Greg
Greg's diary
December 1963
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Sunday, 1 December 1963 KT
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A rather unusual day today, but most enjoyable.

Before chapel, I manged to fix up the key to my tenor reorder, but it was at the wrong angle, and it did not close properly, but I could not do anything about it before chapel.

After chapel, however, when I realised that Mrs Baudouy was not coming until 12.00 o'clock, I did managed to get it going quite well, although I could still do better.

At about 12.05, they came, Miranda wearing a most provocative jumper, and Régine as ever. Then, after getting Laddie out of the squash courts, and showing them the new building, we went to the Castle Hotel and had makan, and then coffee.

This was an event that I remembered vividly but inaccurately. In particular I remember being there with Régine. At some later point I recall that Miranda/Simone was there too. That surprising, because I was very keen on both girls. I didn't rediscover that Mrs Baudouy was also there until I typed this in. And the reference to Laddie is no longer clear. I have a vague recollection that he had also been at Netherton House, in which case he would also have had lunch with us.

Régine ate shepherd's pie, which she ordered with a French accent: “Shepherd's pee”. I never could decide whether this was deliberate or accidental.

After that came the blow: they were leaving at 4.00 o'clock. So, after pinching an ashtray from the foyer, we went back to the school, and spent some time kissing everybody goodbye.

Then had a go at fixing my radio up, but the film came out early, and so did some recorder practice.

After supper, went down to the haircutting room to fix up Cresseys amplifier for him. The common screen dropper for the EL84s had burnt out. Replaced.


Monday, 2 December 1963 KT
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Thanks to Akhavan snoring his head off, I was exceptionally tired this morning and almost asleep.

French first, in which we did some work for once - an exercise on a prep which we had not learnt.

In double physics, we had a demonstration by Poop of all sorts of examples of magnetism caused by electricity including some the he himself had seen for the first time.

French again after break, and another general slack, and I carried on worrying about maths.

Divvers was a bit of a farce as well, and we ended up by getting no prep, as we had maths in the evening.

Corps in the afternoon, but we did not have to change. Nevertheless, we had to take part in the drill competition, which lasted well over an hour. Finally, despite the fact that both I and Mash were in R platoon, we won.

Turned up in the art room at 4.15, and spent most of my time until the exam started writing my name on the papers. In the exam, I went into a sort of trance, and hardly knew what I was doing. However, I think I got in excess of 90%.

Russian in the evening. On to a new lesson.


Tuesday, 3 December 1963 KT
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English first this morning, and we spent our time carrying on, and got up to the beginning of the 5th act. Less and less notes all the time.

In divvers, the same sort of process went on, and I was able to condense 4 chapters into 1 page.

In maths, as I had expected, Jimmy went in for a bit of a post-mortem, but did not go on for too long, as he was trying to predict the next paper, and gave us a prediction of each question.

In latin, we carried on with ancient history, still very interesting, but coming too close to Rome.

Maths again, and we were just left to do what we thought best. I spelt Russian after lunch, and we did not do all that much. Just improved on lesson 8.

Clarinet lesson, and, as usual, did not learn much. After that, we helped TDH sort out clarinets.

After that, carried on reading “from R. with L.” until Deutsch, when we quite enjoyed ourselves by doing 2 Prüfungen, which were rather easy. Nevertheless, it was rather a nuisance.

In the evening, planned to sleep in tomorrow. Just as an experiment.


Wednesday, 4 December 1963 KT
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English first this morning, and we finally managed to finish off the play. Now we have to write out an account of it.

Latin was, for a change, ancient geography, as it appears that somebody in the Removes did not know where Rome was. So we did an hell of a lot of it - all the period.

Maths was yet more revision. It gets hellishly boring.

In break, we were working out how to improve on our attempt to sleep in this morning. Stanley woke us up at 7.45. Bott has seen to that. While waiting to go in for chemistry I was told that I had got a Music exhibition for £50. Thank God, or something.

Tyson was 10 minutes late for Deutsch, and took us over the prose.

In the afternoon, I spent my time practicing, mainly on the flute. This took me until about 3.40, then Aston popped in, and I asked him if he would like my treble recorder, as I will be getting a Küng in the holidays, and let him do a bit of practice on it. His timing is atrocious.

I think my parents had promised me something if I got a scholarship, including an exhibition, so I had decided (but not recorded) to get a new recorder.

