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First posted Thursday, August 23, 2012
Everything that Hague puts his hand to, other than his dick, and perhaps even that, ends up shriveled to a smoking chipolata.
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[Previous Radical's Diary]  

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Ojén, Andalusia, Spain

I WRITE to our printers in Tennessee settling all our bills to date:

Sorry to have delayed. A new debit card was being issued and it has only just reached me here in southern Spain.

To the beach at Elviria in the afternoon until five p.m.. About a dozen scantily dressed women linger around, but . . . age is creeping up on me and I look away.

Tommi H. writes from Finland: "Dear David

Madness has arrived to these shores also. They are making a movie about Marshal Mannerheim. And the actor who play his role is Black. They are making the movie with taxpayer's money. It's a YLE production. YLE is like a Finnish version of BBC. Nothing is sacred any longer. He is our greatest here. . . I'm baffled!


Thursday, August 16, 2012
Ojén, Andalusia, Spain

UP at 8:30 a.m. Rather red in the face from the beach yesterday.

Jessica goes online for the exam results and screams that she has got into [. . .] University. A-star in English, A's in all the rest. Evidently her exams were not all that bad then. -- I inform Bente, who at once replies: "Excellent," and then comments on all that hysteria being about nothing. She has a lot to learn about parenthood.

At the Post Office I pick up the US debit card which Albert has sent from Key West, and I mail letters to a dozen archives about the newly found Goebbels papers. I will ask their owner if he will provide me privately with a complete photocopy of the collection, some 3,500 pages, for a new book. I would have to pay him around 5,000 dollars for the privilege, I guess, and I'll need somebody to help me with that.

Great difficulty driving out of the old town below in the now very sick Skoda, after I run into a maze of narrow streets, some steeply uphill, which the Skoda cannot negotiate except at a run. We are about two thousand feet above the sea, and five hundred feet above the old town square. Finally half way up the last steep hill, the engine grinds pathetically to a halt even in bottom gear; I have to ask the three girls -- Jessica, C., her best friend, and Cecile's daughter Mimi, -- to get out and I reverse down it in wobbly fashion and take it -- just -- at a run.

Takes me back to the days of our old three-litre Rover in the 1960s, when we had a valve or two burn out on the cheap Spanish gas. I had the pleasure of picking up Sir Michael Edwardes in my Rolls at Saint Tropez a few years later, after he came staggering up Tahiti Beach from a rowboat, reminiscent (partly) of Ursula Andress in Goldfinger, with his trouser turn-ups rolled up; and as I gave him a lift over to the tennis club I told him why I would not be buying another of his British Leyland cars any time soon.

But the Skoda engine does not seem to be misfiring, just lacking power. Catalyst poisoned perhaps? That could be bad. Or spark plugs oiled up? Does it even have spark plugs? What is the Spanish for plugs? Ah, bujías, it comes back to me now. On down the mountains and valleys into Marbella at midday, and call at the Skoda repair shop. They say bring it in tomorrow at nine a.m. Maybe they can fix it tomorrow, unless it is a serious (e.g., valve) illness. I drop off the three girls at Puerto Banus and skid back home.

Back up at the house. Empty, as Paloma and her son are out. I work on Himmler all afternoon.

Hugo has written: "Am back in Berlin and breathing in the Berliner Luft again. I always find it invigorating."

He is working there on Himmler files for me.


Friday, August 17, 2012
Ojén, Andalusia, Spain

I TAKE the Skoda into the garage at Marbella. To my delight I find WiFi at the El Cable beach restaurant near the old cable-car terminal.

To Hugo at 12:20 p.m: "I am on the beach at Marbella waiting for the car to be serviced. I overfilled it with oil with bad consequences. I am surrounded by girls squeaking 'Hola' like the British Telecom commercial. I have no custard creams to offer. Story of my life. Lots of bare. . .; divide by two to get the number of females. You would not know where to look."

However by four p.m. I have installed the troublesome Wewelsburg passage into the Himmler draft, and it is reasonable.

I pick up the car. They find nothing wrong with the torque. Hmmm. There is. But they have serviced it (revisión) and changed the oil, which will presumably have lowered the level to the correct amount. They could not change the bujías, as it needs a type they do not have in stock. They will do that on Tuesday. And fix the broken driver's window-mechanism and change the front brake discs and pads. Safety first, followed by even more utter poverty. The delights of parenthood.

John Griffith asks about my languages: "Eight?" "What are they? I saw a video of you speaking Spanish and I was amazed -- I thought you only knew German & English. I'm trying to learn Spanish. Any tips?"

Marry a Spaniard for twenty years or more, that is one tip: Sit in a corner more bored than an oyster (as they say) for years listening to them gabble, until gradually the sunshine of comprehension filters through the clouds of alien verbosity.

