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20100617

Friday December 26, 1975


Holiday in England, Ireland & Wales. Get up at 11. Had lunch. Back to bed until 3.

Go to Maria's with Mum, Dad, Sue, Pete, John, Carole, Lord and Lady Phillips, and Paul. Carole is clad in her new knee length stockings and looks remarkably attractive. We watch tv with Elizabeth (Maria's sister) and John brings me home at 8 to change for Dave L's party. We leave Mum & Dad talking with the Macdonalds until midnight.

Down to the Hare with Carole and on to Dave's at 11.30. See MM and Marita. My first sighting of MM since July. At 1am Carole is taken ill ___________.Dave B, Lynn and myself take her home in the car (along with CD) and return home where we sit about talking until 3am.

-==-

Thursday December 25, 1975

Good old Christmas Day. Up at about 10 and feel a bit lost because I have no presents to open.

We all have a happy time and consume a few drinks of sherry before lunch which is the highlight of the day. Turkey, marvellous, and so too was the pudding. Mum should be canonised for her services to cookery.

The Queen gave her Christmas address from the garden of Buckingham Palace and the theme was for each and every one of us to band together and destroy terrorism and anarchy. She seemed a little frosty.

Lynn and Dave exchanged presents at about 4 o'clock and he tells a horrified Lynn that both his mother and her have bought him watches. Lynn is upset, but Dave says having two watches is no problem. One on each wrist perhaps?

We go to Carole's at 5 o'clock and Mum and Dad meet Mr & Mrs P for the first time. I stay watching tv until midnight and Mr P brings me home. The others had all left by 8.30 and I just about passed out from the terrible heat of the Oakridge Ave central heating. Home after 12.


-==-

Wednesday December 24, 1975


Christmas Eve. At 12 o'clock we went over to the Central, which was like the Black Hole of Calcutta. Fighting to get to the bar proved tortuous and we just about died of thirst while queueing. Sarah goes home at 2.30 and Carol J and I leave an hour later after I'd given massive drunken Christmas kisses to all the drunken females spread around the pub. Eileen just about had me on the floor. She was with her younger sister, Christine.

At 4.30 I'm home and feeling dog-tired as I always do after lunchtime boozing. I fall asleep in the bath and climb out at 6.30 to a roast pork sandwich and a selection of pickles and onions.

By 8pm I'm all well again and Carole arrives just as I'm about to set off and collect her from home.

We go to the Hare where everyone is assembled and I sit with Mr & Mrs P for a couple of hours. We leave at 11 after witnessing a scuffle in which Rick Ryder prominently featured.

Dave L reminds me about his party on Boxing Day. Carole, Lynn, Dave, John, Maria, Susan, Peter all come back to Pine Tops for supper and drinks. At midnight we open most of the presents and I'm thrilled to see that Carole's bought me an instamatic camera. We are all up until nearly 3am and the lounge was devastated with Christmas wrapping paper by the time we'd finished. Dave B took Carole home.

-==-

Tuesday December 23, 1975

I am infuriated by an article in todays Daily Telegraph. Several Labour MPs feel that Princess Anne should be second in line of succession to the throne, instead of fourth. They think her case should be taken before the Equal Opportunities Commission and that it would be a fine gesture if the Queen was to decree that her daughter, and all future royal princesses, should be given precedence in order of birth and not by sexual limitation. It is a futile and ridiculous idea.

I've never thought of myself as a male chauvenist pig before, but it seems I'm going to be classed as one if I continue in this present line of thought.

-==-

Monday December 22, 1975

Work 8.30 - 4.30. Goodbye everyone.

God Save The Queen.


-==-

Sunday December 21, 1975

Work tonight ..... Ugh!

Marlene, Frank, Mark and Debbie are visiting Mum & Dad.

Go to Maria's place at 2.30 to see Carole for a few hours before going into the office. Sit with Carole, Maria and John in front of the tv for a couple of hours until 4 o'clock, just as they are about to start Sunday dinner.

Work was completely dull, as it invariably is on a Sunday, and I leave at 10.30.

See the end of a pre-war Humphrey Bogart film and consume several whiskies, which give me a sudden burst of Christmas spirit.

Do not rellish work in the morning. I wish that Santa Claus could come a few days early for a change. Somehow I don't think he will.

-=-

20100615

Saturday December 20, 1975


To Oakwood Hall tonight. Andy and Linda's engagement party. ______.

Carole and I had shopped in Bradford all afternoon and she compelled me to get Andy and Linda four revolting 'sundae glasses'. What Andy will do with such things God only knows. But Carole insisted we bought them something and when Carole insists on doing something it is impossible to disuade her.

Went to the Hare at 8 and gave our present to the happy couple. Left the Hare at closing time, and attempted to get into Sweeney Todd's, but failed miserably. That was how we ended up at Oakwood Hall on this joyous occasion.

Carole and I barely said a civil word to each other all night and I almost decided to finish with her once and for all. Somehow I changed my mind. Afterwards, Raymond brought us to the White Cross and the two of us walked up to Maria's, where she's staying. I eat piles of cheese on toast and argue with John about all manner of things.

The walk up Thorpe Lane did Carole and I the world of good and by the time we reached Ridgeway we were getting on like a house on fire, or perhaps a hospital bed.


--==--

Friday December 19, 1975

Dave, from No 40, Hawksworth Lane, arranged a trip to Annabella's disco in Bradford. All the gang went, by coach of course, and we drank and made merry until 2am.

Carole and I were squabbling again and I realise we haven't quite seen eye to eye lately.

CB was with us. I bought Dave L all his ale. I don't object to this of course because you know as well as I do that I'd do anything for David. These college chaps can't afford to eat or live - let alone booze.

Home at 2.30. John was three sheets to the wind and proceeded to make more than a bit of a racket on our arrival at the palace.

Goodnight one and all.

-==-

Thursday December 18, 1975

The great unveiling of Lucy Collis's new kennel.

John and I go up to West End Lane at about 7.30, and Sarah and I stand about while John bangs, brays, hammers and attacks Mrs Collis's kitchen like something not right. We entertain Mrs C's mother with a fine demonstration of the Yorkshire accent, which absolutely delighted her. These Northamptonshire breeds aren't all that up on dialects.

We leave at 9.30 and I get to Carole's a hour and a half late. She isn't going round the bend or anything and is quite normal.

Maria takes a different attitude and when John brings her down to the Hare she's sulking and has a face like a wet weekend.

I got the last bus home and retired to bed immediately on my arrival at the ancestral pile.

You're very lucky to be reading this, because I nearly didn't bother getting the old pen out today. You may be even luckier tomorrow.

-==-

Wednesday December 17, 1975


A bit of a Royal day in Leeds today. Sarah, Eileen, Carol and I went up to the Queen's Hotel to see the arrival of the Prince of Wales at 12.20 this afternoon. It was a biting cold day and everyone in the crowd looked perished.

The prince dashed out of his Rolls Royce and fled up the red carpeted steps of the hotel with some speed and those in the crowd who were not perhaps on form may well have missed seeing him altogether. Sarah says he looks tiny and thin - something of a puny prince. He's about 5ft 8ins I think, which is quite average really.

I had to laugh at The Times this morning. An article concerninhg the love letters between Sir John French, commander-in-chief of the Army in the 1914-18 war, and his mistress, was topped with the headline 'FRENCH LETTERS SCANDAL'. Makes it sound like some court case involving a Durex swindle. I laughed for hours.


-==-

Tuesday December 16, 1975

Not today, thankyou.

Monday December 15, 1975


Don't fancy writing anything today. In fact, I think I'll retire until after Christmas if it's all ok with you. For God's sake you can't complain! I've been sitting here now for three years telling you all my daily activities and if anyone deserves a rest I think I do.

PS - it was Uncle Tony's 40th birthday yesterday. ______.

--==--

Sunday December 14, 1975

3rd in Advent. Up at 7.30am. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. I was up at 7.30 and at Carole's for 8.30.

At home I first had a boiled egg for breakfast and got myself well wrapped up for the great ordeal ahead of me. By 8.30 I was at Carole's and by 9 o'clock we'd roused the entire household.

After sitting for an hour listening to Mrs P's reminiscences of her Bermudan childhood, we set off for the bus stop. The prospect of walking to Ilkley proved unbearable and so we decided to go the idle way. We have a laugh in the garden centre in Menston and end up walking miles anyway because the buses only run once every hour on the Sabbath.

Get to Ilkley for 11.30 and immediately buy fish and chips, which are putrifying. A tour of the antique shops concludes the visit and we return to Guiseley for luncheon.

I'm in no writing mood today. I feel listless.

-==-

Saturday December 13, 1975


Carole gives up smoking?

Carole's Auntie Anne had a stroke last night and at 2 o'clock the two of us go to Otley Hospital to see her. The coldest day of the year. We walked through Otley with ice hanging from all our prominent extremities.

Auntie isn't as bad as we thought and she'll probably be out of hospital by Christmas. She is in a private room, and we, the relations and friends, made a terrible racket. Her son, Geoffrey, sat flicking live matches at Carole, and she retaliated by giving a high pitched scream every time a missile struck. Little Paul drank all the patient's Lucozade, and Mrs Phillips sat hurling nothing but abuse at her only daughter. I'm quite positive that we can't have done Auntie Anne much good. The three of us, Geoffrey, Carole and me, left auntie in her smouldering bed at 4pm, and walked into town.

Carole demolished a display in one of the supermarkets and we were forced to make a hasty exit. Back to her place where we collected a few presents to go under our Christmas tree (see below) and then go on to Pine Tops. Lynn and David are erecting the tree in the lounge whilst everyone looks on.

I ate a couple of kippers and Lynn and Dave had scrambled eggs on toast.

