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Friday April 19, 1974

Up at 9. Sit listening to the radio until half past, then get the bus to Leeds. Arrive at YP at 10.30. Kathleen was pleased that nothing difficult was thrust upon me last night. Quite a boring day really. Home at 6 and immediately had a bath. John rang Chris and arranged to meet at the Emmotts. I was furious and after all the things I'd said about the place yesterday I was in two minds about going at all. But surely enough at 8.20 we were inside, having the honour of drinking the most expensive beer in the area. Philip Cartwright and his latest play-thing, Jane, sat with us. Dave, MM, and Marita came in and I stood with them for the want of something better to do. The three of them were in the highest of spirits, but______. Marita, the sweet thing, bought me a drink. They left at 9 and Chris, who had only just arrived, John and I moved on by bus to the Yorkshire Rose. I hate the place and was only too glad at 10.30 when we were able to move on to Wikis. To my surprise, Andy, Keith and busty Heather were already propping up the bar. We settled down at a table and I was quite ready to fall into a deep coma when Little Helen spotted me and rushed over. From then until 2am the two of us danced nearly non-stop. Chris disappeared mysteriously at 1.30 and John looked miserable as sin. At 2.15 I walked Helen home. We sat in her tatty lounge until 3.30. She was very drunk and woke the whole household up. I made my exit and walked home, and I found it most pleasant. The birds were singing and the night sky was nearly gone.


Thursday April 18, 1974

Rose at 11. Decide to make resolutions. 1). Never to go the Emmotts again; 2). Not to post a letter to June, and to try and forget her. Lynn and Sue are in the bath, seperately of course, which prevents me from bathing until 11.30. Mr Little and Stuart come and collect Stuart's dart board, which he left on his last visit in February. The little horror had no shoes on his feet! Later: Mum, Dad and I go into Guiseley and I browse around the library for half an hour. Get no books.

Go to the YP at 5. All the girls gone, except Kathleen that is. We have a very quiet night, and I find it very enjoyable. Kathleen and I discuss my career over a coffee and she thinks that journalism is what I should aim for. She intends making inquiries in that direction.

Whilst filing I notice that Richard Crossman, the Labour MP, died on my birthday and think it strange that little publicity has been given to the fact. The Express recently said he had cancer, but that is all.

The cheerful man who does sporting activities, I can't remember the name, kept yelling: "What would you do if an important person dies?" However, my capabilities cover the personalities side of the library, and it's things like Turkish politics, etc, which I find worrying. The cheerful sporting character laughed when he discovered that I was going home by taxi, saying: "I knew from the very start that you had class." Kathleen went at 10.15 and I held the fort alone until 12. Taxi came at 12.15. Home by 12.35. All expenses paid as well!!


Wednesday April 17, 1974

Up with the larks at 7. Kathleen works wonders with my new rota at the YP. My first night shift begins tomorrow night at 5 until 12. The company is even to pay my taxi expenses which is a marvellous move. It seems therefore that my luck is in full strength this week. Forsee a lazy day tomorrow with no work until 5. Home with Judith who is very high spirits today. Driving at 6.30 - slightly better on last week though I feel as though I will never make a driver of any good repute at all - this fact is mirrored in the distraught face of the instructor. At 7.30 John says he's going out to the Emmotts, having had a conversation with Chris. I agree to go with him.

Andy, Linda, Christine W, Chris and self make up the party. Quite lively discussion. Conversation ranges from hospitals to cars, Napoleon and Josephine (were they really the great love story everyone, except ITV, makes out?). Christine really seems to loathe John now, and he realises this. Chris was moody again and didn't talk much. Christine, John and self have decided to stop going to the Emmotts. We are quite sick of the place now. Both John and Christine like the Hare and Hounds. Home at 11.30 on bus. Write a 'heart rending' letter to June then decide not to post it. She really does create more chaos with my life than everything else put together. Everyone laughs at my infatuation for her. Chris says she is too immature by far to appreciate my feelings for her. He's probably very correct.


Tuesday April 16, 1974

Mum wakes me at 7. My first day back at the YP. I feel weak and ill after last night and vow never to drink gin again. I have a coffee and leave Uncle H asleep in the lounge, not venturing in to see him because it cannot be a very pretty sight.

