Saturday, October 31, 1981

"Memory of the Dead of the 1939-45 War"

I stewarded the Easterby Federation of Film Societies Autumn National Viewing Session at Easterby Film Theatre today. Hirst was in the lobby when I got there, organizing and talking, and she gave me my delegate badge, I bought a programme, and hurried to get a seat. All the people there were delegates of film societies nationwide, not as many there as I expected. I sat on my own at the back and watched four films: Goodbye Uncle, the poorest of the lot, which I gave a ‘C’ on my ‘reaction index’; then Gregory’s Girl, which was really hilarious and easily an ‘A'; Pretend You’ll Survive, a 6-minute anti-nuclear cartoon (‘C’); and, finally, Speleogenesis by Sid Perou (‘B’).

I left at about one after seeing Jeremy and Colin who are helping with catering. Hirst asked me to show two London delegates the city centre, and as we walked over I made stilted conversation. I told the woman that “‘The Victoria’ pub is where all the local gays hang out,” and she thought I meant the typewriter shop next door and was much amused at this.

Afterwards I bought Relics at HMV and got home to find Mum and Dad out and Nanna P in fine fettle. Everything seemed so small, cramped and dark, and even the LP wasn’t as good as I expected.

I was lethargic all the rest of the day; Dad went back to bed and got up at seven with news of a weird dream he’d just had: he’d arranged to meet me in a restaurant, and all our relatives were there, but when I showed up my (blonde) hair was crimped and artificially waved in a 1930s style, and on my forehead was a tattoo of a cenotaph and the words “In Memory of the Dead of the 1939-45 War.” When Mum turned up she was furious, and I tried to hide my shame by brushing wispy blonde curls down over my forehead. Dad said the dream was really vivid, and surely it reveals some deep psychological insight into his opinion of me.

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