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Tuesday April 25, 1978

Is this journal becoming increasingly boring? At twenty three I may well have lost my lustre. I only hope that you, dear reader, will bear with me through the morose flow of daily trivia. One must, above all things, take the rough with the smooth.

Anyway, Jacqueline Mary Sate and I did once again meet for light refreshment in the period of our lunchtime. The Ostlers is now a familiar scene on these filthy, soaking afternoons. ________________.

The diaries of Samuel Pepys are keeping me gripped to my chair. King Charles II is now firmly established upon his throne. It's a pleasure to read. Eleven years of Puritanical chaos must have been Hell for all normal, fun-loving souls. I, for one, would have taken a visa and escaped to Majorca until Mr Cromwell snuffed it.

-=-

Monday April 24, 1978

Up to Rawdon to see old Hough (dentist). As usual I need a couple of teeth filling and have to go back on May 4.

Sarah took me to Rawdon in Delia's car, which was good of her. I'm supposed to be going to tea with them both next week. Whether I shall or not depends on the movements of Mr W.A. Collis, because I'm never entertained there when he's lodging at home. He hates me.

Jacq started work today at Dacre, Son & Hartley. I phoned her tonight to see how things went. She says OK. The money is ghastly after London but that's the way things are. It's Dacre's dinner dance on Saturday and I'm accompanying Jacq. More expense!

We are going for a quick drink on Wednesday lunchtime, not before. She is attempting to manage my financial affairs. I have every intention of achieving solvency by August or September.

Sandy Denny, the singer, is dead.



Christine phoned. Goodnight.

-=-



Sunday April 23, 1978

Full Moon 05:11 4th Sunday after Easter St George (England)

I was awakened at 9:30 by Alison who was waking John (in another bed in the room) in order to get him to work on time. That poor boy seems to do little else. Graham Dixon, Alison's brother, was also in a third bed in the room, and was introduced to me for the first time. Shaking hands with somebody in bed doesn't seem quite right somehow. He is quite scarred after a recent car accident.

A really beautiful day. Open top car weather, shirt sleeves, and all that. Alison took Jacq and I on a pub crawl of the area and we knocked back Pernod in a way that brought the beaches of Ibiza to the forefront of my pickled mind. The pubs included the Cart & Horses at Kings Worthy, the Plough at Itchen Abbas, the Bush at Ovington, the Globe at Alresford, &c. Most of the inns appear to be packed with over fed stockbrokers, retired field marshals and accompanying ladies.


Hurtling through Hampshire with Alison.

Back at Alison's I met Mr & Mrs Dixon for the first time. Very amiable folk. We contemplated staying until tonight but on phoning Victoria we are told we cannot exchange our tickets unless we go there in person, which defeats the object. So at 3:30 we spent £7 for the two of us to go from Winchester to London Waterloo by train. It took just an hour. We larked about on the Embankment and in Parliament Square which took us to 6pm and home time. I took a picture of Jacq dancing next to a statue of Jan Christian Smuts - it should be quite good. It looked as if the old boy was tap dancing too.


Jacq dancing with Jan Christian Smuts

A long coach journey. We were an hour late in Leeds. Jacq only just made it to the hostel on time and I was certain I wouldn't get a bus home. Daddy was phoned and he and Mama collected me at 11:30. Back for supper and a hot bath. By 1am I was in bed with Samuel Pepys.


-=-

Saturday April 22, 1978

Sun rises 5:51 Sun sets 20:08

First Day of Passover (Pesach)

Up at 7am to the sound of Trixie frying breakfast and singing in her kitchen. Obviously, she suffers none of the 'morning after' effects. Peter S actually came home late last night (supposedly a rare thing for Mr Sate) and was forced to sleep on the chaise lounge, or whatever you call those French sofas with a roll at one end and no back.

After a dash round the bathroom Jacq and I went out for the 8 o'clock bus to Finsbury Park where we found the tube to Victoria. At 9:15 we got a coach to Wallingford in Oxfordshire, a 2 hour journey.

Jacq and I amused ourselves on the back seat, much to the horror of a family of hikers, who stared at us in disbelief. Some of the countryside though which we passed was stunningly beautiful. The money is thickly spread around in Oxfordshire, if you ask me.

