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Monday February 3, 1975

Busy day at the YP. Attempt to do a few letters in the afternoon but don't get through more than a handful. Sit in front of the television all night after having a bath. See 'The Likely Lads' - one of the funniest programmes around at the moment. Then sit in bed with Agatha Christie until nearly 1.0am.

Lynn and Dave went to Tiffany's in Leeds with Andy and his so-called cousin 'Judith'.________.


Sunday February 2, 1975

Sexagesima. A beautiful morning. Up by 11 o'clock. John astounds me when he says he's not going out tonight. I realise he told Chris last night of this plan, but I put it down to the effects of alcohol and delirium since he paid his £8 deposit.

Dreamed last night that the Duke of Edinburgh was dead and I was the only person in the office to deal with it.

Lynn is, at this very moment, preparing to go to Bolton Abbey with Dave, and I can't help thinking slightly proud of myself. Why is that, you are all asking? Well, you see I commend myself on the fact that my scheming back in September brought these two young lovers together in the first place. Not that I've had anything to do with it since, but I feel full of pride and joy at the sight of them bounding merrily through life's playground. Love is certainly a marvellous thing.

The brilliance of the afternoon sun fades at about 5, and a fog descends upon us. I was almost convinced that Spring was here, but things look quite different now.

See 'The Gospel According to Matthew' an Italian film which drags on for ages. I much preferred 'The Greatest Sory Ever Told' with Max von Sydow. John Wayne didn't even put me off.

Christine rang to see if I was going out. I say no and she says Chris is also staying in. Really unusual for a Sunday night. We discuss the idea of going to Worcester on Feb 22 - a great idea.

Sue is in the Dales with Peter, and Lynn is at Bolton Abbey with Dave. Dad is at work. So John, Mum and I sit before the television. I delve into the bookcase and select another Agatha Christie - 'The Secret of Chimneys'. It's up to her usual brilliant standard. Read and see TV until after 12.


Saturday February 1, 1975

Sleep until lunch at 12. Leap into the bath in order to revive myself, but even after this experience I don't really feel much better. All that sleep didn't seem to do any good.

See a film on the BBC and then go play 'Ruslan and Ludmilla' by Glinka and the prelude to Act III of Lohengrin by Mr Wagner. Yes, we aren't all unsophisticated Donny Osmond fans up here you know. The classics are as welcome here as they are in Covent Garden, and in some cases even more so.

My first free Saturday in years. Yes, I have the occasional one off, but it's much more pleasant to know that it's a permanent thing.

The papers are full of Edward Heath and Mrs Thatcher. I must admit, at first I abhored the idea of woman Tory leader, but these past few days have heralded a change. Good luck to her anyway. We certainly having nothing to lose. She can't make a worse mess of it than Heath did, and even if she does we'll forgive her because she's only a silly, dumb blond.

To the Hare & Hounds for a couple of drinks before moving on to a pub in Bingley, one of Andy's hang outs. The highlight of the evening was when Dave rang me up at 7 and said he was coming out. I'd no idea he was home this weekend. When the pubs shut John, Dave and I go to the new take-away in Guiseley. Food is horrible and what's more _______walked past on the arm of her boyfriend. ____ignored her completely.
Home in time to see a good Bette Davis film. Laughed all the way through. Sit in Lynn's bedroom until the early hours reading Agatha Christie.


Friday January 31, 1975

Marita is 20 today. She'll be in Sheffield by now, but I made sure her card was in the post in good time. The poor girl hates the idea of being 20 - no longer the little teenager and all that. I suppose I will feel ancient too when the times comes (4 months yet).

A frantic, chaotic day at the YP. The Duke of Norfolk died in the night, and the phones haven't ceased ringing with queries about the new duke and Earl Marshal. I know everything about the 17th Duke of Norfolk off by heart now. Born in 1915, Miles Francis Fitzalan-Howard eldest son of the 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop and the 11th Baroness Beaumont. Married 1949, Anne Mary Theresa Constable Maxwell. 2 sons. 3 daughters. Residence: Carlton Towers near Goole. Heir: Edward Fitzalan-Howard who now becomes Earl of Arundel. Clever lad aren't I?

