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Diaries
of
PAUL K LYONS

1986

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JOURNAL - 1986 - FEBRUARY

Saturday

I swim three times today, if the water appears clean then it is such a delight. A giant swimming pool with but a few parked boats and an occasional returning fisherman to disturb my space. But how delicious just to float and roll and kick my feet and flap my hands, shake my head, dive and surface, and the evening sky making its unnoticeable transition from yellows to oranges to blues and greys. It astonishes me that few people actually partake in this luxury.

A quiet day. Maria working por la carumba, making coffee and juices for the flat full, but thankfully the two visitors went out at midday leaving me to read, doze, and meditate on nothing in particular, in peace. It’s amazing how the samba beat is now taking over. All over the city, the roads, shops, beaches, bars, TV and radio stations play samba groups, the advertising on the TV is all carnival related. The RioSul shopping centre is unbelievably animated with trendy shoppers, samba videos and groups in fancy dress doing their thing. The streets last night were full of the business too. The local yacht club had its carnival ball - and a whole industry builds up at the gate entrances - the transportable canteens, the parking lot money-suckers, the spectators, those that would creep in for nothing, those waiting for friends, the almost naked women standing around in minimal fancy dress - in the hope of being taken in? And of course, the ticket touts, my arm was taken once or twice; but I had not the courage to find out the cost. I was content to watch the heavenly bodies, wiggling their undressed bums. Julian is going to go crazy.

Wednesday

The last entry begins ‘I swam three times today’ - I wish I hadn’t. I wish I hadn’t. On the Sunday, there was already a sore throat and I swam again. On the Sunday night I hardly slept and on Monday I was ill with an aching face, a sneezing mouth and a non-stop runny nose. And the night was awful - the tossing and turning as the cold tried to decide if it wanted to turn into a fever or not.

The phone rings. It has rung three times in a row. Just now after the third ring I thought of Barbara and how happy she would be that I was happy that the phone rings with people asking me favours. First it was Silvio, who likes me, ringing to tell me of the telexes at Reuters. Sometimes I ring him and ask but this time he just rang. Then a friend of Raoul’s rang to ask for a place to stay for the night. Then Juan rang to ask info about the modem.

But, by now, Wednesday, the worst of the cold has passed. I’ve pumped up my body full of appropriate medicines, pain killers, vitamin C, decongestants, in the hope of avoiding my lungs becoming too contaminated. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again - colds used to pass me by, leave me unaffected, football, running, work, a cold would make no difference until that damned fucking incompetent doctor on Shoot-Up Hill who failed to diagnose and treat my pleurisy properly, allowing it to develop into the lungs. Now, every cold goes to the lungs and ruins me. The once proud ever-healthy boy now moans of weakness and pains with every passing cold!

So, for two days I worked not. Instead I read Fred Forsyth’s short stories ‘No Comebacks’. I admit I read them through, but, in short story form, his style and characterisation show their limitations. They try to be clever, and when they don’t work, they fail badly. When they do work, a sort of so-whatedness takes over.

Claudio left for Belo Horizonte leaving a message of sincere friendship and ever-faithfulness. John makes little attempt to get an apartment, though he puts a lot of energy into one slim chance. He slips off to Sao Paulo for a day to pick up his typewriter (essential tool). And now, out of the blue, two burly (will they be burly, will they be gay) friends (friends?) of Raoul arrive for a night’s hospitality.

Sunday 9 February

How pleasant, how refreshing to scratch these papers with a new colour in my Rotring pen. Julian brought some green ink too. And tons of other things, mostly asked for, three paperbacks, lots of magazines and newspapers, a slide viewer, tea, mustard, malt vinegar, and apricot cake - also letters from Mum, Andy, Angela and Barbara. It is the first letter I’ve had from Barbara for many months and is typically scatty. ‘My dearest Paul - I haven’t the faintest idea of what to say to you. The subjects you would most like to know about I am sure I am not going to write about. My friends in Salisbury tell me that I am to become wild for a change. And so I am to go to the hairdressers tomorrow for a new look which I know you will not approve of (in short - curls). I apologise. But I feel that I am throwing you off at last in a new found freedom. (You won’t have to look at me after all.) Affectionately’

Julian asked Barbara if she had a boyfriend. She said: sort of.

In these pages [blank] it should be imagined that carnival is recorded. Surely, the most spectacular show on earth. For reference, refer to Julian who was here taking part in all events.

