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Wednesday February 9, 1977

It's all settled anyway. Yes at 10.15 today I telephoned Miss Mather. That was it. Finished. Eight months and three days. Eight months and three days of normality, steadiness and ordinariness. Anything exciting that occurred in this period was purely accidental, I'm sure.

Lynne Mather: girlfriend of eight months and three days...
Sarah is flabbergasted and completely astounded. The misery of the past few days lifts within minutes of my getting it off my chest to Lynne. I only hope she's taken it like she seemed to do. Tony rings and I convey the historic news to him.

I pass a weird sort of day wondering what life is going to do to Michael Rhodes. One thing's for sure I'm having no girlfriends, concubines, tarts, whores or wenches for at least four days - just until a decent period of mourning has passed. Cool and calculating, aren't I?

Home at 5 o'clock with Philip Knowles on the 35 (bus). I don't announce anything at home and will keep quiet about Lynne until Friday or so. No point in creating alarm and despondency before it's necessary.

Take a bath and watch a bit of TV and think about the whole business. Martyn rings and he says he finished with Carla last night. We're having a celebratory pint at the Hare tomorrow. I am looking forward to my new found freedom.


Tuesday February 8, 1977

A revolting day worrying about what to do about Lynne. I consulted Sarah & Eileen. They said I should not finish with her on the phone under any circumstances. But, waving a white flag, I realise that after last night I am incapable of telling her to her face. Call it cowardice, I don't care.
Miss Judith Rushworth
Met Judith outside the YP at 5pm and saw 'The Pink Panther Strikes Again' at the Odeon. A marvellous film as I fully expected it would be. By 9pm we're back in Guiseley, and have a drink at the Yorkshire Rose. We talk about our relationships with the opposite sex. I am an Aries man. A weak Aries man, but Aries all the same.

Judith was, of course, born one week after me. I felt a good deal better after our chat and am now resolved to end it with Lynne - 'poor Lynne' as Judith kept saying. Awful and irrevocable I know, but tomorrow SO HELP ME GOD.

Have a bath and retire at about 11pm having seen more Silver Jubilee details on the news. Can't wait for the festivities to get under way - this misery is dreadful.


Monday February 7, 1977

Maria and JPH.
A wet, rotten day. After lunch I went down to the cobblers, yes cobblers. Had an old pair of shoes rendered wearable. Took a pair of trousers to the dry cleaners and books to the library. A really industrious afternoon. Got soaked through. Move on at 3.30 or so to Maria's. She is entertaining the former Margaret Appleyard, Ian's sister, and her baby, Daniel, aged one. When Margaret has left Maria goes on to me about my female problem, which must now be known to everyone except Lynne. I agree I ought to end it before it goes on much longer. I bravely say 'Oh, I'll do it tonight', but know only too well that I'll find some excuse at the last minute.

with JPH.
Lynne comes at 7.30 and sees how miserable I am but foolishly I say nothing. She tries to be so nice, which only makes it worse. To the Ratcliffe residence so that Lynne can collect the holiday brochures - she wants to book her holiday tomorrow. Then have fish and chips and go to the Fox & Hounds where I have half of lager. When she dropped me off at home she asked Mum why I'm such a 'miserable sod'.



Sunday February 6, 1977

Septuagesima. The Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Bells peal and prayers are said for the Sovereign lady in churches throughout the realm. To celebrate the joyous, historic event Mum, Dad, Sue, Peter N and myself  went for lunch to the Birch Inn at Wilsill, near Pateley Bridge. Four or five pints of lager and a sirloin. Peter had a steak too, Mum had fish, Susan a curry and Dad a ploughman's lunch.
Birch Tree Inn, Wilsill

At 2pm we returned homeward and called on John & Maria just in time for JPH's liquid liver lunch. A messy business. He is a beautiful child.

To the YP at 5.30 and have a nightmare of evening. Rang Lynne. She's at Pickering cinema with Karl and Peter. Rang her back at 10pm. She tells me of her weekend cake baking saga and the dog's latest illness, &c. Home feeling miserable.

Saturday February 5, 1977

'I may have the body of a weak and
feeble woman'
Rang Lynne this morning with every intention of 'calling it a day'. By 'It' I of course mean our love life, and by 'love life' I of course mean going down the pub three or four times a week and behaving quite respectably and boring. That famous Rhodes cowardice raised it's famous head, and I was sat on Mama's bed dialling. I just couldn't do it and we ended up discussing the weather and rising sugar prices. Oh, why am I such a feeble man? Indeed 'I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman' applies just as much to me as it did to the Empress Josephine*** or whoever coined the phrase in the first place. I am always in some kind of shitting mess, aren't I, dear, patient readers? If you are reading this please deposit this diary in the nearest dustbin because it just isn't worth it at all.

With the lovely Naomi Downing ...

Out to the Hare with Chris and Tony at 8.30. Tony is in a rotten mood._______.We move on to the Vineyard at Ilkley and then Oakwood Hall and he cheers up. Susan Hollins was at Oakwood celebrating her 21st birthday, but no one else. Not even Naomi and Co. I like Miss Downing a good deal. She makes me feel that I'm not the only piss artist in the country. A good girl all the same, and I like to have Maria on about her.

***Elizabeth the First, you idiot.

Friday February 4, 1977

Sorry about all this. It's an accident (referring to scribblings and crossings out at the head of the page). Anyway, to get down to business.: Lynne doesn't arrive until 8 and we don'e get to the Hare until NINE. Have a rotten couple of hours. Feel 'off it' and completely shagged out and Lynne looks like 2lb of wet haddock.

