Greg
Greg's diary
February 1967
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Wednesday, 1 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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I hate ink! I hate stone! I hate rubber! In fact, I hate everything to do with offbeat lithography, and all because of what happened today. Eileen into my room and did her best to wake me up in the middle of a very pleasant dream about Jennie Hallett ah to be with her again and a bit later, when Jennie had to go home, got up, and had what I could in the way of breakfast, after which I took the car down to Yuens, where the bloke had conveniently lost the card which I had got him to make out last night, and so had to dictate it all over again.

Back to the office, and decided to set up the monolith correctly, and while trying, discovered that something was seriously wrong with the alignment of one of the inking rollers, and so called in the man from Gestetners, who diagnosed it as an unsprung spring, and had to wait some while while they got a new one. After that, all set for printing, and so rattled off 1200 impressions of page 1 before the erasures failed, so gave Anna another one to do, and did page 2 in the meantime. Then tried page 3, but the blanket had been knocked about so much by the 85 gm white [illegible similie?] that we are using, that it would not [illegible surprise?] properly, and so gave it up as a bad job until after lunch, when they managed to get Sam to come in and see what he could do. Ah well one lives and learns. When Sam came in (and thus again interrupted my letter to Jennie, which I have been writing in the wings, so to speak), he adjusted the pressure between the blanket and plate cylinders, and lo and whatever the other word is a good impression. Also set the machine, and at a point that it spilt water all over the place after a few impressions, and so turned down the thing, upon which the blanket obliged by producing ink where it should not be, from where it could no be, and though I managed to get the thing fixed up, the plate gave up the ghost image at about 650 copies, which pleased nobody much, and all swore when it happened again at the next opportunity (in other words, the next plate), and again called in Stephen. Gestetner much be getting thoroughly sick of us by now.

Stephen soon came along, and came to stay a while. After all, why should he worry he is getting a nice fat overtime from it, as well as some cigarettes which Mum made me go and get 20 for everybody. Good luck to them they will need it.

Eventually Stephen off, and left me in charge of plate 7, and then ran off the rest (3rd master) of plate 1, and tried most of 3 before the plate and paper ran out. Made a resolution to continue.

After that, home late, and had makan, sinking thereafter exhausted into bed.


Thursday, 2 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up again early this morning—it depresses me very easily, and this morning, when I got up, I suffered thus.

Over with Mum to the office at 0850 odd, surprising considering that the office opens at 0830, and today was a busy day—but then, we were working until 2005 hrs last night.

Once there, quickly got down to stapling newsletters—not surprisingly, I am getting quite proficient at this—in fact, Mum complimented me on how neat the were—I must have made a good impression. In fact, for some reason which I cannot quite make out, she has been very pleased with me generally of late.

As usual, the newsletters piled up, up, and up, and we decided to use some of the grotty page 3's, rather than have another master typed out, and went quite well. Had a discussion in the middle of it all as to the quantity of paper in a ream, so Mum got out her book of words, which said, as I had thought, 24 sheets = 1 quire, 480 sheets = 20q. = 1 ream, but often 500 for waste, and a printer's ream was 516 copies, presumably to make counting difficult.

Finished that, cleaned the mess out of the offbeat, and home with some money for Eileen, after which to the Dog for a mid-morning snack as well as to keep up with the magazines, but by the time I got it, it was nearly lunch time, and, when I got back to the office, Mum was none too happy, though surprisingly controlled—I wonder what it is all about. Doing Income tax returns, so we got home for lunch round about 1400 hrs, and I was absolutely exhausted—in fact, so exhausted that, when Mum sated her appetite with a cold sausage, I could not be bothered to have any lunch, and just did my best to grab a bit of sleep (which was difficult with Mum calling me every so often to contemplate the causes of Theo's cuts and bruises). Eventually, however, it was 1500 hrs, and Mum wanted me to stay at home and look after the Dogs, at which suggestion I jumped, and so into my room, lay down, and off to sleep....

About 20 minutes later, Mum rang to say that Stephen and Sam were at the office for a conference, and would I please come over. I growled something about being exhausted, but she insisted, though made a concession by coming over to pick me up, and then over to the office, where we discussed everything without saying much, and then I back home again by foot, and decided that it was about time I got my photo album up to date, as at the moment it is 11 years behind, so dragged out all the old negatives between 1956 and 1964, and then got my camera and started copying some slides, and then out to watch TV—I am fast running out of film.

After that, Mum home, and we had tea, and then, through a singularly boring lot of TV, off to Campbell road to get some makan—finally got my thongs back from Gurdip's house—left them there on Saturday.


Friday, 3 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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I think that one of the greatest parts of Haydn's “Creation” is the part beginning with the words “Let there be light”, and around there. This is, admittedly, as must as to say that I can't remember much more of the work, but it is a basic truth. This morning, woken by the sun as I was, I felt far more cheerful than I have for some time, despite the early arising. The oblique angle of the sun at such times has a very cheerful effect.

I had to be up early, anyway, to take the car over to Yuens, and have the safety belt taken out of it, and put into the Citroën, and over, arriving only a little late. The fellow removed it pretty quickly, and had it ready for me in a very short time. Down to the Dog to breakfast, but the place was yet dead. Nobody at the house, so to the office, where Mum gave me permission to go to the Dog and breakfast. Reading some magazines there, including an article on photography in “Life”, and predictions by “Motor” for the cars of 1970. Citroën figured a lot in the descriptions—it looks as if Citroën might bring out a very compact 1 litre Wankel engine with more power than the present 2 litre engines, as well as being far smaller.

To the office, where I hung around for a while until Mum decided that I was redundant, and send me home. There almost immediately off to sleep, though first read a letter from Grandma, who was very pleased to have heard from me.

Mum woke me up a little bit later, with the pleasant news that Ratnam Nachiappan was here, and so staggered out, and said hello—all the usual put on 2face stuff. Finally got rid of him, and took him down myself. Back home, where I discovered that he had wasted 2hrs of Mum's time this morning.

Rang up Yuen's after that, and the car was ready, and when I went on to pick it up, I noticed an immediate difference—it is rather disconcerting at first not to get the expected jerks. They have also improved the suspension somewhat.

Then, after reading a few more magazines at the Dog, down to the Rex to see a flick “Inside Daisy Clover”, which was not quite what I expected it to be, and a film with interested me, though I did not quite know what to make of it. Nevertheless, no fantastic film, and I am not particularly struck thereby.

Home after that, and en route it occurred to me that I had better get some stuff at the Supermarket, and so in, and got all I could think of, and then back home, where I arrived just before Mum, and then we decided we would need some more food, and so again to the Supermarket, where Mum did the honours, and then back home.

In the evening, did little. I am feeling very tired of late, and am consequently getting little done. Perhaps I need the glucose treatment—who knows? Anyway, of late I am finding it easier to watch TV of a night!


Saturday, 4 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up late this morning—it all stems from Mum not waking me up in the mornings, and once she is gone, I cannot be budged. I resent Eileen intruding, anyway.

When eventually I got up, over to the office after consultation with Mum, and was given some errands to run for her, which involved parking the car at the Dog, and proceeding to Mountbatten road by foot. At Robinsons, looking for key rings, ran into Rani Kaur and a friend, who made some facetious comment about buying out the shop. To Eastern Photographers to try and get some Perutz 14, but not go.

To the Dog to have a bite to eat, but bumped into Guy Belsham, and ended up getting a beer instead. He joined me after clearing with his parents, who were also there, and we discussed plans for tonight, and I agreed with him that we might as well get into Jackies. Then home for lunch, and Mum back not too late, doubtless owing to a resolution to do more work this afternoon, a resolution which, if made, she subsequently ignored.

After makan, over to the Lake Club, but the weather took a turn for the worse, and sat in the from reading the magazines for a while. Then decided to go down to the Golf Club, and just as I got there, was called by Ralph Neal in a very old MG. I thought he was trying to drag with me, but he showed little likelihood, and we both ended up talking cars and photography in Lorong Kuda, where he lives. Extracted promise from him to let me drive the MG sometime.

Back to the Golf Club, and there saw Robert Bliss, who apparently thought I had been out of town. He too is getting more interested in photography, and was wonder about details of taking photos by available light at Jackie's, so offered to lend him the Canon, which I had used several months back for this purpose, which still had the bumped-up HPS in it.

