Google+ Badge

20130628

Sunday July 9, 1978

7th Sunday after Trinity

At about 10am we decided it was much too hot to lay around on a beach all day and somebody suggested that we might hire push bikes and go for a tour of the island. We rolled up at the bike place and were fitted up with machines (except Dave) and we shot off in the direction of Port d'es Torrent.

Tonight a wonderful thing happened. In the El Capone bar we bumped into Pam, from Nottingham, who worked with Rick in the 1976 season. We leapt around screaming and laughing and made our ritual trip to Es Paradis. She took an immediate fancy to Chippy, whom she insisted on calling 'Gerald' or 'Gerry'. They wandered off together leaving Gus and I leaping around like fools on the dance floor. Oh it was great.

-=-

Saturday July 8, 1978

Sun rises 04:53 Sun sets 21:18

Ode to Ibiza

Ibiza, you are an island covered in sand,
I visit you every year,
You aren't very big,
and neither are you grand,
but to me you are very dear

I've often walked along the beach,
and gazed upon your women,
to them there's a few things I could teach,
like ridin', fishin' and swimmin'

Oh, that's enough

M.L.R.

Friday July 7, 1978

The flight was without incident other than Peter's blunder with the seat numbers which had us trailing up and down the aircraft aimlessly looking for seats 9A, B, C & D. Sue slept for part of the journey, & I don't think she enjoyed it. The little pet looked worried.

The time of our arrival escapes me but by 5:30 or 6am we were at the Hotel S'Estanyol waiting in the foyer to be allocated our rooms. Chippy and Gus walked out of the front door and onto the beach to indulge in a spot of nude bathing.

-=-

Thursday July 6, 1978

Last day at the YP for a fortnight.

At home I said goodbye to Mum and Dad and Lynn. They'd been to say farewell to Edith and Ernest, who leave for Paignton next week. No doubt we'll see them in September.

At 6:30 this evening went with Sue and Pete to the Shoulder of Mutton where we met Chippy & Gus for a few drinks before leaving for Stockport.

We went to Stockport at about 8 and stayed at the Hollywood for the evening. Bill and Garry made an appearance and once again my hair style was the focal point of the conversation.

I do not intend writing page after page for the two weeks I am away. Traditionally I write from notes as my journal hasn't travelled with me since 1976 when I'm sure _____________.

When the pub closed we hung around for about half an hour and then piled into taxis to Manchester Airport. Checked in at midnight. The sexy, blond air hostess informed us that the flight would be leaving slightly EARLY.

-=-

20130627

Wednesday July 5, 1978

New Moon 10:50

Packed the suit cases and generally prepared for the exodus. Last night Christine said my perm made me look affluent, or was it effluent?



Ode to my Perm

Once you were straight and hanging down,
But you don't any more,
In fact you're all curly now.
Blimey, Mum says I look like Kevin Keegan,
but Dad thinks I'm a puff.

Ode to Kevin Keegan

Once you were straight and hanging down,
But you aren't any more,
In fact you're all curly now,
Blimey, my Mum says you look like me,
But Dad prefers Plymouth Argyle.

Fin.

-=-

Tuesday July 4, 1978

Out tonight with Christine at about 8:45. John came at about 8 in a new car, the type of which seems to have slipped my memory. It's big and green anyway.

He's selling the MG for £450 which is ridiculous. I wouldn't give him more than a couple of hundred for it. Christine had a giggle with him before our departure to the Fox & Hounds.

Jimmy Mac was in with bloody ____________. She considers herself to be such a superior young lady. _______________.

From the Fox & Hounds we did the usual ritual of the Hare & Hounds, the White Cross and finally the Crown at Yeadon. Philip was in the Drop and was sceptical about CB's Jersey project. He doesn't believe she'll do it, and even if she does go he says he has no intention of stopping her. She borrowed £1 from him to get some drink in.

We came back home quite pissed at 11:30 and had a few more drinks. She took a House of Holroyd shirt as a gift from me and left at about 12:30.

CB bought me a big pencil from her Jersey holiday and a badge with 'Jersey Tom' on it. To went off to bed quite canned.

-=-

Monday July 3, 1978

The same applies to Monday July 3. It was quite an ordinary day. I ventured to the YP and did my usual thing for the national output and received one or two phone calls. One was most definitely from Christine. We arranged to go out tomorrow, probably to the Drop. She wants to inform Philip of her intended flight to the Channel Islands. Another phone call came from an excited Dave G.

Ode to Princess Michael of Kent

Marie-Christine is your name,
I've seen you on the telly,
If I were the Prince I'd take my head
and lay it across your belly,

Roman Catholics can't get divorced,
This is a crying shame.

The Pope should mind his own business,
and his Archbishops should do the same.

-=-

Sunday July 2, 1978

6th Sunday after Trinity

Ah well, you can't win 'em all. To be perfectly honest with you it isn't July 2nd at all. It is some considerable time later and here I am sunning myself in the garden with this diary reclining on my ancient, much sought after knees.

The sun is beating down. You should be able to work out the date from the last statement. The sun only shone on three occasions in the summer of the year of Grace 1978.

Cathleen Nesbitt has just been on the radio talking about Rupert Brooke. Phone the BBC and inquire as to when the broadcast was made and you've cracked it.

However, to get back to July 2. It was Sunday and I did not venture far. I do recall going to Lawn Road with my services and definitely recall devouring a Sunday lunch which wasn't at lunchtime at all so I suppose you'd call it dinner.

