This diary starts off with a summary of 1963.
To avoid confusion, all times are in GMT Except in Malaysia
|Wednesday, 1 January 1964||Hannover|
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Owing to the difference in time, the new year was rung in in this country at 2300 hrs last night, and quite literally, with all the church bells in Hannover. After that, 4 × 10⁷ DM went up in smoke as all the "böse Geister” were made thoroughly unwelcome and no doubt burnt to hell. At any rate, it made a hell of a noise, and carried on for a good 15 minutes. Then polished off another rather too dry vermouth, this time to the new year. Polished off enough more to be thoroughly capable of singing "Auld Lang Syne” at 2400 hrs and not know whether I was singing it in tune or not. Got to sleep at about 0115 hrs. Would up at 1110 hrs, and sat in bed wondering how the new year would work out. After listening to the usual light programme rot, got up during “Music while you work” and after I had got dressed and was listening to the news, in walks Grete, and in her usual not very pleasant way, started to talk to me while I was obviously trying to find out what President Johnson promised to do for South Vietnam. After that, wen in to watch, and try to hear, over Grete's voice, the Wiener Philharmoniker playing various Strauß waltzes. Although she admitted it was wonderful—it was her reason for interrupting the news—she could not keep her trap shut.
After the first course of lunch, she managed to fall over, and owing to her great weight, she was quite unable to get up without my help, and lay on the floor, no doubt reflecting on her nice slim waistline in 1907, for 2 or 3 minutes.
While, it seems, I watched her and didn't help.
After lunch, moved back into the folding bed in the dining room, and about time, too. At least I can sleep here.
She had a visitor in the afternoon, and I was packed off into town, where I tried to find a music shop, with little success.
Then, when I came back, did a bit of Blockflöte practice, after moving my musical instruments into the dining room again. I wonder if Grete will object.
Then, as usual, she went to the hospital, and I carried on reading "Latter Howe” (? or “Letter Home”?) until Ursel and Hans-Joachim came, and made themselves at home. Grete came back soon in a great state. In the past 2 days, as many people had died, and another was due soon. More vermouth - this time Cinzano, and considerably better - flew (?!?!). All to bring a new year in, and it would manage quite well by itself. Still, an excuse to get sozzled.
After that, they went again, and I had supper, carried on reading, and was suddenly rather rudely interrupted by Annette, who wanted to know where Grete was. Pinched her radio back, damn her.
|Thursday, 2 January 1964||Hannover|
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Grete woke me up at about 0855 hrs this morning to tell me that, at long last, a letter from Mum had arrived, and so I promptly got up, read it, and was depressed beyond much measure. She expects me to be able to buy a flute out of the money she gave me for Christmas. Admittedly, I could, but it would be no better than the one I have. Trust Mum - She had a vision on Christmas night - 2 snowmen in brilliant colours, and a christmas tree to the right of them. All with a background of snow.
While we were having breakfast, the inevitable happened - Manfried arrived. I suppose he can't help coming at the wrong time, but at any rate, he was not very well recieved [sic].
After polishing up my flute, I decided not to try and sell it today, and went into town to look for a new flute. After going through 3 music shops, could not find a decent flute - nor any Querflöten.
In disgust, went to a bookshop and bought a couple of books on the recorder - one by Jean Hotteterre le Romain, and will probably be very interesting if I can understand it..
Then back home to read the books, and to have lunch, and discovered that my feet were killing me. At any rate, it was an excuse not to go to the zoo in the afternoon, and I spent quite a bit of time writing to Mum, Dad and Bev, and commenting not too favourably on the latter's writing.
Manfried finally took the hint, and made himself gone, and left me to think flute, etc, in peace.
While he was here, though, took down the Christmas tree. What one hell of a mess, if ever I have seen one. Looks rather bare without it.
Soon after Manfried had gone, came in Grete looking like the daughter of the devil, and called me all sorts of funny names, many of which I didn't understand. Perhaps that was just as well for all concerned.
After that, read a bit more of the recorder books, and learnt a lot about old methods of fingering. Contrary to my expectations, Hottetterre's fingering system is by no means modern, and some of the others were just plain crude.
Playing patience in the evening. Grete taught me a new type called somethingoranother Bahnhof. Most interesting, though admittedly it is rather long.
|Friday, 3 January 1964||Hannover|
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Once again Grete woke me up with a letter, this time from Dad - his first for about 5 weeks. He must be overworking himself terribly. Told an interesting story about learning to play golf, and managing to get a lump of mud into Mum's hairdo.
Also quite a bit about the flute. Then, on the same paper, another letter from everybody, after my cable arrived, and also my 2nd letter. Mum let it remain as it was, but Dad raised the limit to 600 DM, but to try to keep down, as it would rather strain his resources. Bev seems to have enjoyed herself at a malay wedding. Wrote me a line or two about it. "Bye, I'll write soon”, And her next letter contains much the same sort of thing.
Grete, in her usual manner, kept nattering about money, Herr Ebeling, Hamburg, and not being able to take it away, giving a 5-minute lecture on each subject. It is slowly, but surely, driving me mad, and when I told her so, all she said was „Aber wenn ich nur einmal sagte [and sagte it is, too.], würdest du nicht verstehen“. Even when I said I would, she did not believe me.
