Greg
Greg's diary
August 1969
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This diary was entered manually from the paper original between 5 November 2016 and 15 November 2016.


Friday, 1 August 1969 Kuching
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Up at 0730 hrs this morning having not heard the alarm, and so made a mad dash over to the Rozallas to find that Dave was still in bed, and so had to get him up. Eventualy over to the site, and got started on the first of our two spot level surveys, whcich we got over and done with in a remarkably quite space of time, partily because I had no change points and partly because I had somehow managed to line up the level very accurately and it did not need resetting. Then back and picked Dad up and took him to the office and back to get the other level, as I had decided we could do with the speed of operations that it offered. This was just as well, too, as we were working on white clay, which quickly got as hot as Hades, and though we were finished by 1030, it was not without the loss of a great deal of sweat. Accordingly to the club, then took Dave home and hung around for a while, reading once again “Time for a Tiger”, in which I now notice he mentions Tahi Panas [Literal Malay for “hot shit”] . Then off to pick Dad up, and to the club for lunch, after which, against my will, I was detained some while at the office. Found the Rozallas still at home, however - I think Dave had told Teen I wanted to talk to her. In any case, to the club for the usual sort of afternoon. That went quickly enough, and in due course I went and collected Dad and then took Teen and Dave home, and then back home myself to prepare for the party. Then off rather late to take Teen, Dave and Alex, and arrived to find a blackout, so Teen immediately (or almost, with a bit of encouragement) started playing the piano, and after a while decided to go off and get my flûte. Nikki came as well and got a portable record player, so there was no point in playing the flûte, and eventually I went outside and played my flute there. Then got involved in a strip game, and I, as usual, ended up outright loser, and then found myself peeling skin off Rowina's sholders and hips. She later came without and listed to me playing the flûte, and before I knew where I was, I had once again succumbed. Went off for a walk - “Let's do it in the Road” - and suggested she came back to my place this evening. So far, so good, but then Teen came back to me in no uncertain way, and Nina saw us, with the result that she locked herself in Wendy's bedroom, and started to cry her eyes out.

Reading this nearly 50 years ago shows how much my memory has faded. I was fairly sure that by this time any hope of a reconciliation with Teen was over and done with, and her interest was surprising. But looking at the written record, it seems that I was completely wrong.

I confided my problems in Paul, and asked him to divert Teen, and the bastard went and told her all about it, and she told me to piss off, and so back to Rowina, and did indeed take her home and to bed - poor kid is frantically lonely more than anything else.


Saturday, 2 August 1969 Kuching → Matang → Kuching
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Woke up from fitful dreams of Nina beside me being a road system to be levelled several times during the night, but somehow we never made it quite comfortable - it was all more than a little frustrating, and Nina is so very quiet. There used to be a time when I was all for not talking while making love, but since Teen all that has changed. Finally was woken up by Dad, who wanted some money, and later wanted me to come down and start the car for him - turned out to be dead out of petrol. Then back up to find Nina dressed again, and so in due course sent her on her way and went back to sleep until Dad came in and woke me and dragged me into the office. Spent a while reducing some levels, and then off with him to Carpenter St. for some laksa, only it was too late and we had to make do with sateh, while I told him what happened last night - rather shocked him. Then back to the office for a while, after which up to the club, where I met Dave, half expecting to be treated as a social outcast - I felt more than a little distressed about last night. He was quite friendly, however, and asked me to come with him to Matang this afternoon and provide transport.

This was to visit a waterfall in the jungle nearby.

Later Teen came in and, strangely enough, was quite friendly, and even asked me home for makan, which we finished at 1500 and immediately round to look for the car, but it was not there. Searched Kuching, and eventually found the car back at the flat, so off to pick up everybody - Teen, Alex, Wendy and Corinne, and off via the petrol station and Satok Bridge to Matang, where we had agreed to go swimming in the nude - was rather spoilt, however, by the girls refusing to keep their part of the bargain. Eventually, however, they stripped to the waist, and then Teen came and sat on my knee, with rather embarassing consequences, especially as she held me so tight. Then we got caught in a downpour and I was reminded of the Borneo of Somerset Maugham, and we had a mad rush to make it back to Satok Bridge in time for the last ferrey, helped neither by the rain nor the fact that my ignition got soaked and it took me several minutes to start the car. Finally back and to Teen's place - by this time Teen and I had agreed to go out together again, and I was again faced with the problem of what to do with Nina - “poor Nina, who cried as though her heart would break” (La Paloma).

It seems that these are not the original lyrics, but they're the ones I knew at the time. Compare this page:

And ere we sailed I went fond leave to take
Of Niña, who wept as if her poor heart would break.

Eventually off to the dance at the club, and found Nina, who, having seen Teen and me together, said she felt sick and wanted to be taken home, which I did for her. Messed around for the rest of the eveening, and then back home to get our bathers and into the pool, and ended up in the small pool and the 7th heaven of delight with Teen, who, however, was being inordinately friendly with Paul. Home and early to bed.


Sunday, 3 August 1969 Kuching
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Finally managed a fairly long sleep, which has doubtless been lacking to me for some time, and even at the comparatively late hour of 1030 turned down Dad's offer of breakfast in bed and slept on until 1215. Then got up and scraped some cold scrambled eggs out of the pan and ate them, reading “Time for a Tiger” until he came back. Then he suggested we went up to the club for a curry and a Tiger, and so off, consumed an inordinate quantity of curry and a worthwhile quantity of Tiger in an unbelievably short space of time. Then went back home, where I read on and observed how perceptive Burgess is, say what Mum will - almost like a latter-day Somerset Maugham.

I think my mother's aversion was probably a personal dislike. Burgess did not have the most savoury reputation, though I can't recall much of him personally.

Later helped Dad with his air-conditioner and messed around writing a letter to Sonny but did not achieve anything of real value, as in any case I was thinking of Teen and Paul, whom I cannot forgive. Round 1630 went over to their place, and a couple of minutes later everybody arrived, but fortunately did not stay. Ended up with all 3 of us lying on David's bed - shades of last summer, only then I was David - and wondering what to do tonight. Eventually discovered they had got to go to mass, so went along with then, though it cost me $1, and I was bored to tears - at least they might have had a sung mass. Then back again, and almost immediately up to the club, where Teen quickly left me to talk to an Icelandic film star and then a Hilary Clifford, and did not come back until the start of the film, Major Dundee. The film was not very good, and we had intended to go to have some sateh, and left at 2150, but Teen thought she would rather a nasi goreng at my place, so so off there - we thawed out the meat, but when we remembered it an hour and a half later it was too late, and poor Teen had to go without, and I down to the open market. Dad home late, pissed off at not having any transport.


Monday, 4 August 1969 Kuching
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And another week is on top of us before the last even seems to be ended. Dad dragged me up this morning more than sufficiently early and off to the office, where I had a marathon of an earthworks calculation to do, which Dad fully expected, and with some measure of justification, to take me all day. Set down to it - the annoying thing is that I have don it once already - and worked pretty solidly, with a break for lunch, until about 1330, when Dad came back from the club. Persuaded him to let me put the calculations off until this evening, and went off to the club. There, rather to my disappointment, I found neither Teen nor Dave, and was told that they had gone off into town to look for some hippies that they had seen. Went in for a swim after deciding against going and looking for them, and was promptly teased about my love-bites, left behind last night by Teen. Got out again, and soon Teen and Dave were back, and so all in for a swim together, while it was decided what we were going to do this evening. One Hilary Clifford later came upon the scene and told me she had been a very good friend of Lesley Cannings - this in front of Teen.

How did Lesley's name come up here?

Then inside, and Teen and Hilary went off by themselves to talk, and first Dave home with Roddy, then I followed. Later home, and persuaded Dad not to make me go to the Rotary Ball, and then, when Dave came over, agreed to meet him at the Open Market. Down to the Open Market at the appointed time, but they were not there within half an hour. Back to look for them, found them already gone, and back to find them there with Roddy. Had our makan and back to the Rozallas, and listened to records and subsequently Heather Westcott on the radio until Dad came and wanted to be let into the house. Took Roddy home - he seemed keen on Teen.


Tuesday, 5 August 1969 Kuching → Bau → Kuching Images for 5 August 1969
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Up even earlier this morning to take Dad and Sek Cheng to the airport, and then back home again to recover for a while - had thought about going back to sleep, but instead just read “The Enemy in the Blanket” for a while before going over to the Rozallas for a while and witnessing Teen immediately after getting up, which is quite something - in fact, it reminds me rather of me. Then decided to go into town and get some things done, and off first to Carpenter St., where Teen got some money for her dress and I got some from the bank, then Dave and I bought some film. Still later to Electra house, where Teen's dress was not ready, so arranged with George to collect it this afternoon and leave it in the office. Then took Teen and Dave home, and off in the ID to get some tyre levers, then to the club for some makan. Coming out of the club found an enormous bulge in the tread of tone of the tyres, and further investigation showed that it was in the final throes of failure so we had to go back to the Zodiac after all, after verifying that the car would not, in fact, run on 3 wheels and a brake drum.

