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Friday January 12, 1979

I met David (Glynn) at 5:20 at the bus station. Sitting waiting for him clad in my dirty long raincoat my thoughts turned to _________. The National Coach station was a frequent  haunt of ours during our 'romance'. Very nostalgic. It was such a pleasant little affair while it lasted, but it was never really on as far as I was concerned because her constant 'pushy' attitude killed the molecule of respect that lurked in my weird metabolism. _________________.

Dave is in fine shape but looks older. We got home at 6:45 for dinner. The snow didn't help much. Lynn and Dave are here and they invite us to stay at Lawn Road tomorrow. Sue and Pete are asked too. We dined and drank pea wine and then went down to the Fox & Hounds with Sue & Pete. (They have been going out together for 5 years today).  Dave was quiet and complained of indigestion and drank brandy to settle his stomach. Sue & Pete left us to go dine at Queen Anne's Table in Ilkley.

Christine looked like a Goddess. I haven't seen her since the party on Dec 27. I gave her a clockwork dolphin which swims in water as a belated Christmas present. She laughed a good deal as it swam around in the sink behind the bar ~ like the star of 'Jaws'.

Martyn, Peter M (moustachioed), & Steve Hudson came in. Dave enjoyed seeing them. I became quite pissed. Martyn, the bitch, said I resembled Peter Egan's portrayal of Oscar Wilde in the ATV version of Lillie Langtry's life story. Mr Cole is moving to Stockport to be the assistant manager of Samuel jewellers there. Steve Hudson has had a perm. He says I am always pissed. He  might be right.

At 10pm we moved on to the Shoulder of Mutton. CB said she'd phone me tomorrow, but she was far from being her usual ridiculous self. In fact I hate the fact that these days she is always on the other side of the bar to me. She isn't cut out to be servile and certainly no barmaid. In my (drunken) stupor I told Chris R that I am in fact going to marry Christine when I'm grown up, say about thirty. Oh God! I can't wait for that tale to be circulated.

At 11pm Chris and Steve H came back to Pine Tops. We drank lager and pea wine and looked at old photographs. Mum was furious because I was so pissed, and to make matters worse I dropped a glass on the kitchen floor. Dave went and sat with Mum. Dad totally ignored me. Sue and Peter came in. She was in tears. They'd spent £17 on dinner and it had been diabolical. The food inedible. Poor sods. What a rotten fifth anniversary. Watched a blurred Sophia Loren film, but then it was probably my vision and not the telly's fault. Bed after 1am.


Thursday January 11, 1979

The papers and TV (yes, the media) are over-doing it a bit on the subject of the Prime Minister's Caribbean summit on the island of Guadeloupe. The nation may well be in a state of chaos & turmoil, but I fear the presence of James Callaghan in this current crisis can only make matters worse. Besides, one cannot expect the Presidents of France and the United States and the chancellor of West Germany to discuss world affairs in Barrow-in-Furness, can one? Some murky Berni Inn in the north of England may be fine for the likes of little Audrey Callaghan, but Madame Giscard D'Estaing is a different kettle of fish. She's descended from Louis XIV of France, you know.

The journals of Richard Crossman are proving a bore. He was a typical trumped up Socialist intellectual with baggy pin-striped trousers and a Georgian mansion in Suffolk. To be a Labour cabinet minister you have to something of a hypocrite, don't you?

Mr Dave Glynn phoned tonight.  He's coming to Leeds tomorrow and I plan to meet him at 5:15. Such a genuine person and very likeable. Lynn and Sue adore him. He brings out the clown in Susan and the flirt in Lynn, and in Lynn's case this is quite an easy thing to achieve.

Stay by my fireside all evening. Jim and Margaret came here at 9 and we watched TV and consumed lager and chunks of port pie. These meetings never differ from week to week.



Wednesday January 10, 1979

For two nights now I've dreamt about death. Not my death, but the death of unfortuate beings very close to me. I find it disturbing. I'm not going to explain here. Putting the details on paper would be sickening and tempting fate, and all that. It's probably all due to the vast amounts of Scottish cheese I've taken to devouring every night.

