Thursday, November 20, 1980

Thursday November 20th

I enjoyed today. The weather was as crummy as usual on the way to school.

I whiled away the morning doing my Art and some of my English for Slicer in the common room with Duncan and Deborah Blakey while Jeremy and Richard Houlding played tennis. Lee and Pearson were in Geography although we did see them at break.

Slicer wasn’t in school so we had the fourth period for private study – we all sat in a big group near the door of the common room and I ended up sat with Claire (again). Looked at like that it really does seem as if there’s something there. She sat on my left and just before the bell went, at about 1.25 p.m., she somehow asked me – got me doing this thing where I read out the part of Anthony and she was Cleopatra. We read out – to ourselves really – from Act 1 Scene III from where Antony enters to line 65 or thereabouts. Romantic eh?, as Deborah said. Claire Pearson must be a flirt (sounds like something from the ‘twenties).

I enjoyed English with Hirst as a result of the above. I have to prepare for the first couple of pages of Chapter 13 for a public discussion for next Wednesday.

After school, a few of us stayed behind in the common room until 3.30 p.m. and Art. Jeremy and I found a good title for the school mag’: “AB EXTRA” (it doesn’t sound or look as good now!).

After the usual routine Art work (ink and wash images of bones) I had to hurry home because Dad bought us some tickets for a Guards’ band concert and it was tonight. Barely had I taken my coat off than I had to start getting ‘ready’. We set off at 6.45 p.m., and we were walking through the Holy Well subway as St. Cuthbert’s struck seven.

Victoria Hall was soon packed, with the majority of the audience being typical blue-blood, ex-servicemen types with their proper wives who are always as ugly as sin. It was all a bit sickening. At the very beginning, before the concert proper had begun, we all had to stand for the National Anthem – as I looked around at the serried ranks of bald, white whiskered or blue-tinted heads I suddenly thought that they all looked identical – they were all like clones almost – all in suits and ties with shiny sensible shoes, the women all with glasses and many in fur coats. Repulsive!!

The concert, staged by the Band of the Scots Guards was quite good, the Sutherland Highlanders being the best. All blood-and-thunder stuff. For the finalĂ©, the bands did a piece called “The Battle of Waterloo,” which involved various firings of mortars and different contingents marching to and fro. It was intended as a reconstruction of the battle, and as such was pretty good (except; with all the mortar smoke drifting about the smoke detectors were suddenly triggered and the bands had to compete with the persistent beep-beep of the alarm).

We got back to the car in Thomas St. car park at exactly ten. I came to bed after watching “Sky at Night” (all about Saturn) and tomorrow I’ve to be up at school for 7.30 a.m., because we’re presenting this play for the fifth years.

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