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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.


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!!!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.