Greg
Greg's diary
September 1964
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Tuesday, 1 September 1964 K.L.
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Lately, I very seldom wake up of my own accord, but rather was woken up, and today 'twas Ananda, coming with a small suitcase which made me try to persuade Bev that he was moving in. She asked Ananda, and of course, anything for a laugh, he agreed that he was.

Had morning coffee, which, when we have it, usually replaces breakfast for me, and then Ananda downstairs and did move in sufficiently to kick all my barang off the desk where I am wont to work.

Meanwhile, Mum got me to write out some method whereby Bev could have her teeth seen to before the end of these holidays. It all looks highly dogdy to me, but she has appointments on the 14th, 15th and 16th/IX. Then followed a heated discussions about when we would be going back to England. I make 16/IX/1964 the absolute latest, but I know not what might happen.

Then Dad back for lunch, and Lali turned up as well, making, with Ananda, a total of 6, which rather crowded the table.

After lunch, as during it there was a lot of discussions as to what was going to happen this afternoon, and this lasted quite a long time. Mum & Ananda had some business to see to in town, and I wanted to go in with Dad, to get him to join the British council library, and so on.

In the end, we set off at about 2.45 am [sic], and to Dads office, where a fellow was waiting for him - something to do with the Johore trip tomorrow. Be that as it may, we did not get away form the office until 3.30. Then into town, and he had to hand some stuff into someone. Meanwhile I down to Eastern Photographers to hand in some stuff for contact printing, and then back with Dad and up to the British Council library, but it is more difficult to join than one would expect.

Then he dropped me, and I along to the USIS to change my books there - much better organised place. Easier to get to, too.

Then back to Eastern Photographers, but could not get what I wanted there. Got a secratarial [sic] pad for Mum - cost me $1.90 - and then on to Dad's office, where I was in for a long wait.

We finally got home at about 6.00 pm, and listed to Lali's interviews at MAHA, but the transmitter kept on breaking down, and we heard exactly 3 words. Had tea while we were at it.

Then back to the office, I with Bev's camera, and when Ananda rang up, Dad asked her if I might expose her film in order to make black & white transparencies thereof. Violent objections at first, but finally yielded.

Up to the lake club for Dad to beat Ananda at squash, and then had a swim and to the Dog, where we had makan, and saw Joe Speelman - looking much better. Does not remember Terry Ravenor.


Wednesday, 2 September 1964 K.L –> Muar
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Bev in at 6.45 this morning, to find out why she had not been woken to go riding an hour before. In fact, Dad had deliberately not set the alarm, but Bev did not find this out. However, she decided that there was still time, and got Rahmad to take her to the Turf club, and left us to try to get back to sleep.

I up with Dad for once, as a result, and felt quite tired nevertheless. Decided to go into town with him as well, as I had a couple of things to do, but it was too early, and all I managed to do was to take Bev's camera to Eastern Photographers, and then back home again, feeling lousy. Mum suggested that I go back to sleep, and this advice I followed.

I was woken up by Bev with some bacon sandwiches, of all unusual things, for lunch, but I did not think much of them—nor, for that matter, did she—'twas Mum's idea, not hers.

As a result, I up again, and downstairs to look for something to eat, and returned with a couple of apples, which I proceeded to devour, reading a book on choice of films, etc.

This set me thinking about photography, and in particular about reversal, especially as it confirmed my suspicion that an ordinary film can be reversed. I tried permanganate, acidified with citric acid, but unfortunately the permanganate oxidised it, and so I tried dichromate, which, however, just tanned the image into brick-red Ag2CrO4, which was not very suitable. Tried permanganate with CH3COOH, and it [sic] at any rate it did not react, but still no luck. O for some H2SO4.

Mrs O'Hara along to take Bev out to “A hard day's night”, and brought an interesting looking bird by the name of Jean with her.

Then off again, and I prepared my self more crumpets. I am sure the things are not intended to be frozen solid. Anyway, after 2 hours these things still had not thawed, and I finally gave up.

This was in the days before microwave ovens, of course.

After that, spent a lot of time doing little, and turned on the radio to hear the news, which was interesting—Indonesian paratroopers have arrived at Labis. 1 dead, 3 captured, and more being looked for. What fun, with us planning to go down there tomorrow.

This was part of Indonesia's Konfrontasi against the formation of Malaysia the year before.

Told Dad this when he got back, and it pleased him little. He thought wiht amusement about what Joe Dabrowsky [who lived in Labis] would be doing, especially if there is, as seems likely, a curfew tomorrow.

Left at a little after 6.00 pm, and rain was coming down in absolute torrents—the Indonesian fellows could not have had much of a night. Stopped at Malacca for makan, and then on, ever on, and got to the Muar rest house at about 10.15, and all were asleep, which meant that we had to wake them up—poor bastards. They must have to get up early.

It's funny that I didn't mention that, when we did wake them, they told us that the rest house was full. My father protested that he had made a booking, but they said no, there was only one outstanding guest, a Chinese called Ng Le Hey. My father's initials are NG.

Thursday, 3 September 1964 Muar –> K.L.
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Fellow came in with tea early this morning, which is unusual—in fact at 6.45, ¼ hour early. Up almost immediately, and out and down for a rather lousy rest house breakfast, with a tinned sausage, which looked like nothing on earth. While we were there, met Sun Sai Lun and a fat Malay friend of his whose name I have forgotten. Although they were in the Labis area yesterday, they did not know about the Indonesian landings, and we had to tell them.

In the 21st century it might seem racist to refer to the second person only by his race. But it certainly wasn't at the time, any more than referring people's height, girth or hair colour.

Then out to the Lenga land development scheme to have a look at progress, but the manager was not there, and after looking round and getting increasingly annoyed, we asked where he was, and it eventuated that the fellow Dad rang up yesterday had forgotten to tell him about it.

Then along to another place, Bukit Serampang, which, as the crow flies, is about 5 miles form Lenga, but it is across the Sungei Muar [river], and there is no bridge, so we had to go back to Muar, across the ferry, and back to the other side—a distance of about 70 miles. Went to sleep on the way, and woke up at the ferry, and bought some fruit, and had a drink on the other side. Then on, and had a flat not further up [sic], but, owning to experience, we did not take long to change it.

At Bukit Serampang, things were a lot better, except that the phone was not doing too well, and we could not get the manager. However, all went well nevertheless.

After that, to Segamat for lunch, and 'twas not bad, but then on to the police station, where they told us that the Teneng [unsure of the spelling] Station scheme was under curfew, but we went down there just to see what was going on, and discovered that it was not under curfew, and had a rather unpleasant drive in a Landrover, and nearly got killed at one point.

Then started the long drive back to K.L., and I off to sleep, and left Dad to the driving.

Then woke up, and we were at Tampin, where some football final was going on at the Rest House, but we had only stopped for tea, and on again fairly soon, as we wanted to get home in time for makan.

Finally arrived home at 7.20, and nobody even came down to open the door for us. T.V. addicts—that is what they are.

After makan, back to the Riepling family tree, and decided to write to all the likely mob to help bring it up to date.

The Riepling family is the family of my paternal grandmother. They came from Adenstedt, near Peine, between Hannover and Braunschweig. They showed a surprising propensity for having female children, and I believe the name has now died out. The family tree I had went approximately to 1930.

Friday, 4 September 1964 K.L. Images for 4 September 1964
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Woke up this morning to find Bev going along to the Golf club, and told her that I might join her after a while.

Shortly after I had had breakfast, I noticed that Rahmad had come back, and rang up Dad to see what he was meant to be doing.

The the all clear to go into town and do some shopping, and did. First to the Jubilee book store, to look for the federal constitution, and discovered a version (paper-backed) going for only $2.50. Also, while I was there, I discovered a copy of “Fanny Hill” going for $4.50, and so bought it - fellow in the shop recommended it.

Then to Eastern Photographers, and got my contact prints, which were not too bad. I wonder what the grain is like.

Then back home again, and Mum was there - apparently the conference is already over, and all she had to do was type all the stuff out, and shortly returned to do this. First, however, she gave me a letter from Janet, pretty punctual after receiving it on the 31/VIII/1964. Typewritten, which gave me a good opportunity to have a laugh at her typing. Replied almost immediately, which took me until lunch time, and wrote quite a bit, including quotations from the constitution about the duties of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

After lunch, Bev was going back to the Golf club to do some diving practice. I decided to go as well, just on the off chance that I might find somebody of interest.

That I did - I was swimming around, with my sunglasses on, and watching Bev diving - glare was too bad otherwise - and, needless to say, they got splashed, and this bird commented thereupon. Got talking to her - good looking, and a figure to match. Bird by the name of Eileen - reeks of “Room for one more” some weeks ago. Anyway, I did not get much chance to speak to her for long - spent her time suntanning.

Then the diving stuff in the swimming gala - Bev did not do at all well - did not even get into the finals.

Then back home, and prepared for the makan that we were having this evening—along to the supermarket to get some liquor, and persuaded Dad to let me try a ½ gallon bottle of cider, which he reluctantly let me do. Then posted Jan's letter.

