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Greg's diary
January 1967
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Sunday, 1 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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... film that will doubtless be broadcast on TV Malaysia tomorrow—Liliane suddenly got shy.

Back to Jacky's, and after a bit of jumping/waddling around, sat down and got down to it, and boy, did we get down. Too many people eventually got interested, and so we ended off in the car. Not this time, but probably next. Took her home at 0330 odd, and then home ourselves.

Had rather a troubled sleep between then and 1245hrs, when the phone rang, and it proved to be Graham Perrier, who had arrived from Sydney last night, and wanted me to come and see him at the Golf Club for lunch. Apologised, saying that I had a pantomime practice at 1400hrs, and then down to the Dog for makan. Eileen had something to say to the effect that a mata² came along to tell her that the driver of Citroën BK6478 had a summons. Seems very odd to me, on New Year's Day and a Sunday at that. Positively wierd[sic], in fact.

Turned up at the town hall at 1405, and there was nobody there, and I was told that the practice had been postponed until 2000hrs—I wish I had been told earlier.

Home again, and told Bev, and so arranged to go to the Golf Club—again with Liliane. I am a little worried about this bint, insofar as that she does not seem keen to be seen with me by anybody she knows. Still, we will see her on Tuesday, no doubt, and I shall do my best to consolidate the relationship then—and if this proves impossible, it will not be too late to strike up a relationship with yon orange girl in the pantomime.

Thus to the Golf Club, where were quite a few people I knew—I don't know why they don't all go to the Lake Club, but for some reason, they don't.

Graham, who is obviously keen on Bev, suggested we went for a drive, and so off in any old direction—in fact, all we did was choose a direction at random at each crossroads, and ended up at the old airport and then UK heights, and then back to the Golf Club, and dropped Graham there and arranged to see him tonight at 1930, as he wanted to come and see the rehearsal of the pantomime. Took Liliane home, and then home myself, and collapsed, exhausted, on my bed.

Woke up about an hour or so later—Mum was bitching because Dad had not told her about the police summons—about which we had heard no more.

Off, after having some sateh, to the Perrier's home, and to the rehearsal, which Graham rather liked, and it certainly dragged on—David is doing his best to keep this thing up to scratch, and it looks as if he will succeed. Took Graham home at 2300, at the end of act II, and then back. Did not finish until 0100hrs—another late night.

Monday, 2 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad did his best to wake me this morning, and succeeded in so doing before even 0800 hrs—another 6 hr night. I have had this life—the sooner I get to Germany, the better. I am gradually getting more depressed by this place—doubtless the fact that Saturn is in Pisces, shortly to enter Aries, is something to do with this. In any case, after Dad got me up, I went over with him (or rather took him over) to the office, where I proceeded to write a letter to Jennie Hallett. I really think it is all up with her now—whether Liliane likes me or not (though it would indeed be a blow were she to not). I could not go back to Jennie. She is, as I realised from the start, an inhabitant of a smaller world, where parabolae made a slight contact and then depart again, probably forever. England now, I am happy to say, has almost no hold on me. Germany will it be for me from now on, henceforth, by no means for ever more, but for the next few years at any rate.

Then finished the letter, and down to the post office to post it, but too long a queue there at the only stamp counter open, and so left it. When I got home, another letter awaited me. Paul has found out about Jennie's “dream man” now—good for him, and I hope he knocks a bit of sense into her.. I am going to leave it all, though, I think.

To the Lake Club, where I did a bit of suntanning, and after a carefully timed period, had my shower and went home. Rang Mum about food supplies for this afternoon, and she was rather narked about the fact that I had not told her earlier, and so, eventually, got Eileen to make me some sandwiches, and shoved them and some Christmas Cake, etc, into a basket and off to the Town Hall.

Little was happening when I arrived—in fact little happened for about the first 1½ hours, so I went back into the car and caught up on my sleep, and thence was woken by P.K. to tell me that we were starting, and so on, and chatting up the orange girl somewhat—she is indeed nice, and I only wish I could make off with her. But is there any point in making off with any bird until I go to Hamburg University? I very much doubt it. I wonder what life will be like with the Kräutinnen.

In any case, the rehearsal dragged. P.K. did not look too well—he has had a mild attack of 'flu for the past few days, and looks the worse for it. Eventually ended up with Bill and Beng Chow, the sailors, talking to the orange girl and her friend, who, I think, are called Sandra and Anna respectively. They both seem quite nice—but oh, how to make off with either of them (though preferably Sandra)? Of course, if Liliane is still keen on me, I have little to worry about—until she goes back to school, which will not be long. But perhaps Sandra and Anna are also still at school? They seem to have tanned since first I saw them.

About half way through the second rehearsal, I went into the dressing room, and dropped my costumes there—changed into the sailor suit, and on with that.

Met P.K.'s wife—pom, drack, and completely unsuited to him, it would seem. Why did he marry her?

Tuesday, 3 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad did not need to wake me this morning—at 0730 in came the little mata² with a court summons for me, and so I sware[sic—old past form of swear] heartily at him for the time at which he arrived, and read it. So much for that “warning”. This is the real thing, all right.

Lay in bed for a while, while Dad recounted his experiences of being caught in speed traps, in the past, etc, before I finally summoned (sorry—dirty word) enough strength to get up.

After that, over to the office with Dad, dropped him, and on down town to look for some shoes, but without much luck, as I could not even find a parking space for the Citroën, and so back to the office, and got the Mini, which does better for itself in Batu lane. At Bata's, saw a pair of shoes, liked the look of them, and without asking, they said they would keep them for me. Back, and to the Golf Club to see Graham, about something to do this afternoon, and we decided that we ought to go with Bev and Liliane to a flick, and so thought of Gambit at the Rex. Then took Eileen to the hospital, back to the office to get the Citroën, bought the shoes, and out to Graham's house, where we changed pants.

Then down the new, uncompleted highway. Knocked 1 second off the average Citroën acceleration time 0-50 [mph], on a slight uphill gradient. Not bad.

Home for lunch, after dropping Graham at the Golf Club again, and then up to Supermarkets to buy some.[sic]

After makan, in which we were granted permission to go to the flicks, did little for a while—there is, after all, little to do at such a time. Eventually over to the office to get my keys, picked up Graham at the Golf Club, Liliane at her house, and then to the flick. Despite what I had said to Graham, he came up right behind us, and sat next to us—damn him. Still, Liliane responded pretty well, and had put on, apparently for my benefit/convenience, a rather low-necked dress, and after a while, forgot about Bev and Graham. I think my fears about her not liking me were rather unfounded, but now the sad reality is that she is leaving in 8 days time, and will be spending the rest of this week in Penang. I shall have to get hold of her over the weekend, and do my best then, though the matinée performance on Saturday will not help that much.

After the flick, dropped the gentle hint to Bev that I should like to drop her home first, and she took it not, so I got nowhere further than holding hands with Liliane in the car. I shall have to get her to come to Dick Whittington, and doing my bit taking her home from there.

After that, straight to the dress rehearsal of the pantomime. Saw the French Ambassador's car—had one Michelin XAS on it—I wonder where he got hold of it. Right size too (not surprising—same car, same model). Practice went quite well—how, I wonder, would Sandra react to my advances?

Wednesday, 4 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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These late nights and early risings have, unfortunately, been having a cumulative effect, and I could not make it to get up this morning, so lay in bed for a long time, just about asleep, but with pleasant thoughts of Liliane floating around me, until Bev came in and told me that Devi wanted me come to Jacky's with her tonight. Silly bitch—why is it that those people always time things so badly? Told Bev to tell her I was asleep, and then proceeded to be until Bev came in with a letter for me from Frankfurt, returning everything that we sent (except the IR Coupons), and enclosing also an application form. Well—why bother, now that Hamburg has accepted me?

After this, got up, and dressed, etc, and then discovered I was immobile, and so go onto Dad, who said I could have the car if I got him a soldering iron and a pen nib, which I did or at least tried to do, as the nib was not forthcoming. Over to the Golf club, and picked up Graham, and thence to the Dog, where we each had a steak sandwich, and after that off home, where I had a bite more of some grot that Mum and Dad had got outside the office.

After that, Mum and Dad off in the Mini, and shortly later I gathered together the ties I had collected after our party, and off first, with Bev and Graham, to Gurdip's house, where, despite all attempts, we had to go into the house, sit down, and have a drink of Mummy's syrup. Eventually managed to get away again—it is not that I dislike Gurdip, but, as Mike Syme is quick to point out, he is somewhat tenacious—and off to the Belsham house, which it took us quite a long time to find. When we got there, Guy told me that Dad was due there this afternoon, and they thought he had come. Off, however, and ended up, in our characteristic style, in the airport (the old one) asking the way to the new one, and managed to quite confuse the poor old bloke trying to tell me. It eventuated that he didn't really know himself, and so off, laughing hysterically, and back again to Kenny Hill (this time we found it a lot easier) and Guy's home, and then to Graham's, which is just around the corner. There listened to a not-very-inspired Australian pop record, which could just as easily have been english—if they all spoke with Liverpudlian accents, it would not surprise me.

