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Friday August 8, 1975

Last day at work for over two weeks, and I can't say I'm sorry to get away. Home at 6 o'clock in pouring rain. Thunder and lightning. The lamp in Lynn's bedroom exploded (in the storm) and quite unpeturbed she went on drying her hair with the hairdryer plugged into the same socket!

We were chasing round the house stuffing things in suitcases - Uncle Jack, Auntie Mabel, Marlene, Frank & the children arrived after tea.

At 9 o'clock we'd finished everything and John went off to the Hare with Maria to say a final goodbye. I went down with Lynn and Dave for a quick pint but didn't enjoy it one bit. It's a nerve wrecking experience going off to the other side of the world with only a younger brother and an absent minded bank clerk (no insult intended, Chris).

Mum and Dad take us to the Wellington Street bus station at 10.30 and we bid our fond farewells. Leave Leeds a few minutes after 11 and I'm awake all night until we get into Victoria coach station at 5am. John slept, as he usually does, like a three month old baby. Lucky lad.


Thursday August 7, 1975

John and I go to Morrison's in order to get a few vital provisions for the holiday. Spend a couple of quid on tooth paste and such like, and then go down to the Fox for a quick one. See Peter N, who is having his usual Thursday lads night out without Sue. Leaving the Fox the car runs out of petrol, and we ring for Dave B to come down in order to re-fuel. We walk up to the Hare and have a few drinks before coming home at 10. Give Mum a box of chocolates and see a few TV programmes.


Wednesday August 6, 1975

Incredibly warm day. Meet the gang in the Hare. We all sit outside, and we, that is John and I, say goodbye to everyone until the end of the month. Christine B is in tremendous spirits, and I'm quite sure now she regrets not going out with me when I asked her.

Miss Akroyd and 'Mr WH Smith' join us. The second time since Saturday!_______.

Home on the 33 bus with the two Christines. I fell and grazed my hand giving CB a piggy back, but this is soon forgotten when CD robbed the sum of 94p from the West Yorkshire Bus Co, and we both dashed to Harry Ramsden's for fish and chips.


Tuesday August 5, 1975

Eek! It's only four days until the holiday! My first ever aeroplane journey! Two whole weeks away from all those worries!! Oh, the sun! The sea! The women! Aaarrgghh!! All these exclamation marks are too much to bear!!


Monday August 4, 1975

Holiday in Scotland and Irish Republic. A beautiful day again. See in the paper that the temperature in Roundhay Park (Leeds) yesterday reached 90 degrees farenheit, and if that isn't some kind of miracle I don't know what is.

A historic day indeed. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is 75 years-old today, and I'm sure she'll manage to give us 10 or 15 years more brilliant service in the future. Saw on the 6 o'clock news a sizeable crowd sing 'Happy Birthday, Dear Mother' to her outside Clarence House, and I only hope Willie Hamilton was watching. People like him must really feel as though they are banging their heads against a brick wall on days like this. The Queen is throwing a party at the palace this evening and all the Royal Family are attending except the Prince of Wales, who is on a fishing holiday in Iceland.

Dirty little (news)papers like the Sun are known to say that when it's cold over here the Royal Family board planes for sweltering regions on the equator. But here we are at boiling point in Britain, and Charles has boarded a plane and fled to the Arctic!

A feature in the EP says the Queen Mother is the first Scottish-born Queen of England. I am damn sure that one of the Plantagenets took a bride from over the border, and just for the record, the Queen Mother is a Hertfordshire lass! Sometimes I wonder just where we dig up our journalists.


Sunday August 3, 1975

10th after Trinity. Go bugger off. 93F throughout the UK. Holding a pen isn't advisable in such weather conditions. The hottest day since July 1948 - 27 years?

Saturday August 2, 1975

The same applies today, and that is: Go away will you? I'm sure you've got better things to do than sit here reading old diaries which aren't of any importance at all.

Dave Baker's party. Need not say any more. I know what went on, and I'm the only one that matters.