Herr Ebeling was a clarinettist in some ensemble in Hannover (opera, maybe). He was also a patient of Ursula, who was a dentist, and he was instrumental in getting the flute that I ultimately bought.
Breakfast was with cold coffee, which tastes like nothing on earth. [except cold coffee]. During it, I decided that Grete's bark was worse than her bite.
She went to her 3rd funeral since I have been here today. While she was away, Friede told me what I had already guessed - that she has a bad temper, but soon cools down.
After that, she got lunch for us - bangers (Deutsch style) and mash (supposed to be deutsch, but you've got to admit that spud mash is universal.) although she had no bangers. Said they were too small to worry about.
After lunch, played a few games of patience, in actual fact trying to work out how to cheat at it, and after that did a bit of recorder practice. Friede offered to get me tea, but I did not want to put her to any more trouble, and so refused. After a while, however, went in and had a glass of Cinzano instead. Then started working on my clarinet reeds. The numbers seem to have dwindled enormously, although I left 1 box (of 24) at Netherton.
Annette came back soon after that, and quickly made her presence unknown. When I saw her again, she was in the kitchen getting my supper for me, and had changed into her pajamas. I hope she's not out for me.
Grete came back from her funeral at about 2050 hrs, and appeared to have had a whale of a time. Had yet another row with her. She wants me to get the money first, contrary to Dads wishes.
Reading between the lines, it seems that my father either wanted Grete to advance the money, or get the flute on invoice and pay later. Neither goes down well in Germany.
|Saturday, 4 January 1964||Hannover|
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Annette woke me up at 0650 this morning trying to find some knives and forks, and making one hell of a row in so doing.
Then she turn the lights on right, left, and (especially) centre. To make sure I was thoroughly roused, the door bell went at 0700 hrs. The nocturnal habits some people have. At least, though, she had the decency to offer me some tea, and a good brew it was, too.
Then I went back to sleep to be woken by Grete, who suggested that I stay by Else Dietrichs for a few days while in Hamburg, and wait until Dad sent the money.
Then back to sleep again. Woken by Grete again to tell me to hurry up before my bath got cold. Got up with remarkable speed, and straight into my bath. At least it was not as hot as on Sunday. I was still more or less conscious when I got out.
Then got dressed, and discovered no other shirt to change into. I must protest. Then started to do a bit or recorder practice and got round to the Baßblockflöte, and did quite a bit of practice on it.
During this time, Annette came back with a friend of hers who bears a strange resemblance to Rees E.S., poor girl. Name is Heide. Her husband, who reminded me of one of last years Meynell [school “house”] narks [prefect], came a little later.
Lunch was unusual - never tasted either of the dishes before. Not unpleasant, though.
Tried once again to polish up my baß recorder after lunch, without much success. However, I did get the rings around the top and bottom joints into a bit better condition.
Spent a lot of time after that working out how to arrange “O Musica” which requires a great baß recorder. Must get one, now that I have an excuse to use it.
Then, after tea and a couple of games of patience I decided to give Bev a recorder for her birthday, and buy a considerable amount of music for her at the same time. I hope she is still keen on the recorder.
In the evening, did a bit more on the Spielbücher, which have been in the background for quite some time. Brought back some pleasant memories - and some unpleasant ones, for that matter.
Annette seemed intent on showing her prowess as a cook today - another strange lot of concoctions, including pickled herrings. Read a bit more about old recorders in the evening.
|Sunday, 5 January 1964||Hannover|
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Today, which was Grete's birthday started off rather unpleasantly with a dream that Bev & I were in KL, and recieved a telegram saying that Dad was dead, at 0450 hrs.
After that, went back to sleep, and was woken up at regular intervals by the telephone going. Grete must be stone deaf. She did not answer it once.
At about 1015 hrs, I finally got a bit fed up, and answered it myself. Could not get back to sleep - although it was a long-distance call from Bonn, we had the usual 20 minute conversation.
Then in came Annette, complaining bitterly about how late she had got up - she had been dancing the night before.
For the next half an hour, the phone was going regularly, and I could not get up as a result. Were it not for the visitors in the next room, she probably would not have answered them either.
Finally I got up, and started doing a bit of practice on the descant recorder, and then got on to the Sopranino.
Before long, the lunch was ready - the same stuff that we had for lunch yesterday. Grete and Annette both seem worried because I am not eating much, although I ate as much as they did.
After lunch, I spent quite a bit of time trying to work out a chart of Recorder fingerings which would work on my recorders, but giving the exact scale - not even tempered scale for me. Made a hell of a meß of it, though. Nevertheless, it is understandable.
Then, as seems uſual lately, I played a few games of patience, although Grete tried to get me to tidy up a bit of a meſs that I had made of my recorder and ſtuff.
After that, watched TV until people stared pouring in thick and fast. Ursel rang up Herrn Ebeling, who is, it appears, the first Clarinettist in the Opernhaus, and he said that he would see his flautist friends when he went to the Opernhaus tonight. Ursel tells me that he was engaged by the London Philharmonic as the only 1st Clarinettist on their last tour of Germany, and he is supposed to be rather good.
