EXTRACTS FROM MY TEENAGE DIARIES – JANUARY 1963

PLEASE NOTE: My full-length diaries of 1963, 1964 and 1965 were destroyed but I still have summaries of the days in 1963 and 1964 in a five-year diary. Sadly, 1965 is lost forever and could only be recalled by memory after I realised that the diaries had been destroyed. Why the diaries were destroyed is the subject of another story which I will not be sharing here!

PLEASE NOTE: My full-length diaries of 1963, 1964 and 1965 were destroyed but I still have summaries of the days in 1963 and 1964 in a five-year diary. Sadly, 1965 is lost forever and could only be recalled by memory after I realised that the diaries had been destroyed. Why the diaries were destroyed is the subject of another story which I will not be sharing here!

As this series of posts only concern diaries written while I was a teenager I shall finish them on my twentieth birthday at the end of August 1963.

1 January – Have a quiet meditative morning considering New Year resolutions I probably won’t be able to keep! We see Jumbo in the afternoon. Jimmy Durante is best but it’s not a great picture. I work at night and listen to the radio.

2 January – Work in the morning and then have lunch in the Capinero with Mum. Go to music with Mrs Sullivan. Gill is leaving for Durban on Friday. We are all shocked about the sudden death of Anderson Tyrer, pictured below as conductor of the Centennial Orchestra in New Zealand in 1940.

3 January – Work fairly hard today and listen to Leslie Green. I miss G and S at night after hearing it regularly for a whole year!

4 January – I get a lift into town from Mr McKenzie in his jag. He tells me that Penny Sage, his son, Alistair’s girlfriend, is in Europe with Holiday on Ice at the moment.

I go to singing and Webster answers the door looking rather tired. I even have to pour my own tea today. Singing goes fairly well and I learn a lot. Anne is preoccupied with their play and is very theatrical. He says, “Goodbye, dear!”

5 January – I go into Mrs S’s studio, work with Elaine and then sing in the SS ensemble. In the afternoon we see Doctor No – very good.

Webster’s new programme Great voices is lovely and he tells of Peter Dawson discovering his voice and taking him to the HMV studios for a recording audition thirty-four years ago.

6 January – Ruth phones to ask me to go and swim in her new pool tomorrow. She tells me all about Christmas and says that Webster is a honey in all circumstances but Anne is behaving in a very theatrical fashion about appearing in the play. She has put off a lot of pupils because of it but has kept us on because we are special!

7 January – Unfortunately, It is too overcast to swim today so we postpone my visit.

I go to singing and Webster tells me how tired he feels doing the play and says he likes my dress. Anne tells me all about the rehearsals. I work hard and Webster sings with me most of the time – really beautifully. I tell him how much I liked his new programme – he seems pleased about it. A really gorgeous lesson today.

Great Voices

8 January – Work very hard indeed today. There is a matinee of Goodnight Mrs Puffin on Saturday 26 January. I must see if I can arrange to go to it. I hope Ruth won’t be away for it.

9 January – Work hard in the morning and lunch in Ansteys with Mum. I see Gideon Fagan in the city and meet a woman from the SABC choir. I go up to Mrs S’s and work hard – she corrects my harmony.

Ruth phones in the evening about going to the swimming pool and tells me that when Webster took her into town for her lesson last Thursday morning and swore atrociously at the other drivers and drove very badly!

10 January – Go into town on the bus with Gill McD and go to Show Service with her. Ruth is waiting for me at the bus stop and we go back to her house for lunch and swim in her gorgeous kidney-shaped pool in the afternoon. Ruth is coming to visit me on Monday and I’ll meet her at 12.45. On the bus back I see Webster driving home in the opposite direction down Jan Smuts Avenue.

He phones at night, saying, “Hello, dear. This is Webster.” He tells me that Anne is terribly sick with jaundice and can I come next Saturday (a week on Saturday) instead. He says the play is hanging on the balance and he doesn’t know his lines properly.

11 January I go to the shops and then to Rhodes Park Library where I try to swot. I work in the afternoon and listen to Leslie Green. There is a picture of Anne and Webster as they hope to appear in Mrs Puffin.

Anne and Webster with their stage children.

We go to the Carmichaels for drinks in the evening.

12 January – Go to Mrs S and work with Elaine and then sing in the ensemble. We go to see Girls with Elvis in it – childish and dull to my way of thinking!

I listen to Webster and Great Voices at night. It is lovely but how I wish he’d play some of his own records. I suppose he is too modest to do so!

13 January – I listen to the little interview with the Booths conducted by Paddy O’Byrne. They talk about their house, garden, pets and pictures. Webster sounds most sincere but Anne is a little flighty. We go for a run in the afternoon.

At night I phone to see how Anne is keeping. They are both rehearsing at the Alex so Anne must have recovered by now. Hilda tells me that she is still rather tired and weak, but better.

14 January – I go into town to fetch Ruth and meet Gill McD on the bus. I go with her to the bank. Ruth comes home and we have a lovely lunch and a most hilarious time. We play with the tape recorder and I record her singing, whistling and speaking and she is thrilled. She says quite seriously that she loves Webster! We have a wonderful time and she promises to send me a card from Rustenburg.

15 January – There is a picture of Webster and Jane Fenn (Mrs Puffin) in the paper. It is simply gorgeous.

I go into town and see Brian McDade. There is a picture of Anne and Webster in the paper at night and an article (most pretentious) called Booths at Home.

16 January – Work and lunch in Ansteys with Mum. I go up to Mrs S and do ear tests with Elsa. I have a nice lesson. Ruth phones to say that she went to the dress rehearsal of Mrs Puffin this morning. Webster wanted me to go as well but Ruth said I wouldn’t be able to come because I was working – I could slaughter her! She must have known that I would have made every effort to go to the dress rehearsal. She says it was good – light and funny. She phoned Anne tonight but Anne was nervous and offhand with her prior to the opening night of the play.

Crit from Rand Daily Mail.

17 January Lewis Sowden’s crit is good as far as the play goes but non-committal about them. I work and phone Ruth to ask her to swop times with me and she agrees. I’m going at 10.30 then. Oliver Walker gives a good crit apart from criticising Webster.

18 January – Webster phones me in the morning to thank me for my telegram and to say that the play is going well and to remind me about tomorrow. He is very sweet and charming and cheers me no end. Work fairly hard for the rest of the day.

I listen to his Great Voices at night – very good, but he’s the greatest voice I know so I miss hearing his own recordings.

19 January – I go to singing. Ruth has a simply ghastly lesson before me. Anne thanks me very much for the telegram. It was so sweet etc! Webster says he’s so sorry he didn’t phone me about the dress rehearsal but Ruth was very firm about telling them that I was working. We moan about her! I would have loved to go. I sing very well and they are pleased. I talk about getting old and he says, “You’re just a little girl to me, dear.” Sweet.

We see Jigsaw with Jack Warner – very good.

20 January – I go to church and make arrangements with Betty for Saturday. I phone Ruth to thank her for changing her lesson with me yesterday. She didn’t enjoy her lesson and I’m not at all surprised!

