Greg
Greg's diary
September 1966
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The year 1966
    
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Thursday, 1 September 1966 K.L..
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Dad in with the promised cup of tea this morning, and then set to filling in 6 copies of an application form for a visa to Thailand. Made some comment that he would be finished with the East by the time his passport expires: 12/VII/1968? Not a chance.

In fact the passport filled up on 23 May 1967. He finally “left the East” in about 2002.

I had him on honour about that one, and I don't reckon I could go far wrong. In any case, what are we going to do when we leave Malaysia? Admittedly, it is becoming a bit difficult for the orang puteh [white man] - but where in the world is there left to go? I think Australia is the place for me - I would probably choose it even if I were not a Strine. Come to think of it - what about New Zealand? That might be a hell of a good place to go, and I cannot be conscripted.

Got Dad, after breakfast, to drop me at the Dog, where I read a few magazines, and then to Eastern Photographers for my usual quest for unobtainable goods, and there met Zainal Abidin bin Hj. Mohd. Ali and had quite a conversation - he is going to Brighton, apparently.

The along Batu Road looking mainly for sensibly sized lens hoods - they are almost unobtainable. Modern Photography lately has nothing, and I do not feel inclined to buy a Pop when I will get them all back at school.

Letter from Jenny, written 2 weeks ago, and readdressed from Kuching, awaiting me in the office, and took it home and started to reply to it. Did not get very far before all came home for makan.

After makan, intended carrying on with my letter to Jenny, but was overcome by an irresistable [sic] desire to go to sleep, and to this desire I succumbed.

Eileen woke me about half an hour later, and wrote a few more lines to Jenny before Ahmad came.

Played some Quantz, and by the time I had got us through about 3 movements, Aziz (who had a car) decided that it was about time to go and pick up his sister from school (brand new Mini station wagon)

Then finished off my letter to Jenny, and took it over to the office, where Mum was still going mad about the letter I wrote to Paul the other day, which weighed nigh an ounce, and in the end had to leave both until tomorrow.

Back home, and read some science fiction until Dad came home. Oh, to be on the move! How could I ever bear to be tied down to one place for any length of time?

Went for a walk with Dad in the evening, and discussed my plans for the future, such as they are.


Friday, 2 September 1966 K.L..
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Oh, what is the use? Try as I might, I cannot coerce myself to get up at a sensible hour, and today was yet another late rising. I shall have to do something soon, or otherwise I will never be able to break the habit.

Up this morning at about 11 am, and had just crawled out of my room when came a knocking on the door, and I admitted Dad, whom I already thought to be in Bangkok. It turned out, however, that the plane did not leave until 1.05, and Dad came back just to get something and have a cup of coffee. Asked me what I would like him to get me, and I suggested a Tie. He was a little dubious, and asked me what sex I would like.

Then he went off again, and left me to contemplate the World situation as presented by the Straits Times, which is not very well, and reading more 4 dimensional nightmares. Why do such books have to be depressing? I wish I knew. Maybe I am soft, but I like the easy life.

Mum back, as ever, late, and apparently rather tired as well - she certainly gives that impression.

Asked her to dump me near the office, so that I could go down town. Got about half way, and she noticed that I had not shaven since Tuesday, and nearly went mad, and sent me back to remedy that immediately.

Then back to the office, and was given $30 to go and buy some stamps, and down, on the way buying a Pentax lens hood at Eastern Photographers - they have brought out a new, longer one, which fits over the 50 mm f/1.4 lens.

Then bought some stamps, and discovered that there were such things as 75¢ stamps - one would, admittedly, have expected their existence, but I have never seen one before. They are rather nice - green.

Then to the Dog, and ordered my usual hamburger and coffee - they are getting used to me now. Then got talking with Bev's friends of last holidays, and they apparently wanted me to play football. So much for that, and left them to it, and had my hamburger - they did not, good on them, bring any milk or sugar.

Robert Bliss came along then, and reintroduced himself. He is quite a nice bloke when sober. Had a conversation with him and another bloke about cars, and quite interesting, though a little above my head.

Back to the office, and Mum blew her top because I had apparently lost some stamps. Walked out on her. Later she called and apologised - apparently, in any case, I was in the right. One of these days I pray I will understand her.

The unusual thing is that she apologized.

Did little in the evening, but made some 25×30 prints (cm). One case of stop bath blistering - damn.


Saturday, 3 September 1966 K.L..
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Oh, lethargy, wilt thou not be my undoing? Oh, all I care about any more is to be with Jenny. Dreaming, long after awn's left had was in the sky, I heard a voice within my bedroom cry, etc. Got up, and found a letter, very short (2 pages) from jenny, with the interesting statement that there was no news, and that she had passed all her 'O' levels - she now has 11, as do I. Doubtless she will have more in 2 years time though.

Started almost immediately in a reply, rather pointedly on an airletter form [and thus short], and had got about half way when Mum came back for lunch, and left off with what I was doing, and in to have lunch.

After lunch, back, and finished off the letter, and then decided to go down town and post it, and off, stopping on the way at Eastern photographers to have a look at a Polaris Zoo, but the diaphragm mechanism was dud.

One the way back, saw a crowd in Malacca St, which proved to be a goli2 man/bomor, and discovered I had just taken the last shot on my HP4, so back to Eastern Photographers, and bought a Plus-X 20, which I loaded in record time, and back to take some photos. He was doing some tricks with 3 balls on a string, simulating fellows going from here to Singapore and back. Very interesting. Then got what I thought to be a volunteer, but who proved to be his daughter, to be bewitched, and he covered over her face, and pausing only to make a prolonged request for money to keep the devil from the door, proceeded to do so. Taking the cloth away from her, she was bleeding through the mouth, and acting like anybody with a devil might. After putting a few snakes on her, he started selling some lucky charms, whose validity he proved by giving one to the girl, still possessed, and asked her several questions about the crowd - including me being the only orang puteh there. She answered them correctly too, including the amount of money I had donated, and the fact that I wore glasses. Several other people were also described - all this from under 2 cloths, which where entirely light proof.

Bought a couple, thinking Jenny might like one. The bomor asked the girl what I wanted it for, and she said to give to a friend. Then he asked her if it would be valid in other countries, and she said it would - all in all, a very interesting performance.

Back home, and the usual difficulty getting in, for Mum was asleep, and eventually got in, and read what was worth reading in last month's “Practical Photography”, an then up got Mum, and along to Supermarkets, and bought some food for a while there, and then back for tea.

Developed 2 films in the evening - both finished today. Came out very well.


Sunday, 4 September 1966 K.L..
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And another wasted day! Ah well, their time is not for much longer. In 2 weeks time, unless anything goes seriously wrong, I shall be with Jenny, and happy once again. Ah, what that girl does to me! I wish, though, that I understood her better - though I suppose much of the attraction of women is their element of the unknown.

Up at the same time a yesterday, 12.00 am [sic], after Mum had brought me in what was doubtless the morning's second brew, after the first had been left to get cold hours before.

Decided, with Mum's agreement, when I joined her outside, that it was too late for the market, and that she would leave it until Tuesday morning. Ah, life here bores me - this is enough reason for me never to want to come back. When I get back to England, I shall have to work out my future very carefully . What is best? Should I go to Germany, or should I go to an English University? I don't think the latter will get me very far. OK, Germany it is for me.

After that, had morning coffee (nominally - it was 1 pm), and sat round listening to a fair amount of music on the radio. Some nice selections from “The Sound of Music”, but, unfortunately, not enough. I wish they would make their music programmes longer.

Then had lunch, at which Eileen excelled herself - give her the right type of cooking, and she is very good. It is only sad that her scope is to terribly limited. Otherwise she would be an asset to any household. I wonder how long one can live on so restricted a diet.

After lunch, sitting peacefully and reading, but Mum would not have hits. She insisted that I should get into my room, and tidy up the terrible mess that was in there. It would seem to be a cardinal sin to do otherwise. I wish I could have a room of my own to keep, at least vaguely, as I like - Paul Hallett is lucky in that respect. I wonder what Ann is doing, now that he has left school.

After a delay, decided that I might as well tidy up my room, and did so, and the darkroom while I was at it, and managed to get that especially looking a lot better - it is now fit to wash in again.

This was really the adjoining bathroom.

Then a phone call while we were having tea, which proved to be from Dad in Penang. Mum said she would endeavour to meet him.

Dear old Mum - she lives an entirely timeless life. Her estimates of the time it will take her to perform routine operations are hopelessly out, and thus it happened today that, with Dad arriving at 6.50 om, we did not leave until 6.35 - Mum had, of course, to have a bath first.

