Greg
Greg's diary
July 1969
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This diary was entered manually from the paper original between 26 October 2016 and 4 November 2016.


Tuesday, 1 July 1969 Tun. Wells → Crawley →
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After Sonny had paid up, Mr. Greaves, who I suspect had taken a fancy to Bev, decided to accept our hospitality and play cards with us. Next thing we knew, we were playing poker, and old Mr. Greaves was hinting at various wierd stakes, which did not make an already depressed Sonny feel any better, and when Mr. Greaves went upstairs to get some cigarettes, he went to his room and stayed there until Bev persuaded him, some time later, to come out again. In the meantime Mr. Greaves had brought in a magnum of champagne, and I did my best to cool same without any fantastic success. Eventually drank it as it was, and Bev went off to bed with Harri, while Sonny and I spoke to Mr. Greaves, who has a most interesting, and for the most part sensible approach to life - as he pointed out, man's self-preservative instincts are too strong for the possibility of a wipe-out. Has rather interesting theories about sex, to which, however, I would not wholly subscribe.

He left at about 0400, and Sonny and I decided that there was no point in going to bed, and so did our packing instead. This we did, and in the process came to the somewhat surprising conclusion that we were not overweight. Then Sonny had a bath, and we had a couple of hours' sleep until we were somewhat unceremoniously awakened by Jim returning from his overnight stay with the girl across the way. Then I went down town with Jim to have some breakfast, as the house was empty, and then came back, messed around for a while, and went off to sleep, as it was about the only thing I had yet to do. Harri was sent off by train, and round 1200 Larry took us to Crawley in his father's 220SE, which is in rather grotty condition. Got to Crawley and Gatwick airport in due course, and parked the car and went up to have makan. After a while, the boys from Interasia arrive, and we got our tickets, and waited until the queues died down before checking in. Then discovered that Bev's smallpox [vaccination] was out of date, and they used this as an excuse to turn her back, as they had managed to overbook the flight. I contacted Crawley hospital and got them to have some vaccine, but in the meantime Sonny had resorted to the more direct method of just making threats, which worked. Took a hell of a long time getting on the plane, which eventually left at 1850 hrs (ETA [I think I meant ETD] 1600, and I had guessed 1900) for Bahrein, which was a 9½ hour flight - and somehow I had contrived to get us about the most cramped seat on the plane.


Wednesday, 2 July 1969 → (+2 hrs) Bahrein → (+2 hrs) Karachi →
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The flight to Bahrein was hell. Sonny somehow managed to go to sleep even before we took off, but I was not so lucky. Even after we had makan, which was preceded by a free round of drinks, it was too cramped for me to get anything like comfortable, and I have never liked the aisle seat at the best of times. To-day my legs were so cramped for space that I could hardly do anything, but eventually I managed something, and woke up about an hour before we arrived in Bahrein at about 0600 local time (0400 GMT.). Sonny decided that a drink would doubtless do good at this time, and so had one, and also wrote to the Normans apologising for not sending a card to them from Beirut (where we were scheduled to stop). Then outside in the 40° heat and had a look round before we got sweltering back onto the plane, to exchange some pleasantries with a blonde hostess from Brisbane. Eventually we took off and a bit later cooled down, and then after a while Sonny and I shared 3 breakfasts - Bev was already asleep again - and then followed Bev's example.

Woke up just before Karachi, feeling decidedly dozy, and out into at 37° day at 1400 local time (1000 GMT) to hear the copilot trying to persuade the airport blokes to get it over and done with in less than the 3½ hours it took last time. This time it took about 1¾ hours, and we spent the time doing tricks, etc, finishing up with my famous proof that 2 = 1, which somehow manages to stump everybody, though it never did me. Then back, sweating, on board, and in due course had makan, before once again going off to sleep.


Thursday, 3 July 1969 → (+2½ hrs) Singapore → KL
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Woke up round 0300 WMB [Waktu Malaysia Barat, the time zone (UTC+0730) in West Malaysia and Singapore at the time], and gradually sorted things out so that we could get through quickly when we landed, but at the ETA of 0325 we were told that we were an hour behind schedule, and so had to wait again in none too comfortable a position. Finally landed,

Guessing at an arrival time of 4:25 (20:55 UTC), this would mean a total time since departure of 26 hours, quite a bit more than normal. Nowadays there are non-stop flights in about 13 hours.

and came in to discover healt control not there, and so had a awit. Somehow missed my cholera [vaccination], so I got through OK, soon to be joined by Sonny, and we were given tickets and boarding passes almost immediately, and then hung around waiting for our barang, when Sonny noticed Dad in the crowd outside. He came in and had a go to get the health girl to let Bev through, and eventually they persuaded a doctor to come, and while they were at it, I had a cholera jab as well. In the meantime, we had rung Mum up, and then on the plane, while Dad told me how the master cylinder of the Old Grey Mare had siezed up, just as he got to Labis, and gave a rather interesting description of how he had removed the rear brake drum without knowing what he was doing - he had simply followed ID practice and unbolted the centre bolt of the wheel, and of course the whole lot had come off.

The wheels on the older Citroën D models were held in place with a single central nut, something that they later abandoned.

Also spoke about other matters. In KL, got off the plane, and, by force of habit, through the north arrival hall, where there was nobody, and so out to [?] say hello to Mum, and then saw everybody else coming through the south arrival hall. Didn't bother to go through it all, and soon off home, after Sonny's fahter had taken him away.

At this time, Singapore and Malaysia were independent countries, and it looks as if I managed to bypass Malaysian immigration.

The car is feeling none too happy, and just to make matters worse, it was pouring with rain and the windscreen wipers were not working.

Home, met Maria, the new amah, and after a more than sufficiently long wait, had breakfast, before which I had a shower. Then hung around for a while before anything further was proposed, and had a look at some of the problems of the ID. As I had suspected, the wiper had failed because of a burnt out fuse, and so I plundered the rear lights temporarily in case I were caught out again. Also ascertained that the radiator was full of sludge, and that the last person to top up the sump was me, 3500 miles ago, with the result that the level was about ½ pt [0.3 l] below minimum. Decided as a result to go into town and have it serviced, and while I was at it was persuaded to do some shopping for Mum, and to arrange a rubber stamp. In, and filled up at the Merlin service station, and arranged to get the servicing done, and then to Yuen's, where I got a fuse and some hydraulic fluid, just in case. Thence to SAAB and passed the time of day, though did not buy much; ascertained that they have Oscar spots in here, but no fogs.

Why would anybody want fog lights in Malaysia?

Then to the Dog for my usual hamburger and coffee, and was much heartened that they remembered I took it without milk or sugar. Off then for the stamp and to have the car greased, etc, and had quite a bit of fun pitching in. Also bought an XAs and wheel (palladium grey) for $75, which had been there for about a year. Home for lunch, and after that managed to spend an afternoon without doing much - just pleased to get back. Did a limited amount of unpacking and then discovered Mum's tape recorder, with which I messed about at length. Still later did a bit of reading, until TV started, and watched a bit of that while we had makan. After makan upstairs and to read “The Season of the Stranger”, about the chinese revolution.


Friday, 4 July 1969 KL → Labis → KL
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Woke up at 0615 this morning, and could not go back to sleep - always seems to happen to me on my first day back, and this time I noticed Bev similarly affected.

Jet lag, of course. In those days it was hardly known.

Read on a while in bed, and then out to have some tea, and somehow we managed to blow 1½ hours between tea and breakfast, what with messing around, bed making, etc. Eventually got down to breakfast, after which Dad started expounding on the advantage of a pipe wrench, and from this progressed to bigger things, with the result that, before we knew where we were, we had a full scale shopping spree on our hands. Accordingly set off into town, and I dropped Dad outside the bank, and then off to the Embankment to pick up Mum's stamp, and thence to the supermarket, where I did some shopping, and back to pick up Dad, suffering en route the somewhat unhappy fate of a broken clutch cable. Managed very well despite, without any grinding, etc, until we got home, which greatly impressed Dad. Then had to go almost immediately to an interview for Dad, and on the way managed to grind the gears unmercifully. Then dropped Dad, and to Yuens, who eventually confessed to having a clutch cable, but were not prepared to fit it, and so set to to do it myself, a particularly impossible task, as I had manage to lose a retaining washer en route, and the outer cable just moved with the inner. Eventually managed to improvise a washer, and then off to pick Dad up, stopping en route at SAAB, where I bought some grease and washed my hands. Off in the direction of Labis and had a particularly uneventful journey, apart from the fact that all is not well with the clutch cable, which is as heavy as hell, and the wiper fuse burnt out again. Made it to Labis in 3 hours without trying,

That's quite impressive. Nowadays there's a freeway most of the way there, and Google maps shows a time of 2 hours, 42 minutes. But along the old highway it's 4½ hours.

and beat Dad's Tampin to Gemas record by 1½ minutes to 29 minutes, which makes an average speed of 63 mph [about 101 km/h].

In 2016, Google Maps says 53 minutes, almost exactly 60 km/h. In the meantime the roads have doubtless been improved.

At the Dabrowskis, had tea freely offered, and then set to fixing up the cars. After a bit of messing around, decided that the wiper motor of the ID was shorting, and so gave it up as a bad job and set to helping Joe Dabrowski with one of the rear wheel bearings of the 11C, which had been drained of its grease as the result of the brake master cylinder failing to release pressure, and so repacked it and replaced it - these taper needle rollers are rather neat. Then started the car, topped up the sump, and not much later off, stopping en route at Tampin for makan and a bit further on for coffee and cheruts, and then home, arriving about 2330, when Bev and Mum came out to admire the car, which they like better thus.

