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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.


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.