 

DIARY 30: February-May 1986

14 February, Porto Seguro

JOURNAL
This new book is green also, like the last, but this time it is a more vibrant, more emotional colour. The last fat dull book began on my return from London some four months ago. I prophesied a hard monotone existence, which more or less came to pass. I was depressed with it all to the point of an unhappiness though there was no question of returning, and the work generally flowed better than I had expected. Then, meeting Emiliana doubled or trebled my existing social life and satisfied the need for a partner to discuss daily events. But the partnership is a dull green, at least for me, as there is no physical spark. This book presages a period of verdant growth - the colour is not brilliant nor exciting, its freshness is tempered by both a dark blue pigment and a dull green spine (is my spine dull green?). The fat book was not finished, but how silly it seemed to carry it on this journey nine-tenths full (and so heavy full of dull matter). So the last thing done in Rio was to rush out and buy a new one, thankfully it is free of margins, but I am (and have been for some time) living within the restrictions of a medium feint.

The 17 hour journey from Rio took 20 hours - poor brother had taken on my cold, thus making sleep more difficult. And then we had to take another bus from Eunopolis and walk a kilometre in the blazing midday sun to find the estalagem owned and run by Emiliana’s friends, Paulo and Andrea. The journey was unmemorable. The land varied little, grasslands and thin white dead trunks scattered haphazardly or more luxuriant vegetation near the river valleys. One mountain with a square top excited our attention. From behind, it took on the shape of a rocket. New rock bursting out of new land. We barely talked to the other passengers despite the innumerable stoppages. We played word games, which only served to remind me how atrocious my head is for facts: writers beginning in A, in B etc. Julian wins every time; and then on composers he has to name two to my one, and he still wins. My unassailable position as family scrabble champ also came in for serious question, as Julian beat me for the first time (he did have all the blanks and high scorers). And so, in this manner, the two half-brothers arrive travel drained and sun shocked at Porto Seguro’s Estalagem Porto Seguro. The one brother slept, the other explored.

It is an oddly shaped town, like half an ellipse with its focus on a rounded point jutting out into a river outlet. As the town itself lies along the river bank there is no beach of immediate access. It is necessary either to go down the coast or cross the river to the sandy shoreline well visible from here. There is a constant ferry service and it seems all and sundry do this, cross the river, for the day. I don’t find the town very attractive, it is full of ragged houses with little organisation. Many of them have been converted into stylish pousadas but the difference is not visible in the general aesthetic. The dirty river water leaves ugly mud banks at low tide, but when high the view is lovely, tranquil and carefree, with the tall grass inlets, the abandoned fishing boats, half rotten, the paint half remaining, lying at an unnatural angle, banked; and then there are the still serviceable fishing boats lined along the makeshift wharves. But how much time do the men need to spend fishing now? The villages hereabouts are swarming with tourists who bring with them the need for all sorts of new and lucrative trade. The prefeitura, for example, employs three or four car ferries and several smaller boats just to cope with the traffic across. Coca-cola, beer have to be brought in massive quantities to Porto Seguro, to the scattered bars and stalls along the beaches. Several young local men make a good living out of transporting the fun-seekers from the ferry port to the village a few miles away. At 50,000 for the return trip that takes well under an hour, they can make a faster buck than on the fishing boats. And of course the food and lodging trade, the shop trade, the car maintenance trade and so on. Still the most imposing building of the whereabouts is the fish-plant - my ignorance betrays me, is it a freezing, processing or gutting plant. At night the youth the gather in the bars along the coast, there is much movimento.

Sunday morning

A cock still crows; a mild breeze blows; shadows, still long and spindly, begin to retreat.

This body is sunkilled. Julian’s body too. Like two camarao, we hobbled back from the Arrail d’Ajuda beach yesterday after too many hours under the hot fireball. Julian claimed to be really hurting, but I, with my applications of olive oil, well rubbed in, am only smarting a little round the back of the neck (in fact it may be because I forgot to put oil there yesterday). But this sun addles the brain. There we lay, sat, bathed all day, thinking nothing, doing nothing, just dreaming a little of Gabriella.

