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Sunday April 1, 1979

___. Passion Sunday.

Out of bed before lunchtime which is something of an achievement for me at weekends. At 11:30 Mum and Dad drove Sue, Pete and I to Burley where we met Lynn and Dave, Trevor and his wife, and went over to the Red Lion for a 'few' drinks. Lynn was of course knocking back Pernod. [Trevor is Dave's workmate with the beard who drank Crème de Menthe with ice on Dave's stag night. Do you remember?] We had a good session until 2 but I felt strangely quiet.  We adjourned to Lynn and Dave's for lunch and I demolished a couple of bottles of wine. I created a sensation by lighting a fire in the grate which seemed to amuse everyone. I was always a good fire-maker.

Trevor and his nameless wife disappeared at 5 and Mum and Dad came shortly afterwards, from Threshfield, to take us home. I had a raging, thumping, sickly headache and 'Carmen' by Bizet on BBC2 didn't help.

By 9:30 I felt ill and retired to bed where I went out like a light and only stirred slightly when Dad popped his head round the door. It's a combination of booze and booze, I think. Ah well, it's April.


Saturday March 31, 1979

_. Up at 10:30 in the smoke-filled, smelly dining room. The place resembles Winston Churchill's wartime bunker beneath Whitehall. Both Dad and David B are clad in blue boiler suits and puffing out cigar smoke like experimental beagle dogs in one of those cancer research centres.  Had a bowl of porridge.

Ian Dury's New Boots and Panties ...
Went to Leeds with Sue & Peter. They really are my constant companions these days. Leeds was overcrowded. We had a couple of drinks at the Ostlers and, for my birthday, they bought me "New Boots and Panties" the Ian Dury LP. Pete bought a new squash racket and oddments of clothing. Back at home at 3:30 the LP refused to play and made a queer noise on the turn table and it rattled and shook.  Oh dear.

Stayed at home this evening. Saw a film about General George S. Patton, the US war leader, and finally, at 11:20,  "A Night at the Opera" featuring Groucho Marx and Co. Very hilarious.

Mum and Dad are the picture of domesticity, he rug making, and she knitting away.


Friday March 30, 1979

_. The Liberals have won Edge Hill from Labour in yesterday's by-election, but this news is overshadowed by a hideous crime committed outside the Houses of Parliament  this afternoon. Airey Neave, the opposition spokesman for Northern Ireland and one of Mrs Thatcher's closest friends, was assassinated when his car was blown up in the MPs underground car park, at 3pm. He is the first MP to be murdered in the precincts of the Houses of Parliament since prime minister Spencer Perceval was shot there in 1812.

Airey Neave: like a Guy Fawkes dummy.

I was delayed at the YP because of Neave's murder and the shock really hit us all. It is a hideous, brutal crime against a good gentleman and MP. Mrs Thatcher cancelled a BBC broadcast scheduled for this evening and returned to her home broken and shattered. Will the loss of this close influential aide affect Mrs T's electioneering? We shall have to wait and see.

Ursula phoned tonight and said she had been speaking to a reporter at the scene. His description of the dead Mr Neave is almost too hideous to describe. The mans limbs had been torn off and his crumpled remains resembled a Guy Fawkes dummy.

Tonight: Out with Sue and Pete to the Shoulder. Joined by Chippy and Debbie. Went on to the White Cross. It was slightly better here. Met Naomi and Jill. Naomi told me she has bought Mick Orchard's house on Victoria Road. They are out next Thursday to celebrate my birthday.


Thursday March 29, 1979

_. I have to be very diplomatic these days. Sue & Pete's squabbling makes the Thursday nights out with the lads a delicate and highly inflammable operation. So, at the YP, I decided to give tonight a miss and instead go to see Lynn & Dave at Burley. I made all the arrangements with Lynn, who was pleased because I have ignored the Lawn Road branch of the family in recent weeks.

Chippy phoned this afternoon and went berserk when I said no to the weekly Oakwood Hall jaunt. Foul language flowed from him like lava from Vesuvius, but I was not deterred from my path of righteousness.

Dave B picked me up at 5:30pm and we first went to John Little's where he collected £25 for a drawing job. Bessie Little was her usual, delightful self.  On to Lawn Road where Lynn made a paella for us. She never eats. One day she will collapse with starvation in Yeadon.

Watched TV and bought alcohol from Beasley's. Saw a Humphrey Bogart epic on the BBC and then had a bet on tonight's parliamentary by-election. I bet that Labour will hold the seat, but Dave backed the Liberals. However, we switched off before the results came through.


Wednesday March 28, 1979

_. A revolting wet day. It's blowing a gale at the moment [12:15am 29/03/1979] .

Auntie Hilda is 43 today. Mum phoned her this morning. Mum suggested that they team up and go to Ruby and Arthur's together at Easter. H seemed to think this is a good idea.

Sarah has been a cow all day. ______________.

Susan and Peter went out for an Indian meal to celebrate their recovery from gastroenteritis. Oh God!

