Ps Greg's diary--December 1964
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Greg's diary
December 1964
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Tuesday, 1 December 1964 KCT
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Letter from Sandy this morning, and also from May and Baker, with copious amounts of stuff about Promicrol, etc, but not all the chemicals I wanted were listed in their catalogue. I shall have to upbraid them about that. However, they had quite a few interesting facts and figures about Promicrol, which managed to prove, comparatively scientifically, beyond any shadow detail of doubt, that Promicrol was the ideal fine grain developer. I feel that, in general, I agree with their proofs.

Double chemistry to start off the day, and deathly boring it was too. Oh, for all that work of term to come to an end - and yet I have English literature to take this term, as well. Still, the term flies rapidly to its conclusion.

Then a history test, in which I did not do too badly, and that, fortunately, took up the whole period.

During break, felt even less like work, and as a result arranged to change my clarinet lesson with Pearce.

Half an hour of maths after break, and that was my ration. Then along to the inside music room, and had a clarinet lesson, which I stretched until 1300 hrs, although Mr White left at 1240.

In the afternoon, directly after lunch to the dormitory, where I changed into my Sunday suit and white shirt, although, as it was not an evening performance, I wore no bow tie. Those things are very menaces.

After a bit of fooling round, got my camera out, and loaded a new film into it, and then down to the stage, where, after a bit of trouble with Atkinson, descended, with Barrets permission, myself into the pit, and connected up my electronic flash.

At the end of the first scene, I discovered, to my horror, that I had lost the end of the film, and the thing had not been winding on. To make matters worse, something went wrong with the cassette. So much for the flash, etc.

Spent the next 2 scenes just watching the play, as I could not really take any photos, and then along underneath at the end to unplug my stuff, while all the other fellows, who have no such worries, carried on with their photos, and Mansell showed Pyrland Hall round the stage.

Wrote up my diary in the careers room, and then into prep.

Discovered I had missed music at the beginning of 2nd prep, and spent it copying stuff from Lewis's book.

Wednesday, 2 December 1964 KCT
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Was rather surprised by 2 copies of “Popular Photography” this morning. Good old Dad. He finally got round to it, obviously. Contained a lot of interesting stuff in it - all about the things in the way of photography currently available on the American market. Unfortunately, I missed the first section, which dealt (presumably) with cameras. Also something about a sodium vapour safelight, and how to get the most out of Tri-X Pan. Recommend 650 ASA as the best speed - that makes 1300 ASA in Promicrol. I shall have to try it out for the laugh of it.

Seen, together with the rest of the dormitory, in the study this morning for our consistent lateness out of dormitory. They threaten to punish us next time we oversleep.

Maths first, and on & on with the function of a function stuff, and that was all we did.

Then study period, and did not do any work at all. First of all wrote up for yesterday, and then had a more detailed look at the magazines. Very good indeed, I feel. Stuff about best enlarging paper, too.

Next period, for an experiment, went to the library, which I found dead slack. Must do so more often.

After break, Deutsch, and we read a comprehension passage, but few of us comprehended.

Then PE, and, for a change, we played basketball. I am getting quite good at the game.

Choir practice after lunch, and not much happened then. We are now well and truly in the Christmas carols spirit, although I feel that we are about to get a bit of a raw deal over what we sing - I may, however, be wrong.

To the common room, where I had intended to write myriads of letters, but after writing one to Sandy, gave up, and instead decided to order 25 ft of Pan F for 9/-, p+p.. It sounds as if it should be worth it, to judge from the price. It had better be in date.

Then to tea, and was interrupted by a rather angry TDH, who told me that I had skipped my bassoon lesson, and was thereto rather upset.

After roll call, into town, and sent away for the film - and some paper for Cookson. Then along to Grays, and got some prices for bulk film, but not too hot.

Then bought some film for Cookson, and back again.

Not much difference from usual in the play. Took no photos, though Rollinson used a whole EHB 135-20. Session of signing programmes. To bed at after 2340 odd.

Thursday, 3 December 1964 KCT
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At last! She loves me yet - this morning I got letters from both María and Jan, the latter commenting that I had been a little nervous on Sunday. Only too true, I am afraid, but not for the reason she suspected. From María, no apology, but a story about how she never has any time nowadays. She is not the only one. However, it was that she has had some minor operation for the removal of a cyst, etc. Did not have much else to say, though. I wonder is she cooling off or not?

Deutsch first, and in walks Skiv and says „Na, heute morgen wollen wir einen kleinen Aufsatz machen“, and gives us, not one that we had prepared, but a choice between 2 others which has nothing to do with it.

Maths, and at last we got onto something which is right up my street. Differentiation of sines, etc. You just can't squash them - they just slip through π/2 radians.

In divvers, Daddy Death caught me reading popular photography, and it was rather embarrasing, to say the least. However, I got it back, and that was all I was really worrying about.

After lunch, wind band practice, and I discovered to my cost that Shakespearean music and “Oklahoma! ” do not go well together, and decided that the reeds required for each are also different.

Pioneers, as everybody, to watch the house matches in games time - Carp v. Meynell juniors, and we beat them hollow, although the weather was rather lousy. In fact, I soon gave up taking photos, as my hands could no longer feel the camera - I just about lost control of them.

Then up again, and the bell had already gone, and so had to miss tea to write up my diary - this period before tea must be completely unknown as far as most people ain the school are concerned. Sort of pioneer privelige, in return for missing rest.

Maths again in the evening, and on with differentials of sines and other trigonometrical functions. This promises to become more interesting.

Then english, and Boris spent the whole time talking about the play, and inviting our comments and criticisms.

Deathly bored in prep - nothing to do.

Friday, 4 December 1964 KCT
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More mail yet - Straits budget, and also, by return, the film and paper, but they said they had no Pan F, and as a result enclosed 25 ft of Plus X, which is more expensive, so I am not complaining. This mob may be such a bunch of crooks as I thought. Cookson is fairly happy about his paper.

History first in the morning, and carried on talking - Shitters has threatened to give us another essay. Once again, we are getting mountains of work piling up, and it looks as if we are going to end up with too much to cope with.

Then study period, which I did, as usual, in the library,

This was the second time!

but more or less behaved myself, as I had not bought much illicit with me, and also because I had english lit after break, so I spent my time reading “12th Night in German (“Was Ihr wollt”)

Then chemistry, and, as usual, did next to nothing, and I just about went to sleep. Clod did, however, turn up, and we had a bit of a stinker, but fortunately we were saved by the bell.

After break, ended up in room 24, and on with “Julius Caesar”, and it was a pretty average paper, which I finished in about an hour, and then decided that, as I had a bit of time left, I would write to Dad, as a letter to him was long overdue.

After lunch, choir practice, and it carried on for far too long a time - for once I had found myself wanting to get down to the bottom fields to watch the house matches.

Eventually, however, we got down there, and the Meynell soundly beat us 5 - 3, so for once we did not even get into the finals. Most depressing, as was the weather - my hands were once again absolutely frozen off.

I am fed up with house matches - once again I had to miss tea to write up my diary.

English after that, and we got back, unfortunately, to Othello, and spent the whole period doing nothing.

Deutsch, and we had a poem, and we had quite a bit of a laugh at Schmitt's ideas about sex-starvedness in the school. “The only chance you have is to take photos of your girls in the music festival, and give the prints to them under the desk” - a direct reference to me and Cynthia a couple of weeks ago. Great laughter, and we heard a few more of his ideas about the dance tonight.

Did my prep tonight, mainly out of force of habit, although I had quite enough to do.

Saturday, 5 December 1964 KCT
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Letter from Mum this morning, written over a period of time, and telling me who the estate agents for this Castle Cary property were. Fine time to tell me now - I shall have to go on the last Saturday of term - can't do it tomorrow, with the darkroom just getting back into bounds again. Also stuff from Kodak - they recommend that I buy a set of Kodak data booklets, for £4, and a renewal subscription of £2··10··0 for 8 years. Also a couple of Heathkit catalogues - they are becoming a bit of a farce.

