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Friday February 2, 1979

_. Brilliant sunshine, but thick snow. The place resembles Gstaad or Klosters, or wherever it is where the toffs go for the winter sports. I kept expecting to see the likes of the Shah of Iran and Angie Dickinson to come skiing down the lane.

Left work at 12 and at one Chippy came up and we went down to the asylum to meet 'Flu', one of his workmates. On the way out of the asylum grounds we encountered a female inmate with slashed wrists, clutching a large shard of broken glass. Her blood was so thick it resembled raspberry jam. People can be so squeamish about blood, can't they? On we went to the Junction at Otley for the duration of the afternoon. Saw lots of old pissed friends and had about five pints. Chippy was reeling and swaying by 4 o'clock. Otley men are positively Neolothic, aren't they? Long hair. Long beards. Big hairy arms and loud, inaudible voices. You wouldn't think that Guiseley was just around the corner.

At 5 I was at home for bacon sandwiches with Mummy & Daddy. Susan was looking very sophisticated in a new skirt and blouse.

Tonight: Out to the Shoulder with Sue, Pete, Chippy, Debbie, Flu and his girlfriend. A pleasant evening around a crowded, wet table. Chippy insisted on playing a ridiculous game and as usual I made a balls of it. Debbie is a very attractive thing, only 17, and I cannot help thinking that she might actually prefer me to Mr Ash. Haha. Tony and Chris R were also in.

Home at 11. Susan was very drunk. Brandy, I fear. she had fallen over in the snow.  She was horribly sick until about 2am. Peter and I sat with her upstairs. The scene resembled the Vigil of the Princes from the lying in State of King George V in January, 1936.


Thursday February 1, 1979

_. Pay day, but most it isn't mine. K_____ is a frustrated old cow. She was dressed entirely in pink today and resembled a neurotic piglet.

Carol J and I went over to the Central at 5:30 [early doors] to the 'Welcome back to the YP all you sciving Lefty NUJ Reds' party. I had seen Jacq at lunchtime and she also put in an appearance tonight with a work mate from Dacre, Son and Hartley.

Carol and I were in high spirits and attacked the buffet upstairs - fooling around with the cheese sandwiches in dry bread rolls.

The usual journalistic mob was out in force. The highlight was Bob Cockroft's piano playing excellence. His repertoire included such rousing tunes as 'Jerusalem' and 'Abide with Me' . He was doing requests and I asked for Your Tiny Hand is Frozen [Che Gelida Manina] from La Boheme, but he said he couldn't play in German. I am still trying to work that one out.

At 8 I left this merry throng to join Pete N and Chippy at Highroyds. My bus journey was blurred by alcohol, and so was the remainder of the evening. From the asylum we went to the Shoulder where we met three buck-toothed neo-fascist females, who joined us at Oakwood Hall. Quite a laugh, but by midnight I was struck down by a hangover.  Sad. Home at 2:15am in a snowdrift, but Chippy's car glided through it like a knife through hot butter.


Wednesday January 31, 1979

I just don't know what to sling down on this page today. It was such a mundane, ordinary day that the very thought of filling an entire page is horrific.

Sat and watched the hot, over-worked TV until smoke bellowed forth from the appliance. Saw part III of 'Rebecca', but David G phoned in the middle of this & frightened me with news of a financial nature. "We've booked the Bournemouth trip" he casually said, "and can you bring me the £10 when you come over next week?" Oh God. Destitution once again.

I may have to abandon my Stockport trip planned for February 9 and just post the money to David instead. Blimey, I'm not John Paul Getty III.

To bed at 11:30 with a mug of Ovaltine. Just like a bloody old lady.


Tuesday January 30, 1979

_. Slightly more mild. No more ruddy snow. Up at 7:30. Read Mum's Daily Mail and had a black coffee. The Duke of Gloucester says that members of the Royal Family have to be professional ignoramuses, and reckons that the round of royal duties do not allow them, the royals, to speak their minds. The British constitution prevents royals from showing any signs of brightness or initiative. A prince cannot dabble in or discuss public affairs. The Royal Family, is compelled by tradition to appear dull, ignorant and insensitive & I'm not surprised that some members of the family are crying out to be granted the right to speak out. It may be undemocratic but I do feel that Prince Philip and several other royals are perhaps capable of bringing this country from the abyss of Hell. We have to be saved from James Callaghan.

It looks as though the Times newspaper is in its death throes. Thomson Newspapers will undoubtedly sell out and this great English institution will go forever. No Daily Telegraph was published today, which is miserable. The fabric of the country is gradually disintegrating , don't you think?

Home at 5:30. T-bone steak for dinner with Mama, Papa and Susan. David calls in with a ton of empty lager bottles from Burley-in-W. He went off at 6:30 to play Badminton with 'the lads' at Yeadon.

