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Friday June 24, 1977

Met Dave B at 1 o'clock and went to Parker's (wine bar) where we see Delia, Sarah, Marilyn and Barbara Wheeler. We had a couple of drinks. Dave chats with Stephanie Ferguson who is in with Linda Shaw and Jo, the editor's 'fallen secretary', who leaves this afternoon.

Duchess: pregnant at 44.
Sarah and I went back to the office at 2 to relieve Carol J who also went over to Parker's to annoy Jo, and no doubt get pissed up. I intended having a quiet afternoon but the phone rang and Sarah spoke to the York Office who want everything we've got on the Duchess of Kent. They say she's pregnant. I just do not believe it. The woman is 44 years-old. Speak to the news desk and yes it is confirmed. Three royal babies before next February. Quite startling really but great news to the ears of one who relishes the spread of the Royal House of Windsor.

Tony returned from the wilds of Hampshire today. He and Martyn came up tonight and the three of us went off to the Bod. Sue (WH Smith of Bradford Sue), Michelle and Co. are in the pub but I'm not too communicative. Michelle tells me she is going to Morocco tomorrow. I just smile and say "nice" but really think going to such a place can only be a mistake. She could end up in the harem of King Hassan. Poor child, she is so naive too.

Tony is fit and cheerful. Pete M, Chris and Steve Hudson came in at 10.30. We left at 11.


Thursday June 23, 1977

The diaries of John Evelyn have been sold for a tremendous (I keep using that word) sum at Christie's or Sotheby's yesterday. Are you considering put these volumes under the hammer? You might as well.

The 'flying pickets': Grunwick Dispute
A hot day but the Yorkshire Post prevents my becoming involved in it or participating in any of its pleasures. Kathleen was infuriating.

Home at 5 for sandwiches on the lawn with Mama and Papa. Tony rang at 7.30 from deepest Hertfordshire - or wherever Bishop Thingy is. He is back among us tomorrow. It was good to hear him.

Martyn is playing golf somewhere and nothing was heard from him all night.

On the news saw the 'flying pickets' in the Grunwick Dispute. (Please refer to your history books, particularly the Dictionary of National Biography and the illustrious paragraph on Sir Arthur Scargill, KG, NUM, , &c). Someone at home asked what Mr Rees, our beloved Home Secretary, is doing about all the bother and Lynn quipped: "Oh Mrs Rees doesn't like Merlyn watching all this violence on the television and so she hasn't told him about it." Brilliant. No doubt silly Meryln goes to bed when Childrens' Hour finishes. Roll on Margaret Thatcher.

To bed at 11.30 after another squabble with Mama about my financial situation.


Wednesday June 22, 1977

Phoned Carole and talked about very little. Not fraternising with her until next week and I can't say I'm bothered. Not exactly like Anthony and Cleopatra are we?

Tony and Cleo.
The poor dear Queen is in Wales on her jubilee tour of that boring pin-prick of a principality.

John and JPH came at tea time and we all sat on the lawn. He (JPH that is) has picked up quite a few new tricks and now sings every time his grandpapa rattles his key ring.

Lynn and David went to Salvo's (that's young David, not old David). They came home half sozzled with tales of wonderment about the size of the pizzas consumed. I became quite hungry at the thought of it.

My great-grandmother Rella Wilson was born 122 years ago today and my grandmother, Ruth Ellen Rhodes died 18 years ago today.


Tuesday June 21, 1977

Out with Martyn, Susan and Peter to the Hare and Hounds. Lynn is dishing out the ale. Judith and Kathryn came in and I said I'd been off the scene for 'financial reasons'. Judith asked: 'Have you forgiven the manager yet?' I said I most certainly have not. From the County Mortuary we went to the Shoulder of Mutton where we were joined by Karen Cole, Julie Webster and lovers. Do not particularly like the Shoulder but the beer's wet at least. Down to the fish and chip shop where we satisfied our hunger on innocent haddock. We always have a nice time, Sue, Pete, Martyn and me. No one likes ________and Peter seems to have a pathological hatred of him. ______.


Monday June 20, 1977

Shagged out after the riotous weekend on the booze.  Work was thoroughly boring and took immense willpower just to stop my eyes clamping together permanently.

A night in front of the television brought the time round to midnight and I was taken to the intensive car unit of a local hospital where the last rites were administered by Cardinal Hume.

If the remainder of the diary is blank please don't be surprised because I'm not sure whether they have the facilities to keep a journal where I'm going.

It's summer madness, folks.

Sunday June 19, 1977

2nd after Trinity.  The Evening Post Father's Day Trip to Blackpool with all the consequences that go with it.

Lazenby: music hall star.
Martyn, of course joined the team and the both of us were with Pete Lazenby for most of the day. We started drinking on the coach at about 9.30am and until 11pm it was really the only source of recreation.  For a couple of hours in the afternoon when the pubs closed to re-stock their shelves we went wild on the Golden Mile - clad in our eccentric head-gear as is the tradition on the annual Father's Day excursion.