My mother makes some shortbread for Webster’s 61st birthday tomorrow – I hope he likes it.

21 January – I go to singing and give Webster some of my mother’s shortbread to sample. He says, “Bless you,” a couple of times and Anne says, “Did you know it was his birthday?” and I say I had an inkling about it and wish him a very happy birthday. I sing well and work hard and they are pleased. I ask if I can come backstage on Saturday and they say, of course, I must come. I tell him that I’ll be cross if he doesn’t have some shortbread! I have a lovely time. He is 61 today.

22 January – Work very hard today. Leslie Green has Ivor Dennis to tea this afternoon and he talks of his experiences working with the Jack Hylton show in England – such a sweet old man.

23 January – I have lunch in Ansteys with Mummy – lovely. I meet Roselle Deavall after almost a year. Last time I saw her was on that eventful 11 April, Drawing Room. I go to Mrs S and work at ear tests with Elsa. I have a nice lesson and say I won’t be coming on Saturday due to Mrs Puffin.

24 January – I go to lunch hour concert. Anton H conducts Vincent Fritelli, the brilliant violinist – a lovely programme of Grieg, Sibelius and Saint-Saens.

Mr and Mrs Fordyce in programme of Goodnight Mrs Puffin

25 January – I have my hair set in honour of Mrs Puffin tomorrow. I listen to Dewar McCormack’s Friday at Eight – Bryden Thompson (Scottish conductor) and our Gracie.

26 January – I go to see Mrs Puffin with Betty at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein. We arrive quite early, and after we have coffee we look at all the gorgeous pictures of Anne and Webster in the foyer. The play is simply fabulous. They are all good – particularly Anne and Webster. It is a really good laugh and we enjoy it enormously. We go to see the Booths afterwards in their dressing room. They are very sweet. He puts his socks on as we talk of the play, his lines, his illness (the same as Gaitskell’s) and hers. They come out with us and say hello to boy in the play. He catches the same bus as us and is charming. I listen to Great Voices at night.

28 January I go to singing – Webster is wearing his ancient well-cut pinstripe suit. I sing well but without much expression. Anne says Ruth was very depressed about her sisters treatment of her today. They are cross because I didn’t want to audition for My Fair Lady. Webster sees me to door and says, “Goodbye, deeer!”

I go to the SABC at night. Our new choirmaster is called Chris Lamprecht and we start work on The Creation. Ruth tells me of her depression with her sisters and her seeming inability to sing. She wants to give it up for a while after her exam. Her eyes are red and swollen from crying.

29 January – I am not too well today but recover later. Elsa phones at night to see if I’ll go and do ear tests with her tomorrow. I say I will and will be there at two and will collect the keys from the optician.

30 January – I work and lunch in Ansteys with Mum. I go to the SS studio and see Stan who looks very ill. Elsa and I do ear tests together and Mrs S asks me to teach a child called Gail on Monday. I come home on the bus with Margaret. We are going to work together on Saturday morning.

31 January – I make a dental appoint and go to the SABC concert. Two old women are raving about Mrs Puffin and this makes me smile. Jossie B and Nohline Mitchell are the soloists. They sing excerpts from Hansel and Gretel but they hardly get any applause at all.

EXTRACTS FROM MY TEENAGE DIARIES – DECEMBER 1962

They are supposed to be singing at a garden party (Ah, Leave Me Not to Pine) thrown by the newly created Lord (Jamie Uys). Anne wears huge dangly earrings and Webster is wearing an evening suit with a cravat in the afternoon. They did this not long after he came out of the hospital and his chin is sunken and he doesn’t look well. Others in the cinema audience have a laugh but I see nothing amusing in it.

1 December – Go to town and singing. Anne tells me that their house was struck by lightning during last night’s storm so she didn’t get to sleep till 2.00. I pay her for the music she kindly bought for me and tell her of similar lightning experience at home a few weeks ago.

We start on Zion. She says I have a tendency to drag it. She tells me they listened to the Ninth and rather enjoyed it but thought the orchestra had no verve. She says, “I’m not trying to be big and know more but the UK orchestras have more life in them.” I tell her about Leo Quayle and she says that he was doing very well in Britain and he was mad to come back here when he had so much work over there.

We do Father of Heav’n. She says it’s a most difficult aria. We alter the words of a certain part and she says that if the examiner says anything about the alteration I can always say that Sargent did it that way.

Ruth is late and I tell Anne about Caroline’s engagement and the cocktail party of last night. She says, “Isn’t she having a lovely time now?” I agree.

Ruth eventually arrives and tells us that the party was simply fabulous. The tiles of their swimming pool are being laid today and everything in the garden is generally very rosy.

Ruth says that I mustn’t forget to come tomorrow afternoon to the City Hall. I go back to Mrs S’s. Miss Cameron comes. I practise sight-reading with Elaine.

Caroline Ormond

We have lunch and then see The Jolson Story. Caroline O’s engagement photo is in paper. She is very attractive.

2 December – Go to City Hall for dress rehearsal. In the paper there is an article by Gary A about the two Messiahs – he thinks PE has an edge on Johanesburg because of Webster.

At interval I take Ruth and Hester to the – café and we have cold drinks. Ruth says it might be fun to see The Merry Widow in Springs and we might arrange something. I tell her about the Lord Oom Piet film and she says she’d love to see it.

We take Ruth home. While we are in that direction we pass the Booths’ little house in Craighall Park. The Anglia is in the drive so I expect he must have gone to PE with Graham B or by plane.

3 December – Go to singing. The girl before me doesn’t arrive. Anne tells me she has three mosquito bites and has to take pills for them which make her drowsy. She makes tea and then we start on Father of Heav’n once more.

She says Bill Perry was accepted by PACT. She thinks Gary A was sweet about Webster. She says the orchestra in PE is very bad so apart from the soloists our Messiah will probably be far better than the PE one. He had a terrible cold when he left on Friday and he had to sing on Saturday in Uitenhage with a male voice choir so she doesn’t know how he’ll get on.

We continue with the aria. She says that I have such a pure voice I should make a fine oratorio singer. I mention the film and she looks embarrassed and says that it’s not at all dignified and I mustn’t expect it to be. She says that people who have seen it say they look nice but that’s about all. She’s worried about the show in Springs which opens of Friday night and she vows that she will never do another one even though they pay her a fortune.

At night I go to City Hall for final dress rehearsal. We have the soloists tonight. Nohline Mitchell has a lovely (but cold) contralto. Rudi Neitz is good but (as Webster mentioned) has to go down instead of up on the high notes. Gert Potgieter has a pleasant enough tenor, but, oh goodness, the soprano, Nan Mayer is simply hopeless. She sings out of tune and everyone has to grit their teeth to bear it. When Gert P finishes his Comfort ye and Ev’ry Valley, Gill says cattily, “And how does he compare with Webster Booth?”

I say that Webster’s record is far superior to Gert P and she says, “And how many years ago did he make it? He can’t sing now. He should give up.”

I say, “Admittedly he’s past his prime but when he was Gert P’s age he had a voice 500 times as good.”

She says, “I know that, but he can’t sing now.”