After the usual few glasses of wine, I got a bit bored, and was told that I might play my instruments in the kitchen, and this I decided to do, and spent one hell of a long time looking for a decent reed, and was not very successful.
Finally got the couple of letters waiting to be posted - at about 2110 hrs, when it was already frosting up. Had to sleep in the other flat, as not enough room in ours.
|Monday, 6 January 1964||Hannover|
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Grete came in and woke me up this morning, and said something, which, being still all but asleep, I did not understand, and said that wanted to sleep for another hour. After that, she left, and came back a bit later, to say that Ursel had run up, and there were flutes going form 675 DM to about 1400 DM, and that I was to see Herrn Kirsten (coincidence, eh?) at 1630 hrs this evening, and to take my old flute along with me. Unfortunately, he had no wooden flutes, but could get one made up in 2 or 3 weeks. Some hopes, eh? I then got up, and went over to the other flat, and had breakfast, while Grete went to her 4th funeral since I have been here. Meanwhile, I started trying to play my old flute, but as usual gave up in disgust. Then a bit of Blockflöten practice, and spent quite some time on that.
From then, on to the Clarinet, and did quite a bit of transposing practice, until the F# key flooded, and I spent quite some time trying to fix it up. The skin is cracked, and the stuff inside is sodden. It will almost certainly need a new pad.
Then I did a few general finger excercises [sic], and so on, until Grete came back at 1420 and told me to ring up Ursel, which I did, and she told me what Grete had told me this morning, with the addition that wooden flutes are likely to crack. I wonder if Dad will be prepared to pay up. If I can give my old flute as part exchange, he might be able to afford it.
Then lunch, which was not really lunch at all, but tea, but then we did not really have any lunch, as it was far too late when she came back.
At about 1610 we set out to Herrn Kirstens, and took the flute with us. Nice person, looks like a flautist, and is rather short. Put my flute together, tried to play it, and gave up in disgust, saying “Diese kann gar nicht gespielt werden”, and showed me a flute for 810 DM. When I explained the money situation, he said that on Saturday he would have one in for 675 DM. Will ring us up about it tomorrow.
Wrote to Dad when I got back and explained the situation to him, and I want him to send 550 DM. Will pay the other 125 myself.
The correct title is ed des Landtages
|Tuesday, 7 January 1964||Hannover|
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Was woken up by one of the little old ladies who live in this flat, to get a kneeler for the other, at 1020 hrs, and Grete came and said that Kirsten had rung up and said that he would have it on Saturday morning, and I could get it then at 1045 hrs. I then got up, too up my bed, and walked in the direction of the other flat, where a letter from Kirsten Schoen (that name seems popular lately) was awaiting me.
After making my bed, took a look at it. Poor girl. She seems to be overworking herself, as I suspected she might. Up at 0830 every morning, and to sleep at 2230, having had almost no rest all day.
Says that Fadel & Puki are the worst. Great minds obviously think alike. Wrote back to her after breakfast, while Grete went out. I don't think it was to a 5th Funeral - she didn't take long enough. Then she came back and blew me up for something, and then gave me a general blowing up.
When I finished my letter to Kirsten, I had lunch, and then, as usual, did a bit of Recorder playing, but not for long, for soon we had to go into town to BEA mob, and it seems that Saturday is the day off for Westpoint, and so, if there is a spare seat, I will going on Saturday, almost as soon as I get my flute.
No, it doesn't make sense.
After that, Grete went home, and I went to a bookshop and bought some music, and was given about half a dozen different catalogues of recorder music into the bargain, including a new Moeck one.
When I got back, tired out the music, and then had tea, after which I had to take a pot plant along to Herrn Kirsten, mainly, I think, because Grete wanted to get rid of it. But it is a slow process. Herr Kirsten was, quite understandably, too, not exactly delighted, but did not show it, except by saying that he was a keen stamp collecter [sic]. Ah well. One more First day cover won't make much difference to Mum, considering the numbers in which she buys them.
Annette, as usual, had a friend along in the evening, and she reminded me strongly of Ann King. Did one hell of a lot of Blockflöte practice, and before I knew it, Grete was writing a letter to the Moeck mob to ask them to hurry up with my tenor recorder. I had borrowed some stamps from her, and was making yes another midnight trip to the post box. When I got back, it was 2120 hrs, and as no noise after 2100 hrs is permitted, Grete insisted that I pack up, although I was using a mute.
|Wednesday, 8 January 1964||Hannover|
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I must be cursed or something. Could not get to sleep this morning, and at about 0130 hrs, I went along to the bathroom to have a drink of water. Turned on the light and bang! and another gone. It must be the way I put the switch on or something. Finally got to sleep at about 0215 hrs, and was woken up by the telephone, which, as usual, Grete did not hear or could not be bothered to answer.
Then back to sleep, and woken by Grete at about 1030 hrs with my breakfast, and said she was going to some parliamentary sitting, or something queer. Personally, I think it is a funeral. Said she would be back at about 1400 hrs.
Got up, changed my sarong as requested, made my bed, washed my hair, getting half a ton of genuine Hannoversche soap scum in my hair in the process, and then went and did a bit of recorder practice.
