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Wednesday March 29, 1978

Out with Christine to the Fox and then the Hare. We had the usual laughs. I'm tired of these mausoleums. Me and CB are forever trying to recapture the past at the Hare & Hounds with little or no success. Alas, we are all growing older.
CB: undaunted.

We discussed my birthday and decide that my idea about a coach party would never get off the ground. People, and especially our friends and associates, have funny ideas about transport these days and for them the thought of piling onto a smelly bus with twenty or thirty others has lost its magic and glitter. Anyway, who would want to bother? (How miserable is all this?)

At the Hare we managed to get a game of darts but Christine stabbed my finger and pinned me to the board. Dissolved in fits of laughter. I was penniless too, but CB was undaunted by my financial embarrassment and doesn't let it worry her in the least.  When and where is she going to find the multi-billionaire with a villa on the Italian Riviera? She's not going to discover great wealth whilst drinking every night with me ~ that is unless I heed the advice of the Rev. A.B. Downing.


Tuesday March 28, 1978

Annunciation (transference)

Phoned Jacqui today. She isn't coming up now until next Monday. This is better I suppose because now it won't clash with Dave's weekend of sin and debauchery. She had a good Easter. Last night Chris attempted to draw information of Jacqui's move northward from me. He didn't get much. He said he could foresee 'Ding Dong Merrily on High' for us in the near future. Whether this refers to a marriage or a premature Christmas I'm unsure. ________________________. I do think a lot of our Jacq and regard her as a leading contender for my hand. But you know what I'm like. I'll probably be 80 before anyone traps me.

Winding my way home this evening I encountered the recumbent form of the Rev. Downing. He was bent tearing up dandelion leaves on Hawksworth Lane. He held me in conversation for ages on the subject of my writing. The dear old man described my 'epistle' to Naomi  accepting the invitation to her 21st birthday party as a 'brilliant piece of work'. I cowered in my modesty as he went on to say I should take up writing on a permanent basis. He asked me, midst the dandelions, why I am not a journalist. I told him it didn't appeal to me. Crikey, Bernard Shaw and Noel Coward were not NUJ members and I don't think it held them back. I said I'd like to be an author and was surprised that he didn't laugh hysterically ~ he just nodded thoughtfully and said what a good idea it was. This makes me think seriously about my 'talent' when ageing theologians and academics express delight at my shoddy, cheap, vulgar 'epistles'. I can appreciate my own friends being amused, because nobody writes these days.


Monday March 27, 1978

Easter Monday

Bank Holiday (UK, except Scotland)

I fear that I'm the only person in the Kingdom going out to work today. The roads were barren and void of all life. The occasional raincoat-clad old age pensioner kept appearing on the horizon, but that was about all.

Just Sarah and I in the office. Completely dead. We had one phone call between 8:30 and 2pm, when I left.

I left Sarah reading the opera score of 'The Rape of Lucretia' by Britten. She's really into music since Mr MacMurray entered her world.

I walked in the sunshine to Kirkstall and then got a bus home. Spent the remainder of the afternoon sticking photos in Mama's album and then dined at 5 with Sue, Pete, Mum & Dad.

Christopher phoned at 6:15 to see if I fancied going out. I agreed.  He came up at 8 after dining with Denise at the Flying Pizza in Burley. We stayed for an hour or so in the Fox discussing the adventures of recent times. His 'affair' with Michelle is a weird one. I can't see why they bother. He says Pete M is moving to Otley in June but the Mather's are retaining Ty-Onnen (Bramhope) for holiday purposes. I'm glad because poor Vera (Mather) despises Thornton-le-Dale. I like Chris, but I'm always mindful of what my old grandma used to say: "never trust men with specs who live in Horsforth and work in banks". We went down to join Sue, Pete, Gus, Johnny and Chippy at the Shoulder of Mutton.