Iris rudely interposes and says, “I’ve always hated his voice and I shall record from PE to compare the two.”

Ruth, her mother and I go over to the café and have a drink. Mrs O says that it sounds really lovely and she’s looking forward to tomorrow night.

Ruth and I go back and I tell her of the unpleasant remarks of Gill and company. She says we must see each other over the Christmas holidays and she will phone.

Leo keeps us a little late but he is an absolute darling. Anton H comes and we present Johan with a present and sing For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow – quite the most beautiful rendering of that ditty, I think. We all get complimentary tickets for tomorrow.

At the car we meet Ruth and her mother so I introduce Mrs O to Dad.

4 December – Go to see Lord Oom Piet in the afternoon. They are the guest stars. The picture itself is quite amusing but I do feel sorry for them.

They are supposed to be singing at a garden party (Ah, Leave Me Not to Pine) thrown by the newly created Lord (Jamie Uys). Anne wears huge dangly earrings and Webster is wearing an evening suit with a cravat in the afternoon. They did this not long after he came out of the hospital and his chin is sunken and he doesn’t look well. Others in the cinema audience have a laugh but I see nothing amusing in it.

Ah, Leave Me Not to Pine, with Jamie Uys squirming in front of them. Disgraceful!

We go to the City Hall at night for Messiah. Ruth is there when I arrive and she tells me that they sent her an account because she didn’t pay her fees on Saturday. She is angry and is going to ask “the meaning of it!” She says they’re very hard up – doing a film like that and taking any engagement for money. She says they should be retired by now. “And living in a cottage in Devon,” I add.

Our singing goes very well. Leo Quayle is fine. The hall is packed and I see the soprano Rita Roberts in the audience. Soprano stays more in tune in the first half. We get a grand reception.

At interval we see the presentation to Johan. He is leaving tomorrow. I am very sorry he is going. Ruth says her chair was collapsing during the first half and she is exhausted from holding it up She is red and nervous. We say we’ll see each other on Saturday and phone each other.

The second half (apart from soprano soloist’s flatness) is excellent. There is wild applause. The Hallelujah chorus is terrific. Johan is brought on stage. Leo kisses his hands at us to signify delight. And so ends our choir for another year.

I have certainly enjoyed my choral work in the SABC and as I look back to each event I remember happy musical occasions – the Passion and Norma bring memories of the Drawing Room and Webster kissing us; Ruth making a fool of herself by mistaking the men’s cloakroom for an exit – that certainly was a night! Stravinsky, Robert Craft and the Symphony of Psalms, the Ninth and now Messiah. Of all the conductors, I think Leo Quayle was the sweetest and best. Father sat in the front row at Messiah and adored it.

5 December – Work and lunch in Ansteys. We get rave notices from RDM and Star – the Star especially says the choir was brilliant and the best of the lot!

Go to SS studio. Don’t do too much work but have illuminating chat with Gill who finally practically discloses the story about Webster she told me partially in April – about the whisky and the ladies’ cloakroom. According to her he was making up to some woman in the ladies’ dressing room at a concert and drinking whisky – or brandy!

I say, “Well, he’s never behaved badly with me.”

She says, “No. You’re his bread and butter.”

I go on, “All he’s ever done is to kiss me,” and she says, “I’m not saying he did anything more than that but it’s immoral.”

I laugh. She adds, “I don’t want to be old fashioned but I like a man to be a gentleman all the time He’s a typical showman and I feel sorry for his wife!”

I must be getting cynical but the story didn’t shock me in the least. As a matter of fact, I’d like him to kiss me again some time – I enjoyed it!

We part on friendly terms but Gill obviously thinks the worst of him.

Mrs S says she thought our performance awful but the critics begged to differ. Despite her opinion, I have a good lesson.

6 December – Go to hear the best lunch hour concert of the season – Leo Q conducts, and Adelaide Newman plays the piano most beautifully.

In the Eastern Province Newspaper, the critic says of Webster’s Elijah – that he sang with his regular superb artistry. I listen to his G and S at night. Continues with HMS Pinafore.

7 December – Go to guild and when I come home the Carmichaels from across the road are visiting. She was a singer and pianist and taught music and tells me that Webster was very involved with Kathleen Ferrier. She tells me that he has had several kidney operations, is a flirt and has led a wild life but is a wonderful singer. I like him none the less after all the damning revelations which might not even be true.

8 December – Go to singing. Hilda from St Helena answers the door. She is very well spoken and charming. Lemon is there too. Anne says The Merry Widow in Springs went very well last night but she was up till 2 every morning and on Tuesday she stayed overnight on a mine and her host had to give her a tranquilliser.

We start on Father of Heav’n and after the story about KF I feel rather embarrassed about it. To crown it all, he comes in and is charming. I ask about the oratorios and he says he had a terrible cold for Elijah but Messiah was much better. They say they knew our soprano, Nan Mayer in Britain – her father was the editor of a London Newspaper. She never got much work in Britain and must be at least 48.

I say that I had another late night last night so that’s why I can’t sing. She says that his coming back has upset everyone.

Do Zion and this isn’t much better. He says that it’s one of my ‘gargling’ days! She tells me that Mabel Fenney isn’t coming back to her husband and intends to stay in London and study. She says she’s probably got a boyfriend over there and after living in Europe nobody can really be expected to come back here.

Ruth is there to hear my bad effort and promises to phone me. I don’t know what they think I do on Friday nights.

Go to see Friends and Neighbours at night at the Intimate Theatre and it is a great laugh. Charles Vernon is unbelievably amusing and I roar. Frank Douglass, Helen Braithwaite are in it too. It cheers me up no end.

9 December – We go to Vanderbijlpark to see our old friends. We see the Alexanders – Inge is home for the weekend. They have two lovely dachshunds.

We see the Hills in passing. Mr H used to teach me music in days long ago. We pop into the Innes’s next door to them. Kathleen is now a picture of health after her terrible car accident. Sadly, she will never dance again.

We finish up at the Watts. Mr W has been very ill with lung problems and has been away from work.

10 December – Work hard. Anne phones in the afternoon. “Hello, Jean?” “Yes?” “Darling, this is Anne.” “Hello.” She wants me to change the time from 4.30 to 3.30. I agree – it will suit me much better.

I phone Ruth at night and we talk for 40 minutes about nothing. I tell her about Gill and she tells me about a wrapping party at her house for the Press Ball. Her father is a director in an advertising agency. She is going to the Drakensberg for the long weekend.

11 December – Go to singing and meet a little boy, Eddie who used to be in my Sunday School class with a lovely little puppy. He blushes when I stop to pat it.

When I arrive no one answers the door and then lift opens and Webster emerges very quietly and I get a terrible fright. He laughs at me and says, “Really, Jean. Your nerves are bad – jumping like that!” He imitates me. “I expect she must be phoning someone.”

We go in and he complains to me about the heat and tells me that he’s had a terrible thirst all day and has been drinking a lot of tea. While he makes more tea he feeds the pigeons in a concerned fashion and I say, “Your pets,” and he smiles at me.

