Greg
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October 1968
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This month's entries were entered from the paper diary in March and April 2016. The comments like this one were added at that time.


Tuesday, 1 October 1968 Kuching
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Up as usual today, and downstairs to where the girl had produced a pale yellow greasy mess which she claimed to have obtained by frying eggs in a pan, but it would take a past mistress to make that much of a mess of it. We were particularly annoyed by this, as we had not even ordered them, but Dad reckoned to trace it back to yesterday, when he asked her if she could fry eggs, and her face lit up as she said, “Oh, yes!”. Feel sorry for the girl.

To the office, dropped Dad, then down to the site, where we set to measuring out the base line. After about 20 minutes it occurred to me that I had the wrong line, off to look for Lin Kee to see if he was about anywhere, but apparently he was not, so back again and laid out the new one. For some reason we got along extraordinarily slowly, but eventually we had reset the pegs, which Lin Kee seemed to have got in all over the place, and then laid out some at right angles, and then left the labourers to set out the intermediate ones - it was unbearably hot. Home and had a beer, then to the office to look for Dad and down to have lunch, where I consumed large quantities of liquids, then back off to the site again, where the labourers had got almost nowhere since I had left them, and half of what they had done was wrong. Got them to lay it out straight again, then started on the 50ft line, and I was just heading off to find a drink when it started raining, and we all had to adjourn.

To Ting², where I bought a crate of Beer - came to the rather astounding conclusion that the cheapest beer in tins is Victoria Bitter, so bought 20 tins of that and went home to recover for a while. Then into the office to say hello to Dad, who suggested I went and got a bit of sleep, which I did, with good result. Dad came in at about 1800 hrs and got a bit of sleep himself, then we brushed ourselves up a bit and went off to the Coq d'Or, where we had a makan supposedly in honour of my birthday, though I did not even know 3 of the guests - John Buck, the bloke who designed Petaling Jaya, his wife and Jim Cornish, an auditor. The Gwilliams rather embarrassed me by giving me a present, and I also got a card from the Rieds (or is it Reid?). The makan was quite good, with a couple of Phoenices, whatever they were, and and extra dish thrown in for good measure. Had quite an interesting conversation with Rose Reid and Gillian Gwilliam, with the odd word in from John Buck and Norma Neal - why do all these women have repetitive initials?

Home much later than Dad expected, to discovered a present from the Neals as well - kind of all concerned. The Neal's present was in a box labelled “Banana flavoured Fortex - non-alcoholic”, which convulsed me with laughter until I discovered it was a quite genuine Champagne from Reims. The Gilliam's present showed a lot of thought, and will doubtless be very useful - a battery shaver. The Reids also gave me a record token for $12.50 - must be a long time since I have had anything to vie with that.


Wednesday, 2 October 1968 Kuching
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Dad got up and went off to the office without waking me this morning, and when I finally did come to life, I discovered why: it was pouring with rain. Went back to sleep again, to be woken by Dad hammering on the door at 1045, so let him in - he did not apparently have much reason to come back, except (probably) to see if I was awake. Then he went off again to some interview somewhere, and I set to getting up, which I did in a lazy enough way, in the process trying to find an Autocar test report on the Ami 6, which I am sure I have somewhere. Could not find it, however, so set to wondering how best to fit the extra lights that I eventually want to fit to my Ami 6. I think I am going to have to limit myself to a couple of foglamps for a while, and it may be that the headlights are perfectly adequate for long-range lighting on this thing anyway. Still, all this is going to cost some money....

Had a bath and got dressed, then sat about feeling too lethargic to cook any lunch, but eventually hunger got the better of me and I went outside to thaw out some bangers and to subsequently fry them. In the meantime, carried on reading the Arabian Nights and motoring magazines - lately I read books to the point of addiction. Had the bangers eventually, then cooked up some tea. After a while down to the AAS to see about membership of the AAGB, and about an IDP. Fellow there was not very knowledgeable, but willing enough, and lent me some stuff, including the present AA handbook. All seems fair enough to me - it is probably worthwhile joining. Then came Dad home and we had more tea before Dad had to go off again to the office, and I carried on reading. In due course, I decided to do a bit of cooking and conjured up a bolognese sauce which I left simmering while I went to pick Dad up. All very well, but macaroni is almost inedible - no known utensil will hold it in place.

Talking car insurance after that, which frightened Dad off, so I read a bit more, not too late to bed myself.


Thursday, 3 October 1968 Kuching
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Up again early - eventually, with another few years of this, I might learn to live with this, but at the moment the first 20 minutes are hell - perhaps I shouldn't sleep as long as I do. Had breakfast - the girl has finally caught on about how to make tea, and today I had little to complain about, save the lack of kippers.

Off to the site, where Dad went and found Wu and Micheal and got them to get my labourers for me, then down to the old swamp, which we proceeded to peg out in comparatively record time - I was rather surprised, after the relatively slow progress of recent days, but by no means disappointed. The weather, after a light ground mist, cleared up far too well, but stayed at the usual 100% humidity. Finished pegging out at about 1100, and back to the site office, where I found the drinks locked away, so off to the stall under Alex Tong's office, had a 7up and back to wait for Dad. In the meantime came Lin Kee and told me his *unfavourable) opinion of doing survey work in the afternoon, and I got some information about positions of bench marks. Then came Dad, whom I convinced of the need to leave the levelling until tomorrow morning. Then off to the club for lunch, where I found rather an interesting article on suspension, though it does not give much about the significance of camber. Took Dad to the office, back to the site to tell my labourers what to do, then to the club to finish off the article. To Ting², where I bought a quantity of food, then took it home, intending to go to the people who service Dad's car, to ask why the petrol consumption be only 11 mpg after an engine service, but was overcome by sleep as a result of thought about roll centres, etc, and slept for about an hour before going off to pick up Dad, where I had to wait the best part of an hour while he discussed life with Lin Kee. Then off home, he had tea, and I stayed at home while he went off to the office again. Cooked a curry for makan, then sat around reading and moping. The thought of the next few months in England worries me - until I get a job.


Friday, 4 October 1968 Kuching
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Up at 0645 this morning - what a hell of a time to have to get up! I still felt pretty dead after we had had a quick breakfast and were on the way to Kenyalang Park. Got out and got the barang, then down to the site, where I arrived at about 0735, 5 minutes late - the labourers were nowhere to be seen. Swore, then set up everything for the first readings. They finally arrived at about 0800, saying that this was the time that they started work, and that they had difficulty getting transport for any earlier. Got started, and shortly thereafter Dad arrived after an abortive attempt at a golf practice. Took some ciné of me doing my worst, then hung around for a while - he popped up again a little later, and asked him to get me something to drink - at 0845 it was already stinking hot, and the readings were shimmering through 0,02 ft. Stopped for a drink, after which it clouded over a bit anyway, and Dad hung round until I finished. Then dropped the stuff, and off to the flat, where we both changed into something a bit more presentable. Off to the office, where, after a pause, Dad showed me how to operate the calculating machine, and I worked out the levels - the height of collimation method is much easier here, as it can be reset each time, whereas rise and fall is much more complicated.

Finished round about lunch time, having got to the top bench mark about 6" too high - I was certain it was the level, as there seemed little other possibility. Off for lunch, while it decided to rain, then took the car back to the service people and had a bit of an argument with them, until I discovered that the engine clean-up they did was not at all recent, in fact it had been 6 months ago. Got them to do something wierd with the battery, which succeeded in keeping the contacts in place, and also had a new indicator bulb fitted at the back. Then back to the office, where Lin Kee reckoned my long backsight of about 300 yds was the main cause of my inaccuracy. Then Dad decided to lower my results by 6", and I had to hang around for some job or another, which never quite materialised - something about planimeters, etc. Went down to the bookstore downstairs, and would have bought “The Adventurers” had I had 10¢ more - it cost $5.25, and I had $5.15. Got some money from Dad, bought the book and started reading it.

Then back home and carried on reading over tea. Dad went back to the office, and I cooked some more spaghetti - or was it mussolini? After that, Dad decided to drown his sorrows, and I had a bit, too.


Saturday, 5 October 1968 Kuching
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For some reason dreamt of Jan Peters today - don't know why, but it could have some significance that today is her birthday - damn funny, thinking of her being 18, but I suppose she would find it funny thinking of me at my age - oh, time flies! Up a little later - Dad overslept the alarm and blamed me for it. Had a pretty quick shift when we did get up, and over to the office, none too late. Then Dad sent me over to the site to measure some footpaths, which I did, although I had just measured the discrepancy in the level and found an error of 0,10 ft on 2 pegs from different positions of the level. Got the footpath levelling done pretty quickly - about 45 minutes - and then off to the office to work it out, and wasn't particularly surprised when I was once again 6" out. Since my test on the thing, people suddenly seem to no longer blame my care of reading or lack thereof - really need it to be spelt out to them. Dad felt like a free lunch, so over to the club, where we made do with biscuits and cheese, washed down by beer. After that, Dad said he had some work to do in Kenyalang park, which I mercifully managed to avoid, and read “The Adventurers” until I flaked out, to be woken a little over an hour later by Dad at the door. He then flaked out, while I read, and at 1620 over to the Reads to try out the engine of Dad's boat, which the Reads keep for us. Nearly knocked my finger off on some vicious spring-loaded clamp, but then got the thing started. After a bit of messing around, took the plugs out and had a look at them: dirty, though not too much so, and incrusted with salt. Cleaned them as best I could, then started the thing again, which took a bit of doing. Got some tea while we were there, then some beer, but the Reads are going to the ball tonight, so off to the open market for makan, then got some petrol for the boat, and home, where Alex Tong's men had left a dozen 6×½' planks and about 40 bricks outside the house. Took them in and balanced them into a bookcase, which we proceeded to fill with all sorts of books (naturally), considerably tidying the place up in the process. Carried on reading. Note a lot of blood in my shit lately - hope it is nothing serious, but it annoys me. Dammit, I had a full gut overhaul only 3 weeks ago.


