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20110831

Monday October 18, 1976


Bogged down at the YP. Bloody newspapers. Leave at 4.30 feeling whacked and nothing for my labours. However, this subject is too miserable to dwell on.

Mum has a letter from the estate agents announcing that a pub - the Bridge Inn at Ingleton actually - is on the market. The usual family conference was convened, not unreminiscent of the Vietnam peace talks held in Paris. Will report in greater detail tomorrow.

Somehow I cannot help thinking that the enagement of the Prince of Wales and Davina Sheffield is imminent. Two weekends in succession at Balmoral must mean something. Will it be a 28th birthday engagement for HRH on November 14? It would all fit very nicely. Engaged next month, leaves the Royal Navy in December, takes up residence at Chevening in the New Year, married in March, April or May, Silver Jubilee in June. Or is it more complicated than that?

-==-

Sunday October 17, 1976


18th after Trinity. Mum carries on and on about the slight mishap which befell us in the early hours of this morning when Mr David Andrew Baker measured his length on our kitchen floor - and in doing so roused the whole household from its slumbers. She proceeded to go on, and on, all day about how noisy, inconsiderate and selfish I WAS! Yes, it's apparently all my doing that Mr Baker found himself legless and pissed on our kitchen floor. In my attempt to bring the drunkard to his senses I fell victim to the wrath of Mrs Nora Rhodes. Please don't think I'm making myself a martyr here, but criticism must be levied against wrong-doers.

Peter N gives me a lift to the bus stop at 4pm. [Oh yes, Lynne took her leave at 11.30 and after bacon and eggs I attempted to exterminate a honeysuckle bush in the front garden.] So Pete took me for the bus and by 5pm I was at the YP. Work was totally dead and miserable. The news is centred on whether Princess Anne is pregnant or not and of course the Rhodesian peace talks. Home in more rain at 11 o'clock. Bring the record 'Lowdown' by Boz Scaggs home. It's been in my drawer since Friday. A good piece of music too.

-==-

Saturday October 16, 1976

Up at midday. After eggs and bacon Lynne and I go to Gipton Wood Crescent and the home of Mrs Lilian Morris, sister of Mrs Vera Mather, and aunt of Miss Lynne Mather. Entertained until 2pm by Auntie Lilian, who attempts to demolish the respectibility of the entire Mather family, directing several unsavoury adjectives in the direction of the person of her blessed brother-in-law, Mr Donald Lee Mather, father of Lynne, and husband of Vera.

The next port of call is Auntie Mabel until 5 o'clock. She is cheerful and glad of our company and she gives me Uncle Jack's watch. A Sekonda with 17 jewels. I am reluctant to take it but she insists. She bought it for Uncle Jack on their 30th wedding anniversary - just three and a half years ago.

Mabel tells us that Karen [Gadsby] got engaged today and that a brilliant society ball in honour of this event is being held at the Territorial Army Headquarters in Leeds this very night.

Party in Ilkley: Lynne and I travel with Pete & Sue to the Crescent where only Lynn, Dave, Sarah, Marilyn [Wheeler], Tony, Pauline, John Cameron and Stuart are to be seen. I enjoy the party but Lynne loathes it. Dave drinks a whole bottle of 'Clan Dew' and leaves at 2am. Lynn wants to leave, but Judith & Kathryn persuade me to hang on until 3.30. Almost came to blows with a bloke called Fred, who knows Sarah vaguely. He took exception to my singing. Home in Kathryn's car to find David B in a collapsed state outside - nauseating scenes follow and at 4.30am Mama is disturbed. Oh God!!

-==-

Friday October 15, 1976


To [the] Hare & Hounds with Lynne. Only CB is representing the gang tonight, and at 9 o'clock Lynne and I go down to the Red Lion in Burley in Wharfedale and then on to the Black Bull at Otley where we had, Lynne and I that is, our first meeting two years ago this month.

