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Friday September 29, 1978

Out of bed at 6:58am and plunged into a hot bath. Whilst tucking into my hot porridge oats I plugged into the radio news at 7:30 and was astounded to hear that Pope John Paul had died in the night from a heart attack after a reign of only 33 days. It's the shortest pontificate since Pope Stephen in 700 AD, or so. I find this hard to take in. Quite ridiculous that all the cardinals are going to have to crawl back to Rome for another conclave.

I spent most of the day playing with the late Pope's pictures. Chris Bye came into the office cheerfully waving a fiver & laughingly told us that on Aug 26 he'd been into Ladbroke's and placed a bet that the new pope would only live for 33 days. Yeah, right. It would finish it off very nicely now if our own Cardinal Hume was elected pontiff. A good English lad at the Vatican to show these Italians a thing or two.

Mum and Dad went off to Scotland this afternoon to see John and Maria in Stranraer. They took JPH's birthday presents with them and are staying for the festivities and returning on Sunday evening.

Tonight I battled through driving rain to see Jacq in Leeds. We met at 8:30 and went to the Central, where she became quite legless on cider. I intended going on a pub crawl but we enjoyed the loud, pulsating music of the disco in the pub, and we stayed until 10:30. She frowned when I suggested moving on to Len's Bar. She knows Sarah hangs out there on Fridays.

I got the last bus out of town at about 11. Sue and Pete were watching TV. He stayed the night. Young love.


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