26. All alone

I haven’t written in this category of my blog for a long while, so for the benefit of the one or two visitors who are reading this blog for the first time I will attempt to provide a little context. It would be worthwhile having a quick read of the first entry ‘An Ill Wind‘. In short, this is a faithful digitisation of a journal I kept when working in the Falkland Islands and South Atlantic in 1988. I am doing this mostly for me, but really hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Sunday 5 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

A beautiful day indeed. I wish Jim wasn’t going or that I could go with him.I accompanied him to the departure stop and we chatted a while. Some older ladies turned up for the same tour (poor Jim). We said our goodbyes and I promised to get in touch the minute I get home.

I have been smoking too much recently, it is the influence of Jim. I must stop. I feel the damage it does to my lungs. I will limit myself to 4 only each day and vow not to buy cigarettes or tobacco in England.

I promise (signed) Stephen

The boatswain said we will probably leave Monte on or about the 10 June, so I have to cope with 4 nights alone in Monte – I will join the Koei Maru 30 the day before she sails. The Fishing Master is very curt with me – he is venting his disapproval of the proposals (for extended fishing) on me, it isn’t fair. Today I will begin to tick off the days until I return home (see back).

Alone I ventured to the Fogon – very depressing I thought – it’s not the same without a friend to chat to.

After, it was a case of a whiskey solo in the hotel bar before retiring at 9.45pm (pitiful) to read a book and write some letters. I am reading another Theroux novel, ‘the Black House’, it isn’t as attention-grabbing as some of his others.

Monday 6 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

The start of another week during which work on the vessel should be completed. Breakfast alone – the waiter asked me where my friend had gone. “Iguazu” I said, and thought – sod him!

It’s a no no on the jacket – possibly they’ll have one tomorrow – I doubt it. If I pay by visa it’ll cost more !?!

Well Mr Chiba (the Fishing Master) can’t hack it, he’s leaving for japan, and another Fishing Master will join the Koei Maru 30. This is a revelation and perhaps explains his odd behaviour the last few days. We had a hearty chat and quite a lot of fun, so things between us are now well again.

Refit of the processing deck on the Koei Maru 30, Montevideo, June 1988
Refit of the processing deck on the Koei Maru 30, Montevideo, June 1988

Quite surprisingly I went to the Fogon again. Oddjob was there alone and behaved a bit like a caveman. Oddjob (not his real name) is one of the new crew members on the Koei Maru. I returned to the hotel bar and quaffed a couple of neat whiskeys and read the TLS (Times Literary Supplement), rather classy I thought. My partner in crime was a young woman (28ish) rather attractive who sat two tables away facing me. She sipped her gin and tonic and pretended to read and write some notes.

Then to bed. Alone! I could never make an advance – I’m too bloody shy.

In the Fogon there had been a power cut – ace fun – it only lasted about five minutes but for all that time the place was plunged into darkness.

Tuesday 7 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

The waiter volunteered the information this morning, that the solo girl is English. He made several other suggestions, I think I got the gist, but “benita chica” was one. I breakfasted alone. How is it possible to ask an attractive girl if she would mind if I sat with her, without making her feel I was trying to pick her up. I must convince myself first.

Dreamed that Louise had a helicopter crash – it was so vivid and nasty, but she lived. Somehow she caused 29 million pounds worth of damage to a new airport hangar.

I bought the jacket. I hope I like it. Hip and cool and $185 roughly £100. But best of all, made today, for me, in Uruguay.

 

Guess where I ate…

Spoke to the English woman at the bar and chatted for a long time. Alas she goes tomorrow, and I will once again be alone in Monte, but it was great to have a long English conversation with someone new. Refreshing.

My opening words (so embarrassing) were “excuse me, but are you English?” She was delightful. Frightfully delicate and well spoken – about 30-35 – very reminiscent of Dr Brown (my university tutor). Independent. She was a freelance writer, but involved with English linguistics and Heinemann educational. I told her I lived near Bedford Square. I didn’t even ask her name – it didn’t seem important and hardly worth it really. So bloody English.

Watched return of the Jedi – ace film.

And drank the water from the tap in my bathroom – if I should collapse and die, this is why.

