1968: WEEK 10

1968: WEEK 10

 "I feel so sorry for Grandpa."   Photo: Rhys Williams

"I feel so sorry for Grandpa."   Photo: Rhys Williams

Monday, 4 March

I feel so sorry for Grandpa. He's so bossed, practically hated, by Grandma. Really, she's not normal! Today she said to Mummy she didn't like the Reids - "they've never been very sociable to us." This practically left me speechless. I mean, if you don't like the Reids, I'm afraid it's impossible to like anybody. 

Wore kilt and green jumper. Martha and Anne had lunch with us in the Unit. Anya chatted mostly to me, and Martha went and sulked. It drives Tig and me up the wall. Lucy and me discussed her as we went down to Epsom. I'm going to talk to Anya about it as soon as I can - I think I've got a perfect right to interfere since it is affecting me and Anya's other friends.

Bought a plastic mack for 35/- in Woolworths. 

Read my Diary and couldn't keep my nose out of it for ages. I was reading about Austria. After reading the whole holiday through, I suddenly seemed to be there. It's quite extraordinary - whatever I heard or smelt, I heard and smelt in Lech! What I so love reading about of course is Dutronc. But how I wish I hadn't made myself so miserable when he asked me out when I could have been so happy. Sometimes I think joy and misery are close. Oh but those lovely little moments when he looked at me or said something fab.

At supper we had a wonderful discussion on Austria, recalling all the little details that we can remember, like the smell inside Filomena's and how that chap at the top of the baby meat-hook was always playing his transistor radio. How I long for Austria! And most of all, Dutronc!

Tuesday, 5 March

Martha had her lunch in the Unit again. It's such cheek. And I can't stand the way she won't admit the reason why. Anya hardly spoke a word to her.

It's so beastly but Kate W has been expelled. It just so happened she was with some friends and they shop-lifted, but she knew nothing about it. And anyway, why should a secondary modern (where they're going) be any better for potential criminals than a grammar school? Obviously the expelling wasn't Miss Lack's idea.

I went home with Tig. We had a super discussion on our youth-hostelling, I'd love to do it again. Tig says even then Martha annoyed her at times. Had a cup of tea when we got to her house and talked about the dogs. Hucky is getting extremely fat! I 'played' on her gorgeous guitar but it's so frustrating not being able to make a tune. Tig can play 'La Poupee Qui Fait Non', which put me into a bit of a swoon. Had supper of cold meats and salads - very nice.

At 7.30 her father took us to the cinema. He's very sweet but belongs to a different generation. Met Anya and the others in the foyer. The first film was like Thunderball - a thriller under water! Actually it was awfully good, all about the tiny sea life that you never hear about. All these foul things pulling creatures apart, even worse than humans. Then Chimes at Midnight began. It was in black and white but extremely hilarious and, at the end, when Henry V pretended never to have known Falstaff, terribly sad.

It was such a good film, but I'm too tired to write in much detail now.

Wednesday, 6 March

Everybody except Rosemary adored the film last night. I must say, I nearly died when Falstaff was on the battle field in full armour and the only one without a horse!!!

Queueing up for dinner Anya actually stayed with us three instead of going further up to join Martha. They even sat at different tables. M kept on giving Anya long stares of  anxiety.

Went over the the Science Block to see Anya and all the other keen scientists studying locusts. They've got this glass box with about five live ones crawling about, it's rather revolting; even worse is a jar of pickled ones. Jackie let me have a look down her microscope at the testis of a locust - big thrill! 

The parents/teachers meeting was tonight. Miss Leopold and Miss Pick said I was very keen etc, but I'm MAD at what Miss Gatley said. "Is Ingrid rather immature?" Just because I asked her in one lesson if Byron was married - OK, we'd talked about his wife the term before, and I'd forgotten - but of course Miss Gatley can't accept such a simple reason so she has to go and analyse me. "Perhaps she finds it hard to realise man and wife relationships." Well, honestly! It's just about enough to make you spit. The trouble is, her mind is so intellectual and has become so complicated it is almost warped. Mummy didn't even like her. 

Oh dear, I'm suddenly petrified about the idea of the Ewell Tech Dance. It's so terribly unlikely I'll meet someone I like. Even if Mark was there it would be hardly likely he'd recognise me, even see me.

Oh Dutronc, I miss you. 

Thursday, 7 March

It just shows how mad Miss Gatley is: she told Lucy's Ma that Lucy always takes part in class discussions! I didn't even look at her in English; I couldn't after knowing what she thinks of me.

Miss Lack told us about getting her CBE on Tuesday. It was terribly interesting, and very funny in parts, but she's pretty pro-royalty. OK the Queen's charming and all the rest of it, but she's not that marvellous. I'd rather all the thousands of pounds spent on Buckingham Palace went out to Vietnam or something. In dinner break she showed us slides of places she's been to: Israel, New York, Russia and Sicily. She was born in China and educated in Australia so she must have been just about everywhere. If I had masses of money that's what I'd spend it on - travel.

