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Monday January 7, 1974

Interesting day at the YP. Now that I've finished typing I find I can plod along with the work much more efficiently and I find I take more interest in what I'm doing.

See some new pictures to file of Lady Jane Wellesley, and quite an attractive thing she is too. File the obit. of Lord Nunburnholme, who died on New Year's Day. The files will be completely taken over by the peerage before I'm finished.

Poor Chris went to London today for one week on a banking course. The poor blighter will simply dissolve without his usual ale at the Emmotts.

Dave went back to Worcester. He rang late yesterday to see if I was going out - however, I decided to remain indoors. I must remember to write in a few weeks time - he gets horrid fears that we will lose touch completely.

Miss W was in a foul mood today, probably because it's her 60th birthday tomorrow, and she must be feeling older.

Generally a terrible day weather-wise. Rained constantly.

Walk home with Judith, that vivacious creature from Fieldhead Rd. I can't understand how she manages to be so lively.

See tv all evening. Mum and Dad go to Esholt. Retire at 12.15 and have a shower. Bed 1.30.


Sunday January 6, 1974

Epiphany. Mother wakes me at 11.45. Have bacon for breakfast and then stagger upstairs and have a hot shower with Jimmy Savile providing the backing music. Sundays are so much better than they used to be.

See an old film on the BBC in the afternoon. Petula Clarke was only 15 years-old! That shows how dated it was. See another good film in the evening 'How to Murder Your Wife' with Terry-Thomas and Jack Lemmon. V. Amusing.

A completely relaxed day. Chris rang me at 7 to bid me farewell for a week and Denny rang at 7.30 to see if we were going to the Emmotts.

Bed at 11 after the tv had closed down early. Lay talking about old times with John until 2.30am.


Saturday January 5, 1974

Nearly noon when I awoke, feeling very much improved. No blocked up feeeling at all. Have no breakfast and leap into the bath at 1.30. Try to have a shower but something is wrong with the warm water.

During lunch Denny rings and I tell her that everyone is going to the Cow and Calf tonight - she is overjoyed. I suppose we'll get a lift with Pete Mather.

After lunch I sit with a Guinness in front of the tv. By 4.30 the light is nearly gone completely and the night is once again upon us.

Hear from Chris at 6.30 who intends going to the Emmotts for 8. John and I arrive at 7.50. Sit with Ivy who is in very high spirits. Chris and Pete come in at about 8.15. Andy, of course, has been propping up the bar since 7.30. Dear Denny, wearing a beautiful coat, sits on the other side of Ivy. At 9.30 we go to the Red Lion in Burley-in-Wharfedale. Dave Lawson left John without a lift after going out of his way to offer him one. Subsequently, about six of us had to pile into Pete's car. At 10.30 we go onto to the moor to the Cow & Calf. Denny and I take turns in buying drinks for one another. We have a couple of tremendous dances. 'Dance with the Devil' by Cozy Powell is the greatest record I've heard this year.

However, I feel too self-conscious when dancing with Denny because she is such a good dancer - perfect in fact.

Pete brings us home in dense fog at 2.0am. Singing all the way.


Friday January 4, 1974

Awake at 11.30 feeling very much better. The morning in bed's done me a lot of good. Slip into a robe and go downstairs for lunch.

Mum comes home at 12.20 absolutely frozen solid due to the electricity and heating cuts in her office. This 'Three Day Week' will give everyone pnuemonia.

See a George Formby film in the afternoon - not very funny, but hear all the unusual, out-dated swear words like 'twerp', which I think means a pregnant fish or something.

At about 7.30 John goes to the Emmotts whilst I sit by the fire. See a 35 minute programme on the Royal Wedding - very impressive. The BBC must be showing it to cheer everyone up in the present crisis. A cartoon in the paper the other day said what we now want is either a royal wedding or a royal birth. That ought to be the green light for the Prince of Wales.


Thursday January 3, 1974

Awake feeling terrible. A runny nose, watery eyes, dry throat, blocked ears. Terrible. Stagger to Guiseley for the 8.20 train. See Judith who says I should not have ventured out in my condition. The weather is also terrible. Icy wind and very thick frost. I can feel it getting on to my chest. A nasty cough is round the corner.

Poor Dad spent the day in bed after being horribly sick in the night. The meal at the CW cannot have agreed with his digestive juices. However, Auntie Hilda has also been violently sick recently, but her case can be diagnosed very easily. If you drink an entire bottle of Bacardi you cannot expect to feel bright and breezy for a couple of days. She denies that the drink is the culprit, saying it must have been something she ate at our buffet!

Stagger home from the YP and go early to bed.Decide not to go in tomorrow because I do not intend killing myself for the sake of a cheap little newspaper.

Sit, propped up by pillows, until 8.20 when I fall asleep.

The papers are still full of the Prince of Wales and Lady Jane Wellesley. Somehow I can't see anything coming out of this affair at all. The Mail says Charles is only using her as a cover for Lady Cecil Kerr, a Catholic. I don't know what to think.


Wednesday January 2, 1974

Back to the YP after the day off. Mother and Father's birthdays. Poor Dad is 40. Mother is 39. Don't want to write much because I feel uncomfortably ill. Of all the ways to begin a New Year this must be the worst.

Hear from Lynn that Sue Riley had a baby boy on December 30. Samuel is his name.

Mum and Dad go to the CW for dinner. It upsets Dad's stomach. He probably over ate.

Bed at 12.30.