 

25. Topless

There may be one or two visitors who are reading this blog for the first time. To provide a little context, it would be worthwhile having a quick read of the first entry ‘An Ill Wind‘. In short this is a faithful digitisation of a journal I kept when working in the Falkland Islands and South Atlantic in 1988. Enjoy.

Wednesday 1 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

Summer isn’t here at last. It is clearly Autumn, the plethora of leaves littered by the London plane trees tell the story well enough. Got my camera past the dock gates – took some Montevideo piccies, but not many. It is quite nerve racking using a camera, each picture may be your last.

Since this is a stick in page, I may as well put in some misfits.

Falkland Islands May Ball 1988, ticket
Falkland Islands May Ball 1988, ticket
Emma's Guest House bill, May 1988
Emma’s Guest House bill, May 1988

I was mightily pissed off by all on the KM30, they were not helpful at all. I think there is a conspiracy against me.

Iguazu is out for me, it seems that it must be for eight days or nothing. I can’t give up the time.

We went to the el Fogon a restaurant (still there, I just checked on google) for lunch and also for supper and then on to a topless nightclub.

What an experience! It was like watching an American film- the two uninterested dancers weaved and twisted out of time to the music on podia which allowed a maximum half-stride in any direction. After a while at the bar, Jim and I were approached by a call girl/prostitute who couldn’t understand why we were at the club if we didn’t want a girl. Were we gay? No.

Basically it was a knocking shop and although Jim and I want to return, I think it could be a mistake. Nonetheless it was an experience and life is made up of experiences.

Thursday 2 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel 

Fun, fun, fun – Jim and I bought leather jackets. His was much nicer than mine, but was also more than double the price. Mine was US$75.

I have decided to get another like Jim’s but at US$185 (£100) it is a little on the expy side.

Belfast Leather Factory, the place for leather jackets. Montevideo June 1988
Belfast Leather Factory, the place for leather jackets. Montevideo June 1988

Jim has decided on the jacket and Iguazu, lucky thing, meanwhile I am to be left, festering in Monte. I’m so glad he has been here up to now.

Nicer weather, clearer skies.

Friday 3 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

Shaved again – I’ve got those lumps and spots once more – it is definitely shaving that produces these infections. Will I ever be free of them?

My jacket, the more I look at it the more I feel is cheap. It will be ok for a ‘rough and tumble’ in the UK, but I am only proud of it because it is Uruguayan.

The sun is at this moment pouring into my hotel room, a seemingly impossible feat given the angle of the room, window and sun.

View from the roof of the London Palace Hotel, Montevideo. June 1988
View from the roof of the London Palace Hotel, Montevideo. June 1988

I am quite pissed off that Jim is going on Sunday, I have enjoyed his company – being alone will be quite boring, but perhaps I’ll meet someone or something – things usually work out alright in the end.

We went again to the topless bar (called Baires). What a seedy dump. Once again we were both approached – in my case by a girl called Giselle? Anyhow we kept a stiff upper lip, refused all approaches and thought ourselves very cool for being so good. I think Jim could quite easily be tempted if I wasn’t here, but if I wasn’t here then he wouldn’t be here at all, so all’s well.

Saturday 4 June 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

A sunny day to wake up to.

Today we went wandering and Wandering. La la la. Jim cocked up on the money front and I bailed him out with US$100. I have worked out that he owes me on the basis of $1.83 dollars to the pound: £54.65 + £8.21 for the other money I lent him, giving a total of £62.86.

Went to the boat and took a hook and line (snood). Watched a German league football match on the TV.

Bought a gourd for Deb and a leather notebook, perhaps for Emily.

Lovely day all day. Jim and I went out onto the hotel roof.

After a very pleasant meal at Otto’s – a more exclusive restaurant than el Fogon we pootled on to the show below:

Flyer from the nightclub, Montevideo June 1988
Flyer from the nightclub, Montevideo June 1988

It was really seedy – it included a ‘free’ drink in the £1.60 entrance fee. What a laugh. The film was a very cheap British Caligula Caesar film, terrible. The strip was more like modern dance performed entirely without interest. The girls and bloke can’t earn much more than about a tenner a day. It was a real gas. Jim and I then went off solemnly to our hotel rooms.

