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Friday October 21, 1977

_.Out with tony and Martyn tonight for the first time in ages. We went to the Fox & Hounds with Sue & Pete N, Chris Rat and Pete M, Andy and Linda, &c. Just like old times don't you think?

Carole: poor pet.
Chris told me that Carole's taken a turn for the worst and that her illness is grave. Even the dreaded word 'leukaemia' was brought up and I shuddered with horror. "My poor Pet is dying" was all I could think and I'm afraid I became quite drunk. Tony said that he saw her yesterday and fears she will never get well again.

From the Fox we went to a ghastly disco in Bradford where I saw Wendy and Anne and some of the others. I was in a terrible frame of mind and behaved quite miserably. It was a relief to get out at 2am. It was not over yet, and I was compelled to endure 2 hours in an Indian restaurant eating rabbit and rice. ___________.

At home and in bed at 4 in the bloody morning. I prayed that Carole will be well again soon so that I can see her _____________.Please don't laugh. It's not my intention to be amusing. It is not until the moment comes when you think you are going to lose someone that the horror of it - and  your true emotions regarding that person - emerge.


Thursday October 20, 1977

_.No Squash or Sarah today. The call of the Welsh National Opera and Mr MacMurray proved too appealing. Instead I retired home for tea with Mum & Dad and watched television.


Wednesday October 19, 1977

Mist and rain. A grotty day indeed. Sarah, John McMurray and I went to the library together. Sarah disappeared into the art section, John into music, and I buggered about in the biographical works and in fiction.

John laughed when I told him that the first book I borrowed from a library (aged 11) was 'Queen Mary' by Pope-Hennessy. He told me he knew a guy who lived with Mr Pope-Hennessy, who was of course a leading homosexual. The author was stabbed to death by a fellow flat-mate about three years ago.

Norman Scott.
On the subject of homosexuals the Jeremy Thorpe/Norman Scott Affair is back in the news. It now transpires that a 'prominent' member of the Liberal party payed a young man to shoot Mr Scott. It is for poor Marion Thorpe that I feel great sympathy. From Harewood House to the gutter in ten years. ________________.

Marion Thorpe.
John Grady phoned. He was very excited. He told me that Hylda Baker lives in Bolton. I told him I'd phone Granada TV tomorrow to get some information about her for him. He really is obsessed with dearest Hylda and I cannot help blaming myself. John Grady was once a normal lad without a care in the world.

Saw part III of 'The Norman Conquests' and Lynn and Dave came to talk about churches, flowers and big wedding cars.


Tuesday October 18, 1977

For the sake of history I'll just mention the West German hijacking rescue which took place in Somalia at one o'clock this morning. All 86 hostages were freed and three of the four terrorists involved were executed. The three leaders of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang 'committed suicide' early this morning in Frankfurt's top security prison.

The only other news of importance today is that the Prince of Wales is in the USA on an official visit. No doubt little Amy Carter fancies her chances. The work going on at Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park is finished and is now ready for the royal occupants, &c.

I haven't mentioned any of the items here previously because quite frankly when one is in the employment of a newspaper one tends to ignore the news and writing about newsy things is 'talking shop' don't you think? Besides, why should I worry you with the nasty news items of the nineteen seventies? You have much more to worry about down in the 21st century with your nuclear wars and loaves of bread costing £2,000 each.

I wrote to Helen (Malin) in Gloucester saying I will send her the £1 I owe her on the day that the royal baby is born. I also wrote a note to David just to let him know that although he's deserted me I have no intention of doing the same to him.

John (Grady) told me that when Chris and Pete were over in Rawtenstall on October 1st they told him how quiet and morose I had become of late. Me? Quiet and morose? I'm the bloody life and soul and always will be. ____________. I just give up, I really do.

Martyn phoned at 9 and seemed to be much better.

Papa seems to have made the discovery of a wonderful strange jar which would convert into an ideal lamp. However, he wants to make wine in it. This brewing is rapidly taking over the lives of my dear parents. I think it is ever such a good idea.