Back home, and a hell of a lot of fun was going on. Mum's car was parked in the drive, and she could not move it. Then she out to buy some food, and back to a fairly swinging party. Present was Julian Sandys, Duncan Sandys' son and Winston Churchill's grandson. Went to Eton, and learnt much the same type of dirty songs there as we do at KCT, to judge by what he recorded of them. Cider completely finished by 1.30, when the party finished.

This is a surprisingly brief description. Julian didn't show up just by himself, of course: we didn't know him, and I only ever saw him once again. He was brought by Ananda Krishnan, and Lalita Rajasooria was also there. Both are in the photos, as is another person whom I no longer recognize

Julian sang at least one dirty song that I had never heard before, “Poor little Angeline”. My recollection of the words is that they weren't quite the same as the link, but it's obviously the same song, and Julian sang it well. I recorded it on tape, and I still have the tape, but it seems that I overwrote it only a year or two later.


Saturday, 5 September 1964 K.L.
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Up and about comparatively early this morning, mainly to prove to Dad that I didn't have a hangover after last night, but there was little to do.

After breakfast, into the downstairs bedroom, and carried on writing out the stencil of the Riepling family tree. This took quite some time, and I got as far as the 6th generation, after which it starts branching out - the trunk, so to speak, ends, and the branches start. I don't know whether to carry on with individual branches, or to go in the order of generations. I think the former would be easier to follow, but the latter more logical.

Then looking for Jans letter of yesterday, to file it, but could not find it, and so decided to write up for yesterday. Still preoccupied, however, with Jan, and ended up doing neither one nor the other, but having some thrills making iodine from the chemicals that I had in the bathroom.

Iodine is one of the messiest substances that I know, and before long I had the bathroom covered in it, and quickly ran to get a bottle of ether to purify it, and to clean the place up as well.

Before long, Mum raised the hue and cry, that the whole house smelt like an operating theatre, and for God's sake to put the top on the Ether. In disgust, I gave up, and tried to clean up, and finally, at about 1.30, managed to fill in my diary for yesterday.

Lali along a little after that, and was surprised that we had not yet had lunch. So was I. At about 1.45, Mum told Eileen to get makan ready, and meanwhile we had an argument with Lali about the virtues of enforcing the national language by 31/VIII/1967, and that lasted until about 3.00 pm, by which time makan was ready.

After makan, in to my room, and after Mum and Lali came in to find out where I got “Fanny Hill”, went off to sleep, to make up for my early morning this morning.

Woke up at about 6.45 pm, and a bebearded friend of Dads, Ron Hewish, came along, and had some tea at this late hour, and then, after watching Hazel, which was funnier than usual this week, Mum & Dad went somewhere with him, while I adjusted the T.V. set - Mum does not think I know anything about it, and, although she admits there is something not quite right, but will not admit that it needs adjustment.

After that, had makan, upstairs, as the Alfred Hitchcock show was on, and we did not want to miss it, nor was it at all bad.

Once again, for some completely unknown reason, we got a very late night - well after midnight.


Sunday, 6 September 1964 K.L. Images for 6 September 1964
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The whole family got up late today, so for once I was not the odd one out. Bev, for some reason - I have my suspicions - did not go to the swimming gala, and just stayed at home bitching all the while. Then decided Dad to do all his calculations for income tax, and while he was engaged in this not-so-pleasant pastime, Ananda Krishnan came along, and got Dad to show him some windows of his, and thus ended Dads work on his income tax. I upstairs to do some recorder practice, and carried on with this for quite some time - I have lost my touch, or am out of practice, or something. Anyway, I made far too many blunders.

Then out again, and was promptly given a glass of shandy - Mum says something about my having come of age, and was now allowed to have some liquor in my ginger beer. Personally, I prefer scrumpy, and it is 4 times as powerful anyway. Ananda was complaining about not being mentioned more often in this diary.

Then makan, which was the remains of what was left over from Fridays makan, after we had had some yesterday, heated up. I wonder when we will finally finish it.

After makan, I downstairs again, and, being the fool that I am, and never learning by mistakes, once again set out to prepare some iodine, and made an even worse mess this time - 'twas verily terrible. Apart from that, I also tried to get in some meths to clean the mess up, and in the process ruined my beaker which I use for mixing the developer. To use some type of metaphor, it came out purple, with pink spots, which made it completely unsuitable for use for mixing developer.

Then upstairs and carried on reading “Fanny Hill”, which is now becoming interesting. 2nd letter has now begun, and she has got into a very select brothel.

Then had tea, and watched the “Bugs Bunny Show”, after which I inside and changed for the dance this evening. After the news, which is rather grim, along to the golf club, and was the first person there, and rather embarrasing [sic] it was too. Finally, however, a few more people turned up, and amongst them, thank God, Eileen, whose surname, I found out, is Dennet. She introduced me to a few of her friends - all girls - and also a very cosmopolitan [sic] lot - a bird by the name of Judy, from Melbourne, Ine from Holland, Lis Wahlgren from Sweden, and Lola from Egypt, and all very nice birds. Ine is probably the best dancer of the lot, whereas I liked her and Lis about equal.

Eileen is very amusing, and by 10.00 pm was utterly exhausted, and just sat there telling me it was way past her bedtime. I am not too sure if that was supposed to be a hint.


Monday, 7 September 1964 K.L.
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After yesterday night, I woke up exceptionally late this morning, not I am sure because of the late night, but because of the exhausting dances that I had been subject to. Be it so, I was not up before 11.30 am, and then was I yet tired.

Mum was of the same mind, and indeed, after returning from a shopping spree, changed into a nightie that she had just bough, and went back to bed. While she was thus reposed, Lalita Rajasooria came, and immediately upstairs, and they had a party, or an orgy, or some such thing there, with Bev's help. Then Dad rang up to say that he was going out for makan at P.J., and would not be coming home for the same. On went the orgy.

By the time lunch, which was not, for a change, a rehash of last Fridays makan, came up, all the girls had decided to have it upstairs, but I protested, and so ate downstairs by myself. After that, looking at the Malay Mail word puzzles, and the jackpot for last weeks one is $11,000. If nothing happens this week, it will be up to $11,500, and thus I decided that 'twould be worthwhile putting my mind to it, and put my mind to it I did. I could do with $11,500.

Then Lali left, and Mum back to sleep again. This, however, pleased me not one little bit, and I decided to go into town, for the manifold things that were pressing upon me, and managed to wake Mum up and convince her of this view, but first she made me ring up Malaysian Airways to find out when Endah was going back - BA795 - 19/IX/1964, and Bev wants to go on it as well. As for myself I know not when I will be going.

It's amazing how security has changed in the last 50 years. Nowadays you wouldn't get that kind of information about anybody, let alone the king's daughter.

Finally into town, and to Eastern photographers, and bought another beaker, after my escapade of yesterday. Apart from that, however, I also needed a larger beaker. Also got a yellow filter, of Japanese make.

Then had a haircut, and was recognised there by an old chinese barber, who was astonished at my size. Then on the Vanguards to have Mums loudspeaker fixed. All were pleased to see me, and we had quite a reunion. Then bought some batteries for my flash unit - it needs a change.

Back home, and spent a considerable amount of time reading Fanny Hill, and then in my room, to read a more sober book on landscape photography. Then entered Ananda with a couple of friends, and I went out to see them. Lali was back, and Julian was reading “Fanny Hill”, and of this I got a picture, just for the record.

After the all left, Lali told me that she wanted me to do some music on Radio Malaysia, and that she would like me to come along tomorrow & have a look over the place. I was needles [sic; probably deliberate] to say, delighted. Developed the film on which I got Julian in the evening - managed to load it without event, and the title of the book came out perfectly.


Tuesday, 8 September 1964 K.L.
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Woke up this morning with a strange feeling that there was something I had to do, and 'twas not long before I realised that Lali wanted to see me at Radio Malaysia, and so up and down early enough for breakfast.

Then did various odd jobs around the house, and rang up Dad to ask him to send Rahmad over, and told Mum was going into town, and got changed.

Bev also wanted to go, however, and I ended up leaving her to it, when I got off at Vanguards to change my batteries - the last ones are already flat.

Then walked to Eastern Photographers, and handed in last nights negatives for contact prints, and while I was at it, Bev's camera, now fully repaired, was handed to me, and so I had quite a lot of stuff to take with me to Radio Malaysia. Stopped by an armed soldier and asked for a pass before I could get in, but “Lalita Rajasooria“ did as a password.

After about 10 minutes waiting, Lali came along and showed me a studio, or cubicle, or whatever the programme. As soon as we got in, over the loudspeakers came “She was interviewed by Lalita Rajasooria”. Then along to a recording room, where the programme being recorded was also introduced by Lalita Rajasooria. She must not be able to get away from herself.

Then she took me home, and I gave Bev her camera. She was rather pleased/delighted with it, and that it finally worked.