According to my records, I had estimated a speed of between 20,000 and 50,000 ASA (44° to 48° DIN) for this film. With the Canon 50 mm f/1.5 lens, this would correspond to the same sensitivity as 80,000 to 200,000 (50° to 54° DIN) with an f/2.8 lens.

Home, after a burn on Jalan Duta, and had tea. After that took Robert home, and then to makan at Lim Hee Hung's in honour of New Year next week.

Finally got away from that, and down to pick up Robert, and then to Jackies, where I got in for free thanks to Amm (is that how you spell it?), and sat around doing little. Guy, who was there, shouted me a beer, and I gave Robert quite a few tips on photos. Quite a jolly time. Changed film at one stage, and then back and took Guy home to pinch his father's Vanden Plas, and eventually smuggled it out. Had a burn with him on the way back. He is a lousy driver. Lost him half way, and when I met him and Robert at Jackies, he had had a prang, which was worrying. Up to Sentul, where my little spray place did their best to take off the marks. Drove the car myself—don't trust Guy. Power steering is lousy, as Robert also agreed.


Sunday, 5 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Today up yet again late, and, I suppose, there is no real reason why I should have got up early. I suppose I ought to watch my diet—I am taking in too few carbohydrates (or mono- and disaccharides, at any rate: rice takes too long to hydrolyse). In any case, the effort was that I was feeling tired and listless today, and could not move myself to do anything of my own accord. Mum had been complaining that I had not tidied up my room of late, and so was just about to start when she decided we ought to go to the market, and up to Batu Road market, where I could not find anywhere to park, so Mum told me to circle round for five minutes, and after about 20 I gave it up as a bad job, and went in and dragged her out.

Home after that, and had a sort of breakfast, and then over to the office for Mum's benefit to get her the little typewriter, and when I got back, Chor and his wife were here from Penang, and so we were pretty well tied down. Fortunately Mum got him down to the business of the day, and so into my room to tidy it up, and got quite some way with it, and while I was in there, did something about the rangefinder and lens mount, both of which required attention—in fact, I am worried about the 2 films we took last night. It has also occurred to me that a rangefinder window is missing.

Then had makan, after which I felt at a bit of a loss for something to do, and ended up in my room trying to do a bit of microcopying, but we need some plate glass, and so I gave it up for the time being as a bad job, and took out the microfilm from my camera.

Then entered Mum my room and suggested it could do with a bit more tidying up, and promptly sent me off to Mr. Cummings house, out in Ulu Langat/Klang (can't quite work out which). Left the letter there—he was out—and back home to tidy up my room.

Then got itchy feet again, and having first considered going to see Robert Bliss, but could not be bothered, and a bit later decided to go and see Lokman, stopping on the way to have a look at the tyres—there seems to be something a little wrong with the road holding at the moment.

Lokman was out, Gurdip looked it, and there was nobody at the Golf Club, so home again, and did little there. TV is, of course, the great time-waster of the evening, and spent most of my time watching that, but also called up Robert, but he was not allowed out. Started off the HPS developing—leaving it overnight.

Finally had some dextrose, and while at it watched the polarising properties. Amusing.


Monday, 6 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up of my own accord early this morning, as I had an HPS doing FF/DD overnight, and took it out after 10 hours. After about 5 minutes in the Amfix, it occurred to me that something was wrong, and eventually I discovered that it had the most beautiful dichroïc fog I have ever seen—it had just about every colour of the spectrum. I think I shall have to do some of this deliberately—but these phenylenediamine developers can't be much use with fast film. Perhaps it was the high temperature.

Indeed. I'm surprised I didn't put it in the fridge.

After that, hung around a while, thinking considerably on the subject of infrered flash, which suddnely does not seem such a bad idea any more.

Over to the office eventually, and there Mum had some work for me to do—I am again taking a while to get used to all this. It is obviously just a matter of resignation, but what the hell?

Down to Nainas, but could not park, so on to the Lake Club to get Dato Blainey's signature for something to do with Bev's passport. Then back to town, and bought some CNY cards, and paid Nainas. Then to Lam's [spelling?] to have some offset aluminium plates made, but they did not like the originals, so took them back to the office to have them redone with the Olympia on heavier paper.

The rest of the morning was wasted. This is all very well for Mum, but I find it terribly boring. Thank God she will not be about all that much this month—soon off the Trengganu, and a bit later than that off to Cambodia. I wonder if this is to deter her from coming with us on our trip in April.

After lunch, back to the office. That place gets on my nerves. Mum had said something to the effect that she wanted me to take some plans over to Bill Cumming [sic—should be Cummings], and so sat around for a couple of hourse, half asleep. Did managed to contact Kodak, and they have a Wratten 87 filter 3×3 in stock (I seem to remember ordering it from Singapore about 25/VIII/1966). But $5.50?—I must have been a lot richer in those days.

After a while Mum suggested I went off home for a while, and took her at her word, and had a look at my electronic flash to see how easily I could convert it to infrared. Quite possible—but I wonder how the guide number would be.

Back to the office, and Ramli had taken the plans over. Hung around a bit while Mum went up the wall about some plates that Yong had made, and eventually off, and to the Dog, after which, having had a bite to eat, home, and almost immediately off to sleep.

Woken by the phone, which eventually proved to be Robert, and over to have a look at some HP3 he had done by Eastern Photographers—grain visible on contact prints. Lent him the camera—he wants to take some of some baseball tomorrow.

Early to bed—Mum feeling under the weather.


Tuesday, 7 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up early this morning under rather unusual circumstances: Mum was feeling grotty, and so decided to stay in bed for a while, and so wanted somebody to go over to the office and open it, so that the staff would not spend the morning waiting outside. Accordingly over, and rather fortunately, arrived there at just the same time as Ramli, so let him in, and then back home again, where I spent a bit of time just messing around.

Eventually Mum felt well enough to go to the office, and wanted me to take her, but at the last moment changed her mind, and so over in our own cars, and I a bit later than her.

When I got there, there was the usual nothing to do. Got a typewriter from the boot of Mum's car, and took it upstairs and proceeded to write a letter to Marston and Heard ordering 50 ft of Pan F—the supply I have at the moment is severely limited. At this rate I shall end up using Ilford Micro-Neg Pan as my main film. I wonder if it is feasible.. Contacted the customs officials while I was at it: duty is 20%, and on total value—likely to come to a terrible total of about $1.50.

Did little for the remainder of the morning—took Mum to the dress-makers after a while, and then, arguing with her about the quickest way—she has no sense of direction, and reckons the surveyors are wrong—home for lunch.

After that, she recovered somewhat from her Krankheit and became sufficiently benevolent to allow me to go to a baseball game to which Robert had invited me. Off, accordingly, to the Dog, where I met him and a lot of girls, and, after they had eaten, off to the International school, where nobody knew what was going on. Eventually they decided on a playing field, and so down there, packing, in 2 loads, 11 and 12 people into the Citroën—I am sure we could, had we tried, have done more.

The game was rather boring—I don't suppose there is much variety even in league baseball games, and at this level it is positively ridiculous. Started to rain halfway through, so I took to the car, and took the rest of my shots from there. Sonny along a bit later—he has been burning the oil terribly of late, and tells me he has buggered up the crankshaft and the camshaft, and is getting a new engine sent out for England.

Back to the school, cramming 14 people in the car, including Robert in the boot. He tells me that there was room for at least one more person there.

After that, Robert and I to the Lake Club, and thence to see Guy Belsham, who was OK, apart from having ruptured himself. His father had not noticed the dent until he came out of Robinson's yesterday.

Home in the evening, and again did little. Took the HPS out of the soup—I reckon the AgHl solvent in the Promicrol fixed it before it had a chance to develop.


Wednesday, 8 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up very late this morning, at 1100 hours, and slowly up and out into the lounge room, where awaited a letter from Jennie—I wish she would write more than just these little airletter forms. Also a letter from the AAM asking for $40 for travel documents, so rang them up about an AA plate, and now comes the difficulty of choosing the type of plate.

