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Wednesday April 4, 1979

_. The party with John and Sheila continued today. Home from the YP and a few hours later they arrived once again with Valerie and Graham. Auntie Hilda arrived at 9 and Uncle Tony followed on at 11 with his Liberal agent, who was clad from head to foot in red corduroy ~ just the sort of clothes you'd expect to see a Liberal agent wearing. Oh, and why do people who meddle in local politics always wear suede shoes?

It was good to see Tony again. He looked pale and tired but this probably due to a combination of the coming election and the death of his mother. John and Tony made a good conversational combination, and Hilda was nice. It was an excellent pre-birthday party. They all sang "Happy Birthday" to me at midnight. We discussed politics. John laughed until he cried as I explained my reasons for preferring to live under the yoke of a right-wing dictatorship to a left-wing dictatorship.

Hilda made the statement that I am a "confirmed bachelor". In other words she thinks I'm a poof. I objected to this. I may currently be a single man, but dislike people pigeon-holing me. Drank until the early hours.

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Tuesday April 3, 1979

_. Auntie Hilda phoned today to say Karen and Steve are going out babysitting on Saturday and so we cannot have the Grand Gadsby-Rhodes reunion this time. Thwarted again. She told Mum that cousin Derek's wife, Jennifer, is expecting her second baby in November. Karen phoned at 7:30 to say we can all have the great gathering on April 14, which is the day before Easter. I readily agree, and communicate this news to Sue. Mum and Dad with Hilda and Tony are probably going to stay with Ruby and Arthur for Easter, and so the house at Pudsey will be void of parents and eligible for an orgy. Alison is also coming for Easter, and so she'll be included in the party. Gosh, I can hardly wait.

At about 8:30 in walked John and Sheila, from Lanzarote, with Valerie and her boyfriend Graham, a law student at Nottingham Polytechnic. It was such a surprise because we haven't seen them since Christmas, 1977, and following the boycotting of Lynn's wedding, I thought we'd seen the last of them.

Uncle John is just the same self-assured, suave businessman. He never has a penny but is always on the verge of making a fortune. The gold mine is always just around the corner.  At 11pm they run Valerie and Graham to Harrogate, and then come back to stay the night with us. We discussed Lanzarote and our wayward, insane family. From Blackpool to Selby and from the Canary Isles to Stranraer we are making our mark on the world.

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Monday April 2, 1979

_. Sarah is in a much better frame of mind. _____________. Queer weather we are having - snow, sunshine, rain, fog, and all in the space of half an hour. This did not deter me from pruning our roses trees this evening with my usual Percy Thrower-like gusto.

Jacq came at 7:30 to collect a dress from Motherdear and stayed until 11:30 watching a play about Martin Luther King on the TV. She seemed OK and we discussed the party next Saturday. I have said no to food, because the sausages and liver pate only gets trampled into the bedspreads and for weeks afterwards one tends to find peanuts and salmon sandwiches in inappropriate places. She agrees and decide to limit the function to just booze, and lots of it.

John phoned. They are coming down from Stranraer on April 11 because Maria is going for a scan to the Hyde Terrace Hospital. John is quite serious when he says it might be twins.

To bed at midnight with The Secret of Chimneys ~ and finish the book before slipping into a coma.

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