Sunday, May 31, 1981


Robert and Carol arrived and despite the overcast conditions we all decided to set off for Plumpton zoo.  I went in Robert’s Renault. Plumpton was just the same as ever,  hordes of people everywhere, many of whom I ended up quite disliking. When we were going round the zoo we kept encountering one loutish kid, about 14, with a typically moronic Mike Reid-style father, who kept throwing things at the animals. I felt like thrashing him. What an absolute cretin. When I see some people I become convinced about theories of rule by the intelligentsia or something similar. They wouldn’t care at all. The animals were interesting, and despite the rain, we wandered down to the lake.

On the way back, Robert pulled into Whincliffe airport, as Carol had never been, and we stayed to see the five-fifteen to London take off in miserable, drizzly filth.

Andrew got to Denmark.

Saturday, May 30, 1981


It was extremely warm today, that kind of still, hazy, half-cloud half-sun weather when it’s too warm to move.

We took Nanna P to Uncle Kenneth’s and then Mum and Dad dropped me off outside the library. I took back all of my books, all unread, and I was going to get out two on drawing techniques and another on the student riots in France, May-June 1968 but discovered--frustratingly--that I’d lost my ticket, so I left empty handed. I went to Smiths instead where I bought a hardback edition of Volume 3 of Solzhenytzin’s Gulag Archipelago in the sale, then on to Victoria Hall where I bought a ticket to see UB40 in July. I enjoyed looking round Praxis but didn’t get a book. I was a bit annoyed afterwards, 'cos I really wanted an art book.

In the evening I watched England v Switzerland in Basle, which was pathetic, frustrating, annoying and predictable; crowd trouble, disjointed England attacks and a feeling at the BBC that this was decision time for soccer in general. I’ve had a pathetic day really. There are so many ‘good’ books I should be getting--Jean-Paul Sartre novels, Turgenev things, obscure, worthy stuff!!

Friday, May 29, 1981


I was extremely lazy all day and did absolutely nothing, apart from finish my Doris Lessing book and begin Thomson’s Premature Revolution. Most of the time I laid around, half-asleep. I did listen to a Radio 3 programme about Kronstadt. I must listen to the radio more often.

Thursday, May 28, 1981

Mills & Boon

In the morning, there was a bit of tension with Dad over N. Ireland. After I’d finished the notes on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood I was at a loss at what to do; I tried to work on an English essay, then on my Art, and finally frittered the half-hearted day aimlessly away, either in my bedroom playing records or talking/listening to Nanna P. I was surprised when she said she’d read most of Doris Lessing’s books, which put me off a bit, bringing them down into the Catherine Cookson/Barbara Cartland category. Later I found out she thought I’d said ‘Doris Leslie’, who is a Mills & Boon tripe author.

Andrew rang; he’s really excited now at the prospects for Saturday and Denmark. I am jealous.

Wednesday, May 27, 1981


Did a bit of art and got up to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. At one, Dad gave me a lift down to Lee's and we played darts in his bedroom until his Mum went out. Andy Wiechec turned up and, surprisingly, Grant Riley as well, and so we all went out to wander about and ended up at Andy’s where his brother Jonas messed around around with a sonic gun and Leo, a local Italian kid, showed off by flexing imaginary muscles. Grant was really annoyed by the childishness of it all.

On the way home I met Sean Barker and Simon D. and we booted a football around on Simon's lawn before losing it in a neighbour’s garden, where it was ‘expropriated’. Liverpool beat Real 1-0 in the European Cup.

Tuesday, May 26, 1981


It was perfectly clear outside when I got up and by ten I was on with my Art notes, but broke off to go to Knowlesbeck with Dad; gradually the weather deteriorated until it was absolutely throwing it down. Who would’ve believed it? I bought a book from the Spastics shop; Mr Belloc objects to the ‘Outline of History,' first edition, 1926, by H.G. Wells, for 10p.