2lb of wet haddock.
 I try and liven myself up by going to talk to Judith. It's no good - things are going to have to drastically change. Home in a downpour when the pub shuts and Lynne leaves for Thornton-le-Dale. I push Peter's car down the road (I always assumed cars had engines?) Change hurriedly and go with Tony and Martyn to Il Travatore dropping off Janet Simon at home on the way. See Denise, Carole, Karen Moorhouse, Naomi Downing, &c. Oh and Chris and Pete M. Chris and Pete storm off when C sees Martyn with Miss Moorhouse. What a mix-up. I chat seriously with Carole and tell her she's fabulous and that Lynne and I virtually through. Home pissed.


Thursday February 3, 1977

Busy day at the YP again. At lunchtime I went to Schofield's to claim Mama's repaired coffee perculator which I carry off without having to pay anything. Look in Austick's and run my fingers through 'Majesty' by Robert Lacey. I shall have to buy it.

Ring Lynne. She's getting a cold, pnuemonia, or something. I feel bored and utterly flattened. I fancy having a passionate, close, sexy romance with a lusty bombshell. Lynne just isn't up to it. Where will it all end?

Jim Callaghan: Scottish referendum
To Yeadon cinema with Lynne to see 'The Omen' (Yes, I've seen it before). It is good. Lee Remick especially. She goes off to Roundhay at 11pm in a gust of wind, hail and conglomoration of other elements.

Sit with a Scotch in front of the TV watching one of President Carter's fireside chats to the Universe from his White House parlour. Greasy little man. Never trust a president with gold fillings and Mohair pullovers that's what I say.

Quake in my socks at the late night news with Miss (Angela) Rippon. Evidently, Scotland, Wales and other bits of the UK are going to have one of those referendums in November to decide whether they want to get out of the Empire or not. We under-privileged English do not have a say in the matter. The tartan maniacs and mean leek-growing sods can pull out on us at any time but we English do not have the right to say whether we want  them to go or not.  Jim Callaghan really is the bloody limit. We should have a referendum asking the simple question: "Don't you think it's about time the Labour Government resigned? Answer 'Definately' or 'Yes'.


Wednesday February 2, 1977

Forgive my use of the biro, but once again I have mislaid my fountain pen. It'll turn up. A rotten day. On the way to the YP with Jim I see, with horror, CB slumped in her wrecked car half way across New Road Side (Horsforth) surrounded by blood stained rescuers and salvage equipment. What can have happened?

Miss Rushworth
Judith rings to say she's actually ill and has to miss tonight's 'Pink Panther' spectacular. Are we jinxed or something? I know all about 'true love finding a way' but I think we've well and truly stopped it in its tracks this time. What's your opinion anyway of two-timers? Please do not forget I am only 22 and have never done it before. Blimey, some people do worse things. Look at the Black Panther for instance. Should I break with Lynne altogether? Come on, you lot out there. Can't you see I need some help? For God's Sake Help me someone!


Tuesday February 1, 1977

Go to Pudsey at 12.30 to have lunch with Auntie Mabel. She makes a massive meal and gets great pleasure from stuffing me to bursting point. She shows me a pile of old newspapers including a copy of the Daily Herald from June '53 featuring the Coronation and a pathetic magazine of the love-match between Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon.

After the enormous lunch it's to Pudsey cemetery to find my great-grandparents Wood and Wilson. We're soon amidst the gravestones conducting a search of Pudsey's dead centre.

Sarah Ann Wood (1866-1926)
My Wilson grandparents have no headstone, and after an hour wallowing in the mud we find the Wood grave beneath a holly bush. My great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Wood (nee Carling) died December 22, 1926, aged 60 (born 1866?) and my great-grandfather, Harry Wood, died June 13, 1928, aged 69 (born 1859?). My great-uncle John Cyril James Wood, also in the tomb, died September 4, 1924, aged 19. An interesting find. Back to Mabel's for tea and a night in front of the TV. I'm sure she enjoyed today's macabre adventure. She was only a child when she last visited her grandparents' graves. Leave her at 9 o'clock and home by 10.

Monday January 31, 1977

Marita 22. Don't alight from 'neath the sheets until a late hour this morning. A wet, miserable day. Mummy is still indisposed with influenza and is confined to her chambers. Papa doesn't look much better.

Dorothy's pub, the White Horse
Go see Lynne at the Red Lion at 1.30 and have a couple of drinks. She's in two minds about Stephanie's proposition and somehow I don't think the Divine Vera approves. Dispose of the sweet thing by 2.30 and then go to Cousin Dorothy's pub, the White Horse. She entertains me until 5 o'clock discussing the Wilson family. She says my great-grandmother, Rella Wilson, had red hair, couldn't read or write, was a very good cook. Her Piccalilli was second to none. She (Rella) was delighted that Dorothy went to grammar school (which she did circa 1923). Dorothy is very straight-forward and seems severe in a daft sort of way. She frightened the living daylights out of me at first. Had an interesting time and promise to keep her informed.

Go to John and Maria's and stay until 9pm. Baby is better but Maria is feeling off it now. Watch 'Panorama'. It looks at the Queen's reign - very good.  John was interested but Maria kept hurling abuse at the TV.