Back to Carole's at 7.30 and she gets herself ready to go out. We go across to the Hare where Dave L is in residence. We stand about for an hour or so then we go up to the Craven Heifer where Carole renounces tobacco smoking for ALL TIME!!!???!!!...or so she says anyway. Then up to the Cow and Calf with Peter M. Hear from Carol Smith that ________. I had no idea at all. No wonder ______ has been a bit weird of late.

Arrange with Carole to go on a long walk tomorrow morning. I intend getting up at 7.30am. Will he do it? This is the question on the tip of all your tongues.


-==-

Friday December 12, 1975


It's been a long week and you have no idea just what it feels like to be sat at home on a Friday evening with the prospect of a good weekend before you.

I was never designed for work one bit. I should be in St Tropez with three debutantes around each arm and a crate of good champagne on the table before me. Alas, we members of the Landless Peasantry don't stand much chance.

Home on the train and feel more than half-knackered. However, after tea, and a session with the stereo I'm quite rejuvenated.

CB rings to say she's going out with Philip again tonight. Do I envisage a reconciliation? It is Christmas coming and you know what they say about good will? It would ease my conscience slightly if they breach was healed because sometimes I cannot look Philip in the face without thinking 'Oh you swine, Michael'. Nevertheless, CB was the one who severed the connection and all I can be labelled really is an accessory to the crime.

'Prisoner at the Bar, how do you plead?'

'Guilty, M'Lud.'

Carole and I go to the Hare & Hounds at 8.30 and see Andy and Linda who say that they are going to the airport for a meal on Dec 20th to celebrate their engagement. Carole is unenthusiastic about going, but I can't refuse really. People don't get engaged every day do they? (Well, other than Rex Harrison that is).

I came home on the bus with CD. It is an incredibly cold night and both of us dreaded having to get off into the foul, freezing night air.

Watch tv until close-down with Lynn, Dave, Sue, Peter, Mum & Dad.

-==-

Thursday December 11, 1975


Uneventful day. Do not see Carole and stay at home in front of the tv all night. Laugh with Dad at this London hostage business. If they are still being held at Christmas I can see Sir Robert Mark, the Metropoltian Police Commissioner, dressed as Santa Claus, lowering a sack full of presents down the chimney of the Balcombe Street flat!

See 'Top of the Pops' and a programme about Prince Charles being invested as a companion Water Rat. Mike Yarwood, Ronnie Corbett and all the usual bunch were taking the mickey, but HRH came over marvellously as usual. The whole nation now regards as some sort of 'Boy Wonder' and the papers are full of 'when he is King he will do this' and 'when he is King he will do that...' &c. The Sunday Trash said last week that the dear Queen will abdicate in ten years time. I cannot believe that she'd do such a thing. She is strong enough to go on for 25 years yet and I'm certain that she'll be Queen until the day she dies - communist revolutions and uprisings set aside. It is an ancient tradition, I fear, for the media to idolise the heir and cast the dear old monarch into the shadows.

See Spike Milligan at 9 o'clock on BBC2. He is a genius beyond his years. No one seems to appreciate his talents and I fear his genius won't be fully recognised until after he's gone.

Climb into the bath at 9.30 and go to bed shortly afterwards.

-==-

Wednesday December 10, 1975


The old Duchess of Windsor will regard this day as a special day I think. 39 years ago, the King of England packed his bags and left his country in order to win her heart. He could have reigned long and happily with her as his mistress but he would stop at nothing short of the altar. A proud old thing she really should be.

Don't hear from Carole during the day and at 7.30 John drives me up to Sarah's where we buy some of her fantastic pieces of pottery. I never imagined she was such a good, creative little thing. Spend £4 on her wares and come away entirely satisfied. Saw the new little dog, Lucy. So incredibly small. It will go through life pampered, spoiled and its every whim attended to. ___________________.

We call in at the Emmotts where Eric goes wild with excitement. Always make us welcome, they do. Even old Ivy remembered us.

Straight down to Carole's where she's quiet and surly. We go over to the Hare for an hour and then back to her place. I got the last bus, and she cheered up before I left. Sometimes she is so uncontrollable and bad tempered.

--==--

Tuesday December 9, 1975


Another boring day. It must be something to do with the time of year. Christmas cannot come too soon for my liking.

Spend most of the day with Sydney Burton who is trying to find the YP file for September 1965. We aren't successful at all.

The only good parts about the day was when Carole rang at lunchtime and when I met Judith R on Bradford Road at 5.30. Carole didn't have any news and we only discussed our next meeting which looks like tomorrow night. We laughed about the incident in the bus stop last night. Poor Carole is getting a complex about raising her voice. My meeting with Judith had a few surprises. a) She's semi-engaged at the moment to Terry, a 35 year-old male nurse, and expects to be married in about two years after his DIVORCE, and b) she's managed to get a job as a typist in Bradford. We have a laugh and she says I will have to go for weekends to her house when she is married. Would Terry be happy with such an arrangement? I think not. A Crazy bird she is indeed.

Home for tea and hear Dad on the phone to Robinson at the Craven Heifer. He is definately sending the accounts to us tomorrow, so we'll have some information at last. By February we may be resident in Addingham.

Carole rings from Maria's place again. I walk round at 8.30 and find Maria in a terrible state. After arguing with John on the phone she proceeded to drop down on the floor and wail. Mr & Mrs Mac came back from hospital and were unable to console her. Only Lynn and David (who made a surprise visit) made any impression and she cheered up quite reasonably. After several cups of coffee and a pile of cakes we walk home. Dave takes Carole home.

FIN

Monday December 8, 1975



Boring day at the office. Yet another IRA siege is going on in London, and it is dominating the newspapers. OK, it's not very nice for the hostages, but I'm damned sure the public don't want to sit around watching Frank Bough on 'Nationwide' with a plastic scale model of the house! Blimey, what's the world coming to? I'll just comment on the advice a leading psychologist has offered to the hostages on tv. He has advised them to act and behave quite normally, as though nothing is wrong. 'Do the cooking. Watch Crossroads. Take a bath. Feed the parrot, and telephone Mum in Wiltshire for a nice chat.' How the Hell can anyone act normally when sharing a tiny drawing room with four Irish murderers? They have no bog, no food and bloody Frank Bough to contend with on the telly telling everyone and everybody how dangerous the murderers are!

At 7.30 or so Carole rings from Maria's and I immediately go round. Little did I know that Carole was following me round Tranmere and before reaching Maria's she tripped on the causeway and injured her leg. When leaving Maria's about an hour later she walked smack-bang into a telegraph pole rendering herself insensible. What a girl she is!

However, on arriving at Maria's we sat in the lounge playing two new records she's bought me. She was still wearing her gloves, scarfe and coat half an hour later! To avoid any contamination from Prinny we came back to Pine Tops to watch tv. Saw Mick Jagger in 'Ned Kelly'. It isn't all that bad really but Jagger's Irish accent is hopeless.

At the bus stop at 11 we made so much noise, or perhaps I should say Carole made so much noise, that it prompted a woman to yell at us from a bedroom window: "You bigger ones really should know better." The silly cow wants her head seeing to. We were not making a massive racket, and her shouting down at us from a window made far more noise.

--==--

Sunday December 7, 1975


2nd in Advent. A bloody day. Don't want to write anything.

I went to Carole's for tea and afterwards watched 'Virgin Soldiers' on tv. A good film.

Mrs Phillips (bless her) gave me an old print entitled 'Over the sea, and far away'. I carry it home under my arm at midnight and run the risk of being taken in by Her Majesty's Police Force.

-==-

Saturday December 6, 1975


Woke up feeling quite chirpy really, considering.

Hear on the news that Leeds was razed to the ground by a mysterious 'Great Fire' last night. I suppose it's a blessing really, because at least it will stop the horrible plague, wot's been going on lately. However, in the absence of Christopher Wren, Basil Spence is going to design a lovely new town for us, and so it's all turned out well worth-while in the end.

Also hear on the news that Lynn is going to marry the Prince of Wales. She'll have to embrace the Anglican faith and change her name to Mary or Elizabeth, but it can be done quite cheaply these days. She won't be 'Princess Lynn' but the Queen will authorise her to use the 'HRH'.

Sit with Dave in the lounge while the princess and Carole sleep. Mum and Dad go out somewhere and we sit like loonies waiting for the girls to move. They are up and around after 12 and I'm surprised to see the princess looking so cheery.

Another trip this evening. Meet in the Hare & Hounds at 8.45 and attempt to persuade complete strangers to come along with us on a coach to far-off York. In the end we have 26 or so on a 41 seater coach. It looks bloody empty but we only pay £1.40 each in the end. At York we're in the Cat's Whiskers which is rough and double-rough. Sluts and tarts are in every corner and I've seen better looking brothels. I'm too tired to even laugh and I stand all the time because if I sit down I'll certainly pass out under the table.

We leave at 2am and everyone sleeps on the coach home.

-==-

Friday December 5, 1975


Woke up with a hangover this morning and devoured a whole family-sized tin of peaches for breakfast whilst Lynn looked on aghast.

Down to Leeds with Jim and sit in a heap saying absolutely nothing. I didn't have the strength yo utter a single sylable (I've spelt that last word wrong, but it's a word I can never manage).

I can't go on much longer with this bloody diary. It's becoming something of a bind because I'm always about five days behind and it means all my free time is spent scribing away. I've been doing this for just about three years now and I quite understand if you don't want to go on reading. I must be an awfully boring diarist. Perhaps if Leeds were to be destroyed by a Great Fire or Lynn was to marry the Prince of Wales I'd have something less mundane to record. Unfortunately, both these possible occurrences do seem more than slightly far fetched.