The car can run on two front wheels and one rear wheel, clearly what was intended here (it had disk brakes on the front and drums on the rear). But the suspension arm needs to be tied up so that it doesn't get pushed down to the ground.

To make matters worse, Dave could not get the Wolseley, and so we had to go in 2 Zodiacs, with 7 in each. Teen has been a little warmer of later, though she always pretends not to know me in public, and so it was today.

It's really difficult balancing memory and this diary. Only two days previously we had been in bed together. But my recollection is that she was very much on and off, so this must have been an off day.

Eventually arrived in Bau and went for a swim, though the water was really far too hot, and I was feeling just a little fed up because of Teen's attitude, as well as because Paul was being such a silly bastard - I am gradually getting rather fed up with him.


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Eventually back again, Teen with her arm round me most of the way, and I felt a little happier about life. Then arranged to take her over to Hilary's for makan, and on the way she accused me of having slept with Nina, which somewhat annoyed me, especially as she expressed her intention of never again sleeping with me. Then back home and had makan, read a bit, and finally off to pick everybody up from a flick. Later picked up Teen and Hilary, and ended up with Teen being as aloof as ever, and I ended up drunk. Dave had his own problems, and before I knew where I was I as joining him and Wendy, who were in the back of the car, with Lindsay. Decided against this, and out, having spoken to her in German the whole time, ascertained that Teen was certainly more aloof, and so back in again with Nina, and eventually the 4 of us went to the flat, where we decided to stay the night. Took Wendy and Nina to Wendy's house, but Nina did not contact her mother, and just as Dave and I were finishing off a bottle of brandy and discussing Teen, not to her advantage, the rest of the party turned up and said that Nina's mother was raising hell, and would I please produce her. Went over to Wendy's place, told them all about it, and she rang her mother, then back, changed cars, came and collected them again, and finally, round 0130 to bed. Funniest thing tonight: bumping into Wendy in the corridor, she heading to the kitchen, I to the bog, both stark naked.


Wednesday, 6 August 1969 Kuching
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Dave in to wake us up round 0830 this morning, as I lay there with Nina hot in my arms, and suggested that we get up, which I did, surveying the blood stains on the sheets and deciding to get the girl to wash them - indeed, it was essential. The others had breakfast and then set off to Nina's house, and Dave and I thought about how to spend the morning, and eventually, after a lot of hanging about, decided to go and have some laksa in Carpenter St. This we did, and on the way bought some Omo for the girl to do the washing with, and then round to the Rozallas, where Thea was pissed off with David for staying away the night, but Dave was so relieved when he realised that she did not know about what happened that he did not even defend himself. Teen was looking very sorry for herself, which hardly surprised me, but made me feel a bit of a heel. Off with Dave to the Westcotts, where all hell had broken loose: Mrs. Grimmet had discovered Wendy and Nina missing at 0700 this morning, and had told Mrs. Scrimshaw, and everybody wanted to know what had been going on. Before I could maintain a status quo, Mrs. Westcott had forced a confession out of me, and eventually we fabricated a story which took until a lunchtime in the open market. In the afternoon felt so tired by the events of last night that I went to sleep and slept until about 1530, when I went round to the club, and found rumours rife and people referring to the assembled body of mothers as the Mafia. Then Nina invited/asked me to help at her sister's birthday party this evening, and I said I would. Did little after that until I went out to the airport to pick Dad up, but he was not there, and so left the car for him and caught a taxi to Nina's place, where I was doubtless of some help, but was otherwise rather bored - the kids were all rather young, and although I knew none of them, many of them knew me. Rumours get round this place fast - game of consequences “Greg Lehey met Tina (sic) Rozalla in Tokyo. He was wearing a fig leaf, she was wearing a microskirt. He said “How do you do”, she said “You've been a naughty boy”. The consequence was a baby”. Showed that to Nina, who carefully tore it up. Home early, and soon to bed.


Thursday, 7 August 1969 Kuching
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Up again early, such being Dad's intention, as he thought I had yet to do. As it happened, I had done everything he was worrying about, but we were going down Sekama Rd. before we discovered this, and then it was decided that doing a bit of checking on the road levels would do me no harm - a decision in which I had minimal participation. Accordingly off to the office to get a plan, but genuinely forgot about this by the time I got there and spent an hour catching up on a sadly neglected diary - once again doubts are cropping up as to whether I can maintain this: it no longer seems part of the daily routine, though obviously enough I have been keeping it up now for nearly 7 years.

Then off to wake Dave up, and off into town for laksa - Teen not as openly unpleasant as yesterday, and, knowing Teen as I now do, I wonder how long it will be before we come back again. But is it worth it? She is off to South Africa next year, and that will doubtless be the last I shall see of her. After laksa, to the club, where Teen appeared and came and sat down with us, asking what we were doing here. Poor girl - she makes me feel such a heel.

After lunch, decided to go to Matang - Wendy's idea at lunchtime - but people on the whole were not so keen. Eventually set off with Wendy, Peter and Nina and got to Satok Bridge to discover that the ferry had broken down, so went to Bau instead, though I do not like the place as much. Ended up messing around on a raft, though we did not achieve much until Nina thought a swim in the nude might be fun, but we did not do much swimming.

We swam half way across the lake to a rock formation, where we climbed up out of sight from the shore. Rowena wanted sex, but I was concerned not only about her parents, but also about possible infections from the water.

Back into Bau for some vegetarian food which was far too expensive for what it was, and then back into town. Picked a somewhat irate Dad up, and home after makan. Dave Rozalla came along with Teen and Sandy Ritchie later on and told me that while they were in Bau, some of the others had got themselves involved in things in town and he for one was rather worried about the consequences,

I have no recollection of this issue.

and proposed setting up a select group apart from the rest, and wanted to know whether I wanted to join in. Also said a few more things about statutory rape,

All of the girls in question were under 18, the age of consent in Sarawak at the time.

and Teen put her word in. Thought about it and decided to opt out of both groups and choose whatever I felt fit at any particular time.


Friday, 8 August 1969 Kuching
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And again up early, for no particular purpose and despite a long talk with Dad last night which had not ended until 0230. Staggered into the office and found nothing to do, and started thinking about going to see Dave and have some breakfast, so did just this, once again getting Dave out of bed. Almost immediately into town - this time Teen was not at home, so I had difficulty in guaging her attitude, and then off into town, hearing more about suspicions of Rowina's parents. Bumped into Nina herself in Carpenter St., and invited her to come with us for some coffee while we had our laksa. Then took her home and with Dave off to Kenyalang Park to have a look at some pegs, after which we went to India St. to have a look at some records. Then back to his place and was promptly pounced upon by Thea to take her into town, and this I combined with picking Dad up. Then back to the Rozallas, where we had a very passable lunch, though I found difficulty in doing it justice so soon after this morning's laksa. Small things again... I was seated next to Teen, who was definitely more friendly, and is now talking to me again. Dave says this is as far as it will go, but knowing Teen I doubt it.

Then took Dad back to the office, and was given a plan to do some measurements on, and to the club to collect some people to do the measurements - they came only too willingly, Roddy, Kim and Alex, and we soon had it all sorted out. Then back to the club, where I was left to consider the assertion that I was throwing a party tonight, and came to the conclusion that it might not be a bad idea at that. Sat talking to Roddy and Nina about it for a while, and then told Dad, who seemed a little dubious, but agreed in the end. Then off with the others to buy some booze, and took some of the girls to show them the more elementary things about diriving a car. Wendy has no idea as to the purpose of a steering wheel, and Corrinne, in a fit of over-confidence, reversed into a sandheap - thank God it was only a sandheap. Nina did not do badly; she went slowly, but otherwise it was good. Then took them all home, took Dad for some makan, and then home to superficially tidy the place up. Nina was the first to arrive, just as I was ready, and the others followed later. Roddy was pissed off that the others (Dave and mob) should prefer going to Hilary's place for an imagined discussion about Karl Marx, and ended up talking about the same sort of thing here, until Alex, who had consumed about ½ a bottle of brandy, succumbed and walked about demonstrating the phallic symbolism of a 7 kati [4.25 kg] papaya. Eventually he got too noisy and we had to throw him out, along with Kim, and eventually they were followed by Kirk, which perhaps was just as well. Peter and Corinne disappeared into my room, which astonished me,

Peter was also only 14 years old.

and I was in Dad's room until he came back, at about 2130. Used this as an excuse to extract Peter and Corinne from my room, and soon after got Nina in there, but not before Lindsay, also fairly far gone, had asked me to shag her in as many words. Ended up playing the flute to Nina and Lindsay while the others cooked what food was available. Dave, Teen, Heather, Nicky and Oliver came round 2330, and Teen astonished me by sitting on my chair arm, to Nina's evident jealousy - she was in a funny mood, telling everybody obliquely what had been going on in the bedroom, referring to “Let's do it in the Road” as “our song”, and looking daggers at Lindsay, who was in one of her more baroque moments and asked me to produce a fiddle for her. Eventually took Nina home,

Presumably because her parents wanted her home by a specific time

and took a rather willing Lindsay into my room, though she admitted to sensing nothing. Finally took them home at 0200.


