b Greg's diary--January 1970
Greg
Greg's diary
January 1970
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This diary was entered manually from the paper original betwee 26 December 2016 and 5 January 2017.


Thursday, 1 January 1970 Worcester → Malvern → Worcester
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Then, for some unknown reason, up to the top of the tower to freeze in the first wind of the new decade, and there started chatting up, far too late, a bird had been earlier been conspicuous by her lack of bra and now by her exposed legs (which she claimed to be quite comfortable. Chacun à son goût, as the might say; if I can do it with my feet, why not she with her legs?). She is the sister of a teacher here, which is interesting.

I recall her telling me about her swimming (in the nude?) in Iceland, which I thought far too cold until she pointed out that it was in the summer.

Then back home, feeling more than a little frustrated, and ridiculously early to bed.

Chris came in at a time somewhat in contrast to that at which I yesterday rose, to tell me that, were I not in the immediate future upstanding, I would stand quite a passable chance of missing lunch. Accordingly downstairs, sated as I was, and had lunch, at which Mrs. Jones was absent, and it was suggested that I verify the extraordinary abilities of the Citroën A type by taking the remainder of the family to Great Malvern for purposes at that time unspecified.This was preceded by a good deal of messing around, but eventually off, and scared the Hell out of Chris' mother round the first worthwhile bend. Off then at some considerable rate to Malvern.then up to a hill known, curiously, as British Camp - something to do with the Romans, so I am told it was,

The Roman connection seems to be tenuous at best.

and Chris saw fit to throw snowballs, which ended up with him rolling involuntarily in the same. Back down again after a while and into Malvern, where I bought some magazines, and then examining with Nick what I thought to be an ID, 1965, which proved to be a DW when we met the owner, who told Nick further legends of the Goddess - still, it is not he who is in need of conviction, but his father.

I think the DW must have been a short-lived model name for a DS with manual transmission.

Me Mr. Jones a while later, and off back to Worcester, where we had tea, then hung round laying the flûte and listening to music and TV - Mr. Jones listened to the flûte and promptly gave it to me, declaring it to be of more use to me than to him. Very generous of him. Then, after makan, out for a couple of drinks, and then back again, and without much further ado to bed.


Friday, 2 January 1970 Worcester.
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Chris admittedly brought me at least partially to my senses at about 0915, but I did not further wake until at least 1030, and then down to further play the flûte, at which I was soon joined by Chris. Did a bit of diary-writing - of late I am really slipping. Or is it just that my habits are changing? I don't think that, by reading in this book other than a direct reference, one could tell anything about my writing habits. And I am still keeping it up as of old. But what will the new decade bring? Already, reading as I am Sue's “2001”, it seems one hell of a lot closer - no further away than the incredibly recent beginning of the 1st world war. Will life really be so different in 30 years? I hope so.

I seem to have confused my world wars. Thirty years earlier the Second World War had just begun.

After that, in to be offered some corn flakes, and later back to play some music - Nick is doing his best (and not badly, at that) to play something on a matching piccolo he produced yesterday.

I had completely forgotten this detail. Was this a Siccama piccolo? If so, it must be very rare. In late 2016 I can't find any reference to such an instrument.

He has been intending to learn a musical instrument for some time, and now it looks as if, instead of the guitar, he may choose the flûte. Now I feel rather guilty about accepting the flûte - still, it would not be of much use to him; it is much more difficult to play than the Boehm system.

In the afternoon, after a lunch at which I confused the issue still more by producing my oboe, went into town and had a look round the music shops to see what I could find in the way of a recorder for Chris or a flûte for Nick - not much in either case. They had a couple of Schott trebles in, but I am not very fond of them.

Bought some beer, then back home and set down to do some academic work, and was greatly infuriated to find that I had missed a lecture in mid-October and never caught up on the notes; no wonder I have always been a bit hazy about Reynolds numbers, etc. Must see Sue in the near future (i.e. tomorrow) and rectify that - as well as other possible discrepancies. Then had tea, and more music and TV watching. I seem to have been here no time at all, but already it is 3 days. Spent the evening catching up on Transport Phenomena, which I had rather hoped to have finished, but did not quite manage.


Saturday, 3 January 1970 Worcester → Camberley → Southampton
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Somebody of the Jones family in this morning, far too late; about 0920, and suggested, which was not a bad idea, that I get up, which I did, and downstairs, and was pounced on by Mrs. Jones and was thoroughly breakfasted, in between the time I was trying to get all my belongings together. Eventually, lingering (and therefore collecting more barang) over a final cup of coffee, left, and out of Worcester on the wrong road. Back through again, and carried on without any further hitch to Camberley, apart from loss of gear knob; this thing is gradually falling to pieces, and I am wondering if it is worth my while to carry on with it, or whether I should chip off the plastic padding and put the old black knob - it would be better than a Citroën emblem pointing the wrong way. Or shall I get a new knob again? In any case, I think that the idea of writing out routes the night before is a good one; at any rate it saves the trouble of map-reading at the wheel.

Ah, the fun in the days before GPS navigation.

Then arrived in Camberley, at 1250, and decided, rather than interrupt lunch and have my visit misunderstood, I would finish off my “2001” to be able to give it back to Sue - the book is very good indeed. Then to the Haile's, where I was tolerably well met by Sue, and got the added bonus of Mr. Haile's opinions about Reynolds numbers, including an inherent lack of punctuation which comes with time frame. Still, Sue did not appear as delighted at my appearance as at my last visit - her cousin Alan was there, but I also suspect she has been picked up by someone else during the vac.

Or, just as likely, she no longer had the same expectations as last time.

Oh, what the hell. I don't really know whether I could stand her for long, anyway - but I would still try if/when the opportunity presents itself.

Stayed to tea - certainly Sue's parents seem to treat me as a fixture, not even asking me if I wanted to stay

Is that compatible?

- and then off to Southampton, being seen off by Sue (what did that mean?), and finally caught the Mc.Gibbons at home, though only just; they were just setting out for town. Jim was staying at home, though, and so I stayed with him, though later out for a boozeup, and ended up at a skinhead joint called Adam and Eve, where I picked up an Irish bird called Chris, but unfortunately her mate was not taken with Jim, and so they hopped it, and then we went home, almost immediately to get a phone call from Jim's parents, whose car had broken down at the Bar Gate, so off to pick them up, then later called the AA, and off to pick the car up later on - makes the 3rd Zodiac I have driven - and I still don't like it. Back home, and late to bed.


Sunday, 4 January 1970 Southampton Images for 4 January 1970
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Up later than usual this morning, round about 1030, and down long before Jim to find the elder McGibbons cooking some makan, and hung about, unable to help to any great degree, and instead did nothing.

Had breakfast, which was hardly the most violently active occupation I have engaged in of recent days, and then Jim suggested that we go out for a drive, as he wanted to drive the car - this, however, was not to be, at any rate, not so soon, not because of my ill-will, but because I tried to stick the gearknob back on again, and as I had suspected, though it was not mentioned in the instructions, plastic padding is in fact very sensitive to changes in temperature, and was not very happy about hardening. After hanging angrily about for about an hour, put a hair dryer on to it, and then watched some film (ciné) that the McGibbons took a while back, and in the middle of which the camera fell apart.