Linda's party tonight. Carole, CD and I go to the Lister's Arms on the bus. We meet Linda and Andy, who aren't all that talkative, and see little Helen Willis working behind the bar. All the mob arrive and we go to the social event of Ilkley's calendar.

It's a bit of a flop really. I behaved in a bit of a semi-pornographic fashion with Christine White. Andy and I ended up yelling abuse at each other, and I crammed a handful of freshly cut lemon slices into his yapping mouth. Lynn was unconscious, and John threw up all over my suit (he was wearing it). We came home in a mini-bus at 1.30 and I vomited half an hour later. Carole stayed with the girls in their boudoir. Poor Dave and Peter had to suffer on the floor in the lounge.

-==-

Thursday December 4, 1975

Today marks the start of a hectic social spree which won't end until Sunday morning. The thought is positively daunting, but we are all young and healthy and should manage to come through it all right.

Meet CB at the Ostlers at lunchtime. She says that Philip is taking her to a restaurant in Tingley on Saturday and then they are going to Cinderella's. She wants him back now, nearly a year since they finished. God only knows what the end will be as far as Christine and Philip are concerned.

Home at 5.30 and leap into the bath immediately. Carole arrives for tea at 6.15 and Dave arrives soon after. Mum manages to get Carole to devour a sandwich or two - a rare thing indeed. She ought to get the George Cross or something for that.

Dave drives us down to Bradford at 7.15 and we meet Martyn and his cronies near the coach. Drive to Leeds and get in the Hofbrauhaus by 8pm. The four of us get a table together and fall straight into the spirit of the thing. The jugs of lager were 70p a time - but the glasses were bigger than one and a half pints. Even Carole and Lynn drank them! Lynn and David managed to get a waitress the sack after they reported her for over-charging. She came crawling round the table with tears streaming down her face, begging forgiveness, but we went on drinking undaunted by her constant grovelling. I somehow managed to spill a full glass of beer over an innocent by-stander, but bought him one by way of compensation. I didn't actually become intoxicated but could have done so if the place had stayed open for a further half hour. Carole remained sober, as did Lynn and Dave. We left at about 11 and came back to Bradford on the coach. Dave then brought Lynn, Carole, Martyn and me back up home.


-==-

Wednesday December 3, 1975



The weather was a bit improved today. Basil, the postman, had to admit the the sunrise was one of the best he's ever seen.

I propelled myself in a Leeds direction by train this morning. Jim Rawnsley must have died or something because I haven't laid eyes on him since Friday. Not to worry. He was old anyway.

I met Douglas, from next door, at the station and remind him of our boozing date at 1 o'clock. He says he'll come, but doesn't look all that certain.

Meet Dave outside the Ostlers at 1 o'clock and he says that Douglas isn't coming. After one drink we decide to go round the shops and look for Lynn's present. Dave kept drifting towards windows full of engagement rings, and I kept having to bring the poor lad back to his senses. However, when the day eventually dawns when he and Lynn want to make fools of themselves at the altar I certainly won't haul him away from the ring shops because he will make a good brother-in-law. Do I hear wedding bells? (I know you're all bloody sick of me throwing in that cliche, so why don't any of you have the guts to admit it?)

At home tonight I busy myself industriously. Press trousers by the score and take up the hem (of a pair of trousers). Carole rang at least three times (bless her) and I am disturbed to hear that her brother has hit her and given her a bruising. The swine will feel the full weight of my fist in his throat if he does so much as raise his fist in her direction again. These 16 year-old adolescents want watching good and proper.

I sit down and watch the 10 o'clock news on ITV which is appallingly done (or is it apallingly?) It was badly done anyway. It may sound snobbish and 'Olde Worlde' but it takes a lot to beat the good old BBC. I could read the news better than Reginald Bosanquet and Sandy Gall put together, and in saying that I'm insulting myself really. John Snagge would turn in his grave if he were dead.


-==-

Tuesday December 2, 1975

I have received a brochure from Swans, the holiday people, and the trips for next summer look quite reasonable really.

When I mentioned to Maria the other day that we ought to go on holiday together she glanced over at Carole and said something about ________ being too moral for her liking. What the Hell does she expect? When I go on holiday I do not put sex at the top of my list of priorities, and besides, how can she say that about ______? Very childish of her.

A wet and cold day again. Get a letter from David L asking if I am actually going down to Worcester before Xmas. I think not because I cannot leave Carole, and somehow I don't see her fitting in at the college. Don't get me wrong. I'd love her to go, but I have to make a decision one way or the other.

I saw a Rhodeses coach in Guiseley today and felt like laying down in its path so that my death would be on the pathetic driver's conscience for the remainder of his days. I do intend getting my revenge at a later date. Oh, Sweet Vengeance! I could go on and quote large chunks from Baroness Orczy's 'I Will Repay' but I won't bother.

I don't want to write any more tonight because I am in a lazy mood and at this time of the year a lad has every right to be bloody lazy and idle. Who cares anyway? You wouldn't spend all night filling in a useless diary so why the Hell should I?

Goodnight, dears.

-==-

Monday December 1, 1975

A gloomy, horrible day. Nothing but wind and rain, and even snow on and off. Work uneventful. Didn't go out at lunchtime and came home up the lane at 5.30 in a downpour. The fact that we are now in December didn't do much by way of glitter and joy on this day. In only hope that in the next 24 days we'll see an improvement in everyones spirits.

Mum thinks that ________ is round the bend. ______________________________________.
Little Dave B is ok because he is so robust.

Carole rang me at lunchtime and I was surprised when she agreed we shouldn't go out until Thursday. She usually goes berserk if I try to do her out her regular Wednesday evening liaison. She did however develop a wilting voice towards the end of the conversation when she said she'd kill herself if she has to wait until Thursdsay. It's frightening to know I am so relied upon.

Heard on the news that Lord Snowdon should have been on the plane with Graham Hill when it crashed. He changed his mind at the last minute having decided he had taken enough photographs - a decision that saved his life. Sarah says she thinks Princess Margaret would have liked her husband to have been done away with. The press may make out that Tony and the princess lead an unsteady married life, but I'd never take Sarah's view.

-==-

20100614

Sunday November 30, 1975


Advent Sunday. St Andrew's Day. Wake up feeling quite normal considering the amount of alcohol I consumed at the Minstrel's Gallery.

Carole rings me from Maria's to say they are going to church this afternoon and 'do you mind if I don't see you until teatime?' I say I'll just about survive (God knows how) and return to the lounge to discuss food with Lynn and Dave. We are all on the verge of starvation and the aroma of Mum's cooking doesn't help much.

Marlene, Frank and the children come round at 2 for lunch and because of the large numbers involved we have to have two sittings in the dining room. I am on second sitting with John, Lynn, Sue, Dave and Pete.

I spend the afternoon playing a chess-like game with Frank. Really cosy it was too,and made such a change from the usual Sunday afternoon activities. Frank was clad in pink socks, orange and green checked trousers, a white shirt with black men all over it, a lime green and blue striped tank top, and a repulsive vomit coloured tie. However, I do suppose that one goes through a phase like this when one hits 30. Funny really.

The Harwoods go at 5.30 and John and I are summoned to the Macdonald residence. Mr & Mrs Mac are keeping vigil around grandfather's hospital bed but hope is fading fast. They look at his possible passing quite objectively though. I suppose to Roman Catholics death is like going on holiday.

After an hour at the Macdonald stately pile I leave, for health reasons, with Carole in the direction of home. We watch television, and that's about it really. Nothing thrilling or outrageous. Just the days events as seen through the eyes of a raving lunatic called Michael Rhodes.

NEWS: Graham Hill, the racing driver, was killed in a plane crash last night. Now I'll just go upstairs and lay down.

-==-

Saturday November 29, 1975

To Bradford with Carole and Maria at 2pm. Maria goes off to buy presents and Carole and I go looking for a ring for me. We see one in Samuels after an hour or so. She buys it for me. £26! Bless her. I never thought she'd pay so much, and it only goes to show that I underestimate her feelings for me. The ring is gold with a tiny diamond on one corner - beautiful.

Ring Brummels and they say we can't go in as a coach party. We therefor cancel our venue and go for the Cat's Whiskers instead. They have no objection to us going. I ring Christine W in York and tell her to go to the Cat's Whiskers instead of Brummels. Phew! What a lark. But the worst is yet to come. You just wait and see.

We readied ourselves and dashed around the house in a mad panic. Sue and Lynn were wearing new creations. At 7.30 Dad drove John, Maria, Carole and me down to the Hare. People started arriving and by 8.30 we had gathered some 31 people.Chris and Gillian came, and the couple from next door, and many people too numerous to mention. At 9 o'clock I go outside and wait for the coach and my heart sinks when it gets to twenty past that fateful hour and it is still nowhere to be seen. Half the crowd follow me to the telephone in the tap room and look on in horror as I'm told that no coach whatsoever will be coming tonight. I tried to get mad with the creep on the other end of the line but was rendered speechless by the shock of it. Peter Nason called him a 'bastard' and Gillian Upton called him a few other things, but it was all in vain. 31 people all dressed up with nowhere to go. A scramble was made for the door and those who were able went home for cars. By 11 o'clock thwo thirds of the original 31 people were in the Minstrel's Gallery in Ilkley. We stayed until 2am and I cheered up somewhat after the shock of being let down by Rhodeses Coaches Ltd.

CB was pissed out of her mind.

-==-

Friday November 28, 1975


Don't want to write much. To the Cow & Calf with Peter M, CB and Carole. We all got on quite well considering how the girls hate one another.

Peter wants his head looking at for chasing after CB. She makes it obvious that she wants nothing to do with him, and Carole feels sorry for the poor lad. However, I shouldn't interfere with the 'goings on' of other peoples 'romances'.

