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Sunday April 8, 1973

Passion Sunday. The Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec "Rabbit" Douglas-Home, yesterday carried out an attack almost Palmerstonian in its nature and somewhat like Eden's Suez rumpus way back in the '50s. He sent a letter repremanding Smith, the Rhodesian chief, or more commonly known as Adolf Hitler II. Evidently, Smith has jailed one of our news correspondents for apparently no known reason. Sir Alec's note expresses the feelings of horror and humiliation felt by the British public. The only message I have for Sir Alec is: 'You may be a bit vague and old fashioned, but we love you. Send in the troops and bring back good old British rule to this sad, misguided pin-prick of a nation stuck out in the jungles of hot, sticky Africa.'

It was on the evening news at 6pm that Picasso, the world famous artist, has died at his home in France. I have never liked his work but he is a legend in his own right and he will go down in history with all the other great artists.

What a day it has been. It is now 6.15pm and I am sitting in the lounge watching a blinding snow storm unfold outside. For any of the people who deny that the world is heading towards its second ice age I can always say: "You ought to have been in Guiseley on April 8, 1973 and you would have been converted." One would think it is January.

Dave rang me at about 5.45 and he is coming to pick me up in the car at 7.45. He and I and the delightful June will be getting together at the Emmotts as usual. Somehow, the thought of having to walk down the lane in these weather conditions is intolerable. Thank the Lord Dave passed his driving test.

Alison has been here all afternoon watching the TV with us. Mum and Dad went down to South Yorkshire at about 3 and on my arrival back from the Emmotts at 11.15 they are still out. Due to the freak weather conditions I am worried about the whereabouts of Mum and Dad. But Dad is a very competent driver and has never had a bump or mishap.

Dave came for me at 7.45 and even the bad weather did not affect his good driving. June and Linda with L's new boyfriend came about 10 minutes later. He is a very quiet chap. Unlike the late Graham. They leave for the Peacock pub at about 9 o'clock. Snow is terrible. June and I go out to get the buses at 10.30 - Dave having gone to meet his Dad in Leeds. I felt very cold. June is so wonderful. Bus comes at 10.50. Home by 11.15. Watch television with John until close-down. He goes to bed. Mum and Dad are home at 1.30.


Saturday April 7, 1973

After breakfast I went into Bradford with the £2 gift voucher from Auntie Mabel and Uncle Jack, etc. I intended buying the 50th celebration recording of the BBC, but Boots did not have it. Instead, I went to the Library where I met Michael Attenborough in the History Room. We both stood for about half an hour looking for something suitable on the Suez Crisis 1956. Very little was to be had. However, I did manage to lay my hands on a volume of Harold Nicolson's diaries and letters which covered the Eden administration. Nicolson was obviously a brilliant writer, but he approaches his diaries in a somewhat peculiar way, for example: where I would say "Sue went at 2 o'clock, and John came in moody at half past 3", he says: "The Queen dies at 10.20am and Winston announces it to the House in sobs at 10.40". Almost as though he's writing his diary there and then as the events occur! Most unusual.

Came home at 3.30 and had a late lunch. Went into the lounge and watched the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race on tv. Cambridge won for the 4th year running and Oxford were 12 lengths behind at the end. Poor Blighters. Watched "Dr Who". Had tea at 6.30 and made a mad dash down Thorpe Lane to be at the Chuck Wagon for 7. Sue and Toffer spent the largest part of the evening arguing with one another - Pauline and I merely looked on. We were not too busy for a saturday night. Sue R had her hair tied up in some kind of head scarfe - and resembled some peasant from the French Revolution - really very amusing. We were home by 1.15. Lynn and Susan were still out babysitting, and I sat reminiscing until they came in at 1.45.


Friday April 6, 1973

Got up at 7.30. In the morning mail I got a birthday card from Auntie Hilda, Uncle Tony and the girls. Due to the fact that I am now 18 years-old Auntie Hilda has decided to drop the prefix 'aunt' and be known henceforward as Hilda, a move I find distasteful and unnecessary. My attaining my majority or coming of age is no excuse for her to discard historic etiquette in such a way. I will always call her "Auntie Hilda" whether she likes it or not.

We had a bomb scare at school today. We were congregating in the common-room for a lecture on drugs, when the siren/alarm-bells went off. The whole school met in a conglomorate mass on the soccer field. Very amusing. The whole farce lasted about 35 minutes. Several cop cars came but nothing happened. June had to break off from a Biology CSE exam. Hardly fair is it?

At 3 we began listening to the lecture on drugs. He was a very interesting man from Bradford University and he turned what could easily have been a dreadfully boring lecture into a pleasant and useful talk. Groves seemed most impressed.