Gabriella is a husky, dusky mulatta with strong beautiful features and thick long black hair falling across eyes that would otherwise open and shine on you. She is the girl waiting to catch the ferry just a few metres away, her slender fingers handle the jewellery offered by a hippy, her lightly pinked lips broaden into a beaming smile of gratitude which rewards the would-be seller more than a purchase. She is the girl with shiny smooth thighs that seem never to end, her legs so long and shapely, and when she moves position slightly to relieve the discomfort of the hard wooden ferry seat and her thighs (naked) touch you, you tingle to death, your heart starts to pump faster, your genitals tighten, your head begins to compose a multitude of conversational gambits. She is the beauty whose long legs carry her away swiftly over the ferry docks, her exquisite behind tempting you to follow it for ever, in the hope of holding it, drumming it one eternal day; and whose sharp young breasts, so evident beneath the thin t-shirt, heave and surge (at least in your mind) away from you for ever.

From Amado’s ‘Gabriella’: ‘The record crop was saved and cacao prices were rising. But this was only one of the circumstances that made the 1925-26 harvest year, in the opinion of many, the most significant in the history of the region. To some, it was primarily the year of controversy about the sandbar in the harbour. To others, it was the year of the political struggle between Mundinha Falcao, cacao exporter, and Colonel Ramiro Bastos, the old political boss. Still others remember, it chiefly for the sensational trial of Colonel Jesuino Mendanca, or for the arrival of a Swedish ship to carry cacao, for the first time, directly from Ilheus to foreign countries. But, no one speaks of it as the year of the love of Nacib and Gabriella.

His hand touched Gabriella’s and she laughed. ‘What a cold hand.’ He could stand it no longer. He took her by the arm and with his other hand grasped her bare breast. She pulled him toward her. The fragrance of clove filled the room. A warmth from Gabriella’s body enveloped Nacib, burning his skin. The moon shone on the bed. In a hushed voice, between kisses, Gabriella moaned: ‘Beautiful man.’ ’

Then there was the Gabriella who was going to give herself to me for but the price of a night’s lodging, 50,000cz. She first appeared at our table in a bar, during our first few hours here, then disappeared. Such a face, high cheek bones, almost orange eyes (their innocence already lost or sold), a perfectly chiselled jaw, and such a dark sultry skin. After losing her I went to find her, but it wasn’t until last night, once I’d forgotten the face, that she reappeared. This time there was less Gabriella and more corruption. A simple place to sleep was all she asked, for which she was more than willing to share her body of delights. A simple exchange, only complicated by my lack of money and the lack of her truly knowing where to go (she had said she knew somewhere). In the end I gave her 50,000cz which I had promised her, and spent the night dreaming of making love to her. She was 17 years old, and full of stories of Europeans willing to take her to their countries (and no doubt enslave her in their brothels there). The question remains why was I so reluctant to bring her back here to this respectable pousada, in which case she would have cost nothing.

Then there was the Gabriella who (all of 17 too) we met on the way to the beach, and who stretched out her lanky body of unblemished skin, so scantily clad, close to mine. But did I roll over and whisper how the sun and sea and she had affected me?

Salvador. Why must I always mix business with my holidays. Here I am in the middle of a week without care for work and, in an hour or so, I must travel up the coast and inland 60km to the Camacari petrochemical complex. It was always the same in Europe. I could never go to a conference without mixing in a bit of my holiday time. It takes a strong head to make a clear profit.

There was more heat in Porto Seguro than we could stand. It is drier and fiercer than in Rio, and the days we were there were well above the average max of 30 degrees centigrade. I forced my way through the furnace streets to take the ferry across the river and bathe my red skin in the ocean sea. Julian, though, preferred to stay in the shade of the inn. I talked only briefly to Emiliana’s friend, Andrea, who owns the place and that wasn’t until Sunday. She was rushed and uninterested in me. (And here in Salvador, I have rung Emiliana’s friend Mariello several times and left a message and he has not been graceful enough to ring back.) It is a pleasant inn, cool when possible and styled tastefully - the rooms mercifully have a ceiling fan. But, with our red skins and the unbearable sun, it was a relief to find ourselves in the sleeper coach to Salvador on Sunday evening - where I encountered the Gabriella of my dreams.