Friday August 1, 1975

OK, so its the first of August. I don't see why that should signify a sudden flurry of the written word herein. If you must know, I'm feeling remarkably lazy, and not at all creative. Bye, bye.


Thursday July 31, 1975

Pay day. And a party over at the Central in honour of Alan Brooke and Peter Milburn, who are leaving to join Pennine Radio. The EP won't really be the same without them.

At 5.30 we all went across to the upper room of the Central, where Malcolm Barker and Geoff Hemingway are holding court like Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

A small crowd gathers to pay homage to the two who are leaving us, and Geoff Hemingway makes a brilliant speech. Sarah and I nip downstairs to the bar, and I'm sloshed well before 7 o'clock. Kathleen goes at about 7 and I stand with EP reporters. Sarah is deep in conversation with Angela Barnes and Roy Holland and we have little communication until she drags me, like a wailing schoolboy, to the last bus. I profess my undying love for her, as I always do on these occasions, but I don't think she likes the idea.


Wednesday July 30, 1975

In just over one weeks time I will be boarding an aeroplane for the very first time. Obviously, I'm longing for a holiday, but I'm not all that sure about flying. Never experiencing anything like it before I cannot be afraid, because one can only be worried about something if one knows what that something is. I do not. People say it's similar to being on a waltzer at a fairground, or riding on a double-decker bus down a badly constructed road, but 300 people do not die instantly when a bus runs out of petrol, and neither are people dashed to death on a fairground ride. That is my worry. Don't get me wrong. I'm not scared of dying. I just want to die in better circumstances that's all. Is not wanting to drop 30,000 feet out of the sky onto a sun-scorched moutnain range a fear of dying? I don't think so. I want to die in bed, sometime in the middle of the next century, surrounded by weeping, middle-aged grandchildren.


Tuesday July 29, 1975

Another hot day, but cloudy. I don't fancy writing tons of literature today. Michael Rhodes is feeling incredibly idle.

Monday July 28, 1975

Lovely hot day. Summer is back again. The papers are harping on about the Prince of Wales's latest girlfriend. However, I'm not even going to mention it, because it's obvious to all intelligent life forms on earth, that these women who are frequently linked romantically with the prince are nothing of the kind.

I am going to say something about another guest of the Queen at Windsor this weekend. Namely Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, the biggest royal t**t this side of Nell Gwynn. I know she's a relative of the Duke of Edinburgh, but I fail to see why Her Majesty should wish to be seen associating publicly with her. I can't see the logic. They don't go near the Harewoods at all, and he's only been divorced once. Princess Elizabeth has had one divorce and her 2nd marriage to Neil Balfour can hardly be called happy and stable. Tut, tut, Ma'am.

Home at 5.30 after a miserable day at the YP. It's now obvious that Sarah is impassioned by another, so to speak, because I laid a bet on with myself that she wouldn't patronise my party and she's cooled off thoroughly in her approach to me. However, I am not going to worry about it.

Carole rang from St Ives at about 7 o'clock and I wasn't very polite with her because I had just overheard Peter telling Sue that he'd seen her in the Fox with another bloke last Thursday. I'm not the jealous type, but it is a crafty, underhanded move on her part: especially after she got on at me so much because I said I liked going about with Sarah occasionally.

Dave B, Peter, 'George' all come round, and I give 'George' a guided tour of the garden. Mum and Dad ring later. They've been in Cromer today. They seem to be having a good time.


Sunday July 27, 1975

Miss Dibb got me up at 10.30 and I really did feel fit and well. So too did Christine, but poor Dave B had gone down vomitting like Lynn. They are so alike when it comes to being sick.

No damage had been done, and all was well. Sue and the girls began with the meal, and John managed to sup seven pints of canned ale before 1 o'clock. At 1 Chris came for us, and Peter and Martyn joined us at the Commercial and later at the Hare. Back home at 2 for lunch after meeting Andy, Pete M and Keith. Andy always laughs at John as though he's some kind of comedian. I sleep after lunch until about 3.30, then I have the gruesome task of preparing for work.

