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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.