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Thursday December 1, 1977

Feel revoltingly weak, dizzy and painful about the head, back, arms, legs. At work I did very little, and after collecting my wage, including a tax rebate of £20 by courtesy of Mr Healey, I left for home.

I took something hot to bed and read 'The Count of Monte Cristo', which I almost finished. Yes, nearly.  You may be needing tranquilisers I know, but there's no point trying to deceive you is there?

with JPH.
Maria, John and JPH came to see us this afternoon. Mum brought the baby up to my room and he crawled about on the floor. He liked my clock and kept saying "tick tock", "shoe", "flower", and made various horse impressions.

Saw 'Top of the Pops' tonight and eventually passed into a coma. For God's Sake I hope nobody creeps into my room during the night and switches off my life support machine.

Carole's latest treatment was a success and she may be out of hospital by Christmas. I was supposed to see her today but when she telephoned me with the news I told her I was ill. Bless her.


Wednesday November 30, 1977

St Andrew's Day. A ghastly day. Just Kathleen and I in to do all the work. By 4:30 I was dead to the world. Didn't even have time to take a lunch break. I phoned Lynn this morning to enquire about acquiring a morning coat with tails from one of her mad associates. She settled it straight away and this saves me £8 or £9. Sisters can be very useful at times.

Striking firemen (1977).
______. This morning Jim Rawnsley gave a lecture on his view of the firemen's strike. He really let rip. He thinks all the striking firemen should be put up against a wall and shot. Blimey, we don't live in Chile or Argentina, Jim! (I almost said Spain here, but they are becoming more sensible and non-reactionary lately).

Got home at 5 o'clock. Mum and Dad are back from Luton. The funeral isn't until Tuesday and so they brought Edith & Ernest home too. They're going back on Monday.

I phoned John G in Rawtenstall. He is very well, in case you're interested.

Change of ink from red to black: I feel a little 'off it'. Almost as though I have a cold coming. In the bath at about 11. My neck aches. If it becomes any more painful I won't hesitate to chuck in work tomorrow.


Tuesday November 29, 1977

Sarah is still ill. I realised something was afoot last week. I put her listlessness and complete lack of interest down to the fact that she had tired of my company. Maybe a bit of both.

Simon Regan.
Derek Naylor lent me Simon Regan's new book 'Margaret: A Love Story'. Good of him. The book however is not up to much and is riddled with errors throughout. One cannot help thinking that if he can make so many errors with the known facts how far can we trust him with the juicy, gossipy bits he says are authentic? Not far if you ask me.

Went to see Carole at 2:30. Her face is still swollen slightly. She is entertaining her Mum and 'Auntie' Anne, who are kept busy making Christmas decorations. She walked me to the stairs at the end of the ward at the close of my visit. I hadn't realised just how frail she actually is. I had to support her all the way, and as we walked, arm in arm, down the long, shiny floored corridor I remarked how much it was like getting married.

Maria and baby JPH came at 3:10pm. ________.The baby was rosy cheeked and had a marvellous set of teeth. He has all the attributes of a future Conservative prime minister. I told Carole I'd return on Thursday.

Tomorrow she is undergoing yet another 'milogramme' or whatever. She's got the bravest little character on earth ______.


Monday November 28, 1977

Eileen is still in hospital. Sarah is off sick. It's Kathleen's day off, and so only Carol J and I in the office. Not such a hectic day though and we refuse to panic and let the bastards get on top of us.

My unhealthy Barclaycard statement.
Jack Heath, who died on Tuesday, was cremated today. Most people went from the office just to get off work. ______.

Carole PHONED ME  this morning in marvellous spirits. It was wonderful to hear her sweet voice on the blower. I promise to call in and see her at 2:30. She looked like her mother today. Her face was round, which she put down to the steroids that they are pumping into her each day. She is very much back to normal though and because of this her mother was half as attentive. In fact the old girl disappeared onto another ward with a mug of cocoa to visit a less fortunate patient. I asked Carole where she plans on taking me when she gets out. It triggered off the usual story about why our relationship fell down in July. She seems to think it was all my fault and we had a whispered quarrel, not wishing to have a full argument whilst she's laid up hospitalised. My God she must be improving if she can oppose everything I say! Great, isn't it? I didn't mention __________whom I'm sure is the 'nigger in the wood pile' regarding Carole and I.

I left at 3:15 say I will see her tomorrow. She doesn't allow me to give her a parting kiss on the lips because she doesn't want me going back to the YP smothered in lipstick.

Edith's aunt has died in Luton and Mum and Dad are taking the Blackwells down tomorrow for a couple of days to sort out the estate. The old dear was 87 and died suddenly the other night in her sleep. Not a nice way to go. I'd like just a tiny, little warning, I think. No long, painful illness but a gentle reminder that my time is up.

Watched a Western on the BBC and played Patience. The family sat startled as I shuffled a deck of cards.