In the middle of that, the phone went, and proved be BOAC/BEA. They said that the next Westpoint flight would be on 23/III/1964. They must have 3-monthly flights or something. Will have to go by train.
More recorder practice, ad yet another go at the flute. Managed to get a noise out of it, but Gawd! was it exhausting. Then took the thing to bits, back together again, but it was no better. Then came a telegram for Grete, and the painters to do the front door.
Finally she came back, at about 1520 hrs, in her usual, punctual style, and said that we were having a hot meal in the evening, and proceeded to prepare afternoon coffee, the cream for which was sour. Being half blind, it took her a bit of time to be persuaded, especially as she hasn't drunken [sic] milk for the past 30 years. No doubt she has forgotten what it tastes like. Then we had an argument about how much I was allowed to take with me on the plane.
Grete was probably right, but all my life I have taken much excess baggage on planes, almost invariably without paying for it.
Maybe it was the coffee or cream or my clarinet, but when I started to do some practice on the latter, I got one hell of a stomach ache, mixed with diarrhoea and constipation, which was a little confusing, to say the least.
After supper, watched a silent film show on TV, which was not exceptionally amusing, but, as the Germans say, “es ging”.
Then carried on with a bit of recorder practice, but was stopped by Grete because of the time, and made to go to bed. Tempus fugit, and before I knew it, it was 2215. I did not get to sleep until 0200 hrs this time.
|Thursday, 9 January 1964||Hannover|
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As is usual lately, I was woken up by the telephone this morning, and got up to answer it, but Grete had hopped it. However, my tenor recorder was on the kitchen table, and although it was only 0930, I got up and ripped open the box in which it was. On the bill, it said “Stimmung nicht korrigierbar”, which tells me a lot. Means either that it couldn't be repaired, or didn't need to be. I hope it is the latter.
“Intonation not correctable”. Indeed. It isn't a very good recorder, and I should never have bothered to repair it. My interpretation was based on lack of understanding of the language.
Bill came to 7.50 DM, + 1.50 for carriage, etc.
The key, like all Moeck instruments, had a circular spring, which makes rather one hell of a lot of noise. However, apart from that, it is working wonderfully.
Before long Grete came back, and started to prepare lunch - not too soon, either, for I was starving.
During lunch, Grete brought up the weight problem again, and it seems that she is right, according to BEA. At any rate, she rang up, and said that they agreed with her. I only hope she is right. Also, I spoke with a fellow there about what I was to go on Saturday when I got to Victoria air terminal: catch Taxi to Paddington, catch the 1930 to Torquay. Will get into Newton Abbot [sic] at 2310 hrs. Mrs Baudouy will like that. I wonder if anybody will stay up to see me. I doubt it.
Then, after the usual down to the cellars, and getting some charcoal, I went into town , sent of a telegram to Mrs Baudouy - COMING 2310 GMT 11/I/1964 NEWTON RAILWAY STATION PLEASE SEND CAR GREG. Presumably they will understand what that means. Fellow in PO a bit puzzled over “Combeinteignhead” and “Newton Abbot” (pronounced in german way)
Then to AKI, watched the program and out again, and went to a bookshop, and bought a few Blockflötenschulen, and, being pretty exhausted, caught a bus home rather than walking.
Grete was asleep when I got back, and came in while I was doing a bit of Baßblockflöte practice, and commented on the books, and was rather shocked at the price.
Then, after supper, I carried on practicing recorder, and in walked Grete with my sarong, which was frozen, and stood it on the floor, saying “Na, findest du jetzt, daß es heute nicht kalt ist?”, as I had used that excuse for not wearing my coat this afternoon.
Then got into a discussion over politics, art, language and all sorts of things, and, as usual, got into one hell of an argument, and carried on until 2130, although I had intended to get an early night. In actual fact got to sleep at 0130 hrs.
|Friday, 10 January 1964||Hannover|
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As usual, I was woken by the telephone, which proved to be Herr Trowatsky (Троватски?), and answered it, and called Grete, and who told that I might sleep for another half hour. Although I was exceptionally tired, I could not sleep, and lay in bed thinking until Grete came in, and tried to remove my feet, which, owing to the length of the eiderdown, must needs protrude. After quickly withdrawing them, and telling her I would get up in my own time, I did so, and before long Grete came in again with a rather small breakfast, excuse being that we would behaving lunch on time for once, and if I had a large breakfast, I wouldn't eat a good lunch.
After that, I did a bit of recorder practice, and was soon chucked out by Friede, who intended to do a thorough vacuum cleaning of the place, and as far as I know, she did.
Meanwhile, I went into Annette's room and carried on with my practice. Before long, however, the door opened, and through it came Manfried. He quickly disappeared again, but only to do some shopping for Grete.
Finished off my recorder practice, and went into the lounge room. Before long, in walked Manfried, and we got into a conversation, about geography in general, and I got the atlas to prove that he didn't know any geography.
Then lunch, in which Grete suggested that he come to Netherton House for the Summer Holidays, in order to learn English. In the Summer holidays he would be more likely to learn french or italian.
In the afternoon, Annette's aunt came along with some MP friend of hers, to have some sort of conference - or to start another Profumo affair. I into Annettes room again, had coffee, and then into town, and got covered in snow in the process - has been snowing all day - and to AKI again - change of program.
