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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.