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Thursday November 11, 1976

VERY FOGGY. It makes a change anyway. Lynne comes up for tea and we watch 'Top of the Pops' with Mama. Dad is snoring his head off in the background.

Photos came back today of baby JPH when he was three weeks old.

Do I have to mention the fact that it's Armistice Day? Poppies and all that? I think you've heard enough about this down the years without me harping on about the Somme and Great-Uncle Hubert giving his life, &c &c.

[Great-Uncle Hubert is of course a figment of my imagination].


Wednesday November 10, 1976

Down to the Hare with Tony. Joined by Judith and Kathryn and 'Alan', Judith's paramour, a revolting young man with funny eyes. However, who am I to question the weird ways of true love? I can be far too critical at times.

CB is in with her revolting young man too. She's been a little cool since she formed this recent relationship and it's obvious to me that he doesn't like me one bit. However, I'm not going to worry.

Read 'Edward VIII' by Frances Donaldson. My great admiration for him has waned over the years. In 1972, at the time of his death, I thought he had been terribly wronged. But now I don't know. A king cannot allow his personal feelings to govern his actions. But all the same, he should have kicked Baldwin in the bollocks.


Tuesday November 9, 1976

Not a particularly historic day by any means. Not a particularly energetic one either and if you think I'm going downstairs for a bottle of ink you've got another thing coming. [The fountain pen dried up after 'by any means' and the rest was completed in biro].

Ring Tony at 7.30. He isn't in. He rings me 10 minutes later and we chat about nothing of importance. He's found a new love by the name of Deborah or something. He's coming up here tomorrow night.

No contact with Lynne today. Don't worry though, we're still very good friends. Write to Glen in Stockport and assure him that he and Dave Glynn can come here any time. Next weekend may be a good idea. We shall see anyway.

Read 'Edward VIII' by Lady Donaldson tonight. How many books dedicated to him have I read? Each one alters my opinion. No doubt about it he was an extremely complex fellow. Freda Dudley Ward played a bigger part in his life than I thought.

Bed at 11.15. Having a half day on Friday to getmy hair cut. Weekend without Lynne. No doubt this will signify a night of debauchery at the Stoney Lea.


Monday November 8, 1976

Boring, miserable day. I am pleased to be able to say that the government may have to go. The pound is now worth two pesetas and even as I write, it is falling to one and a half. It seems to me that each time our beloved Chancellor of the Exchequer farts the whole economy quivers and slides a little more into the abyss of Hell and Damnation. Margaret Thatcher must be out of her mind wanting to take on this country in its present condition. The Queen, very wisely, has escaped from this ruined nation to Luxembourg. I could quite understand Her Majesty if she decided not to bother coming back. She cannot be all that proud being sovereign of such a third rate nation. Our bloody economy is about equal to that of Namibia.

Lynne comes up at 8 with my wallet and pair of shoes. She only stays minutes because Lil will have her tea on the table.

Read 'Edward VIII' by Lady [Frances] Donaldson. As you are no doubt well aware by now he [the king] is one of my favourite historical characters. I cannot understand the guy at all. Is this why I am forever reading about him?

PS - don't think I'm looking for sympathy but I have a ghastly hangover all day. The wine, you know.


Sunday November 7, 1976

21st after Trinity. Straight to Sarah's residence at 12.30. Don't propose to go into great detail but if I mention Rolls Royces, caviare, Delia, wine, &c, &c, you'll know what I mean. A brilliant occasion somewhat reminiscent of those grand Edwardian days which expired in August, 1914 when Europe erupted in the holocaust of World War. Wonderful, truly wonderful. [The whole thing was captured on photograph and so if you want to study the event in pictures don't hesitate to take down one of my old albums, will you?]. Lynne, Sarah, Peter B and I did most of the washing up and then staggered to the Fox & Hounds at Bramhope. Peter and Sarah both made comment on the quantity of alcoholic liquid refreshment consumed by my good self, and when I looked in Lynne's direction for some support to my horror I found that she agreed with them. They're quite right, I do suppose. Home at 10.30 with a thumping head. What a day! Lynne disappears in the general direction of Roundhay and I collapse into my bed.


