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Friday February 10, 1978

Mike Holman's party at the Wellesley. Sarah, John MacM and I went from the YP at 6, but first I must say something about the catastrophic day.

At breakfast I decided to go by train to the vast metropolis that is Leeds. On the train I discovered, with horror, that my jeans had split open and that I was revealing all and everything to the Ilkley/Leeds inter city travellers. The woman in the seat opposite me certainly got her 37p worth. It was a good thing I had an old pair of pants at the office to change into. My arrival at the YP was received with some hilarity. Kathleen's eyes shone with delight at my predicament.

Finding my pre-war trousers incompatible with the 1978 way of life I went at lunchtime to Schofield's where I purchased a new zip fastener, a needle and cotton. Sarah did the seamstress bit after Kathleen's departure and by 5:30 I was once again clad in my faithful jeans. Good old Sarah.

Anyway, back to Mike Holman's party. The first two or three hours were somewhat dull. The booze flowed like the Danube, River Trent and Lake Windermere merged into one. Sarah and John Mac were soon pink and giggly on gin and we endured Edna Mason's dramatic entry which would have brought colour to Shakespeare's cheeks. However, things cheered up with the arrival of Tom Greenwell's assistant leader writer who is insane. He had us rolling uncontrollably in heaps on the floor. All the man could talk about was the Republic of Upper Volta and rabbit breeding.

Ursula, Wendy and others poured in and of course John Cameron, who said I'd make a nice lad once I reach puberty. Very amusing is Mr Cameron. At some unearthly hour we returned to the YP and drank in the editor's office from crates of warm, bottled beer. The little men from the Wire Room were amusing and told me things about Edna Mason that cannot appear here. Chris Oakley made a good speech for Mike and we consumed more beer before Wendy grabbed me and brought me home to Guiseley. It must have been 2:00am.


Thursday February 9, 1978

Letter from David L suggesting May 19 as a possible date for our raid on Nailsworth. I write to Helen and Graham suggesting this to them. If nothing else, it will give them time to prepare for the ghastly, drunken onslaught.

John Grady phoned at 3 (I'm on half day at home). It was good to hear from him. He suggests I go to Rawtenstall possibly the Monday after next with Chris who is going to Lancashire to visit John and Co and pay a long over due visit to his grandparents. I'll phone Chris tonight and see what he has to say. It's been great hearing from friends.

Christine phoned yesterday afternoon ~ just to make polite conversation. I think that our 'chat' at Naomi's rekindled a good deal of the old flame that burned between us. (Blimey!) But I think Christine and I will always be like one fun loving infused brain. I must write. (Yes, you've guessed that I'm entering this year's journal for the Nobel Prize for Literature). It's only just gone tea time and I've a lot to do yet so can you wait around until later this evening for me to continue? ...................

...............I don't think I should have bothered saving any space for later because tonight just faded out with no spectacular scenes of any kind. All I did was watch TV and read 'El Dorado' by Baroness Orczy. Retired to bed abominably late again because after 'Top of the Pops' Lynn and I retired to the dining room with a bottle of Liebfraumilch to look at photo albums and listen to records. It was so pleasant. Just think, it might be one of the last evenings of this kind. When she's married and raising red faced Bakers in Burley in Wharfedale she'll have no time to sit and think of old times with big brother. Isn't it sad? We have only just escaped from childhood and now she's going off into the big, wide world.



Wednesday February 8, 1978

First Day in Lent. Ash Wednesday.

I am giving up spending money for Lent. Yes, I intend saving over £100. OK, you don't believe me but I'm going to show you just what willpower I do have.

Lady Jane Spencer.
Quite an ordinary sort of day. In 'The Times' engagements section I see that Lady Sarah Spencer's sister, Lady Jane, is to marry Robert Fellowes, assistant private secretary to the Queen. I passed this info on to Fred, who will do something for the YP 'People' column tomorrow. I bet Nigel Dempster and William Hickey will do something on this tomorrow. Is Lady Sarah going to take the plunge with HRH and make it a double event? This will be the theme.

Feel buggered and slightly dead. Because of this I have changed from red ink to this suitably sombre black. At home this evening I couldn't be bothered to do a single thing. Was tempted by an Alfred Hitchcock film on the BBC, but dozed in the chair like an octogenarian whilst the bulk of the murders were being carried out.

I have received a Valentine's card from WPC Carolle Jones. Yeah, a week early too. I quiver when I think of the recent night we spent in Burley in Wharfedale after Naomi's party. I like WPC Jones very much. She arouses in me some neolithic feelings that lay dormant when she is away back on the beat. Cor, I've never been out with a policewoman before. Penelope Keith's gone a step further and married a detective constable.


Tuesday February 7, 1978

New Moon 14:54.  Shrove Tuesday.

Duke of Clarence.
Frantic day at the YP. Had an interesting conversation with the cartoonist 'Speed' about Jack the Ripper. He says that the Freemasons did away with the prostitutes to cover up the fact that the Duke of Clarence had married a prostitute - and a Roman Catholic one at that - and that a child had been born of the union. He went on to say that the baby, a daughter, grew up to be the image of her grandmother Queen Alexandra, and like HM was as deaf as a post too.  Very interesting and quite laughable.  I do like old 'Speed'. His theories on many topics are never without large loopholes and are always open to comment.

Jack the Ripper.
'News at Ten' were filming in the office today for something in connection with the activities of the current (Yorkshire) Ripper. One of the victims wrote to Malcolm Barker three and a half years ago complaining about the conditions of foster children in Leeds and now she's on a mortuary slab. Fame for the EP once again.

News: Builders have unearthed Kign Henry VIII's palace of Bridewell in Fleet Street; Lady Sarah Spencer's first christian name happens to be Elizabeth; its's Shrove Tuesday and I had six or seven pancakes for tea. More details later.

News from YTV. Yes, they've rejected my application. I am unaffected by it and suffer no damage to my ego. The loss is purely YTVs.


Monday February 6, 1978

Accession of Queen Elizabeth II

National Day (New Zealand)

Slings it down with rain all day.Horribly damp. At lunch time I went into town and spent £25 on a pair of boots. First I cashed a cheque for £100 and for the first time in many months I felt like Stavros Niarchos.