Sunday, 6 October 1968 Kuching → Tg. Poh → Kuching
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Fortunately, Dad did not wake me up too early - I was rather afraid that he might, so that we could get under way pretty quickly. However, it was about 0830 before much happened, though then we got moving pretty quickly, and soon got over to the Read's to pick up the boat, which Dad insisted on towing. While lowering the boat/trailer into the water at Satok Bridge, did a pretty good job of setting fire to the clutch - I had always considered it a pretty difficult thing to do, but I succeeded admirably today, with a dirty stinking cloud of white smoke pouring out from under the car, clutch out and doing 3000 rpm without moving. Later I found I had had the handbrake on.

Dad managed to start the boat pretty easily - 3rd attempt, which was apparently unprecedented. All the more reason for his swearing when the thing stalled after about 20 seconds, and he discovered he had forgotten to connect the fuel line. Then he flooded it with the choke, but we eventually got it going again. The water was pretty rough, and tough we were only doing about 23 knots [42 km/h], we were thrown all over the place. I was driving (or whatever the speedboat equivalent is), and over one wave my seat gave in under me. Finally made it to Tanjong Poh, and round the cape to a little beach. It was spitting a bit when we arrived, but eventually it cleared up, and for the rest of the day we had bright, relentless sunshine. Dad got a charcoal barbecue going, thus successfully proving that nuclear breeder reactors are not the only things which produce more fuel than they use. Nevertheless, it didn't taste too bad, though. Then did a bit of (too much) sunbathing, sat around, swam, etc before knocking the fire out, washing up, and setting off. Under way something went wrong with the gears, and we had difficulty getting out of gear at any time, and it was impossible to get into reverse. Also had difficulty with the sun, as we were both getting rather red by this time, and I ended up sitting with one of the charts covering my legs. Next time I will bring some long pants.

Then back to Satok bridge, where we pulled the boat out quite efficiently, much to the amusement of 6 chinese blokes watching us - they had just spent quite a while pulling their job (smaller than ours) out with a lorry. To the Reads, where we had some tea and cleaned out the boat, then to the open market for makan, and home feeling pretty exhausted. I had intended to read awhile, but couldn't keep my eyes open.


Monday, 7 October 1968 Kuching
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Slept a solid 12 hours last night, not waking until 1030 hrs this morning. Dad had already gone somewhere to do some work, though I did not realise this until I went downstairs and found nobody there. Gradually prepared myself breakfast, reading “The Adventurers” in the process, then drawing it out even further. Then considered Ami 6's again - in only 8 day's time I will have my own, and am gradually getting excited about the prospect. Read about this and “The Adventurers” until about 1200 hr, when Dad returned, and we had lunch - I had curry, he a slimming diet lunch of very little. Then Dad decided that he was exhausted, which was probably quite true, and he dealt with it by going upstairs and getting a couple of hours kip. I carried on reading in this time - when I get hold of a book, I just can't let go of the thing, which is very bad for my moral obligations. In any case, I got sufficiently tired of it after a while to play my flute, which had the double effect of waking Dad as well.

After Dad had come back to life, we set off to the office - I had received a letter from Lesley, very nice indeed, obviously as impatient as I to see each other again. Gave me a full list of how I could meet her, either in Haywards Heath or Lewes, but automatically assuming that I would not be able to find Chailey... I don't know how to take that.

At the office, I finished off the reply to Lesley, forged a letter (dated 17.VI.68) to Albingia asking them to cancel my insurance, and wrote a letter to Bev, from whom had also arrived a letter. Then we went down to the open market for a rather greasy makan at a bloke we hadn't tried before, whom we also will probably never try again. Then Dad wanted a beer at the club ... we arrived at 2045, and left at 0020. When we arrived a lot of the younger mob were there, uncluding Queen Victoria, living up to her reputation.

I have no idea who this was, nor any recollection of her.

She pounced on me later, but proved not at all the sort of person I thought she was - doubtless she is a whore, but that is not her raison d'être, and she is apparently artistically talented. Still, I feel sorry for her in many ways - she is very unhappy where she is, that much is obviousl. And strangely I don't really feel like stuffing her. A quote from Somerset Maugham comes to mind - he who is content with mutton hash and turnip tops will seldom go hungry. Which, in a way, is a nasty thing to say about the Queen.


Tuesday, 8 October 1968 Kuching
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Up with Dad today, in order to take him to the office, but had to do without much in the way of breakfast, because there was nothing available. Bought some haddock on the way back from the office, which was a mistake. The car was also misbehaving - after my clutch-spinning escapade on Sunday, I think I have worn the thing out.

At home, fried a haddock, which by itself tasted lousy, and with salt still barely edible. Gave it all up as a bad job after a while - it was supposed to be a fillet, but still had bones in it. Then carried on reading “The Adventurers” - I seem to remember this same inability to put the thing down with “The Carpetbaggers”. I must ensure that I have plenty of time on my hand before starting my next Harold Robbins book.

After a while, it came up to lunch time, and I went into town to have lunch with Dad. For some reason I had a pain in the arse - possibly the sore that was bleeding - and decided to steer clear of chinese food for a while, so up with Dad to the Coq d'Or, where we each had a flambé Steak Dianne, not at all bad, if a bit flamboyant (OK, I know it's a pun).

After makan, during which we began discussing what currency I would need, had a bit of fun, as everybody turned up outside the office, and discovered they did not have their keys on them. Eventually Lin Kee came to our salvation (there out to be a way to make a pun out of that one). Worked out further how much I would require of each currency, and eventually Dad got round to writing out a letter to the Bank, asking them to have it made available. Over to the bank, where talk of Nouvelles Francs and Deutsche Mark set their heads spinning, and eventually sent me up to the manager, who sweated profusely and told me I could appeal to the Exchange Control boys if I liked, but he doubted I would get my money. Went back and discussed it with Dad, who had the brainwave of getting it all from the black market blokes in Singapore. I don't know why I didn't think of that myself, but it is obviously the right way, even if we have to get it all in Sterling.

Then home and shortly later picked Dad up. I was feeling a bit crook, and Dad did the cooking, not at all badly on an indifferent couple of topside steaks. Read quite a while, even to the point of getting out of bed and getting a grog to read a few more pages.


Wednesday, 9 October 1968 Kuching
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Dad got up before me again, but this time I managed to get up before he came home again to wake me. He did come back, however, the exact reason for which I am uncertain, though I suspect it had something to do with checking that I was up, and that I could arrange something for makan. Then he was off again, and I continued to read “The Adventurers”, and finished it just on 1200 hrs, all 672 pages of it. Admittedly, though, it was a much lighter book than “Dr Schiwago”. After that, I thought a little about food, but obviously not sufficiently, for even after thinking about it, I did nothing. Read about the Ami 6 - my main worry is what to do with the panel instruments when I get them. I have all sorts of ideas, and if I could find somewhere to put the ashtray, all my problems would be over. Or on the other hand, I could go the whole hog and put in a customed dashboard - I could think of worse ways of solving the problem.

Then hunger eventually got the better of me, and I was just preparing something when Dad came in from his rotary makan and asked if I wanted the car, saying that, if so, I would have to drive him to the office immediately, which I did, returning later to my makan and still later into town to look for a briefcase - I found something minimally acceptable and spoke to him about it, but he has obviously resigned himself to the fact that he is going to have to spend some money on me in the next few weeks, and is prepared to buy me a Starflite case.

Starflite was the briefcase maker in those days. They seem to have ceased trading under that name.

Borrowed his for measurement's sake and home to do a bit of rudimentary packing - after all, time is getting on. This time next week I could well be leaving Paris.

Managed, much to my satisfaction, to get my socket spanners into the bottom half, and many other things besides. When I travel, this thing is going to weigh about 15 kg. I am a little worried, though, at the amount of stuff I am taking - at least 2 bags in the cabin, possibly a Mansefields bag as well, my Mecablitz, my 400 mm Soligor and Dad's Bolex. And then at least 2 cases in the hold. My poor old Ami 6 will be laden down before I reach Hamburg.

Later over to pick Dad up, and up to the club for makan, where I also got a chance in to thank Gilly Gwilliam for the shaver, which was long overdue. Home again, and would have developed the film I took at Tg. Poh, except that it had yet to be rewound, and still had the opposite curl. Dad was pretty snaky with me about this, though I can't see what right he has to be. Early to bed.


Thursday, 10 October 1968 Kuching
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Up with Dad this morning, or nearly so. One of these days, when life has more purpose to it than is the case at the moment, I am sure I will be able to prove everybody wrong by getting by with minimal amounts of sleep - I am sure I should be able to do it now. Had breakfast mainly of toast, etc., then off with Dad to the office, where we arrived at the same time as Lin Kee. A little later I was sent off to collect the chairs from the Reads for repair, and at the same time arranged to have the car overhauled while Dad is in Singapore driving my old grey mare. The number of cars that are actively on my agenda is almost unbelievable - in the past 2 months (or say from 20/VIII for 2 months) I have had to arrange repairs/purchase of no less than 6 cars in the family.

This puzzles me. I see four, but no more. Maybe the DKW was the fifth.

And Mum's Mini was on the list not too long ago, too.

