1 August, Auckland

We go on mass to see Superstar, which has just hit New Zealand - but it's not as good as the London production in every respect. Afterwards, we go to Gordon's house for supper. He has a fine large house. I stay until after 2:00am talking to Kerry, Ashok, Ryan, Annette, Mary.

2 August, Weillington

9am flight to Wellington. After landing, I realise I don't have any money, just $1.50. I leave my suitcase at the airport and walk the streets of Wellington - it has a certain character - its centre is quite small and tucked in the sea between hills, a bit like Dunedin, but about 100 times as many shops. The Uni is perched on the hill, with a few impressive buildings around. There are some nice areas along the sea front. My plan is to meet some good people at the Uni who will take me back to their pad and let me sleep there. Without money, things become a little boring - there are some shows and films I would like to see. I find a Malaysian day exhibition with food, dancing, film shows but the people are not very friendly. I spend time in the library. I meet nobody interesting. It's a very dull. I watch TV till it shuts down then sneak into the common room and go to sleep. Around 3:00am I am thrown out by a very unsympathetic caretaker. I walk to the airport, stopping for a kip in a boat shed.

3 August, Dunedin

I reach the airport around dawn where it is a little warmer. At full light, I hitch in search of one address I have, but the person has moved. I go back to the centre, check out the art gallery and hitch back to the airport. I meet a guy on the plane by the name of Ray Edkins. He is an actor; he played the lead role in A Doll's House and is now acting for Play School. Although he's a New Zealander, he has a flat in Hampstead. We have a long talk about the theatre. I've kept 50 cents for the bus fare in Dunedin, but Sarah picks me up.

4 August

I am spending a lot of time with Doug. We go to the theatre to see two Australian plays - Les Darcy Show and Mrs Thally F about thallium murder - both about the role of mothers in society - both good and professional and enjoyable.

5 August

We go to see Full Crown in the Allan Hall Theatre - Ray and his producer were there. I am not doing much work this week,

6 August

Doug and I go to see Twelfth Night at the Fortune - an effective simple set, some very good acting and some very obvious - not the best the Fortune has done.

Thursday 7 August

After Spanish classes and drinking, we go to see the Australian performing group again - a late night show - half the folk club and half the Med School are there, including the folk club lady I'd been interested in - however, she is with her boyfriend.

9 August

We go to Coronet in a car with Bob and his wife (a phys ed lecturer) and Judy. We stop for drinks at the Arrowpoint pub. We are staying in an A-frame house at Arthur's Point. I learn a lot about how to ski on grass and ice but, nevertheless, it's pretty good. Later, lots of people turn up, a Canadian couple, another pair of lecturers, a crowd of girls, Breta, Anne and Eddy and a guy named Love. After the skiing finishes, the Arthur's Point pub is packed; later, though, we go back and it's much less crowded - we dance and drink hot toddy's with a group of girls. I sleep in the warmth of the sitting room

10 August

Breta injures herself quite badly. I scrounge a ride back with friends of friends, but we have to stop for church and for an hour at their parents for supper.

15 August

I go to Christchurch with Pete and June in their Holden van. But we have a lot of trouble outside Timaru - the engine is knocking and we can't figure it out. Then we check the oil and find it empty. A cop gives me a ride into Timaru, where I buy some oil, and then gives me a lift back too - really nice guy. We stay at 464 (Margaret has left the door open for us). Pete is doing a locum with Dr Hay at the moment.

16 August

At 6:30am I hitch to Mt Hutt. I get tremendous lifts. It's a glorious day with good snow, blue sky and sun - good skiing. And I get a good ride back. In the evening I go to a concert with Margaret. Viv is still looking for a place to live - she is 32. Pete has the flu

17 August

I ski with Viv and friend and Margaret until about 2:00pm when it clouds over. I hitch home back to Dunedin, but I miss the last episode of War and Peace.

