Friday, May 25, 2018

23.9.67 - haircut and last letter from Sydney

23.9.67 Sydney

Re above date: just got a very overdue letter (dated 13/9/67) which had come via Manhattan. [The hotel, not the island.] And me mother was very sarcastic about putting on the dates!

Well, this will be the last letter you get before I arrive home; you’ll already know about my coming because I’ve just sent you a telegram. Am going to stay with Marge – have a feeling Glenda’s rather booked up – there’s 3 of them staying there just now. So I’ll be spending another night in danger of being eaten alive (with love) by Judy. [Marge’s dog.]

Spent most of yesterday in town. Incidentally heard from Pikler who was very sorry to say he couldn’t be of any help – I think he was a wee bit nonplussed when I didn’t sound put-down. I’m rather relieved in a way. Things could have got very complicated if I’d stayed on here. I’ down to my last $10!

ANZAC War Memorial
Went to the Museum yesterday, but since it’s mainly a natural history one I wasn’t madly enthused – I’d much rather see animals alive than stuffed. Then went into Hyde Park which is just across the road and watched some elderly men playing chess and draughts on little tables with the squares already marked out. The great big War Memorial is there too.

Then went and had a haircut. Well -----!!! When I came out I must have smelt as though I’d been dunked in a perfume-cum-hair-oil barrel. [These were the days when NZ men were men – as far as haircuts went. You went to the barber for your short back and sides and no frills, thank you.]

First he thoroughly wet my hair, then he razor-cut a lot of it (and scissored) then he cottonwoolled on some lather round the edges and razored that very precisely, then he stuck some rather stinging stuff on, then he dried it all again. Then he talcum-powdered (!) round the edge, then he oiled it a bit --- YUKK! And when he’d finished (80c later) it looked much the same as ever! Still, I at least felt that I’d got my 80c worth! [2018: The prices in these letters seem extraordinarily low…now.]

After this I decided to get something for Anne and the kids and during the course of this I so lost you wouldn’t believe it. Not that it was as bad as in the cemetery, but I’d go into an arcade and come out at a different angel, then have to go to a corner to find which street I was in, then have try and figure out whether I was above or below such and such another street, then I’d got into another arcade and come out in a tiny little street that led back to where I started!  AAAGH!!!

In the end I got Anne some flowers; they’ll arrive on Monday; what a job to think of something she’d like. Still, they’re always acceptable, I think. [2018: I don’t think I paid her anything for staying with her for a week or so…such is the ignorance of youth. This youth, anyway.] I got Chris a couple of packets of stamps – one mixed and the other a set of cats from Poland. They’re delightful. And I got Jenny a pretty pink vase – she’s quite keen on china and whatnots.

Then home exhausted.

Watched 2 films (in a row) last nite: one called Dragonwyck, about Gene Tierney who goes to act as governess for Vincent Price in a huge mansion, then later marries him when his first wife dies. Supposed to be very horrific, but only that in about 2 places when a supposed ghost sings and plays on a harpsichord – but only a certain number of people hear her. Well done, though.

The other was Life Begins at 8.30, about an elderly actor who has taken to drink (Monty Woolley) and whose daughter (Ida Lupino) is torn between him and Cornel Wilde (a composer, again!). It was very funny, in spots, very warm, very human (!) But quite well done. [Not sure what the point of the italics are in that last sentence…] Originally based on an Emlyn Williams play, but I don’t think there was much left of it. I also had the uncanny feeling of having seen it before – but the name doesn’t mean anything. Certain scenes and shots looked surprisingly familiar.

So, lots of love until I see yuh,
Mike (xxx to Fred). 

This is the last letter in the series.