1968: WEEK 14
Monday, 1 April
Gibraltar is like a corny English seaside town, and there are Back Britain posters everywhere.
I was very unimpressed with the Rock, but the character of the town came out in the back streets. I wish I'd gone with the other groups, they said the caves were so beautiful they felt like crying. Still, I did do some shopping. I got food for Dad: Manchego cheese and eight delicious red sausages. For Mummy I got a Liberty's scarf - sounds silly but much cheaper than in England and honestly it was the only thing I could find.
Four letters for me when I got back - gorgeous. Two from Ma, one from Pa with thousands of kisses, and one from Anya with Polnareff news: he was on Rosko's Midday Spin!!!
Lunch: we heard the most super comments about our pretend menus. "Coleslaw, what the bloody hell's that?" "What are we getting flipping Rum Baba for?" Then Jill and me sunbathed up on the top deck in our bikinis. I have never been so hot! At two we left Gib, and on came 'Rule Britannia'. Sally and Janice were so sad they cried.
6th form conference was on Jill's question about students rioting with violence, but the Reigate boys got really het up and changed the subject to the war in Viet-Nam. Then we got ready for the Fancy Dress. We were the only dormitory from our school who did it (the others are so deadly) but it really was fun. We had to parade round twice, rather embarrassing. Who should win first and second prizes but Claire and Ruth - Claire was Athena and Ruth the Statue of Liberty! Other winners were Bonny and Clyde, two tall boys! I thought they were marvellous.
Tuesday, 2 April
Went down to the engine room at 9. Very hot and terribly noisy. Above all, huge. We walked down a whole lot of greasy iron steps and past masses of complicated machinery to get there.
After lunch we all lay down on our beds and went to sleep. It was heaven.
6th form conference was 'Any Questions' and Ruth and Sally were on the panel. They weren't too good as they were so nervous. Afterwards Jackie started bossing Jill and me around saying, "you two are always late, it's extremely annoying." Honestly, this cruise has taught me how foul some people are.
Wore black dress, everybody very complimentary (!) and went up to the Dance. Great fun because the ship was rocking as we danced. The 6th form club was a bit depressing: a few people snogging makes you feel left out. I'm longing to get home now. Ma, Pa and Chump are the most marvellous people in the world. Late night supper was spicy fruit cake.
When lights were out we chatted about the Asians and how shocking their wages are - they get £14 a month. They live nine to one tiny cabin and consider themselves lucky. They're treated like animals by half the staff, though they're brilliant workers and ever such nice people.
The ship is now rocking a lot. I couldn't bear it if I get sick.
Wednesday, 3 April
None of us got much sleep because the boat was so rocky. I didn't feel sick until I got up, and then I got steadily worse. I was nearly sick at breakfast, it was hell.
Went to lunch and immediately I entered that ghastly dining-hall I felt grim again. So I went up to the top decks and lay down with Pat and Jill. It was boiling hot and my face caught the sun. Went down to pack. Everyone in a rather mad mood. Then we had the prize-giving. I had to go up and get our Regatta prize - 16 crummy gold notebooks! In his little speech the Captain mentioned his 'birthday' menu!
At five there was the ship's concert. The best bits were Pat Sanderson who sang folk songs to her guitar (she's got the most beautiful voice) and the vicar who sang 'The Parish of Puddle'. I felt fine at dinner, thank God. They played rather sad music probably because it was our last night. At the end, what should come on but 'Happy Together'. I gasped and shut my eyes and thought of Dutronc. It seems an omen that he'll be there skiing.
This weed asked me to dance to Mitch Ryder, who I rather rudely escaped from at the end. Shortbread for late supper; we went back three times and this horrible chap called me a "fat little girl." At the end of the evening we sang Auld Lang Syne and everyone asked for autographs. I had to write one on a sick bag! Then Jon - he's so nice - gave a hilarious speech in a 'Good Old Days' style and toasted the female sex.
Didn't say goodnight to Jeremy. I don't really mind. I seldom think of him anymore.
Thursday, 4 April
Woken up for the last time by: "It is now 7 o'clock and time for all students to get up. Birthdays today are ...... " - followed by 'I Can See the Grass Grow' blaring down our ear drums. It's all a bit like Big Brother in '1984'.
Wandered around after breakfast with Jill and Ruth saying good-bye to all the Asians.
