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Sunday March 25, 1979

_. 4th Sunday in Lent

Drizzle, murky and gloomy. Emerged from my den with a hideous hangover. Glanced at the Sunday papers and ate grapefruit and oranges. Thoroughly boring newspapers, and I cast them aside. Who wants to read of the sexploits of a tarty 25 year-old bird from Solihull? I most certainly do not.

Discover "The Secret of Chimneys" by Agatha Christie and re-read it. Quite a light hearted read for Dame Agatha.

At a reasonable hour I made toast and tea for Mum and Dad and went up with my Mothering Sunday present [a bottle of 5am perfume]. Mum had a card from John in yesterday's post. Susan is absent, staying over at Peter's, and Lynn didn't come  - she sent a bouquet yesterday. So just the three of us here all day. I think Mum and Dad had been arguing. I sensed an atmosphere.

So, sat and read "Chimneys" all day and watched the film 'Khartoum', starring Lord Olivier. I made myself a T-bone steak and chips for lunch. Mum and Dad refused to eat.

Phoned David L at 5:30 and he came here at 8 and we joined Sue & Pete at the Commercial for lager and jars of cockles and mussels. David bought us all a Black Prussian, or was it Russian ? [Coca-Cola, vodka and Tia Maria]. We laughed about old times and I had a blow by blow account of Sandra's wedding last month. She now has two step-sons by the name of Williams. Sue and Pete seemed OK.

Saw 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' starring Tom Courtenay and Sir Michael Redgrave.

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Saturday March 24, 1979

_. The Nasons threw a party for Peter's 21st. We went down there at 9 o'clock. A merry throng was assembled, including Peter's 80 year-old grandmother, who is sweet. I told Chippy I am posting him a bill for a new pair of trousers. Drank far too many Harvey Wallbangers. Pissed. Danced a good deal but didn't have much room for manoeuvre.

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Friday March 23, 1979

_. Woke up feeling quite well but regretting last night's stunt which cost me a fine pair of trousers. I didn't climb out of bed until 8 o'clock and so I missed Jim [Rawnsley]. Battling down the lane at 8:30 I met Lynn and Dave and scrounged a lift to town with them.

At the YP the atmosphere has improved. Sarah was all light and loveliness, but when she is one of her moods I could cheerfully throttle the life out of her.

At home tonight ~ Peter was in trouble. He phoned Sue, giggling, at 7:30, with Chippy in the background. They had of course been in Otley all day. He excused himself from visiting tonight by saying he was doing some work on his car. "If he tells you lies now, then what will he do when he's married?" interjected mother, unhelpfully. He did come up for Sue aft 8 but I was in the bath and avoided the aggravation.

Sat in front of the television tonight. A Variety Club of Gt Britain lunch in honour of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Lord Mountbatten was accompanied by Prince & Princess Michael of Kent. She is expecting a baby in about three weeks and looked delicious, as usual. Marie-Christine von Reibnitz is the most beautiful addition to the Royal Family since Queen Alexandra joined it in 1863. Harry Secombe made a funny speech and so did Peter Ustinov. The poor, demented prime minister arrived late and seemed almost human. The Tories are demanding a vote of confidence next week and the government doesn't stand a chance of surviving. A general election is now on the cards and good old Margaret Thatcher will be shaking hands with the Queen as the first daffodils emerge through the snow.

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Thursday March 22, 1979

_. Chippy phoned this morning to make sure I was joining the party tonight. After the usual abuse he was gone but within minutes he phoned back to see whether I could escape tomorrow afternoon for a session at the Junction in Otley. I told him no because Kathleen is off tomorrow for her parents Ruby wedding anniversary, and of course Carol Johnson has been off work all week with mumps.

Met Jacq at lunchtime at Jacomelli's and we joked about the revolting illness that is mumps. We did speculate that it would be my luck to catch the disease, and that I'll be cycling home quite innocently one night and a loud crash and bang will herald my balls falling off into my socks.