The last time they saw it was before we had it overhauled, and in particular resprayed in Palladium grey, in Singapore in September 1968

Very late to bed.


Saturday, 5 July 1969 KL
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Up later this morning at 0820, and also managed breakfast in a more sensible manner, though I spent quite a bit of time just looking at the Old Grey Mare, which is certainly worth looking at now, though I notice a few things that they have not done; the thing still needs undersealing, and there are no safety belts.

After breakfast, wanted to go into town to get some things, and Bev decided to come with me to buy a sewing machine. On top of this, we were given the usual sort of things to do for Mum and Dad, but finally got away and to Batu road. Singers turned out to be a particular division which had nothing to do with sewing machines, and so we went to the Selangor Emporium, where I bought some ring spanners and the most enormous grease gun I have ever seen. Also bought some cheap clothes for working on the car in. Then into town, got some forms at the post office, and Bev to the bank, and then to the Dog, where Mrs. Lee of the SPCA caught me, but I managed to persuade her that Dad was in Kuching. After that, to Ah Yok's, where I got him to measure the car up for spot light brackets, which are to be ready tomorrow and cost $8, which is hardly likely to break me. Then back to a sewing machine shop in Prince's circus where my brakes siezed up on me, and I had to open a bleed nipple before I could continue. Then home and had lunch, after which I thought it would be a good idea to clean the brake master cylinder out, and so got down to it, and got it out without any undue difficulty, though a couple of the pipes were done up very tightly. Had to take it to a garage to get one of the circlips off, but after that all went smoothly enough, except that after I had cleaned it and reassembled it, it refused to pump any fluid. Back to the garage, where they took it apart, put it back together the same way, and it still did not pump. Over to Ah Yok in the ID, and he pointed out that the rubber parts were worn out, and sent a bloke round the corner to get some new ones and fitted them and demonstrated that it would now operate. Then back to the house, put it in, and it jammed, so took it apart, and in the process noted that the fluid in the reservoir smelt and looked different to the Lockheed stuff, and decided it must be Girling, so left the rubber parts soaking in meths, and in for makan, after which I flaked out, considerably perplexing Dad, who thought I was pissed off with him.


Sunday, 6 July 1969 KL
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Woke up from a half-asleep state round 0615 this morning, when Dad was fumbling around in my wardrobe for something. Why does he keep things in my room? Does he also suffer from one of Mum's fetishs?

Got up and went downstairs to examine the brake master cylinder, which was still not returning too readily, and so sware, and was asked by Dad to accompany him into town in Mum's Mini with a view to returning same after he had caught a cab. En route, however, he changed his mind and decided to go straight out to the airport. Waited there while he got a ticket, and then of back home, wondering about Minis as I went. Certainly I do not feel very happy with this one, though admittedly it is clapped. Even so, apart from violent vertical motion, the road-holding is none too bad. At home again, had breakfast, and then over in the Old Grey Mare to Ah Yok's with the brake master cylinder in the boot, where it stood me in none too good stead when I tried to stop at the first traffic lights. Got there intact, and within minutes Ah Yok had the cylinder working again - I don't know how he does it. Then set to fitting the lamp brackets, which were rather fun, especially as Ah Yok had not considered the dimensions all too carefully, but eventually he fitted them, while I messed around with a grease gun and oil can, and lubricated an innumerable number of points (17, I think, though even then I might have missed a couple on the drive shafts.). Then Ah Yok set to removing the radiator grille to fit a couple of Oscars behind same. In the meantime I dismantled the other wheel bearing and greased it - these taper roller bearings are rather nice, as it means that adjustment for wear can go on for a very long time before the bearings have to be discarded - under normal use I would suspect about 500000 - 1000000 miles, except that that would no longer be normal use. Managed to drop one of the bearings in the sand just as I was about to replace it, considerably amusing my audience, but eventually cleaned it up and put everything back together. Then watched them having fun with the bracket, which was really a bit high, and eventually they got everything in, and then home for makan. Did little in the afternoon - somehow managed to find more to do on the car, but did not go anywhere. Noted that, although the speedometer was working, I had suspposedly only covered 60 odd miles [100 km] since Segamat [over 200 km away], so decided there must be something wrong, and found a few loose screws and tight escarpment ratchets, which I tightened and oiled respectively. Round the block, which registered the same 2 miles as last time, and then had tea and subsequently makan, after which I had yet another early night.


Monday, 7 July 1969 KL
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In some bizarre manner or another, I seem to be arranging it that I get up earlier than usual nowadays - up today at 0630 odd, and could do little from then onwards, so read a bit more of “The Season of the Stranger”. Then out to have some tea and read the news, and then had breakfast and contemplated the day ahead. Asked Mum for some money, which she was singularly reluctant to grant, and as a result did not, which annoyed me more than slightly, though I thought it prudent to do nothing about it. Then into town and did some shopping, first to SAAB, where I managed to get 3 pilot lights on tick, and also had a conversation with the bloke there, and then off into town. Tried to get some Schick blades in town, but they were out of them, so I think I have an excuse to grow a beard. After that, bought a diary for the continuation of this,

This present diary had about 10 pages until it was full.

and then to the Dog for some coffee. After that, up to Yuens for the wire for my lights, and while there my brakes siezed up again, so off to Ah Yok's, and finally dismantled the master cylinder from the other car, and found, not as expected, wrong assembly, but wrong components - the piston was fully ½" [13 mm] too long. Put the other piston in, and certainly the brakes were not siezing - in fact, they were hardly operating at al, so decided to have them bled and adjusted this afternoon. Then took Ah Yok home and got him to fix up the clutch cable for the ID, which he did with much cursing and swearing (or Chinese equivalent) at same, and then I took him back, after having arranged for the blokes at the Shell station to do the brakes on the 11C, and later in to town to get my wire, and back home to wire up the Oscars. Dad rang in the middle of this to say he would be coming back tonight, and then I rang up a Yee at Harpers for him. Finished wiring up, and into town to get a spanner to adjust the lights with - at least it will not be the nightmare it is with the Ami - and later, after tea, flushed the road and washed the car. Still later off to pick Dad up, stopping en route for my hub cap, which had been left behind. Dad took the ID home from the same place on the way back, and after makan I retired to my room.


Tuesday, 8 July 1969 KL → Bentong → KL
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And on goes life - up somewhat later this morning, possibly asymptotically approaching 0900, and out to have some tea shortly to be joined by Dad telling me about Mum's latest blowups last night. After a while, while I waxed parts of the Citroëns, had breakfast, and then I tried to work out what to do during the day. After a discussion with Dad, which itself was not the shortest operation I have ever carried out, decided we had better consult Mum before doing anything else. This in itself took its time, and by the time I finally got under way, still hardly with Mum's blessing, it was already about 1030, and the mail had come, bearing with it letters from Mrs. Norman and Sandy Schaedel. Read the former before long, only to discover that it was nothing more pleasant than the news that at least one of my cheques had bounced. Into town, and parked at the Dog, and off to post some letters and pay in some cheques. Then back to the dog for the eternal hamburger and coffee, now nearly 4 years old, and then out to pay Ah Yok his hard earned money, and to sound him for the prospect of an engine overhaul.

Why? This must have been the Citroën Traction Avant, which he had overhauled only a few thousand km before.

He seemed to think that his would be in order for about $50, and so off to see Peiping Lace about a clock which had made rather disturbing chiming noises in the back of the car while negotiating Ah Yok's drive. Had a bit of fun with that, entailing a phone call home, and then to pick up a cushion at Lee Woh's, next door to the Selangor Emporium, and then to SAAB and bought some wax, then home. At home, Mum was extremely adverse to Sandy Schaedel coming, which had been the original point of her letter, and pissed me off somewhat, not helped by her subsequent reading of my letter from Mrs. Norman, which she claimed to have found in her room. Still further annoyed, when Ramli bought [sic] a bike back, when she implied that it would fall apart if I touched it. Then she and Dad went into town, while I polished the Old Grey Mare, and then into town to the AA, where I arranged for shipment of the ID19 to Kuching, and then off to see Mahmuddin, and subsequently off with Ahmad to Bentong, while he told me all about the disturbances from May 13 onwards. Then to some friends of Ahmad's in Bentong, and had a drink before going off for a walk, and bumping into a cousin with a shotgun, who proved to be a police officer from Kuala Krai, and later back home with him, while he pumped us full of kopi-oh [black coffee] and jagong [sweet corn], and then to try to eat some mee hoon at the other cousin's place. Finally off, stopping to visit another cousin, the penghulu of the area, and then home, getting caught in a violent rainstorm over the Genting Simpah pass, and then dropped Ahmad, and back home to see Max Wheatley about to leave - Mum dropping some rude comment about me smashing my cars up.