Along to woodwork, and got onto the head joint of my tenor recorder, and decided that I might as well put it on the lathe before I drilled the bore, and this I did. The whole thing out to be superbly strong - 'tis about an inch thick.

Then comes the problem of expanding the bore for the tenons - I have now got all 9 holes done, including the duplicate one for the little finger. Drill the tenons, and then comes the tricky part of doing the voicing.

Chemistry was nothing - bit on catalysis, and we will have to write an essay thereon.

Physics, Poop gave us to revise for the test on Monday. I spent it adjusting my watch.

Test on calculus, in which I did not do at all well. I never do do well in these tests of Jimmys.

After lunch, to the Common room to write up for yesterday, but there was so much distraction going on, that it took me all of rest to do it. I shall have to go upstairs next time in like circumstances.

Then the OA match - after the effects of yesterday, I went to the tuck shop, and bought a scarf and a pair of gloves. I will never reconcile myself to the clean white of this new scarf. I suppose it will take me the rest of my time here to get it looking right again. However, it kept me warm.

Managed to get to tea today, for the first time for a long time, and stayed there the whole time - nearly late for roll call.

After roll call, sat in the common room reading a book on colour photography, but soon ended up talking to Akhavan about persian/Jawi script. One difference is the letter و, which is a w in malay, but a b in persian.

This doesn't match what Wikipedia says. v yes (which isn't really a Malay letter, but is now assigned to ۏ, a letter apparently not in the Persian alphabet), but not b, which is, as to be expected, ب in both scripts.

2nd prep to the wireless club - most members have a grudge against Woolacott. Barret was there, trying to mend his tape recorder.

Sunday, 6 December 1964 KCT
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More or less mediocre day today - nothing seems to happen to break the monotony of life any more. Or at least, that is how I feel about it, and surely, it is only feelings that count?

After breakfast, was at a rather loose end, as I have been quite a bit lately, with no real purpose. I might just as well sit down somehwere and go to sleep - it would give me more rest, anyway, what with all the conversation going on in the dormitory after lights out while Joe Cheung is away having an interview. Wrote up my diary, as I had little else to do, and still time hung rather heavily on my hands.

Thus to chapel, which was a pretty average service, although we had various curses inflicted upon us, such as the litany, the Advent Prose, and a sermon - I wish I knew whose idea the sermon in the morning was. In any case, I do not like the idea.

After chapel, the sun was out, and I was feeling generally a little more happy than before, although I had certain duties to do, such as going and changing my PT clothes, etc., but did them even with a certain amount of goodwill. Spent most of the morning in the Common rom - it really is a waste of time.

After lunch, straight up to the darkroom, and loaded a couple of films into tanks, and got moving. My Amfix is a bit slower - probably did not like the Bromide developer I put into it last Wednesday. I shall get some new stuff some time.

Apart from that, the films came out quite well, though as I expected, the play scenes were all a bit overexposed. Can't do much about that now.

Then settled down to the problem of loading my 25 ft of film, and that took a long time - about half an hour - by which time we could see the sprocket holes quite clearly.

That doesn't say much for the level of darkness.

Nearly blinded when Cookson put the lights on again. This film is definitely not ordinary Plus-X. I wish to God I knew what it was.

From my negative album, it appears to be “Kodak 30 Ciné film”. Most of this cheap film was offcuts from filming.

After tea, made a few prints, but they were all pretty lousy. I wonder if it is this paper I bought the other day. Could be. Developed a few bits of film to see what I could make out as to the nature thereof. On one “-ilm”. On the other “Kodak”, so we are not completely in the dark - or fog.

Got out my tape recorder to record a letter to María after supper.

Monday, 7 December 1964 KCT
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Two parental letters this morning - from Dad, postmarked Penang 4/XII), and from Mum, postmarked 3/XII. Strange response to my request for Kodacolor and Ektachrome - Mum said OK, but Dad had his doubts thereto. No doubt to do with an earlier comment “There's no colour in England”, he is mistaken, though not very much so. Still, apparently no progress on the house. I hope to God they have it finished by the Summer Holidays. Should have been finished many months ago.

Double study in the morning, and as has lately been my wont, I went to the library, where I found about ½ a dozen other people with the same thing in mind: would we get a physics test or not? In any case, I decided that it was too late in the day to matter much, and settled down to read “Popular Photography”, and before long was approached by Jacob, who wanted to sell me the New Scientist in the holidays. Accepted the offer.

Physics test was not nearly as difficult as I had expected, and I found 3 suitable questions (though only 3), and had them done in 1¼ hours, which is quite quick enough.

Spent the rest of the time feeling bored and wondering how would be the best way to do Ektachrome in the substitute chemicals. If I can get it going properly diluted, it should help. Must work it out mathematically.

Up to the careers room after lunch, mainly to do my diary, although I ended up looking at a lot of the books on careers, which are quite interesting. Dad was getting a little worried about this in his letter this morning.

To the Q stores, and Tebbot gave me some skivving to do, and then left for the armoury, so I carried on reading my book about colour films, with odd comments from Anderson from time to time.

Cembrowicz came back from a driving lesson, and then entered Timothy George, and we had a long debate about classification and records and such things. I disagreed with most views, quite typically.

Chaucer in English literature, and not too difficult. I finished this one in ¾ of an hour, and wrote 3½ sides to Dad, and still not yet finished. However, I have said, in these 2 letters, most of what I wanted to say.

Did little in prep, as we had none set, and so to the Bishop Fox dining Hall in 2nd prep for the dram soc. makan. I have seen better.

Tuesday, 8 December 1964 KCT Images for 8 December 1964
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Once again depression sets in, without any letters or mail of any kind. María also seems to have forsaken me, which is yet worse. She must have forgotten about me, or surely she would write. Still, no need to completely despair yet. I shall write her yet again, and hope for a letter.

Before assembly did little. Sooner or later I must get the formulae for colour developing down, before my 3 weeks for my book expires.

Double chemistry first, and Clod came in and asked us if we wanted a test, and then went out again, while I set myself to the task of memorising the periodic table, and it paid off, too, for 10 minutes later he returned, and gave us a test, part of which was to reproduce the first 3 periods of the periodic table.

Test carried on all through the period, and I could have done better, but did not.

Then history, and Timothy George read us some stuff about Lenin, but 'twas not really interesting.

No food again in break - they ran out too soon.

Then, after break, maths, and, thank God, he did not come out about the results of the calculus test. I doubt that he will.

Then Deutsch, and Herr Schmitt turned up with a thing with the Deutschlandlied written on it, but would hardly let us sing it.

Up to room 19 to do my diary after lunch - I am more or less getting into a useful routine now, and might be able to keep it up next year, although 'twill be difficult on Wednesdays in SciLVI.

Then to watch the Junior House match final, in which we beat the Fox 8-0 in the first ½. All were highly delighted, and I took a couple of photos of the team, and in do doing lost the screw for my telephoto lens, which is a damn nuisance. About 8BA, and I suppose that would do as a substitute. Could screw it on tighter, anyway.

Clarinet lesson at 1600 hrs, instead of 1620 as arranged, as Mr White had nobody, and wanted to get off early. Then to Physics, about 20 minuets late, and Poop was not too pleased. Discovered that I had messed up No 10, as had Lennox, and were laughed at by the rest of the Form. Poop commented “The mob love to pull you down, don't they”.

Then music, and this time Lewis did not turn up. Notes on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, supposed to be an absolutely unbearable character, according to TDH.

Wednesday, 9 December 1964 KCT
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Yet again no mail. I am sure they have all forgotten completely about me. Still, hope springs eternal in the human breast, as I think they say, so I have hope yet - or is it just that depression and suspicion also spring eternal in the human breast?

Maths first, and on, ever on, with all sorts of funny stuff. The fact that I had not done my prep did not help, but nevertheless I did get on. General excercise in differentiation of odd functions, and rather amusing, up to a point. Then Jimmy stopped us and said something funny about the differentiation of explicit and implicit functions - all sounds most highly technical to me.

