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Friday April 23, 1976

Good Old Saint George's Day. Get to work at 8.30 and spend an hour altering Harold Wilson's file. He doesn't look like a Knight of the Garter at all and I can't help wondering what made him accept the honour. During his premiership no hereditary peers have been created and political honours have not been looked upon in a good light, and now he goes and accepts the highest honour 'bestowable' by the Monarch.

Ring David L at 7.30 and Sandra says he was taken to hospital a few hours before - something wrong with his heart! The whole Lawson house is in uproar and so I quickly vacate the line - promising to ring tomorrow for a further bulletin. David - a heart attack!! Horrific and nauseating.

I inform everyone in the Hare & Hounds except CB who is down with tonsilitis. Leave Carole at 11 and go to the Cow & Calf with Pete M and Martyn Cole. First night out with the lads in ages. I never usually desert Carole. Get intoxicated and don't remember much about the night at all. CD and Carol Smith were with us.


Thursday April 22, 1976

Work was uneventful and I'm not going into great detail on that miserable subject.

Carole rang twice this evening and both times asked me what was wrong. I insist that all is well, but she feels sure I'm wanting rid of her.

John came round at 9 o'clock for a bath. The Macdonald central heating system caved in over Easter and subsequently the Mac family are parading round Ridgeway smeared in four days supply of filth.

Mum and Dad went out for a drink but returned and 10.30 with fish and chips which John also endulged in. Sue also cut John's hair.

Hear on the midnight news that Uncle Harold is to become a Knight of the Garter after all. No doubt the left-wing rabble of the Labour party will find this is something they can get their teeth into, but uncle is a scheming old lad. A man cannot be Prime Minister for sixty years without picking up some of the tricks of the trade.


Wednesday April 21, 1976

The Queen, 50. Do not hear the alarm clock again and Mum wakes me at 8.20. To Leeds with Jim Rawnsley and study the national newspapers immediately upon my arrival at the YP. The Queen's party at Windsor went on until 3am today - and at 2.40am Her Majesty's time of birth - she was dancing around the Waterloo Chamber with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Some papers criticised Mr Callaghan for not attending and I can only see this as a snub to the Queen. Uncle Harold Wilson and Thatcher attended and even Edward Heath. She is already a legend in her own lifetime and it's hard to imagine how we could ever manage without her.

Meet Carole at 8.10 but only have one drink in the Hare before returning to our place for a coffee. She is behaving quite differently today bit I pretend I haven't noticed. She is doing her utmost not to be 'lovey dovey' and too serious with me.


Tuesday April 20, 1976

Back to work which is busy and frantic. See in the papers that Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon are to attend the Queen's 50th birthday party at Windsor this evening.


Monday April 19, 1976

Wake up at about 11.30 with Carole and Jackie. Feel horrible and revolting with hangover. I was the last person up drinking and the birds were chiruping like hell at 6.30am when I finally submitted to the call of the bedroom.

Jackie gets a lift into Bradford to start work at 12.30 and Carole and I walk home. Yes, we walked all the way to Guiseley along the Rodley canal which brought us out near Esholt Sewage Works on Hollins Hill. Did nothing but argue all the way home and she kept referring to the way in which I treated her last night. She dislikes the way I 'carry on' with other women and says that I don't 'give a damn' for her. I put her straight saying it is obvious that she thinks more of me than I do of her and that she is obsessed with the idea of us having a permanent relationship whatever the cost. My feelings, or lack of them, mean nothing to her & she professes her undying love for me when I've never once offered anything in return. This situation cannot go on. I tell her I enjoy her company but insist that I do not love her and this depresses her. The whole situation makes me sick.

She comes up at 8.50 and we all see 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' - not a good film, and I'm itching to see a programme on ITV about George III narated by the Prince of Wales. Bed at 12.30 and sleep like a log.


Sunday April 18, 1976

Easter Day. To Blackpool with Chris & Christine and Carole, of course. Not going into details though we did have a riotous time. Left for Blackpool at 8am and returned at 9.30pm.

The four of us and Lynn & David go on to Jackie's party in Pudsey. Very crowded. I drink all night. Carole is quiet and I see very little of her. Lynn and Dave go home quite early & so too do Chris & Christine. A bloke stripped off and danced about in his naked condition much to the mixed amount of amusement & embarrassment of the party goers.

Stay up all night and sleep in Auntie E's double bed with Carole and Jackie. We were all clothed and only shared because of the bed shortage crisis. Quite funny really.


