Sunday evening, 15-7-73
Dear Father and Mother,

At this moment, I should be settling into bed at the Hollstein Hotel, Im Dammwald 1, Seulberg-Taunus after a sauna bath and 30-odd laps of the swimming pool, but owing to a tragedy of errors I am still here, relying on the hospitality of the elder son. (Is it the milk of human kindness on his part, or is it a good investment in view of his proposed visit to Germany?)

On Thursday, in a last-ditch attempt to get the OK from the "aliens' authority" in Frankfurt, I rang Diebold and asked Sherwood's secretary (he was away) to lean on the a.a. and get them to ring through to the German Embassy in London. I hung around Knightsbridge most of Friday and late in the afternoon received the message that some poor misguided soul from Diebold had rung to say that I allegedly had a British passport (!) and didn't need a work permit. So I've stuck, nor breath nor motion - as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean. I tried to ring Diebold again on Friday afternoon to tell them to cancel the hotel booking but they'd all gone home early, apparently. I'll have to ring Sherwood tomorrow to explain myself - not an auspicious start, eh? I've lodged a few shekels with the embassy here to ring Frankfurt tomorrow - which they refused to do until it was too late.

I've spent a lot of money on clothes (inc. two suits, a pair of hiking boots, two pairs of shoes, shirts etc. and a bag to carry the stuff in), so I'll have to pay my way to Germany I think.

S. has a friend, or a pair of friends, coming from Sydney tomorrow night (as far as he can make out) and has offered to meet them at the plane. It remains to be seen whether I make my escape good!

By the way, in view of the "nice change" you're looking forward to for me, I had my first haircut the other day since that ghastly effort before I left Sydney. That must have given the hairs such a shock they haven't been growing very fast.

You've possibly already heard of my meetings in Chester. EJF was away at some other "locality" but I eventually got on to Alan who picked me up in the city and took me home. I found him an odd mixture of adherence to the old ways and enjoyment of his newfound freedom. Could hardly say I took to him very much and found his wife even less simpatica. When the old man came home, Alan took me around to see him and I found him very pleasant - gave me good news of IHB. Stayed my first night in a B&B (same as you), though if the old man had been home he would have offered me a bed.

On Wednesday, S and I went to Avebury, Lacock, Bath and Sonehenge looking for a specialist to cure his sudden illness. Found Petticoat Lane very entertaining this morning, and Epping Forest very beautiful. Hope I'll be in the Vaterland for your next.