Why is it that respectable old ladies will go to great lengths just to kiss the proud, upstanding wearer of a top hat?  They do, anyway.

The weather was exceptional. Warm and sunny. We couldn't participate in the ritual 'football of the beach' because for the first time in living memory, the tide was, as they say, in.

By 7.30 we were back at the Albion in Skipton for refreshment and Peter's cabaret appearance. The boy excelled himself too. His song about the royal family set to the tune of 'In an English Country Garden' received my boos and hisses and tremendous applause was given to his 'Albert and the Lion'. He'd make a brilliant music hall star. Home by 11.30 and only slightly pissed which cannot be said for the majority of merry trippers. No indeed.


Saturday June 18, 1977

Things aren't half quiet without Tony on the scene. I only hope his stay in Bishop Stortford will do him some good.

I didn't get out of bed until almost 12 and set off immediately down the lane on my Father's Day/Wedding anniversary present purchasing expedition. My first port of call was Maria's where I persuaded her to hold over her mail order catalogue money until Thursday so giving me an extra £4 for the parties ahead. Carole was there ironing of all things. She was quiet. By about 4 the both of us were in Guiseley. I  escorted her to her bus at the White Cross. No kisses or signs of affection from either of us and I just say I'll phone in the week.

Got a couple of boxes of chocolates for tomorrow's events and then went to meet John on Thorpe Lane. He's doing up the old Moffat residence for Pamela and her intended. He's the strong silent type is John.

Ernest: home brew adviser.
Mum and Dad have started the wine making lark. When I set out for Wetherby at 6.30 Ernest Blackwell was lecturing them on how best to bottle your hock.

Arrived in Leeds at 7.15 and got to Wetherby for about 8pm. We all congregated in one of the local pubs and moved on to the Town Hall at about 9. Sarah was with John MacMurray and they looked odd together but he's more pleasant than queer old Peter Baker.

The party is quite incredible really. Chris had laid on a 'spread' but it had all been devoured, but the barrels of Theakston's beer were still to be had in profusion. A punk rock group entertained in the ballroom and they invited the party goers to be sick on the highly polished floor. The local aristocracy seem to be thickly spread and several military gents with handle-bar moustaches were competing with the likes of me over the dwindling contents of the barrels of ale. Sarah didn't enjoy it and plotted with Ursula to leave early and at 11 we hurried off to Aberford to have coffee at the McDermott pile. I didn't really want to leave the party at all but it was a choice between a lift back to Guiseley or bed at the Monckton cottage - and the latter hadn't been confirmed anyway. At one time I would have told Sarah to sod it, but I'm 22 now. Goodnight all.


Friday June 17, 1977

Awoke in chaos at 7.15. Karen (Cole) is on the rampage screaming at Martyn for sleeping in. Mick Stirling, Richard Brabiner and Julie Webster are in residence and must have come back after we'd retired. Martyn and Karen argued like cat and dog. She took Martyn to work at 7.30 and Richard Brabiner to his place of employment. __________.Mick Stirling tells me he drinks six pints of milk a day. Such a vast quantity cannot be beneficial, surely? I'm home by 7.50 and as I step down the garden path I see Jim preparing to leave. Took breakfast with Lynn and Sue and then they bombed off in the spitfire at 8.30.

Princess Marie-Astrid.
Hear on the radio that the palace have denied that an engagement is on the cards between the Prince of Wales and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg. This must mean it's a spring wedding 1978 style. What do you think? No doubt by the time you read this the fair haired Serene Highness is the dear old Queen Mother, eh?

To Silverdale Drive at lunchtime to see John, Maria and JPH. The baby is thriving and is endowed with a profusion of teeth but takes quite some time to recognise his haggard uncle. The unfortunate child hasn't seen me since God knows when. John went to work after his lunch and Maria, baby and I went into Guiseley. We phoned Carole who told Maria she's going out with Fogarty tonight 'because he knows how to treat a girl properly'.

Out tonight with Martyn, Sue and Pete N, first to the Fox & Hounds and then (aargh yes) to the Hare. Martyn looking for a female he's had his eye on. She wasn't anywhere to be seen. Judith apologised to me for not contacting me in over a month. Blimey, it was me who cleared off without so much as a word, but I didn't let on.

Back to Pine Tops. Fell to sleep in the chair. Completely shagged out.


Thursday June 16, 1977

Out with Carole, Naomi and Martyn tonight. Yes, a weird combination of loonies but if you don't do silly things like this when you're young it will soon be time to grow up. I am cheerful and robust all day and look forward to the night on the town - determined not to squabble with Miss Phillips or mention Fogarty.

