Thursday, August 28, 1980

Thursday August 28th

I was awoken at about four-thirty by Dad banging about. He was on at six, and I was sleeping downstairs in the living room to let Robert and Carol have my bed. When Dad got up and went into the kitchen he woke up George, Carol’s tabby. Soon I felt his furry face thrust into mine and, purring loudly, he continued rubbing himself against me until I got up.

I had some tea until about 5.15 or thereabouts, when Dad set off. I went back to ‘bed’ and let George stay in the room with me (he sat on the window sill gazing out).

At 7.30 I reawoke. Andrew was getting ready for work, and then Robert and Carol got up. Andrew went at 7.50 and the latter went back to Swinton at about nineish, after Carol had told me how much and when to feed the cat, and how often he should be taken out.

Radio North News was full of last nights match, interviewing Gough. I can’t really believe it has happened, it all seems so distant now. Robert had said he was going to get every paper he could find.

I hung around restlessly until 9.20 when Mum and I set off for school to discuss my sixth form course. I had a few ideas about what I wanted to do, English and History ‘A’ level with, possibly, Biology or, remotely, Maths.

On the way we met Robin Quinn and Peter Wood – they hadn’t got their results yet. There were quite a few people there waiting – Sharon Ashton, Christine Wade, L. Hoy, Beaumont, Duncan Verity and Trevor Woodrow etc . . . . – and since several people were being dealt with we had to sit and wait.

Eventually our turn came and we sat with Mr. Ingham. When I told him my results he seemed a bit disappointed and said that the general feeling among the staff was that I had eased off a little in my fifth year, and that my results could’ve been much better. So there I was, feeling almost upset at my results after I had been so jubilant!

I told him about my probable choice of English and History. To do Biology would be difficult because as they’d time-tabled them they clashed and Ingham said that to keep the maximum possible number of doors open to me I should be doing Maths. Rhodes seemed confident that I’d be capable of doing ‘A’ level Maths and passing and called me one “of my best mathematicians” (!!!). I also asked Ingham about the possibility of doing Geography ‘O’ level but he said that it wouldn’t be worthwhile. If any ‘O’ levels/CSE’s should be done it should be French CSE because a Language ‘O’ level would be useful for a lot of University courses.

He filled me a timetable in for English and History, and told me to come in on Tuesday the 2nd instead of the 3rd so that I could get things sorted out.

I left school feeling thoroughly pissed off with life. What should I do for the best? I only have one life and I want to get it right first time.

Mum went off home after giving me £5 to go have my hair cut. As I walked to the barber’s (“Simon’s”) I mulled all the above over in my mind. At a newsagents near Moxthorpe I bought a “Yorkshire Standard” to read their comments about the match. They said that the result was the best in the club’s history, more famous even than their FA Cup run in 1954.

There were quite a few people in the barbers so I had a longish wait. My hair is pretty short now in comparison to what it was.

Dad came home at two and we watched the England v Australia Centenary Test (Australia reached 240-odd for 1) until teatime when the “Easterby Echo” came.

Both the front page and the back page were blathered in things about Athletic. The headline was – “ATHLETIC STORM TO WIN – NOW FOR HILLSBOROUGH” and the victory was described as “Easterby’s biggest day for a long time in the world of football. Athletic have put down the mighty Sheffield . . . . . ,” and on the back page were comments like “. . . . . . Easterby Athletic wrote themselves a page in Yorkshire Cup history by this magnificent win . . . .” and . . . “The scenes of joy and enthusiasm which greeted the unexpected goal will long live in the memory of those privileged to see them . . .” Fairy-tale stuff! Already that match is becoming legendary.

That was the only high spot of the afternoon, because for most of the time I was in the depths of depression over this mornings events. I felt desperation almost. All my supposed plans to find real satisfaction in life came to nought. Where? What can I do? Everything I think of–yes, even traveling round the world—lacks something. How can I explain clearly? Just then though, I could believe all these people who say that religion brought them real happiness; spiritualism like that of Carlos Santana and Sri Chinmoy supposedly helps you find “the real meaning of life” etc.

At this point in time I feel depressed. School hangs like a cloud over everything I do and I just haven’t a clue what to do or where to go or anything after university or even before!

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