Then dropped Guy and Graham at the Lake Club and the Qantas office respectively, and home, and while I was completing my dossier on Liliane, Dad rang up and said he wanted to be take to the Belsham house—the third time in one day—and this time went along the new, uncompleted highway to the North, which seems quite a thing.

Back, did a bit of shopping for Mum, had a couple of teas, and to the town hall to make up, and then on, and the usual mess. Had makan in Act 3 at the Lake Club. David was delighted by it all.

Thursday, 5 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up again this morning, as early (or just about) as usual, and then Mum, who was very early in the office, rang up to say she wanted some cotton wool, and so Dad and I grabbed a hurried breakfast, and then down to Nainas to get some cotton wool.

To the Borneo Company (or rather, Borneo Motors) to raise hell about the Spider horn, and was told something to the effect that it had been improperly mounted. The bloke unscrewed the blower, and pretty soon one hell of a lot of water released itself from the insides thereof—in fact, I was astonished at how much water the thing held.

Over to see how Mum was getting on, and she wanted something done to her car as well, and so got that, and took it over to the Merlin service station to get them to change the tires, and then back to Borneo Motors. They said they would have the horn ready tomorrow, and so left it there with them and took the car. It then occurred to me that it would be a rather interesting to see how the 2185cc Citroën engine would go in our ID19, but checking the book, discovered somebody had whipped the relevant figures, damn them. I calculate the thing ought to do 123 mph then.

Back to lunch, and then to the office, in the Mini, to pick up Mum and Dad. At home, apart from having lunch, discussed what we would do this afternoon., and ended up, after lunch, going to the Golf Club, picking up Graham—he is used to this now, and as soon as we stop there, just comes up and gets in the car. Then to the bank, to cash a few cheques, and then on to Batas, where Bev wanted to buy some tickets to “Dick Whittington” for tomorrow night, but they were not open, so gave it up as a bad job, and home to wash the car.

In this I managed to get a certain amount of help from Graham, though, in all fairness, there was little he could do, as our tools of the trade were somewhat limited, but nevertheless we did not do too badly. After that, having the rear wings off, got hold of Dad's Bolex, and over to the Merlin service station, where Graham took some ciné of us having the works—and boy, did we get the works, with that camera trained on them—they must have thought it would be for general release, what with the 3pod and all.

Then for a bit of a drive, and, after giving Bev and Graham one circuit each of the Jalan Duta go, decided to see what Jalan Damansara was like beyond PJ, and so went there, got as far as the 10th mile (with both Bev and Graham in the back seat) before we turned back. Then home, where Mum and Dad had been waiting for some time, and were somewhat annoyed. Looks as if I will be deprived of the use of the car for a while, and so may have to find alternative transport. Still, I can probably manage one of my fiddles.

To the panto again in the evening—went quite well. I now am sure that the orange girl is alias Sandra Gay-French—what a name! Getting quite chatty with her, one way & another, even if she did call me Fredy. Bev to Jacky's with Graham.

Friday, 6 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad yet again ensured that I woke early this morning—this is getting a bit monotonous, not to mention tiring. Still, I suspect it is all in a good cause. This morning, I discovered, somewhat to my displeasure, that Mum required my assistance at the office—that place drives me up the wall at the best of times, and now it nearly had the effect of going completely insane.

Anyway, over this morning, and was first given some letters to post at the post office—why they were so important, I know not, but anyway they were top priority. Then back to the office, and to the offbeat monolith, which I proceeded to clean, as Stephen could not be bothered to do so last night, and this task took me quite a considerable time, during which I also managed to get my hands absolutely filthy. Then went home and washed them, and back again, after a complaint from Mum, and stapled together a few newsletters.

Then it was decided that we had better deliver the newsletters, and so over to the NZHC, and took the remaining 800 newsletters, and back, and not to the office, as Mum was not there. After taking Bev home, over to Borneo Motors, where they had fixed the Spider horn, and so drilled a couple of more holes to mount the Spider horn, and then took the whole thing away and did it myself, and then back home to await an invitation to pick Mum and Dad up at the office.

This came in due course, and home for makan, when I noticed in the papers that several parts of the country have been badly flooded. K. Kangsar is under 6 ft of water, and some parts of Kelantan are considerably more than this. I wonder how much further it will go on.

Graham Perrier rang up to ask if he could come over, and so all was accepted, and collected him from the Golf club after taking Mum and Dad back to work. Then into town to do a few things, such as having a zip put on my pants, and looking for a lamp for Munah.

Back to the office, after dropping Graham at the house, and ended up in one of these vicious circles that drive me mad at the office, and spent ¾ hours achieving nothing.

When I got back to the house, Graham showed signs of flagging, and I consequently lured him out down town, where I tried to get some solder, and told him about the oddities of women playing hard to get, etc, and in general educated him somewhat. I think he felt a little better for it. Also into the A&W in the AIA building, and had a drink. Got back home, while I was expounding my theory of the rectangular hyperbola of love, and tried a few mathematical tricks on the thing, only to discover that I was not as good as I used to be at such things. I must brush up my calculus.

Then took Graham home, while it rained like mad, and then home, where Eileen decided we had nothing to eat tonight, and so had to go over to Supermarkets.

Dick Whittington [pantomime] again in the evening—how should I go about ensuring Sandra? I suppose it would be helpful if I saw her once or twice at the Lake Club. Very nice.

Saturday, 7 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Woken slightly later this morning by the phone, though this time it was not for me, but in any case got up, and quickly dressed, as it was already 1000 hrs, and the day was mainly taken up by Dick Whittington as it was.

Decided that the 4 of us (Bev, Graham, Liliane and I) should go to the Lake Club. It eventuated, however, that Liliane had some prior appointment or another, and consequently was unable to attend the function. What the hell—after all, I do not consider he as much of a “from now until eternity” type, but rather one who has plenty of it, and is prepared to give it away. And why not? Up with free love, etc!

In any case, eventually we managed to persuade the parental body that we wanted to go to the Lake Club, and the 3 of us set off there. I am getting a bit fed up with Graham referring to Liliane as Vivian—especially since I think it is deliberate.

At was pretty dead at the Lake Club, and all we did was sit around and chat to Guy Belsham, who happened to be there. Saw also Sally Lammell [spelling?], whose appearance has not improved any in the past twelvemonth.

After doing nothing at the Lake club for far too long, down to the Dog, where I got quite well plied with booze by Guy, who was celebrating the fact that he has found out their Dog number [membership number, necessary to buy drinks]. After a while, had makan, while I tried to persuade Guy to come and shift scenes in the panto, and found out some details about Sandra Gay-French from Alister [sic] Bullen, who vaguely knows her. Nothing fantastically convenient, especially as she already has a bloke. Maybe Anna Rußkowska would be a better bet.

Graham volunteered to scene-shift, which rather surprised me, but I did not feel like arguing, so took him along.

The show went much as ever, except that today the house was absolutely packed and laughter was louder than ever. Went home to get some beer in Act 3, but no makan, as I as not (not surprisingly) hungry, and so got back in the middle of Act 3. Quite good.

After the end, taking Graham home, saw Sandra driving her Mini BK 7884—I have seen that before, following me with full beam headlights! Followed her home, seni-nace [illegible; that's the closest I can decipher] (though I must be careful with mata²s).

Then home, and did little (apart from collecting clothes) until Dad went out for makan, and after that out to pick up Graham and take him and Bev to Jacky's.

Show went OK again, though much smaller audience. But they even laughed when the sailors came on in Act 2—we latter discovered Bill's fly buttons were undone. P.K. brought his mini TV, but SM kicked up a bit of susah—all the cats [? undecipherable] in our dressing room.

Sunday, 8 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up comparatively early this morning when Dad offered me a cold cup of tea. After jumping up and suggesting we went immediately to the Lake Club, it was suggested that we waited some while and attended to more important matters. Accordingly washed, got dressed, and had breakfast, all in pretty conventional manner (i.e. all at the same time). This makeup grot is all over my hair—when I finally got round to washing it out, it took two goes to get it out—and the colour of the water was positively obscene.

Then out, and down to Lornie road to where we bought Mum's orchid, and changed the thing, as it was dying. Did not do a bad job—got one about 3 times the size. Now why does Mum not fertilise it?

Then to the Lake Club, and the place was packed, as I had feared. Ended up sitting at one of those grotty little tables with a low umbrella, talking to Dad about a not unlikely combination of politics, analogue computers and mathematics. I have, I discovered, forgotten a hell of a lot of my maths and must brush some up.

This must be the first time I mention the term “computer”. I didn't understand digital electronics at the time.

After that, changed and went home, where I changed again to go to the Belsham's for makan, and eventually out, while Guy confided in me that he found all this as much a bore as we did. A couple of other mutual friends of Dad's and Mr. Belsham there—Adrian Kenwood and wife—had a conversation about cars—he tells me the new Citroëns have no clutch pedal, but the thing comes into play automatically when one changes gear.

This would be the DS 19, of course, which had had a hydraulic gear change since it was introduced in late 1955. Our car was an ID 19 with manual gear change.

After that, had makan, which I feel would have been better with chopsticks, but I could not do much about it, and accordingly brought the stuff up through the table.

That's what I wrote. I have no idea what it means.

After that, spent inordinately long over coffee, and finally persuaded Dad to get a move on—Guy is right: this sort of function is one hell of a bore.