After that, and establishing contact with Mum, up to the Supermarket, and did a bit of elementary shopping there, and then back to wait for Eileen to get ready so that I could take her home.

Eventually she was ready, and took her home down Kampong Ayer Panas, and then back home again where Mum was waiting. After that had a sort of makan—Mum is able to exist on almost nothing, and forgets that I have a heavy fuel consumption.

After lunch, Robert was due over to develop a film, and when I rang him up, he was not at home—somebody said he would be home in about an hour. Then settled down in my room, until eventually he rang, and then over (with the dogs—Mum was scared that Lim Hee Hong's cook would whip them and cook them for makan tonight) to pick him up, and over back home again and developed my first successful FP3 in 5 months. Still, I don't suppose it is anybody's fault, really, if I dislike FP3.

After that, had intended to do some printing, but could not be bothered, and so just sat around and discussed photography—Robert found that little Photographer's Handbook I gave him very convenient, and is now trying to find one for himself.

After a while up to the Supermarket, where he had some HPS ordered at Eastern Photographer's, but they were shut. I bought an AP, and we both had something to eat at the restaurant. Then back home, where were Mum and Anna. Over to the office, where I had intended to type out a Valentine to Jennie, but Donald Moores were closed, and so I had no raw material.

Took down Robert's FP3 after that, and took him home with arrangements about going into Jackies', and then home for makan, which, as Mum was cooking it, was late, and eventually discovered that Am could not get anybody in free tonight, and so down to the Dog to wonder what was happening, and eventually burnt up Jln. Duta and to find Guy, who was baby-sitting, and stayed there until his parents came back, and then down to see if we could get into Jackies, and still could not, so decided to go for a burn-up along the Federal Highway, and eventually went all the way to Klang, and clocked up 107 mph [170 km/h] along one stretch. Some of these bumps are pretty terrible—even hydropneumatic suspension can't cope. Back to Jackies', picked up 8 more people, delivered 6, and then to Brickfields with Am and Kenny. Finally got to bed at 0315 hrs.


Thursday, 9 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Chinese New Year

Up very late this morning, which is not surprising considering that I did not get to bed until so late this morning. Mum in eventually, and told me what the time was—I got the impression she had just got up herself, which suspicion proved right.

At 1230 hrs, there is not really much point in preparing breakfast, but I was feeling pretty hungry, and managed to get some food out of the kitchen which did not require too much cooking.

After that—almost immediately after, in fact—decided that we were already late for lunch, and so dragged some sausages out of the fridge, and ate those, with Mum's help—those things in the fridge certainly take a long time to thaw out.

Lunch accordingly lasted a long time—until, I suppose, about 1530 hrs. After that, Mum was feeling pretty lousy. To preclude any supposition that this was due to my cooking, she had in fact been feeling pretty lousy since she upgot.

After a while, decided that there was sufficient mud on the car to give it a simple hosing down, and started to do this, but it soon became evident that a lot of the muck was not going to come off thus, and so got some soap to the fibreglass roof, and lo and all that rubbish, it cleaned up beautifully—I was quite astounded at the improvement, as I thought that all the mess on the roof was just the colour of the glass fibres. It may well be, for that matter—a lot of fibre came off.

Robert rang in the middle of this, and came over in his Zephyr towards the end of it. Then off to get some cloves for Mum, and back to have tea, which Mum insisted we have at home.

After a while, and after waiting for the rain to stop, off down Jalan Duta in the Zephyr to see how it handled—it is not much of a car, either for road holding of speed but the acceleration is better than the Citroën—I still reckon I could beat it.

After that, Robert had to go home, and got him to drop me. After a while, decided to develop a Pan F I had waiting, and so in. Also took a couple of shots of the Citroën.

Then makan, after which I was messing around with my SP, and came to the (rather startling) conclusion that the top shutter speed of the thing is 1/2000 second—so much for the advantage of the Leicaflex.

I think the real issue was more the accuracy of the settings. Part of the shutter speed dial mechanism directly affected the delay between the blinds of the shutter, and theoretically there's no upper limit on the shutter speed, just a thinner and thinner slit between the shutter blinds. At 1/60s travel time, 1/1000 s is 2.16 mm, and 1/2000 s is 1.08 mm. I discovered much later with this same camera that that kind of accuracy is more good luck than good management.

Over to Robert's after, trying to slow down the noise of the shutter, but no go, so crept out after, and out to get Guy and paint the town red. Finally got home at about 0115 hrs.


Friday, 10 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Woken up early this morning by Mum, who wanted to know why the alarm had not gone off. It proved to be because it had not been set, but I saw little point in telling her that.

Up, and Mum also—she busied herself with last-minute organisation, etc, and insisted, for instance, on showing me how to make all the Dog's food, feed the animals, etc. I am now prepared to confess that there is a little more to feeding the dogs than I had imagined. Still, by my calculations, it took far too long for her to do all this, especially as I had a deadline to make—or rather, she had.

Eventually off, the usual 10 minutes late. I know quite well that this will just get us to the airport on time—that is why my quotes are as they are. Mum was particularly annoyed with herself this time because she forgot her ticket—at least even she is human, and makes the occasional mistake.

Out to the airport—trouble getting a new ticket, as they would not take cheques at first. Eventually the plane was off, and I back to the Dog, where I phoned Robert, and arranged to meet him and go to the Dog for breakfast. After this function, down to the Lake Club to find Guy, but he was with family, or at any rate, would be, as soon as his father arrived, which was almost immediately. Then took Robert home, arranging something about makan. Home, and discovered that I had letters from Liliane and Paul—the former said nothing in 4 pages, save that she was probably flying back on the 23/III—suits me fine—less than 6 weeks! Over to the office, where I finished my letter to Jennie, and wrote to Liliane a very short airletter on the IBM Composer—but then, the way I have been feeling lately, I could not write much. Besides, she did not have much to answer.

After that, had makan at the Dog, and home, where almost immediately off to sleep. Hamzah was supposed to ring, but did not. What about this bird to whom he was going to introduce me.

After that, got up, and slowly recovered my hold on life. Rang up Guy and then over to pick him up, or rather just to see him, and ended up picking him up in any case, and down towards town to find Robert, and going down Jln. Kuching found Gurdip Singh, whom I have not seen for a long time, and who knows both Guy and Robert. To the Dog first, and then went and got hold of Robert, and considered our plan of action, which was to go to the house, get the Mini, and out down Jln. Damansara after makan at the dog, and there burning as hard as possible—I am astonished at how well the Mini can move, compared even to the Citroën.. After that, had a drink at the Lake Club, and then along to Jackies, where Guy shouted us all. Eventually Robert and I got bored and headed off home, and at 1 am tried to do some printing, without much in the way of success. Tried 20×24, but could not get uniform illumination.


Saturday, 11 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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The dogs ensured that I did not stay very long in bed this morning, by yelping and whining, etc, for food, which I accordingly had to supply them, and this took quite a goodly portion of my time. Eventually, however, they were fed, and I got round to feeding myself, and discovered that there were no eggs, and decided to get some at the Supermarket, and along thither, only to find that there was some chinese dragon dance going on, and so back to the house to get a bit more colour equipment, etc, and back again, by which time the dance was starting. Then into the supermarket, following them round the place—thank God for Tri-X. Finished the whole 20 on it, and would have done more had I had it. Saw Carol Syme there, but did not have much of a chance to say anything to her, apart from a request to hold a lens.

Eventually got away from that, and back home, where I contacted Guy and ascertained that he would be at the Dog at lunch time, or just before, for the usual drinks. Went down there myself, and before long was joined by him, and had a bit of a conversation before arranging to meet later on in the afternoon.

Then back home, where I considered it high time for a tidy-up, and spent quite a bit of time at that. Things were helped little by the fact that the dogs still appeared hungry, and so I decided that I ought to cook them some more rice, as I had been a little dubious about what I had given them this morning.

Just about finished the tidying up when Robert rang up and asked if one could put ordinary water in a lead-acid accumulator, and so took some distilled water over to him, and tried again after topping up the battery—one cell was dry. All the water promptly spurted out of it again. Confusing, to say the least. Eventually gave it up as a bad job, and off to pick up Guy, and down again to the Dog—they much be getting sick of the sight of us by now.