I attempted to phone Jacqui but her line was constantly engaged. Ah well, never mind. Work was really dead.

Mrs J is _______________.

Just watched TV tonight. That was after splashing around in the bath and 're assembling' my bedroom from the devastation of 'Our David' at the weekend. The delightful Hilda Ogden on Coronation Street, and a blood thirsty film of the 'Wild West' were the only items of interest. Could not be bothered watching any of the current affairs programs and I ignored the 9 o'clock news. I've had enough of Dr (David) Owen and the affair of the poisoned Jaffas &c.

Retired to bed at 12:00 with Baroness Orczy. Blimey, Silver Jubilee Year ended officially today. Her Majesty's been on the throne for 26 years. God Bless Her! Meanwhile: on the slopes of an Austrian mountain the Prince of Wales is paying court to Lady Sarah Spencer, 22 year-old daughter of Earl Spencer. I'd better leave it at this because my comments will only destroy my reputation as the world's leading authority on royal affairs.


Sunday February 5, 1978

7th Sunday before Easter

Jacqui and I got up at 9, 10 or 11. Oh, I was in such a state. Felt ghastly. Did the cleaning up and created an avalanche of soap suds in the kitchen.

Jacq felt incredibly hungover, but we had planned to go out on Hampstead Heath with Trixie at 12:30. Chrissy took hours getting ready and we didn't get to Trixie's until after 1:00pm. The bloody pubs close at 2 and so we scrapped the idea of going on the Heath and instead we went to the Victoria Stakes pub opposite Trixie's flat. Jacq went into the ladies loos and was violently sick. Chrissy was very pale too. Trixie and I drank the normal capacity though.
Chrissy, Jacq & Trixie.
Trixie: her FiatX19.

It was a nice sunny day and so I took photographs of the party around Trixie's new Fiat X19. Never have I seen such a voluptuous automobile. I want one, please.

Jacqui recovered slightly in the sunshine and is completely recovered at her mother's where we had a good lunch. Steak pudding followed by strawberry slush. Afterwards, I felt completely exhausted and before long I was hurtling along the underground from Finsbury Park to Victoria with my best girl by my side. I was hurried onto a damp, noisy coach and driven out of London at 6:00pm. Coaches are always the same, full of bronchial, asthmatic old men and West Indian doctors smoking Capstan full-strength cigarettes. Ghastly. Slept for most of the journey but had the usual break at Leicester.

Home for 11. Spent a pleasant hour with Mum and Dad.


Saturday February 4, 1978

Sun rises 7:35 sun sets 16:55 Independence Commemoration Day (Sri Lanka)

Keep a diary and one day it may keep you. How true these words are. Anyway, here goes.  A filthy, wet day. Jacqui, Chrissy and I went to Muswell Hill and spent a fortune on wine, cheese and french bread. Over £20 I think. We intended going to see the Arsenal play Aston Villa but the rain deterred us. Instead, the two us went to the Minstrel Boy pub for a few drinks.

Chrissy is going to join a kibbutz as soon as they'll have her, and so Jacqui is coming north within a few months. She says she'll stay at a Leeds Youth hostel until a flat can be found. I think she's remarkably brave about it all. You wouldn't see me dossing down like a refugee.

Back at the flat: we dressed in tramps gear and cracked open a bottle of wine and waited for the first party arrivals. A few came after 9, but it's 'dead' for most of the night. Cheryl came with a new boyfriend, Steve. Joy, who goes to Holland for three months from tomorrow, Shirley, Jake, Trixie (a killer). &c, &c. Jacq was off socialising for most of the night with her male work mates. Trixie, Cheryl and Steve stayed until the end, and we were all drunk, dancing to Glenn Miller. Trixie noted that Steve was being over familiar with me considering we are of the same sex. We laughed a good deal.


Friday February 3, 1978

Out of bed at the crack of dawn and head for the deep south. It was a freezing cold day and I couldn't be bothered to get out of the coach at Leicester and instead I endured the boring conversation of a guy who went to school with one of the Gordon Giltrap Band. Big bloody deal. Arrived at Victoria at 1:00 and met Jacqui. She has a shorter hair cut.

We had a few drinks in Victoria and then went to St Catherine's House. A ghastly task. Seven million John Wilsons were born  in the Yorkshire area in March, 1853. A daunting experience, and after an hour I was thoroughly defeated. It must be bliss to have a surname like Jacq's. Discovered very little but found that a John Wilson had married a Bella Fawbert in the North Bierley area in 1874. Her death in March, 1926 says she's Rella.

We went on to the flat where I demolished half a loaf with ease. Chrissy was in but Jan was at the doctors. The poor thing picked up Red flu in Austria last week.

At 7:30 Jacq's Mum's, Trixie, and brother, Peter, came round and we went for a drink to a pub called the John Baird. Trixie knocks back pints like no tomorrow. However, she's remarkably flash and 'Vogue-like' with Christian Dior shoes and posh hair. Pete has grown a beard. Trixie jokes and says he's quiet because he's in love with a bird called Alice. Poor bugger.

From the (John) Baird we went to a Greek restaurant and noshed our heads off - all at Trixie's expense. Pete went off to work at 10 and the three of us went to the Clissold until closing time.

Jacq passed her driving test yesterday - her 23rd birthday - and she drove us back to the flat in Trixie's mini which is to be exchanged tomorrow for a Fiat X19, whatever that may be.



Thursday February 2, 1978

The Presentation of Christ.

Maria & JPH.
Prepare to visit Muswell Hill. Got everything packed and then went for my appointment at 69, Silverdale Drive, with my brother and dear sister-in-law. Went at 8:00 and stayed until 10:30 or so. JPH is almost walking. He calls me 'Mick' which sounds hilarious. A real darling, he is, and by far the most attractive child I have ever laid eyes upon. One day I expect him to make a thunderous impact on the film world or maybe figure on the political scene. Maria is so like Molly. A good evening. I managed to collect some of the gear John pinched from me at the New Year. He brought me home, and I finished packing my meagre, pathetic belongings.