Wednesday, 9 July 1969 KL
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Up a bit later today, only when Dad woke me. By the time I had completed the preliminaries and gone downstairs found Dad sitting at the breakfast table mending an iron with insulating tape and a few other tools. Had breakfast and miraculously was able to get moving into town without all too much trouble, though I wrote some letters to the Bank, Carrs and Mrs. Norman to attempt to straighten things out over there. Again to the AAM, when I finally managed to find a parking space - it is about time somebody build a multi-storey car park opposite the Chartered Bank - and paid good money, then off to the Dog for a bite to eat, and out to Yuen's to see if they could supply me a new wiper motor, which they could not, but they suggested that the only thing wrong with it was jammed gears, and why didn't I bring it in for them to look at? Rang Dad, who arranged to meet at the Lake Club at 1230, and then off myself there, to read an interesting article about Citroën, and the original plan for the Traction, which included a torque converter and fully automatic transmission - the actual box in use was designed in a few days. In the meantime, Dad rang up to say that he had no ignition key, so told him what to do, and went back to it.

In those days most cars had no ignition locks.

Eventually everybody arrived, and we went into the Orchid room for makan. Then off with Dad to leave the ID at Yuen's, and took him, feeling cook, back to the Dog to meet Mrs. Lee of the SPCA, which could hardly have made him feel much better, and while waiting were accosted by Tan Sri Taib bin Haji Jumir.

I have no idea who this was, and nor does Google. Even the father's name seems unusual—maybe I misread my scrawl. My father had considerable contact with Tan Sri Taib bin Haji Andak, but my writing isn't bad enough to confuse the two.

Eventually got away, and took dad up to Lorong Yap Kwan Seng to see Jeyarajah lying in state.

This also makes no sense. Jeyarajah was Sonny's real name, and he wasn't dead. Did I confuse both Kularajah (his father) and the meaning of “lying in state”?

Home after that, and in due course Mum and Dad went off again, while I did a bit of work on the car, put some corrosion inhibitor in the radiator, and took some photos. Then Mum and Dad came back, the latter cursing me for not picking the ID up, and then I back to looking at the speedo, which I was attempting to clean up. Later still on the starter solenoid, which has been giving trouble. Must change that soon.

Later had intended to go see Mahmuddin, but was not allowed, and sat about, pissed off, for the rest of the evening.


Thursday, 10 July 1969 KL → Singapore.
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Up early again to get the business of the day over and done with in time, and down for a quick breakfast before going into town with Dad to pick up the ID19 and take it to Port Swettenham. This we did without any undue problem, except the now-usual disconnection of the speedometer. Out along Damansara Road, as the traffic was so heavy, but even Damansara road is much more popular now, possibly because it has been widened in so many places.

In those days it was a twisty single-land road. The main road was the Federal Highway (now highway 2) through Petaling Jaya, about the only freeway-like road in the area.

Then down to Port Swettenham, hitting 95 [mph, i.e. 150 km/h] on the Federal Highway, which convinced me that there is not much wrong with the engine. Had a positively impossible time finding the AAM shipping office, which was nowhere near where it was supposed to be, but eventually found it and gave the car to Charlie Thaw for shipment, got a lift back to Klang, and thence got a long-distance taxi to KL for only $1, as opposed to about $8.50 by regular taxi. Spent the whole journey wondering how the hell they could afford it. Was dropped at Foch Avenue, and caught a taxi to UK Heights, but saw Dad in Jalan Ampang, and so paid off the taxi and drove Dad to the immigration office, King Chong's and the Labour department, and then finally back home, where we did a bit of last-minute packing, then had lunch, and went off to the airport in the Old Grey Mare, I more than slightly pissed off that Mum was to drive same. Did my out and out best to persuade her that it could fall apart on her at any moment, and did not do very well, especially as the starter solenoid did its best to help things along.

My mother is a terrible driver, but I don't know why I should have worried. She had always hated the car, even when it was relatively new.

Left her at the airport very dubious, but she was fairly belting along the bottom road later on.

Then off to Singapore, and Sonny met us there in a VW 1500, which rather amused us, as it amuses him. To the Cockpit hotel, where I had a chat with Sonny while Dad made some phone calls, and then took him to Victoria St. and ourselves to Balmoral Road (this really is Singapore, not London) to see the Citroën bloke and sound some prices for the engine parts of the Old Grey mare - $280 for pistons and liners, for which I might also have the high compression DS pistons, $170 for conn. rods and $70 for all the bearings. Then saw a DS 1911 head, which can indeed be fitted to the old grey mare, and with DS pistons would eventually convert it int a DS engine.

The engines of the Traction, ID and DS were almost identical: 1911 cc, 78 mm bore, 100 mm stroke. The latter two had cross-flow cylinder heads, and the DS had a compression of 8.5:1 instead of the ID's 7.5:1.

Only snag was the price - he offered me a an ID head (different inlet ports) with pump, manifolding, valves, rocker shafts and covers for $250, and the DS head for $60, on top of which would come a set of valves for $50, manifolding, rocker cover and a contact breaker, as the distributor will not clear the DS inlet manifolds. Still, with a couple of 1½" SUs on there, we one might et 90 Hp at 5500....

Off to Jackie's bowl for a bite to eat, and then home, arriving couple of minutes before Dad, and then rang up Mum, who said that she was so taken with the Old Grey Mare that she was selling the Mini to the office and keeping the OGM, which I think is a hell of a dirty trick. Dad insists that it is a joke, which it may be, though in very poor taste, but knowing Mum anything is possible.

Off to the “Sea Dragon” for makan, which we had accompanied by a copious amount of alcohol - not a bad place, but no publicity. Home quite late and had a last-minute exhortation to Sonny to incapacitate the OGM at all costs.

Clearly I was not convinced that it was a joke.

Friday, 11 July 1969 Singapore → (+½ hr) Kuching
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Up early in view of the journey ahead, and ate what we could of the gargantuan breakfast that I ordered last night (what the hell, it's the came [sic] price whatever you order) and then off to the airport, and had a bit of fun when Dad thought he had mislaid the tickets. Found them eventually, and then had a nice long wait while something wrong was discovered with the plane and we had it changed.

Eventually up in the air, with a contractor, Mr. Ting (popular name over here) helping with our barang. Noticed that we weighed in, between the 2 of us, about 56 kilos of barang, not to mention what we were carrying - not a protest was murmured.

The journey was uneventful as ever, apart from one of the port engines (I was sitting just about on top of it) starting to make a funny noise over the South China sea. Captain told us over the PA system that it was making a lot of noise and vibration, which told us a lot.

Presumable this was a De Havilland Comet 4, which had the engines very close to the fuselage.

Fun with the immigration at Kuching, where I was given a 3 day pass, to be renewed by Monday. Then into town, and to the office, where everybody was having lunch, and Dad handed me a copy of Double Chevron [Citroën magazine], which had been received while he was away, and so spent the rest of the time reading about the Ami 8 (nothing I didn't already know) and the 50th anniversary of the A type and thus Citroën cars.

Then home, after some makan in the open market, and dumped our stuff, then almost immediately back to the office again, where Dad gave me a contour survey of the Phase II shopping centre at Kenyalang park and told me the contractors were bitching about the earthworks, so find out how much has to be shifted. Spent all afternoon trying to work out the revisions before I discovered that the cut and fill diagrams had all been a bit wrong, so all my work was for nothing, and I would have to start from scratch tomorrow morning. Eventually wound up at the office round 1730, and over to have a look at Dad's sewers in Kenyalang park, which have just been opened, and which had a large accumulation of scum at the end of the pipe, held in place by the bar screens, which I consequently removed, at risk of falling into a 15ft deep tank of effluent. Then off to the club, intent on having a beer, but somehow had 8, which confused us somewhat, so had makan and set off back home to work it off, and somehow did not do much, apart from open a bottle of cognac which Tiny had thoughtfully left behind, before hitting the sack.


Saturday, 12 July 1969 Kuching Images for 12 July 1969
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Woke up quite late this morning, quite possibly as a result of the inordinate quantity of booze that we consumed last night, and noted that, in all probability, somebody was returning from Sibu airport wondering what the hell had happened to Mr. Nor Man. Got up and had a bit of All-Bran, as there was no other cereal available, and then off to the office, where I already had my work laid out for me: the whole of the Phase 2 Stage II earthworks which I had unsuccessfully tried to botch up yesterday. The morning went uneventfully enough, and all I made in the way of progress was to develop my own way of using a planimeter, involving using Dad's adding machine (which has nothing on either of the things we used at ICI. Multiplying and dividing are so cumbersome as to be pointless if one has a slipstick. In any case, carried on thus all morning, vaguely wondering how the hell a planimeter works, and at the same time verifying that it does. Then, round lunch time, just as we were about to go to the open market, Dad discovered he was broke, so we had to go to the club, where we had what was left in the way of cheese, and then had some Singapore Mee Hoon, containing, inter alia, bits of old sausages. Then, after once again more than sufficient booze, off to Kenyalang park for another inspection of the sewers, where we met Mr. Wu and Micheal, and I sat there (no, stood) wondering about the omnipresent Wu, and thinking how long it had been since I first met him, still in the first flush of my love for Lesley. How long ago, indeed. Now they were talking about draining half of the septic tank, and the pump ran out of petrol and it started to pour with rain, so we thought it prudent to give it up until the weather got a bit better, which we did, and off to the office, and then to the Supermarket, in order to get some food, a commodity sadly lacking for the weekend. In the process of this, and while I observed that they sold Schick razors but no blades, the rain stopped, and so we went off home and unlade our stuff, and I had a crap with used up a singular amount of time, such that before I had finished Dad was shouting at me that I would be late for Sek Cheng's wedding, so off we set and made it to the church a little before the bride and sat round while the priest mumbled all sorts of things at Sek Cheng and Mary,


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and Chye ran about with a Leica M4 and a remarkable collection of lenses, which made me suggest to Dad that he paid him too much. Dad himself was fighting an unequal battle against going off to sleep, in which I was only partially able to assist him but giving him a knock from time to time to ensure that it did not become too obvious. Noticed also a worthwhile couple of orang puteh birds on decani. Selena (or is it Selina?) said last night, with a twinkle in her eye, that I might be outnumbered. I am beginning to think that she might be right.