Back to the office, and would have spoken to Dad, but somebody beat me to it. Located a pair of bathroom scales for $22.50 - what interested me was that they were english and had scales calibrated in kilograms as well as pounds - that must be a reaction to the Poms changing over to the metric system. Then down to India St. and bought a record - a couple of Mozart concertos, for flute and faggott respectively. Now all I need is a record player.

Back up to Dad, and got the money for the scales, then bought them and after a bit of talking, off home for a nibble and to attend to my forehead, which had taken upon itself to peel. Back again not much later for lunch, and quite a good one at that, though with rather unfortunate effects, as scarcely had I got home, and begun to read “The Summing Up” by Somerset Maugham, as I felt dead tired and had to sleep - admittedly, “The Summing Up” is pretty soporific, but not enough to make me sleep for 4 hours.

When I did wake up, I carried on reading, after weighing various bags and coming to the conclusion that it probably would be necessary, from the weight point of view, to take a Mansefields bag and put all the books in that, though I think I can leave that until I am rejected in Singapore.

Dad back later with the news that Guan Seng would not be able to dine with us tonight, so off to a little shop just round the corner, where we had the inevitable Kuching prawns and vegetable soup. Then home again, Dad telling me of some plan to join the Mafia or something, and developed the film we took on Sunday, which was not as satisfactory as might have been, but will still be eminently printable Then had a bath, which caused me to come up in blisters and peel. Dad went straight to bed, but I stayed up somewhat longer.


Friday, 11 October 1968 Kuching
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Dad obviously did not require my services this morning, and also probably considered it a bit early to wake me, though I in fact was already wide awake. If he had made certain I was up before he left, I would have been grateful, but as it was he just left me in bed with the instruction to tidy the room up somewhat, and I relapsed to dreams of little girls trying to lose their virginity, which lapsed into me driving a Sunbeam Rapier from PD to KL, and in the process getting nabbed by a stationary copper for doing 31 in a 30 mph limit. Maybe there is a moral in this - why was the car lhd?

Got up quite late, and had the remains of our sandwich loaf for breakfast. Then gradually set to to tidy up the bedroom, but before I had got far, Dad arrived and suggested that I join him at the open market for lunch. This I did, and almost immediately thereafter returned home with the car - the clutch is really making its wear felt. Letter from ICI, they are still considering my application. Wrote them, telling them that I am leaving for UK.

At home, it occurred to me that I should get the stuff ready for the proposed E2 developing tonight, and so set to - it has been a long time since I have developed any Ektachrome, and I forgot a lot of things. Eventually had all the solutions mixed up, and after a while headed into town to get hold of some beakers, as I did not have enough. This entailed getting hold of money from Dad and heading down Carpenter Street, where I finally got what I wanted, but not at the price I wanted.

Then back to the office, where Dad and Lin Kee were still hard at it, so left them to it, and back home for a while, spending the time to little avail.

Picked Dad up again at about 1900 hrs, and we went town to the open market for some dim sims by way of a change, and then home to develop the Ektachrome, for which Dad proved himself to be singularly inept. Had a bit of an argument after he botched up something or another, and so he promptly gave everything up - that very much disappointed me. I don't think even Paul would ever do that, and I always had a much higher opinion of Dad than of Paul - but another similarity is the way he blamed me for his mistake, Managed to finish by myself, results were quite good - particularly the macro/micro shots of the mosquitoes. Also one photo taken by Jenny on her Leica, showing mainly an Ami 6 break and a Panhard Tigre - amusing.

Had a bath, and Dad peed off somewhere, and was not back by the time I hit the sack. eventually he came back about 1220, pissed.


Saturday, 12 October 1968 Kuching
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Dad off again early, though this time he did turn the air conditioner off, thus effectively limiting the length of time that I could stay in bed without suffocating. Eventually got up somewhat after 1000 hrs and headed downstairs to the somewhat unpleasant prospect of Carr's Table Water biscuits and cheese for breakfast. Then made myself some more tea and considered (yet again) what I should do about the instrumentation of my Ami 6. Suddenly it occurred to me that, come what may, they should go behind the steering wheel below the speedo, etc - they would there be in by far the easiest position to see, and they would easily fit. Only snag is rewiring the windscreen wiper and parking light switches elsewhere.

After a while, Dad came back from the office with a small parcel - Kodak C22 [Kodacolor] developing chemicals. After all my worry about getting the stuff developed, here it came just in the nick of time. Off with Dad to the open market, where we went round to It Hng, just to find that he was “to prepare all kinds of feast for customers”, in this case 800 of them - tonight was the moon cakes festival or something. Got a few odds and ends, though, and ate them round the corner at a little drink stall. Then sampled some local cheruts - just as I was about to buy 250 of one type, I discovered another brand, which were better and cost the same, so tried them out with intend to go back tomorrow morning and buy the better ones. Then to Dad's office to pick up some stuff and headed home, where I started getting the C-22 chemicals made up. In the middle of that, Dad asked me to take him to the Neal's to show Alex Tong what was wrong with the place. Stood around thus for about 1½ hours listening to the Neals winging about corroded aluminium and scratched mirrors and mosquitoes getting in through closed windows, etc. Eventually got off and had a drink and a bite to eat at the club, after which back home to develop the C-22, which al came out pretty well, apart from glazed emulsions in places (bad storage). Then developed an Ektachrome X of Bev's in the stuff - taken at 250 ASA.

C-22 was a negative process, but you could develop Ektachrome slide film in it and get approximately 2 stops increase in speed, as in this case.

Damned if it wasn't too dense - will have to try 500 ASA next time. A little bit of fog, but very brilliant colours, and nice contrast.

After that had the bottle of champagne which the Neals gave to me for my birthday, and quite late to bed.


Sunday, 13 October 1968 Kuching
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Dad woke me up at about 1000hrs and suggested that I went downstairs to get the breakfast. After sitting around awhile peeling dead skin off, I got round to it, and had the usual toast and stuff. Then drank some tea and contemplated yet again the instrumentation for my Ami 6, while Dad went upstairs and carried on with his working drawing for the Kenyalang Park shopping centre. After a while, I went up as well and was going to cut the film up, but they were still very sticky - they all seem covered in fingerprints, which puzzles me. In any case, hung them up by the air conditioner for a while to see if that would help at all, and in the meantime got all my clothes together. That took longer than I expected, and of course there was the usual trouble finding little things that I nearly forgot, etc. In the meantime, time crept on, and I eventually managed to persuade Dad to go down to the open market with me for lunch, where, by way of experiment, we asked for sweet and sour prawns, and got sweet and sour pork. Couldn't buy my cheruts - the shop shut at 1200, so I will have to get them tomorrow, if I remember.

Back home again, and cut up my films. I don't think there is much of world-shattering importance on any of them.

On, ever on with the packing, and got pretty well finished with an all-in weight of about 23 kilos, with which I hope to get away. If not, I shall give Dad Holleman-Wiberg and Jander-Blasius [German chemistry textbooks], neither of which I am liable to use in the near future.

I never used them again. I think I must have thrown them out in April 2015 before moving to Stones Road, Dereel.

Then left it for a while and prepared some tea, in which Dad joined me, and we discussed the Ami 6 instrumentation still further. I am worrying far too much about all this - I am even coming out in lumps which look surprisingly like what I got when we first moved to KB, nearly 15 years ago. Hope it goes soon.

This was diagnosed as Herpes at the time, and occurred on my left knee.

Had a bath and got ready to go out and see the film, and left quite early. All rather frustrating - I was feeling unsociable, and Dad was trying to persuade me to mix. Rose [?] came along, saying Simon had chickenpox, and all the rest of it, and then we ended up sitting next to Gilly during the film, which was not up to much, though I must confess to have a liking for Elke Sommer. Home, and did little with what remained of the evening.


Monday, 14 October 1968 Kuching → Singapore → KL → Images for 14 October 1968
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Dad up particularly early this morning, and woke me up too, though I had nothing to do. Dad was off by 0730, and I would have got up then, had the girl not started washing clothes in the bathroom, which kept me out for a while, until I decided I would have to kick her out of the place. After washing, downstairs to have some breakfast, which I had to prepare myself - the girl obviously couldn't be bothered. Then Chye came and picked me up, while I was still having some tea, and so into town and to the office, where we transferred everything to Dad's car. Then upstairs and got some money from Dad for the cheruts I was going to buy, and down to take some photos of a model of Dad's - unfortunately the flash gun decided to give up: on subsequent examination I discovered the outer braid of the sync. cord had completely fractured at the entrance to the head. Will have to get a new one.

I did manage to get a couple of forgettable photos first. I should have continued without flash:

Spoke to Lin Kee about it, and then down to get my cheruts, which was another amusing exercise. First of all, they said they didn't have any, and sent me down to a place in India St. where they didn't deal in them, and when I came back, they were able to sell me 100 (as opposed to the 250 I had asked for), and I made up for it with 100 Burma cheruts. Then up to the office, and soon thence to the airport. No problems at the airport, until my Mansefields bag (weighing about 10 kilos loaded) gave up at the strap. Promptly stuck it together with plastic steel, and left it to harden on the way to Singapore.

At Singapore, where I discovered the case which Dad bought at the Oriental Emporium (mate to the one I returned last month) had spring, went straight to the Citroën agents, where the Big 15 was still being resprayed, but strangely enough, the ID was all right. It seems that it wasn't drive shaft trouble at all, but (how the hell?) a broken wheel bearing - must have been a repercussion of the suspension bearing failure

I seem to have forgotten what I did in early September. The wheel bearings on the Citroën D series were enormous, about double the diameter of normal car wheel bearings, and so a failure caused considerable jerkiness.

