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Saturday February 14, 1976

Valentine's Day. Get up at 11.30 and give Carole her Valentine's card in person. Mine hasn't arrived and she's worried about the whereabouts of it. It arrives in the afternoon. I also received a card from Christine, which is a birthday card for a one-year old and it has me in stitches. Get no others, but it's two better than last year at least which proved Valentinecardless.

Mum and Dad go out after lunch and John messes about with his car whilst Maria, Lynn and Sue go bridesmaid dress purchasing. Mrs Macdonald has taken it upon herself to decide what everybody is wearing at the forthcoming wedding.

Down to the Hare tonight after collecting Carole from Oakridge Castle. Mrs Phillips is a bit ratty about Carole not going home last night but at least she's speaking which is a gigantic step towards re-establishing diplomatic relations.

After the Hare Carole, Christine B and Chris and I go to Bingley and then up to Oakwood Hall which is a laugh. I get rather pissed. The four of us pile back to Pine Tops for coffee and a riotous session follows in the lounge where CB takes a fancy to Mum's new sheepskin rug. Mama is roused and shouts down saying "it sounds like a fairground". Not another word was spoken.


Friday February 13, 1976

Friday the Thirteenth. I'm not superstitious at all but just thought I'd mention it.

After a hard day at the office I find refuge and solace at the Hare & Hounds. John takes me down at 7.30 and I stand with Stephen Barstow, who hadn't heard of John's insignificant item of news. I do down to collect Carole. The Dowager Lady Phillips is on her usual sharp form and tries to make me feel small, in her usual smiling fashion, saying that John looks years older than me & is obviously more mature. I agree entirely with her which throws her off track. Leave for the Hare with Carole by my side.

Chris, Christine, Peter M, Andy & Linda, Carol Smith and a slim-line Christine D are out in force and a good night is had by all.

Peter ascertained his view that we should still go on holiday together despite John and Chris backing down. We will have a good time together, despite Christine B's jokes, and two weeks in the sun will be shear heaven. It's something to look forward to on these shitty, cold, freezing February nights.

Carole and I creep into the tap room for a traditional quick one and at eleven I don't want her to leave me and so I drag her onto a bus with me and bring her home.

Sit with Sue and Pete watching a useless Vincent Price film in which he was transformed into an Edward Heath-like fly and flitted about strangling undertakers. It was in black and white too, which didn't add to the excitement one bit.

Everyone deserted us at about midnight and what followed was a cosy little three hour session on the good old settee. The things that article of furniture could tell if only it had a tongue beneath one of its cushions. Dad disturbed us at 3am coming in for his supper.


Thursday February 12, 1976

A wet bright day. At the YP Kathleen has a phone call to say the 1975 edition of Burke's Peerage is waiting to be collected at WH Smith's. I'm round there like a shot and return with the bound volume where, to my horror, I see that it is in fact a revised edition of the 1970 volume, andf even smaller because the royal section now forms a separate book. I think it's a disgrace, and at £38 it certainly isn't worth it. However, before taking it back I photostated the supplement in the front of the volume listing all the peers who have died since 1970, and proceed to amend our tatty volume myself. I then re-wrapped the book and took it back to Smith's. Devious I know.

Elton John is coming to the Grand Theatre Leeds on April 29-30 and Sarah, with her boyfriend Alan, Carol and her sweetheart, Eileen and Michael and Carole and I are going along to lend our support. Tickets are £3 each and we all payed today to get it over with. I'm not an absolute Elton John fanatic but I am curious to see how he performs on stage. The girls in the office will be clamouring to see Carole, because she's always been a mysterious voice on the other end of the phone. They'll be more interested in Carole than in Elton John.

Get home at 5.30 for fish and chips and chocolate cake and gallons of tea.

The Henry Jenkins deal is going through with great promise. Barkers accountants and valuers are working around the clock and we'll have a decision in two weeks.

John and I go down to the Hare at 7.30 and when he goes to Maria's half an hour later I go to Carole's. We have a romantic evening in the Hare and spend an hour in the tap room where all the locals seem to know us now. She really is cheerful and happy.