Then, finally, the gear knob was firmly held in place, and so off we went in the direction of Romsey, suffering en route from a disconnected rear trafficator [traffic indicator, not the old-fashioned trafficator]. Then off in the direction of Salisbury, along a few minor roads, and eventually tried to pick up a couple of birds who had appeared rather friendly, unfortunately without effect. Through a forest on what proved to be (when we got through it) private land, though possibly where the way we came was considered unmotorable. Back to Greenacres, where we quickly vegetated again, and Jim made a further suggestion that we go out tonight, which, after makan and a bit of TV, we did. There was, however, nothing much happening, and I wanted to watch “Hot enough for June” on TV, but even when we got back, they were watching something else. Played the oboe for a while, and then off to do a bit of packing and tried in vain to get an early night.


Monday, 5 January 1970 Southampton → West Coker → Exeter Images for 5 January 1970
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Some form of noise was sufficient to wake me this morning round 0740, and I suspect it was originated by Mr. McGibbon. Woke Jim up, and downstairs to a buffet breakfast, and then outside into the -2°, and set off for the West Country along the A27 to Salisbury, where I got thoroughly and angrily lost up some little Engpaß [probably Sackgasse, i.e. dead end] before heading off to Wilton and onto the A30 - which I have never before driven (didn't Sonny do it last time? Otherwise I must have, but I can't remember it.) In any case, it is not a very good road - I would much rather have the A303. After Shaftesbury it got decidedly icy, and I was just worrying about same when I saw somebody thumbing - proved to be a teacher heading back home to Barnstaple, who had written his car off on an icy stretch a bit further up - fortunately the thing was only worth about £30. On through Yeovil, where I had the odd impression of having seen it before, and then realised I had. To West Coker, where I found “Little Moor” [name of the house] without any trouble, and wen in just as Mr. Gildersleeves was going out (what a name!). Corinne was having a bath, and after I had been screened and subsequently passed by Josephine, sat in [?] and spoke to same until Corinne appeared, looking, with her wet hair, much closer to her 15 years odd than she normally does. In the middle of all this, Mrs. Gildersleeves asked me if I wanted to stay for lunch, so I thought I might as well accept, and in the meantime had a long chat with Corinne, who is going back to school tomorrow. Then in came “Tuts” (Mrs.) again and started questioning me on where I had lived in KL, and, after a lot of talking, it eventuated that their last home had been 1519 Syers Road, of all the crazy coincidences - and it is just possible that they were still there moved in to 1518; I shall have to check this at a later date.

We lived in 1518 Syers Road from about late February 1959 until some time in late 1963/early 1964. My last time there was in July-September 1963. My father had moved in some time earlier, but presumably still in 1959. Since I didn't write down when the Gildersleeves lived there, there's not much I can do now (December 2016) to correlate the times.

If all this seems too much of a coincidence, it's nothing compared to the coincidence we discovered in January 2012, where visitors in Australia had lived close to us in Germany, not only in one place, but in three different places.

Then lunch began, and further reminiscences showed that they had lived in Noël Fernandez's old house in Parry Road,

This was an old wooden house opposite what by this time (1970) had become the Weld Supermarket. Noël had been a schoolfriend from 1959 to 1961.

and what seemed to be Gurdip Singh's house, though they said it had been pulled down. Had a look at some photos later - there is no doubt whatsoever that it is the same house as Gurdip's, even if no longer near 7 dials.

A photo of that house was not necessarily definitive. Many designs had been replicated many times, including the two houses mentioned in Syers Road. Seven dials was a road junction in the Lake Gardens, removed to make way for a dual carriageway to the Houses of Parliament.

They are, however, considering the 25 years they spent in KL, remarkably prejudiced against coloured people; it is a good thing that their like are not about nowadays (though I suppose a few must be in Sarawak). Then washed up, and just as the Gildersleeves were going out, the phone rang - long distance from Singapore. They got exactly their 3 minutes, and that was that.

In those days all international calls were operator-connected for a minimum of three minutes, with one minute extensions. The charges were astronomical.

Suddenly Corinne became more affectionate than previously - this relationship is getting odder and odder; she admitted that Clarissa was trying to persuade her to have an affair with me, which fits in with my observations last time I saw her. Still, no point in hurrying it; say what she may, she does not want a platonic affair per se, but at the moment, it is going some good and no harm. Eventually off, just as the Gildersleeves were rolling up (I wonder what they made of that), and then to Exeter, where I bought some stuff at Halford's, and then found my self a bed and breakfast place on the other side of Dunsford Hill, and then back into town for makan. After that to a couple of flicks, “Hell is empty” (why was it called that?) and “Carry on again Doctor”, neither outstanding works of art. Then back home and early to bed.


Tuesday, 6 January 1970 Exeter → Chudleigh → Chagford → Exter
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Up round about 0800, as I had requested last night, and down to an extremely cold dining room for a none-too-good breakfast - as I have always maintained, the more people make a business of this, the less pleasant it all becomes. Or maybe the two are intrinsically tied together. In any case, after that out into the -5° to scrape the ice off my car and set off into town, where things were slippery in the extreme, and I had a bit of difficulty climbing up to the Uni past the tech. Stocker road was also apparently impassable, and so up directly to the Applied Science building, where, rather to my disappointment, I found the library shut. Saw Angela in an Anglia (sorry, but she was) on the way out, and this represents about the only person I know in Exeter whom I have seen recently. Then to the main library, but got the impression that this was shout, so into town to the public library, which was also not yet open, so round town for a while, noting that of late my money has been coming in on Tuesdays. Finally to the library and did my diary, then copied out the remainder of my Transport phenomena notes, and did a bit of revision of same, though it all came a lot harder than I had hoped. Then into town again, to Halford's to buy some stuff, and availed myself of some lunch at a fish and chip shop behind Dunn's motors, and then thought I could not take any more study at the library, and so off down to Chudleigh to get some notes from Dave Snell, who seemed delighted to see me - what a ramshackle old house they have! - and spent considerable periods of time talking about his computer, as he apparently once did to Sue - I don't know what to make of this fellow.

Dave was trying to build a PDP-8 clone, and claimed that he had done so. His “machine” only had 4 words of memory, only just enough to test the function of the JMS (jump to subroutine) instruction, which stores the PC in the specified location and then executes the following instruction.

Then decided I could afford to go to Chagford for some tea, and off thither, but unfortunately the old Forge was shut, which is a great nuisance - and when it is open, the place is crowded out.

I'm left with the impression from this diary that it was shut more often than it was open.

Back to Exeter, where it was somewhat late for going back to the library, and up to my room, where I quickly flaked out and did not wake until 2300hrs, when I started reading “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Heinlein, quite interesting.


Wednesday, 7 January 1970 Exeter
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And into such a dreary spell! I had rather hoped, when I came down here, that I would be capable of the best part of a week's solid effort, but such seems unfortunately not to be the case, as the past couple of days have shown all too clearly.

After breakfast, along to the Uni library, which I had decided, after a bit of further thought, must indeed be open, and so it was, and I set down there and wrote my diary, and then though about doing a lot of Transport Phenomena, but something basic seemed to be missing - maybe I am going at the whole thing in the wrong way. In any case, I did not achieve much - jotted down a whole lot of formulae which I thought might be of some use. Possibly it would be more logical to do something like go over all my old TP problems - but that would take time. And would it help?

Finally, the morning was gone, and I went into town to look for some fish and chips, and then to look for some meths to put in my windscreen washer (temperature was an unbelievable -10° this morning; this really looks like being one of the coldest winters on record), and to the city swimming baths, where I discovered I could not swim until Monday, as, for some reason, which looked like renovation, they had closed down for Christmas. Down to the Huntsman for a drink, then back to the Uni, and did a bit more revision, but eventually could take no more, and back home to continue “Stranger in a Strange Land”, which continues equally good. One of the better books Dave has in his posession.

