Saturday, April 3, 1982

War situation

I was pleased to read things I've thought about too, e.g.: “This is how any further improvement of the world will be done: by individuals making Quality decisions and that’s all. God, I don’t want to have any more enthusiasm for big programmes full of social planning for big masses of people that leave individual Quality out . . . they’ve got to be built on foundation of Quality within the individuals involved.”

At twelve-fifteen, Robert and Carol arrived to go see the Hillroyd match. They seemed depressed and quiet, especially Carol. Mum and Dad arrived back with Nanna P. shortly after and soon the house was alive to relentless conversation, a cacophony of voices, N.P.’s incessant gossip, in the kitchen loud talk of Argentina, the decline of discipline and morals. Dad: “It all began with Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (his own moral high-horse).

When we left at two-thirty, the house seemed tense and angry.

The match was crap. Hillroyd were in orange and white and were abysmal, but Easterby seemed determined to outdo them in this and played their own frustrating, negative, anti-football game. Predictably, after a few scares, Hillroyd’s No. 9 Stevens scored from a header.

Tense discontent and frustration rippled through the crowd, people gesticulating and shouting, their hoarse fanatical voices breaking in desperation as they heaped abuse on the team. It was awful to watch, passes going astray and no effort from Athletic at all. The first half ended to boos and a knotted, desperate feeling inside.

After the break, Easterby began again just the same, but gradually played forward more and after about twenty minutes, flashes of the old Athletic started to appear; penetrating attacks, searching crosses, the occasional good move that ended with a missed shot or an infuriating mistake. Wild and Lewis especially were pathetic. Ironic applause when the latter was substituted.

Athletic pressed forward again , McArdle and Highmore both volleying several shots just over and Newlands heading inches too high. But the ball just would not go in. High balls into the area and the tension was amazing. Then, the best sight of all! Newlands heading the ball gracefully into an open net. We all exploded.

The game was alive and the crowd began shrieking for the winner and although Athletic looked good and it was really exciting, they just couldn’t find a way through and it ended 1-1.

I got home to hear that Argentinian troops are fighting with Falkland islanders and the marines, now airlifted to Uruguay, had put up a fierce struggle. The news put us virtually in a war situation and we all sat round the TV, me feeling excited inside at this new event. A huge fleet is to sail for the islands: ships could be sunk, lives lost, etc. Generals are unrolling their maps. . . .

Dad seemed to take a grim, jingoistic enjoyment in it all, 'blow the gauchos out of the water,' etc. John Nott gave “the worst speech of his career” according to the news. Stormy scenes in the Commons: the Government might even fall and a lot seems at stake. In 20 years time, it will be on ‘A’ level papers – “To what extent was the Falklands crisis of 1982 responsible for the downfall of Thatcher’s government.”

Andrew came home mid-evening and we spent a lighthearted evening watching some crap from Germany on Old Grey Whistle Test. I hate the pretentiousness of so many Riverside types.

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