When I got back, started reading, and then working out how much money I had left. Annette had a bath, and then came into the lounge room only in a dressing gown, showing one hell of a lot of leg - Gawd! She could have some decency, and either show the lot or none at all.
After Abendbrot, we got down to the business of packing for tomorrow, and, as usual, Grete and I were at Loggerheads.
After that, had a bath, and change of underwear (1st these holidays) To get an early night, was in bed by 2225 hrs.
|Saturday, 11 January 1964||Hannover - Köln - London - Newton Abbot - Combeinteignhead|
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Woke up at 0610 hrs this morning, to find my eiderdown horizontally across my middle. After correcting this, could not get back to sleep, and got up at 0700 hrs, and over to the other flat, after Frau Schallmann had opened the door for me.
As usual, I could not get into the bathroom.
After breakfast, the painters came in, had breakfast, complete with Schnapps (and Grete never lets me drink beer before lunch). Got increasingly impatient as Herr Kirsten had not rung up, and Grete rung Frau Kirsten at 0850. At 0855, a fellow from a nearby flute blackmarket (only way you can get a good flute; says flutes in shops are black market rejects) came along with my flute.
I suspect I misunderstood the nature of the operation.
How's that for speed? It is a Hammerschmidt, which Miss Mills recommended, and the trade name of Hammerschmidt is - Klingson. If that is not a coïncidence, I don't know what is.
All my recorders at the time were Klingson brand.
Wonderful instrument, complete with E-mechanism, but cost 693 DM. Price is going up next month my DM 100. In England it would cost at least £100, complete with tax. Then lunch, and after that came Traudi, and took us to the airport, where it was rather foggy, but we took off nevertheless - at 1305 (5 minutes early).
In Köln, we had to have our passports checked, as we were then leaving the country, and I had to get mine from the plane. At Köln a woman from Ghana also borded the plance, and we had quite an interesting conversation. Also had some sort of Hors d'ouvres [sic] between Köln and London.
At London, went to West London Air terminal, got a taxi, and then realised my money had not been changed, and had to go back. As a result, I had a rather exorbitant taxi bill when I got to Paddington. Caught the 1830 train, and after Newbury got into an interesting conversation with a girl from Teignmouth, but apart from that it was rather boring. Got into Newton at 2210 hrs - hour early. Van picked me up, and when got back, as usual, all were pleased to see me.
Interesting new girl there - not sure of her name, but looks as if she comes from China. Will see tomorrow.
Was given Malis room for the night, but will have to go into the big boys dormitory in the morning.
Girls over us - sounded like Cynthia and such like. Why Mrs Baudouy classes her with the older girls, I don't know. She is just a little bitch.
|Sunday, 12 January 1964||Netherton house|
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Woke up at 0810 hrs this morning, got up pretty quickly, and went into the playroom, where Mrs Baudouy was to be found, and after reading yesterdays Times, got some wood for her. Then up into the big boys dormitory, and started to talk to Paul and one of the new tipes [?], known to me, at any rate, as Nackers., until the breakfast gong went.
After breakfast, Nackers and I went rount the various rooms, waking everybody up, and especially the girls. Went into Cynthias room, and started a bit of feeling in her bed - she had not yet got up. Then Nackers made a faux pad, and went into Tante Colleens room - she took it in good humour, however.
After that, went into the drawing room, took my flutes up, and took the rest of my stuff into the big boys dormitory, and went down, and after showing it to a few people, started playing my flute.
Then out with Fadel, and did a figure 8 around the grounds, and had a most interesting talk, picking up Peter on the way.
Met the chinese girl - Mary - on the way back. She really is nice. Wish she wasn't going tomorrow. After down to the Gym again with Paul, up again to see Mary, and then, after lunch, went into the TV room, and exchanged addresses, etc. and the while nearly everybody went out to play baseball, we had quite an interesting conversation, which carried on until about 5.30 [sic], when I went into the drawing room, little flute practice, up to the dormitory and did a bit of tape recording. Then got Mary up, finished, went down again, and more flute. Nackers came in, went out and brought Mary back in, and then kindly left us to it. Most wonderful girl.
In supper, high degree of exuberance, owing to the snow. After that, and watching a very little television, Started with my intention to help Kirsten to get all the little bastards into bed, and, although I got off to a rather bad start, Caught on fairly quickly. Trusted Puki to be a good little boy, but of course, he made a bloody nuisance of himself, and insisted on seeing Mrs Baudouy, who sent him up. Both she and Kirsten were delighted that I helped, and want me to do so tomorrow. Abdul came back tonight, bringing with him a bottle of not-very genuine Schnapps. Van, Alain and Friederich [?] thought it deadly, but quite enjoyed it. Shaking hands, kissing same - also Martha, who is only 14. God. Another Marie.
|Monday, 13 January 1964||Netherton house|
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I woke up at 0650 hrs this morning, with various odd people hurrying about all over the bloody place. Being unable to sleep, I got up, headed to the kitchen, and was sent up to wake up Ahmed and Anis. They were, of course, awake, and as Kirsten was still down in the Cottage fast asleep, I had to take over her duties, and got them off, etc. After that, being kicked out of the kitchen, went up to the big boys dorm, as yesterday, and despite protests from Erick and Fadel, sat on Paul's bed and started to talk to him, and stripped Nackers bed for him, and fairly soon after, Kirsten came up, and threatened to do the same to the others.
