We had a 1½ hour assembly today, which was as boring as ever. We all sat on chairs in long rows lengthways down the sports hall, while Barkston rambled on, toadying to the Americans who are over here on this exchange visit. Prizes for good work in the Arts and Sciences were given to the third and fourth years although for some reason, none were given to the fifth year.
The assembly ended at 10.30 approximately. All 6 0/A people went up to the Common room and stood around talking. Most other people seemed to be handing in their U.I. reports, exceptions being Richard Beetham, Matthew Knight and Adrian Westcott. I was terrified of being approached by Elson or Ingham for my UI reports. I had no excuse whatsoever (“I couldn’t be bothered” wouldn’t sound too good for a potential university candidate – I could imagine what they’d say – “You’ll be no good on an A-level course without motivation” . . . . . etc.).
I decided to make good my escape and I got home at about 11.15. Dad and Andrew were home and I sat in the dining room for half-an-hour until we went out. I felt guilty at coming home and I half-expected to hear the ‘phone ringing and Ingham or somebody saying that I was to go back to school.
At about 11.45 Andrew and I went into Easterby with Dad. Dad dropped us off at William Street and went onto work. First we went looking round camera shops and by the time we reached “Lindsey Spencers” (the third), I was quite bored.
I thought we must’ve looked pretty scruffy wandering. I was in a red T-shirt, my mucky old jeans and my decrepit old Nomad, while Andrew was wearing a shabby brown jacket.
Then on to HMV, where I was predictably racked with indecision as to what to buy. I lent Andrew £2.79 to buy Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman” (a decision I later regretted) and then he went off to get Mum a birthday present.
I then made a decision to buy a record for which I spent the next 24 hours kicking myself. The album was Stanley Clarke’s latest (6th), called “Rocks, Pebbles and Sand” and it cost £3.99.
When I got home at 3.30 I discovered it was utter bilge, pure, unadulterated disco. He really has gone down the nick since “Journey to Love” and “School Days.” I felt really depressed and disillusioned after that, and I vowed to take it back tomorrow, although Andrew cast some doubt on whether they’d exchange it.
The rest of the afternoon and evening I spent listening away my troubles. It’s amazing what good (in other words ace) music can do to make you feel good again. After “Moonflower” Side two I felt in high spirits once more.
I also talked to Andrew a lot in the evening. I showed him that “Know Your Own Personality” book, and he seemed really a bit upset when some of the tests showed him, like me, to be a bit neurotic. It seemed to disturb him a good deal (although he laughed about it).
He told me some things which surprised me. When I read one of the personality questions – “Would you like to see a pornographic film?” – and said that I had answered ‘yes’ because I truthfully would (only ‘soft’ porn), because it’s only natural, he admitted to me that he had seen some. This is all he said and I didn’t press him further.
One thing he told me which amazed me was that he had experimented with drugs. He had smoked marijuana at a party in Knowlesbeck once and although one of his mates had been violently sick as a result, it had no effect on him. He pledged me to secrecy. I can well imagine Dad doing his nut if he knew. I’ve often though Andrew did more than we suspected which is, I suppose, only to be expected, because several months ago while rummaging I found two copies of “Mayfair” in his drawer. They were cut up so I expect they were for his art course.