Went into town, as usual, but did not do anything there. Wrote to Schotts on my return, also to Mum & Dad to ask if I could get a new recorder.

After lights, Bott & I fixing the bells.


Thursday, 5 December 1963 KT
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Most odd sound came out of the bell this morning. I wonder why.

Double chemistry first in, and Clod was hardly there at all. He did come in, told us about electrolysis, and went out again to leave me to tell Rossiter how to make HCN out of bitter almonds.

Then physics, and Poop told us all about electric bells. Most timely, I thought. Then went on to relays.

After break, french, and he started giving us great lists of vocab, all feminine. He must have some type of complex. Maths was yet another revision. Thank God it is the last.

In the afternoon, wind band practice. Then house matches, Carp vs. Alf., and, as we had been requested before we cheered hour heads off. Walker, I and Startup took quite a few photos, and, of course, we won 6 - 3.

Latin in room 27, which was more ancient geography, and in which Mansell got narked wtih me. Then Deutsch, also in 27, and we had quite a bit of fun, but no real Prüfung - just eine kleine.


Friday, 6 December 1963 KT
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French first in the morning, and he gave us a french 'O' level paper to do, which I thought was rather unkind of him, as we had a real 'O' level not much later.

Then PE, and once more I skipped it, and had a look at the atlas section of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, and in particular of Germany as it was in the time when that atlas was printed.

Then missed latin to take Elem. Maths, and started at 11.00. I thought the other paper was not much good, but this one was a stinker. I don't think I did very well at all. Got out at 1.10, and promptly proceeded to the Big school, where I was given Sinclair Slimline by Cheung, and which I proceeded to construct after lunch. Apart from putting the tuning dial on, it took about ½ hour to build, but I had an hell of a lot of trouble with the dial, and made a hell of a mess of it. Will prob. buy a new dial and screw, and use my own methods to put it together - no soldering.

Late for German. Tyson gave me a drill, which was not very nice of him.

Dropped my radio on the way to english, which did it no good, but had it going again by lights out, and heard that Christine Keeler had 9 months.


Saturday, 7 December 1963 KT
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Latin first in the morning, and we spent nearly all the time talking about ancient weapons, and how he had tried to build an onager, and after 4 months, it hardly worked.

French, and we got our papers back. I did not do all that badly. 52/100, but the highest mark was 76, and the lowest 18.

Physics - he got onto another sphere of it, towards electric motors.

Flute lesson in the 4th period, and I took my newly repaired flute along, and it was in horrible condition. Miss Mills reckons that I should get a really good flûte, as I have such a good embouchère [sic], and gave me a profusion of names to try, including some really expensive ones.

In the afternoon, got caught by Barry for listening to my radio out of doors, and very nearly got 40 lines.

Looking at what follows, it looks as if I did get them.

Then watched the 1st XV beat the OAs 9-6.

After tea, could not find anybody to sign a chit for Aston and me, and we ended up leaving it until after supper, when TDH came in to hear [?] us, but was rather shocked by Aston's time, and hopped it. He is making a bit of progress.


Sunday, 8 December 1963 KT
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Before chapel this morning, I was at a rather loose end, and spent a bit of time on the stuff Barry had given me to do, and this took me more or less up to chapel time.

After chapel, decided to do a bit of recorder practice, and so tried to bag a room for most of the day, but was not very successful. Nevertheless, I stayed in there for a while, and tried to get a decent note out of my flute, but had little success. In disgust, went back to recorders.

After lunch, did a few more lines, and then had a bit of un with integratons and differentiatons. Then did a bit more recorder practice instead of going for a walk.

After that, went inside again, and started talking to Green about the PCR, and decided to put in a new power transformer and loudspeaker, and so, after roll call, did so, taking me until 5.45. Put in a 4 way junction block for pen - or [?] electromag loudspeaker, and connected up an electo-mag one.

Tried it after supper, but something is wrong with it. Will have another look.


Monday, 9 December 1963 KT
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Bell didn't go again today, but Mott woke us up, damn him.

French, and we had another 'O' level paper this time French into English. It was bloody difficult, and I was sure I did horribly.

Double physics was a test, and I got 48/55, which was the highest mark despite the fact that I had not revised on it. I could easily have got more.