After this minor pub crawl we headed by to the Hare for the last one. Even CB was nowhere to be seen now. However, Tony is hiding at the other end of the room with Lorraine & Mick. He tells us about his leaving ceremony at the W.H.Smith Bradford office last night. It seems that all the participants were reduced to blubbering idiots with the emotion of it all. He came away with a watch, a cigarette lighter and the Koh-i-Noor diamond [or is the Kooh-i-Noor diamond?]

Return to Pine Tops for a session of TV watching. Going on an 'aunt crawl' tomorrow - see you all then.

-==-

20110829

Thursday October 14, 1976



Pouring rain all day again. It's been like this now for three bloody weeks. All I can say is that I hope Denis Howell, MP, picks up this new VD germ from his mistress. Minister for Drought indeed!

Meet Judith R outside the YP at one o'clock. Make a mad, frantic dash under umberellas to the Central [Station] where we sit until 2 o'clock with her doing most of the talking. I like listening to Judith. She tells me just how tactful she was on Tuesday not mentioning today's meeting in the presence of Lynne. I agree. She then tells me I'm going to be her next blackmail victim. I disagree.

Home at 5.15 in pouring rain. Rain, rain and rain. Oh, when will it all end?

Newsworthy things: Dame Edith Evans, the actress of 'Lady Bracknell' fame, is dead. Nothing else at all, so far. [It is only 6.43pm so anything could happen between now and midnight - MLR]. Oh yes, Winnie the Pooh is 50 years old today. Good old Pooh Bear. Royal items: King James II is 343 years old today and Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, bit the dust on this day in 1537. Miscellaneous anniversaries: Nora Rhodes passed her driving test on this day in 1974.

Meanwhile: 12.23am. To say it's pouring down would be something of an under-estimation. Pissing is the more proper adjective. Goodnight.

-==-

Wednesday October 13, 1976



Leave the YP at 12 and go straight to Burley-in-Wharfedale to see Lynne. Jean is with her for ten minutes or so until she is recalled to the slave labour camp. Have a couple of drinks together. She talks about Christian names and children. She'd like more than one, and I add that one might as well have four or five. More the bloody merrier. I walk her back to Fibre Distributors at 2pm and then catch a bus to Guiseley. Home for 2.30 and spend a couple of hours painting the ruddy staircase again. Cheesed off with the whole bloody lot now. Don't eat until 7 o'clock so by the time I'm served up with the nourishing substance I'm on the verge of starvation.

What's in the news?

Richard Dunn, the Bradford boxer lost at Wembley last night to the Archbishop of Canterbury after only two and a half minutes. Dr Coggan now takes the British and Commonwealth title for the second time.

George Formby is to be canonised.

Ian Smith, the Rhodesian tycoon, is having an affair with Princess Grace of Monaco.

Michael Rhodes is to be certified.

Sir Harold Wilson and Lady Falkender have decided not to get engaged after all.

Lady Doune Ogilvy, Angus's niece, is set to mary Hereward the Wake's grandson. Hereward the Wake, as it happens, was the last [Anglo-Saxon] rebel to stand up against William the Conqueror.

-==-




Tuesday October 12, 1976


Lynne comes at 7.30pm and Tony arrives at 8. The three of us nip down to the Hare where we meet Helen and Graham - something of an anti-climax. Nice seeing them, but what is there to say after 6 months? CB is in fighting form. See Judith and Kathryn and mention the party to them. Will they come? I'll quiz Judith on Thursday.

Believe it or not, I still think constantly of Carole. It's every time I see Lynne that somehow I begin to compare the two. Don't ask me why. She haunts me more and more. It's not so bad when I actually see her. She means nothing to me then. God. I am possessed. Imagining the whole damned lot probably. Lynne deserves the GCVO for sticking me for so long. I shall have to write to Audrey Callaghan [throb, throb] and persuade her to mention it to Jim.

-==-

Monday October 11, 1976


Leave Thornton-le-Dale at 7.30am. Leeds at 9.20. Not bad going, eh? Work was yak. Home to paint the banisters in the hallway and watch a farce of a film on TV. Nothing of excitement to report at all.