Home, and decided I could do with seeing Liliane again, and so arranged to go to the Golf Club, though God knew what we were to do there. In an case, off thither after picking up Liliane, and did nothing there. Graham rang up, and arranged to come to a flick with us at 6·30, and in the meantime I blew too much money to go into Jackys, and a) Liliane was not very cooperative, and b) we hardly stayed any time. Had my drink of beer (I would not go without that) and then off to pick up Graham, and then to the Federal to see Khartoum, which (what I saw of it, at any rate) was an excellent film. Liliane is a strange bird—long warming up period, but then she really gets moving. I think that she must be a bit of a nympho at heart—she really had a good feel around me today, and just to make matters worse, did not do up my fly when she had finished. Still, I could not get much further, owing to the fact that Graham and Bev were around. I shall have to have another go soon under more favourable conditions. Up in Jalan Duta later—not alone.

Monday, 9 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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The epitome of an unpleasant awakening: Dad coming in and telling me that it is 0820, and that Mum wants 200 type S Gestetner offset paper plates as quickly as possible. It was such an unpleasant thought that I did my utmost to go back to sleep again, but Dad has now become quite experienced in awaking [sic] me, and got me nevertheless out of bed.

Over to the office, where I dropped Mum and Dad, and then off to Gestetners, and got the plates, as well as a pencil and a couple of erasers than then back again to the office, as instructed, and tried to get some interaction from Dad, but he was well embedded in the phone, and so off to do some other stuff. First to H. Ally's, where Mum wanted me to buy yet another set of “Dream Phones”, but, mercifully, they did not have the right colour. Then got a light on appo from Bashirs, and back to the office, where Dad fixed it to the wall. Got a couple of cheques to the Bank, where the usual happened, and then to Bashirs to pay for the light, and to the Supermarkets to buy a couple of combs and plenty of beer.

Then back home, where were Bev and Graham, and dropped the car at the Merlin for a grease/lube/callitwhatyouwill. Home again, and rang up Herr von Walther of the Goetheinstitut, who suggested that I went over to prove my knowledge of German

Accordingly over, by which time he had apparently decided that I already knew enough, an that we would enter on a “gentleman's agreement” for the first month, after which we would review the situation. I am no longer all that keen on this, anyway.

After that, home for lunch, after which I collected the car, and took Eileen to the market, and popped into Yuens while I was there, and got a new distributor rotor arm for the Citroën, as well as, finally, an instruction manual (in English!) for the thing.

In fact, I think that this was a workshop manual for a slightly older model. It was intended for the Asia Trip, where it proved itself very useful.

Home, and Dad decided he wanted the car, so ended up going in Guy's car to pick up Liliane, and then to see “52 miles to terror”, which was no very fantastic film, but, of course, it worried Liliane and me little. I wonder if she is becoming a little more guarded—maybe because it was earlier in the day than yesterday.

The title “52 miles to terror” redirects to Hot Rods to Hell on the IMDB, and Wikipedia doesn't know it either. But that film, apparently, wasn't released until 18 days later .

After that, out, and Mr. Belsham picked us up, and took the 3 of us home, and I then tried to get hold of the Citroën, and had little success at this, and eventually Mum suggested we came over to the office, and took her Mini, and so complied, and on the way saw Dad in the Citroën, and so took Liliane home in that. It is still misfiring from time to time.

Then took Bev and Dad for a game of squash, but they had no rackets, so had to take them all the way back again. Then to the pantomime, which, after a break of only a day, seemed much slower. We have now reached the break-even point-the rest will be profit.

Tuesday, 10 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Woken by Dad at 0940 this morning, wanting to know whether I wanted any breakfast, and so out of bed, slowly, etc, taking my time, and had breakfast with him—he had been up since 0700 hrs, working at home, where his is not disturbed so much as is he at the office.

Then, on enquiring of Bev what she wanted to do of the morning, was told that she wanted to go shopping down Petaling St. way, and she rang Mum to have the divine ruling thereon, and she happened to have jobs suited to both of us, just waiting to be done at the office. Mine was to go to Gestetners and get an offset ballpen, and have a master run of—3 whole copies. Accordingly, into the car, dropped Bev and over to Gestetners, and then had the thing run off, and back to pick up Bev, whom I took home, and back to the office. Mum then decided that Rank Xerox produced masters were covered in grot, and that she wanted some other method, and had heard about some bloke in town who could do it. At one stage she even wanted me to have a go. However, got off lightly, having only to go back to Gestetners and get 6 offset rubbers and another master run off. They must be getting sick of the sight of me by now.

Home and was apparently allowed to go to the flicks with Liliane this afternoon after all, but, when I finally rang her up, she had other things to do, as her brothers were going off tomorrow, but she said that she would come tomorrow. Ah—so ist das Leben. I am not, after all, crazy about her—mainly, I fear, because she has not really given me a chance. But she is a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Then over to Borneo Motors, after taking Bev to the Golf Club to baby sit the Partridge kids, and there had a chat with them about the Spider horn, which eventuated in the news that the thing was functioning correctly—I wish it would make more of a noise. Had the soft horn fixed—it seems louder than ever, now.

French cars of the day had two horns, a soft one and a loud one, the latter sounded by pressing the switch harder. I think this must have been a legal requirement.

Also saw an ultra wide rear vision mirror (about, I suppose, 120-130°), and, as it was also anti-glare and only $4.50, bought the think on appo, and had it fixed. It certainly helps one know what is going on behind him.

In those days, cars in Malaysia had no external mirrors.

Home, showed it to Dad, who liked it, and then to pick up Bev, after going to Yuens, where they reckoned that the tappetts [sic] were jumping, thus explaining the odd engine noise, and the jerkiness. They will be able to do something about it pretty soon, though.

Home for tea, without Mum, who has been flat out for some time—is on the brink of explosion, I fear.

Off to the panto, and went very badly, with no effort by either the cast or the audience. P.K and I both missed our entries at the end of act 1.

Home, and Mum was at Bev hammer and tongs. Bev later came down to the Town hall by foot to get away from it all.

Wednesday, 11 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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And on, on, and on goes the grind of life. The phone rang at length this morning while I was in the middle of a dream about Paul Hallett and David Hargrave and I burning up/down 5th Avenue in the Citroën. About 5 seconds after I staggered out of my room, Bev issued from hers for similar reasons. It eventuated that it was MSA trying to get on to Dad, so back to sleep for a while.

Eventually staggered out of bed, and decided that I should like to get out of the house, and do something constructive, so out of the house, over to the office, got the car, and down to the Dog for breakfast (hamburger and local coffee) and then to the Odeon to buy tickets for the 3.15 show of “How to steal a million”, which has been rather overadvertised.

Then to the Lincoln cultural center, and tried to get an application form for membership, and thence to the British Council, where I was little more successful.

Back home, and discovered we were below the minimum suspension oil level, and so to Yuens, where I bought a quart of the stuff—should come in handy somewhere.

To the office, and picked Dad up, and took him to the airport in what must have been record time, and had a bite to eat. Despite bouncing tappets, the car still keeps up a pretty good speed—maybe it is just my handling, but I think it goes faster of late.

Home after that, and Mum was yet at the office, with little likelihood of immenent [sic] change, so had makan without her, and then Bev said something about taking Mrs. Partridge's kids to the Lake Club, and after completing that, to Borneo Motors to get a receipt for the mirror, which I have decided to keep, and also bought some anti-screen haze grot, which is supposed to prevent haze in light rain. I hope it is effective.

The, after attempting to fix one of the horns, to pick up Liliane, and took her to the Odeon, where, as usual at the 3.15 pm shows, there was a hell of a susah getting the car parked.

I have a vague feeling (maybe attributable to vanity) that Liliane rather likes me. Anyway, she is quite a good love-maker, and seems to enjoy my participation. Today in the flick-house did everything that one can do in the flick house, and very enjoyable too. The flick (what we saw of it) was very good. Got out rather late tough, and so had to take her almost straight home—she is off tomorrow, but is coming back for Easter, and has promised to write, if not too often.

After that, home and had tea, and then off to the show, which is becoming a bit of a drag. Pep talk from David—no leaving the town hall in costume.

After the show, had to help Mum proof reading, and then pick Bev and Guy up from Jackys.

Thursday, 12 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Hari Raya Puasa

Mum in to wake me at 0810 this morning—I had, rather rashly, agreed to help her do some proof reading of some documents to the World Bank about the Jenka Triangle. At any rate, I had it so planned that I did not do so badly by the agreement, which was that I would work for her until 0930 hrs and then stop. As it was, however, I could not really get out of the mess, even at 0930, since Mum was in one of her tenacious moods and would not let me go. Fortunately all was finished by about 1010, and I managed to get out and for some breakfast before she found some other job for me to do.

After breakfast, took a bit for her and Anna to eat over, and nearly got rapped for some photocopying, but as I did not do it in the way which Mum insisted, she would not let me do it. Down to the next job, which was to buy some fruit for Ramli and his family, and spent quite a bit of time wandering about the market trying to find some decent fruit—not much selection.

Home and decided to tidy up the interior of the car, in particular the gloves box and the boot, both of which were in a bit of a mess, and ended up with a lot more in the way of space, having taken quite a bit out, and rearranged the rest of it.