Alison drives me to the bus stop in Dave's car, and I get a bus arriving in Leeds at about 4.45. Work until 12 and get a taxi home. Nothing much happened and it seemed to drag by. Home at 12.15 and they're all in bed - even John, who usually spends all his time at 'George's'.


Saturday July 26, 1975

I didn't really have enough space yesterday to go into any more detail about 'George's' party. At one stage 'George' and I got carried away and we fell on the band, but all in all we returned without any injury. After the meal we came back to the Macdonald's for a few more drinks - champagne and cigars - and we staggered off home, or perhaps I should say we drove off home, and staggered up to bed.

Six or seven hours later we were out of bed and waving bye bye to Mum and Dad, who are going down to Ruby and Arthur's in Norfolk. Mum wasn't too pleased about me having a party tonight but Lynn used her charm and convinced her that all will be well. However, I was feeling terrible. A hot bath, which normally clears hangovers for me, didn't do so, and I thought the end had come.

'George' and Carole came round at 11am and I insisted on playing Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto and lying quite still on the settee. Carole isn't my type at all really and I don't see how we've managed to keep up the pretence for so long. She leaves at 12 and I won't see her until the end of August. Dave B managed to deflate her umberella (see foot of July 23) and I think it could be symbolic of our relationship.

The party: all went to the Hare at 8. Me in new trousers. Stayed there until about 10 o'clock. Stand with Dave L and Christine B all night. Dave is still my best pal after all these years and it's quite incredible how well we get on. The three of us come back to Pine Tops before the mob and we make a start on the drinks. All the usual come, other than Miss Carol Smith, and the only strangers were a few Durham University students who came with Ray. MM and Marita came looking like a pair of blacks and were quite jolly. Dave passed out upstairs just after 12, and the next to go was Lynn, who was violently sick, &c. Poor Christine drank vodka until it spewed out of her ears and she did nothing but cry. I took her for a walk at about 2am up on the common, and she lost her ear-rings. That didn't help matters, and it beats me how she always manages to lose expensive jewelry when she's drunk. The Braithwaite collection must have dwindled somewhat since Christine started drinking.

Al Dixon's brother, Graham, was also having a party, and Dave B, Martyn Cole, Al, and me went up for half an hour. It was completely dead and useless. On our return home I bedded down in the dining room next to a snoring Christine B, who looked like (in Dave L's words) a Japanese Mud Wrestler.


Friday July 25, 1975

Great evening. John and I go down to the Hare at 7pm for a few drinks before going round to 'George's' for the coming onslaught. 'George' is 17 tomorrow, though you'd think she was much older. This isn't intended as an insult by any means, because I like her very much. We go to the Macdonald residence at 7.30 and meet Hugh or Hew, her brother, and his wife. The women take hours to get ready, and whilst the gentlemen are waiting we consume quite a few whiskies.

I know it's shameful, but I can't remember the name of the place in Bingley where we dined. I distinctly remember spilling a glass of red wine over the table and on Jimmy (Macdonald), 'George's' older brother, but the service was perfect and the waiters were falling over each other to clear up the mess. A trio played soft music whilst we ate, and after the meal they had a bash at a few rock 'n roll numbers. 'George' was playing the piano and Jimmy did a turn on the drums. Hilarity.

Carole, who I was supposed to partner, was incredibly dull, and didn't eat a thing, which put me off her straight away. She doesn't eat meat, fish or vegetables, and takes rellish in baked beans, and other crude substances. Is is down to her Roman Catholic upbringing? Mr Macdonald refused all offers of cash, and footed the bill himself. 12 of us: Mr and Mrs Macdonald, Hugh and his wife, Jimmy, John, 'George', Pamela Moffat, Carole and me. Sorry, I mean ten of us. Phew, it must have cost a fortune.


