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Saturday June 5, 1976

Sue came back from the Hare & Hounds last night and informed Mum that Denise and Carole are going to Ibiza the Saturday after Pete M and I are. This is really bad of Miss Akroyd. She knows full well that I'm doing my very best to avoid Carole, and for her now to arrange a holiday at the same place and at the same time is very wrong.

Make Chris a birthday card this afternoon and enclose £3 inside. What do you buy the man who has absolutely everything? The money should come in useful anyway.

Get a bus at about 7.30 to Chris's. The evening is unbearably hot and we can expect a thundery week ahead. Maria, John, Carole and Denise are assisting Chris with the food preparation which looks fantastic. Carole refuses to speak. _______________.

At 8 o'clock Lynne Mather arrives. (See Diary for Oct 5-Nov 4, 1974). She looks great. Over to the Fleece with John, Maria, Chris, Carole, Denise, Sue, Pete N, Lynn, Dave, Pete M, Carol (American), Ann (American), Raymond Bond, Christine W, Stuart, Carol, Igor, Andy, Linda, Laura, Dave P, MM, Marita, Martyn Cole, &c.

Back to Chris's at 10.30 - a great night. Pass most of the time until 2.30am with Lynne, and don't get particularly pissed. Most of the others are sloshed - Marita included, and John was the worst of the lot.


Friday June 4, 1976

Christopher's 21st, but of course he's celebrating tomorrow night. Hear from Mum that John and Maria are staying with C for the weekend to help him arrange the party. Maria is cooking, cleaning and messing about in general. Six months pregnant too.

Eileen and I went over to the Central at lunchtime. __________________. I emerged after consuming two pints of lager a thoroughly bored young man.

Have a nasty argument with Mum at tea time and set out to Bradford at 6.30. Tony is driving up the lane and we meet half way. In Bradford for 7 o'clock and have a quick drink in the 'Painted Wagon' before meeting Sarah, Carol J, and Marilyn outside the Alhambra at 7.15. Horror of Horrors! On entering the theatre we are confronted by a terrible and nauseating poster. It's an announcement to the effect that Hylda Baker has been taken ill and will not be appearing. What's more we cannot get our money back! Not more than 20 other people were assembled in the theatre and after the first act of the play (also starring Valentine Dyall) we, all five of us that is, dashed off to Leeds and the Flying Pizza.

Sarah felt ill and couldn't eat anything and I blamed the intolerable heat of the place. Even I, Michael the Icebox, had to remove my jacket after the first course. A massive bottle of wine was consumed and by 10 o'clock we were heading back to Bradford to see 'All the President's Men' at the ABC. A boring film and darling Sarah fell asleep on my shoulder. I think I have always been greatly attracted to her. She is so sweet and appealing.


Thursday June 3, 1976

Tony rings to say he's got the tickets for Hylda Baker tomorrow evening. £1.50 a piece. He was coming up tonight to watch Monty Python but he's having car trouble and won't be able to make it now.

Lynn and Susan are out this evening and so it's just me, Mum & Dad watching TV. Feel unusually tired, and by 11 o'clock my eyes are packing in for the night.

King George V is 111 today. No doubt he'll be celebrating quietly somewhere with Queen Mary. It's also the 39th wedding anniversary of the poor old Duchess of Windsor. Saw in the Express last week that she is more or less a recluse now and lives under the surveilance of half a dozen nurses. Poor Old Queen Wallis. Will they let her be buried over here? Nothing else to report.


Wednesday June 2, 1976

Have a hysterical day at the office. Arrange with Sarah and Carol to go see Hylda Baker at the Bradford Alhambra on Friday night. Marilyn wants to go too. Can't wait. Hylda is my favourite comedienne. It also means I can escape from the bloody Friday night rut I seem to be wedged in at the moment. Since I dissolved my relationship with Carole the Hare & Hounds has lost its attraction.