At Wallingford we were collected by Mr George Oakes, father of the bride. The house, though being very ordinary, possessed an astounding photograph collection of members of the royal family - and all SIGNED! One photo on top of the television was a signed portrait of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. Others were spread around the sitting room from the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, &c. It transpires that Mr Oakes was for ten years, 1966-76, secretary to the Queen's Flight.





Jacq was upstairs with Gina (the bride) and I sat drinking gin and tonic with a strange lady who is married to a relation of somebody. Brilliant sunshine erupts at 2:30, when Gina (Miss Georgina Margaret Oakes) is married to Flight Lieutenant Hugh Monroe Dawson. The ceremony was a Methodist one and I found it quite the most sincere solemnization I have yet experienced. Afterwards, at RAF Benson, we boozed and noshed. I was alone and wandering about like a lost sheep for some time because Jacq, in her capacity as bridesmaid, was for most of the time tied up with the photographer and other necessary annoyances. I was befriended by a humorous old boy, whom Jacq later labelled ACDC. He seems to have taken a shine to me.






At 7-ish we went back to the Oakes residence travelling there with Auntie Nancy and Uncle Percy. More gin and jokes followed and finally we took our leave at 10:30.

To the Green Tree pub in Wallingford where we waited for Alison's arrival.She bombed up in a sports car at about midnight and by 1am we were back in Winchester and at the Berni Inn where we met John P.

Meeting John at the Berni almost got the poor bugger dismissed because the manager's wife took offence when he served us with a drink at that time in the morning. John did chuck £3 in the till and poured the manager a brandy but all the same she took exception to this. It was an embarrassment all round.

Alison, John, Jacq and I returned to Ally's house at Martyr Worthy. John, who has worked a long shift, almost passed out with exhaustion, and at sometime after 3am we all retired.

Alison's house, though large and attractive, is not the Versailles of Lynn's tales. I fear the Rhodes imagination has run amok in this direction.

-=-








Friday April 21, 1978

Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II

Lynn got me out of bed at 6:30 and I devoured a few slices of toast and read the Daily Mail. The Queen is 52 today. She's in the paper this morning holding her grandson, Peter, in a Snowdon portrait.

Got the 7:52 train to Leeds and met Jacq at the bus station on Wellington Street. She's wearing a hat and reading Erich Segal's follow up to 'Love Story'. It looks like sentimental slush to me.



Left for London at 8:30 and got to Victoria at 1pm. We had a few drinks at the Albert, a pub done out in Victorian style, and then afterwards walked down the Embankment towards Waterloo Bridge. For a while we queued at the entrance at the Commons for a look at the yelling and bawling mob, but after half an hour it began to drizzle and we made our escape.



To Trixie's at Muswell Hill for 5:30 where we had a massive meal of pork roll and avocado pear, &c. Trixie was in good shape and so pleased to see Jacq. Peter S is thinner. He went out with his friend Nick, and the three of us went to the BBC Social Club at the Alexandra Palace. Quite a drunken affair it was too, especially after Trixie won a bottle of Teacher's whisky in a raffle. I was drinking lager with Scotch chasers. Ugh. Yes, I did it again.____________.

Trixie drove us back to the flat pissed, driving at approx 2 MPH with windscreen wipers going like hell, but at least she stuck to the correct side of the road. On arrival home poor Trixie vomited in her palatial loo.

Bundled into Peter's bed.

-=-

Thursday April 20, 1978

Once again 'tis pay day for your humble narrator. Today, just in case you are interested, is the birthday of Adolf Hitler. He was born in 1889 and so you can work out for yourself just which birthday he is celebrating quietly in his Rio flat.

Jacq and I had a drink at the Ostlers at 12:45. Pleasant conversation flowed, as did the 2 pints of lager. I pulled her leg about her Cockney accent. Her interpretation of 'light ale' is a killer.

I prepared for my expedition to the southern counties. At 5 I went to John and Maria's but finding the house locked and shuttered I was compelled to go to the mill to dig him out of the sawdust.He took me back to Silverdale where I borrowed his grey suit (in fact it was originally my suit - see the end of 1975 for the purchase of this grotty, sack-like object).