In 2nd period, Priestly was there again. He must have given philosophy up as a bad job. I wonder how it will be next term. In any case, wrote up my diary, and then read books on photography until the end of the period. Then to the library, but in a mess, so I spent ¼ hour looking for a good book on physical Chemistry, but failed, and back to the common room.

Cream buns in break, but not much cop.

After break, Deutsch, and Skiv went through some proses with us, while we read a thing on something or another - not too bad.

P.E. was a modification of some Malay ball game, the name of which, unfortunately, I have forgotten.

Did not do too well in it, despite.

Gave up the choir practice as a bad job after lunch, and went up to the darkroom with Atkinson, who wanted to make some B&W transparencies. Ever game, I went up, but we used up a whole bottle of Promicrol in the process. Bleaching went well enough - I gave it 8 minutes, as for Ektachrome, and it hardly needed clearing. However, after redevelopment, discovered that the emulsion had been a little too thick - or it might have been that Promicrol has odd characteristics.

Out for a while, and Atkinson went around looking for a suitable subject for having another go.

Bassoon lesson at 1600 hrs, and the reeds had finally arrived, and they were all damaged, and we had to send them back again.

Into town, why I am not too sure. Force of habit, I fear, but did give me a chance to return my library books, although I did borrow some more. I shall have to renew them by post at the turn of the year - in fact, on 30/XII/1964.

Back again, and Atkinson had not had much more success. I shall have to buy unitol, or even MQ, developer next time.

Thursday, 10 December 1964 KCT
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At last! Another letter from María. She loves me after all, though she also lodged another complaint about my writing. She is not the first who has complained of late. Perhaps there is something in it after all. Also a Collins Radio Diary, all the way from Australia, as a Christmas present from Uncle Bob, who was, then at any rate, in Sydney. Mum might know his address, anyway.

Deutsch supposedly first, but Skiv was away, and so we were able to have a study period, and I spent my time reading something about colour film. I should know a hell of a lot about it by the time I am through.

Then maths, and not much new. Somehow I get the feeling that maths is approached from a more practical view then Chemistry and Physics sometimes - I just do not know. It certainly seems that way.

Then had Divvers - Daddy Death was talking about deposing parsons [?], and I asked him why he was leaving. Most interesting answers, and told us what he thought was wrong with this place here.

Then, after break chemistry. About 5 of us (including me) got a 1hr detention from Webster for messing around with chemicals. Damn nuisance.

After break, wind band practice, and after a bit of a go at “Oklahoma!”, we gave it up, and had a bit of a look at “Annie get your gun”, and then adjourned until next term.

Then along to the changing room, and turned up for pioneers, to discover that Callow and mob were trying, more or less in vain, to move the cement mixer. Cox finally found a pump, and then we discovered that the valves in the wheels had gone. Our mutual friend, the young photographer, Allen, was there, and I got him to take a few photos with my camera, and they should be fairly amusing.

Then beat up Cox, went away and changed, and went and bought some biscuits to eat while I was writing up for yesterday. In point of fact, I was finished before tea anyway, so I turned up for that as well.

Maths, and Jimmy found himself at a bit of a loose end, as he did not want to go on to a new subject so close to the end of the term. Ended up merely giving us a note on implicit differentiation, and left it at that. As the end of term approaches, it gradually becomes more and more slack.

English, and Boris gave us some stinker of a “Classwork”. Saw him after about the Dramatic Society beating [?] up my watch. Then to room 26, where Mr Fawcett had left his 2nd Bassoon, true to promise. Looks quite good.

Subscription concert in 2nd prep, and very good - Tunnell Trio, all same family. Thought the cellist (playing Boccherini) was the best.

Friday, 11 December 1964 KCT
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Very short letter from Mum was the lot for this morning. It does get rather boring, to say the very least.

After breakfast, down quickly to the music room to try out the bassoon which Mr Fawcett had lent me. A bit difficult at first, and it had me wondering. Got my Baines and had a bit of a look at the fingering there.

Then history, and I spent the whole period reading about the Weimar republic, and the reasons of the failure thereof. Very interesting, even if I do claim to be a scientist. However, it was quite all right.

Then a study period, and back to the music rooms, and discovered some quite vast differences in fingering. The Buffet fingering is easier, but the Heckel is easier to play.

Then chemistry, and we were told to do a study period. Dorry [?] is now going to tell Clod and let the matter rest in his hands. Spent the period in the library.

Another study period after break, in which I did my maths prep, and was almost immediately surrounded by people wondering how to do it. So insisted on a lot of explaining.

Then maths, and we only had about 15 minutes, as there was an early lunch preceding the half day.

After lunch, along to room 26, where TDH wanted to have a last-minute practice before we went to the hospital. Then went up and changed into my Sunday Suit, and then to write up for yesterday, but owing to various factors was not able to finish before 1415 hrs, when we were supposed to leave for the hospital. Took it with me. Hell of a crowd waiting for us at the hospital - most of them deaf, and one old man blind.

The whole thing went off without too much mess up, except that people kept coming through the door when people were playing - and we had to stand on the other side of the door. Music was so good/bad that several old souls burst into tears.

Then after a very good tea we were asked to say something for them, for which we were totally unprepared.

Got back, and I promptly to the common room and started writing letters to Cynthia and Mrs Baudouy. Then up to the darkroom, and more reversal. Took several photos of the process. I have never seen such appaling grain as HP3 developed in Universol. Negative grain was about [dots] size. Then developed my own FP3 in Promicrol - fortunately, much better grain.

Not much in the evening - 3 hours choir practice for the carol service.

Saturday, 12 December 1964 KCT Images for 12 December 1964
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Straits budget a day late today, and, as I had no other mail, spent most of breakfast reading it - nothing spectacular yet, although Soek is getting a bit worried about the deadline for crushing Malaysia.

After breakfast, more bassoon practice. I am getting more or less to know the instrument fairly well now.

Trying to drill the bore to my tenor recorder in woodwork, first of all with some odd contraption of Jimmy's which was adjustable, and after I gave that up, with a fairly conventional short 1½" drill which was, in fact, not much better. However, it did produce some results - it did not drill very far, but the temperature of the bit went up to about 80°C, and the wood started smoking, and I began to wonder if I would not get back to burning a hole down the centre after all.

In chemistry, study period, which I spent doing yet more bassoon practice - it is too near the end of term to do much else.

After break, physics, and, must to my surprise, I did very well, and got blown up by Pad for not doing well enough. Damn it all, I did come top by 3% with 55[?]%.

This appears to be the first time I called him Pad rather than Poop.

Maths was not much except notes. We wet through just about the whole business of integration as for 'O' level, and on Tuesday, or next term, should get on to the serious stuff.

Turned up for pioneers, for about the first time in 3 weeks, vaguely on time, and did very little indeed - except watch Mr Sykes fix up a leak in his car roof - before we knocked off and, presumably, adjourned until next term.

Back again, found my music folder outside the fort, and did yet more bassoon practice. I should be able to play it in my sleep before many more days go by.

Then into the common room, got my diary, and, as per usual, up to room 19 and wrote it up for yesterday, and was, fortunately, in time for tea.

After tea, up to the darkroom, and persuaded Cheung to let me make a couple of prints of the map for Mrs Baudouy. Definition was not too hot from up the top, but, apart from the reflection of the flash, the definition on an 8× blow up was quite good. I shall obviously have to get a bigger map, or more powerful lens - or both.

Carol service - went very well indeed - although some people disagreed. I hope we do as well next time.

In wireless club 2nd prep - did little but talk.

Sunday, 13 December 1964 KCT Images for 13 December 1964
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Something is decidedly amiss with the bells. This morning the rising bell did not go until 0830 hrs, and by that time we were already up. Something is obviously not functioning correctly.

After breakfast, forgot table clearing, whcih did not help, but, fortunately, was reminded and was more or less finished by 0930 hrs, and then down to the common room, where Allen grabbed me, and wanted to borrow my light meter. Ah well - no rest for the wicked.