After that, ascertained that Mum would not immediately be home for makan, and so had some alone, and after that out to the airport to pick up Dad, who for some reason had already been cleared. I can't understand how he got there so early, especially as he thought himself late. Still, he had not been waiting long, so all was well.

Thence to the office, where I dropped Dad, and back home to pick up Bev, who wanted to be taken to the Lake Club, and so went with her and ended up in the front of the club reading “Punch”, and before long was interrupted by Guy Belsham trying to console me for the fact that Liliane left this morning. Ah, 'tis all water under the bridge as I see it.

Sat there for a while, and then up to the pool, where Bev was trying to avoid Guy, so with him to go up and see Gurdip and tell him that his car (AA8860) was under 6ft of water, but he was not there, and so wished his sisters the compliments of the season, and over to pay our respects to Ahmad and Mahmuddin, who were very pleased to see us, and, as the tradition is, pumped us full of food. I wonder if Mahumuddin's wife fasts.

Hari raya puasa is the Malay name for Eid al-Fitr, the feast at the end of Ramadan. Mahmuddin and his children were Muslims, but his wife was Indian and of (to me) unknown religion, possibly even Christian.

Finally, time forced us to leave, but not without promising both that I would see them soon after the end of the pantomime, and back to the Lake Club, where I dropped Guy and picked Bev up, and then home, and eventually had tea, after which, as usual, to the Town Hall, and another performance. Noted halfway through that Dad and Bev were there, though they left half-way.

After the show at home, talking to Dad, who is a bit worried about one of his buildings collapsing in Da Nang and killing 2 people.

Friday, 13 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Dad did not do very well at waking me this morning, until he came in and told me that he had got a little booklet from the AA about motoring in the Middle East, and this got me out of bed like a shot, and tried to persuade Dad to let me have a look at it.

Eventually prevailed, as Dad had to go and pay some Hari Raya visits on Tan Sri Sanden bin Haji Jumin and Taib bin Haji Andak, Minister of Transport and head of the FLDA respectively. Almost as soon as he was gone, however, and before I had had a chance to greatly peruse the booklet, Bev decided that it was about time we stocked up from the Supermarkets, and so up in that horrible little Mini, which I am getting to dislike more every time I drive it—it was just a vague preference for the Citroen when I started.

Home again, after a while, and proceeded to attend to my electronic flash, which has been somewhat misbehaving itself of late. In the middle of this, I got a phone call from Devi Kaur, inviting me, Bev and Graham to lunch. Refused on behalf of the latter, and got the car from Dad, who had returned at a fortunate time from my point of view.

When I got over there, after waiting 10 minutes for anybody to appear, discovered that they had made far too much mee hoon yesterday, and were just trying to get people in to finish it off.

After that, rather mercifully, Gurdip arrived and suggested that we went off and paid visits on some of his friends, as he was immobile, and so, prepared to do anything rather than stay and talk to Devi/Daljet, off to see if Lokman was home, but he was not, nor was any of his family, so off to visit a friend of Gurdips, who proved to be the son of Inche Mohamed Khir Johari, as I discovered as I was going into the house. Met the father—a jovial enough bloke—and sat around talking to his son, Amir. Left Gurdip with him eventually, and then off to pick up Dad and take him to the airport. My time over that run seems to have improved considerably. From Denmark house to the airport, 15 miles, took us 18 minutes, which is almost 10 minutes better than when I did it 2 months ago.

55 years later, in January 2022, Google Maps gives times between 36 and 40 minutes. How much of that is due to urban sprawl?

After all that, the plane was late, and so had a bite to eat and a drop to drink with Dad, and off, as usual, when the flight was called, and back, by way of Damansara Road, to KL, in particular to the Lake Club, and en route the weather changed from bright sunshine to torrential rain. Picked Bev up, and back home to the office, where Mum was having trouble with the Gestetner duplicator. God knows how she would go with the offset.

After that, home, to do little, apart from rest my weary bones somewhat, and then off to the pantomime. Some of these girls are getting very friendly, especially Rose Yong (I think that is her surname), who asked me to kiss her. Good for her. She will get her wish, if I have much say in it. Taking Bev, Graham to, from Jacky's, and recorded some Bach.

Saturday, 14 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Eileen brought me in some tea for the first time for several weeks this morning, and the combined effect of the shock, and the fact that I got to be so late last night, resulted in me going straight back to sleep. Mum woke me up at 0850, with an urgent reminder that Dad was arriving at 0915, and that I was supposed to meet him.

This proved impossible, mainly due to the fact that it was the rush hour, and as a result I was about 5 minutes late for him, and then straight back to the house, where Dad grabbed a bite to eat before going down to Hews [spelling?], the auditors in the Bangkok Bank Building. After dropping him, I to the Dog for a bite to eat, and there was one hell of a lot of traffic on the road—in fact, I could not make it back to pick up Dad by the time he specified—not that this mattered much, because he was 20 minutes later still. Stinking hot weather, to boot.

After that, back to the office to fix up Munah's light for her, and thence back home, and Bev and Graham were there, so did little.

After a while, it occurred to me that if I were to get to this pantomime thing on time, I would have to get a move on, and accordingly started having some makan, just as Mum and Dad came home, earlier than expected. They did a bit more towards preparing makan (it was Eileen's day off), in which I helped them eat it, and then down to the Town Hall, where everything went much as usual—I am getting thoroughly sick of this farce.

Little happened to relieve the monotony of the show—for some unexplained reason, they cut one of the songs in act 1, with the result that I nearly missed my cue at the end of that act.

Rose again asked me to kiss her—I wonder about her. Off to home in act 3 as usual, but nobody was there except a sleepy Mum, and so left it, and to the Dog for a drink and a bite, after which back to the show again.

After that, home without bothering to remove my makeup, and collapsed on my bed, in the process covering my pillowcase with panchro 27, and evoking thereto Mum's wrath.

After a while arrived Bev and Graham home form seeing “How to steal a million”, and shortly later I took him home, and then brought him back again, as he wanted to go to the party tonight.

Had makan in Campbell road—he has never tasted satay before, and did not like it much.

Then the final performance, which was not as messed around as I had hoped it might be, and in fact, it went extremely well, and we had probably our best audience yet.

After that, the party, in which Rose and I ended up twisting to a large audience. Bill has nothing on me. Unfortunately, Rose has very little knowledge of the opposite sex, and all does not look too good. But worth trying.

Sunday, 15 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur → Kuala Kubu Baru → Kuala Lumpur
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Dad banged in at about 0950 this morning with something breezy and altogether out of keeping with my mood, about going to the waterfalls, as it was a beautiful day, etc, etc. Swore at him, and even more at Bev, when she came in, growled at me, and asked me whether I was staying or coming. Hopped out of bed with primary intent to do her one, but soon relented, and out to dispose of Mum's car for her, at her request, and noted that it was indeed a beautiful day, and so out as quickly as possible to pick up Graham, whom I found in the hands of his father, who was doing his level best to ensure that he did not die of starvation, and we went away laden with various occidental fruits. Picked up a bird on the way, to give her a lift, but she was not going far.

Back home, rather miraculously, all were well-nigh ready when we got there, and indeed it was not long before the whole bloody family hopped into the car and, for better, or, as events proved, more likely for worse, we were off. I might have known we were in for trouble when they decided to bring Iggy, [the monkey] but the girls were resolute, so we just hoped and prayed that the bastard would get drowned. But even a Citroën gets a bit crowded with 5 people, 3 dogs and a monkey in it, and nerves were a bit frayed by the time we had finally covered the 46 miles there [Kuala Kubu Bahru]—so were my eyes: the exhaustion of the past 2 weeks was such that I developed a severe case of tunnel vision, and could hardly see where I was going, which proved to be a bit of a disadvantage when I was climbing all over the rocks.

Years later I was disgnosed with a form of migraine that only affects the vision. Maybe this was the first occurrence.

For all that, the waterfall was fun, and though at first the water seemed freezing, it soon felt quite refreshing. Very strong currents about, of course, which made it all the more fun, especially when we tried to go upstream. This romance at present ensuing between Bev and Graham twangs a nostalgic chord in my heart, and I miss Jennie all the more—Liliane would not be the same: this is pure and simple, and happy as Jennie and I were, I hope for their sakes that they may long be happy.

Home again all too soon, and Dad decided to take the wheel—why, I am not too sure, but I did not complain overly, as I was dead beat, and took the opportunity of getting a bit of rest on the threshhold [sic] between waking and sleeping. Eventually got home, and I staggered inside, took some glucose and some of the Aspirin I made last July, and went straight off to sleep for about half an hour, which just brought me back from the realms of exhaustion, and then out to have tea, etc.

Took Graham home a bit later than that, and then got a cylinder from the office for Dad.

Later had to take the thing down to the railway station for rail freight for Dad—no spare time again.

Monday, 16 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up comparatively early this morning, at least for recent times, at 0750, and while I was washing noted Dad disappearing, so had breakfast, then, with Mum, over to the office, and, having ascertained that the magistrates court was on Bukit Mahkamah, up there, and in to see what was going on.

This was the traffic violation I had mentioned a few weeks earlier.

