Wednesday, July 8, 1981
A much better do
It was bright and sunny all day and really warm, and almost immediately I went to play tennis. I got thrashed 0-6 by Jeremy and then we played a doubles match against Claire and Evelyn; I partnered Claire and we lost 6-7, 6-8 on the tie-break. I was in good spirits and we got back just in time for coffee. I felt really good. I got my English Paper I mark back, and got 30/40 and an overall English grade of 71%. I came second, to Vicky Miller (who else?). So, to say I did about zero revision I’ve done pretty well, with a B- in History, a B in English, and a C+ in Art. If I really work now. . . !
I stayed behind after school with Gary Abbott and Tim Moyles and listened to them swapping stories about girlfriends and socialising, etc. I felt like a real sore thumb, because I’m not like them at all and there seems to be an inherent communication barrier whenever I open my mouth. We arranged to go down to Harvey's tonight to “see my birthday in.”
At the tea table (our political forum) I got involved in a debate with Dad, and I again expounded my left wing views on inherited wealth, Trident, etc., and was accused of “talking Bolshie.” I ended up feeling really militant and excited; I suppose the adrenaline was flowing because in a strange sort of way I was looking forward to this party at Harvey's. Just as I’d begun to get worried Tim wouldn’t come he and Peter called round at quarter-to-ten.
When we got to Harvey's I immediately downed two pints of Carlsberg. Everyone was there; I saw Deborah and her boyfriend Tony, and Nigel Duckett too. It turned into a much better do than last week’s and I was talking more and being more friendly with everybody. A lot of the time I sat with John Emsley, Tim, Robin and Steve. My money had vanished within minutes and I was getting that same warm feeling as last week, but I kept on reminding everyone that it would soon be my birthday, and started counting down the minutes; Deborah gave me a pound to buy myself a drink. I felt pretty drunk, and began to lurch around and bang into things. She introduced me to Tony, small and sharp-faced, who seemed OK; they looked happy. I can remember taking a swig of Tim’s drink, spitting it back, and pouring it into an ashtray, and by the time Robin brought me another pint I was done. Five down--here’s to the sixth! I could only manage half of it.
I was reluctant to leave and walked home with Tim, John Emsley, and Michael Barnwell. I felt really silly, light-hearted, and good-natured. Loud comments and much laughter after I walked into a lamp post and fell over in Moxthorpe. Made my woozy way home by one, vainly trying to act sober.