After that, decided that I would make a better job of photographing a map than the last one I did, and went up to the Geography room, and spent great time preparing my camera for the photo, and also held the flash away from the camera so that a) it would not be overexposed b) there would be no reflection in the photo. I will have to get hold of Green's 2½" maps for really good detail.

Then chapel, which was pretty average stuff. Not even a litany or Advent prose to relieve the boredom. Still, it went well enough.

After chapel, at a loose end, and decided that it was about time I got a really good attempt at tidying up my scob, and this I did. Then got down to finishing a letter to Mum and Dad, and after that went outside and found Aston in one of the music rooms, and joined him in some music practice, although Gear-Evans came along and made a hell of a nuisance of himself.

Then, after lunch, to the common room, and more on to the end of the letter to Mum & Dad, and then enclosed an Ektachrome slide of the wireless club a) to show Dad what a hell of a mess the place was, and b) to show him the results of my Ektachrome developing. I hope he agrees that it is good.

After that, out for a walk, and for some unknown reason joined up with La Moury, and a friend thereof, Harry Cox (or Cocks), or whatever he calls himself. Thought I was Lane.

After that, got back and found Rees and Callow in the middle of a heated discussion on mathematics as a language, and he dared us to translate a page of Herodotus into maths, which we took up. Then some music practice, soon to be joined by Aston, and then tea.

After tea, I had intended to say a tape letter to María, but was once again distracted by Phillips insisting that he had a right to my communications receiver, and had to drag my last years diary out to prove him wrong. Then wrote a hasty letter to María, and tried to get the thing working again.

After supper, spent the whole time discussing photography with Atkinson and Hallet.

Monday, 14 December 1964 KCT
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A multitude of letters, etc, did I receive this morning. A Christmas card from María, complete with note to be good at Netherton, a card from Mrs Baudouy to say that she would not be coming, but that Alain would substitute for her, two from Ahmad - Christmas card for me and Bev, and a letter (the only real letter!) from Jan, whose days are numbered in this country, and quite a long letter 'twas, too.

After breakfast, not much to do, and did a bit of generally hanging round and all over the place, and then to the common room for double study, the first period of which I spent consolidating my physics practical for two weeks ago, and then did a bit of work on my essay about catalysis. This carried me on nicely until the end of the period, and then I went out and had a bassoon practice. Lennox soon entered, and insisted on having a blow, so got him out the old baſſoon. Indeed he appeared a buffoon playing it.

Then triple physics, and I got my stuff corrected early and then - dreadful moment - we were given Lee's disk and Hallet to help us do it. Most boring experiment.

After break, Pad came in to ask me some question which he hoped would catch me out, but did not, but caught himself out instead.

After lunch, wrote up for yesterday as usual, and a few other things as well, and turned up at the Q stores comparatively early. Went round the changing rooms and got a multitude of stuff, sorted it out, and then, at only 1520 hrs, we knocked off. To the common room, where there were far too many people for this time of the week. Yet another bassoon practice ensued.

After that, to tea, and then along to the orderly room to get a 2½" map of the Taunton area from Green, and then up to room 19 to take some photos thereof. Wondering whether the flare was, at least in part, due to the close up lens, and so also took a photo of the whole area - 2 of each, in fact, to be on the safe side.

This took me until about 1700 hrs. Then packed up all my equipment, and took the map back to the orderly room, and then back for the inevitable bassoon practice, and gave this up, and went to the choral society, where we were given copies of the BachMagnificat”, which is an extraordinarily complicated work.

Carried on until after 1800 hrs, by which time we had got through most of the choruses. Will need considerable bucking up. Finished off essay in prep, and read Somerset-Maugham for the rest of the time.

Tuesday, 15 December 1964 KCT
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The last few days of term are always a bit hectic, and so this proved to be. Started off quite normally, even mundanely, with a letter from the Concert Hall Record Club, enclosing details of their latest records. I may be forced to get it if I am not careful about sending their thing back.

Then along to the common room after breakfast, stayed there but little, and took my suite to the Linen Room to try and get it ironed, but Matron said I should do it myself - they are not our valets, apparently.

Then, after assembly, chemistry, and Clod came in and spoke at great length about the phase rule, and such associated ideas, despite the fact that the Weed was unwell, and he was acting headmaster as a result.

Heavy blowing up at the end about messing about, and the detention carried on until next term - never a very pleasant thing to happen. History was Timothy George reading to us about something to do with the USSR.

After break, maths, and Jimmy taught us an interesting game to be played with matches, and I just about worked out the maths of it all by the time he explained it. Then to Housemasters, etc, and did record forms.

After lunch, timed rum, and I produced 5 excuses to get out of it, chiefly that the pioneers were working today. Had a flute lesson - Miss Mills does choose odd times, to say the least - and then changed, and down to pioneers, by which time Callow had decided that 'twas too cold, and so we knocked off and thus the pioneers got out of another run.

Went up to the darkroom then, and had a go at developing May's film for him, and it all went well until I poured the Amfix in and discovered that it was Universol [developer]. All very annoying, and I had to make up some hypo instead.

Then down to have a haircut, and up away to was the film, and was then found by Atkinson, who wanted to do some tests with my electronic flash on his camera, and so missed tea, and all up to the darkroom yet again.

Then had to and robe up for the carol service, which went quite well, considerably better than on Saturday, and thence out and to supper, which was a really good affair, complete with a speech by Clod, and then along to the fort, got rid of the Christmas pud, and to watch the film, “The admirable Crichton”, which really was a masterpiece.

House celebrations fairly average - pretty meaningless, really.

Wednesday, 16 December 1964 KCT → Netherton
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Something wrong with the bells this morning, and up, in point of fact, just a little before 0815, owing to the fact that I was very worried about my diary for Monday, which I had not yet filled in, and so immediately up to room 19, and was quite easily finished by the time the bell went for breakfast. No mail, but not really much worry, as, for once, all arrangements had been more or less made.

After breakfast, got down to the job of deciding what to do with my packing etc, and so first over to Gatcombe, and got all my games stuff from there, and then back again, taking a few photos of the scenery on the way - a beautiful frost had set in overnight.

Then up to the dormitory, and got a few things more or less settled there, and then decided to go down to the hangar and get my trunk. Up then to the linen room, blown up as per usual by Matron, and then up the back way to the dormitory, where I was given a taste of rum by Green. Kind of him. Got hungry, then, to the tuck shop, and bought some food.

Back to the dormitory, more or less finished off there, and then down to Big School to pack. Eventually, all was more or less OK there, and I had managed to pack the entire contents of my scob into my trunk.

Then to the common room, having first changed into my Sunday Suit, and hung round until lunchtime reading the Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra.

After lunch, got my stuff ready for the carol service, and then out to wait for Alain and Cynthia. Cynthia arrived first, only ¼ of an hour late, an before long was discovered by the Light Music Club, and that was the last I saw of her.

Had to go to the carol service before Alain arrived, and Gautam rang up the Baudouys to find out what had happened.

Carol service was pretty average, and we did not even have any tapers, which rather spoilt it, but nevertheless Cowan had enough light for his Kodachrome.

Out again, and finally found Gautam, who said that Alain had arrived, and before long we were all on our way back to Netherton, and we arrived at about 1730 hrs. All who were there and knew me were more or less happy at my arrival, and so down to my room, and got things to a fair state of sorted-outness. Then into the drawing room, and did some music practice on my bassoon until supper - can't get away from it.

After supper, had a financial talk with Mrs Baudouy, which was not at all unsuccessful, and then along down to the local to buy some tobacco, and up to my room again.

It appears that she paid me to organize the daily activities. I no longer have any recollection of this.

The rest of the evening dragged a bit, and went into see Gautam and Pete for a while.

Thursday, 17 December 1964 Netherton
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Woken up at a fairly normal time - 0730 hrs - this morning by Mrs Baudouy, after I had asked her last night to wake me at 0700. Fairly snappily up, and then to the workroom and looked round to see if anybody there was up. Not a soul but for Richard and Kirsten.