Home again, and Dad got a bit of sleep wihle I read Double Chevron and wondered about buying an 11CV légère in England when I sell my Ami. Of course, it is a positively stupid idea, but it is about time I took a long look at what I want a car for. For me, a car is not merely an instrument of transport from A to B (or any other two or more places), nor is it, as for Sonny, so much a means of expressing pent-up frustration (or? In any case, I am not as pre-occupied with speed as is Sonny). Versatility is a thing I believe in, as is comfort and safety, but most of all I think I need a car to believe in. My Ami let me down badly in this respect; I had rather hoped that it would be about 5 times as reliable as it has proved to be. It would not have worried me if I had had twice as many accidents, if only things like rocker arms and fuel pumps and fan pulleys had not kept giving up the ghost on me. Possibly I could believe in a 1100, but I think I would find it difficult - how can one believe in a thing which is made, it would seem, for the prime intention of satisfying a consumer need, which has been derived from market research and which is, in any case, so different from my own? (Am I just saying I hate a conformist car?). In any case, I feel an 11AL would be a good buy in many ways- it is known as one of the most utterly reliable cars ever built, probably more so even than the 2CV, Ami 6 or DS, or the VW Käfer.

I don't know where I got that idea from. But in general cars in those days were nowhere near as reliable as modern (2016) cars. My guess is that the Traction was relatively reliable for its time, but that was long gone in 1969.

I now know that it would be very easy to convert the engine to the specification of the DS 19 or beyond, which would entail a rise in maximum power from 55/3800 to about 90/5500. The road holding is almost certainly better than the Ami, or probably the 1110, and spare parts are much more readily available than the Ami. On top of this, it is spacious and looks good, especially with the modern revival of the cars of the 30's. The only difference is the fuel consumption - even then the thing would not use much more than an 1100, not at any rate the way I drive. So stands the argument, anyway - it all depends now on the market in England.

In the evening, to the wedding reception, where Dad gave a speech in honour of Sek Cheng, and did not do at all a bad job, and then Sek Cheng came along ant tried to pair me off with my choice of about 8 girls, as if, now himself tied down, he were anxious not to be the only one.

Home early enough, and had intended to get an early night, but Dad was splicing film and rather hoped I would have a look at the fruits of his labours. I did, and it was well worthwhile - the holiday he took from Darwin to Papeëte. Must go there myself some time.


Sunday, 13 July 1969 Kuching
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Up late this morning, after Dad came in and suggested I might be able to do with some breakfast, which was in truth a good idea, sufficient to lure me from my mosquito-ridden bed to the kitchen, where I found some tiny blackened sausages and rather watery coffee to whet my appetite. Had these, and Dad suggested that, as he wanted to go to the office, I might be able to find the time and energy to do the washing up for him. This I did, playing my recorder while waiting for the water to heat up, my mind flooded with visions of cross-flow alloy hemi heads with twin 1½" SU's, distributorless ignition and the DS parts to an 11AL. This would probably be quite possible with the money that I had better realise from my Ami, and would doubtless be much more fun than doing up an 1100.

Eventually, at a time when I knew Loeillet's Sonate in B minor almost off by heart, Dad returned and we headed off to the club for a rather grotty curry lunch. Met several more people there - I never realised that there were so many orang putehs in Kuching. Ended up once again having several beers, and then, as ever, off to examine the sewers. I have heard of people doing a lot of odd things when they get drunk, but this one of Dad's beats them all. While we were at it, also had a look at various other faults which seem to open up like dessert flowers after a rainstorm - though the only oe we could directly ascribe to the rainstorm was cloudy effluent (Lovely word, that. I wonder if one would describe Dad as belonging to the “effluent society?)”.

Then home, after Dad had done some work in the office, and I spent a goodly portion of time reading “Reader's Digest” before we thought it prudent to head off to the club and knock back a couple more beers before the film, though my real intention had been to see what birds were floating round. Saw the film, and then a number of birds, apparently offspring in equal number of Alan Roston and (Bob?) Young, who have both apparently been affected similarly as a result - very similar in appearance. Film, “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, was quite good, though not quite in accordance with the book. Made a few mental notes, since forgotten, about the birds, then home via the office after makan and late to bed.


Monday, 14 July 1969 Kuching
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Dad seemed to take great delight in waking me at round 0710 this morning, although I was not instrumental in his journey to the airport, as he had been offered a lift last night. Spluttered on in sleep, but eventually conceded and got up, and after Dad left and I had brushed, combed and shaved myself into a state more approaching humanity (aren't I bullshitting a lot lateley?) out to see what was available in the way of food, which was exceedingly little, so I set to making myself an omelette, and in the middle of all this the girl arrived and put her foot thoroughly in it, so relayed to her Dad's blowing up, and she asked for $1.50 for Omo, and I went off to tell Andrew to ring Sibu, but he was not there, so asked Miss Lau to do so, and went to Kenyalang park to look for Micheal, whom I eventually found, and asked him to have things ready for me tomorrow so that we could do the level survey for the Sarawak club squash couts. Then back to the office, where I settled down to finsihing off my planimeter business, which took me all morning with little relief to the said monotony. At any rate, by noon I had everything mesured out and had even taken the trouble to compare these measurements to those I had taken, in 4 sections, of the whole area, and was pleased to note a discrepancy of less than 1,3% in the whole area.

Went to the club for lunch, and found the place strangely deserted, apart from one young lady whom I had seen last night, but with whom I had not the guts to speak. She went off anyway - I think she is one of the Young girls. Had makan, then early (how's that for keenness - or is it just my ICI habits becoming hard to shake off?) back to the office, where I found it an extremely simple matter to do the earthworks calculations, and was finished with same by 1430. Then did a bit of thinking about what would become an 11CL8, and managed to write down quite an extraordinary list of things, ranging from adjusting the brakes to fitting a complete DS 19 hydraulic system, which, however, does not look like being in the forseeable future. Then did a bit of Dad's work to discover an error in excess of 26%, which doubtless will please him but little. Then home, to Ting's on the way, and suffered a broken (it wasn't, actually, just dud) fanbelt, and off to Tan Sum Guan to find them closed, so, fuming, back home. Did little in the evening, but the discovery of weevils in the thyme send me off in a hurry to the open market, where I made a pig of myself.


Tuesday, 15 July 1969 Kuching
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Up at 0730 this morning, and once again was in the middle of getting breakfast by the time the girl arrived. Gave her $2.00 for her Omo, and waited to see how long it would be before I got my change. Then off to the site to look for Micheal, whom I found chopping wood behind Alex Tong's Kwongsi hut while a labourer waited for me at the site office. Sent the latter to help the former, and off to Tan Sum Guan to have the fanbelt changed, and when we opened the bonnet found a thin stream of water pissing out of the side of the top hose, which I consequently presumed dud, and had both changed, and watched the farce as the mechanics tried about 10 different fan belts in turn to see which would fit. Eventually, round 0930, got back to Kenyalang Park, and picked up my labourers, stakes and instruments, and off to peg out the site at the Sarawak Club, where they proved themselves not to be too pandai. Eventually had the whole affair plotted out in a more or less orderly manner, and set to taking levels, by now in the blazing sun,

The sun wasn't just unpleasant: the air currents that it caused made it difficult and inaccurate to take readings.

while one of the labourers disappeared somewhere and did not return until we had finished, which mercifully was not too long. Then packed up and took the blokes back to Kenyalang park, and myself off to the club, where I did a bit of reading back (and what a long way back!) numbers of Motor and Autocar, and then to the open market for makan, and home for a shower and change of clothes. To the office for the calculations, which I finished in a quite remarkable period of time - height of collimation is obviously the way to do it. After that I had some time on my hands, which I devoted to some of the more immediate problems of putting DS bits into an Old Grey Mare engine, and thus spent the afternoon, also paying a visit to Kenyalang Park to examine the sewers, as I am sure Dad would have wanted me to do, and ascertained that it was in little better condition than before and (from Mr. Wu) the contractor was afraid to do anything about draining it in case the dividing wall collapses.

Then home, and wrote a few letters, had a grotty makan and read, thus accounting for the evening.


Wednesday, 16 July 1969 Kuching
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Somehow overslept this morning - possibly a combination of the usual causes (tiredness which seems inherent in me and the fact that I had nothing to do anyway.). In any case, I did not wake up until 1030, and even then did little towards getting to the office in a hurry - after all, to do what?

Hung around over my matinal (just!) shredded wheat and coffee, wondering further about the Old Grey Mare (it is about time I thought up some other name - but now I know that there was a C type, distinct (and very much so) from the traction, what should it be? 11CV is ambiguous, and there is little else - traction is even more ambiguous.