I continued with my Art notes when I got back, supplementing them with pictures scavenged from an old children’s encyclopaedia. By now I’m up to the end of Romanticism (Turner, Constable etc.). I really enjoyed doing my Art and I’m really proud of those notes now. I could become really interested in Art-history. I find all the different ideas, movements and individuals fascinating.

Monday, May 25, 1981


Dad went to work at two; I spent the rest of the day working on my Art notes and progressed from Titian and the later 16th-century Italian Renaissance to Genre and Baroque paintings (Vermeer, Reubens etc…). I did this inbetween listening to records and thinking pathetic, predictable things.

Sunday, May 24, 1981


It was a nice day (saw the first wasp of the season), but I gradually started to feel trapped by the same old lethargic, can't-be-bothered feelings I had last holidays. I wallowed in self-pity, wanting to see someone but afraid of doing anything about it and wasting the day. So I just sat in my bedroom and messed about, reading my diary, listening to records, the usual thing. At teatime there was a programme on TV about TM, Rajneesh, Krishna, the Moonies . . . Quite appropriate perhaps?

In the evening I copied up Duncan's Art notes and watched Till Death US Do Part.

Saturday, May 23, 1981

There isn't a reason

Robert and Carol rolled up with their cat George at about dinnertime; I’d forgotten they were coming. Robert was his normal, exuberant self. He's so enthusiastic and full of life that it rubs off on everyone. I really wish I was like that.

The three of us went into Farnshaw to look for a green and white rugby shirt for Robert. We couldn’t find one, but enjoyed wandering around joking and poking fun at one another. On the way back to the car we walked past Tim Moyles and Sharon H.; I saw them but for some reason didn’t say anything, and heard Sharon’s sharp “Don’t speak then!” behind me. I quickly apologised for “not seeing” them, and tried to work out why I hadn’t opened my mouth, but couldn't; there isn’t a reason. Embarrassment maybe? We went to Knowlesbeck where I saw some good jackets in the Oxfam shop and we looked round a junk/antique shop. Robert bought books, including a 1928 Pip & Squeak Annual and a book on French drama from 1845. I bought The Encyclopaedia of the Labour Movement Vol 2 from about 1927-28.

We got home to find England blundering against Scotland. Pathetic. Robert and Carol went at about six, leaving George. Most of the evening passed arguing with Mum and Dad.

Friday, May 22, 1981


I’ve been looking back through this diary back to June and last summer’s entries; all my problems and worries seem so trivial. They're long-forgotten, all sorted out. What does it all really matter? Lee rang up to ask about the soccer last night and ended up coming across. He stayed a couple of hours and scavenged the old bike in the garage for its rack. I arranged to meet him at the King's later to go to the Preparatory TM talk.

The talk was held at the new Easterby TM Centre. Sally, the woman who gave the introductory talk, ushered us in to a room with easy chairs and vases of flowers. On the walls there were numerous pictures of Guru Dev and Maharishi and there was a smell of incense. All of these religious overtones immediately made me suspicious. There were six other people there; four blokes (two elderly, two youngish), and two middle-aged women, the latter seeming to be typical gullible mystical-believer types, willing to accept anything. Sally talked about mantras and a ceremony to thank the Vedic masters and told us we should each bring six flowers, two pieces of fresh fruit, and a clean white handkerchief to the next meeting. That was it as far as I was concerned; it all smelt of a con, and Lee and I could barely stifle our laughter. After this, we had a short personal ‘interview’ with Sally, and I told her I was racked with doubt but promised to give her a ring in the future.

A part of me wants to do the thing, but another part of me doesn’t, and I hate all the “His Holiness Maharishi” crap. Why can’t they just do TM without all the pseudo-religious overtones? On the way back I met Simon Dyson and he invited me in for coffee and a game of snooker.

Thursday, May 21, 1981

Just for the sake of it

Dad has the car back and although the CV joints and ball-joints have been fixed, they can’t find anything else wrong. We went into Easterby at nine-thirty and I went to the library and bought two books from their sale shelves; Parliament and Mumbo Jumbo by Emrys Hughes MP and The Ashanti by Lystad. I’d planned on buying a T-shirt but they were £2.99 in C & A so I didn’t. Instead, I wandered round Smiths trying to think of something to buy just for the sake of it. I eventually got Sphinx & Commissar by Mohamed Heikal in the sale.