Saturday, 9 August 1969 Kuching
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I wish Dad were more lenient on the morning after the night before - this is all becoming rather unbearable, the way he drags me out of bed at much the same time every morning. Today, admittedly, it was different, and I was able somehow to sleep through more of the morning and did not get up until well after the girl had left. Had a shower, in the process of which I discovered that somebody had turned the hot water off last night, and then Dad came back, none too happy with me - doubtless he thinks I will behave thus with every employer for the rest of my life. In any case, went off in due course to the open market, by which time it was already 1430, and had a respectable enough makan, now that I am doing my best to put on some weight - these tablets certainly help. Then off to Kenyalang Park, where Dad was certain that I had made a cock-up of the measurements the other day, and had also sworn about this. Had a look round the site, and did a repeat of the measurements on the way, proving yesterday's to in fact be right, and then back home, collecting Peter and Kirk on the way, and at home found a note from Mrs Scrimshaw asking me to visit them immediately. Went round there and discovered that somebody had, indeed, told them about what had happened the other night, and they were most distressed, reminding me that they could pass a court order forbidding me to see Nina again, which I thought would be rather pointless, and which sorely distressed Nina.

My recollection was that Mr. Scrimshaw also threatened to have a medical examination to see if she were still a virgin. Possibly he had previously asked me if we had had sex together. Mr. Scrimshaw also over-emphasized our age difference. Rowena was 15, I was 20, but he modified this to 14 and 21. In general I was left with the feeling that they were silly people, though of course I understood their concerns.

In any case, they did not propose to stop us seeing each other, and instead just forbade her to come to the flat any more, which admittedly was rather nice of them. Then home, had a beer, and round to tell Dave, at the same time taking Kirk and Pete home, and insulting Teen by not taking her with us.

Why?

Then spent the evening quite quietly, doing a bit of work, but mainly sitting at home and reading “The Beds in the East”.


Sunday, 10 August 1969 Kuching
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Up late this morning, despite Dad's protests to the contrary, and lay awhile in bed wondering why he should get so snaky about the whole affair of sleeping in on Sundays - one of these days I shall understand in depth Dad's attitude towards me, but it will, I fear, not be for a long time. Finally got up and had a lump of the enormous papaya we bought the other day, and then down, at Dad's behest (is that the right word?)

Here I had added in pencil:

Yes - in Middle Engliſh? 20.IV.1970

This appears to be shortly after I bought my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. I have no idea why I thought it was Middle English.

to polish the ID, and discovered that the wax he had bought for the car was more reminiscent of floor polish than anything I had seen applied on a car. Had a go at one wing and half the bonnet, which confirmed my suspicion that I was not using the right stuff, and so up to tell Dad of same, and he came down, more than slightly annoyed at the whole proceedings, and showed that, by mixing the wax in equal proportions with elbow grease, it was in fact possible to get an acceptable shine on the thing. Had a bit of an altercation about all this, as well as the fact that he once again used Vim on the paintwork, including the freshly painted stuff, and it was not until Steven “The Pink” came along and engaged us in conversation that we quietened down and subsequently went off to the club for makan, where Dad further annoyed me by spending an inordinate time in the bar. Walked home as a result, and sat on my bed, reading and coming to the conclusion a) of “Beds in the East” and b) that I was bored. Dad looked in shortly later and thought I was asleep, after which I got up and washed my hair, and went down to clean the seat covers of the car. Back up again before Dad even realised I was out of bed, and then sat around for a while playing my flûtes before preparing to go to see the film at the club. This we eventually did, though it turned out to be more of an orgy than anything else: Paul Halfter had been messing around with a girl from Simanggang called Sandy Jenks, I was with Lindsay (Nina was not about) and Roddy was next to me with Corinne. Saw little of the film, “The spy with two heads” (I think), but suspect I have seen it before. Then had some makan, and off with Roddy, Kim and Alex to the Open Market, where we had some mee, and then back again, discussing women in general and our allocation in particular, until Dad was ready to come home.


Monday, 11 August 1969 Kuching
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And so another week of dreary trudging around the site, sweating like a pig, and making inaccurate surveys - I have had my fill of this. Somehow managed to oversleep today (not that that would be frantically difficult), and by the time I had woken up, Roddy had taken it upon himself to come round to the flat, so that I could go straight on from there without having to pick him up. As it was, we had to go to the office anyway, so it was a bit of a lost cause,

Roddy lived directly on the way to the office, not far from the club.

but I suppose it helped. Then to the site, where everything was about as disorganised as possible, and so felt disinclined to do much. This lack of inclination was by no means helped by the fact that we had to do some pegging out relative to some non-existent boundary pegs, and the road was so hard that we could not drive a peg into it. Eventually got everything done, and then off to Carpenter St for some laksa, and after that to go and look for Dave, who was at home, engaged in conversation with Teen and Hilary - I have come to the conclusion that Hilary is going to look prematurely old. Then up to the club, and did little there until lunch time, after which I went down to the Open Market for a second helping, and then collected a few people, unfortunately not including Nina, who was not allowed to come, and set off for Matang. Went to the same pool as last time, and this time there was a voluntary strip-down, which Wendy did with remarkably little self-consciousness, though Roddy and Lindsay [siblings] have obviously been brought up under more puritanical circumstances, and Lindsay in particular was very worried. Eventually off, after being caught in another rainstorm, and off home, and then got Roddy and Peter to come to Kenyalang Park with me and help me finish the survey we started this morning. Went on for quite a while, but eventually the light beat us, and we had to go home. There I had hardly been 10 minutes with Dave and Teen arrived, and I anticipated trouble after her confrontation with me at lunch time concerning people who know we have slept together. However, this was not forthcoming - true, she did say that Nina had been saying nasty things about her, but that was not the point of coming over. Eventually set off down to the Rex to have something to eat, Teen being very friendly but obviously a bit depressed that it was not she that I was going out with. Then picked up the Grimmets and Corinne, and back to my place, Dad obligingly absent. Spoke at great length, and then it was suggested that we went for a drive. Went in the ID (I wish I could call it a Goddess), and had Teen in the front with me and the other 4 in the back - but how else could it work out? Got to Pending, and Teen asked me to teach her how to drive, so had a go. Got back into town, and Teen asked me to take over, but carried on operating the clutch - convenient way to snuggle up to me. Took the Grimmets home, and then Corinne told us that Peter had slept with her - was astonished. Then took her home, and to the Rozallas, where Teen expressed the opinion that she would much rather not go to Simatang, thought possibly this has to do with the fact that she is having a period (thank God!). In any case, asked me to come down to Simatang on Thursday, and also to get her a driving license - I can see I shall be getting back again with Teen, whether I like it or not. Took some photos for passport purposes, and then off - she insisted on me kissing her on the cheek.


Tuesday, 12 August 1969 Kuching
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Up at 0715 this morning, awoken by Dad, and quickly up, in fact so quickly that it occurred to me that there is a major discrepancy between my getting-up time here and in England. Off round about 0740 to pick Roddy up, who was not yet quite ready, and then to pick Pete up, who was. On site, conditions had been considerably worsened by the rain that had been coming down hard all night, and we had a lot of mud on our road.

Coincidentally I had had issues with rain 3 years to the day earlier, that time in Sibu. I had noted that the rainfall in Sibu was heavy, but not even close to Kuching, which has over 4 metres of rain per year.

Then got down to everything, and, apart from a bit of a mess-up round the cul-de-sac at the top, got everything going pretty smoothly, though Roddy was creating because he wanted to be home by 0900. Then got stuck in the mud, and had to enlist the help of a tractor of sorts to pull us out. Did this, dropped Roddy home, and then home myself to have a shower. out again and down town to have some laksa, and after that to the AA, where I was rather pleased to get hold of an application form for a West Malaysian driving license.