Off then to get the Mini, and change the wheel, which Gurdip had messed up last night, and they tell us that it is useless—confusing. I suppose we will just have to get him to pay for it, painful as this is. Had a look at a decrepit old Mk. 9 Jaguar, which has been there for some time, and which, apparently, we can get for $200—I wonder if we could scrape up that much, and then do the thing up. Over to find Gurdip, but could not, and 10 minutes later Gurdip rolled up in a VW, but could not stay. Had makan at home, and then over to pick up Gurdip, burnt to the Dog, and then on to Jackies. Eventually we had to take Guy home and left him with Gurdip, who together got the Vanden Plas. Did little, however, after that.


Sunday, 12 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur → Ipoh → Kuala Lumpur
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When up this morning in the order of 1000 hrs by a phone call from Kuching, which proved to be Dad, and he apparently did not realise that Mum was still in Trengganu. In any case, he decided to get me to pass on the message: he was delayed in Kuching, and could not get over here in time for their wedding anniversary on the 17th. Would be arriving instead on the 18th. Wanted me also to put an ad in tomorrow's Straits Times, and a couple of other things. Back to bed after that, and shortly later Daljet rang to say that she wanted me to take her to Ipoh today by car. After a few thoughts, agreed on the condition that they paid for the petrol. Rang up Guy, but he was unable to go, and we could not get hold of Robert because, apparently, he was asleep.

Wrote up my diary for yesterday, and put the ad in the Straits Times for Tuesday (too late for tomorrow), and then off to Gurdip's house, where I persuaded them to give me a bit to eat en lieu of breakfast, and then, finally, got all crowded into the car (Gurdip, Daljet, Rani and June) and off to get some minyak. Had to get Esso, as Caltex was apparently unobtainable, and then off. Noisy mob of travellers—and rather bad for one's average. Stopped in Rawang to buy some chikos and bananas, Tanjong Malim for some batteries for their radio (which would not work, owing to interference from the car) and Slim River for a couple of hitchhikers, one of whom happened to know Gurdip. From there to Ipoh (70 odd miles) we raced against a brand new, almost empty Peugeot diesel, and, of course, eventually beat him.

I don't know how dangerously I was driving. Daljet, who was sitting next to me, was not very happy, and at one point, as I was pulling out to overtake, she grabbed the wheel and pulled it back. I had some very harsh words for her, and indeed, it was a very dangerous thing to do.

Got to Ipoh in fantastic time—average of about 55 mph, including all stops. All were apparently terrified. Had a drink in Ipoh before taking Daljet and June to a friend's house, and then off back to KL with Gurdip and Rani. Stopped at Tapah for a drink—I was dying of thirst—and then on, ever on. Quite a good average—we finally made it back to K.L. just 6 hours after we left—43 mph average, including time spent in Ipoh! On the road, our return average was as before.

Home, checked on the dogs, and then out to Gurdip's house, had a shower there, and out to pick up Guy, who told his parents I had been to Ipoh—damn him. All of us back to our house, and there Gurdip decided to show his still at cooking, while Guy and I sat back.

After makan, Mum having rung up, and finally got hold of me (with Alec Selman's coöperation), and told me that she was returning, out for a new wheel for the Mini. Gurdip scared stiff, and so dropped him home, and finally found a spare when, and home, triumphant. Took Guy home, and myself late in the extreme.

We stole the wheel from the boot of a Mini somewhere in Kenny Hill. We drove past Gurdip's house late at night, when all the lights were out, and put the old wheel rim on the roof of his brother's convertible, which also terrified him when he saw it.


Monday, 13 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Woken this morning by Eileen to tell me that somebody was on the phone trying to get me. This proved to be Munah, wanting to know when I was going to come and let them into the office, as it was 0910, and they had been there since 0830. Eventually (10 minutes later) over there, and opened up, got a bit of the sharper edge of Mrs. Butterworth's tongue, and back home, where I had breakfast, and decided that there was not much point in going back to sleep, and so got some soap and water and out to wash the Citroën. I had just about got some of the grease marks off the passenger door, when Guy, who put them there, rang, and so arranged to go over there and collect him so that he could help me was the car, and this he did quite willingly—one gathers he is rather bored.

Home again, finished the Citroën, and did the Mini at the same time. Towards the end, Gurdip rolled up in his green VW, but could not come with use when we went in the mini to see Robert at the international school. He insisted on a ride while we discussed the old grey mare [Citroën Traction avant] there, complete with ≥ 4 immaculate Michelin 165-400 X's.

Home again, had a drink, and after a while took Guy home—his mother and her parents were then there—and stayed a while before going out to the airport to pick up Mum. Saw Dato Foo See Moy there as well, and we also gave a lift to an Indian bloke, whom Mum had apparently seen in K.B., called M.P. Singh—so one does not really know what his name is. Taking about leather all the way back, and bu the time we dropped him at MARA, he had invited us to India with him, and his village near Delhi, and Mum had invited him to drive from Madras to Delhi with us. I do not like this at all.

At (rather late) lunch, I was reading the A.P.. Suddenly it seems to me that the camera I should have is the Miranda Sensorex. In fact, it baffles me why I have not got one, and as soon as I can find more about it, I shall probably sell all my Pentax equipment and by one—if anybody will buy the Pentax, etc. It is all a question of demand, I suppose.

I have no idea why I came to this firm conclusion.

After that, took Mum's typewriter case to Chee Seng's to have the handle fixed, and while I was at it, tried to see about a Miranda at Black & White, but no go. Seems that the nearest agent is in Penang. Thing about the Miranda is that automatic accessories may well prove difficult to obtain—unless they are in some way compatible with the Pentax.

My (2012) recollection is that the Miranda was a “me too” M42 camera. This must have been the first version, with an f/1.9 lens, compared to the f/1.4 I had. It had the advantages of a removable prism and a light meter sensor mounted on the lens. It is also almost completely forgotten, while the Pentax Spotmatic remains a legend.

After that, back to the office, and arranged to take the Citroën into Yuens tomorrow to have the brakes relined. Over to see Gurdip, and had tea, and about a bit. Saw Amir Mohammed Khir and Guy, then back home. Mum wasn't there, and eventually found her at the Supermarket with Alec Selman. Joined them for a while, then home.

Wasted evening—went out, but did nothing.


Tuesday, 14 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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So much for Valentine's day—I neither sent nor received any cards. What the hell—I know they all love me anyway, and besides—they might have sent some which have yet to arrive.

Up very early, got dressed as quickly as I could, and over to Yuens to put the car in for yet another minor attention—the brakes were squealing badly, so I presumed they needed relining. Finally persuaded the bloke there that all was well, and got them to attend to the fuel guage [sic] and the clock at the same time.

Then home, and Mum promptly sent me over to the office, to open up. Then back again for breakfast, while she went over again.

After breakfast, rang her up, and she said something about going to be over in 15-20 minutes.... 80 minutes later (work must be more than usual, with uncertainty between 4 and 5,3), she arrived, and together down town, and to Globes, where I was chosen 2 colours of cloth that I did not really like—I wish I were allowed my own choice, and measured up to have pants made of them.

Then to Jubilee—all the photo magazines here are months out of date. Home via the office, first having ascertained that the brakes of the car did not need relining, and they were attending to the clock and fuel guage. Oh well.

Mum home for lunch, not too late, and had makan. Guy had wanted to know what was going on, and when he rang again, arranged to meet him. Mum had wanted me to take Anna's Mini in for servicing—battery was apparently weak. Howrver, when Anna rolled up, she had had a serviceman come down with her.

Off with Robert to the office, where we both got Mum's Mini, and then took another pair of pants down to Globes, and out to pick up Guy, stopping on the way to get some books of Roberts. On the way back, stopped at Yuens, and picked up the Citroën, without the clock, which will take about a week to repair, or rather, adjust.

That clock never kept good time. It was significantly inaccurate when my father bought the car, and remained so for the life of the car.

After that, off to the police station—I had reaped a parking ticket for parking in a taxi stand—and ascertained that I would not be fined more than $10, which is a partial relief.

Then to the Dog, where we each kept up on our food. The boys at the Dog must be getting sick of us all signing each chit. I wonder what the accounts department will do about it.