Saturday July 1, 1978

Sun rises 04:47 Sun sets 21:21 Dominion Day (Canada)

Jacq and I woke up on Grant's settee surrounded by wine glasses and clothing. A guy was asleep in the hallway and another poor sod was stood in the bathroom unable to decide whether or not to vomit. Jacq collected her handbag and shoes from Grant's bedroom and I heard further squeals of laughter. About 18 people were in one bed.

Out we went into the rain at 9:30. Silly sods were queueing across the road to see the Test match. The Pakistanis are, I think, the offending, marauding team.

My hair was something of a shock first thing, but I'm going to have to live with it.

We caught a bus back into Leeds and made our way to Wellington Street where we made our fond farewells. The two of us are to be parted for three weeks. We have seen each other daily since the beginning of April. After a quick kiss in the rain I departed on a West Yorkshire bus in a homeward direction. At 12:30 she leaves for London, and by nightfall she will be terrorising the Italians. She and Joy will make the Red Brigade look like the Muppet Show.

I was home for 11 and after a miserable breakfast and change of clothing I went off to Burley to lend my shaky, alcohol-filled hand to Dave & Lynn. It was purgatory I can tell you. Scraping old paint off doors for five hours is not the best way to pass a Saturday afternoon. Audrey Baker came in at about 2 with fish & chips.

Back home for tea at 5:20. John, Maria and JPH came to see Mum and Dad. They are going to look at a house on Victoria Road (Guiseley). JPH sat on my knee and showed me a picture book. According to him mice are cows and umbrellas are flowers. He's a delight. I would love six or seven offspring just like him ~ God willing.

-=-

Friday June 30, 1978

A very historic day indeed ~two fold. Prince Michael of Kent and Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz married in a civil ceremony in Vienna. The Queen despatched Princess Anne and Earl Mountbatten of Burma to give the whole thing the feeling of approval. The new Princess Michael of Kent is very beautiful and looks far more 'royal' than poor Mrs Mark Phillips ever could.

The second historic happening took place on my head. After a nervous and nasty morning at the YP I went to Images salon in Yeadon at 1pm where I was permed, curled, frizzled ~ call it what you will. This operation lasted until after 3 and I emerged looking decidedly woolly and feeling very self-conscious.

At home opinion was varied. Typically Dad came right out with it and said I looked "queer". Mum thought it was, er "modern". Sue liked it, of course. John called in but couldn't speak for laughing.

Tonight: met Jacq at 8 on Wellington Street and then went by bus to the Original Oak at Headingley. She thinks the hair is marvellous and keeps patting me on the head over and over again. We were joined by Sarah and John Mac at 9. Their opinion is that I look like a professional footballer and Sarah too gets the urge to pat me ceaselessly about the top.

At 10:30 it was on to Grant McKee's party. I took a bottle of elderberry wine which was a knock-out although the turn-out was poor. Jacq and I became horribly drunk and at about 3am the pair of us were puking in a privet hedge in McKee's garden. ________. Paul Vallely gave us a review copy of their 'Nasty Media' record. Grant invited us to stay the night and I have every reason to believe we did.

-=-

Thursday June 29, 1978

St Peter

Pay day. Met Jacq at her place at lunchtime and we managed to walk round town without resorting to having a drink. She went to Barclays and drew out more cash and I took a film to be developed at Gratispool's and ordered my £90 holiday money from the bank in Park Square.

Back at the office I altered my wall chart showing the order of succession to the throne. Prince Michael is wiped from the list from tomorrow and Princess Alexandra moves up from the 17 position to number 16. ______.

Tonight: The Nasons and Blackwells made their weekly visit to Pine Tops. We had a subdued evening watching television and Ern especially was a misery. This house buying and associated upheaval at his advanced age (he's 71) is a mistake. It's a wicked thing to say but I'm sure one of them will not live a year to reap the enjoyment ~ if any ~ of living in ghastly Devon. Cream teas and all that.

-=-

Wednesday June 28, 1978

On the subject of our royal monarchs of the past I'm sure you'll be intrigued to learn that had he been alive today, King Henry VIII would have been celebrating his 487th birthday. It's probably just as well he died when he did because the distribution of the royal Maundy money would have proved chaotic.

Ode to King Henry VIII

A fat man you were,
by all accounts,
Or so I was told at school,
Six Queen's in all you managed to use,
but which one was Lady Jane Grey?

To be serious, I'd just like to say that these odes are becoming far too frequent and in future I promise to limit them to exceptionally rare and wonderful occasions. Blimey, I don't want you thinking I'm compiling poems just to fill up the blank spaces in my diary. That would never do.

Ode to you

Thanks for ready me,
Thanks a lot,
Thanks for reading me,
I'm glad I'm not.

-=-

20130626

Tuesday June 27, 1978

Moon's last quarter 12:44

I have been looking at my ancient diaries to see what I have done on June 27 in previous years and it has left me quite sad and reflective. One thing's for sure ~ June 27, 1978 isn't going to say anything outstanding.

This day in 1830 was a different matter altogether. On June 27, 1830 King William IV was proclaimed throughout the land and the bells pealed, as did the potatoes, carrots, and mangold wurzels. Poor William IV was probably an idiot. He was unpopular, and his only claim to fame is that he sired scores of children to an actress, Dorothea Jordan ~ and they all took the surname FitzClarence (William had been Duke of Clarence). His wife, Queen Adelaide, produced 2 sickly daughters who died in infancy. William's demise in 1837 after a thoroughly unstable and feeble reign saw the accession of Victoria the Great ~ his niece.