Then before too much longer had passed, went into the dining room and had breakfast with the 0800 hrs mob. By the time this was over, quite a few of the other people in the house were showing signs of activity, and I momentarily retired to my room, and stayed there until breakfast was just about over for the rest of them. Then went out and had a bit of a conversation with Taleb Khedir, whom we have not seen for nearly 3 years. He is 12 today, and very proud thereof. Mrs Baudouy gave him 10/-, and then I organised a trip into town, and I went with Taleb, first to find a place where I could buy a waistcoat, and finally found a reasonable one, also bought a tie, and Taleb did likewise, thus blowing most of his 10/-. Then to Lloyds to change some money for Gautam, and Taleb tried in vain to get some money.

Eventually got all that we had to do finished, and also got my watch sent to be repaired, and should have it again by Tuesday.

Met Alain at the station, only 10 minutes late, and then almost immediately had Lunch, and after that, quite a few people wanted to see the flick, so I had to accompany them - Mrs Baudouy gave me a bill exhibitors pass, and it really iis rather amusing to be able to get in without a ticket.

The films themselves were not so hot. The first one, the Lady Killers, was pretty average Peter Sellers type rubbish, and it appears that it was one of his earlier types. The second, “In the Dog House”, considerably better, though most of the others did not at this time think it was funny.

The Ladykillers is a classic, rating 7.9 on the IMDB. I can't even find an online reference to “In the Dog House”.

Went out at the end of the film and rang home, and enjoyed a Mannikin [cigar] while waiting for Alain to turn up. Then along home, and discovered Bev in the car, not exactly jumping for joy to see me, and as soon as she got back complained that she had too much money. I could soon put her right. Then down to the cellars to look for some clothes for her, and found my fairly long-lost book on Malaysia, and brought it upstairs.

Then supper, and after that to my room for a while, but was at a rather loose end - there really is very little to do here at times. In any case, I decided after a while to go up and talk to Fadel and we and Erick got into a discussion on what we should do with the women here. Fadel and I came to a speedy unanimity that we had better get on with the girls early in the holidays, rather than wait right to the end thereof.

Friday, 18 December 1964 Netherton
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Mrs Baudouy in at 0700 hrs this morning, but the night had been cold, and I had slept badly, so I turned over and slept on to 0845, and was surprised that I had not missed (2nd) breakfast. I hope I get some heating shortly.

After breakfast got talking with Fadel again. It cannot be denied that he and I think very much alike. In any case, we got moving, and before much more time had gone by, we ended up down in the village, and bought smoking utensils, and then went back up again, and by this time had decided that a little CCl₄ would not go amiss.

We had heard that CCl₄ (Carbon tetrachloride) was an aphrodisiac. We had intended to lace girls' drinks with it. But it's also poisonous, and in the end we decided against using it.

Also discussed which women we should go for. As I see it, Leona, Mary and perhaps also Sue and Cynthia are our best bets. I am not too sure, however, that Cynthia is all that fond of me, and Sue is ever uncertain.

Got back, and Mrs Baudouy immediately got me to go and take a whole mob into town, and I discovered, rather to my annoyance, that all the above-mentioned girls would spend the day in Torquay. Persued [sic] my duty nevertheless, and before long Bev & I were in Newton doing the shopping for Mrs Baudouy, and then along to buy some wool for Bev, and also a paper for myself.

Then to the Henley, had a bit of sustenance, and thence to Smiths, where I found all already waiting for Alain, who is a rather lazy sod, and only comes in when he has to.

Finally got back, and had a bit of lunch, where the girls were sadly lacking, and then into my room with a view to getting my diary done a little more punctually, when Erick came in and started talking, and borrowed Fanny Hill, with a promise of a loan of “The carpet-baggers” in return.

Sat smoking for a little while after he left, and the felt deathly tired, and went to look for Fadel, and brought him back to my room, and actually offered him a cigar, which, fortunately, did not take his fancy. All the more for myself. Discussed the photographic method which has been fermenting in my mind for the past term or so, and it looks admirably suited to the well room, provided nobody pinches the key. I shall get my eye on Mary and Leona.

This carried on until nearly tea-time, much to my surprise, and then in for tea, after getting the mob from Kestrels sorted out. Much to my embarassment [sic] then later handed me back a cigar which I dropped in the process.

More discussion after tea, and we got onto religion, etc, and I asked Fadel about how to become a Muslim. Most interesting, but we nearly missed supper, and during it started making advances at Leona and Mary. Leona seems to have taken a dislike to Fadel. After that, went through a rehearsal of the photographic method with Fadel, and developed Talibs film for him at the same time.

Flash photo of Cynthia in night clothes - she liked that not one jot, and that strikes her off my list. 3 each left now - 2 overlapping.

Saturday, 19 December 1964 Netherton Images for 19 December 1964
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This getting up so early in the morning is a decided bind, and had it not been that I wanted to wake up Raja (which, I suspect, is in fact his surname). In any case, went in at about 0745, ½ an hour later than he wanted, and he was yet asleep, so all was well. Downstairs then, and Mrs Baudouy got me to tidy up the playroom, and then I was sent down to wake up Richard, who had not yet recovered from the dance last night.

Then hung around until early breakfast, set the table for 2nd breakfast, rang the gong, and left it to Martine [sic; might have meant Martin], with whom my duties have been paired off, as Richard and Kirsten. Then went upstairs, and we got talking with Fadel, and then I was called upon to arrange another expedition into town.

More complications arise every day. I suppose I shall be an utter nervous wreck by the end of the holidays. Gautam was not feeling too well, and I had to get stuff for him, post it, and so on. He even tried to get a record player out of me. Then Leona insisted in dressing up Gloria to go into town. Eventually got in, and discovered that once again we had 2 hrs to blow, so went and looked for some books with Fadel, and then to go and get some carbon tetrachloride for obvious reasons. Then looked over various types of cigars, etc, and bought a glorified Burma cherut for Fadel, and then decided to try to get some Burma cheruts myself — 7/6 for 5, and unless I am mistaken, in Malaya the are 5¢ each - and bigger.

The spelling cherut was customary in Malaysia at the time.

After lunch, retired to my room for the usual after-dinner cigar, only this time it was a cherut, and was, as fairly normal now, joined by Fadel - these Burma cheruts are damn good, looked at now from a more experienced point of view. Lasted a good ½ hour, while Fadel smoked quite a few things to keep up with me.

After that, went upstairs to see what was going on in the girls room, and found Cynthia half undressed trying on dresses which Leona was doing on her manually operated sewing machine.

Then offers some sherry by Martin, and damn good for 4/2d a bottle, and we walked down to the village to see what we could get there, but were unsuccessful, and walked back again. Then had a look at Martins bike and considered buying it for £7. I think it is well worth it.

Then into my room, once again with Fadel. I think he feels the whole affair is going to be a flop. In any case, the girls have not been very coöperative.

Then tea, and little after that until supper, although I did go in and watch TV for a while.

After supper, had just finished my after-dinner cigar when in came Fadel cursing the TV, and we stayed there for about 1½ hours, and I eventually went in and tried (in vain) to make passes at Leona.

After bedtime up and taking photos with flash. Had some fun with Cynthia.

Sunday, 20 December 1964 Netherton Images for 20 December 1964
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Diary entry for Sunday, 20 December 1964


Gawd! What a day! To the uninitiated surveying my position, Sunday would hardly appear a day of rest.

Breakfast, etc, in the morning, were all fairly normal, except that I had to go down to the coach-house to wake up everybody else, and took the opportunity to wish Kirsten a happy 20th birthday - I thought until recently that 'twas her 21st.

After breakfast, was smoking a cigar with Fadel, and before I knew where we were, I had to go and get all ready for going to mass. That was hectic enough in itself, and then I discovered that even in England the service has been translated into English - or at least certain sections of it have been. Anyway, even if it is so, it is still a lot easier to understand.

After that (typically), Van had not turned up, and we ended up sitting in the Presbytry [sic], and before I could do much about it, Mary had got hold of a photo of Jan. Not that this is too bad in itself, but if I am not careful, she might tell María Cristina, and that would ruin my Easter Holidays.

