August 10th

Yesterday visited Digs parents, 13 mins from Morden to North Cleam then to Kingston which is a very busy place open on Saturday then another bus to Wey bridge. John and Kay Abbot there to meet us-very nice people, corker dog. Nice home & garden, also saw Jimmy’s people for a few minutes, walked all round Waybridge saw the hand operated locks on the Wey riverand had a beer at the Queens Head. And a little cham which is a very pleasant drink at the NewCastle.

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August 8th

Last night went to the tattoo at White City. Very impressive, especially the police dogs-Alsatians-doing their stuff and the Arab horses in full battle charge etc 11 diff massed bands Scots etc Saw the Arab horses going home to their stables after the show with all their dark riders from Algiers-a French regiment-which fought with distinction in this last war. Horses drop down and lie prone at a whistle blow and with their riders on their backs. Dropped my fox fur into Reg. for alterations and tried on “Lady Cavandish’s” mink jacket. (£1,000). Felt very smart but would sooner have the cash home on the tube and soaking wet from the lovely rain. 

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August 6th

Monday-Bank Holiday, went to Brighton in a coach 13 buses left from Sutton. We arrived in a Judar bus, very pleasant trip, ½ way pulled in at a stop off place and it was amazing, must have been 50 coaches parked and a queue 4 deep and many yards long to use the loo so we searched out a place behind a hedge and I got my bottom stung by stinging nettle, gee it hurt. I’ll be very careful next time I am taken short behind a hedge. Also got a double wasp sting the other day-wasps are bad- the dog snaps at flies but when he sees a wasp he hurries outside. Brighton a huge place by our standards, crowds of people there, all manner of dress. A lot of it most unsuitable. Was pleased to see some of the ladies get their ghastly narrow spike heels caught in the pier decking. Thousands of people all sitting in deck chairs, lots of bikinis on the beach-O they looked good too, pity not allowed in NZ beaches. Huge lines of traffic going home at night sometimes as far as you could see behind and in front of the coach. Police on duty at what would be country roads in NZ letting strains of traffic through alternately and then the paper said there was no bad traffic problems which they usually have on Bank holidays. Tues went shopping on fringe of London which for shopping is better then Queen St. I find I cannot get the really cheap stuff in dress and shoes, the more expensive articles have the better cut and workmanship but of course even they are not expensive by our standards. 

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August 4th

Sunday today. Set out for Tooting to see Ted Newtons people- had a beer on the way and an old fellow told us to get off at Tooting Broadway –which we did and after ¼ hour pleasant walking found we were at the next station Tooting Bec which is quite close to Newtons. Teds Dad in hospital and mother away visiting him.. Then on a double deck bus to London & Hyde Park where we spent a pleasant afternoon. Good Scotch band-people swimming and boating in the Serpentine. Hyde Park and Kensington gardens very pleasant, lots of dogs and even a Siamese cat out walking, dozens of lovers locked in embraces, terrible lot of dyed heads among the women, all manner of colors.

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August 2nd

Happy landing, South Hampton. Tedious getting through customs. Enjoyed train ride to London. 2 hrs non stop. Lovely to see the farm lands and little garden plots with scarlet runner beans, corked just like home.

Fred’s people at Waterloo to meet us-great excitement-did not have time to look around. Hustled onto a tube train-stuffy & hot, rushing & clanging & rattling along. I thought of how the people in war time slept down on the tube stations all night while the raids were on and I was glad I was not one of them.

Find the English shopping quite diff from ours, seem to have to stand in queues. Food stuffs very expensive, clothes wonderfully inexpensive  or I hope they will be when I try to buy. Television quite good fun, especially the news. London a wonderful place-most impressed-Bedford where we visited Dad is very pretty town(city) where John Burgon once lived and also a lovely museum, most exquisite old china and porcelain etc etc.

Saw the West Indes team play at the Oval. Today and really enjoyed it. Felt like arguing with a few of the old blokes rounds about. 

July 27th

Has been too hot to write much but now we are near England and weather much cooler. Had a very grand farewell dinner last night. We had a party of 6 and had a really lovely night. Great excitement and bustle getting ready to land. Packing to do etc. Goodbyes, addresses to be exchanged, winder if we shall ever meet again.

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July 18th

“Closed” Curacao Bay at about 11am. Big hustle getting on land again Curacao 30 miles long, 6 miles wide. 11 inches of rain a year which is 1 inch above desert. Lots of cacti and lovely tropical flowers, shrubs, trees. No water at all on the island but a large plant where they take in sea water, distill it and send it out all over the island to the homes and factories etc. Blacks here descended from the old slaves. It was a distribution centre for slaves in old days, a Dutch possession. I felt that the blacks were not so friendly as the Americanised Panama fellows. Smiled at some and no smile back.

Manuel our driver on the tour very surly because he evidently felt he did not get a large enough tip. They seemed to be much better off then the fellows in Panama. Our car was a later model Nash. Saw 300 year old Jewish cemetery-a lovely park and zoo- also went swimming at the Beach club. Had bier and coke and ice cream. Went shopping in town, some lovely air conditioned shops, others very hot.

Two people late for ship, Officer very angry, would be costly to miss ship, they were very lucky that the Capt waited. Very inconsiderate of them really, two pretty low lifes(man & woman) Saw a golf course but no grass at all. Old skinny goats eating all sorts of day old vegetation. Believe they milk them. Also scrawny hens(where the poor people live) ship took oil from great hoses. Was a lovely evening pulling away from the jetty.

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July 17th

Very interesting day going thru canal-flat out all day looking. Flowers on sides of canal after going up first lot of locks-really beautiful, some mauve flowers very nice, butterflies and birds-fun listening to birds different voices. The crew threw bread out on deckand there was great fighting as they all flew in to partake. Dropped til at a commentator and darkies all off at Christobel(launches)also picked up passenger who had missed ship.

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July 16th

Lovely coming into Panama, Technicolor green, most amazing, big thrill collecting mail. Taxi to town with ‘Raj’ saw the shops dirty streets and narrow mostly went to Panama Hotel with Stanley who robbed us on the fare. P.H a wonderful place, soft lights, so damn soft that you cannot see much at all. Good band, colored and good singing-all this for the price of one drink. All air conditioned and when you step out of hotel into the night, air is like stepping into a hot bath.

Visited a casino and lost 1 dollar in the slot machines!!! Poor silly devils playing them there like crazy. Would be no trouble for a man to pick up a woman-poor hags-then to Kelly’s, a night club. Terrific place. Feisty and dark- a band playing so loud that nearly burst my ear drums-damned awful drink-altho the boys enjoyed their Babbra bier. Floor show was really racy. First time I have seen naked or near naked women wriggling so close to our noses. Not bad looking and not bad figures but of course lights so low that its very hard to see.

Back to ship after 12 for 1 dollar each took us on a grand tour of Balboa-thru the poor sections too which did not smell so good-wonderful hospital. Not much sleep. Not much sleep-too hot. Most of young folks did not get back until ship was due to sail, 5am or later and there are some very sick people.

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July 11th-15th - Panama this way comes

July 11th

Just another day, hot and sticky.


July 12th

Not feeling very fit, but quite a pleasant day, played some games. Bullboard etc. went to pictures at night.


July 13th

Played whilst Fred went to dance and complained that nobody asked him to dance.


July 14th

Crossed equator last night about 1.30 am. Special menu, nothing special about the food. For 1/- could have cert saying crossed equator etc and signed by the capt.


July 15th

Nearing Panama, land in sight. Another ship, floating logs, fish, birds. Hot as hell. Romance flourishing, unashamed swimming each a.m.