June and I stood at my bus stop in Rawdon in a deluge of rain and hail. When we make any attempt to kiss or cuddle up together (mainly as a means of gaining shelter and heat) some filthy van load of workers with full wage packets and grinning faces are halted at the traffic lights and they make rude and generally vulgar remarks from the windows. June thinks it's funny but I find such behaviour crude. I am probably a snob.

Work was uneventful.


Thursday April 5, 1973

What a day my 18th birthday has been! At 7.35 I went down to breakfast to find several cards and an interesting looking little box. On opening it I find a cheque for £18 from Mum and Dad. No card from Auntie Hilda but a £2 gift voucher from Auntie Mabel and Uncle Jack. Lynn and Sue gave me £3.

At school June gave me a little parcel, but was too embarrassed to stay and watch me open it. It was a Parker pen. How sweet and lovable of her. We kept my birthday a secret until lunchtime when Benita congratulated me in front of a massive and brutal mob. My fate was sealed. That afternoon they (the mob) held me down whilst Louise (Bless her) rubbed eye mascara all over my face. Tim Wallis and Malcolm Thomas then ducked me in the boys sinks. Quite refreshing!
Worse was to come. At 4 o'clock Tim and the lads tied me up with a greasy old tow-rope - which made a mess of my new Oxford bags. They then tried to take me (by carrying) out of the room but June and Christine caused a blockade. After failking to get me out of the window they gave in, and Tim patted me on the back and made a comment about June being very loyal, which was emphasised by her struggle to save me from further humiliations.

On my arrival home I was taken out to an unknown destination, which proved to be the Chuck Wagon. How surprising! It was a really fabulous meal. We were there until 11. Sue and Toffer can certainly keep a secret. The bill came to nearly £20. Not bad for 6 dinners. Mum thought that Sue and Toffer were such nice folk. Sue R tells me she has bought a horse for £300 called Polo. She's over the moon.

Came home at 11 and opened the gancia which nearly blew a hole in the ceiling. Retired to bed at midnight. We have enjoyed the day immensely. My t-bone steak was a perfect sealer to the days chain of surprises.


Wednesday April 4, 1973

Uncle Peter 44. Am still reading Brooke's "King George III". Mrs Lane browsed through it this morning. She says that the diagnosis of the king's illness is over emphasised. She said: "what does it matter whether he was mad or had porphyria. It had the same effects." This may be true but I think the historians account of our loosing the American colonies was due to the insanity of George III is wrong. In reality it was the bad handling of events by the politicians who lost Britain her American colonies. Mrs Lane thinks I am mad for reading such "gossipy" books.

June and I had intended going out tonight but she is bogged down with her History and English projects at the moment. Anyway, a repeat of Monty Python's Flying Circus is on the television tonight and although I would do anything for June, missing my favourite tv programme is a bit too much to ask at this early stage. After all, we aren't even engaged yet.

My polling card came in the post today. I am now eligible to vote in the local elections on April 12. The question now arises: "Who should I vote for?" My mind is made up one way. I will never vote Labour, but the Liberals may be able to do something worthwhile. My first choice will of course be Conservative. Also in the post came my long awaited note from the medical officer. My entry into college depends on my passing the medical which is also on April 12. But as I told Groves today, I fail everything at least 3 times. He just laughed and walked out of the room. Before my actual medical I have to go for a chest X-ray in Leeds, and this is Monday April 9 at 10am. Next week is going to be a busy one.


Tuesday April 3, 1973

You simply would not believe that the change in the weather could be so swift as it has been today. The sun was shining and a pleasant breeze blew the trees into a mad frenzy.

It was announced today that the Duke of Edinburgh is to visit the USSR in September. It's happened at last. I realise they would either send him or the Queen, because anything seems possible these days. To think that the Russians murdered Prince Philip's relations back in 1917. But the Russians will not be embarrassed. Princess Anne is also going, with Mark Phillips, for horse trials there. By the way, my view that the princess and the lieutenant will become engaged at Easter seems unlikely.

At school I continued battling through King George III which is very interesting and readable. Mrs Lane nearly broke down in complete hysteria when I told her of the way in which George II died. He was taking his morning cup of chocolate in his bathroom when he fell, and to quote Brooke: "delivered himself insensible on the corner of a bureau."

Mum today went to London to collect her £50 worth of clothes won in the newspaper competition. On my arrival home from the Chuck Wagon I found Mum in bed with her offerings hung upon the door. She enjoyed the day itself more than the actual gifts - which to me seem a little over-done and gory. She saw Eamonn Andrews with his wife in a London restaurant. According to Mum the man looks much better off the screen. I think he is a proper idiot. Work was nice. Sue R gave me a bottle of gancia "champagne" for my birthday, plus a card and a pair of paper doilies, not forgetting the brillo pad. What a sense of humour she has! Went to bed at 12.30.