Then returned to my room, and had a look at the ads for Ektachrome in Pop Photography, and it looks pretty good going at the prices, and it might be worthwhile. Then got down to reorganise my letters, and was aided/hindered by Bev entering. 10 months worth of letters there, and my folder is choc-a-bloc full.

After lunch, attacked my tubed cigar, and Faðel similarly with his, but he found it a bit heavy going, and did not finished it.

Then to get a list for the flick, and after I had got about 20, Alain started up a rival hare-and-hounds, so half of them gave up in favour thereof. Then Alain gave up hares-and-hounds and I had to start all over again.

Flick itself was not particularly wonderful, and I was quite glad to get back. Why do people have to laugh at me for my organisation? In any case, we got back and Cynthia came out and told me that the Daniel Jazz was on TV, but it was not nearly as good as the Male Voice Choir's version.

Then makan, and met Ian Howard-Williams. Most interesting fellow, and we decided to go on an expedition down to the Pub later on, and after a bit of conversation in our rooms did, and I bought ½ a gallon of 3le [?] vintage cider, which is pretty good for 5/9.

Then had fun putting all the kids to bed, although the 2200 hrs mob rebelled, and did not go up until 2300 hrs.

Monday, 21 December 1964 Netherton
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Not much happened this morning, and life is beginning to become a little monotonous and routine.

Up for breakfast as usual, and then hung around the dining room telling all who were there that if they wanted to go into town, they would have to write their names on the list on the notice board.

This carried on for some time, and I am beginning to thing that they have got the idea. However, after retiring briefly to my room, and then returning to collect the list and a letter from Mum, dozens of them changed their mind, and as a result, my temper changed from fairly good to extremely bad, and this did not help anybody. This was also not helped by, nor did it help, the position in which Mrs Baudouy found herself at about this time - all in one hell of a flap, and we were lucky to get away at all.

In town, first with Bev to buy her a shoulder bag, and then after a lot of haggling, etc, eventually bought her one, and then along to Gearys to see how my watch was getting on, and then parted with Bev and went to look through various photographic stuff at Boots, and then search the town for manganese batteries, and ended up late, and had to catch the other car, and even then forgot my intention of getting some sherry.

After lunch, no peace, and all were going to go on a hare & hound thing. Meanwhile Ian (came yesterday) and I had been having a look at each others cameras and even taken another of Cynthia, and so I put on my telephoto (using now an 8BA screw, which is a lot firmer), and we set off for some more bird watching, and got quite a few of Cynthia, and then decided to set off back home, as they had lost the trail, and it was bitterly cold, and thence to my room to discuss the whole matter.

Before long, all came back, and Ian went off with Martin, and I went and started talking with Abdul, who also arrived yesterday.

After supper, along to Abdul's room, and there exchanged some Navy Cut for some Escudo. I feel, however, that the latter is a bit strong. In any case, I retired to my room after that, and smoked a Burma cherut, which this time lasted me 43 minutes - very economical - but after that, felt pretty groggy, and as a result did not go down to the cellars, where there was supposed to be a dance for about ½ an hour, and there was nothing on when we got down there.

Back up again, and spent most of the rest of the evening in the playroom, watching TV.

Tuesday, 22 December 1964 Netherton
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Down to wake up Micheal [sic] this morning, as he was going to Torquay or something - I am getting fed up with getting up so early lately.

As usual, did little before breakfast, and that was very late - at about 0845 hrs, and it appears that I had been made to wait deliberately. Back to my room to write up my diary, but felt so tired that I went back to the dining room, by which time breakfast was in full swing, and had a cup of coffee, which, Martin insisted, should have put me to sleep.

After that, I had little time before I was supposed to get all ready for going into town, and this was the scene of a lot more shouting, crying, etc. A few people went to Plymouth, and this confused everything further. In the end, everything was just about sorted out, and we went into town. Went along to the jewelers to see how my watch is getting on. They have not regulated it yet, and I can't see why I shouldn't do that myself. In any case, carried on looking around for batteries, and also bought a 2 dioptre lens for even greater close-ups with my camera.

Then back home again, and little happened before lunch time. Afterwards, however, I had little time to enjoy a cigar before I was grabbed to go and get a list of all those who wanted to go swimming.

Eventually, after a hell of a lot of fuss and bother, it eventuated that most people did not know what they wanted to do, and so we had 2 carloads: 1) to Torquay-marine spa, etc, and also with 4 to N.A. and 2) to N.A. to buy clothes. I was one of the 4 to N.A., and walked into town from the Penn inn with Ian, and bought a scarf and a couple of shirts, and then along to look for some electronic stuff to use in taping the conversation at night in the pink room. Ian bought also a flashgun & accessories, and was nearly shortchanged by 9/-. Also bought some VP sherry, and then caught the bus back to Netherton.

Got back eventually, and did little to any purpose until supper, after which I intended to develop the film which I finished off upstairs this morning. Had had a bit of fun before, however, through the manhole in the ceiling, to see if we could put the tape recorder there.

Film was very difficult to load - had been damaged in the camera, and eventually tore into 2, conveniently between 2 frames. Known as “Kodak 30“ in the ciné world (Plus X). Quite a few good ones.

Wednesday, 23 December 1964 Netherton
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These lost hours of sleep are gradually beginning to catch up on me. I was woken at 0715 and 0740 hrs this morning by Mrs Baudouy, but in each case went back to sleep, and eventually did not get up until about 0845 hrs, as I did not feel like missing breakfast. Nevertheless was late, as Gautam was feeling decidedly unwell, and I had to give him a Saridon.

After breakfast, I had less trouble, at least initially, with the mob who were going into town, and I hope, at least, they are appearing to become a little more used to the method of putting their names on the list.

However, there was the problem of numbers. We once again needed 2 cars, and 1 had to go to Teignmouth, but eventually we got it sorted out, although we did not leave until 1100 hrs. Once in town, with Bev to get a few last requisites for her trip to Austria. First to Marks & Sparks, where she got clothes, socks, and also got some boots, and then to get travellers cheques, but no small denominations, and so we left it. I got a pair of sheepskin gloves, as knitted ones are too cold. Then back again. We never get enough time.

After lunch once again to my room, although I am now getting short on cigars, and so forewent this custom of smoking after lunch. However, did drink a bit, and got down to my diary for yesterday, and then along to Mrs Baudouy to see what was going on. It appeared that just about everybody was going into Torquay, but fortunately the did not want me to organise it. However, she wanted me to see them off before I did anything else.

After that, gathered together what money I had, and went down to the village, and bought a fairly large quantity of tobacco, including some 3 Nuns. Might mix well.

Back again, and tried making advances at a few birds remaining, but no go - too busy playing roulette! I ask you!

Then to my room for a while, but after a while out, and talking to Jean and Abdul, when Mrs Baudouy handed me a parcel with clothes and an old camera - still with film in it. Took a photo of Jean, but the film tore, so could not do much about that.

Then into my room, and took the film out of the camera and loaded it into my tank. After tea, developed it, with Jeans moral aid. I wonder if she is worth going for.

Then support, and thereafter I was truly at a loose end, but decided to go to my room and have a bit of a discussion with Bev. Later spoke with Mrs Baudouy and husband about carol singing in the village tomorrow - fairly popular, with most people.

Thursday, 24 December 1964 Netherton Images for 24 December 1964
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Up again today as normal, though the whole day from then on was preoccupied by the thought of going carol singing this evening. As I had been requested, I woke Mary up at about 0745 hrs, but she was too tired, and went back to sleep again.

Then down to my room again, and got practicing on my bassoon and clarinet for the carols, and as a result had to go to the later breakfast.

Arrangements for the trip into town were not as bad as usual, as many fewer people were going, and had Van milked his cow earlier in the day, we would have been off on time. As it was, there was a lot of hesitation, and meanwhile, I decided that I would wear my sherpa jacked into town for a bit of a laugh. Quite a few people wanted me to get them things, and thereto was I not at a loose end. Bought some glasses for Mrs Baudouy, Martini for Kirsten, and some Ektachrome for Bev for Christmas. Got my watch back from Gerrys at last, and 5 minutes later dropped it in the street, which did it very little good. Faðel was indirectly concerned, and being, I think, a little afraid of my mood, bought me a cigar. That placated me. Also, of course, we bought some mistletoe.