For some reason I’ve felt really fed-up today. Nothing is ever exciting or interesting and I’m often quite bored. I really do wallow in self-pity, even more so when I heard Andrew has got all his money changed into Danish krones. He's all set to leave a week on Saturday. I'm jealous.

We played three more games in this 6-a-side league tonight and I really didn’t want to go. I even rang up Richard hoping he couldn’t raise a team but he could and so I ended up going. We had a completely new team with Justin Knox, a kid called Chesil and a friend of Forrest’s. Our first match was crap and we lost 0-3 and had ages to wait until the next one. In the second match we were doing OK at half-time, defending like mad, and it was 0-0, but our second-half collapse occurred again and we slumped to 0-4. The last match was easily our best, and the ref said we were “worrying them off the field.” At half-time it was 0-0 again after desperate goal-mouth scrambles and we even had an attack but Forrest shot just wide. Predictably though we crumbled to another 0-3 defeat, and we’ve now conceded 37 goals without scoring. We heard that our first match of the season has been put down as a 1-1 draw even though we actually lost 0-6, so at least we’ve got a point.

Wednesday, May 20, 1981

Easterby Discos

I woke up an hour earlier than I do for school days and got in to find Jeremy, Richard and Maxine already there. It was chucking it down. The mag' is due at the typesetter’s tomorrow and we were soon beavering away; Duncan typed while Laura, Jeremy, Tommy, Richard, Maxine, Lee, Mandy and Rachel and I edited and rewrote. At one point we had three typewriters going. I revised a Duke of Edinburgh article, and, along with my editing efforts on “Punk – Into the Future?” and “Easterby Discos,” plus an editorial and a thing on the sixth form, makes about five contributions. Finally, at about two, we began getting it all in some form of order.

Lee came back to my house with me for an hour or so. Thunderstorms and torrential rain all evening.

Tuesday, May 19, 1981


I got in deliberately late in order to miss assembly and get my essay written up. It was the seventh years’ last day here and, as they’d all threatened to get us, there was a tension and expectancy around. After History, the tension was still there; our lot sat as usual near the door, but the wandering to and from told us something was up.

Then, at a count of three, we were bombarded with eggs, and as everyone dived for cover amid egg-shells and yolk, Lee and I slid for the door, and somehow I escaped with only a splash on my leg. Lee’d bought six eggs just in case and it was superb seeing their shock as we fired back. My first egg splattered on a window but Lee got Ian Emsley right in the face. It was really good. The mess was incredible, yolk everywhere, on the floor, the ceiling, the walls. We all frantically cleaned it up but Wallis and then Ingham came in to bollock us all and Ingham forced me to confess. We all indulged in a water fight before Art before being ejected by the caretaker.

The weather was extremely hot and sweltering. A nothing evening once more.

Monday, May 18, 1981


I can’t really recall much about today at school, other than it was fine weather and I had pleasant conversations, etc. I talked to Claire, and I snapped at Jeremy (“had a go at him” as Deborah put it) because he was being really patronising. I really enjoyed blasting him.

After school I had an appointment with the doctor and was a bit put off when I discovered Dr. Drake was a woman, but when my turn came she prodded and poked and explained to me in her humorous Heather Couperish way, that I have a hormone problem associated with growing up and that it should clear up soon (!). I felt so relieved I treated myself to a bag of chips on the rainy way home. I wrote out my history essay on ‘de-Stalinisation’ at around midnight.

Sunday, May 17, 1981


We went to Robert’s at ten, taking Nanna P along too. Robert and Carol were their usual cheerful selves, although Robert was ill and said he felt rotten.