Baby John Philip Hugh paid his first visit to Pine Tops yesterday and made a great impression. John & Maria came for lunch I think.

Bed at 11.30 - midnight. Sorry about being so boring. I'm in no mood to elaborate.

-==-

Sunday October 10, 1976


A sunny day. Not umberella weather at all. After breakast, at midday, Lynne and I go to Scarborough with Rebel [the dog], leaving Peter at home messing about with a window frame and Mr Rat glancing at the Radio Times. Spend a couple of hours eating crab and candy [floss] and drinking coca cola and walking the dog. He's a crafty old devil and only limps when he can put it to his advantage. The sun is out in force. Scarborough is much better at this time of the year. No dirty peasants playing ball games all over the beach, &c.

Home to Ty-Onnen at 4.30 to tea and cakes with Mr & Mrs M, Peter, Karl and Mr Rat. Watch TV until the evening meal at 6.30. The gentlemen depart for Horsforth at 7 o'clock and after 'Fawlty Towers' Lynne and I go back to the Royal Oak [I think] in Pickering. Feel bloated all night and take great discomfort in the consumption of cold lager. Donald M and his good lady wife are so matey.


-==-

Saturday October 9, 1976




Lynne lands at Yeadon Airport at 3.30pm. Donald & Vera Mather and Karl came 10 minutes before the plane landed and Brigadier Kenneth Hargreaves, Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, represented the Queen. The massed bands of Princess Patricia's Own Light Infantry serenaded Lynne's arrival with the lament 'The Flowers of the Forest'.

To Thornton-le-Dale. Peter and Chris were already at Ty-Onnen on our arrival and we all settle down to a meal at 7 o'clock. Tia Maria flowed like water. [Tia Maria is water, isn't it? - Editor].

Romantic night in Pickering with Lynne, Peter and Mr Rat. Pickering is hardly the Soho of the north, but we had a good laugh all the same. Peter is so narrow mined though. [That's beside the point, Michael. Let's not get rude about the brother of the lady you happen to love]. Back at 11 o'clock to watch Phyllis Diller on TV, then Michael Parkinson and Wilfred Hyde White and the late Vincent Price. Also saw a Googie Withers epic until 2am by which time Lynne had fallen into a coma and only Mr Mather and Mr Rat survived. Sad eh?

-==-

Friday October 8, 1976


To Oakwood Hall with Tony, Stuart and Simon. The first hour is somewhat boring and I feel a bit 'left out' if you know what I mean, the three others being employees of W.H.Smith & Sons Ltd. However, Naomi [Downing] makes a grand entrance with Lynne [the Comtesse de Oval] and a few other whores. Naomi is a nice girl. In fact we danced all night. Stuart seemed to be enjoying himself with the comtesse, and 18 year-old Simon was seduced by a 24 year-old unmarried mum with a four year-old daughter, Vanessa. Tony was the only one who kept saying he felt miserable. Drink quite a lot of lager and some unspecified quantity of gin. Not too pissed though. Mucky Stuart and Mucky Simon leave with Lynne de Oval and the unmarried mum, and so Tony and I are left to fend for ourselves. Discarding Naomi at 2am the two of us return to Pine Tops for coffee. He says he's not sure he's doing the right thing giving Smith's retail the push. "Twelve years is a lot to throw away" he kept saying. ________________.

-==-

Thursday October 7, 1976



Painting everything in sight until 8.30pm or so. CB rings at 6 o'clock to see if I'm going out on the town. I say no. Not like me at all, is it?

See Frankie Howerd on TV and then have a few drinks with Mum & Dad who come back from the Commercial saying Carol has suddenly returned to the USA without warning. What can have happened between her and Raymond? We did try to warn them about holidaying in Wales. ___________________________________.

Retire to bed....

after supping my lager..... tits...... hanging about in all direction.....shagged ......Precisely, he said, with the end of his fist thrust firmly.....

HRH The Duke of Kent is 41 on Saturday!

Good Old Duke. Edward Nicholas Paul Patrick David George William Bill Ernest Frederick..... or something like that.

