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Saturday December 9, 1978

Sun rises 07:54

Sun sets 15:52


Joke: "What fucks old age pensioners?" (For the answer see the heading of Dec 16).

My stomach isn't what it should be today. I am dribbling and rumbling all over the place and put it down to the Tetley's bitter in the Shoulder last night.

Did absolutely nothing all day other than listen to music and watching Mummy going about her work. If I was the Holy Father I'd have her beatified. (Richard III's niece, Margaret, Countess of Salisbury was beatified in the 1880s). Mum does work like a bee though.

Original Oak: Headingley
Tonight: phoned Chippy at 7 and he and Frank came at 8. We went to Queensway for Gus and then had a drink in the Crown before moving on to the Original Oak to meet Johnny. We latched on to the vicars and tarts. Frank and I went outside to change into our costumes. He was clad in a black skirt and canary~yellow jacket and I put on a white shirt backwards beneath a black t~shirt so that soon I'm the image of the Archdeacon of Bath &Wells. Frank brought the place to a standstill with his impersonation of a tart, he even used the ladies toilets. The gin and ale swilled everywhere. I persuaded a crowd of people to join me in the singing of rousing hymns including "Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Hallelujah!" Someone complemented me on my ecclesiastical voice. One gorgeous tart said I sound like William Rushton! What a tremendous complement. I didn't know I was so articulate. An articulated lorry yes, but no orator.

We gave a lift to a guy called Smith and carrying a seven pint can I entered the party. As usual everything is shrouded in mist and stale alcohol fumes. I had a romantic interlude with one nameless tart who enquired: "Ooh Father, where did you learn to kiss like that?"

Became deeply involved in a discussion on which part of the UK is the friendliest. I said (of course) that Yorkshiremen are the warmest but my opponent said boys from Devon are far friendlier. I concluded that they all vote Liberal in Devon and are invariably homosexual, at which I was set upon by a rugby player from Paignton.


Friday December 8, 1978

Not too hung~over, but all the same  took my weekly dose of Eno's on my arrival at the barren, deserted office.

Malcolm was working flat out to get the EP on the street. I gave him a few items of interest from the Daily Telegraph and he snatched them up eagerly and called me a "grand lad". Am I perhaps a creep, or just nice and helpful? Peter Lazenby wouldn't approve of my assisting here.  Sarah is still off.

At 2 Eileen and I went to Len's for a couple of lagers. At 3 I began my Christmas shopping in torrents of rain and in 90 minutes I purchased five presents and spent £20. Easily done.

Golda Meir: eagle?
Home and dry for 5:30. Devoured a pile of cheese sandwiches. Saw on the news that Golda Meir has died. I believe she is the eagle which escaped from London Zoo in 1966 or thereabouts. (Am I mad?)

Out to the Shoulder of Mutton with Sue & Pete at 8 and are joined by the mob. Johnny is home from college and he is taking us to a party in Headingley tomorrow night  ~ a 'Vicars & Tarts' arrangement. I spent very little but enjoyed it all the same. In fact I was slightly pissed.

Pennies from Heaven ...
At 10 we went to the White Cross and then back to _____West's house opposite the old police station. (He was the lad who thumped me, Dave Lawson and Andrew Dean, after the Fieldhead School prize giving day in Dec 1971). However, Christmas is the season for forgiving. Besides, he bought me a whisky. They played cards and I watched 'Pennies from Heaven' and completed a crossword. Later I read an interesting article on carp fishing in an angling volume which educated me greatly. Home at 1 o'clock and to bed.


Thursday December 7, 1978

Moon's first quarter 00:34

Slightly festive. Out tonight with Christine to the Fox & Hounds in a deluge of bloody rain. She was swearing, using four~letter words in fact, about getting her delicious hair wet.

The Fox was dead and dull and was brightened slightly by the arrival of Philip Knowles and a fellow soccer enthusiast. He and CB had been out together last night.

At 10:30 we went to Oakwood Hall and danced all night. We must be growing quite ancient and unfit because at 1:30 we were exhausted and close to collapse. Sweat trickled and cascaded down the delightful contours of Christine's form.

Peter, Gus, Chippy and Dave Wainwright made an appearance but we didn't fraternize. Christine and Chippy have something of a personality clash. In fact, they hate each other.

