to photographing the root. Strikes me this reversed Tessar has much better definition than the right-way-round STak. Must buy a reversing ring for 49mm, and probably 58.

After Abendbrot, got round to thinking about a standardised file for all my camera notes, and wrote out about 20 pages of exposure notes from the beginning of the „S“ series.

Monday, 28 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Fortunately woke up at about the right time today—though I could hardly help but do so, what with them removing Oma and Opa from the scene. Up and out at a more leisurely pace than I have been wont to, and off to school to find out how things had been getting on with David and Peter, who had been down to Braunschweig for the weekend. Said something to the effect that they had taken a long time to get a lift each way—but 6 and 8 hours? Whew.

For some reason, Frau Ries couldn't find the key to our Klavierzimmer this morning, so we had to go in the other way. To make matters worse, Dr. Glade overslept, and we were given a test with Frl. Breuninger watching from the other room until, ½ hour later, Dr. Glade arrived, saying something to the effect that his watch had stopped. Well, I know how he feels. Finished the test in pretty short time, and then set to the job of transferring my expense record into a larger ring book—I should have done this a long time ago, but never quite reconciled myself to the idea—but I shall have to do it, and the sooner the easier. Got a file from Karstadt for the purpose—rather a nice pattern.

After Pause—no mail—got a sort of bag of things, nothing of much interest.

Thus to lunch, which I disposed of pretty quickly, and back immediately to the Institut, resolved to sit there until 1500 hrs just writing out expenses. Ah, what the hell, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and after an hour and half of rather slow progress, decided to give it a rest and go in next door, to find Peter swearing because his camera (Agfa R/F—top of the line last decade) had a dud Compur [shutter]. Felt like pointing out that the Leica (with which he likes to compare it) usually kicks on for 4 times as long without much going wrong with it, but restrained myself. Damn it, I want a new camera, not so much for the use of it as for a new toy—wouldn't really say no to a Leica M4 (or a Nikon, Pentax 220, Bronica, Rollei SL66—but no, thanks to a Hasselblad). I am again getting interested in larger format—must be a cheap Prakitsix going somewhere, possibly even a big Exakta—if they made them.

Then down to Unterricht again, and had a Diktat, at the idea of which Sylvie did her best to walk out—silly bitch. If I wasn't so desperate, I wouldn't look at her—suddenly Jenni doesn't seem nearly so bad, in fact, I am beginning to feel sorry I chucked her—expect we will have to make it up sometime, at least in part.

History rewriting and sour grapes alerts!

Then our second Langes Referat, Herr Pretoni [?], over Wirtschaftsprobleme in Italien—they certainly seem to have them.

Then to makan, and back home to write out more expenses. I never realised what a hell of a lot of film I got through these last 2 years, until I have to write a one line essay of each frame, whether or not it came out. Left that in Kabul, and then off to photograph the hundreds of little insects floating about.

Tuesday, 29 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Managed to get up again not more than a couple of minutes late—though a time of 7 minutes from staggering out of bed until staggering out the door does not make too much for a waste of time—and thus off to school, finally with the negatives of the films I have taken since I have been here.

At school, had Frl. Breuninger again, and got our Nacherzählungen back—that took up the whole day, though she said something to the effect that, as both she and Doktor Glade were going on Urlaub, and we would not be seeing them again, they wanted to get all ends tied up. What the hell. I see a lot of Prädikatsergänzungen tomorrow. Looks as if it will be Herr Doktor Turmann and Frl. Weber (whoever she is) from Friday on. Ich freue mich darüber—I wonder what they will be like. Messing around with Konjunktiv for all the first period, without finishing it, and thus to mess around in the Pause and get my 2 bottles of milk (0,5 l?), and felt well filled, so lit up a pipe to keep me going a good hour or so—3 comments from Fräulein Breuninger: „Du rauchst doch einen schlechten Tabak“, and I am still uncertain as to whether she meant it or not.

After that, a photo of the whole class in the garden, and then off to makan, after which, having thoroughly put off all the Latin types by belching, off, bought paper for both my (hitherto) exposure notebooks and for my new spiral job, and home to do my best to finish off my transcopying. Boy is this ever a boring job—one of these days I am going to be so organised that I can pinpoint every document that has come to light since I went to school in England—September 1961: nearly 6 years ago. I have a hell of a lot now, and somehow it strikes me that the past is very important to me, why I do not know—and I never did very well at history, but records fascinate me.

Some things haven't changed.

Eventually got tired of that, and turned to other records—„Menuett im Park“, which is getting continually more fascinating as I read further. Wonderful book—makes one feel at peace with the world, and I only wish I could find another like it.

Then back to my exposure records, and finally finished all that I have taken in my Spotmatic. Strikes me that before all too long this file is going to be full. I am going to have to buy a 6×6 camera and enlarger—I wonder how old Pratisixs go.

Then down town, and bearing in mind that my Kauras [?] mixture is almost finished, decided to try a different Tabak, and this time bought some „Clan“ mixture, and then off, having learnt that all was will with the Abschiedsgeschenke for the Lehrern [sic], to makan, veal or something, very nice.

In the evening, started on Edixa notes, on Clan Tabak—excellent—and after seeing an English TV Program, finished „Menuett im Park“. Excellent—I feel at peace with the world.

Wednesday, 30 August 1967 Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

And so comes summer to a close—for that much I am sad, with the depressing thought of winter and snow and stuff coming—I love the warmth, and, unlike Dad (or Sandy Schaedel) don't ever get the idea that winter is worth the trouble (well, not often. I would like it were it not so cold, but unfortunately winter is not always crystal clear days with beautiful untouched snow on the ground—but then, is the fog not beautiful? Damn it, I am talking myself out of my own argument). But this summer has been like no other before it—in Europe the whole time, without too much (well, everything's relative) moving about. Nostalgic thoughts come to me of the waning summer, Indian summer, autumn fogs (which began on Monday) and so on. Winter should be beautiful here...

