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Thursday August 19, 1976

Christine Dibb's so-called 18th birthday party at the Hare & Hounds. Lynne and I go down with Susan & Peter, and we stand with Martyn, who is terribly nervous because Alison [Dixon] is coming in with her new boyfriend, John [Pinder], and Lynn & David. Al and John are staying at Pine Tops from tonight until Saturday.

Get a bit pissed and chat with Maria on the subject of marriage. She cannot understand me when I say some women are out for a good time just like lots of men are. She thinks all girls leave school and take any old job that comes along in the hope that a quick marriage will soon rescue them. I am sure that the majority of women have no such thing in mind. Take Lynne for instance. Marriage to her is millions of light years away. It would take eternity to get her down the aisle - not that I'm wanting to.

Lynn & Dave come in with Alison and John, and I'm sorry to say I do not like him at all. He even bought Martyn a drink - creepy of him to say the least, and I do not rellish sharing a bedroom with him for two nights. Home at 11.30. In bed for midnight. No sign of Lynn, Dave, Alison and John until 4.30am, when they stagger in in a drunken fashion.


Wednesday August 18, 1976

Sarah [Collis] & Peter [Baker] come over at 8 o'clock. The three of us go see John & Maria where they inspect the rabbits and introduce Lucy [Sarah's shih tzu] to Prince [Maria's King Charles spaniel]. John gives Peter blank looks when the latter attempts to lassoo the dogs with Lucy's lead, but Sarah & I just laugh. Neither John or Maria seem impressed with Peter. Much too 'kinky' and childish I fear. The three of us leave at 9.15 and go to the Fox & Hounds, and then move on to the Horsforth Leisure Centre where they show me round the place. See Marilyn [Wheeler] playing squash. Afterwards we go to Brian's the fish and chip shop at Headingley, and devour large quantities of food. Peter, because he doesn't really know me, thinks I'm the type who enjoys listening to jokes. I do not. I find difficulty in laughing at tales of Irish citizens visiting brothels, and other outrageous anecdotes of the sexual activities of nuns, and coarse, unwholesome rhyms about Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. However, Peter is a good laugh, despite the nasty things he said about Capt Mark Phillips. Evidently, they [he and the captain] were at Marlborough together, and Mark's sexual frolics were far from healthy.


Tuesday August 17, 1976

Even hotter today. Work was uneventful, and home at 5.15 and have roast chicken. Rang Lynne today. She's been making enquiries about a flat. Karl wants to complete his final year at Prince Henry's Grammar School and so he'd be able to join her. No doubt she'll want one in the Otley area. I cannot understand why they [the Mathers] had to move all that way to Thornton-le-Dale in the first place. It seems to me that Donald Mather is the only person who wanted to move. Very undemocratic. It certainly would never be allowed to happen in our family. If, for instance, Dad wanted to move out of the area against the wishes of the rest of us, he would be court martialed, and no doubt found guilty of high treason, and executed. The Angolan mercenaries received no sympathy in this house.

Leap into the bath at about 8pm to help kill the boredom. The television is uninteresting and things in general are running at a low ebb. My research into the descendants of Charles II remains incomplete, and I just cannot be bothered to take it up at present. You have to be in the right mood for that sort of thing.


Monday August 16, 1976

The drought continues. Trees are dying now, and I have noticed especially that the grass verges are no longer green. The route now from Leeds to Guiseley is reminiscent of the journey from Palma Airport to your Majorcan holiday resort. The drains are beginning to smell like Spanish drains too. The BBC hasn't seen anything like it since records were first kept in 1972.

At 9 o'clock tonight Lynne comes up to see me accompanied by Jean and another friend, Julie. The three of them take me either to the White Hart or Half Moon at Pool-in-Wharfedale. I've forgottren which one. Julie, a thick, half-witted young lady was in the same form at St Mary's [RC school] with Carole and Maria. She tells me that Carole, after a dispute with the headmaster, rushed home and devoured a bottle of asprin and had to have her stomach pumped. I've never heard this one before. She also related to me the tale of how Mr & Mrs Phillips attempted to gas themselves because of financial difficulties. Sad, but humourous. After two or three drinks in the forgotten pub we returned to Pine Tops for coffee. Dad is startled to see me with three ladies. Lynne is in hysterics about something, but is too convulsed to relate the cause to me. Must be my influence.