Back home, and in my room mounting some half frame KR's for Dad. They are fiddly little things - I hope half frame does not catch on in a big way. It will be hell to manipulate.

These would have been from the Olympus Pen EES that used to belong to my mother. And the format is double the size of the Four thirds system sensors. But then, there's no mechanical manipulation any more.

Reading diary extracts in the evening - happy times with Jenny.


Monday, 5 September 1966 K.L..
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Good old Dad! As requested, be brought me in a cup of tea this morning, and as I had particularly specified, made quite certain I did not get a chance to go back to sleep again. Accordingly, got up, and breakfasted (or brokefast) with Dad, and then decided it was high time I applied for my driving test, as I wanted to get it before going back to England.

Finally got Mum to dump me at the RIMV, and in to the Tempat Pertanya [enquiries] and asked about applications, and was told that I would have to produce my passport, at which sware I heartily, and back home. Fortunately it was quite cool, and so not too bad.

Back again about half an hour later, and tried desperately to force an application - much less waiting time incidentally - and managed to get them down to Friday at 3.00 pm. Good. I had better pass this time. Then to get an international license.

Down to the Dog after that, and reading some motor magazines, and an interesting 12000 mile test on the Volkswagen 1200 - not very good from point of view of convenience, etc - not for me. Then decided to push on, and back to the office, and told Mum my views on the VW.

Back home, and 3 letters for me - FUEMSO circular, and letter from Lesley, who has got 4 (!) 'O' levels, and from Allen, who gives no news thereabout, but does not like Pentax focussing. He must be crazy.

Started writing to the latter, and while I was at it, home came Mum and Dad - not very happy about the $60 odd bill from Eastern Photographers - and had makan.

Got Dad to drop me by the Lake Club after lunch - I have been fading noticably [sic] lately. I shall have to work up a good tan before I go back to England.

Stayed there quite some time, and apart from reading some motoring magazines - I ought to be able to get a car quite cheaply - did little until I noticed Gillian de Souza cutting some bloke's hair fairly badly, and so had to put my finger in the pie, and eventually he did not look too bad.

Then it occurred to me that I ought to book a flight from London to Sandown, and so rang up Malaysian airways, who suggested that, as there were no direct flights, I should go via Birmingham. Over to see them, and, fair enough, the only flight shown in the IATA handbook was what they had told me. That book must be terribly incomplete.

Then to the office, where another blowing up re the E. Phot bill from Mum. She is like a kipper - always repeating.

After tea and makan, finished off my letter to Allen, which was, in reality, two, since there was a lot of photographic gossip.

Mum wants to go into photocopying - some hope!


Tuesday, 6 September 1966 K.L..
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This morning I resisted even Dad's well-planned attempts to wake me up, told him to go to hell, and went again back to sleep, and woke up several hours later, again dreaming of Jenny, and by similar inspiration to Saturday got up out of bed and looked for a non-existent letter from Jenny. None being there, I forgot about it for a while, and sat round wondering how I could while the time away, and then it occurred to me that I had a couple of outstanding replies to letters, and decided to write to Sue Peters first — I could not stand the thought of writing to Lesley. That girl must be mentally submormal — only 4 'O' levels. Oh, I suppose I am being unfair. She is probably just lazy. Still, it worries me.

Then came Mum and Dad home, and all had lunch, and I decided to go down town in the afternoon, rather than hang around at home, and got Dad to take me as far as he was going, and then walked down to Eastern Photographers, where I asked them to get me a roll of Infrared film from Kodak (as I could not be bothered walking down Pudu Road), and thence to the Dog, and read my magazines as per usual — I wonder if I can get a really grotty old lhd car quite cheaply. That might be worthwhile — though anything really cheap would be. Also had a look at “Weekend”, a rather sensationalist magazine, covered in half-naked women, but with a couple of very amusing cartoons, whose copyright I proceeded to break.

Then back to Eastern Photographers, who made up some lame excuse that they were out of stock [of infrared film].

Decided that this was the usual response of people who could not be bothered to find out, and so up to the place to get some myself, and sure enough, all was fine. Bought one roll, and thence straight back home, and after cooling off, decided to load the film into my Edixa (I think, as long as I continue with these 2 bodies, I shall keep Pan in my Pentax, except in exceptional circumstances).

From my records, I took 22 photos between 6 September and 4 October, spread between Malaysia and the UK. I can't remember ever having printed them.

Then sat down to write a long letter to Jenny, which I feel she deserves, after all these little ones. Before very long (well - 2½ pages) Mum and Dad were back home from the Supermarkets, and with plenty of goodies for tea.

Had this wonderful tea, and then back to my room to continue writing to Jenny. At times like this, I feel uncertain whether she really cares about me.

After makan, decided it was about time I did something about the hundreds of unprinted negs I had floating round my album, and did a marathon 84 prints in about 3 hours — which is not bad for a start - to finish one room [?] jobs. Not enough space to put them all on.

No, I don't understand that last paragraph either. It's not helped by the writing.


Wednesday, 7 September 1966 K.L..
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Following a very late night last night, doing all those hundreds of prints, it is perhaps scarcely surprising that I did not wake at the earliest of hours this morning, and indeed, I was not up much before 10.30 am, although the noise of the several prints peeling of their own accord had woken me several times in the night, as if like a hantu [ghost].

Once up, and before even getting dressed, peeled several of the photos off, though a few of them had stuck to the glass - must be more careful with them in the glazing solution.

Then turned my attention to my letter to Jenny, which had suffered somewhat last night from the shower while counterbalancing the enlarger during my printing session. The result was a rather grotty-looking page 4, which I consequently cut short.

Then, before too long, came Mum and Dad home, and had lunch - it appears that Eileen had been prevailed upon to postpone her day off.

In the afternoon, having little else to do, decided that I had not seen a flick for some length of time, and accordingly decided to see “The Spy in lace panties”, and over after lunch to the office with Mum and Dad, and waited around there, putting stamps on envelopes, etc, and then could stand it no longer, and started off for Campbell road rather early, and was opposite the Odeon about half an hour before the flick was due to start, so strolled down Batu Road, and in to a bookshop, and had a look there at some books.

Back again to the Odeon, by which time it was feasible to go in, and in to see a very good film, although I had not been led to believe so. Doubtless it had something to do with the fact that both the title and the advertising were not what one would expect from such a film - it was, in reality, a love story. Doris Day had one hell of a figure - I am still trying to work out whether it is physically possible, for it seems hard to believe. But what is wrong with a comedy/love story, especially one as funny as this? I enjoyed it.

Go back home, and considering Dad was leaving tonight, remarkably little signs of activity, and accordingly, after a while, decided that I had better ring the office to find out what was going on. It turned out that, for some reason or another, Dad had put off his departure until tomorrow, and so we were all home for just one more night. Oh, this diversity [? or divinity?] of family had its drawbacks - but the thought of being grounded is so terrible. I feel that if man has one basic right, it is to travel.

Little in the evening - arranged pocket money (£3:15:0) with Dad.

According to my rule of thumb, that's about $185 Australian. Per week?


Thursday, 8 September 1966 K.L..
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Forced by Dad's departure this morning to get up pretty early so that I could go out to the airport and see him off.

Out fairly early, but owing to traffic - what a hell of a lot of commuting goes on daily between KL and PJ! - only just arrived in time.

Up to the restaurant to have some breakfast, and then Dad's flight was called - they apparently call these flights early owing to the large number of passangers [sic].

So I shall not see Dad again for an indeterminately long time. Ah well, c'est la vie. Before long, none of the family will even be in the same country as any other member.

Back home to discover they were fitting bath rails into the bathroom, and so out and to the Dog - I have been going there a lot lately.

Then back again, having a chat with the mob at Eastern Photographers in the process.

To the house, and needed very little encouragement to go off to sleep, and woke up to find Mum and Miss Anthony here for lunch, and the latter commented on the photo I took at the office the other day, which she had declared would not come out. She ought to know better than to argue against a Spotmatic.

After lunch, had intended to get a bit of sleep, but somehow did not get around to it. I started wondering just how many bits and pieces I had for my Pentax, and got hold of every available thing, and counted them all up. Unless I have missed something, I make it 109 - doubtless I have forgotten a few, however.

Then tried to type out a list of all these things, and discovered to my disgust that I could no longer type straight, and so decided to read a bit of Dennis Wheatley's “Old Rowley” - about Charles II, which was very interesting, and, one feels, somewhat lacking in the alleged crudity of style of his books - though I cannot personally vouch for the latter.

Then Mum decided that she wanted to leave the office, and so over to pick her up, and had the usual long wait for her - I wish she would learn to keep time. (Which reminds me of that science fiction story “Chronopolis” which I recently read - that was very stupid.)