Sunday January 30, 1977

4th after Epiphany. Up at 12 noon just as John and Maria arrive with JPH in his perambulator. He's parked in the lounge and the usual race follows to see which member of the family can first lay hands on him. The porridge he'd had for breakfast at Molly's didn't stay down. In fact he brought a fair amount of it up all over me. Lynne clears off in the direction of Chris's at Horsforth to collect Peter M for the great trek back to Ty-Onnen. Why do they have to go home just for one bloody night?

John and his first-born.
We had lunch at 2. Peter N included which is quite a laugh because he always 'has a go' at Mum. He has a great sense of humour.

I work tonight. Yes, I give the YP use of my amazing brain for one whole evening. Work 6.20pm - 1am. Not too bad an onslaught really. Did about 48m tons of filing. Oh God, I'm confused again. Women, I'm afraid. Ring Judith and arrange to go see the 'Pink Panther' next Wednesday. We joke about our constant failure to see the danmed thing. Since the Wednesday after Christmas the arrangements have gone hay-wire. Rang Dave Glynn and had a chat.


Saturday January 29, 1977

Emerge (from my bed) at 11 or so and hear that Lynn and Lynne are going shopping together to Bradford this afternoon which is a relief because NEVER AGAIN will I go shopping with Miss Mather. Our shopping excursion the Saturday before Christmas was one of the most nauseating experiences I have ever had. I'm not joking either. She goes down to Burley-in-W (Lynne that is) to see Stephanie Ferguson about sharing her country residence and comes back saying the rental for the room is £7 plus food and half the bills. Not bad because she forks out £7 already in petrol each week.

Lynn in her dungarees.
Lynn and Lynne return from Bradford at 5 o'clock with a pair of dungarees each. _______. We go to to the Hare at 9 o'clock after collecting John and Maria from Molly & Jim's. Chris, Pete M, Lynne, Lynn, Dave B, Sue, Peter N, Christine D, Graham (Airey), CB (with Rick Marshall !!). Quite a good evening really, especially when Chris gave me the £5 he'd borrowed and which I'd quite forgotten about. Stay at the Hare until 11 and then we take John & Maria back to Molly & Jim's where we remain until 3.15am talking with Molly. She went into great detail about an Edward G. Robinson film that had just finished on the telly. I think she's tremendous and sit enthralled, but by 2.45 John and Lynne were asleep. Only Maria and I survived.


Friday January 28, 1977

Meet Miss Denise Akroyd outside the YP at 1pm and we go over to the Central and meet Marita who buys us both a pint of lager in honour of her twenty second birthday tomorrow. D and I sit until 2.30 and discuss a few controversial topics including Mr_________.She makes it all sound like Wuthering Heights. A good girl. We plan to have an orgy at her place on February 11.
Back to the YP. Ring Lynne and connect her to Stephanie Ferguson so she can enquire about the Burley-in-Wharfedale residence. Lynne is cheesed off buggering about between Thornton-le-Dale & Roundhay. Quite understandable I think.

Meanwhile: 8 o'clock,  the two of us head to the (Horsforth) Leisure Centre where we attempt to watch the squash finals. Sarah and Peter (Baker) are in foul moods, and after battling though dinner of yet another chicken leg and frozen peas I'd had just about enough. Sarah sobbing all over the dinner table didn't do much to improve the atmosphere. Lynne and I cleared off as soon as it was decently possible to Oakwood Hall, where another 'mortuary atmosphere' prevailed. Peter & Dave Lazenby, Miss Akroyd and Michelle are romping around to old Showaddywaddy singles, &c. Need I say more?



Thursday January 27, 1977

Don't ask me how I felt today. Oh, my head! Oh my eyes! Oh, my throat &c! To be honest, I think I'm going to die. Yes, it's that bad.

Chris Ratcliffe.
To the Hare at the usual time after taking a whole day to recover. Joined at the pub by Martyn & Chris and at first we're somewhat lethargic. I even sup tomato juice. Our indifference to enjoyment and total lack of vitality is reduced by the arrival of Denise, Naomi, Carole and Karen (a vassal of Miss Akroyd and a pupil of Fieldhead in days long gone by). The reason for the glut of female revellers can be put down to the fact that Miss Downing is celebrating her birthday tomorrow. At 10.30 in snow, shit and hail we all go to the former Minstrel's Gallery (Il Travatore) again. Martyn wrapped himself around Naomi all night and I paid more attention to Denise than I should have done. Talked with Carole and she seems to think that I loathe her and frowns, scowls, and passes doubtful glances in my direction all night saying I've 'changed'. Well, we all have to change, don't we?

Il Travatrore, Ilkley.

Blimey, we can't go on living life exactly like we did the year before. We come home at 2.30 and Chris and I have a nasty incident in the van over the moors. He just lost control of the vehicle, went into a skid and left the road. A sobering little move it was.



Wednesday January 26, 1977

Pissed up indeed. Lynn Rhodes (my dear sister) fancied going out for a jar or two with me in the absence of Mr Baker, and I readily agreed. We caught a bus to the Hare and immediately entered into the spirit of the thing. Simon (Denise's work-mate) and his lady friend with the name that escapes me, sat with us and he was 'eyeing' Lynn all over. He thought I was indulging in a bit of  the old 'One-Two-Three-Knees-Up-Knickers-Off-Blossom-'Op-into-Bed-with-Me-My-Old-Fruit' and seemed saddened when I explained that Lynn is my sister. CB was in. She wasn't on form. Where was that famous humour that brought tears of joy to the eyes of thousands at many of the London Palladium matinees? It was because she was driving. The curse of the 20th century is the motor car. The prime example of the 'evil' wrought by this innovation is Christine Braithwaite.