Carry on working through lunch and so Kathleen kicks me out at 4. Meet Lynn, Christine D, and Alison on the bus, and we are all home for just before 5. Lynn lodges a few complaints about the unimaginative meal awaiting us, and I go off upstairs to prepare for the usual Friday orgy.

To the Hare & Hounds as per usual with the regular mob. Chris and Christine don't come until nearly 10 o'clock and until then I rotate round the mob discussing all sorts of things. Give Chris £8 for the deposit for project Majorca, but he later gives me £5 back to see me through the week. Go to Wikis where nothing much takes place. I chat with Miss Dibb and have the occasional dance with 'CB', as I used to call her. John and I walk home arriving in at 2.30am. Eat piles of cheese and biscuits before hitting the sack.


Thursday January 30, 1975

Whilst messing around with the EP at work I see that the headlines of last night's paper concerned Lord Snowdon and Mr Hamilton, the repulsive Labour MP who should have been shot years ago. It appears that Lord Snowdon has written to the publishers of Hamilton's new book 'My Queen and I', and has has asked him not to publish it. Obviously, he's been instructed to do this by Her Majesty herself or by Princess Margaret, who receives some obnoxious insults in the vile publication, and it is quite understandable that the Royal Family are hurt by it. I for one, absolutely refuse to read it. William Hamilton is so disgustingly low, it would be impossible for most normal people, even certain Labour members of Parliament, to stoop to his level.

Home at 6 o'clock to discover that I've mislaid £2 since last night. After a frantic search I fail to discover it, and sit about moping, pestering myself with worry, and tearing out large chunks of hair, screaming and biting my nails off. Quite upset really. Chris rings at 8.30 to say we may have got in somewhere for the holidays. The travel agent in question is ringing him back at 9.30. So I'll report on the details later. My fingers are crossed with expectancy.

Three hundred and twenty six years ago this day King Charles I was brutally murdered by his captors. A foul day ineed that was. What with William Hamilton's new book and this anniversary I cannot envisage much joy and happiness at Sandringham this week.Her Majesty may well be quaking in her boots.

Chris rings at 9.30 to say we have managed to get a place in Majorca for the weeks we wanted. Not too happy about Majorca, but Chris was assured it's a good place where we're going. More developments tomorrow.


Wednesday January 29, 1975

A busy half day.Kathleen gives me a half-day off because she feels I've worked too hard lately - and this is the reward. Meet Christine outside the CA and we make our way to the Ostlers where I consume several pints of lager and spend a small fortune on the juke box. We go looking for tartan material in order to make some 'Rod Stewart style' scarfes. Don't find any we like, and proceed to make our way to the bus station. Masses of photographs are taken in a booth whilst waiting for a bus, and then fight and squabble over who is having which ones. Home at 3.30 or something very close & then sit in a chair with Agatha Christie. I really am passionate over reading at the moment, and having to wait for volume 2 of 'Edward VII' is hideous. Collapse underneath my book and sleep for ten minutes, which is weird for me. I'm becoming an old man before my time.

To the Hare with John, Christine and Chris at 8.45 - have a few lagers and then back here for coffee. Christine and I sit listening to records whilst John and Chris talk holiday brochures. I haven't the stomach to do so. A few nights with all these glossy magazines and I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Margaret Thatcher, Hugh Fraser and Ted Heath have been nominated for the Tory leadership, and it'll be a close battle between Uncle Ted and Mrs T. I'll die if the old bag wins. The thought of a woman Tory leader is repugnant in the extreme.