Went to have a look at the old grey mare, now grey again, resplendent in palladium grey like the Pallas.

In fact, the car had always been black.

Pity I won't be able to drive her. Then to the hotel with Dad, whence we rang up Ang and the Mercantile Bank. Ang said the delivery order had not arrive, and that he would give me some substitute, and the Mercantile bank suggested that the easiest way of getting hold of my currency was on the black market, where we would probably get hold of better exchange rates.

Then to Ang, who ave me a large yellow sheet of paper with “This is your delivery order” written on it, and told me on the side that the DS19 is out of production - it is now ID/DS20. Then to Raffles Place, Dad to Motion Smith, I to park the car and get an exchange rate offer from the first money changer who set eyes on me, of (£/NF/DM) $7.40/0,59/0,75. Up to Motion Smiths, where we talked about levels, had a look at a couple, and then I off to look for a Starflite Attaché case, this time to $70. Got them to get it for me, then looking for Dad, whom I eventually found, in the meantime having lowered the exchange rates of 7.30/0,585/0,745, so got them to get the cash, and off to pick up the Starflite bag, in original cellophane packing and cardboard box. Also got hold of an MSA bag to replace the Mansefields bag (which, however, was OK again), in case it gave up again. Finally got hold of the money, rather caught by surprise getting 100 NF and 130 DM in coins. Nevertheless, it was all there. Then to the Oriental Emporium, where I had a talk with a Mr. Tan (manager, I think), and talked him into giving me a carpet bag in exchange for the dud case. Then back to the hotel, where I organised everything, and with Dad to the Troïka, where we had an excellent makan, in no way hindered by a bottle of Anjou Rosé rather more mature than my last. Then out to the airport, where I got my 23 kilos in without any problem. Then upstairs, where we saw Ananda Khrishnan, and then off in the plane to KL! I don't know how I got away with booking a flight from KL to Paris (OK, Hamburg) via Singapore and KL again. In any case, this is the first time I have been in transit in KL, though I was once in the lounge about 3 years ago, just before the building was finished. Rang Ampang 133 [our home phone number], but no reply. Sent Dad a post card, and helped another bloke get his letters posted, for which he was grateful enough to shout me a beer and try to pay with a 100 NF note! Ended up paying myself. Then off en route to Colombo, during which we had makan and I got a bit of sleep.


Tuesday, 15 October 1968 → Columbo → Athens → Reims → Paris → Meaux
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Woke up shortly before Colombo, and went out into the new terminal building (which gave me quite a shock - it is beyond all comparison with the old one) and blew $2 on a bottle of beer, as I was suffering from thirst. Then on to Athens, a distance which I estimate at 5-6000 miles, the longest hop I have ever been on (8 hours).

In fact, the Great Circle Mapper tells me that the distance between the modern airports (2016) is only 4077 miles.

Got a good bit of sleep in there, too, but wake up some time before Athens, which has not changed much, apart from a picture showing a Phoenix rising from a burnt soldier, with the date 21. April underneath. Then on to Le Bourget (or so we thought), which time was mainly spent trying to get into the bog. As we were coming over France, however, we were deviated to Reims, because of a ground fog in Paris. We had to wait there for 3 hours, and there was not a single announcement to tell us what was going on. Then to Paris, where I got through without too much sweat, and got a taxi to the Ave. Félix-Faure, where I had a bit of trouble finding somebody who could help.

This was the Citroën delivery office.

Eventually they decided to do something about it and said it would take about half an hour. After about this period of time, questioned again, they said the next bus would leave at 1515, so I went off to have soemthing to eat, and came back and said that, if my stuff were not ready, they would wait for me. At 1515, the bus left, and I blew up. Eventually they realised something was up and told me that they had yet to receive any money from Henry Ang. I showed them my receipt, and they decided they had better play it cool, but even so, pointed out that the price had gone up, and that unless I paid the difference, I could not take delivery of the car. This amounted to £39, and I would like to know why, when they sent the cable off last month, they did not inform me of this. In any case, eventually got everything, and off to Trappes, where my car was waiting, so I put it through its paces and set off. It was not until I got to the Autoroute that I discovered I could not get 4th gear, and by then I was not in a position to return. Had a look at the box, and decided eventually that it would go if I tweaked it in the right way. Thence to Poissy, where I might have stayed, had I been able to find a hotel, but no such luck. Tried to get to the other side of town, and eventually succeeded. Lot of fog on the road, and I came across an old 2CV which had given up the ghost - a man and a boy had been trying to crank it. Took the boy to Esbly, to look for a mechanic he could not find, and then to Meaux, where I was heading and he lived, and he offered to put me up for the night, which I accepted. Then back to pick up the rest of the car - discovered there were 3 more people there, the man being the father, the rest his children. Got the car going again, but it stalled pretty quickly after a couple of kilometres, so we loaded them all into my Ami 6 and went home. There, at about 23hrs, we had a fantastic meal, much too much for me. The bloke works at the Italian embassy, and was coming back from work - what a life! Still, got a good bed, and all went well, so I shouldn't complain.


Wednesday, 16 October 1968 Meaux → Reims → Liège → Aachen → Gütersloh
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Woke up at 0600 this morning, but eventually got back to sleep and got up again round about 0830. Madame (why didn't they even introduce themselves?) pounced on me and suggested I had a bath - I hope I didn't smell. In any case, I didn't complain, and had quite a satisfying bath, despite the hard water. Then we had breakfast, and somebody (Claude) came along to say something about the car, which I did not quite follow. At one time I think they were going to ask me to take them back to the car, but I think they changed their minds. After breakfast, wrote up for yesterday, and set off. Noted an identical Ami 6 Break parked beside me - pride of ownership is obviously here, even in France.

Off in the wrong direction, how I do not know, but managed to take some short cuts across the farming country to get to La Ferté ss. Jouarre, whence on in the direction of Reims, which was not as pleasant a route as I had hoped. In Reims, filled up my tank - consumption of about 6 l/100 km.

That was very low for the car, but I was still running it in.

On up into the province [really département; this is still France] of Ardennes, where the weather deteriorated and it started raining again. Gave a lift to student to Charleville, then across into Belgium, where I picked up another bloke, who said he was an engineer, but referred to live in a commune rather than to work. He spoke near-perfect english, and would have been an interesting bloke to talk to had he stayed with me longer. Then up through the forests of the province of Luxembourg to Liège, where, not for the first time, I had difficulty finding my way. Finally off on the Autoroute/Autobahn to Aachen, picking up a Pom by the name of Brown from Okehampton - forget his christian name, but no relation to Rick Brown. Got a degree at Reading - small world, n'est-ce pas? Dumped him actually on the Autobahnkreuz Köln-Süd, and then very shortly after, refilled the tank - this time only 5,5l. On through the Ruhr valley, had makan - by this time it was about 20hrs - and up onto the E3 to Hannover, but stopped at a couple of Raststätte to try and get accommodation, and at the second place was successful. Bushed, early to bed.


Thursday, 17 October 1968 Gütersloh → Lüneburg
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Woke up again very early and could not sleep, so eventually got up at about 0615 and washed, etc, then across to the other side of the Autobahn, where the car was already warm by the time I reached it [the Autobahn, in the car]. Then on, in a fairly boring manner, to the next Raststelle, where I had breakfast, though most of it was what I already had in the car. Then on towards Hannover, and the weather got worse, and up on to the Raststelle in Allertal to have a shit, then on to Soltau, where I left the Autobahn and went up a rather picturesque Landstraße to Lüneburg. To the Fussans, where I had trouble getting in, and eventually found Henry and Frau Fussan upstairs - the latter complaining of flu and a temperature of 43°, and stank of booze. Off into town, where I had a look at some QI fog lamps, which cost a hell of a lot - about 55 DM each, and no Cibiés available, though I suppose Bosch or Hella are just as good. Bought some stuff for cleaning the car and found the Citroën agents, who said they would do the work tomorrow if I came at 0800. Then back to the house with a new thermometer, as the old one had burst, and then measured a similar temperature of 42,5°, so off to the doctor to try and get somebody to come to see her - they grudgingly agreed to send somebody later in the afternoon. Then home, where Elke had arrived, and had makan, not all bad. Then on - I had wanted to wash the car, but the weather gave out on us, so I had to hang round in the house, had a bath, counted my money, and went to the bank to change it, and also had another look round, but did not find anything. Then home again, after which Ulla and Erika came home. Then out for a quick run in the car with the daughters, who liked the car as much as Henry - went over an unmade stretch over which I have been with the DKW, and the difference is fantastic. At home, watched TV, early to bed.


Friday, 18 October 1968 Lüneburg → Hamburg
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Got up early again - why do I wake up after 7 hrs sleep? Maybe it is all I need. In any case, got up at about 0710 and had plenty of time to get dressed, etc, before taking the car to the workshop. Did this later, and despite quite a long detour, I managed to get it there on time. Then walked back, buying “Auto, motor und sport” on the way, and read this at home - a comparative test of 5 cards: Renault 4, Fiat 850, Mini, Citroën Dyane and Honda N360 in that order. Quite probably, they were standardisation-loving Germans, but they had nothing nice to say about the Honda either.