Why West Malaysian? At the time, unification of West Malaysia and the states in Borneo was still not complete, and presumably she would have needed a Sarawak driving license, though admittedly I only had a West Malaysian one.

Woke up at about 1730 and had just about come to when Paul came round with a note from Nina saying that I should meet her at 1830 at the Rex. After further confirmation, did so, and up to see very little of “What's so bad about feeling good?, a very good American comedy, but the Poms (including Nina) do not understand it. Nina is really missing me. Had some sateh after that, and arranged to meet the others in the latest in the midnight walk series. Went round to the Grimmets at midnight, but a lot still seemed to be happening, and similarly at Lindsay's place, and so home and to bed. Lindsay appeared at 0100, got a quick bit of finger, and went home again.


Wednesday, 13 August 1969 Kuching
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Rather to my surprise, Dad appeared in my room at some indeterminate time early this morning and told me he had no work for me to do, but that he would like the house cleaned up, and likewise the Zodiac, which at present is indeed in a pitiful state. Took note of this and then went back to sleep until 1215, when I thought I ought to do something more constructive with my time, and so got up and went to the club with a view to seeing Dad and getting some lunch. Dad was, however, at a Rotary Club meeting, and I am gradually being forced to the conclusion that the club has neither variety nor quality of food to offer: had the grottiest nasi goreng I have ever had in Malaysia, and left most of it. Meanwhile Wendy, as ever, was wondering what we should do this afternoon, and trying to persuade me to take them for a drive somewhere. The point is, where? In KL it would be easy enough, but here there is nowhere to go. Eventually it was decided to give it all up as a bad job, and in any case Nina wanted me to come over and see her, so went over presently, after doing a bit of tidying up in the flat, and discovered after a while that her mother was not there, so decided to leave again - why does Nina ask me over here when she knows her mother has forbidden it? Went off and did some shopping, and then back to the club, whither Nina had said she would come, but she did not, and ended up messing around with all the other bored people who had been there since lunchtime. Presently an extremely annoyed Mrs. Scrimshaw arrived and told me and the whole club what she thought of my actions over the last few days, so I told her what I thought of hers. Very annoyed back home with Wendy, Pete and Kirk, and wrote them a letter clarifying my position. Then got Kirk to deliver this, and took them home. Later told Dad about it all, and he decided to go over and see them, while I went off to the flick, “Mad Ball” [not identifiable in IMDB], terrible, which also involved going to pick up the Grimmets. Later had a chat with Dad about the whole thing - he found the Scrimshaws reasonable if mediocre people, but thought Nina a little bitch. Maybe she was right when she said I was the only person who understands her - I don't very well, but others seem to so much less. Late to bed.

Looking at the affair, I think my father was pretty much on the money.

Thursday, 14 August 1969 Kuching → Sematan
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Had intended to wake earlier, but as it was did not wake until 0800, and so got moving pretty smartly for people had said it would take anything from 3 to 5 hours to reach Sematan, and off to get some petrol, and off to get some petrol, and finally left Kuching at 0825. Belted along the road to Bau, which, however, was fairly well obstructed, and at Bau was uncertain where to go, but eventually got on a good dirt road that reminded me of something in Persia or Turkey, or just possibly India. Hit the ferry sooner than expected, and across on the other side and was 5 miles from Sematan after about 1hr 40 minutes, which I considered quite a worthwhile time. Then saw a car which had skidded on a mud patch and left the road, turned over into a 10ft drop, all a few minutes before. The driver was knocked around and his 4 or 5 year old son was killed - head wedged between the half open door and the roof. Took them to hospital in Lundu, 15 miles away, while the mother in the back wailed “Anak saya mati” [my child is dead] incessantly. A couple of people were suffering from shock, and it got me thinking what a horrible thing it must be for the people affected. But somehow I can't see it happening to me - I am probably wrong, but when I look at some of the idiotic drivers in this country, I am only surprised that it happens so seldom. If only people knew what to do when they get into a skid!

There was a lot more to say about this incident. The road was a relatively good dirt road, and I must have been doing about 80 km/h when I saw the mud patch ahead. I slowed down as much as I could and then decided to take it. And exactly then the driver of the car jumped out in front of me, putting us all in danger. I managed to miss him (he wasn't too stupid to jump out of the way), and then stopped on the other side of the mud patch. Only then did I see the car in the drain.

He had only got his driving license the day before, and was off on an excursion with his whole family, at least 5 people. When he left the road, his wife decided to throw the son out of the car to improve his chances of survival. She opened the door and had him half-way out when the car rolled and crushed his head, brains leaking out everywhere.

Father was quite insistent that I take them to Lundu—something I would have done anyway—but even there, at the hospital, he demanded a helicopter to take them to Kuching. There was no reason for that. The son was well and truly dead, even before I arrived on the scene, and the others only had bruises.

But what a sad business! If he had been taught how to handle that kind of situation, he could have got through the mud slick with no harm of any kind.

The other thing that I didn't mention was the reaction of the people in Sematan: many claimed that the car stank of death. That was silly: the boy was only in the car for half and hour, in his mother's arms, and it was far too early for him to smell anyway.

Went back to Sematan, and found the place without all too much difficulty, though it entailed driving the car along the beach, and I managed to get the car stuck in some soft sand, and had to get some help to push it out again. Then up to help Dave and Roddy do some painting, while the told me of the schism that had arisen between them and the girls, all sounding a little larger than life - I think Dave is frustrated because he still hasn't slept with Nikki (OK, she spells it Nicky, but that is as bad as Vickie). Off for a drive several miles down the beach, and had a swim, and then back for lunch, after which Teen wanted a driving lesson, and so decided to go to Lundu to get some petrol. Ran out on the way - Teen was driving, and it rather amused me to see her reaction. Got back to the business with the beer can - why can't they put a more sensible filler on these cars? - and found we had a vapour lock as well, but eventually got the thing going. I must confess Teen is catching on very well, though it will doubtless still take a while before we can get her driving properly in traffic. Came back home again, and Teen nearly crowned herself in glory by going over the edge of a culvert, but we just about managed that one. If only people developed their reactions faster. Then hung about for a while, and I went for a walk with Roddy in order to being him up about some things he had said to Teen about me, and then back for makan - I had by this time decided to stay overnight. Later, round dusk, took Teen for another drive, but visibility was very poor, and so we gave it up. Then into town for a drink with Peter, Dave, and Roddy - Peter must have felt a bit left out of things.

Peter was the youngest, and he looked it, but it's not clear what I meant here.

Back to the house, and ended up talking in Malay to a bloke called Halim - both he and Peter were impressed by my ability at speaking Malay. Then all started to hit the sack, I borrowed a sarong from Teen (amusing) and we men all slept in the same room, all 5 of us.


Friday, 15 August 1969 Sematan → Kuching
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Woke up at about 0850 to find Teen holding my hand, but on further awakening this proved to be due only to the fact that she wanted to know the time. Nevertheless she smiled sweetly and suggested I got up, so I did, and went for a half-hearted walk along the beach before coming back and sitting down, dazed, on the verandah. Then somebody brought along some evil-tasting coffee and stodgy porridge, and we ate this as best we could - at the end I was very definitely awake. Then got Teen to sign the driving license application form and have a photo taken, which proved to be a more ambitious undertaking than I had at first imagined, and spent a while taking other photos while I was waiting. Then got ready to leave and had a possibly impossible time starting the car, and eventually discovered that 3 spark plugs were loose in their sockets - how that happened, I don't know - but managed to tighten them finger-tight and drive off. Dropped Teen and Nicky at the bazaar, and then on to catch the ferry, picking up a couple of wood-carvers on the way and taking them to Lundu - got a walking stick as a token of gratitude. Went across the ferry and on to Bau, where I saw Joseph from the club, and then on to the airport, where I arrived at 1132, taking 1 hr 32 minutes for the return journey, which I consider something of a record. Met Dad there, in none to good a mood, and on to the town after a while talking and comparing notes, etc. Had lunch at the open market, and then to the club, where I found nobody, so home and started reading a book, “The Man with Absolute Motion”, quite good, but soon off to sleep, and did not wake until 1745, and then to the sateh stalls behind the Rex cinema, and put away a good half century. Back home and after a while was visited by Wendy, Peter and Sally Grimmet, the latter spending most of her time relegated to the kitchen. They went and returned a little later without Sally but with Beverley Rostern, and we had a rather gemütlich chat (should one put an adjectival ending on that or not?), and then the [sic] off again, and I settled down to develop the film I took this morning, and then off to the open market for something to eat. Back again, and was reading through my diary when Pete Grimmet arrived, along, and got talking about polythene, and then got down to printing the film, but discovered several snags: the enlarger was precipitating rust onto the negative, and the bulb I was using had a hot spot.