There appeared to be 2 courts, and people sort of floating in and out and all over the place, looking about as lost as I was. Eventually something catalysed a general movement into the other court, where they brought up all sorts of dire charges about breaking and entering, consumption of indian [sic] hemp, cheating, etc., and every conceivable vice, but nothing to do with traffic violations, and eventually gave up, and into the other court, where they continued with an inquest into the death of a bloke in a riot, and, round about then, entered Dad, and together (mainly with Dad's help, in fact) we discovered that I should have been in court No. 6, which had now adjourned, and eventually it was decided, after consultation, that I would return at 1430 hrs, and thence to the Lake Club to pick up Bev, and home. Shortly later entered Mum with Dad, with a letter from Mrs. Baudouy wishing to know what had become of the £13 odd that she had lent me, and not surprisingly, they were very annoyed—in fact lunch was scarcely worth eating, though I did my best to ease the situation.

After that, Dad dropped me back at the court, where they were pretty disorganised, and by the time Dad returned, nothing further had happened. Out of court No. 6, followed some Sikh bloke who eventually let me into court no. 3, where nothing was happening. Dad slipped me $30, and then off, and shortly later I was taken to court No. 4, where there was a session about some gambling case or another. After the counsel for the defence closed the judge took time off to have a look at my case, and fine me $50, which I thought a bit steep. Payed up, and then back by foot to the office over Bukit Nanas, where I have not been for a long while.

I went to school at St John's Institution on Bukit Nanas from 1959 to 1961.

Then was given a few errands to do. Down to the Town Hall, where I got Dad's health certificate, then to MSA in Jalan Campbell to get Dad's ticket to Saigon—he is off there tomorrow. Back home after a bit of tali merah [red tape] in the office, and arrived Bev and Graham by foot.

Had tea in a sort of intermittent fashion, as suited it us best, and then started off to the airport as Dad went off to Singapore. Graham is really becoming one of the family.

Eventually Dad off, and home. Mum has managed to drag up enough work to keep me flat out all day tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Ah, rest evades me. This morning, as I was dreaming pleasant things of, of all people, Sandy Schaedel [my cousin], and thinking that I ought to sleep in all day, Bev came in with a reminder that Mum had plenty of work for me to do for her, and that I was requested to get up as quickly as possible. Accordingly up, and grabbed Heide and Theo [dogs] to take them to the vets, and then discovered that one of the main reasons Bev wanted me to get up was so that I could take her to the Lake Club. After that, took Heide and Theo for heartworm tests. Theo negative, Heidi very active indeed, and we were prescribed “Caricide” tablets for her.

Took the dogs home, and then over to the office, where Mum had plenty for me to do for her, of course, and gave me an offset paper plate to take over to Gestetners for them to run off, and then, on the way back, dropped the lamp in at this place in Batu Rd., and got the iron from Bashirs. After that, back to the office, and there wrote a birthday card for Sandy, who will be 19 in the next few days. Gave Mum the prints, took the phone book and off home. After a short while there, decided that there were a couple of things to be done before lunch, and took Mum's clock down to be mended. Then into Jubilee [Book Store, in Batu Road] and ran across some test reports, including a couple about Citroëns—I have never see so much praise in any one test report. The only criticism they had was the comparatively weak engines.

Home, after picking Bev up, and at lunch time arranged ourselves for the rest of the afternoon, and ended up going over to the office and getting a Supermarket account, and then over to Batu road to drop in a bit of lamp [that seems to be really what I wrote], and in the process nearly lost Bev. However, did our best, and then to the First National City Bank of New York, to cash some traveller's cheques. I like to credit the Yanks with with some sense, but it is difficult in the light of this action. Still, we eventually got our money, so I don't suppose we ought to complain too much.

To the Supermarkets, dropped Bev, and off to look for some Noritake china, but no luck. Back again, and noted Graham now about. Dropped Bev at Petaling St, and took Mum's clock in to be repaired, and then back, found no Bev, and so off to buy some worm tablets and a sprayer for Mum's orchids.

Got Bev, and finally home again, and there did little. After a while, decided to wash the car—traffic film builds up quickly even here. Graham was prepared to help, I think, but it is difficult when there are not enough washing things. Took him back home, then home and did various mini-errands for Mum, and home again and they came too after a while. Collected Graham again, and they off to Jacky's—I wanted to go and see Lokman, but Mum would not let me. Wrote (or rather, finished) a letter to Sandy Schaedel.

Wednesday, 18 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Oh, doing all this work for Mum gets on my nerves from time to time—I sometimes wish I were unattainable, or something, in times of need. Why can't she learn how to say no? Anyway, this morning she dragged me out of bed at some totally unsuitable early hour, and said that my services were required over at the office, and so up, had breakfast, etc, and then over to the office—Mum and Bev had preceded me by about 10 minutes in the Mini—and up to see what I could do. Was given some letters to stamp, and was then required to take Ramli down town to dispatch some letters. While waiting for him, wrote a letter of apology to Mrs. Baudouy, and then off. Posted at the same time the other letters which I noticed, included the card to Sandy which I had hoped would be posted yesterday. Hope it get there on time.

Spent some time doing this dispatch work—Ramli is terribly slow, why I know not. Back to the office at the same time as Mum, who was doing some dictation out. [sic] Sat round the office for the rest of the morning, and did little—this is what really gets me: this total waste of time.

After a long while, finally managed to persuade Mum to let us go home—out was out of the question—and there started to reply to a letter I got from Jennie yesterday morning, and I cannot help feeling that I am a bit of a heel for not writing to her so often—I seem to have addicted her to me, or at any rate my letters.

After a long time (though not as long as I expected: uncertainty constant = 2), ...

In other words, she only took twice as long as she had said. My rule of thumb was 3 times as long.

... Mum came home, and we had makan after a fashion. Wanted to go out to the pool, but not much happiness from Mum's point of view, and so decided to stay at home and do some [photographic] printing instead. Alas. My plans were doomed. First Graham rang up, and I had to go out to Kenny Hill to pick him up. Then, when I finally got back fro there, Rose Voon rang up and asked me to come up to the Golf club, and I managed to get Mum's permission to go up there with her.

This would have been the Rose whose surname I previously thought was Yong.

The Golf club was pretty dead, as it always is, and I managed without much difficulty to persuade her to come home, where I quickly decided that the atmosphere was not very conducive to romance—until Graham and Bev went out, when I got somewhere. She was rather bewildered when I kissed her.

Took her home after that, and stayed there a while, but soon other commitments required me to leave, and took Graham home and Bev to the dressmakers. Then home, and did little—unpleasant thought on the horizon: Mum wants to rope Graham in to do some work for her. What a lowdown, dirty trick!

Took Munah home, at Mum's request, and then had makan at Jalan Campbell, after which I went to see Ahmad. He is now working at Maxwell School, where also is Lokman.

Thursday, 19 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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As a result of a determined effort to catch up on my sleep, I managed to stay asleep in bed this morning nearly until the afternoon, and then was woken by Bev entering with Graham to see what I was doing, or in other manner to disturb my sleep. Whatever the exact cause of their entry (I was too tired to discover it), I did not get back to sleep, and lay away contemplating life, Rose, and other such things, until 1200 hrs, when it occurred to me that I was serving little useful purpose here, and so up and had a shower. Came out to find Bev intent on finishing the film in her camera, and so dragged out the sync cord to my electronic flash, and fitted this for her, and set the whole mess up on a 3pod, and rattled off a few exposures. She had said something about having taken a hell of a lot, and I got enquiring and discovered that the the thing had not been fixed correctly to the takeup spool, and so took the whole lot out, and prepared to start again with my Pentax. They, however, quickly became otherwise occupied, and I discovered a dirty great dent in the top plate of my Pentax, and rang up O'Connors [?] to see what they could do about it. Wanted to see it first.

After lunch, and a verbal thrashing from Mum into the bargain, off to drop Bev at the Supermarket, and then over to O'Connors, where the bloke confirmed that beating it out would spoil the appearance even further, so would order a new top plate, for about $15—but would take about 2 months—and then tried to sell me his f/1,9 Super-Takumar 8,5 cm, for which, unfortunately, he wanted too much.

After that, back, and picked up Bev, and then round the Batu Road area, and did a few errands there, mainly concerned with timepieces, and saw Vincent Josef, who is still about, and has left school now, but does not seem to be doing much. Took him up to the Odeon.

Back home, and rang up Mum, and she called me over to the office to dispose of an Adler typewriter, but changed her mind when I got over there. There is a hell of a crisis arisen over the paper shortage, ad as a result no printing could proceed, so Stephen was let off, and Mum was in a terrible despair.

Home, and started washing the innards of the car, and Mum soon called up to say that she would want us tonight after all, and the, after a while, rang me, and I and I [sic, I think] would help when I could, but had to go to a deutſch lesson 1830-2000 hrs. That eventually came to pass, and I did almost 600 impressions before the lesson, then makan, then about another 6000. I am astounded at how well they outcame.

Friday, 20 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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By Mum this morning early ywoken, and promptly up, bolted down a breakfast, which, owing to Eileen's sluggish reactions, I had to make myself, and out, still eating, to Kenny Hill, where I picked up Graham. Weather was lousy—rain etc—and that, coupled with the rush hour traffic, caused it to take me 25 minutes to get to Graham's house.

