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Thursday November 17, 1977

It's one o'clock on Friday morning so don't expect a John Evelyn-type of effort. I took a half day because Kathleen was getting on my nerves __________.

To pass the time whilst waiting for the start of hospital visiting time I went to look at the Stanley Spencer paintings in the Art Gallery and then, unimpressed and dejected, I went next door to study 'Burke's Presidential Families of the United States'. I laughed out loud, much to the horror of a sober gathering of students, on reading that Richard Nixon is descended from Edward III. (Aren't we all?)

Went to see Carole who wasn't quite as cheerful and looked depressed. She was wearing her engagement ring and so I presume that she and Fogarty have patched things up on Ward 26. Either that or he's given her the ring back because he thinks she's going to die. I gave her a Paddington Bear and left at 3.45. She likes me to visit. Her mum is sweet too.

Royal Albert teapot: £8.95.
Passing Schofield's (a shop) on the Headrow I spied a Royal Albert Old Country Roses teapot and forked out the £8.95 for it and carried it around town with it under my arm for a couple of hours. Got home at 5. Did nothing.

Drank a bottle of vino with Lynn and watched the Miss World competition. The title was won by Miss Bessie Braddock MP. Watched 'Rock Follies' which took me up to 12:30 when I plunged into the bath.

It's now 1:08am (Blimey, it's taken me 8 minutes to fill in this page).



Wednesday November 16, 1977

The Press seems to forget that the nation is burning down (whilst Home Secretary Merlyn Rees fiddles at Westminster) in order to spread joy and adulation at the Royal birth.  No monarch has had a plain 'mister' for a grandson since King Edward IV, whose daughter Cicely married a licensee or fireman and had two kids and lived in a tower block in Salford. Yes, it's just like the Dark Ages all over again, folks. All we want now is a Great Fire of London in the midst of the firemen's strike.

Mum and Dad went to Ruby and Arthur's in Norfolk today.I'm glad Mum is up and about again. They're back on Sunday I expect.

Watched a David Niven film called 'Statue' on BBC2. A real telly addict these days, aren't I? I am reading everything I can lay my hands on as well. 'The Count of Monte Cristo' for instance, to name but a few, and 'The Apple Cart' by Bernard Shaw. Yes, good old G.B.S. To be precise, it's the 'Bodley Head Bernard Shaw Collected Plays with their prefaces' which includes The Apple Cart, St Joan, The Millionairess, &c, &c. Very good. I especially like his preface to the Apple Cart where he likens democracy to the sea and the fact that sometimes it is furiously violent and always uncertain.


Tuesday November 15, 1977

Princess Anne gave birth to a son at 10:46 this morning. The news came into the office about half an hour later. Master Phillips weighed in at 7lb 9oz and he is fifth in line of succession to the Throne. I never doubted that the child would be male. The only sadness is that he is born without a title. On the six o'clock news we saw a 61 gun salute on Tower Hill. The captain was with HRH for the birth. Great news, anyway. Long Live the House of Windsor! (7pm).

Now you will probably be physically sick at what I am about to relate. Are you sitting comfortably and suitably close to a bucket, and in a strong chair and with a large glass of Scotch close at hand? No, it's just that I'm still battling through a certain library book and I'm only on page 785. Alexandre Dumas needs a kick in the rear.

Back to the Royal baby (11.45pm). On the nine o'clock news we saw the Queen leaving St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, after visiting Princess Anne and her grandson for half an hour. She looked very, very happy. Dad was listening to Mum and I discussing possible names and made a few suggestions of his own. Master Elvis Phillips was one, and Bing Phillips another. Mum says John, Charles and Philip will feature, and I'm sure Charles will be in there somewhere but can't imagine Philip Phillips. Other old favourites spring to mind like George, Edward, even William or Richard - and Andrew after the prince of that name. Oh, it's bloody wide open really. Mark Junior, perhaps?  Mark Phillips seemed to be hideously unprepared for confronting the media this evening. His speech, or lack of it, has become much worse and his embarrassment even made Angela Rippon go a bright shade of pink.

Watched TV after diving into the bath. Saw a play on the BBC which almost put me off my supper. Unadulterated violence and bad language.



