Saturday, August 25, 1984

Blithe spirit

We got into Holdsworth Square station at quarter past six this morning. Lee’s mum awaited in her gleaming new estate car and I got a lift onto Moxthorpe roundabout.

Dad got up shortly after I arrived home, looking old and tired I thought. Bags under his eyes. He said he felt “bitter and twisted” over some hassle at work about rotas, which meant he had to go in at 11.30 and so would miss Athletic’s match; he launched into tales of Scotland (he and Mum just got back) which I let wash over me I was so tired.

I went to sleep at about eight and got up again midday. Robert had arrived, Nanna P. and Mum were up . . . More tales of Scotland from Mum although N.P. was uncharacteristically pensive. She says the doctors have informed her that her thyroid gland is not working properly.

The match began at three. R. and I got to Cardigan Park early to find sparse crowds lounging in the sun waiting for the gates to open, and so we went for a swift drink in the Hanson Arms on Lockley Lane which was jammed full of men of the tap room lad variety, all of a sameness, for there was a stripper . . . A ‘busty beauty’ bared her tits on stage, blithely wandering around stripped to the waist and announced that there’d be two new girls who we’d never seen before on stage in ten minutes.

R. and I hastily downed our drinks and left, not wishing to witness the terrible scenes. As we did so our compere rebuffed saucy comments from the audience. This all seemed somehow typically Northern.

The match was entertaining, Athletic cruising to an easy 4-0 win over Pelby in the bright sunshine, and if they’d maintained their early dominance could have won by six or seven.

Back in the privet lined stillness of Egley I showed Robert the letters of Mrs. Coldman-Hicks, madwoman of Maynard Gardens, which I’ve brought up with me. He and Mum thought them amusing/sad/creepy by turns. R. also seemed fascinated by my accounts of Borley.

I’ve tried ringing Lindsey to get the number of the bus company but, equally infuriating, the ‘phone at Westdorgan Road is on the blink again.

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