Tuesday January 28, 1975

Ring Chris who informs me that the travel agent can't get us in at any of the places he suggested. He comes round at about 8.30 and we sit going wild through masses of repulsive books in order to select a new list of possible holidays. Mum makes some good suggestions and we end up with 11 different choices - ranging from Italy, Spain, Ibiza, Corfu to Cyprus. Don't fancy the idea of going to Famagusta. We'd end up being lynched in the streets by anti-British rioters.

See another old George Bernard Shaw film on BBC2. 'Major Barbara' or something, with Wendy Hiller and the two new child stars of the period, Rex Harrison and Robert Morley! That showws just how old it is. Sybil Thorndyke made a contribution too.

John and Chris go down to the Hare at 9.30 but I'm too involved with the film to bother about going. Off to bed at 11 with Agatha Christie. (Don't think for one minute that I'm having a liason with old Dame Agatha - when I say 'off to bed with Agatha' I mean with one of her books.)


Monday January 27, 1975

To Leeds with Jim Rawnsley and on my arrival at the office I immediately lay hands on yesterday's Sunday Times to look at the first installment of Richard Crossman's diaries. He describes the Queen as 'a small woman with a beautiful waist'. He says that the stools set out for Privy Council meetings are so arranged that the gentlemen backing out of the audience chamber fall backwards over them when leaving the room! Far too gossipy and not what I expected. It just goes to show that a 'Harold Nicolson' lurks somewhere in all Labour MPs.
Kathleen announced today that we staff need no longer work on Saturday mornings. Quite a good idea really because I sometimes miss having a full weekend off.

Home in time to see th Right Honourable William Hamilton answering irrate viewers on 'Nationwide'. The filthy little swine really doesn't deserve to live, and he didn't have a leg to stand on when one Tory MP read the Parliamentary Oath to him. How can Mr Hamilton be so hypocritical as to swear before God to protect Queen Elizabeth? Uncle Harold really ought to get rid of him. They might as well expel him from Parliament whilst they're doing John Stonehouse and kill two birds with one stone.

Ring Chris to see if any developments have arisen about the holiday. None so far. Also ring Marita to let her know I haven't forgotten her. She'll be 20 on Friday. Poor Devil.


Sunday January 26, 1975

Septuagesima. Feel really rotten all day. The top of my head feels like it's about to explode, spraying my brains from here to Mars. I really wish I hadn't devoured all that drink in such speedy circumstances. Dave Slater is to blame - he must have money to burn.

John and I walk into Guiseley to look at a clapped out, old VW which he thought he'd buy. The look of it makes him decide not to bother. Quite a little wreck it was. Home for lunch feeling a bit better, but my head is still fuzzy.

See in the Sunday Express that Mark Phillips won't accept a title. How do they know? I'm sure that Buckingham Palace haven't informed Mr Burnett that Capt Phillips will not receive a title, and realise that the article is purely the brain-child of a clapped out old dear with fond memories of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. Times have changed since 1961.

Chris comes at 3.30 to look through some holiday brochures, but to my horror Lynn informs me that Dave took them with him when he went home last night. Chris isn't bothered and we sit watching an episode of 'The World At War' which seems to have been going on since Douglas-Home was in no.10. The programme that is, not the war. That ended in 1918.

John, Chris, Christine, Carol Smith, Lynn and Dave and self go to the cinema this evening. A clapped out old horror film - so boring. Back home to go through more brochures and Chris leaves with a list with which to do battle with tomorrow. Determined to go abroad no matter what the cost this year.


Saturday January 25, 1975

A filthy day. Hail, rain, blizzards, and nasty snow storms. Lynn and I walk down the lane under the same little umberella - perishing.

Kathleen on morning off. Just Sarah, Eileen and myself in. Me all day unfortunately. Compile a letter to Christine in the afternoon, that is in between doing the EP and YP filing. Mum rings to say that Dad & John are coming to Leeds, and so I get a lift home with them at 4 o'clock.

Have nice lamb for tea. Sit upstairs with 'Edward VII' fascinating it is too. Feel quite lost and frustrated when I finish it. Have to wait until the Spring for book 2, which deals with Edward's life as King-Emperor.