Sunday November 27, 1977

Advent Sunday. My eyes were opened to the principal bedroom of the Ratcliffe residence and Mr Mather's gaping mouth and Mantovani on the stereo playing 'Greensleeves' and then 'My Love is Like a Deep Red Rose'. All very nauseating. Peter George Mather, Esq is indeed a weird bundle of male. His eccentricities are numerous:

1). He persists in the wearing of the article of underclothing known as the VEST.
2). He wears his hair in the style of a lieutenant in Princess Patricia's Own Right Knee and Underskirt Regiment.
3). His bizarre musical tastes not only feature Mantovani and Max Jaffa, but Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson and Des O'Connor, &c.
4). His choice of footwear is indescribable.
5). His overall appearance is that of a 1958 bank clerk.
6). Sexually, he's a three year-old.
7). Sexually, he thinks he's a combination of Ryan O'Neal, Casanova, Mick Jagger, the Sex Pistols and Erroll Flynn.
8). He enjoys those archaic boys 'comics' like Hotspur.
9). Everybody's mother simply adores him.
10). If he'd been born American Mrs Edith Blackwell would campaign to have him elected president.

Peter: 1958 bank clerk.
Peter drove me home at 1:30. Shortly afterwards I went with Lynn, Mum and Dad to look at 34, Town Street, Guiseley, which is for sale. A poky, tiny little place but very 'country cottage with roses round the door' type of place. David is, I think, going to 'make an offer for it' as they say in the house buying business.

Back for luncheon and then collapsed in a chair by the fire with my knees firmly under the television set. The series 'Royal Heritage' featured George IV. Later, a Phyllis Diller film.

To bed at 12:00 with 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. Bloody Hell, I expect a visit any day from Alexandre Dumas to fill me in on where I'm missing the point. Oh, hang on, there goes the doorbell. He's here now. Come in, Alex! Sit down and take the weight off your Three Musketeers.


Saturday November 26, 1977

Arose at 10. Mum tells me, over breakfast, that the Gloucester's baby is to be Lady Davina Elizabeth Alice Benedikte Windsor. Davina, eh? I'm not going to bother connecting the illustrious infant with a certain flaxen haired Oxfordshire maiden with big tits. The connection would be just too obvious. The young lady (the shapely blond one) is now the constant companion of young Winston Churchill's brother-in-law, Mr d'Erlanger.

Uncle Peter called in before lunch to see Mum. He was his usual boisterous self ___________.

The Black Horse.
I intended remaining by the fireside tonight but Mr Mather came up at 8 and easily persuaded me to join him and Martyn at the pub. We drank at the Black Horse at Askwith, the Black Bull at Otley and Fox and Hounds at Menston. Wendy Smith, Anne and Sue (Smith's) joined us at the Fox and the six of us went off merrily to Oakwood Hall. _______. Oakwood Hall was reminiscent of a deep jungle. The humidity was incredible. Wendy and I had a few drinks and danced together continuously. I was pissed.  Peter was with Sue (who told me in strictest confidence that she hates his guts!) and Martyn and Anne were not on friendly terms. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  My God Wendy is a big girl! On to 21, Victoria Drive, Horsforth, with a pissed Peter. Young Chris was out until 4am with Michelle. Dirty bugger.


Friday November 25, 1977

Mr Peter Nason broke his leg this morning. This horrific news was conveyed to me at tea time by a desolate Mama. Susan is at the hospital consoling the ashen faced young man. He will be out of action until the New Year undoubtedly.  Bang goes his Christmas cheer at Oakwood Hall or any other discotheque for that matter. The poor boy has endless trouble with his legs, feet, toes, &c. It would perhaps prove far better if he were to have the lot off.

QEII: Carole's nail varnish would paint it 3 times over...
Talking of invalids and the like, I think it's about time I paid another visit to Carole. It's eight days since I last laid eyes on the fair maid. I cannot understand the change of attitude of her mother, the Dowager Lady Phillips. It was a known fact 18 months ago that her Ladyship hated the sight of me, and yet over the past weeks she's been positively angelic. However, I cannot help quivering when I view the number of presents she 'bought' Carole. The bottles of nail varnish could paint the Q.E.2. three times over. I cannot help thinking that the dear Mrs P isn't paying for it all. __________. Kleptomaniacs seldom recover, do they? Am I being frightfully cruel? Should  I perhaps give the old girl the benefit of the doubt? Oh, go on then.

Saw TV tonight until 12 and then retired to bed with my book. I received a lecture from Mummy this evening on my financial situation again. Things always become a little heated when we discuss my budget and the scenes at Westminster on the days following the Queen's Speech cannot be any worse.


Thursday November 24, 1977

Thanksgiving Day, U.S.A. Saw Nureyev in 'Valentino' at the Odeon with Sarah. We both thought it was a marvellous film. It was one of those films you could see over and over again. Neither of us can understand why it had such bad reviews in the papers. It must be because the critics resent the idea that a ballet dancer can make a good film. I have always thought that you needn't be an actor to be a film star.

I have a feeling that these meetings with Sarah are drawing to yet another close. _________. The death knell to these mild flings is usually sounded by the arrival of an immensely rich 25 year-old male who carries her off to his Palladian seat out of my clutches. This is happening right now, I'm afraid. She is bored of me. Coming out of Leeds with her on the bus I realised all is lost___________. She got off the bus and disappeared into the mist of West End Lane.