The Trav....
Martyn came into the Hare and after depositing Lynn on the last bus at 10.45 or so the two of us went to the Stoney Lea at Ilkley with Karen, his sister. What a ruddy dead loss! Only six of us in the damned place and at midnight the bar closed and we were out on the street. This did not deter us. With Andy Dale and Chris (his next-door neighbour who was in the police force) we went on to Il Travatori, or El Lavatori, or whatever, which was once the Minstrel's Gallery. I demolished the best part of £7 and ended up in such a state. God. Was I gone? Blotto. Slept in Martyn's lounge from 4am to 7.30am. Please don't ask me how I felt.


Tuesday January 25, 1977

You'll all be thrilled to know it's getting near 'Silver Jubilee' time. Yes, just two weeks and Her Majesty will have reigned for a quarter of a century. A new book 'Majesty' by Robert Lacey is on the market soon to commemorate this wondrous occasion. The book should be an eye opener too because it contains details of Princess Margaret psychiatric treatment and the Duke of Edinburgh's sleeping arrangements. Oh, I can't be bothered today_____________.


Monday January 24, 1977

Bloody fog now. If it's not one thing, it's another. Down to the YP with Jim Rawnsley. Work was hellish. At lunch I went to the Register Office and got a form to send off to Worthing for my grandmother's birth certificate. She was born at Angmering actually - which is near Bognor.

Keith Brown came up at 7.30 to see if I fancy going to Sweden for the weekend on February 18. He mentioned it in the pub a few weeks ago but I haven't given it much thought since. Very tempting it is too. Mum says the trip will cost me £50 (the fare is £16.26 excluding food, drink, and pleasure), but I don't think it can cost as much as she thinks. I know it may seem extravagant after booking a holiday but I can hardly resist.

Lynne comes this evening and within minutes she's talked me out of this Scandinavian extravaganza. People all round me have 'common sense' - why? Am I such an imbecile? Is Michael Rhodes really off his rocker? These questions may never be answered, but they're worth thinking about. Down to the Hare for a couple. Sit with Judith and Kathryn. J looks delectable. She's more and more attractive.


Sunday January 23, 1977

3rd after Epiphany. Wake up at a late hour once again and Peter plays, loudly, an LP of military marches on his stereo. The three of us discuss Peter's bowels, &c. He tells us that his grandmother died at 4.30 this morning. I am embarrassed. What can I say? Should I dress in a black pullover and sing lamentations of mourning? Or do I ignore the situation? Mr Mather showed no emotion, and the whole family looked happier than usual. They seem to think that the old girl is better off out of it. At 80 she's had a good innings anyway.

In bed at Ty-Onnen
After a ridiculously late breakfast Peter, Chris, Lynne and I go to a remote forest (Dalby?) which seems miles away, and where Peter attempts to feed a bunch (or whatever the collective noun is) of ducks, over-fed ones too. To be honest, they didn't touch a crumb which was a bit 'off'' really because I expected more from them after we'd trailed half way across North Yorkshire just to see them.

Chris Ratcliffe, the Horsforth banker.
Back to Ty-Onnen for dinner and then on to Pickering cinema to see 'Josie Wales'. Yes, I've seen this one before too. Lynne stayed at home complaining of a headache and saying she was going to brush up on her Spanish. Christopher decided to return home tonight and I decided to accompany him. Fog. Back at Pine Tops for 12.30. Have a letter from Uncle Harry with details of his mother's birth-place &c, and details of the Upton family. Uncle H is brilliant.

Saturday January 22, 1977

Queen Victoria's big day again (she died on this day in 1901). Don't get out of bed until afternoon, and after 'breakfast' Mr & Mrs Mather go off in the direction of Scalebor Park to visit Mr M's mother, who is dying. Mrs Leah Virginia Mather (formerly Lee, born July 19, 1895), I think. (Just for genealogical purposes). Lynne and I look at a map of Sussex and find Angmering (where my grandmother is said to have been born). The place is about 3 miles from Arundel Castle, home of Uncle Miles. You never know, I might be the rightful Earl Marshal of England.

Peter: 'spot of bowel bother'.
At4 o'clock we go shopping to Scarborough . Not much really, but it satisfied Lynne at least. I loathe going round shops with females. Anything but that.

Mr & Mrs M get home at 7.30 to say Grandmama is on her last legs. We have chicken for dinner and then hang around until 10.30 waiting for Lynne to ready herself. Peter, Chris, Lynne and I go to the Bali Hai (Tiffany's) at Scarborough, which is nauseating. It's like a musical childrens' playground. Lynne complained the other week about the Penthouse being 'rough' but this place is far worse. Drank Pernod. Back to Ty-Onnen by 2.30. Completely shagged out. Peter had a spot of bowel bother and almost gassed Christopher to death.


Friday January 21, 1977

It's just about a year since John & Maria announced that they were expecting the arrival of a new addition to the family. It seems longer, somehow. Did my brother ever live here with us? Did I ever share a bedroom with him? These things seem deep in the past, and I cannot imagine him without Maria or baby JPH.