24. Montevideo

Today marks British Summertime and Easter Sunday, but the weather and its unpredictability has forced me indoors. I thought I’d use the time productively to update my Falkland Island journal from 1988. I urge any new readers to read An Ill Wind, the first ‘chapter’ of this personal voyage in order to understand the context.

Thursday 26 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

Yesterday I got $900 which was about £500. I hope I don’t spend this in Montevideo. I will be right pissed off if I can’t get subsistence.

It is a miserable day, but fairly calm. I will miss Port Stanley. I do miss Deb. I can’t wait to go home.

Meeting with Sam, John, Abe ‘Radar’ – Total farce – John is a fool, he has no command of the situation, he didn’t take control. I am sitting with Jim, some hours after our departure from Port Stanley. A poignant moment. Sad.

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Jim and his last farewell to Port Stanley, May 1988

Leaving Port Stanley can be painful.

Friday 27 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

Mellow music, mellow mood – I am surprisingly happy. Martin Stephenson can see me through.

Not so happy now. I have just watched ‘Platoon’ on video. It is a clichéd but nonetheless depressing film. I am now ready to sleep. I am scared of montevideo, it could be quite a dangerous place and I am always a coward. I pray I don’t get any trouble. Wrote to Deb and Gavin.

Japanese wine – bloody horrible.

Saturday 28 May 1988 Koei Maru 30

Pulled off the first of my calendar tags that I made.

Had a ‘conference’ with Mr Chiba (the Captain) and ‘Radar’ (the radio operator). It seems that the KM30 intends to leave here by August 30 at the latest, after only 80 days fishing in the zone. I have the task of being the man on the spot and telling John and John that 120 days looks out of the question.

Sunday 29 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

Pay day tomorrow, actually the day after tomorrow.

‘Down and out in Beverly Hills’ – good film. Little Richard remains extremely cool.

The moon is almost full and very bright. It is much warmer here, but still no sight of South America.

Monday 30 May 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

Arrived at last – we’re here and I can’t believe it.

The docks of Montevideo, May 1988
The docks of Montevideo, May 1988

A long wait in a shyte hut.

It was cold – Jim had problems with customs.

It is cheap here – only $27 for a reasonable hotel. Meals out here are pretty cheap too. Jim and I ate out and I paid on Visa.

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I can’t understand it.

SOUTH AMERICA!

Tuesday 31 May 1988, Montevideo, London Palace Hotel

Now, let me write with a straight head. We waited in a derelict dock customs gate for some three hours in the cold rain, before the Japanese agent finally sorted something out. Jim in the end will have to pay $25 for his camera. Rip-off.

My ship pass for entering the docks
My ship pass for entering the docks

We saw the customs man accept bribes from an African crew. Two tins of sardines. It was shameless and very funny. It is kind of expected here.

My ship pass for entering the docks
My ship pass for entering the docks

I slept very badly, because I was so very hot and dehydrated, but at least I am here, and have survived the ordeals of the first day.

I must keep a tab on my spending. See p.94.

The cars and trucks here have to be seen to be believed – out of the ’30s ’40s and ’50s. We were given a lift by the agent in a huge Mercedes.

There is no highway code, or so it seems. The whole place is a ‘Tintin’ adventure.

I went to the boat – not much seems to have happened there yet, except a few of the machines have been uncovered. I will return there tomorrow.

We wandered fairly aimlessly about, something I love doing in foreign cities, but Jim seemed to tire of it. He derives his pleasures in different ways to me. We inquired about trips to Iguazu falls.

23. Marking time

For those reading this blog for the first time, please read the first entry called ‘An ill wind‘ which sets the context for an adventure I had as a 24 year old in 1988. I am taking the time to digitise my journal from 1988 in the Falkland Islands and am remaining faithful to my original text – this post ‘Marking time’ is a particularly drab entry, recording what was a rather boring few days. My apologies.

Sunday 22 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

The KSJ dinner/buffet was a complete success for me.

Squid and tuna sushi, cold beef, rice, squid, chicken and free drinks – it was brilliant.

Today was a lovely day although we had a couple of rain showers. Jim and Pete L and I went went to Penguin Walk and the lighthouse. I took loads of slides of penguins etc. I was happy, as I listened to ‘Smells of Summer’ on my Walkman. Sometimes this place can be such a joy – getting away from pressures. But it doesn’t last. The loneliness and tedium get get to one eventually. I want to go home so badly, to see Deb and my family. I will never be the same after this experience. I’m sure they will see a certain change in me. I feel so remote.