Carole: called me 'Peter'
Naomi and Carole called for me at 8.20 and we drove over the moor to Ilkley to collect Mr Cole. Some idiots were hang-gliding near the Cow & Calf rocks and I opened the car window and waved and shouted at them much to Naomi's amusement. Carole was quiet. She didn't look at me after leaving home. Even when I came out of the house and got in the car she was sitting hunched and looking in the opposite direction.

The four of us went to Neville's. Carole immediately got off to a lousy start. On to the Craven Heifer. Sat like morons. She infuriates me by repeatedly asking: "what's the matter?" And I infuriate her by replying: "what do you mean by what's the matter?" Silly, eh? Naomi too isn't all that better - sitting like a High Court judge - a real bundle of fun.

From the Craven Heifer it was obvious that if Naomi were to go to Oakwood Hall the strain would probably kill her and so it was back to Martyn's for coffee (his mama and papa are holidaying).

We summoned a priest to administer the last rites to Naomi but he arrived too late. Carole spilt hot coffee all over her foliage (sic) and I gave up my shirt for her and wore one of Martyn's. We both had a gin and attempted some conversation. I was so glad that Martyn was in the room to hear it because I thought it was me who was going insane. We are just incompatible. Every sentence ends in a dispute. Carole asks: "Michael, why do we hate each other so much?" I don't hate her one bit. She just cannot be happy with me. Sipping the gin she called me 'Peter'. Martyn found this hilarious and kept mentioning the weather saying we might be having a 'foggy' start in the morning. (You know, FOGarty. Ha Ha).

The girls went home at 12.30 and Martyn and I went on to Il Trovarore which lived up to its usual standard. Back to Martyn's £3 later. Slept in the spare room - soundly.


Wednesday June 15, 1977

Lynn got me up at at about 7 and I watched her leave the house at 7.15. She's going to the Isle of Man on Yorkshire Light Aircraft business.

Mama and Papa arrived home from Wales at tea time. They have endured constant rain with the exception of Sunday and have spent a fortune on hotel bills. Neither of them look as though they've been on holiday and I feel sorry for them. We have bacon and sausages. I tell them Lynn is in the Isle of Man. Mum immediately begins to worry. Her precious daughter being up in one of them light aircraft, and all that. They only have little engines, you know. We sat until about 10.30.

(David) Greenwood phoned from the Isle of Man to say Lynn should have arrived at Yeadon at 8.30. Worry turned into mild panic but before anything else happened in she walked. She had been for a drink with Dave Cutler at the Aero Club. Why couldn't she have phoned? Dad said: "This isn't like Lynn at all, is it?" Precisely. _____________.

Finished reading Anne Boleyn by Marie Louise Bruce and read Ghost Stories by M.R. James.


Tuesday June 14, 1977

Left work at 12 unable to tolerate any more. Had a bite at home and then went down the lane to post David L's birthday card. Well, it's not exactly a birthday card more of a 'Congratulations on the Birth of Your Delightful Son' type of card.

Dave: 22nd birthday
The telephone engineer came and mended the phone (what else did you expect him to do?). No sooner is it repaired that I am bombarded with calls. Peter N rang to say Mama had contacted him from WALES this morning to enquire what had happened to us because the phone seemed to be ringing but nobody was answering. They're having bad weather and I have snatches of conversation mentioning Carnarvon, Llandudno and Pembroke, &c. Mother won't like Wales at all. The Welsh are a hideous, unfriendly race and the only decent Welshman is the prince of that name.

I then spoke to Carole and we decided - or perhaps I decided - not to go see the Barbra Streisand film on Thursday. No doubt it will be Oakwood Hall again and all that goes with it. Being a forthright, far-seeing couple we end the conversation not knowing what the hell we're doing.

I took afternoon wine with Edith and Ernest. Lend Edith my copy of 'Majesty'.

That night: Made my first visit to the Hare and Hounds at Menston since May 6. Martyn came up and we managed to get a lift from Naomi. Lynn manages very well behind the bar. She appears drawn and pale and lacking in that famous zest. Martyn didn't seem to notice anything odd. I told him _____________. A sad thing to have to say but inevitable. __________.


Monday June 13, 1977

(Several paragraphs of sensitive family news.)

Sunday June 12, 1977

1st after Trinity. To the Commercial at 12 with Lynn, Martyn, Susan and Peter N. A sunny, bright day and we stood with our drinks in the car park. After a few drinks Lynn confided in me ______________.

Martyn went off to play golf at 1pm and we bought two bottles of wine for dinner and returned home where the drunkenness increased. I would never have believed this _______. Susan is well aware of what has been going on. She has suspected it for a while.

Lynn flaked out for 3 and I was at work for 5pm. Gave Sue and Pete a guided tour of the office then met Ursula who said I shouldn't really be working tonight. Stayed until 11.45 with an incredible headache. Lousy.