At the office I find a letter on my desk: "Dear Michael, I have some rarther depressing news for you. David is leaving the night staff this Sunday (last Sunday for you), so you will have to do a night duty when Ray has his night off; don't panic. I will try to work a late shift with you and stay until about 10pm so it shouldn't be too bad. I've arranged your extra payment and will sort out transport when I get in on Wednesday. It's all a bit sudden and came as quite a shock for all of us. We''ll have a talk about it when I come in. Hope you had a lovely holiday!! Kathleen."

My eyes lit up when I saw the sentence about extra payment. Anyway, I quite look forward to getting away from horrid, little Janice Williams.

My new driving licence came today and at least I can drive round Aireborough legally again.

John took a day off, regardless of what Dave Slater wanted him to work and I've told him he does right. Why should he have only one day off at Easter when all other civilized beings on earth have 2?

At 8 I have a hot shower, then see the news on tv and a documentary on Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the French wine producer. Come to bed at 11 and read the Bruce-Lockhart diaries.


Monday April 15, 1974

Bank Holiday Monday. Rose at 10.30. Sunny but somewhat cold. See a 1953 film "Young Bess" about the early life of Elizabeth I. Quite entertaining but absolutely wrong factual detail.

At 2 John and self go to 21, Victoria Drive, Horsforth, the home of Chris. We stay all day. John, being quite tiresome, watches a Tarzan film purely because Chris and I want to watch something on the other channel. However, we had a tremendous laugh and ventured to the Fleece at 8. Joined by Pete, Bruno, Linda, Christine W and Andy at 9. All back to Chris's at 11. The Ratcliffes came home at 11.30 from Lancashire and the merry little clique disintegrated. I find Mrs Ratcliffe and tremendous character & I stood for 20 minutes discussing the neighbours with her. My sole consumption at Chris's was one gin and orange. Peter brought us home at 12. Uncle H was drunk in our dining room, and Mum, Dad, Sue and Peter were all on the way. I had 2 large gins with orange and some beer. Uncle H fell on the stereo and smashed the lid - Sue was in pain with laughter and poor Peter thinks our family is mad. At 2am I am sitting with Uncle H, cigarette in hand, listening to all his worries, etc. He thinks I'm neglecting Sam on purpose, but why should I visit a strange relative in an asylum for no reason at all? He was sick and I cleared it all up. But the room smells like a sewage plant, or worse.


Sunday April 14, 1974

Easter Day. Rose at 11 o'clock. See a religious epic film on the BBC. They always give the public some fanatical religious film on Easter Sunday.

Turkey lunch is very successful. Mum reveals some startling things afterwards. Whilst reading Elizabeth of Glamis she notes that George VI had the same operation on his leg in 1949 as Uncle Bert had at Christmas time. If George VI and Uncle Bert have anything in common, poor uncle will be dead within 3 years.

John rings Chris after 6.30 and agrees to meet at the Hare and Hounds. I don't like the idea and want to go to the Emmotts, because June nearly always goes on Sundays. John says I must be insane, and I realise I must try and stop this crazy infatuation. However, it is so frustrating to know that she will be sitting in one place whilst I am sitting, equally miserable, in another.

Susan told an amusing story of little Margaret Saxton when the little girl walked in the room on Friday (Good Friday) and sat next to Sue looking terribly miserable. "What's wrong?" asked Sue. "I'm very upset", she replied. "They crucified Jesus today." Very sweet.

Meet Chris and the Hare and Hounds at 8.30. A very pleasant evening indeed despite the small numbers. Chris, John and I make such a happy team.

"Seasons in the Sun" Terry Jacks.


Saturday April 13, 1974

Terrible day. Cold, draughty weather. Rise at 11. Mum is going berserk with anger. Evidently, in my haste to devour a sizeable supper last night, I, inadvertantly of course, turned off the cooker timer which made a bugger of the fat turkey sitting within. At 10.30 Mother discovered the bird uncooked, and of course I was blamed. I left the house quickly, in order to escape the wrath of Mama, going to Guiseley library again, and collecting several loaves from the bakery.