Saturday November 6, 1976

More tales of the lives of everyday country folk at Thornton-le-Dale. Up at lunchtime and get under the feet of Mr Mather and Pete as they demolish a wardrobe, or something. They push me into the lounge where I watch Tallulah Bankhead in an episode of 'Batman'. Hasn't she been dead for eight or nine years?

Eventually Lynne gets up and when she is ready the two of us go to Pickering [or perhaps Malton?] for a couple of hours. Pouring rain. Have a pint in a grotty pub and purchase a £2 box of chocolates for Sarah's birthday. Back home for tea. We prepare to go out, and Peter tags along and the three of us go to the nice pub with the juke box. [Am I not a vague old sod?] Back home with Peter at 11pm, and after dumping him Lynne and I go to the Bali Hai at Scarborough. A great time. Good music. Lynne always seems surprised when I get up and dance. Why is this? Am I considered to be some sort of cretin? Who has been spreading malicious rumours about my capabilities?


Friday November 5, 1976

A perishing cold day. Drive with Lynne to Thornton-le-Dale and at 8 o'clock we go with Mr & Mrs Mather and Karl to Scarborough in the hope of getting a glimpse of some beach bonfires & fireworks, &c. No such bloody luck. We are too late. After Donald, Vera, Lynne, Karl [for it is they] ate ice-cream whilst I supped a can of shandy we all departed to a remote mountain not far from Scarborough where Karl was let loose with his fireworks. Unimpressive things they are too. All Lynne can do is moan about the [cold] weather. I laugh at the sight of her stood wrapped in a one of the tartan car blankets. Mrs M is frozen solid too. After 10 minutes we depart for Thornton-le-D once more. Lynne complains about being tired again. My God she is only 19! Mrs M insists that Lynne is always tired because of the constant gas leak in her office. We laugh.



Thursday November 4, 1976

To John and Maria's at 8 o'clock with a bottle of apricot wine and several cans of beer. The baby is at the Macdonald residence because John & Maria have been shopping at Morrison's. They leave me and Lynne in the house alone whilst they go to collect JPH. Lynne and I look through a mail order catalogue and she, whilst thumbing through the glossy pages, virtually accuses me of being frigid. She's a nasty young lady at times. She does say some weird things. Did she expect me to ravage her on the coffee table in John and Maria's brief absence? Lynne is seriously thinking about moving permanently to Thornton-le-Dale. With petrol at £16 a gallon one can hardly blame her, but I shall probably have seen the last of her if she does. The baby is wonderful. I am fascinated by him. Is he going to be thoroughly ruined by his doting family? Are the residents of Silverdale Drive about to witness the emergence of a monster? Read on.


Wednesday November 3, 1976

Up at 7.30. I actually heard the alarm ringing at 7 o'clock today but chose to ignore it. Over breakfast Lynn informs me that the nauseating Jimmy Carter has won the American presidential elections. This is a terrible start to the day. His smile is almost abnormal and I for one can't see him doing any good at all. Poor old President Ford will go down in history as the only president of the USA never to have been elected into office.

To work with Jim [Rawnsley] who is still agitated about the health of the pound and his mind thinks of little else. Carol Johnson comes into the office at 9 o'clock saying [Gerald] Ford is the winner. For a couple of hours we do not know exactly who, or what, has become U.S president.