Home after that—Mum was not very happy about the ticket, and so threatened to ground me for a week. Then she off to Tengku Noor's, I took Guy and Robert home, then back and off to sleep.

In the evening, having come to a partial reconciliation with Mum, off with Gurdip to see “The Spy in the Green Hat”, which I found very good indeed (Man from U.N.C.L.E. series).


Wednesday, 15 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Eileen woke me this morning with the news that Mum wanted me up and dressed quickly so that I could be ready to take her over to the office at 0830. I never quite understand Mum—she goes out of her way, when she is in a hurry, to get other people to do things that she could more easily do herself.

Eventually had my breakfast, etc, and took Mum over to the office, and was about to set up the machine for the New Zealand Newsfront when Mum decided that I was incompetent, and said she was going to call in somebody from Gestetners, and get them to set it up.

Floated about for about an hour, after which I got a bit bored, and Mum suggested that she would call me when I was needed, and that I could go home. Just going out of the office when I saw Stephen coming, so back up, and, feeling rather uncooperative, sat about and watched him make a mess of master no. 2.

Eventually I was asked to go over to the New Zealand High Commission to go and get some more Newsfront paper, and so over, and while I got it, had a word with the bloke at O'Connors, and he does not think much of the Miranda camera—it seems that they were the first company to introduce a TTL camera in 1964, and that it was a flop.

This claim appears to be incorrect.

Back to the office, where I contacted Guy, and arranged for him to come over to the office sometime and help staple newsletters when such help was needed. Then carried on the printing myself, and Stephen went back to his place.

After lunch, printed page 1, and then out to see Guy, who showed me an ID19 crashed in the jungle near his house, and this we examined.

Then off to the office, where I ran off the last page, page 7, and then cleaned up the machine, and joined Guy at collecting the magazines together. After that, which went on for an hour, during we collected in excess of 600 copies—not at all bad—went off down to the Dog, and then to the scene of the crashed Citroën, which we then worked on, and shorted out the ignition as intended, and started the thing, but apparently some damage had been done to the car, for it soon stalled and would not restart, no matter what we did.

Down to the Supermarket, and looked for a towrope, but none were to be found, and so off home, with intention for later tonight.

At home, had tea, while Mum was frantically arranging makan tonight, inviting all sorts of people from Singapore: Tengku Muda Mohammed, the pretender to the throne [of Terengganu, I suppose], and his wife, David Marshall, former Chief Minister, Alec Selman and H.G. Wong and Tengku Noor. Eventually all except the last 2 arrived, Guy and I off after that, and did our best to find a tow rope wherewith to remove the Citroën, but no luck.

Developed a film for Mum very late.


Thursday, 16 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up too early this morning—I think Mum has instructed Eileen to ensure that I am up, at any cost. In any case, I got up, and was just considering having some breakfast when Mum told me to go over and open up the office, so over, and Ramli alone was waiting (at 0840). This place is terribly slack.

In retrospect it was probably just that they had learnt that being there at 8:30 didn't make any sense.

Guy in a minute or so later, apologising for being late, and we got down to stapling newsletters, which is a terribly boring job. At least I had Guy to talk to.

Mum had said that she would follow me in 10 minutes, but when, after allowing 30 minutes, as usual, she still had not arrived, I began to get a bit fed up, and went home for some food, and found Mum still preparing herself. Took my time over breakfast, and back to the office, and Mum followed about half an hour later—constant is up to 9.

At the office on, ever on, and suddenly looked as if we would run out of pages, but before we knew where we were, we had the 1700, in fact, we made it easily. The High Commission said that they wanted more if we had them, and they collected 1730, which is not bad, as I only did 1750 pages 5.

Off down to see what was going on with the crashed Citroën after that, and it was still there, so to Robinsons, got a tow rope, and back up to try and pull it out, to little avail.

Down to the Dog, had a bit to eat, dropped Guy home, and then home to discover this M.P. Singh bloke there, having apparently rolled up at the office this morning. Told me the way he thought I should go through India, and smelt. Mum said something about going and showing him around town some time, which eventuated to be this evening, so took him down to the MARA place (by this time Guy was with me) in Batu road, and then off to pick up Robert and got the old battery out of his car. Then off to get some petrol, and thence to have another look at the Citroën. It looks as if the thing was stolen and deliberately crashed—the owner was there, looking very worried, as they towed the thing out of the ravine, and messed up the sump or the suspension or something in the front. I wonder if they will come to the conclusion that we were trying to whip it.

After that, back home for a while, got some stuff from Robert's house, and then off to pick up M.P. Singh and show him around K.L. Eventually tracked him down to the Rex Hotel, and then off to show him what here was to see in K.L., which seemed to bore him about as much as it did me, and we were only too glad to get rid of him—in fact, we did the next best thing to jumping for joy.

In the evening, Guy invited Debbie out to the flicks, and I went as well, as Mum was paying. Hell of a job finding Debbie's house, and the flick was lousy, especially as there was no bird with me.


Friday, 17 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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As I write this, I feel unhappy. Unhappy for the millions of men in this world who are failures—for men like Ahmed Soekarno, sitting all night long recently under a banyan tree in the Merdeka Palace in Djakarta, weeping for his lost revolution—for all men whose dreams have been shatter, especially those altruistic dreams of the few honest men in the world. Why is the world such a nasty place? Why is it such a rat race? Surely it must be possible to change modern society fundamentally, to a place where war and peace have no meaning, and where people do not have to take thought unto the morrow. But how? To attempt to do anything about it would be to join those people fro whom I feel sad.

Back to a more factual plane—Eileen in this morning, far to early for comfort, and insisted that I got out of bed, as Mum had something important for me to do. Up, and had, in my own sweet time, breakfast, and then in to see Mum, who was feeling unwell, and so intended to spend the morning in bed.

Accordingly, after a while, in to my room to do some printing, and did all of my recent Pan F, and then called it a morning, as it was, and glazed them.

Round about lunch time persuaded Mum to have some lunch, and had a fair amount myself. Come to think of it, today I have not been very well—sneezing brought on by my being here while Eileen swept the place, and dihorrea [sic] caused by God only know what—possibly the same cause.

Guy phoned up after lunch, trying to find something about keys to cars, and then over in the Ford Corsair [illegible—casul?] that his parents are looking after at the moment. Tried, unsuccessfully, to get Mum to let me go down town, and so Guy off again, and then hung about for a while while Mum got up and ready to go to the office.

Eventually over to the office, and hung about there doing nothing for a while, as Mum made her application for a Cambodian visa. Then down to the Post office, and posted these and some other letters, and did a couple of other jobs in town, and then back to the office, to wait for Mum—she had not brought her own car.

After that, to the Supermarket, where Mum bought some stuff, and then home, meeting Robert on the way, and he returned, though he could not stay long.

After he left, had tea, and I inside to try and make a 20"×24" print of Jennie by myself, which proved rather difficult. I have come to the conclusion that there are more satisfactory ways to develop paper than with a sponge.

Out again in the evening, first to Guy's place, and then to the Dog, but nothing doing, so back again, and late nevertheless to bed.


Saturday, 18 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up as early as ever this morning—there was this M.P. Singh bloke of Mum's, who apparently wanted to be taken to see the sights of P.J., and then to the airport. When I picked him up, however, he expressed a desire to pick something up from MARA, see Thai International about his flight to India later on this month, and then go out to the airport, and I was only too pleased to do this for him. Poor bloke—he means well, I suppose.

Eventually out to the airport, though still too early for his flight. He invited me to the restaurant upstairs, where I had a cup of coffee before going off again back to town.

In town, up to Guy's house, and asked after him, but he had apparently gone to the Golf Club—presumably to see Debbie, though I did not find out about this. But he has been paying a lot of attention to Debbie of late, so it would not surprise me in the least.

To the office to run off some aluminium plates for Mum, but found that the fitting was not quite the same as the Gestetner fitting, and so I could not run them off—this after filling up the machine with ink and water, and loosening two reams of paper.

After that, took an Express Letter down for Mum to the Post office, and then back to the office. After persuading Mum that she had her own car downstairs, went home, and a couple of letters for me—one from Jennie, and a Valentine from somewhere in Nottingham in a writing that looked vaguely familiar, but which I could not identify, even after going through all my file of letters from girls. Robert could not help, either, when over he came.