Lali had to leave early for a recording session at 2.00 pm, so she left before lunch was over. Told me that she was going to ring TV Malaysia and see if they would put me on, and told me to stay at home for a phone call. So did I, at the same time reading “Fanny Hill” to its conclusion, which I thought just a little insipid - married the Charles who went to sea earlier in the bit. Then carried on with all sorts of pastime - the boredom heightened when Mum & Bev went out, and I was left to write up my diary in peace except from the puppies, who made a considerable nuisance of themselves.

Dad came back for a while pretty early, and then off again, and I upstairs to sit and read some other book, until Lali came along at about 5.00 pm, and was closely followed by Mum, and we then proceeded to have tea.

Fairly soon, they left, just after Dad had entered, and I carried on having tea with him. Talking about filtration plants for swimming pools, and they seem to cost their bit, too.

He also had he copies made of the stencil of the first page of the Riepling family tree, and it came out quite well.

Spent a considerable amount of time then on typing out the 2nd sheet of the Riepling family tree, and, as Dad was down there working on his drawing board, I managed to get quite a bit of information out of him. He and Mum went out for makan with a couple of friends. Intended to wait up for them, but the did not get home until 2.30 am.

'O' Level results today - English Lang, French, German, Latin, Ad. Maths, Physics, Chemistry.

What grades? Who knows? I've forgotten. More to the point, I failed English Literature (which hurt) and Divinity (which didn't), the latter with 11% if I recall correctly. That still suggests that I was punished for my impious attitude, which doesn't sound right.

Wednesday, 9 September 1964 K.L.
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Woken up this morning by Bev, saying that I was wanted on the phone, and I up and into Mum's room to discover that it was Jimmy Massang of T.V. Malaysia, who wants to get me on “Points of view” this Sunday, and wanted to audition me some time this afternoon at home. After a bit of discussion with Mum, settled on 2.30. Then quickly up and dressed, and got out all my musical instruments, and started madly practicing, stopping only to record yesterdays events above. Carried on working all this out for about an hour, and then Mum insisted that I tidy up my room, and then went off, and left Dad and me to do it. Did not take long, and I was soon back at my instruments. Not long after, along came Lali to see how it had gone, and was pleased to hear that the audition would be in less than an hour.

Soon both she & Dad left, and Mum remained alone, talking with me, when we saw a Red Austin looking rather puzzled & bewildered. It proved to be Jimmy Mussang, and before long he found his way. Most interesting fellow - comes from Penang, and very interested in architecture. He wanted to see sketch plan of our new house, but Dad had it at the office, and so he could not see it.

Then, finally, got round to the audition, and, though he liked my music (or said he did), he did not think that the general public would, and finally got me to have a go at playing “Stranger on the Shore” and “Never love a Stranger”, which pleased him considerably, but, although he decided to have my recorder music, he wanted something else for the flute, and after a bit of discussion, decided that I could go and meet the flautist at the Dog and see if I could borrow any music from him. So was't arranged, and he left.

Then decided to go into town to get the prints, and while I was at it, Mum took a look at my suit and decided that it was high time that it had a dry cleaning, so I took that in as well - will be ready by Saturday, which means I will be able to wear it on Sunday when I will be appearing. Then to Eastern photographers, and met there Gillian de Sousa [sic], who was having a photo taken for her identity card, and showed her the print of Julian reading “Fanny Hill”. Ordered the ¼ plate enlargements, and bought a lens hood for my camera.

Then back home, and little to do, so read a few comics of Bevs. Before long, along came Lali, and I told her the good news. She too was delighted. Then had tea, painstakingly prepared by Mum, and when Lali had gone, we went for a walk with the dogs, during which another dog, who was trying to get to Swoopy, was run over and subsequently died. Bev and Mum promptly burst into tears.

Bev off to chinese makan at the Mandarin palace in the evening, but all we had were burnt curry puffs. Gawd. Talk about well done!


Thursday, 10 September 1964 K.L.
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After all the consorting with various radio & TV types, today was something of an anticlimax. Up very late, and downstairs to see what was going on with Dad, who wanted to know when enlargements would be ready. As they were supposed to be ready at the time, I, with permission, grabbed Rahmad and we headed into town. However, owing to a blunder on the part of the people there, they were not yet ready, and so we returned home fruitless.

The morning thus wasted, I sat down, looking forward to lunch, but alas! it was one of the greasiest Hams I have ever tasted, and it makes one wonder if it really should be like that.

After lunch, I decided Mum & Dad that I would be going to the flicks this afternoon, and so, after reading some horrible “True Police story”, very badly written, which was in one of Bevs comics, I went into town with Dad, and got Rahmad to drop me by the Jubilee book store, and then let him go back while I got myself fleeced at the abovementioned establishment.

Thence to Eastern Photographers, and had a first class blowing up in store for them for not keeping the bog paper in which I had wrapped up the negatives. Then they could not find the last 3 prints, and meanwhile the other fellow kept insisting that there was no bog paper in the first place. In the end, they gave me one of their negative wallets, and I decided to buy 10 more whole I was at it. Might solve 1 problem at least.

Then stopped at a place that I knew in Cross St to have a look at some Chinese flutes that they had there, and in the end bought one, complete with black bands around it.

Then, finally, to the Rex theatre, and before entering the cinema, changed the film to the Eastern Photographers wallet that they gave me.

Excellent film - “Honeymoon Hotel”, about a fellow who was about to get married, but was ditched by his bride, but was nevertheless persuaded to carry on with the honeymoon. Absolutely hilarious. Got out at about 5.10, and then started the long walk home, and go there about 5.50. I wonder what average speed that was.

Today we have Google Maps, of course, but no longer the Rex Cinema nor the house in Lorong Kuda where we lived at the time. The former has become the Hostel Red Dragon, and the latter has become part of the Petronas Towers complex. But guessing at the way, it seems that it would have been about 5 km, so a speed of about 7.5 km/h.

When I got back, the Webb family were present for tea, and Mum had made some scones, which they eagerly devoured, damn them. However, we managed on the burnt ones. Then had makan upstairs, mainly, I think, to watch some T.V. programme - it is going a bit far, I feel. After makan, was at a loose end, but did not come to admit the fact until too late, and then just sat upstairs drinking shandy with Mum talking about manifold subjects and listening to “Berlin Bei Nacht”. Mum is keen about holiday homes again.


Friday, 11 September 1964 K.L.
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I am wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting life, even if they are good chances. Bev woke me up at about 9.15 this morning to tell me that I was wanted on the phone. It proved to be Jimmy Massang of T.V. Malaysia. He told me that Harry Brown, of the Bourne School, who is to accompany me on Sunday, was in Malacca, and would not be back until late Saturday night, so I would have to go along to the TV studios at 1.30 pm on Sunday and do a couple of hours solid practice.

After all that, I decided that I could not get back to sleep, and so got up, and downstairs to have a talk with Dad, who was doing a hell of a lot of work in order to be ready when he went to K.B. this afternoon. He was not feeling too well - his back did him smart. After a bit of talking, he told me - yes, told me - to do some practice on the flute, but I felt it was hardly worth it without accompaniment. Wrote up for yesterday instead.

This took not as long as I would have imagined, although Dad left for the airport in the middle, and I was finished before noon. Ah the joy of getting up early! Time goes slower in the morning than in the evening, I trow.

Lunch was a problem, and Mum decided to kill quite a few birds with one stone, and so we went, after an inevitable visit to the dressmakers, to the Oasis, where we met up with Jason Spencer Cooke, whom I met for the first time. Most odd fellow. Definitely the type to play the lead in “The Vagabond King”.

Then running all over town, and I to Williams. That place is decidedly going to the dogs. Completely past it. Then, after a long wait for Mum, got to Radio Malaysia, nor was I a minute too soon.

The audition, done by a fellow called Zain Abu, was rather bad, and I really felt that I would be ditched, but such proved not to be the case. After that, Lali interviewed me, which was a bit of a farce.

Over to the dog, as Mum had not picked me up after a 20-min wait, and was met over there by Lali, who brought me home, and while she was at it, told me I would be paid $20 for my 8 minutes on the air $2.50 a minute. On a full time basis that is $327,000 or £38,500 a year, which is not bad - more than Dad earns, to say the very least.

Jacky Webb over in the evening. I have finally decided that I do not like that girl. She stayed the night, to make matters worse. Mum telling me various scandals later.


Saturday, 12 September 1964 K.L.
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Was woken up this morning by the noise of a foreign car-horn, which proved to be Jacky Webb's parents come to pick her up. With that evil out of the way, I considered it safe to get up - I have decided that I do not like her. Just got downstairs when Mum arrived back from some work that she had been doing in town, or at the Merlin. She was sorry that she had missed Jacky, and proceeded to say that she would have morning coffee in a minute, which for me replaced breakfast. I got down to finishing the graphs of the development times of films with “Promicrol”. This too me quite some time - I have lately got into the habit of doing all such work downstairs on the table in the lower lounge, and it is definitely more conducive to writing, or indeed to work in general. While I was at it, or writing up for yesterday, various discussions were going on about when Dad would be arriving back from K.B., especially as the flight time was changed. Rahmad was sent off to get him, and went off with a polishing cloth on top of the car.