Wednesday February 1, 1978

Not writing anything today. It's my diary and when I say I cannot be bothered you should accept it. I'm glad of one thing though. January is over until 1979. Once this lousy month is out of the way it's a clear run to daffodil time, frisky lambs, and tulips waving in the Spring breeze. Marvellous eh? Would Wordsworth have been proud of my sentiments?

Carry on with poor King Edward VI. It's a bloody shame he didn't live longer. But, come to think of it, if he hadn't died prematurely England would have never had a Queen Elizabeth I, and look what a loss that would have been? If she hadn't reigned then I now would have been writing this in Spanish because Philip II would have undoubtedly made England a Spanish colony after his Armada victory over Drake. But, hang on, would the Spanish Armada have set out at all if Edward VI had still been on the throne? Would Sir Francis Drake have been in such a position too under another monarch? Oh, God. What hole am I digging here?
Clement Attlee.

Would Clement Attlee have been Labour party leader if Hereward the Wake had never existed? One could go on like this indefinitely. Alternative history. Fascinating.

Weather: snow still hanging about. Blast it.


Tuesday January 31, 1978

Moon's last quarter 23:51.

More snow. Marita's 23rd birthday, but something of a flop. I saw her at 4:30 on Wellington Street and she mentioned something about going out for a drink - a consolation booze-up - with Chris and Denise. I readily agreed to join the party.

At home I prepared a suitable birthday card (a Mig Rhodes montage no less, made from old YP photographs) and readied myself for this unusual Tuesday night venture. But at 8:00 she phoned saying Mr & Mrs Fountain have arranged to take her out for a surprise meal, and so it's a kick in the teeth for our night out. Lynn became suspicious and said __________.

King Edward VI.
I sat reading Edward VI by Hester Chapman, brooding over what might have been. The 1540s were troubled times and I must admit I'm quite confused about the intrigues of the Seymours and the Greys. I have managed to get to page 131 though. One thing's for sure, I no longer feel sorry for Lady Jane Grey.

Margaret Thatcher's immigration speech is creating a furore. There is also talk that Harold Wilson resigned when he did in March 1976 to lessen the impact of the breakdown of the Snowdon marriage. Did I comment on the closeness of these events at the time? I believe I did. I no longer read my old diaries regularly. I'm nauseated by myself, and keep the journals in a black box under lock and key.

To bed at 12:15 with King Edward VI.


Monday January 30, 1978

Jacqui phoned to make certain I am visiting her next weekend. Of course I am. I rang Dave G to let him know that the holiday is booked and he gave a sigh of relief. It was all worrying. No doubt the Rt Hon Merlyn Rees, MP, worries in this fashion every morning. One day it's the fire brigade, and the next day it's the police.

I phoned CB. She and Philip H patched things up on Sunday. God, she was pissed!

Coming home from town I bumped into Naomi (not exactly 'bumped' because she was at the steering wheel of a vehicle whilst I was on foot). She told me that Carole was in tears on Saturday afternoon and that they both (she and Fogarty) telephoned apologising for their silly behaviour. I hadn't been aware of all this. Naomi saw Carole this afternoon, who said that Peter F is an ass. My apologies to Carole are now very necessary. I ruined her afternoon, but at the same time I'm resentful of Fogarty's attitude. He should not be allowed to get away with it.

Laughed with Naomi about the marvellous food and the visit to the Wharfedale Gate. She's had everyone moaning about the choice of pub, and demanding explanations as to why we had to endure Saturday night therein. Yes, that was my fault.

Tonight. Read the Lord Peter Wimsey book and actually finished it. Can't say I'm all that impressed by Miss Sayers. I have read quite a few of her books and each one has left me cold. Rather boring, long-winded and lacking in that 'hold' which novels of this type should inflict. Dame Agatha (Christie) does it to well.


Sunday January 29, 1978

8th Sunday before Easter.

A nauseating day. Out of bed at 10:30 which is far too early. Sit around like a paraplegic for most of the day, generally annoying everyone.

I forgot to mention that Tony was at yesterday's Bacchanalian spectacular. ______.

Lunch was good but I could barely keep my eyes open to devour it. Endure several films on the TV and attempted to read 'Lord Peter Wimsey'. Fail miserably.

Execution of King Charles I at Whitehall.
I forgot to phone Dave G about the holiday, but then I forget most things. That's all for today now. You ought to be thankful that I bothered writing anything at all. Blimey, why should I become a martyr just for your sake? On the subject of martyrs didn't King Charles I meet his maker on a day at the end of January? Hold on a minute, I'll just go look it up in Burke's (Peerage). Yes, he was decapitated at Whitehall on January 30, 1649, and buried at Windsor. That's 329 years ago tomorrow. Poor bugger.




Saturday January 28, 1978

Sun rises 07:45 Suns sets 16:42

Up at 11. Naomi's 21st birthday party. I went to 10, Southway at noon. Susan was laughing as I headed down Hawksworth Lane with my coat pulled over my head reminiscent of a Saudi Arabian.

with WPC Carolle Jones.
Tremendous party. In answer to the question "Do Unitarian ministers get pissed at lunchtime?" it would only be fair to answer: "No, they do not. But they help everyone else become horribly so". The Rev. and Mrs Downing are very friendly, but old. His Reverence told me, quite confidentially, over the bottles in the kitchen, that he had celebrated his 39th birthday on his honeymoon.

Everyone you can possibly think of turned up. CB, Philip H, Carole, Fogarty, and Carolle Jones, of whom I am terribly fond. However, the vast quantity of booze proved hazardous for public relations. CB was pissed and in tears when her young man cleared off with fat Lynne from the Oval, and Fogarty took Carole home at about 3 after he discovered us fraternising in the 'bar'. She only had her arm through mine, nothing sexual. I felt awful about this because it ruined her afternoon. She told me she will write next week.

Naomi is divinely attractive, as is the nosh. Alas, garlic cropped up in most items on the menu. Richard Wellock had to smuggle CB home at 6 or perhaps 7, and Carolle J and I were left romantically linked. She's joining the police force a week on Monday.