Finally persuaded Mum to come home, and then had tea, etc, and before much longer makan. Little of interest happened in the evening, which, as ever, tends to be rather a bind [?], unless one watches TV.

Mum asked me, rather late, to ring Dad in Singapore. Half the time spent on the phone is for trunk calls. One should be able to utilise STD to some advantage with high speed tapes [?].


Friday, 9 September 1966 K.L..
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Woke up exceedingly late this morning, despite the cup of tea forced down my throat by Mum at some slightly earlier hour this morning - I finally got up at about 12.00, having had several dreams, one of which was about Paul selling his Spotmatic - he would be a fool so to do, and found a letter from him waiting for me. Quite a long one, too - he squeezed the ultimate out of his oversized 6d stamp. It seems he has finally bought himself an enlarger, complete with a 75 mm E Echo lens (5 elements? Seems unlikely). The enlarger is also called Echo, a name which, I am assured, has never been heard of by any reputable dealer. I don't suppose he will see this side of it, but he has a collecter's [sic] item there - all for £8 (or did he raise his limit? One wonders).

Started a reply to him, and then, just as I was finishing, came home Mum. Finally finished the letter, and then got dressed, and persuaded Mum to have lunch, after she had got rid of some fellow come to deliver a carpet. This glucose certainly seems to be what she neeeded.

Over to the office after in preparation to take my driving test, and noticed that they had changed the place there, too, and added some carpets, which should improve the place - apparently, though, thy were not yet finished.

She got Cheong to take me for my test, dragged out all sorts of insurance things, and then Cheong and I over to the RIMV, and before too long in, and had my tests on the highway code, which rather impressed the fellow, since I knew it almost off by heart. Had me stumped on parking distances, though.

Maybe I was more impressed by my knowledge than the tester was. When he asked me about the sequence of traffic lights, I somewhat smugly gave him both the UK (first) and Malaysian sequences.

Then an hour long wait for the rest of the test - I wish they would speed things up a bit. At one stage went back in again and asked what was going long [?], but my time came before much longer. This time, got past the backing, and out onto the main road, then all was OK, apart from a near collision, which the bloke did not hold against me.

My main recollection was driving down Batu Road at about 50 km/h in third gear. The driving tester said “change down”. And that in a Mini! So I double-declutched, and managed to get it into second gear without any noise. Tester: “No, I meant change down into 4th gear”.

Back and more red take, but it appeared that this time I had passed, to by great elation, and then back to the office, and thence home.

Little to do at home, but then came through a call from Kuching to say that I was required to do 6 sets of glossy P.C.s of the Sungai Antu models at Sibu trade fair - down to Eastern photographers, and got some Bromesko WSG2D, a paper I have never before tried. To judge by the results, it is quite good, and, to make things better, I am to be paid.


Saturday, 10 September 1966 K.L.Port SwettenhamK.L.
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Up again rather late, though by no means as late as yesterday, at about 9.00 am, and immediately over to the RIMV, and had my license issued, an operation which took about ½ hour, and then back home, and prevailed upon Eileen to get me some makan. Then decided to go on a joy ride, and exercise my new found privelige [sic] of driving, and down first to the Dog, which, being Saturday, was pretty full, and read a 2 months old Punch, and then off again, and up round Kenny Hill, where I have not been for a long time, with a view to getting some Infrared photos of Batu caves, but unfortunately the road I was looking for had been ploughed up since I was last there (about 5 years ago, at least).

Then to the Lake Club, where Gillian de [sic] Souza wanted her scissors, which she left behind some time, back, and I sat round to read a rather satirical magazine, unfortunately not very good.

Then back to Kenny Hill, the way I came, and up Syers Road, which has deteriorated since we lived there, and got, eventually, my photo of Batu Caves, and then down to see Vincent Josef, who was out, and back home. Letter waiting from Jenny, and also Bev. Mum had left a message to ring her, and so I did - he wanted a table brought over - and then back, and replied to Jenny. She has been learning what little Paul could teach her about darkroom technique. Must show her a few of the finer details myself - if I can keep to the subject in the darkroom. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Mum home very late for lunch, after which she wanted to do some shopping, etc, and first to the Supermarkets, and then to Petaling St. and area, which was crowded out, and I had to circle round a couple of times, and then off to Port Swettenham to find the floating trade fair. Thank God for the Federal Highway! - even though we did have to stop off at the Aru house on the way - it is being let on the 15th.

At Port Swettenham, had little difficulty finding the fair, and it was quite inspiring, though, to say the very least, rather crowded. It is quite encouraging the number of quite intricate things which are now being made, or in some cases, assembled in Malaysia. Doubtless Mercedes cars are doing well now that they are assembled here.

Back home, rather quicker than I thought. It is a little difficult to get much about 85 mph [137 km/h] in the Citroën, especially with the added mass of a back seat driver.

At home, after the news, Mum managed, damn her, to get Mrs Holmes to come in and talk with her, but at least she shut up for “Get Smart”, which was, as usual, good.

Over to see Mahmuddin after makan, and ended up playing my part of a flute trio on descant recorder.


Sunday, 11 September 1966 K.L..
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I think that the fact that I no longer get a regular breakfast helps keep me in bed further, for not getting my vitamin tablets. I loose a bit of my vitality (or so I excuse myself, anyway).

Mum woke me this morning at 11.30 am, and as if this were not bad enough by itself, brought in a radio blaring a BBC recording of the problems facing an architect in designing a hospital. I do not maintain that active an interest in architecture.

By the time that was all over, was well and truly awake, and so go up, etc. Mum was sent a couple of sample packets of Gillette Super Stainless blades the other day, and today I tried one. First few strokes (rather rough anyway) I cut myself, so I gave it up as a bad job, and carried on with Wilkinsons. Why should there be such a hell of a difference in blades, anyway?

Then back came Mum with some food for the week (this time next week, though, I shall be in Sandown). Then had some morning coffee at about 1.15 pm, and tried the Sumatra we bought yesterday. Considering Palembang is in Sumatra, there is an extraordinary difference between the two. I think I prefer the Sumatra - the Palembang is rather sweet.

Then retired to my room - I have been feeling decidedly under the weather lately - and out again for my first nasi goreng (or kutu berlalat?! [literally flied lice]) in years, and very good it was too. I must brush up my knowledge of how to make it.

Then further reclined - I really am listless today - and discussed with Mum whether I would take the little Olivetti 22 with me back to England, and she gave me the complete history of her typewriter possessions, and then said “yes”, and proceeded to show me all the controls, which I learnt the other day. Then I showed her a couple more.

After that, she wanted to go over to the office, and there we stayed for a fair time, and I must admit I like the way it is, with the carpeted floors. I must get a few photos of it.

Back home again, and pumped myself full of Vykmin (Vykmin memberi tenaga [Vykmin gives strength]), and felt by no means immediately better.

After that, got down the final print for Mr. Neal, and made 6 sets, and then off to the office to get some stamps, and at the same time carried on a step-by-step conversation with Mum.

Posted the letter, and then back home for makan. Raining like hell all the way.

Watching TV late at night, but just before going to bed decided to develop a Pan F. I am a little worried about the Guide Number of this Sunpak.


Monday, 12 September 1966 K.L..
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Up at a vaguely normal hour this morning, and it occurred to me that, in fact, I did not have very much to do. Mum went off in her car, and so all I had to do was take the dogs for a drive, and dropped them at Lorong Kuda, to see if they still remembered the place. At any rate by their reactions, they did not. Ah wall

Lorong Kuda was where we lived two years before. It's now gone, part of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre complex.

Took them back home, and then it occurred to me to go into the hills around the town, and take some telephoto shots of town from there. Up Bluff Road to duplicate a photo I had seen at P. Swettenham floating trade fair, and discovered it was a protected area, and then back, and went about 1½ - 2 miles out of my way to get to Federal Hill, where everything was obscured by undergrowth, and then down Jalan Damansara, and ended up on the back route to P.J., and back, getting some photos of the Houses of Parliament at the same time.

Back home, where Mum had wanted me to run some errands for her, but I got out of it, and over to the Golf club, where I sat talking with some of the blokes there about life in general, and before long Graham Perrier, and 2 blokes called Bruce and Jim, were on their way with me to the Lake Club to get some tickets to tonight's discotheque, and then to the international school to look for Sonny [Rajah], who was not there, so went for a makan angin, and back, and he still was not there.

It wasn't until some months later that I discovered his name is spelt “Graeme”.

Then out to Graham's house, had a drink, and decided to look for some digs for Jim (whose parents live outstation). Down to Brickfields, and saw a grotty place there, and then back to look for Kampong Attap, and in the process staved in the boot of a Mini in Mountbatten road. He was not very happy about it all, and it eventuated that it would cost $70 to repair. Mum took it very well - I must commend her on that.

