Monday, March 16, 1981


Mr. Farrar pleaded with me to play rugby tomorrow at Belleslet in a cup game; he really did grovel, blatantly flattering me, using a “one of the lads” approach which I resisted fairly well at first but gradually, pathetically, I gave way and crumbled completely and said yes. It's humiliating that I'm so weak and jelly-kneed. It's an obvious reflection on my character.

The debate about South African sport after school went really well. Jeremy and I argued against “international hypocrisy” and “dual morality” over the selective pressure applied to South Africa and other repressive regimes, and we won the debate 8-6. Ingham opposed us, and gave a long and earnest tirade about the nature deeply ingrained nature of South African racism and repression.

It was pelting it down when we were done; I had wanted to go into Easterby to buy a jumper with £10 Mum gave me, but because it was raining, and as Claire wanted to go down into Farnshaw anyway, I walked back with her, dropping our bags off at her house. We wandered around Farnshaw market looking for jumpers, Claire bought her younger sister something for her birthday, and we ended up in Topshop, talking with Sean Barker who works there.

We sauntered back up to Claire's house and she asked me if I wanted to stay for tea. This I did, and after I'd helped her with the washing up, she talked about Michael and his 14-page love letter, and said she wants to be married at 24 and have two children. Now we were in the living room, sitting in the same spot on the settee where she'd been sitting with Michael the other night, and she told me how in the fifth year she used to fancy Jeremy, had fancied Steve the year before, and even once fancied Robin Quinn! When Mrs Pearson got back from night school (she's taking her ‘O’ level English) I got a lift home.

I had a last vision of Claire waving goodbye through the window of their Transit van as it pulled away.

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