Then had breakfast, and spent the morning in one way and another, searching things out for my car, found a rear-view mirror and a tyre pressure guage, also a Hamburg map and Shell-Atlas, and was just about to write up for yesterday, when in came Herr Fussan with a lamp whose switch he wanted changed, then after that told me that my fry pan was kaputt, so I had a look at the thermostat, which has obviously been tampered with and various parts are missing. The Fussans deny all knowledge. After that, Henry pulled out an old toy telephone which he wanted fixed up, which in fact was no problem. Was just settling down to something after that when I was pulled upstairs to have a chat with one of the students, who turned out to be a Pom by the name of Barbara Shorrocks, and rather nice. Was being called here and there like a yo-yo, as Mutti kept telling me what to tell her, etc. - most confusing. Got her to come downstairs and have a look round, and Henry promptly presented her with a cat, which kept her going. Then had makan, and Barbara and I off into town, where I picked up my car - the bloody idiots have speeded up the idle instead of lowered it. Felt like going back and blowing up, but couldn't spare the time. The oil was expensive enough, too, at 25 DM.

The idle speed was relatively sensitive, since it controlled the engagement of the centrifugal clutch. And the first service was free except for lubricants.

In to Hamburg, where I had a look round at Lichterfelds, but found nothing of interest - the lamps were even more expensive there. Eventually out to Winterhuder Weg, where there is quite a good accessory shop, and there bought a couple of Bosch rectangular QI fog lights for 42 DM apiece, with bulbs, and to make it all the better, they were yellow.

For some reason, at the time I thought that yellow was better than white.

Also got a couple of reversing lights. Then up to see Matin, and had a cup of tea with him before Hussein arrived. Spoke for a while, Frau Plehn in to see if I had brought her any australian tea, and then we went off to adjust the height of Karen's door for her. Had more tea while we were there, then off to the Reeperbahn to have some fish in a little place Hussein knows. After that, various arguments as to where we should go - Hussein wanted to the Zillertal - but eventually off to Blankenese, where we went for a walk, then had coffee at some little place and took Hussein home, which was quite an undertaking, as he did not know where he lived, either. Took Karen home, and finally ourselves home, at about 0100.


Saturday, 19 October 1968 Hamburg → Lüneburg
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It looks as if, by some weird coincidence, I have achieved my aim of getting up earlier in the morning - I don't know how, but it is certain enough that, come what may, of late I have not been able to sleep in in the mornings. So was it today. I woke up at 0810, could not sleep any more, and so got up. Matin slept on for another hour and a half, and I got a chance then to write up my diary, etc., before Matin got up. Then had breakfast, to which Matin hardly did justice, then (eventually - Matin wanted to come, and took as long as ever to get ready) out to Farmsen to look for the Racimex [?] people, whom we found without all too much trouble, and I was rather surprised with the place, which operates on a much smaller scale than I had imagined - definitely nothing to challenge people like Smiths/VDO. These latter could probably lose a volume of sale equal to the whole of Racimex's output without feeling the pinch. In any case, the fellow there was very helpful, and came down and fitted a different sump nut which had a boring for the oil temperature guage. Also found a connection point for the oil pressure guage, which is in a different place from the old models, or so it seems. Then paid for all that, which cost more than I had expected - I had not expected to have to pay for the oil tubing for the pressure guage, which cost about 8DM. Then into town, where I had a look at a gear knob for Citroën, which was not up to much and cost 11DM, then to Kaufhof and bought a thermometer and some food for the weekend. Home again and Matin cooked one of his specials, which unfortunately took a long time, but might well have been worth it. Then to Lüneburg, where the weather was better than in Hamburg. Almost immediately got some water and shampoo and did the car, which was by this time pretty mud-encrusted, and, for the first time on any car, leathered it down, but the new leather left fluff on the paintwork. I am not overimpressed by this shampoo/wax. I think next time I shall buy the stuff seperately, which ought to give a better finish.

Then inside, got my old tool box out, and sorted out what I would leave there and what I would take with me. Then had a bit of a Feier in the evening, in which the students joined - the other girl (from Norway) is a bit less of a wet blanket in parties than Barbara, who soon went up and went to bed. Elisabeth (Norway) and I tried playing something on flute/guitar, but by that time I was too far gone.


Sunday, 20 October 1968 Lüneburg → Hamburg → Luneburg
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Ulla ran in at some ridiculously early hour this morning and shouted that Kali was severely ill in hospital. On further questioning, it eventuated that Elke and Kali had gone on last night and kicked on elsewhere, and then, on the way home, Elke had had an accident. She herself was upstairs, not seriously hurt, but it seems that she had been pissed as a newt when it happened and had been in the wrong anyway, so things looked pretty bleak.

Thus began the morning, and Mutti was sitting there in bed screaming that they were killing themselves off, which has a grain of truth in it, at that.

Then had breakfast and wrote up for yesterday, then came Barbara and Elisabeth and suggested we went off. Outside, the car was covered in frost, and thus the inside temperature was 0°. After scraping the windows, the car started almost instantly, and I was able to terrify the girls, who insisted on sitting in the back, by going round the first corner on my side. Then picked up the frog, Olivier, whom they expected to be equally terrified. It was rather amusing watching him make himself comfortable there while the girls were waiting for him to have heart flutters. Picked up a hitchhiker, which made it a bit crowded in the back - will have to shove a 6th in the boot sometime. Then to the Reeperbahn, where we dropped this bloke, and drove round St. Pauli and then to the Opernhaus, on the way having great difficulty getting 1st and AR gears - turned out to be a loose spare tyre, which I discovered while adjusting the idling - I couldn't stand it any more the way it was going so fast. Then up to Matin, where Hussein also was, though Matin tried to persuade me it was a girl. After a bit of talking, waking Hussein up, etc, started cooking the makan - the curry had solidified, which somewhat knocked me. Matin and Hussein were both very derogatory about cooking rice without salt or butter, but I insisted on it. Matin claimed to like the makan - I think he probably did - but it was too pedas for Hussein, who probably would otherwise have liked it. Dragged out tea and cigars after that, and then set ourselves to the task of getting my barang down from the attic. Rather to my surprise, and definitely to my pleasure, they both went in sideways, once I had folded the seat. Without the seat, I reckon we could get just about anything in.

Then back to Lüneburg, where I collected all my stuff and loaded it in, getting a slight but persistent list in the car in the process, upon the strength of which Ulla and Margrid her cousin each bet me 10DM I would not make it to England. They were so persistent, I began to get a bit dubious myself. After that, I had a bath and went to bed.


Monday, 21 October 1968 Lüneburg → Oostende → Dover
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Woke up pretty early and there seemed to be little going on. I had itchy feet, so got up, dressed, loaded my stuff into the car, and up to say goodbye to those who were still there - Mutti, Elke and Henry. Then to the DKW people in town, who said they would do what I asked and then filled up and went off towards Soltau and the Autobahn. This was a mistake: the Bundeswehr had been up to something, God knows what, and were creeping along at 30kph in convoy with their headlights blazing. Eventually got past them, but by that time we were in Soltau anyway, and quickly on the Autobahn. Stopped at the Raststätte Allertal for breakfast, and almost immediately a Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 pulled up next to my car, arousing a lot of interest. Unfortunately I was having my breakfast and could not examine it before it left.

Then on past Hannover to the Rhine valley,

Not really

and stopped just before Dortmund for petrol, but the eating place was so crowded that I put it off for a while. Then the car was fully run in; down near Köln I astounded myself by getting 91 mph/145 kph up, at about 6600 rpm. I wonder just how well the car would take this... In any case, I was fairly belting along, and on the Autobahn from Liège to Antwerp I was hardly overtaken at all. Then down the grotty bit to Bruxelles and along the Autoroute to Oostende, where I had a couple of hours to wait for a boat. Tried to get some food, which was singularly expensive, cleaned the windscreen and noted that the sump nut had come a bit loose, and that I was thus loosing oil, if not much. Tightened it up, and not much later boarded the boat. There bought Bev some cigarettes, then had a battle of wits with the immigration officer. Finally off for a rest and woken up by the girl a couple of miles out from Dover.

At Dover, had a hell of a job trying to get my car cleared, with the rather disappointing conclusion that I didn't - they have apparently changed the regulations, and I had to pay tax immediately. As I didn't have the requisite £200 on me, they detained the car until such time as I could pay. Managed...


Tuesday, 22 October 1968 Dover → London
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... to send off a telegram to Dad about the money, asking him to send me a TT of £200 - that will please him no end, just as it did me.

At the end of all that, at about 0230, they suggested I went off to find a pub in which to spend the night - they must have been joking! I walked right through Dover without finding anywhere. I even tried at the Youth Hostel, without success - the fellow swore at me for waking him at 3am and would not let me in at any price. By then I had absolutely had it, and so headed for the nearest park bench, not for the first time under such circumstances. At least I was fairly well/warmly dressed, and the weather was not too cold anyway, and I managed to get a bit of rest which, coupled with that I got on the ship, more or less sufficed. Got up round 0700 and headed to the railway station, where I got a ticket to London, and went off to the docks for some more of my barang, so off to the station and caught the 0810 to Victoria. Got a bit more rest during this time - 2 hours to cover 70 miles - but was disturbed somewhat by a long-nosed art teacher talking vehemently to a colleauge [sic] about their common pupils.

In London, I headed to the bank, where things could have looked worse. My £60 had arrived, and they reckoned that my money could have been in by this evening, otherwise probably tomorrow. Only snag was getting a cheque book, which would take a day or so. Left it at that - I had enough cash on me - and then out to have a bite to eat, then to the Jacey theatre in Leicester Square, which doesn't seem to have changed since first I went in there nearly 12 years ago. Then to the AA, where I joined pretty painlessly, and got some pretty painful quotes of up to £60 for comprehensive insurance - maybe the Alpha system has something after all. Left my briefcase in Victoria, and on to the Motor Show in Earl's Court, which set me back another £1:10:0 or so - entrance was £1.