This was on the bridge near the beginning of Malacca St. We were in stop-and-go traffic, and I was following the Mini too closely. I wasn't able to stop in time, and must have hit him at about 1 km/h. The rubber bumpers of the Citroën dented the boot lid; my car showed no trace of damage. And I think my mother was so calm because she had been expecting something like this.

Then we had makan at the Golf club, and of to look through more hovels, and then to the Weld Supermarket via the Golf Clib, for Graham to get a haircut.

After that, dumped Bruce and Graham at the Golf Club, and back home, and rang up the RIMV about international driving licenses, and it seems I can get one tomorrow, but will need 2 passport photos, and so down to Eastern Photographers, and they said they could not have any ready before tomorrow evening, and so back home, found a suitable negative, cut a mask and printed a couple myself, not bad.

Replying to a letter from Sandy, and then out, after tea, to the discotheque, picking up Graham on the way. As far as I am concerned, it was an outright flop. From what I have heard, I am on the girls' blacklist - this from Heather Stewart, whom I like very much. I wonder what she thinks about me - she pays a lot of attention to me.

Had some Satay in Campbell Road. Tastes better fresh.


Tuesday, 13 September 1966 K.L..
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I wish people would take more effective measures in getting me out of bed in the mornings - today all Mum did was to come in and tell me that she had drunken my tea for me, and then out again. Finally, at 11.45, Eileen came in and told me there was a phone call, which proved to be Graham Perrier, who wanted me to join the gang to see “Psycho” at the Cathay. I apologised and suggested that I had a lot of work on my plate already. Then dressed, and over to the office, but Mum was not there, and so borrowed $10 from Miss Anthony, and off to the RIMV, which unfortunately was closed for lunch, and so back home for breakfast, and then waiting around thinking of Jenny when Mum rang to say that Wan Hussein would be coming to lunch, and would I get some makan from Bilal's? Down, and got some, and they were already there by the time I got back, and so fairly snappily had makan, after which I went along to the RIMV, but the bloke still was not there, and hung around for a while, and then in and got somebody else to do my IDP for me, and the whole thing only took 15 minutes, including the RIMV's signature - less than an ordinary driving licence usually takes. Valid, I notice, as an afterthought, for the Federal Republic of Germany. Just as well, too.

Then back to the office, where Mum wanted me to take Ramli round to do some errands (he is, for some dubious reason, unable to ride a bike for a while),

Ramli was office boy and messenger.

and so off first to the Bangkok bank, and circled round the area for a while, and then to the Police coöperative building to renew Mum's license, but it appeared, after a bit of questioning, that she had her dates wrong, and it was still valid until January 1968. On the way out, saw Crabb (from KCT) and his sister (presumably - looks almost identical), and then back to the office, where Mum had found a couple more errands for me to do, and so down to the Straits Times building in Pudu road, and then to the Post office, and back, dropped Ramli, and back home.

There sat for a while doing nothing, and wrote up my diary for yesterday (I was too tired before I went to bed), and eventually rang up Mum, who said that Dad might come back home tomorrow, and herself not much sooner, and to to have tea by myself.

Eventually got round to this, and then had a phone call from her saying Anna [presumably Anthony] and Harpy were coming for drinks, and would I please have plenty of tinned Tiger in the fridge.

Over to Ahmad's place in the evening, and also doing a pre-packing sort-out, which took a long time.


Wednesday, 14 September 1966 K.L..
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Supposedly my last day here, and so in came Eileen and woke me at the usual time - 7.45. I do not know why, but that time irritates me. Why not 7.30 or 8.00?

Up and had breakfast - it eventuated that Mum was feeling like death with the chill taken off, and so waited around for her for a while, and then, at her request, took her over to the office, and hung around for a while while we deliberated on the morning's programme. Ascertained that Dad would be arriving at Subang at 12.55, and then off to get some more petrol. We seem to have had a pretty lousy average with all this burning up around town - I have done a couple of hundred miles since I get my test. This floating round town really eats up the juice - not to mention an excursion to Port Swettenham.

Then back home and started packing, and before long enter Eileen with the mail, which included a letter from Jenny with (evenutally) the times of the car ferry to Fishbourne on Friday morning.

Then round town with Mum, and bought some presents, and out to Subang to meet Dad - got the old bomb up to 97 mph [156 km/h] - I wish I could make the tun.

At the airport, apprehensively asked the information about LW60904, and it had been postponed until 10.30 am tomorrow, at which I sware vehemently in my wrath, and was still boiling over with fury when Dad came out. Seems he had a UNESCO friend to whom he wanted to give a lift. Tan Sri Temenggong Jugah was also there, doubtless to get briefing on what to do with the case against Dato Steven Kalong Ningkan. One would gather that the latter is very popular, especially from what Dad says.

In the afternoon, after finding that Stanstead was on the other side of London, which helps little - Gatwick was perfectly placed - went to the Dog to see some advertisements about car hire, and then to the Odeon to see a french film, dubbed in English, called “Operation Double-cross”. Better than “7 spies with diplomatic passports” by a long chalk This was quite good.

IMDB disagrees with me. But there's small choice in rotten apples.

Then back home, and nothing much happening there, so I rang to office to see what was going on there, and Mum suggested I rang Dad in 20 minutes to pick him up. Did so, and over, and took him first to the Supermarket for some tobacco, and then home.

Had tea, and rang up Mike Syme to tell him about the flight - he knew. Why did he not tell me?

Why didn't I say what the issue was?

Then to tell Zainal, who had not heard, and was grateful for the information. Also over to apologise to Ahmad, and he and Mahmuddin over later, and had a drink, farewell, etc.

Very late to bed - Mum insisted on prepacking.


Thursday, 15 September 1966 K.L.. → (- 2 hrs) Columbo → (-2½ hrs) Bahrein → (- 1 hr) →
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The time zone difference I wrote don't seem to make sense. I can't make out exactly what I wrote for Bahrein to Athens, but it appears to be -1½ hours, which doesn't add up. And the time difference that I noted from Athens to London was definitely 1 hour, but it looks as if it should have been two. Nowadays the time in Bahrein and Athens is the same, but I'm fudging it to get the total time change (7½ hours) right.

Dad in at about 7.15, with a cup of tea and the news that Mum was feeling real crook, and that it would be better for all concerned if I went out to the airport by myself, and so prepared everything, and then off to the airport in the car, and got mixed up with the rush hour, which did not help. Still, I did my best yet time to the airport - about 25 minutes. I wish this thing would hit 100 mph - 97 is not much different, and yet does not sound the same.

The time was certainly good. Nowadays in the rush hour it would take 44 minutes.

At the airport, checked in as usual, and, rather to my surprise, was weighed, which also caused me considerable worry about my weighed baggage. Then arrived Mum and Dad, and by this time I was sitting, vaguely talking to the Symes. While we were waiting, news came through that a taxi from Malacca had been delayed, and that we would be leaving late. The information desk knew nothing of this, but eventually we had official confirmation that, whether they came or not, we would be off by 11.45 am.

More or less, we were, too, though the people just made it at the last moment. Made the mistake of waiting until the last minute to get on the plane, and found it consequently difficult to get a seat, but eventually got one right at the back in the tailplane. When we took off, a hell of a lot of turbulence back here, and I was wondering how far we would get: the whole plane looked more than a little the worse for afterthought, and so I decide that I might as well catch up on the sleep I had missed last night, and this I did with a bit of a break for lunch - they take a long time serving meals on the plane, and the whole operation took about 1½ hours.

Then back to sleep, and awoke shortly before Columbo [sic], and down, as ever, almost on top of the coconut trees.

At Columbo, did little, talked a bit with Mike, Benedicte, etc, and ended up explaining the process of Double declutching to Bendicte, who, with a Renault, is doubtless in need of this ability.

Then makan on the way to Bahrein, and again got in a fair amount of sleep, as Benedicte observed when she came out of the back just before Bahrein.

At Bahrein, thank God, we did not stay very long, and soon up again, and Benedicte suggested we went up into the cockpit, and had the thing explained to us, and indeed it was very interesting, and all these dials all over the place do not seem nearly as confusing now. Extensive safety precautions taken - no wonder air travel is so safe. I wish they did as well with cars.

On, ever on, to Athens, and got a bit of sleep en ...


Friday, 16 September 1966 Αθιναί → (- 1 hr) LondonSandown
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... route, but not really enough - woke up just before we arrived.

At Athens, we were told that the stop-over would be about 1½ hours, and it was, in fact, a little longer than this in order, apparently, that we did not arrive in Stansted airport before the opening time, 0700 hrs. What a dump it must be.