Thursday July 24, 1975

As far as mechanical objects are concerned I am a complete and utter failure. You may recall that when I last borrowed an umberella (Dave B's) I had the misfortune to render it useless in Guiseley Railway Station when it jammed just as my train was approaching. Well, I suppose you are asking 'why bring this up?' and 'what's it got to do with us?', &c. Well, I'll tell you. When I arrived home at 1am this morning from Carole's I found that her Dad's umberella, which she had kindly lent me, and jammed in the up position and no persuasion of any kind would make it close up. Had I been on the platform of one of the many our great British railway stations I would have had to smash it to pieces with my bare hands, but because I was at home I took relief in the knowledge that it would come to no harm on the garage floor. And it's out there even now, 24 hours later. Not even John can do anything for it. Poor Mr Phillips isn't going to be happy when he finds out.

In her capacity as Mistress of the Robes, Sarah accompanied me to town for a trouser purchasing session. I managed to get a pair costing £9.90, which is the most I've ever forked out for trousers. We took an extra half hour for lunch and managed to fit one in the Generation Bar. I was livid and drained of all patience by the imbecility of the bar staff and I nearly died of thirst too. Efficiency is a must behind a bar, and that wench certainly had none.

I actually rang Denny this afternoon to see if we really need typhoid jabs - her being a travel agent I thought she'd have been notified. She said it didn't matter either way really, and something about it (the jab) taking four weeks to get into the blood! I ask her to come on Saturday night, and it all seemed like old times again.

Home at 6 and Carole rings an hour later to see if I want to go for a meal with the Macdonalds and John and herself tomorrow. I think 'Oh sod the expense' and say yes. She goes away for two weeks at the weekend, and I', still hell bent on retaining my absolute freedom. I must, I bloody well must.


Wednesday July 23, 1975

Another queer day. More like April. It's pissing it down and I'll not dwell on the subject any more.

Work was uneventful and Sarah wasn't feeling too well. I'm willing to bet a small fortune on the subject of Sarah attending my party on Saturday. She's been very secretive about the whole business and every time I mention it she quickly changes the subject. Who cares anyway?

Home at 5.30. Mum is having tantrums about everyone and everything again. She didn't improve much either when Lynn put her foot in it and mentioned we might be having a party on Saturday night. I cringed at the mention of it. Women! Give me a family of boys any day.

The weather is horrible and I'm not looking forward to this evening's orgy with Carole at the Hare. She is all very well, but when the Queen is on TV no competition arises. I am rotten, aren't I?

Down to the Hare with John at 8.15. See Gillian and Naomi who are back from Newquay, where they had two hours of sunshine last week. John collects 'George' and Helen comes long of her own free will. Carole arrives at 8.30. She tells me her name is Phillips. Just think, if she'd been a boy and called Mark and joined the Queen's Dragoon Guards I'd now be a friend of royalty. Back to her place, just the two of us, at 10.30 and I stayed until 12.20. Walk home in pouring rain with her Dad's umberella. Don't get too wet, and on my arrival home I devour a bowl of chicken soup with plenty of pepper on.


Tuesday July 22, 1975

Up at 7.55 feeling grotty. Having a birthday celebration on a Monday night isn't the wisest thing to do at all really.

To Leeds with Jim as usual, and work like hell all day. Some days I feel uncommunicative and doing piles of work is an alternative to chatting up Sarah and chasing her round the office.

Feel blocked up and stifled, and not looking forward to the jab I'll be receiving later on this week. John should be collecting the stuff from the chemists tonight, and so the doctor will be giving us the needle within a few days. Ah well, I suppose it's better than coming home from holiday and dropping down dead with typhoid.

I forgot to mention it, but Chris rang on Sunday from London saying he was having an injection too. Poor sod, I think he's very lonely down there.

Home in the rain at 5.30 and have tea. Sue began working full-time today at the hairdressers where she's been part-time for years.I can imagine her with a salon of her own in a few yaesr time. Just think, all the six of us employed people now. No more schoolchildren in the clan until grandchildren start rolling in.

Carole rings at 6.30 and I say I'll see her in the Hare at 8.30 tomorrow. Also meeting Christine B tomorrow night and probably Dave L too. I have no money but don't think for one minute that I'm going to let that get in my way. No, I don't do too badly really.