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Friday March 17, 1978

St Patrick (Ireland)

Bank Holiday (N Ireland)

I was awakened at 6:00am by the radio singing away in the Luxembourg tongue. The bedroom light was burning brightly and within minutes I was cramming clothes into a ruck sack with one hand and brushing my teeth with the other hand. All very chaotic. Left at 7 with a happy heart and a dry, thickly lined throat. Drinking heavily before a long drive to the capital is not ideal.

Jacq was waiting at Victoria. To the Shakespeare pub nearby where gin ans Scotch ran like water ... or dry ginger. Jacq looked very well peeping at me beneath a fringe. Her long skirts with frilly petticoats hanging below. It was so good to see her.

Back at the flat I had rounds of toast whilst listening to the Doobie Brothers Greatest Hits singing away on her record player. Indeed, all is right with the world.

Tonight we met Cheryl and Steve and went to an Italian place on Muswell Hill Broadway. I had no appetite but enjoyed myself. Cheryl is a natural comedienne. Afterwards, Steve took us to his rugby club where the floor is swamped beneath two inches of beer and pissed guys stand raucously flashing everywhere. By this time I was already in financial straights. My tight jeans and boots didn't look quite as out of place at they do in Yorkshire.


Thursday March 16, 1978

Moon's first quarter 18:21

Dearest Christine's 22nd birthday. This afternoon I fought my way into town and purchased for the wonderous lady a can of British knickers and of course the ritual card. Tonight is Willie's 21st and I could not forget him either. I bought him a sordid volume entitled 'British Fishing', but with a naked lady exhibiting each 'catch'. The picture of the over weight salmon fisher in her wellies, and nothing else, got me. How did I have the nerve to purchase such a disgusting article?

The party anyway. Christine came at 8 (or was it 8:45?) and we both made a spectacular entry into the Hare and Hounds. We both drank like fish while Willie gloated over his dirty book, and we were joined by the cream of local society, Rick Marshall and Nigel Smith to name a few. We ended up all sharing a table. Rick kept peering over his glass and muttering: "Mick, you're alright, you are", as if it's only just dawned on him what a sound chap I am. The evening became blurred as it wore on. "This time I'm really going straight" said Rick sounding like somebody from a corny episode of 'Z Cars'.

Poor Christine is having boyfriend bother once more. I hung about until about 12:30 and then hot footed it home.


Wednesday March 15, 1978

Oh bugger the old English handwriting today. I feel absolutely revolting. Nevertheless, I crawled out of bed and attempted to make an effort at the YP, but by 11:30am I was dead. In fact, at that fateful hour I was compelled to enter the lavatories of the Yorkshire Post and did wretchedly vomit forth. It was ghastly. At 12 I 'signed off' for the day and returned homeward. The omnibus bearing my pale corpse to Guiseley was within seconds of inspecting the remainder of the contents of the above mentioned stomach.

At home the situation is cold to say the least. Mama and Papa are still considering closing their respective diplomatic delegations and to me it seems that nothing but an out and out war is inevitable. For the remainder of the day I sat ~ quiet as a mouse ~ armed with a gas mask and copy of the New English Bible. Oh, it's all very sad. But this is what marriage is all about I do suppose.  I expect Mr & Mrs Thatcher (Conservative) often fall out in similar circumstances. Goodnight.


Tuesday March 14, 1978

The March winds did blow. In fact, the blowing on Hawksworth Lane was gale force. The meteorological freaks will be having a field day.

David Greenwood, Lynn's boss, is celebrating his birthday tomorrow ___________________.

Mum: slewed
I came home from work to be confronted by dear Mama with the reddest face I have ever laid eyes on. She puts it down to the combination of the sun ray lamp and alcohol. She and Daddy quarrelled this afternoon and she decided to drown her sorrows. I promised not to tell a living soul that my mother has consumed a whole bottle of sherry whilst reclining 'neath the glowing lamp. She is thoroughly ashamed of herself. I say it's all well and good. If my dear old Ma can't get slewed once in a while, who can? By 6:30 Dad was still absent and she went round to Edith's.

Alexandre Dumas is a real dead beat. 'The Man in the Iron Mask' is boring me to death. After a couple of minutes with it I'm either asleep or distracted by something else.

Meanwhile: back to the excitement. At 9 o'clock I went to lay siege to the Blackwell residence and was roped into an old photo appreciation session. We had hysterics over some ancient images of Edith's granny, and much wine was partaken of in the process.  At midnight Mama returned homeward and I sat with Ernest (Edith was in bed) listening to his wartime reminiscences. It was almost 3:30am when I arrived home.