Thursday, September 23, 1982


Yet another tense situation with Mum over money and the future. She's in a perpetual mood nowadays. I hate it. She says she’s feeling “middle-aged and miserable,” but I just wish she wouldn’t be constantly so long-faced and depressing.

In the afternoon Andrew, Dad and I went to see an Anglo-Saxon exhibition at the museum in Bishophill. I also wanted to look at the John Smirke tomb in the cathedral: it's one of the few surviving examples of W. T. Southgate’s work. He was a friend of Helen Vaughan's and was rumoured to know something about her disappearance. Unfortunately, that part of the Cathedral was closed because an orchestra was rehearsing for a concert, but Andrew and I did go up into the tower, high above the town, and as we climbed the cramped spiral staircase the sounds of Gothic organ reverberated all around us. Some of the graffitied names carved in the walls date back centuries; we found one from 1718, another from 1859.

As we wandered around the tourist parts of Bishophill the sky glowered. We drove back via Crowthorne (oak trees galore), Ewesden and Cross Green, for much of the way directly into the setting sun. The shadows were long on the fields and the clouds were amazing.

Just before going to bed I mentioned to Dad that I'm leaving a week on Sunday. He sighed, as if to say ‘so soon?’ and it sounded so pathetic and forlorn that I wanted to put my arms round him or something. He just seemed alone and upset at the prospect. Mum says he will miss me badly. I will miss him too.

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