Ode to William the Fourth

Poor William,
You were stupid,
I've often been told so at least,
I think you were best in the navy,
You're the King I remember the least.

Bum!Bum!

-=-

Monday June 26, 1978

Christine phoned and we arranged to go out on Thursday evening. She has definitely set her heart on clearing off to Jersey next year to work in a bar. God knows how life will be without her bringing devastation and chaos to it. I must write to her soon because our correspondence is of vital historical importance. Since 1973 she's sent me over 70 witty, wonderful letters all of which I have stored away. One day we'll be bandied about in English Literature classes and on 'O' Level syllabuses with the likes of John Donne and E.M. Forster.

An Ode to Christine

You have for five years been a source of great joy,
You bring warmth to my heart which none can destroy.

Your virtues are many,
Your faults are quite rare,
But I'd never tell you,
I don't think I'd dare.

It's a pleasure to see you,
Of this I am sure,
My heart beats like fury,
I know of no Cure.

So, off to Jersey and see if I care,
I'd like to come with you,
But I don't have the fare.

M.L.R.

Sunday June 25, 1978

5th Sunday after Trinity

Excessively cold day. Had a very comfortable night's sleep. Woke at about 11. Grandad Glynn (minus dentures) made our breakfast of eggs and bacon.

The usual Stockport luncheon followed which consisted of about five pints between 12 and 2 with Garry, Dave and Billy. Billy goes on about his niece's wedding. Garry joked about my hilarious trousers. I'm definitely taking them on holiday after this reception.

Afterwards David, Mr Glynn and I watched a dreadful Tony Curtis film after which I was the only conscious survivor.

Before long it was the World Cup Final between Argentina and Holland. Bill and Garry came to watch. At half time with the score at 1-0 to Argentina the lads took me to Manchester where I boarded a coach full of rebellious children ~ nothing short of yobbos ~and off it was to Leeds.

Home by 10:30. Glenda Jackson's 'Touch of Class' was on tv. Poor Mum hasn't been too well. I am worried about her really.

David, Lynn and Dad have decorated the bedroom at Lawn Road.

-=-

Saturday June 24, 1978

Sun rises 04:44 Sun sets 21:22 St John, Baptist

Mum woke me at 6:30 and I got a train from Guiseley to town. My coach left for Manchester at 7:20am and I was with David in time for breakfast at about 10.

Mrs Glynn, or Auntie Lily, made me eggs and bacon and at opening time we had a few beers in the pool room. Grey skies above. I'm clad only in a thin shirt and my leather jacket.

At 12:30 to the Woodford Air Display.
Drizzle, frost, smog, &c. The Red Arrows were impressive and the Harrier Vertical take-off plane sent vibrations over our crate of Wembley Ale. Little else to take my mind from the perishing draught. Steve, Garry, & Dave loved the event though, as did about half a million other people for some obscure reason. However, five bottles of beer and a pile of corned beef and onion sandwiches helped to alleviate some of the misery.

Back to the Hollywood by 6. Slept in Dave's double bed until 9:30. At 11 we went to Rotter's disco for the night ~ me wearing the grey, narrow-legged trousers. I received some favourable attention. A couple of women followed me round all night. Back to the Hollywood at 1:30.

-=-

Friday June 23, 1978

A damp, miserable day. Passed a happy, solitary afternoon with the photo files of the Duke of Windsor. Some are amazing and revealing. We have one which appeared in the YP in August, 1936 of the King (as he then was) on holiday abroad with 'a party of friends', and the picture editor has simply and ruthlessly cut off Wallis Simpson when he marked up the image for publication.

Met Jacq at 5:30on Wellington Street and we got a train to Pudsey arriving at 6:20. To Auntie Mabel's. Cousin Jackie is also there for tea ~ it was marvellous to see her. She was thinner. The conversation was tense because we didn't mention Uncle Jack, who is dying in agony from cancer.

Jacq seemed to hit it off with Auntie Mabel. We all demolished a massive salad together. The traditional hysteria over old photographs followed and by 9:30 we had gone through Auntie Mabel's entire life (pictorially). All very nostalgic.

At 9:30 Jacq, Jackie and I set off for home and had a couple of drinks at The Sun in Stanningley before I deposited Jacq onto a Leeds bus.

At 11 Jackie with her boyfriend, Peter, came back to Pine Tops for a few drinks and a chat with 'Auntie Nora'. On the journey home she said "you know Dad is very ill, don't you?" and I said how sorry I was, but isn't it futile trying to find the right words?

-=-

Thursday June 22, 1978

A cultural evening again. I phoned Jacq at 9 this morning to ask if she fancied the theatre this evening and she said yes but I would have to subsidise her, of course. I agreed to go with Sarah and John Mac to see 'A Family' or 'The Family' starring Eleanor Bron and Paul Scofield at the Grand (Theatre) Leeds (tickets £2). I have no money, but who cares?

Sarah bought one of my 'House of Holroyd' shirts for £5 which, unethical it may have been, but it was the only way I could remain solvent this week.

Sarah took me to Ivory Towers at 4 and I had a massive tea of salad, strawberries and cream, chocolate sundae, &c. The poor shih tzu was violently sick on the lounge carpet, and then did something else, but I averted my eyes and my tea was unspoiled. Sarah laughed at my recumbent figure reclining in the arm chair.

John Mac came at 7 and we went to the Grand where I met Jacq. She says she loathed the play but I thought it was brilliant. _________.