Went shopping with Chump after school. In Things I got a gorgeous blouse, very pale beige with pale pink, mauve and orange flowers on it. I'm glad I've got something new for the Cruise. Went to Woolworths and had super fun choosing what make-up to get. Ended up with Baby Doll mascara, a Miners brown stick and best of all, some darkish green eye-liner. We froze waiting for the 80A.

I really am rather scared about the Ewell Tech Dance. 

Friday, 8 March

Heavenly sunshine all day. The effect it has on everyone is marvellous. We lazed on the terrace for the first time ever - it was superbly Austria-ish, but a bit chilly. 

rosebery unit terrace.png

Then Anya suddenly charged up to me and said, "Come and smell!!!" She dragged me off to the Senior Cloakroom and stuffed my nose into an anorak - it smelt of her skiing holiday!!! I must say, smells bring places back staggeringly.

Anya's keen to go skiing again so is going to wash dead bodies after all.

The rest of the day was horrid. When I got home Ma said Gilbert Bécaud at the Albert Hall has been cancelled. I WON'T BE ABLE TO GO. When I first heard the news I just burst into tears, it's so unexpected. I started crying all over again when I told Daddy. He said now I know how he felt about Amsterdam.

Still scared about the Ewell Tech Dance.

Saturday, 9 March

Washed my hair. It came out very well, bit bushy though, and wore my black dress and patent shoes. At 8.15 I left with Ma for Ewell Tech and we picked up Pat on the way.

What shocked me when we first came into the hall was the darkness - I couldn't see a thing. But it didn't seem to matter as I followed Pat, and we found Anya and the others. The group was marvellous even though just five yards in front of them your ears practically burst. We danced like mad and there were tons of other girls without partners. None of the boys asked anyone to dance, so I didn't get stuck with someone foul. Red lights were flashing which was super. I looked out for Mark but never saw him - not surprising with 1,000 people there!

About 9.30 the group went off, and the Bonzo Dogs came on. Super seeing that foul sexy singer again - he was actually miles nicer than I thought! Oh, how can I describe how fab everything was from then on! The thing is, they didn't really play music, they did a comedy show in which music played a part. I've hardly ever laughed so much in my life. There were six in the group, my favourite was this gorgeous Peter Tork chap, he was wearing a butcher's apron and he was HILARIOUS.

Pat and me were so lucky, we were about eight rows from the front. The staggering thing was, who should be sitting ten feet away to my right but MARK GOLDMAN! I first saw him when we all sat down. His sideboards are even longer and he's an utter snazz. He was wearing a thick olive green jumper with a huge polo-neck. But I'm not really so thrilled as I'd think I'd be, because he was with a girl. She had long brown hair and she was wearing a maxi, and she didn't look all that good.

Back to the show - most of the instruments were trumpety things. The Peter Tork chap would play one of those very sexy trumpet sounds, and the singer would stroll up and mumble on about something... and stroll off. I nearly died. Once he said, "and the first prize is, two weeks at Butlins - and the second prize is... three weeks at Butlins"!!! There was a terribly rude song about Princess Anne. Then they had a belching competition, and asked some people in the front row to make their contribution; it was so ridiculous! One of the funniest things of all was a 'head ballet' when all six stood in a row - one of those things I can't describe in words, but perfect timing matters. The lights kept on flashing off and on and then at 10.30 they said they had to go. Everyone shouted "more, more" and we all stood up. I was bubbling over with excitement! I edged my way towards Mark and actually ended up standing next to him! He looked at me but he simply didn't recognise me. In the foyer I saw him again, from a distance.

Felt a tiny bit fed up I hadn't met a fab boy as quite a high proportion were snazzies. But the evening was 100 times better than I'd expected it to be.

Sunday, 10 March

Reading over my Diary I was so miserable at the beginning of last term, and it was mostly on account of friends. But now I don't mind about sitting with the same people at lunch. I wonder why it is. I used to feel almost a thrill when I could talk to new people like Vanessa and Claire, but that feeling's gone. Perhaps it's because I know them quite well now and don't have to struggle for recognition. It's funny asking questions about myself - almost as though my emotions were separated from the rest of me. I really shouldn't need to.

Changed later into black skirt and new blouse. I'm so pleased with the eye-liner - it makes my eyes look quite green. The Raisens had to come to dinner by themselves because the Crabtrees couldn't come. Anyway, I rather enjoyed myself. Mr and Mrs R are both awfully nice. He made his money on the Stock Exchange, and is now about to start in the antique trade. It ought to be gorgeous fun because you travel around visiting old country houses, auctions at Sotheby's, and so on!

After coffee I went up, and Daddy gave me this book with the very first and very last stories of Tolstoy in it. He's absolutely mad on Tolstoy. There was an article on him by Malcolm Muggeridge today and he raves over him too. So I opened the book and once I'd got into the first story, Family Happiness, I couldn't get out of it! Incredibly readable, beautifully written, and utterly sad. All the time I was wishing and wishing it would go right for them, but it never did. If a love that was as strong and as complete as theirs was, can die, is there any hope of adoring anybody for the whole of life?






1968: WEEK 11

1968: WEEK 11

1968: WEEK 9

1968: WEEK 9