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Thursday November 23, 1978

Lynn phoned this morning. ____________________.

Out tonight with Pete, Gus and Frank. Poor Chippy is in hospital. He was taken ill with appendicitis last night. Otley Hospital is renowned for removing the wrong organs and so by now he is probably minus his liver and kidneys. Women have gone into that place for simple surgery ~ like varicose veins ~ and have emerged having had absolutely everything 'taken away'. That's the National Health Service for you. Let's hope Dr Chippy will be back with us very shortly.

Told the boys of my new situation. Gus suggested that I go with them to Israel in January. No fear. We set out from the Shoulder of Mutton on a 'Carole Phillips Hunt' ~ but the mission proved fruitless. No doubt she was out with Fogarty somewhere. However, her latest beau, Mick Lynch, was in the White Cross, and then the Fox, no doubt on a similar mission, and so we can write him off. I had a sober night. I definitely recall standing in an orderly manner, and in a sober state, at Oakwood Hall. ______________________.



Wednesday November 22, 1978

Moon's last quarter 21:24

A very historic and sad day. __________________________________________.

At 3pm Jacq phoned to ask if I want the (signet) ring which I ordered from Trixie. I said yes. She reminded me about all her records and belongings in storage at Pine Tops. ________________.

Watched television. Bed at 12:15.


Tuesday November 21, 1978

One Hell of a day. __________________________.

Monday November 20, 1978

________________. Dave and I left Stockport at 12 for Manchester. We had a drink at the Paddy's Goose pub and at 1:30 I left for Leeds. Got to Leeds at 3pm and I attempted to phone Carole at work. The bloody coins wouldn't go in the slot & I couldn't get through to her. Afterwards I went by bus to Menston and delivered a birthday card to her house. Margaret Philips spotted me and she kept me talking for 10 minutes or so. She says Carole is having a 21st birthday party at the Cow & Calf on Friday. "We didn't think she'd live to see another one, Michael," she said. No, neither did I.

Tonight: Christine and Doreen came at 8:30 and we went to the Shoulder of Mutton and then the Fox and Hounds. The old bitch of a landlady at the Fox wouldn't cash a cheque for Christine and we all had a heated argument on the subject. The girls threatened to resign, &c &c.

At 10:30 we went to the Elmer. The place was absolutely packed with Jill's friends, and we knew most of them. Carole was there looking gorgeous. She was with the nurse she met whilst in the infirmary. She thanked me for the birthday card and then disappeared with Mick Lynch. CB and I had a lengthy discussion about Carole. She had no idea how I felt about her. Tony, Pete M and Chris were there. They say John Grady is coming over in a couple of weeks.

Christine and I played at clowns and, to emphasise the point, she poured a full glass of cider down the front of my underpants. How we howled with laughter.


Sunday November 19, 1978

26th after Trinity 6th Sunday before Christmas

Out of bed at 11:30 feeling quite well, considering. Dave is in no state to do anything. He was pale, short of breath, and all conversation died when his grandfather placed a greasy, eggy breakfast before him. He started to make strange noises from the back of his throat and he quickly fled the room. He disappeared to his bedroom for half an hour.

I joined Bill, Garry, Steve and Paul (?) in the bar. All laughing at Dave's plight. Garry said his banana wine bottles are sticky and empty. Another marathon drinking session followed and we laughed at and abused the barmaids through the alcohol fumes and the clouds of green tobacco smoke. What a life! Dave joined us at 1:45 looking considerably better. He put down his new~found recovery to a turkey sandwich which I cannot see as being relevant. We had turkey for lunch afterwards.

Tonight we went to the Swan pub in Edgeley ~ our first port of call ~ and then to the Nelson, where Bill has worked in the bar for many years. We stayed there until about 11. Fish and chips on the way home. A film on the tv took us to about 1am. It definitely pays to stay over at Stockport on Sunday nights. I calculate that I have had 35 pints of lager since Friday!


Saturday November 18, 1978

Sun rises 07:23 Sun sets 16:08

Pisses down all day. At 12:30 Dave G and I went to Garry's where I wrote a couple of birthday cards ~ one to Carole and one to Jill, whose 21st (birthday party) is at the Elmer on Monday. The lads thought I'd taken leave of my senses. Followed by a fruitless quest for postage stamps. Why don't post offices open on Saturday afternoons?

