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Friday January 26, 1979

No hangover, for a change. My day at the YP was nauseating. The NUJ are all back to work.

Phoned Christine. She is working at the Fox tonight. She hasn't phoned me since before Christmas and says it is because her boss is bugging her appliance. I have been through this sort of thing with her before. For months I can receive a phone call every day, and then suddenly they dry up, and I have to make the effort. She knows I will always be around, on hand. My services only come to the fore at times of loneliness & misery. I don't mind this. We have an unwritten agreement.

David L came at 7:45 and we went to the Fox. Sat at the bar until 10 reminiscing. We always talk about days gone by. Things like the vodka party with Serena in Worcester, Oh, and the female usherette with the torch at Yeadon Cinema in the power strike of 1971. Christine amused us too.  She improves with age, does the creature. Her hair is the most exquisite masterpiece this side of the Louvre. How can a girl with so much beauty not believe in God?

At 10 Dave's stomach was crying out for food and so we went to the Commercial for jars of mussels in vinegar.He had 2 jars washed down with lemonade. Annie, the landlady, took one look at me and exclaimed: 'Oh look. Shirley Temple's had his curls cut off''. I don't think I've been down to the Commercial since Jacq and I made regular Sunday lunchtime trips.

I accidentally knocked David's glass off the table and gave Annie's cat a shower. Outside, the sky was so clear. David made an attempt to show me the Great Bear and the Plough but as usual I was over-awed by the great firmament.


Thursday January 25, 1979

Left the YP at 12:30 and met Jacq in a pub the name of which I have forgotten. It's the one behind the Yorkshire Crown in what looks like a cellar. We had a few drinks and I gave her £5.

Derek Sate has had a street named after him in Buckinghamshire ~ 'Sate's Way' & so he's now joined the ranks of the likes of Queen Victoria, the Duke of Marlborough & Clement Attlee. He's also now in possession of a Cadillac ~ with air conditioning ~ and the usual automatic toilet roll holder. He's just been up to see her for the weekend with Carol, who is having trouble with boils on her head.

Tonight: Chippy phoned at 6:30, Dave Lawson phoned at 7 o'clock, and Dave Glynn at 7:30. Popular aren't I? Dave L is home until Monday and we arranged to go out tomorrow night, Dave G just wanted a chat, and Chippy says he will collect me at 8. Plunged into a hot bath & then out to the Shoulder (of Mutton). We were joined by Dave Wainwright, whose car broke down outside. A pleasant night, though Oakwood Hall was empty of familiar faces & quite dull compared with last week. I made a concerted effort to curb my drinking consumption after midnight. Home at 1:30 joking with four girls in a car on the way back. We sat and chatted at the roadside for ten minutes or so.


Wednesday January 24, 1979

Auntie Mabel: had dinner on the boil ...
Went to Auntie Mabel's at 5 o'clock where she has dinner on the boil in readiness. I am utterly spoiled and mollycoddled by her. She tells me I am her first visitor for over a week, not counting Marlene, of course.

A night in front of the TV. 'Coronation Street', then 'The Aphrodite Inheritance' , and Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca'.

I bet you didn't know that Daphne Du Maurier's daughter is Viscountess Montgomery of Alamein. She is, anyway.

To bed at 11:30pm. Auntie kindly offered to come into the bedroom to switch off the light once I was safely tucked up. I think she might have forgotten that I am almost 24. I told her I'd switch off myself, and we said goodnight.

Found a copy of 'Rebecca' on my bedroom bookcase and glanced at the first few chapters. It was first published in 1938.


Tuesday January 23, 1979

No snow today, but we all expect something. Sarah was a cow all day and went out of her way to be tiresome. Kathleen too, is quite insane. Eileen was the only civil person on board today.

Home with Marita this evening. She talked of how bored they were at New Year & I had to remind her that it is her 24th birthday next week. I enjoy doing this, because I know she hates growing older and to be reminded of such anniversaries. It's about time MM pulled his finger out and made a honest woman of her. I do suppose he's waiting until he's chairman of ICI before making the purchase of the ring.

The poor Shah of Iran is now in Morocco & that nauseating geriatric, the Ayatollah Khomeini is fuelling up in readiness for his departure to Teheran next week.. Yet another throne falls to the chant of revolution. The Shah and his Empress are good friends of our Royal Family.

Anna Massey as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca...

Mum phoned Auntie Mabel tonight & I said I will go over and see her tomorrow for tea and then watch Daphne Du Maurier's  'Rebecca'  ~ serialised on TV. She invited me to stay the night and suggests I can go to work on Thursday morning from Pudsey. Auntie hasn't been out of her garden gate for a week because of the snow. She must get very lonely living alone. Besides, I do enjoy her company. She will be 60 in March. Marlene is going to throw a party, and the arrangements are all very hush hush.