-==-




Wednesday October 6, 1976



Good Old Uncle Harry's birthday [54th]. Take my umberella with me to Leeds this morning and, quite naturally, this particular region of the British Isles sees temperatures in the mid-nineties. Not a drop of rain to be felt within 48 million miles of my soddin' umberella.

See in the late editions of the EP that Margaret Hilda Thatcher attended the memorial service for the late Sir Edward Heath, thus ending months of speculation that at the time of the former PM's death the pair were not on the best of terms. Margaret Hilda really should have Sir Edward stuffed, mounted and placed on castors so that she can wheel the old gent onto the platform at the party conference each year. Votes would pour in.

Take the bear round to John's at 6 o'clock with Mum. See JPH and actually hold him in my arms. He's absolutely gorgeous. Mum cannot take her eyes off him. He was more interested in sucking his clothes and even thought Mum's ear was a source of nourishment. Maria looked a little pale. Didn't see much of John. Molly was full of cold, and so was Jim. Home at 7 o'clock for dinner and then it's decorating the hall and landing until 11.45pm. Believe it or not, I quite enjoy daubing paint on doors, walls and banisters, &c. So rewarding to stand back when it's all completed knowing you are responsible for the whole bloody lot.

-==-

Tuesday October 5, 1976


Karen Gadsby, 17. MM, 21. Another filthy, wet day. Get soaked at lunchtime in Leeds buying a Teddy Bear for John Philip Hugh at Schofield's. It's only three days since I purchased a bloody umberella [£3.80]. But did I have it with me?

Home at 5.15. Spill a cup of white-hot coffee over myself after a delectable evening meal and all they can worry about is whether I've stained the settee or not. As it happens, it was unmarked by the volcanic deluge.

With Tony, Stuart, Andrew and Simon [I think he's Simon anyway] to the Odeon in Leeds to see 'The Omen' with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. Very good. A clever ending to it too. Go see it if you get the chance. [No doubt you've all watched it on TV recently and said unto one another: 'What a load of crap, indeed'.]

Home at 11. Mum and Dad, Lynn and Dave have been to see John, Maria & Co at Ridgeway. Maria came out of hospital today.

The Conservative party's annual tea party has begun at Brighton. Margaret Hilda Thatcher is threatening to dance in the streets if she's elected to the premiership at the next general election fiasco. Oh God.

-==-

Monday October 4, 1976


Out of bed at 7.20 but work is the last thing I want to get roped into today. Decide to have a day off. Besides, the staircase needs rubbing down for the new paintwork. Have a leisurely bath after phoning the office to let them know.

Give Tony a ring at 11.15 to cancel tonight's engagements and he relates to me a sad tale indeed. His relationship with Mrs Johnson is no more. Evidently, she paid him a visit last night and he told her once again that he doesn't want a serious relationship with anyone at this period in time and the poor girl disappeared in a tearful rage in the early hours in the direction of Horsforth.

Dad and I go to Morrison's at 3 and purchase paint for the hallway, &c. Spend the evening decorating. Only manage to undercoat four or five doors but things are looking much better. Retire at midnight feeling knackered and completely shagged out.

I first met Lynne two years ago tomorrow, Oct 5, 1974. Historic occasion indeed. We shall celebrate on Saturday night.

-==-

20110820

Sunday October 3, 1976


16th after Trinity. Don't get up until very late. Do bugger all this afternoon and we all have a very late Sunday dinner at 5.30. Too listless to go out tonight & so I attempt to get Tony's phone number by ringing Auntie Delia in order to get Carol J's number and thus, eventually, discover Mr Brotherwood's. Delia says she wants some decorating doing and I immediately offer my services. A few extra quid wouldn't go amiss. Anyway, Carol says she doesn't have Tony's phone number and I get the distinct impression that I've put my dirty great foot in it. He rings me at 6 o'clock and I tell him not to bother coming up. We're going to see 'The Omen' in Leeds tomorrow.

See 'Fawlty Towers' and a film about German POWs attempting to escape from a camp in Scotland followed by a Sophia Loren film which takes us through to midnight. No news from John today but we presume Maria is now safely housed at Otley [Hospital].