An afternoon spent reading Robert’s books, talking, and eating Carol’s really good meals. I've had a lump under my left arm for a couple of weeks and while I was drying the dishes I told Mum; it’s only small but it's painful. She told me to go to the doctor’s and now I feel really worried, thoughts of cancer, all sorts. This put me in a mood for the rest of the day. In the afternoon Mum, Dad, Robert and Carol went went to a garden centre leaving NP and I on our own.

Half-an-hour into the journey back we broke down. Dad rang the AA, who identified the trouble as worn ball joints and decrepit CV joints. We had to wait for an AA Relay winch truck and we were driven home, getting back just before eleven. A new experience anyway, which should keep NP going for years!

Saturday, May 16, 1981


Dad ran me into Easterby; I was supposed to be meeting Lee at half-one, but I waited for a full thirty minutes at the Library before going to look round Smiths, eventually buying some trousers in Eastgate, really tight, blue ones. I can’t make up my mind about them. I also bought 10 polythene LP covers and a book “celebrating” the 100th FA Cup Final.

Andrew rang to say he’s staying another year at College to be full time head of the Students’ Union. Mum was really annoyed (“extends our commitments” etc.). I’m really sickened off with life, hence the general lethargy and dullness of the last few entries. I’m just completely pissed off with everything--me, events in general, etc.

I’m in a rut.

Friday, May 15, 1981

What's new?

Got in late after doing some homework for Mr Giles. We wrote haikus period one and everyone seemed short tempered, the atmosphere weird, irritable and personal somehow; Deborah, called Rita a “silly bitch” and Claire called Andy Briscoe a “stupid prat.” In History Claire told me she had a sudden urge to hit me on the head with her pencil case. Interesting. At break Nick was voted Debater of the Year beating Jeremy out by 7 votes to 6. I got knocked out in the first round with two votes. Claire voted for Jeremy.

After school, I met Lee in Farnshaw and we went round a few second-hand/antique shops. It thundered and rained huge rain-drops on the way home. Later I went to see Athletic play Carrstall Town who are second from bottom. Robert and Carol arrived shortly before K.O. and I felt depressed for some reason. The soccer was absolute crap; Carrstall scored twice and it was the worst match I've ever seen there.

I walked home. I feel really depressed and troubled today, jealous, unsure, and frustrated. What’s new?

Thursday, May 14, 1981


A fine day again, and I got in really late and played Jeremy at tennis (I lost). I didn’t speak hardly at all to Claire. Lee and I got quite mocked over this TM thing and we must appear really silly in other peoples’ eyes, but how come I’m supposed to be so sensible?

I got in from a barren Art session and watched the FA Cup Final replay, which turned out to be one of the most exciting games of football I’ve seen for ages. Almost from the word go it was hustle and activity all the time and at times tempers frayed; there were five bookings, but unlike Saturday Tottenham were more in command. They took the lead after 7 minutes through Ricky Villa, and then City equalised with a brilliant McKenzie volley from about 20 yards out. After this, things calmed down a little, before Spurs went 1-2 down to a penalty at the start of the second half. Spurs one-touch football began to make a mark and Crooks poked a shot in to equalise with twenty minutes to go. Six minutes later Villa put Spurs in front with the best goal I’ve seen for years, a solo effort, evading four defenders, twisting, turning and squeezing the ball past Corrigan. At this point the excitement was amazing, and my heart was really thudding. Mum sat dourly in the dining room reading. I rushed in after Villa's goal but she couldn’t care less.

More violence, crime, murder and assassinations in the headlines; the world seems racked with shootings, bombings and hatred, especially in N. Ireland, where about six shootings and/or bombings occurred today.

Wednesday, May 13, 1981

Secret agent

I didn’t see much of Claire today. During fifth lesson we left for a lecture on Conrad’s Secret Agent at Easterby Polytechnic, given by a S. African bloke named Stoltz. Right before we left, I enjoyed a few exchanges with Claire, who went on the bus; Lee went on his bike and Jeremy and I got a lift from Hirst. The lecture lasted until quarter-to-four and was moderately interesting but was lost on us because we haven’t read the book. After going to the Library with Lee and Jeremy and then to Praxis with Jeremy, I got home at six and left again an hour later for a free Introductory Talk on Transcendental Meditation in Easterby Library.