Sue & Pete come back from the Hare & Hounds where they'd had a meal. Pete stays in John's old bed for the night because Mr & Mrs Nason are away. Read 'Eva & Adolf' until after 1am.


Sunday August 15, 1976

9th after Trinity. A hot day. Wake at 8am to find the bedroom light burning brightly. Must have fallen to sleep very suddenly last night because a full cup of cold coffee is next to the bed along with Eva & Adolf. Read until after 6pm in the garden. Just Mum, Dad, Lynn & David. Lynn ________________. I never imagined for one minute that I'd be interested in Eva Braun's relationship with Hitler but the book is very interesting. Get through more than two thirds of the volume.

Eat very little at lunch because it's too hot. How long is the heatwave going to last? The garden is incredibly parched and everything is dying off. The water supplies are dwindling and we'll have to resort to drinking horrible beer instead. If I never see water again I wouldn't give a damn. It's colourless, boring and tasteless.

CB rang to say Roger finished with her last night and suggests we go out one night next week. Could this be the beginning [again] of the greatest romance the world has ever seen?

At 9 o'clock Chris comes and we go to the Fleece at Horsforth, then the King's [Arms], and finally the Queen's [Arms]. Andy, Linda & Carol are in the Queen's. Chris says Pete M is bringing Carole to Christine White's 21st on Saturday, and last night Peter had mischievously introduced her to people at Richard Mayer's 21st as "Carole, my girlfriend, who is three months pregnant."


Saturday August 14, 1976

On my own all day. Lynn and David are at Richard Baker's wedding at some remote village near York, and Susan is with Peter until 8.30. Mum and Dad left for Crook in County Durham at about 12, and so for eight and a half hours I'm alone in the house. John calls round for half an hour at 2.30 and I force a cup of coffee down him. He says that all Maria wants to do is shop and he's managed to shake off the marital bonds for the afternoon. Ring Chris - just as Susan returns - and he picks me up at 8.35 with Carol Smith - who has finished with Egor. Down to the Hare. John, Maria, Andy and Linda, Christine D, Lynn & David [who returned from York just as I was locking up]. Move on the the Malt Shovel at Burley-in-W [except Lynn, Dave, John & Maria]. To Ilkley afterwards, like last night. Chat with Graham [Airey] for the first time since he's been going out with CD. A nice lad. Go to 'Upstairs Downstairs' again and have a laugh with Chris judging the ladies at their dancing skills. Give CD more points than Carol - I've always admired CD's movement. Had a few too many again. Home at 2. Make cheese on toast and coffee. Don't remember going upstairs. Hiccoughs.


Friday August 13, 1976

Friday the Thirteenth. Lynne comes up at 7.30. We take Sue & Peter to the Hare & Hounds - which is quiet and miserable - unusual for Friday. No sign of John and Maria, but Chris, Peter M and Martyn come in. At 9.30 Lynne decides to head off to Thornton-le-Dale and I bid her my fond farewells in the carpark. Move on to the 'Star' in Ilkley with Chris, Pete and Martyn and we all get more than just a bit pissed. End up at 'Upstairs, Downstairs' beneath the Stoney Lea until nearly 2 o'clock. Martyn talks about David, Lynn, Sue & Peter. He says he doesn't see any of these relationships lasting! I never doubt that one day Lynn will be Mrs Baker and Sue Mrs Nason. Martyn and I sit downstairs, while Pete & Chris go on the rampage upstairs. I sometimes worry about Peter. He chases after little girls who cannot be more than sixteen. If he ever gets caught it will make an interesting court case. Not seeing Lynne until Wednesday when we are going out with Chris and Janet.

Oh, by the way, I bought a camera today. £12.50 from Boots. I've wanted a decent one for quite a while and decided that the time had come to put it off no longer. Besides, a record of my nephew's childhood will need to be kept and that event can only be a couple of pay days away.