We then move on to Nikki Beach for the rest of the afternoon until four p.m.. The car is performing better on the hills, and coughing less. Just the occasional pathetic attention-seeking murmur as we go into a steep hill. It is clearly a female.

At nine-thirty p.m. as promised I drive the girls down into Puerto Banus. Jessica wearing ridiculous eyelashes and teetering on high heels. C. looking more normal. That is going to be the next parental campaign. Jessica is a perfectly lovely eighteen-year-old -- then spoils it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012
Ojén, Andalusia, Spain

I HEAR the two girls clatter back in during the early hours.

Into Elviria at 5:30 p.m., where Jessica and C. go for a three-hour adventure course of rockface climbing, high-wire walking, etc. I must say that, put together, the two of them are very enterprising. I sit in a café working on the Internet until this battery dies, then lounge on, brooding for two hours and people-gazing: many are Brits, and some of the Latinas are lovely to look at. But must so many of them smoke? Have they learned nothing?

Emails: Hugo has replied, with his usual endearingly wayward spelling:

I would know exactly where to look - at the sand in front of me with redenning face. And I dare say you are doing just that. They are quite shameless on the wrong side of the Channel. A gross of custard creams on its way to you by express delivery later today.

In the evening Jessica borrows my phone "to send a text to a friend." Texts cost eightpence, but from my bedroom downstairs I soon hear her gabbling away and the instrument comes back almost drained of its credit, down to only one pound (from seven, which was bad enough). Fortunately, not being entirely inexperienced as a father, I secretly bought a ten-pound top-up voucher before leaving England in anticipation of situations like this.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Ojén, Andalusia, Spain

AT the garage at 9 a.m., I leave the car for brakes and windscreen replacements, and new plugs.

Somebody sends me this quotation from The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh:

Monday, May 21, 1945: [Professor Willi] Messerschmitt asked me what Munich was like. I told him it had been terribly bombed. He said that, according to German reports, Dresden had suffered more from bombing than any other city; estimates placed the dead at 180,000. The city had been full of refugees, he said, and the bombing unexpected." --

The Messerschmitts had all been grounded that night, to conserve fuel, of course.

From Canada, where the disastrous and much lied-about 1942 Dieppe Raid has always been sore point, Michael Oldfield writes:

This weekend marked the 70th anniversary of the disastrous Dieppe raid on the French coast in 1942 in which large numbers of Canadians soldiers were either killed, wounded or captured. For decades, various stories have flowed back and forth about the real reason for this attack. Some claim it was a practice run for the Normandy landings while others say that the British military simply wanted to give Canadians some real battle experience.

Yesterday, Sunday August 19th, a television documentary aired in Canada called "Dieppe Uncovered" in which a Canadian military historian named Prof. David O'Keefe put forward his findings following a long investigation into the Dieppe raid.

He claimed it was simply a smoke screen to cover up a special mission by Royal Marine Commandos and Naval Intelligence people to get ashore, find one special hotel in Dieppe being used as a German headquarters and capture the latest version of the Enigma code machine plus any and all code books. According to this documentary, one of the brains behind this mission was none other than James Bond author Ian Fleming who worked in British Naval Intelligence. This mission failed as did the beach attacks carried out by Canadian soldiers.

I'm quite familiar with the Enigma machine and the Bletchley Park code breakers but had certainly never heard this particular story before. Have you ever come across anything pertaining to the attempted capture of an Enigma machine at Dieppe in your research on World War Two?

I reply that I researched the Dieppe raid very extensively both back in 1967 and later for "Churchill's War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity" [free download]

That new story is not supported by anything I have read in the files, let alone the Bletchley Park files in which I am also well versed. I am not saying it is untrue, just ... show me the beef. Until then: discard.


HUGO informs me in shocked tones of what he has had to go through in Berlin:

You think you had it bad on the beach at Marbella. Well, it's ten times worse here. Berlin is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures over 100°. Today I set off for the Englischer Garten in the Tierpark because I wanted to see what a German English garden looked like. After crossing the Landwehr Kanal (where Rosa Luxemburg was thrown in 1919 after the Freikorps had dealt with her), I was keeping to the shade of trees when, rounding a tall hedge, I was suddenly confronted by wall-to-wall Eurotrash wearing nothing but outsized shades and Factor Six. What should have been a restful sward of green was a seething mass of lobster-red flesh reeking of Ambre Solaire.