Saw David Attenborough on the BBC. Life On Earth. If the whole of time was scaled down into one year, then man wouldn't put in an appearance until very late on New Year's Eve. Not even a blade of grass or the smallest living organism appeared until early November, and so you can imagine what a quiet Easter Bank Holiday it was.


Monday January 29, 1979

Reading the Daily Mail. The Prince of Wales has injured himself skiing in Switzerland. They thought HRH had broken his hip, but in fact he is only bruised.

Deep snow. To Leeds with Jim [Rawnsley] and Jennie. A two hour journey through snow and ice. Jennie, such an inquisitive child, kept firing questions at me. "What is a coup d'├ętat?" "What is a 'fresco'"?  &c. _____________.

The YP was hideous. Sarah and Carol J sat all day talking about their exploits at the Regent at Chapel Allerton. I was bored by it all.

Read in the papers that Nelson Rockefeller, former vice-president of the USA, died on Saturday.

TV tonight: Monty Python's Flying Circus followed by a Nanette Newman drama - a love story in wheel chairs. Seen it before. On the news they were banging on about direct elections to the European Parliament. We are all voting on June 7 for something I know nothing about. Geoffrey Rippon, MP, made an appearance, and it was like seeing a ghost. I thought they'd executed him at the Nuremberg Trials along with Edward Heath, Mussolini and nurse Edith Cavell.  Obviously I am mistaken. Bed at 12:35am.


Sunday January 28, 1979

4th Sunday after Epiphany.

Awoke with no apparent loss of limb and most of my faculties intact. Mum asks whether I was sick in the night and I fully expected the Spanish Inquisition, but she was fine about it. I even threw up in the kitchen.

I feel diabolical about Jim & Margaret. What must I have been like in car coming home from Menston? It is quite out of character for me to suffer pangs of guilt and embarrassment but I am doing so. "I told you it would be a good do" exclaimed a laughing Peter N.

Heavy snow all day. Phoned the Odeon Cinema and then Dave L and he said he'd come over at 6:50. Dined with Mum, Dad, Sue and Pete and watched the snow heaping up in the garden.

Dave arrived saying the roads are treacherous, but we went out all the same. Dave's is the only car on the road. We laughed and compared ourselves to the likes of Ernest Shackleton and Mr Cabot. The car skid all over the road and we hit Leeds in a shroud of white. We were the first vehicle to access the metropolis since before Christmas.

The film was good. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' ~ a highly delightful comedy based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book. We laughed our heads off. Outside at 9:30 we had a shock awaiting us. We made our way to the car and blamed the horrible scraping sound on the mounds of snow in the car park, but this was not so. People emerged from a neighbouring vehicle and a man, in fits of laughter, informed us we were trying to make our exit with only three wheels on the car! Some thieving swine had removed one of Dave's rear wheels. I laughed. David sat stunned with incredulity. A helpful guy in the vicinity helped to jack up the car and in half an hour had affixed a spare wheel, and tightened up the others. We came home in silence, occasionally questioning the sanity of the dogs who had vandalised his car. Home by 10:30.

Lynn and Dave had arrived with Dave's uncle Tony and they stayed with us until 1am. I was dog tired.


Saturday January 27, 1979

Brilliant sunny day, but another layer of snow fell in the night. Out of bed at 11am to clear the drive. Mum and Dad went out to the Dales, probably Grassington, and I was left alone with the record player and cups of coffee.

At 1pm, Sue, Pete, Chippy and I went to the Shoulder [of Mutton] for a few. Afterwards we went on a Wellington boot hunt to Shipley but had no joy. It would seem that panic buying is not restricted to butter, petrol and sanitary towels. Wellington boots are hard to come by in these days of misery and hardship. Came home for tea at 4:30 and I gave Chippy the negatives of the holiday photographs.

Tonight: out with Sue, Pete, Chippy and Debbie to the Shoulder. I felt like a spare part. Christine made an appearance with Doreen but they stood at the far end of the bar. I think I am out of favour for some reason. She said she would phone tomorrow. At 10 with Sue and Pete to collect Jim and Margaret & then on to the Menston Arms where Pete's cousin Pauline Sanderson is having her 21st birthday party. She is the fattest girl in Christendom, but quite sweet. Her parents Uncle Bob and Auntie Olive [Margaret's brother and sister~in~law] invited is back to the party afterwards, and nobody needs to ask me twice. I only wish I had said no. Don't get me wrong. The party was marvellous but I fear I made a bloody fool of myself. I became very drunk and proposed marriage to Pauline, but can't recall whether she accepted or not. I was attacked by a vicious canine specimen and every time the dog came near me I yelled abuse at it. Susan said I used the word 'piss' is every sentence. I was horribly sick on pernod and don't recall Jim [Nason] driving us home. I was also sick at home too.