Tuesday January 1, 1974

The radio behind the bar of the Commercial at Esholt announces the arrival of 1974. We all kiss and link arms in the singing of 'auld langs ayne'. Denny, as usual, is emotional at the passing of the old year. By 12.15 Uncle Jack complains he is on the verge of starving to death so we all leave, in dense fog, for Pine Tops.

The party is a tremendous success. Andy, Chris, Linda, Christine W, Peter Mather arrive, followed by MM and Marita. A couple of police officers arrive (as guests) and the party is underway. Uncle Harry is drunk, along with Auntie Hilda. Poor Uncle Tony sleeps in the lounge. The Blackwells came in for an hour or two. Truly a fantastic evening. Chris, in keeping with his previous New Year record, was in a terrible mood. He'll be in trouble next week for not going to Laura's party. Everyone agrees that Mum and Dad are tremendous parents.

Very few people go home, and by 7am most people have fallen asleep in all sorts of places. Cousin Jackie, Neil, Al and Martyn and I awake at about 10 in the lounge. Mr Graham collects Andy, Christine and Linda.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing in front of the tv. My throat is burning and dry, but it isn't down to drink. I consumed very little last night. Poor Auntie Hilda was blind drunk, after knocking back the contents of a whole bottle of Bacardi. She kept calling me: 'My favourite nephew.'


Monday December 31, 1973

Back to the YP. The trouble with Christmas is that I can never remember what day it is. Get a preview of the 'New Year Honours' and see that the leader of the TUC is now Lord Feather! Honestly, I hate these socialists who accept titles. Of course, the public don't know yet. Quite a pleasant day at the YP. Miss Went took the day off. Kathleen, in her infinite goodness, lets us go at 4 and I am home for 5.0.

Mother is preparing for tonight's party but I am more than slightly sceptical as to how popular it will be. Whilst I am in the bath Denny rings. John and I go to the Emmotts where it is packed beyond the limits of human comfort. We, the three of us, leave after two drinks. Home for 9.30. Mum, Dad, Auntie Eleanor, Uncle Jack, Auntie Hilda and Uncle Tony are leaving for the Commercial. Mum instructs us to escort Uncle Harry to Esholt when he finally decides to arrive. He comes at 11.30. Denny, John and I take him, in thick fog, to Esholt. We all have a tremendous half hour, but I hate it when the year changes. 1973 has been such a tremendous year. Some months were the ultimate in happiness whilst others were equally sad. This year, on looking back, will be the year of June. I hope 1973 will remind her of me. That's all I ask. May God carry me through 1974 with as much care.

The radio behind the bar in the Commercial announces the New Year. All the family, with Denny, link arms singing 'auld langs ayne'. Kisses are wildly distributed by one and all. At 12.15 we all leave for Pine Tops. Denny, John and I travelling with Uncle Harry and all the others with Uncle Jack.

(For details of the party see the 1974 diary. I now formally close this for ever. My pen will never touch these pages again. Goodbye O' faithful diary.)


Sunday December 30, 1973

1st after Christmas. Wake up at 7.30 and find myself on top of the bed feeling cold. Without much hesitation I climb into the bed where I sleep until 12.30. Feeling quite rough when I finally get up. The weather is cold, sharp, and sunny. Peter Mather laughs when he sees me staggering towards the bathroom. It isn't until my face is in cold water and I come round that I remember, with horror, that Christine W finished with John last night. The bust up will probably not be permanent. Andy and Linda S are back together again.

Denny, Pete, John and I clear up the mess with Chris whilst Andy watches tv. We then watch one of the Whicker in America series about plastic surgery.

John and me get a bus into Guiseley. Home for just after 1.30. Have a nice lunch. Then see the tv. 'Antony and Cleopatra' starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - described as the 'most expensive flop ever' but I think it's quite good.

Bed at about midnight after having a few drinks with the family. Still no word from Sue Riley or the baby.


Saturday December 29, 1973

Get up at 6.30 shower and dress and leave for the YP at 8. Every national newspaper has Lady Jane Wellesley on the front page. She's staying with the Prince of Wales for the New Year at Sandringham. The Telegraph predicts a New Year engagement, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. Both Miss W and Janice are off - we spend a quiet morning. Only the second Saturday on which I have worked for the YP. Finish all my my work at 12.10 and bid farewell to Kathleen and Sarah. Go down Wellington Street to the Railway station buying a 'Private Eye' on the way. Home by 1.0.

Do absolutely nothing all afternoon and see 'Dr Who' again - the greatest series on tv. See 'The Generation Game'. Bruce Forsyth married Anthea Redfearn in Windsor on Christmas Eve. He's a fantastic wit - when he and Frankie Howerd get together it's totally hillarious.

Chris rings at 7 and asks us, meaning John, Denny and myself, to go to the Fleece. We carry out his orders. We find Andy propping up the bar where he's been since 7.30! He isn't pissed either. Denny's been supping since 8 o'clock. Chris, Pete, Laura and Maggie come ages after and I am feeling very uncomfortable in the heat of the bar. At 10 we set off for Chris's house. David and MM are outside the Fleece, and Denny (who is sick of Laura) drags me into the back of MM's Datsun and we go to the Ratcliffe residence. Plenty of drink - and Tamla - as usual.

I remain quite sober but we all have a good time until about 5am. Andy, John and me crush into Chris's bedroom, where I fall immediately to sleep until the following afternoon - fully clothed too.