A remarkable day in that I did much more than normal. I awoke at 1.40 a.m. to hear voices going downstairs. Robert had arrived. He had set off at 6 p.m yesterday and had had to drop a mate off at Liverpool. Mum was already down making herself some tea and when she heard the door go she had rushed upstairs to raise Dad. Apparently she had thought that it was the masked rapist who has been in go recently.
Because of the humidity I hadn’t slept and I felt really active still so I read “the Ape Within Us” for twenty minutes (2.05-2.25 a.m) until I felt drowsy.
I eventually got up mid-morning. Robert and Dad were already up. I half-intended going into Easterby to look round for a good insect identification guide but as it happened, Robert asked me if I wanted to go to Dardray with him. Robert had to see about obtaining a flat where he and Carol can live until they’ve bought a house.
We set off and drove to Dardray via the M1. We parked on a private car park (fine £1.00) and wandered round Dardray town centre. There wasn’t a centre as such, merely a conglomeration of main streets lined with low buildings and shops. I was quite surprised to see such an amazing Church in such a dump.
We visited three estate agents but either they didn’t have any vacant flats to let or they didn’t deal with them. At the final place (“Merriweathers”) we were given a map and this helped us to find the building housing the S. Yorkshire Housing Authority (or something similar). Unfortunately, they couldn’t help us either, but while Robert was being dealt with I sat in the waiting room and conducted a cardboard conversation with the secretary there (who I liked because she talked to me).
On to Dardray's plush new Civic Buildings where we were passed on to Dardray Council Housing Department. They told us that they couldn’t do anything until the Education Authority was contacted and a letter sent to the Housing Dep’t from the above. The Education Authority have recently (two weeks ago) moved to Marsh Road we were told after much hassle. These situations are so soul-destroying and impersonal – an endless succession of sob stories, desperate pleas and lost hope.
We paused to regain breath, having a pint at the “Green Lion,” looking round a book shop and having something to eat (three sausage rolls at 19p each and a cup of tea).
We then spent a frustrating half-an-hour or so blasting around round-abouts and up and down Whinborough road looking for Marsh Rd. This we eventually found and after further confusion about where the Education Authority buildings were (we had to drive round Dardray again) we eventually parked up and Robert repeated his pleas for the hundredth time today.
He was provided with a bit of hope by Mrs Cotton there. She gave him the address of a bloke who rents out properties. He lived at number five, Melton Green (nr. Swinscoe), but he was on holiday. Robert really did seem depressed and utterly pissed off by this time – it seemed as if Fate was determined to make him suffer. He left a note and we left.
We drove back home in sweltering heat and near silence. I felt shattered, my eyes were heavy and I could’ve gone to bed. We arrived back at 4.58 p.m., and after watching Alan Wells get a silver medal in the men’s 200m final, I set off to the E.A.S.
After forking out 58p in bus fare I wasn’t pleased that I had picked my first wrong night for 3 yrs. I felt thoroughly sickened. To save my pocket I walked back via Buckingham Road, Three Locks Road and Farnshaw. I must admit I quite enjoyed walking back because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I got home at about 8.30 p.m.
I spent the rest of the evening in my bedroom listening to Robert’s records with Andrew and Robert. Later on, I watched Clint Eastwood in “Two Mules for Sister Sara.” I was made to feel selfish when I didn’t let Robert sleep in my bed. I didn’t refuse point blank but I made noises because I didn’t like Mum making me feel obliged. I suppose I am pretty selfish really.