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Friday June 1, 1979

_. The first of bleedin' June. To the YP with my suitcase because after work I begin my pilgrimage to the shrine of St David of Stockport, patron saint of warm beer.

I phoned Mother this morning. We had a fiery exchange on my arrival home last night over the 'new' bed I have acquired from the Baker residence. She thinks it's an atrocious piece of furniture but I stood firm and demanded my right to keep it, pleading for my civil liberties, human rights, and all that. At times dear Mama plays President Brezhnev to my Russian Jew.

A hot day. Left at 5. Sat in the coach depot until my coach left at 6. By 8 I was languishing in the Hollywood with a glass of heavily polluted lager. Dave was in fine form. Joined by Billy and Garry. Poor Dave fancied a night on the town, but once again he was trapped in his own pub. Jim Glynn didn't look well.


Thursday May 31, 1979

_. Out tonight with Peter, Chippy, Dave W, &c. It was a pleasant start but at Oakwood Hall we encountered Sue with her friend Janet Simon, and a bunch of ladies. Immediately the trouble began. Peter, for reasons I do not understand, cannot talk to Susan on a Thursday night. Monday yes, Tuesday yes, Wednesday is all wine and roses. Friday is nothing but euphoric. On Saturday it is a delight to witness the banter, and Sunday is conversationally astounding. But not today.

Dave W told me that Debbie finished with Chippy earlier in the week, but had phoned him and changed her mind by the morning. __________. Home after 2am.


Wednesday May 30, 1979

_. To the library and renewed by lease on Queen Mary I and collected Agnes Strickland's 'Lives of the Queen's of England' Volume 1, published in the 1850s, but now an undoubted classic. This first volume covers the period from the wife of William the Conqueror to the last Plantagenet Queen Consort. My only knowledge of the Conqueror's wife, Matilda, is that she was perhaps the most diminutive consort and that she hailed from Flanders. No doubt Agnes Strickland with broaden my knowledge.

Pouring rain. Home at 5pm, and straight out to the White Cross with Sue and Pete. At 6pm we went over to the indian restaurant (Prachee) for curries. My prawn dish was far too hot and I didn't enjoy it one bit. Tears rolled down my red, sweaty face. Later, back at the White Cross. Whisky by this time. Alas, Peter wanted to watch the European Cup final on TV and he had to have his way, of course. I sat reading of the murderous exploits of 'Bloody Mary' with Brian Clough droning on as a backcloth. Poor Mary had an unfortunate existence, but who could have anything otherwise with Henry VIII as a father? Bed at about 11.


Tuesday May 29, 1979

_.  They, the hungry mob, left at about 3am, and Sue and Pete retired to her suite for a night of passion. I collapsed in bed after threatening to photograph my dear sister and common-law squash playing lover and sell the negs to a leading Sunday newspaper. She thinks I'm the most extremely vulgar chap she's ever laid eyes on. She is taking this a bit far. I may be occasionally lewd and shocking, but vulgar never.

I stayed in bed until almost noon, and then we went to Burley-in-W to eat fish and chips and have a couple of drinks at the Red Lion. Then on to the Shoulder of Mutton. Felt much better today, but dull because I had an evening at the YP ahead of me. Sue and Pete went up to Morrison's to buy prawns and steak for tonight, and I wallowed in the bath.

To the YP at 5pm for a quiet, almost pointless evening. Spent the entire time filing cuttings. Home at 12 in a taxi with a silent, brooding driver, who just said 'hello' and then 'goodbye'. Previous drivers have given me graphic details of their sex life, of pet snakes, and tales of WAAFs in far-off Burma and BFPO Hamburg. Colourful experiences. But tonight's was the worst.

Sue made me a glorious prawn cocktail and a very bloody steak. Sue and Peter succumbed to the call of the bedroom, and so I sat noshing, quite alone.

Read an interesting article in one of the papers about Lady Soames and her forthcoming biography of her mother, Clementine Churchill. Should be interesting, though Clem isn't one of my favourite personalities.


Monday May 28, 1979

_. Bank Holiday in England, N. Ireland, Scotland & Wales.

Got out of bed with what looked and sounded like a cold but is probably more of an allergy. I felt in perfect health yesterday.

Hilda and Tony came here at 10 and they collected Mum & Dad and set out for Diss, Norfolk, and the delights of Ruby & Arthur.

I drank lots of coffee and sent myself deaf with the thumping of the stereo, and sat by the window in glum posture. Sue and Peter came home at 5pm, very bedraggled and damp, from Whitby. They asked me to join them tonight, but I didn't feel like it.

I sat, quite alone, with slices of cheese on toast, watching 'The Great Gatsby' starring Robert Redford. I first saw it with Denny (Denise) and MM in 1974 when it was released. I liked it then, and I like it now.

At midnight a drunken mob converged on the house. Sue, Pete, Chippy, Debbie, Flu, Sharon, Shaun, John (Sumpton?) &c. They made a noisy entry, and concocted a revolting snack by opening several tins of corned beef and adding curry powder, and the remains of a lamb casserole that's been hanging around for days. My head cleared quite considerably. I must have sweated it out.



Sunday May 27, 1979

Sunday after Ascension

_. Sue, Peter, Chippy and Debbie, Flu and Sharon left for Whitby at 7am. Dave W and I followed at a more respectable 9am. Warm and sunny. We arrived at about noon. We met Chippy, sticking out like a sore thumb, silhouetted against the backdrop of a dilapidated chip shop. Soon we were all in the Buck Inn, a pleasant tavern within spitting distance of the smelly, polluted harbour. We drank there until 2pm and then swept the town like locusts clearing it of seafood and sweet confectionery. Chippy and Flu sat at the end of the pier with every intention of catching fish, but made no progress and caught nothing.

Dave and I went with the ladies and played Bingo, and other lower mentality amusements. We observed the scavenging activities of a large gull, with loose bowels. The creature amused us greatly by dive-bombing innocent old ladies from a suitable vantage point on the roof of the Halifax Building Society.

By 6:30 large queues were forming outside all the public houses for the magic moment of 7pm. We all snuggled back in the Buck Inn and supped until about 9:30 when Dave and I left for home.

Hilda and Tony were with Mum & Dad.


Saturday May 26, 1979

_. John, Maria, and a foul-mouthed JPH arrived from Lochans last night.________. Little JPH swears like some enfeebled NUPE member. Mother doesn't tolerate dirty, four letter expletives at her tea table. I blame the poor child's Celtic upbringing.

Out tonight with Sue & Pete to the Shoulder. Joined by Dave Wainwright, Chippy, Debbie, Shaun, John (back from Israel with 3ft long hair), &c. A pleasant night. Debbie is a sexy little proposition if ever I saw one. Quite lovely.

On to the White Horse at Burley-in-W, now vacated by mother's cousin, Dorothy Ratcliffe. The new landlord is a grotesque, fat, walrus-like character, with tattoos. The flab of his stomach hung over the bar. I explained to him, over my pint, that Dorothy and I are cousins, and he responded with a semi negative gesture whilst extinguishing a cigarette.

Home at 12. I'm going to Whitby tomorrow with Dave W.