Penguin Walk, Falkland Islands, May 1988
Penguin Walk, Falkland Islands, May 1988

Monday 23 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

I spent most of the day pretending (once again) to work at FIPASS. Not much has really happened. I felt really good having had an early and sensible night last night, but disgusted that I smoked again today. Got a letter from Pat and Roy – quite why I got it today I don’t know.

Pete and Steve left for volunteer point, in this weather I didn’t envy them. Roll on Summer time.

Went to have a meal at John’s (John and Alison went out) with Jim and Sean. Later Anna came round and we watched ‘La Bamba’ on video. Shitty film but with good music.

Tuesday 24 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Worked again on my drawings.

The Koei Maru 30 came in. I saw the crew and all they could say was “girls, girls – jiggy-jiggy” it is very sad and depressing. I went into the galley to say hello to Nananuma. It was awful, like rekindling the flames of awful memories. Quite terrible.

In the evening Drin, Jim, Phil, Liz and I went to Monty’s and for some reason I ended up paying for the lot. We then went to the Goose and I got pretty merry. Ended up writing a drunken letter to Deb.

Wednesday 25 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Today I have a lot of work to do. I must also buy supplies, since I expect to leave for Montevideo tomorrow.

Lost at cards. Phil won and is the champion.

Phoned Deb – it was great. She was in Edinburgh with her granny. She is revising for her exams on Wednesday.

Melanie was at the Cable & Wireless office – she is so sweet and I think it is fitting that when I telephone Deb, she is there.

I don’t want to go to sea, despite the fact that Jim is able to come. Went to the fish and chip shop with Phil and then the Globe – became a little merry. Power cut at midnight.

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Penguin Walk, Falkland Islands, May 1988
Penguin Walk, Falkland Islands, May 1988

22. Booze and balls

Sunday 15 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Another nothing day.

Tried to telephone home, got Mum and Ad, but I think I may have left them with a very depressed image of me…not entirely untrue. Couldn’t get Deb, perhaps I was dialing the wrong number. Instead I called Karen, but she was out, so I spoke with Matt – this was a much better conversation. I hope Deb isn’t too upset. I asked Karen, via Matt, to ring Deb to tell her I had tried to call.

Had lunch at the Boathouse – not bad really, and cheap.

I want to start saving some money. Emma’s really is a piss-hole, but who cares? Tomorrow I begin some work, but I don’t quite know what.

I like not having a beard.

Monday 16 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

My work begins. Spent most of the bloody day in front of a computer doing data entry.

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Lunch at the Goose, bought for me by Jim.

Not a bad day – blue sky, but cold and quite windy.

I am to begin work on a strategy for the long-lining. I hope I am up to it.

I had a great evening – just me, Phil and Jim at the Goose. Not over-drinking, but having a pleasant number of beers and at last finding things to talk about.

Jim took the bull by the horns and went to visit KSJ to ask permission for passage to Montevideo…then he went and told Jacko, who I don’t think was too pleased having previously said no.

Beautiful sky at night – the stars were spectacular.

Tuesday 17 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

A day at FIPASS (the floating port facility left over from the war) – ok – beautiful day. Sky blue – no wind. Things are beginning to happen really quickly now. I am much happier than I was the other day.

Phoned Deb and got through, it was lovely to speak to her – she sounded very remote (not distance-wise, but emotionally). She is working very hard for her exams in June – I hope she does well. Her voice was tired and dopey.

Evening was a booze up in the Globe. It was very interesting all about PDA *(my employers) and Peter Derham in particular.

Wednesday 18 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

First full day at FIPASS – also a letters day, but it was puny – one TLS, that’s it! what a contrast to yesterday weather-wise. Terrible wind and rain. Unbearable.

I am back at Emma’s now and am so sad for the kids here. No love, no attention. Their mother is having a breakdown I think, she can’t cope with their crying and only compounds the problem by screaming ‘shut up!’ at them. It is no wonder that they are so friendly with the guests – they need the company. I am concerned; I don’t think that she’s violent yet, but it is just a matter of time. The war is over now – at last.