After break, French again, and only 3 people beat me in it. got 26/30, 86.7%.

Divvers, and Sykes let us read, bless him (or shouldn't I say that?)

In the afternoon, Corps yet again, but at least, it is the last one for this term. First of all, an inspection, in which I don't think I got any points. Then weapon training, in which I proved that I would never make a soldier.

Drill was horrible, but we were allowed to change after it.

Free 3rd period, apart from a dirty story by Nicholas.

Did Barnes Rules [?] in Hobbies Prep, and then wrote to Mum & Tante Grete.

Allowed to read in Prep, so wrote to Grete again, another longer letter.

Russian in 2nd prep.


Tuesday, 10 December 1963 KT
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English first this morning, and Boris was rather a little frivolous, and we went on to a poem, and how a 2nd world war bomber pilot went mad/had a nervous breakdown.

In divvers I read the Schotts catalogues which had arrived this morning. Very interesting, but I think I will only get a treble recorder, and blow the rest on music.

Maths, and Jimmy got going on to co-ordinate geometry, and calculus, etc, and we found it quite interesting.

Latin, and we finally got Acta Diurna and spent the rest of the period looking at the leading article, and lengthening the split on Cleopatra's dress.

Maths, more slopes of curves, etc.

In the afternoon, started packing, and got my trunk from the Pavilion and did nearly all my packing before tea, although I had a clarinet lesson in which we played things out of Spielbücher, which rather intrigued Mr White. Then on with the packing.

Double deutsch in the evening, and after spending the first period talking and the 2nd learning the Subjunctive and singing Lieder. Had rather an interesting argument with Perryman in the evening, but ended up with Worcester sauce in my lemon juice.


Wednesday, 11 December 1963 KT
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English first this morning, and we did exceptionally little work - all we did was talk about various subjects, none related to english, and got away with a meagre prep.

In latin, I was volunteered to do the first bit, but got away with it quite easily. Then let Lennox make an absolute fool of himself, which Lennox does with the greatest of ease.

Maths, and yet more calculus.

After break, Deutsch, and we spent the period doing excercises on the subjunctive, which were rather easy.

As usual, did little in chemistry, and spent most of the time slacking.

House match in the afternoon, and it was very damp and wet, muddy, etc. The game was very uneventful, and, although we played for an extra 20 minutes after the end of the game (10 minutes each way) there was still no score. At any rate, it was better than losing.

Had a drill from Tyson, but nevertheless, as it was only an armoury drill, got out and into town. However, when I got back, could not find my exeat, and so did not bother about it, and no narks were there.

Got the Weed to sign my exeat, and put it down in the book.


Thursday, 12 December 1963 KT - Netherton House
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Up at the bell as usual, and got downstairs as quickly as possible, and then stripped my mattress and dumped it on Woggie.

After breakfast, made all sorts of preparations, and did bit of Blockflöte practice with Chivers. Then along to the station and met Wyndham (of Kestrels,) who is now a prefect (!)

Got back to Netherton, went upstairs, and promptly saw France and Germany rather more friendly than in the political setup - Régine and Kirstin, and started talking with the latter. She is much nicer than I first thought she was.

In the afternoon, talking to Régine, who was impressed by my Slimline, and wanted to listen to it, but had to go to Tiegnmouth [sic] to have her hair redyed. Went upstairs, did a bit of Blockflöte practice with Kirstin, and later went down to the village with her to post a few letters. On the way back, saw the bus coming with Régine in it, and ran to meet her. She was very cold, and promptly put her arm round me. I must exploit this.

In the evening, got Nikola and Kirstin to play Blockflöte with me, and Tante Colline was exceptionally impressed by the beauty of the emanating sounds.

Alain tried to get me to do Régine, got her screaming.

He had claimed, perhaps correctly, that most of the boys at Netherton had slept with her.


Friday, 13 December 1963 Netherton
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Woke up early this morning, but could not get back to sleep, and so got up at 0655 hrs, and went downstairs, where Teresa was getting ready to prepare breakfast for those going to school. With the help of Mrs Baudouy, got the fire going. Then, after a few people had been surprised at my being up so early, went in for breakfast.

Then a bit of recorder practice, at the middle of which I was interrupted by Kirstin, who wanted me to make my bed. In actual fact, she did, but I did tidy up the room, which was in a bit of mess.