That would be 7:00 UTC, or 8:00 BST—really surprisingly late.

Went to sleep pretty snappily after that, and woke up a few hours later with breakfast coming round, and while I was at it, concealed my Spotmatic, and then sat awake thinking for a while, unable to get back to sleep, and eventually went over Kent, where the sun was shining bright, and then landed in Stansted, where, true enough, the airport was a dump, and immigration was almost non-existent. Customs were, fortunately, not as strict as I feared - they did not even bother about my C104, and got straight out, first on the list.

I no longer have any idea what C104 means.

Coach to London - no car-hire service available - and took a hell of a long time to get there, though the scenery was almost German, and weather pleasant, but no luck as we got further into London, where it eventuated that almost any form of transport was unfindable, and eventually changed my money at a very unfavourable rate, at a bank, and got a taxi to Waterloo, where I got the IOW train, and tried to calm down, without much success - did not even get much sleep.

Down to the IOW ferry at Portsmouth Harbour, and on the S.S. “Shanklin“ across, and the other end was a bit of a bind at Ryde, but eventually on the train, and down to Brading, where I got a taxi to Greenwood farm, and arrived to find Paul painting Prince's hut, and in true Hallettian fashion, said “Hello” - and just that, as if asking which hole I had crept out of. Dragged a few gifts out of the case for him, which rather pleased him, and before long we were having a full scale demonstration of my equipment, and then in came Peggy, completely uninvited, into the caravan, and stayed, despite my (exceptionally rude) hints, and made all sorts of suggestions. Off, however, to meet Jenny, and the first thing she had to say to me was an unfavourable comment on my hair, and then up. This girl puzzles me. Is she going off me? Or is it just my imagination?

Got a few presents out for her as well, with which, not surprisingly, she also was pleased, and then off to prepare tea, at which Jenny revealed the extent of her homework for this weekend, and I offered to let her get on with it while Paul and I took some photos, so down and tangled with a herd of cows, and saw a bloke and bird who had apparently been in the bushes for several hours. Makes me hungry.

In the evening, helped Jenny with some homework, though doubtless in my state it was more hindrance than help. Just about dead by the time I went to bed.


Saturday, 17 September 1966 Sandown.
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Up fairly early, and pretty snappily in to wake up Paul, who, as of old, did not appreciate this gesture. In, washed, and back again, and before too much longer, managed to get him up, and in to breakfast, and there saw Jenny, who said she had piles of homework to do, and so we decided that, as we had a few things to do in town, we would leave her to it, and in the meantime go and clear our town activities.

After a good deal of preparation on Paul's part, went down, I barefoot, and considered hiring a car, and so asked at the Sandown garage, who suggested Manor House service station at Lake, so after getting some change, rang them up, and they were OK, and so went down there, but when the bloke saw me, he decided that I ought to be 25 or over, and so no go, and had walk back from Lake, and then to Happy holiday snaps, to annoy them, and then Paul bought a gadget bag at Boots, and I to have a haircut - they took off half of it, and left me with a Beatle cut, or in fact I think it resembles more Julie Andrews as Maria in “The Sound of Music”. Bought some photographic supplies, and back to the house via a couple of fields fill of thistles - not very nice for bare feet. Then down to the potato fields to pick potatoes - hell of a lot of fun that was.

Up for a rather late lunch, after which Jenny decided that she had had enough of homework for a while, and so outside in the sunshine and sitting there contemplating life, or, as Paul reminded us, doing some premarital wallpapering - also photography. Then somebody suggested that, as the weather was so (apparently) warm, we all ought to go down to the beach and have a swim, to which all agreed except Paul, whom we persuaded to come along anyway, and even bring his bathing togs, but by the time we got down there, the evening was getting up, and it was quite cold, and I do not all all blame Paul for not going in, and in myself nevertheless, and it was really freezing, although Jenny did not think so, and I messed around with her for a while. Considering she is her house swimming captain, she is not too hot, and I was doing circles round her.

Then to the “Las Vegas” amusement arcade, where we blew about 1/6d, and thence home for tea, while Jenny rang up to say that she could not make a “squash” (cf. 16/IV/1966).

Then the evening few on, and taking some photos, and Jenny wanted a few of me, which we took with flood, and in the process burnt out one of the floods - I did not expect it to last much longer, but it is still annoying.

Photoflood globes had an amazingly short life.

Has Jenny gone frigid, or is she just in a rather frivolous mood? Won't kiss me much.


Sunday, 18 September 1966 Sandown.
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Up a little later this morning after having gone back to sleep after a dawn awakening - oh, this country gets me down with its long twilights. If only I could go away from here, take Jenny with me, and settle in the tropics in some undefined paradise - the Bahamas sound good suddenly, though previously I did not think much of Dad's ideas of settling there.

This may relate to our discussion on 1 September 1966. And of course the Bahamas are not (quite) in the tropics.

In, and managed fairly easily to drag Paul out of bed, and suggested that we might have breakfast, and so in, and before much longer was Jenny also there - has she gone off me, or is she just a little less demonstrative than me? I am beginning to wonder how she compares in affection with Lesley after all - though she is much better suited to me.

As it as, however, she had a bit of homework to do, and locked herself in her mother's room to do it, and Paul and I discussed various considerations, notably photography, when Jenny came out with her Leica to take some photos, and finish off her film.

Accordingly took several photos - started off with all our cameras set at 34, cocked, and it was not long before Paul and I finished ours. Paul loaded his, but I thought the darkroom unsafe, and Jenny and I persuaded him to alter the lighting arrangements, and did a bit of cutting up of hardboard, etc, and fixed up one window rather better than before, and then in for lunch, where aunties Vi and Biddy from Ventnor had arrived, and welcomed them. They still remember me quite well.

After a rather long drawn out makan, and tea (equivalent, I suppose, to coffee at home), which I had alone with Jenny in the kitchen, out again to the darkroom to load my film, and again decided it was too light, and so got hold of some lighting equipment, and in to help Jenny take some photos of various members of the family, notably her mother, and quite a bit of fun with the lighting, as one of my floods went yesterday, and I had not had a chance to get hold of a replacement, and so tried, without much success, to use Paul's ES 150W enlarging bulb as a fill-in, but nevertheless got a couple of photos.

Eventually in to load Jenny's (which was now finished) and my films and got the latter in, but Paul was doing the former, and managed to get the thing in a mess, and so put it back into a tin until after we developed our films.

Loading films into tanks was always an issue. We were using Paterson tanks, which had plastic spirals, and we had to feed the film in from the outside, all 1.6 m or so. If they were even the slightest bit damp, the emulsion could soak up the moisture and stick on the guides. We also suspected that some gelatine from the emulsion collected on the guides and caused the film to stick.

Paul was trying to play down my technique - I was trying to set a good example to Jenny. As it happened, his film was fogged, and so I had the last laugh. However, Jenny was terrified that hers might be fogged too, and so we had to wait until after tea, and then the two of us went in and developed it - or rather, I have her the instructions, and she developed it. Very good indeed for a first attempt.

Talking a little more seriously with Jenny in the evening. I still am baffled as to what she thinks. Had a rumpus with Paul in the bathroom - absolutely everything got soaked.


Monday, 19 September 1966 Sandown.
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Up quite early, as Jenny was going off to school, and in first to see Paul, and it eventuated that last night his mother had gone into the bog abut 10 minutes after he had gone to bed, seen the mess, and got him to clean it up, and as a result was none too happy with either of us. To make matters worse, neither was Jenny, and when she finally did come down, would hardly condescend to speak to me, but I cornered her, and apologised for keeping her awake last night, and eventually she forgave me, though she still would not kiss me. Saw her to school, and then down to Happy holiday snaps to buy a No. 1 reflector, but they only have these new 375W bulbs, and so, after a lot of enquiry, bought one of these for 14/-.

Then back home, and tried the thing out - rather a hot beam, and might do better as a spot. Still, I ought to have more than just 2 bulbs - in any case, I ought to have another No. 1 for copying.

In the morning, did a bit of infrared photography, and then Paul and I got down to fixing up the other window, and in the middle of it, Mr. Hallett walked in, wondering what all the noise was, and rather offput that we were nailing the thing in. Still, he did not kick up a susah, and it is now too late to do so.

Then makan, after which I helped with the drying up, and out to print some photos of Jenny in her bikini, which were on her film yesterday, and when I finally did get everything set up, discovered that it was all rather crude, and that the safelight gave off a large amount of actinic light, and in the end almost gave up using it - it was pretty good for fogging. The enlarger is also rather difficult to use.