Go to 'lunch' at the Central with Judith. She drinks pernod and eats cheese and onion crisps. Stuart was never mentioned. I was robbed by the thieving old bitch behind the bar but we didn't let that get in our way. She laughs at the photo of a weeping President Ford on page one of this morning's YP. Work until 5pm. Home at 6. Lynne arrives simultaneously and we have tea. Mum goes on about me not informing her when Miss Mather comes to tea, but surely we have no need to stand on formality in this house? At seven o'clock we go to the Commercial for one drink before she departs to a friend's house in Harrogate & a birthday party. I return home and watch a stinking James Bond film with Lynn and Dave and afterwards look on in horror at a gloating Jimmy Carter on the 9 o'clock news [or was it News at 10?] Bed at midnight. Mum and Dad have been at Molly and Jim's with John, Maria and JPH. I have a growing suspicion that baby Rhodes is destined for great things.


Tuesday November 2, 1976

Busy evening. to the library at 7 o'clock to get 'Edward VIII' by Lady Donaldson, the only complete biography in existence of the Duke of Windsor, I think. Whilst I'm in the library Mama goes to John & Maria's to collect some washing [Maria's machine having become incapacitated over the weekend.] I'm collected at 7.45 and on arriving home I'm informed that Tony's been on the phone. I ring and he comes up at 8 with his washing too [not for Mum though]. We go down to Ilkley and he bungs his dirty undies and things into the laundrette and we go across to the Crescent pub for a pint or two. Tragedy strikes however, because Tony's washing comes out of the machine in a far worse state than it was before it went in. A little man with a floor cloth tells us that his wife, Freda, thinks that the machine used by Tony is knackered and out of order. A fine thing to tell us after the deed has been done. But in good spirits we go to the Hare & Hounds where we find Judith, Kathryn, Richard Wellock and Pauline [you know who she is. We call her Winifred/Mildred who Tony quite fancies]. Tony seems attracted to Judith. Is she the follow-up of Miss Akroyd?

Back at 11 o'clock and we watch 'Kojak' on the BBC. He goes half an hour later and I'm up until 1am watching the start of the U.S presidential election thing. Come on Ford - you can do it!


Monday November 1, 1976

The day was a busy one and nothing particularly amusing occurred. At about 3 o'clock the famous Chid [Paul Cheetham] comes in to do some research into Leeds traffic. He's still slumped over a desk at 4.30 when I set off in the direction of home. Lynne rings me at 6 o'clock to say she's coming straight from the office. I made an attempt to ring her this afternoon but somebody in her office informed me that she was too bogged down with work to answer the phone. Denise, who gave Tony a filthy glance last night in the Black Bull, rang this morning. Somehow I thought she would. ___________________.

John, Maria and Baby arrive for tea and stay until 10pm. JPH is an absolute darling are we can virtually see him growing these days. Fat legs. Smiling at everyone. The poor beggar was passed round the room at such a speed that he must wondered what the hell was happening. Lynne departed before the others saying something about Auntie Lilian having a meal prepared.


Sunday October 31, 1976

20th after Trinity. Wake up at about 7.30am feeling really evil, and don't put it down to the fact that it's All Hallows Eve either. Tony and Andrew are flat out in deep slumberland and I laugh at the sounds coming from upstairs where Stuart is having it off with the hostess. The expression on his face last night - or perhaps I should say early this morning, was one I shall never forget. Feel lousy. Stuart and his common-law niece emerge at 8.30 and we all have cups of tea before clearing off at 9 o'clock down the M62. The others seem to be quite fit really. Tony is even playing football this morning. From where does this super-human energy come? Home and back in bed for 10.30am. Sleep for over two hours and get up for lunch feeling much better. However, I'm not going to say 'never again' like lots of boring drinkers tend to do. I know damned well that next week I'll be repeating this episode.

Mum and I go down to No 69 where John is laying his drive and Maria is washing shirts and nappies and things. Her washing machine is knackered and it's only the same age as baby JPH. My nephew is somewhat larger than when I last encountered him. He really is perfect. I attempted to feed him with his milk but he ended up flat on his back between my knees. Poor little Devil. Sue & Pete are here for tea. Mum and I leave at 5.30 and I watch a 'Miss Marple' film on the BBC. Tony comes at 7 o'clock just after Julie Grunwell and a friend arrive. Haven't seen her for six or seven years. Tony and I go to Bradford and then the Fox & Hounds, Hare & Hounds and Black Bull. Denise comes into the Black Bull and so we make a hasty escape. Tony is depressed by the sighting and after a drink at the Drop Inn we come home for coffee.