Anne is busy phoning the doctor about her ears and when she comes out of the office she tells him to let me hear the records. He produces Kathleen’s record first and I prepare myself for an effort in self-control. Her singing of Father of Heav’n is quite glorious. He remarks that she takes it rather slowly and he doesn’t think this necessary. She says that her broad Lancashire accent comes over very much in the way she broadens her consonants. Obviously she wasn’t very fond of her.

I then endeavour to sing the same aria. He makes me hold the music up so that I don’t have to look down and swallow. I fill in a breath mark and she says that she sees I’m left-handed. I say, “Yes, another of my faults!” She says, “Nonsense! I’m very left-handed and left-handed people are all infinitely more intelligent.” “Anyway, what’s all this about faults? If we didn’t all have faults we’d be dull!” “Yes, but I have more faults than most,” I answer.

We listen to Prepare Thyself and I am pleased to see that the singer takes a breath in the middle of the long run. When it is finished Webster sings, “And thank God that’s over!” I then sing it and he beats time along with me. It goes quite well.

They say they’re feeling the heat. “It used to be a dry heat that was pleasant but now it’s very humid,” says he. “A damp, horrible heat.”

I come home with Kathleen’s record and a huge picture of her on the cover. During the lesson, Anne mimics her accent and he says, “She was so terribly ill when she made it.”

12 December – Work in the morning and then lunch in Ansteys with Mum – very nice.

Go to SS studio. Gill is there and tells me that she is planning to go on holiday soon. We steer clear of the pet subject – I’ve had enough revelations to last me a lifetime! I have a good theory lesson with Mrs S.

13 December – Go into the library to work and meet the German cellist from the orchestra there. He tells me he is going to Cape Town for his holiday. Lunch with Mum and meet Dawn Snyman from the rink. She hasn’t been there for ages.

Lunch hour concert – Anton H and Gé K. Not bad but latter takes a lot out of himself.

Listen to G and S at night. He goes on with HMS Pinafore and plays He is an Englishman. He tells of broken bottles in “Dear old Dublin in those hectic revolutionary days when we sang this song.” He says that the programme finishes on the twenty-seventh. Next week he’s playing Pineapple Poll. “You can write down all the tunes you recognise,” says he.

14 December – Work and lunch in Capinero with Mum. Go to singing and Webster arrives first wearing his white sports jacket and feeling warm. He says he can’t imagine what has happened to Anne. He dropped her off at a quarter to three at the ABC shoe shop.

We go in together and the phone rings – someone enquiring about the musical activities at the SABC. He suggests the caller joins the choir and says it’s run by someone called van der Merwe. He stops and calls through to me to ask about it and I tell him that Johan has gone overseas and I think Pieter de V is managing it now. He says to the person on the phone, “Better phone Anton Hartman – he’s the head boy of the SABC!” After this conversation, he says he can’t imagine why the person phoned him when he could have phoned the SABC directly.

He says he had to collect a package and pay 5/- for it which he thought rather a cheek. He says that since his illness he hasn’t been able to stand the heat – sweat pours off him. I make some sympathetic noises.

We do exercises and they go so well that he says I should forget them until nearer the time or I’ll get sick of them.

We start on the first study which he plays rather hideously. Luckily the phone rings again and Anne arrives. He returns and says to me, “Did you or I make a mistake or was it the bell?” He sits down at the piano and insists on playing for me again. We get halfway through and she intervenes by giving him a huge poke in the waist. I stop singing and he teases me, “Any excuse for you to stop when I’m playing for you. Don’t you like my accompaniment?” I have a good laugh at him.

The studies go very well too and they are pleased. Anne says her hands are getting stiff – probably from old age.

We start on Open Thy Blue Eyes by Massenet and she says I must sing it twice as fast. Being a love song I must put guts into it!

We also go through I Attempt from Love’s Sickness to Fly. I say I think it’s a bit high for me but they say it doesn’t sound strained at all. Webster tells me it sounds very fresh.

We complain about the heat and I say I should prefer a nice fog. She says the fog was all right when she was young but not now. He tells me he felt very cold in bed last night and Lemon was shivering after his recent haircut, and now today is a killer. He told me this before Anne arrives. He doesn’t look very well with his sunken jaw, rotten teeth and the suggestion of a nervous tic at his eye.

I come home on bus with Rita Marsden and she tells me she has finished matric and is going to work in the library.

15 December – Go skating after a long absence. M skating is just the same apart from some muscular stiffness. Arthur Apfel is back teaching at the rink and Armand Perren has left. There are few there that I know. When I think of the fabulous crowd we had in Erica Batchelor’s day. Still, I enjoy it once more.

We have lunch and then see No Man is an Island with Jeffrey Hunter who has gorgeous blue eyes.

I hear the choir’s recording of Oranje Blanje Blou on the radio.

16 December (Day of the Covenant) Go to family service at church and then to Betty’s to listen to the two records. Kath is wonderful despite her rolling consonants. At night I listen for the long-awaited broadcast of excerpts from Messiah and Elijah from PE. The announcer states that the soloists are Monica Hunter, Joyce Scotcher and Graham Burns but he doesn’t mention Webster at all. I imagine that he has made a mistake so I listen for one of the tenor arias.

The other soloists sing at least three solos each but not one of his arias are played – no explanation or apology. It makes me furious. What could have happened that they did not play one of his arias?

Imagine how he must be feeling tonight. Yet imagine what he was! Imagine him as a young man – tall, well built with dark hair and a handsome face; Britain’s wonder tenor. How awful he must feel now being spurned in this corny one-eyed country. I know what Gill and Iris will be saying.

18 December – Go to singing in the afternoon. Webster answers the door and appears quite cheerful. He tells me to help myself to a cup of tea and I clatter around with the cups.

The girl before me (Mary Harrison) is singing light songs. She’s an Australian in the cast of My Fair Lady. She sounds rather fun and being theatrical they get on well with her.

When I go in I see that they have started to redecorate the studio – white paper with silver motifs. I tell him that it looks lovely and he is very pleased.

Anne comes out and asks if I could come in the mornings while they are rehearsing for the next play at the Alex – Goodnight Mrs Puffin. It opens on the 16 January and goes into rehearsal on Friday.

He says, “We haven’t done The Swan for a hell of a long time. We had better do it.” I sing it too softly. “You are singing a Drawing room pianissimo – sing a City Hall one,” says he.

We do Blue Eyes and he comes and stands next to me and stares at the music, informing me that I’ve made a mistake with one of the notes. She says she doesn’t believe him. We do it again and he springs on me in delight when I make the mistake. He says he knew it was most unusual for me to make a mistake in my notation. He crows over me in delight.

I say I’ll fill in form for exam. She says that she’s glad she can depend on me to do things like that. Lucille, who has also to do an exam is quite helpless and has to have everything done for her. Webster says that if she passes this exam he has a good mind to do it himself! He does not appear to be particularly cast down about omission on the oratorio programme.