Then put some pants on, and down to the bus stop to meet Jenny, and decided that she has more or less forgotten about last night, and back up to show her the prints. These did not please her too much, especially the 4th, as she complained (as, I suppose, do all girls) that they were lousy renditions of her figure. The 4th was, admittedly, terrible. I don't know how Paul manages to get such terrible photos of such a beautiful girl - though she ought to watch that stomach of hers - it, in common with most stomachs, looks better pulled in a bit.

Looking back at those few photos I still have of Jenny, it was relatively easy to get unflattering photos of her:


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Diary entry for Tuesday, 13 June 1967

 

Then, after tea, out with Jenny, and let her have a go at her own printing, and she did quite wll, apart from an interruption by Paul, who wanted to load a film. I rather enjoy being in the darkroom with Jenny - it gives us a chance to whisper sweet nothings to each other, besides.

Did little else in the evening - printed about 20-25 shots, and it took Jenny a long time.


Tuesday, 20 September 1966 Sandown.
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Oh, the cares of the world get me down! If I could be with Jenny all the time, I should be delighted, but such is not, nor seems it likely to be, the case, and it rather depresses me to think of how little I will see of her in the future. I am almost, for her sake, reconsidering going to Germany - though this is obviously impracticable. If only Dad could help me, but Dad has only loved one girl ever in his life, and they had less in the way of their happiness. Am I also making too much of the coincidental features of Mum and Dad's courtship, and Jenny's and mine?

Probably. I no longer see much in common. My mother was the sister of Dad's best friend, and that was about all.

The coincidences are quite numerous, after all - and I feel really mad about this girl.

With her to school as usual, and then back home immediately, and did little, with Paul's capable aid, apart from write a very nasty letter to Wallace Heatons about the auto [extension] tubes which Paul received, in non-operative conditions, from them this morning.

Then a bit of messing around, and dancing to music, after which I dragged my clarinet out, and started playing it, and Paul decided he would like to do so also, and started making an unholy noise on the thing. Quietened him down after a while, and then considering this film we are to make in the Christmas. I should like to get myself a 5,5 mm f1,9 [sic] Switar or Pizar, but on looking through the magazines discover that they cost quite a bit.

There would have been for my father's Bolex B8.

Mr. Hallett decided that Paul would not get any lunch until he had a haircut, and so Paul had no lunch - both sides, as usual, being stubborn as mules. Apparently Paul was to see, as Mr. Hallett put it, “The biggest noise on the island”, Mr. Peter Brown, a farmer, and so got himself spruced up, and looking more yokelish than I could ever have imagined him, and off to some place on the Newport Road, and I stayed behind and read Jenny's diary, which had a few rather interesting entries about me - she does not, however, commit herself about how she feels about me this time. I think, though, that she is getting to like me more rather than less, and I think, on reflection, that I have likewise grown even more fond of her. Then did a print for Ann's benefit, and in to read some book on agnoisticism, and thus until all came back. Paul got his job - £5··10··0 a week, 4½ day week, and shortly after down to pick up Jenny, who, I notice, has kept all my letters, which are exceptionally bulky.

At home, Jenny had stacks of homework - I don't know how she manages it - and accordingly had little time for me. Oh, I wish I understood women, at the risk of allowing them to loose [sic] their attraction. Did a bit of messing around with Paul, and then in came a very loving Jenny to say hello, and I like her blue check blouse and nothing but a bra beneath - though lately she has been keeping her body to herself. She has more hair on her stomach than Paul. Talking to Paul while packing in the evening.


Wednesday, 21 September 1966 Sandown. → PortsmouthWestburyKCT
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Up as early, if not earlier, then ever this morning, and in to get tidied up, and woke Paul up vaguely, and then did a bit of last-minute packing and waited about for Jenny to come down, and shortly so and then had a bit of last minute good-bye, and Jenny feeling quite unhappy, but nevertheless managed not to cry - in fact, I am, by virtue (or vice?) of my suspicious nature, wondering how difficult she found it. Of course, I will be seeing her in only 5 weeks time, which is after all not very long to wait. To school with her, and said goodbye in the park, and then back again.

At home, got Paul up, and then rang up the railway station and discovered, much to my annoyance, that it was not worth going back this morning, because the earliest I would get there would be 1750 hrs in any case, and so decided to catch the 1330 boat from Ryde.

Spent the morning basking in the sun, talking to Paul about Malaysia. He is of the impression that everybody has heard of the Perhentians.

Then, eventually, had lunch, which was not too hot - in fact, it was almost like school food. Perhaps Mrs. Hallett has been trying to ease the transition.

Then Mr. Hallett ran me down to the station, and only just made it on time, and was told to pay at Ryde Pier Head, and so back to there without having to pay.

This sort of travel gets me down - I shall have to get myself a car, and be don with it all. Changing trains, boat, etc, every 15 miles or so, and all the long waits in between.

Got to Portsmouth, and there got last week's AP, and eventually got moving, and after a while felt so exhausted that I went off to sleep.

Woke at Southhampton [sic], and dozed until about Salisbury, and then came back completely to life, and sat round contemplating how my excuse would go down when I got back to school.

Staring (no, looking appreciatively, I suppose) at a very doleful-looking girl at Westbury station. Looked like a Taunton lass, but though she did not look at me, I did not have the courage to get in the same carriage as her. Ah well - such is life. Ended up instead in the same carriage as a drunken woman - made me feel vaguely sick.

Back to school, and arrive during chapel. Jimmy saw me fairly soon, and was rather annoyed that I had not contacted him, but apparently did not realise that my exeat only expired on Monday, and that was OK. Quite happy that I was giving up Cambridge and maths - good for him.

Hearing some 'A' level results, from Robin Little with 2 - A1's and a D, to Charlie Chaun (gleasy!) with 3 F's.


Thursday, 22 September 1966 KCT
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Up with the bell this morning, or at any rate shortly thereafter, as I was feeling rather vaguely excited about being back for another term - completely, I fear, without reason, for very soon, on checking with my timetable, I discovered that all I had in the way of work was 7 study periods, and so had rather a job of finding something to keep boredom from the door. Pentney saw me before assembly, and welcomed me back, but fortunately made little enquiry into the details of my late return.

After assembly, found Cloddy, and got permission from him to move into the science library, which he readily and willingly granted, and then up there with a lot of barang, and over to Stoneleigh, where Jenny (Durston) jumped at me and asked me to have all my stuff cleaned out pretty quickly, and while I was at it, also got some clothes and changed into them.

Over several times to the science library, and managed to, at any rate, get things into some semblance of order, and it looks as if the science library is going to be rather convenient for me - I am in the end one, which has been previously occupied by Jacob and Atkinson - in fact, quite a distinguished place.

Lunch, and narrowly escaped Pen at the end of our table, and Poland came instead - from the sublime to the ridiculous!

After lunch, finally more or less finished my unpacking, and talking to Larcombe, who is thinking of us getting a car, and going up to St. Audries and meeting a couple of girls up there some Sunday. A very good idea, but, of course, fraught with problems, and at the moment we are rather worried about, mainly, the source of the things.

Thus we spent most of the afternoon, apart from the time spent showing Allen's Pentax SV to Charlie Chaun - they still have not repaired the diaphragm. I shall have to write a rather nasty letter to the Rank organisation, pointing out that this repair was not done to my satisfaction, nor, to the best of my knowledge, at all.

Off to tea - I am not keen on getting overfriendly with Larcombe, although, I suppose, that at this stage of term it makes little difference, as in any case, I shall be out of here in less than 3 months, so what does it matter?

Double study in the evening, in which I did little - managed to borrow a book, “Vile Bodies”, by Evelyn Waugh, from Phil Partridge, and started reading a bit, though did not get very far. What the hell - I don't care what goes on here.

Concert at St. John's church in the evening - Jiří Ropek again, for what I think must be the 3rd time. Very good indeed - I suppose he must do it free as a friend of TDH.

Back home with David Hargrave - stopped in in a fish café in High St. Very secluded.


Friday, 23 September 1966 KCT
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Not up quite so early this morning, but still with the bell, though doubtless I shall continue slipping for some time yet.

After breakfast, appropriated Allen's AP for the phot. soc. - he will doubtless be elected to the office of treasurer, so will be able to pay himself back.

After assembly, and which Pen was absent, went to Physics, and told Pad what I intended to do, and he did not like the idea, and told me, in as many words, to go to hell, which, although he did not use exactly that description, I still thought rather rude. Talking to Simon Atkinson about it afterwards, and he thought similarly.

Padfield had wanted me to go to his alma mater, Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge University, so I suppose he was particularly disappointed.

Charlie Chaun (gleasy) has been frequenting the science library lately. Considering it was he who wanted me to come up here so I would be a distance from him, he is becoming very friendly.

