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Tuesday November 28, 1978

Fog, ice and murky weather generally. Could really do with a few months off work. It seems like a lifetime ago since I had any holiday. If the International Commission for Human Rights got to hear about my working conditions they'd all go collectively grey. I'd make a good Russian Jew.

It is indeed a sad week. On Friday the Times newspaper disappears for an unspecified period of time. God knows just how I will cope without it. It's the only decent national newspaper and the workers are doing their utmost to destroy it. Send in the tanks, that's what I say. Flatten bloody Fleet Street and hang the National Graphical Association rebels by the ankles from which ever newspaper building is the highest. Swines. I'm going now. I have nothing sensible to say and so I might as well just go to bed.


Monday November 27, 1978

Phoned Carole at B.S. & W. Whiteley's at Pool~in~Wharfedale this morning. We discussed her 21st birthday party on Saturday at the Cow & Calf. She said it was a drunken affair and that everyone who should have attended had done so and then she giggled slightly. I told her I had been to Stranraer and she asked about Maria. I told her that she had been the topic of discussion on Saturday when we were pissed up and she exclaimed "Oh God, I can imagine what you were talking about". She told me that she and Fogarty had split "for a fortnight so that she could have a break". Now was my chance surely to get hold of Carole, but after ten minutes of natter down went the phone having made no plans to meet.

Christine phoned later. She told me that now was my chance to pursue Carole again. I will contact her later in the week. Christine said she is free on Saturday, and so I might be escorting one of the region's most glamorous females._____________.

I wrote to David L in Hockley Heath. I fear I have been neglecting him. I don't think he'll be home until after Christmas.

Saw in some of the newspapers that the Prince of Wales and Lady Jane Wellesley have been together in Spain over theweekend at the estate of the Duke of Wellington. This is a weird relationship. They have been on and off since 1972. Lady Jane will be 28 next. A Princess of Wales is going to have to be young enough to produce a few children, and Lady Jane is on the verge of becoming an ancient relic. John MacMurray saw Lady Jane in the flesh a few months ago at a NUJ meeting and he was far from impressed. Mind you, nothing much impresses John.

Lady Sarah Spencer's dad is critically ill following a cerebral haemorrhage and I do suppose he'll shortly be giving up the ghost. The heir to the earldom is the 14 year-old Lord Althorp.

Just watched TV tonight. Mum and Dad went to Lynn and Dave's at 8 and stayed until 10. They returned virtually frozen to death.


Sunday November 26, 1978

27th after Trinity 5th Sunday before Christmas

No hangover. Something of a miracle. David, deathly white, climbed out of bed and went outside to vomit over half of Scotland. Fried breakfast. Maria very cheerful. No mention today of our 'Carole conversation' last night which was a relief really because I didn't want my inner-most private thoughts bandied about over breakfast among the junior, impressionable members of the family.

Though very cold it was a bright and sunny morning and we decided to to go into Stranraer to look at the boats. Purely for JPH's benefit really. JPH is amazing this morning ~ tanking around outside with the 30p I gave him jingling away in his pocket. Funny isn't it how small boys like to stuff their pockets with oddments?

We saw the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in dock. Not as big as I thought it would be. I don't have any sense of proportion.

Maria and I clowned around and I acted the fool. She called me 'Donal' and I called her 'Sally'. We behaved like morons and our antics went straight over the heads of the others, especially John, who frowned and scowled as I led his wife through Stranaer harbour on a dance of idiocy. I pushed JPH in his pushchair and we were all one big, happy family.

At 2:30 we all kissed goodbye until Christmas and we drove off leaving the three of them framed in the harbour. No stopping on the journey home and we got in at 7:30 quite buggered. Mum made us a big dinner. She thought something was wrong because we were all so quiet, even Lynn, but it was because we were all so tired. Bed after 11.


Saturday November 25, 1978

Sun rises 07:35 Sun sets 16:00

Today it snows and freezes. If this is Scotland they can keep it. Edinburgh in 1968 was my only other excursion to this Moira Anderson territory.

We all, including JPH, went to the Crown on the seafront at Port Patrick and we sat huddled together watching the weather outside and calmly sinking alcohol again. We returned to Lochans at about 3pm for food. Can you believe haggis and chips?

John and Maria found a baby~sitter for this evening and we hit the town again. The Downshire in Stranraer was our first port of call, and then we visited two other places of refreshment. By the time we arrived at the last one it was 10 o'clock and I was £20 lighter! The kitty money was running away like water.

Maria and I discussed Carole __________________. She says C would do anything for me and only goes out with Fogarty to get at me. She'd drop him like a stone if I explained to her how I really felt. She insisted that I should give Carole a ring and is adamant that the girl is waiting for me to make a move. Our chat was brought to an abrupt close at 11 o'clock when a riot broke out on the premises and glasses, chairs, and all manner of pub fixtures and fittings flew across the room. A gang of about 20 lads were fighting. Blood, booze and entrails trickling down the walls. The arrival of the police brought the fracas to an end and we were herded out into the street and allowed to go on our way. We didn't hang around. Lynn was in tears. Funny how violence affects some people. Back to the caravan where we fooled around. Peter and I argued about something.


Friday November 24, 1978

Felt slightly bog~eyed this morning. My Uncle Albert would have been 83 to~day. Saw Lynn and Dave in Guiseley this morning and scrounged a lift to Leeds.

I busied myself until 12 and then returned home. The bus driver tutted and scowled at me when I told him I had only worked three hours today. Is that ancient institution, the half~day, unheard of in 1978 working life?

At 2:30 Sue, Pete and I left for Stranraer in his car. Lynn and Dave left an hour later because Dave had an appointment with some consultants, which was unfortunate. Pleasant journey. We arrived at Lochans at 7:30. They seem very happy and the caravan isn't the hovel I feared it might be. JPH's swearing isn't too bad ~ or perhaps I should say it hasn't got any worse ~ though I clearly heard him say 'bastard' several times, albeit under his breath. JPH is the most good looking child I have ever seen. John, Sue, Pete and I made off to an off~licence whilst Maria cooked dinner, and we returned with a bottle of whisky and eight or nine cans of ale.

Lynn and Dave arrived at about 9 o'clock and we sat about howling with laughter until about 1am. Lynn was pissed. We slept in sleeping bags, and giggled like four year old children well into the night.