21 August

Letters to Hilary, Geoff, Sue, and Rob. I spend some time filling in reports, go to Spanish class and then a drink in the London Lounge with Mr Ross. We meet with some relations of his and a couple of neat young ladies - hope I meet them again. I pack the car up and then Chris, Ross, Sarah and I set off to Christchurch. At Methuen, we spend ages looking for a hay barn - eventually we find one and sleep fairly well.

22 August

We wake early, drive on and then sit around waiting for the Mt Hutt info centre to open. We are told the road is blocked by enormous drifts. After a lot of debate we decide to go to Tekapo Round Hill. We stop for coffee in Geraldine and a lovely lively kid entertains us for a while. It's a long ride along Lake Tekapo - blue coloured lake - beautiful white mountain - owl light. I put chains on the car wrongly and they scratch the mudguards. When we get there, we find there is only a rope tow and 18 inches of powdered snow - you can't even walk on it - even the good skiers are falling. I don't learn much at all. We drink in Tekapo and have a pub crawl back to Ashburton. Sarah gets really pissed and tries to kill us all by grabbing the steering wheel (it's true I had made quite a conceited remark). I sleep in the car, and the others sleep in a really grotty motor camp.

23 August

We race over to Mt Hutt. I have a good day skiing, but I still don't learn anything more. Chris bangs her knee so doesn't ski most of the day. We spend the evening in a the pub drinking, playing pool and talking to all sorts of skiers. Three young farmers come to cause trouble and a young girl gets her nose broken. The others sleep in a bunkhouse. I talk to people in different bunkhouses, before dossing down in the hay barn.

Sunday 24 August

Bad conditions - no skiing. We drive home, stopping for a meal in Temuka, and at churches on the sea coast road. I try visiting Tom but he isn't in at Seacliff. I watch television all night.

25 August

I go to the beach four or five times, playing with sand banks, reading Socrates and a book on medicine. I meet a nurse called Pam and her cat, Kilroy, on the beach. I bring them home for coffee. She seems quite interesting. I might ask her out if I see her again. Doug arrives back from Christchurch. He has broken up with Sue. I do a section of the PMA course, cook tea, and watch too much television. In the evening I go to the Cellars for a drink - Ross and others end up there as well.

26 August

This morning I go with Doug to collect manure. We have a long talk to the sister in charge of the pharmacy at the Little Sister's of the Poor. We go to an exhibition on the electron microscope. I make an appointment or two. I also buy some shoes. Later, I sit on the beach with my ginger kitten, Ginquin, who tries to hide in my coat. The weather is overcast. There is no-one on the beach, except a horse playing footsy with the waves. It starts raining so I race home and sit indoors again.

28 August

Ross takes Dave, another lab technician and me to Coronet in his car. We stay at Maxine's crib with her Mum and friend. Good skiing. I am not falling over any more - it's neat. But there are crowds of people. In the evening, we go to the Arthur's Point pub where we join Dave and his mates. It's a slow start but we get some drinking games going - Thumpers. If any strangers come near us, I order them join our game. A massive crowd builds up and its going really fast. Two quite interesting girls join us too. At about 9:45 we get a turn on the pool table - I am on top form and we mangle our opponents. Then, who should show up to be our opponents for the next game, but Jan from my Spanish class - she is heading for South America next week - so I lose all interest in the game and talk to her - and we lose - by this time the whole Thumpers crowd have come over to watch us. Neat night. I fall asleep in front of the fire.

29 August


In my half-pissed stupor sleep I go to the toilet to have a pee but I pee in the doorway of the girls' bedroom. But I don't know this until later. Ross says me he tried to tell me I wasn't in the toiliet but I insisted I was. I only remember climbing into my sleeping bag and curling up into the foetus position. I feel so crushed when the girls get up - I apologise to Maxine in the car on the way back, and we have a laugh about it which makes me feel better. Some weekend. In the evening I meet Pam again with a friend Dodsy.

September 1975

Paul K Lyons


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