Stuart comes up at 8 o'clock and we go to Tony's place off Manningham Lane, Bradford. The poor sod pays £7 a week for a revolting bed-sit in the heart of Mecca with virtually no white men, or women for that matter, within a 50 mile radius. However, he is moving out next week & so he seems cheerful.

We have a drink in the Commercial and then another in the Chevin Inn, which is incredibly snobbish. Go to the Hare at 9.30 and Denise comes in with Carole. I shudder at the sight of her and the more I see of her the more I think she is unbalanced. Her eyes are so lifeless. Tony buys them both drinks.

Back to Tony's for coffee and home after midnight. Mum says John was round tonight.


Tuesday June 1, 1976

The First of Bleedin' June.

Up with the larks at 7.20 and devour a few slices of toast before making off down the lane at 8 o'clock. Jim Rawnsley doesn't pick me up as he usually does and so I have to travel by bus like a peasant.

Carol is not in the office & so I cannot speak to her about Friday night's excursion to the Emmotts. Sarah is in good form. She says she'll come to London on June 12 to see the Trooping of the Colour. It would be nice to arrange a party from work because I am rapidly running out of suitable chaperones. John was always a good companion on these adventures but circumstances of course prevent his continuing in this capacity.

Blimey! 26 days before Peter and I bugger off to Ibiza for a fortnight! Just three and half tiny weeks! I'm in two minds about declaring a State of Emergency because I feel so unprepared for the holiday. I have a passport, I will have three weeks pay. Clothes? Do I have suitable gear? Eeek! All these things have to be looked into!

See a Jimmy Cagney/Bogart 1939 film on TV and go to bed at 11pm after discovering that I haven't smashed all the glasses Mum has accused me of smashing. She expects everything to be in its correct place, and had not bothered looking in one of the other kitchen cupboards where they nestled in complete safety.


Monday May 31, 1976

Bank Holiday in England, N. Ireland and Wales. Wake up at 8.30 on the moors above Greenhow, not too far from Stump Cross Caverns. Feel slightly less like collapsing with pnuemonia today, although today I'm still snuffling and wheezing somewhat.

After a makeshift breakfast of baked beans and coffee Pete, Chris and I march up a hillside which has a commanding view of the whole of the Dales. Get back to the vans at about 9.30 - my cold is cleared now. Drive home with Chris. ________________.

Arrive home at 10.30am and receive severe injuries from Mum & Dad about THAT PARTY.
Mum gives me a complete run down on how many glasses have been broken, and she demands to know just WHO has slept in her bed. Bloody Hell, I feel like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I remain silent on the subject. What can I possibly say to defend myself? I know I deceived them by having an orgy behind their backs, but boys will be boys won't they? To console them I take them to the Commercial at 1pm. Prop up the bar therein until 3 and we all come home in a pleasant, less explosive frame of mind.

My good deed of the day is to cut Mrs Monkman's lawns at 4 o'clock and later entertain her over a cup of tea. Feel dog tired all evening and go to bed at 11 o'clock.


Sunday May 30, 1976

Sunday after Ascension. A wet, filthy day at Pateley Bridge. Up at 8.30. We have to pay 75p for each van on the camp site. Bloody diabolical. Hang about in wonderful Pateley-by-the-Sea until the pub draws us in at 12 o'clock. Have fish and chips first and run up and down the main street looking for a chemist so that Chris could buy some anadin or something to relieve tooth-ache.

Pateley Bridge isn't exactly Yorkshire answer to St Tropez but it serves a purpose.

Carol and Igor (I think that's how you spell it. You know who I mean don't you? The chap with the hunchback who serves as right-hand man to Baron Frankenstein?) are in the Crown. Have a few pints of lager and I watch the others playing darts until chucking out time at 2 o'clock. Don't talk to me about bloody British licensing laws.

Back to the camp site to see Christine & Stuart for a few hours. The three of us park next to Christine and Stuart's tent, and Chris cooks Pete and me a meal. Eat at 6.30.