That kept me going most of the evening, and I did not feel too good anyway - had developed that rarest [?] of afflictions, a sore throat, and had a horrible feeling I might be coming down with 'flu, and so searched my medicine kit for something to help, but of course there were only anti-malaria tablets and snake-bit ointment and so on. To town for some makan (I really must vary my diet), and then to the Huntsman again before returning home and getting an early night - the fact I am sleeping so long, and thus wasting my time, is also bothering me.


Thursday, 8 January 1970 Exeter → Tavistock → Exeter
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This morning I most emphatically did nothing to alleviate these worries; admittedly I felt pretty crook, and the last thing I wanted to do was to go down with 'flu in a big way, but whichever way I look at it, if I stay in bed all morning, the result just must be that I do not get any work done. Oh, dammit, I'm not getting any work done whether or not I stay in bed. If only we didn't have these bloody mid-sessionals [exams] at such a ridiculous time of the term, or if we could only be allowed to say in Hall during the vacation. But this way is useless.

Got up shortly before 1200, and went into town to see what I could do about my throat, and ended up at Boot's buying some Strepsils. Did a few other indeterminate things as well, and then started thinking about a few minor maintenance jobs I had to do; for instance the felt lining on my bonnet, which has gradually been detatching itself, and also I felt inclined to wire up the radio so that it did not need the ignition on. Did that - I did never realised until now, at any rate not so forcibly, just how cold Evo-Stik can get.

That took me some while, and in the meantime on with “Stranger in a Strange Land”, while trying to remove the Evo-Stik from my fingers. Then decided I could not take much more of this, and so set off for Tavistock across the moor. Weather started off as a light drizzle, but by the time I got into the heart of the moor it was snow and fog, none too comforting. To the Normans, who have neither had their heating fixed,

That's not what I wrote the previous time I was there.

nor (strangely enough) heard from Bev. We are both apparently thinking along the same lines - that Bev has found a new boyfriend in Aussie, and that this is why she is staying there, despite the fact that Sonny is in KL. If this is the case, I hope to hell Sonny doesn't do anything bloody silly.

Stayed at the Normans for a few hours, watching TV - strangely enough, I really miss Sarah (or is it that strange?). Back round 2000, after fish and chips at the same old place, and in Exeter did nothing; I feel completely demoralised.


Friday, 9 January 1970 Exeter
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Oh, God, this is futile! I am achieving nothing, and the horrible thing about it all is that I know damn well I am going to make a mess of the mid-sessionals. The only thing that prevents me from ringing up the Samaritans is the thought that the rest of the course are going to, as well.

In the morning, brokefast late (dammit, I know it's not correct, but it ought to be (what German word does that correspond to?), and I prefer it), and then to the Uni library once again and did my best (which was not really all that bad) to get stuck into the maths, and then spent the morning sniffling away. I am beginning to wonder if I had a cold in the past couple of days; it would explain a lot of things, but I don't really feel miserable enough.

Round 1200, got fed up and went for a walk up to the Applied Science Building, to find out the times of our exams. There are only 4 papers! Admittedly, they are 3 hours each, but it does mean we get a bit of spare time between them to quickly brush up on the next lot. Back to the library - Norm is back; I wonder where he is staying. Another thing I really must do is get some worthwhile accommodation arranged; I don't want a repeat of this fiasco, nor of the eternal packing and unpacking which has been a dominant feature of the last 8 years of my life. Oh, to be able to settle down! Ulysses had nothing on me (shall I publish this diary under the title “Greg's Odyssey”?) (Dammit, why did the Greeks have to be bolshy, and not spell it the way the Romans did?). Back to work for a while, but I seem to find it impossible to work in the afternoon - had lunch in the refectory, and then on further, but eventually gave it up and went back home again, with little concrete to do, though I did go nearly to Crediton and back, through yet another maze of minor roads in that area (dammit, why is this pen becoming suddenly inclination-dependent?). Then read at length “Stranger in a Strange Land”, and in the course of the evening finished it; very good indeed. Must recommend it further.


Saturday, 10 January 1970 Exeter → Crewekerne → Exeter
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I am gradually getting more and more fed up. and now it is all being tinged with despair that I will ever do any work for these exams, and thus a conviction that I will fail. Up too late for breakfast - this is another thing that frantically annoys me - and then into town, aimlessly, wondering if it all be worthwhile; I am certainly having my doubts. My main worries are that I shall be kicked out, though Sue tells me that this is not possible on the results of these exams; just an almighty blowing up from Prof. Lacey, and that I might do noticeably worse than the others, which my heart of hearts tells me is unlikely; still, I must do something or I am going to make a hash of it all. In town, bought some socks; my others are dirty, and I need more pairs anyway, so this is the best compromise. Then to the library, where I could not bring myself to work, so just read a few magazines; saw a 2CV advertised for £145 in Crewekerne in E&M, and thought that might be of interest to Wolfgang, as I am pretty certain he is going to return without a car, and this would be well within the price we wanted to pay - as a result, and also because I needed the change, sett of for Crewkerne. The weather lately has been abominable, and I am suffering from violent leakage by the aerial; this is doubtless what comes of using a type of aerial which is not designed to be waterproof; still, I expect a rubber washer should do the trick. Got to Crewkerne though quite a bit of fog - why is it that A30 and A35 owners have such a horror of using their headlights? (even Dave Rozalla, who should know better, suffers from it). Is it something to do with the minute dimensions of the sidelights, or tis the dynamo on the thing weak, or is it something less tangible?

In the UK, at least at the time, there was no legal requirement for headlights as long as some other source of light was available, such as dim daylight or street lights. In fog, it was downright dangerous.

Got to Crewekerne without hitting any, anyway, and found the address, where I had been assured that the place in the address was uninhabited, and that there was certainly no 2CV about in Crewekerne. Makes one wonder. Still, maybe the fellow wanted postal communications. Returned, somewhat cheesed off, to Exeter, eating on the way, and to a magazine shop in Queen St., where I bought a couple of copies of “Pilot and light aeroplane” - I might get myself interested in this lark, though it looks frantically expensive. I wonder if Dad would consider it worth subsidising. To the library for some diary writing, then back home to read the mags - flying could be an interesting occupation, but I am worried about the expense.

Did little in the evening - off later for fish and chips, and a pint at the Huntsman, and then back home and washed my hair, and read further.


Sunday, 11 January 1970 Exeter
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Up again late today - I rather suspect that they have given up knocking on my door as a bad job. Today I finally got up at about 1100, and as I recollected my wits, it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile going down to Teignmouth, where they were expecting a minor tidal wave this morning; went down by the Dawlish road (A379, I think), and by the time I got there it was all over apart from a few signs for diversions, and sand bags covered with pebbles from the seashore - was rewarded fro my efforts, however, by the sight of a Mini deciding to plough through a warning sign and oil lamp, which, though it was right in front of him, he claimed not to have seen. Drove round, then back up to Haldon forest, where I drove around a few unmade tracks in the pouring rain, and, as the soil there was mostly gravel, ended up with a much cleaner car than I started - that's one thing to be said for really heavy rain. Then back to Exeter and into town, where I ate at Lyon's, though the place somewhat depresses me; then back to the B² and sat in the car listening to the radio for a while, before I decided, on examination of the OS map, to go and find a way from Crossmead to Alphington, which I did, and ended up, as all too often, in the middle of a river (well, it's one way to wash the car) trying to get across a ford which suddenly became too deep - maybe it would be more easily negotiable when there has not been so much rain about. Then home, and shortly later off again to see “Mission Batangas” and “The smashing bird I used to know”, though who “I” was remained a mystery - about remand homes, and a girl who, through circumstances, gets herself deeper and deeper into the soup. Eventually she decides to make a clean break - and she and her boyfriend are immediately killed in a car accident.