After breakfast, went into town, with the intention to buy some food, and treat all the people. Just before we went, Mali showed his now-uglier mug, and promptly started searching for a pair of gloves, and ended up, in the traditional Mali style, with 3.
In town, after getting some money, went round a few shows with Mali, and then, at 1215 hrs, as prearranged, went to the Parkona and had a few coffees, etc., and more or less persuaded them to let me pay - 12/6. Bought a copy of the Times, which I read when I got back, and it seems that it is likely to be a Summit meeting on the Malaysia situation.
Then lunch - Mali, in his usual way, making love to Mary.
After lunch, Mali asked me if I knew anything about ciné cameras, and ended up on changing the film around in his. Then went outside, and took a few photos of all the various birds on the territory.
After that, snowball fight, slipped over and made a mess of my trousers. Spent 16 minutes using somebody's flannel to clean it up with.
After that, Mali thought that we should go bowling, and this we did. Mary was also learning it for the first time. Score: Me - 60, 61. She 45, 81 (!).
The all, of course, took much more time than it takes to tell - some of the mob there were exceptionally rude, and all prices are high.
When we got back, all traces of the heavy fall of snow when we went, were gone, dissolved by rain.
After supper, Mary went, and Mali & I took the opportunity to kiss her goodbye. Then, after another supper, got round to putting all the kids to bed. Not nearly so difficult as last night.
In the middle of it all, Mali & I went to the tuckshop, got some orange squash, took it to our rooms, and started drinking.
“Rose Tattoo” by Terence Williams tonight, and a quite interesting play. After that, went in to Cynthia and Mathes [?] room, where the latter wrote all over Mali with biro. After that, caught by Kirsten, and pumice stone to Malis face. Not only the ink went.
|Tuesday, 14 January 1964||Netherton house|
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At about 0100 hrs this morning, I woke up feeling exceptionally lousy, climbed out of bed, and promptly vomited all over the floor. Then went to the fort, and emptied what remained of last nights dinner into the basin. Came back, climbed all over Mali's bed, but yet he did not wake up.
However he did the next time, when I was feeling too lousy even to get up, and in his usual way, said “Are you all right, Gregory?” ”No” “Have you made a mess?” “I'm afraid so” and then he went back to sleep.
Kirsten came in at about 0855 hrs, and told me that she was surprised at me not being already up. She did not seem to realise what she was standing in.
Then in came Peter, tried to rouse us.. Then Paul. Then Kevin, to get Mali to come bowling, and also tried to get me up. Kevin. “Why don't you get up, Greg?" “Look what you're standing in” “Has someone been sick” Mali: “Yes” K. “Who” M. “Gregory” K. “Oh yes, I can see a trail here. All over Mali's case ... Doll's house ... Mali's socks ... Mali's shoes.” M. “Hare & Hounds.” K. “There is more outside. Did you go downstairs, Greg” Me. “Yes” and so it went on. Kirsten soon came in, and brought a bucket of soapy water in with her, with orders that I clean up the mess. I told her I was feeling lousy, turned over, and went to sleep. I woke up at about 1230 hrs, sat in bed, and listened to what was going on outside. Peter soon came in, and I asked him to ask Mrs Baudouy to get me some lunch. Mrs Baudouy told him to tell me to clean up the mess first. I told him to tell her that I couldn't until I got something inside me. I won my case. At 1340, Miranda came in with a tray. I commented on the beans. M. “How do you know they made you sick?” “What do you think those things on Mali's case are?” She did not like that.
A little later, got up, went into the drawing room, started laying some Mozart with Mali, but soon was exhausted, and went into the playroom, and sat there until 1800 hrs, when Mrs Baudouy took my temperature, discovered it was 39.1°, and so I was promptly taken off to Mali's bed, still with the green sheets of which he had been so proud. Also, somebody had cleaned up the mess for me.
Was out like a light until about 2130, and then started groaning for water. Soon came in Mali & Kirsten, who brought some photos. She also, mercifully, got some water. Then in came Abdul, who avoided coming near me, for obvious reasons, and ended up standing right where the mess had been.
|Wednesday, 15 January 1964||Netherton house|
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I woke up at about
08100730 hrs this morning, and heard Gui making a hell of a
noise getting up. In my half asleep condition, I thought that it was still night (it was,
of course, pitch dark), and that he was having a hell of a booze up with somebody.
Gradually, however, the number of people up increased, and soon Kirsten came in to ask me if
I felt like any breakfast. I asked her what the hell she took me for. She then said
something about never feeling hungry when she was sick. I hope for her sake she is not sick
A little later she came in with 2 slices of toast and a cup of tea (with milk. I suppose they will never learn). After polishing that off, I relapsed into boredom until Mrs Baudouy came in with a confirmatory copy of the telegram she got from Mum yesterday. What I don't like is that it was clearly addressed to me. What right has she to open other peoples telegrams?
Well, she was my official guardian in the UK. But in all probability what she received the previous day was just a telephonic report.
