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Wednesday June 20, 1979

_. A revolting hangover today. Annie & Arthur Greenhoff returned to Mexborough and obscurity, and we rolled around on the lawn drinking cheap, fizzy plonk. Lynn & David had stayed the night, and it was she who organised the booze on the lawn. The idea hadn't entered my head.

Alison slept on the lawn from lunchtime until 6pm, making the occasional grunting sound and hideous slurping noises.

Mum and Dad seem sublimely happy. They have given each other rings. I smile at Papa because he keeps holding out his hand to admire the golden adornment. Mum had said that she would not buy him a ring until he promised to give up the hideous habit of nail biting, but she has obviously given up all hope.

Had fish and chips. Went out to cut the lawns. The grass was flat and yellow where Lynn had been sitting. The patch looked as though eighty tons of pig iron had been resting upon it for six months. It is, I know, an uncharitable comment to make about my blooming, rotund sister, but true.


Tuesday June 19, 1979

_. Mum & Dad's Silver wedding day dawned to brilliant blazing sunshine. Laid, as I was, on the settee, I could hear the chinking of glasses and slurping of champagne at 9am. What a good start.

It was Alison who provided the Moet & Chandon and some silver goblets to boot. Breakfasted with the happy couple and Annie and Arthur, who are terrible bores. Their sole topic of conversation is centred upon Barry, their son and heir, and after several hours it becomes infuriating. We made for the garden and lounged until noon.

Dave G phoned to say he has eventually secured a night off and would be arriving at about 3. To the Commercial with Mum, Dad, Annie, Arthur and Ally, who managed to secure a half-day. Not a particularly exciting session. Arthur Greenhoff is the image of the bottom slapping dwarf on the Benny Hill Show. All the women naturally think that he, Arthur, is a dirty old man. Home at 2 to sprawl upon the lawn. Dave arrived with very sad news. His cat is dead. Dad, an expert on matters feline, says the peculiarity of cats is that they are very hardy creatures, but at the hint of a virus - bang - they're off.

Out at 7pm to the Yorkshire Rose. About thirty couples converged for the nostalgic trip down memory lane. I cannot possibly mention them all. Uncle Arnold and dear Auntie Janet, Hilda, Tony, Mabel, Marlene and Frank, my great-aunt Annie Kirk, Pauline Walker (Mum's large and immoral bridesmaid) the Nasons, and a host of others. I became horribly drunk and made a spectacle of myself dancing flamenco style with the Yul Brynner-like barmaid. Jim Nason was pulling Uncle Tony's leg about Jeremy Thorpe and the Liberal slaughter.

Alison shunned me like the plague. In fact she became very cold and off-putting. I ended the evening cuddling Auntie Hilda.



Monday June 18, 1979

_. Odious day at the YP. It is rapidly dawning on me just how much work I do in comparison with the vast majority of my colleagues. ______________.

Sarah took a half-day, just to be awkward - bless her. I met Jacq at luncheon at the Ostlers. We get on very nicely. I do delight in her sense of humour. Ate nothing. Came home at 5 - very hot afternoon.

Annie and Arthur Greenhoff, from Mexborough, arrived for the festivities and a full-scale Royal Albert high tea was laid on. They look very much the same as they always did. Little Arthur is the very image of the bald-headed geriatric stooge on the Benny Hill Show. Saw a film on the TV, starring Frank Sinatra and Jacquleine Bisset.

I slept downstairs due to the influx of silver wedding party revellers and turned in about midnight.


Sunday June 17, 1979

_. 1st after Trinity

Hot, sunny, &c. John phoned at 11:30 to say Maria has been taken into hospital in Stranraer, yesterday. She isn't in labour, but she's had a 'show', whatever that is. It conjured up a vision of my sister-in-law throwing a Royal Command charity performance from her Scottish caravan. john says she will be in hospital for a couple of days. It is very unlikely that he will make it to Mum & Dad's Silver wedding party.

Ally, Sue, Pete and I went to the Half Way House on Hollins Hill and sat in the garden for a couple of hours. Pete remains silent on his wedding plans. Home for 2:30. We sprawled in the garden until dusk. Sue and Pete then departed for Fieldhead Rd to consummate the first Sabbath of their engagement. Ally and I had a Chinese meal with Mama and Papa (£7.20!) and then drank Ginora and various types of vino collapse, until late.

On Sue's return the party became even more jolly. Poor Dad was quite drunk. A stroll into Guiseley followed, which was peculiar.



Saturday June 16, 1979

_. I left my bed at 10am to feast my gaze upon the Trooping of the Colour spectacle. It's a marvellous event that never changes other than the fact that the poor Queen gets older with the passing of each year. One of these days Her Majesty will be observing the pageant from a bath chair.

At 12:30 Ally and I went to Burley-in-W where I passed the day in Dave's garage 'helping' him strip the engine from his Mini. I didn't do much but at least I gave Dave something to laugh at for the duration of the afternoon. He is such a mellow, mature character.

Dad and the ladies went on a shopping expedition to Otley.

Tonight, despite all that we've said, we went out with Sue and Peter to Dick Hudson's pub, the Hare and Hounds tap room, and finally the Commercial at Esholt. At Esholt Annie Lindley informed me that she's leaving in 6-8 weeks. Things just won't be the same. Poor Ron is in no condition to work. On to the Prachee at White Cross, which was ridiculously extravagant, but amusing.



Friday June 15, 1979

_. Out tonight with Ally, Sue & Pete to the Drop and then the White Cross. Sue & Pete didn't speak. At 11:30 we returned home in a funereal disposition. Sue stayed the night at P's house. No doubt hacking chunks out of each other into the small hours.

Ally and I watched a film, the name of which escapes me, but it starred Princess Grace of Monaco and Bing Crosby, and it wasn't High Society. We discussed our relationships and our feelings and sat together deep in analytical natterings for hours. In fact the whole thing was like an Open University programme on BBC2.

Retired to bed. Alison and I are going it alone tomorrow.



Thursday June 14, 1979

_. Have I mentioned the Chancellor's first budget? I must have forgotten. Good old Sir Geoffrey (Howe) has done something with income tax, but I have insufficient intellect to discuss it further.

David, now of Folkestone, is 24 today and I sent him an appropriate birthday card. Tonight I went with Ally and Sue to the Drop and then Oakwood Hall. Mrs Hanson, the buxom landlady of the Drop, commented that I was the most envied man in the pub (a reference to the beauty of Ally and Sue), but I corrected her saying surely they are the most envied women? Mrs H laughed about this a good deal. She laughed a little too long really.

At Oakwood I danced so much that my wrist watch steamed up and stopped. It will never be the same again. Peter came in with Chippy and Dave W. Sue met an imbecile named Tony who attempted to teach me the protocol of chatting up women. Can you imagine? Sue didn't let on that I was her brother, and so we had a laugh at his expense. Home at 2:30 pissed up on cider.