Drink pernod and realise I must be mad because of what I'll be spending tomorrow.

Ross McWhirter, the Guinness Book of Records chap, was murdered by the IRA last night. Margaret Thatcher, a mate of his, is now shouting for the re-introduction of capital punishment. It is a sad state of affairs when a political leader is only moved to action when a personal acquaintance is done away with. What about all these innocent people dining out in London restaurants? Why should it take Ross McWhirter's death to get our MPs to leap into action?

Roy Jenkins still insists that death for terrorists is no deterrent and that the police force is the main force of attack. Fool that he is.

==--==

Thursday November 27, 1975


A wet, nasty day all round. Sarah and Carol J are in London on a day trip, and they are worried about being blown to pieces by the IRA. Before they left I advised the following: keep out of restaurants, cinemas, big famous stores like Harrods and Fortnum & Mason's, museums, art galleries, the Tower of London, Madame Tusaud's and the Planetarium; and that probably the safest thing they can do is go sit in the middle of St James's Park having heavily lagged their under garments with at least eight sand bags, and just hope for the best.

Wednesday November 26, 1975


A wet day again. To Leeds with Jim Rawnsley. He says that in ten years time we'll be in the same situation with Scotland as we are with Ireland now. I shudder with horror. The Irish Republic Army attacking from the right, the Scottish Republicans from top, and the Welsh Nationalists from below the knees. What will become of us all?

The Scots will keep all the North Sea Oil for themselves, and England's economic future will be non-existent. The Financial Times will have to close down due to lack of business, &c.

Carol J and I go down to photographic to look at the negs of yesterdays Royal Visit. We see at least three negs with us with the duchess, and order them. I'll have them enlarged and glued on my bedroom wall.


-==-

Tuesday November 25, 1975


She came today. The Duchess of Kent that is. I had a marvellous view of the spectacle and was in the reception lobby when she arrived. She dashed in through the main door and the managing director and his cronies fell upon her like a pack of wolves. She was quite nice about it though, and came through it unruffled.

Carol J and I were on the front line and when HRH started her 'walk about' we were in direct line of fire. She came straight for me and I went weak at the knees. Carol was squealing with a mixture of terror and delight. She decided not to question me, but bombarded one of the little joiners. She couldn't have stood much nearer to me if she'd tried. So slim, blond and attractive. I have quite fallen for her. What's more, Carol says we are on at least four photographs with her. Fame at last! Photographed with the only daughter of a Yorkshire baronet who just happened to marry the shy, little cousin of Elizabeth Windsor. Who'd have thought it? Oh, if my grandmother could see me now. Aaargh. It's all too bloody much.

Meanwhile, back to reality. How at the usual time for the usual tea with the usual people. Mum says she'll tell everyone at work that I've captured the heart of a duchess. Let's not over do it, Mother.

Ring Carole who's at Maria's place. At 8.30 we go for a walk in the rain round Tranmere. Arguing again. We mean no ill will by these attacks on one another, but I somehow can't help it. She brings out my devilish, argumentative nature.

Carole is a Scorpio, which probably accounts for our fiery relationship.

-==-

Monday November 24, 1975

Top people were prowling around the office this afternoon making sure that all is in readiness for tomorrow's royal visit. They've put new carpet in the lift, and all our desks have been polished for the first time since the Prince of Wales visited in 1970.

Royal visits certainly give the chiefs galloping Ooojahs. All the things they've been putting off for years are done, as if by magic, overnight.

Kathleen, who won't curtsey, has bought a brand new wardrobe especially for it and I've noticed quite a few abnormally decently dressed reporters crawling around the office.

Sunday November 23, 1975

Last after Trinity. A wet, horrible day. I walk down the lane after lunch to meet Carole off the 3 o'clock bus from Menston. She is a bit late and I walk about kicking leaves around pretending not to notice how unpunctual she is. I don't get too wet and feel refreshed by the gales and pounding rain. She does arrive in the end and we saunter up the lane like love birds.

Last night she lost her mother's priceless bracelet at the Cow & Calf and all hell was raised at 14, Oakridge Avenue, this morning.

We watched tv, and then John and Maria came over for tea. After tea, watched tv again. Nothing like a bit of variety, eh?

John obviously doesn't have my great willpower or strength of character because he and Maria made off to the Hare after part 2,000,000 of 'Upstairs, Downstarirs'. We all grit our teeth and fought our way through the news, eighteen war films and finally a Bette Davis epic.

Dave took Carole home with Peter at midnight or so, and I crawled away to bed.

Have I mentioned already that Kathleen found a 1956 Burke's Peerage in a cupboard at the office and I am now the proud owner of it?


--==-

Saturday November 22, 1975

Went to the Cow & Calf and the mob took rellish in a brawl which took place in the ladies toilets of all places. Two young ladies saw fit to tear one another into small pieces, and one of them was in a bloody state - quite literally. She had had her pierced ear-rings torn out. Ugh. I tell Carole I'm not going up there again, but know that next week I'll be back. The Cow & Calf is horribly rough, but we do have a laugh. _____________________________________.

CB will always be at the top of my list as far as friends go, and nothing she does will stop me._______________.She is vivacious and hilariously funny.


-==-

Friday November 21, 1975

Uneventful day and night. We stayed in the Hare and Hounds until closing time and then I got a bus home with Susan and Peter.

Carole was feeling a bit off it, and because we had no transport we could see no point in her coming back to our place. We cannot really go on using Dave like a taxi - he may well catch on.

I rang Rhodeses Coaches this lunchtime and booked a vehicle for Nov 29th. So it's Brummels here we come on Saturday night. I shall have to contact David about the trip. He only misses them when he finds it impossible to get home, and I know how much he'd love to go. My main worry is that we won't be able to raise the £25 necessary. However, Brummels should be able to entice some of the more discerning members of the happy breed.

Juan Carlos joined the ranksof European monarchs yesterday. Old General Franco decided to call it a day after what seems like months of hanging on. Spain will probably fall into a pit of chaos and anarchy now - like Portugal - and I can't see Juan Carlos reigning for very long. One thing's for certain, he doesn't have the worry and strain of planning a Silver Jubilee like our poor, over-worked Sovereign. The London Transport people are even considering letting loose a batch of silver painted buses in 1977 to celebrate Her Majesty's 25 years on the throne! The Queen herself wants none of it, if you ask me. I'll bet you a pound to a penny that devious little Uncle Harold is going to use it to some political advantage - that's if he's still in No 10, Downing Street in 2 years time.

--==--

Thursday November 20, 1975

Carole's 18th birthday. Go to her place with Dave and Lynn at 7.30 and meet her parents for a few drinks of pernod and home-made lager. John and Maria come soon afterwards and we all have a good laugh. Paul, her 10 year-old brother drank a glass of pernod and went upstairs to be sick. Carole looked great in her new dress. She'd been drinking since 6.30 and was well on the way when we arrived, and so Lynn took over the responsibility of playing hostess, which she does well. I refused to give Carole my present in front of all the others and so I waited until she went upstairs, and then sneaked up afterwards and adorned her neck with the item of jewelry. It's probably not as good as Liz Taylor's, but it's the thought that counts after all.

At 8.30 John, Maria, Lynn, Dave, Carole and I - plus CD - made our way to the Hare for a few pre-meal slurps. Carole had her eighth pernod or something equally ludicrous, and could hardly stand by 9 o'clock. The meal is lost in something of a dream. Carole was sick twice but insisted it was nothing to do with the chicken. I devoured a T-bone steak and the best part of a bottle of wine, and helped myself to an ashtray on the way out. A thief, that's what I am.

__________________________________.We went to her place at midnight and I stayed a couple of hours. We were quite alone and it was the most romantic time of my life. Walked home at 2.30 in the frosty air.

-==-

Wednesday November 19, 1975

Wet day. Much more mild than it's been for a couple of days, and I set off down the lane at great risk of getting a thorough soaking.

Work was quite busy and I work through lunch and 'hold the fort' whilst the girls go on a spree into town. I leave at 3.30 to get Carole a birthday card. Dash across Leeds in the cold and drizzle in order to find her a decent card. Why do birthday cards always have to be slimy and pathetic? I hate sloppy verses.

I am so glad that the Prime Minister is making a firm stand on this devolution subject. It is obvious that he wants nothing to do with it, but has been forced to drop promises here and there from the Queen's Speech in order to pacify the rabid Scottish Nationalists and insane Welsh MPs. This feeble legislation is only making things worse because the devolutionists expected and wanted a good deal more. It will be a grim day indeed when we wake up to find Scotland, Wales, Rutland and Humberside all with individual administrative bodies. I don't mind the Commonwealth going, but I draw the line when matters get closer to home.

Carole rings at 5.30 and I tell her I have bought her a card. Sue, Pete and I walk to her place at 8 o'clock and we sit with her brother, Paul, whilst she tries on her new dress. A beauty it is. Suits her down to the ground, if you'll pardon the pun, and goes well with the new hairstyle.

The four of us go over to the Hare. John and Maria join us, and Sue and Pete leave at 9.30. We have a good laugh really and book a meal in the restaurant for 9 o'clock tomorrow. It will be our first meal out together - alone. We went to Maria's birthday thing in July, but that was a drunken affair when Carole meant little or nothing to me.

We walk up to Harry Ramsden's at 10pm and sit about on a wall discussing marriage, and children's names, of all things. She says that a would-be son of hers would have to be called Michael. I love her and think she is sexy beyond everyone else. Carole gets so jealous over me and CB. I wonder at times whether I am good enough for her. A pure Angel she is, and naive and vulnerable too. ________.