Saturday October 30, 1976

Up late. The phone is ringing. It's Tony. He comes here at 2.30 and the two of us go to Ilkley. Stuart and Andrew are readying themselves for tonight's onslaught. We all drive over to Bradford where Stuart purchases a pair of trousers and then it's off on our way to Manchester down the M62. Stop at one of those revolting service stations on the way and pay £18.50 for a sausage roll, cup of tea and a piss. Disgusting isn't it? Get to Manchester by 7 o'clock - it's a farce in a pub car-park when Andrew strips off to change his trousers publicly just when a bus is passing. Hilarity. Start drinking at 7.40pm. Until 10 o'clock we go between two pubs, one of which is full of homosexuals dressed in polythene bags. The bar staff look like something from an episode of 'Star Trek'. To the party and spend most of the night with a girl called Gill, who dumps me at the very end to return to her fiancee, who was also, unbeknown to me, at the party. God I could have had my head kicked in! We had a very romantic time. She had a wonderful beaming smile. Just think, I'll never see her again. Stuart goes off to bed with the hostess of the party and Tony, Andrew and I get very pissed. We end up in our underwear singing along to Leo Sayer, devouring cheese on toast at the same time. God only knows at what hour the revelries fell through, but it must have been 4 or 5am.

Link to Mr Sayer's 'You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'


Friday October 29, 1976

Lynne comes here at 8 o'clock. She's half starved and we go to Harry Ramsden's again to pacify her. Down to the Hare & Hounds with Lynn & David. Martyn arrives and later Tony, Jill [John Cameron's concubine] and Stuart, whom I think fancies Lynne. He can't get over her being such a tall lady. CB comes in with her new blonde friend who works at the Hare several nights each week. The juke box was on the blink and playing records without us having to insert coins, and CB informed on us playing records for free. No sooner had she done this that the whole management converged on our corner and un-plug the record machine. Miserable bastards. I tell CB that her informing on us is pathetic and comes back with some clever remark about people having some sort of responsibility!

Judith was behind the bar. So we had good, speedy service all night. She seems to like Lynne. Nice girl, Judith. Back to Pine Tops. Lynne and I, Sue & Pete watch 'Rosemary's Baby'. It's a film taken from the book of the same name by Ira Levin. Quite good really and not dissimilar to 'The Omen'. She goes at 1am. Not seeing her [Lynne] until Monday evening.



Thursday October 28, 1976

John comes up at 7 o'clock to say Maria and the baby have a touch of cold and can we go down to see them another night instead. Lynne and I had intended taking a few bottles down to number 69. Instead we go on something of a pub crawl. Red Lion, Black Bull and Hare & Hounds. We discuss all manner of popular topics. Birth control, sex, marriage and Roman Catholicism. Called in at Harry Ramsden's - a rare spectacle these days. No CB out tonight.


Wednesday October 27, 1976

To the Black .... Oh Sod it! Start again. To the Brown Cow in Horsforth at 8.15 with good old David L and eventually Marita, who arrives at 9.30, or so. Haven't seen David for months, and by all accounts the going is hard. He's returning to Gloucester on Friday in order to construct a duck pond, or something. A great chap is Dave. Marita is her usual self. Always on about old times but ________________.
Aren't I a bitter, twisted old git? Must be the influence of Lynne. Somehow I don't think Marita likes her at all. On arriving tonight she enquired: "Oh, how's whats her name ... Princess Anne .. getting on?" She refused even to say Lynne's name.