Monday October 17, 1977

More bloody fog. It was so thick this morning that Jim drove straight passed me in his rotten car completely ignorant of my presence on the lane. It's ideal weather for committing murder in fact. (Please don't ask me why I should be thinking of murder first thing on a lousy, wet morning).

The YP was horribly busy. The whole day was reminiscent of a typical day in the English Civil War, the Battle of Newark, or something like that. Not exactly a Ypres or Waterloo, but close.

Rene Levesque ....
Sarah was pleasant. We are not 'squashing' this week because she's going to the opera (Welsh National Opera, I think) with John McMurray. No comment on this.

On the brighter side of things I'm sure you'll be gladdened to learn that Her Majesty the Queen is in Canada making some attempt to keep that nation united. Quebec is Canada's answer to Ireland and just because they would like to speak French instead of English they are, under a man named Levesque, seeking to break away as an independent country.

Just had a bath tonight and watched an ancient Bing Crosby film on BBC2 which was corny but quite good really. No one can complain about good old Bing, I'm sure.

Lynn and Dave went to see George and Jane Waite and they returned with a weird tale _______________.



Sunday October 16, 1977

19th after Trinity. Warm and sunny in Lancashire. I'm not pulling your leg either. I was aroused (in more ways than one) at about 10.30. Pete M, Michelle, John (Grady) and I were lying in a line on a strange sitting room floor underneath one solitary blanket. I felt fresh and awake and John was cheery but Michelle never regained consciousness. Pete was dead to the world too. Sue and Pete are the hardy type, well used to this lifestyle by now. Tea, toast and hysterics followed, and then John took us on a walk around the local rubbish tip (littered with contraceptives, I might add), whilst the hostess, Kathleen, cleared up the devastation.

At 12 we found a pub again and supped and made merry for a couple of hours. Laughed about the events of last night. I met a delightful young lady who helped me to sing tracks from the 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' LP by the Beatles after which we sat in one another's arms on the settee covered by a warm, concealing continental quilt. Quite bliss, don't you think? Well, it would have been but for one slight flaw. The woman in question was married, and what's more her husband was sitting in the very same room scowling and shooting disapproving looks at the pair of us. Anyway, I sat next to the pair of them in the pub this afternoon and the husband was very friendly with me. I think the young lady had no idea what happened last night. She was so gone.

From here we found one of those hideous Kentucky Fried Chicken places where more hilarity followed. I called Michelle 'Pinky' and invited her to join the others when they come over to see us in a few weeks time.

Sue, Pete, Chris, Pete M and I left for home at about 4.30 and half way home we encountered the fog once again. The weather was ghastly at home.

Just watched TV tonight. Tony phoned.


Saturday October 15, 1977

Foggy still and at breakfast we had a heated argument on the subject of whether we should still go to see John (Grady) in Rawtenstall if the weather continues. How depressing.

I just sat and stared glumly out of the window in the afternoon with the record player singing away in the background, and by tea time it was much more clear.

At 6.30 we went to collect Chris and Pete M at Horsforth. The journey to Lancashire took just an hour and Mr Mather attempted to break the world land speed record, I fear.

with Noel Pilling and John Grady.
John (Grady) was nothing but pure madness from the moment of our arrival. What's more he is now endowed with a beard. Joined by his friends Gary, Steve and Charlie and a few others and we went for a few drinks and on to the 21st birthday party of one of his friends. Drank pils lager and did a bit of punk rock dancing. I was immediately impressed by a girl called Michelle with shaggy blond hair and tight pink jeans. We left here at 10. It was sad because it all the signs of being an excellent party.

On to the Angels at Burnley. A hot, crowded place, but great fun. It's unbelievable the number of women John is acquainted with - most of them very good looking too. Met Noel and his fiance Karen, who says she met me at Manchester Airport after the holiday but of course I don't remember a thing. Sue and Pete got on well with them all which was good. At 1.30 we returned to the party where the remaining survivors were fantastically pissed-up. We danced and joked until dawn. Hylda Baker made an appearance.