To the Ganges, a restaurant which till now has evaded me, which is a great pity, because it is certainly the best of the 3 in town, and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had there (being as it was such a change from fish and chips!). But I must get more regular on curries - I know from what afflictions I shall suffer tomorrow!

Is this a forecast based on hindsight?

Home, and fairly early to bed, after reading more aviation magazines, but could not get to sleep.


Monday, 12 January 1970 Exeter
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And so the vacation comes to an end - and to be hones, I have seldom been happier about the fact; I have had this week in large lumps (there's a statement which Trifari might appreciate). Up early and into town to Leslie Falford's to see about a house to let in Topsham, and they suggested I went to see the place this afternoon at 1400, so then off to the Uni to see what the lodgings office had to offer, and saw a couple of cottages out in Bow for a ridiculously low rent, and so would have rung up if I had any money. Then back to the house, as I had left my briefcase behind, and rang up from Crossmead, and the fellow suggested I went there this afternoon and had a look at it. Then for a while to the library, and left at 1200, bumping into little Will on the way, and went to the swimming baths, where I intend to, as far as possible, get 15 minutes swimming in every lunch time - should keep me fit. It had quite the opposite effect today, though; I must have swum the best part of a mile, and so was dead by the time I got out. To the refectory for lunch, then to Topsham to have a look at the house - just passable for £6 [per week] - and later to Crediton and Bow to look for that one, and after a bit of waiting had a look at that - unfurnished, but very good indeed for £3, and so I decided I might as well take it. back into town and looking round for some furniture - very expensive; I hope the auctions are cheaper.

Did little in the evening - after all, what is there to do? - and early to bed.


Tuesday, 13 January 1970 Exeter
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Up early again, paid my bill and went up to Crossmead, where I was told I could not have my key until 1200, so down, where I hoped to get in anyway, but found Dave Snell looking desolate outside his room, so decided that was out and went to the Uni, where we examined the PDP-12 computer, which, contrary to expectations, has arrived, and looks much more interesting than the PDP-8, though, we are told, it is completely different in much of its hardware. Includes a scope readout of the program, which could be useful. Up to see Mike Patrick, who wished us luck with our exams, and suggested we got stuck into it. To the library, where we worked for a while, then back to Crossmead, where I found all my mail - quite a lot of it, including stuff from MDC. Also a letter, dated September, from Pauline, with “First Class Male” in top left hand corner, which flattered me more than anything has done in a long while.

The big difference with the PDP-12 was the dual instruction set, either PDP-8 or LINC. I only ever used the PDP-8 instruction set.

Then got my key, and Tilly accused me of laying a trap in the trunk store - apparently the cleaning lady went in and was attacked by a whole lot of things, but none of it was mine. To my room, which was upside down, and later to the refectory for lunch. Back, and was joined for coffee by Martin the poet, in the middle of which return Chris with his parents. Helped them unpack, and then off with Chris to show him the cottage (Comp cottage) in Bow, and then back via another route, while I got hoarser and hoarser, so down for some throat mixture, and then up again. Did comparatively little in the evening - Chris has bought himself a recorder, and so I joined in teaching him. Later tried to do a bit of revision, but did not get very far. The only thing I can do now is what Chris would doubtless recommend, to pray.

Chris was studying theology.

Wednesday, 14 January 1970 Exeter
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Oh, my God, what thoughts race through my mind on a morning such as this! There must be nothing worse (in this general direction, at any rate) than going to an exam knowing damn well you haven't prepared sufficiently for it.

Certainly it's the stuff bad dreams are made of. I still (late 2016) have such dreams from time to time.

So it was for maths this morning - not that anybody else (with the claimed, and surprising, exception of Andy Holman) who was in any better position. In to the Great Hall, sympathising with Sue, who did not seem in a very different position to me - surprising how often we tend to act in the same way (give it up, ga∫₀²ⁿdθ!) - and saw a paper which was much easier than I had hoped, and I even managed to get through the best part of 5 questions, even if I did not finish all of them. That took a goodly chunk out of the morning, and then I got out quick - not before getting a quick grin from Marion, which completely destroyed my straight face - and went back to Crossmead. The intention, well meant, was to revise for physical chemistry, but something went wrong, and so I ended up studying in detail the instructions for the “Watch Dog” alarm, which is more than slightly annoying me - and this in turn made it impossible to turn back to my chemistry revision, and I hung about playing musical instruments until lunch time. After that in - alone - to the Uni to do the chemistry exam, this time in the Exam Hall, and it was extremely nasty. Made a fairly average hash of that - there is no doubt, in my mind at any rate, that my attitude to the sciences is changing of late. There was a time when I found chemistry the most absorbing of all science, but of late it is getting somewhat boring. Maybe the thrill of the chemistry set I got for Christmas 12 years ago is finally wearing off.

Left that fairly early, and back to Crossmead to find Chris, and tried a bit of recorder playing - he is improving at a hell of a rate, and if this continues (and, as he is already an experienced musician, there is no reason why it should not) we will be able to play some quite good stuff in the near future.

After makan, carried on or a while, and then down to the Huntsman to break term in, and I parked in the ford, somewhat to Chris' discomfiture. Tried to go along the ford after we left, but the recent rains had swollen the stream more than somewhat, and I ended up with an internally wet engine, and to make matters worse, the car got stuck in a pothole, with the foglights almost completely immersed, and we had to call the AA to tow us out - and up to Crossmead, as I could not get it started. Then had some coffee and went to bed.


Thursday, 15 January 1970 Exeter
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Up fairly early this morning, with a view to getting the car started, but things did not go to well - went through a systematic check of ignition, carburation, etc., and found, somewhat to my surprise, that one of the ignition leads was leaking, and another [spark] plug had completely given up the ghost, though retaining all outward signs of correct function. Dug about and found an old Marchal plug which must have been what came with the car, and it is not the same as the Champion L87Y. In any case, the car still did not start after everything pointed to the fact that it should, and so I rang Dunns up and got them to send somebody round. Then got down to a bit of statistics revision, and out again when the bloke came. With a bit more fiddling around, managed to get the car started, and off to blow a bit of the rubbish out of the engine. The brakes were still, this morning, wet, and felt disinclined to engage, but after a while, the battery (which was quite flat) started to charge again, and all went well, so off to the Uni for a meeting of the Chem. Eng. Soc. Committee, which meant Dave Kernick, Peter Muir and me, and we decided nothing about Rag, and to have a boozeup with the staff on the last Thursday of each month, which might be a good idea. Then had makan and headed off back to Crossmead to catch up on my revision, and then off again for Chemical Engineering M I - it is suddenly coming home forcibly to me what I am doing here, as on the front of each exam book I write “B Sc Chemical Engineering”. Roll on the day when i write it always after my name!

The paper I liked - I was not too well supported by the others, but certainly my worries of last term about statistics seem somewhat unfounded, and I did, by my estimate at any rate, not badly. Out once again early, and along to Dunn's to do something about my throttle cable, which had jammed up as I got into Stocker Road - and nearly caused me to run into a mustard Ami 8 as a result. There they replaced the inner cable with a D type one, and I changed my plugs. Off back to Crossmead, on the way developing a severe misfire which seemed to represent only 1 cylinder - had a look, and heard a thumping noise from one cylinder, which worried me more than slightly. Back to Crossmead, and found that the compression in that cylinder was 125 pi⁻², as opposed to 150 for the other, which more than slightly worried me. Spent the evening violently worrying about the nasty tricks the car was getting up to on its 1¼th anniversary, and did not do much work.


