1 November, Dunedin

I go for a swim and a walk at 7:00 this morning. The conference is mostly boring. We have a Sandoz Luncheon at Cherry Court. Later I go to Lannach Castle, spend a short while at the Cook and then play chess all evening.

2 November

Tthe conference is interesting this morning - about adolescent problems such as violence. The speakers are Rev Ewing, Judge Seeman, Jules Older a psychiatrist, Grimmond and Bruce MacMillan. I talk to Pat Mellicott and Fernando from Otatau and another doctor from Christchurch who was practising before penicillin was available.

I chat to Doug about getting married - he and Helen reckon they are going to marry in early Feb. On to the Globe where I help set up the set - Meg is still very bad at her lines, Ted (who has done a fair amount of acting) is getting a little fed up of her. I hitch out to the peninsula (a grey day) to see Eric and Jill but they aren't there. I get back for dinner, Jan cooks a roast - Sarah and Rob and Ross are back because there's no skiing. Lisa and Eddy have gone to a 21st party. After dinner I take Sarah and Ross to the old house I found. It's fascinating - there's beetroot on the floor, an old old encyclopaedia, collars and ties, pictures, letters, paints, bottle-tops, an old gramophone with 78 records. It is as though somebody left the left the place in a hurry - the house looks really weird from the road too. I make a quick visit to see Ray - small talk on religion and love. He is auditioning tomorrow in Christchurch for something quite big in Aussie.

5 November

Fireworks and bonfire and booze and sausages at the caves on Long Beach. Everybody is very very drunk, an excellent evening. I wake up at four in the morning on my own. I ring Lisa and she picks me up. Ross goes out later, at 7:00, to collect me, and brings back my sleeping bag.

8 November

I go to Brighton but meet anybody interesting. Opening night of The Play. Things don't go too bad (last week I helped out with the stage set construction - Graham, a chemist, was in charge) Chris Bishop was in charge overall but I think he was quite ineffectual, didn't really direct the actors much - it's the first thing he's produced. But he's a nice guy - works for TV2 as a reporter. Ted of course is in it. All the other people are married: Warwick with a very pregnant wife, Goldberg who is a vicar, Meg who gets very flustered, and Stanley who doesn't like me for some reason. It is a new experience for me to be backstage and it's a good feeling.

12 November

Lisa goes to Christchurch for a volleyball final. I go with Ted to see The Countrywife - Jan wouldn't come just in case she was on TV. I enjoy it enormously - a very large production and supporting acting better than usual.

14 November

I sit in the Octagon all day today - looking for beautiful ladies and talking and reading. I feel depressed thinking I should fall in love soon. In the evening, I stage-managedthe play but George messes up the lights, putting them on when they should have been off and off when they were supposed to be on. I talk to Ted about women until the early hours.

15 November

I go to a few jumble sales, and read on the beach for hours. I am not sure what to do tonight and am just moping around when a girl named Pam arrives at the door. I met her ages and ages ago and told her to come round. We sit talking for a while then I take her to 4 Elbe Street - my old house (from whence I have taken the Encyclopaedia Britannica). She loves it. We search the place more thoroughly. It's nice to have somebody to be with - I think it must have been quite brave of Pam to come around out of the blue like that. She has a bit of life in her. She takes me to Cargill's Castle, a crumbling old castle, over the rocks and up the hill - it's very romantic - we watch the sun set - you can see Dunedin one way and the sea and the cliffs the other.

Chris Bishop puts on a party for the play people. It's OK but it's only the play people.

16 November

I wait for Pam to come round but the weather isn't so good. Ross comes home early (saying it was too hot to ski). I go to the last night of the play - Pam stays to talk to Jan.

17 November

I don't do any work today. spend the morning talking to Murray in the craft shop. In the evening I go round to see Jock - he tells me about a flat he's moving into soon and asks if I want to move in too. Lynne comes with me to the Rowling meeting - we have a lot of laughs. I like Lynne - she has a lot of life and is very mature for 18. We go for a drink at the Cellars and have a deepish talk. She works for the forestry commission but is on the fringe of the craft-alternative society. She knows Dan who leaves shortly to work in a factory and thence to South America. Jock says she is spoken for. I

18 November

I have a sudden inspiration to take Ginquin to the pub, to the Downtown Blues Night. Gary and his wife are there. Pete and Annie and Ted turn up later. Ginquin gets on so well with everybody - someone gives him a saucer of milk. Gary is selling Learning Exchange magazines and Fire Brigade raffle tickets. The Blue Grass Expedition are good. I go home and fall asleep in the sitting room. Ross rings to invite me to a party - his office staff have been to see J. C. Superstar. It's a pretty quiet party - Ginquin comes. A girl called Chris is there. I met her some weeks ago at the Downtown and we played silly games together for a while. When people started leaving the party, I ask her if she'd like to sleep with me; and so, for the first time in my life, I find myself in bed making love with a girl - for some hours.

19 November

I don't sleep much, but at home and in the shower by 7:00. I feel quite at peace reading in the front room before breakfast. I am fine about last night, no hang-ups or humiliations or responsibilities - just a night of physical involvement. In the evening I take Gill to Carey's Bay pub with Ginquin. We talk about work and England and going home. Then I go to the Downtown to watch Jan on the television news talking about not really wanting to live. Then we go over to the Prince of Wales where I run into Ray and the small girl presenter and another guy who knows Ronald de Kievert.