Vodka and Pomagne was the 'in drink' in our set. The highlight of the session came at about 4.30am when Michelle removed her blouse and sat about in her sexy black bra and wonderfully tight pink trousers. Oh how I love drunk women! The way they slur their speech and loll in that appealing manner. It was just too much for John and I. We laughed until daylight.


Friday October 14, 1977

Fog. Deep, deep fog. Sue, Pete and I went to the Fox & Hounds at 8 o'clock where we were joined by Chris and Pete M, Martyn and Tony. ____________.Chris was incredibly cheerful. He told us he's joining Sue, Pete and I on our trip to Rawtenstall tomorrow. The more the merrier. That's a dictum to which I strongly adhere myself. Chris told me that Carole is ill in hospital with kidney trouble again. She had a similar illness of similar proportions when she was 12  or 13. I will post her a 'get well' card.

Because of the weather I had no desire at all to go trailing over the county in search of females or more drink, and so when the lads left at 10.15 I told them I was staying with Sue & Pete. In fact we had a very good night at the Fox - a place which I previously had no love for at all.

Home after 11. Mum says Bing Crosby is dead. He collapsed whilst playing golf in Spain. Elvis, Marc Bolan and now Mr Crosby.

Watched the film 'Billy Liar' on TV. Ghastly.



Thursday October 13, 1977

The delights of Sarah this evening once again. We played squash at the usual time after devouring far too much food at Delia's. She is terrible at over-feeding me.

Princess Margaret: peach
At lunchtime Sarah and I joined a crowd outside the Leeds Civic Hall and saw the arrival of Princess Margaret who came to a lunch with William Hudson, the Guiseley-born Lord Mayor. The princess looked marvellous. Just like a tiny peach and graceful as a swan. I fail to see how anybody can say she is 'dumpy' or 'fat'.

After squash we went to the Commercial. We discussed marriage again and our different relationships. ______. We also talked about work and I said I cannot last out at the YP for much longer. The money is diabolical and I point out it would be impossible for me to be married, have children and a house and remain in employment with the ridiculous newspaper. She agreed and says how sad it is that I cannot be given the opportunity of to stay with the company on a decent wage.

Back at Pine Tops for 10.30 where Sarah showed Mum four or five of her pots. She left them with us so that Mum can decide which one she prefers. I have a sneaking suspicion that dear Mama will keep them all.

Bed with 'The Count of Monte Cristo' again. It was pay day today, folks.


Wednesday October 12, 1977

Dad was on Radio Leeds at 7.45 this morning (live) and throughout the Empire many millions of his followers sat grouped around tiny wireless sets to listen to his words of wisdom. I suppose you could liken him to Neville Chamberlain really.

PC 1656.
I went to Leeds with him and was in the office by 7.20. Bloody hell it was still dark. Mind you, I suppose that is how my forefathers started the working day.

I phoned Mum before lunch and she played a tape recording of dear Papa's speech down the receiver to me. He sounded quite good.

Did nothing but watch television this evening. Saw Penelope Keith and Richard Briers in Part II of 'The Norman Conquests'. Miss Keith ought to be made a Dame at the earliest opportunity because she's of the Edith Evans ilk without a doubt.

Dame Penelope?
To bed after 11 with 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. Dumas is excellent and I think I will have to tackle 'The Three Musketeers' series next. It seems quite ridiculous, doesn't it?

I must keep an eye on The Times and indeed the dear YP for signs of my brilliant letter. I do hope it will be published because they will be among the first organs to complain when Master/Miss Phillips is romping around on Her Majesty's knee without even a humble 'Honourable' prefixed before his/her name.

(By the way - I'm willing to bet you anything that the infant royal baby will be MALE. The last occasion in that august family when the first-born child was a daughter occurred on April 21, 1926, and that child is now the Queen).


