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Saturday December 4, 1976

Wake up at 10.30 to what must be one of the coldest days I've yet experienced. And you know how I rarely moan about the weather. Bloody freezing! Hangover.

Lynne is harping on about going to Leeds which doesn't instill much excitement in one at all really, and the radio announcing a further drop in the pound due to the death of Benjamin Britten only makes matters worse. Almost as if by an act of God we find her car is incapacitated. I, being the only other resident in the house can of course do nothing to assist and so we have to await the return of Papa from the Cash and Carry at 12.40. He diagnoses battery bother and I suggest we go straight to Thornton-le-Dale without a moment's hesitation. This we do harrassed by snow storms as we passed through York. The journey proved uneventful other than a slight encounter nay skirmish with revolting peasants in Malton, which was soon quelled.

Nothing astounding to report at the Mather residence. Lynne and I go to Pickering for a few drinks and return at 11. Endure one of Michael Parkinson's revolting interviews. The man is obsessed about sex. He doesn't even draw the line at human copulation either. Apes, plankton, they all come under his perverted scrutiny. Bed at 12.30 - 1am after enduring 'Pomp & Circumstance' with Peter and Sir Edward Elgar. He is awfully sarcastic about ___________________ and insists he wants to venture to 'better places than Ibiza' next year. I'm going to San Antonio whether they're interested or not. Martyn must be made to see my point of view.


Friday December 3, 1976

Miss Carol Smith's birthday at the Barge, Skipton. Earlier I purchased a new jacket for £28 in Mates. Then to Miss Smith's party. Travelled, of course, by coach and those lucky enough to be included in the party were:-

Miss Lynne Mather
Miss Christine Dibb
Miss Linda Smith
Mrs Maria Rhodes
Miss Christine White
Miss Carla [Martyn's bit of stuff]
Mr John Rhodes
Mr Peter Mather
Mr Christopher Ratcliffe
Mr Andrew Graham
Mr Graham Airey [lover of Miss Dibb]
Mr Stewart Newton, &c.

Home at about 3.30am. A perishing cold night. Too buggered to say more. Lynne wasn't too enthralling. What more can I say?


Thursday December 2, 1976

Today was horribly boring. However, December 2 has not always had a reputation for being so mundane. For it was on this day in 1936 - 40 years ago - that the revolting Yorkshire Post gave prominent notice to the fact that Dr Blunt, Bishop of Bradford, was far from satisfied with the performance of then incumbent of the Throne, Edward VIII. Yes, forty years ago this day the British public received it's first inkling of the Abdication Crisis. The poor old Duchess of Windsor is far from well these days. A much maligned lady if ever there was one. Queen Wallis in all but name.

Mr Ratcliffe rings to see if I'm going tomorrow night to Carol Smith's 20th birthday effort. When I say yes he chirps back 'Oh, I thought you'd be out with Tony'. Sarcastic little git.

Mum & Dad go to see Auntie Mabel, Marlene & Frank and come home with a tale that Uncle Peter ___________________. I find this hard to believe. Uncle Peter just doesn't seem to be the type - but who is the type? ______________.I, for one, don't think I could. But who knows what the future holds for us? If Jim Callaghan stays in office much longer I can't see myself being able to carry on. Oh God give me release from this torment!! Send for Margaret Hilda Thatcher to give us salvation -- Arrgghh!!


Wednesday December 1, 1976

OK, say I'm like Greta Garbo if you like. I don't care. Is it some sort of passion which is clouding and confusing my mind? I finished with Carole on May 3 after we'd been through a bad patch. OK that's a fact, but why have I felt so insecure since? ___________________. Understand me now when I say I am a thorough swine for doing what I did to her. Do you realise the agony? Is it agony? Pride is what I think it is. I would have gone back out with her months ago if it hadn't have been for what people might have said. Admittedly, in Apr-May she was becoming too serious - but did I really have to be so drastic? My life is in torment now and I'm just too bewildered to know how to get out of it._____. Carole is going out with [Peter] Fogarty and I'm 'going out' with Lynne and everything is stale. It is the fact that I am even doubting my own mind that worries me. I always felt good with Carole and as I've often said before Lynne ___________. I'm saying no more on the subject now. I just feel sad and lonely and can only blame myself for the state of things.
Sue & Lynn at Pine Tops

[Come off it, Michael. Is this the seven month itch?]

Meanwhile, back to reality. A freezing day. The coldest since last winter, I think. Kathleen is off with her pnuemonia & so I have a good day at the YP. Kathleen is such a fuss. I always get things done much quicker when she is incapacitated.

Home at 6 o'clock. Late because I worked until 5 due to Mrs Johnson's appointment with her doctor. Idle gossips are muttering things about ____________________.

