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Wednesday February 11, 1976

I get up at two minutes to 8 and discover that I've mislaid Jim Rawnsley somewhere. A thin layer of snow covers the ground and John has some difficulty getting (his car) up the Blackwell's drive, and I find myself shovelling ice and snow like Hell, whilst he scatters grit from a bucket.

Catch a bus to Leeds and arrive at the YP just before nine o'clock feeling tired, run-down and shagged out.

See in the papers that Eleanor Dixie, daughter of the late Sir Wolstan Dixie, 13th Baronet, is going to claim the title for herself. She fails to se why women are excluded from holding peerages and baronetcies. I'm in total agreement with this. In fact I decide to write to the Garter King of Arms or someone to lodge my strong approval of Miss Dixie's claim. The Equal Opportunities Act should really have ended this discrimination when it came into force. Opening the peerage to both sexes will help slow down the rate of extinctions, and that can't be a bad thing. Certain ancient titles can of course he inherited by either sex, but these only number 14 or 15, and the total number of peerages amount to over 500 I think.

Meanwhile: back to the office. At lunchtime I still feel listless and washed-out & so I seek an audience of Kathleen, and she tells me to go home. Eileen thinks I'm joking and thinks I'm secretly meeting someone in town, but I get the 2.30 bus out of Leeds.

Lynn and Dad are in at home. Poor Lynn is still one of the unemployed 'school-leaver' types and she says that her qualifications are too good for most offices where she's applied for jobs. They all want dumb, large-breasted blondes, with pea-like brains, just to make the tea and type envelopes. Lynn just isn't the office junior type. She feels desperate really because she's not a lazy sort of kid and staying at home all day just revolts her.

I sit in the lounge with a cup of tea browsing through Burke's Peerage planning my line of attack to get all these wronged would-be peeresses acknowledged.

I got in the bath at 8.30 and Carole came round at 9 o'clock to see if I am still in the land of the living. She goes at 9.20. I stand and watch her skip happily down the lane.


Tuesday February 10, 1976

A Spring-like day and everyone seems to think that winter's gone for another year - or at least everyone in the office feels this is so.

Sarah sees in one of the papers that Elton John is on at the Grand Theatre on April 29, and after contacting the place she tells me the tickets range from £2 to £3. I shall have to contact Carole on this subject and see if she fancies seeing the midget singer in the flesh. No doubt millions of his fans will turn up on the day in question and hog all the tickets.

Keeping my ever watchful eye on the peerage I see today that a prospective duke is engaged to be married. Lord Settrington, grandson and next-but-one in succession to the Duke of Richmond is set to marry a certain Sally Clayton.

Home at 5.30 to roast beef & Yorkshire puddings with Mum, Dad, Lynn, David & John. Maria bought her wedding dress on Saturday.

David and Lynn are in a roving mood. We meet Carole and go to the Hare at 9.30 after seeing 'Fawlty Towers'. We sit for about an hour chatting about what things will be like in 40 years time and discussing Garibaldi biscuits, which Lynn has never heard of. Carole, poor soul, just cannot grasp my sense of humour at all, and at times it becomes very trying having to explain everything in great detail. Dave brings Lynn & I home at 11 o'clock and I mess about doing sod all for an hour or so.


Monday February 9, 1976

A brighter day and I go to work without that revolting, black imitation leather coat for the first time since the bleak, bone-chilling winter set in - all those months ago.

John & Maria went down to the Silverdale estate again today and put down a deposit, or something, on a house there. I am puzzled though because John came back saying that the builders cannot install central heating in the property until July, when Maria will be 18. I fail to see what Maria's age has to do with the plumbing arrangements. The house won't be ready until May/June, & so they'll have to live with Jim & Molly for a couple of months or so.

Stuart rings from York to say that Brummels will let us all in on February 20, if I want to arrange a select coach party for that date._______. To think that Phyllis Whitethighs, heir to the Whitethigh's chain of supermarkets will be engaged in just over two weeks time! Everyone seems to be falling to this dreaded disease which seems to snatch away young people in the prime of life. Surely some cure could be found to rid the land of it? Tighter quarantine laws would help for a start, because this 'engagementomania' as it is scientifically termed, is very widespread on the Continent and the wops are somehow carrying it over with them on the Channel ferries and hovercrafts.

Carole rings at about 8.45. The Old Man and Lady Phillips are still not speaking to her and she's obviously upset by it. Mum thinks they may be pining for an invitation to attend the wedding of the decade.

Saw Susan George in quite a good film and (to) bed at something after midnight.