After lunch, over and picked up Gurdip, then to Guy's house, and picked him up, and went down town. Guy was trying t get the key to a Ford Corsair, which his father is at the moment looking after. No luck, unfortunately, as Universal Motors was shut, and nobody else had the correct key.

After a while, went off home, as we could think of little else to do. There hung about for a while, until Mum suggested that we went off to pick up Dad, who was coming back from Singapore today. Dropped Gurdip and Guy at the Bank Negara, and out. Mum was in quite a good mood today—she did not complain about the speed, though she did complain about Gurdip leaving the window open in the back.

Picked up Dad, who was dead, and back home again. Guy had wanted me to come to Jackies, and Mum and Dad wanted to have an anniversary dinner (22 years yesterday), and so I was allowed to go. Over to see Robert first—he was not allowed out today, but wanted to develop some film.

After that, out, and bumped into Gurdip, who also wanted to come, and so Guy lent him some money. Jackie's bores me—I suppose I ought to steal Debbie from Guy.


Sunday, 19 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Had intended to sleep in for a very long time this morning, but I had reckoned without Dad, who came in early in the morning (well, at about 1130 hrs or so, which was early enough for me), and then dragged me out of bed and told me he wanted hundreds of plans (well, 140) stapled together for issue for tender tomorrow.

Up and had breakfast despite the late our and then set down to stapling all these enormous prints (most of them were 20×30, and a few even larger), and it took me quite some time.

Meanwhile, Mum and Dad went out and played with the monkey. Anyway, I suppose I was on the better side of the fence, anyway. After a while, Robert rang up, and suggested that I come over to his place, and that we do something, and then suggested that first we developed a film here. Left it at that, and did my best to persuade Mum and Dad to let me go out. After that, had lunch—chicken again. If we have much more chicken, I am going to end up looking like one.

After makan, took leave of Mum and Dad, and over to see Robert, and told him that I did not think developing film in the daytime was very good, as my darkroom was not the darkest in the world, and so he suggested that we go and see Guy. All very well, but I am getting a bit sick of all this burning all over the place, especially as the tyres on the back of the Citroën are a little dicey.

Eventually got to Guy's house, just a little ahead of Robert—but then, he was slewing about all over the place, whereas I had control of the car perfectly—and discovered Guy was out—so burnt down to the Dog and beat him again, and read the new magazines before going on to the Golf Club, where we found Guy with Debbie, playing cards.

Shortly after we arrive, they started playing Strip Jack Naked, but unfortunately not the real game, and so all that happened was the odd muffled swearing from Guy. I was rather amused by what Robert said recently: “That guy speaks like Hemingway reads”. True enough, even in Debbie's presence.

After a while, off to Kenny Hill—on the way down, Robert had nearly run into Debbie's father, and she knew where he was, so wanted to go and see him. This we did, and then off to Guy's house—that fellow is really getting keen on Debbie. I think I shall have to throw a spanner in the works. I have a sneaking suspicion (probably attributable to vanity) that she likes me.

In the evening, decided ti was about time I kept to my decision to write a book, and got down to it. Wrote about 5 pages, and calculate to write a total of 100.


Monday, 20 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad in at 0730 this morning, and my tea was already cold, so God only knows what time she brought it in. Dad told me some load of bullshit about Mum being up, though it was evident from the lack of clackers that she was not.

My mother had some strange irritation of the throat which caused her to try to clear it with a rattling noise that we called “clackers”.

Eventually up and had breakfast, and did all the necessary things for a morning, and then all three of us over to the office in the Citroën, and almost immediately Dad told me to go and have a haircut. I have had these insinuations—why can't I decide for myself how I like my hair? This is only going to lead to a violent reaction when I get to Hamburg, leading to me growing a mop of shoulder-length hair. What the hell—what am I to make of my life, anyway.

Back to the office with “Island Resting Place”, as I have decided to call the book. I am yet undecided as to whether I should introduce an element of mystery into it or not—I can't, unfortunately, think of anything good.

After I got back, however, I had little time to call my own. Almost immediately I was sent to get Dad's reciprocal card from the Lake Club [this would be for use at some other club, presumably the Sarawak Club), and when I got back, was invited to print some forms for Mum on the offbeat. Had to take Dad down to CDC when I was just about ready to print, but then got back, and rattled off the plates in rapid succession, but then had trouble with the third, which led to a row with Mum.

Blowing up when we got home—I have had this. But I thought it even nastier when they would not let me come out and see Dad off at the airport. 50ft Pan F arrived from M&H—good. All OK by me—total cost £1··0··0, which is cheaper than it sometimes is in England.

After lunch, got some stuff for Eileen at the Supermarket, and then off to Lum's [spelling?] after Anna had told me where the place was, and hung about there for a while examining all the equipment they have there—and it is pretty extensive. One enormous offbeat which combines the inking and watering, which sounds a good idea. Why can't Gestetner manage that?

Back to the office, and ran off the remaining plate, and then hung around writing more in this book, and carried on for quite a while, until Mum decided to go home.

Then home, and we were just having tea when Robert came in. He had apparently just been to the Supermarket and bought some photographic equipment—tanks, etc.—and wanted to be shown how to do it, or rather, wanted a film to do it with. Took him home, and then back to my book and calculation of the motion of a car in circles—all quite complicated.

Over later to help Robert, just in case anything went wrong. Came out, as near as I could judge, OK.


Tuesday, 21 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up at a more reasonable time this morning, as Dad was away. Mum came in at about 0845, and told me to get up and go over and open the office, as Anna was not going to be there, or something. Finally staggered out of bed, and outside, where Mum told me not to bother, as she was already up, and so I swore at her under my breath, and then got Eileen to make me some breakfast.

Took my time over that—I don't believe in rushing breakfast, if it is at all possible—and then, gradually, over to the office. On entry was told to hang about for a while, and so next door to work out the mechanics of the motion of a car. All very confusing, and rather difficult to work out.

After a while, Mum suggest that I wrote a letter to Nanne [spelling?] Stubbs, telling her about the life of the average kampong girl—I don't know the hell she expects me to find out or know—and so ahead. Showed it to her, and she told me that I didn't know anything about it, which I could have told her.

Then sorting out these forms for Sir William Halcrow & Partners, which is a soul-destroying job. What the hell.

Took Mum down to the doctors, and then tried to pick up my pants at the Globe Silk Store, with no success. Back, picked up Mum, and at the office, on with my calculations, and suddenly saw the light. My calculus is in pretty bad shape.

After that, or rather in the middle of it, home for lunch, and then back again to the same old slog, or rather active doing nothing. While I was at it, I wrote out in a tidier fashion the calculations for the mechanics of a car travelling in a circle. I feel I have made too many assumptions, and some of them may not even be true, let alone easily provable.

After that, Mum had got Ramli to tie the parcel together for Sir William Halcrow, and got me to take it down to the station to send it off by rail freight. First, however, off to Globe Silk Store to (finally) get my pants—I do not like them—and then on. For 10 katis of printed paper, $2.15 is not a bad rate, I suppose. I suspect it is cheaper than it would be by post.

Then home, and put on a more decent looking pair of pants, and out to pick up Guy and Serina [his mother, I think. That's the way I wrote it, but I'm not convinced the spelling is correct]—Mum had invited the latter home for tea to see Iggy. She was not there when I arrived, and I sat around talking to Guy about the book. Decided to go off at the typewriter, and Mum nearly ran into me coming round the corner on the wrong side—and then blew me up for not being more careful. I have had it. Back, and talking to Guy about phone calls to girls in England.

After that, out to pick up Dad at the airport. Good old Mum—always late!

Home, and did little. Robert wanted to come over and do some printing, but I thought not.


Wednesday, 22 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad in at some time or another, and said something to the effect that I was so useless that I might as well stay in bed, but Mum thought otherwise, and suggested that I got up and rolled over to the office as soon as possible.

Lay in bed in states of consciousness ranging between completely asleep and more or less awake for about 20 minutes, and then staggered out of bed, and discovered that there was no gas, and so no scrambled eggs/toast forthcoming. Instead had some of Eileen's greasy overcooked beans and fried eggs, and feeling thoroughly oily, slid over to the office.