Saturday April 17, 1976

Carole comes at lunchtime and after ten minutes we all pile into the Toyota and Dad takes us, Sue, Pete and Mum to the Commercial for a 'liquid lunch'. Devour a couple of beef and onion sandwiches and two or three pints of lager.

John calls in at 10 to say that Maria is undergoing a hair cutting operation in Guiseley. I shudder at the thought because Maria has such attractive hair and to think that a maniac armed with a pair of scissors is tearing away at it brings a I tear to my eyes.

It's back to Pine Tops at 3 o'clock for turkey, cauliflower and the lot. Even white wine.

Carole and I walk to the Hare at 8.30, and are joined by Chris, Christine, John and Maria. Maria looks horrible, like one of the 'Black & White Minstrels'. Her lovely waves are gone completely and only short, fuzzy curls remain. Ghastly.

Move to the Swan at Addingham. John wants to go to Jackie's party tomorrow but Maria absolutely refuses to go.

John brings me home at 11.30 and I set my alarm clock for 6 o'clock - a daunting thought indeed.


Friday April 16, 1976

Good Friday. Nice, warm, sunny day. Rise at 9 o'clock and have a leisurely breakfast with the radio belting out its joyous tunes.

Read 'Queen Anne' by David Green until after 11. She must have been a bit of a lesbian because her 'carrying on' with the Duchess of Marlborough and Lady Masham were far from stable relationships.

Carole comes at 12.30 and I begin making the lunch. Fry chips and attempt to fry some 'fish balls'. Do fish have balls? Mum comes in at 1.15 and we eat. Not a pleasant lunch and I'm relieved when Dave B comes and offers to take us out for something to wash the meal down with.

Go to the Commercial. Just Lynn, Dave, Carole and I. Have a few pints of Stella outside in the sun and feel sick. Dave then drives us to Grange's and I book the Blackpool trip for Sunday.

Back to Pine Tops where 'The King and I' is on TV. I can't tolerate clapped out musicals and so Carole and I walk into Guiseley and call in at a sweet shop for a few bars of chocolate.

Get the 4.30 bus to Leed and have a quiet night at the office. Leave on the 11 o'clock 35 bus after a dead night. Home for midnight. Working nights next on April 25 - Low Sunday, aptly enough.


Wednesday April 14, 1976

Go down to the Hare & Hounds on the 8.10 bus and meet Carole outside. John comes in with Jimmy Macdonald and we boys have a laugh together. Carole mopes because she thinks I am ignoring her and says I should perhaps have left her at home and had a night out with the lads. I am sure she thinks I contrived to meet John and Jimmy, but it was purely coincidental, and after all, why can't I have a chat with my prodigal brother? I'm not tied to Miss Phillips's apron strings.


Thursday April 15, 1976

Sorry about this pals, but when you try writing a diary a week after the actual event it does tend to become a little confusing and I'm afraid that this week Thursday comes after Tuesday and before Wednesday. Confusing I know, but it makes a change.

Do nothing all night. See 'Top of the Pops' with Mum. The only interesting item of the day. Carole didn't ring and all in all it's been most ordinary and mundane.


Tuesday April 13, 1976

Meet Carole at 6.30 in Guiseley and go to the library where I collect 3 books: 'Queen Anne' by David Green; 'The First Moutnbatten's', and the first of the Palliser novels by Trollope. Walk her to White Cross and then get the bus home. I am bored with her and cannot see the relationship lasting the month out. Being bogged down with the same girl - no matter how nice - is not a situation I rellish, and I need to get out of it soon.


Monday April 12, 1976

Up at 7.15 and battle through a large breakfast with Lynn. Unusual for me to eat on a morning but if I'm up early I can always manage to put away a few loaves of bread and nine and a half tons of marmalade.

The second Monday in succession without a lift from Jim. Meet Gillian Upton at the 55 bus stop and travel with her. She tells me she climbed Peny-Ghent (if that's how you spell it) - yesterday. How she's changed since breaking with Naomi. __________.

Carole rings me at 1.30 to say she's made it up with the Old Hag. I never will though. Carole is Mrs P's daughter, and all that, but why should I make polite chit chat with someone with whom I have nothing in common? Get lost, Mrs Phillips. That's what I say.

Leap in the bath and watch a revolting Raquel Welch film before retiring to bed at 11.20. Carole's visiting her old pal Deborah tonight. Let's hope this cooling off business catches on. No wedding bells for Michael L. Rhodes.


Sunday April 11, 1976

Palm Sunday. Carole's Mum rang at 12.30 and spent half an hour or so pulling our family to pieces and putting her evil spoke in in general. I was listening on the extension and was amused to hear that someone has told Mrs P that I'm 'taking Carole for a ride' and that I'll drop her at the slightest excuse. She's a miserable, lying old bag and isn't fit to inhabit the earth. If I was any sort of man I'd go down to her so-called house and stick the boot in.