Then down to the village with Regine [sic] to post some letters, which was fun.

In the afternoon, went into town with Kirstin and Nikola and bought some long-needed new clothes. Also came Eric, who arrived this morning, to buy a watch. Bought some shoes, trousers, pullover and, finally, a jacket in the style of a black leather jacket, but make of Bri-Nylon.

When we got back, went down to meet Régine, and went back with her arm in arm. Kirstin was in a rather bad way, and when we went down to the cottage, she was crying her eyes out for Van. He went down, and managed to persuade her to go to the dance, and all was well again. Had a chat with Eric in the evening. Not all that bad a bloke.


Saturday, 14 December 1963 Netherton
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Woke up again fairly early, but not so early as yesterday, and got up at about 0810 hrs.

Went down for breakfast and had it, as usual, in the kitchen, despite a few feeble protests.

After breakfast, as Régine was not yet up, went into the drawing room and did a bit of music practice. Then came a blow—Régine was going to a hunt, and would not be back until well into the evening. In disgust, went into the playroom and read “Casino Royale”.

Carried on more or less like this for a while, also talking to Kirstin, and then went into town. There bought a paper birthday card for Bev, and so on and so forth.

After lunch, back to the drawing room, but not for long. Soon, after going upstairs for a while, back to “Casino Royale”.

Then into town again, amongst other things to get Puki, and to get some mistletoe.

When we got back, Régine was still not back, and I carried on reading until she did come back, but not for long, and wen out with a Boyfriend after supper. In disgust (more or less, anyway) went into the drawing room with Kirstin (only for Blockflöten, but must use my mistletoe). Then, after watching TV for a bit, went up, got changed, came down and had coffee. Thence to bed.


Sunday, 15 December 1963 Netherton
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As usual lately, I got up early this morning, but did little apart from discuss the Weather with Mr. Luscombe at breakfast—it is no wonder it is one of the first topics of conversation an englishman always brings out—until Mrs Baudouy told me to go and wake Régine up for church, but in the end neither of us went.

However, did go for a walk with Régine when she finally got up—Her excuse for not getting up earlier being that she was exhausted—and quite enjoyed ourselves.

After lunch, did a bit of well needed packing, and just about managed to get under 44 lbs.

Then went and stirred up Régine, who, as usual, had been washing her hair, and went on an exceptionally pleasant walk, dancing half the way. We got back at about 1700 hrs, and after she had done something or another, went down to Kirstin's room in the cottage, and had tea, while Kirstin took some flash photos of us. Must get one of the shots of Régine and me. Then in walked Bev. Régine insisted that I kiss her—as I was doing so, Kirstin took a photo of us. Bev admitted that Régine was no Devi, anyway.

Dancing with R. in the girls' room. Bev, Susan hopped it, and let us get on with it.


Monday, 16 December 1963 Netherton –> Köln –> Hannover
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Time in Germany 1 hr ahead of GMT (as BST)

I don't mind getting up early, but Gawd! 0600 hrs? It was all right in the coach house, but not any more. Clyst-Honiton airport was one hell of a dump, but I met James (ex. KCT) there. He was on the same flight as I.

When we got to London, we were promptly stopped by a colleen from Aer Lingus, who showed us where to go, and then took Bev with her, to wherever she was going, while I read “Doctor in Love”.

As Erich had guessed, the plane was a Viscount, and we had lunch over France. When we got to Köln, it became quite obvious that there had been a bit of snow there. Then came a blow—owing to snow, Hannover was impassable, and we had to go by coach, so I sent a telegram to Tante Grete, and then a few postcards back to Netherton.

Finally the bus arrived. Although it did not seem long by plane, the distance from Köln to Hannover was all but 300 km, and even though we were on the Autobahn, it took us 5 hours, and we arrived at the Flughafen at 1945, where I was met by Tante Grete, and we went back into town on a bus, and got a taxi from the Haupbahnhof, and had makan at about 2100 hrs. Spent about 2 hrs over it, talking about everything under the Deutsche [sic] Sonne, and it was nearly midnight by the time I got to bed.


Tuesday, 17 December 1963 Hannover
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Once more I was woken very early, this time at 0625 hrs (as we are an hour earlier here, it is really 0525 hrs GMT) by a peal of church bells, the exact purpose of which was uncertain, but perhaps to decrease the popularity of the Lutheran Church. When I told Tante Grete, she insisted that it could not have been before 0700, but I am sure it was.