Straight back to the office, and got down to stapling newsletters ad 0850, and wen pretty flat out. It soon became evident that my estimate of 100 copies an hour was very conservative, and I, for one, reckon on a rate of 240 per hour or 4 per minute, for a 6 page letter. We had Bev, Graham, Ramli, Anna, Munah, and myself going, so it was not surprising that it did not take us long—in fact, had we all stapling machines, it ought only have taken us an hour, but in fact it took us two.

After that, there was the question of taking a typewriter to the owners—it had been borrowed for the Tanni [spelling?] Hunting job, making, with 2 others, a total of 4 Adler typewriters.

After that, Bev, Graham and I to the A & W in the AIA building for 11ses, and thence home.

At home, did little—I feel rather more sympathetic towards Paul [Hallett] of late, being rather left out of affairs, and feel like little more than a taxi-driver. Finished off my letter to Jennie—7 pages—and shortly after that, Mum home for lunch.

After lunch, Bev and Graham had a few things to do in town, and so took them down (eternal taxi-driver!) and dropped Graham, then Bev, and to Medan Pasar, where I bought an AP (published a week after I left England) and a comb—I am losing these at a hell of a rate. Then back to pick them up, and to the Cathay, where I was supposed to meet Rose to see “Fantastic Voyage”, but she was very late—in fact, she damn nearly came too late. Of course, they all have their excuses, but they came to little avail. She is, unfortunately, somewhat frigid, which is scarcely surprising considering her background—though she started off no worse off than Jennie Hallett, who must yet claim my 1st attention.

The flick was very good, though, I fear, not as good as would I have hoped. The whole idea of shrinking people up is so completely unlikely that it spoils it all.

Took Rose round the corner to her aunt's house after that—I wonder if it is worth carrying on seeing her if she does not improve somewhat—and then took Bev down to High Street, after which home, to discover Mum had not posted my letter to Jennie. Accordingly down town, and posted it myself. Home, had tea, after which cancelled an appointment to see Ahmad in some concert, and hung around doing little in the evening. Late, however, to bed.

Saturday, 21 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Accursed be Bev, in that she woke me this morning at approximately 1000hrs, saying something about an urgent visit to the dressmaker, and requiring transport from me. Being the good-natured bloke that I usually am (in other words, to avoid some lengthy argument that would in any case deprive me of my sleep), I got up, dressed, and into the car, followed closely in this last step by Bev, and down to Mun Loongs in Jalan Bandar, apparently for the purpose of buying some material. Picked Bev up after her verified [?] time expired, while she complained that I had taken too long—what the hell. She is lucky I took her at all. To the dressmakers, and a similar messup, after which I had to take her to the Lake Club. I have had all this rubbish. I wonder how Bev would take to finding her own transport.

Stayed at the Lake Club for a while reading magazines, after which down to the Dog, where I established contact with Mum to ascertain my freedom, and Graham, to find out what he had wanted of me earlier this morning. This call ended up in a drive to Kenny Hill to pick him up, after which back to the Dog to have breakfast. It has occurred to me that Graham has not all that much character—I suppose, for all his failings, one of the best friends I have ever had is Paul Hallett. There are times, such, possibly, as today, when this country gets me down.

After this food, home, followed closely by Bev and Mum, and Bev and I have makan, of which operation (or rather the use of chopsticks) I got Graham to take some photographs for Jennie's benefit. Jennie, Jennie, how I miss you! Oh, just to back in England, despite its any drawbacks, just for Jennie's sake.

After makan, having little interest in what Graham was doing with Bev, established contact with Mum, and as a result over to see Lokman, and tell him of the changes in plans, while he tried to tell me the same thing. This change ended up in our firm decision to build a small, 1 valve regenerative receiver with amplifier (ECC 81), which could by increasing regeneration beyond the oscillation point, be used to transmit a signal.

Accordingly packed into the car and to the AIA building car park, where we left the car, and to Vanguard, where we spent about an hour involved in the purchase of components, and then back to Lokman's house, where we started sticking things onto the P.C. board, and got in the order of half-way by the time I got tired of the proceedings, and home for tea, where was apart from the ever-present Graham, Eugene Phoa, with whom I had a bit of a conversation.

After that, preparing to go to Jacky's, where I made no progress whatsoever. I have decided that place is just not worth going to, as there are never any worthwhile females about, and it is not worth taking your own, as there are better things to do with them.

Sunday, 22 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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I am getting heartily sick of taking Rahmad's [ex-driver] place. At least he manged to get payed pretty well or it—but I: not a sausage, or anything else of even such little value as that (unless it be the permission to use the thing myself). But this morning, recovering as I was from embedding at 0200hrs this morning, I was in no mood to get up and take Eileen to the market at 1000hrs, especially with Bev bossing me around as she was—she damn nearly told me not to have any breakfast. And she expects me to take her about when she feels like it, too. Thank God she goes back to school in a week.

Managed, despite Bev, to get some breakfast—Eileen did not seem too happy about it, either. What the hell—who is the servant around here, anyway—and to confirm my suspicions, who gets paid for it?

To the Dog, while I was waiting for Eileen, and had some coffee. Magazines of late seem less interesting than they used to be. Back to pick up Eileen and home, followed immediately by Mum, and Graham was there too. Off to Lokman's house, and on with the transceiver, and finished after a while, and after solving more or less a few problems, the printed circuit board. I am now all for mounting the thing on the chassis of his old radio, and this will require, to a great extent, the stripping of the same—though I intend to leave the power supply intact if at all possible. Had mee goreng as well for makan, while talking to old Mohd. Noor [in fact, Mohammed Noh] about Europe—he was rather surprised they did not cook with coconut oil.

Home after that, and in plenty of time for makan here, which was also chinese [sic], and Graham still about. That bloke is vaguely getting on my nerves. Quote of the week, while looking at an advertisement in Asia Magazine, “Hey Greg, what's this camera like?”. On looking—Asahi Pentax Spotmatic [same as my camera]. I suppose they must look all the same to an inexperienced eye.

Retired eventually to my room to be alone with my thoughts, and ended up trying yest again to fix up the steering wheel housing of the car, and back this time with Araldite—Bostik is absolutely useless. Then lay down on my bed, and out like a photoflood.

Woken up by Graham tramping in and out of my room at about 1700hrs, and so out to see what was up with the clock in the car, but it was rather inaccessible. The mpg I am doing seems to be going up—I don't know why, for I am not consciously easing on my fuel-consuming hobby—unless it be trying to accelerate at 800 r.p.m. At the moment we are up to 25,6 mpg [about 11.0 l/100 km, not too bad round town].

Took Bev and Graham down to Jacky's to get a record, then back home, and wrote a letter to Liliane, whom I must not altogether neglect. She may be back before Easter, which is very early this year—good!

Monday, 23 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Mum in round 0805 this morning, and reminded me that today was that day when the Citroën had to go into dock for looking at the tappets. Up in remarkably quick time considering that there was no mad rush, and had breakfast, and down to Yuens. Just turning into Yuen's when a taxi decided to move off from the kerb without a signal, and so straight into my nearside doors. Checked with Mum, and was going to report the matter to the police, but the bloke did not like this much, and so suggested that perhaps I would not bother, if he got the thing fixed up at his expense. OK by me, and so down to a little grotty place in Jalan Kolam Ayer opposite Vincent Josef's house, and left the door there for panel beating. Then took the car to Yuens to go into dock, and back by taxi to the office. There was requested to take Swoopy to the vet—he had got himself involved in a fight last night, and subsequently required 3 stitches, to be removed in a week, and plenty of pills.

At home, Bev wanted to go down town, and so took her to the Dog for a bite to eat, and then home, where Graham was, and took a couple of letters to Datin Rajasooria before picking Bev up. Then to the Supermarket and finally home just about in time to pick a not-very-good-tempered Mum up.

In the afternoon, my presence was required in the office to see Sam [spelling?] who was going to show me (I seem tho have heard this before) how to operate the offset, and so over and started writing a couple of letters to Grandma, and subsequently Paul Hallett, though I was interrupted in this a couple of times—first to make a photocopy, and second to take Bev and Graham to the flicks—Bev certainly has an easy time of it.

I was about half way through my letter to Paul, the time being in the order of 1600 hrs, when Sam finally arrived and asked me what was wrong with the machine, and proceeded to show me why, and had a quite enlightening chat with him. However, his time of stay was limited, and he had to be off by about 1640. This was just as well for me, as I wanted to collect the car, and I was hardly helped by Mrs. Butterworth, who was trying to translate some letter in French—why does Mum offer a translation service?

Eventually picked up the car, and I can see little difference in the performance thereof, though the minor things I wanted fixed are now OK. Then down to JKA, where they replaced the doors and finished off today's cementing, and told me to bring it back any time tomorrow that was convenient. Looks like I will end up with the car looking better than before, with the other scratches, etc., being fixed up as well.

Graham and father over for makan—would have been more fun had it been less formal. Mum proud of me—wow!

Tuesday, 24 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Oh, God, how I hate work! I am convinced that the hard, industrious way to the top is just not for me. What was that Jennie said was written under my birthday in her birthday book? “The heights by great men gained and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the night”. I suppose it must be almost some kind of warning. Still, after all, I do work... but I just wish I didn't have to.