Later: Carole, Mum, Dad and I go down to the Commercial. A few drinks and a beef sandwich. Carole has one of her 'Sunday faces' and although I have great sympathy for her predicament I do not love her and never will.

At 2 we go to John & Maria's. Molly says that Mrs P rang last night to complain about Carole. Why ring Molly? She, Mrs P, rambled on about having a growth on her lung and that she'd been ordered to stop work and that Carole hadn't given her any board money for eleven weeks! Carole is just about demented.

Take Carole to the bus at 6.30 and go home to tea. I will have to remind Carole that things aren't going to get any more serious between us, and that we should cool off somewhat. Marriage is not for me. I reminded Carole this afternoon that this stalemate is unchangeable.


Saturday April 10, 1976

Carole and I go for a ramble through Hawksworth this afternoon in the sun. Both wear our bomber jackets. She is cheerful today. Call in to see John & Maria after 3, but only Molly is in. She keeps us talking until nearly 5 o'clock.

To Oakwood Hall at 8.30 with Denny and Tony in the Jag. Susan and Peter come too. A good night, but Graham Pease, whose birthday party it is supposed to be, doesn't turn up. Denny and Tony have a difference of opinion about something and look daggers at each other for hours. Keith B comes along and takes Sue away from Peter for the night which amuses me. Peter's face was a sight to behold. The girl on the posters all over the walls is actually on the dance floor. It's amazing how photographs can be touched up. One thing's for sure, she's certainly had her share of 'touching up' from the look of things.


Friday April 9, 1976

To the Hare & Hounds as usual. Carole's bruises have subsided now and she's looking somewhat better.

Maria tells me that the child will be John Philip Rhodes, Jun. Won't confusion arise with two members of the same family having the same name? For the next twenty years John will be tearing open his sons mail and vice versa. The prospect that the issue may prove female cannot be overlooked. Maria likes the names Emma and Charlotte. I always think of 'Charlotte the Harlot' when I hear that name, but it is attractive. Emma reminds me of a typical grandmother and although it's a popular name at the present time I cannot see the name sticking in fashion for very long. I hate to think that my eldest nephew/niece is going to be saddled with a white elephant of a name.


Thursday April 8, 1976

Helen Lockyer, 22. She is getting married on Spring Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May and is departing from our midst to reside in Gloucester for the rest of her married life. Sad when people from 'our circle' marry and depart. It seems to be catching on.

Even June Bottomley is engaged to be married. Chris and Christine saw her in Horsforth last Friday night and she gave them a flash of her ring. He's an accountant or something. I wish her all the luck in the world anyway, because I will always be very fond of her even if she did muck me about all those years ago - well, two actually.

Out with Mum and Dad to the Hare & Hounds. Meet Carole outside and Helen and Shirley inside. John comes alone at about 9 o'clock. I get a little canned trying to keep up with Papa, who is working at 10 o'clock. Quite a merry night it turns out to be. Judith R and Kathryn walked in at 10. J came back from Birmingham on Sunday and the break with Terry is for good I think. Kathryn brings me home in her mini and we - the three of us -have a coffee until after midnight.


Wednesday April 7, 1976

Brief: Meet Carole in Guiseley at 6.45 with the intention of visiting the library. It is closed however, so we go up to our place for a coffee and a chat.

See Pat Phoenix return to 'Coronation Street' which will no doubt go down in the history books. The 1970s will be remembered in the minds of men as the decade when Valery Giscard d'Estaing became French president, Joe Bugner visited Benton Park Grammar School, and Pat Phoenix retired from 'Coronation Street' and then made a 'come back'.

Carole goes homeward by bus and I just about freeze to death in the cold.


Tuesday April 6, 1976

Budget Day. Mr Healey didn't do much at all and I don't know why the BBC bothered covering the 'event' because sweet sod all resulted from Denis's lengthy oration. However, beer is going up 1p a pint and the price of a bottle of Scotch is going up by 32p. Callaghan's first day at No. 10, and I bet Audrey's made friends with all the neighbours. What colour scheme has she decided upon for Jim's bedroom?