19 December – Go to SS studio. Gill informs me that she had a fight with Svea and proceeds to tell me all about it in a fuming fashion. She also tells me that Iris phoned her on the evening of the PE Messiah to tell her she’d got through to it. I say, “I suppose you were both able to sit down and run Webster down together?” She says, “Oh no. He hadn’t come on yet.” She herself couldn’t get through but listened on Sunday, saying that he probably wasn’t good enough to be broadcast. I say that he got a good crit and she says, “But so did Nan Mayer.” I say, “Damn it all, He wouldn’t have sung out of tune anyway.” She says acidly, “I’ve seen them having to turn their duets into a comedy act.” I make no further comment.

After that unpleasantness, I have a good and restorative lesson with Mrs S.

I get a Christmas card from Ruth and one from Gill. Ruth’s has their address printed on it.

She phones me in the evening. They had a lovely time in the Drakensberg and she met a man there who did the lighting for the Merry Widow. He didn’t like Anne but liked Webster. There were lots of fights during the show and everyone was temperamental. He said that they are very hard up now and can’t make much appearing in shows but producing brings in a lot of money.

He also told her that at a party someone insulted Webster and he was so furious that he didn’t wish to stay on. Anne refused to leave and this man danced with her for the rest of the evening. If anyone had insulted my husband I would have left with him.

She tells me that Caroline has failed her B Com exams but can write supps. She says she hopes she’ll pass her own exams. She is going to her school dance tonight and isn’t looking forward to it because of all the restrictions. We make lengthy arrangements to see Lord Oom Piet on Monday seeing they’re in it and we’re going to have lunch first. I’m to meet her outside the Carlton at 1.00. It should be interesting to see what she thinks of it.

20 December – Listen to Webster at night and he plays the ballet suite Pineapple Poll. Next week is his last G and S programme.

21 December – Go into town and meet Ruth in Ansteys. We talk for a little while and then I go to the studio. Webster answers the door and complains bitterly about the heat and makes me help myself to tea. Mary departs after wishing them a happy Christmas.

We start on Father of Heav’n and this goes much better today except for my diphthongs which he imitates. We do Zion. He says I do it much more easily than the other. He wonders why.

Their scripts are left on the piano for all in sundry to see. She asks if she thanked me for my card. She says, “It was so sweet of you,” to which I give a watery grin.

I wish them a happy Christmas and they wish me one too. She tells me she expects they’ll be working over Christmas with rehearsals and so on. I say hello to Ruth once more and depart in grim frame of mind.

Mr Stabler comes with a present at night and then I go carol singing with the guild. Archie and David have supps at varsity too. We have fun in my usual dull boring uninteresting way and I act gaily with pain gnawing at my heart.

22 December – I phone Ruth early in the morning. She went to a party last night and hated every moment of it and didn’t dance once. The school dance, however, was nice and she enjoyed it.

We discuss our parents’ ages and she tells me that her mother and father are both 50. We agree that our parents are all wonderful for their ages. She says that Webster isn’t bad for his age but Anne is very worried about the way he drinks. He’s not quite an alcoholic, mind you, but he loves drinking!

The swimming pool is finished and she says that I must go one afternoon to swim there. It’s very quiet, for her sisters are at work and we’ll have fun. She is so sweet. At the beginning of this year I made a resolution to make her my friend and pass my music exams. I’ve managed to do both, thank heaven.

We arrange to meet at a quarter to ten on Monday outside the Carlton. Unfortunately, I decline into a state of dire illness and am indisposed in a most excruciating fashion for the best part of the day.

23 December – Am ill today as well – no church, no nothing!

24 December – Go into town and buy Ruth a present. I meet her outside the Carlton. She’s a bit late but terribly apologetic so I don’t mind having to wait for her. We go to Capri and she tells me that she has not been made a prefect next year and hasn’t had her report yet. She tells me about a new boyfriend called Peter.

We enjoy the film and have a good giggle at them. His head trembles – I didn’t notice before – shame. His bad teeth are also very much in evidence. She gives me a present and I give her one.

We go to Greatermans so that she can get the tip of her shoe mended. Caroline is going to work in the Standard Bank and continue with her commerce degree part-time.

I take her to lunch in Ansteys. She says she prefers Webster to Anne because he’s always the same and never has moods. Her father is a partner in an advertising agency and had to work his way up from the bottom. When he came out to SA he didn’t like it but he couldn’t afford to go back to Scotland so he stuck it out. She says her parents had George Moore and his wife to lunch one day and GM drank a lot.

We have great fun and she promises to phone me after the New Year and I will be able to go out to swim at her house. We wish each other a happy Christmas and part cheerfully.

I meet Elna H on bus. She’s still studying ballet and doing commercial art.

Webster’s new programme Great Voices starts at 7.30 on the first Saturday of the year.

Ruth’s present is a pair of blue slipperettes which are very sweet.

25 December – We spend a quiet Christmas day at home and enjoy a lovely Christmas dinner. In the afternoon I listen to the programme of carols of our choir which we did last year. It takes me back to the night we made that recording.

26 December -We go to His Majesty’s to see The Music Man with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and Hermione Gingold. It is very pleasant and Robert Preston is full of energy.

27 December – Story about Goodnight Mrs Puffin and big picture of Anne and Webster who play Ma and Pa in the play.

Listen to last G and S. He plays all his favourite Sullivan music: Invocation from Iolanthe, selection from Gondoliers, the Wine song from The Rose of Persia and the Long Day Closes by the Tommy Handley Memorial Choir, “which was formed from Tommy Handley’s famous singing friends so that we could pay tribute to this great comedian.” One way of saying you’re famous! He wishes everyone a fabulous new year and invites them to join him a week on Saturday to hear his new programme, Great Voices.

28 December Go to singing in the afternoon determined to be bright and have a fabulous time. Webster answers the door and I give him a fright with my cheerful greeting, so much so that he tells me not to bother with the cold tea – he’ll make me a fresh cup later on. I chat gaily to Anne who tells me how run off their feet they are with the play but they still managed to have a lovely Christmas. I tell her that Ruth and I saw their picture and enjoyed it very much but thought Jamie Uys should have let them finish their song before he jumped in the river. They both have a great laugh at this.

Anne tells me that they went this morning to have their passports stamped as aliens and he says indignantly that they had to wait one and a half hours to have it done. I tell her we went a few months ago. We agree it would be madness to lose one’s British citizenship. Hilda, however, was not allowed to have permanent residence in this country. They’re very cross about it.

We start on Zion and I sing it very well. He brings me some tea. They tell me that they had a Christmas card from Uncle Mac who told them that poor Anderson Tyrer died on the boat home – possibly from a heart attack. Webster says rather callously, “Uncle Mac must be about 100 – I only hope he lasts long enough for you to get your diploma!”

Also, poor Bill Perry lost all his brothers and sisters in a head-on collision. He had to go to identify the bodies on Christmas eve.

She says I may either come at 10 next Thursday or 4.30 next Friday – the two times are between Ruth and me. I say that I’m sure she would like to go on Thursday and he says they might give her a lift in seeing they virtually pass her door – lucky Ruth.

I wish them a happy new year most effusively and shake Anne’s hand – she gets a surprise. I wonder what to do about him but his hand is already out ready to shake mine with a strong, firm, dependable grip – he holds it for ages. He says something about celebrating Hogmanay in joking tones and she says, presumably trying to imitate Scots accent. “Are you not having a party?” They’re going to one. “But we should really be at home learning our lines.”