Saw Carole and (Peter) Fogarty but nothing much was said. Carole, however, did colour up when our eyes met. I don't think I registered any emotion. Back home I thrust everything into my ruck-sack and all was ready.

Tonight, being Thursday, we were bombarded by Jim and Margaret Nason and the intrepid Edith and Ernest. _________. Afterwards Sue, Pete and I had a prawn curry with chips.

To bed at 1:0am.

-=-

Wednesday April 19, 1978

Another busy day at the YP.

Jacq and I went to the Central at lunchtime where we had just one miserable drink. We discussed my job and I vowed that by the beginning of August I'll be in new employment. We discussed all possibilities from milkman, to brain surgeon and ITN newscaster. Jacq has just spent £15 on a new pair of shoes which consist of three straps of cream leather with heels at one end. Nice though. She is sceptical about the weekend arrangements. She isn't acquainted with John (Pinder) and Alison and fails to see how easily we are going to obtain lodgings for Saturday night and thinks it impossible that our intended hosts will chauffeur us back to London on Sunday. I have greater faith in John William Hutchinson Pinder, Esq, and Miss Alison Mary Dixon.

Got a lift back to Guiseley with Jim. In fact this evening I was summoned to his office at the Civic Hall where I waited for him to terminate another conference on the banning of the NF march in Leeds on Saturday. I was home for just after 6.

This evening sport dominated the television but I didn't watch thanks to the mysterious grip of Samuel Pepys. I have read 122 pages. I find it all very fascinating.King Charles II is preparing to return to his kingdom from exile at Breda.

On the 9 o'clock news I saw Prince Andrew make his parachute drop over some misty, southern county. He said he had enjoyed it very much. It's the first time I've heard the 18 year-old prince speak. All the women go quite mad over him. Even mother casts James Garner, the American actor, aside at the sight of Her Majesty's second son scrambling across a turnip field all entangled in his rip cord.

Bed at midnight with Samuel Pepys.


Samuel Pepys's diary.

The family tell me that I look pale and in some cases yellow. Sunken eyes were mentioned. Blimey, is my age showing at last?

-=-

Tuesday April 18, 1978

Jacq's secured a job in Leeds at the Royal Exchange House. She phoned today with the news that she's going to be an audio typist secretary or something for a company the name of which I have forgotten. Lynn took the call and said: "Hello, Sarah". Oh dear. I will always remember Vera Mather saying "Oh, hello Stephen" to me when I'd been 'walking out' with Lynne M for about six months.

Tonight I walked to the Civic Hall at 5pm to meet Jim but he was nowhere in sight, and having spent my fare money on scampi and coleslaw salad at lunchtime you can imagine my predicament. Penniless in the centre of a bustling metropolis. However, having no infirmities of any kind (other than mental ones) I put my best foot forward and marched in a homeward direction. Passing Kirkstall Abbey I secured a lift from a gentlemanly Menstonian who brought me all the way to Guiseley. He told me of the horrors of running a business in the midst of public transport chaos. I pitied him greatly.

At the foot of Hawksworth Lane I was picked up by Jim showering me (yet again) with profuse apologies. He was late because his car had been delayed having a service at Appleyard's.

Home for tea at 6:35. On the BBC news I saw the Prince of Wales and Prince Andrew training to make a parachute jump at RAF Brize Norton. My blood ran cold at the thought of a communist parachute packer hacking away with pinking shears at the royal baggage. Surely the princes do not intend leaping from the same plane at the same time? If so, the consequences could mean we have a King Edward IX, and Lady Sarah Spencer's anorexia nervosa suffering a relapse.


The Prince of Wales and his brother parachute training.

Bed at 11:30

-=-

Monday April 17, 1978

The Leeds buses are on strike for some obscure reason and the traffic into the city was like hell today. I was of course travelling with Jim Rawnsley (who sprained his ankle on Saturday) and Jennie ______. Later this morning I received a phone call from Jim at the Civic Hall asking me to accompany him back to Guiseley this evening in the absence of public transport. Jim Rawnsley is a very good gentleman.

