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Friday February 20, 1976


To York in (a) mini bus with Carole, Lynn, David, Sue, Peter, Christine, Chris, Peter M, Andy & Linda. We left the Hare & Hounds at about 8 o'clock and got to York in just over an hour. We all sat joking and singing in the rear.

Christine and Stuart met us near Bishopthorpe and gave us an escort to Brummels. It is my first visit to the renowned disco, Yorkshire's so-called answer to Annabel's in Mayfair. It isn't at all what I expected and is quite tatty really.

Had a great time, but CB kept insisting Carole and I were not getting along as well as we might be, which was annoying because everything was perfectly happy between us tonight. As usual, I had one over the eighteen.

Christine and Stuart are of course engaged now but I don't think they quite have the right idea. _______________________.

Home on the bus at 2.15. We're all pissed. Peter M says Linda is a "Fanny Cradock extraordinaire" and refers to Andy as "Pansy Potter" much to the screams of laughter from the other occupants of the bus.

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Thursday February 19, 1976


An evening at the home of Miss Carole Phillips. Because of the expense involved in tomorrows excursion to the northern capital we, that is Miss Phillips and I, decided that it would be unwise to endulge in social gaity on this Thursday evening.

Have I mentioned already that Lord Snowdon's girlfriend, Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs, is to be married shortly?

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Wednesday February 18, 1976


Old Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone is 93 next week and I'm hoping she'll last out until June next year because if she does she'll be the oldest living member of the British Royal Family. I think I'm right in saying that Princess Alice is the only surviving holder of the VA (the Order of Victoria & Albert) which hasn't been conferred since Queen Victoria passed over.

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Tuesday February 17, 1976


A wet damp day again. Carole goes to hospital for a check-up on her kidneys this morning and we meet in Leeds at 1 o'clock again. These ventures out a lunchtimes are rare, and it's weird going out two days in a row!

Things in the news: Angola, Angola and Angola. All we hear about on the TV news and in the newspapers is of the struggles going on in this futile African country where Cubans, Russians and ex-convict British mercenaries are killing each other for a piece of territory that's about as big as Wembley stadium. It doesn't make much sense to me and I think most people are confused by it all too. Ian Smith won't be too happy about it in neighbouring Rhodesia and bloody revolution will undoubtedly follow in that fascist colony now.

See in the EP that Basil Hume, Abbot of Ampleforth is the new Archbishop of Westminster and the next (only) English cardinal. As head of the Roman Catholics in England he'll conduct important ceremonies like, for instance, the marriage of Mr John Philip Rhodes with Miss Maria Christine Macdonald next month.

Carole rings tonight and so too does Christine White just to make sure we know the arrangements for Friday nights excursion to York. Carole's communication was just a gosspipy one. She has a way of aggravating me on the phone (don't ask me why) and I much prefer to speak to her in the flesh. She did say that she will not go for a hospital check-up again and nothing I say will deter her from this point of view. However, the gruesome activities they get up to with her blood samples made me feel sick just hearing about them.

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Monday February 16, 1976


Bitter cold day but sunny all the same. At work by 8.30 and manage to finish everything by about 1 o'clock. Carole rang me at 11.15 and asked if I want to meet her in town for lunch. We meet at one on Commercial Street and buy a few bags of crisps and I have a tongue sandwich from Lewis's, and we go sit in the part near the church opposite the Merrion Centre. We laugh and throw food for the pigeons and clown around like eight year-olds. I have to be back at work at about 2pm and she has to meet the Dowager Lady Phillips at C & A - who is suddenly conversing with her daughter again after what seems like weeks of silence and animosity. I bump into Auntie Eleanor and cousin Jackie whilst leaving C & A. Auntie was her usual sarcastic self and Jackie tells me she's to be a bridesmaid for a friend of hers on March 13. ________________.

Home at 5.20 and tell Mum about my meeting. Weddings appear to be at the bottom of most family disputes & squabbles and I think that when my turn comes along, if ever, I'll run away to Gretna Green and have it done with little ceremony and with no aunts or uncles to be seen anywhere.

Have salad for tea and leap into the bath. John rushes off to decorate a bedroom at the Macdonald seat & I marvel at his vitality. Since the day his intended marriage was made public he's gone completely scatty. Out every night visiting priests and painting bedroom ceilings in nice pale yellow for the little bundle of joy expected in September. I'm glad I'm not in his shoes. Fatherhood is all very well, but I'd like to be grey and smoking a pipe by then.

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Sunday February 15, 1976


Septuagesima. Woke up at 11.30 with a hangover. I must have been pissed last night.____.

I don't like the way Christine treats Carole at times. No love is ever lost between them. One thing that's particularly grating is the way Christine insists on calling Carole "Fanny" in a very cold manner.

Marlene, Frank & the children come round after lunch and they bring John a little engagement gift.

Carole rang at 2pm and we went to see 'The Return of the Pink Panther' at Leeds with Susan and Peter at 5pm. The film is hilariously funny. Peter Sellers' accent is brilliant. We got a bus home - the the White Cross - and the four of us devoured fish and chips at Harry Ramsden's. Carole felt as though one of her headaches was coming on and I deposited her on a bus homeward. I returned home in a descending fog.

Poor Carole is still having parent trouble and it all stems from the business about me being 'tight-fisted'. The Phillipses are funny buggers and I have long harboured the opinion that Lady Phillips is deranged and psycopathic, but it's hardly my place to go into the old hag's faults here in these pages. She is so horrible that she would in fact make a perfect mother-in-law.

Bed at 12 o'clock midnight.

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