There were chairs for thirty or so people, but only Lee and I turned up, and as there were two ‘lecturers’ it was quite embarrassing. For what it was worth, they had our undivided attention for an hour, and although TM sounds good I have real doubts. Financially it's a rip-off; it costs £9 for schoolkids, £23 for students. They got near to swaying me and I came out of the meeting at nine pretty taken with the entire thing, but now I’ve had time to think. I do want to do it in one way, but I’m also scared of being conned and, subsequently--inevitably!--mocked. Lee seems pretty convinced. I walked all the way home.

Some sicko shot the Pope, and just recently, what with Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, N. Ireland, now the Pope, Spain, violence has really hit the headlines everywhere.

Tuesday, May 12, 1981

Mag. Ed.

Feelings of self-criticism again. I made some comment or other and Claire snapped at me, as quick as lightning; it wasn’t anything, but just her own (irritable and short) personality showing through. Then Jeremy exploded at Duncan over his glasses or something; I’ve never seen him properly angry before.

Mag. Ed. meeting.

Monday, May 11, 1981


In the library I was really jawing it away to Claire and Deborah; I felt incredibly talkative. The warm day added to the easy-going, lazy air. I really enjoyed myself. Only twelve people turned up after school for the debate (“This House Believes That Smoking Should Be Banned In All Public Places"). It was so warm and lazy that no one seemed really interested. I proposed the motion and Jeremy opposed; he did all the talking quite and was quite pointed at times! The proposal passed with eight votes for and four against.

It was a brilliantly clear evening but very hazy, and the hot sun beat down. Mum, Dad and I went to Keddon Moor and ended up harping on at each other. Mum seemed sullen over something. I enjoyed it but my ears hurt with the cold. The Making of Mankind was ace! Bob Marley died at 9 p.m.

Sunday, May 10, 1981


Pretty fine day. At about one, Dad brought Nanna Beardsall  and Robert and Carol arrived shortly after. Carol seemed morose somehow. Lee rolled up at about two and stayed until five after an afternoon of messing around. Robert, Carol and NB went after tea.

Saturday, May 9, 1981

We & They

Woke up at twenty-past eight. I went into Easterby with Dad where I had a twenty minute wait for the library to open; I took back all my books and although they were overdue, the woman let me off. I got out: We and They by Robert Conquest; On Justifying Democracy by William N. Nelson; Internationalism or Russification by Ivan Dzyuba; Russia After Stalin by Deutscher and Regis Debray’s The Revolution on Trial. I’ll read maybe a couple of chapters of each and I might read the whole of the Debray or Deutscher. I rarely read a book through to the end anyhow. I also bought two books from the library which had been withdrawn from circulation; a book about Amin and one about Kenya and Kenyatta in 1960-61. They might come in handy.

After looking round Smith’s and a couple of shops I ended up at Praxis, where I bought a record (Airto’s Virgin Land) and books (The Marxists by C. Wright Mills; Conor Cruise O’Brien’s Writers and Politics and another Doris L. novel, A Ripple from the Storm). I spent £4.75 total.

The FA Cup Final was on after I got home. I wanted Tottenham to win but they seemed uninterested in the first half and Manchester City’s crunching tackles and frantic running gave them nothing; Spurs kept losing possession and seemed scared to commit themselves. Hutchinson scored with a diving header after 30 minutes. I was frustrated. Spurs started the second half like the first and they were soon piling on pressure. I was really excited and Dad seemed excited too; it was desperate, but the City box was packed and Spurs just couldn’t get past until an Ossie Ardiles run gave Spurs a free kick, Glenn Hoddle’s shot hit Hutchinson’s right shoulder, and deflected past Corrigan for the equaliser. The last quarter of an hour was one of the best soccer matches I’ve seen for ages. In extra time, players were going down like flies with exhaustion, cramp and things, so now it’s a replay on Thursday.