Thursday August 12, 1976

Another scorching, hot day. Lynne stays late at work and doesn't arrive at Pine Tops for tea until just after 7. We have fish and chips - just the two of us - in the dining room, and at about 7.45 we leave for Auntie Mabel's. Mum and Dad go too - but in the Toyota.

Good old Auntie Mabel is bearing up well and is lovely and cheerful. I am very fond of her. She likes Lynne I think, but is taken aback to see me with another girl. The last time I came to see her I was with Carole of course. She must be so lonely without Uncle Jack. Lynne is a bit worried when it's after ten o'clock because she's promised Auntie Lilian that she'll be on time, and it is Lynne's first night in lodgings. We bid farewell to Auntie at about 10.45 after having nice sandwiches and pickled onions. I travelled with Lynne as far as Headingley. Dad and Mum came too to show her the directions to Roundhay. I leave her at some traffic lights and return home in Dad's car. A pleasant night out. Lynne enjoyed it too. Very hot though.

Home and in bed for 12.30. Should I read Eva & Adolf?


Wednesday August 11, 1976

I don't believe I've really mentioned Carole's [recent] letter. It came on Saturday and is very sad. I replied this morning. I'm telling you this because it is now 6.30pm and I regret having given in. I haven't made contact properly since May and now I wish I could have kept it as it was.

Denise rings at 6.30 to say that Carole's been inventing stories about her. The story C told me on Friday [on the phone] about Denise going to London with _______is a load of shit, and D rang C today to demand an apology. Why is Carole circulating this propaganda? Denise puts it all down to jealousy. Probably so. Mum told me months ago that Carole has 'jealous eyes'.

Peter and Chris come at 7.15 and we go to Thornton-le-Dale. [By the way, I rang Lynne at T-le-Dale this afternoon. It was the first time she has answered the phone in her new house.]

Stop at the Four Alls for a quick drink on the way and arrive at about 8.45. The new house is much smaller thay Ty-Gwyn and Mrs Mather looks whacked. Lynne, Chris and I escape to the pub a soon as it's decently possible to do so, leaving Pete sawing chunks of wood off the bottom of several doors. After a couple of drinks we devour fish and chips. Back to the house for coffee and leave for home at about 11. Bed at 1.30am with Hitler and Eva [Braun]. A bit heavy going at bedtime, don't you think? Hitler tossed and turned all night. Pleasant dreams to you all, anyway.


Tuesday August 10, 1976

Bored at the YP and leave at 12. A very hot day and I'm home an hour later after struggling up the lane in putrifying heat. Have a sandwich with Mum in deckchairs in the front garden. Go down to Guiseley Library at 2. Get two books for self and one for Mum. 'The Grand Duke's Woman' by Pauline Gray, about the brother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his morganatic wife. It's so good that when I get home at 3 I sit on the lawn and read 100 pages. Dad sits nearby in a deckchair snoozing. The sun is extremely hot and I scowl continually. Must get some sunglasses. The other book is 'Eva and Adolf' by Glenn Infield [sic]. Hitler doesn't particularly interest me but I thought I'd broaden my knowledge for once.

Ring Lynne at Burley-in-W but I'm told she's off until Thursday. Oh I remember her telling me now. Will ring Thornton-le-Dale tonight.

News: I have no objections to the Arabs purchasing the Dorchester [Hotel], London's Post Office Tower, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the National Gallery, but I draw the line when it comes to Fort Belvedere. The Duke of Windsor's favourite home - where he abdicated - is now the home of an Arab businessman! It's disgusting and Gerald Lascelles ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself. What next?

Read in the garden until 5 o'clock and then retire inside for tea with the family. Spend all night reading about poor Grand Duke Michael and his wife. Finish the book - all 200 pages. The fate of the Russian Royal Family is fascinating. Did they die in the cellar as it is supposed, or is the Tsarina working as a cleaner in a newsagent's shop down the Old Kent Road? We shall probably never know.