Events from now become dreadfully hazy. Burley in Wharfedale, Flying Pizza, lager, cousin Dorothy, pool tables, Carolle in my old raincoat, &c. Yes, all this splashing around in my lager logged brain. I recoil in horror at the thought of visiting my fierce cousin Dorothy. C and I were horribly pissed, but as far as I can remember Dorothy was diplomatically silent on this. Carolle in my filthy, old raincoat looked spectacular. The Wharfedale Gate was the last pub we visited I'm sure. We were later refused entry at Il Trovatore before finding success at the Elma. Danced with Carolle all night and her last words to me were: "This time we must definitely keep in touch, Michael", said with a certain knowing look.

Home into bed with a gruesome headache at 1:45am.


Friday January 27, 1978

Rather a wet, damp day. I made an exit from the obnoxious YP at 12. Well, no, it was almost 1pm because I had to inform Fred Manby of an engagement between one of the Beckett family and a granddaughter of Colin Forbes Adam. (You won't appreciate the great importance of this at all).

 The Hotel S'Estanyol is booked. Deposits have been gathered in and paid. Nothingness until playing out time.

Sue and Pete took me to the Fox at 9 where CB and Mary entertained me.We had a bloody marvellous night too. Martyn, Peter M, Steve H and Tony came in, but left after one drink. Sue and Pete left with Chippy and Gus for the Malt Shovel which left me alone with the two gorgeous women.

At 10:30 we went up to the Crown at Yeadon. CB immediately went 'off' because of Philip's presence (by 'off' I of course mean miserable). She says she would drop everything and go off with him tomorrow if he were to say the word, but she thinks the word will never actually come.

Everybody in the Crown played the 'Michael Miles' game. Yes, when you're playing that you know things are pretty bad. Nobody can say 'yes' or 'no' and when you slip up everyone in the pub yells 'DONG'. Funny, eh?

CB is even more gorgeous and our friendship is probably deeper than ever. I can read her like a book (which I suppose is better than reading someone like a chest of drawers).

Home at 11:30-12 o'clock. CB came in a for a quick glass of vino and then went off home. Tomorrow afternoon should be riotous. Do Unitarian ministers get pissed at lunchtime? This is a very important question which I hope to answer tomorrow.  Goodnight.


Thursday January 26, 1978

Australia Day
 Republic Day (India)

 It snowed again. It seems to snow every Thursday.

Some final decisions on the summer holiday were taken. The Hotel S'Estanyol is a definite now and all concerned are falling into line.

We received our National Savings Certificates with the wages. One hundred pounds! Haven't I done well?

Martyn phoned to discuss the holiday. He and Tony were out last night 'living it up' with a couple of birds. ________.

Mrs Rawnsley's mother is on her death bed at 60. ________.

Oh, CB phoned at 3:00 o'clock. She and Mary are coming to see me at the Fox tomorrow. It was so good to hear her and it's marvellous to know she'll be at Naomi's 21st. I have been slightly worried about Naomi's party, what with His Reverence and the necessary cucumber sandwiches, but now I know that CB will be giggling loudly in some central position I can heave a sigh of contentment.

Watched TV tonight. Saw a documentary on the Ballet Rambert which was excellent. I'm fastly becoming a ballet fan, you know. I find the movement and athletic ability tremendous.

Pete, Sue, Chippy and Gus came in at eleven. I pity the poor Hotel S'Estanyol.


Wednesday January 25, 1978

Conversion of St. Paul.

No holiday news today because the magical Michelle is taking a day off. I spoke to Denise on the blower, a very brief conversation, because she was being stampeded under foot by milling, holiday-crazed Bradford folk.

I am battling along with 'Whose Body?' by Miss Sayers. I've glanced at Edward VI too.

Dad phoned John and Sheila because they are supposed to be heading for a new life in the Canaries tomorrow, but they've postponed their departure for a fortnight. Is he going to go at all? One certainly wonders. We have heard of great prospects before regarding Uncle John. He is however, a wonderful guy.


Tuesday January 24, 1978

A provisional booking has been made at the Hotel S'Estanyol, San Antonio, but on the far side of the bay. Michelle's done really well to find places for 7 of us when everything is so booked up. I phoned Dave G who likes the idea but is unhappy with the flight times (1:30am going out, and 7:30am returning). Martyn is a different kettle of fish though. _____________.He is also unhappy with the dates (July 7-July 21) and says he'd prefer to go at the end of July. __________.

Got a letter from Jacqui. The party is still set for Feb 4, and Peter Sate's party is on March 18. I replied, but only in brief. I was in no corresponding frame of mind today.

Lady Jane Wellesley and the Prince of Wales.
Interesting items: Lady Jane Wellesley has been at Sandringham with the Prince of Wales over the weekend and was ferried about with much secrecy by the Queen. Will HRH be spliced by his 30th birthday? Oh God. After all I've said about Lady Jane. Poor Davina Sheffield - I always thought she would make a lovely fixture on the palace balcony.

Other news: Margaret Thatcher's voice has altered radically in recent times. In her three years as Conservative party leader the pitch of Mrs T's voice has changed from that high-pitched school ma'am drawl to one of depth, humour and level headedness. Am I perhaps imagining this?

Bed at 12 with Lord Peter Wimsey.


Monday January 23, 1978

 Saw Dave safely off to Manchester this morning. He seems to get on tremendously with Sue and Peter.

Holiday fever. Spent the day in contact with Michelle at WH Smith's in Bradford. She managed to provisionally book 5 places at the Marco Polo in San Antonio for 12 nights from July 12. The five are self, Martyn, David, Peter and Susan. At home tonight Susan suggests that perhaps Chippy and Gus (Peter's buddies) are game too. I play hell because Michelle has spent all day working her heart out and now we're altering the plans. However, seven holidaymakers make a better team than 5.

Great events are taking place at the YP.  It is rumoured that Carol J is _____________________.
Things have to be clarified, but Marilyn's information service is usually reliable. Bloody Hell!

I phoned Martyn tonight. Told him the plans and he's in with us. My ring is beyond repair, unfortunately. You know the one I mean, it belonged to John Henry Rhodes, my great-grandfather, who was presented with it on his 21st birthday in June, 1887.