In fact, I think it was just a particularly cheap and nasty enlarger.

Eventually gave it up, and very late to bed - Pete left at 0340.


Saturday, 16 August 1969 Kuching
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Up very late today, hardly surprising in view of the time I got to bed this morning, and almost immediately off to the club to get my ration (or more than my ration) of cheese, and was sitting round doing this when I overheard Dr. Rozalla talking to David on the phone, and inferred that he was back, so gulped down my beer and went over. Teen was sitting in the living room, looking very tired, and as I spoke to her went off to sleep, but fortunately not before I got her passport number, and so left her on the couch and into town, picking up Kirk and stopping on the way to write Sonny a letter asking him to get things done, and then to Electra House to get the application form for this business. Then to the post office, which was shut and inspired much cursing on my part. Back to the club, where despite the inclement weather we had a bit of a swim, and then into town with Teen to get some mail, found the telegram people would sell me stamps, and so posted the letter, and to the open market for some fried mee. Back then to the house, where Teen and Dave engaged themselves in an argument, and so I took Thea to do some shopping. After that home and to sleep, waking at 1928 and being due to pick Teen and Dave up at 1930 - made it, too. Then to Kirk's place for a party, and before I knew where I was discovered Lindsay crying her eyes out, which Roddy claimed was my fault. Accordingly disengaged myself from Nina, which in turn had taken some disengagement from Teen, and paid a bit of attention to Lindsay, culminating in a lie-down effort on the sofa. Then found Nina confiding her sorrows in Paul, so joined in and eventually sat with her on the other sofa, explaining to her the sordid facts of life, when Lindsay came along and grabbed hold of the unoccupied hand. Sheesh! is this going mad! Nina then dragged me downstairs, and we ended up in the back of Paul's car, where she told me she was mine for the having

My recollection was that she literally said “fuck me”.

- this makes all 3 girls I have gone out with this summer. Never let anybody accuse me of forcing girls into it. (Or forcing it into girls!). Didn't under the circumstances, but instead back up to find Lindsay confiding in Paul - boy, must that bloke's ears be red! - and ended up with her playing the two of us off: culminated in Paul putting his hand on her bra, only to find mine already inside.

I had a recollection of each of us going up the inside of a leg and meeting at the top. It seems that it might have grown in the course of time.

Eventually off, and back to the flat, where I had taken a very drunken Pete, and Corinne to look after him, but he had nevertheless puked all over the bed, carpet, towels, etc, and Corinne is not one to be over-fussy about tidying up. Took everybody home, and then back to the flat with Corinne to discuss life - she is worried that she might be pregnant. Oh God, I hope not.

She wasn't.

Sunday, 17 August 1969 Kuching
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And so the 4th anniversary of my meeting Lesley! My God, does time ever fly - but I must admit, in the last month or so I have achieved quote a bit in this field, and possibly this date would not be so important any more. In any case, started the day off by sleeping half way through it, and then coming to long enough to think about getting some lunch, and accordingly off as soon as practicable to the club, where I had the usual curry and beer, and then back home to wonder if the soporific effects of this combination be really enough to knock me out for the rest of the afternoon.

They were not - or at any rate, not completely, though I did very little of any importance during the afternoon - started reading a book, “Border Country”, about somewhere in Wales, and thus spent a good deal of time, although I also thought considerably about cars, and what I would do when I get back to England; Kuching is finally getting me down, though I certainly have got a lot more out of it this time than ever before.

In the evening, down to the club to see the flick, “Walk on the Wild side”, which was not up to much. Was more than slightly depressed, however, by Teen's attitude: friendly enough, but I am gradually coming to the conclusion that she is only being friendly with me now for what she can get out of it, which tonight included makan and a cigar. I think once again of what she said when I first met her, that she be halfway between a prude and a prostitute. Na ja. Home and read about cars, and in particular wondered whether to buy Sonny's Stiletto or to get an Hillman Imp Sport. Late to sleep.


Monday, 18 August 1969 Kuching
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Had fully intended to get up in time for work this morning, but when I actually woke I felt so dead to the world and generally run down that I slept on until midday. I think a decisive factor was that the girl had not given me any underpants, and I did not feel like looking around outside for any. Eventually up and to the club for lunch, where I found a substantial number of people already, and somehow managed to waste the afternoon without doing at all much; the weather was bad, and Dave, Roddy and I were all feeling more than a little pissed off, and went to the billiard room for a while, and were interrupted by a rather embarrassed Jim [?] Fernando, who obviously expected to find little children in there. Then Teen rang up, inviting me to a party of Hilary's, and so accepted - home later, dropping a rather amorous Lindsay on the way, and then in due course round to the Cliffords, where, as I had rather expected, I was almost immediately pounced on by a rather depressed Lindsay. Had makan in due course, and then over to rest my head on Nina's lap after a rather full makan, and she went away, to be replaced pretty quickly by Lindsay, while I also had a chat with Pauline. Lindsay stayed some while, and I noticed Nina looking rather upset about it all, and subsequently latch on to Roddy. Later Lindsay got tired of stroking my forehead, and left me for dead, and so outside, where Peter and Corinne were discussing the facts of life, and so joined in; subsequently Peter left us, and I got into Oliver's Landrover to have a chat with Corinne, who is still worried. In the meantime saw Nina and Roddy disappear into the garden, where they stayed until Nina's taxi arrived, and I had to go and get them - found Roddy bewailing the lack of a suitable contraceptive, which more than slightly pissed me off.

My concerns were that she might get pregnant, not that Roddy had deflowered her, though in case of doubt her parents might have accused me of the act had they found out.

Took everybody...


Tuesday, 19 August 1969 Kuching
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... home, and arranged with Corinne to meet her later to discuss matters after I had seen Peter. Went round to the Grimmets to find them unable to get in, and so offered to put them up for the night. Accordingly back and to Corinne's place to see what she was up to, but for some reason could not get her to come out, so cleared out quickly, in case something was up. Back at home, before all too long, Paul, Alex and Kim arrived, having, as we later discovered, been uprooting all the signposts in the area, though their more obvious condition indicated that they had been in a monsoon drain, and Paul left an enormous wet patch on his chair. Then they left, and Peter went to bed, after which I stayed up for a while talking to Wendy, later into my bedroom, and from the conversation came to the conclusion that I would not really want to know Wendy were I to meet her in England. Carried on talking for quite a while, and eventually dawn broke, and I thought it might be a good idea to get some sleep - which I did until nearly midday, the Grimmets leaving a bit before, and then Mr. Grimmet arrived, wanting to know a) where Wendy and Peter were b) why they spent the night here, as he was supposedly awake when they returned and c) why I was so interested in Wendy. Fellow struck me as being altogether odd.

It's not obvious why from what I wrote, and I can no longer recall the incident.

Eventually up and about, and went down to the club, where little was happening, and in due course decided to go and do a bit of work, which I have been neglecting of late. After that, back to the club, feeling more than a little depressed, and Corinne latched on to me, and apparently considered it her duty to cheer me up after the job I had done for her last night, and off to Ting's to buy some food and booze - we had rather intended to have a sorrow-drowning party and my place - and then off home, dropping Corinne on the way as well. Then had a bit of a rest, woke up, and read “Ich bin kein Held”, and then arrived Corinne with Josephine [her younger sister], which I thought rather amusing, but she set to in her normal haphazard way and did indeed cook me some makan, though not without some help from me, and then told me about what Mr Grimmet was doing as a result of last night. Consumed ⅓ bottle of rum in the process, and then Mrs Young came to collect her daughters. and I went over to see Dave, but he had already heard from Wendy - showed me the note. The trouble is, her father wants to test her virginity, and Dave has had her. Back home to ponder this and await Cornnne's rearrival, but at midnight, with the aid of more booze, I went out like a light.


Wednesday, 20 August 1969 Kuching
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Woke up at 0600, wondering what had happened to Corinne, read for a while, and woke up at 1130, wondering what had happened to the morning. Got up, wondering yet again how to spend my time, and eventually time was for lunch, and so went up to the club, where several people had congregated, and had something to eat, after which Corinne latched herself onto me and suggested that I take her back to the flat and ostensibly tidy it up, but in fact to have a chat - doubtless other people had other ideas again, which, however, had no foundation - or at any rate, only minimal foundation. Stayed talking for quite some time - I hope to hell Corinne is not pregnant, as it would most certainly confuse the issue. Back afterwards to the club, and found Peter and Wendy there, though without parental permission. Spoke to them for a while - they are both thoroughly fed up with their parent's attitude, which admittedly seems more than slightly unreasonable. Then got talking to Lindsay, who, I suspect, is jealous about something, and who occupied me in conversation for quite a while after the others had left. Discovered that she was adopted, which might be the cause of the chip on her shoulder, and note with amusement that, for all her rantings and ravings about being a Scot, she was born in in London of English parents. Then off home, and after a bit of a rest, when I started reading “Destination: Void”, a science fiction job that Pauline (who is suddenly showing great interest) lent me today, went back to the flick, and, rather to my annoyance, was not joined by Lindsay, who sat with David instead - felt rather pissed off and just a little bit left out, but saw the film through, as it was quite good. Some Matt Helm (i.e. Dean Martin, presumably America's answer to Sean Connery) film, though I forget the title.