After that, looked for Cheng Wui, but he had moved out since his father gave me the address. Looked round for a hotel, none in Kensington, hut eventually found one in Bayswater, run by a couple of Indians. Then picked up my barang from Victoria, had makan, and off to see “Barbarella” at the Bayswater ABC - how working-class these queues outside cinemas are! Why can't they issue tickets in advance?

The film itself was a quandary - I still don't know whether I liked it or not. It is completely unclassifiable, but I think I probably liked it. Late back to the hotel, straight to bed.


Wednesday, 23 October 1968 London → Dover → Chailey → London Images for 23 October 1968
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Up considerably later than usual this morning, but I probably needed it after all the confusion of the past few days, and the fact that I missed my breakfast did not even worry me too much. Off almost straight away to the bank to see if any mail had arrived for me. No mail, nor even the cheque book, which they said should be in later in the day. However, much to my relief, the money had arrived - good old Dad. He must be pretty fed up about it all, though. I wonder if he proposes to take any action. As quickly as possible, after I got a cheque signed by Lloyds Bank, off to Dover via Victoria, where I bought some food for the journey. Maybe I am maturing or something, or possibly I am just becoming apathetic, but I did not feel very strongly about getting the car back - possibly because I was by no means certain of getting the thing. In any case, I took the 2 hours journey to Dover comparatively calmly, and even in Dover did not get particularly excited. Admittedly, I caught a taxi to the docks, mainly because my feet were killing me. At the docks, another ship had just arrived, which rather buggered things as far as getting away quickly. In any case, got away in about an hour without too much trouble, although I seem to be losing oil - I wonder how that came about. Then off in the direction of Tunbridge Wells, passing through High Halden on the way, just as I had decided it wasn't on the map. Couldn't find anybody who could tell me about Sonny,

I did, however, manage to find the street in which he lived, Broadwater Down:

so drove on in the direction of Chailey, which is really not far away at all. After a bit of looking round - it was about 1900 by this time - stopped at a pub at Chailey and had a bit to eat, got instructions to get to the Heritage, and eventually found the place. There I asked about Lesley, but all I could find out was that she had the day off - dear old Lesley! I felt a bit of a heel. Then back to London, racing with a Van which seemed considerably hotted up, but eventually came a cropper as I was stopped by a policeman, who informed me that I “were driving like a maniac down Brixton Hill”, and that I “are not in Paris now”. Got off with nothing more serious, and ended up near where Malcolm [Lennox] used to live. He has moved out and his landlady is 8 months pregnant - I wonder if there is a connection. Then to the hotel and rang Bev up, who told me where I could find Sonny, but following her advice I would have ended up in the National Science Museum, so home and to bed.


Thursday, 24 October 1968 London → Horrabridge
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Up at about 0730 this morning, this time of my own accord, and proceeded to do everything necessary to get my barang out of the car. Then off to see where I could park the car out of the meter zone, but no go, so instead I parked it whence I started, had breakfast, and then (rather unwisely) parked it in the multi-storey car park behind Farnum House. Then walked round the West end, unsuccessfully looking for a couple of Kangol Reflect Safety Belts.

These were the first (and, I think, at the time the only) inertia reel safety belts.

It seems that nobody is intresed in them, probably because they are more expensive than most. Then to the bank and picked up my cheque book, still later out of town and to Slough, where I had intended to speak to Citroën about the leaking sump, but when I saw how big Slough is I gave it up as a bad idea and headed on toe Reading and thence to Basingstoke, then got a bit of steam up with the A303 to Andover, where people were in the process of building a bypass, which had just got far enough to hold all the traffic up. Was followed at a distance by a metallic mauve car for about 20 miles, and at Wilton this proved to be an E-type Jaguar, so I stepped on it to keep up with him for a further 25 miles,

Footnote in the diary: Checking on map at later date proved total distance to be ≈ 70 miles.

literally flat out all the way. Some way before Ilminster I finally got tired and worried about what mught happen to the car, so pulled in at a wayside Wimpy bar, where I had a fairly good lunch, also a chat to a Canadian British Eagle pilot, whom I had passed some miles back, and who was very impressed by the car's performance. One of these days I will find out how the thing handles unloaded. In any case, he invited me to come to see him at the house of the “Rising Sun” on the other side of Okehampton in the next few days - if I remember his name, Ralph, I think. Then burnt on, and after a while I realised that I would not make it on time, despite all the progress that has been made on the road - nevertheless, I gave it all I had, and made it from Honiton to Tavistock (about 60 miles) in 80 minutes, including going through Exeter and Okehampton, and getting some petrol. Had a burn with an MG Midget, whom I left standing. Is it me or the car? Belting at 81 [mph, about 130 km/h] into Okehampton and Mary Tavy (not in the town), and reached Tavistock at 1630, but Bev was not there, so averaged 60 to Horrabridge - averaged about 44 mph [71 km/h] from London to Tavistock, not at all bad. In Horrabridge, saw a grey AMBA, shortly after that Bev, then up to the house. Everybody was highly impressed by the car, and eventually unloaded the thing - I had forgotten what it was like sitting in a normal position, but have come to the conclusion that the furthest seat position back is too far - am experimenting with it on different notches.

In the evening, went and visited a couple of Bev's friends - Sarah and Dinah Norman, both quite nice, and Penny (very attractive) and Cathy, with whom we spoke about films, the Graduate”, etc. Interesting.


Friday, 25 October 1968 Horrabridge
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Up early this morning for Bev's sake, had breakfast as usual with the others, and then off to take them to school - that proved to be fatal. I had checked the oil before I set off, and had subsequently topped it up, but forgotten to clip the cap back on, and as a result oil started squirting everywhere. As a result of it all, I lost about a pint of oil, which was hardly encouraging - neither was the oil all over the engine.

After dropping everybody off, off to a garage, primarily to see if they could fix up my loose sump bolts, which was not completely successful, though I rather hope it has improved it somewhat. The thing will have to go back to Citroën for them to do something about it, but I don't know how easy it will be - it will probably take quite a long time, and I don't know if it will really be worth the trouble - possibly it will. After the tightening up, back to the house, where I picked up my stuff and had some coffee, then off to Plymouth, where I primarily intended to buy some stuff for the car, but also was also given a couple of things to do by Mrs. Andrew - getting some newspapers, paraffin, etc. At Halfords in Plymouth, I got hold of only one safety belt, some stuff to clean down the engine (highly neccessary) and a few other odds and ends which should have come in handy, and did.

At home again, had lunch with Mrs. Andrew, then set to trying to fix my safety belts, which proved to be very easy - the screws were mainly all there already, and it was just a question of fitting the things. Then took Mrs. Andrew into town, subsequently going to the Abbey garage to see if I could get my holes drilled. Then was sent off to another place, where we spent about half an hour trying to get everything drilled/punched, and came to the conclusion that I could only fit one instrument to each side of the ashtray. I will have to find some other place to put the vacuum guage. Also had some holes drilled for fog and reversing lamps. Then bought some wire and stuff, after which off to pick everybody up at school, and then Mrs. Andrew as well, finally off home, where I filled up the holes that it no longer looked so bad, but although I connected up the oil temperature guage, it showed no signs of working.

Then it got dark, and I decided to go in, and Bev went off to the school for some careers convention. I went home and finally heard my Mozart concertos

These must have been the records that I bought in Kuching 2 weeks previously

then off again to the Normans, where nothing much was happening, and I spent most of my time talking to a bloke called Dave, who was still ecstatic about having driven a Citroën 11CL. Home fairly early, did little.


Saturday, 26 October 1968 Horrabridge
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Up later than yesterday morning, as there was no school. However, Bev had to go to a hockey match, so wanted transport up to the top of Horrabridge Hill. Took her up, and while I was at it, Vicky and Georgina as well. Then up onto the moor, climbing all the way, and somehow ended up in the same place as I went with Georgina in the DKW six months ago. This time, however, I was not stuck at the end of the road, but drove right up over the moor, to the road running up above. Then noticed my petrol was low, so down into Tavvy and filled up. Home eventually, and started working on fixing the lights, etc. First came the fogs, and before very long I was joined by a rather interested William, just as I had disconnected the headlights and was putting in the change-over switch for the QI fogs instead. Then fitted the wires to the fogs, which went better than I thought, thermal insulation and all. The fogs proved to be very effective, and easily as bright as I had hoped, what with their total output of 72 W. Then had makan, and after that, down to line up the fogs, which proved to be more complicated than I had hoped. Nevertheless, managed to get everything more or less lined up, then set to on the reversing lights, which proved more difficult, as there was very little space where I could put the wire without it becoming unpleasantly visible. Eventually stuck it under the door seals, then behind a removable panel where the other rear wires go, then up the tube which holds the lid in place, so all I have to do is hide or camouflage them on the boot.

After that was done, and I had put the car back together again, I washed the thing in my free sample of Porzelack, [sp?] which did not seem much different to the other stuff (which I discover I have left in Germany). Wiped it down, then out to make further adjustments to the fogs.

After makan, Bev wanted to go to the Norman's again and so off, through a light mist, which might as well not have been there, for all the fog lights made of it. At the Norman's, an orgy was in progress for the lucky few, but not including me. Went for a drive with a few blokes, all highly impressed by the car. Off into Plymouth to pick up Mr. Andrew, hitting some real fog on the way - fantastic lights.


