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Wednesday November 23, 1977

Saw the Alfred Hitchcock film 'Frenzy' on the BBC. Perhaps it should have been called 'Pansy'. A weak, ridiculous dead loss it was Mr Hitchcock, and I don't care who knows it. What a bloody let down.

Mathieu Molé
Nothing of further interest occurred on this twenty third day of November in the year old Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Seven. It's the anniversary of the proclamation of the constitution of Victoria in 1855 and the death of Mathieu Molé , French statesman, also in 1855.

I don't see that point in writing much today other than what I've already done. I don't suppose any of you readers will be upset if I never wrote another line again. But your attitude isn't going to deter me. Where would we be now if Samuel Pepys had listened to his sister, Beryl (who didn't like his writing and thought he was a puff)?


Tuesday November 22, 1977

To the Grand (Theatre) with Sarah at 7:30 to see 'Swan Lake' performed by the Royal Festival Ballet. Barbara Wheeler and her dear, sweet daughter, Beverley, sat nearby but Barbara had an attack of the leaks and left in the middle of the second act. I really enjoyed it. _________. The music especially was superb. Don't ask me the name of the principal participants but one thing's for sure - they were all Europeans. Ever heard of a ballerina with a name like Ethel Jones? All in all it was a success but the closing scene was not what I was expecting. The prince and the swan are supposed to drown in the lake, aren't they? Yes, I thought so too, but in this version they were carried aloft to heaven on the back of a dirty great duck. Sarah hated it and did nothing but moan. We came home on the bus at 10:30. A cold, nasty night.


Monday November 21, 1977

Wet, cold and wicked is an apt description of today. The YP was quiet and inoffensive. Eileen is in hospital having something done to her nose again and won't be back before Easter _________.

Anwar Sadat.
Masses of drivel in the papers on President Sadat's hysterical trip to Jerusalem. The PLO will have him done away with before you can say Golda Meir. The poor man is doing his utmost to achieve peace.

Jacqui phoned at 1pm to ask whether I can stay in London from Dec 16 to the morning of Dec 19 so enabling me to be entertained to dinner by her mum on the night of Sunday Dec 18. I shall have to see what I can do. It all sounds very nice especially in these miserable times up here. I can think of nothing nicer than escaping to the metropolis for three whole days.

Mum and Dad went to see John and Maria for a couple of hours. Mum returned very cheerful and revived. Seeing her grandson has an amazing effect upon her. __________.

Watched some TV and read 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. By 12:26 I'm on page 870. I am going to throw a party when I finish the book. Took a bath and did some more reading. Dad's been looking at Shaw's preface to 'The Apple Cart'. He thinks GBS is a silly, cynical old man. He's more than that I'm afraid ...  he's dead.


Sunday November 20, 1977

Ernest Blackwell.
Last after Trinity. Out to the Commercial just after twelve. Sue, Pete, Chippy and me that is. Had three or four drinks and came back to Pine Tops where Susan attempted to make lunch. I went to Edith's to ask what flour is required to make Yorkshire pudding and remained there for one and a half hours with Ernest in his kitchen drinking his lager (from the barrel) and grape wine.

On returning home I found the mortal remains of my lunch over a pan of hot water and no sooner had I started to eat it when Mum and Dad appeared. Mum was in one of her foul moods and not at all nice to Sue. I think they expected a cooked lunch on the table and the sight of a chicken skeleton and three cold Brussels sprouts cannot have been a heart warming sight.

To make matters worse I invited Edith and Ernest to come round at 4:30 and they arrived on time with bottles of wine. Mum complained of feeling tired and was far from sociable. We drank until about 8 when I evacuated the lounge and let go of my pent up frustrations on Delia's pheasant. I, with the aid of David, removed it of it's feathers and innards and conveyed the pathetic bird back into the house. I do not suppose it will make a decent meal. In fact, it strongly resembled a Vietnamese refugee. Nevertheless, one shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth ... or gift pheasant in the beak.

Mum and Dad enjoyed Norfolk but are far too grumpy for my liking. Saw a film and retired to bed at 12. Still battling on with our mutual friend 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.


Saturday November 19, 1977

Just Susan and I closeted together for most of the day. I got out of bed at noon with a crashing hangover. For four or five hours I reclined on the sofa with a pained expression on my pale, ghastly face. Lynn went off to a wedding after lunch saying I am a disgusting specimen. She doesn't realise that we bachelors have a hell of a life with tremendous responsibilities to hold and reputations to keep up. We can't just sit by the fireside on winter evenings with a good book, perhaps watching "Crossroads" on the TV. Oh no, we have to socialise on a nauseating scale taking in parties, orgies &c, consuming grotesque quantities of spirits, wine and ale in the process. My God it's absolute hell.

with Chippy .....
The BBC went on strike tonight. I remained at home - quite alone - all the same. I even endured 'Match of the Day' featuring Wrexham and Colchester. Then I watched a Vincent Price horror film entitled 'The Amazing Dr Phibes' (1971). Not bad really.

Sue, Pete and Chippy came at 11:30 and they looked thoroughly pissed. Probably because I'm sober. We opened a few bottles. Sue was dancing in the dining room. She and Pete slept in Mum's room and Chippy slept in Lynn's bed. I made a mug of cocoa and listened to the record player.

The Duchess of Gloucester gave birth to a daughter at 2:05pm today. Unlike poor Princess Anne's child (also born at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington) this latest arrival will take a title. She'll be Lady (Christian name) Windsor. I bet Elizabeth is near the top of the list.


Friday November 18, 1977

Margaret Phillips phoned me this morning to say Carole had yet another milogram (if that's how it's spelt)  yesterday evening and that they have discovered something in the pit of her neck which means she'll be having more treatment next week. However, her main reason for phoning was to let me know that Mr Phillips plans to be off work all week next week so enabling both of them to be be in attendance at the hospital on afternoons, and therefor my presence at the hospital will not be required. I wouldn't wish to meet John Phillips anyway. Poor kid Carole. It is of course her 20th birthday on Sunday. I posted her a birthday card this afternoon.

Although I'm just about broke I decided to go out tonight and not to leave the homestead tomorrow. Chris collected me at 9 and we went to the Fox where we were joined by Sue and Pete and Pete M. Denise was there, being entertained by Dave Rogers, and her sister Lorraine and brother-in-law, Mick. Tony and Martyn have gone to Batley Variety Club. To be honest I don't like these variety places. In fact I'd prefer to be held hostage by Baader-Meinhof terrorists for three months than be subject to the horrors of a pissed, aged and declining 'star'. You know the sort I mean, don't you? Des O'Connor, Johnny Hackett and such like.
Oakwood Hall.

From the Fox we went to the Hare at Heaton where Wendy calls everyone 'Kenneth' - this especially suits Peter Mather. Pete met Sue (of Smith's fame), and took me to Oakwood Hall. Any normal persons would feel like a tulip, or a gooseberry, or whatever people who get in the way of young lovers are termed. I didn't feel remotely like a rhododendron. I became quite pissed up. Most of my adventures at this very exclusive club are vague and hazy, and no dialogue of the event remains in my memory at all. Pete M and his Sue came back at 2:30 for coffee and I fell asleep on the rug at 4. Waking to find them gone at 8am.