-==-

Saturday October 2, 1976


Out with CB, Martyn, Chris, Pete M & Jane S to the Hare & Hounds, the Knights Bar at Ilkley, and then the Stoney Lea. A good time was had by all but that's all you're going to get on the subject. Bye Bye.

-==-

Friday October 1, 1976




Before I start I must say two things: WHITE RABBITS. John Philip Hugh Rhodes is one day old.

Celebrate my nephew's anniversary at the Hare & Hounds with CB and Martyn. Quiet really. Tony calls in with Stuart and the lad from W.H.Smith's Travel and T shows great surprise when I say Lynne is in Spain. They go off to Oakwood Hall and minutes later we are visited by Mr C. Ratcliffe, Mr J.P. Rhodes, Mr L. Rhodes and Mrs N. Rhodes. Haven't seen Christopher for ages. __________.

John, Mum and Dad had been to Hyde Terrace to look once again at Maria and John Junior. I still can't believe it myself.

Home with Mum, Dad and John at 11.15 and watch a silly Beryl Reid/Flora Robson 'horror film' on the BBC.

Bed at 1.30 after having had a 'friendly' argument with John about hospital deliveries. I see nothing wrong with women giving birth at home. Risks are in all things.

-==-



Thursday September 30, 1976




Awakened at 7.15 by Mum rushing into the bedroom. It's a boy! Maria was delivered of a 8lb 7oz son at 6.05 this morning. John was with her from 1.30am, and Mum, Molly and Jim were in the waiting room. I leave for work at 8am an uncle. The folk in the office are cheered by my good tidings and I have great difficulty in working. Attempt to ring home all day but the phone is constantly engaged.

At 4.30 I go up to the Reference Library and get thoroughly soaked in the process so much so that a 'new baby' card I'd bought for John & Maria is ruined along with a couple of newspapers. The rain was running down my back and in an attempt to keep dry I zipped up my bomber jacket and caught my gold chain in the zip and snapped it. Home at 6 o'clock dripping wet.

Mum and Dad visited their first grandchild this afternoon and Mum says he's the most beautiful baby - ever. Today is also Hugh Macdonald's 29th birthday and so the new baby is to be named John Philip Hugh.

John comes at 7.30 and he takes Susan, Lynn and self to Hyde Terrace. We each spend 15 minutes or so with John, Maria and the baby. He really has the most beautiful, unblemished complexion. So many babies have that 'poached egg' look. John is over the moon. None of us can really take it in. Call in at the off-licence and buy £5 worth of booze. At home discover that Mum's spent the same amount on the same commodity, and so we have a little 'wetting the babies head' treatment. Take a few photos. Bed at 2am.

-==-


20110819

Wednesday September 29, 1976



CB rings to say she is the proud owner of an automobile. A Triumph 1300 to be precise. Arrange to go out for a drink at 8pm.

[Hold on a bloody minute the lot of you. Mr Michael Rhodes took the day off to do a spot of decorating and of course to see Miss Lynne Mather off from Yeadon on her trip to good old Spain. She flew off at 9.30 in something of a misty spell. Won't be back until Saturday week.]

CB and I go for a drink to a dead Hare & Hounds and then onto to Emmott Arms where Keith Brown is behind the bar dishing up ale. Half an hour in that God forsaken hole was enough, but, to our horror, we find we are trapped in the carpark by another car. CB attempts to manoevre the machine through a gap in a stone wall whilst I go back into the bar to find the owner of the offending vehicle. On returning to the carpark I'm almost overcome by the fumes of burning rubber and masonry, and can see from CB's face that all is far from well. "I've scratched the bloody car", she yells, and with that we rocket off to the Fox & Hounds. As well as a scratch she's managed to unhinge the bloody car door. To the Hare for the last one and home at 1045. CB drives off with her car door flapping.