Tuesday October 11, 1977

I wrote to the Times and the YP on the matter of Princess Anne's baby and it's title, or rather lack of it, when it comes into the world. I suggest doing what King Edward VII did in 1905 (see Diary, Saturday April 9, 1977). No doubt Mr Rees-Mogg and John Edwards will cast my mail sneeringly into the waste paper baskets of their respective offices. At least it cannot be said that I have neglected the plight of what can only be referred to, at this stage, as Master or Miss Phillips.

Edith & Ernest
Edith and Ernest came over at some frightfully early hour to 'sample' the wine. Lynn and Sue departed to bed quite early leaving Mum, Dad and I with them. I haven't laughed quite so much for at least 24 hours. Ernest told us, at great length, of how his great-uncle, Edwin Fletcher, founded the Provident Clothing Company. Edith cried with laughter throughout and it proved so infectious that we all followed suit. Do not ask what is so funny about Edwin Fletcher and the Provident Clothing Co, because I doubt whether I can enlighten you one bit. Ernest also told this tale to one of his arch-snobby neighbours further down the lane (whose husband is currently involved with the above mentioned company) and she retorted: "Oh, so your must be related to the Waddiloves". Ernest turned purple and demanded to know just where the Waddilove family come into the tale, but the neighbour changed the subject to the latest Princess Margaret story.

The two Es departed at 12 like Cinderellas (pissed ones) and Mum and I had a furious row which resembled 'Vimy Ridge' proportions. I adjourned, nay retreated, to my room with 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.



Monday October 10, 1977

Margaret Thatcher: party conference in Ibiza?
The valiant Margaret Thatcher is loading her guns in readiness for the Tory conference which opens at Brighton tomorrow. Why do they insist upon holding these stupid gatherings in hideous 19th century watering places? Surely, if little me can can manage a fortnight in Ibiza then the great bulwark of the Conservative party machine can surely do the same? I can understand the feeble Liberal party holding its annual circus on English soil because they are rather dull, aren't they?

The Duchess of Kent left hospital yesterday looking well and smiling. It was the duke's 42nd birthday. They are such a loving, close couple and the children all seem so nice. The 'Princess Margaret sort' are all very well, but our monarchy would not survive if all members of the Royal Family were like her.

Saw television which was quite dead. Also kept on with 'The Count of Monte Cristo' which has drifted from the original theme somewhat but I refuse to be defeated.

Phoned Tony. He said he's been 'let down' at the weekend and that he'd not taken Toni (confusion) for dinner at all. "We had a party at the flat instead" he said.  ________________.Heard from Martyn. He started work at Samuel's today.


Sunday October 9, 1977

18th after Trinity. Awakened at 9am by the Australian girl who says the room stinks and nominates Jacqui and I for a Nobel Prize for tolerating it the night long. It was very stale. We ate more cheese and continued with the record player and before long we were the sole occupants of the flat. God only knows where the others went. Jacqui passed a frustrating hour searching for the vacuum cleaner - not dissimilar to the quest for the Holy Grail. The offending object turned up in a distant cupboard.

The day was hot and sunny and we set out for a walk down the actual Muswell hill to see Jacqui's mum. We discovered her brother, Pete, in a state of great hangover-isation (he'd been to a party) but no sign of her mum. From there we walked to a weird pub for a couple of drinks. Jacqui didn't know the Queen's birthplace was in Piccadilly. Back to the flat at 2 and took my leave of the piano-playing flatmate. Got a bus and then a tube to Victoria and at 3 I left for Leeds. Jacqui was in hysterics because a woman climbed onto the coach with a massive, obscene looking Alsatian dog, which proceeded to park itself next to me. We were howling at each other through the window. I read, or at least attempted to read, 'The Count of Monte Cristo' but found myself asleep for most of the journey. Ate sandwiches at Leicester. This gave me indigestion. Landed at Chateau Pine Tops at about 8pm.

All in all, an exquisite weekend - or party, or day, or whatever you call it. Saw TV with the family and retired early with, yes, you've guessed it, the Count.


