Greg
Greg's diary
June 1966
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The year 1966
    
Groogle

Wednesday, 1 June 1966 KCT.
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No mail of any description this morning - not even a bill - so fell back onto my Times, and it looks as though peace is very near between Malaysia and Indonesia. Thank God - Al Hamdu l'Illah, or whatever it is. 3 years is a long time, and it has benefited nobody. Now all we need is an end to the Vietnam war and all will be happy again.

After breakfast, in the Sheldon room. I must find something which will entitle me to permanent leisure, or to be more precise, the pursuit of my own interests.

PE after assembly, and playing softball, in which I hardly excelled myself, and then in for a swim - the water was at 18°C, and comparatively warm.

Study period, half gone by the time I turned up, and started writing a letter to Jenny.

Pad, and discovered he was away, so back and on with my letter to Jenny - this one looks like breaking all records for length - I can't remember what my longest ever letter was. In January I did 16 pages to Lesley, but the paper was only half the size, so I shall beat that hands down.

After break, maths and chemistry, neither of which were very eventful.

Choir practice after lunch. For some reason, I cannot make a musical noise about about middle C. I wonder why. Doing the Benjamin Britten Antiphon, which I should enjoy a lot more if I could only sing it.

After that, discussing the choir outing with David Hargrave, and decided that, as by that time I would have left on the pretext of going back to Malaysia, I would turn up at Exeter Cathedral and act just as I had come in the coach.

Then up to the Darkroom to take some photos of coins for Paul Callow. The equipment we now have is excellent for such work - it is very easy. One of our photofloods burnt out, unfortunately.

Then out in the sun for a while. I wish it were hotter. The sun in this country has no power, even when, as today, there is not a cloud in the sky. Pity.

Then, after a shower, organising what I was going to do down town.

Down with Paul Callow after roll call, and left him at Smiths, and on to the Post office, and there posted dozens of photos to Jenny - I hope the 20×24, which was loose, was not damaged.

Then to Greys, met Doctor Fleming outside. It seems that he is a photographer - Leica M2. Tried to get an Edixa R/F screen, but extortional price - £6 odd.

Back to school - glasses fell to bits.


Thursday, 2 June 1966 KCT.
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The mail is cursed - whenever I want to read something in breakfast, it does not arrive until afterwards.

Today I went down to my study place, and nothing there, and just as I was about to despair, discovered it on Ranger's study place. These blokes are getting lazy when they can't even be bothered to hand out the mail. The usual 4 pages from Jenny - I don't suppose I could expect her to be as verbose as I am, and besides, it is longer than the average letters I got from Lesley.

After assembly, mechanics, and told Drax I could not do the prep, which he apparently accepted - good.

After that, quadruple study, which was rather good. Pad and Pen were both away, and so no periods. Spent 2nd half of third writing to Jenny - wrote 14 pages in all of quarto, and I hope it gets by with a 4d stamp.

Then at a loose end, and over to the school to see what was wanted in the classifieds of PNW - Edixa body. I could always offer mine for £25 - reckon I could get it.

Double study in the Padlab after - did quite a bit of maths, about which I am well pleased. Also discussing with Ned the possibilities of buying motor bikes.

After lunch, once again wind band practice was put off until tomorrow, and so spent it in the Sheldon room, reading the AP, with eyes ever alert for a Pentax thread SLR which would be suitable for Jenny. Not much luck unfortunately.

After that, divvers, and the chaplain was talking about gambling. I fear he is a singularly uninspired fellow - I did not find what he was talking about very interesting.

Then maths, and Jimmy showed us how to do a couple of problems, and then left us to work by ourselves. Now that my watch is on the blink, and I have to rely on my pocket watch, shirtsleeve order becomes a bit of a bind.

Then to tea, and to look for Skiv for permission to go down town to have my glasses looked at. Discovered he was in London, and went and asked Popsy, who referred me to Tyson. The latter finally condescended to sign the exeat for me.

Finally down town, and it was stinking hot, and when I got down there, discovered that it was early closing day, and Clement Clarkes were shut, which was a hell of a lot of use. Back up to the Sheldon room, and got into a conversation with John Daw and Paul Gay about what lay ahead after 'A' level.

Finally along came Robin Little and kicked us out. Over, had a shower, and wrote a letter offering my Edixamat for £25.

Double maths - Jimmy thought we were a week behind. Did little in 2nd prep.


Friday, 3 June 1966 KCT.
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Mail late again, probably because I was rather hoping for a letter from Bev, and when I finally got down to the common room, all that was waiting for me was 12 rolls of Perutz Perpantic 17 and 50ft of 16 mm Plus X.

Here's an overview of Perutz films.

After assembly - Clod took it for the 3rd time running - double chemistry. Probably on account of 'A' levels, he nevertheless turned up fairly soon, and asked us if we would like to do another organic practical, and this time gave it to us more under exam conditions - 55 minutes to do the whole thing. No idea what the stuff was, but by the end of it came to the conclusion that it could only be salycilic [sic] acid, and so it was. Got a rather interesting dyestuff with benzene diazonium chloride.

Then mechanics, in which, as usual on Friday, I did not do much.

In break, tried to take a photo with my old Nagel Vollenda, and discovered the shutter would not go. Spent all of 4th period discovering what makes a Compur click.

Then physics, in which I also did one 'S' level question - I can't bring myself to work in this glorious weather.

On with the Tessar after lunch, and, in addition to everything else, got the diaphragm apart - spent all of rest trying to get it back together again.

Then double Pad, and he was talking about thermionic emission, about which he could easily know more. Had to go to the san for a cholera jab. He thought I had sunstroke. Christ - it is only about 25° in the sun.

Had a long argument with Doctor Fleming about what I needed, and in the end had a cholera, although it is only 5 months since I last had one.

Then back to physics, of which I had missed only about ½ an hour, and on with diodes and triodes. If only we could get onto something about which Pad knew more than I do.

Tea, and Paul had a game of tennis at 1615, so up to the Sheldon room until then, and spoke about the silly advertisements in PNQ; “Wanted - A-D filter for Hasselblad 500 mm Tele-Tessar” and so on.

Then Paul off, and had a go at my Pentax meter, which has a loose connection. Did not fix it, but learnt quite a bit about Pentax meters while I was at it.

In evening, 83 seconds late for choir - TDH blew up, and defrocked me.

My recollection was that he told me I was late, I pulled my watch from my pocket, and he took that as a sign of insolence—perhaps it was. “Defrocking” meant throwing me out of the choir.


Saturday, 4 June 1966 KCT.
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No mail again - damn Bev. She was supposed to have come down tomorrow, but as yet I have not heard from her. I hope we manage to arrange it for next week.

I have lately been finding it very difficult to wake up in the mornings - doubtless I could do with more sleep. Rest on beds, such as we had many years ago, was a good idea, I feel, although doubtless I have few supporters - not even, at times when I am wider awake, myself.

Maths, and Jimmy spent the first period going over things in calculus of which we were uncertain - quite a few such. That took the entire period, and in the 2nd (in memory of Henderson, although he is in the san) we had a test on calculus, and did not do remarkably well.

Then art, and to gather from what people told me, we now only have to turn up every other week, and it was my week off today. Good. Also, it is in the Geography room.

Then break, talking to Paul Callow, and did little of importance.

Then chemistry, in which we did even less, although Clod managed to find some topic or another for conversation. English - Daddy G [?] is keen, and turned up again. Had no book - sat looking (and feeling) blank.

After lunch, up in the Sheldon room until about 1315, and then down to the bottom fields to watch the athletics. Got a couple of shots of a bird with very short dress on, and then decided that athletics did not interest me, and went up again to the school, played my Altblockflöte for a while, and then decided I had better do something about my chapel seating.

After being dismissed from the choir, I had no place to sit in the chapel.

Accordingly did so, and then (as shone the sun) went out and did some sunbathing for about ¾ hours - although such a time as that is useless in thus country, where the sun is terribly weak. I still do not have any detectable tan over base density.