Molly and Jim are just leaving with John after visiting Maria in Hyde Terrace. At midnight Molly is on the phone saying Maria is in labour! At last! At 1am, or so, John, Mum, Molly and Jim go off to Leeds again. Poor John of course is car-less at the moment. Lynn and I sit waiting for news. By 5am I am too tired to keep awake and fall into a nervous unconsciousness on the settee.

-==-

Tuesday September 28, 1976



The news in brief: Maria was taken into Hyde Terrace Hospital at lunchtime and I fully expect to be an uncle before Friday or it, the baby, will have my wrath to contend with.

Miss Lynn Rhodes and Mr David Baker have been deeply in love now for exactly two years and a celebration to mark the event was held accordingly.

Lynne rang from Thornton-le-Dale at 8.30 and I say I'll meet her at the airport at 9am tomorrow. The line was bad, at her end anyway, and she doesn't hear a word I say.

Lucy Lindsay-Hogg was in some of the papers over the weekend. Will she be Countess of Snowdon one day? You never can tell.

Bed at 12.04am on Wednesday morning. Read Wodehouse's 'Do Butlers Burgle Banks?'

-==-

Monday September 27, 1976



A wet, awful day. Do you recall how I said on Saturday that people who mention the so-called drought to me will have their balls crushed in a vice and be made to sit through a complete performance of the Max Bygraves TV show? Well, I'm now increasing the sentence to the death penalty. Silly Denis Howell wants his head examining.

My photographs of Christine White's 21st and my weekend at Thornton-le-Dale came today. All good, but one of Lynne and I, and one of Lynne at Castle Howard have not developed.

From 9 until 11am I painted the gloss bits of the bathroom. Quite a pleasant job really. John rings later to say Maria is going into hospital at 2pm tomorrow for tests, but we assume immediately that the time has come at last.

-==-

Sunday September 26, 1976


15th after Trinity. Don't see the light of day until 12 o'clock. Have only a slight headache from Eileen's gin, but otherwise all is well.

Dad decorates his bedroom and I do absolutely nothing amidst the busy scurrying of Mum, Lynn and Susan, who are like ants. Lynne sits crocheting a pram cover or something for a couple of hours, until I persuade her to walk up to the village [Hawksworth] with me. Warm, brilliant sun. Energetic stroll and then home for orange juice and a session with the photo albums.

Lynne goes off at 6.30 - 7 o'clock. Will go to Yeadon Airport on Wednesday to see her off to Espana for a couple of weeks or so. A great and perfect woman she is.

-==-

Saturday September 25, 1976



John's 20th birthday. The first time that one of 'us four' have been away from home for a birthday. A wet, disgusting day. To make matter's worse Lynne's car on Edith's drive, doesn't start and it takes Dad and David 30 minutes, in pouring rain, to get the bloody thing going again. Lynn comes with Lynne and I to Leeds. The less said about shopping in monsoon-hit Leeds the better. Get John a bottle of 'Aramis' for his birthday and buy 'Givenchy Gentleman' after-shave for my own personal use. Lynne buys a white polo-necked sweater and Lynn got David a couple of presents because they've been going out for exactly 2 years next Tuesday.

Mention the drought to me mate and I'll crush your balls in a metal vice. Harsh I know but you can't expect to antagonise me and get away with it Scot free. [Or is it Scott free? And from where does this saying originate?]

[Large gap at foot of page where I was supposed to record my visit to Eileen Byram's party in Dewsbury. It is sadly lost to history.]


-==-

Friday September 24, 1976



Lynne comes over straight from Burley [in Wharfedale] to stay for the weekend. Not a drop of alcohol passes my lips all night -except for one glass of 'Clan Dew' supped at home on our return from the cinema. Yes, we actually went to the pictures for a change. Lynne, Peter, Susan and self, that is. 'Squirm' was the film. A so-called horror movie, but only Lynne found it so. The film on the TV on our return to Pine Tops was far worse. Bed at 1.30 - 2oclock.