Friday, 16 January 1970 Exeter
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Up early, woken by Dave, and spluttered down to Dunn's in the car, which, somewhat to my surprise, made it, and there told them that I thought Colin [head mechanic] had dropped something into the carb. Colin looked amused, and suggested we examine the device, and started fiddling around with the good cylinder. Told him as much, and he suggested that I ought to reconsider seeing as though the engine only ran when the bad one was connected up. Eventually traced the problem to a plug lead touching the exhaust manifold, and so insulted [sic] it up and ordered a new one, and off, rather gratified, to the Chem Eng M II paper, where Andy commented that he had not previously noticed that I had grown a moustache, much to general amusement.

In fact, I had had the moustache for a long time, but over the vacation I had shaved off my beard, something that I didn't mention at the time. Probably Matin Tatari was the instigator.

The paper was again not as bad as I had feared - am I becoming a pessimist? - and I was able to leave after 2½ hours, though not before Marion, whose paper Mike made a great show of of examining. Then, deciding against eating at the Uni, went back to Crossmead and had lunch there, spending the time up to lunch messing around changing oil, etc.

After lunch, inspected for Chris, but did not find him immediately. After a while he turned up, and off into town to buy some coffee, tobacco, and other essentials, and bumped into Mike Haddon, who had missed this morning's exam, much to Mike Patrick's apparent amusement. Saw Don belting round into Bedford St. slightly later, and then back to Crossmead to do a bit of messing around with the car, putting fire extinguishers and other essentials in, and was in the process visited by Graham Livesey, who was looking for a rear wing, and also told that the black 11CV I saw the other day may soon be up for sale - worn big ends. Chris expressed interest, then again into town to have my eyes tested, and the bloke suggested, after much examination, that my present glasses were perfectly suitable.

Then back, and did little, apart from a bit more on the car, until after makan, when I decided to go to the coming up ball this evening. Did so, spent my time with an Isobel (new, French/Hope [studied French, lived in Hope Hall], quite nice, but did not really arrange anything definite about the future - I think I shall have to do something about Sue. Back home very late.


Saturday, 17 January 1970 Exeter → Minehead → Exeter
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Did not wake for breakfast, not that, after the time I got to bed last night, I had really hoped to, but was woken by Chris round 0930, who asked if I wanted any coffee. Decided that might not be at all a bad idea, and so gradually got up and cleared out my throat (which has been making a nuisance of itself of late). Then Chris brought in coffee, very noble of him, and I got dressed, thinking of what I should do about the car - there were several points to which I wanted to attend, and so accordingly went out and started to grease the thing, which involved a fiasco in the trunk room looking for my grease gun. That was easy enough once I got to it, and while I was at it, I also replaced my foglights, and then turned my attention, while Chris had been relaying the carper, to filling the Flexilight, in which I was interrupted by lunch.

After lunch, continued my drilling - this plastic panel drills very nicely. Maybe I should put my radio there. Then checked operations, and in the process discovered that one of my sidelights was inoperative, and so down town to buy a couple more, and when I fitted the one to the Flexilight, the switch gave up, as I found after much cursing and unscrewing, and so had a bit more fiddling with the wiring behind the dash, and managed to fix something up. Then put things back together and set off in the direction of Tiverton and Exmoor. After Tiverton, went through Dulverton, East Anstey and Kestrels, where the was some activity, though it did not seem to have much to do with RS,

Kestrels, in East Anstey, was a prep school that I went to from September 1961 to June 1962. RS was Richard Stapleton, the headmaster.

and so off again through a good deal of fog, which did not lift until we were on the Dunster and Minehead road. Then heard of some wassailing (if that is the way it is spelt) going on in Carhampton, over the radio, and so thither to see if anything was going on, but it was not, so in to Minehead and had something to eat at the Wimpy Bar, then back via Wiveliscombe, Milverton and Wellington to Exeter, where we filled ourselves up on fish and chips and returned to Crossmead. The evening was not wasted, but we did little, at any rate until Chris went to bed and I decided to do a bit of reading and (diary) writing. Carried on reading until the small hours of the morning, finished “What became of Gunner Asch” (passable) and then started thinking about tuning up a 2CV, which kept me going until 0500.


Sunday, 18 January 1970 Exeter
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Woke, as so often before, at 1230, and was just getting up and dressed with enter a besuited Chris, and he quickly out again. Made it to makan just after grace, and was asked for some socket spanners by a bloke, but also spoke to Ross, who has got himself a Morris Minor, about his car, and offered to look for him into his complaints of clutch judder. Accordingly out for a quick drive while Chris made coffee, and decided that it probably was either clutch judder or engine mounting weakness. Back for coffee, which was getting cold, and spoke with Chris about the Old Grey Mare which Graham says is for sale, and round the halls to look for it. This was fairly fruitless, and so back again, via Dunn's, so that I could show him a DS - only there wasn't one there. Spoke a while about things of little importance, played recorder as usual, and then, later, thought of looking for the 11CL8 around Exwick Hill, where one had been, and was again fruitless. Back to Crossmead and spent a great deal of time trying to unpack some things, notably my [car] test reports, and ID workshop manual - if the big ends are going on this thing, as I have been told they are, I should like to know what one has to do. Spoke to Graham on the subject, and he is of the opinion that one can do most work on the engine without removing in it, so that should be OK. Then back down again to consider the matter in more detail.

Indeed, that's one of the interesting advantages of the old-style fold-up bonnets.

Was presently visited by a bloke whose name I should know, but don't, who wanted his tape recorder looked at, and so had a lot of fun fiddling round with that, trying to trace some hum, and got rid of one source (something to do with the smoothing circuits) and then tried another with little success. Gave it up, sent him out, and spent the rest of the evening intending to work, and did little apart from more music. Fairly early to bed.


Monday, 19 January 1970 Exeter
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And so to the none-too-pleasant prospect of returning to lectures, which I suppose had to be faced some time, and so now happens to be the time. Up round the 0800 mark, and up, to make a good start, for a pretty average Chef breakfast, and then off to face the glorious prospect of having to listen to an hour of Dr. Long, who, as usual, entered 5 minutes late, told us of the enormous range of marks in the inorganic chemistry, and then went on to grind once again into the ground the atomic theory. Then to maths, attended by only half the class - I have of late, with little success, been hoping to get a chance to chat Sue up, and to this she did not even come.

To physical chemistry, enter Zombie with a rather atypical statement to the effect that he had yet to recover from the Christmas vac., and that we should excuse him.

Then to the swimming baths, where I managed my 20 lengths with much less exhaustion than last week, and after that to Crossmead for lunch.

Investigating fluid flow and drag coefficients in the afternoon, and then had a look at Mike and Sue trying to operate the PDP-12, and annoyed Mike greatly because (apparently) I was confusing him. Then located the 11CL8, and left a note to the effect that, if he wanted to sell it, I was interested. Inspected the thing, then off to the White Horse to see if the wings on their job were in any better condition. They were not, but they had a DS19 there, which I examined for spares - but the thing is complete, and they say the engine may be siezed, and in any case it wants new liners, is otherwise intact. Sounds very interesting. They want £25 for it, and of course, I fell in love with it immediately - I have always wanted a déesse, and this seems almost too good to miss. Back to find Chris and took him down to show it to him, and he was not quite as enthusiastic. Back again, and played, music, etc., until supper, after which we once again contrived to do nothing at length, though I got in a bit of sleep, and then made up for it by staying awake, thinking about the déesse, until 0330.