Hard to say, since there were at least three that fit the description, though The Silencers rings a bell.

At home, was just thinking of Teen's reaction when I turned down her offer of a beer this evening, when in walked Pete with the news that he had run away from home. Gave him a few suggestions as to what to do, and then bundled him out again.


Thursday, 21 August 1969 Kuching
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Up again late, not altogether surprising after yesterday night, and in due course along, as ever, to the club, though this time via the open market and a makan with Kirk, who is supplying Pete with his food. At the club, found Nicky and Bev [Roston] burning incense sticks, and in due course arrived Corinne. Decided in due course to once again go to the flat - these afternoon visits are all rather different from what was going on 4 weeks ago. This time it was ostensibly to prepare the house for the imminent arrival of Mum, Dad and Bev (damn - I didn't really want them to come. I hope this doesn't mean I am going to stay here until the end of September. In such a case, I should be more than slightly annoyed. In any case, did not get far in the discussion with Corinne, and so off again, bumping into Wendy and Bev at the end of Rodway Road, and so loaded them in to have a chat, which load was then further increased by Paul, Alex, Heather and Nikki when we hit Rock Road, so all off to the museum to see what there was there - some of it is quite interesting. Then off again, dropped everybody home, and ended up having a chat with Alex and Kim at their place, which however was singularly boring. Accordingly home, and in due course was visited by Dave, who wanted to know what we were doing tonight. Went round to his place, and, after a sprint into town to get Thea's shopping done, decided to go and have makan at the Open Market. In due course, having contacted Roddy, picked him up, and had makan at the Malaya Restaurant, then back to my place, while Roddy told me about his parent's having forbidden Lindsay to see me - bloody annoying. Spent the evening reading extracts from my diary and consuming one hell of a lot of beer - Roddy could not hold his, and brought it all up again, though as least he did it in the sink. Peter arrived in due course, and shortly later Corinne, just as I was saying I was expecting her any minute. Took Roddy home, then Dave and I had something to eat at the Open Market, and home again, where I disposed of Pete and Corinne and went to sleep.


Friday, 22 August 1969 Kuching
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Pete rather annoyed me this monring by waking me up at 0900 with a cup of coffee - firstly because he was here at all when he could be seen, and secondly because the coffee was awful. Got up and staggered around for a while, and then decided that, with a bit of preparation, I could arrive at Dave's place about time enough to go down town for some laksa. So it was, and after laksa we set off back to the club, discussing whether we should do the trans-Asia (or Africa) trip in a 2CV or an ID 19 F, Dave apparently quite enthusiastic about the latter - not that I blame him, as it has everything except an opening roof. Dave had gutrot, and I had worse, an attack of Read juniors, so we got out and I discovered a slow puncture in the dud tyre, so changed over to the Zodiac, and then took Dave home and to the Open Market for lunch. Back again after that, and was visited by Corinne and Wendy, and subsequently Peter, and so decided to go over to see Teen, as she and invited me to come and see her, but she was as cold as ice, and so off again, taking Nikki and Bev with me, and dropped them home, then to Ting's to do some shopping. On my way back, saw, to my astonishment, a 1969 [i.e. brand new] DS 20 Pallas in Palladium Grey. Spoke to the bloke, who said he would be up at the club later on this afternoon, and so up there, via a car change, and had my time adequately taken up by Lindsay and Pauline, much to the amusement of Bob, a friend of Laurie Taylor. Eventually, after I had bored everyone stiff with my tale of this apparition in Rock Road, the Goddess appeared, and I went up to have a talk with the owner - it seems that this is his first D type, or for that matter Citroën altogether, and he was still more than a little bewildered by it all. Showed him quite a few things about the car, gave advice, explained how it worked, gave warnings, etc. Ended up by removing a wheel, much to the amusement of the crowd, and showing how to protect the dust covers on the rear hydraulic cylinders from stray stones, etc. Then took on of the McClatchie (or similar phonetic) kids the long way to Pengkalang Batu, via Batu Lintang and Pending, then back to talk to Pauline and a rather desolate Lindsay, and then off for a drive with Lindsay - the more I get to know this girl, the more I like her. Took her home, to the Open Market for makan, and then home again, shortly to be joined by Peter and Kirk, the latter with some marijuana which was not in any way effective - slept for a while, and then Corinne came and had her will (or otherwise) with Pete, and I caught up with my diary and read most of “Destination: Void” and late to sleep.


Saturday, 23 August 1969 Kuching
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Miss Lau woke me this morning with the rather startling news that Mum, Dad and Bev would be arriving at the airport at 1130, which gave me a good 1½ hours to get everything done. Did my best to fix up the window and door of the car and clean it out, then over to the Rozallas to get a bed, and found Thea entertaining, and Dave and Teen gone shooting. Came back with the bed, and was in the middle of installing same in my room when Kirk and Peter arrived, so got them to tidy the place up, had a cup of coffee, and set off to the airport. Nothing out of the ordinary happened there, except that everybody took much longer than expected to get through, possibly owing to the enormous amount of barang they had. Bev told me that Sonny is coming on Monday, which is pleasant news indeed - I must confess to having missed his company. Home, and shortly later to the club for cheese, though when we go there I discovered, to my surprise, that I did not feel like having any. Ended up outside talking to Pauline, who heartily invited Bev to her party this evening, and then off, by foot, into town to pick up the Zodiac, while I told Bev a bit about the background here - I discover that she has a few distinct dislikes round here, including Corinne and Lindsay - I can understand the latter, even if I do not share the dislike.

She can't have known either for more than 30 minutes. That's a quick dislike.

Back to the club, and found nobody, and so over to the Rozallas, and brought Teen and Dave up to the club. Subsequently with Teen and Bev into town, and then back to the club, where by this time more people were. Off afterwards, with Bev, Teen, Lindsay, Alex and Kirk, and dropped Bev and Teen at our place, then off for no apparent reason to Batu Kawa. Bought a pineapple on the way back, and dumped it at home, where by this time Bev was washing her hair. Then to the club, and ended up, as last night, alone with Lindsay. Eventually left her and went home to prepare for tonight's party. After that, off with Bev to the open market for makan, and then to the Sissons, arriving at 1930 for a party that was to begin at 2000. Hung around for a while talking to Mr. Sissons about stamps, in which he is very interested and involved. Finally, they left, and the lights went out, though not nearly as fast as Lindsay or I might have hoped. In the middle of the evening, for some reason, she went all cold, and frustrated me no end - this just after rather late snacks. Poured out my sorrows to Corinne, who said something frantically effective to Lindsay, and I felt a bit of a heel not being able to do her [Corinne] a good turn back, but Pete was dead to the world.

My recollection is that Corinne later told me that she had told Lindsay that she should sleep with me or lose me.

After Dave and Bev [Roston?] had nearly tripped over us out the back, Lindsay decided that we should find a bed, so we did - must be about the first time, but she was aroused. Effected a penetration, rather to my surprise, but it was obviously very painful, and had to leave it.

This was in Pauline's parents' bed! What if she had bled? Did she tidy up the bed after we finished? I left the room first, with her “bra charlie”, leaving her rather unclad when she came out.

Then out and a bit of messing around, while Roddy apparently did his part with Nina, which I can, I suppose, no longer condemn. Finally got Dave to take Bev home, and tried to establish contact with Lindsay, but she was not feeling too well. Then the Sissons came home, and nearly caught Roddy and Nina in Pauline's bedroom, but they got out the back way just in time. Took all home - well, Pete, Corinne, Roddy and Lindsay - and arranged to meet them tomorrow to go to Bau to do some shooting, but when I got home found Mum and Dad at variance with this request, much to my annoyance. Finished “Destination: Void” - very good.


Sunday, 24 August 1969 Kuching
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Roddy over at 0900 to pick me up, and I told him I was not coming, and went back to bed.

This would have been for the expedition to Bau.