A young, perhaps virginal, face deeply tanned after some weeks in PS. She was travelling alone back to Salvador and sat in the sleeper-seat next to mine, but with a corridor between us. We talked of Brazil, of London, of Rio, PS and Salvador. When I asked what she studied she said she had three years more before taking university entrance (I could be her father). But I could not sustain the conversation beyond telling her how beautiful she was. The coach lights went out, not long after it went dark. Perhaps she had taken some pills for she drowsed easily. For a while I lay awake staring at her face, poorly lit and wanting her so much I was crying, or at least wanting to cry to release some emotion, what emotion? Just a sexual need. Then the situation was made worse when she moved in her sleep to reveal a larger part of her breast, poorly, oh so poorly lit. Should I have done as Nacib did and taken her in my arms, cupping the naked breast in my lustful hands? Such stories I create for my romance, for my journals, to pass the time. Her name in reality was Livia.

Wednesday

Already tomorrow we are heading back to Rio. I am more than happy to return. Being a tourist is such hard work. Walking the streets, gracing a church with one’s presence, climbing the stairs of a museum, finding the right bus back to the beach, traipsing back to the hotel. And really learning nothing, just the head finding out what yet another place looks like.

Salvador. Salvador has a reputation, historic, scenic. The Northeast, the real Brazil. The most immediately evident difference to Rio or SP is the lack of Western sophistication. Here we sit in the bar of Salvador’s Art’s Council, it is an average high star hotel bar in Europe, but it makes a contrast with the seedier bars most commonly found - the metal chairs, the stainless steel counter, the dirty track to the kitchen. By the bar’s side is a restaurant with dressed-up waiters and wine glasses on the table, the food all typically Bahian, though it is self-service from warmed containers. Down below a ‘folklore’ show is about to begin. We will watch for want of something more exciting. Outside in this central part of the city, the streets are cobbled and dirty, roofs half broken through, replaced with corrugated iron. The alleyways are dingy, and smell of danger and poverty, therein dwell urchins, an orange seller, a washerwoman, a legless tramp, a mangy dog. All this is more akin to the developing world.

In places, especially from a distance, the architecture reminds me of the Middle East, largely because of the brightly coloured walls and flat roofs. But here in the city, the churches and the more baroque buildings recall Spain (probably Portugal but I haven’t been there), yet even the poor town in Spain has enough of an administration and sufficient funds to upkeep its buildings. When I think of the glories of south European architecture, it becomes senseless to seek out tenth-rate buildings here. Brazil is its people, its beaches, its jungle, not its history. There are attempts here in the centre to preserve and refurbish, yet the odd well-painted frontage only seems to highlight the dilapidation around. The Praca Pelourinho is perhaps the best preserved with its city museum and the Art’s Council building. The tangy off-pastel colours, blue and yellow, hold well against the skyline, especially in the morning, sitting on the steps, at the higher end of the triangular square.

Salvador is rightly famous for its churches, they are dotted everywhere along the uneven landscape of the city. They may all be very similar and all in need of a white or blue wash, but from a distance they give the city character. Sometimes they have two turrets, sometimes one, as though the money ran out, or alternatively, one had to be dismantled for lack of upkeep - a holy haircut, headcut, turretcut.

Like Rio, Salvador is blessed with endless beaches, unlike Rio they are shorter and more intimate, and, within a few miles they are free of development. Indeed, it is surprising how few really nice dwellings have been built to take advantage of the sea. David Ferral, who I met briefly today, has his beach house some 40km out of the city, far enough I imagine to be away from crowds. Why should the people bus out so far when there’s all that sand in between?

But here we are at Salvador airport with our flight cancelled. Such confusion at the Rio counter, it is hard to know what is happening - for a snippet of information you have to fight and elbow your way to the counter and then shout with an authoritative voice. Actually I’m not too worried as long as we do get back tonight. The airport is modern, light and airy.

Saturday 22 February

Thankfully back in Rio. A week of tourism is enough, more than enough. I am glad to have visited Salvador and to have an idea about it, have some visuals in my head, but really just to visit without contact of people is evidently dull, lifeless and hard work. There are two concrete results, the visit to Camacari, and the purchase of some cheap espadrilles. It is hard to flush out of the corners of my mind any details worth the recording for prosperity. One tale is worth the telling.

After my tiring day at Camacari, J and I decided to visit the Barra area for the evening to experience some of the movimento. I must have been tired and Julian was in a provocative mood for we fought soon after leaving the hotel. Our first fight. I had got annoyed because of not making myself understood in the fruit juice bar. (In Salvador they whip up the banana vitiminas until it is full of air and not very cold, I tried several times to persuade the bar-tender to stop the mixer but failed.) Julian proceeded to suggest I should let the bar tender do it his way, and then accused me of being suspicious etc. I lost my temper then sat around the square for half an hour and cooled down. Failing to find him round the city or at the hotel, I moved on down to Bara. It is a pretty place, a trendy suburb on the peninsular land that divides the bay from the ocean, so that within a few minutes of each other there is a swimming beach and a surfing beach.