To the club round 1200 to delve a little further into the old editions of Motocar, and then, without the planned visit to the open market, following as it would have too soon on my breakfast, out to the airport, where by some superhuman feat I ate a few spring rolls while waiting for Dad, and then picked him and Mike up and back to the office. There hung around for a while with little on my mind, and did some calculations on how much I might expect the traction to cost me, and came to some rather depressing figures, between £300 and £400, all of which go to show that I can't really spent £90 on tyres and get away with it. This will obviously call for a bit of rethinking. Then Dad sent me to the Club to do some further measurements on the site, and then back again and started wondering about camber change as related to length of wishbones, pivot point reparution [?] and deflection, and came to little conclusion save that my maths was more than rusty, and in due course located some revision notes in a bookshop in Padungan road for only $4.95 each. Then back, and shortly later with Dad to the club, back to have makan at the open market, and still later back to the club to see a film “The Joker is Wild”, which was quite good but somewhat depressed me, reminding me that I still know no girl about whom I could be unreservedly crazy. Then home, where we did little more but go to bed, though I had great difficulty falling asleep.


Thursday, 17 July 1969 Kuching
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Somehow managed to oversleep this morning once again, although I had hoped that possibly Dad might wake me up. Such however seemed not to be the case—indeed I slept in longer than I did yesterday morning. I vaguely recall Dad blowing the girl up for something or another, but I can't remember his alleged coming in to wake me up. In any case, whn I finally did wake up, I had little do do until he returned, which, as I expected, was round lunch time, and so sat round reading and wondering if it would be such a bad idea to get an BMC 1100 after all. Certainly it would be more of a gomobile, whichever way one looks at it, even if, as I noted rather to my surprise, it has a noticeably older fashioned engine standard than the 11CV. (No liners, bore in CI block, combustion chamber overlaps block face, etc.).

Off with Dad to lunch at the open market, and had the good old $1.00 curry, and it was then suggested that I do some work, which I did not particularly feel like doing, especially when I discovered that it was a process of opening sewer manholes to take some invert levels. Off, however, to the site, and got a bloke to come with me. The job was not that difficult, apart from getting the somewhat corroded manholes off, but it was rather difficult to get the staff into the shit, sewer rats, cockroaches, etc - in one tank the stuff was 7ft deep, and the bloke was understandably reluctant, though he cheered up somewhat when I gave him $1.00 for his troubles. Then back to the office, where I discovered the ID had arrived, and so over to the AAS to see what was happening, and was told that the car would be cleared tomorrow. Also bought a couple of much-needed maths books, and back to the flat, to pick Dad up later, and did some rather crazy [mazy?] shopping, after which we went home and had tea. It is about time I got some books from the library or something, and read them, rather than reading and re-reading CCC

I think this was the British Citroën Car Club.

and similar all the time. While on the subject, I have decided that probably the easiest way of finding a worthwhile engine for the BMC 1100 would be to find a crashed Cooper S and get its power unit en masse. Things like bigger carbs and mod. heads would easily be fitted later.

Then decided to cook makan, and in the middle of this discovered we had neither of those essentials of life - garlic and soya sauce. Somehow managed to struggle through, though it still was not much good, and then carried on reading until we hit the sack.


Friday, 18 July 1969 Kuching
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Today Dad came to the conclusion that it might not, after all, be a bad idea to get me up early and do a bit of work, or possibly it was just so that I could witness that he did, indeed, try to do something about his admittedly mediocre servant girl. In any case, with him to the office and was then sent off to the Kenyalang Park site at Lin Kee's mercy, to which I submitted, and was accordingly shown a line on a plan, all looking so nice, showing where the phase 1 sewers were supposed to be (if this is the effluent society, Lin Kee or anybody else can keep it). In any case, in due course I was supplied with a couple of labourers, one, who I gather is called Tem, the bloke who was helping me last year, and the other a positive nong who does not seem to speak any language except Iban (or something related). Set to looking for our line of pegs, and discovered it went straight through Joo Yee's concrete block hardening plant, which made it rather confusing to establish a line of sight, so did so 100ft away and squared it off with the level (which, with an accuracy (interpolated) of 1' of arc, is much better suited thereto than the optical square. Then, after setting up that line and getting my binoculars, set up the original line from the far end, and then checking from the other side - typically, ended up right in the middle of a footpath in the drying shed. Hammered it right in, and then back to see Dad for lunch. After that back to the site, where I suddenly remembered that I had more pegs to put in, and so did that, and then would have started taking levels had the heat been any less, but as it was I could not read the staff with an accuracy of more than 0,03' [1 cm], not to mention atmospheric diffraction, and so decided, with Lin Kee's approval, that it was a lost cause, and gave it up, and followed Dad, who was there with a Volvo 144, back to the office, where I almost immediately got a call from the bloke at the AAS to ask if I had had a dent in the door of the ID when I shipped it, to which I replied no, and subsequently round to see it, and found it in otherwise good condition. Unfortunately, the idiots at the AAM have taken the taxation disc out, so we cannot yet drive the thing. Decided to have the door hammered out, while we were waiting, and to ring up the AAM in KL and raise hell - unfortunately we could not get on to them. Then, after work, home for a while, and then to the Borneo Hotel to pick up Ray Shepherd, and to the club for some drinks, and then Malcolm Young (whom Dad had been until this evening, calling Bob, much to his embarrassment tonight) came along and brought in his trail his wife and one Tina Razalla, whom I saw last weekend, and thought it magnanimous of Malcolm, who I believe has his own daughters to worry about, to hand her to me (or maybe that's why he did it).

In fact Malcolm's daughters were much younger. Corinne, the elder, is nearly 7 years younger than I.

In any case, got down to an interesting conversation with her, and shortly later Dad, bless him, invited her to come with us to Tg. Poh [beach at the mouth of the Sarawak river] on Sunday, which she accepted. Then had makan and a friendly banter with Dad and Ray before heading back to the pub to look for a bar, only to find none, then to the Longhouse, where also none, and I let Dad drive, as I was getting fed up with his back seat driving, but it was a mistake - somehow he was a lot further gone than I, and nearly had a couple of accidents. Took Ray home, ourselves home, and ended up playing Dad “Greensleeves” as a lullaby.


Saturday, 19 July 1969 Kuching
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Somehow up at a more or less usual hour this morning, and then spent about half an hour waiting round for the girl to give us breakfast - she has taken to not arriving until 0800 lately, and today Dad gave her hell for same, especially as, as soon as she got in, she stated devoting what attention she has to the laundry. In any case, eventually got something to eat, and then off, took Dad to the office, and started off to Kenyalang park to do the levelling. Found the blokes easily enough - this time Tem had brought two other blokes with him, in order to teach one of them - he had obviously given up hope with the nong. In any case, got down to doing the levelling, and not a moment too soon, as the day was obviously once again going to be hot. Got it over and done without too much sweat, although Tem deserted us in the middle, which caused a bit of panic when we wanted to get the final level and I didn't know where the bench mark was - I had to go and find him. Finished that off, and then off back to the office and work out the levels, in the middle of which enter Dad with letters (not very nice either) from Mrs. Norman and Cherry trees (Tavistock), the former surprisingly unpleasant. I am surprised how unfriendly Mrs. Norman has become in such a short space of time.

I seem to have carefully omitted her reasons.

Later downstairs, and bought a new pen, which I need now that my Pelikan has once again expired. Then off to the club to have some cheese, and ended up talking to David Bailey about Burma - as I later discovered from Dad, he is Anglo-Burmese. Then, still later, off home, somehow missing our customary septic tank inspection, and then Dad settled down to the work in hand while I went off to sleep, and woke a couple of hours later to wonder where Chye had got to with the motor he had promised us, and in due course off to get some petrol and look for Chye, but was told he had gone to bring us the motor, so I back, and Dad off to the Reads. In the meantime, Chye arrived with another motor, not the one he had intended to bring, and showed that this worked. Then Dad back, and later to the club to see if the Razalas were there, and they were not, so to the Malaya restaurant to have makan, and back to discover that Mr. Razala had been in, looking about. Found him eventually in the open market, and confirmed the arrangements for tomorrow. Then home, where we did various preparations for the trip tomorrow, and not too late to bed.


Sunday, 20 July 1969 Kuching → Tg. Poh → Kuching Images for 20 July 1969
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What an offputting way to start a holiday trip, getting up at 0700! It almost annuls the value of the trip itself. In any case, with such thoughts out of bed at such an hour today, and started preparing - I down to get some petrol for the boats, and also a couple of payongs [umbrellas], and then back to pick up Dad and all the barang, and off to the Read's for breakfast, which took somewhat longer than we had expected, or I had expected at any rate, and was full of the Read kids climbing all over me and otherwise surrounding me. Ended up leaving to pick Tina up about 5 minutes after I was due to be there - she was waiting outside, and at the sight of me jumped like a Steinbock and disappeared joyfully into the house, to reemerge with her basket, and then off to pick up the boat and up to Satok bridge, where we launched same without further ado, and sat there waiting for Dad and the Reads to come, while conversation gradually petered out, and I was left wondering what sort of a girl she is. We had just managed to open a couple of cans of beer with screwdrivers and pliers

In those days there were no easy-open cans.

when the others arrived, complaining of having had a flat tyre on the trailer. Then launched the boat, which took a while, and set off with a couple of mishaps such as Malcolm ramming me in the back and tearing a nasty hole in the hull, fortunately well above the water line. Set off downstream, Tina with me in the front, sitting pleasantly close, and Simon behind covered in suntan cream. All went fairly well, and we obviously had a lot more poke than the others, and so were throttled down to about half way. Little further happened on the way - Tina took off her glasses, a marked improvement, and opened a couple of tins of beer, again with screwdriver and pliers, and then suddenly we had engine trouble - lack of drive, etc. Stopped and discovered the magneto housing almost completely loose, and apart from anything else, the whipcord would not engaged [sic]. Dad heaved (or is it hove?) to, and took Simon, and then we spluttered on, I suspect on one cylinder, from there, at the mouth of the river, to Tg. Poh, where we pulled in to one of the beaches. Unloaded fairly unceremoniously and simply - jumped overboard, - and gave first priority, after the needs of nature, to cooking some makan. This got underway quite quickly, Tina emerged in a bikini that showed there wasn't a lot of her, and we all went in for a swim, and I to take Simon for a rock climb. Then had makan in bits and pieces, and it was noticably better than last time we were here.