After lunch, I was at a rather loose end. The reason to this is obvious: it is the only time of day when there is nothing to do. Going into town is out of the question, and it is yet too early for women.

After sitting in my room smoking and drinking for some time, I went into the study, and there found Mrs Baudouy and Kirsten discussing the Christmas decorations, and I volunteered to help Kirsten. However, also had to load Bev's film for her, and was thus sidetracked.

When we finally did turn up, all I did was wait and take photos and, at a conservative estimate, took 13. Ah! How useful are these 35 mm films. I shall have to start going for 8 ft lengths - should fit into a cassette.

Then after support, wanted to go carolling, but all were watching some mess [?] program. Eventually, however, we got going, and collected about 9/-. Then to the Vicars, and he was highly delighted to see us, took us round the church, and to him we donated our collection. Got about 3/- more, and then home. To midnight mass, and both coming and going I seat next to Joy with my arm around her. She objected not in the slightest. Should get on with her.

Friday, 25 December 1964 Netherton Images for 25 December 1964
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Although I did not get to bed until 0230 hrs this morning, I was nevertheless woken up by Mrs Baudouy at 0730 to come and calm down all the little stinkers (or smells - I forget which she calls them). Staggered drowsily into the kitchen, and did not even get any coffee.

After a lot of stamping round, shouting, etc, and also jamming my finger quite nastily in a door, we got them more or less calmed down, and were then able to go into breakfast and have some black coffee to keep me going.

After that, back to my room for a while, and then out again to see what was going on about presents, and it seemed that they would be given out as soon as I had rounded up all the people, and while I was doing this, I collected many more which were also to be given out. Eventually we got going, and we collected dozens of parcels. We [Bev and I] then took all our parcels along to my room, and unwrapped them on my bed, and filled the space underneath my desk with all the wrappings. As usual, nearly all food - a little matter which I fortunately forgot about last Christmas. To rub salt into the wound, I did not get the Ektachrome I asked for - surely that is not too much to ask. In fact, I think it probably fell out of a damaged parcel. Got a couple of big cigars and an ornamental box of matches from Mrs Baudouy - very kind of her.

After lunch, all were at a loose end. To my room with Faðel for a cigar, and we spent the most of the afternoon there among the mess of this morning, and in confidence I told him about Mum's coming here - if she does, in fact, do so. Carried on talking about Netherton until tea, doing a bit of walking around the place at the same time.

After tea, got down to developing the Panatomic X of Ian's, which he had finished this morning, and then called in the whole house to look at it, as Ian was (justifiably) proud of it. It is also the first time I have developed to 4× the manufacturer's rating. [20°/100 ISO instead of 14°/32 ISO] Not at all bad, as I thought.

Then down to the cellars to decorate it for tonight, and had quite a bit of fun putting up a rather obscene combination of long and round balloons. Also laced one of the drinks with CCl₄, but some of the smaller ones noticed. Nevertheless, we persuaded them that no harm lay therein, and all was well. Knocked over the bottle later in the evening. Took a hello of a lot of photos - Ian and I were using both our cameras, as mine was telephoto. Must get another synch cord. Got on with Felicity towards the end (when I was fairly full). She seems quite nice, if quiet.

Saturday, 26 December 1964 Netherton
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Gawd! Talk about the morning after the night before! In point of fact, it was not nearly as bad as on Ursel's wedding, but I felt absolutely and utterly dead tired, and was not up before about 1030 hrs. Nevertheless, I was up before most people, who had all apparently felt much the same as I, and when I got downstairs, only the “little smells”, as Mrs Baudouy will call them, were about.

At a loose end, I went round from place to place trying to find something to do, and stopped a few of the smells from wiping each other out. Then to my room for a while, while other of the larger ”stinkers” got up, and after a while, all was not so bad, although, owing to a lack of breakfast, I was feeling exceptionally hungry.

Then, as I was reading some Rudyard Kipling story about the origin of the alphabet, over comes Martin to me and says, “Greg, do you think Felicity likes you?”. I gave a noncommital answer, and he replied, “Well, she told Mary this morning that she either hit you or hates you”. He later came back with the news from Ian that she just disliked me. After all that last night, I thought that was rather nasty of her. So did Martin, and to show how disgusted he was, he got out his lighter and started burning the hair on his legs.

After lunch, couple of expeditions to see the flicks. I had, rather against my will, to go, but in the end we decided that one of the films was not very nice, and made it an X, so we took that mob to see Dumbo and the Absent Minded Professor, and they were not too upset when they found out that we had deceived them.

The films were, however, very good. Even though “Dumbo” is supposed to be for children, I enjoyed them quite a bit, and found that the absent-minded professor had some quite plausible reason for the peculiar properties of flubber - change in the molecular configuration thereof, or some such thing. It should be fairly logical.

Then back home again, and once again boredom set in. Tried various cures therefor, but none of them seemed to work. Even the women are not very keen any more. I shall obviously just have to wait until the easter holidays next year until María Cristina will be here. In the meantime a lot of impassioned love letters will be about the only cure for the boredom.

Did a bit of clarinet practice in my room after that - nothing very interesting, but it relieved the monotony.

Upstairs again, and discovered things going on in the back passage which shouldn't have been.

Sunday, 27 December 1964 Netherton
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The Christmas partie's effects have not yet completely worn off. I did not this morning rise until 1030 hrs, and then upstairs and most others were acting similarly, and so I had a bit of trouble washing, etc, and ended up talking to Ian and Martin in their room. Martin claims that he is getting on well with Mary, and that he kissed her last night. 'Tis a damn nuisance indeed. In any case, I soon left them, and went along to was, etc, and then back again, and we started talking about absent girfriends - Christine, Ann, and of course, María Criſtina. We are all in the same boat in that we do not know their addresses at the moment.

In my case, the whole affair made me feel highly constipated, so off to the bog. A hell of a row emanated from the girls room, and after one particularly loud thump, hear Cynthia frantically calling me, and got out as quickly as possible to discover that he had, in her anxiety, kicked a hole in the wall. Mrs Baudouy also turned up, and was rather annoyed thereto [sic]. Thence down to her office to see what was going on about it - she was at first thinking of putting that mob into the small girls dorm, and putting some small girls in the pink room, and asked me to go and tell the girls this. And they cursed me, too, not Mrs Baudouy, who wanted to move them last Monday.

After that, lunch, and thereafter it was the main topic of conversation. However, I heard from various sources (though not at first from Mrs Baudouy), that they were not going to do that, but instead Ian was going into Gui's room, and Martin out to the chalet with Alain.

Thus dragged on the afternoon, and I was not feeling at all well, mainly because of my attack of constipation this morning. Went to my room and dozed off, and was woken by Gautam and Erick, who said that they were going to take over my job for a couple of days to prove how much better than I they could do it. Needles [sic - probably deliberate] to say, I was at first anything but enthusiastic, and went and complained to Mrs Baudouy, but eventually she persuaded me to let them have a go, and so to my room to tell them my duties.

Deathly boring after makan, as ever, and as a result I decided to go and watch TV, but that playroom is really getting too small for the mob staying here. In any case, to my room, and as of hold, had a smoke with Faðel, and decided to think over our mistakes so far.

Monday, 28 December 1964 Netherton
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Mrs Baudouy woke me up at 0730 this morning as usual, but I dozed off as usual, using as an excuse to myself that my constipation had kept me awake all night - which is not far from the truth - and thus dozed off until about 0930, an then decided that if I wanted to go into town, I would have to be snappy about it, and so sprung up out of bed and to wash, but, as usual, Barry was in there. The fellow must see me coming out of my room and dash up to the bathroom so that I can't get in there.