Monday November 14, 1977

Went to see Carole at 2.30 in a downpour. Managed to keep quite dry though. She was just as cheerful but looked flushed. Her mother says Carole's temperature is up to 120. I had her in stitches about something and she chaffed me and said I should not get her excited. Mrs Phillips was quite human but insisted as referring to me as 'Peter'. I told Carole all about Jacqui.

Nureyev: homosexual?
Tony, Chris and Pete had visited her over the weekend, and so she'd already been told of Jacqui's visit. ________. She is an Angel. I told her I will write and it gave her a good deal of pleasure - I think. I am going back to visit her on Thursday. It's so wonderful to see her. Three weeks ago I thought she had gone forever.

See in the EP that 'Valentino' is on (at the cinema) in Leeds. Sarah and I are going the week after next - probably Nov 24. Rudolph Nureyev is not homosexual, is he? As I'm always telling Sarah , you can't have big, butch swans can you?

Britain's firemen went on strike today for the first time ever. Let's hope that the home of Mr Rees, the Home Secretary, is alight tonight. Other important news: Princess Anne is showing no signs of delivering Master Phillips into the world. Today would have been apt, the 29th birthday of the food-poisoned Prince of Wales and the Princess and Capt Phillips's fourth wedding anniversary.



Sunday November 13, 1977

Remembrance Sunday - 23rd after Trinity. A bright, sunny day. Jacqui and I walked to the Commercial at 12. The pub isn't full in the usual Sunday fashion but we enjoyed it. We discuss the fancy dress party at Lord's Cricket Ground on December 16. What can I go along as? A policeman? A tart? A French maid? No, we decided upon the late Groucho Marx who should be quite easy to imitate. I need to lay hands on a morning coat with tails and a pair of baggy trousers. Jacqui is going as Shirley Temple. Oh My God!

Poldark ...
We do get on well. ________. After a good lunch we went to Leeds where she got her bus (or coach if you're posh) to London at 5pm. Returning to Guiseley I saw Carole's brother, Peter, and his girlfriend. He said hello.

Just watched TV tonight. Saw episode 48 million of 'Poldark' and then a film. To bed at midnight with a certain nameless volume written by an author of French persuasion.


Saturday November 12, 1977

I woke at about 12 and could hear Mum yelling about something from her bed. Evidently she did hear Jacqui and I listening to the stereo in the early hours and is far from happy about it. I hid for quite a while beneath the sheets until some sort of plan of action could be worked out in my enfeebled mind. I decided upon the straight, honest, Richard Nixon approach and just marched, with head held high, into her bedroom and said sorry. She was perfect from then on and just said in that famous, soft, musical voice: "Michael, you take your mother for granted." I fear I do. And she's ill too. I am a swine.

Haworth: the parsonage.
After lunch Jacqui and I got a bus to Haworth (Bronte Country and all that). It's like Hell on earth. I soon see why Charlotte, Emily and Anne never reached the age of 40. Bleak is hardly the word. What's more, it snowed. We dashed round the parsonage and then into a cafe where hot tea and cream buns failed to revive us. Felt ill and cold. Jacqui giggled. She can hardly wait to tell the folks back home who have never seen a desolate moor or the rampaging spectre of Heathcliff.  We spent more time on the road than we did at Haworth, and at 5.30 we got a bus home.

Tonight we thawed out and watched TV. Saw Penelope Keith and Lord Carnarvon on the Michael Parkinson Show.


Friday November 11, 1977

Met Jacqui at 4.45 at the bus station and the weekend began disastrously when the bus broke down and we got caught up in a snow storm. By the time we arrived at Guiseley after 6pm it was so bad we were compelled to seek refuge at the Station Hotel where I phoned for assistance from home and we both had half of lager. I was carrying a pheasant (courtesy of Delia, who did not desire removing it of its feathers and innards) and the bird's beak poked through the polythene bag, dripping blood over the pub carpet.

Dad collected us. He says Mum may have a kidney stone. Dr Mellor says she must shed a stone in weight. Her blood pressure is high. She is pale and ill.