Dad arrived back just in time for lunch, and armed with the news that he would be going down to Labis directly after lunch. And then he will be going to Kuching next week early. We hardly ever see the fellow. Anyway, true to his word, he left immediately after lunch, and I suggested to Mum that I made some photostat copie [sic] of “Stranger on the shore”, and she agreed that this was a good idea. Also had to go into town for various reasons, and said she would be going at about 3.15. Famous last words, indeed.

Meanwhile, I busied myself with the Malay Mail Word Puzzle DB, and finished off the final form, and complied with all the regulations thereabout, and ended up with an envelope ready for posting. Then spent the next some time persuading Mum to go into town, and we finally left a little after 4.00 pm.

In Petaling Street, bought a couple of pairs of size 11 thongs, and a notebook and a 4-coloured biro with 2 sets of refills. Also had my name, as “G.F.Le Hey”, inscribed on the barrel of my pen. Looks most aristocratic.

Then along to pick up my dry cleaning, deposited Wednesday, and then to Jubilee Book Store to get a copy of a book on the Jawi Script, and while I was there, was pressed to buy the Kama Sutra and “Moll Flanders”, the latter of which I did not even realize was dirty. But alas! had no money to spare. Then back home, and after watching a few things on T.V., Mum & I decided to wait up for Dad, while I investigated the iniquities of the Jawi script, and he did not get back until 12.25 pm [sic]. Learnt a lot of Jawi.


Sunday, 13 September 1964 K.L. Images for 13 September 1964
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Bev woke me up, very rudely, I thought, by coming in at 9.30 to ask Dad some ridiculous thing, and I could not get back to sleep.

Got up, and then arranged with Dad that we would go over to Mahmuddin's place to see if we could borrow some flute music from him for tonight. Accordingly, after breakfast, unusual meal nowadays, went off to Jalan Khatib Koyat [sic; should be Jalan Khatib Koyan], but when we got there, Mahmuddin was not there, but Omar Ahmad bin Mahmuddin was, and he invited us in. Accordingly, Dad went off to his office, while I stayed with him, talking and playing music for the flûte by Nicolas Chédeville (le cadet? [yes]), which is much the same style as that of his brother. however, it was a bit difficult for the flute. Then he brought out some magazines in which there was some music from the recent Malay film “Mambeng Moden”, which was rather amusing, and decided to play the same on T.V. tonight. Along to phone up the place to see when I was on - Focus, at 7.10 pm. Then arrived Dad, and we went back home, but not for long. After having some stuff to drink and then an early lunch, got Dad to take me off to T.V. Malaysia.

After waiting there for about 15 minutes, I discovered that I was due at 2.30, and Jimmy Massang came in about 2.00 pm and explained that I was due at Harry Browns place at 1.30. Still there was little I could do, and at 2.25 we entered into the Studio A for practice, by which time Harry Brown was also there, and we got down to the business.

It went, in fact, considerably better than I expected, and Harry Brown managed to strike up and accompaniment to all for the pieces... “G.F.LeHey. When did he live?”. Did "Chinta Pandang Pertama” from “Mambeng Moden” on the flute. Then had a bit of fun on the clarinet, and ended the practice.

Got Dad to pick me up, and back home to copy out some music, and had tea and changed into my suit. Then back again, and got thereat about 6.00 pm, and almost immediately went in and was made up, and spent the rest of the time watching T.V. until our show was on.

Makeup was quite complicated, in fact, and I ended up with a lot of stuff smeared in my face.

The actual show was not much - I was just 5 minutes tacked on the end, and Thanga found himself short of time, and had quite a conversation with me. Back home, Lali was waiting, and even Theo [the dog] seemed to have realised that something was wrong when he saw me on T.V. Gave me a very enthusiastic welcome home. Tape did not come out - Dad blundered.

Decided to go tot e flicks to forget this, and saw “The Brass Bottle”, about a present day genie. Most amusing, but it ended up rather impractically.


Monday, 14 September 1964 K.L. Images for 14 September 1964
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Woken up at 9.00 am this morning to be reminded by Mum that I was due at Radio Malaysia for recording at 10.00 am, and so got up at about 9.30. Then had breakfast with Dad, and into town, in the particular direction of Federal house, where I arrived about 10 minutes late, but could not find Lali. After looking for her all over the place, finally found Thanga, who told me where she was. Thence upstairs to the recording studio B (green) and got ready to go just as soon as Sonia Katavas [spelling?] had finished recording her programme. Meanwhile, I unpacked my instruments, and waited. Sonia also wanted to watch the recording, and we had quite a bit of fun once we got moving, and they were satisfied with the first recording in each case.

Then put my instruments away, and downstairs with Lali, and signed the contract, and was to that, to get the money, I would first have to go over to Radio Malaysia's financial department in the IBM building, and this I did as soon as Rahmad [our syce, or driver] picked me up. Had quite a wait there, and, as in Federal house, took a few photos of KL from the top.

These photos proved to be of more interest than I could imagine. It seems that there are not many photos of KL at the time, and I've had two requests to publish the first image. 45 years later I stitched them together as panoramas. Here first from Federal House, then from the IBM building. The black square at the bottom left of the IBM building photo is simply missing image. I stitched it together from two individual images, one landscape, the other portrait. Normally you'd crop out the area, but that would lose detail, and in view of historical interest, I've decided to leave it:


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Got my cheque for $20.00,

 
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and went home to get my passport for verification purposes, and thence to the Bank Negara,


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where I was immediately asked for a 6¢ stamp, and had to go over to the Pejabat Pos [post office] to get it.


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The bank and the post office were next to each other, not far from Federal House. The photos were taken a couple of weeks earlier, on 28 August 1964. In the first panorama the dome at the left of of the Bank Negara is visible on the right, above the trees in the foreground. The post office is further left but obscured by the building in the foreground.

Then over to Dad's office, and got him, and we all went home.

During lunch, we were discussing the chances of Bev and me going to the flicks in the afternoon In the end, we decided to do so, and went in with Dad to go to Eastern photographers to get my colour slides, which were due back on the 8th. They said they would arrive about the middle of next week. Accordingly, I blew up at them for posting a notice saying that it would only take a week. These fellows must be absolute idiots. Did not buy anything there in the end.

Eastern photographers were in Mountbatten Road, on the north side, roughly in the middle left of this photo taken some years later by williewonker. As one comment states, it was directly above Williams Music shop, which I had frequented some years earlier.

Then to the flicks, OSS 117, about the same sort of thing as James Bond, but not nearly as good. However, it was rather amusing, and I quite enjoyed it. Then back to Dad's office again, and he came back home with us.

While we were having tea at home, in quick succession arrived Mum, Lali, and Ananda, the latter full of congratulations, etc, damn him.

No idea why this annoyed me. I can't recall disliking Ananda.

However, he soon quietened down, and suggested that we all go for a swim. I went in his car, and thus missed meeting a very good-looking bird, damn him. However, there is hope yet.

Enjoyed ourselves considerably at the golf club, especially when Ananda had left, and Dad for one went home a much happier man.

After makan, which was once again upstairs, Dad and I decided to develop the film he finished off last night. Bit of trouble getting it into the spool, but it was alright apart from that.


Tuesday, 15 September 1964 K.L.
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Up very late indeed this morning, mainly because I had to, and Mum rather put me off right at the beginning by telling me that we were going to Noor's place for lunch as soon as she had gone to the supermarket, and accordingly disappeared. I meanwhile set down to getting yesterday's page written up, and then upstairs to do a bit of reading, but was interrupted by the telephone, at the other end of which proved to be Carmel, and immediately entered Mum to answer it, while I got the food out of the car, which proved to be a mistake, for, by the time Mum had finished on the phone, when I was upstairs, she had worked herself into a furious rage, the exact reason for which I am not sure of, but it seems that I am untrustworthy.

Got dressed, despite, and over to Noor's place, and arrived late, but nevertheless the first there. Dad arrived about 1.20, and Noor at about 1.30. Her husband, Bill, reckons that Noor lives in some timeless dimension. He might be right. Anyway, by about 2.00 pm, we settled down to a lunch which was decidedly odd, and I am still not sure whether I liked it or not. However, it was well cooked, and plenty of it. Then had coffee, which was really thick and black, and when gulped down, as I was forced to do, it does not do one much good.

Immediately after, off with Dad, and back to his office, where I was given instructions for the collection of 12 copies of some FMSA publication from the PWD headquarters in Maxwell road, and immediately set out to do this, and then into town to have a look round, and buy some stuff.

First to the Jubilee book store, and there bought a copy of “Radio, T.V. & Hobbies”, which has changed its cover - type in the past 3 years.

Thence to Eastern Photographers to see if they had done the prints, and they had not - would not be ready until 5.00 pm on the dot.