Ruth Upton, later Rhodes.
Home at 5. Uncle H is at the tea table. Discuss his mother and the Upton family. (Refer to the family papers, no room to discuss them here). He is slightly pissed, and at 6.30 he goes with Mum & Dad down to see John & Maria and the poor baby. Measles at 4 months old seems a little odd to me.

Down at the Hare: Lynne, John, Maria, Harry, Dad, Sue, Peter N, Lynn, Denise, Michelle, Tony, Chris, Pete M, &c. Pay Denise our £10 deposits (£70 in all) and all is nicely arranged now. I'm miserable when, at 11 o'clock, all the mob, including Carole and Naomi too, move on to Oakwood Hall, whilst Lynne and I had to drive to Thornton-le-Dale and miss all the fun and excitement. Had a serious talk on the journey. Lynne talks about moving back over here. I remind her of Stephanie Ferguson's flat in Burley-in-Wharfedale. I enjoy getting things off my chest like that. Like what? At Ty-Onnen we swill Martini with Karl and a pal of his. Bed at 4.30 and sit reading one of Peter's Enid Blyton books. Ugh!


Thursday January 20, 1977

That American slug, Jimmy Carter, became 39th US president today. Poor Henry Kissinger is no longer secretary of state and that nice Mr Rockerfeller's gone too, not forgetting President Ford, who was a good guy. This peanut breeder (sic) doesn't look up to much. He seems incapable of making intelligent conversation and I'm sure he'd make a better lyricist than a politician. Hammerstein and Carter, yes that's better. Why do I say this you ask? Well, everything he says seems to rhyme in a sickening sort of way. Enough of him anyway.
Master John Rhodes

Went to the Register Office in Leeds today and got the birth certificate of Christiana Ross (my great-grandmother Rhodes). She was born at Bramley on December 18, 1865. 112 years ago. Gee Whiz, it's Alfred the Great here we come.

Lynne came at 7.30 and we watched TV for a couple of hours. Went down to see John & Maria. JPH is a victim of the dreaded GERMAN MEASLES! The poor child looked ghastly, and it quite upset us all. Maria especially was very pale. Home at 11.30 to tell Mama of her grandson's ailment. Panic stations, nearly.


Wednesday January 19, 1977

More sweet dreams until 11.30 this morning. Dad brought me a drink in bed along with the radio before disappearing down to John & Maria's with Molly Macdonald to see JPH who's got a slight chill - poor bairn.

Nora Rhodes
Give Miss Akroyd a ring and tell her to go ahead booking the Hotel Pacific for July 10-July 24. I'm going to miss Sue's 18th birthday party, but it can't be helped. I shall just have to give her an extra large birthday present. Denise tells me she's having her 21st birthday party on July 9. Great stuff, eh? Also ring Lynne to tell her of the holiday details. She says she's going to Tenerife with a Miss Robinson from Harrogate, which I think is a good thing. If we're still going out together in July I will eat my own knee-cap but I wish a good holiday all the same.After lunch I go down to the Register Office in Guiseley and obtain a copy of Mum's birth certificate (Pudsey, January 2, 1935). Don't manage to get my Grandad and Grandma Wilson's marriage certificate because I don't know the name of the church. I went to the 'Stable Door' shop at White Cross and bought another Victorian-style print for Mum and Dad (birthday present).

Ring Auntie Mabel. Discover he parents married at St Paul's (church) Stanningley. She also related to me several tales of her maternal grandparents, who are buried at Pudsey cemetery. I say I'll be over to rumage in the cemetery shortly. She agrees to join me in  my macabre search.



Tuesday January 18, 1977

Sweet dreams until midday. The hour of 12 no less. I emerged from my bed in no placid frame of mind. I attempted to bite Mama's head off and swore and cursed as I devoured my lunch. People do tell me that I can change suddenly from being the perfect specimen of gentility to a snarling beast within seconds. A split personality do you think? My cousin ________is a schizophrenic so perhaps I am too. Is it hereditary? Yours worriedly, Mr Hyde. From my mental state to the physical side. I am much improved today, but not ready for the great responsibilities of the Yorkshire Post. Well, not until Thursday anyway. -=-
Cousin Sam, me and Papa ....
Michelle (the friendly travel agent) rang me this afternoon to say the Hotel Pacific was booked provisionally until 4.30. She is sweet. I ask her to hang on until tomorrow. I'm sure everyone will agree. I ring Chris and he says 'yes'. So does Peter M. Glenn rings and we go into raptures over 'Ibiza 77' chanting 'Up Pam' &c. Watch a play on the TV and discuss Papa's parentage with him before retiring to bed. He says his mother was born at a place called Lewis in Wiltshire. There are only two Lewises. One is in the Outer Hebrides and the other is spelt LEWES and is in Sussex - near Eastbourne. That must be the place, but first I'll write to Uncle Harry in Cumbria for confirmation.

Monday January 17, 1977

Did you realise that the author of this diary was - or is - an out and out coward? Just nod your head if this notion has crossed your mind at some stage or other in the past four years. Good.

At work today I was in a terrible state. At death's door. Runny nose, sore throat, wet eyes, sneezing bouts, the bloody lot, and on top of all this I wanted to ring Lynne to tell her that I do not want to go out with her anymore. Awful eh? I even took a couple of 10p pieces and nipped down to a public phone downstairs (at the YP) but when Lynne answered I just dried up and made polite conversation. At 12.30 Sarah gave me the dispensation to go home - the sweet thing - and by 2.30pm I was tucked up in my bed with something hot. Slept until 6.30 and then went down and ate a plate full of stew.