Thick snow today. I attempted to shovel it from the drive at 7:45am but didn't get very far.

To the YP with Jim, Jenny and Alec (Muriel's brother), and Donald Best. The discussion in the car was Princess Margaret and the saintly Lord Snowdon. They all disagreed when I said Snowdon was the first to stray. Evidently, it's still the fashion to abuse the poor, defenceless woman.
Kenneth More: nauseating

Sarah and Carol went off to a literary luncheon at the university to see the actor Kenneth More, and James Burke, the tv personality. Both nauseating, in my opinion.

Just me and Kathleen all day. It's just not done to talk about sex, play cards, or laugh raucously in Kathleen's presence, and so I hid behind a filing cabinet with a great heap of photographs.

Dad has announced that he wants to read Kipling. Has he said this before? Probably at the end of 1978? I suggested that he reads Crossman's journals instead - but the shear size of the volume puts him off. Besides, he has an
James Burke
aversion to the intellectual, middle-class type of Labour MP of which Richard Crossman and 'Woy' Jenkins are prime examples.

Sue and Pete went down to the Shoulder of Mutton to make a final farewell party for Gus and Frank, but only Chippy materialized ~ with his 'girlfriend'. They came home at 10:30 covered in snow. I don't suppose Gus will get much of that in the Golan Heights. To bed at midnight.


Tuesday January 9, 1979

Slight snow. Boring at the YP. We played cards all lunchtime. I'm becoming quite fanatical about poker. I do have an addictive personality. It was Dave Lawson who said that greyhound racing would be my downfall.

To the library in town with Sarah. Took out the Crossman Diaries 1964-68 which should see me nicely into autumn.

Poor Sarah wanted a volume on rugby league, but the whole of Leeds City Library was ransacked without success. Ray Fletcher will see her right.

On the subject of books I have just finished reading "Handful of Dust" by Evelyn Waugh. Quite the most entertaining volume I've read in years, but sad and frustrating.

Went to Delia's with S(arah) this evening. Delia gave me red wine and spoke about the possibility of decorating the exterior of Leeds Town Hall with garlands of gladioli, &c. She is insane. She is a marvellous friend is Delia Collis with the mind of a teenager. She cooked pork fillet in prunes which was delicious. Sarah and I ate chocolates afterwards and enjoyed a few hands of rummy. The dog, Sophie, resembles a long-haired caramel seal.

At 6:30 we left for Leeds and met Marilyn (Wheeler) at the ABC cinema. Saw Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando and others in 'Superman'. It started well but was weak. Did a good deal of laughing, but in inappropriate places. It's Sarah's opinion that the advertisements are very often better produced and far more entertaining than the epic on screen. Marlon Brando was paid £200,000 a minute for his brief appearance, I believe.

The journey home was tedious. Marilyn is no conversationalist. She sat there like a dummy. Sarah sat smoking like a chimney, similarly uncommunicative. Pissed up football hooligans were on the upper deck of the bus. Much use of the word 'fuck'.

Home at 11:45. Had cheese on toast. To bed at 12:53am.



Monday January 8, 1979

Pissed down with rain all day. Got a thorough soaking at 5pm.

The YP was dead. The strike is now in its sixth week. Played cards with Sarah and Carol J all afternoon which was great fun. Josephine says the YP is like a gentleman's club these days.

The flag on the flag pole on the lawn at the Flying Pizza in Burley is fluttering at half~mast following my attempt to remove it on Saturday. Lynn thinks it looks wonderful. People doff their caps as they pass it thinking that a high ranking member of the Royal Family is no more.

The bespectacled Italian manager took Josephine home on Saturday night. She told him that his food always gives her an upset stomach. They quarreled violently. Did he remove his specs for her too, I wonder? Or is that neopolitan gesture purely intended for the males of the species only? We will perhaps never have the answer to this.

I came home on the bus with the militant Peter Lazenby. We lapsed into long silences on the journey. _________.