Mum in early this morning (well—0830hrs) to tell me that I was to get up immediately and go to the office. Eileen in at 0845 and woke me up again, so eventually over. Nothing to do, of course, so contacted Sam at Gestetners, and arranged to collect Stephen, but first over to JKA and there had a bit more cementing done, including a scratch made while I was parking there. Then to Yuens, complained about the engine, and he said something about the electrical system, decokes, etc—sounds awful. Addressed the timing: little effect.

Then picked up Stephen, and over to the office, where, in his usual fashion, he messed around, telling me all his bullshit, and then tried to run off a plate, and ruined it by not applying enough water. Sent him off, and started on the new master myself, and ran off a total of 295 copies before it started cracking, and despite all we could do, the mark would not come off. Accordingly left it, and home for lunch, where we discovered no Graham, rather to our surprise.

After lunch, back again, and absolutely ruined the master in one way or another. Then got Anna to do yet another, and ruined that (slip of hand on control lever) before we had a chance to run off any copies. Anna is getting quite proficient at this, not to mention blasée.

The 4th master had to wait a while, since Mum did not want to start printing until there was enough paper to finish the thing on. As a result, ordered some more paper and sat around looking at my 'A' level certificate which had arrived, and cleaning out the photocopying machine—Mum nearly had a breakdown over that.

Paper arrived, and started printing again, and after a couple of hundred copies, the same fault—cracking of the surface of the plate—occurred, and we tried to pre-print a plate, again to little avail: the thing was too long, and we could not get it printed far enough down.

Home and tried to shake all these thoughts off. Graham was there, and he and Bev up to the usual. It is not so interesting when you are a spectator.

Bev and Graham out at Jackies [sic] gathering rosebuds while they might, while I got myself up to date printing photos, and also wrote to Paul Hallett. 0210 to bed.

Wednesday, 25 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Managed to get a bit more sleep this morning, which was fortunate in view of the circumstances. Bev in eventually, however, with something about it being Eileen's day off. Eventually decided to get up rather than argue, and in to have a shower in order to get rid of all the grot I forgot to wash off lat night—Eileen in while I was trying to get dressed—I have had the female occupants of this household. Settling down, drinking my coffee following my breakfast when brought Bev in a letter from the Halletts, though, as addressed by Jennie, I thought it was all from her. It appeared that the christmas [sic] parcel had finally arrived, and all were absolutely delighted with their presents—I am, for once, pleased thereat.

However, I did not really get very far, because Bev had a pressing appointment at the Lake Club, and could not wait. Took her there, and back to the office, and before long she rang up to say that she wanted to go home again. As, however, I was in the middle of a continuation of my letter to Paul, and waiting for Anna to give me another master to run off, I did not go. Eventually more tali merah at the office, while I decided that Gestetner could run the rest off for us.

Home for lunch, and pizza, which, apparently, Graham did not like much, and so all the more for us. Meanwhile, (Mum came back some time after me) I had finished (again!) the letter to Paul, and started on one to Jennie, in which I was in the middle of describing the different materials used in batek making

After lunch, to Gestetners, where they were not immediately able to run it off, so down to have the final coat of cement applied to the car, and got them to do the front left wing as well—it was badly corroded by spots of battery acid.

Back to Gestetners, where they showed me how to save a cracked paper plate, and tried to run off that form on the whole manifold—the carnage was just as bad as in the 200 machine, but they were trying to run it off a lot faster than we were.

Eventually, got what we thought would be enough, and back, through the rain, floods, etc., to the office, where Mum got me to count them out, and then came out and did the same herself, and eventually, after swearing at me only the slightest, came out with the idea of sending it by rail freight tonight, and proceeded, at a snail's pace, to pack it up, address it, and then sent me down to the station to post it, giving me about 10 minutes for “tea” at the Dog before I had to go out to the airport to pick up Dad, who brought 3 tape recorders through the customs—I can't remember whether we now 6, 7 or 8 tape recorders in the family.

Bev, and separately Mum and Dad, out in the evening, and I supposedly to Jackie's with Bev, but did a club crawl instead also visiting Lokman. The singer at Jackies, Am, is apparently rather keen on Bev.

Thursday, 26 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Bev's birthday

I didn't mention it here, but today I gave Bev a birthday card with the text

“I wanted to wish you something special for your birthday, so when I met a Spanish person, I asked him how to say ‘Happy birthday' in Spanish. He said: ‘¡Tu estás pisando mi pie!’.

Unfortunately, I later discovered this means ‘You are standing on my foot’”

I later referred to it on 15 November 1967

Slept in well this morning—in fact, despite a rather later night than usual, I managed to get, I suppose, 12 hrs sleep, which must certainly be the longest sleep I have had for a long, long time. In fact, I find it difficult to remember how long it has been since I last had such a sleep. Suffice it to say, however, that I staggered, quite rested, out of bed at about 1230hrs, and asked Bev if there were any mail, and of course, there was not. I had had rather a nice dream about Liliane in the night—it recurred several times. I wonder if there is any reason therefor.

Then Bev said something about taking a passport photo and so I got her to drag out her camera, and put the Pan F in it, and endeavoured to wind on, but after about 6 frames it stopped winding. Eventually decided that something must be wrong therewith, and started examining the mechanism. After a while, during which Dad came home from the office, I decided that the sprockets were not engaging correctly, and remedied this after a bit longer.

Then had makan, the usual fare, in the middle of which enter Graham, and then had coffee, while Graham had a severe case of cold feet about whether or not to give Bev a card that he had bought for her, and eventually I managed to persuade him to. Then he tried, with about a dozen different instruments of writing, various handwritings until, presumably, he found one that was suitable. I left him for a while to say hello to Ahmad, who had rung up, and the next thing I knew, the card was by the TV, and Graham was sitting on Bev's knee—the two just don't have a clue. I suppose Bev must eventually have read the thing, though I did not see her.

After that, continuing my letter to Jennie, and have decided to get Bev to post it in London on Sunday, to save both time and money.

After that, almost exactly at the calculated time, Mum returned and eventually down town to do a couple of things, and I off in the Citroën to see if we could get repaired the motor of the tape recorder which Dad had brought back from Kuching. They could not really tell me anything about it, but said they would have an estimate on Saturday. The thing is a bit of a mess, admittedly, but that should not stop it from functioning.

The “calculated time” wasn't the time my mother quoted. She was chronically late, and in the course of time I came to the conclusion that it was better to multiply any time duration she quoted by a “fudge factor”, usually 3. I was referring to this calculated time.

Then home again, and cleaned the car a bit, and over to the office to pick up Dad, and oscillated between there and the house, ending, eventually, at the latter place. Soon after that returned Bev and Graham, and Mum, and we had a sort of tea/birthday party, and gave Bev all her presents—she is rather taken with her little National tape recorder, which is, admittedly, quite good, especially for only $108.

Out to the Lake Club in the evening, and took Bev and Graham to Jackie's after that—I was bored.

Friday, 27 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Another late morning today—the first is pleasant, but the second irritating, especially if, as this morning, I had intended to do something earlier on. Today I was due to take the car in for reducoing at 0900 hrs, but I did not wake up until at least 1100 hrs. Mercifully Graham was not here—I am, I fear, getting a little sick of the continual presence of the bloke.

Up, and Bev said something about going town to Eastern Photographers to get her passport photos, and so contacted Mum, who blew me up for not waking up any earlier, and so on. Eventually got cleaned up, and down town to get the photos, and then back. As I had expected, they were lousy—in fact, so lousy that Mum kicked up a fuss, and nearly sent them back. Down, however, to the High Commission, and there Bev was just in time to find Carmel, and got, of course, the OK on the photos. Then dropped Bev at the office, and after clearing it with God Mum, off to JKA to put the car in for reducoing. Then back home by taxi, and, I noted to my amusement, arrived home before Mum and Dad, who were due to leave the office “5 minutes” after me.

After makan, decided to continue my letter to Jennie, and so did this, and got down to the bottom of the 4th page before paper ran out, only just in advance of my subject matter. However, I was feeling also a bit tired, and so left it, and prepared myself to sit about for a while—not for long, however. I decided to see if the telephone adapter for the Sony tape recorder would fit Bev's National, and just as I was getting it all set up, enter Bev, steaming with rage, frustration and other such unpleasant emotions, because of what Carmel had told her. Eventually got the phone tapping thing set up, and recorded a call between Bev and Mum, and then rang up Carmel and asked her what was going on, and got very short shrift from her, and so over to see what was going on, and she swore at me, said I was terribly rude, etc, and said she was going to tell Mum on me. Mum believed her, I think, though seemed disinclined to do anything thereabout.

Out to the duco shop to see how the Citroën was progressing, and they had still quite a bit to do, but eventually decided to give it a final spray, and let me bring it back in the morning to finish the surface. Home, and Bev was just playing back the (rather lousy) tape of my conversation with Carmel, which, after we fed it through the Sony, Mum heard, and for once agreed with me that I was in the right—it is fantastic what a bit of evidence will do.

Little in the evening—over to the office, and finished my letter to Jennie. Back at home again, recorded Bev on the piano, for Mum's sake.