I have excellent news to relate here. At 10:30 tonight the government was defeated in the House of Commons on a vote of no confidence, by 311 to 310 votes. Old Callaghan will have to go to the country at last. The Queen will be asked to dissolve Parliament in the next few days and the general election campaign will begin. April 26 and May 10 are possible dates. It looks like Margaret Hilda Thatcher will be the first woman prime minister. One Labour MP missed the vote due to illness. I'd be interested to know who that was. His vote would have resulted in a tie and the Speaker would have cast the deciding vote with Her Majesty's Government. Angela Rippon was obviously beside herself with glee whilst reading the late news. It's obvious she is a 'true blue'. No government has been defeated in this way and subsequently fallen since Ramsay MacDonald's first Labour administration in 1924, and he was succeeded by Baldwin. Poor Jim Callaghan's 'Zinoviev Letter' is the failure of devolution ~ such a pathetic subject on which to risk all, don't you think?

Things will now hot up at the YP and the build up to the general election will be all good stuff. It's an exciting time. I really pity the poor people of Paraguay or Argentina, where elections of any kind are strictly taboo. They don't realise just what they are missing. ________.

Went to bed with Agatha Christie at 12:25am.


Tuesday March 27, 1979

_. Didn't sleep too well , and was awakened at 4am with something of a start. Pottered around in the kitchen and went back to bed with a blackcurrant juice and continued with Agatha Christie. Slept until Dad woke me with a start at 7:45, To Leeds with Jim and Jennie.

I am horrified by the news that the horrid Welsh Nationalists are to vote with the government in tomorrow's vote of confidence. It would be so typical of Jim [Callaghan] to hang on by the skin of his socialist teeth until death finally catches up with him in October. I cannot stand another six months of this administration. Administration? That's a laugh.

Sarah is acting in a peculiar manner. I put this down to the malevolent influence of Richard Burke - a shady character.

I have been delving into the background of Princess Michael of Kent. Her grandfather, Prince Szapary, or something, was the last Austrian ambassador to St Petersburg before the revolution of 1917, and her great-grandfather was Prince Alfred of Windisch-Graetz. So, in fact, she's of royal blood and most acceptable. [Snob - MLR].

Home in heavy rain at 5pm for dinner with Mum and Dad. Susan is out at Peter's which is unusual for a Tuesday. Horribly bored. The TV is a dead loss. Is it a surprise that so many people avoid paying the tv licence when so much Yankee trash is hurled down to us from on high? We may just as well opt out and become the most recent US state [was Alaska the 50th or 51st?]

I am resolved to save money for my family tree fund, purchasing certificates, &c. I did make a start with £10 before Christmas, but this went on presents and alcohol. For the sake of my unborn, perfect grandchildren I must provide something of a genealogical table for posterity.

Mum phoned Alison and gave the go ahead for moving to Pine Tops until she has established a pent house of her own. Won't it be fun, I ask myself? If I don't watch it I'll be marrying the poor girl before the month is out. I've always had a very soft spot for Ally and now it seems I'm going to have ample opportunity to kindle the old, abeyant flame.


Monday March 26, 1979

_. Are all the Daves in my journal causing confusion? I do try to put the initial of the surname of each Dave after his name in an entry, and so Dave Lawson is Dave L and Dave Baker is Dave B, &c. Dave Glynn is obviously Dave Y, and Dave Wainwright is Arthur Hailey. Prince Andrew = David Ben Gurion, and the late Duke of Windsor, always David to his family, is now Wally.

Uncle Tony's mother, Mrs Doris Gadsby, was cremated at Rawdon this morning. She died at Pudsey last Thursday. The poor old girl was deserted by her husband, Norman, in 1937, and nobody has heard of him since.

Alison phoned Lynn today. All is now over between her and John Pinder. She now wants to move back to Yorkshire and take a flat in the vicinity but until this is achieved then she will come and live with us. Isn't this exciting, folks? Our little Ally coming to Pine Tops. I informed Mama that I will write to Alison and invite her to stay with us because she is far too bashful to suggest this herself.

"Fear is realising you can't do it the second time, and panic is realising for the second time that you can't do it." Eh? I don't get that.

The poor, broken Shah [of Iran] would like to come and die of a broken heart here in Britain, but the revolting Socialist MPs are protesting. What possible harm can the old boy do? The harshness and cruelty of the jealous crew at Westminster is forever reaching new bounds. They would leap around with joy, urinating in their pin-striped trousers if the Ayatollah purchased Buckinghamshire or Chou En-Lai took over Mentmore Towers. Did anyone complain when Ben Lyon came to live here? Precisely. Besides, just think how our economy would be boosted by all those millions of Iranian rupees, or whatever the Iranian currency is. I doubt very much that His Imperial Majesty would want to live off our social security. It's a repeat of the Tsar Nicholas case in 1918.

Watched "Fawlty Towers" on the BBC ~ the last of the series which is very sad.

Peter came here at 8. Susan sat making a rug and he sat facing her in another chair. Normally they are joined together on a sofa, but I suppose we all tire of constant molestation after years and years of endless groping.

Bed at 12 with The Secret of Chimneys. Lay there listening to the wind howling outside.