A letter awaits me at home from Barclaycard. In fact it's a statement demanding £7 for petrol purchased at a service station in Leicester on December 18. Some swine is forging my signature, or more probably the cretins at Barclays in Northampton have pressed the wrong button on their computer. Sod off, Barclays. Sod off.

Jacq is having a (birthday) party at Linda's on February 3. It's her 24th birthday. Sarah and Carol J are going there from the Regent (that lousy, painful crowd), and Jacq seems to be spending a lot of time with them there.

Bed at 12:15 after watching a mathematical genius adding up on late night TV.


Sunday January 7, 1979

1st after Epiphany.

Rain washed away the snow. Out of bed at 1pm. Mum, Dad, Sue and Pete went off to see Lynn and Dave at Burley.

John left for Scotland today. ______________.

A dull day. Just sat drinking coffee and listening to Anne Nightingale on the radio. I wished I'd gone to Burley with the others. Undoubtedly they're finishing off all the left over Christmas booze. Lynn's attitude to alcohol in January is similar to that of the major stores policy of clearing all stock from the shelves and starting again. _______.

They came back at 5pm - the four of them. Mum was pissed and her face black with soot. David had been doing his 'Black & White Minstrel' gag apparently. They had stopped the car on the way home for Mum to 'have a bit of fresh air'. My God. It's only three miles.

A candle~lit dinner of roast beef at 6:30. I was ravenous.

Watched two films. Steve McQueen in one and Peter Sellers in 'Hoffman'.  Bed at 12:30.


Saturday January 6, 1979


The boiler in Lynn's bathroom bangs a good deal.  Up at 11. Ate toast and then went out with Lynn to buy some meat for David's Sunday lunch. All very domesticated. A cold, slushy day.

Back to Lawn Rd for 12:30. We dismantled the Chrirtmas tree. I amused Lynn by deflating the balloons and telling her to save them all until next Christmas.

Dave later went out to see George (Waite) about a coal bunker. Home at 2. At 5 Mum and Dad left for a party at Auntie Mabel's, and then it happened. All Hell was released upon Hawksworth Lane in what is termed 'a three car pile~up'. It was just after 5 when I heard an almighty bang come from the kitchen. I opened the door and in fell Susan Prior, with grit and gravel all over her fur coat. A man with a beard was holding her up. He told me he had bumped into her car and she had smashed into the rear of Peter N's Capri. All three cars were near the top of our drive in a pathetic huddle.

The man with the beard handed Miss Prior a blank sheet of paper and asked her to sign the bottom. Wisely, she refused to do this. She refused to say anything until her boyfriend arrived from playing squash at Headingley. The beard had two girls with him. One became hysterical. She had recently lost a brother in a car accident and insisted on screaming: "Kevin! Kevin!" at the top of her voice. I presumed Kevin to be the unfortunate brother. JPH came into the kitchen and ran around imitating a police car and bursting balloons.

Then, the squash playing boyfriend arrived. His fly was down and his cock clearly exposed. I didn't like to mention this. It poked out for all to see. The gravel filled fur coated Miss Prior had a weep, and the beard wanted her blood and things became very heated. It was like a scene in downtown Teheran. Miss Prior and the indecently exposed boyfriend went outside to her car (where presumably she spotted his exposed genitals), and the beard rang his father who arrived promptly, looking like Jeremy Thorpe in a trilby and dark overcoat. This gent suggested that Miss Prior should be booked for driving without due care and attention. Peter phoned Dad at Auntie Mabel's for some advice. They all converged onto the lane and some haggling took place. Little JPH ate an apple and dashed about between the hagglers. He helped defuse the situation.

Eventually the police were summoned. A constable with black teeth and a flashing blue light arrived half an hour later. He told the beard that he was just as liable as Miss Prior, and told them to exchange addresses for insurance purposes. I thought he might arrest the squash player for indecent exposure, but he can't have noticed the dangling cock.