Then in and had a shower, and over to go to tea, but in the end did not bother - I have lately not been going very often to tea. Instead, decided to prepare for going into town.

Down with Paul “Petrovitch” Hallett, and left him at Smiths while I went down to Clement Clarks to have my glasses screwed together again. Enquired about coating - they can have it done of about £1··10··0, and I think I shall get them to do so. They can get them back again in about 4 days.

Then to Smiths, and to a jewelers, and got a pocket watch chain, and then back to school, meeting up with Paul again on the way.

Up to the Sheldon room, where we both drank coffee until prep time.

Running all over the place to find out what was happening in chapel, but no avail. Ended up in the Lady Chapel. Driving lesson after makan.


Sunday, 5 June 1966 KCT
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No bells went this morning, with the result that I did not wake until 0730, and missed my morning shower. But I am glad for the extra rest - I am lately exhausted.

Sunday breakfast is surely one of the most unpleasant meals of the week - God knows why, but I know others are in agreement with me - I once had a discussion with Pete Green about the subject.

After breakfast, up to the Sheldon room for a while, but had to make some arrangements about chapel with Potty Alois, and once again move my books.

Back up to the Sheldon room, and stayed there until chapel lineup, which I found to be a most depressing experience.

Chapel itself was scarcely any better - I can see why people do not like it. I can't wait to get back into the choir again.

Then to the darkroom, and made a couple of copy prints onto Agfa Brovira No 6, and then into the Sheldon room again. I feel depressed yet again.

After lunch, colour printing in the darkroom with some negatives of Cooksons, and quite a few test prints without much success. In the middle of it, along came “Feet” Chopping and asked now many people were in there. Feeling in a bolshy mood, I replied that there were 2, although there were actually 5. When he finally came in, we said the other 3 had come in by the other door, and he did not believe this. Then we told him we had a chit, and he checked with Popsy about that, and then asked Allen and Cookson to see him afterwards. Cooked up a story between us, then let them deliver it, while I went over to Stoneleigh to write a letter to Mum & Dad, and did so, although a very quick, scribbled note it was.

Then back to the darkroom, and discovered that Feet had flatly refused to accept the story, and was taking it to Phil Ranger. Silly bugger. We shall do something about this, if such proves to be the case.

After roll call, up to the Sheldon room for a while, and then out and did some suntanning in what sun there was, and then had a shower, and looked for the instructions to Agfa Atomal Neu, which I am considering trying instead of Promicrol. I shall have to do some comparative grain tests.

Then trying to fix the diaphragm of my Tessar. I think I have the method now. Paul back from fishing - once again he caught nothing. When will he learn?


Monday, 6 June 1966 KCT.
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For the first time in a long time, I overslept this morning, not that there was any point in doing otherwise, for there was no mail, not even from Jenny, and so my day was made even more miserable.

When I finally did get up, the first fellow I bumped into was Pauli Athanasiadis, who had my paper. As normal under such circumstances, I blew up, and ended up in a fight with him.

Then had a shower, and over to the school - why is the mail so terrible in this country? I can't believe it was Jenny who was to blame.

Mechanics, and as I had expected, and even hoped for, had a test, and so I needed not to think, but just to compute. My mind is in torment - I really must stop thinking about Jenny.

Then double chemistry, and did little in the first period, and in the second Pricky Cann came in and suggested we learnt a few of the characteristic reactions of aldehydes, and this we did.

Then the first single double maths period for 3 weeks, and did little in it.

Got our tests back in 5th period, and I did just averagely, perhaps because I did not revise.

After lunch, over to the san with a headache, and at the same time got my health certificate back, and then up to the Science library, and got my other travel documents, and then helped Morgan get the darkroom set up - he had actually managed to get Pad's permission to use the darkroom, which I consider rather a wonderful feat. I congratulate him - Pad merely told him to ask me.

Then over for a belated flute lesson - Betty Mills was not very pleased at my tardiness, but carried on for the specified time nevertheless. Then over to the Sheldon room and started writing a letter to Jenny - I never seem to wait for her letters any more, nor do I need to - before I knew where I was, I had written 6 pages. I have almost to keep myself from writing more.

Then to tea, in which I did little - my headache was little abated, despite 2 soluble codeine and a litre of coffee.

Then to a music room, and did some practice - I must lean some “old songs” for the holidays, to sing to Jenny or something.

Carried on thus for quite some time both refreshing my memory with songs I had forgotten, and learning new ones. Then to wind band practice, which went on until 1730, and then, dead, to Miss Gill's for piano lesson.

After supper, I was feeling sick as a dog, and spent prep on my bed until 2025.


Tuesday, 7 June 1966 KCT.
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Up again at a normal hour and feeling a lot better off with the world therto. [sic] No mail in breakfast - I wish something would happen. The GPO is going to rack and ruin.

After breakfast, quite a bit, however. A rather second-hand looking black envelope with a letter from Jenny and a guide to Sandown inside. It seems that they thought I intended to stay with them, and when Mr. Hallett said no go (nicely), Jenny went to Sandown to get me this so that I could stay somewhere.

After assembly - another false whole day holiday rumour - double Pad, and he proceeded to get Cathode Ray tubes wrapped. He has been doing pretty well over the last couple of weeks. Gave me some advice on next week's practical, though.

Then chemistry, and rather worried that Clod would count want our papers in, and escaped by the skin of my teeth. I shall have to do it sometime.

Finished off the maths, and then got 11 pages off to Jenny - I have mislaid my passport. I wonder what has happened to it.

After lunch, discussing Summer holiday plans with Pricky Cookson. It is all on again about the makan and flick in London.

Then off to have a shower - I am not very fond of the atmosphere in the Sheldon room since it has been opened up thus.

Double maths, the first hour or so of which was spent doing corrections on last weeks lot, and then finally got down to another mechanics paper - I am fed up with mechanics. I only hope I am a bit better by the time the exam comes.

Then off for a driving lesson, and for the first time since the course began, I arrived there before she did - not that I am particularly worried, but I could have grabbed a bite of tea in that time, which would have been rather pleasant.

Then off, down South Road for some reversing practice and 3 point turns, which are not as difficult as they seem, and I got by quite adequately.

Then Rick Johnson had a go, and did not do too badly either, and then off - he had some appointment to keep at 1645 hrs, and so we let him off, and up by Parkfields, where I did nothing apart from look at women - which, to my surprise, Mrs. Lewis noted.

Did quite a bit of work in prep, for once. Whole chemistry paper - I am getting chick. [later addition] Skiv called me up in evening about darkroom - also little boys.

This was my brush with the Hugh Lane affair, and one of the most upsetting experiences I have had. The fact that I wrote so little, and as an afterthought, probably related to the real danger that the teachers might read my diary.


Wednesday, 8 June 1966 KCT.
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AP fortunately kept me going through breakfast today, and no mail after - when am I going to hear from Bev?

In assembly, it was revealed that the mysterious “lone wanderer” in the junior dormitory was in fact the dormitory prefect, Hugo Lane. I could hardly believe it until after, when I saw him packing up to leave. Poor bastard - who would have thought he was a queer? But it seems quite definite he did not attempt to deny it.

I shared a small study room in Stoneleigh with Hugh (Hugo was a nickname) and also Trevor Jones. Homosexuality was, of course, a criminal offence at the time. My recollection was that Hugh was to leave school and do his 'A' level exams elsewhere. I wasn't alone (Ricky Cookson?) when I spoke to him in the changing rooms. And not only did he not deny it, he said something like “If you were like me, you'd understand how I feel”. But this event had further repercussions.

PE, and softball again. I could not concentrate - I really feel very sorry for Hugh. I always thought he were fairly normal.

Then up again, and did not go for a swim - could not face it. Up instead to write a letter to Jenny and tell her all about it - I don't suppose she will be very interested, but I had to tell somebody what I thought.

Then physics with Pad, and on about diffraction gratings. I have decided that that man smells very unpleasant - I was nearly sick this morning.

Then, after break, maths, in which I tried to do some Group III mechanics, but did not get very far with it.