-=-

Wednesday June 21, 1978

Dad and I went to Lynn and Dave's at Burley this evening to help finish splashing undercoat on the bedroom. Audrey and Henry Baker came in. ___________. Mrs B makes it obvious she dislikes Lynn's choice of 'Tomato Surprise' emulsion on the bedroom ceiling. However, tittle tattle on the subject of my sister's décor isn't getting us anywhere, is it?

What became of the excitement and pulsating thrills that once filled these pages? The sex, the violence, the passion, the tears, and the laughter?

What possible entertainment can you derive from knowing that tonight, for instance, I came back from Burley and sat with a glass of lager discussing the shabby picture on the wall above the fireplace with Mummy? You must be mad to find that remotely interesting.

David G phoned. I couldn't say whether I'd be putting in an appearance on Saturday. This so-called air display (at Woodford) begins in the morning, and so it's going to have to be a crack of dawn trip, isn't it?

Leapt into the bath and de-painted myself before retiring to bed.

-=-

Tuesday June 20, 1978

Full Moon 21:30

Mr Lazenby and others appeared in the office today and I told them the tale of Sunday night/Monday morning. By lunchtime I was a celebrity and could do no work for giving interviews to the more successful Blackpool travellers. Dave Bruce, for one, seems to hold me in higher esteem. Why making an utter and complete fool of myself in several counties in the space of five or six hours impressed my colleagues I fail to see. Perhaps it was a yearning for mystery and adventure they longed for. I was surrounded by forty or fifty lads who have always longed to be stranded in a northern seaside resort, but have never dared do it. Unlike me, the first EP Father's Day tripper to pass a night on the open road ~ on Her Majesty's highway. Surely, I now merit a front page splash in Postscript (our internal rag)? Indeed, I have achieved something this weekend that even Chris Bonington or Sherpa Tenzing could never even imagine doing.

Jacq phoned today and I apologised about crashing out on her arrival last night. Evidently John came up bearing belated Father's Day gifts. She and Mum entertained him in my absence.

-=-

Monday June 19, 1978

I went straight to the office arriving at 8:45 blistered and still covered in a fine layer of sand. The day proved too much for me and at 12 I had to leave the YP and make my way home.

Jacq came to see me at 8, bringing flowers for Mama whose wedding anniversary it is today. Minutes later I was out cold. Oh God! My first night in a bed since Thursday!

-=-

Sunday June 18, 1978

4th Sunday after Trinity

Father's Day

We walked (continued from the previous page - editor) to Guiseley in high spirits and of course in clothing and footwear. I deposited Jacq at a bus stop and went home to wash my face, change my shirt and collect a bottle of coffee wine. I then tanked back down the lane and found Jacq still waiting for a bus and so I took her to Mr Lazenby's residence, where I was set upon by Pete's common-law wife's bronchil son. In fact I was almost wiped out by the little brat.

At 7:30am Pete's girlfriend drove us all to the Central, where I parted with Jacq until tomorrow. And so it came to pass that on the morning of Father's Day we began our intake of alcoholic beverage. I am ashamed to say that I could only manage lager whilst Pete was drinking whisky. By the time the coach arrived at 9:30am we were all pissed up. I sat with Darryl Wills and Pete, who drank most of my coffee wine ~ at his own peril.

In typical fashion we hit Blackpool at noon and within minutes we were gathered in a lousy, tart-filled cavern drinking ale. Let me say that at this stage I was feeling quite fit, healthy and wide awake, but even as I pen this I must add that the memory of this pub is the last thing I do recall before waking up on the beach, covered in sand, with a Yorkshire terrier straddling my form, at 7pm in the evening.

Yes, the coach had left Blackpool at 6:30 without me, but to be fair they had waited in the station for half an hour. I was sunburned too. I didn't panic, weep or wail or throw my hands in the air with frustration. I got on the first coach I could find ~ to Preston ~ and hit the place at some time after 8. I managed to phone Pete at the Albion in Skipton with news of my safety, and then hitch hiked towards the motorway.

Pete told me that the coffee wine had had a drastic effect. I may have been stranded in the wilds of Lancashire but at least I was physically intact.

From here I was picked up by a geezer who drove like a maniac, and blasted off down a motorway which had a sign 'Leeds 45 miles'. He turned to me after heading a few miles down the road and said: "I'm going to have to drop you here because I'm forking off to Eccles now." I didn't want to go to Eccles. It was now about 11pm. It was a warm evening, which was a god thing, because my thin, gaily coloured deckchair-like shirt was my only protection from the elements.

So, I was stranded on the hard shoulder of the M-Way, and within minutes a police car pulled up and I was hauled inside and cautioned. It's an offence for pedestrians to perambulate on a motorway. "Anything you say will be taken down..." &c. I was booked, charged and tainted. My future political career was in tatters. The young PC drove me to a junction and ordered me off the motorway. I was dropped on a busy road and within minutes I was on a late night bus heading towards Manchester. It crossed my mind to go see Dave in Stockport, but decided not to. I didn't want to worry him, and he wouldn't want a fugitive on his hands. I was the only passenger on the bus and the driver looked back at me and enquired: "how do you fancy a Chinese meal?" I said "no thanks" but it didn't prevent him parking up the bus and nipping off into a restaurant for quite some time to dine. I waited for quite a bit and then went into a fish and chip shop next door and bought a few cans of pop to wash the sand out of my mouth. A woman in the shop asked to buy my shirt. I declined. We hit Manchester a little after 12 and once again I set off towards a motorway.