Subsequently woke up at about 1030 to find breakfast in full swing, and gradually, rather reluctantly, got out of bed, and in to find the kitchen transformed. I wish to hell they had left things as they were - all this tidying up and so on may be very well to Mum, but it is Dad and I who have to live here, and we can no longer find anything we want. Had breakfast - why? I never eat breakfast anyway, and this did nothing for me. Eventually got that over and done with, and started instead paying attention to what I had received from Exeter University yesterday, with a view to working out what I need to do at this juncture. Dad eventually chased me away from this, and down to do the car, but Dad, for some reason, decided that he wanted to help, with the result that we only took an hour to do it all - just as well, as it was lunchtime, but what a waste of a day I would much rather have spent shooting at Bau. Then off, after an infuriatingly long wait, to the club, where fortunately there was still some makan, and had this, then back to the house, stopping several times on the way to pick some wild flowers, and eventually in and I had a bit of a rest, while Mum and Dad messed around arranging flowers and such like. Eventually they went to sleep, and I got up, floating around and wondering what to do, and eventually decided to go to the club. Bev came as well, so this initiated a further delay, and when we got there we found the place deserted, so went into town to buy some petrol, out to the airport for a drive, and back again to the club, where there was still nobody. Hung about, and eventually, round about 1900, people started arriving, but unfortunately not the Cumming Smiths, so ended up sandwiched between Bev and Corinne, and later was joined by a rather friendly Pauline Sissons, to whom I was quite friendly. Flick, Lilies of the field, was indifferent. Had makan at the club, then home.


Monday, 25 August 1969 Kuching
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Dad left this morning, apparently at the usual time, without trying to persuade me to come with him, and so I had a bit more of a sleep-in before I had finally to get out. Had a sort of breakfast - Mum really trod new ground by treating the girl as if she were one of us, and even found out her name - Rae. Mum must be in a bad way, for she appears of the opinion that she is slightly intelligent.

We really weren't very nice to “the girl”.

After breakfast, Mum decided that the furniture in the lounge room was all in the wrong places, and that it should be moved. In the middle of all this, she started sweeping the carpet, but this set me off into a fit of violent sneezing, and off to have some laksa - Dave was playing golf, so I went alone. After laksa, was getting some stuff in India St. when I bumped into Roddy, and so went and had some coffee with him, while he also did some shopping. Then back to the flat to pick Bev up, and out to the airport to meet Sonny, who came through pretty quickly, and so off back home, dropping Roddy on the way. In due course went up to the club, where Dad was, and had some lunch, which dragged more than a little, after which down to India St. to do some shopping, and still later home via Ting's, dropping Mum and home and then up to the club, where I found a Lindsay strangely unfriendly to me - after a bit of enquiry from and swearing at Corinne, discovered that a) Corinne, thinking nothing had happened last night, had told Lindsay about Pauline and b) Lindsay was having a period (which I knew already). Eventually got her acting a bit friendlier - I am gradually coming to the somewhat startling conclusion that I like Lindsay very much. Off home round 1700, and then hung about for a while until we went to the party, which once again was via the Open Market, and we arrived to find Nina sitting across the room in darkness, with the “Missa Luba” emanating somewhere behind her. Things got moving after a while, I with Lindsay in a better mood than this afternoon, though she was still being a bit bitchy - went off with Pauline at one stage, but I rather feel that she is scared of herself. Back to Lindsay for most of the rest of the evening, though I did not unqualifiedly enjoy it. Later took the Cumming Smiths home and went home ourselves quite early, and then had a long talk with a rather depressed Sonny.


Tuesday, 26 August 1969 Kuching
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Woken this morning at about 0930 by Mrs Grimmet at the door, wanting to know where Peter was. Decided I had better get up and go and have a talk with her, and did so - she had only intended to stay a little while, but Mum invited her in for morning tea, which she accepted - her attitude to Peter's running away was possibly a little more sensible than her husband's, though I must confess it still seems more than a little funny. Eventually she left, and we set out, after overcoming a good deal of inertia, to Carpenter St. for some laksa, and I ended up eating Sonny's as well. Then home again in due course, and hung about until lunch time talking Imps to Sonny, until Mum decided to cook some sausages for lunch, which consequently tasted pretty grim.

I don't know why I wrote that. She was in fact a good cook, though possibly the sausages weren't the best.

After that, feeling none too good, read for a while, and Dad went off to work, leaving the ID for me to fix the tyre, which I did in due course, and then up again to watch Bev and Sonny playing chess, and subsequently took Bev's place and beat Sonny. Then decided to go to the club, where for once the weather was a little better, and this time Lindsay was a little more friendly, if only a little. Had chats with various people, and a bit of a tête-à-tête with Roddy, who is worried, and with good cause, about the way he has been treating Nina. Then sat down and spoke for a while with a somewhat volatile Lindsay before setting off for home, where I had a rest. Woke up and played Bev a game of chess, in which she slaughtered me, and hen was presented with a bewildering array of birthday presents - apart from the carpet which Mum brought over with her, I got an ivory godess of mercy from Bev, the Omega Speedmaster from Dad - he had had it all the time after all - and a set of ivory horses from the manager of Peiping lace.

My mother was obviously a very good customer!

Put the watch on with a bit of foam rubber padding between the watch and my wrist to make a tight fit, and off to the Coq d'Or for the party - started off rather badly, but with $110 work of booze between the 10 of us, it quickly got under way, and apparently Lindsay made quite a favourable impression on Mum and Dad, certainly better than Teen did. Turned out that Sonny knew the pianist in the band, and got him to let him sing a song - he certainly did it better than the singers there.

This was my 21st birthday party, celebrated for practical reasons a month in advance (on my birthday I was in the United Kingdom, and none of the guests would have been able to make it). Sonny sang Yesterday, which for some reason I thought was appropriate, and not because of all the girlfriends I had had in Kuching.

Who was there? I have seven people: our family, Sonny, Teen and Lindsay. I can't recall who the others were; possibly Dave Rozalla and Roddy Cumming-Smith were there too.

Then home, had a flat [tyre], which we ignored, on the way, and then kicked on with Dad and Sonny in the kitchen.

The flat tyre was on a rear wheel, and the tyre was ruined anyway. No harm came of it.

Wednesday, 27 August 1969 Kuching
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Up this morning at 0945, and, bearing in mind that Dad had been due on site at 0930, thought it would be prudent to wake him, and at the same time woke Sonny, who had spent the night on the lounge room floor, and had a bit of revival before taking Dad off to Kenyalang park, and then went down to Carpenter St for laksa and, on Sonny's part, mee, and I took my watch to a little watchmaker who looked like making a mess of the strap, so took it back, and after breakfast to the place in India St., where they made a better job of it, though I still think they removed the wrong links, and they charged me 50¢ for it. Then back home and sat down to do little, unless it be have coffee with Mum, and then thought about doing something about getting the Citroën's tyre fixed, but by the time I had had it pumped up, Dad was back, so fixed it, and then upstairs to persuade everybody to come with me to the Open Market for lunch, and had the old Kheng Kee curry plate, which Mum rather liked. Then to an antique shop, rather inappropriately named “Tropical Photo Co.”, and hung around there at length while Mum decided not to buy anything. Then drove along Carpenter St. looking for furniture, but fortunately nothing caught Mum's eye, and so all was well. Then home via Ting's, where we dropped Mum and I soon after along to the club, where nothing of any importance was happening. Hung about at length pondering what we could do, and eventually gave it up as a bad job, while we also had a bit of a wonder about what to do this evening. After we had decided to do nothing, Sonny decided to go and see a flick, and I decided that, as Lindsay was not allowed out tonight, I could do worse than invite Pauline to come with us, and Sonny came with me, driving the car about as fast as I do. Pauline was delighted, of course, and after returning home to have some tea, off again with Bev, and to see “The Young, the Evil and the Savage”, at the Miramar, which was not as bad as I had feared, though I was not watching much of it.

Amusingly, as I discovered while typing in this entry, it is set in a school called St. Hilda's. Only a year later, Sue Fortescue started at St Hilda's College at the University of Oxford.

Then went for a drive, ended up at Batu Kawa, and Bev and Sonny obligingly went for a walk, while Pauline showed herself rather more willing than I had expected. Then took her slowly home, and home ourselves, and as usual spoke at length with Sonny.


Thursday, 28 August 1969 Kuching
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Up again, none too early - there no longer seems the great rush, though Kirk's arrival at about 0810 did nothing to enhance my beauty sleep. Got up in due course and started wondering about getting some real breakfast in town, and accordingly over to wake Dave up on the way back from the office. Woke him up, and Teen came too, and before we knew where we were Mum had pounced on us to help with some plant potting which she was doing. Eventually finished that and set off to Carpenter St. for some laksa - this time 6 of us, which caused a bit of a commotion, and after that straight back home again, picking up Roddy and Lindsay on the way. Had some coffee at home, and then set off to the airport, to be joined by Heather, Paul, Kim and Alex, which made 10 of us - Bev and Sonny had decided not to come. Made it to the airport in 9 min, 25 secs, which was not too bad, seeing as though I could hardly reach the [column mounted] gearlever.