At 10 we disembarked. Had to carry cases all the way to the coach - terribly heavy - and had a marvellous drive back. I've decided there's no countryside more beautiful than the English; it's breathtaking when the sun's shining. Most of the way I helped Lucy with her diary because she's hardly written any of it. Terribly exciting to arrive - I could hardly wait to get out of the coach! Best of all, Ma was waiting!
Stoke grandparents at home when I got back - thrilled to see me. Gave Grandma the Turkish Delight at tea. Walked round the garden; it looks quite beautiful. Fabulous when Daddy came home - he looked superbly well. They opened their presents in the sitting-room. I adored giving them!
Rang up Anya and had a fantastic long chat. I told her exactly what I thought of Martha and she agreed with every word. Top of the Pops was utterly feeble. 'Lady Madonna' (Beatles) No. 1. Otis still No. 5. My new sealskin boots are too big but fabulous.
I feel quite sophisticated at the moment, back home with masses to talk about.
Friday, 5 April
Went into school at 10.15. Everybody was enthralled by the way I was carried off in Venice! No one brought in any Easter eggs except for Pam, but Tree Trunks gave us those 6d ones full of goo. Then had to go to Assembly, dead bore. After the cruise, school seems incredibly petty. I felt today I couldn't care less.
Left after lunch and went shopping with Ma for shoes. In Elliotts I got a pair of Italian beige ones with a bar - fabulous. Washed my hair (it's never turned out so well) and as I was drying it there was an interview with Pol on France Inter!
London grandparents came. Grandma loves my sheepskin jacket, surprisingly. Chump raves over it. Packed, but can't get my anoraks or sealskin boots in.
I don't know what's the matter with me but I feel so frustrated I could scream, scream, scream. It was the same last night. I've got this feeling in my head which makes me want to let out a piercing shriek. Perhaps it's because I've got no cruise sympathiser to reminisce with.
Saturday, 6 April
Wore cords, blue jumper, and cloak. At 8.15 we left with the taxi. Fab weather - we hardly felt like going! Except of course I was dying to see Dutronc.
At London Airport we saw June, Bill and Susie straight away, Susie and Bill with their special pillows again. Got a Swiss Air plane for Zurich. I felt fine the whole way, I don't think my ears even popped. Got a little bus to the station, and had a fabulous lunch: chicken, chips and two patisseries. Pa made me fed up by saying my corduroys are too scruffy. He, Susie and me went for a little walk up the Bahnhofstrasse and saw a man dressed up as an Easter hare.
The train to Langan took four hours. I can't remember what I did, just hoped a lot about Dutronc. The chance he'll come is 40:60 I should say. We got a taxi to Lech, and arrived at Gasthof Post at 7. I was actually shivering with excitement that he might be there. But no pea-green Mercedes outside, and I never saw him the whole evening. All the hope I had is rapidly ebbing away.
Wally here too, which is great. Ate my dinner very half-heartedly. Oh God, I feel like going up to bed and bursting into tears. I might as well resign myself to the fact that I shall have to pull myself together completely if I'm going to enjoy this holiday at all. Later I cried a bit and told Daddy why. He so helps when I'm feeling miserable.
I've given up all hope of seeing Dutronc again.
Sunday, 7 April
Oh heavens, no day could have been more painful than today. Dutronc isn't here. He is the one boy, and the only boy, who has ever felt anything for me while I have felt something for him. Never ever have I known anyone else who I have liked and who has liked me. The biggest mistake I ever made in my whole life was not to go out with him. I can never hope to see him again, or to make up for last year. My heart aches for him.
On top of that I'm 17, and at 17 you can't be really happy unless there's a boy with you. And my hair's looking so good at the moment.
It snowed all day. I wore my new ski pants and anorak. I skied ok. Poor Bill's ski broke and he had to walk back. Super lunch. I read 'Kinderseele' in the afternoon; none of us skied. Sat in the bedroom and looked out for a pea-green Mercedes to arrive - it never did. The others went swimming. I walked up to the Scotch Club where Dutronc and me would have gone. If only I'd said yes.
Cheered up a lot at supper because of Wally - he tells the funniest jokes! One joke coming up: "There's this psychiatrist and he slept under the bed... he thought he was going potty"!!!
Back to Dutronc. What's so really sad is up till now I've been living in a dream world full of hope. He brought me so much happiness; now he will only be a memory. It's goodbye to the beautiful Dutronc months of my life. I so want him I could cry.