Gautam was arranging all today, and, although I could not admit it, I was feeling rather glad thereto [sic]. In any case, got ready myself to go into town, and then waited around, and I must compliment him on getting them off only 10 minutes late. A lot of work must have gone into that.

Did quite a bit in town - first of all, sent off for 50 ft of Pan F, which works out more valuable, and Ian and I are going to have 25 ft thereof each. In either case, it should work out very well. Got a record for Ian as well - “Walk tall”. Then to buy some new shoes, suède for the first time in my life. Also bought an EX135-36, as I did not get one for Christmas, and more cider, and had a look at a bike, which I think I might buy.

Eric [sic] was on duty in the afternoon, thus breaking one of my rules, and, although I didn't say anything, this means that they are defeated.

No, I don't understand either.

In to town with the Van, and along to the cycle shop, bought the bike, and then over to the Odeon to see “The Brass Bottle” again, and Wild and Wonderful, which I did not think quite so good.

After that came the fun - I had to cycle back home - and all this in freezing cold and dark at 1850 hrs. Before I had gone more than ¼ mile, the top of my back lamp had fallen off, and as a result I had to cycle the rest of the way with only the front light.

Then it occurred to me that the gears did not appear to be functioning correctly - in fact, only the top gear worked, which did not help me cycle uphill. In any case, I found a way to get down to second, and then had to keep stopping when it fell back into 3rd. All in all, it took me 40 minutes to get back, and I was dog tired when I got back. Fortunately, however, makan had only just begun, and I missed it not.

After supper, did little. It is useful having people doing one's job for one - gives one a chance to relax.

Tuesday, 29 December 1964 Netherton
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Woken up by Mrs Baudouy later than usual, at 0800 hrs, and lay in bed dozing for 20 min before I got up. When I did, I discovered that Erick was not yet up. He must be doing one hell of a good job. In any case, I discovered later that Gautam was doing the work this morning. They have decidedly breached my conditions.

After breakfast, tried to fix up my bike, and failed pretty dismally, so after arrangement with Mrs Baudouy, I set out into the rain and sleet and sludge and ice on the road.

The journey, despite the rain, was not as difficult as last night. The fellow gave the tensioning knob a couple of twists and asked me to try it. Brought 2nd into place, anyway, but I still can't get 1st. Then had a new tail light put on, and went to town to do a bit of shopping, and bought a couple of long thin cigars.

Then along to Smiths, where I bought a copy of the Highway code which I might need, and also Old Moore's Almanack, which is supposed to be worked out on astrological principles. Then started back home, and although the gears were a lot better, but still the steep hill was too much for me.

After lunch, Faðel came to my room, and, as usual, we got talking about a multitude of subjects. Had a look at Old Moores Almanack, and at Fadel's Horoscope, and then I observed that on 4/I/1965 the muslim month of Ramaðan begins. Fadel and I decided that it might be fun to go ahead with the fast, and put a couple of posters in Jawi and Arabic as follows: تولن قومة, and in Arabic فطر لرمضان, whatever the latter means.

The Arabic and Jawi transliterations courtesy of Mohamed Ifadir, who also had difficulty reading them.

In any case, then had the problem of sticking it up on the wall, as Mrs Baudouy would lend me no cellotape, so I went down to the village on my bike, and coming back met Elfi, and posted some letters for her.

Back, put up the poster and then sat down in my room and did not do much for quite some time, and then decided to write up my diary, but decided to write a letter to renew my Taunton library books before they expired, and down to the village by bike to post it.

After that, supper almost immediately, and after that watched a bit of TV, and then back to my room to finish off my diary. Fritz came along a little later with a tape which he wanted to duplicate on his. We had quite a bit of fun, but not enough tape. Very late to bed, after talking with Gautam until 2430.

Wednesday, 30 December 1964 Netherton
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Back to normal routine again today, and after so many days getting up late, it is rather difficult to force oneself to get up early. I find that the best way is too set oneself an ultimatum - at the count of 10, or some such thing. In any case, it is usually fairly effective.

Before breakfast, I discovered that in my “absence”, breakfast had been changed to the kitchen, and that I would have to wait until the 0900 hrs breakfast, which was not much fun, but it gave me an opportunity to write up my diary for yesterday. It looks as if my worries about finishing this diary were unfounded. I will probably carry on thus now until the end of my academic career, if not my life. It certainly must develop memory, will power, patience, sense of routine, if not handwriting.

After breakfast, had a bit of a shock when Mrs Baudouy told me point blank that I would have to tidy up my room if I wanted to go anywhere. In any case, after getting the lists ready, I spent 5 minutes in my room tidying up, and it made the difference.

In town, took some people to the dentists, and then off, and bough a new diary for next year, and, after a bit of trouble, some gear for double flash synchronisation, which should be fun. Also some tobacco for Abdul, and cashed a P.O. for Martin, which I had to sign in his name.

Then back home again, and little happened until lunch.

After lunch had to get a list for the mob going to the flicks, which was the same as I had seen on Monday, and as Alain had not seen it, he said that he would look after the mob for me, and I gave him the list and thereby washed my hands thereof.

To my room, and did little there, and eventually got down to soldering the tiny coax plug for the flash thing, with Papa Baudouys soldering iron, while he had lunch. Finished off with plenty of time to spare. Then spent the rest of the avo [sic] reading horror storys from the 4th Penguin book thereof. Some of them are quite good, but not so, unfortunately, the lot.

After that, into the playroom, and had a bit of a go at reading several comics that were hanging thereabout. Carried on until tea, and after that, Faðel called me to my room to talk. It turned out to be something about what his prospects were with Cynthia. That bitch gets us all sexed up at some time or another.

After that, hung round and did little until supper.

After supper, did not have much to do. Finished last, and Faðel did not want to come and talk with me. To my room, very tired, but did not thus stay for long, and developed a film for Taleb in Promicrol, and then decided to get an early night, and indeed was in bed by 2245 hrs.

Thursday, 31 December 1964 Netherton Images for 31 December 1964
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As usual lately I did not get up on time - was up an hour late today, and woke all up at 0840 hrs, with consequent comment from Mrs Baudouy that I should have woken them up at 0815. Why, I am not too sure, but lately there has been too much emphasis on people getting up early. Apart from anything else, it means that I just get the feeling of being up and alone in the morning.

After breakfast, discovered, to my displeasure, that in this country neither New Years Eve nor New Years Day are public holidays, and so had to put up a list for people going into town.

Went in myself as usual, bought some Martini and a Churchill size cigar for the revels of tonight.

Then back home again with many a song - why, I do not know, but many must be delighted at seeing the end of 1964.

After we got back, which, owing to Van getting all the stuff for the party, was very late, we had lunch, and then I to my room for the usual postmealtime rest, and when, quite a bit later, I came out, I discovered that Alain was organising a trip into town, so spent the whole afternoon (just about) in my room by myself, doing very little but listening to the radio and reading horror stories. Before too much more time had passed, heard noises of arranging the party from downstairs, and went down to help, and discovered them getting the whole thing looking like a yachting club. In any case, it had a decided marine flavour thereto. Fishing nets, boats, oars, masts and even mermaids. Quite good.

Then up and had makan, and then had a wash, shave, etc and got ready for the party, and had a couple of drinks to steady me, and then down to have a look at the band that they got. Before long entered the girls, and they were nicely dressed, especially Joy. Then poured in the guests, also very good, and then along to the red light area, which, despite the beds, was really a bar, and knocked back about 5 ciders without much ado. Then inside for a while, and did a bit of dancing, and took a couple of photos, and back to the bar, met a fellow called Terry, who had brought his own cider, and was having a go on that. Continued to get further under the weather, and tried Martini and cider (both my own). Ended up talking to some bird who told me I looked like Van, only I was taller, more handsome and more drunk. Nevertheless I carried on, and by about 2300 hrs, was kissing every girl in sight. Then up to my room, where I was sick, and rested until nearly midnight, and then down again just in time for “Auld lang Syne”, in which I was so drunk that i was feeling all the girls' breasts, and so on - not that they minded much.

... 1965

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