Monday April 2, 1973

Truly a freak day by all accounts! I awoke at about 7.45 to find a freak snowstorm banging against my bedroom window. After a small, hurried breakfast I made my way down the lane, and it was so cold that the snow which settled one me did not melt into my clothing. It is hard to believe that it is April. But April is always an eratic month.

June and I went to the shops as usual, but the day passed by completely uneventful.

At 2pm I went to Rawdon Library where I stumbled upon an interesting biography of King George III, with a foreword by the Prince of Wales. It is a very well written clear-cut book, and is one of the first to deny that the king was "mad" and instead is described as suffering from porphyria - a fact which I was aware of 2 years ago.

Arrived home at 5.15 still deeply emersed in my book. Came to bed at 10.30 and was still reading at 11.30.


Sunday April 1, 1973

Awoke at 12 noon. Mum was frying the breakfast... and it's Mother's Day. She doesn't know a good thing when she sees one! Mum made my breakfast whilst I did the vacuuming in the lounge and hall. My good deed for the day...lazy sod! No sooner was breakfast over that Mum was re-setting the table for lunch, due to the fact that Dad is working until 2pm and he has not eaten since 9am.

Dad, John and I are still arguing about the Grand National squabble. John keeps insisting that Dad owes him 5 pence, but Dad refuses to pay up because he insists that John backed out of the bet only when he thought his horse was loosing. However, I was an eye witness, and Dad is certainly in the wrong.

Came out of the bath at 2 to a very nice beef luncheon - not had beef for a while. After lunch I made the coffee and we went into the lounge until 4.30, when we piled into the car and went to Pudsey.

At Pudsey Auntie Hilda made a delicious tea and Grandma Gadsby came over to see us. I stayed until 7.30. Dad and Uncle Tony gave me a lift to the Emmott's. They came inside for a drink with me. A very historic occasion, because it's the first time Dad and I have ever been together in a pub. June and Linda arrived not long after. I introduced them to Dad and Uncle Tony. We had a lovely evening. At 10.30 June and I went to the bottom road in the drizzle - but a refreshing type of rain. Her bus came at 11. I missed mine and walked home, arriving at 11.35.

I rang Auntie Hilda's - and Uncle Tony is now holding a court of inquiry into John and Dad's dispute over the gee-gees. I give evidence to Uncle Tony over the phone. After half an hour Auntie Hilda phoned me and I gave evidence to her. She nearly died laughing.

Had my supper feeling jolly at Auntie Hilda's jest. Came to bed at 1am.


Saturday March 31, 1973

Awoke at about 11 o'clock. Played the Diana Ross LP until nearly 2. Dad and Mum came into the lounge at 3 to watch the Grand National on the telly. Incidentally, Mum received a bunch of flowers from us four this morning as a Mother's Day gift. It cost us £2. They must obviously stick their prices up on Mother's Day.

Before the race began Mum suggested that she, Dad, John and I should put a bob into a kitty, the winner of the race taking all. John declined to play, saying he was against gambling. But at about 3.10 he gave in and put a 5p bet on a horse.

Our horses were:-
Dad....Spanish Steps
Mum.Mr Vimy
me.....Princess Camilla

John's came third and Dad's came in fourth. However, at 3.30 when the race had been won by some outsider Dad refused to pay John, saying John had never actually agreed to the bet. At 7 when I was going out to work they were still squabbling about this. Was I glad to get out?

At 4 John, Mum, Dad and I went to Yeadon shopping. Mum, Dad, and John went to Morrison's whilst I went to the record shop. We were there for about 1 and a half hours. John bought an axe for work. The bloke who sold it to him kept saying: " it'll go up 10 per cent with VAT, lad. No point in waiting for't price to go up. Buy it nah, lad."

Went to work at 7. Booked up all night. Quite easy night really. Toffer brought me home after Pauline had told us her troubles and worries about her father's gambling debts and misfortunes.

The Duke of Gloucester is 73 today. He hasn't been seen in public since the late 1960s. The officials always say he is suffering from a severe illness, whereby public duties are impossible, but I rarther think he is a recluse. He was never a popular Royal. He always seemed too aloof.


Friday March 30, 1973

Unfortunately it was nearly 8 o'clock when I awoke. Therefore, I postponed my trip to school until the 9 o'clock bus came. But Jim Rawnsley was passing in the car and gave me a lift to Rawdon, arriving 9.10.

The morning, being incredibly boring, passed by slowly and I was greatly relieved when lunchtime came around again.

June and I of course made the usual mistake of announcing the fact that we intended making a State visit to Rigg's - within a matter of seconds we were bombarded with yells (hysterical ones at that) for folk demanding, even begging us to go for provisions for them as well. How could any civilised, Christian human being object?

At 2.30 Louise and I went to Biology where we practiced our Italian.