3 September

We got a bit pissed and went out on a burn in two cars (Ross had a little prang in his) to Lover's Leap and had a party in the barn. Influenced by a book I've just read, I pretended to be madly in love with Edwina on the way home - she is such a flirt, a bit of her own medicine would do her good. She shies me off every time. I think a completely sexual relationship with Edwina would be very much fun - I'll have to ask her how she feels about it.

It is the third of September
I'm really not to blame
Accuse the hungry times
And hear the ticking days go by

I am not more lonely now
Than two years past, or three
More resigned perhaps
But searching still

I am not to blame
That the footprints make a ring
And disappear but twice a day
Love's unheard whisperings
Disappear below the wave

September now and spring
And I have to share the
Sun and sand and love of mine
For spring is not a lonely time

4 September

Ray Edgkins rings to say he got my card thanking him for his performance. He says he will invite me round for dinner one night. I get a memo from Mike saying he is disturbed at my low call rate.

5 September

The car is in the garage today, so I borrow Ross's to go to Waverly to see one doctor, and then I ride into town, suit and all, on my bike to do some more work. I spend some time at the hospital and have a long chat with Mikin, another surgeon, who has grand plans of x-raying everybody and putting them on calcium. I go to hear Muldoon speak at a political rally in the Town Hall - there are 3,000 there. Muldoon deals with a small group of hecklers a little cheaply, he also uses statistics a little cheaply; but he is good and popular, and he answers a lot of questions well. Ross and I go to a couple of parties afterwards.

6 September

It is my first weekend in Dunedin for a long time. I am up at 7:00am and take my car to park at Green Island hoping to hitch to Milton. A friend of Lisa's friend takes me a mile or so and then I am stuck (Muldoony pass but doesn't give me a lift). Finally, I hitch back to the car and drive like a madman there and back I go to Port Chalmers for a fair and Hillside Road for a bazaar. I ride around town on Doug's bike, libraries, Union etc. I have a couple of bike rides with Ginquin too. I play Scrabble and waste the day away. Finally, because it is all too boring, we decide to have a party. Lisa rings up some people, so does Ross. Everybody goes out, but I don't go until late. I go on Doug's bike. I stop at the chess club and play two games, which takes me to about quarter to ten. Then I go to the Cellars, where I see Chris and Eddy with a friend. I race on to the Cook where I meet Ted (Spanish teacher), and have a quick jug. I see June and Pete and tell them to come to our party. Ted gives me and Doug's bike a lift to our house. We are the first, bar Lisa who has tidied up the place, and bring her new $650 quadrophonic into the room. The party reaches a peak quite soon. Doug arrives with Helen, the Helen who ousted Sue from Doug's love. She is quite attractive. A good time is had by all. I have a long talk to Chris and Doug and the police woman who nearly came to live in the flat. I talk to Ted and play around - not many people come but I have a good time. Pete and June ring up three times during the evening, finally Ross and Maxine and I all go along to the party where they are. I spend a while talking to Pete about Leonard Cohen before going on home. I fall asleep in front of the fire.

7 September

I try to paint and can't. I hitch out to the Head with Ginquin, and then back. Helen, Lisa, Ross and I zip off to Port Chalmers and the beaches further on - climbing rocks and playing kids. I have a two minute serious discussion with Helen. At the folk club, I meet a Joni Mitchell freak.

10 September

Today, I ski all day at Coronet.

As I sit here thinking back over the past two weeks, I can remember a lot of things I've done, but, if I remember them now, I'll probably remember them for ages any way so why waste time writing them down in this diary? Well, sitting down and writing is relaxing and resting.

11 September, Invercargill

I stay at Croydon Lodge. I have this terrible habit of falling asleep about 9 -10 with radio and TV on and waking at 1-2 in the morning feeling groggy.

12 September

Milton and Balclutha. I get back about 5:00pm. I have to make a quick decision about whether to go to Mt Hutt or not - because Les is arriving Sunday afternoon. Should I hitch or what? I don't go in the end.

13 September

I go to some jumble sales with Ginquin and visit the chess club again. Les phones and says he is expecting me to pick him up - so I made the right decision.

14 September

I hitch out to Brighton and watch a rescue operation for a drowned man. I pick Les up and we talk for an hour or so. I get caught for speeding - $30 instant fine.

15 September

I work with Les this day - but not very hard. We get on all right, although Les doesn't like being wrong - but he's a good guy. He doesn't have as many contacts down here as Mike does. I stay for some drinks with Steve Dixon, eat with Les, and then drink in the bar all night with the medical director of MSD.

16 September

We spend the morning at Cherry Farm, where I see some things worse than I expect. It's almost revolting in the chronic case wards. I talk to Nurse Bell. I am due to have dinner with Les and Roger and his girlfriend Jill, but, when I get home Jan tells me that she has met Jill, and told her I am saving up to go to South America. For the next three hours I am very tense as I try to decide what to do. I am alternating between anger and hysterical laughter. I decide that if the subject comes up I am dead (Sandoz took me on as a permanent employee). Before the meal Les goes off to buy some wine and I tell Jill that Jan has talked too much. The subject doesn't come up and we have a pleasant evening.