I feel quite elated when I leave today. My hand tingles with their handshakes – ridiculous, I know!

Webster says that he was very cold yesterday and they nearly lit the fire. He says that last Boxing day they did light the fire and sat huddled in front of it. She says she went out last night to do a Springbok programme Password and had to wear winter clothes.

29 December – Death of Anderson T reported in paper. He was a famous composer and conductor. In SABC Bulletin there is another article about Great Voices, remarking on the fact that he doesn’t intend to put in his own recordings. He started off at a salary of £4 a week as a singer – and now look at him! They are to appear as Entertainers at Home in Paddy O’Byrne’s Sunday morning programme on 13 January.

30 December – Gary A says that G and S was one of the Top Ten radio programmes of the year.

Go to church and Cecil Oberholzer takes the service. There are very few there.

31 December – Here we are at the end of another year. My only real achievements were passing the exams. Next year I have to pass my finals and earn some money with music.

As far as personal relations go – I’ve made real friends with Ruth and I’m very happy about it. I was sorry to see the last of Peter C and Peter S. As for the Booths – they’ve caused me heartache but they’re the only ones who can make me feel elated. I am as fond of them now as I was when I first met them. I’m glad Webster got over his illness and is now prospering theatrically – I got to know Anne well during his illness and I’m grateful for that.

The SABC has helped me developing musicianship and I have enjoyed my experiences there. It is a pity that we shan’t have Johan with us next year.

It’s been a varied and interesting year if not always a happy one. I hope that next year, despite the hard work in store for me, will be interesting and happy at the same time.

EXTRACTS FROM MY TEENAGE DIARIES – SEPTEMBER 1962

Anderson T is in a less jovial mood today. Anne plays beautifully and my studies and songs are perfect, but my exercises! He can’t give me two marks for them. My nerves go to pieces and my voice trembles. My sight-singing isn’t too startling either but the ear tests and viva voce are fine. He says goodbye affably enough and I come out a nervous wreck.

Ruth sings very well but she cannot answer her questions so perhaps the results might balance. Anne and I talk to the woman in charge. Anne tells me that I sang beautifully but my exercises were a pity. She tells the woman in charge that it is a soul-destroying job, teaching, apart from a few pupils. I say, “I expect it must be most soul destroying to teach me.” She says, “Oh, darling, of course not. You’re one of my best pupils!”

1 September – Beat all my other unearthly hours by going to SS studio at 7.30! Elaine (in a great state of nerves) is there already practising like mad. I work with Svea Ward for a bit. Eventually I go in for my exam with the reputedly terrifying Anderson Tyrer but he is rather sweet and says, “Jean McIntyre Campbell – that’s a fine Scots name.” I play quite well – only make a mistake in one study. Scales aren’t so hot and sight reading rather ghastly but ear tests and viva voce excellent. I think I pass – I hope so. He thanks me most effusively for coming.

Margaret gives me coffee and a bun after my ordeal and then I come home. We see A Pair of Briefs which is excellent – Mary Peach, Michael Craig and James Robertson Justice. We have supper in the Galaxy afterwards.

Sylvia Sullivan

2 September – Go to Sunday school and play the piano. In the afternoon I sing and listen to Leslie G. I phone Ruth to find out about her school exams – they’ve been fine so far apart from science and Afrikaans. She didn’t enjoy the Commerce Ball terribly and had a beer shandy when she was there. On Saturday she couldn’t sing at all and kept giggling at Webster. He said, “If I make you laugh I shan’t look at you next week!”

Her parents left yesterday for three weeks in Scotland with her grandparents in Glasgow. She succeeded in “getting rid of” Trevor, the unfortunate drippy youth!

We decide to have lunch and see a show after our singing exam to celebrate – or mourn! She says, “I hope you won’t mind going around town with me in my school uniform!” We rave about each other’s voices. She isn’t going for a lesson on Tuesday because of exams so I probably shan’t see her till the day of our singing exam.

I do get on well with her and I am so glad Anne told us about each other. I understand her quite perfectly and she’s a real honey.

3 September – Settlers Day. Spend a quiet day at home. Gill V phones to make arrangements for me to go to the Indian eisteddfod. I sing my ‘exam to my parents at night and they like it.

4 September – Go to studio in the afternoon. Anne is there by herself and tells me that Webster has had to do his two extra programmes before he goes today. She told him to go home and have a rest after them if he’s tired so I might not see him. She asks if I’d like to listen to Tea with Mr Green because her girlfriend, Babs is going to be on today.

We do scales and exercises. The chemist phones and she arranges to have a silver Wellaton (hair rinse) sent up! She says her hair is a dull mousy grey and she has to do something to liven it up and stop her from looking old!

We listen to Leslie G and she tells me that Babs Wilson-Hill is her very best friend in Britain. She and Babs were in panto together in 1934 and she is very fond of her. They write to one another every week and tell each other all their worries and troubles. She is very well off – she’s been married three times and her husbands left her a fortune every time so she has a lovely home and garden in Godalming. She shows me a picture of her on the wall. She says she misses her more than anyone else in Britain.

Leslie G introduces the programme and says that it was due to Anne Ziegler that he is there because she had told him about Babs. He talks about the lovely garden – laburnum, willows, larkspurs, snapdragons… Babs sounds very like Anne, only more so – same laugh, same intonation of words, very pleasant and slightly “county”. Anne says that Babs wrote to her and said she made a terrible botch of the whole thing but she sounds terribly self-possessed to me. After it is over, Anne says that one can only have a friend like that once in a lifetime and she thinks everyone needs someone like that to confide in and tell all one’s troubles to.

We go on with singing and it all goes fairly well. I’ll damn well do this exam properly. She advises me to hum before I sing the exercises. “You should see what some people do backstage before they sing. “Richard Tauber – God rest his soul – used to spit before he went on stage. Filthy old pig! Harold Lake, who could have been a grand singer if he hadn’t taken to the bottle, used to moo all over the place before he went on. I just sit back and have a laugh.”

She says she feels as though she’s getting old – always losing her glasses and getting absent-minded.

“But I’ll never admit to middle age!” says she. The chemist sends the hair rinse and the order reads, “Mrs Ziegler”! “The girl in the chemist is one of our biggest fans but she will never call me Miss Ziegler. I don’t think she thinks it’s decent to have two different names in one home and still be properly married!”

She says she thinks I’ll do well in these exams – I mustn’t worry. “We’ll have to take you and Ruth for a tranquilliser!” I say goodbye – I was there for an hour today. What fun!

5 September – Have lunch in Ansteys with Mum and then go up to SS studio for Gill. We go out to Benoni following the two organisers of the eisteddfod – Mr Abdul and Mr Scott. We arrive at the school where there are literally hundreds of children waiting to sing for us. We sit at a table in a large classroom with teachers sitting behind us, and listen to numerous choirs ranging from Grade 1 to Standard 6. The singing is rather lovely. Some of the older girls, who do part-singing, sing very well indeed. I advise Gill on suitable marks and add them up. She gives a very good adjudication. Evidently Johan vd M adjudicated last year and was very cutting about the choirs.