Then chemistry, and talking to Clod, who has had some operation on his lower jaw which makes him unable to speak clearly.

After lunch, up to the Sheldon room, and had some coffee, and talking about all sorts of travel subjects.

Then down with Paul Robertovitch [Callow], and bumped into old Robert himself, and then gave Paul his film.

Then into the common room, and then, in accordance with a wish of Jenny's, got Ricky Cookson to take some photos of me with my hair the way she liked it - God, is Pricky trigger happy. I wonder what it signifies.

Then adjusted my meter, and decided to do all sorts of things, and then decided that none of it was really worth while, and then off to buy something to consume during tea, with Pricky.

Prick off, joined by Paul Petrovitch [Hallett] (these patronymics are rather useful when so many people have the same christian names),

So are surnames.

and then off to plan my trip down town. This too came to nought, and after a bit of deliberation, decided to make some comparative grain, acutance, and speed tests for Agfa Atomal Neu and Promicrol, and up to take some photos, and had a bit of fun with all the various photos I had to take, and then made up some Atomal, but no chance to develop the film.

Pricky Cookson thinking of moving over to Stoneleigh now Hugo has left, and did so - I have taken over Hugo's desk, and he had mine.


Thursday, 9 June 1966 KCT
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Another holy day - this time of the year is crawling with them. Accordingly up at 0615, and it was pouring merrily with rain. Cursed, down, had a shower, and then waded over to the school. No roses available, so got myself a carnation instead, which is just as good from all practical viewpoints.

Then the service. I don't know how anybody can sing tenor at that time of the morning, especially on an empty stomach.

Finally, after just about everybody had received Corpus Christi, out, and had breakfast. Asked TDH if I can come back int the choir - not yet.

After breakfast, over for a while to Stoneleigh to mope for a while, and then to Pad, where we got talking about double refraction, about which Pad knows even less than me.

Then lecture with Pen - I could hardly call him a good teacher. Today spent our time writing opening paragraphs of essays, which Pen dictates should be ½ page.

After break, double Pad, and he spent the whole double period telling us how to take the practical exam, giving several amusing anecdotes.

After lunch, no wind band practice, and so up to the Sheldon room, and then over to the study room and carried on with my letter to Jenny. This seems to be taking up a good deal of time now.

Then divvers, and the Chaplain gave us a chance to ask him questions, and spent most of the period telling us about the facts of holy communion and fasting, and in the middle of it dropped Spencer Cheung asleep, and I was just about to take a photo of him when he woke up, and the chaplain suggested that he went to his study room.

Then maths, and Jimmy got a bit annoyed because I had not got very far with my maths, and left me to it. Got no further by teatime.

Did not go to tea - instead, over to the study room, where Pricky was gradually moving in, and did my best to continue my letter to Jenny.

Then bassoon/clarinet lesson, which was mainly the former, and did little of much use. I am fed up with 2nd rate reeds and 3rd rate bassoon.

Clarinet was in not much better shape, and in the end was only too glad to be rid of it, and back, and continued my letter to Jenny for a while.

Then back to maths. I wish people would not use the word “pathetic”, especially when talking to me.

Pep talk to 6th and removes at 2025 hrs from Skiv following Hugh's departure yesterday.


Friday, 10 June 1966 KCT
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I wish the mail would arrive earlier in the morning. I knew I would be getting a letter from Jenny, and it [illegible] rather a lot - down to have to spend breakfast reading a Times supplement on air-cushion vehicles.

Got my letter after breakfast, and then over to Stoneleigh to get my books. She does not seem to have been to pleased about my last letter and mode of address, especially as a lot of the superfluities had been crossed out heavily in biro.

This appears to have been the address written on the envelope.

Double chemistry, and rather to my disappointment, did not have a practical. I was rather hoping for one but all we did was talk about past papers and all our prospects in 'A' level. I think Clod expects me to get an A1.

Then mechanics, and Drax inspected my method of getting the answer in the second half - I was right, and he was wrong.

After break, carried on with my letter to Jenny, which I am determined shall be the longest yet - have to top the 16 pager to Lesley. Then to the Pad lab to start off our trial run practical, and by the end of the 1st period had got nowhere.

After lunch, continued my letter to Jenny, and made 17 pages, and then over to the school to weigh it. 64,3 gm, so had to put 6d on it, which rather annoyed me.

Then back to the problem - moving around with crystallising dishes and so on, trying to get a value for the focal length of one of them with water in it, and got results which were nothing on earth like the answer, which rather annoyed Pad and me - but, as Malcolm Lennox said, a bad dress rehearsal leads a good first night, so let us hope that we do really well on the real thing on Tuesday.

Then to post my enormous letter to Jenny, and just made it there before the Postman went off - turned out that the collection was at 1445 instead of 1515.

Then back to the school, bought some jam, and had some tea, and talking to Paul about A levels, etc, and he is getting a bit chick, to judge by what he said, at any rate.

Then off to the common room, and just settled down to read “Punch” when Tyson came in, called me out and showed me a copy of “Visual Education” with an article by him about the Mod. Lang. Lab, and including one of my photos, which came out quite well, although he did not think so. Considering the lighting, I thought it was very good.

Then slide show given by Aston in the common room - all pretty amused.

After supper, did little work. Prick keeps talking. Must get down to something soon. [Added later] Banned from the darkroom following last Sunday's episode. Damn.


Saturday, 11 June 1966 KCT.
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Letter from Wallace Heaton this morning saying that they did not deal with the Comet Camera (not surprising - I now find it is called the Cosmic), and enclosing my cheque and a blue book to help me choose another camera. Fairweather (who wanted the camera) will not be very happy about that.

The assembly, taken again by Clod, but all he wanted to know was how many parents would be coming for speech day.

Then double maths, and he spent the whole double period going over the maths for science papers that they have been doing in the last fortnight, and so I tried, with very little success, to do some mechanics. I really am weak on that subject.

Then finally (for it seemed an eternity) finished, and off to art, which now, under the new régime, is in the Geography room every other week. On and on about Paul Gaugin, and showed us much we already knew about. Made some comment about what pretty toes I have.

Then chemistry after break, spent talking with Clod about the melting point of iso-butyl alcohol.

English - got a new book, “Hurry on down” by John Wain.

After lunch, could not face the thought of going into the Sheldon room with so many people in there, and so to the common room, thinking of sending my Edixamat to Jenny with Paul's f/1,4 50mm Super Takumar, and in to his common room to pinch it, just to prove it could be done, and then lent him my Blue book in exchange.

It's not clear what I was trying to prove: whether the lens would work on the Edixa (this was the first series of the lens, with a particularly prominent back element, and it was rumoured not to clear the mirror of the SV, for example), or whether I was trying to prove that I could steal his lens.

Then to the study room, reading “Hurry on down”, which, in many ways, resembles “Room at the Top”, but, as the titles imply, the opposite way - this one is about a fellow with a university degree going into business as a manual labourer because he is fed up with life at the top, so to speak. I find it difficult to associate myself with this the way I did with the bloke in “Room at the Top”, although the former is closer to my position.

Then over to the school, just about in time for tea, and had it in the main dining hall, as the Meynell was being used for a match or something.

Then down town, and first to Clement Clarks to have my glasses coated, and then down to the Camera Centre, got my thermometer, and order a Cosmic, which they hope to have by Wednesday or Thursday. Then up to Ron Smiths, near Jeremiahs, where they sell motor bikes. But had nothing under £60, so off.

Did little back at school - I seem to be going through a spell of bad luck.


Sunday, 12 June 1966 KCT.
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No bells again this morning, and consequently also no shower, which rather irritated me. As it was Sunday, I decided I might as well wear shoes, and so borrowed a pair of Lloyd's. I don't know whether they were tight because they had not been used for some time, or because my feet were were unused to shoes, but tight they were, and it took me quite some time to get used to them.

After breakfast, over to the study room to carry on reading “Hurry on down”. I seem lately to have nothing better to do. Pricky Cookson, Charlie Chaun and Bugs Jones have “put me in Coventry”, although for the most part I am glad that I don't have them to interrupt my thoughts, especially in the morning at breakfast.