Hotel Pacific, San Antonio, Ibiza.
 I contacted Denise today. We cannot get in at the Hotel March (in San Antonio) with Club 18-30, but she's reserved seven places at the Hotel Pacific. Later tonight I rang Chris and Dave G, and then Glenn rang me. Chris mentions the Riviera but tomorrow I'll get him fully on our side. Tony rings to say he has a lousy cold. Lynne came at 8.30 and stayed until about 10. She can be very sweet and nice but I think _____.I have a fear about finishing with anyone after the 'Miss Phillips incident'. Don't I get myself into some messes? -==-

Sunday January 16, 1977

Peter & Martyn playing pool at the Hollywood.
2nd after Epiphany. Fried eggs and the lot at Glenn's place. By midday however we're in Dave's comfortable lounge swilling ale. I'm on the Pils. After closing at 3pm we move into the pool room and continue drinking. 
This is followed by a guided tour of the pub and lunch in the private suite of the Glynn family. Dave and Glenn pay me the £15 each for the holiday deposit and then we hurtle back over the M62 to snow-ridden Yorkshire. At one point Peter was driving at over 100mph and the automobile creaked, rattled and shook. Had fish and chips from a Chinese restaurant in Bradford - greasy but substantial. Then to the Commercial for a small beverage. Home by 10.30. Relieved that the holiday is more or less sorted out.

Glenn & Martyn

Saturday January 15, 1977

Weekend in Stockport. It's so good to see Dave G and Glenn again, and to meet Mr & Mrs Glynn at the Hollywood Hotel._____. -==-
Hollywood Hotel, Edgeley.
Lily Glynn (far right) with Hollywood barmaids...
David Glynn, Esq
Martyn, Chris & Peter with holiday brochures.
We all seem to get on great and the only hint of animosity is shown by Peter, who doesn't think much of Glenn. To Manchester tonight and Kloisters Discotheque where a glass of Southern Comfort is only 22p. Naturally, I drink this all night. Martyn is half dead and only Glenn and I seem to be pissed. At the end of the evening we had a three mile walk after the late night bus from Manchester dropped us off somewhere in the wilds of Greater Manchester. I enjoyed the stroll, but Dave and I flagged down a taxi. One picked us up about a mile from Edgeley (where Dave lives), and it cost us 50p each! Thieving swine. Christopher and I stayed at Glenn's residence and are serenaded to sleep by an amusing American porn LP.


Friday January 14, 1977

Up at 6.30 this morning shoveling snow from the drive. Didn't get to the YP until 10. I worked through lunch to make up for it. Bloody awful day at the YP. Actually, I don't feel all that bright. Must be post-New Year Blues. The Earl of Avon died at 11.11am -spend much of the day sorting his files. His son, Lord Eden, inherits the title. Good Old Sir Antony. He became Prime Minister on the very day I was born - he succeeded Churchill who resigned on April 5 - Sir Antony was appointed Prime Minister on April 6, 1955.
Lynne finally went home at 3pm today following endless hours of toil and struggle with Dad who ended up towing her all over Guiseley. I argue with the family tonight about the way I'm treating Lynne. Dad thinks I'm making the same mistake I made with Carole. Mum dislikes me taking out 'other women' whilst associating with Lynne. Can she mean CB? Good God am I engaged? Do I owe my total allegience to Miss Mather? I think not.Tonight I got a bus to the Hare with Naomi. Meet Carole, Chris, Pete M, Miss Dibb and Graham [Airey]. We go up to Oakwood Hall at 11. Quite a good laugh really. Miss Phillips is a cheerful soul lately. Her new found freedom must actually be doing her some good. I danced with Naomi when I actually did dance, and don't have much to do with Carole at all. I bought her a drink in the pub. Home at 2am in yet more heavy snow. They marvel at my fete of snow shoveling, still visible after all these hours.


Thursday January 13, 1977

Snow on snow on snow. Such a cold day. An 'old timer' sat near me on the bus this evening [he must have been 100 years old] said: 'I've never seen snow like it.' I fully agree with the anonymous old gent. It didn't begin to come down until 3pm and by the time I left work at 4.30 I realised I was in for a rare experience. Talk about Scott of the Antarctic!
That clapped out old adventurer has nothing on me. I was travelling home from 4.30 until 7pm. Imagine the state I was in on my arrival. Lynne had to abandoning her car on Southway and was compelled to stay the night here. Sue and Peter made it home but Lynn rang from Dave's to say she could not get home. She was close to tears at the thought of having to stay out all night. The snow - looking out onto it - looks fabulous. Mum, a romantic, says there's something magical about it. Dad battled into work at 10pm. Lynne and I sit with Mum discussing the 'family tree' lark which I've been dwelling on for many years. I'm going to make a serious attempt to trace my lineage, beginning with the Wilson family. Have a few glasses of whisky.