I met a friendly, but highly suspect taxi driver, who let me travel free of charge in his cab. He took me to the M62 (again), but after a couple of hours walking I hadn't secured a lift, and crossing fields I found myself in Rochdale (?). At 6am I got a bus back to Manchester where I waited for the first coach to Leeds at 7:30am.

-=-

















20130625

Saturday June 17, 1978

Sun rises at 04:43 Sun sets 21:20

Another party. Jacq and I went to Bradford this afternoon where I collected the air tickets from Denise. It was Jacq's first meeting with my former constant companion.

A bright, sunny afternoon, but I dislike the town intensely. We were back home for 4 or 5. After tea with the clan the two of us walked to the Crown at Yeadon. Philip K, Jane and co told us that Jed is having a party tonight, and so Jacq immediately approached the young man and secured our invitation. We purchased a few bottles and walked with Jed to his house, where his DJ brother has millions of brill records. We didn't drink to excess but did a lot of dancing and laughing.

A guy by the name of John taught Jacq to say "Doctor Bob!" like Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show, and far into the night the house, and indeed the street, rang to the sound of screeching puppet piggy voices.

Miss Carol Smith was at the party. She now owns her own hairdressing salon.

It was 5am and the birds were forming their own choral society when we finally decided to call it a day. Fourteen neighbours had committed suicide en masse out of protest at the noise level.

And so it came to pass that Mig and Jacqui left the party at Rawdon with the morning sun on their faces to venture out into the unknown.

-=-

20130620

Friday June 16, 1978

Jacq had a party at the YWCA in honour of a party of Frogs who were passing through Leeds. I went straight round to her place from the YP and she washed my hair and gave me a clean shirt in her little room. Her room-mate is enormous ~ like a pregnant Indian elephant, or whichever type of elephant is the largest.

A couple of Greeks, a Scot and a Welshman joined us at the George tavern opposite the Infirmary where we made merry until closing time. The pub landlady resembles Hylda Baker.

Back at the YWCA I met Coun Mrs May Sexton, the principal or governor, or whatever they call 'em. She told me she would like to see capital punishment restored. So do I. It was a good, humorous party with loud pulsating music and sandwiches. We danced all night. At 4am I helped clear the devastation and at dawn I hitch-hiked home, completing the journey in a couple of hours.

-=-

20130619

Thursday June 15, 1978

Linda and Anne's leaving 'do' at the Central from 5:30. I took Jacq. We were quite pissed by 11. People kept approaching me to say things like: "I thought you were the quiet type?" It annoyed me.

Peter Lazenby gave me £10 and ordered me to go on the Blackpool trip. It was a moving scene.

-=-

Wednesday June 14, 1978

Happy Birthday, David Ian Lawson. And other than this I am afraid I have nothing else to say to any of you today. It hurts me because you know how I hate leaving large, white blank spaces. I'm simply lacking in the old grey material this afternoon and the fourteenth day of June leaves me cold. The weather wasn't up to much and I was closeted away in the confines of the YP for the entire day which cannot do much to alleviate your bordedom so I'll just say bye bye. Bye Bye then.

-=-

Tuesday June 13, 1978

Moon's first quarter 23:44

St Barnabas (transference)

I made Dave L a birthday card today and had to wait outside next to the post box this evening holding it my hand (as well as the card) to hand it to the postman because it was too large to insert in the box. The card, made by me, has a glossy, headscarf clad photo of the smiling Queen (taken at Badminton in April) on the front. I also compiled a little verse inside. It should amuse David anyway, and one thing's fore sure ~ he won't have a duplicate of this on his doormat tomorrow morning.

Today is Lynne Mather's 21st.


To Lynne, on this, your coming of Age


O' Lynne Mather, it's your birthday once more,
And it only seems yesterday that you were four,
With big glowing teeth, and glossy hair,
you don't resemble a mountain bear.

Oh no, tis something more regal and fine,
a good Regency chair or an old gold mine?

A description of you cannot be penned,
Unless by Byron, Wordsworth and friends,
For the likes of you, will always be,
Nasty and Monstrous and crooked of knee.

-=-


Monday June 12, 1978

The bloody Pope has refused to give Mrs Troubridge a dispensation to marry Prince Michael in church and so the couple will now have to wed abroad in a civil ceremony. This is indeed a nasty blow for Anglo-Roman relations. At a time when two thirds of the world is heathen I find it annoying to say the least that the few remaining Christians should squabble over denominational rules and regulations.

His Holiness objects to Prince Michael's statement that his children will be brought up as Anglicans. Silly old sod.

The Royal wedding is planned for June 30 and will take place in Vienna. God only knows when a member of the Royal Family last wed in a civil ceremony ~ if ever. The Queen will be white haired and crumpled by Christmas.

On the subject of strained relations I feel I ought to mention Mummy and Daddy. They haven't spoken today either, and both are being silly, even though Dad is more silly than Mum. What is the point of blaming Mum for the car accident? I just can't see it. He was willing to hand over his car keys and has no argument whatsoever. Mum is now saying she didn't collide with a dry stone wall at all, and that somebody else ran into her on the makeshift car park. This is just taking it too far.

Dave B is coming tomorrow to carry out repair work and before long the damage will be untraceable ... I hope.

-=-

Sunday June 11, 1978

3rd Sunday after Trinity

Feast of Weeks (Shebuoth)

I didn't get to bed until 8:30 this morning, but by noon Jacq and I had set out on a walk to Baildon Moor, uprooting a few oak saplings on the way for the garden. We were out in the countryside until after 5 and a very pleasant, happy time was had.