With eyes averted, I carefully picked my way across this sea of abandonment till I reached the far side where I thought I was safe - but there was worse to come. As I stumbled through further shrubs, I burst upon another scene of debauchery, similar to the first only this time they were 'doing things', all except one man who was grilling meat on a barbecue and wearing only a small frilly apron, presumably to protect his person from spitting fat. Well, of course this was more than could be borne and I turned and fled as fast as my legs could carry me, stumbling and crashing through undergrowth in my haste to escape these scenes of Berlin depravity.

When I finally burst into the open, I found myself back where I started so decided to postpone any visit to the Englischer Garten till winter.

I reply: "Poor Hugo. Jessica has been perfect here. She has really quietened down, and the good exam results have had a beneficial effect. Tomorrow C., --'s daughter, flies back from Málaga and the day after that Jessica and I drive overnight up to Madrid airport and she flies home via Gatwick. I follow at more, uh, leisurely pace by car, God willing. It is having its brakes replaced at this moment. I have completed another Himmler chapter, almost."

The car is finished by one p.m. and costs, gulp, €670 euros. I return to the house and pick up Jessica and C. and take them to Elviria beach, for some sunshine and a late lunch.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Ojén - Málaga airport -- Ojén, Andalusia, Spain

I DRIVE C. to Málaga airport for her eleven a.m. flight. I choose the coast route, to avoid needless tolls, and she rather objects; but we still get there on time. She is Jessica's best friend, and is going up to Edinburgh. Very agreeable young lady, though reserved.

In the afternoon Jessica persuades me to take her up to the public pool above the village. It is a horrific hairpin-bend road, and the car engine still balks at some inclines. I wonder if they fixed it right? It seems to be missing sometimes. But the pool restaurant has Internet.

I tell G., "You have still not told me what payment you would like. You do not seem very enthusiastic."


A German institute has responded with alacrity to my letter about the Goebbels papers: I promise to forward their message to the owner, adding: "Wegen meiner langjährigen Beziehungen zum Institut (seit 1963) werde ich mich extra dafür einsetzen." I doubt they will be able to afford the asking price. These modern institutes spend all their money on glass and chrome architecture, and fancy staff, and not enough on their collections.


THE FARCE over Julian Assange and Wikileaks continues. He has not even been charged by the Swedes, they merely want him in Stockholm for "questioning" about weird and frankly unappetising stories told by two females. He must have cogent reasons for not wanting to be questioned, and the fear that the Swedes may hand him over to U.S. marshals is presumably only one of them. However he has undoubtedly served the public interest by revealing (in conjunction with Der Spiegel, The New York Times, and The Guardian) the war crimes committed by troops in the Middle East, and the skulduggery of US and British diplomacy elsewhere.

Ordered to report for extradition to Sweden, after the British courts proved no longer able to serve up unblinkered natural justice, Assange has ingeniously sought asylum in Ecuador's embassy behind Harrods, and he has been holed up there ever since. The last person to do that kind of thing, under other circumstances, was Cardinal Mindszenty in the US embassy in Budapest in 1956; of course, he only had Russian tanks after him, not two aggrieved Swedish females in full snort. Mindszenty stayed there ten years. Governments had to change first.

I assume that this South American entity, Ecuador, has its own domestic bones to pick with Britain. They must have known the mess they were getting into with both London and Washington when they opened their front door and ushered Assange in, but they are still dandling him along. Since then the Metropolitan Police have placed a uniformed cordon round the building to prevent their baby "escaping". The cost to taxpayers is immense.

Unable to invade Syria and increase the human carnage there, our Foreign Secretary William Hague has threatened to invade this little embassy instead. Uh, there are rules against that, William. Treaties and that sort of stuff. International conventions. Everything that Hague puts his hand to, other than his dick, and perhaps even that, ends up shriveled to a smoking chipolata. One may hope that Ecuador is now negotiating with Sweden to end the farce, because our F.O. certainly seems unable to.

I should incidentally have little fondness for Assange, given that in November 2009, after the traditional enemy hacked into my emails and posted hundreds of them on the Internet, his Wikileaks website cheaply copied the entire trove onto their website too.

No great scandals were thereby revealed, but it caused embarrassment to many of my friends whose email addresses became prey to the phishers and scamsters, and to Philip S., the kindly owner of Lake End House, whom one hacked message identified as my landlord: Invisible and noiseless wheels began to whir, and in July 2010 he was informed by his faceless but wealthy partners at White & Case, New York, that it would be unacceptable for him to renew my lease. These things happen. Yes they do. As stated, Assange is forgiven in my view.

Bente has not responded to texts for two or three days; seems to be generally miffed. I ask Jessica, "Shall I say 'Jessica says Hello'?" Jessica shakes her head, and I say it all the same.


Thursday, August 23, 2012
Ojén, Andalusia, Spain --

Up early. We are in sunshine up here, but the valleys below are shrouded in Mediterranean fog, all the way down to the sea.


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