Friday, May 8, 1981


It was quite a fine day and incredibly warm and still. After English with Giles during which we were told about our Creative writing option in the exam, we all adjourned to the Common Room, and I spent the next three-and-a-half hours in hypocritical lethargy, boredom and absolute idleness talking (or not) with Angela, Julie, Deborah, Duncan, Lee, Tommy, Richard, and Claire. I felt pissed off with Jeremy, which was maybe my fault, maybe not, but I felt like he was ignoring me and being rather terse. Robin asked me if I fancied going rock climbing tonight on Moxthorpe Common, so I agreed to meet him at the Egley Lane/ Coal Farm Rd junction at seven. After this I read Doris Lessing’s Briefing for a Descent into Hell and stayed at school reading almost until four. I’m enjoying it. It’s strange.

At seven I met Steve and Sharon and we called round for Wendy Truswell, then all met up with Tim Moyles, Peter Wood, and Robin. Wendy couldn’t come, so we all walked up to Moxthorpe Common, along the path that Claire and I took, and then clambered up among the rocks. We climbed loads of difficult rock faces, some of which were thirty feet tall, and although Tim, Robin, and Peter made it look easy, Steve and I didn’t. It’s a lot harder than it looks, but it was a good evening and I enjoyed messing about amid the sunset, the warm bracken, and the stone. I chickened out of the abseiling though; I’m a total coward.

We walked back through dark Burgoyne’s Park and I heard things said which secretly I long to be true but realistically I know aren’t.

Thursday, May 7, 1981


High tension day, with lots of friction between me and Jeremy, and just a general malaise. I didn’t have one lesson all day, and I sat about bored out of my skull. He says I think I’m so superior, and at Art College he almost deliberately ignored me and was really terse. I tried to analyse it, but it's all so difficult.

This football; we couldn’t raise a team and despite much hand wringing we eventually decided to call it off. Cries of cowardice all round tomorrow no doubt. I was supposed to be doing English, but spent most of the evening watching TV. I was accused by Mum of being pro-IRA, and I got quite annoyed about that.

The County Council elections were held today, and despite Dad’s pledge on Monday to vote Ecology (we even put an Ecology leaflet up in the window), he predictably turned and voted bloody Tory. Mum voted Ecology. I spent all evening watching the election results come in. The GLC has fallen to Labour. In the W. Midlands, there’s been a +14% swing to Labour, and Yorkshire has gone to the Labour-men. Nationally it seems that the swing to Labour hasn’t been as big as they’d hoped, with only 3½% in London, but provincially it was bigger. Better than 1977 but not as good as 1973. One thing I do agree with Labour on is opposing the Con’s (how appropriate!) cheap smear campaign, hysterically dishing out the label Marxist and Trotskyist to every Labour candidate in sight. They’ve been well-supported by their puppet paper the Daily Express. True Marxists should sue them for libel.

Wednesday, May 6, 1981

Suddenly you realise . . .

I woke up with predictable butterflies over my imminent assembly; everything seems fine until suddenly you realise. I got into school feeling like a condemned prisoner and the deliberate mocking and jocular wishes of “bad luck” didn’t make me feel any better. The assembly was held in the Common Room and there I was, along with Ingham, in front of the fifty plus sixths and sevenths. I was terrible and suffered classic nerves; dry mouth, trembling hands and flushed face. God it must’ve been boring, me with my monotone voice and incoherent diction! Some people said they couldn’t hear me.

Afterwards, I felt like a great weight had gone off my shoulders and I sat gratefully in the library writing up my essay for Hirst. Alison Hudson came in and asked me if I was going to her party in July: "Everyone's invited!" I said OK, and it's something to look forward to (?) Otherwise, nothing really thrilling.

The news just lately is nothing but a succession of murders; the two who’ve buried their babies, all these phone tappings, riots and general upset. Chequebook journalism. Pathetic.

