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Saturday January 3, 1976

I don't emerge until nearly lunchtime, and when I do eventually arise I hear from Mama that Uncle Harry is on his way over to see us. He rang them yesterday to let them know he spent Christmas and New Year in Spain and that he is seriously thinking about buying property in that fair and sun-blessed land.

They both go off shopping leaving me to play records on the stereo at full volume. I watch TV all afternoon. Laurel and Hardy followed by a Mae West & W.C. Fields epic, which in turn is followed by a Marx Brothers classic.

Uncle H arrived at 4.30 with a camera just like mine, a bottle of 5 year-old Scotch whisky and news of the Costa Brava. He looked extremely fit and well and was a few inches the better off around his girth. He also invited us all (girlfriends and boyfriends included) to stay with him at his cottage in Ravenglass for the weekend 7/8 February.

Salad for tea. John runs me to the Hare & Hounds where we have a few drinks. I then go for Carole and CD joins us at Oakridge Palace - the Phillips ancestral pile.

We get a bus to the Fleece and stay until after 10pm. Dave L, Sue, Peter, John, Maria and all the others are in and Chris's party gets going at about 11pm. I cannot render myself even remotely sloshed, and neither can Dave L. We just stand about watching people slide under the tables and chairs. CD, Alison and poor Darling Carole are all smitten with the vomits, and I put a stop to the loud party rabble at 3am by ringing Chris from a phone booth at the top of the street pretending to be an agitated neighbour. Chris was in on the plan of course, and he played along nicely. Everyone seemed a good deal quieter when I got back.

At 2am I discovered Carole in bed with cronic stomach pains. __________________________.


Friday January 2, 1976

Snow still covering most of the area. I can't help thinking that this Bing Crosby type weather is two weeks too late. Crispy snow is all very well on Christmas Eve, but I can't agree with it coming and hanging around at the beginning of January. Most unpleasant and awkward.

Mum is 41 today and Dad is 42. They don't look a day over 35 and I'm proud to be the owner of such a handsome pair of parents. We all gave them cards. I didn't give them a present because I bought them whisky on New Years Eve. Carole came up at 9pm with a present for them. Lovely and thoughtful of her.

At 9.30 Dad takes us to the Hare where all the others are assembled with the exception of Dave L. We drink gin and orange, and Peter N even had his own bottle of gin with him. At 10.30 Raymond took Carole and I to Harry Ramsden's, where we had fish and chips wrapped and delivered to Pine Tops by Dave B while the two of us went by bus.

We all sat about laughing and joking about the New Years Eve party and the saga of the size of our Christmas tree in comparison with the Macdonald's tree. Dave took Carole home at about 1.30.

Carole is going to town tomorrow and doesn't particularly want me to go with her. She seems hurt when I refuse to beg to go with her. I fancy a lazy day in bed anyway and the thought of trailing around town is OUT.


Thursday January 1, 1976

The New Year. For the past five or six years these so called New Years have always begun with people vomiting all over the place and crawling around on hands and knees moaning things like 'Oh my bloody head's gorn and blown orf' and such like. Why we do it, I fail to see.

After collapsing in the lounge after completing the washing up I sleep until 11 o'clock or something like that. Carole's gone when I eventually come round, and Dave B sits around gloating at my obvious discomfort.

A cooked breakfast only makes matters worse and by noon I'm fighting for my life, as the papers like to say when people are in fact just dying.

Dave L gave me three tickets for 'Jaws' last night, and Carole, Chris and myself are going tonight.

At 1pm John, Lynn, Dave B and I go down to the Commercial for a few drinks, but I stick to tomato juice and coca cola. Dave and Lynn are too frisky to be real, and watching them laughing and joking coupled with the fumes, grime, and the stale smell of the pub only makes me feel worse. I go for a walk round Esholt churchyard to cheer myself up. It's just amazing how many people died in Esholt in 1953. They must have been slowly bored to death by the pageant of the Coronation. It starts to rain at 1.30 and so I go back to join the others in the pub.

Drive home at 3 and it begins to snow. Arrive home all singing 'White Christmas'.

I go straight to bed and wake up at 5.30. The snow is very deep and I worry about Chris and Carole getting up the hill safely. They arrive at 7 and it takes great skill to scale our drive, which would prove a task even for Sir Edmund Hillary.

The film (Jaws) was on in Bradford and was absolutely fantastic. Not over-rated one single bit but for Carole it was too frightening and she was in tears at the end. Home after 11. Chris and Carole came in for a coffee.