Had a few drinks at the Nelson and Little Jack Horner's and then headed back to the Hollywood where we were joined by Bill and Steve B. A pissed~up lunch was followed by an afternoon sitting in front of a dull tv. I couldn't survive for long in this environment. Lily Glynn says it's because I'm not a 'townie'.

Billy predicts I will be married within twelve months. I shuddered at this hideous prophecy.

Tonight we left the Hollywood by taxi and went to Rotter's Disco at 11. A pleasant night but I wasn't on top form. In fact I felt down right bloody miserable. Back to Garry's for banana wine until 4:30am.



Friday November 17, 1978

Up at 7 feeling slightly groggy. It became steadily worse as the day went on. Sarah and Carol J are going to London for the weekend and so Ursula came in to do a daytime shift. It was good to see her again. For a thirty year~old mother of two she remains quite sexy.

At lunchtime I drank Eno's, the 'tummy settling' concoction. It worked quite well. At 3:30 I left for Manchester and got there in record time. I was bashing on the door of the Hollywood Hotel by 5:30.

Had a mixed grill. Watched Alastair Burnett reading the evening news on the ITV. Jeremy Thorpe's case comes up at Minehead on Monday. Some of us are making bets that Thorpe's clothes will soon be found piled up by some fast flowing river or picturesque ocean seascape. He could well follow the example set by John Stonehouse.

Dave G is bearded and in fine form. We went with Bill, Garry and Steve to see Stockport County play Newport. It was a diabolical game which ended in a 1-1 draw. Watching the planes circling above waiting to land at Manchester was a far more interesting pastime.

Back to the Hollywood with a select mob of football supporters. We drank about 10 pints each and generally had a riot. Bed at 1:30 or so after watching 'The L~Shaped Room' on Granada TV.



Thursday November 16, 1978

A Brief Encounter. Tonight went with Pete, Chippy, Frank and Gus to the Shoulder and from there we decided to go for one at the White Cross. It was fateful. Who should walk in but Naomi and Carole. My heart missed a beat ________________. She smiled, sighed and said it was entirely my fault that she wasn't still with me. _________.

When we left Chippy commented that Carole is the sort of girl he cannot stand. I took exception to this. He can say what he likes about about anybody, but nobody insults my darling Carole.

To the social club at High Royds and then on to Oakwood Hall. I hated every minute of it. ___________________.



Wednesday November 15, 1978

Phoned Christine and asked her what she was planning to do next Monday. Unfortunately, she has been invited to a party, but the sadness soon turned to joy and thanksgiving when we discovered ~ to our delight ~ that we have been invited to one and the same function. This so called buxom Jill ~ whoever she is ~ deserves some kind of payment for managing to throw CB and me together on a Monday evening.

Lynn phoned me. __________________________.

Jacq and I went to the Ostler's at 1pm for revolting toasted cheese sandwiches and warm lager. __________________.

John phoned tonight. It was good to hear him. He was cheerful and blustery. The caravan is bearing up and hasn't collapsed yet. He wanted to know when we are going north to see him. Susan and Pete always decline to discuss the venture. We really must go before December.


Tuesday November 14, 1978

Full Moon 20:00 Birthday of the Prince of Wales

Thirtieth Birthday if His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Once again the poor guy is being bombarded by the Press and tv on the painful subject of Her future Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. It's quite obvious that the prince is biding his time and if you ask me I believe he has yet to meet the love of his life. Once he finds her I am sure he won't dither for long because the press will soon sniff her out. Come home Davina Sheffield ~ all is forgiven. She was my favourite. Poor old Wales, he must be totally sick of this idle nattering and speculation.

At the YP Kathleen remarked that I was being quiet and subdued. Why is this depression hanging so heavily over my over~worked brain? ___________________. Jacq phoned at 11. We are meeting at the Ostler's tomorrow.

Sue gave me an invitation from Naomi's friend Jill to attend her 21st (birthday party) at the Elmer next Monday night. I believe Jill is the large, well~made buxom maiden, with the big, pink, flaccid spectacles. (Ah, you thought I was going to say thighs, didn't you?)

Which lucky lady will have the honour of acting as my escort? Christine is an obvious candidate, but sadly she knows nothing of my plans as yet. Things could prove awkward, for instance, if she's down to work at the Fox (and Hounds) or is committed to a previous engagement with one of the many fellows would could be called rivals if it wasn't for the fact that Michael Rhodes has no rivals. The Philip Birdgarden's of this world grovel in the mud and slime at the foot of the colossus of my column. However, in the event of Christine making the wrong decision I could always see if Sarah will come along. She'd like the Elmer I'm sure, and I do believe Mondays are quite free (entry).


