Thursday, December 17, 1981

Free speech

It's bitterly cold again today and although there's no more snow it's still piled into huge mounds and is nearly a foot deep everywhere. At nine I trudged resignedly on to Easterby Road for my dental appointment and had my first fillings in years. The left side of my jaw and my lips felt tingly and swollen. Horrible.

Andrew was up when I got back and we played records until a quarter-to-eleven when Claire and Evelyn knocked at the door. They both gave me cards and stayed for a bit and I was really glad they’d come. Shortly afterwards, Andrew and I set off into Easterby where I bought Robert & Carol two framed and mounted Chinese butterflies and I left Andrew searching for Christmas presents while I wandered round and looked for cards.

The snow was amazing, and in the places where it'd been walked on it had the consistency of powder. All over the town centre cars were still snarled up in the uncleared piles and somehow everything felt really different. I met up with Andrew again at HMV where I bought a 12” reggae single (“Free Speech”/”Dole Age”) by Talisman. I saw Sean Laxton, Dawn Jagger and Paul Wallace.

According to the radio tonight, the Polish Security Police are savagely putting down the strikes. Sixteen people have been killed and forty-five thousand are interned. Workers armed with axes are fighting with police in Gdansk.

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