Bed to read after 11:00.


Sunday January 22, 1978

9th Sunday before Easter.

Up late. Breakfast was cheerful and witty. Dave is always in his element first thing. My dynamo never becomes fully charged until after sunset, which is a sad thing.

We all went to Marlene and Frank's for a party this afternoon. Auntie Mabel was on form playing Scrabble with Mark & Debbie. One of her words was "TIT". We all dissolved.

Lynn asked Debbie to be one of her bridesmaids. Lynn and Dave left early to go to Audrey Baker's, and Sue and Pete were almost asleep with boredom. I tend to enjoy these family functions and don't understand how so many youthful people give up on them and lay down and die.

Wharfedale Gate, Arthington.
By 7pm Sue & Pete could stand no more and they brought Dave and I back to Guiseley. The four of us (Sue, Pete, Dave and I) went to the Malt Shovel at Burley-in-Wharfedale and then on to the Wharfedale Gate where Dave and Pete showed Sue the rudiments of pool. Or was it billiards? I don't know the difference anyway. It made an excellent change from the norm. Sue is in her element surrounded by men. I am sure she could go on holiday to a foreign land with a coach party of Rugby League players and have no qualms.

On to a Chinese take-away where we made pigs of ourselves. Back at Pine Tops I entertained Dmitri, our feline friend from next door, and we said our goodbyes to David. A good weekend.


Saturday January 21, 1978

Sun rises 7:54 Sun sets 16:30

After Breakfast David and I went with Susan and Peter to Bradford. All Sue wanted was a pullover, or whatever women call woolly over garments these days. We didn't even have the chance to get a quick drink anywhere. We laughed at Sue and Pete who fight like cat and dog. Let me tell you, walking around the shops with £4 in your pocket is a traumatic experience. I can hardly wait to lay hands on at least £40 from my National Savings certificate due at the end of the week. I'm going to invest in a pair of 'cowboy' type boots. I've seen a pair in Leeds costing £28.

Sue & Peter.
Tonight. Sue, Pete, Dave and I went with Lynn and Dave to the Hare & Hounds. John & Maria came in too with George and Jane Waite and others. We left at 11 for something to eat and then on to the Elma at Shipley (just Dave G, Sue, Pete and me that is). I don't think I've been to the Elma for 4 years. Things would have been better if a bigger party had gone. Dave was a bit subdued. It wasn't his scene. Back home at 2. Had a glass of wine and retired.

I wonder when Peter Nason will  make a honest woman of my sister? At the travel agents this morning neither of them batted an eye lid when it was put forward that they have a double room on holiday. It wouldn't have occurred in my day. Ha Ha.


Friday January 20, 1978

Snow, ice and generally an anti-social climate. I am going to join (Uncle) John in Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

David G.
Dave G makes a state visit to Pine Tops once again. The summer holiday is the main topic of the weekend conference. Poor David is more bald than ever.

We went to the Fox and Hounds where Pete M, Chris and Steve Hudson were assembled. They brought the news that they are not joining us abroad this year. Peter Aristotle Niarchos Mather Onassis, Junior cannot afford to go!! Obviously, I believe him. Chris has plans to go on a walking holiday in South Wales and visit an elderly maiden aunt in Canada. He too must have lost a slate or suddenly developed an aged attitude. Steve was his normal, pleasant, quiet self. _______. Martyn, we are told, is still in the running. ______. Home at 11:30 to a wine tasting session. We go to Bradford tomorrow to sort out the holiday 'problem'.



Thursday January 19, 1978

Deep snow. Didn't get out of bed until after 11am. Was roped into bottling lager and Saki. We were joined by an ill-looking Edith. She asked me to look up 'blood pressure' for her in the medical dictionary. The poor girl suffers from this. I didn't read out the diagnosis. The technical terms would have scared the pants off her. Looking at her I cannot imagine her surviving much longer.

To Leeds at 4:00pm. A sore throat. I'm getting another bloody cold. YP uneventful. I managed to ring Dave G. He's coming tomorrow night for the weekend. Home at 12:15. The taxi fare came to £3.50. Blimey, am I worth it? Of course. To bed and read Dorothy L. Sayers until my eyelids closed on this funny old world.


Wednesday January 18, 1978

To Leeds Library. Got 'The Last Tudor King' by Hester W. Chapman; 'Whose Body?' by Dorothy L. Sayers (a Lord Peter Wimsey saga); The Scarlet Pimpernel Omnibus, by Baroness Orczy, and 'The Man Who Killed the King' by Dennis Wheatley. The pages from the four books torn out and laid end to end would stretch from here to Eritrea and back.

On the subject of Ethiopia, never shall I forgive them for smothering the aged Emperor with his own embossed Harrod's pillow. Retribution will be brought down on them who ended his Imperial Majesty's life.

Late Football Results:-

Ethiopia Athletic 0, Queen's Park Somalis 7
Jacques Chirac 8 Francois Mitterrand 0
Rene Lefebvre and Pierre Trudeau - Late Kick Off
Geoff  Boycott  v. Princess Margaret - postponed
Roy Hattersley 3 Airey Neave Wanderers 2
David Soul 16 Angie Dickinson 1
Shah of Persia All Stars 7 Rudolf Valentino's Knee 15


Tuesday January 17, 1978

I went out to work at my usual hour and woke up eight hours later on my own doorstep with my hair ruffled and my clothing in a state of disarray  carrying in one hand a bloody axe (dripping blood all over the pathway) and bearing in the other blood stained hand the head of Miss Kathleen Rainford, a former librarian.

I must have flipped my lid behind a filing cabinet, or something. The police were on the scene within minutes and Assistant Chief Constable Ron Buttock, CID (Crime) formally charged me with unlawfully removing a librarian's head during library hours.

My five minute appearance at Otley Magistrates Court was one of a historic nature. The Lord Chancellor (defending) wept openly as Donald Best, JP, presiding magistrate, found me guilty on eight counts of head removing in office hours. Bail was refused and although reporting restrictions were not lifted, Mrs Doris Watkins skirt was.