Wednesday December 31, 1975

New Year's Eve. Go to work in pouring rain and a blizzard at 12.30. Collect my pay and dash straight out for the 1 o'clock bus.

In Guiseley I buy Mum and Dad a bottle of whisky for the New Year and birthdays rolled into one, and get them a {birthday} card each from a newsagents shop. Home at 2 saturated to the very bone.

John is watching a Charles Chaplin film and I watch some of it with him.

Meanwhile: that night. To the Hare & Hounds with Carole and the mob. Stay until 12.30. At midnight it all seems like a terrific anti-climax and no one is happy or joyful at all. I give Mia, the landlady, a kiss. David takes Carole, CB, Chris and I to Maria's, where she's in bed with 'flu. Mrs Mac gives us a drink and we stay for an hour or so.

Back to Pine Tops where quite a crowd is gathered - in fact all the usuals other than Chris and CB are here. Douglas Snr and Douglas Jun from next door come, and so too do Mr & Mrs Blackwell. Ernest fell down the stairs and nearly killed himself, and the only other incident was when Lynn threw Andy and Linda out after an argument over the choice of records. I drank the traditional skin-full.

The girls retired at 4am and so did Mama and Papa who were absolutely marvellous as usual. Dave L went home, and Dave B, Pete, Doug and myself went on drinking until nearly 6am. I did masses of washing up and clearing round before collapsing on the settee at 7.30. {Dave B had the floor, Pete had 2 chairs}.


{I could go about the year ending and 1975 going forever, but I won't. Idleness and tiredness in general prevent me from discussing the finer points of Hogmany.

Do not miss the 1976 edition of Michael Rhodeses thrilling memoirs!!

This is MLR signing off until another year.

Good night and a Happy New Year to all.

God Bless.


Tuesday December 30, 1975

Nothing to report.

{Drawing entitled spider's web fills the page}

Monday December 29, 1975

Uncle Albert Memorial Day. Cousin Jackie rang at 11am to see if we're having a party on New Year's Eve. I tell her no, but invite her over for the festivities all the same. The usual cast of 30 or more party goers is being dispensed with for the first time in decades, but I tell her that fun will be had all the same.

Do nothing else all day and don't wish to elaborate on my activities any longer.


Sunday December 28, 1975

1st after Christmas. Work nights again. Quite uneventful really and I knicked off home at 10.30 quite unnoticed by the half-doped journalists who remain. Feel miserable sat on the bus and realise only too well that Christmas is over for yet another year.

See the end of a Humphrey Bogart film and retire to bed. A relief that I do not have to work again until next year ... Jan 2, to be exact.

Oh, I've forgotten to mention that I have been looking after the Walton's keys next door while they went off to see relatives in Colchester. OK, what's startling about that? Well, last night they were burgled, by burglars no less! Mum is on the verge of a breakdown from the trauma and excitement of it all.

Uncle Peter arrived just before lunch.


Saturday December 27, 1975

A wonderful day. Dave B wakes me at 11.10 with yells of horror. I think he had to dance about on my bed before any signs of life were evident. Mum makes us toast for breakfast and Lynn devours most of it, along with gallons of tea.

I worry about Carole, who may well be still laid indisposed with her 'ailment', and I fear she may be unable to make the arduous venture to the coast.

At 12 o'clock Lynn, Dave and myself arrive at Oakridge Hall where we are entertained by the sight of Lady Phillips hanging out her washing. Carole is boisterous and looking fit and refuses any bodily aid whilst alighting into Mr Baker's automobile.

After a pleasant journey lasting approximately two hours we arrive in Scarborough. A breezy, fresh and highly humorous couple of hours follow, the highlights of which I will attempt to outline: a passionate photographic session on the beach was followed by a disgusting scene in a 'candy floss store' where we watched, in horror, as a filthy salesman attempted to clean out his candy floss machine with an old cloth he'd just used on the toilets. The man had filthy layered paws. A blood curdling incident followed in a hotel where Carole shared a teapot of tea with me and proceeded to fall, head long, down a flight of stairs whilst visiting the ladies loo. After this we moved on to Whitby. To say it is a ghost town would be an understatement. The only person we did see in that quaint harbour town was an aged old lady whom Carole thought might be a witch.

We then ventured homeward looking for fish and chips without much success. We ended up at a pub in Collingham where we ate piles of scampi and swilled cinzano. Home at 11 to watch a Frankenstein epic.

Mum's hurt her foot and think she may have broken a bone or something.