Went down towards the river, and was halfway over the bride before I decided that I would not find anything of interest, and turning around, noticed the sign pointing to the University book store, and while I was there, bought a book on Anglo-Saxon grammar, which looks highly interesting. Also had a look at a book on photography, but they did not have much to choose from. Then along to Ubaidullas, and got a copy of Saturdays “Times” - they have, according to it, caught about 20 guerillas [sic] in Labis. The local press refuses to commit itself. To the Oasis for a malted milk, and then to Eastern photographers, and got not only my prints, which had far too many blobs for comfort, but also Dad's ciné film, which I gave them on the 27/VIII/1964. Then back to the office, home with Dad, and out again to the supermarket to buy some booze, and got another ½ gallon of cyder [sic].

Party was a bit of a dead loss — John Hazel & I spent most of the time before dinner trying to translate some stuff out of Anglo-Saxon, and were not completely unsuccessful - he translating it first into OHG. Just managed to hold out, and was violently sick when all were gone.


Wednesday, 16 September 1964 K.L.
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Dad up very early this morning, and woke me up in the process, but was soon off, and left me to get back to sleep. [change in writing] Went to Kuching.

Woke up very late, and Mum & Bev were gone, as I learnt later, to the dentists, and I went down with the intention of doing some typing, mainly of the Riepling family tree, but when I got there, I decided that I would make better use of my time if I wrote to María, and so I proceeded to start. Before I had got very far, Mum and Bev returned, with Lali hot on their trail, and Bev was in a rather poor condition, having just had some work done on her teeth which required an injection. Discovered that we would be flying back to England on Wednesday, 23/IX/1964, which is later than I dared hope. Wrote the same in my letter to María. Then had makan, with Lali as usual present, but not participating.

After that, had little to do - I had intended to go into town, but Mum and Bev were exhausted, and I ended up in the downstairs bedroom, and decided to look through all the old films that Dad had taken, and got out the humidor, and had a look to see what was available. The first one I had a look at was wound on back to front, and I had to first of all wind it onto the other spool and then look at it. That was the “Childrens' film”, part 2, with a very mouldy beginning, and brought back, nevertheless, many pleasant memories of the lab, and of old times in general. I then had a look at part 1 of the same film, noting at the same time that a static charge tends to build up on the projector after having a film through it - must be something like the Van de Graaff generator. In came Eileen towards the end of this, and stayed to watch the rest of it. Then called in Ah Mooi to see the rest of it, and also the Europe trip - part one.

After that, upstairs, and found Bev fast asleep on Dad's bed. Went outside, an started writing up for yesterday, and then woke Mum up to ask her if she wanted tea, but she was going out, and an hour later, I ended up having tea by myself, listening to T.V. and finishing off for yesterday, and checking up that Theo didn't kill all of the little puppies.

The news in English finished, 2 minutes short, and as a result the signature tune went on for those 2 minutes, doing a sort of ad lib variation on the theme, which sounded perfectly ridiculous.

When Mum got home a little later, we had just enough time to change before “Bachelor Father” came on, and we watched that, and then out to the airport to have makan with all to do with the F.L.D.A Rural development scheme, with the exception of Tun Abdul Razak. Ate 41 sticks of sateh, which just about finished me off. On the way back, Mum got a bit annoyed because I have not completely given up my interest in radio. How can she expect somebody to get ahead in a subject if he does not maintain a practical interest?


Thursday, 17 September 1964 K.L.
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Following my discussion with Mum about getting up early last night, I got up this morning at 11.00 am, about half an hour earlier than usual - mainly because I was hoping for something in the mail, but was, alas! unlucky. Back to my room, and sat reading on my bed for a while, until Mum entered, and then got dressed in shorts following Mum's instructions. Then decided, that on such a beautiful sunny day as it was, it would be positively sacrelige [sic] not to take a few photos. I have deiced that, for a typical sunny day in the tropics, the minimum exposure for +X 22°/125 ISO] is 1/200 at f/16, and accordingly shoved on a yellow filter and halved the aperture.

After taking quite a few photos, in again, and Mum wanted to take Bev to the golf club, but when we got there the place was closed down for the day to clean the pool, and so back again.

Lali was present at lunch, and I arranged to go into town with her when she went back to work, and spent a bit of time looking for my USIS library books, and also found “Fanny Hill”, which she had wanted to borrow. Then into town, and she managed to drop me at the USIS, but, although they did not notice that my books were 2 days overdue, I could not find any other decent books.

Thence along to Batu Road, and left my bag at Chee Sengs to have the edges sewn up - a thing that has been worrying me for some time, and the $2 that they will charge is, in my mind, well worth it.

Being that rid of that encumbrance, I went along in the direction of Jalan Mountbatten, and on the way saw a street pedler [sic] selling plastic money pieces for 20 ¢. This was in Batu Road. Then, at the corner of Batu and Mountbatten, they were 30 ¢. Halfway down Jalan Mountbatten, they were 25 ¢ - all the identical item. So much for pommie R.P.M.

At the University book store, came across some “Focal photo guides”, and bought 3 about darkroom techniques, including colour negative stuff. They include quite a bit of useful information. However, it looks as if I will be in for a lot of filters for the school enlarger. The things seem to be absolutely essential.

After a drink at the Oasis, went along to the Dog, where I was met by Mum at about 5.00 pm, and along to the supermarket, where we purchased $70 worth of stuff. Mum is getting worried. Back at home, there were only the 3 of us, so it was quite an ordinary tea. Did little after tea but record the Flintstones, and then downstairs, and finally finished off my letter to María.

After makan, out to the airport to hail the conquering hero come with his contract from Sarawak. He was exhausted, and hardly spoke a word before he went off to bed.


Friday, 18 September 1964 K.L.
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Finally, thanks to Dad waking me up, I managed to get up comparitively [sic] early this morning - 8.15 am, and then both of us down to breakfast, and took Mum's tape recorder down at the same time.

Then into town with Dad, and first of all after we left home, to Vanguards, and there got them to put an earth connection onto the tape recorder, which they said would not take long, and meanwhile went along to the city book store, and bough a copy of July's “Popular Photography”.

Back again, and tried to get them to change the plugs on the stetho headphones that Dad had got with the tape recorder, and they had a bit of fun with this, and finally we tried out, and one channel was completely out. The fellow doing it (the hunchback) was a bit worried, and suggested that I came back later, so went back home, and then sent Rahmad back to Dad.

Spent most of my time reading the “Popular Photography”, which was a special issue to do with colour, and contained quite a bit of useful information, including the fact that if you process High-Speed Ektachrome as a negative, the speed rises to the phenomenal value of 600 ASA. 'Tis indeed food for thought.

Before much longer, Mum insisted that we got ready to go to the Dog for makan, and we were all engaged in this.

After a few diversions, got to the Dog at about 12.15, and went to wait for Mah Guan Seng, who duly presented himself, and we had a few drinks ant talked until Dad came, accompanied by Eve Goodyear. After a bit more to do, we had makan, and then all went off to rooms pertaining to their various sexes, and I was left with Guan Seng, and he asked me for $5, and in return gave me $10 - other $5 was for Bev, and she was delighted.

Then off to Vanguards with Rahmad, and collected the tape recorder, and then bought an exercise book, and went by foot to the british council, giving him instructions to get a driving licence renewed for Mum, and return it at 5 pm. Meanwhile I finished, and went over to the university book store and copied down substitute formulae for Ektachrome process E-2. They did not like that.

Meanwhile, Rahmad was not to be found, and it eventuated that he had been waiting at the British Council since 2.30 pm, nor had he got Mums license. All a hell of a bit of susa about nothing.

Back home, and got the tape recorder set up in time to hear myself on the radio, but there was a hell of a lot of distortion, and I had to compromise. Apart from that, Mum and Dad and Bev made a hell of a lot of noise, and just about ruined the tape.

Lali over for makan, said the tape had not been erased, and promised to try to get a dubbing for me.


Saturday, 19 September 1964 K.L.
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Up with Dad exceptionally early this morning - in fact, at the time we always used to get up, at about 7.30. This is all very well, but it will make it all the more difficult to get changed over to English time, and I will hardly feel like getting up on Friday morning next at 0000 hrs.

Had breakfast, and then, preparing to find Rahmad, failed to find him, decided he had gone to get Mum's driving license, and so went into town by ourselves. Dad dropped me off at Jalan Raja, and I then went up to Vanguards to buy some Araldite for Dad, and then, after arranging them to send him the bill, along to Chee Sengs to arrive just as they opened. They did a very good job on my briefcase, and well worth the $2 that I payed indeed. Then intended to go to the Bank Negara, but as they were not yet opened, felt I had a bit of time to kill, and went along to Kodak (Malaysia) Ltd, in Jalan Pudu, and had rather an interesting conversation with the fellow there about photography, and in particular the Ektachrome and Ektacolor kits, and they are quite cheap. Sound very promising. Might even buy some, but as they close their storerooms on Saturdays, I could not see them, and went along to get my cheque cashed, and stopped off at a new milk bar on the way, but it is not as good as the Oasis. Got my cheque cashed, and then along to Greniers, and very nearly bought an Aristo Multilog 5" [slide rule?] for $24, but at the last moment changed my mind. Then back home.

Makan was very late, and I got a bit peeved, which is not at all advisable to do in this family. Had changed my mind about going to Mahmuddin's house in the afternoon, and I decided to see “Looking for Love” by Connie Francis instead. But Dad had different ideas again.