To Wikis with John, Christine B and Chris, Miss Dibb and Andy, not forgetting Carol. I danced with Miss Dibb for most of the night, who moves quite nicely on the dance floor. Bump into Dave Slater in the gents and he buys me a rum and orange, a Bacardi and coke and a Southern Comfort. Naturally, I feel very drunk by 2am. Arriving home I smash a bottle of milk whilst passing through the kitchen. Sat in the toilet reading - attempting to sober myself up and eventually get into bed at some unearthly hour.


Friday January 24, 1975

All day at the YP. Not really eventful.

Minus Christine Mary Braithwaite and Christopher Holland Ratcliffe, who are either going to a party or something at Wakefield Theatre Club, or something equally nauseating. Spend most of the night with Christine Dibb, who is on her usual witty form. Misses White and Smith are also with us - the younger Miss Smith seems to be minus her lover and no doubt it's on the rocks - or at least we hope so.

John buggers off with Andy at 10.15 and leaves me alone with Laura, the two Christines and Carol. Leave the Hare with Laura at about 11 and she kicks Dibb and me out of the car at the bottom of the lane. I don't have a coat and nearly perish with the cold. Christine came in for coffee and we joined Lynn and Dave in front of the television. A bloody awful film dominates the screen so I retreat into my book 'Edward VII'.

Mummy and Daddy are home from a party at the Saxtons with tales of drunkenness and debauchery. The host, Geoff Saxton, diid his usual 'dead man lying on the floor' routine, and threw up later all over the kitchen, which can't have been a particularly pleasant sight.


Thursday January 23, 1975

Nothing much to report today. See 'Top of the Pops' on TV this evening, and it's quite amazing how sober it's all becoming. Pop is on the decline.

Still deep into 'Edward VII'. I realise now that poor King Edward was only lecherous because Queen Victoria refused him any position or decent job. Sixty years is a long time to wait for a responsible position in 'the family business.'

This referendum nonsense is getting completely out of hand. The Labour government is making a serious mistake if it thinks that the British people want to make a choice for themselves. Why bother having a Houses of Parliament if the MPs are going to give all decisions over to us. The ordinary man in the street knows sod all about the Common Market, but one thing is certain, it takes no Sir Christopher Soames to realise the ridiculousness in withdrawing our membership when it took all those years and all that money to get us in. I for one do not intend exercising my so-called right to vote when the time comes.


Wednesday January 22, 1975

Dad wakes me at about 10am with a cup of tea - no sugar of course. I don't think I've mentioned the fact that on Monday afternoon I stopped taking sugar in tea, coffee or whatever other drinks I will be partaking of in the future. Sugar can't really be beneficial, and besides, with the price of it rocketing up and up it's bound to make it last longer at home. It all tasted weird at first, but now I'm quite used to it. Sit in bed gulping tea and reading of the death of the Prince Consort in my new book. How anyone can be devoted to someone else, like Victoria was to Albert, I shall never know. I do tend to be a loner. The thought of a permanent partnership with a young lady brings on suffocating nausea. Marriage for me is out of the question for five or six years at least. Two years ago I felt quite different. June would have been down the aisle and then swept off to a little hotel in Majorca if she'd have let me. Thank God she didn't.

Saw something in the paper the other day suggesting that Hugh Fraser, the feeble husband of the sexy writer Lady Antonia Fraser, is to stand in the election for the Tory leadership. I quite fancy the idea myself. Margaret Thatcher just wouldn't do. And with Mr Heath going about killing dolphins just for the sake of it, I see no point in him remaining leader any longer - the poor sod is obviously off his rocker, i.e. mad.
Meanwhile later that evening: whilst on the phone to Chris, Dave walks in and drops a snowball down my shirt front! The winter is come at last! About bloody time too.