It's strange that I thought that autumn began at the beginning of the month and not at the equinox.

In class, Dr. Glade suddenly decided that we had better get to the end of our Prädikatsergänzungen before he went on Urlaub, and so did his best, while my pen obligingly ran out on me, and just about make it to the end of the period, when Sylvie made on of my things kaputt, just as Dr. Turmann came in to say that he would like to chat with me at 1445 hrs.

2nd period was a referat period. Großes from Herrn Doyle, who spoke at length over immigration in Australia. Interesting, especially the figures he produced.

Then off and got some money, and talking photography with Tex, who has just arrived back from München with a black SP 1,8 and a Zeiß Jena (I refuse to call them by any other name, despite what Zeiß Oberkochen will) Sonnar f/4 135 with automatic aperture compensation for close-ups. Told him what I thought of that, and then off to have a look at the thing—I must say, I am just a little disappointed in Zeiß. Also, the thing is fantastically dark to look through—why, I can't say.

Carl Zeiss (not Zeiß) was founded in Jena, which ended up in the eastern part of Germany after the war. A new location was opened in the West, and like many other companies, Zeiss Jena was not allowed to market their products in the west under the Zeiss name.

Off after a while (and after taking a photo with it), and decided to do some work, but gave it up as a bad job, and off to Karstadt and bought a book, „Lieber John“, which, from the cover, ought to be good.

Then to see Dr. Turmann, who said that my habits of belching after a good meal had made some french tart puke, which strikes me as odd, and said I didn't know anything of it, which is true, and said I wouldn't do it again, and then off to the Gesundheitsamt, where I had to go through a doctor machine, very efficient, and off back to where Dr. Turmann was finishing off the Prädikatsergänzungen, and then down, got our test back—I came top again, with a 2-3, and thus to the Pause.

After the Pause, dragged out our Lesestück, „Das Brot“ and criticised that, which me managed to make last the whole period. Got my conprints [? or something prints?]—not happy with them—and then off for an Abschiedsfeier with Frl. Breuninger and Dr. Glade, bade them both farewell, and off home to read an enchanting story about a sailor seducing a girl—it is nevertheless enchanting, and I am ¼ way through already—not bad for a book in a foreign language.

Thursday, 31 August 1967 Lüneburg → Bremen → Lüneburg
Top of page
previous day

Herr Füssan [sic] in at about 0620 this morning, but it was none too early, and so off to the Institut and had breakfast for the first time in 2 or 3 weeks—nay more, I think.

Fairly soon loaded into the bus, and set off for Bremen, and it seemed to me took an odd way round in doing so, going down nearly to Hannover, I think, in order that we could get the Autobahn to Bremen.

This still doesn't make sense to me. The direct way would go via the south of Hamburg. Google maps does show an alternative way that fits my description and that—they say—would take 19 minutes longer. Maybe the driver knew of problems on the other Autobahn. And yes, I've checked, they were both already there at the time.

Eventually on the right road, and after a rather boring trip, which I spent in explaining the use of my camera equipment to Tex and Guy, arrived outside the Hauptbahnhof, and then set off with the Lehrern to have a a look at the Dom, Rathaus, Bremer Stadtmusikanten and Roland—I find Bremen a very nice, pretty town. The windmill near the middle of town is rather quaint, too. Was however rather disappointed in the Stadtmusikanten—tiny little statue which looked as if it had been hidden round the back. The trip round the Rathaus was rather interesting—much older but also (supposedly) much smaller, unless they have left a lot out of the tour.

I forgot to say what I was comparing it with, but I suppose it was the Hamburger Rathaus, which I visited the previous month.

Dropped my pen on the stone floor of the Dom, which did not do the nib much good.

Then, after photoing Roland (place was crawling with Pentaces), off with Guy and Tex, had a bite to eat, looking for an Umkehrring. Here they don't even seem to have them, at any price. Saw a Praktisix II, which I was offered, with 5prism and W/L [waistlevel viewfinder] for DM 1017, but unfortunately too much. I like it.

Eventually got my Umkehrring (after having lunch with Tex and Guy, and then leaving them, Guy DM 20 poorer) in the unlikeliest looking shop, not far from the Bahnhof. That from Dresden (Pentacon), and for only DM 6.40 as opposed to the Novoflex for DM 16.50—reminds me of Pentax Leica jobs in Singapore on the 13/III/1967, only then it was even worse.

After that, wandering round, but all I saw of any interest was a couple of colour TV sets—definition is somewhat worse than the average black and white, but colour balance, contrast is terrible—very much of a tendency to primary colours, secondary as grotty as hell, and fantastic 2nd order casts. Will have to improve a lot before I think much of it—and what about colour ghosts?

In all probability, the sets were completely maladjusted. Early colour TV sets had hundreds of adjustments.

To the Bahnhof, spoke a while with David and Peter, who were watching the women, and then of back to Lüneburg, while I managed to get some sleep, and woke just as we were coming back from Hamburg way. Off with Guy and Tex for a makan, which managed to eat a hell of a lot more than I had hoped, and then off home, and got on with reading „Lieber John“, which I find very interesting, and have got through ⅔ already. Thus on for quite a while—Pen thoroughly on the blink: will have to get a new nib.

Top of page Previous month Greg's home page Today's diary entry Next month Greg's photos Copyright information

Valid XHTML 1.0!

$Id: diary-aug1967.php,v 1.4 2016/07/17 03:07:03 grog Exp $