Tuesday, 20 January 1970 Exeter
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Up, by some superhuman effort, more or less in time for breakfast, though. as I ended up talking to Alistair until 0935, and then off to the Uni, considering it about time - took Alistair with me, and it was rather amusing to watch his reactions to the way the thing rolled, especially as he did not like to look scared.

First of our new Process Principles classes with Ron Schoen (I suppose that's how he spells it) this morning - he seems to be an interesting fellow, and I think I might well end up enjoying these classes - especially as they will involve a lot of use of the PDP-12.

Had a break - that's another thing I like about this place - at the end of the hour, and then back to a “problems class”, in this case in fact a class telling us how to approach the problems we get - I suppose this is the most “engineering” of all the classes - even transport phenomena tends to be more pure physics, but here we are really getting down to brass tacks (or whatever else it might be that we are making).

Then to Phys. Chem, and another new lecturer who seems more human than the last lot, or maybe it is just that he has been told to take it at half tempo, and so is emerging a lot [?].

I wonder why I didn't go into the fact that “Zombie” didn't seem to have made it.

Back to Crossmead for lunch, after which, as it was a nice day, I decided to go to the White Horse and behead the déesse, which I hope she took not much amiss, and found a multi-blown cylinder head gasket, which was the cause of the seizure - the liners were OK. Then was about to leave when I saw, of all people, Will Perryman from KCT, whom I invited back to Crossmead, and he stayed the whole afternoon. He has a frogeye Sprite, and got talking to Mike Halliwell, and then came up later for makan, where he got talking to Dave Großcurth; Dave Whitmarsh was also on the table, and so the place was crawling with OAs.

After makan, had a hall meeting, at which I once again brought up the subject of soft bog paper. Norm was pissed out of his mind, and returning from one of his consequent trips to the bog, brought me a roll of said soft bog paper, very considerate of him.

I don't recall the incident, but in England at the time they were very fond of hard, glazed toilet paper, which seems completely counterproductive. I have never understood why.

Later did little - studying déesse workshop manuals, and then in to help Dave with his computer circuitry. Late in the extreme to bed.


Wednesday, 21 January 1970 Exeter
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And so to a decent sleep-in - no chemistry problems for me to go to, and no maths, as Trifari is still taking us for this subject, and so the first thing I had was economics with Ben Ritchie, which enabled me to sleep until 1130, though I had to move pretty sharpish then to ensure that I got there on time.

Had intended to go back to Crossmead for lunch, but thought otherwise about it, as I wanted to go to Dunn's and talk about déesses for awhile, and so had lunch in the Uni, and then into town, where I bought a magazine, and then to Dunn's, where I had a chat with Colin, who did not thing much of the idea of getting such an old déesse, and lent me a starting handle. Off to White Horse to see if I could turn the engine over, having some coffee on the way, and, rather to my annoyance, found the end of the old starting handle in the gearbox.

The DS engine was mounted longitudinally with the gearbox in front, clutch in the middle and the engine itself at the behind. This image is looking back from the right-hand side:

The disk at the bottom is a (inboard mounted) front brake disk, and the drive shaft would be attached to it.

The starting handle fitted in the front of the gearbox, and was about 1 m long, doubling as a lever for tyre change.

Put the old handle in, but it slipped - tried other ways, and came to the conclusion that the engine was pretty well siezed, so asked about prices of the parts - all suspension hydraulics for 50/- (I don't think he knows how much there is too it all), and head and manifolding for £10, which, upon consultation, Colin found reasonable.

Back to Crossmead, where I did little, and after a bit of talking to Chris, up for makan. After that, wrote letters to the Australian High Commission, Home office and Sandy Schaedel, and then was just about to leave for the orchestra when the bloke with the Light 15 arrived - he had expected £60 for it, with the engine rattling like iit was going to break the crank, and the engine wouldn't stay in 2nd - in general it was in pretty poor condition.

To the orchestra, where I greatly enjoyed myself, then back to talk to Chris, who liked the thing and had been thinking of buying it. Good for him that I am here.


Thursday, 22 January 1970 Exeter
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0900 again for the lecture, and I contrived to be up in plenty of time for breakfast, though the immediate result was that I was still more than slightly tired by the time I got to the Uni. Mike continued on the subject of compressible flow, which is all frantically confusing - I am damned if I can see what right flow characteristics have to be such complicated functions of the ratio of the specific heats. Then Mike announced his intention of changing with Mel for the seminar, which worried us at first until we realised that we still had to come at the same time.

Back to Crossmead, where I had some coffee, then off to sleep, and did not wake until just slightly before lunch - inbuilt alarm system again or something.

Lunch, however, I did not want to have at Crossmead, as Thursday seems to be curry day, and I don't want ever to have to have one of Chef's curries, so set off to the Uni and had their hardly more appetising fare, and in the process saw Chris, Barbara and Chris and a mathematics bird who looks interesting. Joined them and spoke at length about music, and then off for a drawing class, where we are now tied up in knots with the Eng. Sci. people, notably Mike Halliwell and Tony, who have a remarkably lax attitude to the whole thing - it is odd how different in attitude the Eng. Sci. people are to Chem. Eng.

Finished before anyone else, and for once my drawing seemed quite presentable, and then off to Crossmead, and as the eternal rains had temporarily relented, washed most off of the muck off the car, and then examined it for possible ways of fitting hydropneumatic suspension.

Did little else until makan, after which I went straight off to see a couple fo flicks - „Sweden - Heaven or Hell“ which was a documentary, but quite good, and „School for Sex“, funny, quite good, but spoilt by English national humour, which would not be too readily understandable abroad. Back, and ws just going again to get some chips when I saw a Hannover registered VW, which proved to be Wolfgang, who had just run it into a wall, so, with a bit of help from Mike Pill, pulled the bumper back, and helped Wolf unpack. Late to bed as a result.


Friday, 23 January 1970 Exeter
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Up again just about in time for breakfast, and got a letter from Dad telling me that Bev and Sandy were, in fact, in KL, but without any information as to when they will be coming over here. Dammit, I want to see Sandy again. Why don't they write? Off to the Uni, where we found that Mel was giving the lecture, which did not worry me unduly - I am not 100% happy in Mike's presence, but I like Mel, even if he is not as good a lecturer. Started today on heat, and then had our break, again involving fiddling the coffee machine, and then to the seminar, when we went over the exam paper, and then I to town and bought some airletter forms, and wrote to Mum, Bev and Sandy.

Then to lunch, which was hardly worth having, and off to the Uni, the sun shining for once, for chemistry, which is now in the phys. chem. labs, and correspondingly more interesting. The first 40 minutes were spent telling us what to do, and then to examine this and next week's experiment, and found that, as it involved constant heating over a period of 2 hours, there was little we could do to it this week, so just checked that we understood the equipment, and then I off, though Mike Cook, who is doing it with me, decided to stay to ease his conscience.

Back to Crossmead, and was visited soon by Wolf, who wanted to go down to the White Horse Scrap yard and get a new headlight rim, so went, and found none, and that the bastard there had sold the hydraulic accumulator for the DS, which is a bloody nuisance, and so back, cursing. Got a bit of sleep (too much; I missed makan), and then enter Wolf and asked if I could adjust his headlights for him. This I did, made a mess of, and was in the process of repeating when I found it was 1945, so rang Corinne, who was there this time, and spoke with her for 37 minutes. I must say, talking to Corinne cheers me up no end - I am very fond of her. I wonder what her attitude to me is.