Sunday March 26, 1978

Easter Day

Dave and Lynn at Lawn Road.
Spent the day with Sue, Pete, Lynn and Dave at Lawn Road tearing ancient wallpaper from ancient walls. Lynn was in her seventh heaven. After all, it's now all her very own filthy old wallpaper. Back home for 3 or 4 to be joined by John, Maria and their wonderful offspring. I saw JPH walk for the first time. His face showed so much pride as he paced over the lounge. Marvellous. I'd like ten just like him. A good lunch. Afterwards I heaped myself in front of the TV. 'Love Story' with Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal (again). A real weepy. I didn't get a Easter Egg to-day.


Saturday March 25, 1978

Sun rises 06:53 Sun sets 19:22

Last Day of Lent

I cannot really capture the humour and hilarity of situations. The previous page, for instance, is just a list of events conveying none of the fantastic jokes. I do try at least.

Chippy attempted to annoy me last night (and I mean ALL night) by saying outrageous things like 'the Queen has three tits'. Gus did nothing but sing abusive home made verses all night and only Johnny slept for any of the time.

AT 6:00am I was awakened by an unfamiliar flapping noise to discover the tent in pieces around our sleeping forms. Johnny noticed this too and we ran about the field clad only in underpants and boots reassembling the devastated tent. Wet and bedraggled we returned to our damp sleeping bags for a few hours. Yes, the weather is somewhat different to yesterday's heatwave.

By 9 the sun was shining and Sue was taking photographs of scantily clad males when she should have been frying bacon and things. Chippy made a nauseating breakfast and then we just waited until the Fountain opened it's doors. All afternoon in the pub wasn't just a boozing exercise ~ it was shelter from the hail, snow ~ yes SNOW that had decided to pelt us after lunch. A gloomy mob ~ including a couple of new arrivals ~ sat deciding the fate of the expedition. Sadly, we chose to return to civilisation, and we did so with great haste at about 3:30. Although we had only one night it was well worth it. I think I have got to know this year's holiday companions much better, and as soon as the travel agents open on Tuesday I'm going to cancel.

Susan is incredible. I must be infatuated with my little sis. Her personality is so pleasantly extrovert and mature and I get the feeling I have underestimated her for years. She can certainly take care of herself in the company of crude, offencive youths and come out on top. She's a natural leader of men. I can see her as a successor to Margaret Thatcher with no trouble at all.

We are home for 5. Dave L phones to say I have to join him ten pin bowling and go afterwards with him, and Christine, to Oakwood Hall and Carol Smith's engagement party. I said no, but Christine rang minutes later and she told me I have no choice in the matter. To the bowling therefore with my arm up my back. Christine looked ravishing. Never have I seen her look so desirable. I could have devoured her on the spot. I fact she put me off my bowling skills.

To Oakwood Hall at 8:30 and we did nothing but laugh hysterically all night. In fact it became quite ridiculous. David, Christine and I are the only energetic people left. For hours we watched ~ open mouthed ~ whilst John, Maria, and others sat around discussing the finer points of plastic buckets and Vymura wallpaper. Is this what marriage is all about? David is a great guy. Tony and Martyn came in.

Much booze and much dancing and many laughs later we came home. It was only midnight, but on Easter Saturday discotheques close early for some pathetic reason. No doubt the Pope objects to us, the three nut cases, going out on the town. Oh, how we enjoyed tonight.



Friday March 24, 1978

Full Moon 17:20 Good Friday Bank Holiday (Scotland)

Sorry about the murky ink. It's the alcohol level in my fingers that's created a chemical reaction on contact with the pen.

The morning was actually sunny and warm ~ ideal in fact for dashing out and hurtling oneself under canvas for a few days, hey?

Mum and Dad went down to Burley in Wharfedale armed with champagne to see Lynn and Dave who started work on their new house at Lawn Road this morning. I was left to my own devices until Sue and Pete collected me at 12:30. The boozing started at the Station Hotel where we were joined by Chippy (Gerald Ash), Gus (Adrian Ramsden) and Johnny (Brian Johnson). From here at 2pm we departed for Hawes. (Oh yes, I phoned Christine to see if she fancied coming to Hawes tomorrow with Dave L, saying we'll be at the Fountain pub).