Home at 11 o'clock and watch the David Frost/Sir Harold Wilson quiz. I quite like Sir Harold even if he is a damned socialist. He's better than the current incumbent of 10, Downing Street, anyway. Audrey Callaghan is a nice bit of stuff though. Her tits! - Cor!! Jim sure knew what he was doing when he got her knickers off. Here endeth the crude, nasty bits for today.


Tuesday October 26, 1976

Leave the office at 4 o'clock thoroughly pissed off. Salad for tea, which is thoroughly boring, but Mum does her best with it. I have never enjoyed a salad. Soggy lettuce and a bashed up old tomato - crap.

Tony comes up at 8 and the two of us go down to Ilkley to meet Stuart. To the Black Horse at Askwith and then on to the Black Bull at Otley. They like the Black Bull - it's the first time either of them have been. Discuss age and Tony thinks I'm implying that he's an old boy. I never class him as being of a different generation. He bloody well isn't, that's why. Eight years is no real gap. Up to the Hare & Hounds where Tony is in a trance at the sight of 'Winifred', who has him under some sort of spell. They say she closely resembles the late Miss Akroyd or 'Fanny' as she's affectionately known to the millions of W.H.Smith employees throughout the country. Home at 11. Some talk of a party in Manchester on Saturday. I don't know what to think about it. Even talk of going to Old Trafford in the afternoon! Christ! Anything for a bloody laugh.


Monday October 25, 1976

Work at 9.30. Sarah isn't too well. Bugger about and manage to finish for 2.30 or so. Home by 5.15. Have a bath and then Lynne comes up at 8 o'clock with my luggage. Put on my new trousers, red shirt and cardigan. Just the two of us to the Hare & Hounds at 8.30 for an hour. She goes home afterwards [to Gipton Wood Crescent that is] because Aunt Lil has her evening meal ready. Quite a good night at the Hare. We are becoming more and more close I think. [We are] staying over here this coming weekend. She's coming on Friday and going straight to Thornton-le-Dale after we've been out. The weekend after I'm going to Thornton-le-D with her on Friday [Nov] 5, and coming back on Sunday [Nov] 7, to go to Auntie Delia's luncheon.

See the Queen on TV at 11 o'clock tonight officially opening the National Theatre, on the South Bank. [The South Bank of what? Not of the Ouse, I think]. A modern, updated version of the National Anthem was played at the opening and, in my opinion, I think that perhaps the composer should be hanged with piano wire. Nauseating it really was. Bed at midnight.

Oh, by the way. Auntie Mabel, Marlene and Frank, Mark & Debbie came at 6.30 for an hour. Sorry, I forgot to mention it earlier.


Sunday October 24, 1976

19th after Trinity. United Nation's Day. Up at a late hour again and devour one of Mrs Mather's nice breakfasts. Lynne and I then set to and wash her car. One hell of a job. In the midst of this we go for a walk around Thornton-le-Dale parish church and then for a few miles down a quiet lane to a place the name of which escapes me [Dalby?] Back at 4pm to complete the polishing of the car. A lovely, autumn afternoon.

After [the] evening meal we watch TV all night but my allergy to the cat and dog renders me completely useless. Drink whisky but I'm so blocked up I can barely taste it. Bed at 12.30. Took a sneaky photo of Lynne compiling her diary sitting in bed. Should prove funny when results come through. I always enjoy muyself at Lynne's parents' house. When I compare them to Mr & Mrs Phillips it's quite incredible. Total opposites. Poor Carole. With a Mum & Dad like that why bother reading horror stories?

It's rumoured in the Sunday Express that the Duchess of Gloucester is pregnant. We shall have to wait and see.


Saturday October 23, 1976

Don't get out of bed until 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon. Mr & Mrs Mather are decorating the lounge. After lunch Lynne and I go shopping to Scarbrough. I get a pair of black trousers and a red shirt with 'San Francisco Giants' inscribed all over it. A cold, dismal day, but we have a good laugh. Back in Thornton Dale by 6 o'clock and call at one of the pubs in the village for a pre-dinner drink.