After lunch Chris rings and we meet in Otley at 3.15. Chris is half an hour late. An incredibly cold afternoon. Lynn and I complain constantly about the weather, and Chris drags us into a tatty riverside cafe where he devours several horrid egg sandwiches. Lynn says the coffee tastes like washing up water, and after several sips I quickly agree with her. The three of us sauntered near the river before returning to the bus station. Bid farewell to Chris. We agree to meet at the Emmotts at 8.

John and I caught the bus to the Emmotts. Chris was already propping up the bar, and Pete joined us after half an hour. The four of us were herded near the door and thousands of people kept cramming in. Andy and Dave Baker (Bruno) came half an hour after Pete. We then went to the Westbourne at Otley, which Chris hated, but everyone else had a tremendous time. Pete was in his usual sarcastic mood, and inevitably, Chris suffered. A bar extension until 11.30 enabled us to get rarther drunk. Bruno was nearly copped by the police near Harry Ramsden's, but he took s side-street thereby shaking them off. Home after an exciting evening.


Friday April 12, 1974

Good Friday. Dad wakes me at 10am. Lynn is watching the television, Sue is at work, and so are Mama and John of course. Terrible weather. Chris and I intend going out after lunch, but I expect he won't want to wonder out in the deluge which lashes down upon the whole area. Yorkshire is prone to this obscene weather. Mother and Father bought lunch - fish and chips - at 12.30, and Mama surprised us with a pair of spectacles which she needs for reading - and they look quite nice on her. Mr Ussher, the chemist, thinks they make her look extremely intellectual.

Lazy afternoon. Go to the E. at 8. Andy, Linda, Christine and Bruno (whom I haven't seen since that fantastic day at the Motor Show). Before long, MM, Marita and Denny (looking considerably thinner), and David all drop in to see us. David was in very high spirits and he think he tries to ignore ____when he can. Life for poor David must be ghastly. I do not rellish the idea of dragging ____around whenever I go out. Denny, Marita, Christine Jennings and MM are going to the Continent in July. The 'Jet Set' move on after half an hour, and we then go to the Malt Shovel in Menston where we encounter the parents of Linda and Christine W. One of Christine's aunts was drunk. At 10.30 we all go back to Andy's. Mr Graham is a character! Bruno brings John and I home at 2. Supper and bed at 3.


Thursday April 11, 1974

Up at 9 o'clock. Decide to go with Lynn to the cinema this afternoon. The weather is deteriorating slowly, and by Saturday will shall be six feet under the snow no doubt. British weather never fails to let us down at Bank Holiday time. At 10 I go into Guiseley to get a birthday card for Judith, who is 19 tomorrow - find an amusing one. I make a call at the library and glance at the first volume of the diaries of Bruce-Lockhart, who died in 1970. They seem quite interesting, but I've read Nicolson's diaries for the same period, dealing with the Duke of Windsor, Mrs Simpson, Sybil Colefax and all that lot. Glance at the Times whilst in the library and see that the Earl of Snowdon made his maiden speech in the House of Lords yesterday. He spoke on disabled services or something equally mundane. He didn't make the same mistake as Lord Harewood, who made a very controversial maiden speech on hanging or something.

Princess Margaret came to Harrogate today, arriving at Yeadon of course. Unfortuntately, Lynn didn't want to accompany me to Yeadon so I decided not to bother going on my own. Anyway, I only saw Princess Margaret the other month, and she won't have changed very much I do suppose.

At 2.15 Lynn and I go with Mama and Papa to Yeadon. They go to Morrison's whilst Lynn and I go to the cinema. See 2 horror films which last until 6.30. Lynn is rarther terrified, but I am unmoved. The trouble is that my imagination doesn't begin to work until hours after the film is finished. Horror films are often more gripping in the dead of night.


Wednesday April 10, 1974

Completely lazy day. Finish 'Elizabeth of Glamis' by Duff. The Queen Mother is really a fantastic person and I am sure that it is she who saved the nation from Republicanism in 1936 when Edward VIII packed up. George VI would never have lasted on his own. Indeed, many authorities (not just Duff) say Elizabeth saved George VI from utter and complete madness because when they married in 1923, the then Duke of York was on his way to retiring completely within himself.