Carole rings at 7.30pm whilst I'm out pruning the roses, to say - or rather to sob - that 'the family' (if that's what they can be called) have ignored her all night, and she mumbles about killing herself. I cannot be expected to continue gardening after being told that my girlfriend is about to end her life so I lay down my shears and meet her on Thorpe Lane. We go for a long ramble, taking in Esholt Woods, Westfield fish and chip shop and the Yorkshire Rose. Carole looks horrific and I'm sick and tired of the whole affair. Why should I be depressed by a domestic squabble that's too inferior for words? Carole never gives me any of the details so how can I be expected to sympathise? She's a good deal happier when we part company at 11, and arrange to meet in Guiseley tomorrow night.


Monday April 5, 1976

Historic day today. My 21st birthday and the departure of Uncle Harold from No. 10 Downing Street.

Lynn got me out of bed at 7.30 and I didn't feel in a birthday spirit really. She gave a beautiful clock and Susan gives me £5 - good of them.

Work was boring and my mind kept wandering to thoughts of poor Carole suffering with her bruises and scars.

Meet Carole near the Ostlers at 1pm, and although she's covered in make-up, I can still see the bruising. She gives me a (birthday) card from her mother which has £2 tucked in the front. Hypocritical keeping it? No, we spend it on booze. Why not get as much as we can out of the bastards whilst we can?

Home at 4 o'clock on the 33 bus & I teach Carole the words of '21 Today', &c, which raised a few laughs.

Susan tells me that Callaghan is the new Prime Minister. I feel a great sense of loss by Harold's departure. I'm far from being a Labour voter, but that little man with the black bags under his eyes and smouldering pipe, inspires me somewhat.

Party at Pine Tops for my birthday. Cut a birthday cake. John, Maria, Carole, Lynn, Dave, Sue & Peter, Mum and Dad. Lots of booze and chicken and chips. Carole still very quiet and looks so miserable. She's obviously ill.

Carole stays the night - 5 nights running.


Sunday April 4, 1976

Passion Sunday. Passion Sunday maybe, but as far as I was concerned nothing could be further from the truth. Poor Carole was like a moron all day and looks ghastly and haggard. What's become of the vital young maiden of yesteryear? If she doesn't leave home soon she will do something foolish and hideous. Make no mistake about it, our Carole cannot always be relied upon to make a rational move and the thought of her leaping under a bus is always at the forefront of my mind. She was tragic over lunch and I thought she might pass out.

Jackie stays all day. It was quite a laugh really. She took quite a few pictures of us in the garden.

Auntie Hilda and Uncle Tony came at 8.30 just as Lynn, Dave and Martyn arrived back from Alison's. Auntie brought me a clock for my birthday and Lynn is horrified to see it because it's the same as what Dave's bought me. Hilda takes her gift home and is going to change it later.

Dave took Carole home at 11. She was close to tears. She hasn't slept at home since Wednesday.


Saturday April 3, 1976

In brief: My Birthday Party at Oakwood Hall.

Carole and I go to Leeds before lunch and spend about three or four hours messing around in the shops. I bought a blue cheesecloth shirt with the money Mum and Dad gave me this morning. We have our usual squabble in Miss Selfridge and Carole ends up the owner of a Spanish-style green blouse - which she loathes. Women!

Home at 4 to find Dad mending the telephone and see Jackie, who arrived three hours earlier.

Later: Coach arrives at 9.20 and 19 people travel. MM and Marita in the car. Even Denise and Tony came. The place was horribly hot all night and packed to the brim. I attempt to get intoxicated and only got slightly pissed, spending £8 in the process. Lynn and David didn't come, which left something of a gap but otherwise all was a great success. Christine B, Chris and Peter bought me a 'Southern Comfort' pub mirror - brilliant. Back to Pine Tops - that is only family and Dave L for Jackie's sausage sandwiches and a photographic session. Hysterical just isn't the word.


Friday April 2, 1976

I am sick of this Phillips business and feel useless and small over the 'inactiveness' I have shown. Any true boyfriend in days gone by would have challenged the blackguard in question to a duel and dawn or something, but I've done absolutely nothing to defend poor Carole who is horribly bruised and in a state of great depression.

David rings and he picks me up at 8pm and off to the Hare & Hounds we go. Ian Appleyard and Kevin (Taylor) are in but keep themselves to themselves. I do not enjoy the evening because of the state Carole is in and am aware that everybody is looking at her disfigurements.

All the mob are in. We stay until closing time. John and Maria came in at 10 in a 13 year-old Volkswagen which he acquired today and at 11 he takes Carole and I back to Dunedin for a coffee. Mr & Mrs Mac are in Peterborough for the weekend, and when I suggest that we - the four of us - should endulge in an orgy - all I received was three disgruntled stares.

Carole and I came back to Pine Tops where we had gallons of tomato soup and toast, taking the time up to about 3.30am.