I collected a photo of young John with his grandmother from Betty (the YP photographic wizard who has framed an enlargement for me). It was taken on Dec 27 last year. I am very pleased with it.

I worked until 5:30 and then walked to the Civic Hall to meet Jim. He was in a meeting banning a march planned by the National Front in Leeds on Saturday, and didn't get away until 6:20 and so I sat on the wall near his car reading the newspapers. He was very apologetic.

I fear I have smashed one of my rear teeth on something I ate at Yeadon Fair on Saturday.

A quiet evening at home. Saw an film about Lee Harvey Oswald.

-=-

Sunday April 16, 1978

3rd Sunday after Easter

I slept from 12 midnight until 12 noon. A splash about in the bath and coffee restored me to normal health. Jacq came at 1pm and Sue, Pete, Jacq and I decided to go to Bradford (ABC Cinema) to see 'Saturday Night Fever' starring John Travolta.

A hot, sunny day in Bradford and by 2:30 we were queueing six deep around the cinema. Susan didn't help by saying things like: "I thought you said it would be quiet on an afternoon, Michael?" The film, I thought, was excellent. Travolta is a brilliant mover on the dance floor and of course the Bee Gees are the tops. Sue and Pete liked it. Jacq, mustering up all her creative powers, said the film is "crap".



Back at home we were joined by John, Maria and JPH ~ Maria being at the wheel of the MG ~ the blue smoke and flying mud heralded her arrival at Pine Tops. JPH looked slightly silly with an awful haircut, but he ran around happily enquiring after the whereabouts of his grandparents. He played with an old balloon ~ still inflated since Christmas. They left after an hour to return to Molly's where they are 'looking after Jimmy' while his parents are away.

By now we were close to starvation. Quite understandable really because none of us had eaten since yesterday evening. So off we went to Addingham for fish and chips (after a quick drink at the Commercial) and then to the Devonshire Arms (Bolton Abbey) where Peter saw his boss with a woman from his office. I suggested that Peter could make quite a bit of cash out of the embarrassed guy if he played his cards right.

From the Devonshire Arms it was a ritual trail to the Shoulder of Mutton for one final drink. Jacq was taken back to Leeds by Peter and on our arrival home we found Mum and Dad entertaining Edith and Ernest back from their visit to Morecambe.

-=-

Saturday April 15, 1978

Moon's first quarter 14:56

Sun rises 06:06

Sun sets 19:57

Quite revolting. What words can adequately describe the horror of a furry tongue, and eye balls like mushy peas in a sea of blood? My throat resembled the floor of the Black Hole of Calcutta. To make matters worse Jacq and I were compelled to walk to within one mile of Burley-in-Wharfedale in blazing sunshine, to suffer the agony of scraping walls, helping to demolish walls, and such like for almost eight hours. No Jew in any of the luxurious Russian labour camps can ever have suffered like poor Jacq and I did. And all this for no reward of any kind. Truly, we did a great Christian thing this day. "To labour and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing we do thy will ~ Amen".

At about 12 Jacq and I took a lunch break and devoured fish and chips and supped one meagre drink in the Red Lion. We laughed a good deal because we were so exhausted and couldn't stop ourselves.

Back at Lawn Road we were joined by John who talked a good deal of mumbo jumbo with David. At 5 my dear brother brought Jacq and I home. He's lending me a suit for Gina's wedding next week.

Peter, yes Peter Nason, made pork chops, &c for dinner, and we all ate at about 6pm. I almost fell to sleep across the table.

Jacq and I went down to the bus stop with every intention of going into Leeds to watch 'Close Encounters of a Third Kind' at the Odeon cinema. We stood for an hour an no omnibus came and so once again we had to resort to consuming booze. The Yorkshire Rose, our first port of call, then on foot to Yeadon and the Clothiers. We had a quick dash round Yeadon Fair, which was ridiculously muddy, before heading down Henshaws Lane to the Woolpack Inn.


The Woolpack.

A couple of drinks later we decided to call it a day. Neither of us had been bounding around with joy and a lifeless expression hung over our gaunt features. At about 10:30 Jacq got a Leeds bus and I walked home. It was a pleasant evening and I bounded home under the twinkling stars.