The rain, snow and gales persist and at 8 Sue, Pete, Janet Simon and Chippy take Jacqui and I to the Fox & Hounds. They then leave the two of us alone and we saw none of the usual Friday night visitors. No Tony, Martyn or 'Piss and Crete'. We had a few at the Fox and then went to see Judith R and Kathryn at the Hare where I became quite pissed. I blame the vivacious Miss Young entirely for my condition. We sat in the Tudor Bar until midnight and then I ran around in the car park with my 'inflated' umbrella until it was smashed to pieces in the high winds. It disintegrated into a warped mass of fractured metal and plastic.

At home the two of us drank 2 bottles of Beaujolais and listened to the record player at a very low volume until about 5am. Nobody could possibly have heard us. Sue and Pete slept on the settee - snoring contentedly - until I had the foresight to awaken them after 3. Poor Pete dashed off home. He's working at 7.30am.


Thursday November 10, 1977

Went to see Carole at 2.30 bearing a box of chocolates and fearing the worst. Leeds Infirmary is an incredible place to get in. The bloke who first discovered Ward 26 may well have been Capt Scott.

Carole is ill but one wouldn't believe it by looking at her. Her looks have not deteriorated nearly half as much as I'd been informed by other visitors. She was overjoyed to see me and was an Angel. For me it was glorious to see her face and hear her voice. Her mother was with her, and behaved very nicely. It was just like old times in fact. Carole is the bravest kid alive - and she's only just managed to hang onto that by God's will. Mrs Phillips says that on two or three occasions Carole was a 'write off', and it seems that their priest is wearing a path from his church to the hospital. I was horrified to hear Carole's description of several revolting tests they have subjected her to, and could not find the suitable words to respond. I am over awed by it all. Her body is paralysed after treatment she's had on her spine and she is blind in one of her eyes (but unaware of this). I left at 3.30 and returned to the YP promising to visit again on Monday with chocolates and sandwiches. In hospital Carole is actually eating meat and vegetables of the non canned, fried or baked beaned variety. She is putting up one Hell of a fight. I do love her. She loves Peter Fogarty. I just want to see her happy whether it's with me, Fogarty or the Aga Khan.

To the (West Yorkshire) Playhouse at Leeds with Sarah after tea at Delia's. Saw 'Twelfth Night' with Vivien Heilbron as Olivia. Incredibly amusing. I seemed to enjoy it more than Sarah who looked seriously bored by it all. I do think she finds me dull. We left at 10.30 and she came back for a cup of tea (she never partakes in coffee). Mum is still laid up in bed and the Norfolk venture is fading all the more. Poor Soul. I shall have to get her a present at the weekend.


Wednesday November 9, 1977

Mum was taken ill after tea. Have we perhaps been subject to poisoning? God knows, but one thing's for sure - the Norfolk visit for Mum and Dad is now in jeopardy. (I bet Jeopardy is far nicer than Norfolk anyway. The climate is better than ours at this time of year, and Jeopardy has no ghastly Broads to contend with).

We watched a play on the BBC which, quite remarkably, is good. The leading lady, whose name escapes me, deserves an Academy award for her portrayal of a deaf and dumb Bradford prostitute who stabs an alcoholic pimp to death in the Lumb Lane. Wonderful family viewing. It made such a change from all the sex and violence so often awash on our TV screens in these restless times. (I'm spreading the writing out tonight because I want to get to bed).

Dumas: infatuated with typist.
You will sit back and raise your hands in horror that I'm only on page 728 of 'The Count of Monte Christo' (and I can't even spell his soddin' name right). I know it's truly pathetic, but I'm afraid the book is becoming incredibly dull. The count is certainly taking his vengeance very seriously and incredibly slowly. One would think the guy had all the time in the world. Either Mr Dumas had connections in the paper manufacturing industry or he was infatuated with his typist.

Bed at the usual time and attempted to reach page 750, but failed.


Tuesday November 8, 1977

Quite a good day at the YP. A new journalist, John Longman, came into the library and I spent the day with him showing him the ropes. He seems quite a decent sort really.

Kathleen was in a strangely pleasant and unruffled mood. Is her sailor boyfriend in harbour at the moment, one wonders?