Monday August 9, 1976

Continue researching those in descent from Charles II. The 2nd Duke of Grafton has scores of descendants in the [House of] Lords, and new additions to my list include the Earls of Rosslyn, Westmorland and Warwick; the late Duke of Sutherland, Viscount Churchill, and many more. The completed list should be amazing. My name hasn't cropped up yet, but I expect it to very shortly.

Nothing interesting tonight. John comes at 9.30 and stays for about an hour. He says Maria si still undecided about the names of the baby if it proves unlucky enough to be of the female sex. He says she wants to do something rash and give it a foreign name [if female] but a boy will be John Philip junior. It proves my theory that couples always go mad and adventurous when naming a girl. We're always Johns and Michaels &c, while they are Hyacinth, Rosamond and Guenivere, &c. Mum _______.

Have fish and chips and a bottle of Guinness for supper and watch a weird Dirk Bogarde film on the BBC. Nothing of 'that' nature would have been screened on TV a few years ago, but they don't seem to bother these days. Upstairs at 10.20. Wash my hair. Bed at 1am.


Sunday August 8, 1976

8th after Trinity. Up late and after a good lunch retire to the lounge to listen to Pennine Radio. The house is deserted. Mum is in the garden and Dad is at work. Sue, Peter and Lynn and David are at David's brother's in York. Just as I sit down Pete M arrives and asks if I want to accomapny him on a birthday cake distributing adventure. I readily agree. The boredom at home would have been unbearable. Go to Christopher's. Show out holiday photos to Mrs Ratcliffe. Then move on to Denise's but she isn't in either. (When Carole rang on Friday she told me that Denise had gone to London ________________.) From Denise's we went on Peter's place which is in a state of organised chaos. No carpets or furniture - horrible. Sit and drink tea with Lynne, Peter, Mrs Mather and Auntie Lilian. Mr M watches cricket on the TV in the wreckage of the lounge. He was sitting on a soap box. Have a laugh showing the family our holidays pics. Peter measured us all with a tape measure up against the side of the house - I am six feet and half an inch.

At 5pm we all had dinner. That is me, Lynne, Peter, Karl and Mrs M. Oh, and Auntie Lilian. After tea we take the two ladies to see Granny M at Scalebor Park Asylum. Evidently the old girl is 82 and is senile and quite daft, in her old age.

Mrs M comes out of the asylum looking sad, and so Lynne and I take her and Auntie Lilian for a drink to the Red Lion. They cheer up soon enough. After taking them back to Bramhope Lynne and I go to the Commercial until closing time. Today was probably the last time I will ever set foot in Ty-Gwyn (the Mather home in Old Lane) where Lynne has lived for 9 years. The place looked sad and desolate - but it only is bricks and mortar. It's people who make a home - wherever it may be.


Saturday August 7, 1976

Emerge at noon. Go to John & Maria's after lunch and stay until 6pm. Jimmy is in bed with one of his migraines and I don't see any sign of him. Libby is sewing curtains (for J & M's bedroom) for all she's worth and Molly spends her time looking on in a stew of constant bewilderment & wonder at John.Poor Maria looked shagged out. They'd been to Bradford and bought equipment for the baby. Sterilizers and all that. They have a mock quarrel about decorating and Jim Senior retires to the lounge to play Bach on his stereo. A pleasant afternoon although I do worry about John. At about 5 o'clock with little prior warning he disappeared into the garden with a large preserve jar to catch frogs! The thought of becoming a father in the near future must have unhinged his poor brain.

Home at 6.30 and ring Lynne. She comes at 8.30 and we go to the Hare & Hounds. Sit - just the two of us -in a corner for well over an hour.CB and Roger are in and they are hysterical at the fact that Carole is down at the other end of the pub with two or three unknown men. Carole leaves after half an hour or so without having said anything. Chris and Peter come in at 10, but Lynne and I move on to the Red Lion at Burley-in-Wharfedale, and then to Cousin Dorothy's at the White Horse. She really is a tartar. D tried to congratulate Lynne and I on our marriage but I managed to stop her just in time. Go on to the Minstrel's Gallery in Ilkley until nearly 2am. A tremendous evening.