On reading this last passage again in 2016, with a family of my own, I am curious about my view of the situation at Emma’s Guest House. I know now how hard it can be bringing up children. I think I saw the world through a young man’s eyes and my values and judgments were different. I wonder what I would have thought of the situation if I were the me of now, and whether I would have tried to help.

Thursday 19 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Out at FIPASS again for the morning. Drin and Liz also went out. The storm has died down and it is a fairly calm, but overcast day.

Looking forward to the May Ball tomorrow, but what costume shall the poor ‘boy’ wear (corruption of and reference to a Japan cover of a Velvet Underground song).

FIPASS is like a moon base, quite claustrophobic and synthetic – the strip lights etc.

FIPASS, Port Stanley
FIPASS, Port Stanley

We moved more of the office over and now the computers are at FIPASS. I will work from there from now.

Went to the Desire for a booze up down at FIPASS – it was a resounding success. I was plastered and puked at Emma’s (in the sink). Whart a great evening – an excess of McEwans. Jim and John and Phil and Steve and Peter and Alistair were there.

Friday 20 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Ball night. Sean found an egret and brought it into the new office.

Mega piss up at the ball. Dear oh dear.

Globe – Goose – Ball.

Whiskey coat! ‘just going for a coat’.

May Queen – Melanie came third. I was forced into a dance with Miranda.

Very very pissed.

Post – letters from Charlie and Beth – I was very chuffed to hear from them. Also from Granny who seems to be a little better, from Karen too.

Jim fell over!

Saturday 21 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Deb has sent me a fun pack. There was a packet of cartridges, some newspapers, a Private Eye and some crisps – also a rose – one which I gave her. Here are some petals

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Deb sent this before, but I’ve only just gotten round to sticking it in. I miss her terribly. I want to be at home. (This musician, Martin Stephenson, was to play a significant part in my adventure at a later point)

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The day was beautiful and sunny. Tonight is the second ball preceded by the KSJ dinner.

 

 

21. Land at last

The Falkland journal continues…

Wednesday 11 May 1988, Koei Maru 30/Falkland Desire

Well I’m angry and upset. I still haven’t been picked up. I bet I end up staying at least another week. I think I’ll go bananas soon. I am getting pissed off. If I come back with the Koei Maru 30 on the 25th, I’ll have spent 6 weeks on this bathtub. What a nightmare. I want to go back to Port Stanley and I don’t want any fuss. Balls.

And as the philosophy goes – everything always works out in the end (unless you die, and if you die it doesn’t matter anyway).

I was woken by the Sencho (Captain in Japanese) at about 3pm…”Fishery Patrol”. This was good news. the Desire (a patrol ship called the Falkland Desire) had come to collect me. I spoke with them and packed quickly. In the process I forgot my chocolate cake, my casettes, my loligo and my films. What a bloody pain in the arse, but small prices to pay for freedom.

What really pisses me off though is that had I not called KSJ (the Japanese fishing company) to query my pick up date and time, I would never have been rescued. Some bloody organisation this is.

Anyway, I am on the Desire and had a wonderful mixed grill and trifle for supper, followed by a Bond movie.

I am happy.

Thursday 12 May 1988, Falkland Desire

Having slept pretty well from 8pm to 1.30am, I am now wide awake, and there is no chance of me going back to sleep, so it is letters and diary time.

My cabin on the Falkland Desire
My cabin on the Falkland Desire

The crew (apart from one or two exceptions) are almost entirely fat. Too many fried meals and not enough exercise.

Picked up Elizabeth. (Another scientist on a different vessel)

Got well tanked up in the evening. Home tomorrow.

Friday 13 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

Friday 13th – what a day to come to port! We came into Port William by 9.30am and went to Port Stanley. Jim is resigning! This is terrible news. He’ll be going at the end of this month. My only ally in this adversity. I will feel very alone once he has gone.

A plethora of letters. It’s nice – it makes all my letter writing worth it. I actually feel a bit of a plonker because I get so much more mail than anyone else. Sorry to find out that granny is so unwell – if I were a believer I would pray for her – I know that she is safe in her own faith though. It is grandpa I also worry about.

Met Phil at last and am sharing a room in ‘Emma’s’ with him – we all got well pissed in The Globe and in John’s house. The Suntory whiskey was worth opening.