-==-

Thursday September 23, 1976


A great drunken piss-up with Tony, Stuart and Andrew [Stuart's brother]. Neville's in Ilkley is a revolting, obnoxious hole. Snobbish is too mild a word to use in labelling it. Enjoy ourselves all the same. Up to Oakwood Hall where I consume vast quantities of alcoholic refreshment and become enamoured by a Bingley College of Education tart by the name of 'Skittles' or 'Peggy'. I'm getting just like King Edward VII. Lynne is my beautiful Alexandra though.

Back to Stuart and Andrew's at 2am where we discuss plans for the Queen's Silver Jubilee party. Andrew goes on and on about masturbation. "Am I back at school?" I ask myself. Oh dear. Tony & Stuart are having a party on October 16 to commemorate Tony's defection to W.H.Smith's retail section. Eat cornflakes and Rice Krispies before leaving for home - singing hymns all the way like religious fanatics. It's better than church anyway. What's the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury these days? The current one has a nice wife called Jean.

-==-

Wednesday September 22, 1976



News: Unfortunate naval fellows drowned in HMS Littleton yesterday. Rabbit for tea. Superb too. John rings at 6.30 and we all panic, saying unto one another: "Is this it?". But he just says the car has broken down near the Co-op. Papa goes off to see what assistance he can give. _____.

Move back into my bedroom. It now resembles the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. [You know, that was the place where Catherine the Great said: 'Let them eat cake.'] It is splendid though. I had difficulty sleeping though because of those horrid French tourists, herded together like sheep, filing through the place as though it's open to the public. What a liberty! What would Marie Antoinette have said if she'd still been living here? [Didn't she coin the phrase about not being able to have your cake and eat it?] All answers please on a stamped addressed envelope to the King George Fund for Sailors.

-==-

Tuesday September 21, 1976



Sorry if I'm neglecting daily bulletins on Maria's condition but things really have ceased to happen. She shows as many signs of giving birth as I do. Oops, I've just had quins. No, but rely on me, as soon as I hear anything you'll be the first to know.

Oh no!! You are not going to like this at all. Do you recall what I said on the previous page about 'the YP plodding along quite nicely...' &c? Well I'm very sorry to say that the paragraph at the bottom of the page is one catastrophic error and should have appeared on this page. It was tonight that the Duke of Edinburgh didn't get lost at sea, and it was on this eventful night that Leonard James Callaghan continued to breathe and his heart continued to pump regardless of the Rhodesian question, and the somewhat 'murky' past of Davina Sheffield.

Monday night was in fact a quiet one spent in front of another Dirk Bogarde film on the BBC. Is it true that he is homosexual, or is it a figment of my imagination? [Come on you lot! Take down a copy of 'Who was Who in the Acting World of the Twentieth Century' and look up Mr Bogarde for me].

Still sleeping on a camp bed.

-==-

Monday September 20, 1976


Another day decorating my bedroom, and Lynn & Susan's. Sue joined Dad and I today and proved a great help. A great kid is our Sukey. By 5 o'clock I've put the finishing touches to to the window in my room and the final completed effect is impressive.

Dad seems determined to go ahead with his meeting with the chief constable on Wednesday and his resignation is imminent. Mum is getting upset about it too because Dad doesn't seem to know what to do if, or when, he does eventually resign. Discuss the pub business at tea time again. Oh God - talk about history repeating itself.

The YP was plodding along quite nicely and it always gives me the feeling that it wouldn't really miss me if I didn't turn up for work. Must have something to do with the enormity of the place. Nothing in the news. The Prime Minister is still alive and the Duke of Edinburgh hasn't been lost at sea or anything, and so I take my leave at 11pm.

Have fried liver & onions and then collapse on my camp bed with revolting indigestion. Liver just doesn't go down well with me at all. Just two words before I go - Neville Chamberlain.

-==-

Sunday September 19, 1976


14th after Trinity. No news from Maria. The poor little baby must be tired of waiting. It is nine or ten days late now. Will he/she come on John's 20th birthday next Saturday? Wouldn't it be great? [All say 'yes, Michael'].

All day painting my bedroom. That is 12 noon until 8.30. Dark green walls, pale green door, window, and radiator, &c. It looks smashing.