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Gradually that came to an end, and I went out to change the plugs, and noting that the engine was firing much better, decided to bale out, as we had somehow shipped a lot of water. That took quite a while, and after that for a swim, and I ended up alone with Tina, and we quite enjoyed ourselves, without really getting up to anything of importance - just messing around. Still, it was fun, and makes me wonder once again just what one needs to enjoy oneself. Also came to the conclusion that I rather like Tina, and wonder just what sort of a person she is.

Packed up after this, and had fun once we were in the boat, as first it would not start, and then we had no drive - found the prop. drive pin missing, and so changed it, and then off, jerking as ever. Let the others get ahead of us by some way, and just sat there together - it was impracticable to do anything more, in any case, as I would have lost control of the boat. If only we had been able to drop anchor somewhere without the others coming back to see what was wrong. Some difference from a slow boat to China! Finally the gears gave up on us, and after several attempts to rectify same reluctantly agreed to be towed back to Pending, where the owner of the motor was, and so left the boat and motor with him, to be picked up in the near future. Back to Satok bridge [the other side of town], not without further (minor) incident, and then after getting the boat out, took our trailer home, and Tina home after that, arranging to meet Tina at the flick. Had a shower and went to pick Dad up, took him home for a shower, and up to book a couple of seats for the flick. Saw Tina, who had saved me a seat, bless her, and so got one for Dad somewhere else. Back, picked Dad up, and back to see the flick which was none too bad - suddenly I realise how much I need a girl like Tina - really enjoyed it just sitting there holding hands, a thing I would hardly have thought of not too long ago. Wanted to take her home, but her father thought otherwise, so had to say goodbye to her right then. Oh, what the hell - there will be another time.


Monday, 21 July 1969 Kuching Images for 21 July 1969
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Man lands on moon

Up this morning at 0730 with Dad to tell me that the lunar capsule Eagle has landed on the moon - which makes today responsible for at least one occurrence of world (?)-shattering importance.

The module landed at 04:17:40 local time.

Off first thing, still feeling quite sore from yesterday, and off down Padungun road to see a site, still covered in primary jungle apart from rentisses

I'm sure that that's the word we used, but I can't find any reference anywhere. They were straight channels cut through the trees.

for the levelling, and had a look, which presumably gives Dad a good deal of information - in any case, he was stressing the importance of getting this scheme to go ahead. Back to the office, where I had little enough to do for most of the morning.and so settle down to doing some maths revision, and at least got somewhere. Then Lin Kee came in and told me that I had forgotten some important values on my chainage plan (why chainage when it is all measured in feet?). In any case, this necessitated a visit to Kenyalang Park, which I did via the club, ostensibly to remove the pegs from the area we levelled there, but in fact to verify that Tina was not there - I have somehow had a premonition (or might one say wishful thinking?) that I would see her today.

Back after doing my chainages, and found, apart from a letter from Sonny, the registration book and tax disk for the ID. Accordingly would have gone to pick up same had it not been lunch time, so instead off again to the club for lunch, while Dad had a swim and sunbathe as well. Didn't see Tina there, somewhat to my disappointment, and so back to see the ID, which was by no means even completely cemented, and so had to leave it until tomorrow morning. To Ting's to do some shopping, and then discovered I didn't have the key to the house, which was fortunate, because when I came back from getting it, I finally saw Tina, though without her glasses she hardly saw me until I was on top of her.

She was walking down the road on the north side of what is now Padang Merdeka. When I stopped for her, she first thought it was a stranger, and reacted accordingly until she heard my voice.

Came home with me, and upstairs, where I decided to somewhat delay my visit to Pending to search for the watch in the bilges of the boat, and stayed with her instead. Then carried on as best we could until I thought it prudent to go and visit Dad, and so off, giving a lift to a couple of her acquaintances on the way, and then bought some cheruts at the little shop in India St., after which up to see a rather irate Lin Kee, but fortunately the object of his wrath was the garage who had made such a mess of his VW, and not me, so up to see Dad, ascertained he didn't want to get started to move until 1845, and so back with Tina. Eventually off to pick Dad up and to help adjust a door at the Neal's. Off eventually to have makan at the open market. Home, hung about for a while, wrote to Sonny, and then to bed.


Tuesday, 22 July 1969 Kuching
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Up as usual, feeling still slightly shagged out, and could not face the thought of breakfast. Then to Padungan road to get hold of the ID, and was given the strict injunction not to let the car appear in public before I had done a pretty thorough cleanup on same. Accordingly home, and realised I had none of the normal implements wherewith one washes a car, and so back to Ting's, where they had little to help me, and so to India St., where I found the rest, once again hoping to bump into Teen. Did not, however, make that far until I had been home some while and had just about finished washing the car, when she and her mother turned up to their Yoga classes, which I discover take place upstairs, and commented on the car. Her stepmother [same person, correct description] seemed more friendly than Teen herself did, why I know not. In any case, in due course they disappeared upstairs to Marguerites, leaving me contemplating the mess on Fritz's car, which eventually led me to wash it. Then up to see the AAS, back to read all the stuff that they gave me - quite a lot of it, at that - and then decided that, in all probability, I wouldn't see Teen anyway, and back to the office. There did a little work until lunchtime, agreeing with Dad meanwhile that it would be a good idea for me to go down to Pending after lunch and look for my watch. Then off to the club for lunch, and I could stand it no more, and rung Teen up and asked her if she wanted to come to Pending with me, and subsequently arranged to pick her up at 1430. Then back to the office to have a look at a preliminary earthworks survey that Dad had for me, and just about managed to divide it up into areas by 1415, when I left to pick up a Teen who wanted to know whether to wash her hair at her or my house. Off to Pending, amply demonstrating to the beloved the roadholding powers of my other déesse, and found the boat after a bit of searching, unscrewed the bilges, and found nothing. Back, little disappointed, to the flat, where things progressed much as yesterday. Then had a shower, as it was 1700, and waited for Dad to come home, which he did at 1815. Teen made tea and disappeared, and I then got tidied up to go out - her mother had a birthday today, and invited me out to the Coq d'Or with them. Went over to their place at 1930, and had a drink before taking them in the idée to Electra House, where I made an absolute fool of myself by knocking over two glasses of booze - I was as nervous as hell. To make it worse, coming out I knocked the side of the car on a pillar, which did the car more harm than the pillar. Home to tell Dad, kicking his mosquito coil under the bed in the process, and late to bed.


Wednesday, 23 July 1969 Kuching
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Up as usual this morning, by now feeling somewhat weak-kneed - this is all becoming too much of a habit - and again had no breakfast, but off straight to the office a little after Dad, having first given myself time to collect my wits and to wake up. At the office, work rained on me - first I was given the earthwork survey which I should have done yesterday, and which I expected to take all day, but which, to my surprise, I finished in only 1¾ hours, and hung around for a while doing nothing more than distract Lin Kee, so after a while down to look at some watches - I had been rather hoping to get a Breitling Navitimer for my birthday, but now I notice that the watches used by the moon crew on Monday were Omega Speedmasters, and so went to have a look at these, and found them to cost only $330 even in Kuching, and they do not look to bad. There is no evidence of any Breitling agency.

At lunch, went round in circles looking for Dad, and eventually found him at the Rotary Club, so off to the Sarawak Club myself to read for a while, and then, almost as an afterthought, to the open market to have some lunch. Then back to the office, where I was given lots of checking work to do, which I disposed with pretty rapidly, and then thought about going home. Went all the way home before I realised Dad had the key, and so back to get it, via the club. At home spent quite a while changing Dad's bed with mine, as his squeaks much less than mine. Then over to see how Teen was getting on, and found her with her parents, mother delighted with the flowers I had sent her, and David [brother] having, contrary to expectations, not turned up on the noon flight. Accordingly, instead of going to see “The Sandpiper”, went out to pick him up, and again he did not arrive. Dropped parents at home, and, ostensibly to see the film, off home, where we decided to cook some makan, and did cook a nasi goreng, which the 3 of us ate, and had a bit of a talk, while a very domestic Teen sewed up a hole in my pants for me. Then she off home and I to bed.