First of all, Mum dragged us out to see a new flat that she was looking at to live in when we leave here. Not much of a place, but for the 5 months or so that they will be living there, they certainly want to do a bit with it. After that, as Mum as in her car and Dad in his, we (Dad and I) went straight out to P.J. to see Tun Abdul Razak's house, and it is getting on quite well. After that, home, and, being pooped, went off for a short sleep, and was meanwhile deserted by the rest of the family, and, of course, was woken up several times by the phone.

Finally they came back from the supermarket, having bought there everything imaginable except food. Tea was without crumpets, and then I went downstairs to do a bit more typing on the subject of colour photography, shortly to be joined by Dad, working on some drawings, as he is lately wont to do. Then we had makan upstairs, and hardly anything to it. It really was most disappointing. I can never be filled lately.

The evening was a bit of a dead loss, and apart from applying some Nixaderm [sic] to my crutch to cure a skin disease that ~I have had there for some time, I did nothing.


Sunday, 20 September 1964 K.L.
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Woken up late this morning, very late, as both Dad & I had slept in, and it was rather a change, for Dad at any rate, to be woken up by Mum - a very infrequent occurrence indeed.

After I finally managed to stir myself, I got up, applied Nixoderm, and downstairs to carry on with photographic formulae, which I had endeavoured to finish, and finish it I did. I had then intended to carry on with page 3 of the Riepling family tree, and carry on I did, but not for long, for Bev, who was not feeling too well, had decided to wash the dogs, and I was forced to help her dry them. To make matters worse, He (not God) (*) was here, and made a few scathing comments.

Today was the festival of the moon cakes, and as a result Eileen had the day off, and so Mum & Dad had decided to go to the Dog and have makan there, but first we had to go and see some furniture, which was absolutely horrible stuff. Ananda had in fact rung to say the same, but Mum never trusts anybody, and so we went there ourselves.

Then picked up Lali, and along to the Dog. Although malay food is nice, it is not filling, and this is the reason why I had a mixed grill. The service lately is appallingly slow, and to add to this, Mum seems to have no sense of time when it comes to meals. Today was an early day, yet we did not get started until after 2.00 pm. Spent a lot of time looking at the girl Reischa [?], whom Mum had described at the beginning of the holidays as one of the most beautiful creatures on the earth. Promised to introduce me to her then, and put it off so long that I had begun to think of her as being mythical. And so she was, as Mum described her. Apart from having no chin and being ash blonde, she had nothing, and therein Dad agreed with me.

We got home very late, and I went in to finished off the family tree, and nearly had the 3rd, and last, page finished by the time Mum, Bev & Lali came back. Then out to UK heights to give me a driving lesson, on Mum's car, and I found it rather difficult to do, because my knees kept getting caught in the steering wheel. I must remember never to get a Mini-Minor. Bev also had a go, and Lali and I got out while she did it - the cold sweat was too much.

Dad and Mum out in the evening, and all the way to Port Swettenham, and left us here at home with the promise of some makan brought back when they came. Accordingly, I sat down with Bev, and proceeded to watch a night of not-very-interesting TV, and in the end gave up, and diverted myself by doing such things as taking photos of the moon, and making tapes, etc, which is all very well, but also not very interesting. To add insult to injury, Mum & Dad came back empty-handed, and I had to survive on tinned salmon.

* Ananda likes to be referred to so.


Monday, 21 September 1964 K.L.
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Once again up early this morning - it is, thank God, becoming normal, even if I will have to change it.

After breakfast, into town with Dad, which is also becoming normal, although I am dubious about the merits thereof.

After I left him, first to Kodak (Malaysia) Ltd, and had a look at the Retina Reflex III, which rather disappointed me. To start with, it has a leaf type shutter, and it is in front of the mirror, so the mirror does not return until after it is wound on, which I think bad in a camera of that price ($608.50). Apart from that, though, it is a good camera, and has all the mod cons. Also had a look at the Ektachrome processing outfit, which sells for $15 and in this can be developed 12 rolls of 20 Ektachrome. In two halves, for convenience. Am strongly minded to buy one.

Then along to the University book store, and could not find any good books there, so I went back home, got my slide rule, and along to Chee Seng's to get them to make me a case for it. $3 was their quote, and they would have it ready tomorrow.

Then down to the town end of Mountbatten road, and bought a British Photographic magazine - Amateur Photography - to see how it went in the U.K. Quite surprised to discover that they were advertising cheap S.L.R.s for £20 up. Decided to persuade Dad to get me an SLR at about the £30 mark for Christmas, and proceeded to find the Kowa H and Practica VI at such a price.

Dad did not come back for lunch - perhaps he was forewarned. Anyway, did not have much of a lunch, which was probably the real reason. Then, after a bit of driving all over the lawn in Mum's car, went into town, Bev for a dental appointment, I to see a flick, Connie Francis in “Looking for Love”, which was not all up to the standard of the trailer, and I was in truth rather disappointed therewith.

Then out, and walked over in the direction of Ampang Road, and decided to take a photo of the mosque. Shutter would not go, so over to Eastern photographers, removed the film (finished anyway), and it was going again. Bought some Panatomic X film to have a go, but it is hellishly slow - 40 ASA. Dad had a letter for me from Pop [my grandfather] - he is on the beer again. Mentioned Reflex to Dad - he replied “How would an Asahi Pentax do - I can get it for $210” - In England they cost £70 - 80. I said it would do fine, but that was as far as I could push him.

Out with Ananda to the Mandarin palace for a going-away makan - on Ananda, which seems unusual. Not that much of a makan - better than the last one we had there. Met Tony Soliano, who had come along to see somebody in the band there, and he insists that I got along to see them tomorrow.


Tuesday, 22 September 1964 K.L. Images for 22 September 1964
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Up fairly early this morning, and, as very common lately, into town with Dad, who did not need Rahmad, and so along to this place here he said that Asahi Pentaxes were on view, but the place was shut. In disgust, along to Chee Sengs, and there tried to get my slide rule & case, but, after a lot of asking them if they had a “white stick of plastic”, I went backstage and discovered it not yet ready, and was requested to call at 2.00 pm. Then further down the street, mainly to look for Rahmad, but after I found him I went along to a photo shop, and there they had a pentax SV, which is the more expensive of the two models under consideration.

It is a very good camera indeed - sells here for $492.50, and Dad can get it for 60% of the Singapore list price, i.e. $255. Not at all bad, considering that it costs £100 in England.

It's difficult to compare prices then and now. The exchange rate for the Malaysian Ringgit at the time is clear enough: it was about $8.50 to £1. So the $255 (if that was realistic) corresponded to £30—certainly an amazing price difference.

But how much is that in modern (2015) money? My rule of thumb is that £1 in those days compares to about USD 50, so we're talking about $1,500 in Singapore or $5,000 in the UK. No wonder very few people had SLRs in those days.

Then back home, and, despite all my attempts to stay away, I had to go off to sleep, and rather wasted the rest of my morning.

Woke up about an hour later, and nobody was home, and went downstairs to have some food, etc, and a little while later found Mum, whom I had supposed to be out, sorting out photos in the downstairs room. Evaded her, but she caught me and told me that Lali had rung to say that she was doing her best to get a dubbing of last Friday's programme. A little while later, enter Lali herself, and Dad also back.

Makan then, considerably better than usual, but Lali did not stay, and I had her lamb chops.

Then with Dad into town again, and first of all to this photo shop, and had a look at the Pentax S-1a, which is also a very good camera, altbough I think the extra $75 is worth it any day.

Certainly if somebody else is paying. If we're talking Singapore prices, that's $150 to $255, 70% more for the SV. For that you got a different lens (55 mm f/1.8 instead of 55 mm f/2) and a self timer. I don't think that would have been worthwhile.

More likely, though, I was talking about the Malaysian prices, or $417.50 to $492.50. That's still 18% more.

Then along to Chee Seng, and they had my slide rule case ready, and then along to Eastern Photographers, where they finally had my Kodachrome slides. As soon as I opened it, the first thing that met my eye was a piece of paper with “Incorrect Exposure” written on it, but it was just a fault-finding thing that is enclosed with them all. In fact, they came out very well, and I was very pleased with them.

Dad came back a little later, and we had a bit of a talk, and then went and drove round a bit in his car. Off fairly soon, however, to the new flat, and thence to Mahmuddins, where we had quite a bit of fun, and he dressed me up in his malay costume, although 'twas a little small, especially the Songkok.

Back home, and then out to the Dog, where we discussed Bev's and my finance for the coming year, and came out quite well, despite my fears. Also went and met the mob in the band, and it seems that Nino remembers Mr Ravenor, though the Soliano he referred to was Tony's father.


Wednesday, 23 September 1964 K.L. → Colombo → Bombay → Bahrain →
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Woken up this morning by a phone call from Vincent Josef, who wanted to wish me all the best, and did. Owing to maths tuition, he could not come out to see me off at the airport, however.