Saturday, 28 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Eileen in, I suppose, at about 0705 his morning, and I, as usual, just rolled over and forgot about it, and was woken by Dad about 5 minutes later. Up, in to check that Bev also was, and then back in and drank Dad's tea, and got Eileen to make up some makan, and in to get dressed.

Eventually things began to sort themselves out, and I dropped Dad, who, to my annoyance, extracted a promise not to exceed 70 mph at the office, and then on to the airport, and in the process overtook Graham and his father in their Impala, and got there quite a while before them, despite the English-style speed limits, and they were pretty quick, as the flight was called very early. Accordingly said goodbye, and back in the car again. Home, dropping first at the radio shop to see how the tape recorder was getting on—not very well—and then to the office, where Dad was happy to remain. At home, rang Dad, who wanted me to go to Ubaidulla's, and check about space for the car, and the blokes have apparently written to us to tell us that the space was reserved.

To the office, and there did little—the letter from Ubaidulla's was there—and home for coffee, after which had to take Bev round town. Saw Sonny while we were there in the Mini—I have never seen such a surprised look on anybodies' [sic] face.

Sonny is Sonny Rajah, who at the time was one of the better-known Malaysian racing drivers. He drove a Mini-Cooper S, and I was continually trying to convince him of the superiority of the Citroëns.

Over to pick up the Citroën—I had left it there after coming back from the airport—and I must confess, it looks pretty good now. All that looks a little off is the negative image of the “F” sticker that was on the boot. One of these days, that will get knocked in, and that will be that.

After lunch, for which Mum and Dad were very late—in fact, we went to the Supermarkets while we were waiting—Bev wanted to go and see Am, the Pop singer from Jackies', who is rather keen on her, and did not want Mum and Dad to find out about it all—I can quite understand: Mum especially is very prejudiced when it comes to colour bars, etc—a trait which I find unforgiveable [sic] in one such as her. Anyway, said we were going to see Daljet and that lot, and left her with him at the Cathay, and off to Eastern Photographers to buy some Promicrol, and while I was at it, was given some negatives to print, and so had them on that I could them better than they could—should be worth a try, anyway.

This may be a little unfair on my mother. After all, “Daljet and that lot” are Sikhs, and she never had any objections to them, though I was keen on Daljet and Devi. Am was a Malay Mick Jagger-lookalike, and there could have been many non-colour-related reasons for her to object to him.

After that, and messing around in Jalan Bandar over to say a quick good bye (or Bev did, at any rate) to Daljet, Rani, and Jun, and then home.

There had tea, and then preparing to go to the airport, and the usual things: Mum getting irritable, etc—her back, was, admittedly, troubling her—and so on. Eventually got to the airport, and Bev had just started to board when the thing was delayed 30 minutes—eventually off, and then had a drink in the Qantas VIP room, and rather late home. Delay was something to do with a pressurisation problem.

Sunday, 29 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Slept in again today—what the hell: it is Sunday, and tomorrow I go back to work, and with little hope of a break. Still, consolation lies in the thought that I would not have much else to do, anyway—though I should like to get a move on with the transceiver that Lokman and I are building.

Heard the car leaving just before I got up this morning, and it proved to be Mum—why she went in the Citroën, I know not. When I finally got up, Dad told me that she had gone off to see Mr. Westra, who had just come out of the Lady Templar hospital for something or another.

Hung about doing not much for much of the morning, and Dad was rather busy—in fact, by normal standards, flat out with some job going on in Alor Star, and at one stage asked me to come over to the office to do some plan printing, and over there, where he messed around at length with the machine, to little avail. Home again to see what was left of the Citroën. 3 dogs can do a hell of a lot of damage to the interior of the car: Swoopy had chewed through one of the seat belts, how I cannot imagine. Also they had dragged up the front carpet, shoved muck [?] everywhere, and scratched much of the duco off the inside of the car. In 3 miles, Mum had caused as much damage as had I in 1000 over.

Had makan, after which took the seat covers off the car, and washed them. The safety belt is still a problem, of course, but I can see little hope of a quick solution to that. I had expected that Mum would not object to having one one the things taken from her car, as she never used them, but she did, which I considered a very dog-in-the-mangerish attitude. Wile I was at it, I also changed one of the back lights of the Citroën, which had failed—there is, apparently, a spare on each side. Had a talk with the girl/woman (latter is not too complementary, the former not too accurate) next door, and it seems she knows Anna Ruszkowska—could prove helpful if followed up.

After hanging the seat covers up to dry, into my room, and lay down on my bed with intent to daydream, but got carried away and ended up dreaming instead.

Eventually entered Dad, and tickled my feet—an infuriating way to wake a bloke up, I reckon—and told me that tea was ready. Out, and was given about 5 minutes to gulp what I could down, before we set out for the plot of land down Old Waterworks road, and in the pouring rain and Mini. My bad mood was not helped along, but I had vaguely resigned myself to it ll by the time we got back.

In the evening, did a little photography—prints for the bloke at Eastern Photographers, and some unsuccessful Kodalith, and then some slide copying. Late as ever to bed.

Monday, 30 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Up at around the crack of dawn this morning, though really it was no earlier than 0750, and Dad was muttering something about being late into the office. As it was, we both had to wait for Mum, who, for some reason, had decided to accompany us in the Citroën instead of, as is more usual, going in her own car.

Up after to the office to find Dad still busy with the plan printing machine, and swearing his head off thereat. I don't know what Ramli must have been thinking. Rang up AIM, who said they had given the agency up to General Scientific, who said that they would not service machines sold by AIM. It eventuated that both their men were out, anyway. Suggested Dad oiled the bearings, and he did that, and we had little trouble after that, and shoved hundreds of plans therethrough.

Off to pick up Eileen and take her to the hospital, and while I was waiting, I collected the seat covers and put the front ones on. Then took her to the hospital, after which back to the office.

Thence to Borneo Motors after putting the back seat covers on, and it eventuated that BMC did not make spare safety belts parts, and that we would have to buy a whole new set. Back to tell Mum, and she agreed rather quickly—I was quite surprised.

After that, home for lunch, but first I had to take Phyllis Cummings, who had been about in the office, home, and all the way out to Ulu Klang—will not be so bad, I suppose, when we are out that way ourselves. Home, and the the Route Information from the AA had arrived, though without maps—not that they were all that necessary, for they were meticulous in detail. They seem to name every little village on the whole 12000 mile route that they have chosen for use (though I reckon our total mileage will be more like 15000)

Off to the office, and nothing to do. Home after a while, zu Fuß, to get Mum's car for her, and then back, and started looking through the folder of grot in the gloves box of the Citroën, and filed nearly all of it, as it was mainly relevant to the purchase of the car—there is a hell of a difference between $6414 and $11600—no wonder Dad bought it in France—works out at about £750 Sterling.

Down to Donald Moore's—saw a “Which” report on the Citroën ID 19, which made all sorts of unfair accusations—I wonder if this is the English model, which, to judge from reports, is not as good as the French.

After that, to the Supermarket, then home, and, while looking through the route information, was interrupted by Mum and Dad coming home for a quick tea before taking Dad out to the airport, and then home again for makan, and little more, as both Mum and I were exhausted, and consequently got to bed early.

Tuesday, 31 January 1967 Kuala Lumpur
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Well, we are now pretty well back to routine, and it looks as if I will not be quite as flat out as had I envisaged. Mum in at about 0850 this morning with a cup of tea (well - I did not complain), and I took my time about the whole affair, as Mum had not told me of any urgent rush - presumably had there been any, I would have been one of the first to hear about it.

Eventually over to the offices, and upstairs, where Lim (of Penang/Kuching offices, though now I hear he is going to start up in Singapore) was there, and so was his wife - they were apparently en route to Penang by car. Dad rang up while we were there and wanted his car keys, so had to go back and get them, and also (good timing) a separate journey home for a cable from Bev, just after I had spent some time on the phne with Qantas trying to find out whether the plane had arrived on time - they had no means of knowing.

After that, had to go down town, to pay the Nainas account, and to post Dad's keys and buy some stamps. In the post office my pen came apart, diffusing ink all over my white shirt - looks like the end of that.

Home, and then back again to the office. There was a solid traffic jam down that part of Jalan Ampang, caused by a repair at Jln. Campbell - nuisance: had to leave the car at the Merlin.

After makan, took Eileen to the hospital again - she has been doing well with that place - and then back to the office, where Mum gave me a couple of things to do for her, and first posted some letters, and then out to the Ministry of Drainage and Irrawaddy [sic] to see Ricky Sodhy, and give him some books, and had quite a conversation before he had to get down to work, and I down to collect the tape recorder from Law Choo Ghin, and to Kee Huat to pay a bill, after it took me a good ¾ hour to finally get hold of the BMC safety belt that I was looking for and when I did, they wanted $80.65 for it, instead of the $48.00 I paid for it last time. Went up the wall and told everybody concerned what I thought of the whole affair, and then off to discuss the matter with Mum, and we decided that we would take the passenger belt off her car, and use that.

Then off to Yuen's, to see how long they would take to fix up the car - they reckon that if I put it in tomorrow, it should be ready by Thursday or Friday morning.

In the evening, to see “Male companion”, which was wonderful, and one film that I will probably see again, if I get the chance.

Nothing after that - watched TV for a change.

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