Watch John Cleese in 'Fawlty Towers' and then Richard Attenborough in '10 Rillington Place' - a film about John Christie and Timothy Evans. Good film but a ghastly story really. Lynn was frightened to death.

Sleep on a camp bed in the lounge for the fifth night in succession. Reading 'The Beatles' until after 1.30.

The Sunday papers are full of Davina Sheffield again. The future Queen returned to London from the outer Hebrides this afternoon and was met by a mob of 200 press photographers. Her future Majesty then bolted into a public convenience and remained concealed for 30 minutes until a young policeman managed to procure her escape. Everyone seems hell bent on marrying the prince & Miss Sheffield.

-==-

Saturday September 18, 1976


Spend all day with Dad in my bedroom hanging [wall]paper. Peter N joins us after lunch and we manage to get most of it done by the evening. Poor Dad is in one hell of a state. The threatened closure of Guiseley Police Station is driving him to the brink of insanity. On Wednesday he is to have a personal inteview with the Furher [Ronald Gregory, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire] and the outcome of the meeting could decide Dad's future in the police force.

Out with Susan & Peter to the Hare & Hounds. Christine Dibb comes in with her ear-ringed boyfriend but leave after an hour or so. Carole is entertaining the boy [Peter] Fogarty at the opposite end of the bar and no convsersation takes place at all. They go too. CB arrives and we have a few laughs. Sue & Pete go off to the Menston Arms and come back and collect me at 11 after leaving me alone with CB for an hour. We chatted about times gone by, as we always do, and when Peter came in she went off to the tap room to get a lift to Oakwood Hall with one of the bar staff. A right girl is our CB!

-==-

20110818

Friday September 17, 1976


With Lynne to the Hare & Hounds at 9 o'clock. Only CB and Martyn join us. We have a good laugh. I don't know what Lynne thinks of CB. It didn't help at Peter's party when CB and Roger broke all moral codes and spent several hours in one of the Mather's bedroom suites. Lynne gave me a postcard today with the words: 'If Only the People I like All Liked Each Other' inscribed on the front. How apt.

Just Lynne and I back to Pine Tops where we watch the end of a Vincent Price film after which I frighten Lynne into a state of terror with my impersonation of a ghoul. I also had a skirmish with the boyfriend of Susan Walters. Nothing worth a mention here though.

Lynne returns to Thornton le Dale and I have no idea when I shall see her again. She may be travelling from T le D to Burley in Wharfedale every day next week and she's staying here on Friday and Saturday. Of course, it's Eileen's party at Dewsbury on Saturday [John's 20th birthday].

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Thursday September 16, 1976


Still no Maria developments. Go with Lynne to the Hare & Hounds, the Red Lion and then the Stoney Lea. The latter place is packed with prostitutes and what appears to be a coach party of married, fifty year-old women, set free for the night. Disgusting. One tart in particular was seducing a little chap young enough to be her grandson.

Lynne is gorgeous. She's in a new pullover - Angora wool I think. Her hair is flowing too. She is more luscious with her locks hanging loose. Not that she is unattractive with her hair in a bun you understand, but you know how sexy I think long hair is. Don't I go on at times?

Home at 1.30am and Lynne almost has a weep in the car. Thornton le Dale may well be an attractive village but the Mathers should never have moved there. She had a savage argument with Peter on Sunday about the whole business. Sad.

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Wednesday September 15, 1976


Mum and Dad go to Auntie Mabel's for a couple of hours. Susan, Lynn, Peter and I take up the carpet in my room and begin tearing the wallpaper from the walls as though we're berserk. The redecoration of Pine Tops is under way. Susan laughs at my colourful language as I roll up the carpet and pays me the marvellous complement of being like John Cleese - or 'Basil Fawlty' whom he so remarkably portrays.

Mum and Dad return home at 11pm. They saw cousin Jackie and her boyfriend Peter at Marlene's [they hadn't been to Mabel's at all]. Mum asks me if Peter is the one who is married and I say yes. Nothing further was said on the subject. To bed knackered.

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