Went as follows:
H 12/444/ TRPA 103 KL104 KUALALUMPUR 53 14 1140 VIA CANDW LT = GREGORY LEHEY CARE BAUDOUY NETHERTON HOUSE COMBEINTEIGNHEAD NEWTONABBOT DEVON = BEVERLEY LEAVING KUALALUMPUR 19TH BA789 ETA LONDON 0915 20TH EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTY MAKING ONWARD FLIGHT TO EXETER MAY BE NECESSARY GO BY TRAIN MAKING ALL ARRANGEMENTS FROM HERE SHALL CABLE WHEN PLANS DEFINITE PLEASE INFORM MRS BAUDOUY LOVE TO YOU DEAR = MUM DAD BEV+
And then she would go skyhigh if I bought something unnecesary [sic] for as little at 5/-. 53 words at (as a guess, based on German rates, and the fact that, for some unknown reason, she sent it by the faster rate), $2.50 come to $132.50. Could easily have got it below $100.00.
This was indeed a verbose telegram. But a number of things in my analysis are incorrect. First, it's clearly a letter telegram (LT in the header, which ends with the first = sign), and secondly the German rates were much higher than in the British Commonwealth.
The $ are what we now call Malaysian Ringgit, roughly £0/2/6 at the time.
After that came in Abdul. Seeing him standing there, and of course, as a result, looking at him, makes it obvious that there is something very unusual about his right leg. It seems to be artificial, or exceptionally thin or deformed. Also came in Mali, mainly to get some of his stuff out, and so on. Abdul came back, and brought me quite a few books to read, including a book of plays by Oscar Wilde. The trouble with them is that they are all on the same subject - upper class morality, etc.
Lunch was more toast. The obviously don't think I can take anything more than that. After lunch, read a few more of the Oscar Wilde plays. They really are too similar.
Carried on reading all through the afternoon, and before very long, it was once more dark, and another night came (I really must get up, or I will become unbearably sentimental), and I heard the not-so-sweet sounds of somebody trying to play a recorder.
Then in came Tante Colleen with my supper, and brought some tea in after (about 45 minutes after, in fact), and asked me if I knew what was wrong with her radio. I confessed I did not, but would have a look. Tried to get up, but did me no good.
|Thursday, 16 January 1964||Netherton house|
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I woke up at about 0750 this morning, and heard the sound of something being done to dishes, and, being the bloody fool that I am, promptly assumed that I had missed breakfast, and, in the semi-darkness, tried to work out whether it was 0750 or 0940, and finally decided on the former, on the grounds that 5 minutes after 0940 is not 1040.
Soon, in came Kirsten with a few more slices of toast than usual, and usual good morning wishes. Then I was left alone to devour in peace until Mali came in to get all sorts of muck out of the room. Before long, he was lying in the spot where all the mess had been, writing a letter, sideways - supposed to make it look longer. He illustrated this with a letter to his parents, and told them how he had been to an old boys dinner at his old prep school, and had got absolutely and utterly sloshed - not that this was not the whole idea, as he was hasty to point out. Needless to say, he was using my pen, my ink and my paper.
Then in came Mrs Baudouy to say that the doctor had said that she would have nothing to do with me after last summer, and that I was really perfectly all right. What the hell does she know about it?
Lunch was much larger than usual, and I might have smelt a rat. However, the rice put me off, and I went to sleep for a couple of hours after that. When I woke up, I as feeling fine, and so got up just before supper, and went into see Mrs Baudouy, and found that Bev's radio is here. Has promised to get it for me.
Then into supper and had finished my soup before somebody complained about me wearing a sarong. To make sure that I did something about it, Gui got the gong stick, and made me do something quick - before I got at my next course, in fact. The conversation was of a most disgusting nature. Susan assured me that that was the normal sort of thing that goes on in this country - I can't see what is so funny about it.
Then watching TV - left after a while to do some recorder practice, and there seems something decidedly wrong with my tenor - gave off about its own volume of water in the first 15 minutes. In the TV room, Barry was doing something not very nice to Miranda. I wonder what this country is degenerating to. [added later:] Take me back to Deutschland!
Abdul came in when he got back from the Pub - been drinking gin, Gordons, he assured me.
|Friday, 17 January 1964||Netherton House. - KCT|
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Woke up at about 1000 hrs this morning, got up, and went into the kitchen to see what was going on there. Mrs Littlewood was preparing lunch, and it seemed that we were to have steak & kidney (not the pie) for lunch.
Then went into the drawing room, and did a bit of recorder practice, after which I headed into the playroom and started up a conversation with Mali. Before long he had pinched my pen, and was on with the letter to his parents. Then he was telling us about his plans on how to get back to school, when Mrs Baudouy came in, and told everybody when they were leaving, and told me that I was going today, although she did not know what train.
Soon, Mali was gone to the station. Mr Baudouy cornered me outside the kitchen, and told me I was going today. I told him I was not. After one hell of an argument, in which I dragged letters & telegrams as evidence, I had them convinced, and we rang up Skiv, who was not there.