In the morning, after helping quite a bit with the premature spring-cleaning that seems to be going on here, we went into town to buy a few things.

Not mentioned here, but I heard it for decades afterwards: it seems I arrived in Hannover with a single change of sock.

On the way, Grete decided for me that needed a pair of gloves, and I agreed, and we ended up in one hell of a big department store, watching Till Eulenspiegel. Also, got some handkerchieves, of which I was in rather short supply. In the afternoon, did not go out, but just sat round observing how many telephone calls and visitors we got. Then I was given a Deutsch lesson - Deutsch type - and was promptly blown up for not using the German case order (N G D A).

This is a difference that still exists. English grammars of most Indo-European languages decline in the sequence Nominative, Vocative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative and and Ablative (Vocative and Ablative are not used in German). But this isn't universal. Sanskrit puts Nominative last (7th), with Vocative considered a variant. German uses the order Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative and Ablative.

Eventually, however, we got over the problem - by ending the lesson, and had Abendbrot. Tante Grete is horrified at the though of my going to Graz. Want to learn Deutsch, not Austrian.

Our school had some exchange program with a boarding school in Graz, and there had been some discussion of me spending a year there. Grete, although her family originally came from Switzerland, knew of course that the best German was spoken in Hannover, while in Graz most people spoke various degrees of Austrian dialect. She had a point there: at school they probably would have spoken relatively High German, but the people in town wouldn't have. I'm still a little puzzled that our school wanted to send anybody there.

Got to bed at 2330 hrs. Must get some more sleep some time.


Wednesday, 18 December 1963 Hannover
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This morning I got up at about 0910 hrs, and did little apart from make my bed until we had breakfast with yet another maid - there seems to be a new one every day. After that, despite my protests, Tante Grete dragged me along to a clothes shop and bought me a pair of woolen socks and a pair of long underpants. Then she left me to my own devices, with instructions to post my letter (written yesterday) and at the same tome to find the rates. To England 55 Dpf, and to Malaya 80 Pf. Then I had to go and get the shopping for her from a nearby shop.

When I got back, she was at the hospital, visiting some relation of hers. When she came back, and we had lunch, the TV mechanic came along and spent all afternoon charging his electrolytic off the EHT. A wonder it didn't blow up

In the end, however, it was all right, except that the eastern zone [DDR TV] was a bit unsteady. After that, did the grass [?] in about 5 minutes. It is obvious what the charging the electro was for - 40 marks for just being about the place. Charged about 5 for being given tea.

Watched TV in the evening - some ballet or another, and very interesting. At least, it wasn't in Deutsch.


Thursday, 19 December 1963 Hannover
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Today started off quite normally, except that I had been run a bath. After that, and breakfast, etc, started playing Blockflöten, and was interrupted by Ursula's fiancé. With him he had brought a girl, Anneete, who apparently will be staying here. However, he whipped me off to his new flat, and before I had much say in the matter, gave me a fermented egg flip [Advocaat], and had one himself. Not surprisingly, Ursula preferred to have a whisky. Then, after making sure I finished the bottle, we went back again, stopping only to buy a new bottle, because I apparently loved the stuff. Meanwhile, they drank Cognac.

In the afternon, I had to go for a walk, and went over the Maschsee (now frozen and covered in snow), and then went into the town, and bought a book about Chemistry, which was quite new and had the 1962 atomic weights in the front of it, and included Lw in the periodic table.

In the evening, owing to the wedding, we had a party [Polterabend] - pre wedding, or post engagement or just a general excuse to polish off the bottles of Sekt that we did, and we all ended up a bit unsteady on our feet. Then, according (or more or less) the the old folk custom, we broke all the bottles on the front doorstep, and left the by-now-no-so-happy couple to clean it up. All that alcohol had its adverse effects, though.

I had finished off the bottle of Advocaat by myself, and at one point fell over backwards from my chair.


Friday, 20 December 1963 Hannover
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I was woken up at about 0930 by Grete this morning, and felt still a bit unwell from last night, over and above my hangover.

After breakfast, when I was just trying to feel well again, I was packed off to bed by Grete, and slept (more or less) until 1330, when I was woken for lunch, which was Macaroni. After that, I spent most of my time reading, when I was not made to do any work in arranging the furniture for the Wedding.