There Dad said something about having his pen fixed up, but we had to wait for Mum. Downstairs, and after consultation with Dad, bought Tranter, “Advanced Level Pure Maths”, as I am slipping somewhat on this subject.

Then Mum gave me some stuff to do—boy, what a lot of it! Down to Batas [?], Globe and Chee Sengs, where I saw Janet Davidson—I did not know that she was back. She is looking more attractive than usual, and I think I might as well make a pass at her.

Down to King [?] Changs for lacquer and Nainas for mothballs, and had a look at some slide rules in Greniers—lousy choice.

AAM gave me a few hints on the trip, including introductory cards to the AIT, and the AA GB, and back to tell Dad all about it, after finally getting his pen fixed. Letter from Liliane at lunch.

After lunch, Mum had wanted me to go over to the MSA office in Jalan Campbell to get them to change their tickets, and wait while he did them, but it looked as if he would take a lot longer than expected, and so off to get Mum's health documents, and back to the office, where I revised series before taking Dad around a bit. Down first to PJ, where Dad had to pay a visit on the Aru [Arulampalam] house, whose tenants are, apparently, complaining about myriads of minor things, though not in a really nasty way.

After finally getting through that—Dad was a bit fed up with it all as well—I went off back into town, talking to Dad about Wankel engines, and to the High St police station, where Dad had to report the loss of his license, and hung about there for a while. Crawled back through town, and back to MSA, but Mum had already sent Ramli around to get them.

Over to the office, where Mum was not, and I home after a while, and stayed there until Dad called me to come over and pick him up, and over, but just at that point Mum arrived and took him home instead.

After that, send off to the Supermarket to get some film, but they were already closed upstairs..

In the evening, Mum and Dad out to the Belshams, and Robert over. Later down to Bilals for makan, and was told that I am going on an outward bound course from 15/III/67—bugger it: I will miss Liliane! And what happens to this diary?


Thursday, 23 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad in this morning at about 0620, and said something to the effect that Mum was feeling crook as hell, and had a lump of curry stuck in her throat, and so in to see how she was getting on, and to make some helpful suggestions (for what they might be worth), etc².

After a while, we decided that she was all right, and that if she were not, she could see a doctor on Pnom Penh [sic] anyway, and so puled all the barang (including my CDC case [camera case] full) into the car, and out, rather faster than usual, to the airport, and got there not too late (though the flight had been called by the time I had parked the car and come up). Said goodbye to Mum & Dad, and waited until they had boarded before going back. Then to Guy's house and the International school to look for people, but no go, so went home and had breakfast. After that, over to the office to give Cheng [?] a cheque for somebody, and then put the Citroën in for a lube, went and picked up Guy, and home again to pick up the Citroën and put the Mini in to have its tyres retrod, and around on a club crawl—Dog, Lake Club and Golf Club. Had a drink and read the magazines at the Dog, to the Lake Club mainly to ensure that there was nobody there, but also because I am considering the possibility of ringing up Jennie sometime in the near future, as soon as I can fiddle it properly.

After that, to the Belsham's house for lunch, at Guy's invitation. I feel rather more than slightly out of place at such formal functions as some people feel obliged to have—though I suppose it could be much worse that it was at the Belshams.

After lunch, back down town again, and Guy wanted to go to the Golf Club because Debbie was supposed to go there. I wanted to go to the Lake Club to see whether it was feasible to ring up Jennie at 1520 (0750 GMT), though I don't know if she would be at her best so early in the morning.

I can't recall what fiddle we had planned here. Clearly the intention was to get the Lake Club to foot the bill, but in those days all international calls were operator connected, and I can't see how I would have been able to get away with it.

In any case, the place was crawling with people, and I became extremely chicken, so decided against it, and had a brief rest, until Robert rang up and said something about wanting to do some prints. I know how he feels, but I am a bit fed up with it all (apart from being tired).

On an impulse, decided to go and see “Arrivedeci Baby[sic] at the Odeon. I am getting terribly lonely again, and the fact that it is going to be well over a month before I do anything about seeing Liliane does not make me feel any happier.

After coming out of the flick, over and picked up Guy. Then home, and got out the motorbike BJ 9950 [registration number], and took it over to the Merlin Service station (in the Citroën) and had the tyres pumped up and some minyak put in it. Bombed around a bit on it, and then lent it to Guy, who wanted to go and see Debbie on it. To Jacky's, and saw Debbie there, but said nothing to Guy when Gurdip and I went up to see him at about 2330.

Took several “Playboy”s back with me.


Friday, 24 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Eileen in this morning early enough (0830 hrs, I think) with tea, but I did not really wake up until considerably later, when Anna rang up from the office to say that she thought Lum might appreciate the return of the offset plate clips, as we had had them almost a week by this time. Agreed, and while I was having breakfast, enter Guy, and tells me that he left the bike at a place in Batu Road, as the gear had jammed, and I suggested that the tried East Asiatic. This he did when I went to get the clips, and they wanted to see the thing before making a decision. I then took the plate clips out to Setapak for Lum, and back again to the East Asiatic place, where Guy was having fun with trying to get the bike to work, and, eventually, they decided it would cost $25 to have the thing looked at, for workmanship alone, and so decided to skip it, and take the other (BJ 9959) instead, and had trouble starting that as well.

Over, eventually, to the house—I arrived first, and there found Gurdip in his Peugeot with a shattered windscreen, which apparently was due to a spontaneous crystallisation. Gurdip was very cut up about it—Eileen had accordingly bandaged him up—and so we helped him to remove the rest of the screen, and picked up his brothers in the Citroën.

From memory, Gurdip had heard that the thing to do with a broken windscreen was to punch a hole in it with his fist. That's what he did, thus proving beyond reasonable doubt that the recommendation was wrong.

Back home, and had lunch, after which I tried to find out what Guy might be doing, and on establishing contact with his mother, discovered he had set off down here by bus, according to her—I reckon more likely motor bike.

Then into my room for a rest, and just about everybody in town decided to phone me; Guy to tell me that the bike was a bastard, and that it had stalled every other mile and refused to start again, Gurdip to tell me that he had already had the Peugeot windscreen replaced, and Robert to tell me that he wanted to do some prints. Decided I had better let him, and invited him over, and presently he arrived with lots of negatives, and proceeded to print. After a while, when I was helping him, the phone rang, and it proved to be Ahmad, who wanted to come over, along with Lokman, on Sunday at 1400 hrs, with his flute.

Back to printing, and then for a while up to the Supermarket to get some more developer, and then back again to finish it all.

Finally took Robert home at about 1930, and back home myself for makan, after which debated what to do about women. Had already rung up Carol Syme and Janet Davidson, and neither of them was prepared to come out with me, and so I eventually got so fed up that I went anyway, and saw “Robinson Crusoe U.S.N.”, which was a Walt Disney production, and vastly amusing.

Feeling happy tonight, for some reason.


Saturday, 25 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up at about 0845 this morning, conscious of the fact that the clock was due to be put back in the car this morning, and so got dressed, and off to put the car in for the requisite. They take a hell of a long time doing these things, and I more or less persuaded the bloke that I wanted it all completed by 1200 hrs, and then back home by taxi.

Had breakfast—Eileen is gradually learning how to cook bacon—and then hopped in the Mini, after getting all the photos together for Robert, and over to his house, where he was still asleep, so woke him up, and showed him the (rather grotty) photos, and gradually got him up out of bed. Noticed a reflector telescope in his room, and had a look at that—it might be quite easy to turn it into a photographic objective mirror.

After a while, decided that we might as well go somewhere and do something, and so off to the Dog to have some coffee and a bite to eat, and hung around there until about 1150, by which time we decided we might as well get the Citroën. The clock was in, but they had managed to disconnect the speedo cable, and so back again, and got them to do something about it all. Meanwhile appeared Guy and Robert from the house in the Mini, and before too long it was well—except the mechanic had dropped his screwdriver into the car, and could not get it out again.