Princess Anne: married stableboy.
Read in the papers that Princess Anne is going to be delivered of the young Mr Phillips in hospital, probably the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers. So very sad and a horrid departure from tradition. Young Lord Ulster and Lord Nicholas Windsor were hospital born but no other royals so near the Throne have been. Ah well, I suppose somebody somewhere will call it the march of progress.

I heard, with horror and nausea, Kenneth Kendal announce on the nine o'clock news, that Princess Anne's child will not receive a title of any kind and will be known simply as Master or Miss Phillips. Born in a common hospital, and without a title! What a let down. My God, 'Private Eye' was right when it said, two or three years ago, that Gt Britain's declined could be traced to the sad day when Princess Anne married her stableboy. As the years go by I rely more and more on the deliberations of that knowledgeable organ, 'the Eye'.

Mum and Dad went to the Cow & Calf with John and Maria at 8.30 and did not return until almost 1am. ____. Afterwards they took refreshment at 69, Silverdale Drive. ______.


Monday November 7, 1977

Sarah's 25th birthday. Her Silver Jubilee in fact. Not a thrilling day by any means and Sarah isn't in ecstasy at the thought of attaining her quarter century. With Eileen we went to Da Mario's on the Headrow at 1pm for a celebration nosh. Joined by Bev and Marilyn Wheeler. ___________.
Vivien Heilbron.

Back to the YP bloated and tired at 2.30. I told Sarah I would not formally recognise her jubilee until Thursday when we go to the Playhouse to see Vivien Heilbron in 'Twelfth Night'. Afterwards we shall have to let ourselves go. She does me a lot of good does Sarah Elizabeth. To paraphrase Bagehot she's a 'soothing influence on a dark and restless age'.

Tonight John came up to plan a night out with with Mum and Dad and Maria at a place of Mum and Dad's choice. They decide upon the Cow & Calf tomorrow night. _______.



Sunday November 6, 1977

22nd after Trinity. Felt ghastly this morning. John brought JPH round after breakfast. He's grown tremendously, crawls backwards over the floor and says 'hello', 'flowers', 'dog', and 'daddy'.

Mum and Dad don't appear aggravated about the numerous guests asleep all over the house, and after they'd gone all I got was a sigh from Mum and she said that perhaps I'd invited a few too many to stay under the one roof.

John G, Phil, Kath, Michelle and Steve left at 11am because Kath and Phil have a luncheon appointment with relations. A damned shame because I intended having a big 'do' at the Commercial. A short, quiet visit really, but they can't be idiots permanently like some nameless beings are.

Mum looked after JPH and John, Dave, Sue and Pete and I went down to the pub. Joined by Tony. Afterwards we went down to Ings Lane (or Avenue) to look at a house that Lynn and Dave fancy.

Mum with Lynn , Dave, and Edith.
Back home we have sangria with the Blackwells, then more wine, sangria, wine, sangria, wine, wine, &c. Edith looked ill, old and semi-senile. Quite suddenly the woman's gone down hill. I'm sure Ernest knows she's faded too. She just sat, not speaking, and so dull.  Not a bit like the Edith of old.

At 8.30 Dave, Sue, Pete and I went with Tony and Martyn to meet Chris and Pete M at North Rigton. From here we went to a pub at Pool in Wharfedale, where I was knackered, miserable and thoroughly boring.

Martyn was attempting to be 'bitchy' and sarcastic with me but failed miserably so I had to give him lessons. He was joking with Pete M about my moustache but I beat all the quips when I said I'd had it grafted 'off my arse'. Martyn went hysterical at this. If a job's worth doing it's worth doing properly. I can think of nothing more pathetic than a wise cracker who is neither wise nor particularly cracking. Back home by 11.

Pete M told me I could have Lynne back at any time I wished and that she still loves me. He also went on to say I was slipping in my old age and that the millions of my female followers, who have always been my trade mark, have now deserted me. For Christ's sake, who does he think he is? Peter Mather giving me, Michael Rhodes, advice on the female species! That is the laugh of the month, I think.


Saturday November 5, 1977

Dave of Stockport, John Grady, Steve Glenholmes, Michelle 'Pink Pants', Phil & Kathleen, &c, &c, paid us a visit. Dave arrived at about 5pm and the others at half nine. By the time the latter bunch came Dave and I were pissed on Mum's sangria and 'Chateau Pois'.