A chill coming on undoubtedly. Pete says that we 'pen pushers' have no resistance to germs. He last visited a doctor nine years ago to be treated for a broken arm. I say that the job you do has nothing to do with resistance to chills. Some people get them, others don't. Resistance to illness is as much a characteristic of a person as the colour of their eyes and sex drive, &c. Pete refused to listen to this theory.
I know how Darwin must have felt.


Saturday May 29, 1976

Wake at some God forsaken hour with excrusiating pains in my left leg. Cramp, I take it to be, but on inspecting the offending limb I discover a large conglomorate mass of what can only be described as nothing but vein. I sit on the edge of my bed and sigh. Why should it be my lot to undergo the trauma of a coronary thrombosis at my time of life? I am going to die without a fight, that's for certain. Ring Maria who doesn't know whether she's going to the wedding or not in the horribly wet conditions. I have a coffee and prepare a rough draft of my last will and testament.

To Menston at 12.45 and sit in the empty Methodist chapel for 10 minutes listening to the organist bashing away heartily. George Waite's Mum sits next to me and we sing the 23rd Psalm together. Only 15 people in church including the bride and groom. Helen looked fabulous - all flimsy and feminine - in fact like a Venetian lady from the 14th or 15th century, with the Juliet-style headdress. Both look so happy and matched and were the only people present who didn't seem to notice the pouring bloody rain. Maria and Carole arrived at 12.50 and sat on the other side of the chapel to me. Carole looked pale and almost insane. Her eyes dead and lifeless. The poor kid is taking life so seriously. She's going camping with Denise and 3,000 lads this afternoon. After the wedding Maria, Carole and I call in at the Hare for a drink. Carole leaves us at 3 and the two of us walk under Maria's umberella to Harry Ramsden's for a late luncheon.

Get home at 4pm. Pete M calls at 5 o'clock when along with Chris we leave for Pateley Bridge. Get to the pub at 7 o'clock and drink until 11 with the mob. Sleep in vans on a desolate hillside (Greenhow?). A good laugh all the same.


Friday May 28, 1976

Sir Harold Wilson's (resignation) Honours List was published this morning. (James) Goldsmith is a knight; Lew Grade and that nice Sir Bernard Delfont (who always makes the Queen so welcome at the Royal Variety Performance each year) are life peers; and even Mike Yarwood got something. He's OBE if I'm not mistaken. Lots of MPs are creating over certain names on the list but I consider it petty and ignorant of them. It is a retiring premier's privilege to honour whomsoever he choses and to argue with his decision is nothing short of treachery. After all, the Queen herself approved the names before the honours were conferred. Who argued when Churchill ennobled his doctor, Charles Moran? Poor old Harold cannot do anything right - not when the Press is Tory controlled anyway. You wouldn't think I was a Tory voter, would you?

Meet Tony and Stuart in the Central at 1pm. Go over with Eileen, who is 19 today. Buy her a few dry Martinis, but she seems miserable and dull. Leave the lads at 2 and go back to the office.

Meanwhile, that night: Tony comes up at 8 o'clock just half an hour after Lynn and Dave go to the Lakes until Tuesday. Spend an hour in the Hare and at 9 we go up to the Emmotts where the two of us meet Carol J and Marilyn. I feel uneasy and the girls, especially Carol, are unusually silent. At 11.15 we shoot off in the direction of Leeds for a meal of some kind. End up at the 'Damn Yankee' until some unearthly hour. A costly and uninteresting evening.


Thursday May 27, 1976

To Oakwood Hall with Tony and his friend Stuart (Walker), who is manager of the Ilkley branch of W.H. Smith. Have a good night._________________________. Stuart is a nice lad.

Back to our place at 1.30am for coffee and 'Monty Python Live at Drury Lane'. We're out on Friday night too. It will make a change from the usual meeting of 'Wrist Slashers Anonymous' at the Hare.