After lunch, which, as promised, was excellent, we tried again, and this time we got him, but he said that he did not have the authourity [sic] to let me stay on. While I was in there, I got Bev's radio, and discovered that there was something wrong with the tuning mechanism, and decided to have it repaired. Then Mrs Baudouy walked in, and said that Benjy was on the phone. He said that I was to go back to school, and go to London on Monday to meet Bev.
Went to have a bath, and the water was lukewarm. How horrible. Then, with Petes help, got my bag packed, and had it done by 1530 hrs, and then took some stuff along to the front, went into Mrs Baudouys study, had some tea, went into town, and had a haircut (well needed) but it took such a long time that I could not get on the same train as Peter.
When I got to school, the Bus which Pedlar had reserved still had quite a few spare seats, and so I got one for 6d.
When I got back, had quite one hell a bit of fun, and it seems that the fort has been redecorated.
After supper, went into the inside music room, arranged my music, and then went with Chivers to show him my new flute.
|Monday, 20 January 1964||KCT - Reading - Taunton - Combeinteignhead|
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Everything started off as usual this morning. After breakfast, I could not find my cap, and ended up borrowing Chaun's despite his protests. The ran for my life to the station, and, after catching the bus in town, I got to the station at 0850 hrs, and only then did I realise that the train left at 0842, not 0852. However, I got on the one hell of a slow train at 0853, and was told that it would get into London at 1228. This did not exactly satisfy me, especially as Bev would be leaving at 1230, and when, at Reading, I discovered that it would not be due into Paddington until 1235, I got off, and decided to wait until the 1230 got into Reading. This I did, and while reading in PW about how to make a switched superhet from 5 EF91's, who should come up to me but Miss Gillespie. After finding out what I was doing there, sent her love to Bev, etc.
At 1310, the 1230 came in, but, when it had started, I discovered that Bev was not on it.
To make matters worse, when the ticket inspector came along, he said that I would have to get off at Taunton and buy a new ticket. This I did, and when I got back to the platform, the train was still there. Got into a conversation with the fellow next to me about the way our family was spread all over the world.
Got into Newton Abbot [sic] at 1605, rang up Mrs Baudouy, and got the 1620 bus to Teignhead. Barry, Susan also on it, but Barry avoided me as much as possible - Doesn't talk to scum. His life must be one hell of a conflict, as Captain Dowdy agreed with me.
Bev came in on the 1752 train, and seemed in one hell of a bit of a mess. I myself, having just been helping Papa Baudouy shopping, was carrying a milk crate. She has got a new tape recorder, and also a tape from Mum and Dad.
Waited one hell of a while trying to get back into Netherton, as Van had the keys of the cars. Papa was furious.
Back at home, I heard the tape. They all thought that I probably would not hear it until the easter holidays. Ah well.
Régine was also please to see me - gave me a couple of kisses for new year, and after that Kirsten got a photo of us in her (Régines) room. Book from Schotts has come - new edition, 3/6 to pay.
Bev also brought a considerable amount of food with her. Régine tried some, and was nearly sick. I suppose Sotong is an acquired taste. Missed the train that I was supposed to catch - taxi did not turn up - rang up Skiv, who was not at all pleased, and had not approved of the idea to start with.
Somehow I can't blame him. It's really not clear what the operation was supposed to achieve. It seems that my parents were concerned about Bev travelling alone by train. But in the days before mobile phones, how were we expected to meet up in London?
|Tuesday, 21 January 1964||Combeinteignhead - Taunton|
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Woke up at about 0745 hrs this morning, with Brian dressing. Got up as soon as he was gone, had cleaned my teeth, and went down as soon as I had got dressed. In the kitchen, talking about some boring subject, Bev came in, still in her nightie, and complained about me not waking her up when I got up. I told her what to do with that.
Managed to get on to the 0900 train, and had coffee with another fellow, and got into quite an interesting conversation with the other fellow there. Then did a bit of reading, and, all too soon, Taunton reared its ugly head.
Walked all the way to school, as I could not be fagged to find the right bus, and got back to school at 1030, and saw Skiv in room 17. He wanted to see me at 1125. Then into Maths, and get got our 'O' Level marks - I got 98% on the 1st and 79% on the second. Average was 88.5%. Damn Akhavan. If he hadn't snored the night before, I would have done much better.
Skiv seemed annoyed that I went down to Newton Abbot in the first place. He seems to have got the wrong idea.
Latin, and we had to do a bit more scansion. Mansell lent me his pencil - “All part of the Jaquet service” as he would, and did, say. Nevertheless, I made one hell of a mess of it. None of his help stored in his pencil.
Maths was yet more excercises [sic] on coördinate geometry. Could be getting interesting, but at the moment it is just dead boring.
In the afternoon, had to have a game time activity check 13 in the pioneers. I turned up for a clarinet lesson after that, spent an hour there (1430-1530) and discovered that Mr White has an antique 5 keyed clarinet. He says that he will bring it next week, but 1 key is broken. Might be able to make a new one - they are quite easy, apparently.
Double Deutsch in the evening, and Tyson must have deliberately not asked me a question until right at the end, when I told him that I hadn't learnt any Deutsch because I had been playing the flute all the time.
This was, of course, my first German lesson after I returned from Germany.
2nd period was more about subjunctives. I seem to be the only fellow left in Va learning Russian, and made enough of a mess of it.
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