We went to the Fox and Hounds with Sue and Pete and met Tony, Martyn, Chris, Pete M,  and three or four females. One was called Edwina, but that's about all I can remember of them.
Peter M and John Grady.

At 11 we went back to Tony's (change of ink) for a party in the flat. Lynn and Dave joined us at midnight. They'd been to see the Rev Calvin Ward, vicar of Esholt, who is going to marry them on September 9, 1978. Good, eh?

John G seemed more reserved tonight and dedicated most of the evening, quite naturally, to Michelle. ____was getting at me quite a bit. My attitude is that he can piss off.

Phil and Kathleen are very pleasant people as indeed are all the Lancs/Greater Manchester contingent. Dave G is well in with Lynn, and it's great to see everyone hitting it off so nicely.

We were at Tony's until about 4am when we came to Pine Tops for a further riotous, yet non alcoholic session. Lynn made butties and coffee, but I was suffering from wild indigestion. I retired at 5am. John G slept on my floor. Chris slept with Michelle in the dining room and the remainder had the lounge. Lynn gave up her room for Phil and Kath who are, of course, married. Sue went to the Nason residence.


Friday November 4, 1977

Leeds, or Atlantis?
Refused point blank to enter a place of alcoholic liquid consumption this evening. It is my own personal protest at the increasing rate of alcoholism which has taken place in the United Kingdom in recent times. By 1996 the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside will be submerged beneath a vast lake of lager, Beaujolais and Pennine Bitter. Leeds will be a pickled version of Atlantis.

I phoned Chapel Allerton (Hospital) to enquire about Carole and they told me she was back at Otley (Hospital) and so I phoned that obnoxious place where a nurse told me she is still seriously ill and not seeing vast deputations of visitors but if I want I can make an appointment and pay a brief visit when nobody else is in attendance. I'll go on Thursday next week with a box of chocolates or something. I shall always love her even though I find her exasperating and diametrically opposite to everything logical. Love is weird. I wouldn't have believed it possible that a couple with so much love for each other could make such a tragedy of what could have been an everlasting, idyllic relationship.

Tonight I stayed home with Mum and Lynn. Dad was out on constabulary duties until 10. We watched TV until the power workers plunged us into darkness at 11.06pm. Lynn and I sat laughing by candle light and retired to bed, in good spirits, before 12. The electricity was returned in all its glory at midnight and the evil power workers must have been grinning all over their faces at the success of getting 55 million people into bed.



Thursday November 3, 1977

Pay day. The State Opening of Parliament took place this morning. BBC TV technicians blacked out the coverage of the 'spectacle' because they too want more cash from HM Government. When I say 'spectacle' I say so in more ways than you imagine because the Queen wore her half-moon spectacles for the first time at the opening of the British Parliament. The fact that she is become a grandmother in two weeks time must have gone to her head, or perhaps I should say face. The specs do not flatter HM one bit. I do realise that the Queen doesn't want to be a trend setter or sex symbol. The sole aim was to the read the rubbish provided for her by the pathetic government with speed and accuracy.

At tea time we had fish and chips washed down with a bottle of hock. Papa was pissed from an afternoon session with Mum, Edith and Ernest. They had been up to the Cow & Calf to enquire about a wedding reception for Lynn & Dave. It sounds impressive.

Sat by the television this evening.



Wednesday November 2, 1977

GBS: died 27 years ago.
Ordinary day. Nothing startling to report. But not so in days gone by. (George) Bernard Shaw died 27 years ago this day, and Queen Marie Antoinette was brought into the world 222 years ago. I wonder if this pair have anything in common? I suppose they both have entries in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, but that will be about it. Hang on, I've just delved into the Irish Encyclopedia under the entry for Marie Antoinette and to my amazement I see that prior to her marriage to Louis XVI she was in fact Miss Marie Antoinette Shaw, a Dublin-born shorthand typist, and a great-aunt of George Bernard Shaw, the playwright. Incredible. Isn't it a small world?


