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Wednesday August 25, 1976

Gasp...Gasp.. I'm still here anyway. The heatwave continues. Jim Callaghan has appointed one of his Cabinet ministers to be 'Minister of Drought'. It's a good idea really because the general public likes to have sombody to blame for the bloody awful mess we are all in. I for one will not be sorry to see our water supplies cut off. It's just what this bloody country needs. Britain needs such a crisis to help get us all back on our feet. We didn't have soccer hooligans in the war did we? Why was that, do you think? I'll tell you why. It's because all the young lads were up to their eye balls in a Malayan swamp, or sat playing 'knock out whist' in a trench in the Dardanelles. You mark my words. Stand-pipes in the streets and on the highways of Britain will act as a unifying force to the nation and before you can say Ethel Kennedy we will have a Tory Government in office once again. Margaret Thatcher may look daft, but under that peroxide exterior lurks a fiendish little brain.

Lynne comes up for tea at 6.30 and at 7 o'clock we're in Bradford to see 'The Outlaw Josie Wales' at the ABC with Tony - and surprisingly, with Carol J. I can never fathom Mr Brotherwood's relationships. One minute it's on, and the next ....The film is very good. Clint Eastwood as a cowboy. Back to Tony's new dilapidated flat until 12.30. Carol was peeved about something.


Tuesday August 24, 1976

Come home from work feeling absolutely buggered. Tony rang to suggest visiting the ABC cinema either [on] Wednesday or Thursday, and I say yes to tomorrow night. Give Lynne a ring too and she agrees to accompany us. L says Mrs Mather is far from happy with Thornton-Le-Dale. It's quite understandable really. The Mathers are a close family and are being torn apart because of the move. Lynne is splitting her time between Roundhay and Thornton-Le-D; Peter's working over here but living over there; Karl wanting to stay at school over here, but living over there, &c. It's enough to drive them all completely batty. Poor Vera Mather. My sympathies ineed.

A night in front of the TV. By 11pm I cannot keep my eyes open. Why? It must be the water, or rather lack of it. Yes, the drought is affecting each and every one of us now. Oh, I cannot remember when I last took a glass down from the shelf and turned on the tap to fill it with H2o. My mouth is so dry and I am so dirty. When did I last take a bath? Was it Coronation year? No, it was the day President De Gaulle died because I will never forget the cracking emotion in Kenneth Kendal's voice as he read the 9 o'clock news bulletin just as I sank into the suds. Blimey, do you remember the day when people could actually flush the lavatory?


Monday August 23, 1976

Need I mention the weather? Just take it from me that things remain just the same until I give you further notice.

At work Sarah tells me that Peter [Baker] says he is a divorcee, but she doesn't believe him, and thinks he may still be married. She thinks it would be interesting to investigate him. We need a private detective on the job.

Marlene, Frank, Auntie Mabel and the children come here after tea. At 7.30 Sue, Pete and I walk down to Silverdale Drive to see John & Maria's house. They got the key on Friday morning. John was putting up a cornice in his dining area but it soon became too dark to work. After a quick inspection of the upstairs paintwork he brings us home in the VW. Mum had departed to Maria's to see Molly.


Sunday August 22, 1976

10th after Trinity. Lynne wakes me at 9 o'clock to say bye bye. She's wearing her new jeans and looks fantastic. I give her a peck on the lips and fall back into a coma for a couple of hours. Lynn wakes me at 11.30 to say CB is on the phone. Christine says I'm a "lazy bugger" and says it's the second time she's tried to phone today. She went out with David L last night, but says she is depressed about something. She even said she wanted to drown herself in the bath. God!

After a cooked breakfast, and clad in my new jeans, and 'winkle pickers' I go for a walk over the top and to Hawksworth village. Carole and I always walked on that path and my mind drifts back to those days. I think of last night's sighting of Carole. I remember one moment just before the end when I suddenly went cold feeling I was being watched with some intensity. I looked into the mirror behind the bar and could see Carole's eyes glued on me in the midst of the Martini and whisky optics. A horrible, sad moment.

I sit for a while on a gate and look down to Menston village and the grounds of Highroyds. The earth is so parched and un-English in appearance. Trees are brown and dead. This country has not experienced anything like this since before records were first kept 250 years ago. I take it all in because I will probably never see anything like it again.

Sit with Sue and Peter on the lawn. Lynn makes tea in readiness for Mum & Dad who get back [from Cumbria] at 7pm with cousins David and Edward [Uncle H's sons if you don't already know]. Haven't seen either of them since 1970 or so, but neither are really changed. Mum and Dad take them home to Wakefield at 8.30, but they're coming back to see us for the weekend of September 10/11.

See the film 'El Cid' until 10.30 and then watch a Bridget Bardot film until after midnight.


Saturday August 21, 1976

Lynne comes at 1 o'clock and the two of us go to Harrogate for a couple of hours where we both buy jeans [£10.95] from 'one of them' denim shops. On the way we called at the Square & Compass at North Rigton for drinks, but we're plagued by about 48,000,000 wasps and make a sudden departure at high speed. Harrogate is unbearable on the best of occasions but in this tremendous heat it's even worse.

Get Christine W a revolting perfume spray from Boots and Lynne and I nearly die laughing after smelling it. Home at about 5. Lynne goes to Jean's for tea.

Chris comes for Sue, Pete and me at 8.30 and we go down to the Hare. See Tony in the main bar and arrange to go out with him on Thursday. Move into the party at 9 o'clock and stay until after midnight. Not the best party I've ever been to, but we managed to laugh at one or two things. Lynne is so unpossessive. Drink lager and gin and tonics, and distinctly remember licking a lot of people. Well, it makes a change from the usual boring conversation. I'm now the World Champion Licker. It's four years of solid training now until Moscow, 1980. Poor Carole came in with Peter but only stayed about an hour. She looked drawn and unhealthy. Her presence quietened me down a good deal. Back to Pine Tops for coffee and a photographic session.


Friday August 20, 1976

Mum and Dad go up to see Uncle Harry for the weekend. Lynn and David are entertaining Alison and her man friend, and Lynne and I arrange to meet Sarah and Peter [Baker]. Lynne comes over at 7.30 - 8 o'clock and we drive to Follifoot where we sit outside the Lascelles Arms sipping lager & watching the sunset. How romantic!
But then Lynne just about smashed my teeth out after almost knocking my glass down my throat[accidentally] and then spilt cider over my trousers. Sarah and Peter arrive and we move inside for a further couple of rounds. Lynne doesn't seem to take exception to Peter's eccentricities,and they hit it off quite nicely. We go on to the Damn Yankee in Harrogate where I have one of those enormous pizzas again. A great meal. Back to our place for coffee. Drink lime juice. We called at Ty-Gwyn to inspect the old place on the way home. Sit in the dining room and have hysterics at Peter's recital of bits from last night's Evening Post. A misprint proclaimed 'Lord Haw Haw Haw Haw re-buried'. William Joyce wouldn't be amused I'm sure. Two Haws too many. We roared with laughter. We also had fun with the alabaster elephant in the dining room. But the less said about that the better. They all departed at 1am. I passed a pleasant night sleeping on the settee.