Chapel services in the congregation are deadly. I must get back into the choir if I want to keep my peace of mind. This is really depressing.

After that, out of chapel, and over again to the study room and finished “Hurry on down” in just 24 hours after I got it, at 1115 hrs. Then over to the Sheldon room, all over the place, doing little. Life has lost its aim.

After lunch, did a bit of music practice, and played a few old songs (mainly American in origin or usage), and then up to the Sheldon room, where a lively discussion was going on as to the suitability of various housemasters here as headmaster, presumably with the undertone that Pen was of no use for the job. There I must differ, not that my voice is worth much nowadays.

Then out for a walk, and ended up in Vivary park, where it was raining, and spent a while under a shelter wondering whether it would be fair to take photos of the couple snogging on the other side. Then the turret [?] bell for school went, and so back again, and into the Meynell common room, and spoke with Paul about our plans for the holidays. Paul and I are both interested in the possibility of going to Ireland - he for fishing, I because I have never been there, and, as half Irish, I must trace the ancestry of the Leahys. Then off to have a shower, and back for tea. The meals here have lately been abominable, and today was no exception.

After that, up to the Sheldon room to write a request to Dad for money for the sleeping bag, and also a letter to Mum and Dad while I was at it.

Then down, posted it, and back up again, with little else to do until chapel. I might as well work my guts out - I have nothing else to do, and it would help me I suppose. Oh, just to be again with Jenny!


Monday, 13 June 1966 KCT.
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Mail galore arrived today before breakfast - 2 from Dad and one from Lesley, but none from Jenny. Dad is in Sarawak again, as the postcard showed, and in the letter he said he would be there for the next 3 weeks, and in would like to hear from me there. And after I had just posted a letter to him in KL. Ah well. Lesley just wanted her negatives back, and made few bones about it. The best of luck to her - she will get them as soon as I can afford a stamp.

After breakfast, over to Stoneleigh and started writing a letter to Dad, but only managed 2 pages before it was time for assembly. Pen is worried about the mess fort George [toilet block] is in.

Mechanics - Drax reminding us about temperature coefficients of resistance, etc.

Double chemistry, and after a few questions on what exhibition would be going on on speech day, Clod got down to answering a question of Howards on organic practicals, which lasted the whole period.

Double maths - my mechanics is lousy. It will be little short of a miracle if I pass applied 'A' level.

After lunch, in which I received a letter and several photos from Jenny, I went over to Stoneleigh to answer it. I am beginning to wonder if perhaps she is not getting a bit too fed up with me - vague hint in her letters. But it is probably over-sensitivity on my part.

The hint is probably this:

I am rather a quiet, stay-at-home person who enjoys a normal quiet life. You are probably he opposite, going out as much as possible & getting rather bored with day to day happenings. I don't know. Perhaps we are not really suited to each other.

Reading it now is interesting. I'm certainly not very social. But it's interesting to see how she saw it.

The letter also contained this:

I was very shocked at the trouble you were in & hope that the housemaster offered his most humble apologies.

This is almost certainly a reference to the Hugh Lane affair.

No doubt she does care for me - I hope so, anyway. As I suspected, she does not really want an SLR - I did not think she would, but Paul was convinced, and so on. Anyway, I offered her my Leica for the asking, and then had a look at it and discovered that the rear rangefinder window was missing - damn. Still, it was only plain glass. But I ought to find or buy one before I send it to her. In fact, I would rather give it to her in the holidays, and show her how to use the thing.

Then over to the school, to do little in particular, and then decided that, if music were the food of love, I was ravenous, which might just explain why I missed tea doing some clarinet practice.

Had intended to finish my letter to Dad after tea, but could not be bothered, and instead went up to the Sheldon room, and had a cup of coffee before going for wind band practice.

This last was agony - what with the Jerome Kern going up to top G, my lips were in shreds.

Then over to do prep. after support in the Sheldon room, discussing the physics practicals - all sorts of ideas as to what was happening.


Tuesday, 14 June 1966 KCT.
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Woke just before 0600hrs this morning to find Rick Brown pouring some water into the cup of the Immersion heater (we have borrowed this from Clark, and are making coffee in the dormitory. Perhaps Pricky Cookson is right - the coffee tasted a little funny this morning.

Then up and had a Swedish shower (I think - one shower stinking hot, the other stinking cold). Very invigorating - in fact, possibly too much so, as I was almost spent by the time we went into breakfast.

All sorts of theories as to what we might have for the physics practical, but did not worry myself about it too much. It strikes me that they tell you all you need to know anyway. Such was the case - the compulsory question (I am not sure I should record this - it is required to be confidential until 4/VII/1966) was germanium diodes, and a relationship between I and V of the form I = kVⁿ. I got I = 1,55 V⁵, which looks unlikely. Then a small angle prism which we used to find the refractive index of glycerol, which was rather fun, if not very accurate - I got 1,428, and I think the correct value is 1,487.

Wikipedia says 1.4746.

Nevertheless, went out of the exam room feeling I had done quite well for myself, and ate a hearty lunch thereto.

After lunch, over to Stoneleigh for a while to get my books out, and then to the Sheldon room - the crowd eases off at about 1300 hrs.

Double maths, and another blowing up form Jimmy for not doing enough work - God knows I am flat out already! But I am beginning to become rather Stoic, perhaps just a little too much so to be good for me. But anything but mechanics is OK - I am just fed up with mechanics. I even have hopes that I will get my pure maths 'A' level - but if I get applied it will probably be only on the paper III.

Then driving lesson, and this week I was the first fellow to turn up. King later, but Johnson not at all, and in the end Lyes turned up to take his place - he is not very good, and I suspect he has not been on the course for the full length of time.

More 3-point turns, etc - I am getting a bit bored with this. I am still ahead of King, but not by so much (still, I suppose it is difficult to be too far ahead). I must be more careful - I am improving on hill starts, anyway - 1 in 3 hills, etc.

Then back to school, and did the mechanics prep well enough, and spent 2nd prep recovering from the events of the day - reading my old diaries. Interesting.


Wednesday, 15 June 1966 KCT.
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This early morning coffee is quite a good idea, especially when, as this morning, Rick Brown makes it and then wakes me up with it. He is one of the few really willing blokes in this school, for which I admire him, and, without making any attempt to fulfil it, I wish I could be more like him in this respect.

Swedish bath again this morning - this time I nearly went to sleep again. Must be some more complicated relationship.

PE, and I was really exhausted, and besides, Chinese cricket does not agree with me - I was quite fed up by the time Sarge said people could go up for a voluntary swim. Did not go myself, and instead back to the study room.

Oh, God, will I be glad when these 'A' levels are over - I don't really care what happens, provided I pass them.

Then Pad, and he spent most of the period talking to Callow and King discussing (not really having a post-mortem on) the practical 'S' paper.

I really don't understand these periods, since we had (double) physics again a couple of periods later. (Paul) Callow and King were in the next class above me, so clearly they were doing 'S' level physics. But so was I. Was that the practical I did the previous day? If so, why wasn't I in the discussion?

Then, after break, maths, most of which Jimmy spent discussing the integral as the limit of a sum. Interesting (vaguely).

Chemistry, and Clod was in a more than usually funny mood. Offered to sell exam papers at £1 a go.

After lunch, decided it would be for the good of all if I found a better reed to use for the Wind Band performance in Speech Day, and spent most of rest practicing. God, are my lips tender. I really must get a bit more practice to toughen them up a bit - I was half-afraid they might start to bleed.

Then, as for once in a while, the sun was shining, and so decided that my skin was far too pale even for an orang puteh, and so changed into my bathing togs, and off to do a bit of sunbathing, and stayed there for about an hour, doing almost nothing else - and glad of the change. When I finally went in, discovered that I had at least a bathers mark - I must take advantage of any more sun that comes my way. I might even be a different colour by the end of term - who knows.

Then had a shower and into tea. Paul came in, sat down at another table, saw me, came over and asked me why I had not gone with him - and I had been there 10 minutes when he came in.