17 September

I take Les to the airport early and have a bit of a rest day. I pick Peter Isaacs up at about 6pm from the airport. He's quite a young chap with a BSc in applied science and a PhD in pharmacology. Sandoz are sponsoring some of his research. We have a meal at Cherry Court and he tells me all about the drugs he is researching, especially Bromo ergo kryptine and its exciting possibilities. Jan moves the television into her own room.

18 September

I spend all day with Peter. We have hour long talks with Simpson, Stewart and McQueen. We lunch at Stewart's. I drop Peter at the airport terminal early, go home for an hour or so, and then race up to Timaru for a conference. I find the usual crowd in the bar of course - good night, lots of laughs, work-loaded mostly. It's terribly hot in the hotel, uncomfortable. I am the only without with a tie. It's good to see Rein again, he's down from Christchurch, and we have a good giggle about PSS as soon as Les is out of earshot.

19 September

The conference is a bit of a bore - the lectures drag on, and the trade display are a bit of a farce. I don't really socialise. I have to race into town at lunchtime to go to the bank - I borrow Rein's Falcon. It is Rein's birthday today. He tells me his parents fly to Venezuela tomorrow. He mentions in passing that he is probably going to go to South America in a while too - so I laugh raucously. After post-conference drinks, I drive up with Rein and Les to Christchurch. I arrive at 464 Hayley Ave to a peaceful scene of readers and knitters - Vicky, Viv, Marge and Peter, all there (Clare has appendicitis and went home after surgery). All of them go out to parties and leave me to fall asleep. Viv interests me but is very unresponsive and won't be drawn into conversation too deeply and she declined to come for a drink with me. Margaret has a boyfriend who is doing a PhD on the humour of Dickens.

20 September

Super early I hitch out to Mt Hutt without too much difficulty. On the way back this quite interesting girl gives me a lift. We get on really well for an hour or so. But there is a big long queue at the toll gate. It's too windy, so she drops me off. I felt that if we had talked just a little longer she might have asked me to Oxford with her. I have a lot of trouble hitching back. Then I go to Brighton with Marg and walk along the shops looking at the people. In the evening we go to the Court Theatre to see 'Kennedy's Children' - I don't find it very good theatre although the idea is interesting.

Sunday 21 September

I hitch out to Mt Hutt again, super lift all the way. Bleak conditions, but I still decide to pay out the dough. I am skating on a crust of ice until midday, then it softens a little. I'm really trying hard to keep my skis together. There's fog on the way back. I get a lift to Ashburton where I have a wait, but then Alex Moore finally picks me up and takes me to Timaru. He is the Organom rep, the third of the Christchurch trio. He also is staying at Dan Lodge next week. I pick up a few things and wash some things and zip down to the folk club. All good people there - the Bush Band turns up. I don't really want to leave but I have to - I say hello to the Joni Mitchell girl, and see a sadness in her face. I wait a few minutes at home and then zip off to Invercargill. I fall asleep in Balclutha High St, and nick the corner of an A35 van. A boy is driving, taking his girl home in the girl's mother's car. I spend half the night working out the details and arrive very late in Invercargill.

26 September

I zip through the country areas like a house on fire - good calls mostly - and end up in Te Anau. I stay at the hostel and drink all night with some guys just out of the bush - we watch the girls go by. In the morning, I spend two hours trying to hitch to Milford without success. Later, I can't decide whether to take a young couple to Milford or go to the blossoms festival. I decide on the latter. I pick up a young lawyer from Brisbane and a Dutch traveller. I drive along lake Wakatpu and arrive in Queenstown in good time for the festivities. There's a procession and blossom queens and a fair but no pretty girls. I have a few drinks sitting on a pavement and then, at the hostel, I meet this really neat kid, only 4 or 5 years old, and we really hit it off. I can't stop laughing - I love kids so much - I would like to have a kid.

On the way back to Dunedin I pick up two more hitchers, Children of God.

28 September

I go hitching with Ginquin, and make friends with Pauline and Eric looking for lizards.

29 September

I see seven doctors today, must be some sort of record for Dunedin.

Jan decides to lock her door because I mucked up the stops on her type-writer. It was very stupid of me and I forgot all about it - to mention it - which was worse. I couldn't understand what Jan was talking about when she said 'these people who go into my room and muck up my things'. I must make a special effort not to use any of her things or even go into her room. In fact, relations with Jan are generally strained - she now watches more telly and I watch none - who benefits from that?

30 September

I get three letter from Maya - one about how she must get away, another about how she can't possibly miss one year, and another about her grandmother, and so many nice words. I go to the beach for two hours to read all those words from Yugoslavia. I write, in a letter, 'when we are old we will meet again and maybe something is still there'. I go to see Equus at Fortune with Brian Tuttle and Dan Donner and others - good.

October 1975

Paul K Lyons


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