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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?