After roll call, up to the Sheldon room - at this time in the afternoon it is a bit of a mess - and started writing an airletter to Sue Peters, primarily to see if she is coming over in the Summer.

Half-term report - real stinker from all concerned. Told Skiv about my worries - he sounds fairly concerned.


Thursday, 16 June 1966 KCT.
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Staggered out of bed, without first having a shower - I am lately exhausted. I find it difficult to wake in the morning without some incentive, and this morning all I had was a deterrent - no letter from Jenny. Moped through breakfast. What, pray, is the use of life? I have had it. I often feel that I just want to go back to Australia and settle down to some peaceful suburban life, probably in Perth, with Jenny, or at any rate the love of my life, and just be happy. Perth is, after all, a nice place.

Mechanics, and got our books back - not much comment. On, ever on with papers.

Pad - he did not utter a word the whole period. Talk about being incommunicative.

Study - I felt too tired and depressed to work - but I really must.

Double Pad, and he was showing us how a CRO works - that Padscope lacks sync to a very great degree.

After lunch, reading “View” in the Sheldon room. Somebody tells me I have had over 100 cups of coffee this term. Not bad - I am going to have a hell of a bill to pay at the end of term, though. Shall probably pay by cheque.

Then divvers, in which the chaplain took it upon himself to tell us about the life of Trevor Huddleston, and so on. Quite interesting, especially as the whole conversastion degenerad intto a discussion on apartheid, and Pricky Cookson was called upon to defend himself.

Ricky was (white) South African, and quite in favour of apartheid. We agreed to disagree.

Then maths, most of which Jimmy spent going through my maths, and talking about fractional indices and other such things.

Then off to the study room to start a letter to Jenny - her letter arrived by the second post. All is forgiven, my darling. I might have known you would not forget to write.

Then clarinet/bassoon lesson, and only the clarinet this week. I think he liked the sound of my reeds. I asked him to get me another 50 Vandorens, and he said he did not know what they would say - they are surprised if anybody asks for more than 2 or 3.

The Weber concertino is very nice. I must retract my former opinion of it, based mainly on the fact that I couldn't play it.

Finished my letter to Jenny - they have been getting shorter lately - only 5 pages. But can't afford any more.


Friday, 17 June 1966 KCT.
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Speech Day

Yet another 0700hrs service - I am getting a bit fed up with them all. It is terribly boring, especially in the congregation. Rick woke me up at about 0600 hrs with the now-usual cup of coffee. This is good - one no longer has to go to the Sheldon room, and besides, I prefer Nescafé.

How times change. I wonder what we got in the Sheldon room.

Chapel service, as I anticipated, dragged, and I was only too glad to get out and into breakfast. I can see why this school turns out fewer Christians than it admits.

Then preparing the photographic society exhibition, and discovered how pitifully short of photographs we were. Nearly all of them were produced by Archie Rollinson, Mao, and myself - Archie is an excellent photographer - there were some really marvellous prints there. I envy him. Then next door to the Padlab, and there Pad was busy trying to get various things set up, and before I knew what I was doing, I was on with that as well, making neon discharge oscillators and rectifying circuits, etc.

Missed the Guard of honour, and thus straight to the speeches. I was rather jealous of Paul Callow and the bird he had with him - I wish Jenny had come.

After the speeches, up to the Padlab to prepare to show any people anything, and presently in came Pad. Talked a bit, and then both off for lunch.

Lunch was the most abominable meal I have had for a long time - I felt almost as hungry after it as before. Then back to up to the physics labs. It seems that I was almost single-handed running the photographic society exhibition, and the electronics exhibition (one would call it the wireless club exhibition, but all they showed of their own occupied about 2 square feet - the rest was signals and Padlab, and some of my stuff.

After that, tea, in which I had to play in the wind band, and of that made a pretty average hash, and then confusion about where we should have tea, and ended up scrounging off the athletics match people. Joined the Browns (Rick, parents), to who I had been introduced up in the Padlab. Quite interesting people - I have been invited to play the clarinet in some charity do in Tavistock in the beginning of September.

Then back up to the physics labs, getting shocks off the Van de Graaff generator, and so on, and showing all the scopes, and traces (there were 3 CRO's and a spare CRT on the go, showing sawtooths, sine waves, rectified AC and spot for playing with magnets)

Blackmore (G3VWK) had his station up there as well, and tried some QSO's, without any success.

Reading in prep, after an awful supper - no decent meals today. I hope they are better tomorrow.


Saturday, 18 June 1966 KCT.
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I sometimes wish I would get some mail in Saturdays - it is a good start to the weekend, and besides gives me a chance to reply - still, I suppose, I am lucky enough as I am.

After breakfast, did little - I am lately heading straight over to Stoneleigh and staying there after breakfast, until assembly - the Sheldon room is beginning to lose its appeal, now there are so many new associate members.

Double maths, in which we were to have one hell of a big test, and did so, in the second period. The first was spent revising, etc, and it was pretty apparent that few people knew much about what was going on.

The test itself was not too bad, though I often get the feeling that I would do better with just a little more time.

Then study, in which I could not bring myself to work. I really must - in 3 weeks time, it will be all but over.

Chemistry, in which Clod did not turn up, and spent the time talking to Paul.

Then English, in room 1, and got another book from Daddy G - “Scoop” by Evelyn Waugh. Looks good, and he recommended it.

After lunch, did little. In the common room contemplating the mess on my study place, and considering becoming a ham again - I have been encouraged by what I have seen of Blackmore's gear. I shall, however, obviously have to lower my sights as compared to what i was thinking of 2 years or so ago - I was too unrealistic then. Now I must think in terms of what I can obviously do - go QRP and on only one or 2 bands, expanding possibly later.

Reading “Scoop” in the outside period, and it is very interesting. The fellow writes some wonderful satire. One anachronism I noticed, though - the book is supposed to have been written before 1933, and there is a reference to the abdication of Edward VIII, which I thought happened in 1935 or 1936.

Then off to tea - my life lately seems to have become meaningless. - just eat, sleep, work, in an endless cycle. I will be overjoyed when I finish my 'A' levels and can once again live a sane, ordered life.

After roll call, down town. First of all to Clement Clarks for my glasses, which had not arrived, and then to the Camera Centre for Fairweather's camera, which had. I have a few vague objections - 40mm is rather a short lens. Couple of other things of little importance to do and then back.

Carried on reading 'Scoop”. I find now when I pick up a book, I can't put it down.

Finished it after lights out.


Sunday, 19 June 1966 KCT.
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I observe that whoever rings the bells in the morning (I think it is Skiv) must on Sundays enjoy to “faire la grande matinée”, for almost invariably the bell has been behaving oddly. I think next week I shall take advantage of this and get up 5 minutes early and spend a correspondingly longer time in the shower.

It hits me in the morning, when I put on a shirt, how pointless it is having a shower every morning, when I only have one shirt a week - they begin to stink after a day or two.

After breakfast, in the common room explaining to Fairweather the workings of his new Cosmic 35 camera, with which he is apparently quite pleased. It certainly does the job for a camera in that price range, but I feed that it is not worth much more than the price asked.

Chapel, and we were hoping that we would not be able to get in after the 120 parents who were coming, but unfortunately there was plenty of room.

After chapel, over to Stoneleigh, and did some work, but unfortunately not as much as I would I have liked to do. Still, sufficient unto the day.

After lunch, sitting in the common room fairly alone with my thoughts, but people were nevertheless messing around.

Came 1330 hrs, and it occurred to me to go candid taking in Vivary park, and did so, with Fairweather. I had a 135 and 400 mm lens, and I felt Fairweather was rather out of it with his 40 mm whateveritis - still he did not seem to mind, and that is surely all that counts. Plenty to take photos of - the lovers were out in force again today. One hell of an orgy going on under a tree by the boating pond - 6 or 8 (I hope it was an even number!). Saw one bloke with an Edixamat Kadett with 105mm S-Takumar - similar to my setup. Claimed (I doubt it!) to be “professional”. If he is, I have little doubt he is pretty poor.