Tuesday, May 5, 1981

Cope/demand = 0

A big news day. Bobby Sands died at 1.17 a.m., , and almost immediately it was like all-out war, youths lobbing petrol bombs at Army Land Rovers and hooded armed blokes carrying rifles around in broad daylight. Prince Charles got a letter bomb, the Queen was heckled and had a balloon full of tomato ketchup thrown at her in Norway. Pro-Bobby Sands supporters demonstrated in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and worldwide. British prestige must be really low.

At school, a combination of boredom and tension once more. It seems the Assembly definitely an all go for me. I was ‘running’ third lunch. After Art got back to find Dad messing about with stamps, which he’s started again after a lay-off of seven years. He seemed really enthusiastic and happy, sitting there leafing through sheets of stamps. We valued them and some individual stamps are worth £30 each, many at £6. His collection is worth about £500 in total.

Mum went for her driving lesson in the evening and despite the rain she said she’d really enjoyed it. I’ve still got my essay for Hirst to complete and to get ready for this solo assembly tomorrow; talk about pressures. My cope/demand ratio feels about zero right now.

Monday, May 4, 1981


What else can I say but another wasted day. Mum and Dad went for a walk over the moors while I sat at home “working.” I was really supposed to be doing Art, but I was too busy being distracted by the radio, and I'm sure I’ll regret this stagnancy one day. Lee rang from Tommy’s and came round on his bicycle, which he bought second-hand for £40 on Saturday.

In the evening I at least did a couple of sketches of vehicles for Art and did the preliminaries for a bigger composition, and listened to Hendrix, Santana and the like. At 9.50 I watched The Making of Mankind, a program I’ve waited for for weeks and which was as good as I’d anticipated. Now I have to wait a whole week until episode No. 2 on the footprints at Laetoli!

And that’s about it, a pretty conformist, nondescript day with no ideas and no activity. Superficial.

Sunday, May 3, 1981

Never know

It was one of those classic days when I feel so enthusiastic and optimistic but never get anything done; instead I read the Sunday Times much of the afternoon and for the rest of the day watched the rain and nothing much else. I feel in a “literature-art” mood, really taken with things generally, filled with an urge to just do something.

I never know what though.

Thatcher’s been in for exactly two years today. Bobby Sands is in a coma. Surely he’d serve his cause more adequately by living. It seems like he’s just giving the IRA and the Protestants a justification for murder. As I write this it is 7.30, and Nanna P.’s just gone back. Outside it's a stormy, grey and white sky, but it looks as if it could clear. It all goes with Tubular Bells somehow.

Saturday, May 2, 1981


Mum and Dad went shopping and came back in stinking moods; something wrong with the car. I sat out of the way in the other room. They eventually gave me a lift into Easterby at twelve. I took along £11.50, plus my receipt for my boots and an extra fiver Mum had given me to get some more. I spent ages in Smith’s; there’s a sudden rash of books about Man’s origins around. I ended up at Praxis, of course, where I was perfectly happy browsing for an hour or two. I bought second-hand copies of Deutscher’s biography of Trotsky (The Prophet Unarmed and The Prophet Outcast), Trotsky’s 1905, Lenin’s Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution and, finally, Briefing for a Descent into Hell by Doris Lessing, who Mr. Scott recommended to me after the staff v pupils rugby match. I was really pleased and went to buy shoes.

Villa are champions for first time since 1910 and Norwich have been relegated to Division Two. West Ham, Swansea and Notts County are up, and I was amazed to hear that Sheffield United are now in the Fourth. I bet they go straight back up as Champions. There was a brilliant sunset; a few ragged cumulus and the sun blazing orange all the way to the horizon. After it’d set there was a perfectly vertical coloumn of light up from the horizon.

Friday, May 1, 1981


Lots of taking the mick all day, talking to Claire and everyone. During the fourth period, Claire got into it with Angela and Duncan over a record; she was really quite vicious with them and showed I think, with her harsh, verbal attacks, her true feelings about them. She really quite surprises me. After school I stayed behind talking to Carol, Steve, Laura, and Robin about loads of things.

Did nothing but think about youknowwho all evening.
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