Mum and Dad go to John & Maria's at 8.30 ad I sit alone watching 'I, Claudius' on BBC2. An excellent serial indeed, as I've said before. Retire to bed at 12.30 still feeling decidedly odd on the matter of Miss Phillips. For some terrible reason I was on the verge of telephoning her at work today in order to secure her person for a drink or two and chat by way of a belated birthday present. Why do I want to do this after seven months? _____________.


Tuesday November 30, 1976

Lynne came up last night at 9 o'clock, stayed 10 minutes and refused to take off her coat. Cold and efficient to be sure. [She] goes off saying she won't be seeing me until Friday night because she's going out for a meal with a girlfriend tonight, going home tomorrow, and going to an office furniture exhibition on Thursday. Mum says we must be 'cooling off' but I can't see why she thinks that way. However, I'm not going to complain. Nobody loves freedom more than me. I wonder what Paulette is doing now? Does she go out midweek? God, you're only young once, Michael. A bit of lechery won't go amiss.

Decide whilst travelling to work that I would like a half-day. Kathleen arrives in a hell of a state [pnuemonia], but I don't let that deter me from leaving early. Sarah isn't in. Upset stomach or something. A bloody cold day. March into town and see an eye-catching pair of trousers which may be mine shortly. Otherwise see nothing of interest. Christmas trees are protruding over Commercial Street as though it's an alpine forest, no doubt to make Santa Claus in Lewis's feel more at home.

Arrive home at 2 o'clock and spend a boring afternoon doing absolutely sweet sod all. Marita rings at 5.15 to see if I want to go to the Red Lion at Shadwell with her, MM, Chris and Denny. I say no because I'm going out with Tony. She says: 'Can't you put him off and come with us?' She was startled when I declined her generous offer. I'm afraid not, Marita. It's first come, first served. She asked me not to mention to Tony that Denise would be at the Red Lion tonight. I will bide with Miss Fountain's wishes on this matter. __________________________. The Battle of the Somme must have been a tea party in comparison.

Telephone Miss Mather and learn nothing much to my advantage. She's dining out tonight of course. Mum thinks she's got another man. Good for Lynne!

Help Papa put the freezer in place in the garage. Tony arrives at 8.30. We spend the whole evening at the Hare & Hounds. Horribly sad really but I get a lot 'off my chest'. Talk about Carole mainly. He goes out of his way to say what a different girl she is since I went out with her. He, being in a similar position to Miss C, sticks up for her through thick and thin. When he saw her last week he says she just went on and on about me not sending her a birthday card. Oh God. I'm so mixed up about everything. I'm like a child. One thing is certain. I cannot go out with Lynne much longer. I think I just want to be alone.


Monday November 29, 1976

Give Denise a ring to see how the travel business is going. She says that bookings for next year are going quite well and that we should decide whether we're going as soon as possible.

If you think that this diary has been getting boring lately just hang on a minute because I have a nice surprise for you all. I have decided that on Mondays I'll write a poem or ode [call it what you will] dealing with some event currently taking place. How's that for excitement? Today's ode is as follows:

Lines on the Earthquake in Turkey

Poor Turkey, what a danmed shame,
your land has crumbled in all but name,
Your people starve, and your women weep,
But Michael Rhodes hasn't lost any sleep.

Will the Turkish people accept my apologies for the tasteless filth I've just had the audacity to churn out? I don't really mean it.

Home for tea and await the arrival of Miss Mather, who spoke to me on the telephone this morning. She's going [horse] riding on Sunday and wants to know if I want to accompany her. I say like Hell I will. However, we will be going to Thornton-le-Dale after Miss Carol Smith's 'do' at Skipton. No doubt we'll be going straight to work on Monday. Miserable existence really. Sometimes I don't know why the Hell I bother with this journal. Perhaps I should extend my poetic scribblings to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. That's how Keats started.

Tony rings at 8 to arrange a booze-up for tomorrow night. He says Stuart has got the Paris job. Great eh? No more weekends in Ilkley. It'll be: 'Oh, I'm nipping over to Paris, Mum.' Smashin'.


Sunday November 28, 1976

Advent Sunday. Up at 12 o'clock and devour a piece of toast. The lads seem quite fresh except Martyn who still looks smashed. At 12.30 we go down to the Commercial and show the lads where 'Emmerdale Farm' is filmed. Dave and Glen really are a great couple of mates. Decide over a pint of Stella that I'm going to Ibiza next year whether Pete M or Chris want to or not. Back home for lunch at 2pm with a bottle of red wine. Afterwards we collapse in the lounge for a couple of hours. My head is terrible. The drink is taking it's toll. The lads leave [for Stockport] at about 6pm and we've decided top get more recruits for Ibiza and then they will bring over deposit money and we'll all book together.

Bed at midnight after squabbling with Mum. Since Martyn and Alison split up ________.The Poor lad's done nothing wrong, but she's pulling him to pieces. Nobody criticises my friends without a mouthful from me. It is one of my sore points I'm afraid.