Peter came up here at 7:30 and we sat playing cards around the dining room table. Quite fanatics we are becoming. Television must have destroyed social & family life altogether.

I pack a few belongings for tomorrow and retired at 12:50am.



Monday January 22, 1979

The NUJ decided to come out of hibernation today for the first time since the beginning of December. The country is grinding to a halt. I can name the industries that are not on strike on the fingers of one hand. Mr Callaghan will have to go.

Callaghan: shitting himself at No. 10...

Read Richard Crossman's 1966-68 diaries and find his comments on the Queen interesting. Look them up for yourself if you are at all interested.

One of the Sunday papers did an article on Crossman's relationship with Callaghan, who was Home Secretary and then Chancellor (of the Exchequer) from 1964-70. Quite disturbing, and I bet that the PM is now shitting himself at No. 10. He (Callaghan) is not good in a crisis, is one of Crossman's statements.

John Edward Rhodes.
We have received a letter from John & Sheila in Lanzarote. We can go out there for £30 at three days notice which sounds good. By the sound of things they are the only English speakers on the island. John is doing a lazy, pleasurable job whilst Sheila runs around the volcano fifteen times a day driving holiday-makers from the airport to half-built hotels. She has always carried John through life. I know I have delusions of grandeur, but I think John Edward Rhodes is an even bigger dreamer.

Back from the YP at 5:30 to find Sue, Lynn and Alison with Mama. The girls had been at the Black Bull in Otley all afternoon (market town pubs open until 4pm) celebrating Monday. Lynn had consumed eight pernods. Mum said afterwards that she worries about Lynn drinking.

Watched the telly until 11:30 then to bed with a mug of Ovaltine and the Rt Hon Richard Crossman, Lord President of the Council.


Sunday January 21, 1979

Up at about 11. Had eggs and bacon and then went to the Menston Arms to meet Lynn, David  & Alison. We drank doubles (again) and had a pleasant lunchtime. I haven't had a Sunday afternoon session in ages. Alison and I bought each other our drinks. She was knocking back double port and lemon! The barman thought we were hideously insane.

No snow fell but the ground is still well covered & all forecasts call for further attacks.

Back home by 2pm. We had more drink, and at 5:30 a candlelit dinner. We discussed everything from education to sex, marriage, arm chairs, and children asking embarrassing questions. The candles burned away and the talk went on and on. Sue, Pete and David deserted the table for the tv .

At 10:20 watched the film "Women in Love" starring Glenda Jackson & Oliver Reed. Dad, Lynn and Alison talked until 1am. I think Dad was pissed up.



Saturday January 20, 1979

Up for breakfast at 10:30. Lynn is acutely embarrassed ~ quite unlike her really. We sat at Lawn Road watching the snow falling all day.

I wandered out at lunchtime to buy tins of soup. The white stuff came up to my knees. Tonight people are saying it is the worst wintry weather since 1963, or dare I say 1947?

Out to the Shoulder of Mutton and the White Cross with Sue, Pete, Lynn, Dave & Alison. I saw Carole in the Cross, and Alison bumped into Martyn in the Shoulder of M. Carole was a wonderful sight, and when she left she gave me a kiss. What fools we are. Martyn bought us a drink ~ it's his leaving 'do' because he starts a new job in Stockport on Monday.

At 11 we went to the restaurant at White Cross. Joined there by Chippy and his young, schoolgirl girlfriend, Debbie. Ate steak. It was over~cooked. Home at nearly 1am.

After my steak I jogged alone up Thorpe Lane knee deep in snow. Lynn, Dave and Ally came back for coffee but left shortly afterwards. They hadn't really enjoyed the evening. Lynn doesn't see eye to eye with Chippy. Nobody seems to like the poor lad.

Sue and Pete arrived after the others had left & they suggest building a snowman in the garden. This we did. But we got quite carried away and erected an eighteen foot monster, and a headless monster too. Susie got bored and left us at about 3am, and Pete and I called it a night when we could no longer reach the top of our creation, even with a pair of full-sized ladders.


Friday January 19, 1979

Snows like Hell all day. Getting to work was tedious.

Sarah phoned at 11 o'clock to say she doesn't want to go see 'Jaws 2' tonight because of the atrocious weather. (She's on half day). Besides, Delia will not move from her fireside when such weather prevails. I am cheered by this news because it will be nice to see Alison (Dixon) tonight.

At home by 6:30pm - deep snow. Alison's car only just made it up the lane. She's in the lounge eating sandwiches, looking thinner and pale. She is so sweet. ___________.

Alison Dixon: thinner, pale and sweet ...