We come home via Bedfordview and, on the journey home, Gill runs Webster down saying she has evidence that he is an alcoholic. I say that he may drink but I don’t think he is an alcoholic and he is a very nice and kind man. She says, “I wonder!” She is horrible about him. Poor Webster.

6 September – Go to Indian eisteddfod again. We have Mr Scott’s wife to help us and she is very sweet. Choral work isn’t too bad although the singers tend to be a bit breathy. The soloist section is not very good with only about two children with very good voices. Gill wades into them no end!

I hear Lucille singing on the radio with her Piet Retief neighbour’s Boere Orkes (Hendrik Susann).

Listen to Webster and he goes on with Iolanthe. I enjoy the music although he is certainly spinning it out. He sounds a bit muddled and breathy and makes a lot of false starts. He must have made this recording on Tuesday when I didn’t see him. I expect he was still feeling the effects of the opening night of the Civic Theatre!

7 September – Go for the last session of the Eisteddfod. Singing is of a much higher standard today and at the end of the event there are duets by some of the teachers and they are really very good.

8 September – Go for singing lesson. Anne arrives with Lemon and informs me that she and Webster have very heavy colds. We start on scales and Webster arrives with his cold very much in evidence. He asks about my music exam and I tell him about it and he says that seeing I liked it so much and Anderson T obviously liked me, I must make sure that he recognises me. “Wear the same dress,” says he.

I sing fairly well – we go through everything and he says that I mustn’t worry about anything. I shall do very well.

When I sing My Mother I pull a face and he says, “Don’t pull faces, Jean.” He makes me smile when he says this. Lemon sniffs around my legs and he says, “Lemon, leave Jean’s legs alone!” About his range he says, “I’ve got about two notes in my range today!” I say that I was out late last night and he says, “I’d like to have gone out late last night too but I wasn’t in a fit state to go!”

He wishes me all the best of luck for Tuesday. “I won’t be seeing you on Tuesday because I’ll be at the SABC recording my programme.” I thank him and wish him a happy holiday and we part on very good terms.

He looks awful today – red face, cold in the nose and throat – shame!

I meet Tufty in John Orrs waiting to go for her singing lesson with Bruce Anderson so we both go to the café in Rand Central and have a cold drink and discuss the horrors and otherwise of singing.

I go up to Mrs S’s and copy out words for her (The Skye Boat Song) The choir arrives with Margaret Masterton and we practise all the pieces.

Afterwards Margaret and I are talking when I hear Ruth’s name mentioned. I ask what they’re saying about her and they tell me that she was singing last night.

I say, “How nice. Where?”

“In Stars of Tomorrow.”

I am horrified to hear this – not the fact that she sang in the programme but the fact that she never breathed a word to me about it.

After lunch we see Counterfeit Traitor with William Holden and Lilli Palmer.

9 September – Go to Sunday school. David Dury draws beautifully. Doreen, who takes S School, wishes Peter Spargo all the best for his trip abroad. I’m quite sorry to see him go.

Ruth phones about 6.20 and tells me the Booths knew nothing of the recording which she had made six months ago. She didn’t tell a soul about it because it was really awful. They were quite angry about the whole matter. They just heard Howard Sacks announcing her name at the end. She had an awful lesson on Saturday and sang dreadfully and is terribly worried about sight-reading and ear tests. Because I feel quite relieved at her version of Stars of Tomorrow I give her a few tips about sight-singing. I tell her that Webster won’t be there on Tuesday but he wished me luck. She says, “He didn’t say a thing to me. He can’t love me any more!”

We decide to go to see Sweet Bird of Youth at the Metro on Tuesday and part affably. I’m so glad there was an explanation for Stars of Tomorrow and that Anne didn’t know about it.

10 September – Go into town today feeling nervous and grim. Go up to studio and Anne is practising My Mother. I go in and we discuss nervousness. We go through the works and I sing very well indeed and she is pleased.

Ruth comes and has her lesson. I wait in the kitchen feeling even worse! After this, we all have tea together. When Anne goes out, Ruth asks me to play the piano and I oblige. It is a lovely piano and I play nicely. We look at the pictures on the wall when Anne returns and giggle over the Webster ones. How I adore them! We help Anne to get the tea and have a nice little chat.

Ruth talks about her parents being in Glasgow at the moment and how they are going to stay at the Savoy in London. She says, “But I like Johannesburg. It has everything!” Anne and I burst out laughing and Anne asks, “Such as?” Poor Ruth is quite affronted by our laughter. We spend a jolly time running down the Civic Theatre and I tell them of the argument I had with Peter S about it. We all get on famously and feel a little less nervous.

We walk down to Edinburgh Court and every second person stares at Anne and when we arrive the others there all whisper about her to one another. She tells me to take a deep breath and I do so.

Anderson Tyrer goes out of the studio and Anne says, “I don’t need three guesses to know where he’s going!”

Anderson T is in a less jovial mood today. Anne plays beautifully and my studies and songs are perfect, but my exercises! He can’t give me two marks for them. My nerves go to pieces and my voice trembles. My sight-singing isn’t too startling either but the ear tests and viva voce are fine. He says goodbye affably enough and I come out a nervous wreck.

Ruth sings very well but she cannot answer her questions so perhaps the results might balance. Anne and I talk to the woman in charge. Anne tells me that I sang beautifully but my exercises were a pity. She tells the woman in charge that it is a soul-destroying job, teaching, apart from a few pupils. I say, “I expect it must be most soul destroying to teach me.” She says, “Oh, darling, of course not. You’re one of my best pupils!”

We come downstairs together and discuss the exam and wish her a happy holiday. Ruth says, “I’m going to phone Webster tonight.” I say, “Why, is he ill?” She says, “No! Just to say goodbye.” Anne says, “Oh, he will appreciate that!”

We part and wish her a glorious holiday then Ruth and I go to Ansteys for lunch.

We decide that Anne is quite natural with us and very stiff with everyone else. We have a lovely lunch (for which Ruth pays). “Since my mother won £40,000!” says she, rather vulgarly. We look around John Orrs and then go to the Twentieth Century to see The Inspector because we are afraid that in school uniform she won’t be allowed in at the Metro. I enjoy it again and we decide that Dolores Hart resembles her.

On the way home she suggests that she and I should do some duets together when the Booths come home. That would be fun. I tell her to give Webster my love when she phones him and we say that we’ll see one another on Monday at the SABC. She tells me that Webster told her to tart up her hair for the exam!

I listen to Anne at night. She plays music from The Count of Luxembourg, Show Boat and Sweet Yesterday. She plays Life Begins Anew, her solo Sweet Yesterday and Webster’s Morning Glory. A lovely end to the day. I remember Webster playing them a year or so ago and I did adore them then. I hope they have a wonderful holiday – they deserve it.

12 September – Go to SS studios and see Gill. She heard Ruth on the radio and thought her very feeble. I get my theory certificate from Mrs S. I only hope I do as well in the practical. We work on Advanced Junior theory and I give Corry Bakker a lesson. Rita Oosthuizen is doing her LTCL tomorrow.