In break he was considering the adaptation of a couple of his Super-Takumars (he has a Spotmatic and 3 teles now) for built in lenshoods. Thinking of sending them away on the off chance.

Went to chemistry in room 28 in the 5th period, but as they were doing 'O' level standard work, I left it as a bad job. At the moment I have 4 periods a week - doubtless I shall have to take up German again.

After lunch, in the Sheldon room talking with David Hargrave and Charlie Chaun. It is fairly obvious why we are the only 3 there - we are the only 3 members who are not narks [prefects]. Oh well - I am vaguely proud to the fact.

After that, Drax wanted me to turn up for pioneers, which I thought rather nasty of him, so I went along to a music room and did some practice, using my music exhibitioners privilege of missing games on Fridays for this purpose. I did not, however, enjoy it much, but it is nevertheless one way of getting out of pioneers. It is the Saturdays that I am worried about.

After a while, back to the science library, but did little there, and down to the common room, and hung about reading “Mad” until tea, thence along.

Looking for David Hargrave after, but no go, and so along to Room 11 for chemistry, and did little there - old Snowden got himself stuck over a rather elementary exam question, and that took up the whole period. I like the informality,though - he was talking to King and Lewis, and Paul Callow and I were doing it our own way.

Then to study room C, and talking to Paul, King, and David Hargrave, with the latter about doing German this term. With Pad the way it is, it might be a very good idea. Still, I think I ought to sound Pad again about physics.

These girls at school interest me.


Saturday, 24 September 1966 KCT
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Up progressively later - doubtless within the week I shall be getting up after breakfast instead of before - certainly what we get in breakfast does not commend itself particularly. Ah well - such is life.

Rather a pleasant surprise after breakfast in the form of a letter from Jenny, which I was not expecting. Apparently she wrote before she received mine - oh well. Is she going off me? Oh, get thee hence, Shaitan! I am always so terribly jealous, and I suppose rather nervy. Why can I not get used to the fact? But why does Jenny not love me the way I do her? If only shoe would tell me, I would make every human effort to rectify my faults.

After assembly, started a reply to her. I still feel rather guilty about the short letter I wrote her on Thursday, and consequently wrote today at about twice the length. Oh, Jenny, tell me you love me! Why do you not fall madly, head over heels, in love with me? What could make me happier?

Clod, in art, out of which I got “Ni - you are going to continue walking up and down the corridors? How many miles do you do a day?”. I had to take the hint.

Double chemistry after break - organic practical, and were given phthalic anhydride (again) and, I suspect strongly, chloral hydrate.

After lunch, photographic society meeting, in which, rather to mine and doubtless to Allen's annoyance, this latter was not elected to the committee, and instead Whitmarsh and White were. I hope they are keen - that is all that worries me.

Turned up for pioneers for what must be the first time in 6 months, and many were surprised (understandably) to see me, and spent the time talking with Drax and Paul Callow, both of whom agreed that a changkul is a better weapon for digging trenches than a spade or shovel.

Both Drax [Mr. Baker] and Paul had strong connections to Malaya.

Knocked off pretty early, and reading in a recent Modern Photography that the Pentax SP is the easiest TTL camera to handle, as was demonstrated by some interesting photos taken of people using them. What rather surprised me was that the rapid wind lever is the shortest throw of all TTL SLRs.

Then to tea, and found Whitmarsh, whom I persuaded to go down town and do some photographic shopping, and then off myself, and eventually paid for my CDC case, and down to the Camera Centre, where nothing much was available. That bloke and all his family must all weigh over 130 kilos.

I bought the CDC (camera) case before April 1966. It's amazing that I had got it without paying for it, and that I had waited so long to do so.

Little in the evening - unfortunately, the darkroom was in use, as I was hoping to use it.


Sunday, 25 September 1966 KCT.
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This place is gradually beginning to get me down again for this term. Sundays are dangerous days - it is so easy to waste them, and when one does, it becomes depressing. Such, I suppose, was the tale of today, though I did get a bit of work done nevertheless.

After breakfast, up to the Sheldon room for a while - that place is always deserted.

In the previous term I was complaining how crowded it was. I wonder what changed.

- and then into the darkroom to see what was happening there, and got out my 50 mm/4,5 Gnome-Wilen [?] and stuck it onto the enlarger to see how it fared - and quite well it was, too. Quite large blow-ups are obviously possible thus.

Looking for Clod before chapel, but no luck - he has a knack of being hard to find. Instead off to chapel, which, apart from being a harvest festival, was fairly average for boredom, and nobody could have been much happier than I get get out of it.

After chapel, Clod was entertaining some visitors in the common room, and it was some time before I got hold of him, and when I did, he would not let me make any D163 anyway. Then attended a CCC [?] meeting, as Aston had forgotten, and up to the darkroom to watch Cookson messing around.

After lunch, little to do anywhere, and read a bit more of “Vile bodies”, which, I feel, is not as good as was the beginning. Perhaps only now is the book beginning to show its true colours.

After a while, down to the common room to persuade Aſton to get us some film for the 15th October, when we have a film. I hope we can get something worthwhile.

Then out for a walk with Allen - not the best of company, but nothing better was forthcoming, so down by the Police grounds as of old, and there, as about this time last year, they were having an archery competition, and took a few more photos of this, though I had quite a few left over from last year (though they were on HP3 f/16 1/1000 etc). Saw the little bloke with the Edixa to whom I lent my 400 last year as too. It suddenly dawns on me how long I have had all this stuff when I, so to speak, lap myself.

Back to school, and hung about the common room for a bit, instructing Aston how to send off for films, and then to tea.

After tea, had a darkroom booking, and with the help of Cookson and Atkinson, printed nearly all of my last Pan F, and just as I was congratulating myself on having done all my outstanding negatives, discovered I had another Pan F still outstanding - I shall have to do that on Wednesday.

After makan, Sheldon society meeting, at which we elected 9 new members, and decided on a more active term's work, and had a discussion on toll roads, in which Pad proved himself to have quite some strong feelings about paying taxes.


Monday, 26 September 1966 KCT.
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Up, as some time ago I predicted, after breakfast today, and no mail when I got over to the school, which rather depressed me. Admittedly, Jenny is rather overworked, but I still feel that she is deliberately not writing because she could not be bothered. But am I being unfair?

Definitely. I had received a letter from her in the immediately previous post, on Saturday.

Doubtless girls go through more ups and downs than do boys, for obvious biological reasons - but can it even be that? I shall be with her for a month in the Christmas if I can still stand her by then - and shall find out (I am being decidedly unfair). OK, Jenny is a hard worker, and thus has little time for anything else. I wish, though that she had.

Quintuple study in the morning, which hardly makes for interesting happenings - though I put in a fair mileage, as ever at such times. I suppose I ought to keep down my study period wanderings. After drinking 7 cups of milk left in the Sheldon room from last night, I had frequent visits to pay to Fort George [toilet block, at the other end of the main school building].

Also some chemistry to do, and got myself rather bogged down on silver halides. I must get a good book on photographic chemistry out of the Taunton library.

Just before break in one of my study-period wanderings, Mansell caught me and told me it would do be good to become a good companion. I disagreed, without much effect, and was drafted on the spot.

After lunch, at which I am now on the prefects table - more promotion - over to the Headmaster's study for a quick briefing on what should be done, and then Snowden took us along to the junior chemistry labs, and told us further what to do. Should have been pairs, but there were 13 of us, so Paul Callow, Chris King and myself went together and off to visit a little old lady who was as deaf as a post, and who had met Paul Callow before, and, as King and myself had reckoned, despite Paul's opposition, she remembered him well. Told us all about her budgie, Timothy John, named after Tim Walker and John Bott, who bought him for her. Got us to clean a bit of his cage, which we did badly, and then offered us tea. Boy, is she deaf! Her hearing aid was going so loud that we could hear it. Once she had it off, and I had to shout into her ear before she noticed I was saying anything.

Did her washing up for her, with Paul's help, while Chris vacuumed the carpet in the other room. Tiny little house, which Paul valued at £1500, though I declined to comment.

Then down town, hung around Smiths for a while, and finally down to Grays to buy some D163.

Back, and reported back to Snowden, who did not have much to say, but was rather pleased at our success.

In the evening, finished “Vile bodies”, and our chemistry prep, both much to my pleasure. Dislike the former.


Tuesday, 27 September 1966 KCT.
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One lives. I suppose, were this to become really boring, I could always count the days until the end of term, but I hardly feel that it is that bad yet. Still, life does become rather boring as it is at the moment - but on the other hand, I do not feel like doing any work, even if that would help. I wish to God my education were completely finished. Even at university, I shall obviously find it difficult to keep up my work.