Tried to read a bit of the book I bought yesterday, but had to admit that it was a bit too difficult for me. Must have another go, with my Lexikon helping me.

After that, I was volunteered to go and get some greenery from some place in Stolzestraße, and was given the wrong side of the street, and were it not for the help of a very pleasant woman who looked half chinese, half german, and spoke american, and went to great pains to help me, would never have found it.

Not nearly as much alcohol flowed a last night, partly because quite a few of us still had rather bad hangovers. Got into quite an interesting conversation with some woman or another. Among the telegrams was one for me - May have a new flute for Christmas.


Saturday, 21 December 1963 Hannover
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As nobody came to wake me up until 1220 this morning, I did not get up until then, and so I got up late once more. I seem to be getting more or less onto the night shift, as just under a year ago. I wonder how it will end up.

As soon as I got up, I was told by Annette that she was soon going, and that she hoped hat I would not be bored stiff. She had a point there. However, I spent quite a it of the afternoon after lunch going around town to look for a music shop, but to no avail. However, I did get a bit of an airing, as Tante Grete would put it, and when I got back, I tried to play my old flute, probably for the last time, but it was beyond me, so I had to go on the clarinet, which I had not played since I came here. When Tante Grete walked in, she thought I had already bought a flute, and that was it. I soon put her on the right track.

In the opera in the evening, and to see “Madame Butterfly”, which was very good, although, as it was in Deutsch, it was a but difficult to understand. However, it was pretty obvious what was going on. When we got back, Tante Grete was going on about how it had changed, and how badly dressed some of the girls were (tits hanging out, etc.)


Sunday, 22 December 1963 Hannover
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Yet again I woke up late this morning - in fact I was woken by the phone, at the other end of which was Irma, and she told me that she would be coming at about 1130 - 1200 hrs, and so I was in rather one hell of a hurry to get dressed, have breakfast by then.

Finally they came, at about 1150, and straightway went to the house of her son, after stopping only to buy a bottle of schnapps.

Lunch, which was pretty early on the programme, was exceptionally good, and, as is usual in this country, I was fed so full that I could not eat more if I tried.

After that, I was handed in quick succession a list of what was on all the tapes they had, and, as I have never heard “Ave verum corpus” without participating in it, I chose that,

My recollection was that it was the only work in the list that I knew.

and then a pile of books written in English, which I started to read, as Irma was having her after-lunch nap. After that, tried to listen to Ave verum but they were making far too much noise. Kept on asking me if I was bored stiff bei Söhl. Well what could I say? Yes.

After the Abendbrot, went back, and discovered Frau & Herrn Daniells [sic] and a couple of other visitors having something to eat and drink (Herr Daniells is still drinking water, as on his wedding). Got to sleep at about 0130.


Monday, 23 December 1963 Hannover
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As is usual now, I was woken up round about 1050 this morning, and told to hurry up, as Manfried [sic] would be coming any moment.

Had breakfast, etc, and finally, as promised, Manfried arrived. Finally decided to take my tenor recorder to be repaired, but when, after a lot of looking round, we finally got to the repair shop, they said, or as I thought, that it was impossible.

As a result, I started looking round for a new tenor recorder, and found quite an excellent one going for 93 DM, and decided to buy it, and put down a 5 DM deposit for it.

Then we went to a cinema at the Hauptbahnhof, and left there at 1400 hrs, and got home, as calculated, at 1430, when Grete was also supposed to be getting home. However, she did not get back for another 40 minutes, and by the time we had finished “Mittagessen” it was 1635 hrs.

After that, we finally got rid of Manfried, and I got down to some more Blockflöte practice - Händel Sonaten, etc.

Then came Tante Grete back home from the visiting that she had been doing somewhere. Then, following in quick succession, came Herr Daniells [sic], who was complained most bitterly about something that Ursula had done.

Flowers are still pouring in for Friday - as Tante Grete put it, it is “wie in Blumenladen” - flowers all over the shop.


Tuesday, 24 December 1963 Hannover
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Once again, i woke up quite late this morning, and, after being told to do a few odd sundry jobs, and insisting on making my bed myself (heaven knows why) I had to go and post one hell of a lot of letters, parcels, etc., at the post office round the corner.

