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Diary April 1978

Saturday 1st April

The first day of a new month and what will it hold I wonder? Today was a quiet one, mainly surrounding sport. I had a lay-in before getting up and having breakfast at 10 a.m. Spent the morning reading the papers and then, after dinner went to the bookmakers to put on he family's grand national bets. The bookies up there was very different to the one in Beccles. Much more roomy and better. I came straight back in time to watch the race and, although between us we picked 14 runners, not one of them finished in the first four.

On top of that Anne went off to Bradford to see the rugby league cup semi-final and Featherstone were beaten. The only ray of sunshine was Norwich's 3-0 victory over Leeds. Had an early tea and then spent a very quiet evening watching television. We had intended going out for a drink but the weather turned nasty se we decided to stay in. Had supper and then went to bed after Match of the Day.

Sunday 2nd April

By the time I got home tonight I was absolutely fed up with driving and we must have done something approaching 1,000 miles over the last week. Started by having a lay-in and got up at 10 a.m. Didn't feel very sociable in the morning but that wore off as the day continued. Spent the morning reading the papers and then had dinner.

After a short rest we set off for Chris and Ians at 2.15 p.m. Went via Pontefract to get some petrol and then picked them up and drove to Garforth to play squash. After three-quarters of an hour of that I felt absolutely knackered and was beaten 5-2 by Ian although at one point I was ahead. Afterwards had a shower and a drink at the bar before returning them to Brotherton and returning to Knottingley for tea. Then got everything packed and set out for Norfolk.

Again it was a fairly easy journey although there were some touches of fog. The new Dereham by-pass has made a tremendous difference. We were home by 9 p.m and spent the rest of the evening watching television before going to bed at 11 p.m.

Monday 3rd April

Got the call from Nottingham today for an interview at Derby on Wednesday. That's going to make it very difficult this week with Tony away on holiday and a large paper.

The day didn't help much either as there was very little happening and not much stuff coming in either. So it was a relatively quiet day spent organising things.

Up at the usual time and into work for 9 a.m. Spent the first couple of hours messing about and before I knew it, it was dinnertime. Had sandwiches in the office and then a walk round town to do some shopping. Came back to the office and spent the afternoon fiddling around and left nice and early at 4.30 p.m It's a funny period at th moment. In many ways I would be glad to leave because I'm not getting a lot of satisfaction from the job. In other ways of course I would be sorry to break off my ties. I think the best thing to do is play it by ear as I may not even get the job offered.

Once home had tea and then a rest until 8 p.m when I drove to the sports club for the latest football club meeting. Once again a long drawn out meeting, it went on until 10 p.m. At the end came home and went to bed.

Tuesday 4th April

This was one of the most enjoyable evenings for many months at the Mercury Darts Finals in Norwich. I am also quite looking forward to going to Derby tomorrow. Got up at the usual time and went into work. There was plenty to do although it was a leisurely affair. At dinnertime I had the usual sandwiches in the office and then worked through the afternoon and left the office at about 5 p.m. Alan came home with us as he was also going to the Mercury Darts final. We had tea and then I got ready very quickly and we set off for Norwich.

Dropped a parcel off at head office and then on to the Talk of East Anglia. The first person we met was Ken Milburn (a blast from the past). It appears he has just recovered from a bad car accident. It was a jolly good evening because about eight of us got a table up the corner and were able to enjoy the darts and atmosphere and have a good chat. And what's more the drinks were all free and there was food during the interval.

The only bad thing was that the Beccles team lost in the semi-finals - although they did go out to the eventual winners. In the end I got very merry and was in no fit state to drive when we left after midnight. So Anne drove us back to Ellingham and Alan decided to stay the night. So after a cup of coffee we went to bed.

Wednesday 5th April

An unusual day in every aspect because I saw a whole new lifestyle by way of my interview at Derby. The job I went for turned out to be completely different in every aspect to my present one. It has a lot of good aspects but also some drawbacks.

It was a very very long and tiring day with over 300 miles of driving. Added to that, because of last night's imbibing I felt tired and had stomach ache all day.