13 September – Listen to Webster and he finishes Iolanthe and includes Nightmare Song by John Reid who has really excellent diction. Next week he is going to start Cox and Box. He plays the Captain Shaw song from Patience – the one they teased me about last Saturday.

15 September – Go to Mrs S’s studio in the morning. Elaine, Carol and I discuss exams in morose fashion and decide that we have all done badly. Margaret M has German Measles today.

Before lunch, I meet Patricia Webb who is going home for a month. We lunch in Capinero and then go to the Metro to see The Boys Night Out.

At night, while reading Cry Havoc and immersed in the horrors of the armament factories, I hear familiar voices on the radio singing I’ll See You Again on Freddie Carlé’s programme. It is lovely. I wonder how I shall survive two weeks without them.

16 September – Go to Sunday School – not too many there – possibly due to German Measles epidemic. Continue reading Cry Havoc by Beverley Nichols and find it excellent.

In the guild service at night four of us sing the alto part in the anthem.

17 September – Go to SABC at night. When Ruth arrives Gill tells her that she thought her rendering on Stars of Tomorrow nauseating. (Rather nasty comment, I feel.)

Johan works us mercilessly on Messiah and there is an improvement. Ruth tells me that last Tuesday she had fibrositis when she got home and was in great pain. She phoned Webster despite it and he was sorry to hear about it. He said, “I believe you and Jean sang very well indeed today!”

We decide that we miss them terribly and that Jo’burg is a meaningless place without them. We discuss our exam with Gill and Tufty and Gill says we are sure to pass. She’s heard our voices and our teachers know what they are doing. Results will probably be waiting for us.

19 September – Work in the morning and have lunch in Ansteys with Mum. I go up to SS studio and Gill is going shopping so I go with her. We see a grumpy Anderson Tyrer entering Edinburgh Court. Exams finish this Friday so the results are imminent.

We see Cecil Williams, who has recently come out of jail owing to his communist tendencies. He gives me a half smile of vague recognition. Gill is horrified about his left-wing ideas.

We go up to the studio where Rita is practising for the LTCL exam tomorrow. We have coffee and then work. I have a good lesson with Mrs S who tells me to come early on Saturday morning to do theory.

20 September Take it into my head that I simply must see the Booths’ house. Weak-mindedness, I guess, but the urge is irresistible! I get a connection to Craighall and a rather good-looking boy directs me to Buckingham Avenue. The suburb is idyllic. There are hardly any people around and the only noise is the birds twittering in the trees. Have a long walk along Buckingham Avenue to find their house.

It is much smaller than ours with a few steps leading up to the stoep. The door is bright yellow and the walls are white. The roof is corrugated iron, painted black. The garden is quite large. To think I always imagined them living in a long, modern house. The house next door looks rather awful and the garden is a shambles but the houses across the street are very nice. It is a lovely spot and I think they deserve such lovely scenery. It’s quite surprising that they should have such a small house after all the money they’ve earned. I walk back to Parkwood, have a cold drink in a café there and come home.

Go to bed and listen to G and S. Webster plays Cox and Box. It is very good and I enjoy it. Then he plays a record by Martyn Green in America – The Judge’s Song from Trial by Jury. He burlesques it a good deal. As Webster says, “D’Oyly Carte would have had something to say about it!” Next week he’s starting on a full-length recording (with dialogue) of Patience which we heard about five months ago. Ah, well. If he can get away with it, why worry!

After this programme, the station announcer says, “That fascinating, scintillating star of the musical stage and screen, Anne Ziegler will present a programme on Tuesday at 8.15!”

22 September – Go into SS studio and meet Yvonne Compton (from the bank) on the bus, evidently recovered from her car crash and looking no worse than I remember her. She tells me that Mr Ford has had another heart attack and was off work for three months and the French lady who lives in Craighall Park is off work with a nervous breakdown. I tell her to give everyone my love.

When I arrive at Mrs S’s Elaine and I morosely discuss exams once more and then get a pleasant surprise. The results have arrived – Elaine has 71% and I have 78% ( a pass with merit). We are delighted.

Have choir – Margaret is back, recovered from the German Measles. Have lunch in Capinero with parents and then see Lovers Must Learn.

I am quite happy with the result and hope singing is not too bad. If only I could find out the result before the Booths return from their holiday.

24 September – SABC at night. I talk to Ruth and we worry about our results. Evidently we can’t hear the results until they come home because Arnold Fulton has no record of the marks. We ruminate over what we will do if we fail. I know what I shall do – give up!

Pieter de Villiers takes us because Johan is sick in bed. Maybe he has German Measles as well?

At interval, Ruth and I talk once more and she says if she fails she’ll cry on Webster’s shoulder. Even that delight wouldn’t make failure much fun. I say I shall give up singing and she is quite worried about it. If I’ve done badly in this mouldy old singing exam, I shall know I’m no good and I’ll have to give up.

25 September Work very hard and hear that Arnold F is going to give Mum my results tomorrow – oh, Lord!

Listen to Anne at night and envy her. She plays Die Fledermaus and somehow manages to talk about singing Marguerite in Faust in 1934 where she met her husband, and seeing Rachmaninoff and Tetrazzini in Liverpool. She plays an extract from The Platonic Nymph and excerpts from records made by friends of theirs who appeared with them at the Palladium – Max Miller, Vera Lynn, Rawicz and Landauer, and of course themselves singing Love’s Last Word is Spoken, Cherie.

It is a lovely programme and she is a lovely person. However, the way I feel at the moment is very amateurish and far removed from Anne.

26 September – Get singing result today – at least, I hope it’s my result and Arnold F hasn’t made a mistake. I get 76% (merit) and he tells mum that it is very good. I can’t wait to get the report and see what Anderson T has to say. I have lunch with Mum in Ansteys and feel much happier.

27 September – In bed waiting for Webster and G and S. Poor pet has his terrible cold and talks in very nasal accents which emphasises his brogue. He starts on Patience and when talking of aestheticism says that it is just the same as the Bright Young Things of the 1820s – “I mean 1920s,” says he. I enjoy it again and he is in a very good mood and makes me laugh.

Only three or four days to go till I see him and Anne again.

30 September – Really sick today so I don’t go to Sunday School or Church.

I feel better at night so I phone Anne. How lovely it is to talk to her again. She answers the phone and recognises my voice before I tell her who is calling. She sounds delighted to hear from me and asks how I am. I ask about their holiday and she says it was a lovely rest but the weather was really terrible. She says that at least Lemon enjoyed the holiday.

I tell her about Mum phoning Arnold Fulton and my 76%. I ask if I can come up for Ruth’s and my card tomorrow night at 6.00. She tells Webster who is standing by the phone the whole time about my marks and he is also pleased. She says in hallowed tones, “Webster sends his congratulations.” She says she is very proud of me. “God bless you, darling,” she says. She is pleased with piano results as well. We say goodbye till tomorrow and I feel refreshed and exhilarated with our chat. They are such good fun, both of them.