-==-

Tuesday November 18, 1975

Another bright, wintry day. Almost like January or February really.

Busy day at the office. I make sure that the Duchess of Kent's cuttings and pictures are all in order for next Tuesday. She will be coming through the library and I have warned everyone that I intend bowing if the need arises. Rabid socialist Kathleen says she will never curtsey, which to me seems childish, and she amused me by saying I really ought to take down my chart showing the order of succession to the throne. 'It might dishearten her to see it', she said. I am sure that the duchess is well aware of the position held by her husband and children in relation to the Throne.

The Daily Mail makes me sick. The Daily Mail Diary especially deserves my wrath. The Prince of Wales may be a 'self-confessed Romeo' but why should that give licence to the press to open up a 'let's expose Prince Charles's sex-life campaign'. Every day without fail they tell how the prince can be found in the bar at Annabel's, the London disco, with a vodka and lime in one hand and a blond deb(utante) in the other. OK, so he does have sexual urges like the rest of us, but why plague us to death with the details? It's not even as though any of these women will get him in the end. The latest to be named is blond, nubile Claire Leveson, sister of Lady Hopetoun. I'm saying no more but I thought I'd tell you just in case he springs an engagement on us all. I wouldn't like to think the prince had popped the question without my having given you any prior warning.

Carole rings at 5.30 to say she bought the black dress we saw in Miss Selfridge a week last Saturday. It really is nice, and she intends covering her Aphrtodite-like form with it on Thursday. Sue and Pete are coming out with us tomorrow for a few celebratory drinks, and of course Lynn and Dave are joining me for a pernod party on the birthday in question.

Lynn was ________when I showed her the locket I bought Carole. She told me it looked cheap. A cruel, hard piece she can be at times. Do nothing all evening other than watch snatches of a Doris Day epic. Saw the BBC news about three times.

Yet another bomb exploded in London tonight. One can hardly go for a scampi and chips these days without returning home with shell-shock and a leg missing.

--==--

Monday November 17, 1975

Chilly blasts and ice-cold draughts howl around my knees at 8am as I set foot out of the house for another day at the office. A hectic day too. Sarah is at her grandmother's funeral, and of course Kathleen never works Mondays. Carol is on the verge of mental collapse and Eileen reverts to her bad-mannered ways as she always seems to do at times of stress.

Someone was arguing about a quiz programme on tv yesterday. Evidently, the 50 dollar question was 'give me nine womens names beginning with the letter M'. The poor contestant could only think of six, and thus lost a chance to spend a week in St Tropez, all expenses paid. It's such an easy question too:
Mary, Marian, Mary, Mildred, Mary, Margaret, Mary, Millicent, Mary, Melissa, Mary, Maude, Mary, Mirabel, Mary, Mabel, Mary, Magdalene, Mary, Muriel, Mary, Megan, Mary, Marjorie, Mary, Michelle, Mary, Myrtle, Mary, Marianne, Mary, Marie, Mary,. Maria, Mary, Margot, Mary, Mandy. Well ok, Mandy is short for Amanda, but I bet someone somewhere is actually called Mandy.

Carole rings me and informs me that Mrs P has bought a bottle of pernod for us to get through on Thursday. Lynn and Dave and John and Maria are invited round, so we'll have a good time of it before dining out.

All I can say is I am glad we are nowhere near Londinium because you wouldn't find me in a restaurant down there. The IRA isn't going to have the pleasure of putting a stop to my happy, little existence. I intend to battle on to be over 100 whether these terrorists like it or not. Goddnight.

Sunday November 16, 1975

25th after Trinity. A cold, bleak day. I normally go to Maria's when Carole is in residence therein, but because of the dog I decide to scrap this tradition once and for all.

I woke up at 9.30. My throat feeling terrible. I gargle with salt and water and then inhale salt water up my nose - a painful experience. At 10 I go for a short walk around Greenfield Avenue in the drizzle which helps my head clear slightly. Back home I glance at the Sunday papers and drink tea.

This Franco business drags on and on. Spain is now wondering whether to unplug his kidney, brain and heart machines. He could go on for years in the present state and it's not doing the Spanish government much good.

Mum and Dad went off for the afternoon at 12, and John did his usual disappearing act in the direction of Maria's. Sue and I made lunch and Carole came round at 2.30 for hers. Sue and Lynn say they like her hair, and I think she is now coming round to liking it herself. Dave brings a pile of 'Paddington Bear' books round for Carole to look at. They're written for 10 year-olds, but Carole is just getting into them.
We sit watching television all afternoon with Sue & Peter and then move onto the radio at 6pm to listen to the top 20.

Mum and Dad come back at 7pm. I thought they'd be out all evening, but they want to watch the Royal Variety Performance. Carole and I want to watch it too, and so the two of us venture to her place in order that she can tell the Dowager Mrs Phillips that she's staying at Maria's another night. I do not like her father one bit. He's almost maniacal the way he carries on. He told his only daughter that her new hair style made her 'look like an inmate of Menston Hospital' and went on to say, over swigs of tea, that she'd lost her femininity. Most cruel of him, I thought, and we are glad to get away from her place. She was upset by the things Mr Phillips had said.

We had one drink in the Hare and then came home. Dave and Lynn had bought a supply of apricot wine in and all the family (other than John & Maria of course) sat down to watch the Royal Variety Performance. A bloody awful show it was too. The only good bits were the beginning and the end when we had a view of the Queen. She looked bored to death, but very attractive in an orange evening dress. Just how she puts up with it year after year I do not know. She really should award herself the Victoria Cross for sitting through that painful pantomime year in, year out.

-==-

Saturday November 15, 1975

In keeping with tradition I do not emerge from my slimy pit until noon. Mum and Dad came in within seconds of my return to the Lands of the Living and inform me that they have just purchased two wardrobes and a dressing table! "Spend, Spend, Spend" isn't our family motto for nothing.

Carole gives me one last ring before departing to Leeds to wave bye bye to her hair and the best part of £13. The poor darling was near to collapse with fear.

I have a horrible afternoon. Everyone is arguing and rushing around as though they're on fire. I lock myself away in the lounge with the stereo and play records. One would think that I'd started the Third World War by the outcry which erupted. Putting a record on seemed such a good idea too, and if Hitler had had the same conviction when dealing with his Jewish friends as I had when spinning a few discs, he'd have been goose-stepping through Guiseley in 1940.

Carole rang at 6.30 to say the hair people refused to perm her hair and decided to cut it instead. She only spent £8.50, but was close to tears. I tell her I'm coming round to see the finished creation, and because of the rain Dad drives me to Maria's.
I like it. She looks different, but on the whole it's an improvement. She doesn't believe me, and storms about the house in a lousy mood shouting 'how can I face my friends with hair like this?' and 'Oh God, just look at it!' I tried to reassure her, but didn't do all that well really.

Whilst waiting at the bus stop to go to the Hare Dad passes in the car and gives us a lift. Mum says Carole's hair is very nice, and reassures her better than I ever could. Buy Mum and Dad a drink and stand with Christine and Stuart. Peter M and CB, Martyn and CD make a cheery foursome, and I can't help thinking that Martyn is next on Christine's list of suitors. We shall have to wait and see.

Carole and I keep arguing and then breaking down laughing, and all the others decide to go to the Cow and Calf pub. Carole and I go with Christine and Stuart and little Shirley. John follows up with Maria. We have no sooner got settled in the pub that Peter mentions going to a disco in Skipton. I say no, and Carole agrees. He goes with CB, CD, Martyn and Shirley. We all have a few more drinks and then go back to Maria's. I succumb once again to dog-disease and it grows horribly worse. By 2am I'm on the verge of collapsing. This really shatters my hopes of getting a four-legged, furry friend in the near future.

-==-

Friday November 14, 1975

Uninteresting day at the YP. Ring Carole at lunchtime and arrange to meet her at the usual hour. Believe it or not, we are leaving the pub early before closing time tonight to see a BBC2 film tribute decdicated to the Prince of Wales, who is 27 today. Carole hates the Royal Family, but wants to watch the programme because I do.

We meet at 8. She is staying with Maria while her Mum & Dad are away again. Neither of us are in a good mood, and tempers on both sides are frayed. At the Hare for 8.15. It is completely flat and dead. Andy, Linda, Stuart, Christine, Keith, Helen, Lynn, Dave, CB, CD, Helen L, Jimmy Mac, Carole and myself, but despite the good turn-out it is too quiet for comfort. Andy laughs at my hairstyle for some reason, and if I'd have had a few more drinks inside me I'd have clogged him one around the ear-hole. Carole and I are on pernod again. Lager is all very well, but it does tend to be like a minor atomic bomb in ones belly.

I am arranging a coach trip to Brummels for Nov 27. Everyone going except Andy and Linda who are going to a wedding.

The (Prince of Wales) programme starts at 10.15. Just me and Carole, Mum and Dad watching it. From start to finish it was a masterpiece. The prince's sense of humour comes through loud and clear and if Spike Milligan is still alive when the prince succeeds to the throne I can forsee the House of Lords coping with the goon-like Earl Milligan, KG. The film showed details of the prince's flying activities and his installation as Grand Master of the Order of the Bath. Carole said she'd enjoyed it, but I think she is just humouring me.

We mess about and laugh with Lynn and Dave, who come in at about 10.45, and the four of us drive round to Maria's for a little social booze. Maria drank too much martini
and my last recollection of her was when she fell onto the floor for the last time, kicking her legs in the air, and letting out hideous giggles. I had over the necessary amount, and so too did Carole. I told her I didn't think I loved her. She was upset. I don't know why I said it. I'm a mixed up fool. Insane probably, but it's not my fault.