Monday January 16, 1978

No news from YTV. The swines have forgotten me, it seems. They'll regret this in years to come when I'm socking it to the universe. Perhaps I should try the BBC?

The YP is thoroughly boring today. Something on TV tonight about Myra Hindley. The revolting Earl of Longford is trying to get her paroled whilst Mrs West, mother of one of Hindley's victims, has collected 27,000 names on a petition to keep the bitch inside. I would willingly join a band of 'merry men' and go lynch Hindley is she were ever to step outside her plush, Holloway jail apartment. Surely, the rope was intended for fiends such as this?

To bed shortly after eleven. Sat reading. Dad says it's Uncle Bert's birthday tomorrow. Is he 50, or 51 perhaps? I think he was born in 1927.


Sunday January 15, 1978

2nd Sunday after Epiphany. Out of bed at 1:00pm to my rabbit luncheon. I feel really proud. Almost like a Stonehenge warrior must have felt on making his first kill for the table. Something very close to nature and instinctive about killing for ones nosh. It was fabulous too.

Townsend and Margaret.
This afternoon I continued my reading marathon and was just contemplating drifting off to sleep when Mum attracted my attention by suggesting we should go to see Auntie Mabel. We went at 7:00 o'clock. She's in fine fettle and ladens us with food and drink. We sat chatting until after 10.

Items in the news: A famous American politician has gone and died. His name escapes me for the minute. It's something like Lyndon Johnson or Horatio C. Wallace, III. Peter Townsend's first wife, Rosemary, went out  and married Lord Camden, a 80 year-old landowner. The horrid group captain is, at this very moment, spilling the beans on his affair with Princess Margaret. This is unforgivable of him and the desolate princess must be on the verge of ending it all. It is rumoured that Lord Snowdon will marry Mrs Lindsay-Hogg in the Spring.


Saturday January 14, 1978

Sun rises 08:01 Sun sets 16:19

Clementine: eye balls donated.
Out of bed at eleven not too worse for the amount of alcoholic beverage taken in last night. I found Dad inspecting the rabbit. He congratulated me on the kill. "A fine buck" is his professional verdict.

The morning papers reveal that the 'vandal' Lady Churchill donated her eye balls to medical science, and now some poor, unsuspecting soul is walking around with the eyes which saw more of Sir Winston than anybody else. I'm not sure I like this. It all rings of Baron Frankenstein. Very ghoulish. How long before famous singers pass on their voice boxes to carry on their musical talents after death? I always wanted to be a Beatle. Perhaps I could be first in the queue when Paul McCartney goes?

Shopping in Guiseley with Lynn. After a couple of hours we walked to the Station Hotel for a thirst quencher. Her wedding chatter is now at fever pitch. Blimey, it's only 34 weeks until the 'Big Day' so it's not exactly premature excitement.

Pete M phoned tonight but I explained how broke I am, and so that was that. A night at home, sitting like Jimmy Carter by my fireside. 'Starsky & Hutch' on the box too. Oh, how thoroughly delightful. Bloody Hell, no wonder the pubs are packed on Saturday nights. The only people to be found indoors on these long, wintry evenings are the crippled, bed-ridden and penniless. In case you're wondering, I fit into the last category. Sat and read the Scarlet Pimpernel. Watched Hedy Lamarr in a 1940 epic. Bed afterwards.


Friday January 13, 1978

Friday the Thirteenth. Can't remember whether today is supposed to be lucky or unlucky. One thing's for sure, it was the latter sort of day for Auntie Mabel. In Pudsey whilst out shopping this morning she bumped into her cousin Walter Basham (who is, or was, therefore, also my cousin). She remarked how ill he appeared and he replied: "Yes, Mabel, I don't feel too good" and without further ado he keeled over and died there and then in the street. Mabel is heartbroken. But that's the way to go though. Surely, better than lingering in some disinfected hospital ward for weeks on end?

Carrington's, Harrogate.
This evening Pete M came and we went to the Fox and Hounds. Joined there by Martyn and Chris. Tony was out with _______. From the Fox things went rapidly down hill. Peter wanted to go to Carrington's in Harrogate (where Lynne and I went a couple of times) and so this is where we had to go. A complete flop, so bad that at 12 we shot across the country to Oakwood Hall. I was startled to see how much the place has gone down since my last visit. It was really rough and I wouldn't have minded too much but for the fact that the three of us (Chris had gone home) were dressed up to the nines. Afterwards we dropped Martyn off at Ilkley and came back over the moors. The only profitable thing which took place all night occurred on Hawksworth Moor. Yes, a rabbit fell foul of Peter's van, and it's corpse was duly snatched up and carried off to Pine Tops in readiness for the Sunday dinner. Peter was shaken by the experience. He's not the killing type.


Thursday January 12, 1978

Horrible snow. To the YP with Jim and Jennie Rawnsley. I do believe that it is exactly one year to the day since the snow caused me to be three hours travelling home from Leeds. Let me say now that today was very much the same.

Churchill by Graham Sutherland.
The nation heard today that Clementine Churchill destroyed the portrait of Sir Winston by Graham Sutherland shortly after it was painted in 1954.  I find this infuriating and disgusting.  It's only twelve months since the old cow was moaning about having to part with her personal belongings in order to make ends meet. The picture (by Mr Sutherland) would have been worth something in excess of £50,000 today. Oh dear, so poor old Clem couldn't afford to pay the soddin' gas bill? Hard luck, that's what I say.

Tonight Jim and Margaret Nason came up and we drank Saki and such like until after 1am, or was it 2:00? Poor Margaret was blasted out of her mind. Sue and Pete joined us and we toasted their fourth 'anniversary' which falls tomorrow. I hope he intends making a honest woman of her. It would be nice to see my sister married this century at least.


Wednesday January 11, 1978

Snow, gales and blizzards today. Went to the YP feeling peculiarly industrious and worked without a lunch break until 4:30. Marita brought me to Rawdon which was a help. I ate like a horse on getting home and felt bloated and uncomfortable afterwards.

More 'gush' in the morning papers about Prince Andrew and his 'sweetheart'. Editors throughout the kingdom must have tired of the firemen's strike and the prime minister's visit to India because front page news for a royal prince is quite rare these days.