Wednesday January 12, 1977

Miss Braithwaite, or 'CB'.
Have a damnable headache but I'm not sure it's a hangover. Blimey, did I have all that lqiuid refreshment last night? No, I didn't. Out tonight with Miss Christine Braithwaite, spinster of the parish of Horsforth. But first, a family gathering. I went to John and Maria's at 5.30 to find Maria dashing off to a recital, and Molly and Jim were just arriving too. John, Molly, Jim and I have tea together whilst baby JPH gurgles and vomits on the settee. The little fellow is becoming heavy. Jim brings me up home at 8, and by 8.35 I'm down Thorpe Lane and lodged in the Hare. CB and I have one drink and then go to Neville's [Ilkley] for a bottle of wine and then the Fish Dish for one of each. CB tells me a tale of woe indeed. What a changed person she is. She's not drinking to excess any more and has a much 'quieter' outlook. She was quite ill before Christmas and the sordid New Year hasn't helped at all. She is a great friend. CB could never be anything else. However, I fear she's obsessed with death. She kept saying she has a feeling inside that she won't 'be around' [i.e. alive] next Christmas! What an awful thing? I couldn't stand life without CB to make me laugh. She says that she won't look at a man again unless his pockets are crammed with cash, has a villa in Capri and an E-type Jag parked on his Georgian-style driveway. God Almighty! -==-

Tuesday January 11, 1977

Leave the YP at 1 o'clock. I just can't stomach work today. Get off the bus in Guiseley and trail down to White Cross to buy Mum and Dad their belated birthday present only to find the 'Stable Door' shop bolted and closed. Shit! I meander homeward up Thorpe Lane. Lunch with Mama and Papa. Oh by the way. We saw Miss Phillips in the Hare last night and of course she ignored us both. She even dispatched Richard Wellock or 'Left Bollock' over to spy on us. He didn't take very kindly to Lynne and proceeded to kick her handbag around the room. _______. Even Naomi was there [in the Hare].
Tony came at 7.30 and we went to the Victoria Hotel in Bradford where the staff of the Bradford branch of WH Smith are gathered. See Denise, Michelle, Simon, and I'm on a table with them. Tony is at the far end of the room. Typical Christmas dinner, &c. Simon and I buy a bottle of wine for the table - one glass cost me £1.30. Arrgghh. The disco started at about 9.30 and we 'freaked out' until 1am. Denise is such a miraculous dancer. She won a train set in the raffle which thrilled her. We plan a wild train set orgy in the near future. Chaperone Michelle for most of the evening. ____________________. -==-

Monday January 10, 1977

Anthony Eden,
1st Earl of Avon, KG
Peter wakes me at 6.30am to say I've been parading around the bedroom sleepwalking. Sleepwalking??! I don't believe it, mate. Michael Rhodes isn't that sort of guy. The snow is coming down in the volume that Bing Crosby likes to sing about and Lynne sits grumpily over her egg on toast watching it. The drive over to Leeds would be a sombre - even macabre - affair indeed were it not for Noel Edmonds and Radio One. Lynne is even worse than I am on a morning if you can imagine that. Horrid day at the YP. Poor Lord Avon is breathing his last down in deepest Wiltshire - 20 years to the very day since he resigned as Prime Minister. Poor sod. He married Churchill's niece, you know, Clarissa. Also, this Prince of Wales/Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg thing is brewing up again. A pile of shit if you ask me. The Grand Duke [of Luxembourg] comes to Sandringham EVERY year to kill grouse and other wildlife, and just because he's here at the moment the papers are saying he's discussing the marriage arrangements with the Queen. Laughable. Charlie Boy will marry an English bird - I'll bet you a quid on it. Back to Pine Tops at 6 o'clock. Hear some scandal. Chris is knocking about with Carole again. Eek. Tony rings to say he's off to the Hare with Stuart and enquires whether I want to attend the WH Smith dinner tomorrow. This is a must. He says he went to the Boat Show for the weekend _______. Gossip is hilariously out of control at the moment. Lynne and I go to the Hare at 9 o'clock and meet Tony, Stuart, Martyn, Carla, and Stuart's replacement at Smith's and a new member of the Oakwood Hall Male Voice Choir. Only have a couple of drinks. Bid farewell to Stuart who leaves on Saturday for three years in Paris [C/O Madame Guichard, Residences Les Dauphines, 6 Rue Renault, La Defence 6, 92400, Courbevoie, Paris]. We may never see him again. Don't like parting with friends. Will write him a few daft letters. Home at 10.45. -==-


Sunday January 9, 1977

1st after Epiphany. Emerge at a late hour yet again but this time to the sweet serenade of Mr Peter Mather. He questions me on the latest intrigues, &c. He tells me that _____are in London for the weekend and that Chris had not so much of a party more of a 'tiny booze up' last night at the Ratcliffe pile. Where was my invitation? _____.

A day at Ty-Onnen. I refuse to help Lynne clean her car and sit with Mr M watching a black and white Jack Hawkins 'classic'. Anything's better than standing out on the drive with a soapy wash leather in one hand and a bucket in the other.

After dinner Peter announces that the film 'Jaws' is showing at the Pickering Empire, or Plaza, or wherever. I must have paid for that bloody shark three times over and kept Robert Shaw in luxury for the rest of his days the amount of times I've seen the film. They both enjoyed it. The bit Pete liked best was paying a mere 45p to see it. A saving of 55p on the Leeds cinemas.

Bed at 1.30 after more television.


Saturday January 8, 1977

Up at noon. Lynne is bounding around the bedroom with the vitality of a six year-old. What can this be? Well, she has finally been horse riding this morning, and it certainly seems to have done the trick.