Alison phoned Lynn and they had mild hysterics & at 7pm, armed with sleeping bags, hot water bottles and thermal underwear we, Alison and I in her car, with shovels, headed down to Burley in Wharfedale. We arrived to be bombarded with snowballs by David. He had that devilish glint in his eye.  We waited until almost 10pm for Susan and Peter who travelled down by bus.

Watched the final episode of "Edward and Mrs Simpson" - enjoyable. Lynn's attitude is one of stubbornness this evening.

Went over to the Red Lion at 10 o'clock and in the space of one feeble hour spent £20! The ladies drank brandy and Babycham & we boys had pints with whisky chasers. Disgusting really.

At 11:15 Lynn was singing "Winchester Cathedral" to the amiable, fat landlord. At 11:30 Lynn was out cold in the snow and David, Peter and I had to give her a 'chairlift' home. She was so very pissed up. At midnight she fell over the back of her settee, and later fell in the bathroom and smashed her head on the tiles. The remaining five of us drank and listened to music and played charades until after 3am. Peter N is very good at mime. Like Marcel Marceau, in fact. The funniest film titles he depicted were 'Bridge on the River Kwai' and Kelly's Heroes'.

At some ridiculous hour David began laying tiles on a worktop in the kitchen (yes, tiles are the in thing today). At about 4 we took to our sleeping bags. We were nice to Ally and gave her the spare bedroom.



Thursday January 18, 1979

Had a good evening out. It was one of those occasions when so many long lost acquaintances decided to all appear at Oakwood Hall at the same time.

Peter N, Chippy and I went to the Shoulder  where we were joined by Dave Wainwright, who came 'just for a quick one'. All a bit lost because of the loss of Gus and Frank. Chippy was friendly, and not the rude, immature brat he can be.

At Oakwood Hall I bumped into Patrice Saunders, and we chatted for ages about the former inmates of Fieldhead Rd school. He's the only guy I ever see these days from my Guiseley Secondary School days, and these encounters are rare.

CB: formation dance team...
Joined by Naomi, Jill, CB (!!) , Philip Birdgarden, &c. We organised quite a good formation dance team, but I spent too much on booze. All worth it though. Christine and I have been estranged since Christmas. We often have these 'cool' sessions where it all goes quiet. She has new friends now, including Doreen.

Home before 2am because Chippy was at the wheel of his new Renault, and when he says he's tired his word is like that of Louis XIV.

Bed after three because I was looking at my old coin collection.


Wednesday January 17, 1979

Deep snow this morning. Got in Jim Rawnsley's car at 8:10 & we didn't get to the YP until after 10. Two bloody hours just to go 10 feeble miles. I do believe I have walked home from the centre of Leeds in a similar length of time.

Little Jennie is improving and becoming more tolerable, but it may be because I've resigned myself to the fact.

I failed to mention that David G returned to Stockport on Monday by the 9:30 coach from Leeds.

At the YP: the NUJ are returning to work on Monday and the prospects are not thrilling. Our card playing afternoons in the cathedral~like atmosphere of what was a busy newsroom are sadly, numbered. Kathleen is aware of our latest craze and Sarah thinks our beloved boss is saving up her accusations until a suitable day of reckoning can be chosen. _________.

Malcolm Barker: rocketed in my estimation.
Malcolm Barker has rocketed in my estimation since the beginning oh hostilities with the NUJ. No longer will I regard him as an ale swilling hyper-thyroid editor full of his own importance. Malcolm is indeed a saint, and I for one am 100 per cent behind him. Three cheers and all that. Indeed, we chatter away now like old pals. He's no longer the terrifying boss of my youth.

Home at 5pm. Snow has given way to pouring rain. Eat moussaka, heavily laden with garlic. Poor Susan complained about the after-effects all night.  One thing's for certain, Count Dracula won't be taking her for his gruesome band this dark evening.

Alison Dixon is coming up on Friday, but it's all a big secret from Lynn & Dave. It will be great to see her again. Mum, who spoke to her today, says she sounded cheerful. Retired to bed at 11:37pm. Early eh?


Tuesday January 16, 1979

Snow goes but we expect more very shortly.

The poor Shah of Iran flew out of Teheran today and the BBC, for one, don't give him a cat in Hell's chance of ever returning. The Shah himself says he's going for a holiday but few people seem to think he will ever set foot in his homeland again. And so, yet another throne has bitten the dust.

The remaining monarchies of the world should form a union. (How about the International Federation of Monarchs, Crowned Heads and Allied Dictators?) When one is in difficulties, like the poor Shah, the others could come out in sympathy and withhold labour until that persecuted monarch is reinstated. Just imagine, hospitals would go unopened, red carpets wouldn't be trodden on, palace balconies would stand empty, &c. The flying pickets could use the Queen's Flight aircraft.

I am very sorry to see that the Shah of Iran has been eliminated. The collapse of any monarchy, no matter how dictatorial, is the worst possible step taken by any nation. I am sure that the stupid, fanatic Iranians will one day regret it.