Ernest Bishop: assassinated.
Reading 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by that baroness. I really should have read this at 14 or 15 but in those days - Oh how far they seem off now - I was into the heavy volumes of reminiscences of lofty 18th century geezers and had no time for childish fiction.

A play starring Hugh Lloyd on BBC2 caught my attention. This was followed by Deborah Kerr in 'The Prisoner of Zenda', Oh and the assassination of Ernest Bishop on 'Coronation Street' shook the entire nation. The Queen has sent a personal message of sympathy to the surviving cast.

I intended having a bath but by midnight I was no nearer my watery end and I sat listening to the roar of a 70 mph gale on Hawksworth Lane. The late TV news featured our seasonal weather as the main item of information and Mama quivered from head to foot. My God! If we can't have a spot of nasty weather in January when can we? What do they down at the meteorological office expect? A bloody heatwave or something? A sandstorm or a drought? Weather, and talking about it, is the British disease.



Tuesday January 10, 1978

Snow today. The first of the year. By lunchtime in Leeds though it was quite free of abominable white flakes and a blustery wind blew instead.

Bumped into Sharon and Susan Kirk in town. They are the granddaughters of my grandmother's sister, Aunt Annie Kirk. Sharon I have always liked and she offers to give me a lift home from Leeds any time I may need one. She works for the Civil Service at Darley House. She mentioned the photos I took of Auntie Annie & Uncle John kissing last month.

This evening Martyn called in at 6:30 for an hour and took away the ring which Uncle Harry gave me. It needs repairing. The ring originally belonged to my great-grandfather, John Rhodes, who was given it on his 21st birthday, in June, 1887. Martyn's going to see what he can do to restore it to its former glory.

Hey, I have mentioned that Naomi's invited me to her 21st birthday party on January 28? Yes, she gave me the invitation on Friday. I really like Naomi more and more. You could put the two of us in a boat and dump us in the mid Atlantic and I'd be quite happy.

I have decided that, out of protest, I definitely now, or in future, won't read a book on King James II. The barbarous way he butchered the Duke of Monmouth and his supporters nauseates me. Had I been living in 1685 I'd have been out on Hawksworth Lane yelling for 'Good King Monmouth'. God Rest his Soul.

Prince Andrew is escorting a fellow inmate from his school (Gordonstoun) to Sandringham where the Royal Family have been holidaying. The girl is Kirsty Richmond, a 17 year-old, and the opinion of the Daily Mail is that HRH is taking after his big brother. 1978 is going to be the year in which Prince Andrew makes his debut in the Press as a whoring, wenching Casanova. As if we don't have enough of this with the Prince of Wales and Prince Michael. The poor boy will have this sort of intrusion every time he's seen within a hundred yards radius of a female - until the day he marries. Poor soul, and even after he marries the rumours and stories will go on.

Saw a Glenda Jackson film based on a book by H.E. Bates and retired at 1:00.

Monday January 9, 1978

New Moon 04.00

Windy, wet, but bright. No news of my future in the YTV world, but I didn't really expect any communication so early. Bored to death at the YP - they got on my nerves today, even Sarah. Mind you, Sarah and I regularly have our differences of opinion which don't come to much. After all the girl is a Scorpio and I am Aries, so what do you expect?

Lynn and Dave have bought (I think) a home at 7, Lawn Road, Burley in Wharfedale. It cost £8,200 or something in that region. Lynn is over the Moon about it, but she says it needs about £1,000 spending on it by way of repairs and general improvements. My little sister purchasing property! Won't things be quiet when September rolls up? Lynn makes one Hell of a racket at home and I fear the house will be like a cathedral without her. Lawn Road is a stone's throw from cousin Dorothy's ale house at the White Horse.

Dave G phoned. They may be over on Saturday from Stockport, but I shudder at the very thought because I have no money. It may mean me attacking the funds in the Lynn and David honeymoon kitty in order to make ends meet. Oh God, where am I going to get the money for a deposit for the holiday? Sod it.



Sunday January 8, 1978

1st Sunday after Epiphany. When we arrived home last night Mum and I squabbled about something but this morning all was forgotten in the haze. She can be very irate at times. I'd barely finished breakfast when Ernest came round to use the telephone. This simple, quite small action by our venerable old neighbour sparked off something quite Bacchanalian. Yes, nothing less than an orgy to make the orgies of the Emperor Caligula look like one of Andy Pandy's tea parties. I was ordered to go collect Edith after half an hour and Mum, Dad, Ernest, Edith and I began drinking lager and playing records in the dining room. It endured until 5:30. It was dark when we eventually emerged.  Sue, who had closed herself off in the lounge to concentrate on her knitting, was on the verge of collapse from the noise of the merry making. The funniest part of the day was Ernest attempting to do a Greek dance which involved waving a handkerchief in the air. Edith insisted on flashing her pale, thin thighs and suspender belt. We howled in hysterics for ages afterwards. The four of them have decided to go off for a weekend to some poor, unsuspecting seaside town in about a month's time. It may well be Whitby.

At 6:00 Pete went to Harry Ramsden's and we devoured fish and chips heartily. The dear Blackwells departed afterwards, bless them, and I collapsed in a chair. This riotous living is no good.

Watched a Walter Matthau film on the BBC and retired to bed before 12 with James, Duke of Monmouth. Looking at the large pile of books by my bed I don't envisage getting through them all. James II may have to be dumped, I fear.


Saturday January 7, 1978

Sun rises 08.05 Sun sets 16.09.

David (Lawson) and I out on the town again. At 9:30pm we joined Sue, Peter and the Nason family at the Menston Arms. We felt slightly uneasy about it because we don't really know the bunch but we soon joined in. It made David's night when the prawn man arrived (we laughingly referred to him as 'the mussel man'). We enjoyed it so much that I think that in future when coming home Dave will make the Menston Arms his local. We even played Dominoes. A 40 year-old female 'Punk Rocker' sat next to me and I was fascinated by the spectacle of all that flab and masses of safety pins, &c.