Nevertheless got up at 8 a.m and, after getting ready, we drove Alan into Beccles before setting off for Derby and it turned out to be a really difficult journey. We took a route given to us by Adrian Muttitt who reckoned it was the quickest. It went through just about every small village between Ellingham and Derby. In all it took about four hours to get there and that was without a stop for lunch just off the main road to Derby. There we had a quick but pleasant meal.

Arrived in Derby at 1.30 p.m and had no trouble parking the car. Had a cup of coffee in Debenhams and then a quick look round the shops before I left Anne and went for my interview. Got there on time but the chappy I was supposed to see didn't arrive until 2.50 p.m. Having told Anne that I would be half-an-hour I soon found myself wildly out.

It wasn't so much and interview as a guided tour from desk to desk and eventually Anne had to go to the office to sit and wait because the whole thing took more like two hours. It's a strange set-up with about five people in Derby. It appears I would be the only one in Nottingham with just a photographer. That means working on my own which I'm not too keen about. On the other hand it would be dealing with good stories, plenty of sport and a fairly free hand on hours etc. In fact one thing they emphasised was that as long as I did the work it didn't matter what I did for the rest of the time.

The general idea I got was that if the person did a good job the pay etc would be good. If they didn't do a good job somebody would come down like a ton of hot bricks. Indeed they soon said that if I got the job my wages would be higher than at present. Basically the only thing I can do now is wait and see if I get it offered. I have a feeling that there was only one other applicant.

The things that worry me are working on my own and possibly getting involved in the kind of jobs that I don't enjoy doing. At the end of the interview we came away and set off for home. We drove into or around Nottingham to have a look, but we ended up in the rush hour so it was rather difficult. I wondered just what it would be like living in a big city again. One good thing is no evening work which rather means that I would have the chance to get more involved in personal things.

We drove back a much easier and more direct route through Grantham and so to King's Lynn where we stopped in the centre to get a meal. Unfortunately no suitable restaurants were open, so we carried on and stopped at the hotel between Lynn and Fakenham. We had a full restaurant meal but unfortunately because of stomach ache and fatigue I really couldn't eat anything and so it was a bit of a waste of time.

Anne took over the driving and we stopped at Mum and Dads to explain about the interview. Not unexpectedly they made no comment. It's obvious they don't want me to leave the area. It would have been nice for them to say they hoped I get the job, but I suppose that was too much to ask. We left there half an hour later and drove back to Ellingham. There were still one or two things to do and by the time we got to bed it was very late and I was absolutely exhausted.

Thursday April 6th

Back to normality today and I suppose that throughout the day I was weighing up the pros and cons of the job. I think if it is offered I will accept it, although if it isn't I won't be too upset. I suppose I see it more as a stepping stone on the road as it will include some broadcasting. I suppose one of my worries at the moment is not quite knowing the definition of the job or what is really expected.

I was still tired when I woke up but at least my stomach ache had gone. I went into work early at 9 a.m and shook myself into remembering that Tony was on holiday and we still had a paper to get out. In that aspect it was quite a successful day as between the three of us we really shifted a lot of copy and it appears we won't have too much trouble filling. If I get the Nottingham job the thing I will miss most is the close working with other people at Beccles.

It's almost as though you have to disengage yourself from all former friendships and relationships and start again. But I've done it before and I expect at some time I will do it again.

I spent the morning working through slightly trivial work, getting it sorted out and then at midday we all went down the Crown for Shepherd's Pie dinner. Played darts before returning to the office. The main job of the afternoon was to get all the front page stuff together and by 5 p.m. I had everything sorted out. Came home and had tea and then a short rest and it was back into Beccles.

Anne was going to the Ladies Circle meeting and I to an interview for my final Samaritan feature. This time it was on the Friends of the Samaritans. So I went to Kemps Lane where the chairman and his wife were. A friendly lot and I stayed there for over an hour. That's another thing I would miss if I went to Nottingham - the personal contact with human people. There I would be covering national stuff with people living their lives as a show.