I've gone and lost the diamond from the ring which Carole bought me at Christmas 1975. It probably went at Lynn's on Saturday or Sunday.

Lynn and Dave came up to Pine Tops tonight. Lynn has had a couple of days off with her 'funny tummy'. She did look pale and ghastly. So did David. I'm sure he works too hard. He phoned Jacq today because she's going to Burley for tea tomorrow. No doubt a Beasley's sherry night will follow.

Peter N came up at 8 and we played cards (all except Dad). Hit the sheets at 1:02am.


Monday January 15, 1979

Will Margaret Hilda (Thatcher) ever become prime minister of these crumbling, desperate islands? I have a quaking, nasty feeling of nausea about the whole subject of the next general election. Do I forsee yet another feeble minority Labour government taking us through to the mid 1980s? Please, Oh please God, spare us this horror!

Another one of those Spencer girls has been spotted in the royal circle. Lady Diana Spencer, 17, is now at Sandringham with her elder sister, Lady Sarah, and both have been out shooting with the Prince of Wales. Lady Diana was born in 1961 and I can't help thinking that our future Queen consort is going to be a child of the 1960s. The Prince of Wales cannot marry someone thirty years old because her child~bearing days (or perhaps years) can be numbered on one hand. So, in the next couple of years a batch of females in their early 20s will have to be taken into consideration. All very exciting, isn't it?

I have decided that Peter Nason's beard is a perfect addition to his face. His features were too elongated, and now you can't see 'em for hair. The facial hair makes him look older too. He's been in a cheerful, almost elated mood recently. What can it be?

Watched TV until the set nearly exploded from the heat. A Charles Bronson film on BBC2, and of course a repeat of a 1972 edition of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Bed after 12 and read 'Confessions of a Private Soldier'. Blimey, anything is better than the Crossman diaries.


Sunday January 14, 1979

2nd after Epiphany. We crawled out of our respective holes at about 10:30am for breakfast after which we played cards on the dining room table until 12:30. Sue howled with laughter at Dave G's hopelessness. At 1pm we had one in the Red Lion again before devouring a lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

Lynn loves to cook and entertain and she does it very well.

Cards continued throughout the afternoon. Chris Baker and Julie (Harris) arrived. Julie puts an instant smile on my face, but nobody else seems to find her amusing or entertaining. Chris B looks upon me as a lunatic, or eccentric, for some strange reason. They left after an hour or so.

Lynn complained of feeling grotty and took off to bed for a couple of hours, but none of this interrupted the card game. They (the Bakers) finally got rid of us at about 8:30 & we returned home. A good weekend.

Watched the film "Room At the Top" with Dave.


Saturday January 13, 1979

Dave (Glynn) and I had breakfast with Sue. Poor Mum is in bed with an upset stomach & so she didn't surface all day. Pale and ghastly.

Dave and I had a little pub crawl in Guiseley. We had one at the Yorkshire Rose where an OAP told us that his Jack Russell terrier is pregnant. A tart in the bar referred to the landlord as "you big fat twat". Yes, a nice, tasteful atmosphere prevailed. We made our way to the incredibly dull Regent and finally, at 2:45pm, onto the Station Hotel.

Snow and ice underfoot was something of a hazard to begin with but the more we drank the more confident we became negotiating the glassy footpaths like John Currie and Robin Cousins.{I suspect both these gents are close friends of Jeremy Thorpe, MP}.

Tonight: to Burley~in~Wharfedale with Dave, Sue & Pete to see Lynn and Dave B. The Bakers both looked as fit as butcher's dogs - especially Lynn who is pink and 'radiating'. We all piled into the Red Lion following a pantomime on ice in the car park there. Boozed solidly until 11 o'clock and then took fish & chips back to Lawn Road . We laughed at the fact that for the purposes of the kitty Dave and I were classed as a 'couple'.

We drank until about 1:30am & then Susie and Pete staggered off to the spare bedroom for a further instalment of the wildest pre~marital experience since Anthony & Cleopatra.

Dave B collapsed onto the sofa and didn't bat an eyelid until after 3 leaving Dave G, Lynn and I singing along to Nat King Cole's greatest hits. Dave B makes a regular habit of slipping into a convenient coma at every available opportunity. He hops off to bed or collapses into a medium sized heap on the carpet. Good old Dave. He thrust a £10 note into my hot, grasping hand when I said I wanted to buy a pair of shoes on Monday. (I shall, of course, let him have it back next week). But isn't it marvellous of him to 'see me right'? A real brother is David Baker, a real brother.

Lynn finally carried her husband off to bed and Dave G and I slept in the lounge (or sitting room depending on how posh you happen to be). It was 3:30am, I think.