At home Mum was very quiet. Dad was refusing to talk to her because of the car incident. How pathetic! If he hadn't have been so pissed the calamity would have been avoided. David B says the damage will cost £20 to put right. Never mind.

-=-

Saturday June 10, 1978

Sun rises 04:44 Sun sets 21:16

Birthday of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

At 3:30pm I met Jacq in Guiseley and we tracked down John and Maria at Ridgeway. Maria's parents are visiting Hugh in Canada. Jimmy Mac took some photos of me and Jacq and that was the only bit of excitement other than watching JPH attack an ice lolly. Maria was looking tanned but I was told it's painted on. She'd forgotten to do one of her legs. From 4 until after 6 we sat with John, Maria and Pamela Horrocks (nee Moffat). I was bored but the ladies didn't notice my yawns through the blanket of smog and coal dust thrown out by their endless 'assembly line' of cigarettes. Jacq must have had 10.

By 6pm my polluted lungs could take no more and I dragged Jacq back to Pine Tops for sandwiches. At 8pm Jim and Margaret came and after watching 'The Good Life' on the BBC we went with them and Mama and Papa to a barbecue on Carlton Lane (at Penny's Farm?). Alcohol flowed like pig swill. Our party managed to consume most of it. Sue, Pete, Gus and Chippy were there. The food was mediocre but the company was interesting with such old cronies as John Little, Joan Taylor (Kevin's mother), &c. In fact, all the old Silverdale mob appeared. Jacq, Sue, Pete and I were among the last to leave and Mum and Dad tottered out (both really legless) shortly before us. We were in high spirits. We got home safely enough ( I don't know how) and we immediately plugged in the headphones, selected a suitable record and poured out of the lager.

Mum was locked upstairs in the WC for two or three hours (Oh dear) and so Jacq was forced, much against her will, to urinate in our well stocked herbaceous border. How embarrassing. I had to do the same, but on opening the kitchen door I espied the car abandoned on the drive and I was temporarily distracted from the call of nature. It was the car. It had a huge hole in the right hand wing and a considerable amount of paint was missing. Oh no! But who drove home?

It was almost dawn when Mum alighted from her watery throne and she admits the culprit is she, although she cannot recall striking anything. Obviously, it was a dry stone wall. Dad, who had been too pissed, had handed her the car keys.

Mum was soon in floods of tears. Jacq always sees her in this sorry condition.

-=-

20130618

Friday June 9, 1978

Strangely enough I had no hangover when I climbed out of bed at 10:30 or 11 o'clock. Perhaps I warded off this malady due to the fact that I ate a sizeable plate of sandwiches (soaked in blood from my cut finger) washed down with coffee, orange squash, &c.

This morning Mother and Father are covered in dust demolishing the dining room. More decorating. After a small breakfast I left them to it and set out to meet Jacq in Leeds. There for 12:30. I have £3 to see me through to Thursday next week which made my journey seem futile. _____________. Jacq and I passed a serious, reflective afternoon in the Ostlers discussing previous relationships. It was interesting. I was just about in tears on the subject of June and my thwarted passion.

From the pub we went next door to the HMV shop and Jacq snatched up the old Barclaycard and bought the 'Saturday Night Fever' LP and the single 'Hey America' by Mr James Brown.

We walked around Leeds arm in arm. Do you know I am quite proud of my appearance these days. The days when Lynne Mather accused me of 'letting myself go' are now history. Clad in my tight jeans, black pointed boots and baggy Pete Holroyd shirt I llook like some stunning Romeo from the jet-set world.

However, to come down to earth and reality slightly, I worked from 5pm until midnight. Back to the old routine folks, and I quite enjoyed it. Jacq came into the YP at 6:30 and I entertained her with the picture files of the royal family until 9 o'clock when I threw her out. John Mac commented (jokingly) on her presence in the office and pointed out that NATSOPA wouldn't be amused if they knew I was entertaining a strawberry blonde. My response was that the editor has women in his office every day and that Lord Briginshaw can go piss off. (In case you're interested, Lord Briginshaw is a big noise in NATSOPA, reputedly a trade union). I left at midnight leaving the new records in the office.

-=-

20130617

Thursday June 8, 1978

Pay day. I gave Mama £25 for the money that would usually be extracted from my holiday pay, which I need to take with me abroad. This leaves me with a mere pittance with which to survive the ensuing week.

The start of this weekly slide towards Hell rolled up tonight in the shape of Mr Peter Nason, who took me off to the Shoulder where we were joined by Chippy, Gus and Dave Wainwright. I find the company of these young men refreshing to say the least. So lively, crude, buoyant and vulgar. What is it that festers the brain of young men on or or around their 21st birthdays?

At 9:30 we moved on to the social club at the asylum (Highroyds Hospital) where we were joined by Sue and Janet Simon. Peter immediately flew off the handle at Sue's intrusion on this, his Thursday night off. I was annoyed at Peter's childish (pre 21 year of age) show of buffoonery. What is the point in going out with a girl for six nights each week, a girl, I might add, whom you intend marrying, and then just because it's Thursday and you accidentally meet you hurtle abuse and be generally rude in her direction? I see no sense in this at all. In fact it's more Sue's fault for tolerating such behaviour.

The girls left at 11 leaving us unable to decide which young people on the dance floor where club members, members of the public or highly dangerous top security patients. It proved an impossible task.