Dropped Guy at the Dog, and then home for lunch, at which I was joined by Robert, and after that, outside to have a look at the bike, which Guy had left behind, and drove around the block a couple of times on it, and I was right terrified of riding pillion, and so eventually decided to go up to Kenny Hill to look for Guy. Got into about the middle of town before Robert lost me, and so back, and got the Citroën instead of the Mini, and off to get some minyak—I had done 300 odd miles since the last fill—and then on to the Lake Club and Dog for usual refreshments and reading of magazines. Subsequently up to Yuens, and complained bitterly because the clock was not working, and they said they could do nothing about it, so left it at that, and home again. I wonder if we will ever get that clock working.

At home, I decided that the car could do with a wash, and almost immediately in rolled Guy and Robert, whom I got to help me, and then, at Robert's request, off to Kenny Hill for the usual, and Robert borrowed the Citroën to go and ask a girl nearby for a date, and Guy and I stayed at Guy's house.

After a while, strolled down. Then back home, and Robert off on the bike, and Guy and I hung around, and eventually picked up Gurdip, and off to Jacky's, where nothing was happening, and so off to the Cathay to see the midnight première of “Penelope”, starring Natalie Wood (Wow!) in the title rôle. Very good indeed, but it made a late morning at 0300 hrs.


Sunday, 26 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Eileen in this morning, I know not when, with tea, and I hardly even noticed her depositing it. Went pretty quickly back to sleep, and was awakened at about 0920 by Robert trying to get me to come over and pick him up, so that he could mess around with the bike, which has still been giving trouble. Went back to sleep again, until he rang again round 1100 hrs, and I again told him what to do, though he seemed little inclined to do it. Back to sleep again, and was awoken by Eileen, who wanted to know if I wanted any lunch, and so I sprang out of bed and suggested that she did just that, while I washed off the dirt and grime of the past few days.

After that, had makan, and I had just about finished when arrived Lokman, who had yet to find Ahmad, and so the two of us out together, and got him, and then back to the house, to have some coffee. Lokman noticed a copy of “Playboy” floating around, and so ended up ringing up Robert and asking him if he had any more recent editions, and so over to pick him (and the magazines) up in the Ford Prefect, which is a noisy engine, and has rather poor acceleration.

Once at the house, contacted Guy, who had the key to the bike, and he was having some sort of a makan party, and could not come immediately, so Robert picked the ignition lock with a hairpin. Then he and Ahmad set to and did their best at fixing the bike—I have never seen a dirtier air filter—while Lokman and I read Playboy. Talking to Lokman—he got C in Chemistry and Zoology, D in Physics and an O in Botany—not, in fact, all that much worse than I did, apart from the fact that he got an F in General Paper. He is a little worried on this score, though I can't see that a University should turn him down just because of that.

Out later to pick up Guy, and by the time we got back, the bike was more or less working, though the petrol feed tap was leaking rather badly. Over to get some minyak—loaded it into the car, though this time we took the precaution of removing the back seat first.

After that, inside and had tea, though Lokman had to go first, as he had his younger brother to pick up from somewhere, and tomorrow's lessons to prepare—he is now teaching English and Maths to form 3 at Maxwell Road school—I gather that he is lucky to get a job, especially such as that. I suppose it is the equivalent of working at a prep school in England.

All home by 2000 hrs, and at that time ended up at the Belsham's house, with Mrs. Belsham's father complimenting me on my use of seat belts.

After makan, out for a bit of makan angin [literally “eating air”, a walk]. I am again feeling along against the world.


Monday, 27 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up late this morning again—oh well: I suppose I might as well enjoy it while I may, for all too soon I shall be slogging my guts out, first in Kuching and then in this damned Outward Bound course. What the hell. Gurdip rang up early on and wanted to go to the Lake Club, and later I got up and decided that the Lake Club might not be a bad idea. FIrst, however, to the Supermarket to buy some stuff for Eileen, and then rang up Guy, who was not at home. Finally, on arrival at the Lake Club, the sun had gone in, and all looked rather less inviting, so down instead to the Dog and after a while to Eastern Photographers, where they were reluctant to sell me anything, but gave me 5 coupons for the Perutz contest. Then had a look at some slide rules—not much choice, though they did have a Hemi [?] and Faber like my old one. Modern Photography has arrived in force, both issues rather full of technical stuff, and so bought both of them. Then home for lunch, which I spent reading about the Photokina—I wonder when we will hear the last of it.

After lunch, got down to the business of winning the Perutz contest, and had just about started filling in my forms when Robert rang up to find out how to develop Pan[atomic] X in Promicrol. That obviously was going to take care of him for a while. After that, finished off my stuff, and was just pinning them to the entry coupons when Guy established contact, and so over to the office and got a stamp, and confirmed that Mum and Dad had not phoned, and then out to post the letter, and collected Guy from home, where he was feeling singularly bored. Down to the Dog after first going home, with little of importance in mind, and had a drink there, and decided to find out how quickly we could remove the rear wing of a Citroën in case we needed a spare. Time was about 11,5 seconds, so all Citroën owners in K.L. had better beware.

The rear wing was attached by a single ¾" bolt, accessible from outside. Its removal was necessary to change the rear wheel.

Then appeared what looked like to be a riot, but which proved to be a peaceful demonstration (though the riot squad were floating around, just in case), the exact cause of which was uncertain, but which appeared to be something to do with Tengku—either the National Language act, or the fact that he is shortly going on a 6 month holiday, both of which have been in the news lately. Later on picked up Gurdip and Robert, and home, where we decided it was about time we had tea. Just settling down to tea when I decided to see what them the Comet would be in Singapore—1840. It was then 1815, so gave up tea as a bad job and sped out there in the wet (did a beautiful 4 wheel drift just between K.L. and P.J.) and out to discover that they were still in Singapore (due back tomorrow).

This doesn't make sense, of course. My best guess is that the first mention of Singapore should be Kuala Lumpur.

After makan, found Guy, and out looking for some whores. I think it is about time we started a free love society—getting mixed up with whores (and transvestites) is not for me.


Tuesday, 28 February 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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This late rising is getting worse all the time. Woken up twice this morning—first time by Anna, who wanted to know what was going on about some window, and where were Mum and Dad—and then by Guy, this time quite late, who wanted to know what I was doing, as he was bored to tears. Suggested he came over, and meanwhile got up, and about, and had breakfast. Shortly later, Guy arrived, bearing signs of having been exposed to the weather, and asked what was up. Suggested that it was about time we won the Social Welfare Lottery, and so down town to find people trying to sell them, but the place seemed strangely deserted. Asked at the Dog, and was told that they were all sold out, so gave it up as a bad job and suggested that we did better next time. There also met Mrs. Belsham's side of the family, and was pounced upon by her father, who has just discovered that I am a photographer, and told me of his experiences with using a green filter with colour film—beyond me, but I gather that he was upset that they came out green.

I have a recollection of a really strong family resemblance between Guy, his mother and her father, in particular their long noses and piercing gaze.

Left Guy at the Dog, and over to Eastern Photographers, where they showed me a Mamiya 1000 TL. The only thing about which impressed me was the firm, definite diaphragm ring—too bad the diaphragm was not as good!

Home after that, and, as usual, I had not long to wait before Robert established contact with me, and so I suggested that I would drop what I was doing (not difficult—nothing), and come over, and meanwhile he rang Guy, who proved not to be at home.

After that, down to the Dog to have some coffee and a hamburger. I think that I can trace this custom (or the coffee, at least) to the days when first flowered my romance with Lesley Cannings nearly 18 months ago (in fact, the custom started 18 months ago tomorrow). Those were the days, when I was happy just to be with Lesley, and without her I was in the depths of gloom—what a nut case I must have been! But I suppose life was happier then, when I was more innocent.

After that, over to Gurdip's house, bashed our way into his room, and woke him by holding his nose until he had to. Noble old Sikh custom sleeping in the afternoon—I suppose, in fact, most people do it. He insisted that we drank the usual brew of sweet, milky tea, and would not take no for an answer. Then off to Robert's to get a stopwatch, and home to our house to have tea again. After a while, decided I had better dispose of Robert and Gurdip, and off to the airport (again) to get Mum and Dad, and this time they were really there, along with Lim Han Gang, and home for makan, and then took Lim to the Kowloon Hotel, after which back home and developed an L ISS and an FX, the former for the first time, the latter for the first time in 18 months over.


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