Decided that I would save up, and try and buy the tenor recorder, and managed to scrape up another 15 DM, which brings the required balance down to 73 DM. I wonder if I will be able to do it.

In the afternoon, started playing various instruments, and cutting reeds up for my clarinet, and german mouthpiece, which I brought with me. Then on to Blockflöten, and with a few old clarinet reeds managed to make some very effective mutes for all but the Baß, which I did not try, but which would probably need 2.

Then Grete came in, and insisted on a bit of help with the Christmas tree, and I promptly decorated it for her - put about 5 or 6 dozen balls on it. And candles. I suppose it will probably end up burning down. Went to the Daniells [sic] house in the evening - Ursula gave me a book on musical instruments - by Baines. Must see if I can get a woodwind instrument book in Deutsch.


Wednesday, 25 December 1963 Hannover
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I was woken at about 1200 hrs this morning by Grete, wanting to know if I were awake. I told her that I was not, and she told me I should be, as I had already slept more than 12 hrs. I wonder what time she thought we got home last night.

She promised that we would have lunch as soon as I got up, dressed, etc.

This was more or less true, depending on her interpretation of the word “sobald”, but anyway, it was a very good meal, although hardly up to the standard of the turkey that they were no doubt having at home. After that, I started to do a bit of Blockflöte practice, and was soon stopped from doing that by a guest coming at 1600 hrs.

Grete decided then that I needed a bit of airing, and as a result I was taken with them in a car to the Stadtmitte, and left to find my own way back, which I did as quickly as possible - the temperatures were at about -5 to -6 and I was not a little cold, especially as I had no hat.

In the evening, to please a little old lady who lives in the opposite flat, we lit all the candles on the tree, and sat gaping at it for a while, drinking, as is usual here, Sekt, and I could not help wondering if the little old lady should have had any. Went to bed early, but did not turn the light out until 0120 hrs.


Thursday, 26 December 1963 Hannover
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Yet again was I woken late this morning by Hans Joachim and Grete coming into my room, and not long after I got up.

Lunch, which was at 1430, was pancakes of a type which I have never tasted in all my life. Also a very good spud salad.

After lunch, I was told that I would be moved in to the spare room, and this we proceeded to do, and I was told to keep all my mess in that room. I don't like the way she said that.

Then her daughter in law came along and took her away to the hospital to do a bit of visiting as seems to be all that she does nowadays.

Apparently somebody else has had it as well. Anyway, while she checked up on the death scumin [?], or whatever you like to call it, I had, as usual, a bit of recorder practice, and carried on reading “Brother to the Ox”, which seems a singularly inapt title. Not one ox has dared to show its face yet.

Then I was picked up, and taken away to Herrn Doktor Söhl, where we had supper, and then watched a translation of “Antony and Cleopatra (Antonius und Cleopatra) on the TV, which was, as Irwin commented, like all of Shakespeares plays in that 3 or more people ended up dead. Then Grete persuaded Traudi to take us back home, and got to bed at about 2340 hrs.


Friday, 27 December 1963 Hannover
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Woke up this morning to the noise of Manfried's voice. Alas all my hope that he would not come were obviously in vain. Ah well. I suppose he can't help being a bit of a thick.

After breakfast, which was pretty well to the dot, a “Mittagessen”, we went into town, had a look round a bookshop, found nothing, and then went on to a cinema theatre where they were showing a western called „Winnetou“, and as westerns are supposed to interest kids, Tante Grete had insisted that I go. So we bought the tickets, and then walked to the other side of town to the art Museum, and, after going round the whole museum, managed to lose Manfried, and went down to the coin department, and started staring intensely at some Thalers. Then we went to the other Museum, which I expected to be better, but I was bitterly disappointed. Managed to lose Manfried again, and had a look at the aquarium. By this time, Manfried had smelt a rat, and I saw him outside the museum, looking puzzled, and went out and asked him where in hell he was going.

After lunch (1645) did a bit of music practice until it was time to go to the film, which began at 1815, and which was quite good. Then Manfried showed me the procedure on a bus, and went home to have an argument with Grete.


