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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.