Somehow this was the beginning of the end. Nearly all of us were in Sarawak (or Malaysia in general) for the last time. I don't know of any of us who visited Kuching ever again after the end of September. For me it was definitely a turning point in my life: until then, home was Malaysia. After then, I felt like I didn't have a home.

Hung about at the airport for a while, until Nicky finally left, and then back home again trailing a bogroll that somebody had stuck on the back of the car. Home, and had makan, mainly rather charred remains of chicken, and then I deposited myself on my bed in an attempt to catch up on my sleep, one which did not succeed remarkably well, as Mum and Dad kept finding things to keep me busy. Eventually got a bit of sleep, to be woken by Sonny somewhat after 1700 hrs, and so had a drop of tea and then started preparing for the party - this business of having makan before rather increases the time it takes to prepare. Went to the Malaya restaurant, and had some stuff there, and then on to the Rozallas, where Dave's room had been turned into an instant fornicatorium - during the night quite a bit happened. Teen soon disappeared with Sandy to her room, I went off with Pauline later when she reappeared, but it was still locked, and so I had her outside on the garage side - later discovered that Dave and Bev Rostern had been in there.

Then off with Lindsay, Pauline and a bloke called Doug back home, and back to the flat to find Wendy just having had Alex. Corinne is also worried because her period has not come, and when we got home I spent quite a while discussing this with Sonny, and very late to bed.


Friday, 29 August 1969 Kuching
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Up much later than usual today, thank God, for I certainly was in need of quite a bit of sleep. Possibly I could have slept even later, but as Mum, Bev and Sonny were leaving, I was hoisted out of bed round the 1030 mark, and almost immediately involved in all the packing, etc. Then off to the airport, Dad driving, as I thought prudent - certainly he hardly hit 40 mph [65 km/h] at any time, so possibly he was thinking along the same lines as I was. Saw everybody off - the Rozallas were also there, which I thought rather nice of them - and then back into town and to the Open Market, where we had lunch, and Dad bought some fruit. Then he upstairs [to his office in Electra House] to work, and I off home to try to persuade myself to feel a little more civilised, and then round, as promised, to help Dave tidy up, but found that everything had already been done. Accordingly ended up at Paul's place with Teen to arrange something there tonight, but somehow there once again seemed to be nothing to do, so off to the club, where I had a chat with Corinne, who has still not had a period, and ended up with Paul discussing what to do, and had achieved quite a bit until Teen came along and amply demonstrated her stupidity by her attitude to the whole thing - all because her mother was a bastard: she tried to persuade Corinne to have the kid, which was about the silliest thing one could possibly do. Then others joined us and we had to change the subject, and before all too long I had to go and pick Dad up and take him home. Spent the intervening time visiting Laurie Taylor, who is in bed with a fracture in her foot, and Lindsay cut my hair for me.

In the evening, over to Paul's, where I fairly quickly got off with Pauline, though I later rather regretted it, and got myself into an almighty ballsup with both Pauline and Lindsay furious with me. Home for a while, then back and off with Roddy, Doug and Lindsay to the Open Market, where we tangled with some drunken Yanks. Later back to the party, just about in time to leave again, and took everybody home. Lindsay was very cold, and I, frustrated, back home, and picked an argument with Dad.


Saturday, 30 August 1969 Kuching
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Dad appeared early in my room this morning with a somewhat immense action list, mainly concerned with getting the Zodiac back into acceptable running order again, and so I went back to sleep to face my worries of last night. Woken at about 1100 by Mrs. Pino, who wanted to know where Dad was. Told her and then got dressed, etc, and down for some petrol. Then to Da Silva's to leave Dad's watch for servicing and adjustment, and up to the club to get some cheese, but there was none, and I had to make do with a steak sandwich. Then back down to Da Silvas again, where they had yet to have started the work, but did invite me to watch. Turned out that the bloke was a fellow of whom I had asked the way to Matang a few weeks ago - quite a friendly bloke. Was rather intrigued by the equipment they use, though I have my doubts as to the accuracy of the Vibrograph, which assured me my watch was gaining 30 seconds a day, which seems rather unlikely to me. Also the waterproofing test does not seem to be all that is claimed for it. I cannot see how any simple hand pump can knock the pressure in a cylinder half full of air up to 25 atü. I think I might bring up the point with Omega.

I'm sure that the watch wasn't waterproof to 25 atmospheres.

To the club, where Dad was talking to Mike Rozalla, who waxed eloquent about waterproof watches, and later about death, haunted houses, etc. Eventually Corinne rescued me, and decided to come home and tidy the place up Found Wendy and Pete in the car, and at home did not have much tidying up, but sat drinking coffee instead. Then arrived Dave, Roddy and Kirk, the latter telling me that Lindsay was up at the club and wanted to talk to me. Went up, and promptly had apologies from both Lindsay and Pauline, who then came home with me, along with the Mc.Latchie kids, who are beginning to make nuisances of themselves. Went via the supermarket, where we bought some food, and at home Lindsay showed me what a lousy cook she was, while Wendy planned a gathering for this evening. Eventually they all left, and I hung around for a while tidying up their copious mess before tidying myself up, eating, and going over to the Grimmetts, where I waited looking in the window for 5 minutes before being noticed. Inside, where the few of us that were there quick decided to come to my place, which we did, and after a visit from Dave Rozalla and Heather, quickly managed to pair off and go into different rooms, which was rather confused by Dad's arrival to look for his cigarette lighter. Then got down to work, and performed a lot better than the other night, with Pauline. Eventually Pauline had to go home, and when I came back chaos was the order of the day. Pete was pissed, and had screwed Corinne on Dad's bed, leaving blood all over the sheets.

Presumably this had the positive side that Corinne wasn't pregnant after all.

Eventually took them home, and then visited Pauline, who was in bed, and stayed a while with her, in fact until her parents returned, which scared the hell out of me.

As we heard the car coming, Pauline said “If it's my parents, you'll hear a clunk as they drive over a broken concrete drain cover”. Clunk. Fortunately her bedroom had an external door, and that's how I escaped.

Hiding behind the servants' quarters, saw somebody coming towards me, and, terrified, hid in the bog until all sounds had ceased, and then disappeared on the other side of the house, and did not dare pass (the moon was bright) to get my car from the other side, so walked home to find a not-very-happy Dad at home. Tidied up, late to bed.


Sunday, 31 August 1969 Kuching
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Woke up this morning feeling somewhat worried about the fact that the Zodiac was still up in Jalan Bukitan, and so did my best to persuade Dad to take me up there and pick it up. Dad, however, did not feel so personally involved as I did (naturally!) and decided to put it off until after breakfast. In the meantime appeared Kirk, and separately Peter and Wendy, though Peter had to stay outside as, owing to his misdemeanour of last night, Dad does not want him or Corinne to come here again. Eventually, as we were discussing things and comparing notes, Dad suddenly decided to go to Kenyalang Park, and only reluctantly agreed to take us to Jalan Bukitan to get the Zodiac. Off straight away to the airport, which was not very sensible, as we arrived at about 1115, and Alex himself did not arrive until 1140. Ordered some coffee - I can never remember paying for coffee here. Either some other poor soul gets lumbered with it, or they forget, in which case I may be pounced upon and lynched in the near future. Alex left, and we all returned to the Grimmetts, where I found, after a bit of phoning around, that the figure in the garden had, in fact, been Corinne, who had wanted a lift back home. If only I had recognised her! In fact, the figure had been somewhat reminiscent of Corinne, but nothing short of a certainty would have brought me out then. Much relieved, returned home, and almost immediately out again to the club for lunch, and back to relax somewhat in the afternoon, although Dad did get me to tidy up the place somewhat, also the boot of the Zodiac, and wash the doors of the kitchen cupboards, which had sprouted some yellow fungus growth which went black when wet. Did a bit of reading - “The Ski Bum”, which gives me a bit to think about - and then off to the club, where I was accosted by a somewhat disturbed Lindsay who did not want to show it, who wanted to know why I had been sleeping with Pauline, and what I was going to do about it. Told her I wanted to have my cake and eat it, and she went off to ponder this. Then saw the film, “The King and I”, unfortunately much chopped about and damaged - every time the King lost his temper, the film tore out of sympathy, though on one occasion a cannon went off in town just as he threw a book on the floor, with amusing effect.

Home after that, and had little further to do in the evening, although despite this we managed to stay up comparatively later - Dad is still in a somewhat snaky mood.


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