In the pub with Gill and the group of actors, I felt embarrassed about being with Gill. It seemed the actors were in a world of their own, comfortable with innuendoes and double meanings, and deliberately trying to be above our conversation. I didn't talk much but I did try to keep on their level and I found myself talking down to Gill - she was holding her own and trying to be stimulating company but, to me (projecting to the actors), she sounded like a bore. When they decided to go upstairs we both declined to join them - I felt like they were going to burst out laughing as soon as we had gone. Of course this exaggerated but it is how I felt - stupid - yes - but how I felt.

Thursday 20 November

Last Monday Lynne asked me to come to for a meal today with the idea of going climbing out at Long Beach - but it's been weather and Lynne has gone out to dinner herself. And I am late thanks to Fitzgerald. I play some games of squash with Jock and drink some beer in the Cook and have some arguments with Bill and Wayne and Chris, the regulars. I go round to the house that Jock is moving into - it's a little rough - it's where Ron de Kievert used to live! I can't decide whether to move or not.

21 November

No work today. I planned to go off hitching today, maybe with Pam but the weather is still very stormy, so I do a few necessary things. Pam comes early in the afternoon and we go in the car out to the peninsula. First to Allan's Beach where we play along the rocks. The crashing waves cut us off and it gets quite dangerous - I almost fell. Then we go to the cliffs near the lighthouse and watch the massive waves splashing on the pudding stone rocks - the spray goes hundreds of feet high - it's impressive. It feels warm with Pam, sharing nature and wildness. She insists I take her out tonight and goes home to change. We both got bored at the Muldoon meeting and go to the Cellars. Ted joins us, and we go on to Pam's friends' party. It's very loud and very rowdy. Pam is tired, she has been on night duty all week and not had much sleep.

22 November

I go with Ross and Maxine to a jumble sale and to the Museum. I talk to Margaret in the park about dogs and cats. The weather is still not so good so I still don't go off hitching. I walk up to Cargill's Castle to watch the sunset. There's an amazing window at Cargill's Castle which is better than telly any day. With Pam on bikes and another girl and Maxine and Ross to Bull Creek (where I meet Dr Geddes and also a small boy) and on to Moto Cross at Wahola.

23 November

I go to the YWCA to collect Sandy. As usual she is very well dressed with a very red face. We go to see Alice but she is away so I take Sandy to Cargill's Castle instead. Again it was beautiful watching the sun go down - super romantic. I didn't really entertain thoughts of embracing Sandy, though of course I wonder if I should have. We go to the coffee bar at St Clair and talk a while of visas and travelling. Sandy is very mature and reserved - she interests me more than ever.

24 November

I head off around my Sandoz territory early this morning. I breakfast with DeSwani at Ranfurf. I see everybody at Alex by early afternoon which is good - Dr Begg even shook hands with me. I book in to the Trans Hotel at Queenstown. At the swimming pool I bump into friend of Gill's flatmate. We swam and play with kids, and then we do the town.

25 November

Since I've only got two appointments (1:00 in Queenstown and 3:00 in Wanaka) I laze around the swimming pool all morning. I talk to some girls in the pub. At 1:00, Farry keeps me waiting ages. I give two Aussie girls a ride - we race over the Crown Range. At Wanaka, Pezaro has little time for me, so I race on to Alexandra. I find Paul's little stone house and read for a while. Mike and Paul and this other guy show up later on. Paul is working up in the hills looking after the water races, Mike is still sweeping the streets. Mike gets some food together (with a lot of celery, which I don't like). The other guy has been living with three brothers in the Sounds where Jo was for a few weeks. Paul hopes to get enough money together to pay for the house and go into the hills with a horse and live off the land. It is a quiet evening, talking and writing letters.

26 November

I head on through Roxburgh to Gore. I meet Peter from Sydney looking for a motel but they are all full. Together we take a motel flat for the night. Pete is heading up to Christchurch in a week to go back to Aussie - he's a quiet sort of character - likes to sit in pubs. I don't have too much work. We cook in the flat and end up drinking in the Mandeville and playing pool with the locals all night.

27 November

Pete leaves me after breakfast to head back to Dunedin. I listen to the radio. The lyrics to a song playing are so corny I have to write them down: 'I'm having daydreams about nice things in the afternoon; every night my daydreams come true thanks to you.' Annette Fromme has been found guilty of trying to assassinate Ford. China has launched its fourth space satellite.

On my way to Laurence I pick up Marty. At Laurence I stay at the Maroma Lodge, Marty goes to the pub. I write and read and go the pub about 9:30. There are two girls there who have just started work in a shearing gang. They are druggy drop-out student-type girls. I ask one of them if they want to have sex, but when the pub shuts she can't make up her mind. I had a beating heart for a while and couldn't sleep.

28 November

I stop with Marty in Milton and he gets a job. I am back at 11 or so and spend the day sorting things out. I meet July and Lizzie in the pub and stay with them all evening. We go to a party - but it's not good - some beer and wine.

God said 'I am'; I say 'Everything is'.

29 November

I go to an auction in St Kilda - it's fun. I buy four watches. A big box of old first class tools goes for $92. I go to a party with Pam but it's a mistake. I watch the election all night. It's a landslide victory - Piggy Muldoon ousts Mousy Rowling. Ginquin runs up the chimney.

30 November

I go climbing out at Long Beach with Lynne, John and Bruce and friend. I am wandering, scrambling, feeling good. I'd asked Pam to come around so I go home early but waste hours waiting for her. Later I go visiting but nobody is in - I end up in the coffee bar with Ross.

December 1975

Paul K Lyons


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