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Friday September 16, 1977

Mixed with the posh people this evening at Harewood House. Sarah and I went straight to Horsforth from the YP and at 6.30 we went with Mrs Cinzano to Harewood where we met Delia. She is in a temper and informs us that his miserable lordship will not be attending the function due to the death of Maria Callas, a connection which I fail to see. Blimey, I went in to the office on August 17 even though Elvis Presley had passed on.

Countess of Harewood.
For a start we got on the wrong side of the Countess of Harewood. Whilst she was showing Brigadier Hargreaves the music room, Delia and a band of renegades including Sarah and I, raided the dining room and made a start on the wondrous chicken buffet. Lady H entered the room ten minutes after us expecting to be served first and almost fell over us in the doorway. Delia and Brian Halliday had even flopped down on the Chippendale sofa and were joking about Carol J ____________. Lady Harewood gave us dirty looks for the remainder of the evening but we didn't care. We laughed and I dared Delia to approach Her Ladyship and call her 'Marion', who was of course George's first spouse. Lady H is a snobby, ridiculously coiffured Aussie who was previously married to a Schmidt, and posed for Australian TV commercials in the 1940s, I believe. She made a very bad impression altogether and only spoke to the Hargreaves contingent and his feeble Lane Fox of a wife, who looked positively sick.

The food was good and we put away gallons of white wine. Delia and I wandered out in search of the conveniences and we ended up having hysterics over the Epstein statue of Adam - truly grotesque. My God, the things Delia was doing with his penis, and a stone one too, were mind boggling.

We left for a pub at Wetherby at 9.30 as the Harewood butler stood at the entrance of the house yelling for 'Mrs Collis'. The summons from the countess had come too bloody late. "If she'd wanted to speak to me she could have do so hours ago", screeched Delia.

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Thursday September 15, 1977

Good old Lynn and David, eh? I am so relieved that they have stuck it out to the bitter end like this. I cannot wish for a better brother-in-law than David, and I told him so at lunchtime when we went to the Boar's Head, a new pub near the Bond Street development. He was feeling rough after last night and only managed one, solitary pint, but I managed to put away a couple. He could not understand why he felt so nervous approaching Mum and Dad because he knows them so well. I tell him how good and considerate it was of them to give the family prior notice of the engagement. I don't think Mum and Dad would have wanted them just to walk in with a ring.

Dave & Lynn.
I left Dave at about 1.15 and staggered back to the YP. Work was ghastly. I'm not discussing it, anyway. How can I talk about work when my beautiful sister is about to embark on the biggest step down life's pathway? That innocent little child on whom I've showered my brotherly affection for almost 20 years is going to be married, with all the responsibilities appertaining thereto, BEFORE ME! Am I neglecting my duty as an older brother? Should I set a shining example to my younger kin by taking a bride in hand? Is it right and proper for a 22 year-old male, and a healthy one I hope, to be set permanently in the wicked ways of bachelorhood? How long will it be before the whispering begins? You know the sort of thing I'm getting at: "Hey Doris, did you see Michael Rhodes in his pink socks?" And: "Isn't it queer, Doris, how he's always behind the bicycle sheds with his boy scouts?" &c. No doubt about it. If I'm still unattached by my 25th birthday I'll be branded homosexual for sure. Who knows though? The visit of Jacqui a week on Friday may trigger another romance that will outshine the one with the late Miss Mather, or even Carole. We'll see anyway.

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Wednesday September 14, 1977

Lynn and Dave: engaged
One of the most historic days to affect the House of Rhodes. Dad was working 2-10 for the first time since April and when Lynn and Dave came in at 8.30 they seemed very concerned that Papa was absent. When Dad eventually got back at 10 - it happened. Yes, you'll never guess what "it" was. Susan called me from the lounge and said: "David wants a word with you in the kitchen". I had no idea what all this cloak and dagger stuff was about but on entering the kitchen it hit me right in the face. A pale and drawn looking Dave, holding a bottle of Scots Mac, asked: "Can you stay in here for a while because I want a word with your Mum and Dad?" "Oh God" I exclaimed, "you cannot be serious?". I couldn't stop laughing. He was actually asking for Lynn's hand in marriage. It had happened at last. Within minutes Sue and I are back with the happy couple. They are to become engaged on September 28 - the third anniversary of the start of their relationship. We celebrated with a couple of bottles of wine, gallons of lager and of course the Scots Mac. They are planning to marry next September. It is all top secret, of course, until September 28. Mum and Dad took it marvellously. Dad thought an engagement might take place when they came back from Italy.

Lynn is like a changed person. For days now she's been uptight and sharp tempered. We all noticed it. Now we know why. The nerves must have got to her. Good old Dave joining the family is a great thing. Mum and Dad of course think he's marvellous. Blimey, another wedding in the clan! I always thought that Lynn and Dave would do the obvious but ___________________.

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Tuesday September 13, 1977

Jacqui.
Jacqui phoned today and said she and Joy are coming up on September 23 for the weekend. They are staying at a flat in Leeds and she suggests we go out for a couple of nights on the town. I say it's a great idea and we had a pleasant chat about it. However, John (Grady) phoned from Rossendale this evening and said next weekend wouldn't be suitable for our visit to Lancashire, and could we make it the weekend after instead? All would have been fine but what about Jacqui coming from deepest Muswell Hill? John is undeterred and says she's only after my Hylda Baker body. We laughed. I think of Dave G. He'll never be able to get Sept 17 off. Oh God, I'm fed up with all this muddled arranging. John also said Noel would be free to join us on Sept 24 because he's going away with his fiance next weekend. We'll sort something out and I'll contact Jacqui tomorrow.

Tonight I sat and worked out the number of people descended from my grandparents John Wilson and Levinyer Wood. You may think it a silly thing to do but I'm interested. They have 35 descendants, 17 of them male; 18 female. They are all living too. They range from 58 years to one week old. I was the eighth grandchild and fifteenth descendant, and sixth grandson. Only 10 of the descendants bear the name Wilson today. The other 25 are Harwoods, Myers, Gadsbys, Williams, &c. They don't have as many descendants as King Edward III, but they haven't had the amount of time he's had. A proper little statistician aren't I?

Retired to bed at midnight.

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