Back to school after taking about 30 frames, and then to tea. Fairweather said something about his bike being borrowed/stolen, and rushed off to see Phil Ranger about it when I had wanted him to sign for the FP3 which he is already half-way through.

After roll call, did little for about half an hour, and then it occurred to me that it might be worth my while to see what wireless world had in the way of TX's, and a VFO to drive 2 813's - promptly designed an amplifier with 1-813 (300 watts easily), and then discovered it was off the market. Next term I must get down to this stuff in earnest.

Did little after supper - no time left for it when the chapel services are over.


Monday, 20 June 1966 KCT.
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Oh, how I could (and, indeed, do) curse the British GPO! I almost never get a letter from Jenny on Monday mornings, and even a letter from Mum enclosing a cheque for £12 did not really make up for it - nevertheless, good old Mum - I was half expecting her to blow sky-high about the sleeping bag, but instead she sent £2 extra. Good for her, I repeat.

After breakfast, again in the study room, and did little. Considering Ham equipment again - I shall have to scrape up some money, though.

After assembly, mechanics, and Drax gave us something to do on paper, which was quite easy, and then on to other questions.

Chemistry - Clod has apparently seen the paper, and as good as told us what it is all about. Did a rare good business selling us blowpipes and Pt wires (of which I had 2). I wonder when he expects us to pay for them.

Then double maths - once again Jimmy was worried/annoyed that I had not yet finished off the paper - we have until tomorrow.

Study period 5th period - did questions and a half.

In lunch, discussing with Phil Ranger the possibility of a fellow breaking out of here. It would be ludicrously easy - Phil does not, however, think so. Talking about it in the Sheldon room, and Paul Callow agreed with me that we could, at a week's notice, leave here and be out of the country before anybody noticed, or at any rate, caught up on us.

A week's notice? It could be much faster than that. There were roll calls, but only two a day. Leave after evening roll call and you could really be on a cross-channel ferry by the following morning.

Then down town with various errands - first to the bank to cash my cheque, and then down to Clement Clarks - my glasses are still not back. I wish to God they would hurry up. Bought good supply of stamps at the Post office, and some more writing paper at Smiths.

Back to school, and just in time before it started to pour with rain, and then over to Stoneleigh to answer Jenny's letter, which, as usual (?) arrived at the 2nd post. I seem to have lost the ability to write long letters - perhaps it is just something to do with my state of nerves at the present moment.

Then over to the school for tea, and with a lot of Ham radio books. I suppose I ought to be able to go in for it cheaply - at a pinch, I could even buy a complete 52 set, although my opinion of them is not very high. Not much seems to be going very cheaply in Wireless World lately - wonder how good a 52 could be, with a couple of decent RF amplifiers (12BA6?)

Then piano lesson, and yet another new piece - Beethoven's Minuet in G.

Little in 2nd prep - vague pretense of studying for practical.


Tuesday, 21 June 1966 KCT.
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And life on much the same as usual were it not for the chemistry practicals. No mail again - just as usual. I get very few letters nowadays.

After breakfast, as ever (or fairly ever) in the Sheldon room, and with completely blank mind. I cannot bring myself to worry about anything lately.

After assembly, discovered we were starting by no means immediately, and sat doing some hasty last-minute revision in the War Memorial Quadrangle with Paul Petrovitch Hallett and Paul Robertovitch Callow. Eventually in - Clod was in a rather light-hearted mood (“Ni - would you like to work in pairs?”)

First question was, as had we wall suspected, a rate of reaction question, and, as it eventuated, something went severely wrong in my case. I am still in the dark as to what happened.

Inorganic analysis - MnSO₄.7H₂O, as I had suspected as soon as I looked at it.

It's light pink in colour. I recall my father selecting the same substance for me in Kuala Lumpur at least 5 years earlier. And I got the water of crystallization wrong: it's really MnSO₄.4H₂O.

Cooking up with KNO₃ and NaOH in a crucible go make K₂MnO₄ [sic; should be KMnO₄] - lovely colour.

CH₃COONa.2H₂O for organic - not very brilliant experiment.

After lunch, over in the study room a lot of the time - the Sheldon room is at such times unbearably crowded.

Then to double maths, which I always dread, and today was no exception. I will be only too glad to be rid of the subject - I feel I know enough maths now to last at least a lifetime and a half, and I am not convinced that it would be all that much use to me anyway (unless I go in for electronics, and then calculus and complex numbers would help, I suppose).

Jimmy blew up a bit - he is working me into the ground as it is. What the hell. I no longer worry about what is going to happen to me.

After that, driving lesson, and Mrs Lewis turned up in the new Promo [?], which I had the honour of being first to drive - the gears are, at any rate by comparison with the old Promo, terribly stiff, and had quite a few grinds. I must be more careful with the thing - it often makes horrible noises. Otherwise, apart from the (rather excessive) noise the engine makes, it is quite a good car. Discovered the truth about Milverton Driving school - it is Mrs. Lewis. It seems that even the WEDS, “Largest driving school in the West Country” only has 3 cars. What a terribly small scale things go in in the part of the world.

Back to school - mechanics prep, and started doing the wrong paper. Discovered my mistake just in time.

I wonder what HRO's are like.


Wednesday, 22 June 1966 KCT.
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The bell did not go this morning, or at least I did not hear it, for I only woke up when Ricky Cookson got up at about 0650 hrs. Up in a record time, without a shower, and down in 5 minutes, where the AP was waiting for me. Lately it has not been very interesting - all that is worth reading is Victor Blackman's section, and (occasionally) Neville Mander's test reports, when they are about SLR's.

After breakfast, up in Sheldon room, again doing nothing. Went to san to see why they wanted me again, and they told me to come back on Friday, and argue it out with the Doctor.

PE - chinese cricket again - I don't like it much. Very strenuous, and difficult to get results as well.

Study - I am usually too exhausted to do anything after PE, and today was no exception.

Pad - he was busy on rectifier circuits. Did nothing on CRT.

After break, Jimmy maths, and Norm and I just did more papers.

Chemistry - post mortem, without anything very startling.

After lunch, in the Sheldon room, and reading “Hastings and all Saxons” in Punch, by Paul Jennings - amusing. All about what would have happened to Angland if William the Conquerer had been William the Conquered. To help this story, the whole thing was written in pure Saxon, without any Norman to debase it.

This article was really good. I've been looking for it for years, without success. The closest in feeling (though clearly not in content) is this article on the Uncleftish Beholding.

Then to the wireless club, to fix the focus control on my CRO - the 470 K resistor on the earth end had gone high. Put a new one in, and all was well - but took a long time to fix.

Then to the common room, realised I had a haircut, and went to have it. Not too bad a cut, I supposed, although it leaves something to be desired.

Then to tea, which took up a long time, as usual. I have had life here - the same old routine, day in, day out. Only 30 days till the end of term, thank God - and only 20 until the end of 'A' level. I shall make the best of my time after then.

Then down town, and to Clement Clarks, where my glasses have finally been done, and the coating certainly makes a difference.

Back to Smiths, and with Paul contemplating the purchase of maps of Northern Europe, and considering where we should go in the holidays. I want to go while Jenny is away on the work party.

Did more maths in prep - finding it a bit tough. 12 days until the real thing.


Thursday, 23 June 1966 KCT.
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For once in a while I had a letter from Jenny to read in breakfast - to say the least, it makes a pleasant change. God knows how long it is since that last happened (and now so do I, having just looked it up: 26/V/1966). Is the post here not terrible?

After breakfast, in the Sheldon room reading a proposed solution to the Vietnam war by Private Citizen of Tokyo, Mr. Matsuda. We are all wondering how it is intended - in jest or seriously. He certainly says some odd things: Give me absolute power, and in an outside of 3 days I will have universal peace.

Then, after assembly, mechanics, and the usual, except that Drax had not corrected our books. Papers back, however, and 10/10 for that. He issued some new papers, too - tough.

Pad was worried abut valency bonds - in solid AgNO₃. I say covalent, but he does not know.