Tuesday November 1, 1977

I am writing this, dear reader, by candle light. Those nice electricity supply people are asking for more money than the miserable 10 per cent offered by Mr Callaghan, and because he's taking his time giving them the cash, they are in return giving us a dose of the old black-out treatment. I bet it's bringing back lovely memories for Ted Heath and his enfeebled colleagues.

Anne: Duchess of Sussex?
Susan is sat sewing by flickering candlelight; Lynn is in bed reading by torch-light to the sound of Radio Luxembourg (which, thank God, is beyond the scheming clutches of the ghastly power workers). I only hope that for the sake of children throughout the land the electricity will remain off on Nov 4 and Nov 5 so that that Mischief Night and Bonfire Night will be well remembered.

The Daily Express today carried a story riddled with errors on the subject of royal births. Mistake one was that Princess Anne was born at Buckingham Palace, when in fact her birth took place at Clarence House; mistake 2, was that the presence of the Home Secretary at the birth of a royal baby was only dispensed with at the birth of Prince Edward in 1964 - when in fact King George VI scrapped this custom in Oct 1948 just before the Prince of Wales was born. I persuaded Sarah to phone the Buckingham Palace press office to confirm this, which she did, and she was told that 'His Majesty found the whole business archaic'.

We have just been discussing (still by candlelight, at 9.20pm) the possibility of the 6th person in the line of succession (to the throne) being a 'Master Phillips' and both Mum and I don't like the idea one bit. We decided that Princess Anne should be created a duchess, so that the infant cane come into the world as a marquess or earl, but nobody in 1977 takes much notice of reactionary swines like what we are.

The lights came on as if by magic at 9.55 and the television disrupted our peerage chatter.Dad was relieved because our deliberating as to whether Princess Anne is to be Duchess of Sussex or not is of no interest to him.


Monday October 31, 1977

A nasty wet day. Had an appointment with Hough. He always treats his victims as though it's their first ever experience in a denist's chair. He means well, I suppose. Walked home from Rawdon with a numb face.

Martyn phoned after tea to say that he, Tony and two young ladies (one being Mrs Carol Johnson) went to a barbecue on Saturday evening at Carlton Lane. No comment. Otherwise, no communication with the outside world.

I haven't phoned the hospital since Thursday which is disgusting but I'm so fed up with bad news on top of bad news.

John came at 7.30 and we all had a go at him. ________. He says his departure for Scotland could be quite soon.


Sunday October 30, 1977

21st after Trinity. Had a few drinks at lunch and watched TV in the afternoon and returned home at 8.30 (arriving at Pine Tops at 10.20) after having a drink in Manchester with Dave, Bill and Garry. Sorry it's so brief, but it's better than:-
a) a kick in the balls,
b) a letter bomb, or
c) syphilis, or even
d) Syphylis.



Saturday October 29, 1977

Woke with a ghastly hangover at 7am. Dear Mama was, of course, my alarm system. My God - the whites of my eyes were bright pink - a horrible Rhodes give away if ever I saw one. From the depths of deepest Berkshire to the bleak hills of Cumbria if you should ever come across a man with bloodshot eyes you can guarantee his lineage. Just like the wearer of the Crown of St Edward owes his glory to Alfred the Great, the man with the eyes of a purple hue does so because of Lawrence the Great, commonly called Rhodes. (God, my mind is wandering again).

Hollywood Hotel.
I was in Stockport by 12.30 and went with David G to the Hollywood where we sat drinking in the billiard room until 3pm. Billiards. A pathetic, mindless pastime. Bashing little balls into little holes on a big, oblong, green table? Why not take up missionary work in Saigon instead?

Out to the County Club at 10 with David, Bill (up to his usual standard of insanity), and Garry. These 'cabaret evenings' are all very well but not really my scene. Loud, lewd comedians and the like. I'm not a fan of sitting in a chair drinking and clapping simultaneously as well as taking in the comic's obscenities. I'd sooner be drinking in a dark, perfumed grotto with James Brown records pounding rapturously. Oh God!


Friday October 28, 1977

Mum called in at Chapel Allerton Hospital on the way out with Ernest this afternoon and delivered flowers and a box of chocolates. They couldn't get to see Carole. John, who called in at about 7.30, said it may be a brain tumour and says that Maria has been at the hospital 'every day'.