The afternoon was sunny and cold and we spent most of the time erecting the damnable tent. The whole spectacle took on the form of a circus act and much screaming and clowning was indulged in. I especially like Brian, or Johnny as he is known, who is at Trinity and All Saints College training to teach maths. He is an old flame of Lynn's  ~ when they were in their early teens. Once the tent was up we made a revolting evening meal and then found solace in the Fountain. Much ale merriment and debauchery took place. In fact, we sounded like French Revolution peasants after four or five rounds. I really admire Susan for her fortitude and capability to 'muck in'  with a crowd of young men. Not many young ladies could do this. Lynn for one, is not the type to go off in a tent with five young men for Easter.


Thursday March 23, 1978

Maundy Thursday.

Mama and Papa had a Maundy Thursday wine party for the Nasons and Edith & Ernest. I was subdued for some reason. Mama pointed this out to me. I cannot be forever hurtling around like a circus act but today I do feel uncommunicative, quick tempered and morose. Sorry. The wine flowed nicely but I stuck to ale for a change. I did not want a crashing hangover for tomorrow's expedition up the Wharfedale valley. David L phoned to see what I was up to and he said he was going to call in tomorrow with a rabbit for Mama as an Easter gift. An Easter Bunny as it were. He was very cheerful & it was great to hear him.

Princess Margaret: 'parasite'.
I heard from Christine today and she was sad at the thought of my absence over the festive season. I told her I would phone tomorrow with my holiday itinerary. If it hails and pisses down tomorrow one place where I will not be closeted over Easter is in a tent, waterproof or otherwise.

Mr Prefab Mobile-Home, MP, today referred to Princess Margaret as a 'parasite' in the House of Commons. The acting Speaker asked him to withdraw the insult and the offensive communist swine did so. These terrible men really should be suspended from sittings following disgraceful episodes of this kind. The poor princess cannot even answer her critics and must go on, undaunted, with her public duties with the brilliance and expertise for which she is renowned throughout the entire civilized world.


Wednesday March 22, 1978

I am sick and tired of the media's cruel, extremely rude and misinformed treatment of Princess Margaret. Two years ago it started in the 'Sunday People' and now the drivel is being expounded by the BBC. Tonight was no exception. I sat and seethed in my chair. Her private affairs are being debated in the Commons tomorrow at the instigation of that lefty, Commie bastard with the silly name like a mobile home or 'prefab', Mr Canavan. It is a pity that in times of ruination and national collapse we have taken to trying to destroy just about the only positive product left ~ the monarchy. However, they've been insulted before and have lived to tell the tale with the exception of King Charles I. So I'll just keep my fingers crossed.

To come back down to earth: it was pay day because of Easter looming up. Isn't it funny that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ should determine on which day I collect my £30?

A letter from David L reminding me of his return home at the weekend. Oh, no. I'm off camping and so I won't see the lad until next week sometime. I shall have to phone him and make amends.I feel terrible about the way I shunned poor David for most of last year _________________.



Tuesday March 21, 1978

Royal Hotel, Bowness
Mama and Papa returned from the Cumbrian hills. They stayed at Bowness last night at the Royal Hotel, where Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV, once frequented. They are chucking money around like water these days. I am sure it's all for the best. Why stay enclosed in the same miserable four walls when the whole wide world is beckoning? Go on, Ma and Pa ~ go out and let them have it. (If all this is getting just a little too much for you just flick over a couple of pages until I'm back to normal again). Well, what do I have to say for myself today other than discuss the adventures of Mama and Papa? To be frank, nothing at all. I could say that it is the Tuesday before Easter and that I was born on the Tuesday before Easter 23 years ago. Here I am in my 24th year and I'm still a novice at everything with no money and even less ambition. I'm no further now in securing a place in society as I was ten bloody years ago. However, that is me. You've got me and I am afraid that you are all, each and every one of you,  going to have to make the best of me.