Sexual croquet ...
Outside was hilarious. Christine wanted a curry and a £1 note from her purse blew from her fingers and under the mobile curry van. I proceeded to discard clothing and spread~eagle myself beneath the vehicle to salvage the offending note much to the amusement of the assembled multitude. I got stuck. People tried to pull me out. A woman dropped an onion bhaji and it rolled between my legs ~ like a game of sexual croquet. Eventually I got out, covered in filth and clutching CB's money.

Christine laughed all the way home. bed at 2am.


Wednesday December 6, 1978

On safari with Deborah ...
I fear my father suffers from chronic indigestion. You'd be surprised by some of the noises which cry out in the night and at times awaken me with sweat on my brow imagining I'm out on safari in Kenya with Deborah Kerr. Highly peculiar, trumpeting noises can be heard at all times of the day and night and people from miles around gather at our gate with cassette tape recorders and cameras to catch a specimen sample of Daddy's spectacular performances. He is to flatulence what Kathleen Ferrier was to opera.

Warmer today and no bloody fog. Jenny Rawnsley made a record at school yesterday afternoon and so Jim now has orders to purchase a "music centre". I don't like this description of a record player. It sounds to me as though he's going to put in a take~over bid for EMI  or the Rank Organisation. Poor, eccentric James. He could so easily have stepped from the pages of a Jane Austen novel. (I think Jane's "Five Go Off in a Caravan" is her masterpiece ~ Ed.)

Left the YP at 2pm due to the lack of work due to the strike. Malcolm Barker and I are now firm friends. He stood with me this morning showing me the EP copy as though I am the EP news editor or even ~ dare I say it ~ Helen Atha. Blimey I am becoming big~headed and fanciful.

Home at 3. Just ate and watched TV tonight.  "Edward and Mrs Simpson" was good. Cynthia Harris plays the duchess as a power~mad, selfish, calculating hag. Peggy Ashcroft is good as Queen Mary, and the girl who plays the young Duchess of York bears a remarkable likeness to her.

To bed at 12:40 after watching an interview with Woody Allen on the BBC. He really is the funniest man in the world, and so ugly too. I could listen to him for hours. Sat in bed with nothing to read. However, I won't let it get me down.

The mystery King of England in yesterday's competition was born today.


Tuesday December 5, 1978

Fog again.  I didn't get to work until 9.05am but who cares? No NUJ members were working and we found Malcolm Barker attempting to bring out a newspaper quite alone.

I saw in the Daily Telegraph death announcements that Sir David Salt, Bt, has died. When he was in his fifties in 1975 he married an old woman in her 70s. Also spotted that Lord Harewood's aunt, Viscountess Boyne, has died aged 75. Malcolm was thrilled by these items of news and snatched them up it fill the pages of the pathetic EP.

At 3pm with all the routine work finished I left the office and attempted to get but a bus but none were forthcoming, so I caught a train at 3:45.

Silly Old Jim
Read Kenneth Harris's interview with the Prime Minister in the Observer (Sunday).  Silly Old Jim (Callaghan) says he's going to go on looking after us until he's in his eighties. The beloved leader fails to see why politicians give up and retire at sixty when they are the peak of their brilliance. I agree, Jim. Churchill was almost 150 when they finally shot him, and Mr Gladstone was 463.

I am going to give you ten guesses as to which British monarch was born on December 6. (Yes, I know that's tomorrow). Come on! Who am I? I was styled "Dei Gratia Rex Angliae et Franciae et Dominus Hiberniae" and was born at Windsor on Dec 6, 1421. Crowned at Westminster on Nov 6, 1429, and crowned King of France at Notre Dame, Dec 17, 1431. I married April 22, 1445, Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Rene, Duke of Anjou, titular King of Sicily, Naples and Jerusalem (descended from the Count of Anjou, brother of Charles V). I was deposed after the second Battle of St Albans, March 4, 1461, and re~instated Oct 9, 1470, from when I reigned until taken prisoner in April 1471; I died in the Tower of London shortly after the Battle of Tewkesbury, May 4, 1471, it is supposed by violence, and was buried at Windsor. Who am I? For the answer refer to the block capitals above Dec 9.