Yorkshire Rose: mortuary.
Out with Christine to the Fox at 8.20. Sue joined us because Peter is at a party in Durham. I strongly resembled a punk rocker because Sue trimmed my hair in the 'Punk Rock' fashion and my tight jeans and plimsolls were an added touch. We were joined by Andy and Linda, Chris, Pete M, and Steve Hudson, and - wait for it - Miss Lynne Mather. Yes, Lynne Mather followed on. She looked much the same and didn't have much to say in my direction which isn't surprising. CB had me in stitches when she pointed out that Lynne appeared to be wearing a pair of bananas on her feet.

Tony arrived at 9.30 just as CB and I left for the Hare. From the Hare we went on to the Crown at Yeadon and then - finally - the Yorkshire Rose which resembled a mortuary. I was really pissed.

Christine came back for coffee and crumpets but left at a reasonable time because of her mother.

Lynn and I sat near the record player singing quietly and sharing a cigarette until 2am and supping a bottle of terrible nettle wine. She told me that when she and David have a son one of the lad's names will be Michael. What a wonderful gesture.


Thursday October 27, 1977

Phoned Chapel Allerton Hospital at 11.30 and spoke to a nice nurse who spoke for a while about Carole. She is extremely ill and today underwent tests for some nameless disease which everyone is keeping quiet about. No point in passing on any messages either, because she's too drowsy to comprehend anything.

I contacted Christine this morning (10.20am) and we arranged to go to the Fox and Hounds tomorrow night. This should prove exciting and pleasant after the stagnation of recent times.

Thatcher: grey and toothless.
Denis Healey presented a Budget yesterday and by the look of things I'll be getting a £20 or £30 tax rebate at Christmas. Better than putting your feet in acid I do suppose. It's chilling to hear that Mr Healey intends presenting three or four more budgets before going out of office, which means that the nauseating government may be with us until the Spring of 1979. Poor Margaret Thatcher will be grey and toothless by then.

No Squash this evening. Sarah must have gone off the idea, but I can't say I'm heartbroken. Sarah's ups and downs get on my nerves and hitting balls against a brick wall are not the top of my priority list at the moment.



Wednesday October 26, 1977

I was up at 7.30 today but decided to go straight back to bed. Phoned Sarah at 8.30 to inform her of my absence then retired to bed until after 10. I am just miserable, penniless and depressed and nothing on earth could have persuaded me to go into the YP today. I'm not often to be found in this state, but today was the exception.

Dad didn't go to work until 2pm and so we spent a couple of hours in the garden where I pruned most of the rose bushes whilst he foraged happily in the undergrowth.

My thoughts were of Carole throughout the day and I was virtually in a trance. Mum asked me to turn the cooker on and I accidentally turned the wrong nob and set fire to her best tea pot and burned her Formica work surface. I was on another planet.

Didn't see the point in phoning Chapel Allerton. They aren't doing anything until tomorrow and they are all busy people. I'll send some flowers on Friday or perhaps I'll hand them in at the hospital.


Tuesday October 25, 1977

_.Day off with Susan. To Bradford at 11 where she did a bit of Christmas shopping - or perhaps I should say all of her Christmas shopping. We met Martyn and had a drink in the Painted Waggon and then Sue went with him to Samuel's to see about a job.

Coming home on the bus at 3 o'clock I fell to sleep. It gave Sue a good deal of amusement. At home I phoned the hospital and a helpful nurse said: "she (Carole) is very much better, but very much the same", which is a fat lot of good.

Tony came after tea with bad news. They are taking Carole to Chapel Allerton tomorrow where she is having a hole drilled into the back of her head on Thursday. Tony got this information from her mum, who also told him that they gave Carole something today which paralysed her. Oh God it's hideous. Chapel Allerton Hospital is a leading cancer hospital and most of the leukaemia cases in the area go there. However, the surgery on Carole at the moment is only of an investigative nature and the operation on Thursday is only a test. All may yet be well and in a few months I may well be moaning about seeing Carole out in the usual haunts looking adorable on the arm of Peter Fogarty. I hope to God this is the case.