On to Oakwood Hall. I was pissed. Enjoyed it there. Bumped into a girl who is engaged and bought a Britvic pineapple and sat with my arms around her until 2am. Home with Gus. Cut my finger opening a tin. Infuriating.

-=-

Wednesday June 7, 1978

Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her (Silver) Jubilee one year ago today. Our poor, overworked monarch has a nasty duty ahead of her next week. She has to entertain the 'unspellable' president of Romania at the palace for three or four tortuous days and I don't think HM will be looking forward with an pleasure to this. Wasn't HM's great-aunt Helen, a princess of Edinburgh, and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Queen of Romania? Helen wed into that shaky Balkan monarchy which fell in 1947. However, if the said president's visit helps Mr Callagas sell a couple of verticle take-off planes to the commies it will all have been worthwhile.

Anyway, Sarah finally got away today. Can you believe that her grandmother stood on a red table in the garden in Horsforth waving franticly as Sarah and Delia flew off from Yeadon? Such a pleasant, Goon-like sight that must have been.

The YP is hell without my whistling knee-grasping companion. Kathleen ought to retire _____________.

Tuesday June 6, 1978

Sarah goes off to Palma with Delia tomorrow, and to mark the occasion we had a wild lunchtime together. We bought sandwiches and went to Park Square and noshed and swilled tomato soup in the light drizzle. Yes folks, summer is over.

From Park Sq we went to Len's Bar and downed one, tiny drink and I bid her a fond 'bon voyage'. She and Delia are having a party on June 18 and so the ritual 'Father's Day' spectacular trip to Blackpool will be abandoned. The experience would be too great anyway, and with a holiday looming it would be sheer, unadulterated financial folly. Besides, the parties at Ivory Towers are equally entertaining.

-=-

Monday June 5, 1978

New Moon 20:01

Jacq has been told by some of the inmates (at the YWCA) that the haggis is a four-legged rabbit-like creature that inhabits the Scottish Highlands. What a cruel and nasty leg pull to do to a fellow dosser, or 'down and out', or whatever they think they are at the YWCA.

Jacq has set herself the goal of making my greatness known to the general public. Discussing me with John Mac on Saturday they decided I'd be a decent sort of author. Er ...
-=-

20130615

Sunday June 4, 1978

2nd Sunday after Trinity

I do believe my dear friend Mr Ratcliffe celebrates a birthday today. I would never have remembered had it not been for David's observation of this in Harrogate on Friday.

Forgive this 'yucky' ink but I'm afraid I cannot be bothered to take down a bottle of sensible coloured ink from the shelf. Yes, I am a lazy sod.

In thunderous conditions we drove Jacq to Leeds at 9:30 ~ taking cousin Julie with us ~ and from Leeds we went on to Uncle Peter's to give him back his eldest daughter. The Wilson girls are very nice. Beverley and Julie are very quiet and polite, but Penny is the joker with the glint in her eyes and toothless grin. Peter was 'out at the club putting his numbers on' whatever that means. We departed at 10:30 in a homeward direction.

-=-

Saturday June 3, 1978

Sun rises 04:48 Sun sets 21:10

Hot again. I got out of bed at seven o'clock and made Jacq a cup of tea. I haven't been out of bed at this time on a Saturday for years.

Today is the Queen's official birthday. Birthday Honours: Sue Ryder is a new peeress and Freddie Laker a knight.

I took Jacq to her bus at 8:30 and walked home in the hot sunshine up Thorpe Lane. A beautiful day. A big breakfast with the family at 9:30 and then watched the Trooping the Colour on the BBC. Princess Margaret made her first public appearance since her divorce. The Queen Mother too was at Horse Guards Parade. I love the Queen Mother. She's now an institution in her own right. 'Go it, old girl!' The poor Queen must have been hot in that uniform.

At 11 Mum and Dad returned from Pudsey with my cousin Julie, who is staying the night. _________.

I met Jacq at 5:30 in Guiseley and we walked to the White Cross and sat outside in the sun. Home by 7:20 and Sarah and John Mac come. We went to the Harrogate Arms and the Damn Yankee. John and Jacq not too cheerful. Carole and Fogarty were in the Damn Yankee but we didn't speak. By 11:30 we were at home. Sarah at the end of her tether and Mr Mac's indecisiveness. In fact tempers were jagged. I calmed them all down with coffee and sent them home, including Jacqui.

-=-

Friday June 2, 1978

Her Blessed Majesty the Queen was crowned a quarter of a century ago this day. Jacq and I and a few close friends celebrated in the correct style. Her Majesty would be ever so proud of us if she only knew just how much we drank to commemorate this day.

Hot. Again I met Jacq at Parker's wine bar for a few beverages at 12. She was horrified today because for the first time she learned the full extent of my lack of finances. She sat reeling on the bar stool with the colour drained from her divine cheeks as I informed her I only earn £32 per week (after Mr Healey's deductions of course). She orders me to resign with immediate effect and seek employment elsewhere. It's not quite as easy as that though, is it?

At 4:30 I made good my escape from the YP.

This evening Mum and Dad gave me a lift to the Station Hotel. Jacq arrived and the two of us went to David L's where we sat with him and Mr & Mrs Lawson until Andy and Nicole arrived at 9 o'clock. From here we went to the Traveller's Rest at Crimple, near Harrogate. A riotous night followed which saw us drinking pints of beer through gaily coloured straws. Isn't it supposed to make you pissed? Haven't been to the Travellers Rest for years.