Peter's Uncle Bob (or Mr Sanderson to us) was roaring drunk and shouting all night long. David was amused. He likes Mrs Nason. With the winnings from the Dominoes we drank Pernod, rum, brandy, as well as the usual ales. By 11 we were quite pissed. Back to 58, Fieldhead Road, for the party. David left after devouring a large pork pie. He spent some time teasing 'Joey' Mrs Nason's budgie. According to Mum we over-stayed our welcome and I was intoxicated. I sat with an old boy discussing grouse shooting and smoking his cigs. He was interested in the Duchess of Devonshire's connections with Bolton Abbey. Once again, some of the ugliest women in Aireborough and indeed the whole of West Yorkshire were present. Like rhinoceros they were. ________.


Friday January 6, 1978

Epiphany. Delivered my application form back to YTV and all I can do now is wait and hope. The girls were ever so curious when I left the office at noon and headed in the direction of the TV headquarters. They suspect I'm having a clandestine meeting with someone. Good, I'll keep them guessing.

Toy Womble...
Tonight David L phoned and we decided to go out to the Fox & Hounds. It was just like old times with just the two of us having a drink and a chat. I am always so happy and at ease when David is around. He is a real true friend. Chris, Pete M, Steve Hudson, Martyn and Tony came in later on followed by Laura Pattison (nee Butchart) and husband, Dave. Chatted to Tony. _______. At 11 they all shot off to Oakwood Hall and Dave and I paid a visit to John and Maria's. They were entertaining George and Jane, but they left on our arrival. David can be delightfully malicious on occasions. He told Maria that he hoped she wouldn't be jealous that was intending to go to Lynn & Dave's wedding when he hadn't bothered to turn up at her and John's! Laughed and tittered, we did. Maria gave David a massive quantity of vodka and me some revolting coffee wine which came from Dad. We stayed until after 1:00am and David played happily with JPH's toy 'Womble'.


Thursday January 5, 1978

_.Received an application form from YTV. Filled in the details tonight including a list of my exam results, and a pathetic sight they are indeed.

At lunchtime I went to the library. Got books on James, Duke of Monmouth by Bryan Bevan; King James II by Jock Haswell; 'Whose Body?' by Dorothy L. Sayers and 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by Baroness Orczy. Tonight I read a good deal of the Monmouth book. He is of course an ancestor of the Dukes of Buccleuch and of Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott, mother of the Duke of Gloucester, and an aunt of the Queen. Don't quite understand why Charles II elevated his bastard son to such rank. Did the King have the idea of making the duke his heir but at some stage changed his mind? The King's Roman Catholic sympathies naturally endeared him to his brother and rightful heir, the Duke of York. It is quite a few years since I looked at the Stuart period. My sympathies are very much with the two Charleses, but James II leaves me quite cold. Neither am I fond of the dour William III or the fat, white Queen Anne.

Saw 'Top of the Pops' and had a glass of cider with Mum and Dad. It was incredibly strong and almost blew my head off.

Retired to bed with the Monmouth book relatively early.


Wednesday January 4, 1978

_.The Christmas tree came down tonight and the festival of Yuletide is well and truly done for another year.

Marita: premonition.
Marita gave me a lift to Rawdon from Wellington Street and she told me that her grandfather had died on Dec 27, and that she had a premonition of the event whilst at David's on Boxing Day. How can such a phenomena be explained? When the nursing home phoned on the morning after the party she knew before answering the call just what the news would be. Weird really.

_______. You'll be pleased to know my scars have just about healed over. My nose is slightly marked at the bridge but elsewhere is mended. Dom Melville's final interview with my assailant was a travesty of justice. In fact he took the side of the lad who assaulted me, saying he (Kirk) 'is a nice, quiet lad.'



Tuesday January 3, 1978

_.Circumcision (transference) Bank Holiday (Scotland)
Today is Circumcision Day. Not for me though.
Jacqui knocked on my bedroom door at about 6:45am and I lay shuddering listening to the racket being made outside. Thunder, hail, snow and gales - all on Hawksworth Lane. We ate and drank nothing and went out to face the elements. I saw her safely to the London coach and she left just after 8:30.

I had a change of attitude towards work today and put it down to the fact that I have every intention of leaving. Even now, the personnel manager at YTV may be wording a begging letter to the compiler of these simple diaries. Who knows?

Jack Jones: Blenheim Palace?
Spent the day sorting out the New Year's Honours List. Just five revolting peerages, numerous BEMs to hundreds of thousands of canteen ladies throughout the vast Commonwealth. Jack Jones, the left-wing, militant, communist trade union leader becomes Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, a Field Marshal and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of India. I'm surprised they haven't given Jones Blenheim Palace as a reward for his services to the nation.

I attempted to buy a volume for my 1978 journal today but failed miserably. I couldn't find one to match this anywhere. Do I foresee the end of this partnership? Just look at what we've been through together since January, 1973. Five, hard industrious years. Oh yes we have laughed a lot, but we have wept together too. No, I cannot allow it to end like this. On pay day (January 5) I'll buy a diary whether it resembles this WH Smith's one or not.

Retired to bed at 12:30am with nothing to read. Tomorrow I will go to the library. Perhaps a bit of Dumas again. Aaarrghh.


Monday January 2, 1978

_.Bank Holiday in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Mum & Dad's birthday. They come round so quick these days. We bought them more Royal Albert (china). Yes, a coffee pot this time. Mum intends having a special cabinet erected in some prominent position in which to display her china collection. A dinner service is next on the list.

Birch Tree at Wilsill.
A warm, almost Spring-like day. With gusto we all went (Mum, Dad, Jacqui, me, Lynn, Dave, Sue, Pete and Chris Baker) to the Birch Tree Inn at Wilsill for a nosh and a slight booze. Mr & Mrs Baker were supposed to join us but Dave accidentally sent them off on a wild goose chase around North Yorkshire. Those of us who did manage to find the place did have a good time.

Tonight Jacqui and I went out with Sue and Peter to the Commercial. To be honest I'm bored to death of booze, but one must keep up appearances. From the pub we went on a tour of picturesque Yorkshire Chinese take-aways, where we bought curry, chips, &c. The greed was on a phenomenal scale.