Thursday, 24 July 1969 Kuching Images for 24 July 1969
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Up as usual, feeling also as usual more than a little tired, and then Dad told me that Lin Kee had some levelling work for me to do, and so presently down to Kenyalang Park for gen on the same, and came to the conclusion that I would have to return to the office for a plan, and in the meantime asked Micheal to find me Tem and another man to help. At the office was just developing the plan print when Micheal rang up to say that Tem was not available, and that he would be tomorrow, which seemed fair enough, and so agreed to put it off until then. Then hung round the office doing odds and ends, finally went to the immigration department and arranged things there, which involved coming back to the office and getting Dad's signature to the thing. Later back, and had a look at the Omega Speedmaster watch, the one that has been somewhat distinguished by being the first timepiece on the moon, and thought it might be nice of Dad to buy me one. Then got a visit pass, for only 2 months, and off to lunch with Dad - were just about to leave when Dad saw Teen arrive with another bloke, whom I assumed to be David, though the very fact that I had seen her had me worried, and I knew that I would have to see her. In the afternoon down Padungun road, and there had a $40 quote for the rear quarters of the idée, and bought some spanners. Then to the office, bought some johnnies and had myself measured for a couple of pairs of pants, and then upstairs, to be told by Chye, who seems to have a finger in every pie, that Teen had rung, so off to the club, where I found an enormous number of people,

This is my best guess as to when I took “today”'s photos. It must have been between 20 July 1969 (trip to Tanjong Poh) and 5 August 1969 (trip to Bau:

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Sadly, these are some of the few photos which have survived. I'm the victim in the first photo.

and was invited by a Corinne Young to a party this evening, at which my presence would obviously be invaluable as, true to Selena's statement, women far outnumber men here. Hung about for most of the afternoon, but eventually took Teen and David home - rather like David, nice enough bloke, and not as snotty as Dad had led me to believe. Then got to work on the ID clutch cable, and finally put the correct washer in place, which makes quite a difference to the clutch action - it is now quite smooth. Found Dad at the club and told him I was going to the party, and then home again to prepare for same. Later over to the Rozallas, and there found a Nikki Roston, quite nice, and with her David. To India St. to buy some cheruts, and then to the party, where I sat down by myself and fairly soon was joined by David, and then the whole party. After a while, Sandy Ritchie came, and as he is crazy about Teen, I suggested she brightened his life for him, which she did - only I got jealous (crazy!) and started messing around with a few other girls, and before I knew where I was I had Lindsay Cumming Smith in the car with me. But then she is only 14, and I felt a) like a cradle snatcher and b) like a bastard, which was even worse. Off to find Dad still drinking - he though he had worries - and found Teen back at the party kissing Sandy and being very cool toward me. Poor Teen - I think she was more than slightly upset. If only I had known! - but I should have: there was once a yong lass by the name of Lesley Cannings. Finally, about midnight, Mrs. Young considered it time to break...


Friday, 25 July 1969 Kuching
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... up the party. Suddenly I, still more worried about Teen than anything else in the world, discovered that I was the only bloke with any sort of transport, and before I knew what was going on, there were 13 people in the car, including Paul and Lindsay in the boot - at any rate, this time the suspension achieved its full running height. Just as we were about to leave, I noticed Teen walking away somewhere, but managed to persuade her to get into the car and sit on my lap as we burnt down to the open market via Lindsay's place - I was only too happy to get rid of her - and then to the open market for some prawns, while Teen sat, looking none too happy, talking to Sandy. Eventually finished, and took everybody home, finishing off alone in the car with Teen, who was still looking miserable and claiming there was nothing wrong. Back to the flat, where we found David alone, Dad having gone to be, and had a cup of coffee - Teen was pretty full - and discussed the happenings, Teen speaking very vehemently against Lindsay, poor girl - she must have been through hell. Took them home, and was just about to go to sleep when there was a knock on the door and enter the Grimmets and Nina, who wanted to know what to do. Ended up picking Corrinne up and having another pot of coffee, while I explained to them a few of the more sordid and mundane facts of life. Damn - it they are all kids. They only just beat Sputnik 1 here.

The youngest was 14, so born 1955 at the latest, quite some time before Sputnik 1. But the comparison is interesting, and probably reflects interest in the Moon landing.

Took them all home eventually, and to bed at about 0330.

Woke up feeling worse than I did when I went to bed, and hating myself for what I did to Teen last night. Dad, however, was adamant: I should get this survey done, hate thyself or hate thyself not, and in future please kindly let your social activity not interfere with your work. So I got up, feeling like killing myself, or something, and then off to the office to pick up the plans, and to Kenyalang Park to see what had happened to Tem, who was nowhere to be seen, and so looked for Micheal or Mr. Wu instead, but by 0930 had found neither of them, and so decided that if they be that uncoöperative, it could wait until Monday, when I could be back and on top of the world again with my more immediate problem, Teen. To the Club, where I was enthusiastically welcomed by the Grimmets, and even more so by Corinne when she arrived - that girl is just plain randy, and all at 14 - I ought to introduce her to Jim McGibbon. Hung about for a while, home for a shave and back for a steak sandwich, an then to take Dad to the airport, whence I tried to contact Teen, but she was still at her sewing classes, and so moped until Dad thought I might as well go. Went straight home and slept until 1400, and then over to see Teen, but with her were some others, Heather and Corrinne notably, and Teen did not exactly welcome me with open arms - I suspect Corrinne might have been telling tales. In any case, eventually managed to take everybody to the club, and then Teen back home - she was extremely upset indeed, though she pretended that she was not - seeing her sit there like that made me realise that a lot of my basic assumptions about her are wrong, and that she is in fact both very sensitive and fond of me - on one hand she was telling me it was all over, and on the other hand not acting accordingly. Eventually she decided she wanted to get some sleep, and so I cried myself to sleep in the other bedroom. Why am I so fond of her? After all, I have yet to have known her a week. Is it because we hit it off so well in bed together, or what? In any case, woke up a couple of hours later, and in to see how she was getting on - she was asleep, but woke up and pulled me into bed with her, and all was well again (or was it? I wish I had more confidence in just this one thing!) Then she was to go home and I to see her later, preferably not in the presence of her parents (which may or may not have had to do with the love-bites on my neck), and so I to the market for some mee, and then home for a while, and wrote letter to Sandy, after which across to find her in her nightie preparing to go to the flick with Sandy (this looks ridiculous, nicht wahr?). Decided to go with her, and as she got dressed she told me that she thought it would be wise if we stopped sleeping together, as she was afraid of getting pregnant. She has something at that, especially as she doesn't believe in condoms. Then to the flick, after which we agreed to start up a new relationship and not sleep with each other so much (read at all). Home, found David and Paul, and to the Open Market for makan, and home round 0120.


Saturday, 26 July 1969 Kuching
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Despite the fact I got to bed so late last night, and am in any case not usually able to get up particularly early, I woke this morning at only 0820, and almost immediately thought about going to visit Teen. Managed, however, to put it off until 1000 hrs, when I expected her more likely to be up than when I did. She was not, however, nor was David, though Thea thought it a good idea for me to go and wake them, which I did. In due course Teen got up, and then I thought it prudent to go into town and do some shopping, bumping in to Mrs. Young on the way. Still later got David to come down to Padungun Road with me in the Zodiac so I could leave the ID for repairs, and then back again to the Rozallas, where we hug about until lunch, to which I was invited. In the middle of lunch, Teen got a phone call from somebody who said he had been told that she wanted to make friends, and may he be the first? She said he might not, nor might anybody else, and hung up. But who could have been saying that sort of thing? This bloke was obviously innocent, and somebody had given him her name and address. Has Lindsay, not content with the havoc she has already wrought [Right, all her fault], been having fun by oblique suggestions that Teen no longer has a boyfriend? After lunch, Sandy was due to come round, and Teen thought I might like to be there, but I thought she might not like me to, and so went off to the club with David, where I was bored to tears, and so walked back and chatted with Teen and Sandy until David came back and Sandy left. Then parents started emerging in various states of undress, and so I thought I had better be off, and arranged to pick Teen and David up this evening for the swimming gala. Went home and messed around for a while, and then went off back to the Rozallas, and picked Teen and David up. Teen seemed to have cooled off somewhat, and had me slightly worried, which was not helped by the fact that she sat as far away from me as she could. Later decided to expede to the open market to find Paul, and along came Peter, David, Wendy and Corrinne. Didn't find Paul, but did have makan, and then were about to go when we left the girls behind and driving to the bottom of the ramp.

Presumably this was the ramp from the upstairs car park in Electra House, opposite the open market.

The girls however, retaliated by catching a taxi, thus causing no end of annoyance to us.

When we got back, Teen was still obviously pissed off, and I was all for leaving then and there, but David persuaded me to say, and we all went for a swim, in which Linsday made more than the usual nuisance of herself and Teen was obviously upset and told me to bugger off - though she kept a careful eye on me all the time, asking David where I was as she did not have her glasses on. Home, feeling frantically depressed, while the Rozallas went to the open market and took with them, of all people, Lindsay. I home to write a letter to Teen asking her to tell me what the matter was - put in under their door and home to bed.


Sunday, 27 July 1969 Kuching → Terbakang → Kuching
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Up feeling, as two days ago, like death warmed up, and wondered what just to do to make the day, and, as it seemed, the rest of my life worthwhile. Got up much as usual and spent a bit of time getting dressed, though I have hardly had any breakfast worth talking of since I started going with Teen. Up eventually from my lethargy and round the corner to the Rozallas, but Teen and David had already gone to the club, which rather disappointed me, as we had rather little chance to do anything, more especially to say anything there. Accordingly, however, to the club, where Dave greeted me with the news that I had really put my foot in it now, and Teen had apparently taken a dim view of my letter of last night. She certainly seemed not very friendly this morning, and disappeared almost as soon as I arrived, and I, feeling terrible, decided to drive to Simanggang and forget my worries there - driving the Zodiac at any speed precludes any other thought. Was somewhat daunted when Paul told me that it was 100 miles [in fact it's 200 km, about 125 miles], and later decided to go to Serian instead, but was rather pissed off that the roads were surfaced all the way, and so took the turnoff to Terbakang, which lies 7 miles along twisty gravel tracks. Found myself belting along same at 60 mpg [100 km/h], which became all the more astounding when I found (later) I could hardly take them any faster on a surfaced road; admittedly, I was sliding, but that was all the fun of it, and it was quite safe enough except when I came sideways at a bridge, which rather shook me, but apart from that it was fine.