After assembly, Clod saw all of the VI forms, and I had to stay behind and tell him what I was doing. He was not put out, nor did he seem to care, when I told him I was going to Göttingen - though I will not get anywhere if I do not soon make my application fairly soon [sic].

After that, reading a letter from Lesley - she has been learning to kiss. Read a bit in various magazines. Saw the St. Aud's girl, who said hello to me - that has made my day! Then in for a flute lesson, which suitably deflated me again - too late for food at break.

After break, 5th period, had a chemistry period, and got our chemistry books back, and Snowden did not even comment on my writing - how extraordinary.

After lunch, after recovering in the Sheldon room, down for a driving lesson. Things have changed, and the Promo seems to have as well, but apparently not much. Told me to come back in an hour, and so back up to the science library, where I found White attempting to fix something up in the darkroom, which has lately been in a hell of a mess, and about which he did not have time to do much. Then down to the library, and noticed there “My Brother Jonathan”, which I saw on TV a week ago today, and so got it out, and then took it up to the science library, where Popsy was immediately on my heels, and so down to the common room.

It seems that nobody cares much any more about the RAC test, and will all be content to get their MOT test - accordingly, I am in a bit of a spot. The ProMo is, admittedly, quite a nice car to drive, though without the engine noise of a Mini 850. Back very quickly, and nothing much doing until Saturday, 8/X/1966.

Back up to the science library, and started writing a letter to Lesley, but by the time I had done 1 page (typed), too many distractions arose, and I was forced to leave it until some other time.

Double study in the evening - saw the St. Aud's bird again, and again she said hello. Should I know her?

Thelma doing a bit of skirt raising down the Burma Road. If she is not careful, I will use flash.

Got another book out of the library - Thérèse Desqueyroux.


Wednesday, 28 September 1966 KCT.
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Up before breakfast, by some superhuman effort, and down by the time for breakfast - all this is really rather heartening, though doubtless I shall not be able to repeat the effort very often - least of all tomorrow, when we will be having another of these superstitious pagan rites in the barn. I wonder if I shall be able to find a way out of it. But there it all is.

After breakfast, at first thought there was no mail, but of course, Jenny had sent me not a card, but a present, which was very nice of her, though I don't suppose I shall really want an Isle of Wight souvenir telephone index. Still, the sentiment is there, and I shall use it - but I would have been just as happy with a card. Said she was going to send me some retouching nibs (surely knives?), which offer I shall have to accept, because I don't know where else I can get hold of the things.

Today was my 18th birthday.

In 2nd period, Deutſch, and and [sic] unſeen, which was very tough, and which King found even worse (however, he is only doing German for scholarship work).

No work for the rest of the morning, which suited me well, and sat round reading. My time certainly does seem to be wasted lately.

After lunch, up to the science library, where people were making up D163, and other such things, and talking to Chaun, who wanted to borrow all my lenses. I wonder how much of what he claims to have is backed up by evidence.

Down to take a few photos to prove that he could not handhold a 400 mm lens, no matter how small, at a shutter speed of 1/60 second, and I intend to blow them up no larger than 5×4 [inches; 13×10 cm], by which size I expect any trace of shake ought to be clearly evident - I would be exceeding surprised were it not.

Did little in games, but finished off my letter to Lesley, which I started yesterday, and decided that I would rather go down town, and so spent about half an hour for somebody to show Foulandvand [?] how to develop a film (a new boy this term, apparently pension. The place is crawling with the blokes).

I think “pension” referred to non-boarders at the school. That's pretty much exactly the opposite of the real meaning.

Eventually cornered Whitmarsh, and then down town with Charlie Chaun, who is apparently feeling left behind now that most of the blokes he knows have left. Down to Smiths, who had nothing that I wanted, and then to Goodmans, where I bought several stationery requirements, including a new typewriter ribbon, and then to Grays, who had no books worth buying. To Dreyons [?], who did, and bought as Chemistry prize “The Amateur Photographer's Handbook” by Sußmann. Also enquired about slide rules.

This was a prize awarded by the school; I had the choice of what it could be.

Piano lesson - excruciating.


Thursday, 29 September 1966 KCT.
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Michealmas [sic] day is a great holy day, according to the school calender. In this diary, I notice, it is not even marked. In honour, however, of so great an occasion, there was one of these superstitious pagan rites that they have so frequently, on Sunday mornings. The thought of going to chapel made me feel weak, and, fortunately, tired, so I slept in for a good 2¼ hours after the rising bell went, and got up after about 0830 hrs, when the mob came back from breakfast.

This is quite a turn-around from 8 May 1966. I was puzzled about references to paganism, but it seems there's some truth to it.

Then up fairly quickly, and over to the Science Library, where I consumed what food I had on me, and then along to the Carpenter lower Common room to do some German, and messed around with a poem with the 6-2 people had done, which, perhaps mercifully, took up much of the time.

After that, did little - I did not feel like going to P.E., and there was no music, so all I had to do was sit in the science library, reading, and this is what I did. I wish I could use my typewriter in study periods, but doubtless either Pad or Popsy would go up the wall. Still this Sußmann book (which I bought yesterday) is quite good.

After lunch - yellow [Charlie Chaun] has pinched my chair - off to Wind Band practice, and did a fantasy on British sea songs, and one hell of a Cadenza, which I gave to Pearce, who, rather to my disappointment, played it quite well. With 8 members, the wind band has become a farce - it is no more than a wind ensemble... and not even a very good one at that. I should like to get out while the going is good.

After that, could not be bothered to turn up for pioneers, and so to the common room, where I saw an advertisment [sic] in AP for a ciné projector with quite a few features, for only £12 odd. 7 days free trial offer, which seems interesting. As I have a Kodachrome, I decided to send of for it. It is, at any rate, one way to get a projector to see films on.

Thus sent off for the thing - who knows? I might even be able to afford to buy the thing if it is worthwhile. But first I must pay off a few debts which are outstanding.

Then missed tea, as I did not particularly feel like turning up. Posted letters to Mum and Dad, and Bev, as well as HQ and General for the projector.

After tea, another 2 study periods, which found me little to do. Writing all my exposure notes for Edixa into my brown notebook - I am now more or less organised with a notebook for each camera.

Ah, all this spare time does not seem to bore me sufficiently. Is there not something wrong with me when I can spend all of prep and achieve nothing in any direction? I must buck up. Selling Bev to Mike Phillips so he would leave Jenny alone.


Friday, 30 September 1966 KCT.
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And on with life. Not quite monotonous, but undoubtedly getting up up that way. I wonder very much what I shall be doing in, say, 6 months time - or even less for that matter, but definitely in 6.

As it turned out, nothing like what I could have expected.

After breakfast, at which the Times was absent, and had to read an article in today's “Listener” about whites and negroes in Chicago, which disturbed me, got a parcel in the post, which proved to be a cake baked for my birthday by Jenny. Also enclosed a letter and a card. Dear, darling Jenny (or Jennie, as she signed the letter. Affectionate form?). That really sends me. She is the only person who sent me anything for my birthday. How I love her!

German prose to do for 5th period, and so rattled that off p.d.q. as I wanted to write to Jenny, and spent ½ hour at the prose and 1 hr 40 minutes at the letter, which proved to be a fairly average marathon. But why not - I feel almost obliged to write her long letters. I shall obviously have to type them in the future.

After break, up in the science library, tried the cake, which was as good as I have ever tasted - a fruit cake - good old Jenny. Thank God for a practical girlfriend.

No German - Tyson collected in our books, then Dave and I to the science library to have a bit of cake. Ended up taking some macro photos of Dave's watch. Could be interesting.

After lunch took a couple more shots, and then looking at some KR slides of Allen's, which operation was interrupted by Paul Callow telling us there were some leavers's photos being taken downstairs. Proved to be a Leica 250 - ugh. Fellow saw my SP, and said, “Hey - that's cheating”.

Then Dave off to do some work, and I posted my letter to Jenny, after which I dragged out some music, and proceeded, with much aid from Clough, to abominate the Loeillet trio-sonate which we intend to do in the inter-house music competition. We shall have to improve one hell of a lot.

After that, back up to the science library, with no aim in particular, and then, after putting some “Do not move” singes round the ruin of the club projector, and then changed the ribbon of the thing back to the old one, which is better.

That's what I wrote.

Popsy in, complaining, as usual, about noise. Damn him.

This must have been the typewriter.

Then chemistry, and not too good. At any rate, I did the whole thing in about 25 minutes, and I had better take a bit more care in the future.

Then up to the science library, where I did little of much use - on with „My Brother Jonathan“, and then wrote my diary.

In prep, did even less. Reading my old diaries in 2nd prep. Dave is getting me a dutch pen-friend.


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