Sunday, 27 October 1968 Horrabridge → Haywards Heath
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Up very late this morning, and out to discover the table layed for breakfast, which I thus presumed I had missed. Fortunately this proved not to be the case; everybody here has a late breakfast on Sundays, a thoroughly commendable habit. As a result of this, by the time we were finally finished, it was much later, and I went up to Bev's room to write up my diary - the loss of my pen is a great nuisance, and the old one would not write at all were it not for a liberal addition of Tetenal “Mirasol” to the ink, which unfortunately makes it write too thick and sink too far into the paper.

The difference is clearly visible in the original of the diary, as is the fact that it started on 25 October.

I wonder where I can get another Pelikan, if at all. Maybe an ad in “The Times” could produce results.

Then started packing my barang in my usual spasmodical, half-hearted way, and eventually got more or less hat I had intended into my bags, which thus became somewhat fatter than I had intended.

Progress was somewhat interrupted by lunch, and a good way it was of interrupting too - even if Matin would have found it unclean. Then got back to work, which did not take much longer, and attempted to say goodbye to Mrs Andrew, who was having a bath or similar. She would not hear of payment. Also Mr Andrew wanted to know the other side of what is going on between Mum and Dad - apparently they have heard from Mum in this connection. Then finally over the moor at 1530. Took a hump bridge at Postbridge far too fast, and took off - must have gone a couple of feet off the road, and came down with a hell of a bang, but no apparent damage, apart from the capillary tube on the oil thermometer.

This was in the sump drain nut and completely unprotected from beneath. I have no idea how people could build things like that.

On through Exeter, and did the same thing again going over a bridge near Honiton. Stopped at the Wimpy bar in Ilchester for makan again, and discovered that I had broken the glass of one of my fog lights, probably on the Honiton bridge. Damn. I wonder a) how much a new glass will cost b) how often this is going to happen. It might well be advisable to put some metal tubes at the bottom in front of the lights, so that they are more or less protected.

I had mounted the lights below the bumper bar. This photo shows the car after removal of the damaged fog light, which was thus on the right:

Burnt along the A303, then the 30 to Salisbury and on to the beginning of the A272, which took me all the way to Chailey, where, unfortunately, there is no accommodation available, so back to Haywards Heath, where I stayed in the Birch (3X), rather expensive, but I felt in a luxurious mood.


Monday, 28 October 1968 Haywards Heath → Tunbridge Wells → Chailey
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This was a memorable day for me, for a number of reasons. The entry is correspondingly long. But it's interesting to first state what I remember of the day to make it easier to compare with what I wrote at the time.

I left the hotel at Haywards Heath and headed to Chailey, where I wanted to get to the hostel before Lesley saw me. Unfortunately, just as I was getting to the gate, she came out, so I drove on and then came back a little later.

We headed off to Tunbridge Wells, where I showed off my new car, including the strange issue I had seen with the centrifugal clutch: if I disengaged the normal clutch while running and waited for the engine to idle below the engagement rpm for the centrifugal clutch, there would be a jerk when it reengaged. Unfortunately I tried that at too high a speed, and the jerk was quite violent.

In Tunbridge Wells, I went to Sonny Rajah's school to look for him, but couldn't find him. When I tried to drive off, the car had a problem: a rocker arm on the left cylinder head had been broken. Lesley and I decided to spend the day in Tunbridge Wells, and we went to a film, “Romeo and Juliet” by Zeffirelli.

I then accompanied her home by bus and tried to hitch-hike back to Tunbridge Wells, with spectacular lack of success. I ended up walking back to the hostel and crawling in through her window, spending the night with her.

In principle, it matches. But all the details are gone, and I recalled the wrong film. Maybe we saw it again later, at the same cinema.

Oh, what Lesley means to me! After another day with her, all the more. I only wish those days with Jenny Hallett had never happened - how different my life could have been. And yet... in may ways Lesley is similar to Jenny. Oh, for an explanation!

Tea, as promised, was brought in to me at 0730, and I spent a good hour preparing myself to go down to breakfast, where I was somewhat worried by the slowness of the service. However, I finished in plenty of time, payed my bill, and had time to check my tyre pressures before setting off - and just as well, too, for they were madly out. Adjusted them at the garage in Chailey, and as Lesley was not there, at 0925, I set off for where I presumed her hostel to be, and saw her just as she came out of the hostel - unfortunately, she saw me as well, and waited for me to turn round. I had rather hoped it would be a surprise, but nothing surprises Lesley.

She got into the car, admired it, and asked what we were going to do - as usual, I had no idea. I really must buck up on this side of things - it is terrible to have to ask the girl what she feels like doing. In any case, though, she said she felt like going to Brighton, I thought it might be an idea to go and show her off to Guy Belsham, if he were anywhere in the region, and so off in the direction of Nutley, whither we arrived pretty soon, despite the fact that I was negotiating nearly all of the corners with only one hand - dear old Lesley. Maybe, eventually, finally, this is love - this just wanting to be with her, to share experiences with her. I suppose there is a fair proportion of sexual desire mixed in - was heißt suppose?: it's pretty obvious there's a lot of sexual desire mixed in, but there is at any rate a little more than that.

At Nutley, there was nobody at the service station who looked like Guy, and Tyes [their house] seemed pretty deserted, so I thought we might as well set off in the direction of Tunbridge Wells to see if I could at any rate show her off to Sonny. On the way, conversation turned to driving lessons/tests - Lesley is taking her test for the third time, and I fear she will fail it, too - still, we will see. I hope not. In any case, I was showing her some of the pitfalls she could fall into, amongst others the advantage of double declutching, which I demonstrated par excellence.

My recollection was that I demonstrated reengaging the centrifugal clutch at quite a high RPM, causing a violent shock. This may explain what happened later.

Eventually we arrived at Tunbridge Wells, where I discovered that Sonny was temporarily AWL, and so we could not see him. We were just about to leave when a funny noise came from the engine reminiscent of a twig caught in a propeller, and with an accompanying loss of power. I stopped the engine, expecting to find a leaf caught in the fan, but such was not the case, and from the spitting back through the carb and the fact that only one cylinder was firing, I took off the rocker cover of the cylinder in question, and a bit of rocker arm (pushrod end) fell out. So much for the supposed reliability of Citroën cars - I was disappointed, to say the least. The only compensation was that we had at least had the car while we went for the walk across the downs near Nutley, through ferns, when Lesley let me kiss off all her lipstick with complaint. She did not complain about me scratching her tights, either - I shall have to buy her a new pair.

She was also good about the car - it could not have happened at a more embarrassing time, and it seemed to completely incapacitate the car, which obviously did not like firing on one cylinder. Rang up an AA garage, who said they would tow it away if I could find anywhere to tow it, but the nearest Citroën agents were in Bromley, and they could not tow it that far.

Nowadays the Citroën agent seems to be Masters in Beckenham, about 50 km away. And this in the most densely populated part of the UK! But then, nowadays there's a Citroën dealer in Tunbridge Wells, too.

Rang up Bromley - Lesley by my side made me feel much more cheerful - but they had no rocker arms, and would have to order from Slough.

Gave that up for a while, and walked down into town - I love Lesley. Any other girl would have complained, or something. Lesley, even more than I myself, took it as it came.

In town, after walking up and down the Pantiles, we found a post office and rang up Citroën in Slough. The bloke there was rather more helpful, but said that spares for the new AM2 engine had yet to arrive in England, and that he could only replace it if it were the same as the old one.

Then Lesley felt hungry, so, though it was only 1130 - 2 hours gone by - we went into a chinese restaurant and had a 5/- makan - another thing I like about Lesley. Then we went out and walked up again to Broadwater down and asked for Sonny's address. This I eventually got at the hands of a Mr. Arthur Davis, who gave me only too explicit details of how to get there. Then back into town, and apparently Lesley wanted to go and see “Far from the madding crowd”, which was not a bad idea under the circumstances, and we arrived at the flick house at a very conducive time therefor. Upstairs, which set me back 12/-, and after a bit of music, the lights dipped, and without further ado the film started - and not only the film. I quite enjoyed what I saw of the film, which was more than I saw of the last film I went to with Lilian Gunton. Still, I enjoyed being with Lesley more: Lilian was out only for one thing, and so I was I - here it was quite different. Lesley is for loving. In the middle of the flick, a cat came in the cinema - how, I do not know, but it got in there. It had a collar on, and must have belonged to somebody, but obviously found the atmosphere by Lesley and me pleasant, for it lay down on the seat on Lesley's other side and went to sleep. Later it disappeared with neither trace nor visible means of exit... I still had Lesley, who seems prepared to let me do anything with her body, rather surprisingly.

She rather annoyed me after the flick by saying she would not be able to see me for a long time again - I rather suspect she has another boyfreind [sic] in London. When I asked her this, she remained curiously silent, which is not like her. Oh Lesley, Lesley, what have I done to you? Was it I to whom she referred when she said she had once been in love with somebody and hurt, or was it Peter or whatever his name is? Has she lesbian tendencies? I hope to God not - I am far too fond of her for that.

Caught a bus up to Sonny's place, where we were told that he was not there, and that he had gone up to London to see his parents. Walked back, I thoroughly depressed, partially at what Lesley had been talking about, partially at the situation I was in. Lesley did not really do much to help the situation, either.

Then to a Wimpy bar, where we had something to eat, then caught a bus to Uckfield, which was an hour's ride, and we were alone for a lot of the time. Got down to some petting during that time - Lesley has surprisingly big breasts, which, to an even greater degree than Jenny Hallett, she tries to hide. Why does she try not to look feminine? I wish I knew, but I am a little worried about her psychological background. If only I didn't like the girl so much - why couldn't I have fallen in love with a perfectly normal girl instead?