We have breakfast of bacon, sausages and eggs accompanied by Karl on the guitar. Later we, that is Lynne Mr & Mrs M and I, go to Filey for the afternoon. What a miserable dead loss that place it is. Murky just isn't the word. Gruesome, yes. A holiday at this so-called resort would undoubtedly maim, or even kill, a person of a weak mental disposition. We spent an hour or more looking for the centre to do some shopping before realising we were 'in it'. 'In it' is quite an appropriate expression, mate.

That night. To the Penthouse in Scarborough [see Aug 10, 1974] which is enjoyable. The clientel isn't what you might call elite, and a Bohemian atmosphere prevails. When I was last there I was too well dressed for the occasion. Lynne was a bit pissed by 2am. She didn't utter a single word on the drive back to Thornton-le-Dale. Have the usual ritual of cheese on toast back at Ty-Onnen. _____.


Friday January 7, 1977

Lynne collects me at 8pm and we nip down to the Hare for a quickie. Chat with Simon and his lady friend and of course the intrepid Judith. She is down in the dumps about something. I fear I have let her down over the 'Pink Panther' project? Just as we're leaving the pub Dave L comes in. He's going on later to see MM and Marita and then going to 'the dogs' [racing]. To the Damn Yankee in Harrogate for a pizza. Very good as usual.
Damn Yankee, Harrogate.
Lynne is in good spirits with a new haircut and a handbag and new shoes. On to a pub in a remote spot near  Harrogate before setting out to Thornton-le-Dale. Arrive at midnight. The Mathers still have the Christmas tree up and other Xmas regalia. I am appalled at this and tell Lynne of the hideous bad luck brought down on the households and members of families who fail to remove these frivolities by Epiphany. She pales at my sombre lecture and promises to do something about it. Bed at 1am in Pete's room. He's at the Ratcliffe residence until Sunday. Didn't see Mrs M[ather] tonight. She worries me really. It depresses her so much dwelling out in the wilds of North Yorkshire.

Thursday January 6, 1977

Epiphany no less. Derek Naylor [EP Features] has given me a book entitled 'Astrology and the Royal Family' which supposedly gives character analysis of members of that august dynasty - the House of Windsor. Shit really. The Queen Mother, it seems, is going to die in 1979, if Roger Elliot has his way, and the Prince of Wales will marry a 'big, busty blond' before next Christmas. Does Davina Sheffield have big tits? [Sorry, your future Majesty]. It's a load of bunkum.
Davina Sheffield: future Queen?

Queen Mother: to die in 1979.

Tonight: Martyn comes at 8 o'clock with another Martyn [Knipe] also with a Y, who is on a RN submarine based at Gosport in Hampshire. We go over to Carla's at Baildon and then go to Bingley for a few pints. Laugh at the so-called John Constable picture in the lounge. Carla is quite a bit of fun when she gets warmed up. At midnight we dump her and the three of us go on to Oakwood Hall, which is completely dead. Not a soul we know in the place. I drink pernod but the two Martyns look somewhat sober. Home at 2.30am. Raid the freezer for fish cakes.


Wednesday January 5, 1977

Peter Fearon approached me again today about my joining the ranks of the journalist brigade. Kathleen overheard the conversation and reminded me of my non existent future at the Yorkshire Post. I'd probably make a good reporter but I never do anything about it. Kathleen went upstairs to the personnel department to get an application form for me but came back saying Mr Austin-Clarke is hardly my closest friend. Malcolm Barker is wanting a junior male reporter and K suggests that I compile a letter to him saying the usual thing that grovelling serfs like me are supposed to say to editors of well-established newspapers. I must do this for peace of mind.

Rang David G in Stockport tonight to say I'm going to see him on January 15. We have to get the holiday sorted by then or we'll be knackered. I will get on to Pete M so that we can go over in the van.

Retire to bed at 11 with 'Claudius the God', by Robert Graves, a continuation of 'I, Claudius'. A bit heavy going at first but I may well be sat here with it clasped between my knees [the book] at 2am.


Tuesday January 4, 1977

Please forgive the silly way I've begun my 1977 journal. In future I will really try to act properly and do my best to be informative whenever possible. Thank you. Oh, by the way, will these volumes be priceless one day like the papers of Mr Scrope Davies? Agreed, I'm not a friend of the likes of Lord Byron or John Keats, but will Chris Monckton do? He is the heir to a peerage, you know.

What a day! Nasty and thoroughly boring. Home at 5.15 to find Martyn and a friend of his being entertained by Lynn. I inform him of the holiday situation [news which I received from Miss Akroyd today] and we plan to 'arrange' a meeting later this week. ____. Must contact the Stockport contingent. The girls in the office are already booking up dates so I'll have to rush.

Did I say some abominable things about Miss Mather yesterday? If you, dear reader, are by any chance of fate the progency of myself and the much maligned lady - do forgive me. Your mother doesn't deserve such foul criticism. We can all say some unforgivable things at times.

Lynne and I went wild tonight. Starting off at Guiseley library where I paid a 48p fine it just got wilder and wilder. We sped to the Commercial until 9.30 and although I'm something of a drinker I'm very much afraid that two pints of Stella Artois later I was half pissed. We went on to the Hare. Judith was holding court in the lounge of the latter mentioned tavern and at the first available opportunity she accosted me and enquired: "What about the Pink Panther?" I shall have to ring her and discuss this tete a tete in greater detail. It was fun whispering and carrying on whilst Lynne was encased upon the 'loo' or whatever term is fashionable nowadays. Home in a tipsy state at 11 o'clock. Zzzz ....