-==-

Thursday November 13, 1975

A cold, crisp, typical autumn morn. To Leeds with Jim. I don't know what I'll do when the day dawns when I find myself Jim Rawnsleyless. The man has been like a chauffeur to me for the best part of three years, and the thought of actually driving myself to work or catching a revolting bus is too bad a thing to even be considered. They don't make good servants like him anymore, you know. They are a dying breed and the world will be a less happier place when they are no more.

Finish at 12. Christine B rings. She's working in Leeds until the end of the month and says we'll have to meet one lunchtime for a pub crawl. I let out a burst of hideous, nervous laughter when she says she and Philip are meeting this lunchtime for summit talks. It will be a year since she finished with him on Boxing Day, but if Elizabeth Taylor can tie the knot once more with Richard Burton I fail to see why they cannot. CD said something was afoot, and I now know what she meant. CB also came out with some unkind remarks about her latest attachment. From what I saw of him last night he did not seem all that formidable, and if anything he struck me as being a cheerful, decent chap. She is seeing him for the last time on Saturday, but I can't help thinking she's making a mistake.

I go into the town centre and drift about wondering what to buy for Carole's 18th birthday next week. I espy a locket in a jewellers window and immediately purchase it. John's given me the money to get her 'Atlantic Crossing' the Rod Stewart LP and I have no trouble getting that either.

Home in the bright sun at 2.15. See in the papers that poor Princess Anne is laid up at Oak Grove with influenza. Tomorrow will be her second wedding anniversary and still we wait anxiously for signs that the marriage has been consumated. It's all very well for Mark Phillips to persue his career in the army, but his first duty must be to secure the throne and give the Queen her first grandchild so to take her mind off the Australian constitutional crisis.

I have no lunch and sit doing absolutely nothing at all. (Well,if you must know I've spent nearly two and a half hours filling in this diary properly).

Carole rings at 4.15 and guesses that I've bought her a locket straight away but when I say "Ah, but what sort of locket?" She replies immediately "a silver one". Dead right, she is, and I'll have to buy something else now for a surprise.

We meet at 8.30 and go to the Hare with John. Maria is at her piano teachers place playing, and so he's quite free and unattached tonight. We buy each other pernod and oranges and have a few lagers too. By 10.30 we are a bit popped up.

Haircut day for Carole on Saturday and she's worried sick by it. I tell her not to be daft. Vidal Sassoon won't make a complete bugger of it.

-==-

Wednesday November 12, 1975

See Marita and Philip on the 35 bus again tonight. They laugh about the bus breaking down last night, and say it must be an ill omen. _________.

John and I go to the Hare for a quick one at 8.15 and then he goes up to Maria's. I go to Carole's and surprise her by dragging her up to the Chevin Inn. We sit slumped in a corner arguing about all sorts of things. This is a regular thing now. Well, when I say regular I mean at least once a week. By spending one night bickering I find that shear bliss reigns over the rest of our nights together.

We walk back to the Hare for the last hour. Everyone finds my mode of dress amusing, and make fun of my tie. I did look a bit 'yakky' if such a word exists, but the last thing I expected was mass opposition to my clothes. Anyway, I set fashion and do not follow it.

CB is in with a chap. He seems pleasant, and I think he's the best one she's picked up since Philip. Just as we were leaving CD said something to the effect that CB had told he she'd like to go out with Philip again. I am somewhat startled, but think that they were made for each other, and this messing around will get them nowhere. The five of us, that is CD, CB, her boyfriend and me wait at the bus stop. Carole is always subdued when Christine B is in the vicinity. I think it's a shame. CB is a very good friend. When they are all heading in the direction of Horsforth Carole and I have a good laugh - we are like something out of a madhouse.

Can it be love? Do I hear the clatter of wedding bells in the near future? No.

--==--

20100613

Tuesday November 11, 1975

Foggy day again. The YP was uneventful other than an article in the EP re the Prince of Wales's interview with "Woman's Own" magazine about his love life and aspects of his future position. He says that marriage is out whilst he's in the navy, and that 30 is a nice age to do it, if it's to be done at all. The Daily Mail some time ago published an article about HRH at a London discotheque "wrapped around a blonde (who wishes to remain anonymous)". Who that blonde is is anyone's guess. Diana Dors?

At 4.30 I'm leaving the office, minding my own business, when I clapped eyes on the 35 bus. "Ah" I thought "instead of waiting for the 33, I'll go on this one". So I did, and stumbled upon the shapely form of Miss Marita Fountain, who immediately began extracting inmformation about Andy and Linda's engagement. She says that Denise saw Linda, Andy and Christine White in the Stone Trough the other night. I learn that Mr & Mrs White have been entertaining Stuart's Mum & Dad. Xmas engagement?
________________________.Whilst this interesting conversation is developing with Marita I detect several freak jerks coming from the bus turbines. Within minutes we are standing on the kerb in thick fog, cursing the pile of red painted metal that was once a great instrument of public transport. We are joined by Philip Knowles, who never changes. The three of us use our initiative and walk towards Horsforth in order to get the next bus. Our plan fails and at the crematorium we are confronted with a problem. A full bus with only space for one more soul. After searching our hearts Philip and I decide to sacrifice ourselves for Marita's sake. She disappeared over the horizon on a warm, bright, cheery bus full of people singing together and praising the Lord that they are fortunate enough to have been endowed with a seat by the gracious permission of the West Yorkshire Road Car Co.

Philip and I were lucky to get a later bus and I was home in the darkness of night.

News: see that Australia is having difficulties. The Governor-General has sacked the Prime Minister and appointed the opposition leader in his place. Rampaging mobs of Aussie agitators now roam at will through Sydney.

-==-

Monday November 10, 1975

Monday morning again. Sarah is off with some undisclosed illness, and of course Kathleen never comes in on Mondays. So we have a busy day really.

Derek Foster brings over a letter from the Duchess of Leinster who is complaining about the way the press have treated the duke over his bankruptcies. She says he's been ever so upset about the things we've said, and adds "people do make mistakes when they are young", and it is wrong of the press to keep harping on about the past. I agree with the duuchess in all these things except the bit about the duke making mistakes when he was young. His Grace is now 83, and he was a bankrupt until 1970. I hardly think that "making mistakes when you are young" applies to a 78 year-old man.

Ring Marita at her place of work and tell her of the engagement. She is bowled over by it. __________. Marita also says that she'll inform MM. I always laugh at Marita. Don's ask me why, because if you do I'll only give you a negative reply.

Home at 5.20 as usual and Carole rings me. We decide not to meet tonight. _____. However, she rings again at 8pm from Maria's and I invite her round here. She arrives while I'm in the throes of 'Coronation Street', and we have a coffee with Mum, Sue and Peter. Carole is like a child in many ways and one would never believe that she is older than Lynn. So many things have to be explained to her in great detail. I sometimes feel like a teacher when we're together. Quite an attractive schoolgirl she is, too!

See a film at 9.20 "Quatermass and the Pit". I liked it. We then saw (Uncle) Harold Wilson speaking at the Lord Mayor's Banquet. I'm horrified what I see staring at me from the tv screen. A haggard, pale, anaemic old gent who doesn't like being with us at Christmas. These past few months have certainly aged him beyond his years. Let us hope that the shining example set by General Franco will not go unheeded at No 10, Downing Street. He finishes speaking at 11.30 and I then walk Carole to Menston. It's a nice evening and the walk did me some good I'm sure.

Home at 12.45 and leap with relief beneath the sheets.

-==-

20100612

Sunday November 9, 1975

24th after Trinity. Remembrance Sunday. Believe it or not, I was out of bed at 9.30 this morning, an all time record for this year. I never see Sunday until noon, but it is of course Remembrance Day. Had breakfast with Mum and Dad and then watched the age-old wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph on the BBC. Her Majesty did her usual bit in her traditional style, and the Prince of Wales, Duke of Kent and Prince Michael deposited similar objects of mouring and the foot of that "empty, uplifted tomb". The Duchess of Kent was in the 'royal box' at the Home Office.

The Andy-Linda engagement is on everyones mind today. Linda told me last night that we should all be thinking about settling down now that she and Andy had set "the ball rolling". I think Christine White and Stuart may well be next to get hitched, but as far as the Rhodes family is concerned I cannot hear wedding bells for at least a couple of years yet._______.I am happy for them both, and my wishes for many years of happiness go with them.

I linger about waiting for Carole to ring me all day. By 7pm I'm giving up hope but at 7.45 she rings saying the relations have kept her from the phone all day.

I meet her at 8.20 and we nip into the Hare which is completely dead. I'm sick of the place and after half an hour we leave. She is such fun, and we walk to Menston village, playing in the leaves on the way and acting about on the roundabout in the park. We arrive at the Menston Arms in a state verging on mild hysteria. Why is it that we always end up screaming with laughter when we're in the open air? Inside pub lounges we are quiet as mice. After a pleasant drink in the Menston Arms we go back to the bus stop near the Hare where I get a bus at about a quarter to eleven.

Carole's birthday is looming on the horizon and I'm still no wiser about what to buy her. It's far too near Christmas for comfort really, and the thought of having to find all those presents is somewhat daunting really. The monetary aspect is OK, but my imagination does not extend to gift-buying.


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Saturday November 8, 1975

News Flash Edition: It isn't often I begin a page with news of such excitement, but what I am about to say does call for some special notice. At 8.45pm this evening I learned that Andy and Linda are engaged!

My special "news flash" editions are a rarity indeed. The engagement of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and Christine Braithwaite finishing with Chris are the only previous times I have headed a page with such a thing and for Mr Graham and his future wife it must be a great honour.