Saturday October 8, 1977

Foggy, wet and damp. Party at 102, Grosvenor Road, Muswell Hill, London N10. I got a coach from Leeds at 12.30 and read 'The Count of Monte Cristo' until my eyes ached. We were in the centre of London before I deposited the book in my luggage. The coach driver, making his first venture to the capital, was lost, and we circled Buckingham Palace five or six times before one of my fellow passengers enlightened him as to the whereabouts of Victoria. All very trying it was.

Met Jacqui at about 5.30 and, in pouring rain, we went by bus to Muswell Hill, which seemed just as far from London as did Leeds. It was miles!

George Davis: drinking with his relations.
Jacqui shares a marvellous flat with a couple of other birds - one a sexy Australian. We ate and listened to records until the first party guests arrived at about 9 o'clock. Lononders frowned at the suggestion that we should first go to the pub until closing time. Weird lot. All the men wear one ear-ring, and several claimed to be related to George Davis, the bank robber of Headingley wicket sabotage fame. Didn't know whether to believe them or not. Most people (were) quite pissed, but gallons of wine didn't do much for me at all. The party was good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My northern accent amused endless people and I brought hours of amusement to scores of Londoners who had never actually met a Yorkshire man before. I remember drinking Pernod and chatting to a Greek.

Jacqui and I get on very well. We were the last survivors at about 4am.


Friday October 7, 1977

Phoned Tony to say I'm not going out tonight. I have been to the library and laid hands on a copy of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Dumas which held my attention to the extent that I could not bring myself to drop it for an evening and go stand in a pub. _____________. It cannot be helped. I'm sick and tired of people at the moment. At the library I also took out a Wodehouse novel. I have yet to finish the Waugh novels. Having finished 'Decline and Fall' I'm not quite as impressed with a second volume called 'Black Magic' or something. Aren't I reverting to my old intellectual ways? Going to see 'Twelfth Night' with Sarah on November 10, and on Nov 22 it's back to the Leeds Playhouse - also with Sarah. I suppose you can say she has a lot to do with it.

Watched a play on TV with Lynn and David and had a Pernod and a few beers. Retired to bed with 'The Count of Monte Cristo' at about 12-ish. London here I come, tomorrow.

P.S. I've just glanced over what I've entered today and have decided that it looks pathetic and ridiculous that I, at twenty-two and a half, I should be reading 'The Count of Monte Cristo' - may I add, reading it for the very first time too. Can it be put down to my secondary education perhaps? I did read two or three chapters of 'Wuthering Heights' when I was 16. Does that put me higher in your estimation?



Thursday October 6, 1977

Squash with Sarah. I don't ache quite as much as I did last week, but still feel as though it isn't for me. I despise physical exercise and all that goes with it. The sweaty changing rooms, the showers, rowdy young men who can only talk about football. It just isn't Michael Rhodes. But, as I told Tony on the phone on Tuesday,  Sarah and I play squash quite simply for sexual reasons. Yes, the game is over by 7.30 and it gives us three or four hours afterwards to indulge in more normal activities in the lounges of pubs _______.
Sarah: discussed relationships

From the Leisure Centre we went to the Commercial where we sat in a corner and discussed our relationships. She talked about Lynne Mather, and looked me straight in the eye and said: "you had me worried there because I thought you were going to go off and marry her." She told me she could never marry because it would be a crime to inflict herself on some poor man. I said she was talking rot, but she stuck to her guns, adding how "sweet" it was of me to be so nice and understanding. ________.

We saw Annie (Lindley) who said I was paralysed on Saturday. We also had a few words with American Carol (Shires) who told me she is going to marry in May. She looked painfully thin and ill, but was friendly and enquired after the whole family. We came back home for coffee (or was it tea?) at 10.30 and saw David's engagement party photographs. Sarah sat and screamed with laughter at them.

The Duchess of Kent suffered a miscarriage - as expected and is to remain in hospital until early next week. What a damn shame. So the three royal Silver Jubilee babies are reduced to two. Ah well.