1968: WEEK 11
Monday, 11 March
Discussed the hangings in Current Events. Although Rhodesia has declared independence many people think it still has a duty to the Queen and mother-country and because we've abolished capital punishment, they ought to too. What I think is, capital punishment should be abolished everywhere.
Went shopping with Chump after school. She got some fab shoes from Elliotts - 4 and a half guineas. First we tried in Dolcis - honestly, the service! The frump in Dolcis didn't look at us while she was speaking, while the girl in Elliotts was absolutely sweet - she smiled all the time and even called Chump 'love'. What a difference service makes! Some people spend their lives being frowsy.
My skirt has come for the Cruise. It's a perfect green - I look quite good in school uniform.
I wish Camille would write.
Tuesday, 12 March
Wore green corduroy skirt, beige jumper and Indian scarf.
Everyone is talking about the Cruise! This time next week I'll be lounging in a gondola.
Parents had such a stupid argument in the evening, but I thought it was almost entirely Mummy's fault. Just because he was going on about whether to have a Mercedes sports car or not she got furious with him and finally said, "oh, have your damn sports car if you want it." It's jolly nice of him to consult her at all, and although I think two Mercs is a bit much, there's no reason why he should think that too. She was sulky for the rest of the evening.
Ma has finished knitting my red woolly hood - it's super! Now I can have it for the cruise as well as for skiing.
Wednesday, 13 March
Chumpy has got German Measles. Because of that I had the most foul day. First Mummy says if I get it it won't matter for the Cruise as it's so mild anyway, then I'm told at school I won't be able to go if I have it, then I'm told I can go but I won't be allowed onshore. I've decided if I get it I'll stay at home and pretend I've got a cold (the rash only lasts one day, thank God) and if I get it on the Cruise, well, it's too late anyway. But, oh gosh, I was so petrified at the thought of not even being able to go I burst into tears.
Anya too is in quarantine, because of Anna Maria of course. And Martha is so feeble, whenever she comes near Anya she holds her handkerchief over her face. If I wasn't going on the Cruise I'd want to get it, and have it all over with. Anyway, it kept Martha away from us at lunch.
Had a foul play rehearsal at break. Christ in a ghastly mood and I acted badly.
Kept away from Chump at home.
Thursday, 14 March
Still no letter from Camille. He should have got my letter three weeks ago.
Tig is staggered I'm going to be one of the dormitory prefects. She thinks of me as a scatter-brain! I think with Anya I am.
After lunch us four went down to town. Anya told me all about Emmanuel. He's coming to England soon but although she wants to see him again she's worried he may pester her. I didn't realise, she didn't meet him till the last evening skiing. He came over to their table and asked her to dance, then she went over to his table and was the only girl among ten French snazzies!! He does sound a snazz - he was wearing high-waisted trousers and a mini pull.
At 4.30 we left in the coach for Kingston, where we saw The Gospel of St Matthew. It was a lovely, peaceful sort of film, but in Italian with sub-titles. Jesus was a successful character of "dignity and peace" (to quote Owl's words) and Mary, when she was young, looked identical - perhaps they were brother and sister. The bit where he was nailed to the cross was ghastly, how were people so cruel? Are they less cruel now?
I'm sure my glands are swollen, or are going to get swollen. I'm worried I'll get the rash the day we leave.
Friday, 15 March
We got rather giggly at lunch exchanging corny Tony Blackburn jokes, e.g. "it must be great to be James Bond and have all that 'savour faire' - all I've got is me bus-fare!" Then Anya showed me the leaflet on Ischgl and we a hilarious time. She told me about Klaus. Every so often he suddenly stood still and mumbled to himself in German, and once he suddenly turned round in the queue and said, "my mother is crank." Everybody burst into laughter, until they realised - 'crank' was 'krank'!!!
Mummy encouraged me a lot tonight, saying it's nearly always children who get German Measles. I do feel a bit itchy though.
Saw a programme on Millfield School, the most expensive in Britain (£1000 a year!). But it's good because very poor people can go there with a grant, as long as they show a particular ability. What I thought was ridiculous though - if a boy wants to take a girl out it all has to be written down. It's so feeble - right out of the C19th.
Saturday, 16 March
What fantastic weather today.
At long last - a letter from Camille. Twelve pages, all on De Gaulle! Honestly, I nearly died. But actually, I'm terribly grateful to him, because it has forced me to find out a whole lot about the Common Market. I got all the information from Ma and Pa, and got pretty het up about De Gaulle myself. I'm sure Camille will violently disagree with every word I said. I told him I'm against D.G. because basically he's a dictator, and he's running a one man show. Well, he is. When D.G. goes, a vacuum will be left, because he hasn't even thought about a successor. And his policy is too nationalistic. A united Europe won't do any good because what we need is a united world, and we'll have to have it sooner or later or we'll all blow up.
We had a picnic lunch under the elm in the middle of the rose garden. I lay down on the bank and looked through the huge branches at the sky - it was so blue! This spot is my favourite in the whole garden.
June and Richard came for tennis, and Suzie and Andrew came up to my room. I love Suzie, but what annoyed me was she suddenly said, "the Rolling Stones ought to be in prison... Gramps says so." Well, I don't think her grandfather, who is a completely different generation anyway, has any right to brainwash her on delicate subjects like this. It makes me so mad.
Supper was absolute heaven. We had meat fondue with the most creamy sauces. Mummy is so marvellous! It makes me long for the Ermitage and Austria again.
Sunday, 17 March
Didn't do a scrap of work all day. Stoke Poges grandparents came for lunch.
I did a trial suitcase pack to see how much everything weighs. The case is 21lb and the overnight bag 7lb so it's worked out marvellously. I've decided instead of wearing an anorak on deck, I'll wear my blazer and cover it up with my plastic mack. I'm still worried about getting German Measles on the day we leave.
Played tennis with Daddy. It's easy as long as you're on the bounce the whole time. If you let yourself relax for one moment all your vitality goes, your legs droop around the court after you, and it's hopeless.
London grandparents came for supper. Nothing to say about them either, except that I love them! One of the presents they gave Chump was a gorgeous Art Nouveau scent bottle.
Saw a marvellous play on TV - Ghosts by Ibsen. About this boy Oswald who inherits his father's venereal disease and, like him, goes mad. The boy can't bear it, he thinks his only hope is Regine the maid, but she turns out to be his half sister so his only hope is gone. Tom Courtenay was Oswald. Besides looking identical to Finkelstein, his acting was FANTASTIC.