Got up at 12.30 or so,. and lounge about in a dressing gown for an hour or so. Met Carole at the White Cross at 2.30 and we went to Bradford. Spend a pleasant couple of hours round the shops and get a belt at £1.75 from 'Miss Selfridge' of all places. One nice aspect of going out with a girl is that you can pick up nice clothes and accessories in girls' shops without people thinking it funny. (Don't worry folks - I'm no transvestite.) Home at 5.15 and leap in the bath. Wear the blue trousers I purchased about a week ago and the new belt.

Dave, Lynn, John, Sue and I walk to Maria's, and then hang about waiting for Pete, who doesn't turn up. We all, except Pete, set off for the Hare, and Dave and Lynn go to Carole's with me. In the Hare Pete flies at Sue like something not right. I could kill him after seeing him hurt my little lamb of a sister, who has never done a thing wrong in the whole of her life.

Hear Andy and Linda's news. Chris comes in with Gillian and leaves half an hour later to go "see the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall Remembrance Service" on TV. A likely tale indeed.

Linda says we should all get engaged now that she and Mr Graham have "set the ball rolling". Who knows. To the Cow & Calf until 2. A good night, but no space to report on it any further.

-==-

Friday November 7, 1975

I don't really feel like saying the usual things about the time I 'got up' or the flavour of the cheese I devoured in my sandwiches this lunchtime. To be honest, it's now 3am on the morning of November 9. I'm just back from the Cow & Calf if you must know, but I'd better say something about what happened on this date before I go off into paroxysms about other more interesting things.

Went to Carole's at 8.15. Her eye (the left one)is all bandaged up. Evidently, it swells up with migrane and is too unsightly to leave unmasked for any length of time. We go over to the Hare where she receives all the usual cracks: "where's your parrot?" and "Look at Long John Sylvia!". We have a good time and go back to her place at 11.15 where we see the end of The Avengers.

I gave Carole 2 letters. One dealing with the CB Affair. She is a darling through and through, is Carole.

Reflections: Am I lagging behind? Have I missed the bus, as it were? Friends getting engaged and driving around in cars whilst I plod along with public transport and a gorgeous girlfriend who won't stay with me for much longer when she gives up hope of ever finding happiness with a self-seeking, arrogant, vain, callous cynic like wot I am. I know it's harsh but it's all so true. Something must be done I know, but what? OK, I'm mad, but what else do you expect? Besides, you can't be all that intelligent if you're wasting your time reading a load of clapped-out rubbish like this. Haven't you anything better to do? For God's sake, pull yourself together. Don't give up just because I have!!!


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Thursday November 6, 1975

A bright cold morning. Up at 7.40 and don't have time for breakfast.

I think it is something of a coincidence that Inverary Castle, Scottish home of the Duke of Argyll, is raised to the ground by a mysterious fire on Bonfire Night, the very day before Margaret Duchess of Argyll publishes her memoirs. Old Margaret has little or no affection for her step-son, the duke, and it's a known fact that she would do anything for publicity. I will discuss this affair when more details come in.

Would you believe me if I were to tell you that Franco is being kept alive on a kidney machine? Well, he is. Juan Carlos is the one I feel sorry for. If he isn't a patient man I can't see him being happy at the present time.

Thank God it's pay day. I will have to watch how I spend it this week because I think that Carole's birthday present had better come out of it. Just what I am going to get her is a revolting problem. My imagination just fizzles out when it comes to birthdays, christmases ande christenings. She says all she would like is a solitary red rose, but I must think of something more substantial.

The traffic in Leeds at 4.30 today was like Los Angeles in the rush hour. The bus completely ignored me, and I walked all the way across town to the bus station. It was nearly 6pm when I staggered in for tea.

Mum and Dad are in stitches about Mr Monkman, who came round today to try and solve the 'BUDGIES FOR SALE' sign mystery. Evidently a car did stop on Sunday morning and a chap did enquire about blue breeders! His main reason for coming round, however, was to ask Papa to witness his will. No doubt the whole of the Monkman estate will pass to his beloved son, Tony.

Carole rings me at 8 and we talk for ten minutes or so. Seeing her tomorrow evening. Mum and Dad go to Pudsey to see the Gadsbys. John and I watch a clapped out film starring Michael Redgrave. It's quite good really - just old.

I go for my bath at 11.30.

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Wednesday November 5, 1975

The 370th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. Or, the day Guy Fawkes couldn't strike a light.

I can hardly believe that it is a year ago tonight since my affair with Miss Sarah Collis reached one of its highest peaks. Don't try and tell me you've forgotten? If you have I'll be ever so hurt because it one was one of the red-letter days of last year. However, it pains me to cast my mind back to the close of that fateful night when Mick Johnson had us bundled into a taxi at 2.30 in the morning to be driven home via Southport or somewhere equally disassociated with the Yorkshire area, by a sizeable lady taxi driver.

Dad gave me a lift to Carole's at 8.15. She was wearing a poppy in her cardigan which looked attractive. I haven't seen as many about his year. The British Legion must have forgotten about it (Remembrance Day).

We walkd down to the .... wait for it ....Fox and Hounds. We don't like the place. It always reminds me of St Paul's Cathedral. Outside we are choked by the pub bonfire, and the fireworks are making one hell of a racket. Amidst all the flames, smoke and sulphur we see Christine D and Helen heading towards us. We shake them off, and five minutes later we head up towards the Hare only to be confronted by CB and Shirley. Christine tells me she failed her driving test today and I offer my condolences.

Carole and I carry on to the Hare. It seems our quest for peace, quiet and seclusion can never be because no sooner are we in the Hare when John and Maria are upon us. We stay until 10.30 and the conversation drifts to the subject of Carole's hair. Vidal Sassoon is having the honour to style it a week on Saturday, and because she's who she is, he is only going to charge her £13!

Over at the bus stop we stand withy the two Christines until they get the 33 bus. I'm home at 11.30 and though I loathe to admit it I see it is turning foggy again - or 'Jack the Ripper' weather, as Dad quaintly calls it.


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Tuesday November 4, 1975

Out of bed quite late, and just manage to get my lift to work with Jim. Work is uneventful and I manage to get finished for about 1 o'clock. All the girls are becoming bitchy of late, and Carol J seems to be the main object of attack. Sarah is commander-in-chief of the victorious force, and her sharp tongue gives her side the moral boost it requires to succeed. (Don't I talk a load of rubbish?)

Home at 5.15 to get a letter from dear Carole. She apologises for appearing to be too possessive and says I can talk to CB for as long as I wish and she won't mind. Good of her. Bless her. She'd do anything to make me happy.________.

I have decided to stop visiting the Hare like I am doing at present. If Carole and I are going to get along happily we are going to have to have more time on our own. And strangely enough, I am happier when I am alone with her than when we are both in a crowd. It must be love, because I have never been one to desert the happy family.
June and I were always alone, but she was wary of other human beings. Anyhow, I'm sick of doing the same old things. It should be fun exploring new pubs and the un-navigated regions of deepest Yorkshire, with no one but my best girl by my side. Like Stanley, Livingstone and Edmund Hillary, I may go down in history books as the first man to conquer the Chevin Inn, or maybe the Royalty further up the road.

Carole rang at 7.30,and I spent most of the night sorting all my letters into date order. Saw a play on TV which is excellent for a change, and saw the news about eight times.

Don't think for one moment that I'm going to mention Franco because I aren't.

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Monday November 3, 1975

Lynn woke me at 7am to remind me it was time for work but I tell her I'm having a morning in bed to rid myself of this blasted chill or whatever it is. John isn't in, and his bed hasn't been slept in. Mum comes in at 8am on the rampage saying that she hasn't slept a wink all night worrying over John's whereabouts. Just as she's wailing and raising her eyes to the heavens John comes in and I hear him telling Lynn something about Maria's grandfather. He comes up and says that the old man was taken ill at about midnight, and he stayed with Maria whilst the so-called emergency doctor came, some two hours later. John played holy war about the doctor, a foul smelling ____. The poor old man could have died, and he was rushed to hospital by ambulance at 4am. The whole house stank of curry after the doctor had left, which made them feel quite ill. The health service is collapsing.

I kicked about the bedroom until about 10.30 and then plunged into a hot bath, which did some good to clear my head.

Looking in at the television at 12.30 I saw the Queen turning on our supplies of North Sea oil at Dyce in Scotland. The programme lasted 30 minutes or so, and probably symbolises the climb of Gt Britain to a great economy once more. The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew and the Prime Minister. It is obvious that the Queen and duke are fond of old Harold, and HM sat with an expression of loving affection across her face whilst the old boy made a little speech about our oil supplies.

Carole rang before lunch and said Mr & Mrs Macdonald had now returned home and learned about Grandad's illness. She also said that I'd be getting a large letter in the post tomorrow. I think she's a bit upset about 'The Braithwaite Affair'.

Watch TV this evening, but nothing of real importance is on. Need I say that General Franco is still hanging on to life with all the strength he can muster? Juan Carlos took over as head of state the other day, but no doubt he's wishing that the crown can be safely upon his head before the peasants become restless. Goodnight.

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Sunday November 2, 1975

A funny day really - a typical Sunday. No matter what you do on the Sabbath it always ends up being boring. If you were to do exactly the same thing on a Saturday it would seem totally different._________.

Go to Maria's after lunch. She is 'grandad sitting' whilst Mr & Mrs Mac are in Shrewsbury. No sooner have I stepped foot over the threshold that I succumb to the dreaded allergy (dog). My eyes and nose pour with water and I itch everywhere. You can imagine that this made me irritable. Carole sulked for most of the time and we kept drifting from room to room nagging at one another. In order to get fresh air Carole and I go for a run round Tranmere and we call in at home for a cup of tea. Whilst we're at home Maria phones to see if we want salad for tea at her place and we both readily agree. Running back to Dunedin House I feel a good deal better, but after eating an enormous salad I have a sneezing attack and can hardly breathe.