Monday March 20, 1978

Work was busy. Sarah should have been back from her revolting week with the equally revolting Welsh but poor Delia broke her arm yesterday, falling over the telephone, and is, by all accounts, in a terrible state. Sarah will be tied up now playing Dr Kildare for weeks on end.

Peter James Nason is twenty today. Sue and I had tea quite alone and then Peter came and carried her off for a drink somewhere. Lynn got in later and we watched a comedy film on the BBC which gave us a good laugh. In one scene Leslie Phillips was in the bath with a steaming hot pressure cooker trying to get at the contents.

We had a few glasses of wine to celebrate Peter's birthday, and when they came back at 11 the three of us (Lynn having retired to her boudoir) cooked a meal and noshed away like pigs. Really enjoyable. They say that a camping jaunt is organised for Hawes at the weekend and I am invited with some gusto. No doubt to 'chaperone' my little sister who will otherwise be the sole girl in a tent on some windswept heath with fifteen drunken males. I agreed to join the party.

The thought of the Fox and Hounds with all those happy, smiling faces featured greatly in my decision making. Anyway, I'll have no money to speak of and the delights of darling Christine cannot be obtained free of charge. Do not, dear reader, assume that I am paying the above mentioned dear lady for carnal delights. I'm just pointing out that vodka does not grow on trees.



Sunday March 19, 1978

6th in Lent
Palm Sunday
Summer Time: advance clocks one hour at 0:2.00

A revolting Palm Sunday if ever there was one. Quite seriously hung over, as you all expect me to be on these occasions. Crawled about the flat like a paraplegic toad. Jacq wasn't as bad, but then Trixie arrived with masses of cardboard and looking very delicate. A couple of black coffees later and she roared away in her X19 in the direction of Windsor. (The cardboard boxes are for some of Jacq's personal effects which are to be transported to Leeds in a matter of weeks).

Jan and Dave.
Dave and Jan emerged from bed at some point in the afternoon and the four of us toasted ourselves in Southern Comfort. It looks as if I'll never see Jan again. She's a funny girl and can be awfully moody. Jacq puts it down to the Australian climate. Dave, who is from Newcastle, is a decent sort. After the beverage we larked about on the balcony with our cameras. Jacq took one of my hanging from the kitchen window with a pair of rubber gloves trailing limply from my fingers.

At 4:30 Jacq and I left for Victoria. Pouring with rain. Fond farewells were spoken and I mounted the bus with a pile of her LPs to store at Pine Tops until her arrival.  The coach windows steamed up within minutes and as the coach left all I could make out was a tiny blurred mass waving around in the London gloom. Slept all the way to Leeds and got in for 10:30.

Mama and Papa having patched up their differences have gone to Cumbria for a few days.


Saturday March 18, 1978

Sun rises 06:09 sun sets 18:10

Straight up and down to the Victoria Stakes pub to meet Pete and Nick. The four of us have a giggle but while I am relieving myself in the gents Pete expressed to Jacq his feeling that I will not stand the rigorous pace set for this ~ his party day. On my return from the damp chasm I vowed before man and God that no man shall say I failed by the time the cock crows thrice on the morrow. Laughter reigned.

At 2:30 we went to see Arsenal v. Bristol City. The Arsenal won 4-1, but nothing at all happened in the second half. I enjoyed it though. I haven't been to match of any consequence since I went to see Leeds v. Manchester Utd at Elland Rd in 1973.

I left Jacq at the flat at 6 and joined Pete and an Irish guy ~ no he was Welsh ~ and his store detective girlfriend in the Minstrel Boy. Things took a natural course. We ventured to Barnet and then a party at the Thatched Barn wherever that is. I met Derek Sate and his wife Carol, and Trixie (my favourite). All hopelessly intoxicated. Back to Trixie's between 3 and 4am but what took place is all purely conjecture. We moved the clocks on one hour (Oh, God!) and drank whisky. Peter gave me a wink of approval as we left. Indeed, I had stood the pace. Pete's friend Nick was unconscious.