Saturday, 28 December 1963 Hannover
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This morning, as a bit of a special treat or something, Grete went to a funeral, and as a result, I was not woken up until she came back, and got up at about 1200 hrs and complained bitterly about no letter from Mum yet. Breakfast, which had been waiting on the table for me since 0900 hrs, was made of rancid butter, which imparted a rather unpleasant taste to it. After that, Grete went out again - to where, I do not know, but meanwhile in came Hans Joachim, and took most of the letters addressed to him and Ursula.

When Grete came back, said something about going to the hospital again this afternoon, and eating warm in the evening. I don't mind having a late lunch all that much, but when I only get 2 meals in a day .....

In the afternoon, took my clarinet to pieces, and polished up each key individually, which took me about 2 hours, although I hurried.

After that, having decided to send a telegram to Mum about price of flute, as it did not appear that likely that the letter would come, I sent a telegram, and was due for a nasty surprise. 30.00 DM!, and that despite the fact that I had such a skeleton that I doubt she will understand it.

Annette came in the evening - not much more about the flute maker.


Sunday, 29 December 1963 Hannover
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Annette woke me up this morning, and told me she was having a bath, and asked if I wanted one too. I was not too sure what he meant by this question, but I said yes and went back to sleep. About half an hour later she knocked on my door and said it was ready.

After a while, I went into the bathroom, where a typical school regulation bath was waiting for me, and I promptly proceeded to fill it with hot water. At lunch, I learnt that no cold water had been put in it at all. I thought I felt rather as if I was in a liquid turkish bath. Not the best thing first thing in the morning.

After lunch, I tried to regain mys senses after the bath, and was not helped by being made to get some coke from the cellers [sic] - 4 scuttlefulls of it, and surprisingly heavy.

Then read “Odd: but even so”. The title just about describes it. Never come across something quite so odd before.

During tea, Annette rang up Celle, and confirmed that the flutemaker would be open tomorrow, and with any luck we will be leaving on the 0700 hrs train tomorrow (who said luck?). Got an early night, after working out various recorder designs. Couldn't get to sleep until 0230 hrs.


Monday, 30 December 1963 Hannover [ → Celle → Hannover]
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Was woken up at 0545 hrs this morning by the row Annette was making in trying to wash.

I got up soon after, and generally hung around until breakfast, after which we went to the bus stop, station, train, and Celle. By the time we got to Celle, it was just dawning, and we waked into the town, had a look round, and in a music shop I saw a Moeck bass recorder - with keys for F# and F. I soon discovered that Moeck were the place we were going to see, and after catching a bus in that general direction, walked the remaining 2 km. When we got there, were very well received by an employee of the office staff, who said they will repair my tenor recorder, and then, after waiting 10 minutes, showed us round. I have never seen any factory quite so tidy in all my life. Also had some interesting fingering systems which they were working on. Also print music, and bought 10 books in town.

Celle is a beautiful town - wish I had my camera with me. About as old fashioned as they come. Got back home, and dropped off to sleep until about 1930 hrs., to be woken by Hans Joachim, who pinched half the chairs in my room, as they belonged to him. Then got up again, went into the dining room, and, after support, watched TV for a while - Jazz show with Satchmo, but it was disappointing.


Tuesday, 31 December 1963 Hannover Images for 31 December 1963
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This morning, Grete went to another funeral or something, and again I was left to wake up in my own time, and did not wake up until she came back.

Then, after eating the breakfast that she had laid out for me, or more or less doing so, she asked me if I wanted to help her do some shopping. Being the generous type I was, I said I would. Actually, I didn't know what I was in for. Anyway, I carted her 10 kgs of whatever it was, round the corner and back to the house and proceeded to eat an apple and starting “Latter Howe”, which so far is singularly boring. After that, it seemed that we were not likely to get any lunch, as we are eating hot tonight. Then she had to go to the hospital, and, after warning me not to let the furnace blow up, left me to y recorders, in which I did a bit of general re-joint-threading. Must get a new descant recorder. I feel ashamed of the old one.

Over 50 years later, I still have the same one.

When Grete came back, she showed me that wonderful program that “Hör zu” advertised for tonight. Included a bit about Malaya.

Grete will drive me nuts soon if she doesn't stop talking while I am trying to watch TV. Also saw some cabaret thing, and then a variety show, which carried on until 1200 hrs, before which time we had a typical Deutsch new years even makan, and which, being of Deutsch proportions, I could not finish.

It's interesting to note how many times this year I commented on the amount of food in Germany, and the lack of it in England.

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