It was good to be out in David's company again. He seems to get on well with Jacq. He plans to throw his Christmas party slightly early this year ~ in August ~ because when he starts his new job December will be the busiest period. The year wouldn't be the same without a party at Tennyson Street.

We piled in back home at 11:30 to sample wine. Poor Nicole was pissed. Jacq stayed the night. She's working in the morning. We laid on the floor together reading 'The Times'. I explained to her the rudiments of newspaper librarianship. To bed at about 1am.

-=-

Thursday June 1, 1978

A scorching day.

Prince Michael is going to renounce the throne next month on marriage to his baroness, who will become HRH Princess Michael of Kent. The poor Duchess of Windsor will play hell about the injustice of this. Another interesting fact is that any children born of the marriage will be in line of succession to the throne because they are to be raised as Anglicans.

Edith and Ernest came round for the ritual orgy of booze and merriment. But once again no sign of Jim & Margaret Nason. These people obviously cannot take the pace, which bestows more laurels on the remarkable record of the 70-odd year-old Blackwells. We shall certainly miss them when the move to far-off Devon. I say this every week but it's true. I am such a repetitive swine, and boring with it, too. In fact I stand in salutation and marvel and your dedication and vigilance throughout. God Bless every one of you.

-=-

Wednesday May 31, 1978

Sat in the garden ~ wearing only my shorts ~ compiling this journal today. It has been another 'scorcher'.

Sarah and I went to Parker's (wine bar) at lunchtime. She bought me three or four pints and we discussed taking our 'concubines' out on Saturday in what will be an onslaught on Harrogate. Sarah and I haven't formed a foursome since Aug 1976 when we went out with Peter (Baker) and Lynne Mather.

A hot sticky afternoon filing portraits. You can imagine what bliss it was to sit in my deckchair with a heddy summer breeze blowing round my knees.

Also contacted Jacq who is burnt to a cinder after sprawling in the park all day yesterday. She says she's not eating this weekend.

Uncle Peter's daughter, Julie, is coming to stay with us on Saturday for what's left of the weekend. Peter's children are good kids.

This evening I took a layer off the lawns.

Prince Michael of Kent and Marie-Christine Troubridge have become engaged. The Queen consented in Privy Council this afternoon to her cousin's marriage with a Czech-born Roman Catholic with one ex husband still living. Formerly Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, Marie-Christine's marriage to Tom Troubridge was declared null a couple of weeks ago. I do not think any member of the Royal Family has married a Roman Catholic since the 1680s. However, I may be wrong. I have just seen the couple on the six o'clock news and I can tell you I would also renounce any claim to the throne to lay my hands on her. She's beautiful.

-=-

20130613

Tuesday May 30, 1978

Oak Apple Day ~ and King Chares II's birthday

Very hot and sticky and un-English. Chaotic at the YP. Wore one of Pete Holroyd's shirts to work, and although I say it myself I looked a bit flash.

Dave L phoned me at 6:30. He says he's got a job in pub management with Whitbread in the Gloucester area. He starts in August. Teachers everywhere should mourn his passing.

I altered a pair of trousers ~ transformed them from the baggy variety into narrow legged ones ~

-=-

Monday May 29, 1978

Moon's last quarter 04:30

Spring Bank Holiday (UK, except Scotland)

I was out of bed at 8 making cups of tea for the ladies. Things were hurried and tempers were frayed because Charles Millward, the internationally famous actor, was collecting Trixie at 9. Pete offered to take Jacq and I to Victoria. It was my idea. Why hang round Muswell Hill all day when we had the opportunity to bask in the sun at Hyde Park? This is in fact what we did. From 10 until 5pm we baked ourselves golden brown in the heart of beautious London.

________________. We arrived at Victoria coach station looking like typical holiday-makers. Trixie sent me away with about 20 of Pete Holroyd's shirts, some of which he never had the chance to wear. It was a hot journey home.

Had a photographic session in a kiosk on the motorway at Sheffield. I carried Jacq's gear to the YWCA and got a bus to Guiseley at 11. Mum and Dad are burnt to cinders too.

-=-

Sunday May 28, 1978

1st Sunday after Trinity

Breakfast was fun. Pete S screaming and shouting about his diet resembling that of a Paki's after a large bowl of cold leftover rice was thrust before him. He's got a way with words.

Trixie, Jacq and I walked to the Alexandra Palace were CAMRA were 'throwing' a beer festival. We sat on the lawn drinking pints to the sound of a German band until after 5. Yet another incredibly hot day.

Trixie told Jacq she's buying her a car for Christmas _____________-.

Ate pizza and sank 'real ale'. Jacq was wearing her 'lampshade' outfit __.

Tonight we dined quietly with Trixie and saw a bit of The Godfather with Marlon Brando.

-=-

Saturday May 27, 1978

A hot, stinking day. I felt revoltingly ill and close to death. At 12 we went with Trixie and Pete S to the Five Bells at East Finchley where I performed my 'dead man lying on the floor' routine for anyone who cared to watch. They were all sinking pints of beer like Billy Ho (sic) but all I could do was moan and grovel about in the deep grass with my clammy fingers wrapped feebly round a tomato juice. ________. Trixie Holroyd however is just perfection itself _____.

Another party at Trixie's tonight ~ a dumping ground for homosexuals and Polish refugees with wealthy wives, and women wearing pink pullovers adorned with white beads and with faces that go numb after only two gin & tonics. All called Jack, Beryl, Dick and Celia. The food, chatter, booze and general atmosphere was a delight. Slept in the state bed.

-=-