Then up and started preparing all the things which I intended to bring with me, much to Dad's displeasure at this early hour, and then sorted them out on my bed. Dad decided that he had no alternative but to get up, and this he did, and then tidied up his bed, to help put things on.

But alas! 'tis a strange thing how much time one can spend on such things. Had breakfast after we had sorted out all the stuff, and then along to tidy up the downstairs bathroom, but Dad did most of that, as I was yet breakfasting. Got all the stuff into a large box, and got all my other chemicals ready as well, and then we were called upstairs by Mum for monetary matters. Made out a £10 cheque to Mrs. Baudouy, and then arranged for me to collect £31 from the Mercantile bank.

Then into town, and gave Vincent's chemicals to his family, and thence to get the money, which we managed to get in fivers - or at least, 3 of them - after all.

Back home, got my wallet, and out to Kodaks, where I bought an Ektachrome processing outfit, and a cassete [sic] of EX-135-36 at Eastern photographers. Back home, and Dad told me that all my stuff weighted 92 lbs. Undaunted, I proceeded to fiddle it down to 44, by throwing away only about 5 lbs of stuff. Had a bit of a row with Mum about it, but all was eventually well, and after a better-than-average makan, out to the airport, where Ahmad and Ananda were waiting to see me off. Finally off at 4.05 pm [G.M.T. begins: 0835 hrs]. The flight to Colombo was average enough, except that the plane was crawling with babies, and Bev wanted me to learn Canasta. At Colombo, delayed waiting for a late passenger. Arr. 1200, left 1255. On the way to Bombay, had makan, and after that went Bev to sleep. Arrived in Bombay at 1510 hrs, and bought some duty-free cigars while I was there, and checked up on Ujwala Gaekwar's address, but only found a fellow in Kamal Mahal. I wonder if he is any relative. Prince, anway. Slept form there to Bahrain, whither we arrived at 1940 hrs, and did nothing. Time is badly spent in an aeroplane when one but wishes to sleep. Left at 2025 hrs, and the general opinion at this time was to sleep. This suited me not yet, and did a bit of reading about filters for black and white film, and also the Focal Press mob's opinion of colour films, but did not learn much that I didn't not know before. Thence, after a cup of tea, to catch some shut eye on the long hop to Istanbul, but indeed was it not easy, especially as all the babies in front, having no idea of time, started wailing their heads off. Also was there no foolproof way of placing my legs. Woke up at about 2330, and my pillow had gone. Had intended to keep away to Istanbul, and did, being served with orange juice with plenty of vim just before 2400 hrs - the stuff kept


Thursday, 24 September 1964 → Istanbul → Düsseldorf → London → Newton Abbot → Combeinteignhead (Netherton) Images for 24 September 1964
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jumping up & down, though it might just have been the air pockets. Left Istanbul at 0120 hrs - always wait a long time there.

Slept again as well as possible under the circumstances until they turned the lights on again shortly before we arrived at Düsseldorf. There we got out, and Bev told me that she had dropped her camera as Istanbul airport, and it had decidedly messed up the focussing [sic] mechanism. Decided to get it looked at in London. Left at 0500 hrs.

Got to London at 0715, and, after airport formalities, caught the coach to the terminus, and discovered that we could leave our baggage there free, so we did and then caught the tube to Tottenham court road. First to a camera shop, and they told me that Bev's camera could not be repaired in London, and would have to be sent away, taking about 6 weeks. Another place said much the same.

This was a Yashica 635, which possibly was not sold in the UK.

Then to Marks and Sparks, where we had a look around, and got a few things for Bev. Then to one of the many photographic shops with which Oxford st is littered, and bought some paper, and at the same time that told me a place in London where we could get Bev's camera repaired. As it was not far, we walked, and they said it will take about 6 working days. Seems good enough. Then along to another photographic place, and there spent quite a bit of money on darkroom stuff, and discovered that fellow who was serving me has been to Malaya - even spoke malay.

Then down to Coventry street for lunch at the Wimpy bar, and then Bev off to an hour show, and I to buy various things for use in the wireless club, and then joined Bev in the hour show, but left before the hour was up. Back to Oxford street, and we there separated for a while, and arranged to meet at a milk bar at 1430. I then off to the photographic shop again, and bought a more accurate thermometer, which is supposed to be indispensible [sic] for colour work. Then along to Schotts, and met Ducky [?], who was rather surprised that I had not yet gone back to school.

Was this the “Ducky” I mentioned in the previous term's diaries? Possibly it was, and he had since left school. Certainly he appeared to know about school times.

Bought some music, and Recorder & Music magazines, and then off to the Rendezvous. Then made a phone call, and discovered that there was a train at 1530, so quickly got Bev, and grabbed a Taxi to take us first to the airways terminus to get our barang, and then to Paddington. We made it in quite nice time, and got into a carriage shared with 2 other ladies, who proved to have been to Malaya, and to have spent 4 years in K.L.. Had a very long talk with the younger - the other one's daughter - until they got off at Exeter. Then on to Newton Abbot, and against my better judgement, let Bev have her way, and caught a taxi. All were please to see us when we got back - even Barry, which seems funny, but then he probably has some ulterior motive. He is also interested in photography, and there may the motive lie.


Friday, 25 September 1964 Netherton
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Up fairly early this morning, and nothing much was going on - Mrs Baudouy had only just got up herself, and nobody else was up. However, a german boy from Hessen showed his face about ½ an hour later - called Wolfram. I think I shall have to nickname him “Tungsten”.

Then into the kitchen, was kicked out by Mrs Baudouy, and finally had breakfast at about 0745 hrs, with the kids going to school, and then off they went, and I was left to write up for the remainder of yesterday.

This soon finished, I went to Mrs Baudouy to plead for an expedition into town, and she said that Mr Baudouy would be going in shortly, and that I could go with him. I accordingly to my room, and got out my tape recorder, and started dictating a tape to Mum & Dad, and carried on with this for quite some time, until I was called by Mrs Baudouy to say that Papa was ready to go into town, and to hurry up. This we did (Bev was coming too), and fairly soon we were at Lloyds bank, trying to get some money out of Papa, and I got my £3··0··0, and along to a shop to buy a waistcoat chain. Had a look at a watch for the same, as the two really are inseparable, and then away to see if I had anything better to spend it on, but had not, and so bought one, with a movement that could be stopped for timing.

Then to Smiths, but Papa came and grabbed me before I could find a birthday card for Linda, and so I had to leave it. Back home again, and nothing much was happening - Mrs Baudouy want out for makan somewhere in Torquay, and at home only 4 people turned up for lunch - William, Richard, Bev and myself, and after that went to my room to do some reading, and in general to find something to do. Also outside, as the sun was shining, and took a few photos. Did a bit more tape recording, and then into the kitchen, to find Richard and Mrs Littlewood having some tea, so I joined them, and before much longer teas was generally served, which meant that Bev was allowed in as well - Wolfram did not come, as he was not well, and then went back to my room, after the mob from school had come back, and Barry was not with them. Apparently he was playing games.

A little later, I was walking along outside, and he came back. Went into makan together, talking about photography, and he said he would show me that darkroom equipment that he could get his hands on. This he did - all he really needs is a contact printing frame, which may be lying around somewhere, a measuring beaker, and a few developing trays. Everything else he already has, and so, after it got dark we did a few prints, but the paper was not too hot. Then got out some MQ developer, and after loading a roll of 120 film into the tank, developed it. Went quite well, but spilt some hardening fixer on my stopwatch. Kicked on in my room until 2330 hrs.


Saturday, 26 September 1964 Netherton
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Once again up early this morning, as seems customary lately, and it becomes boring indeed, apart from the fact that at this time of the morning it is very cold. Anyway, it gives me a chance to write up my diary before too many diversions wake up. This morning, into the laundry to get my film down, and then into get some scissors from Mrs Baudouy, and was landed with the job of getting some pine cones for the firs, and after cutting up the film I did that.

Then had breakfast, while Barry went off to play in a rugger match, and after breakfast went into my room, with once again the intention of finishing off the tape, and then into town with Miranda, and with the tape. Got £5, and along to Marks and Sparks, and bought a Bri-Nylon shirt and a woolen jumper, and then bought a paper, and along to Boots to have a look for a skylight filter form my camera, and all they had as an UV filter, at some exorbitant price. Then along to another place, Bibbings, where they have quite an impressive array of stuff, including cameras. A russian job, the Фед-2 [in fact Фэд-2], was going for £14 odd, and included focal plane shutter, interchangeable lens (fitted with Индустар f/2,8 52 mm, Leitz thread), and coupled rangefinder. Might be worthwhile getting, if I could afford it. No filters to be obtained, however. Then along to Smiths, and bough a card, which I thought was just what I needed, for Linda. Checked up on sending tape back to Malaysia - 2/- 2nd class airmail, and I think it is worth it. Accordingly bought the stamps, and off back home.

Afternoons tend to be a bit of a bore in this place, and I spent this one wandering round, and before long arrived in town, walking along the beach, and once more along to Bibbings, to have a look at what they had there. A Leica III camera going for £27··10··0 with f 3,5 Elmar. Most ancient looking. A camera, very similar to mine, for £11. Might be able to trade mine in for a Фед-2 quite well.