-=-

Friday April 14, 1978

Mother woke me at 10:30 with a coffee and the horrible Daily Mail. Half an hour later they collected Edith and Ernest and set off to Morecambe where they are holidaying for the weekend.

A bright, sunny morning, but the confounded snow is still clinging to the garden. The poor daffodils look absolutely stupid. I sat with the radio blasting merrily away and with a volume of Mr Pepys's journal laying open. The 1650s were no less permissive than the 1970s. Some of the people today who moan about the state of affairs ~ morally ~ really should spend half an hour with Samuel Pepys, Esq.

I spent the whole day eating, reading and being blasted out of my chair by the record player. Sarah phoned at lunchtime to ask for the maiden name of the divorced wife of the present Earl of Dartmouth. After a slight pause I told her that the lady is the former Miss Raine McCorquodale, now wife of Lord Spencer, and daughter of the revolting authoress Barbara Cartland. To be honest, I thought Sarah was really phoning to see if I was really laid up at home, and the aristocratic inquiry was a last resort when I surprised her by picking up the receiver. I do have a devious mind.


Raine McCorquodale, Countess Spencer.

For lunch I made fish and parsley sauce with a touch of garlic. Susan was home at 4:30 and we had a prawn curry. Can you imagine what state my breath is in? However, undaunted, I met Jacq at 7:45 and went to the Yorkshire Rose. From here we went to the Crown at Yeadon (a cold night) and then the Clothiers where we were joined by Sue, Pete, Gus, Chippy, Janet Simon, Dave (Wainwright), Brian Johnson, &c. I was 'grossly over served' with drink, for the want of a better phrase, and smoked several of Jacq's cigarettes.

At 11:30 we all went back to Pine Tops where the spotty faced, teenage Dave made several passes at Jacq saying he'd never liked Cockneys until he met her. To be honest, he was only hanging around to smoke her cigs.

I was legless and threw up in the garden that is dear Papa's pride and joy. I was in a disgusting state. Chippy and Gus were behaving in a riotous fashion.

Lynn and Dave were utter miseries and she stormed off to bed after Dave's departure and insisted on yelling down at me from the top of the stairs about the volume of the record player. Susan and Peter somehow managed to snatch my bed and Jacq and I collapsed on Mum and Dad's bed. I think it was probably 2:30am when things died down.

-=-

Thursday April 13, 1978

Deep, crisp, pathetic snow. Today I felt particularly violent. At lunchtime I trudged through the driving snow to Boots to collect an enlargement of a photograph of Mother and JPH. I think I saw the Abominable Snowman coming out of WH Smiths but I may have been mistaken.

Coming up a white Hawksworth Lane this evening I met Dad clad in his uniform carrying out his constabulary duties. He bowled me over by announcing that he and Mum have decided NOT now to buy Edith and Ernest's house after all. I told him he must have gone raving mad. The whole business is so typical of my parents. Everything is settled and then they go and throw a bomb into the saloon, or spanner in the works, or more apt ~ a turd in the swimming pool.



The tea, evening meal, or dinner, or whatever it's called was miserable. Mum and Dad, and even Lynn were justifying staying at Pine Tops, and I said not one word. Mum accused me of being a misery, but my opinion is once you set on a quest - an adventure - you should complete it. Blimey, Captain Cook didn't get half way to the North Pole and then suddenly decide to pack in, did he? Where would we be now if Mr Columbus had decided to be a bricklayer instead of discovering places? What my parents lack is a sense of adventure and I'm saddened. I have taken such a liking to 54, Hawksworth Lane.

I went and had a bath at 7:30. My nose is blocked. Bloody Carol Johnson is breathing her germs all over the place at the office. I must be 'run down' of late because I'm forever snuffling like a geriatric.

The Nasons and Edith and Ernest came at about 8 for the Thursday piss-up. I remained silent in the chair observing the different characters. I dislike _____ intensely.

The collapse of the house deal was not discussed other than when Mum told Ern I was the most disappointed member of the family. At 10:10 the Prince of Wales narrated the first of a new tv series on different cultures. The programme was quite good, and HRH made us roar with laughter when he said 'men are different to women'. I retired at 11:30 telling Mama I'm not going to work tomorrow.

-=-