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Sunday February 18, 1979

_. The news is going around that a thaw is underway, but I don't believe a word of it. [Is my handwriting going down hill. Bear with me, said the raccoon]. Is a raccoon a bear? No, I don't think so. It's probably related to a bear. Half cousins probably. Like the Queen and the Marquess of Cambridge, or me and Sharon Kirk. However, this drivel is getting us nowhere. Precisely.

Over breakfast Mama suggests a trip to Auntie Hilda's after luncheon, and I add that we should go out - en famille - for a quick dose of alcohol first. It is decided upon. Mum, Dad, Sue, Pete and I head out to the Dog and Gun at Appperley Bridge. It's a long time since I went out for a drink with Mum & Dad. We discuss all going to Stockport together. It is my considered opinion that my parents do not go out enjoying themselves enough. They spend all their time home brewing and have become virtual recluses within the space of a few years.

At 2:30 we went on to 6, St James's Crescent, Pudsey [Sue and Pete having gone home]. Had a boozy, pleasurable afternoon with the Gadsbys. Joined by Steve & Tim. I am told we stayed to dinner, but don't remember this. Hilda's Yorkshire Terrier, Pepper, is a delight. Uncle Tony [the Liberal candidate] is more sensible these days and remained calm and collected when I frequently, without warning, dropped 'Jeremy Thorpe' into the conversation.


Saturday February 17, 1979

_. I feel now fully recovered from my severe bout of pnuemocallaghanicosis . However, I cannot smile and raise my eyes to the heavens in thanksgiving because two million of my fellow Britons remain smitten with this killer disease. This modern day plague affects everybody, with the exception of those already unemployed or the Royal Family.

I spent most of the day closeted at home next to the record player because Mumsie and Daddykins ventured to Threshfield and Susan and Peter went to Bradford, or was it Leeds? Anyway, Pete's car was stopped by the boys in blue on two occasions within the space of half an hour to be told about the offence caused by his dormant brake lights, &c. Susie gave one burly, over-weight bobby a piece of her mind, which is heart warming. The lion spirit lives on in some Britons.

Tonight: Just Chippy and I out alone. We went to the Crown at Yeadon. He spoke at some length of his sexual experiences and over our ale he made me feel like a Trappist monk. I believe I've got a lot of catching up to do.

At 9:30 we went to the Regent at Chapel Allerton and had a giggle with Sarah and her beau, Richard [Burke]. Jacq was in and we were joined by Tony and the boys. No party afterwards which was rare, so homeward at 11 in severe icy conditions.


Friday February 16, 1979

_. Slept until 11. Wrapped up well before leaving for Sarah's at Horsforth at 12 o'clock. Mum was grumpy because I was venturing out when I'm supposed to be ill and off work. To Ivory Towers [238, West End Lane, Horsforth] where I collected a pile of clothes ordered from the Grattans catalogue. Delia, Sarah and I went first to Morrisons and then a wallpaper shop. It wasn't an easy thing selecting wallpaper. We all had very different opinions. Just why was I there?
They are lovely women.

Home at 5:30. Tonight, to the Shoulder with Sue, Peter, Chippy, Debbie, "Floo" and his moll. Quite boring really. Peter M, Chris R and Steve came in and I chatted with them to break the monotony.  Home at 11, sober and dull. I argued with Motherdear about something ridiculous.

Pnuemocallaghanicosis is sweeping the country. It affects its victims in a serious, embarrassing way. The symptoms are a] not wanting to work, b] an inability to dispose of refuse or move the bins, c] the appetite is unaffected and d] the victim is still quite capable of consuming vast quantities of alcohol, e] he looks outwardly healthy but is dim witted and slow to grasp the situation, and f] he becomes belligerent to those who might want to boost the economy, or be inclined to labour for the greater good. The only known cure is to give the victim an immediate pay rise of over 50 per cent.