I got home and read the remainder of my letters. I cried unashamedly at granny’s letter – I don’t think she’ll last much longer.

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It is nice to be clean shaven after so long with my beard.

Saturday 14 May 1988, Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

A day of indecision, I wandered around Stanley and found Jim at Fishops (Fisheries Operations). Went to the Upland Goose for lunch with Jim, Anna and Sean.

Hulks at the Eastern end of Port Stanley
Hulks at the Eastern end of Port Stanley

Nothing to do, but it is quite nice.

Ended up watching Mona Lisa at Goodwyn’s and supping Tim’s Whiskey. Then went on to The Globe for a few minutes before trundling off to the Town Hall to see the C.S.E show (Combined Services Entertainment – The islanders benefitted from the shows that came to entertain the troops at Mount Pleasant air base).

It was terrible – naf, but in a corny way, quite fun.

  • a compere who kept saying “no”, like they do when they tell jokes and laughing through his teeth ‘sheee’
  • a dancing troop called Sassie? terrible dancers
  • a corny magician, old tricks
  • a dreadful female singer
  • a band

They tried hard and I appreciated their effort and anyway, it was something to do.

Met a Korean man called JK. Great bloke and long-line skipper for twenty years.

Got pissed in The Rose and back at Tim’s. Watched a video.

Liverpool lost the FA Cup final to Wimbledon. Yahoo.

old news…AFC lost to Luton 3-2. I am desperate.

20. Frustration

To those reading this category (Falkland Journal, 1988) for the first time, I urge you to read my first ever post – ‘An Ill Wind‘ to provide context for this post, which is the 20th extract from my 1988 journal.

 

Saturday 7 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

I am guilty of neglect. I seem to either write letters or my diary, one usually at the expense of the other. It is late Saturday now, I have just had my breakfast. I keep having bonkers dreams, I am plagued with them.

I wrote to the Myers and to Deb and Alex.

I hope so much that Arsenal won last night, yesterday, today I mean. I must be one of their remotest supporters, I may try to join the fan club.

When I think of the only club in London, I think of Gavin and Sean and how lucky they are that they will see the Littlewoods Cup final! Sean will actually be there, lucky pig.

Time goes by. Soon it will be Sunday and soon I will get picked up by the patrol ship. Yahoo!

I took a whole bunch of really boring sunrise shots and tried to photograph a number of birds. It will be a very dull film I think.

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Sunrise in the South Atlantic, 7 May 1988

Sunday 8 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

I am on to my next 10 Japanese letters! recap on:    a  i  u  e  o

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The next bunch are    Sa, Shi, Su, Se, So; Za, Ji, Zu, Ze, Zo

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Why is it so bloody difficult?

Wrote a long letter to Mum and Ad, I sent another £15 for developing films.

Monday 9 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

At last I wrote to Clive, but it is very late of me to reply.

I am very bored. Tonight we’ve caught nothing, I have been unable to work. It is pitiful.I am being paid to fritter my time away. Possibly the worst aspect is that during these bad catches I smoke maybe two cigarettes. I must stop before it becomes a habit.

I am sitting listening to my African tape. I must go to Africa – I hear it calling. I am desperate to go there. I want to work in Africa.

Revision:

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How could I have dared neglect to put in the article about Uderzo? What a terrible blunder.

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Jim was on the radio this time, it was good to talk to him. He enjoys a good chat as opposed to a quick talk! It is good.

It looks like I may be marooned for a few more days! The patrol ship had to arrest a Korean ship and returned to Port Stanley without little old me. It is possible she’ll steam out over the next couple of days to collect me – who knows? Slightly depressing.

It seems as though Jim wants to come to Montevideo – I hope it can be arranged, it would be good to have some company.

Tuesday 10 May 1988, Koei Maru 30

Another five katakana I think.

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What a terrible day – nothing, absolutely nothing to do. I think I’ll cry if I don’t get picked up soon. Only my South American music is keeping me sane at the moment, or is it the fact that I’m listening to it at all an indication of my insanity? Some would think so.

Wrote a letter to R&C, a bit short and feeble, but I’m running out of things to tell people.

My room stinks! I think it is because I spend so much time in it. It is stale and nasty, but what can I do?

Well, I’m angry and upset, but that is tomorrow.