Sat Jan XXX
Morning spent shopping. P.m. Went swimming for the last time*. Went to Mt. Eden (dead Volcano), with Parkes’. Climbed down into crater and got Mr Robinsons rock samples. Then to One Tree Hill. There were three trees but two fell or were cut down. The Last tree was cut down in 1876 because it was unsafe, and was replaced by a pine. There is also a great stone monument which ruins the place. This (The Hill) is also a dead volcano. Both places were Maori Settlements. Mum is in a pig-headed mood yet again.
Trains = 26
*There is an arrow and the word ‘wrong’ pointing to this entry in the diary
Mr Robinson was my geography teacher back in England. I had only been in his class for a term and it took him precisely two minutes to annoy me. This was on the first day back after the summer holiday. We spent the morning finding out what our timetimetables were and dealing with various administration tasks. Lessons began in the afternoon and our first one was geography. He greeted us not with ‘Hello’ or anything cordial, but something crass like “Right, holidays are over and you’re here to work now”. When an adult doesn’t show even the most basic of manners it affects you at that age.
Mr Robinson was large, with reddish hair which he had in abundance. He was, in effect, an orangutang with a better than usual grasp of coastlines. He was also a beast on the rugby field, playing number eight for one of the local sides and frequently appearing in the paper for some on-field act or another. And he sweated like a stuck pig, to the point where I’ve often wondered since if he wasn’t suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. I hope not, because I suspect that for all of my distain for him at that time he was actually quite a decent person.