The bridge was single lane. I went into an opposite slide, straightening out to cross the bridge, and then sliding in the other direction on the other side. And no, I'm not that good a driver. It was sheer luck that I didn't have a serious accident.

Back to Kuching, low on petrol, and discovered not a single petrol station between Terbakang and Kuching [a distance of about 80 km]. I suppose one must be able to buy it in cans or something. In any case, I did not stop until I had to, 15 miles from Kuching, and then ended up transferring petroil (1:50) from the outboard tanks with a beer can into the car tank, which, with after another stop to repeat the process, got me back to Kuching. Then home and hit the booze, had a sleep, and was woken by the advent of Paul and David, who suggested I came to the flick tonight, to which I agreed. Later to see Paul and pick up the car, still later (having found the car locked) to the flick, by which time I was so pissed I could not see straight, and so home to flop down on the bed and out like a light.


Monday, 28 July 1969 Kuching
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And so, after yesterday, the attempted return to sanity and civilisation. Woke up rather later than usual, as I had, after all, nothing of any world-shattering importance to do; I was still by no means capable of getting the the level survey done, although I had, funnily enough, not the slightest trace of a hangover. Gradually staggered out of bed and decided to try the old familiar and go and see how Teen was getting on - in the last 10 days, my life has been thoroughly disrupted. I feel rather guilty towards Dad, as well, as after all the prime purpose of me coming out here was to do some work for him. But how now?

Teen was not very receptive, and I decided that the best thing I could do was to get out quick, and took David with me to get the Zodiac, but changed my mind and brought him with me in the Citroën when we collected it, and then out to Kenyalang Park to arrange a survey party tomorrow at 0800, and David also agreed to come. To Electra House to get some Contac 500 for Thea, who was feeling a bit crook, and took them back to her. Then out to the airport to pick Dad up, but he was not on the flight, so back to the office to find a telegram to say he would be arriving at 1950 this evening. Had some makan at the open market, not because I was hungry, but because I thought it was about time I had something to eat. Didn't do myself much good therewith, and returned home feeling rather crook. Later on in the afternoon thought of going to the club, but when I got there found Teen had gone to visit a friend called Doreen, so life once again became pointless, and I moped away most of the afternoon, though Lindsay latched herself on the to me pretty firmly, and I decided that, under the circumstances, there would be little point in being unpleasant. Then off to pick Dad up, but the plane had been delayed 1½ hours, and so back to try and talk to Teen - I have been trying all day without success. Found them about to go to a party at Wendys, and was asked to take them, so did, then out to pick Dad up - no watch: they are out of stock in Singapore. Home via the office, and back to Wendy's and almost immediately to the Batu Lintang market, where we got twice as much as we ordered, and had to shell out $24. Took Teen home, and had a long talk with her - the old “get lost” story, though she did not seem very eager to get out of the car. I think I might try it.


Tuesday, 29 July 1969 Kuching
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Up at 0720 to take Dad to the airport, and then back to look for, and subsequently print, a plan of the area I wanted to level. This did not go very quickly, and so I didn't pick David up until 0825, and then off to the site to find Mr. Wu using Tem (is he a foreman?), and so we had to make do with a couple of cretins, and did not do too well, especially as it eventuated, at a sweaty 1000 hrs (after we had been half way round Kuching looking for stakes) that I did not know where to measure the line from. Accordingly back to Electra House and told Lin Kee as much, and arranged to meet him after lunch. Then we had a fresh lime and went to the club and played snooker - Dave beat me hollow, and would have done a damn sight better if he had not fouled so much, thus giving me most of my points. Then outside again and sat round, and I saw Peter's “design” for a transmitter, which looked like nothing on earth, so showed him something more plausible and into town to buy a pen, as I had lost my other. Back to the club for a while, but still not sign of Teen, who must have been doing Yoga. Later off to lunch with Kirk and Peter, and they decided to come and help me with the levelling tomorrow morning. Came out with me to see Lin Kee, and at the same time I was shown my next job, involving 20 acres, all of Phase III. Then back to the club, where we had a swim, and I told Teen of my intention of going out with Lindsay to prove I only wanted Teen.

Now doesn't that make sense?

Then messed around for a while, and in the evening Corrinne said that there was something on after midnight tonight, and would I like to come? Agreed, and then Corrinne off, and I talked to Lindsay for a while until I had to go and pick Dad up. Home again, via the office, and later to the Open Market for makaan, which just about cleaned us out. Home, and Dad gave me a book, “October the first is too late”, by Fred Hoyle, and by 0010 I had got halfway through it. Then picked up the girls - Corrinne, Lindsay, Wendy, Peter (well, not all girls) and a Laurie who is a Yank. First out for a drive, but found a curfew, just beyond the airport, and so back, and to Kenyalang park, where they were in imminent danger of being caught, so finally off to my place, where I gave them coffee and bundled them off home, kissing Lindsay a rather protracted but wholly uninteresting goodnight: I don't want anyone but Teen.


Wednesday, 30 July 1969 Kuching
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Overslept this morning, to my considerable fury, as I had wanted to get everything to do with the levelling over and done with as soon as possible, and the events meant that, after picking Dave up, and having a bit of an argument with a still sleepy Dad, we did not arrive on site until some time after 0800. To make things a bit better, however, we did find Tem there, along with the cretin who came yesterday. Dad wanted the car, which rather annoyed me, so walked over to the site, and got pretty quickly down to doing our levelling, which went pretty smoothly and without a hitch - Lin Kee came past in the middle of it, but he was just looking for Dad, who had passed somewhere with Mr. Wu a few minutes before. Then finished the survey and off in the ID to get the Zodiac, and back to leave Dad with the ID. I was feeling rather better after David had told me that Teen had last night told him that she wanted to go out with me again, if I would still have her. If! Oh, God, Teen, if only you knew how much I want to!

Back to the club to have a drink and recover from the work, after having a bowl of laksa in Carpenter St. - this stuff is completely different from what one gets in KL, or West Malaysia in general, and I think I prefer the West Malaysian stuff.

My recollection was that both are Penang Laksa (now, apparently, only one version of Laksa asam). The other variety that I knew was Singapore Laksa, now apparently a form of Curry laksa. And Wikipedia also knows a Laksa Sarawak. I wish I could recall the differences, but the summary table in Wikipedia (currently) seems to match the three I'm thinking of. In any case, this was the first of many laksas in Carpenter St., and it seems that I decided to like it after all.

Then off to pick Dad up for lunch, and took Dave home. Had lunch at the club, and then off to see what had become of Dave and Teen. Eventually found them at the club, after which we spent the usual sort of afternoon - this all reminds me of my courtship with Lesley. Off home eventually, without having established anything except that Teen is definitely more friendly towards me of late. Went to the flick with Dad in the evening - “52 miles to Terror”, which I have seen before, no doubt with as adverse a comment as I might otherwise record here.


Thursday, 31 July 1969 Kuching
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Up early, and Dad wanted me to take the ID in for servicing and was rather annoyed when I suggested a different plan of action - I get the feeling that the first thing in the morning is not the best time to talk to him about anything requiring any form of thought. Eventually had it my way, not without a considerable amount of ill-humour on Dad's part, and went to find Paul to drive the Zodiac there, but he was not about, and David was still in bed, so I eventually succumbed and went alone and came back in a taxi, which was not the easiest thing on earth. Just about made it to the Kok medical clinic by the time of my appointment, which was 0930, but Danny didn't turn up until 1000, so had quite a wait. Decided that my spots were shingles, which I rather doubt, and gave me some tablets for them, and said he would also give me something for my weight, though to him I didn't seem seriously underweight - but then he is not that fat himself.

This is, of course, also a racial/cultural issue. I assume Danny was Chinese.

Then to the office, where I did a few minutes work, established that there was little else to do, and then went off to the club, where there was some activity, although Teen once again was not there. Hung about thus until lunchtime, and then off to pick Dad up for lunch. He took me back to the office after lunch, somewhat to my annoyance, as I felt fairly certain of seeing Teen otherwise, and showed me my next job, involving platform levels near the sewage works. Had a look at that, ran off a couple of plans, and then off to the Rozala's, where nobody was, so to the club, where I found Teen had gone into town and eventually found her in Electra House, with Heather, who now annoys me by being friendly to me. Went round with them for a while, ending up in her father's office, and then back to the club, where we messed around for a while, and Paul, David and I arranged to go and see a flick tonight. Then the evening, bringing [?] transport problems with it, and I ended up at the Rozalas without any transport nor cigars, and finally gave up and smoked a Gauloise, which was not as good as I had hoped. Then off with Dave to meet Paul, and in 2 cars to the Rex, to see a film, “Shock troops, french - every car, lorry and bus was a Citroën, and so I rather enjoyed it. Then off to have makan - between the 3 of us we ate 152 sticks of sateh, I with 51, beating my last record - Dave 47 and Paul 54, which some day I must beat. Home, talked to a rather full Dad about women, sex, etc, and late to bed.


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