Then along to the Parkona, and had some food, and caught the bus back to Netherton. When I got off at the other end, took some quite interesting photos of landscapes. I wonder how they will come out in colour.

After that, back to my room, and did little but read. After a while, noticed in the magazine that I had bought, that Promicrol is supposed to double the effective emulsion speed off a film, although I was rather worried at first that 'twas the other way round.

Barry came back at 1900 hrs - exactly 12 hours after he had left - and they had been defeated 29 - 0.

Came into my room later, and started getting a bit nasty about money again. I thought he had some ulterior motive, and I think it is this, but I must admit that I am in the wrong.

Early night, as I wanted to do some reading in bed.


Sunday, 27 September 1964 Netherton → Penzance
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Up this morning very early yet again - no rest for the wicked, or good, or however one likes to put it. Interesting to think that, had I been at school, I would have got up 1¼ hours later. Still, I prefer getting up at 0600 hrs.

Bitterly cold this morning, and I was only too willing to get some pine cones. Richard felt the same way, and soon came out to help me. In again and too cold to do anything until breakfast.

More people turned up to breakfast than usual, and, as is normal in such cases here, it accordingly lasted longer. Then into my room, and started doing some music practice, mainly on the flute, playing the music which I found down in the cellars last night, and before long was interrupted by Viva, who came in to tell me that we were about to leave for church, and so out and into the car, but had to wait for Elfriede, who was in a funny mood this morning - knew not whether she was coming or going, and eventually came.

After church, we had intended to walk back, and indeed started to do so, but Van did come and pick us up after all.

Once back home, had little to do, and ended up outside with Sue, Colin, Carlos and Mrs Baudouy's parents, and Sue was using Bev's tape recorder to tape the goings-on there. I decided to follow suit, but instead of telling everybody of my intentions, I concealed mine on my person, which most interesting results, although a lot of noise. Did not carry on for long, however, for I had to pack for this accompaniment of Bev to Penzance this afternoon, and this took quite a bit of time.

Then had lunch, and almost immediately after off to the station. There we waited from 1330 until 1415 - the train was 31 minutes late as is normal in this country, and when it finally did come in it went to the wrong platform.

Once on the train, I almost immediately fell asleep, and woke up at Plymouth. I am sure I only really feel tired like this when I am not doing anything involving much motion, and had I been standing up would not have felt tired.

Took a few photos of the cornish country side from the train, but it is nothing spectacular, and did not do many. Before long, we arrived in Penzance, only 7 minutes late. Bev was immediately met by a taxi driver, but I had to find my own way to the Union hotel, where I was to spend the night, and, after checkin in, went to see if there were any good flicks on, but there were not, and so off to the “Admiral Benbow”, and there had a passably excellent makan, and then back and got an early night (2100 hrs).


Monday, 28 September 1964 Penzance → Newton Abbot → Taunton
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What a way to spend a birthday! Woke up at about 0545 this morning (usual time), and almost immediately in came my tea & shoes, and so up and dressed. Got downstairs to pay my bill, and discovered that the old bird operating the place was not yet up, and took the opportunity to post Linda's birthday card to her. I wonder what she will think of the Penzance post mark.

Then down to the train, and started off with just me & a bird in the carriage, but before long was joined by quite a few others, and before long I ended up with 6 birds in there with me, and nobody else. Hardly worth being a gentleman, eh?

So the morning drove on, and diverted myself by trying to work out the speed at which we were travelling - about 32 mph, according to my watch.

Finally out at Newton Abbott [sic], where the weather was yet glorious, and into town, where I tried to see how much I would get for my camera in exchange for the Fed-2, and only managed £4, which I do not think is worth it.

Then had some breakfast and went to look for some grey shirts, and finally came across a couple, which I bought after consultation by phone with Mrs. Baudouy. Then to Smiths and bough a card for Jan and also some glue - impact adhesive, as one might say.

Back home, and met Barry met [sic] me on the way back, and then to crown it, we had Mrs Littlewood curry, which is mainly raisins. Left half of it, and Mrs Littlewood thought it was too hot for me.

Thence to my room, and got my things ready to wear back to school, and then up to have a bath, while Mrs Baudouy went to look for my shoes. By the time she had finished them, I was out of the bath, and shortly downstairs to put them on, and then to pack.

Packing, understandably, took quite some time, and I ended up with 6 cases and associated things.

Then, finally, got moving, and off to school at long, long last after exactly 2 months holidays - not at all bad going, and the longest I have had since I left Kestrels.

Got to Taunton, and as soon as I got there, I was saluted by “B” company, which I thought rather amusing, but I will be with them next week. Got there, and spent most of my time unpacking, and then downstairs to see Parsifal, who was indeed pleased to see me - said he was indeed sad that he had nobody to smite at the beginning of term. Had not yet received my letter about the photographic society, and the election had already been had. Said that the letter would probably come tomorrow, and then off to see Skiv and get my mattress. In east wing small this term.


Tuesday, 29 September 1964 KCT
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Michaelmas
Linda's birthday

Nobody was too sure when we were supposed to get up this morning, bit apparently it was the usual time, and, after a bit of argument with Cheung ii, I finally got up at 0635 hrs. As a result, by the time I got downstairs, the common room was already just about full, which makes it difficult to keep this thing [diary] up to date.

After breakfast was not much better - went down to room 26 with Parsifal, who is now allowed to use the gramaphone [sic], and listened to parts of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, which is pretty average crap, and I am sending it back on 2 counts a) not classical music, b) didn't get the order form.

I'm flabbergasted.

Then up to make my bed, and robed up for choir after a bit of fun with robes, and ended up sitting in the middle row next to Brown ii.

2nd period was chemistry, and Clod, as of old, did not come in until 0900 hrs, and promptly extended me a welcome back, and spent the rest of the period telling the rest of the class what was going on.

Then history, which seems a rather incongruous subject, and it was with Shitters, who promptly issued me with books.

Then break, during which, as of old, perambulated with Parsifal. Maths after that, and they have learnt quite a few odd formulae which I have to copy out of Lennox's book.

Deutsch, and we had some new fellow, who told us to get our books open at a certain page, where stood a Volkslied, and then proceeded to teach us the music. Very amusing.

After lunch, once again met up with Parsifal, and to room 24 to try out the Chinese ti, which I bought last holidays, and was very impressed, and a lot of work for me, so I left him to it.

During games time, along to see Mr White, and had a bit of an argument with him about times, and before long TDH was there as well, and with all sorts of arguments going all round the place, it ended up that I had no time for a clarinet lesson today, and would have to make up for it next week. Then unpacked my books from my trunk, which took me until teatime, after which we had physics.

This, as indeed I had been warned about, was about the most deathly boring double period of the week. From one end until the other he did nothing but talk, and very monotonous.

After that, prep, and had a bit of fun with Bott trying to send one of the juniors along to prep in Big School, so that I could do mine in the J.C.R. [Junior common room]


Wednesday, 30 September 1964 KCT
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Today I was more or less back to normal again, and managed to write up for yesterday completely before breakfast, but I doubt that I will be able to keep it up, and will have to do a bit after lunch, as I think I did last term.

After breakfast, to room 26 with Parsifal, to hear flute quartet K298 in A major, by Mozart. Immediately after that, over to Stoneleigh to have a music lecture by TDH. I am taking 'O' level in the summer. It seems that at least one of our set composers is none other than G.F. Handel. Should be interesting. While I was there, suddenly realised that I had not made my bed. Had to go straight to maths, and there discovered that all was not as bad as it seemed.

The, in 2nd period, which was a study period, off to make my bed, and then copied out the rest of Lewis's notes in to my book (Händel)

3rd period, as I had arranged, me Parsifal in the music room, but spent most of my time sorting out my 16 folders of music, which really takes a bit out of it.

After break, in which Parsifal perambulated too fast, had German, this time with Skiv, who seems a little more strict than Herr Schmitt of yesterday.

P.E., and I just about killed myself, despite the fact that I was not really trying. Only 1 period a week, thank God.

After lunch, to the Linen Room, where I caught the sharp edge of Matron's tongue,*

* Like a sharp, two-edged sword

and also my blazers and pants. Then off to a choir practice, where it seems that I am still an alto, and not a bass. Still, not too bad.

After lunch, to the common room, and started cleaning out my scob, which was highly in need of this, and this took me the best part of our free day. Still, it was highly overdue, and it is now quite tidy.

Then into the wireless club, where I had a similar sort of thing, and quite a bit to do there as well,

By this time I had wasted all the afternoon, and, after ensuring that Hill would lend me his cap to go into town, went into tea, and checked with Parsifal about whether he was going in.

Once again Parsifal was perambulating too fast after roll call, and so I went with Callow. Bought 60 cardboard slide mounts for 6/-, an then started looking for a no. 2 photoflood, and finally found one for 7/6, which was just about O.K. Looks like an ordinary bulb, and uses 500W.

In prep, reading Händel mainly.


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