Wrote letter to Jenny in 3rd period - Pen is remarkably inefficient. Never turns up.

Double Pad, and talking about radioactivity. It looks as if Pad wants me to mess around with radioactive sources next term.

After lunch, wind band practice, for which I was about 10 minutes late, after looking for ciné cameras for Pearson. Playing Oklahoma!, which is quite easy until the last page - the theme to “Oklahoma!” is the toughest I have ever seen - and also the most complicated.

Then preparing to go to divvers, and bumped into Ricky Cookson, from whom I discovered that there was none. Great Prick has been made a deputy [prefect]. I hope it does not go to his head. Finished off my letter to Jenny - I have not been very verbose lately - only 7 pages.

Then double maths, first half of, and rather to my relief, Jimmy hardly looked at me - I have nearly finished this paper now, thank God - all I need is for him to tell me how to do all the second halves.

Then thinking of going to tea, but somebody had pinched my peanut butter, and so to the common room and finished off some biscuits, and over to Stoneleigh for a music lesson.

On with the Weber Concertino, and not much better at it this time. TDH in and out a couple of times - that man puzzles me. I am not going to ask to be let back into the choir - I shall wait until I am invited.

Then to the study room and common room. I am still worried about receivers. I don't know that I can afford an HRO and still have my doubts as to their capabilities - will have to find out about them.

Pearson is quite keen on getting a Bolex C 8.


Friday, 24 June 1966 KCT.
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Life is the same old grind, apart from the fact that 'A' levels are no longer on the horizon, but too close for comfort..

Suddenly I feel a complete inability to work - is it panic, exhaustion, or just plain laziness? I wish I knew, but more, I wish I could overcome it.

After breakfast, in the Sheldon room. It is lately becoming more popular at this time of day.

After that, assembly, and as I went in, Phil Ranger told me that there was no chemistry, and that we should revise and see Clod in the labs if we wanted anything in particular.

Over to Stoneleigh, and could not face doing any work - examined the theory of power amplifiers at RF. Pi-networks seem useful.

Then mechanics, and did a couple of questions under my own steam, while Drax puzzled out the first one - he has not got them down, apparently.

Little after break, either in study or in physics, and I discovered I had better do some revision on heat if I want my physics 'A' level.

After lunch, in the Sheldon room. I am once again succumbing to the easy way out. Then over to the san to tell them that my cholera was OK, and back to the common room, where I read some old “Wireless World's” and discovered that the prices of HRO's, like everything else, has been steadily increasing over the years. I must keep my eyes out for some going cheap. It also seems that the 52 transmitter is quite a useful item - 110 W CW, 75 W RT, £7··10··0 - I wonder how cheaply I could get my 52 receiver going again.

Double Pad - on about nuclear physics, which is quite OK for me. Only one double Pad left (practicals on Tuesday and Thursday). I wish he would go over heat in greater detail.

Then tea - biscuits in the study room. I cannot drag myself to go into the dining hall. House photo, which, as usual, was a waste of time, considering what we could do with the photos - use them for throwing darts at, etc.

Then, feeling in a musical mood, to practice rooms, and played various songs until 1715 - nearly 2 hours solid. And I could have gone on for much longer.

In prep, nothing much. First prep is a decided waste of time.

In second, doing some maths - I have nearly finished this paper.


Saturday, 25 June 1966 KCT.
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Oh, if ever boredom is noticable [sic], now is the time! 'A' levels are just round the corner, and yet too distant to have me in any state of blind panic. As a result, I feel vaguely depressed, but more bored, and cannot persuade myself to do anything, and, what is more, fear that this state may continue until the proximity of a certain exam makes me feel like studying for that one in particular. Letter from Mrs. Baudouy - she wants her money.

Then maths, and we got our test back - 11 out of 30 is not very good by average standards, or, for that matter, by my own standards, but it seemed to be about an average result, so I am not over-worried. Jimmy took a whole hour to go over it, and I only wish it were an hour and a half, or the last half hour dragged terribly.

Then art, in which I had a flute lesson. Played the Quantz triosonate with piano - quite nice.

Then over to Stoneleigh to get my books, and to Chemistry, and Clod explaining osmosis and dialysis to Barri Evans.

English, and we were given an essay title to write on, and I finished in the period. No doubt this daily diary writing helps me to be able to write a lot of drivel quickly.

After lunch for a while (which dragged out into all of rest) over to the Sheldon room, and sat there talking about photography to Chaun, and then over to Stoneleigh to read “The Passion flower hotel” “Passionflowers in Italy”, the sequel to the book crossed out, which was, unfortunately, not nearly so good as the latter, although I managed to sit there solidly for nearly two hours reading it, and would have gone on further, had it not been for roll call, which is a hell of a drag, and as I recently pointed out to Phil Ranger, not much of a preventative measure anyway.

Back, bought a packet of biscuits, and over to finish “Passion flowers in Italy”, which I did by 1620 hrs, which means that I averaged 12 pages a minute or about 300 words a minute, which is pretty good going (I suspect, anyway).

Then over to the school again (it had been pouring with rain all afternoon), and played the flute a bit, which did not in any way alleviate my boredom, and then to the Sheldon room.

After supper, lecture on how a car works. Fellow is a diesel man - they have no spark plugs.


Sunday, 26 June 1966 KCT
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And again whoever it was forgot the bells. Down nonetheless for a shower, and a subsequent blowing up from Pot for being late in front of the juniors, and then over to school. Oh, how Sunday breakfast depresses me, as I must often have said before. Unfortunately, the more saying so does not help much, and it still depresses me just the same.

After breakfast, as too often nowadays, I was at a loose end, and up to the Sheldon room to have some coffee and read a magazine of Charlie Chaun's. Down to get some screwdrivers for Simon, and while there was had for my extension tubes and 135 mm Super Takumar by Archie, and Aston wanted some FP3 for Fairweather, who, since buying his camera last week, has become a pretty ardent photographer.

After chapel, in which I have ceased to play much part, up to the darkroom and got Paul to load film for me, and developed it in the Sheldon room—as I thought, most of it in Promicrol and some in Atomal Neu, but, thanks to Paul, in fact the other way round. Still, the Atomal did OK, so I am not complaining.

After lunch, discovered my shutter speeds in my Pentax gave out below 1/15 sec, and so packed it up to send it to Rank, and wrote a letter asking them to fix it up, all of which took me most of rest.

Then got my Edixa and 400 mm Soligor and Tele-converter, and along to Vivary park, and started taking some photos there. Before too long, some yobs took a liking to my boater, and soon I was in a conversation with them. Then arrived Nellie—with his/her (one does not know what they call him/her) camera—he had seen mine was gone, and put 2 and 3 together. Quite an amusing conversation, film flying like mad. I am just a little worried about camera shake, especially with some of the 1200 mm shots.

Eventually back to school, after taking a lot of photos of couples at their own wish. Also accosted by a gospel [illegible]. Nellie had the answers, as his father is a preacher.

Then to tea, for it was nearly time by the time we got back to school, and stayed, as ever, most of the time there.

After tea, just contemplating the purchase of an enlarger as a gift to Paul—he does not know about this - and Charlie Chaun said there was a film on in Big school called « L'homme à l'Imperméable », and so along to see it. Tyson [German teacher] bumped into Paul in the dark, who promptly called him an oaf. Fortunately Tyson could not see either.

Film was vaguely amusing, but one would hardly say hilariously funny. Reading a supplement about English Girls in the Sunday Times afterwards—interesting—in some ways, Jenny is very typical of her race.


Monday, 27 June 1966 KCT.
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General field day

Oh, God, am I tired today. I shall have to spend a day or two in the near future - catching up with my sleep - today, I felt particularly exhaused [sic] - not physically but mentally - perhaps I have been overworking, although it seems unlikely.

After breakfast, letter from G.W.Smith, with some stuff about the Lafayette HA 230 communications receiver in it, but I have already decided against it. I think an HRO would be a much better buy.