The alive area is small and consequently it took me only a few minutes to discover that Julian was not in any of the few bars and restaurants. I sat down to drink a beer and read ‘Gabriella’. When I looked up and around, there was Julian with a group of Brazilians, sat up with his back straight, smoking a cigarette and moving his head in a rigid square way, not at all unlike Sasha. As I thought he was on ‘uma boa’ I remained where I was spying on him. The whole time he never saw me. Finally he left with a dark girl, and, although she was not so attractive, I certainly felt I shouldn’t interrupt. Later back at the hotel, he told me had been ‘snogging’ on the beach and had refused an invite for more.

The next evening we returned to the scene. Walking along the street the same girl approached us, but we just walked away and the girl got the message. Sitting quietly at the restaurant Van Gogh table eating our delightful Camarao Baiana, the waiter allowed two Paraguayan girls to join us. OK it was fine to meet the first Paraguayan tourists ever, but the one who spoke English and translated everything to her partner did not stop talking and asking questions and making traveller conversation. Even when J and I were talking between us, I could feel her personality hovering, hovering in expectation of taking advantage of the slightest gap to push in again. There was an ugly desperation about her - forcing the conversation so much. Her companion by contrast who spoke no English and appeared not to understand my Portuguese spoke only twice. Handicapped by language she had to make her words count: the first time she spoke, she said Julian was nicer than me; the second time, she said Julian was kind, generous with nice eyes.

But in Salvador, I found no Gabriella. I have just finished the Amado book. He tells a good tale, fills his stage with well-coloured characters, and guides the reader easily, casually, enjoyably to the heart of Bahia behaviour, society, politics, and of course philosophy. The story tells of the time of the explosion in cocoa plantations and a bar owner called Nacib who employs a girl - a recent migrant from the drought-stricken interior - as a cook. She is a wonderful cook and lover too; before long he has fallen for her completely, but so has half of the town, who come to his bar because of her. She is a simple earthy woman, with no sophistication. She wants to be free and to love Nacib. But he decides to marry her as the only sure way of keeping her. Once married, though, he expects her to dress respectably, all against her nature. One day he discovers she is unfaithful and can barely cope with the humiliation and pain. An intellectual friend discovers a loophole in their marriage contract, and they manage to annul it. Finally Gabriella returns to Nacib’s house as cook and mistress. It is a touching story, which Amado uses to document the mechanics of progress.

In the city museum of Salvador there is a room taken up with some carved wood panels which are extraordinary. There are 27 in all, sculpted by Hector Julie Paride Bernabo or Caybe as he is better known, depicting the macumba of Bahia. Most of them are life-size and although largely made of wood, use many different metals and other substances, like string or chains. Each figure stands above its representative animal. It is the imaginative style changes, the varied use of other materials and the complete command of idea that gives these sculptures a magic that I wanted to bring home with me. The most I could do was to take photographs.

Meanwhile President Marcos’ time is running out. The world’s press saw how and how much he cheated during the last elections. Popular and international feeling is now largely agin him, and some of his ministers have begun to take a stand for the opposition leader Aquino, wife of the murdered opposition leader.

‘The Economist’ has begun arriving at the weekend following publication and today’s issue carries a story about Brazil’s ethanol production NOT written by me! Rick fucking Turner!

Oil prices have tumbled to $15/bbl and several oil producers are talking about a complete stop in production to mop up the excess and force prices up.

Sunday

So here I am with the bright dancing evening sun, the weekend ending, and the regular toil set to begin anew. Why I became increasingly depressed over the weekend is hard to tell. Perhaps there has been too much activity and too little thought, or perhaps I have spent too long without producing anything. Perhaps my energy to be nice and sociable has drained away. Perhaps the reality of my vacuous life is filtering through to the surface on one of its regular journeys.

Elaine rings. It is the first day of her period. She is sick, tired and depressed. We moan and groan in whining tones, over the phone. But where to from here. The future looks so bleak, despite the sun dancing off the water into the flat.