Am I correct in thinking that mumps make big boys sterile, or impotent, or something? We did laugh about this.

Jacq tells me that Trixie's new boyfriend, 'John the Lorry', from Manchester, is only 28 years old! Trixie will be 51 in May. Good luck to her, anyway. The poor woman has had an unfortunate life.

Tonight: out with Pete to the White Cross. Mick Lynch was working in the bar ______________________.

Carole came in with Jill and Naomi but they fled to the Fox to avoid me. My presence was an embarrassment to her with Mick Lynch under the same roof. Joined by Chippy, Dave W, Mick and one or two others whose names escape me. I was quite pissed.

On to Oakwood Hall . Sarah was nowhere to be found. Home at 2am. It is tradition for me to leap on to Chippy's car as he drives away and I did this as ususal with Starsky & Hutch gusto. However, he broke with tradition, and gathered speed and rocketed down the lane with me hanging on the roof clutching the windscreen wipers and holding on for dear life. Gradually I began to slide down the windscreen and onto the car bonnet and Chippy took a sharp turn onto Westgate at which I was thrown from the vehicle and into the road.  I cut my hand, but worst of all I tore a hole in the knee of my new trousers. Ruined they were, and I must have paid £15 for them.

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Wednesday March 21, 1979

_. Awoke in a state of turmoil. Chaos reigned. Struggled to the YP and attempted to look sensible and alert without much success.

Christine phoned and played hell about me not sending her a birthday card. My excuse, and a real one, was that I had expected to see her in the Fox last Friday and so I hadn't bothered posting. She took it very well and I told her I'd see her later in the week. She told me she has taken up with a young man from Hawksworth, the name of whom escapes me. The chap says he will take her to America later in the year to visit his mother who has unfortunately lost her reason and married an American. Whether she will go or not remains to be seen. CB is an absolute Goddess and I for one will always look upon her as Horsforth's answer to Helen of Troy.

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Tuesday March 20, 1979

_. Party at Pine Tops. Arrived home from work and found Lynn, Mum, Dad, Peter & Sue singing and dancing in the dining room. Within minutes I was sipping a gin and orange and playing at being a disc jockey.

Dave B came straight from work and Mum, enthusiastic as ever, attacked him, tearing the buttons off his shirt and stuffing a rolled up newspaper down his trousers. I suspect he had print from the Daily Telegraph all over his underpants. They had all been out to the Woolpack at lunchtime and Lynn hadn't even bothered going back to work. My mother is a terrible influence.

Jim and Margaret were telephoned and they arrived within minutes. Sue and Pete went to Flashman's for dinner. Lynn and Mum were soon on black coffee, but we had to send out for more whisky when the supplies became dangerously low. Sue & Pete were back at 11 and he proceeded to vomit as he stepped through the door. Dining out when riddled with gastroenteritis is hardly a wise move. But appearances have to be kept up on these anniversaries haven't they?

Bed at some hideous hour after cleaning up the debris for poor mother. My head feels like a Louis XIV commode.

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Monday March 19, 1979

_. Thaw today. Met Sue & Pete in Guiseley at 5 o'clock. He tells me he is suffering from gastroenteritis - and it's the day before his 21st birthday. One could have been cruel and asked whether his celebrations were going to go with a blast, but it wouldn't be very tasteful.

Mum and Dad were out all day (and night) and when I departed to my chambers at 11:35pm - still no sign of them. I think they have been up to Grassington.

Dave phoned from Stockport asking if I want to go there for the weekend. I don't think I can go because of the sudden glut of parties. One of Pete & Chippy's old pals is throwing a melĂ© on Friday, and on Saturday Peter is expected to provide some sort of extravaganza for his birthday.

Saw "Fawlty Towers" followed by Dame Edna Everage ~ Superstar and Housewife, which was a good laugh, but not everyone's cup of tea. Sue and Pete hated it. They deserted me at 10:30.

Richard Beckinsale, the young actor, has died aged 31.

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