Monday November 13, 1978

Bright, windy day. Sarah and I decided we should do something exciting and so at 12 we went to Da Mario's Pizzeria and noshed our heads off. Yes, dining out, lunching out ~ call it what you will ~ on a bloody Monday! It only cost us £1.70 each which is no great loss. Afterwards we both had our footwear repaired at the cobbler next to the restaurant, and we stood around, both bare foot, until about 1. My boots were re~vamped for £3.25. Bloody Hell, I'm going through money like Howard Hughes. (Did he actually spend money, or was he just a recluse? Oh, go on then, I'll say Paul Getty, just to be on the safe side). Money is still something of a novelty to me, and so you'll have to forgive me frittering it away so eagerly. Let's hope the passion will die before very long.

Speaking of passion ~ and who isn't these days? ~ Christine phoned this afternoon and we exchanged weekend reminiscences. Her coach, which left Victoria at about 5:30, went north via Sheffield, and they didn't get into Leeds until well after 11. How weird of our beloved National Coach service.

Tonight we endured three hours of the Royal Variety Performance which was transmitted live. It was in the presence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and at the finale she seemed to be touched by the loyalty and emotion of the generally nauseating cast. It worried me slightly. It looked like some sort of semi-official 'send off'. Does Lord Delfont think that perhaps Her Majesty won't be in a fit state to attend 1979's offering?

To bed at 12:31am



Sunday November 12, 1978

25th Sunday after Trinity

7th Sunday before Christmas

Remembrance Sunday

Slept until 10:30 and then devoured breakfast. Switched on the telly to watch the Queen at the Cenotaph at 11am. Pete Sate arrived at the start of the two minutes silence so in fact we had two minutes of noise and chaos to commemorate the dead of two world wars.

Derek had me washing his Lotus (which I did willingly). I wouldn't wash any old car you know.

At 12 Jacq, Pete S and I wandered down to the real Northwood hostelry where we had a few before the 2pm curfew. Pete is 21 and recounting his adventures he makes my life sound positively 'monk~like'.

Sunday lunch was heavily punctuated with political argument. At one point Derek put it to me that I might be a socialist. I told him I am more Tory than the most far~right Tory which puzzled him. He couldn't grasp my argument. He is a stubborn man and in discussion he won't be moved by anything anybody else has to say. He and Pete squabbled about work too. _______.

Pete drove us to Victoria at 5 and we only just made it for six o'clock. The bus carrying Christine and Mrs B was pulling out of the station. I did my spectacular 'dead man lying on the floor' routine in front of the offending and already departing vehicle, to halt it's progress. But all was in vain. A bus carrying only 15 or 20 people eventually left and Jacq and I grabbed the whole of the back seat for ourselves. Uncomfortable and cold journey. Saw the hideous and ridiculous 'green beam' lighting up Oxford Street as part of the Christmas lights.

Home to a cold, wintry Leeds at just before 11. Jim and Margaret Nason are at home. Bed at 1:30.


Saturday November 11, 1978

Sun rises 07:11 Sun sets 16:18

Up at 7:30 and breakfast on eggs and bacon and things. I have a bedroom with my own little sink (or wash basin). Just like staying at Chequers or the Royal Lodge, Windsor. Unfortunately, no headed note paper in the bedroom.

At 9:30 or 10 we were in the heart of London. Derek and Carol went off to the Mansion House to see Sir Kenneth Cork set out in his gilt coach, while Jacq and I found our way to St Paul's where we had seats in the stand at the rear of the cathedral & opposite the BBC cameras. All very exciting. The procession came by us at about 11:30 and it went on for an hour. We didn't have a good view of the Lord Mayor because he was waving to the crowds out of the far side of his carriage when he past us. Just a glimpse of his arse~clad red robes. A cold, foggy day.

After endless floats and marching bands Jacq and I pushed our way through the crowds to the Cockpit pub in the shadow of St Paul's. From here we wandered into Fleet Street and into the Old Cheshire Cheese, which was re~built in 1667! Saw dust on the floors and old war veterans propping up the bar. Quite pissed by 3pm. Joined Derek and Carol who were lingering in the Lotus by the Thames. Back to Northwood where we all collapsed, some of us snoring like pigs.