To Chris, where I found Chris and Barbara, and so did a bit of consort playing - first time ever I have played my bass [recorder] in consort (though I have had it 9 years!).

This could have been the last time, too, though as of 2017 I still have it. I severely damaged the instrument when I got it, and it wasn't a good instrument in the first place.

Took them home, bought some fish and chips, and had coffee, with Wolf, and then later to bed - finished “Gunner Asch goes to war”.


Saturday, 24 January 1970 Exeter
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Asked Wolf last night to wake me for breakfast, but for some reason he decided otherwise and did not wake me until 1100, and then wanted to know about fitting things to his car, so into town and bought a radio aerial, and then to the VW people and asked them to drill a hole in the wing, but they had no time, and so round to Dunn's, and they did it for free. Saw a 2CV, 1966, there, and made a few enquiries about it - they want £400 for it, highway robbery, whichever way one looks at it, but I was beset by this high pressure salesman, and so I though I might as well arrange to test drive it, and so arranged to do so on Monday, after my driving test.

Then back to Crossmead, where we did a lot of messing round, interrupted by lunch, trying to get pieces of car out of the way, and eventually got the bracket in there, and promptly blew the fuse when I connected up - proved to be something to do with the wire being chafed, and so insulated and rerouted it, and still things were not too happy - and I did not like the smell of burning, so gave it up temporarily, and decided to do a bit of thinking about the whole affair. This had taken to 1600, and then Chris wanted to go into town, so off with him, and bought some stuff for sealing off the hole in my roof, and showed him the 2CV, and then back to mess around with my aerial, and just about got everything ready when I was beset by Wolf, who had been trying to change his seats around, and had made an awful mess of the runners - he or one of his willing helpers had been at the whole affair with a hammer, and I had to hammer everything back into shape. Then to tea, after which Chris, Wolf and I had arranged to go and see a couple of flicks - “Inspector Clouseau”, which I have already seen, but still found funny, and “Midnight Cowboy”, with Dustin Hoffmann, very good, reminded me of Matin. Home via DH, Chris wondering at Wolf's erratic driving, and had coffee, joined for this by Dave Großcurth. Read a while before sleeping.


Sunday, 25 January 1970 Exeter
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Some mad thought gave me the idea of getting up this morning at 0950 for breakfast, which, of course, was doomed to failure even before I started, and, as ever, I woke up at round about 1230, and was visited by Chris before I had got much further than shaving (what a bloody nuisance shaving is! I had almost forgotten!).

Up for lunch, which was nothing fantastic, and left before coffee, planning to avail ourselves of Chris's coffee, but Wolf had other ideas, but nothing more concrete, so ended up carting Chris's coffee machine up to Wolf's room and having coffee and a pipe there - Wolf has a pair of what must be the most enormous pipes I have ever seen in my life, though the bowls are not too large inside - still, the weight alone of the things would put me off. Wolf was recording some Beatles numbers - he has just bought a turntable, and somehow managed to drop the pickup onto the record, leaving a mark on the record and being unable to get any sound through the amplifier, and so assumed that he had buggered the cartridge - this fellow, on closer acquaintance, does seem to be very ham-fisted, most un-Prussian.

Then back to my room, and played a bit of music, etc., and then had a massive tidy-up, and emerged again, somewhat before tea, and then up for some, and after that played a bit more music, consulted Dave (or rather, was consulted by Dave), and later decided to search out a likely pub for a drink, and ended up choosing the “Nobody Inn”, which the Exeter Book says is in Dunchideock, and the best round Exeter, and impossible to find. This last probably stems from the fact that the place is actually in Doddiscombeleigh [about 4 km away], and we had a positively impossible time finding it, mainly because of inadequate markings. Still, it is a good place, and they sell Slim Panatellas - reminded me of Teen, and I therefore proceeded to tell Chris stories about her. Home, quite erly to bed, but could not sleep.


Monday, 26 January 1970 Exeter
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And again comes a week - how long will it really be before this is all over? At times it seems so long, and at others so short, and nothing seems to come of it. This week I feel as if life is one everlasting monotony, with nothing to relieve the routine - which is rather strange, really, because this week will have enough exception to the routine in it.

In, routinely enough, at 0900 to chemistry - I would enjoy (not really the word) Dr. Long's lectures considerably more if Lecture Hall D were not so uncomfortable.

Then to maths, where it occurred to us that there was nothing to do, and so didn't, and left - most of the others stayed and did something about line integrals, but I thought I could spend my time better - I did, too, and nearly slept through lunch as a consequence. A thought about the hose in Bow is that it will mean that I will not be able to pop back home in the middle of the day just to have a kip, which is probably just as well.

After lunch (I didn't quite miss it) to the Uni with Tim Young, and up to the CE practical, and got given some mutual solubility isotherms to do, then off, with many wishes of good luck, to the Driving Test Centre, and spent a while reading an Autocar article on the motion of a car on a curved path before being removed to take my test. Was rather bolshy, not a good thing to do, and did not do a lot of things that various people had told me I would have to do if I wanted to pass, and as a result I passed, which rather amused me.

I already had a permit to drive in the United Kingdom for 12 months from entry, based on my Malaysian driving license, and had driven to the centre in my own car on that basis. I had (probably incorrectly) assumed that, if I were to fail, I would still be allowed to drive on the permit.

My recollection was that I forgot to do some of the things he told me, in particular making hand signals, in those days required even though cars were fitted with indicators.

Then to see the people at Dunn's and test drive their 2CV, where it hit me quite forcibly how gutless even the recent models are. The fellow was very keen to sell it to me, and I thought it might not be a bad idea, so back to Crossmead, and was just doing a few routine checks with Wolf when Chris came back with the new that he had bought, or as good as, an MG midget 948, so down to examine the thing, which did not look up to much. Told him what I thought about that, and suggested be bough an Imp if he had go get an English car.

Then to makan, after which I was just going to get down to some work when along came Andy Perryman and suggested that I came along with him and some other blokes to a disco, and so I did, and there happened very little, though for some reason I somewhat enjoyed myself. Home, and dead tired, almost immediately to bed.


Tuesday, 27 January 1970 Exeter
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Early this morning was greeted by Chris with the news that he had had a letter from his mother suggesting that he have the imp, and she buy a new car - which seemed about as good a bet as he could hope for.

To the Uni for process principles ad nauseam, and little happened of any great interest; I am rather enjoying the focal point of engineering (no pun intended, though a lot of our problems will involve PDP-12 (or Pete, as I still like to know it.). Aso I apporve of the 10 minute break in the middle of the double period - never used to get that at Hamburg.

The problems class was much as last week - just a matter of going through some likely examples; presumably this and evaluation of the afternoon's work are the main aims of this period. But it is a bit confusing, all these different process principles classes.

Then phys. chem., with this new lecturer bloke whom I find rather good, but others slimy. Still, I would hardly say it were the only point in which I were at variance with the masses.

Then lunch, and thereafter the process principles seminar, of no frantic interest. I had rather hoped to be able to use the PDP-12, but it was getting some unscheduled maintenance, and in any case, the problems we got were not of that kind. Then finished, and apparently we were intended to go to a tutorial with Mike, though he knew nothing about it, and in any case had no time, so back to Crossmead and discovered from Chris that his mother had, in fact, included an alternative for the car - that he buy a Citroën of recent vintage and low mileage, and she would give £200 towards it, which makes it an economically much more viable proposition. Was rather insulted when he said he would, nevertheless, rather have an Imp. Took him out for a drive in my car, and he said, yes, it be very nice to drive, but he want the Imp, though he did not know why.