The girl with the dead brother Kevin became tearful once more. Then a van came to tow away the wrecked vehicles and they all suddenly became very apologetic. It was the closest I have been to ever embracing the lovely Sue Prior (from No. 90, Hawksworth Lane).

Peter took it all marvelously even though his Capri suffered £200 worth of damage. Susan is very good in a crisis.

Jim Nason arrived at 7:30 to inspect the damage before taking Sue, Pete and I to the White Cross. Joined by Chippy, Gus, Johnny, Mick (?), and Dave W {who disappeared after an argument over his charging us all 30p to take us to Burley in Wharfedale}. In fact the language was quite violent and abusive so much so that the landlord asked us to be quiet.

At 10:45 we went by bus to the Flying Pizza at Burley in Wharfedale. The food was hideous. We laughed when Frank asked the waitress for "French fries" and she replied: "don't you mean chips?" Upstairs a sort of discotheque was underway and Josephine and a crowd from the Regent were in. Chippy was being obnoxious. Josephine asked him to "stop fucking swearing". We all followed her into the dance area but the revolting manager with spectacles and Italian features told us to take our drinks back downstairs "because even a blind man can see this area is for dancing only". How very rude. Chippy got into an argument. The manager removed his spectacles and offered to give Chippy a thrashing outside. Johnny and Frank left to go to town. The manager quipped that he didn't cater for homosexuals on his premises. We drank up and left. I gave him (the manager) a naughty wink and blew a provocative kiss. It wasn't well received.

It was raining and we thought of walking to Lynn and Dave's. The lads walked towards Guiseley and me and Sue went to Lawn Road.



Friday January 5, 1979

Carol J is away from the YP with 'chest problems' It's a big enough chest. Sarah wore a fur hat all day at her typewriter saying it was because her hair is so filthy and she cannot subject me to the sight of it.

Two lords died today and both peerages became extinct. Viscount Harcourt died without an heir, and so too did Earl Beauchamp. How many years will it be before Burke's Peerage can be published in a pocket~sized edition?

Took a half~day and went to buy Mum and Dad a pepper mill for their birthdays. Spent £5. Also, devoured fish & chips from Harry's (Ramsden's) before heading for home in the sun and snow at 3pm.

At 6pm Lynn and Dave B came to carry me off to Burley-in-Wharfedale. We had tomato soup and ate pizza and chips, and drank beer, apricot wine and a quantity of whisky. Dave was pale. He had a headache. He looked at death's door. We watched "What's New Pussycat" on TV. I thought of Judith Rushworth, who loves Peter Sellers. In fact Sellers deserved an Oscar for his performance as Professor Fassbender, the psychiatrist.

Dave had to go to bed at 12, but Lynn and I lasted until 1.30. She does tend to bite his head off.


Thursday January 4, 1979

Money. It seems an eternity since I saw a wage packet.

A Cold day, but the snow held off. To work with Jim {Rawnsley} who tells me that Muriel's mother is to be cremated tomorrow. Obviously, she must have died. In fact she departed this life last Friday. The poor old thing was only 68 and had a tumour as big as a tennis ball on her brain. Nauseating thought, eh?

Tonight: out with Pete (Nason), Chippy, Gus, Frank, Dave W, Micky Hebden, Kathryn Chaffer, &c, &c to the Shoulder of Mutton, Highroyds social club and then Oakwood Hall. Had a good dance and didn't get horribly pissed for a change. It is the last Thursday night out for Gus and Frank who are heading out to the Sinai Desert or the Golan Heights, next week. I suppose Gus will disrupt Mr Begin's peace talks and a flare up of the Middle East war must now be on the cards. General Dayan is definitely in for a rough time.

Actually I am not too sure how they will get on in the middle east and my wish is that they stick it out and benefit from the experience.

Chippy _____________________________.

He (Chippy) looked pained when I suggested that the manic Thursday nights will capsize now two prominent members are departing. He almost wept and said that he and Peter will still be out and about. Just the three of us? He says Dave W isn't really a member of the gang, but he always seems to be there when I am around. Chippy always has to be right.