Friday, August 22, 1980

Friday August 22nd

We went on an 8 mile walk today, from Grassington to Conistone and back. We set off at nine o’clock – I read bits of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” which is written in the present tense – and it set me thinking about writing my diary in similar fashion. Writing in the present would give more of a sense of immediacy I bet.

It was sunny but cold as we drove through Heber and parked in Grassington Car Park. By ten o’clock we were off. We encountered difficulty almost immediately, losing the path in among various fields just out of the town. We were soon O.K. again however, and we struck out along the eastern edge of Grass Woods, among limestone scattered ridges and ancient mounds. This part of the walk was really enjoyable – there were things to see and the sun was shining – and soon we were dropping down through large fields towards Conistone. There were good views across Wharfedale towards Kilnsey and The Crag, and up the valley towards Arncliffe and Kettlewell.

We paused in Conistone main “square,” sitting by the Maypole, and then continued up a narrow, walled road called Scotgate Lane, because trade with Scotland was conducted along it. The Lane was really twisty, winding up between huge limestone scars and scattered rock. The scenery and landscapes that are missed in a car are infinite. We found an area high up overlooking Kilnsey, which was identical to the flat, limestone “pavement” above Malham Cove only better. I could’ve sat there all day.

Soon we turned southwards again towards Grassington, taking a wide green track to Bare House, a derelict farm. We got lost, and inevitably ended up becoming short-tempered. With patience though we eventually spotted the correct path leading up the side of a ridge overlooking Grass Woods and passing Bare House, which looked as if it had been lived in since the War.

At this point, we all became really good-natured, taking the mickey out of each other and joking, and all too soon we got back to Grassington. We had toasted teacakes and tea at a café there, before heading home at about 5.45 p.m.

I got a shock when I got home. Andrew gave me a brown envelope, unstamped and with my name on the front. Mum said immediately that it contained my ‘O’ level results, but I didn’t believe her. But it did. My heart went cold as I tore it open. The first thing I saw was a slip of paper which said ORD LEVEL MATHS GRADE C. Sigh of relief. I rushed downstairs excitedly. I’ve passed Physics (!) – Grade C; English – Language – Grade A and Literature – Grade C -; Art – Grade C; Biology – Grade B; History – Grade B and I got Grade 2 (CSE) for French.

Looking back I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t get higher Maths and French grades, but I suppose I should be thankful that I got all seven ‘O’-levels. So, four ‘C’s, two ‘B’s and one ‘A’ and a ‘2’ and those for the rest of my life.

I felt superb all the rest of the evening, in high spirits and jittery inside. Seven ‘O’ levels!! To think that I’ve actually got them all, even Physics!! I wonder what everyone else got?

To round off a good week, tomorrow I’m going to Athletic to see Hydebeck thrashed about 5-0, and on Sunday we’re off to York.

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