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Sunday June 4, 1978

2nd Sunday after Trinity

I do believe my dear friend Mr Ratcliffe celebrates a birthday today. I would never have remembered had it not been for David's observation of this in Harrogate on Friday.

Forgive this 'yucky' ink but I'm afraid I cannot be bothered to take down a bottle of sensible coloured ink from the shelf. Yes, I am a lazy sod.

In thunderous conditions we drove Jacq to Leeds at 9:30 ~ taking cousin Julie with us ~ and from Leeds we went on to Uncle Peter's to give him back his eldest daughter. The Wilson girls are very nice. Beverley and Julie are very quiet and polite, but Penny is the joker with the glint in her eyes and toothless grin. Peter was 'out at the club putting his numbers on' whatever that means. We departed at 10:30 in a homeward direction.


Saturday June 3, 1978

Sun rises 04:48 Sun sets 21:10

Hot again. I got out of bed at seven o'clock and made Jacq a cup of tea. I haven't been out of bed at this time on a Saturday for years.

Today is the Queen's official birthday. Birthday Honours: Sue Ryder is a new peeress and Freddie Laker a knight.

I took Jacq to her bus at 8:30 and walked home in the hot sunshine up Thorpe Lane. A beautiful day. A big breakfast with the family at 9:30 and then watched the Trooping the Colour on the BBC. Princess Margaret made her first public appearance since her divorce. The Queen Mother too was at Horse Guards Parade. I love the Queen Mother. She's now an institution in her own right. 'Go it, old girl!' The poor Queen must have been hot in that uniform.

At 11 Mum and Dad returned from Pudsey with my cousin Julie, who is staying the night. _________.

I met Jacq at 5:30 in Guiseley and we walked to the White Cross and sat outside in the sun. Home by 7:20 and Sarah and John Mac come. We went to the Harrogate Arms and the Damn Yankee. John and Jacq not too cheerful. Carole and Fogarty were in the Damn Yankee but we didn't speak. By 11:30 we were at home. Sarah at the end of her tether and Mr Mac's indecisiveness. In fact tempers were jagged. I calmed them all down with coffee and sent them home, including Jacqui.


Friday June 2, 1978

Her Blessed Majesty the Queen was crowned a quarter of a century ago this day. Jacq and I and a few close friends celebrated in the correct style. Her Majesty would be ever so proud of us if she only knew just how much we drank to commemorate this day.

Hot. Again I met Jacq at Parker's wine bar for a few beverages at 12. She was horrified today because for the first time she learned the full extent of my lack of finances. She sat reeling on the bar stool with the colour drained from her divine cheeks as I informed her I only earn £32 per week (after Mr Healey's deductions of course). She orders me to resign with immediate effect and seek employment elsewhere. It's not quite as easy as that though, is it?

At 4:30 I made good my escape from the YP.

This evening Mum and Dad gave me a lift to the Station Hotel. Jacq arrived and the two of us went to David L's where we sat with him and Mr & Mrs Lawson until Andy and Nicole arrived at 9 o'clock. From here we went to the Traveller's Rest at Crimple, near Harrogate. A riotous night followed which saw us drinking pints of beer through gaily coloured straws. Isn't it supposed to make you pissed? Haven't been to the Travellers Rest for years.

It was good to be out in David's company again. He seems to get on well with Jacq. He plans to throw his Christmas party slightly early this year ~ in August ~ because when he starts his new job December will be the busiest period. The year wouldn't be the same without a party at Tennyson Street.

We piled in back home at 11:30 to sample wine. Poor Nicole was pissed. Jacq stayed the night. She's working in the morning. We laid on the floor together reading 'The Times'. I explained to her the rudiments of newspaper librarianship. To bed at about 1am.


Thursday June 1, 1978

A scorching day.

Prince Michael is going to renounce the throne next month on marriage to his baroness, who will become HRH Princess Michael of Kent. The poor Duchess of Windsor will play hell about the injustice of this. Another interesting fact is that any children born of the marriage will be in line of succession to the throne because they are to be raised as Anglicans.

Edith and Ernest came round for the ritual orgy of booze and merriment. But once again no sign of Jim & Margaret Nason. These people obviously cannot take the pace, which bestows more laurels on the remarkable record of the 70-odd year-old Blackwells. We shall certainly miss them when the move to far-off Devon. I say this every week but it's true. I am such a repetitive swine, and boring with it, too. In fact I stand in salutation and marvel and your dedication and vigilance throughout. God Bless every one of you.


Wednesday May 31, 1978

Sat in the garden ~ wearing only my shorts ~ compiling this journal today. It has been another 'scorcher'.

Sarah and I went to Parker's (wine bar) at lunchtime. She bought me three or four pints and we discussed taking our 'concubines' out on Saturday in what will be an onslaught on Harrogate. Sarah and I haven't formed a foursome since Aug 1976 when we went out with Peter (Baker) and Lynne Mather.

A hot sticky afternoon filing portraits. You can imagine what bliss it was to sit in my deckchair with a heddy summer breeze blowing round my knees.

Also contacted Jacq who is burnt to a cinder after sprawling in the park all day yesterday. She says she's not eating this weekend.

Uncle Peter's daughter, Julie, is coming to stay with us on Saturday for what's left of the weekend. Peter's children are good kids.

This evening I took a layer off the lawns.

Prince Michael of Kent and Marie-Christine Troubridge have become engaged. The Queen consented in Privy Council this afternoon to her cousin's marriage with a Czech-born Roman Catholic with one ex husband still living. Formerly Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, Marie-Christine's marriage to Tom Troubridge was declared null a couple of weeks ago. I do not think any member of the Royal Family has married a Roman Catholic since the 1680s. However, I may be wrong. I have just seen the couple on the six o'clock news and I can tell you I would also renounce any claim to the throne to lay my hands on her. She's beautiful.