Carole is acting weird. Maria tells me that I'm infatuated with Christine Braithwaite, and asks me to take more notice of Carole "because you'll never find anyone better." I would have been mad with her, but couldn't argue for sneezing.

At 9 o'clock Carole and I went for yet another walk around frosty Tranmere and discuss my friendship with Christine. I say I disagree with Maria's opinion and she says it wasn't her idea to bring it up. If it's been preying on her mind I can see no harm in her letting off steam.

I come home at 10 and sit with Mum and Dad and have a whisky and hot water and stagger upstairs at 11 with a hot water bottle.

-==-

Saturday November 1, 1975

A wet, bright and blustery day, but at least the fog's gone. I do not emerge until well after 12 o'clock, and I sat about reading the Daily Mail until 2pm when we had lunch.

After a lovely lunch of pork and Yorkshire puddings John took me round to Maria's, where Carole is staying the weekend. On my arrival I hear that her dad packed her suitcase for her this morning and said something to the nature of "go forth woman, and never darken my doorstep again". After a slanging match and a tearful scene, all was forgiven and he drove her to Maria's professing his fatherly love for her. Mrs P told her that they loved Carole especially because "we had to get married because of you". Being a love child doesn't always inspire automatic devotion, and if I'd been in the position of Mr P it would have brought forth feelings of complete hatred. Getting married is an obnoxious prospect to start with, let alone with the hinderance of children after only months of marital 'bliss'.

Mr & Mrs Macdonald are away for the weekend again and we, the four of us, sit listening to old Beatles LPs and 'The Sound of Music' with Julie Andrews screeching her mouth off. Carole looks a bit miserable and it's obvious she's been crying. Domestic problems in that family are a daily occurrence, and I fail to see how they have kept together for so long. She cheers up somewhat before 7pm, when I return home and leap into the bath.

I have sewn some of Dad's old police uniform buttons onto my old cheese cloth shirt, and wear my ancient denims. Back to Maria's at 8.15, and Carole accompanies me to the bus stop. I am in a great mood, and so too is darling Carole, who smiles like a cherubic angel. We only stay at the Hare & Hounds for an hour, and then move on to the Craven Heifer again. Carole, Helen L and me go with Raymond, and all the gang go with Peter. At the Craven Heifer we find Mum and Dad having a quiet drink. Lynn, Dave, Sue and Peter came too. We all had a great time and then moved on to the Cow & Calf except for Raymond, Helen, Lynn & Dave. Carole and CB hate one another. Carole and I stand with Sue & Peter for most of the night and Christine D is with her sister, Elaine, whom I haven't seen since 1971. _____________. Back to Martyn's for coffee and see Karen Cole with Mick Lynch. His Mum comes in shortly after us.

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Friday October 31, 1975


All Hallow's Eve, no less. However, I failed to see a witch, wizard, ghoul, ghost, nymph, gnome, or anything like that on my travels this night. How can we be expected to believe in things like this when they don't even bother to make an attempt to scare people to death on this truly evil night?

Quite busy at the YP today and I worked through my lunch hour and came home at 3.30. I didn't feel all that fit this afternoon. Stomach ache and all that. But it goes before I'm home.

Tonight Dave L rings. I'd quite forgotten that he'd be home and the sound of his voice made a pleasant change. He meets John and I at the Hare at 8.15, but I leave minutes later to meet Carole. Mr Phillips sits contemplating me for a few minutes and then says quite sharply: "Please tell your friends to be more quiet when bringing Carole home in the early hours of the morning." I mumble and stumble for a few minutes, and before I can answer he goes on to say: "...and I must say it isn't a pleasant sight to come downstairs at 3 o'clock in the morning to find someone using my garage as a public convenience."

I was very nearly embarrassed. But Michael Rhodes is NEVER embarrassed by any one or anything.

After half an hour in the Hare we go to the Craven Heifer. I am dying to say to someone that we, the Rhodes clan, may one day be resident at this public house. Carole, Maria and CD sit in a corner like three old witches, which is quite appropriate for All Hallow's Eve, and they leave CB, Dave L and me gassing away merrily. Dave and Lynn and all the others are with us too. At 11pm we emerge and CB pinches a sign from a house next door which reads: "BUDGIES FOR SALE". Back at our place I display the stolen sign in Monkman's garden next door. Let's hope that someone will bang on their door at 6.30 tomorrow morning and ask for a pair of blue breeders!


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Thursday October 30, 1975

Took one and a half hours for my lunch today, and went to the hairdresser in the Empire Arcade for a shearing session. I emerged 30 minutes later looking considerably cropped, but feel a good deal better. My ears will certainly feel the pinch in all this fog, buit I hope it won't be with us for much longer (the fog - not my ears). I also laid possession to a blue cardigan with a zip-up front and a pair of pale blue trousers which drained me of £17 in all! The thought is unbearable and nauseating.

Leave work at 5pm and journey home with British Rail for a change. It's a good deal faster than by bus, and what's the point in having to stand all the way as far as Horsforth in a smoke-filled contraption when it's just as easy to rocket straight home in a fast moving train of the '70s. (No, I'm not taking up a job as publicity officer for British Rail. I wouldn't mind Richard Marsh's job though).

Mum likes my hair, and I notice that Dad's is shorter round the ears. They went to view the Craven Heifer this afternoon and said it was good except that ________.All they need now is a loan from the Yorkshire Bank.

At 8.30 I met Carole off her bus at the foot of the lane, and we walked down to the Yorkshire Rose for a quick one. The night is clear and crisp and we argued like hell about nothing in particular. After having a 'noisy' drink we walk back up the lane and watch Harold Macmillan on TV. He's a brilliant old boy and should still be leading the Tory party if you ask me. Margaret Thatcher is useless.

Carole and I just haven't got on this evening. Why I do not know. She's obviously mad about something, but she never tells me anything.

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Wednesday October 29, 1975

Go down to Carole's at 8.15 and see that her Mum and Dad are still not on friendly terms with her. In fact, they didn't say much to me either.

We go across to the Hare & Hounds but I don't feel like drinking really. At 10.30 we are straight outside into the fog and I'm on a Bradford bus in next to no time. We arrange to meet tomorrow. I'm going to surprise her with a hair cut which I've kept secret. I'll be a bald, idiotic coote.

By the way, I journeyed home at 4.30 from Leeds with the Dowager Mrs Phillips, mother of Carole's dad. She is a bit of a sweet old thing, and seems to be a bit of a ditherer. I find it hard to believe that she's the ogre that Carole makes her out to be. Mind you, you can't tell me about monstrous grandparents. I had my share with Mr X, but I suppose they are never the same to outsiders. Nasty and monstrous grandparents are like sweet old things when outsiders are anywhere near. That is the frustration of them.

Home in the fog before 11pm.

-==-

20100611

Tuesday October 28, 1975

Lynn wakes me from my slumbers at 7am. The day is a beautiful one. It is in Guiseley anyway, but things soon change when travelling to work with Jim. Passing through Horsforth we become shrouded in fog, which grows steadily more dense as we go into Leeds. The temperature falls too, and one would think Guiseley is on the French Riviera or somewhere equally tropical. (Yes, I am aware that France isn't tropical, but my description isn't meant to be taken literally).

At 4.30 I failed to get a bus home and so I walked to the West Yorkshire bus station and got the 5 o'clock 33. At Guiseley I find myself walking up home in the dark for the first time this year. I do not object to coming home in darkness, but I detest have to eat breakfast and contemplate a days work when the moon is shining and it's black as Hell at 7am.

Over tea Mum and Dad tell me about the Craven Heifer. They thought it was a bit scruffy upstairs______.They did like it though, and are optimistic about the bank financing them with the necessary cash. If they do get it we won't be moving in until February next year, so we shall have yet another Christmas at good old Pine Tops. All this waiting around and speculating about the future isn't doing me any good. I'll be a nervous wreck before I'm 21.

I rang Carole at a Menston phone box at 6.30 and we chatted for ten minutes or so. She didn't have much to say other than the fact she's bought four packs of potato crisps to eat whilst she watches a James Bond film on TV tonight.

John and Maria arrived home safely this afternoon, but as yet I haven't seen either of them. After having a coffee with Mum and Dad they went to her place where they remain unrtil this very minute. I'll report on how things went in Shrewsbury tomorrow.

Items of news: I'm saying nothing about General Franco or Juan Carlos. That matter will drag on for years yet. And the Prince of Wales's car accident in Norfolk did not injure anyone seriously, you'll be pleased to hear. HRH seems prone to road accidents.


-==-

Monday October 27, 1975

I didn't feel like work today and was glad to get away at 4.30. The news is so monstrous lately. This Dr Herrema kidnapping has been going on for about a month; Franco doesn't know whether he's coming or going, &c.

I rang Mum this afternoon to see how they got on with the bank re the loan and she seemed optimistic. The bank manager was reported to have a wide grin on his face when Dad asked for the money and he's told them to get as much information as possible when they view the Craven Heifer tomorrow afternoon. I do so much hope that we get it this time.

Christine B rang this afternoon and asked me to go see 'The Four Musketeers' with her at Yeadon. I declined because I've already made arrangements to see Carole. She (Carole) rang twice, at 5.25 and at 7.30. She says Mr & Mrs P are still uncommunicative with her and she sounds miserable. I'll have to ring her at work tomorrow afternoon because she is always ringing me to say sweet things.

Mum and Dad go to the Craven Heifer at 8.30 and I stay at home with Sue and Peter watching the television. They come home at 11pm and agree with me that it's a great place.

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