Tuesday January 21, 1975

Make a file this morning for Miss Davina Mary Sheffield, daughter of Captain and the late Hon Mrs Sheffield. None other than Prince Charles's little lady friend. Whether she'll one day be Princess of Wales is another matter altogether, but she isn't worth ignoring. Whilst researching Miss Sheffield I'm amused to see that she is descended from the Duke of Buckingham, who built Buckingham House, now Buckingham Palace. Is it her intention to get the place back in the family?

At lunchtime I go with Sarah into town. See a novel entitled 'Edward VII'. An irresistible urge comes over me to purchase it, along with a couple of Agatha Christie gems. Back to the YP for an entertaining afternoon. One of Eileen's men friends is now incarcerated in Armley Prison after hitting his wife over the head with a bottle. She seems to mix with a genteel, pleasant mob.

Sit reading 'Edward VII'. It is better than I imagined it would be. Written by an actor from one of the trashy TV hospital series in the 1960s.

See 'Pygmalion' the ancient film. Really good, and liked Wendy Hiller. Leslie Howard was perfect.Bed at 11.30 where I carry on fascinated with King Edward until the early hours.


Monday January 20, 1975

Back to work.

Sarah, my former heartthrob, is in a miserable state. Her latest boyfriend has been done by the Lancashire Police for driving without due care and attention. The poor chap was breathylised.

That repulsive man William Hamilton, MP was on the BBC this evening saying all sorts of obnoxious things about the Royal Family. He hates Princess Margaret so much to the extent that he sounds unstable.He made several comments about the Queen Mother being a scheming, shrewd business woman, and not the friendly, charming creature she appears to be. The Queen, according to the learned gentleman, is out of touch, and he had the cheek to stand before TV cameras and say that monarchy and pageantry and completely detached from one another. Insane, horribly insane.


Sunday January 19, 1975

Sleep till 1pm. Marita woke me at the Lord knows what time with the radio. She's the only person I know who listens to 'The Archers'. Somebody must listen in somewhere otherwise the series would have been given the push decades ago.

Christine and I read eighty pages of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis. I persuaded Denny to read it in September and I managed to get Christine to buy a copy whilst shopping yesterday. I must ring Denny and get my copy back - she took it to glance at and that was the last I saw of it.

Steak for lunch. Cooked by me of course. Lazy afternoon reading through a book on astrology - it's quite canny how people take after their star signs. Mine was especially flattering. Leave at 7. Hysterical journey into Sheffield, but I feel sick on the coach coming back to Leeds. MM and Marita were discussing going to Worcester in a couple of weeks, but I am dubious. David cannot manage to house four of us surely? But still, MM will do the arranging I expect.

Christine and I go straight to the Hare & Hounds, leaving Marita in Rawdon. She refuses to inhabit places of fun and enjoyment when MM is away. Astounded in the Hare to hear that Chris is going to work in Windsor - at Barclays Bank therein. Not a permanent move however, only from June to Christmas. We'll all be at a loose end without him.


Saturday January 18, 1975

Wake up just after 10am. Christine says that Marita and I were talking in our sleep. People always say I yell and carry on like a madman in my sleep. Some Psycological reason I suppose.

Spend five and a half ruddy hours in a Sheffield Shopping Centre! Nearly went round the bend watching MM and Marita trying on shoes and buying the nicest lettuces in the market, and spending hour after hour in dark, body odour-smelling, music filled boutiques trying on velvet jackets you'll know they'll never buy. Oh, and Marita wants only lightweight shoes because she's going to Yugoslavia in September and it's always hot there isn't it? Christine and I nearly passed out.

We arrived home after 6. Christine and I are knackered to the core, but MM & Marita look quite normal. Salad for tea. Wear MM's duffle coat when we go to the pub - don't drink much and get back for about 11. Christine and I die laughing over a Monty Python book - a bottle of Martini helped too. The night was probably a bit more romantic as far as Christine and I are concerned. MM got up at 2am wearing Marita's nightie! God! How we laughed.