Back to Chailey, where we caught the ambulance to the hostel, and there had tea and met her friends. Lesley wanted to make a phone call, and I watched TV for a while. Eventually Lesley thought I had better make a push, but the last bus had gone, and I walked to Newick without getting a lift, so walked back again - that went a lot more quickly, somehow - slunk into the grounds without being observed, and knocked on her window. It must have been almost midnight, but (premise no. 1), nothing surprises Lesley, though I had rather expected this would. But she just opened the window for me and let me spend the night with her. I love you, Lesley, teddy bears and all.

My recollection was that the only part of the window that opened was a small part at the top, and that I suspected this was deliberate to avoid exactly what I had done.


Tuesday, 29 October 1968 Chailey → T.Wells → Slough → T.Wells → London
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Oh, what a way to be woken, at 0630. I felt like Adam turned out of the garden of Eden - without Eve. Lesley shook me, although the alarm had woken me, and suggested I got out. Funny girl - still embarassed to get dressed in front of me. What does it matter, eh, Lesley?

Out into the cold, mercifully unnoticed - hope so, anyway. Had to walk to the bus stop where I only had a short period of time to wait before the bus arrived. Thus to Uckfield, where I changed for the bus to Tunbridge Wells, and eventually managed to get a bit more sleep in. After a while, arrived in Tunbridge, where I went straight to the car and tried to start it, but without success. Just as I was despairing, Sonny rolled up in an Imp, and was astounded to see me, and hardly believed me when I told him what had happened to the car. Exhorted him to lend me the Imp, which apparently belongs to the garage which is repairing his Stiletto, and he was dead chicken, but eventually I persuaded him to do something, and so we arranged that I would steal it. So it was, and I set off in the direction of London to see what I could manage, and spent a hell of a long time getting there. The Imp has rather a nice character - I like the engine and transmission, apart from the fact that the engine kept stalling - but the chassis, etc, is lousy. Sidewinds blow the thing all over the place, and the car never seems to know where it is going, despite rack and pin steering.

Eventually got to London, and then had to get round the town, which was by no means the easiest thing in the world, but eventually arrived at Citroën in Slough, without having taken a wrong turning, at about 1200 hrs - the time I was due back in Tunbridge Wells. The bloke remembered me - obviously they don't have too many rocker arms falling apart - and said there were none in stock. Fortunately the block from the claims department saw fit to strip an engine and procure the part for me from a new engine - they apparently have a few exchange units. Got the part and burnt back, this time round London, which proved a little quicker.

Back at Tunbridge Wells it was about 1445, and I immediately stripped the old rocker shaft, losing a washer in the process, and Sonny came down, apparently unworried about the car, and asked if I would like to stay until this evening and have a bit of a talk with him. He brought down some tea later, of which I was very appreciative. Got the shaft back on with the new rocker, then adjusted the tappets and off to Halfords to see if I could get anything for the car. Unfortunately they did not have any safety belts, so all I bought was some Swarfega. Then back and met Sonny, off to his place and, shortly later up with him to London, where he has to say with his parents. Then I went to see a flick, which unfortunately I had seen before under a totally different name, and even the first time it was not good. Walked out and headed for Paddington, where I bedded down for the night in the car.


Wednesday, 30 October 1968 London → Tunbridge Wells
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Oh, my God, why is it so cold in the morning? Why does one's sensitivity to cold increase when one is asleep? I woke up feeling very cold this morning, and promptly set off in the car towards Bosch, with a vague notion that they were somewhere in the north of town - unfortunately a vague notion turned out not to be enough. After driving about for a while looking for NW3 (it turned out later to be NW9 anyway), I got out to look for the magazine with the address in it, and discovered I had lent it to Sonny yesterday. Gave it up as a bad job and headed out to Slough, where I handed over the dud rocker arm - the bloke from the spare parts department thought it was the new one and nearly threw a fit, but I explained it to him. Then asked for a new couple of washers, which somebody set to doing, and in the meantime I pointed out that my car had been fitted with the wrong headlamp units, which threw everybody into confusion because (they said) the new models had slightly different, integral assemblies from the older models. Then Mr. Tallon of the claims department referred to the boss, who said that these were standard equipment on TT cars, and that I could not expect anything else. I pointed out that I had ordered a right-hand drive car, which obviously implied I was going to drive it in a left-traffic country, and the least I could expect was rhd. lights, but he said he would have to refer it to Paris, and if I wanted some headlamp units in the meantime I would have to buy them — £6··15··0 each.

This is quite remarkable. The headlight units supplied dipped to the wrong side, thus blinding oncoming traffic. They were probably illegal in the UK. And here's a boss of a large automotive company making nonsensical claims like that. And on the other hand they had refused to fit a standard speedometer in km/h because the car was rhd.

I did so, paid by cheque, and let the old ones with them, fitting the new ones before leaving. Then off into London, where I got caught in a traffic jam - apparently the Queen opened parlaiment [sic] today, and a hell of a traffic jam was the result. Took 20 minutes to get through the tunnel from Knightsbridge to Piccadilly. Once in the West End, I went to the bank, where I cancelled the cheque to Citroën until such time as we hear from Paris, and collected some mail - a receipt for the telegram from Custom and Excise, and a letter from Dad enclosing a letter from ICI, and a booklet, a second lot from ICI, and a third copy of the booklet, apologising for omitting it before. They wanted to see me in Welwyn Garden City for an interview for the post of temporary lab. assistant in the plastics division - sounds interesting, to say the least. Then tried to buy a sleeping bag, but it was early closing, so rang up Bosch, who suggested I got my glass from their agents in Tunbridge Wells. Then set off thither, arriving at a fairly respectable time.

After a while came Sonny, same thing all over again, and still his car was not ready. Home to get some barang he wanted to wash, then to the Laundrette, where I threw some of my stuff in to, and he suddenly came to the idea of going down to Horrabridge tonight to see Bev. Fortunately (I suppose) he gave it up after a while, and after he had had makan we went off to Chailey, where Lesley was still on duty, so to Haywards Heath for some petrol. Then picked Lesley up - on the way we had been talking about our birds, and I mentioned how jealous I had been on the 1.IX.65 at the Samuelsson's party, when other people had danced with Lesley. Then picked up Lesley, and I took her down to the King's Head, where she nearly made me faint by giving me the impression she had been to bed with someone else - oh Lesley, how could you do this to me? I who love you! Out in the car, she said something which somewhat soothed me, but at the same time said she was not for heavy petting. Damn that - we'll see. She drove home - not at all badly, in fact very well, and there we compared notes, and by a process of elimination discovered that the bloke who I had been so insanely jealous of 3 years ago was in fact Sonny! - small world. Then we set off home, leaving Lesley keen on the idea of coming down to Dartmoor, and taking her gloves. Oh Lesley, what a paradox thou art! Sonny agrees I have the same problems with her as he does with Bev. He drove my car for a while, very well, but scared me to death. He lent me a blanket, and I slept in the car again.


Thursday, 31 October 1968 Tun Wells → London → Reading → Dartmoor
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Woke up at about 0830 this morning, and eventually managed to shake myself into some semblance of order, just as some bloke from the Tun Wells Co-öp arrived and asked me to clear the gate in front of which I was parked. Headed off into the town, passing on the way a Mini which had ended up in the ditch during the night. To the school, where Sonny's Imp was, so off to Paddock Wood to look for Cobridges, the Bosch agent, but did not find them. Had a bit of a wash, etc., then back to Tun Wells and wrote up for the day before yesterday (getting a long way behind of late) while waiting for Sonny, but eventually came to the conclusion that he had left the Imp there and gone to London by train, when nothing happened by 1100 hrs. Then set off and rang Cobridges, who unfortunately did not have a glass for my fog light. Then set off for London, arriving somewhere in the South West, and thence rang up ICI, where the bloke who had written the letter was not available, but his secretary took note of the fact that I was in fact interested in the prospect of a job, and that I was available for interview any time after Tuesday. Then set off looking for NW9, but even in NW16 nobody had any idea where either the district or Carlisle St. were,

To my surprise, it has a junction with Edgware Road, which is much longer than I thought.

so gave it up as a bad job and set off in the direction of Reading, where I headed for Windsor Hall looking for Paul Hallett. Found Andy Green without having to look for him, and he told me Paul had failed his exams, which hardly surprised me. Took Andy out for a drive in a Citroën, which he found a complete paradox, but liked. Told me also that Jenny is here - I shall pay a visit on her some time, if she is not booked. It occurred to me as I left Reading that I should also have visited Carol Syme, which could have been invigorating. Set off on the same old road, and picked up a scottish tramp on the outskirts of Andover, and took him on as far as Honiton - poor bastard mush have got absolutely soaked in the deluge which came down immediately after.

Then down to Netherton House, where all the Baudouys were amused to see me, and had makan with them. Talking about the DKW, they compared the Panhard with it, which was a paradox if ever I heard one. Later, Mrs. Baudouy agreed my car sounded like a Panhard, which, after all, it is.

Not really. At the time Panhard belonged to Citroën, and the engines have a similar construction (2 cylinder air-cooled “boxer”), but they evolved independently.

Rang Bev up from there, also got Mrs. Andrew's permission to come over tomorrow, then across the moor in a record 28 minutes

That is indeed a good time. Google Maps gives a time of 42 minutes in 2016.

and picked Bev up, into Tavvy and to the Normans, where almost immediately I had to take Penny Jackson down to the phone box to make a call - she is a nice lass, pity she is booked. Got back and almost immediately had to take Bev home and then go and sleep on the moor.


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