At 9 o'clock we set off to Brummel's in York. Arrive after 11 and remain until 2am. Had a great time. The music really is 'our sort'. The place was packed to begin with but we soon found a vacant space. Lynne and I merged our resources and managed to come away with a few bob for the coming week. I only consumed three or four pints of lager all night and on our drive back to Thornton-le-Dale [nearly 30 miles]we were serenaded by fantastic music on Radio Luxembourg. Made cheese on toast at 3am and woke Mrs Mather in the process but didn't suffer anything quite as traumatic as what would have befallen us if Mama had been in Mrs Mather's shoes, or perhaps bed. Bed at 3.30.


Friday October 22, 1976

Lynne and I go to the Damn Yankee at Harrogate at 8.30 for a pizza. Fantastic. Then go up to Thornton-le-Dale calling in at the Royal Oak at Old Malton first. Get to Thornton-le-Dale by 11.30 and find Mrs Mather in not too good a mood, but she soon cheers up. No Peter of course. Only Mr & Mrs M and Karl. It takes Lynne some time to unwind at weekends. Work dominates her poor mind until well into Saturday. A darling she is though. No more for now.


Thursday October 21, 1976

Nelson had one of his 'off days' 171 years ago today. Trafalgar Day, that's what it is. It's also the 26th anniversary of the christening of Princess Anne. Just who else knows this mundane detail, other than Princess Anne, and I'm willing to bet she hasn't written about it.

See 'Top of the Pops' and then go down with Lynne to John & Maria's. Our first visit to 69, Silverdale Drive. Have a few beers and take 9 or 10 pictures of John Philip Hugh who is incredible. The most beautiful baby I have ever encountered. To adequately describe the little lad is a bloody impossibility. Maria will make a good mother I am sure and looking at John [Snr] I see he is still somewhat baffled by it all.

Home at midnight or so because poor Lynne had to go to Roundhay. The poor kid is forever on the bloody move. Going for a pizza on Friday before trekking up to Thornton-le-Dale for the weekend. Goodnight to one and all.


Wednesday October 20, 1976

Go straight to [John] & Maria's from the YP. Beloved John Philip Hugh is sleeping upstairs & Maria and I chat about old times over a coffee. Discuss the 'George' days. John comes in at 5.30 and the four of us [that's including a slumbering J.P.H. Rhodes, of course] go up to 14, Ridgeway, Tranmere Park, Guiseley. Molly is besotted with her grandson. Her other three grandchildren, Anna, Andrew and Katie are belting around the house like hooligans. In fact the whole scene is reminiscent of a Manchester United football match. Stay to tea, which is made by Anne [Maria's sister-in-law] and consume a couple of glasses of wine in the process. Give John Philip Hugh a lengthy nurse and he is, or appears to be, on the verge of starvation. Molly feeds him whilst we have tea. Don't leave until 9.30, and arrange to visit them at number 69 with Lynne tomorrow night.

Mum and Dad have been to the Bridge Inn at Ingleton. They come home with tales of wonderment, but I'm sceptical about the whole business. I won't say anything else on the subject until we take up residence there, and if we don't you'll never hear of the bloody Bridge Inn again.



Tuesday October 19, 1976

Three years ago today I was celebrating my last day at school. What an eventful three years have passed since, not only for me as an individual, but for the whole nation. What historic events have occurred? The death of Edward Heath sticks out in my mind as one of the major tragedies. I lost my virginity. Princess Anne lost hers. Princess Margaret let herself go quite daft over Mr Llewellyn. My poor Uncle Jack bit the dust. Maria joined our great family. Mum became a grandmother. Helmut Schmidt became German chancellor. Poor old P.G. Wodehouse passed away. Miss Denise Akroyd was lost at sea some months ago. Oh Shit, I'm going home.