Mechanics theoretically after assembly, but just before assembly Norm told me that Jimmy would like the pleasure of my company, and so went after the usual 'O' level threats from Timothy George after assembly. Only got half an hour in.

Then double chemistry, which was a bit of a farce, and Paul spent a lot of time telling me that he did not approve of my attentions towards his sister. What business is it of his? I would not complain if he messed around with Bev - that would be her affair.

Then general farce, and to the common room with intent to read about G.W. Smiths communication receivers, and ended up beating up Spasy Lloyd.

Then did a bit of music practice until lunch time, which, as ever, included a letter from Jenny. Ah, my beloved.

After lunch, had intended to go down town, but Gear-Evans had been caught before lunch, and besides, my shutter speeds were all working now, so there was not such an immediate rush as would otherwise have been the case. Spent a good deal of time showing Fairweather how an SLR operates - he sounded interested and made a few vaguely sensible comments before being whipped of to operate the projector for the CD mob.[?]

Then over to Stoneleigh to write a slightly critical letter to Jenny - one gets the impression that she does not keep my letters long enough to answer them, or perhaps does not ready them fully in the first place.

The fact that I can barely read my own handwriting has doubtless nothing to do with the matter.

I am finding it a bit difficult to write as many pages as I used to do.

Then over to the school to have some tea, but did not catch it in time - it was a buffet affair in Big School, at unknown time, very much “first come, first served” basis, and by the time I got there, there was none left, and so in disgust to the study room again, where I wrote a letter to Mum and Dad, about the holidays mainly, and asking them to get a bit of a move - on with the money, which I shall need pretty soon.

Then over for a piano lesson, but for once Gilly had visitors, and so she said I could have one some other time, and off to sleep in the study room.

Maths in 2nd prep, and I have a lot to do.

Talking to Rick Brown about chemistry in the dormitory.


Tuesday, 28 June 1966 KCT.
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Again, mail came not until after breakfast. Letters from R, T & P [?] radio, enclosing a list of all receivers except HROs, and shall have to write to them and ask for their HRO list. Also a letter from Lesley, very sad and desperate indeed - so sad that she actually admitted/claimed she loved me.

Quintuple study after assembly, and decided it would be just as well to write to Lesley before she shoots herself, or something. She certainly sounded none too happy. Accordingly write her a good 4 pages, expounding, amongst other things, my belief that love is a rectangular hyperbola, and developing it further to suggest that an eternal triangle is a rectangular hyperboloid. I want to know the significance of the partial differentials of the hyperboloid. I shall have to go and see her in the holidays.

Then did some maths, and finished the paper, apart from the last question, which was on 3D [?], which I always find rather terrifying.

Did little after break - just a bit of aromatic revision reading through Chemistry S papers, etc, etc.

After lunch, in the common room sorting out all my letters, etc, and put all my letters from girls (which included border-line cases such as Sandy Schaedel and Bev) in my big A4 file, and managed to get more or less up to date (all my letters from Lesley up to 1/I/1966, and those from Jenny Paton.

Then double maths, and over the paper with Jimmy. I think he is a little less hostile now that I am doing some work.

2nd period turned out to be with the whole form (or, at any rate, the vast majority of it), owing to the fact that we missed yesterday, and so I just got on with the next paper, which I am halfway through already.

Then driving lesson, and once again a long wait while we decided that Johnson/Lyes/Lawrance/Reese was not going to turn up.

Eventually off in the direction of Wellington, with only King and myself, and had a bit off fun parking, doing turns etc, and in the middle of it all discovered that Hilary Baker had left her handbag in the car, and it contained her passport, so off to Chard to take it back for her. Mrs Lewis was just a little puzzled that I knew it was hers.

So am I now. I can't recall who Hilary Baker was, and I can't recall any connection with Chard.

Wrote a letter to Sandy Schaedel in prep, and that took me most of first. Finished off my birds file in 2nd - all from Lesley and Jenny now in.


Wednesday, 29 June 1966 KCT.
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Today was a major holy day, I am told, although it is not noted down in this diary. I think at times that the Headmaster is just taking any old excuse to practice this pagan rites that he brought back with him from Africa - I fear Christianity holds little for me when it is practiced the way it is here. The whole idea of coercion is surely alien to the nature of religion?

In any case, I can't really see how anybody really enjoys chapel service at that time of the morning. What with a growing emptiness in my stomach (no wonder so many people receive communion), it is pretty tough.

AP - Derek Keeling is talking about ciné film. It all seems to have safety factors.

Study, in which I could not drive myself to do any work. I am really unbelievably lazy, and this beautiful weather (for once) is no help.

Last chance with Pad to ask questions, and we could not even keep him going until the end of the period.

Then study - Jimmy was away - after which chemistry with Clod - he gave me the new book of papers (1960 - 1965).

After lunch, decided that it was about time I changed colour/fogged myself/warmed up/went to sleep in the sun/got some sun tan, and accordingly changed into my bathers and got my towel, and up into the Carpenter sunbathing area. I only hope the good weather continues such as this, and I shall not unduly mind missing going back to Malaysia. Skiv walked by a couple of times, but made no comment. At 1330, just as I was joined by Sharoukh Noorvash - I wonder why he wants to tan. He is about the right colour already. Obviously being dark is not looked upon by the persians in the same way it is by the indians - I think particularly of Gurdip Singhs sisters. Had a bit of a conversation with him (Sharoukh) about the life, religion, the East, etc. Went in eventually at about 1430. It is terribly slow tanning in this country, but I had something to show for it. In KL in that time I would be almost black.

Then to tea, which Paul did not attend, nor was he in the Common room when I went, so went down without him.

To a couple of jewellers to have my watch fixed, and they said it would cost quite a bit. Is it worth it? Bought some Java Coffee, and a map of Nordwesteuropa and some envelopes at Smiths.

Doing chemistry in the evening - I am getting chick.


Thursday, 30 June 1966 KCT.
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Letter from Rank Organisation this morning, very sorry to hear that my Pentax has been giving me trouble, and would I care to send it along to their servicing department in Shepherds Bush? I suppose I had better, especially as it is being done free - might as well let it have a free overhaul before the Warranty expires.

After breakfast, in the Sheldon room as usual, and discovered, when I went over to the study room, that I had lost my mechanics books, but managed to get by without too much ado without them - paper from Drax, and questions paper from Mush [?]. On with papers all the time - Boy, will I be glad in 12 days time when it is all over.

After that, quadruple study - we are certainly getting our share of study periods, and I have actually been doing some work in some of them. Started writing a letter to Jenny, and did not get very far - I am a little worried abut what goes on. I am doubtless, though, too sensitive. Who wouldn't write a little oddly over 'O' levels (apart from me 2 years ago, and I am odd all the time).

Did more maths and chemistry after break.

After lunch, wind band practice, which I had intended to miss and sunbathe if the sun had been shining, but alas, it was not, and so gave it up as a bad job, and along to room 26, where TDH was handing out copies of “My Fair Lady” - which is notoriously difficult, at least in this organisation.

Then divvers, which I used to reply to Jenny's letter of lunchtime - I have a vague feeling her feelings have changed towards me, bit not sufficiently to be of any worry. I should imagine it is nothing more than a rather mild case of “out of sight, out of mind” - if it is there at all. Am I not perhaps too hypersensitive?

After that, maths, and Jimmy apologised for not being able to turn up this evening, and so Norm suggested tomorrow (which is rumoured to be a whole day [holiday, I think]). Jimmy said he would see Drax about it, which may mean anything - he is obviously being careful not to drop any more clangers.

After that, tea, and saw Thelma and a friend playing with the headmastein hinds [? Could be “headmaster's kids”, but it doesn't look like it] in the sunbathing area, and so gave up tea, and got my Edixa with Tri X and 400 mm Soligor out, and took many photos. I am going to have to buy some more film soon.

Then missed bassoon lesson, which I could not face, and had a shower, and then over to the school and took some darkroom stuff over to the dormitory to load this evening - I have two exposed films fading as it is, not to mention hundreds for other people.

Revising organic chemistry in 2nd prep.


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