I felt horribly tired tonight and by 10pm I was dropping off in the chair. By half past I was snoring in bed with 'The Count of Monte Cristo' over my face. I fear I'm never going to get the end of this book. It's taken me a fortnight to read 200 pages which is a very bad show.



Monday October 24, 1977

United Nations Day. The hospital says she (Carole) is just the same but I think they are keeping the bad news from all except her family. I don't think Fogarty is allowed to go. Feeling horribly depressed at the YP today I phoned Christine, who didn't know about Carole's illness. She wants to go out for a drink tonight and I readily agree.

Christine came at 8 and we went to to the Shoulder of Mutton, the White Cross, the Hare & Hounds and finally the Fox & Hounds. I was quite pissed after lager, Pernod, cider, Stella Artois, but I needed it, I really did.

Christine was horror struck at the way nobody sticks together these days, the old crowd. She did her utmost to make me laugh. One funny story concerned her most recent boyfriend. He had his arm tattooed with the immortal words 'I Love Christine' and the very next day she told him she wanted no more to do with him! I really liked that. Her attitude is that he can go have a skin graft, or alternatively he can go out and find another Christine.

Christine looked nice too. A new £120 coat and handbag. Her hair nicer than it's been for ages. She isn't as silly about drink as in days of old. In fact she insisted on tipping her drink into my glass each time I complained about 'still' feeling sober. She came back for a glass of wine but had to get off by 11 to see her Mum.

Christine's coming out on Friday night. We always go into hysterics when discussing _______.He is the rallying point, the focal point in fact of my sarcasm, or anything nasty and rude which needs to be bandied about. It must have something to do with his face.

I watched Patrick Moore on the TV with my eyes all bleary and Mum made me a bacon sandwich (I must have looked under nourished) which I don't remember eating. In bed at 12.



Sunday October 23, 1977

_.20th after Trinity. Tony came up after breakfast to see if I fancied joining him in a few drinks, but I had no desire to leave the house in my mental condition. My enquiries at the hospital received the same reply as I had yesterday. Oh God, isn't life cruel? What has Carole ever done to deserve being struck down at her age? A sweet, innocent young darling with not one wicked thought in her head - and she's laid dying.

I cannot help becoming terribly nostalgic about Carole. Do you realise that I have never felt about any other girl in the way I feel about Carole? Even though I destroyed our 'affair' I have never been able to recapture the same emotions with anyone else, and indeed when we got together in May for a couple of months I had never been happier. We have been apart since July and I know she has chosen Fogarty but somehow I always have had the feeling that we would be back together. And now this. All I can do is hope, pray and ask God to look after her because nineteen miserable years is no life. When she is well again I am going to phone her and simply tell her I love her. What happens after that is down to her. She can have Peter Fogarty but I'm going to make my opinion known. For too long we've been carrying on like children. Fate is terrible. My relationship with Carole has been one long tragedy.


Saturday October 22, 1977

Must be the worst day of my life. All I could think about was Carole in hospital. At 11 I telephoned and asked about her and a nurse told me she is very, very poorly and is receiving no visitors other than close family. I asked her to tell Carole that 'Michael has phoned'. I then made the mistake of looking through the old photograph albums. ________.

with Carole.
Tony came up after lunch and we had a couple of hours in Bradford. By tea time I was depressed like I've never been depressed before and sat in the bath I actually started to cry. I was really upset. It seems that Carole's had something called a 'lumbar puncture' or something and she must have been in great agony. I could do nothing but think of the good times we had together and I was in agony imagining that if she were to go I'd be the only person remaining with those memories and the little things we laughed at and joked about. For God's sake I think I'm in love and it's all too late. They all see, at home, just how upset I am and they behave with great kindness. Lynn is an angel and tells me it will all be OK.

Down to the Fox with Lynn, Dave, Chris and Pete M, Martyn, Denise and Yvonne. I'm cheered up somewhat but still morose and eaten away inside.

At 11 they all want to go to that grotty disco in Bradford again - except Denise that is - so they go and D(enise) and I came back to Pine Tops for a few glasses of wine and a chat. She stayed until 2 and we gave the record player a good bash in the process. She told me she cannot picture anyone who could ever possibly marry me. Insult or complement I don't care.