In my opinion, the Duke of Edinburgh also receives far too much credit for pulling the Royal Family out of the 19th century. Little Queen Elizabeth was doing a brilliant job before Prince Philip ever got his hands on Lilibet.

Sit about at home all day. Go to the Emmotts at 8.20 after having had a pint in the (Yorkshire) Rose. Keith and Christine White leave almost immediately - and Chris, Laura, Elaine, John and I remain. Terribly boring evening. At 10.15 we go to the fish and chip shop across the road. Everyone in complete misery - Chris feels left out by Andy, who is entranced by Linda. It looks as though we are going to have an unpleasant Easter - no doubt I'll die of sheer boredom. No word from June - hardly surprising really.



Tuesday April 9, 1974

Wake up at nearly 12 o'clock. I know it's a ruddy disgrace, but who cares anyway? Still very upset about June, who may be stark raving mad but doesn't usually back down from arrangements. Anyway, I dropped a letter in the post, and I'll expect a reply when I see one. No doubt about it, I must be completely off my rocker, because no other male in existence would chase a female around for 8 months with nothing to show for it!

A beautiful afternoon and I collapse on the back lawn with a deck chair, dark glasses and Elizabeth of Glamis, not forgetting the radio. Believe it or not, but I have never appreciated the fact that both the Queen and Princess Margaret were born by caesarian section.

Driving lesson 6.30 to 7.30. A hopeless lesson really. Quite scrappy from my point of view - but he didn't despair really. Read all evening. Such a lazy existence isn't it?

Hear that Sue and Toffer are selling the CW for £15,000 and buying a public house in Wales for £37,000, near the coast. Sue wanted to take a pub last year but changed her mind. I don't think they are movingt till August, because Lynn says the couple who are taking on the CW will not be married until July. Life will not be the same without dear Sue Riley.


Monday April 8, 1974

Up at 9 with Mama. Dad does some washing for her and busies himself in that irritable way which never ceases to niggle me. The poor man can never just sit down and put his feet up. He is always messing about in the name of so-called 'useful activity'. However, Dad also hates the way I lounge around all day. "Why don't you find something to do?" is a favourite phrase of his.

At about 10.30 I go see Mrs Perfect, whom I have neglected since February '73. Howwever, she still is the same old gossip. A kindly old soul really, but I do suppose I could walk into her abode and say I'd changed sex and joined a circus as a high wire entertainer and she'd still say: "I always knew you'd fit into that sort of life perfectly, Michael. It is important to create an interesting existence early in life, isn't it?" Really I do suppose that she's a typical snob, but I don't mind snobby people at all. I'm certainly not perfect. Well, not quite perfect yet, so I cannot pass judgement on others.

Go to Guiseley Library. Get a book "Elizabeth of Glamis" by David Duff - a pictorial biography of the Queen Mother. Sit about all evening reading it.


Sunday April 7, 1974

Palm Sunday. Out of bed at 1.30!! Well, hardly any point about feeling guilty about it. After all, I am on holiday. Cook some marvellous steak for lunch, then sit in front of the tv watching a James Cagney film all afternoon. Looking forward with rellish to my liaison with June this evening - our first date since August.

Leave Pine Tops at 7.20 but don't arrive at the Emmotts until 8.20 - quite forgetting that the 55 bus only runs once every hour on the Sabbath. See Chris, who is in conference with Ivy - but no June. Chris and I stand at the bar until 9, then he suggests that we move on. Strangely enough, I feel nothing about being jilted for the first time. I have always imagined that being 'stood up' was an extremely painful experience. We get the bus to the Hare and Hounds where Andy, Linda, Christine and Keith entertain Laura and Martin. They say very little, and it certainly lets you know just who your friends are. Everyone wants to know you when you're having a party, but after that you're nothing.

Christine suggests we go to the Malt Shovel - I go with Keith, who, I must admit, is always civil. Andy brings me home at 10.30, and I see Mama and Dad, Lynn and Sue for the first time since Friday. They all had an excellent time, though no one saw the Queen or anyone whilst in Windsor. Quite disappointing.

"Seasons in the Sun" Ugh