Tonight we went to Harefield for dinner ~ The Old Oak Tree, or something. Food was good but the cabaret diabolical. Derek was hilarious and had us in stitches throughout. Carol had sole and she poked and prodded at it.

Back to Northwood at 12:30 where we had a few drinks and a xylophone session. Sang 'Red Sails in the Sunset' and other old favourites, &c. Laughed a good deal.



Friday November 10, 1978

Felt ghastly all morning. By avoiding eating curry last night I think I saved myself the horror, suffering and hardship like wot I experienced last week.

At 12:30 Jacq and I left for London. Met at Hendon at 4:30 (in fog) by Carol Sate, Jacq's step~mother. A woman with short, swept back hair. Drove to Northwood which took half an hour or so. Emma, the Sate's long~haired Dachshund fell in love with me. I fell in love with the posh house and Derek Sate's Lotus Elite.

The four of us dined and then had a slide~show, with projector and big white screen. Thousands of photos of the Grand Canyon and floating restaurants in Hong Kong. Slides too of Jacq, with long, flowing hair.


Thursday November 9, 1978

Sunny. Not like November. Happy birthday to King Edward VII wherever you are.

I phoned Jacq at 11 to ask what time she could escape for lunch. She told me she was going to go to Jacomelli's with her cronies from Dacre, Son and Hartley. ________________.

At 12 I went to Len's Bar with Sarah for Stella Artois and beef sandwiches. The place was dead. We both like quiet, deserted bars, and especially discotheques. She says she cannot understand why _________ attracts so many men. Obviously, some guys will go out with anything that shags, but I don't tell Sarah this and say I am also mystified.

Back at work we just didn't want to work. Drink in the afternoon takes it out of you. She (Sarah) is peeved that I won't be at Grant's leaving party tomorrow. So am I. Home for din~dins at 5:30.

Tonight saw another horrendous piss~up at the Shoulder (of Mutton) with Pete N, Chippy, Frank, Gus, Dave W, &c. Gus is going to Israel to work on a kibbutz, so he says, next year and we argued the pros and cons. From the Shoulder we went to see Christine at the Fox (and Hounds). Susie was in with Janet Simon and we sat with them for a while. Martyn was there. He says I am more than welcome to go next year with him, Tony, Pete M, and Chris R to a caravan in St Tropez. I couldn't think of anything more obnoxious. To Oakwood and got horribly pissed. Home at 2.


Wednesday November 8, 1978

Christine phoned. A remarkable coincidence would seem to have cropped up. She told me she's going to London with Mrs B at the weekend and I leapt in and said "so am I" - to be told she's returning home from Victoria Coach Station at 6pm on Sunday, and Jacq and I will be on the same coach! It's going to be a riot. The poor driver won't know what's hit him. The passengers of a nervous disposition are going to have to delve for inner strength and courage. The combination of CB and I on a charabanc will be like the assassination of Robert Kennedy, three Royal Variety performances and the Pope's hire~wire trapeze act ~ all rolled into one.

CB is going to the Fox tonight and is working tomorrow. I am going to ring and suggest we go to Oakwood Hall after she finishes.

Jim Rawnsley says he is meeting the Prince of Wales, in his official capacity, when HRH visits Leeds next week. He and Muriel are in the official party to go to the Opera at the Grand {Theatre}. He's dreading it and would do anything to avoid going. Life is very unfair. I'd sacrifice my left knee to be sitting in the Royal Box.

Tonight we watched the first part of 'Edward and Mrs Simpson'. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see why some people wanted the series stopped.

Bed at 12:18am.


Tuesday November 7, 1978

Moon's first quarter 16:18

Sunny day. Sarah's 26th birthday, of course. Lunchtime saw the celebration at Da Mario's on the Headrow. I stuck to the old, faithful pizza but we had prawn starters and trifle, &c.

This morning I gave the birthday girl one of my speciality cards with a personal verse chucked in for good measure.

Sarah, Carol J, Eileen and Marilyn W for lunch ~ once again I was the only male in sight. Let me tell you now that on occasions it becomes tedious and trying to be the constant centre of adulation.

Later, to the dentist. Surprised that I don't need any work doing. I feel as if I should perhaps climb into my own mouth and shake each tooth by the hand in gratitude.

Watched tv tonight. Charles Darwin again. Bed at midnight with Adolf Hitler.

PS ~ Lynn & Dave came this evening.