Thursday 27 February

So Julian was here for three weeks and has now gone, leaving me alone in my handsome apartment for the first time in about five weeks. I am still painfully weak after the excesses of Tuesday night, and sit around the flat occasionally reading, moving, living as it were in slow motion. It is odd but I find myself unable to say much about Julian. Apart from odd moments, he was exceptionally easy to be with and a considerate house guest. I surely was less fun to be with, my aggressive conversation and occasional moodiness. After the trip to Salvador, I had become a little tired of the pace of always going out, and am now partly paying for it. But I think he had a good time.

While he was here, we discussed his future at IMI. Since the resignation of Dad’s managing director and sales director, J has been thrust into a position of much greater responsibility which includes a 50% pay rise and a handsome commission cheque at the end of the year. Yet there will clearly be problems in the future. Julian is already aware of faults in the way Dad runs the business; and in other ways, Dad is just not very good at managing people. Until now J has worked for the managing director, the ex-managing director, but now he will come into much closer contact with Michele and Dad. Conflicts are inevitable. In the long run, it might be quite a nice business for J to take over, and he should certainly not dismiss it. But, he is also right to insist that he be allowed to work other places first, and abroad if possible.

Speaking of family, he confessed he felt more loved by Mum than Dad, that Dad had been biased towards Melanie. He believes this is because he thinks Julian sided so singly with Mum during the break-up. But Julian is now proving his worth - as the last para of this letter from Dad shows: ‘Make sure Julian stays out of trouble because I need him very badly here in the business . . .’ and earlier in the letter ‘meanwhile Julian, Michele and I have taken over the reigns (of the company) very firmly . . .’

Thankfully, Julian has taken on the role now of being Mum’s chief ally which she will not easily let loose. I am the cold independent. In the sense that Dad is not my real father I owe him less allegiance than Mum. But, in another sense, I owe him more, because he has (or I think he has) always treated me fairly despite not being my real father. Thus I am in no easier position than J or M, only perhaps I understand a little better why the split, and the inevitability of it. Blame is not the pertinent question, rather trying to learn from the mistakes that society leads us into.

When I teased J about living at home for so long, he retorted that all his adolescence was spent at boarding school, so he missed out on Mum’s cooking, affection etc. But his training there at Berkhamstead served him well, in terms of singing, music in general, sports and theatre, all of which were lacking in the home environment. In all these four areas now J has a better knowledge, not only about them but in experience: he can sing, play squash, stage manage better than I, and he knows infinitely more about music, musicians, composers, actors, directors, racing car drivers, tennis and cricket stars, footballers etc than I. His memory for facts indeed is much better than mine, putting me to shame so often.

My Mum’s cousin, Gordon Ake! Manslaughter at farmhouse: Farmer burned wife’s body by Olwen Dudgeon. ‘A farmer buried his wife’s body after she died in a violent struggle at their North Yorkshire farmhouse, Teesside Crown Court heard today. The matrimonial dispute flowed after an argument between Gordon Edward Ake, 59, and his wife Evelyn Sarah Ake, 53, on January 4 1985. Mr Brian Walsh QC, prosecuting said Ake told police his wife had died after cracking her head against a raised surround of a fireplace. Mr Walsh said that because of Ake’s own action in destroying the body it was impossible to say what had caused the death. ‘All the crown is able to do is to prove that Ake was present . . .’ etc.’

Killer farmer and his lover: ‘A nationwide search for a devoted grandmother ended within days of her husband returning from a Lakeland holiday with his mistress . . . Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday that Ake of Spring House, Scruton, near Northallerton had put his wife’s body in a wheelbarrow, transferred it to a tipper trailer and then set fire to it in a field. ‘Well she always said she wanted to be cremated, so I burned her,’ Ake said after his arrest.’

These cuttings, sent by Mum refer to her cousin, who she knew in childhood. One in particular is very amusing because of the poor language: ‘they enjoyed passionate break’ (at a hotel); ‘uncovered his web deceit’; ‘secret assignations’; ‘over 1,200 ton of earth were turned over by JCB diggers’ (looking for evidence of the body), and the superintendent praised his staff for ‘double sifting every ounce of it’. ‘Evening Gazette’.

The verdict was manslaughter, but as yet I don’t know what the sentence was. Did he kill her on purpose or not?

March 1986

Paul K Lyons

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INTRO to diaries:
Part one
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