In makan, was asked to speak for Andrew Camel in the Hustings for Hall president, which was rather confusing, as I was going to vote for Mike Pill. Nevertheless, speak I did, then out to the King's Arms in Tedburn St. Mary for a drink, while I explained to him some economics - but he is still sold on the Imp. I despair.

The economics I see now are that it's a free Imp or a part payment for a Citroën. From the standpoint of 2017 I have to agree with Chris.

Wednesday, 28 January 1970 Exeter → Okehampton → Exeter
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Up round 1130 - had intended to get up earlier, but the flesh was weak - and off to economics, in which Ben is certainly no better a lecturer than he was in statistics.

Back to Crossmead for lunch, but saw what an abominable lunch it was, and so back to the Uni again and had something there. Then up to the Chem. Eng. building to wait for the mob going to the Heavitree Breweries, and then followed them in my car - after the fiasco at Ottery, decided to never rely on mass transport again. At the brewery, were shown round by a rather uncertain brewer who spoke in wierd and wonderful units of which most of us had genuinely never heard. The most interesting step of that should have been the free samples at the end, but if Heavitree beer tastes lousy in pubs, then this stuff must have been the last dregs - I threw mine down the nearest gully trap.

My recollection was that I wasn't the only one. That really says something if even students throw away free beer.

Was rather amused by Marion's reaction to a compliment (back-handed mind) that I paid her earlier - as one says, flattery will get you somewhere. Back with Pete, Sue and Marion, dropping them in that order - invited Sue down to the Mc. Gibbons at some later date this term, and she accepted readily, which somewhat surprised me. I wonder what her attitude is. Marion told me she would come out to my place in Bow one Sunday and cook me lunch - shades of Corinne. Funny how much interest she suddenly pays.

Back to Crossmead, and after none too long a time off to Okehampton, whither I proceeded at a hell of a belt - it is too long since I have gone at any respectable speed - and found that the auction had, in fact, started at 1000, and would finish at 1900, so I did not have much time to buy anything, and came away with only a couple of beds (4½' double for £1, and 3' single for only 5/-!) and a set of chairs for 25/-.

Off to Tavistock to see the Normans, but stayed little time before going back to Exeter and stayed in the evening (apart from a late visit to the Huntsman) to hear on the radio Beethoven's 9th symphony, to make up for not going ot the orchestra practice.


Thursday, 29 January 1970 Exeter → Okehampton → Whiddon Down → Okehampton → Bow → Exeter
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Up even earlier than usual for a Thursday, but it was not to go to transport phenomena; after breakfast, took Dave to the Uni, checked on Mr. Steer's name,

Neville Steer was the landlord in Bow.

and tried to find out about fitting a phone to the house, but without luck, so off to Whiddon Down to look for Andy Perryman, and found, after a bit of searching round with his brother (who didn't know where his bedroom was either - what a shambles this place is!) that he was still in bed. By the time he had got up, had breakfast, etc., somebody had made off with the Landrover, and to add insult to injury, Phil wanted help baling straw, and this wasted another half hour. Finally off to Okehampton with a horse box in tow, and found there, after payment, that the double bed folded up (I could easily have got it into the Ami!), and so put it in the back of the Landrover and back to Whiddon Down to dump the horse box, and cross-country to Bow (about 7 miles [11 km], almost due north). Left the stuff at the farmhouse, and both this and the exterior of the cottage impressed Andy considerably. then I back to Crossmead, and just made it to lunch.

After lunch to the Uni for engineering drawing - I am beginning to enjoy this, which would both surprise and delight Dad. Finished early as usual, and back to Crossmead, where I tried to catch up on some maths, and did a bit of recorder playing, and then to makan - later to the boozeup at the White Hart, and Prof. Lacey came, contrary to expectations, without his wife, and stood everybody a pint. Then off with Pete to pick up Sue and Marion, and back to have quite an amusing evening. Took a few people home, and outside Birks [residential hall] with the car parked in the driveway - by the time I had finished, there were two cars trying to get in: Ben Ritchie in an Imp with (so I am told) Marion and Sue in the back, and Peter's Mini in the back. That will be something to laugh about. Back home and out like a light.


Friday, 30 January 1970 Exeter
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And on - I shall be a lot happier when finally I move into Comp Cottage. Crossmead is more than slightly getting me down, which possibly has something to do with the negative time differential [i.e. deterioration] of the food quality.

To the Uni for Transport phenomena, which in itself was a bit of an adventure, as going up Barley Lane, over the bump 2 cars had collided, and one, a Mini, had broken a drive shaft, lower wishbone and steering link, and consequently had a toe-out of about 40 cm, which made steering difficult. Took the owner down to the Dunsford Hill phone box and got a tow vehicle, then on to the Uni, where we had apparently yesterday had a whole lot of Laplace-type equations, which looked terrifying. Seminar was not so bad, and then back to Crossmead to see if there was any mail with information about when Bev and Sandy were coming over. There was indeed a letter from Sandy written in my room at home [i.e. in Kuala Lumpur], and apparently without expressed intention of coming over here in the foreseeable future. Wrote a reply to her, and then had makan, and off again to the Uni, where Mick Cook and I got down as quickly as possible to our experiment, and cooked the stuff up as planned - in the meantime to Dunn's to try and find out the meaning of threat of legal action if I did not pay them £13··13··2, and got some money from the bank, then back. Everything went OK for a while, but at the point where SO₃ should have been evolved, nothing happened. Spent a long time trying to work out a computer program to work out and analyse the results. Over to see when I could get hold of the computer, which looks like being on Monday.

Then home, and did in the evening little - had intended to do something about notes, but didn't get very far. Round midnight, all the fish and chip shops being shut, to the Ganges for a thoroughly satisfactory curry. Late to bed.


Saturday, 31 January 1970 Exeter
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Up again considerably later than planned, but this was made up for (or further worsened?) by the fact that the weather was not too bad. Accordingly, having found some clothes suitable for wearing, out to examine the car and see if I could do something about the mess in the boot, which was approaching its usual filthy state once again, and was fairly successful in this, and in the middle of same turned my attention to my radio, which should long ago have been more firmly mounted, and so set to with a drill, and then the siren went for lunch.

After lunch got back to it, and managed to fit everything even more neatly than I had hoped - it does not look at all bad now, though it still requires conscious effort to remember where the knobs now are - and it makes it a lot easier to put things away with the extra parcel shelf. The next step, I suppose, will be to do away with the switch panel below the heater control. Put the speaker much as before, but further back, and then put in the anti-theft switch as ignition key, which looks as if it will be successful.

Down town, and did what I have not done since I bought the Ami (I wonder if there is a connection) and bought a pair of shoes, also “Car”, which had, inter alia, a “giant test” of Ami 8, Renault 6, Fiat 500 and Honda 600, very much in favour of the former 2 (naturally), but made little distinction between the 2. Did little until after tea, then tried to copy out some of Dave's notes, but these were unintelligible, and so over to Duryard [residential hall] and Birks [another] to look up various people, and found Mike Haddon (no good for maths), Marion, who was present in body but not in spirit, and eventually got some notes from Pete Hillier, and so back to write those up, but they proved also somewhat unintelligible, so eventually gave up and up to the common room and started talking cars to Dave Powell, and were later joined by Graham Livesey, and this latter lent me some literature about old Citroëns, also recent CCC magazine, and back to read that at great length through the night - did not get to sleep until about 0300.


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