After the interview was finished I drove to the Crown and had a couple of drinks and game of darts with Alan. Then went to the King's Head to pick Anne up. Had to wait a while but eventually drove home and went to bed at 11.15 p.m.

Friday April 7th

A day of waiting for the telephone call from Nottingham that never came. I had expected a call today to say whether I had got the job or not but it failed to arrive. I don't know what that means because originally the chappy said he would let me know on Friday if I got the job so I could get my notice in. I suppose the longer it goes on the less chance I have. Perhaps I will hear tomorrow.

At work it was a fairly satisfying day. I did hardly any work but when the paper came out I was very pleasantly surprised because it was the best paper for many weeks in my opinion. There was plenty in it and it was well laid out.

I got up at the usual time and went into work and messed about during the early part of the morning, just going out to get some drink for Sunday's boat trip. At midday I went with Adrian Muttitt with the intention of covering the opening of a furniture store in Hungate. The timing of the opening by Ian Masters was wrong so I cam away and went instead to the usual Friday shopping effort.

Returned to the office and shortly after, George and Allison made a surprise visit. They were bringing some wool which Anne had agreed to knit a pullover wit. After they had gone I went to the Crown for a quick game of darts with Alan. Then spent the afternoon on the start of my third Samaritan feature. Was a little later than usual coming home as Anne had been to get her haircut.

Arrived at 5 p.m and made little effort to do much else during the evening. Had tea and afterwards watched television and read and played the piano. Had a bath before going to bed. Originally we were going to the Talk of East Anglia tonight but, being tired, decided against it.

Saturday 8th April

No word again today from Nottingham so I think I may as well give that one up. It was a rather nice day. however, and the start of two hectic days of fun.

Got up at 9.30 a.m and had breakfast and then went to 29, Lockhart Road to see a golden wedding couple. Unfortunately they were only just having their breakfast so I cam away and decided to go later. Spent the waiting time watching television and reading and then returned at midday. Not a particularly easy couple to interview but at least they were fairly friendly.

Came home and had dinner and then at 2 p.m drove into Beccles. Sorted a few things out at the office and then went to the bookies to put a bet on the Lincoln. Then it was down to College Meadow to see Beccles play Dereham. I had to walk as I was unable to get the car out of the car park because it was being blocked in by a furniture van. Arrived in time for the kick off.

The first half was fairly straightforward with Beccles taking a 2-0 lead. At the break I put some copy over. Then the second half was full of incident. The main thing occurred when a Dereham shot was on its way into the net when it was stopped by a ball that had come onto the pitch. Apart from that Mick Seager scored a penalty. At the end I came home and had a very quick tea and then we set out for Beccles Sports Centre for the Round Table five-a-side soccer evening.

It was good fun although absolutely knackering. I played in three of the four games. We started well but then faded and ended up with one win, one draw and two defeats. At 10 p.m, after a shower, we picked up a chinese meal and then came home to watch the end of Match of the Day before going to bed at 11 p.m.

Sunday 9th April

Another most enjoyable day. Good company, plenty of food, plenty of exercise.

The occasion was the office boat trip and, although the weather wasn't that good, it wasn't raining. Got up at 9.30 a.m and after a cooked breakfast got ready and drove into Beccles to Aston Boatyard where 20 or so congregated ready to get on the two cruisers and by the time we got going it was past 11 a.m. It was the first time I had been on a luxury cruiser and they are quite impressive. Plenty of room and of course we had plenty of space and drink and food. We started by going along the Beccles house fronts and then turned round and headed out towards Burgh St Peter. That took an hour and a half and we spent the time playing cards. Once there we had a quick drink at the Waveney Inn and then started a full scale game of football.

Then had dinner and out again for a game of rounders. By that time everybody was very tired and the time had flown to past 4 p.m. So it was time to start back and it was a much quicker journey this time. Arriving back we split up rather prematurely and drove home followed by Paul and Joan Hewett. They came back for tea and left shortly afterwards and we were left to spend the rest of the evening quietly. Watched television and had a bath before going to be.

Monday 10th April

An illustration today of just how unfit the average person is. When I got into work I found out just how stiff everyone was. Although I was a little bit, it was nowhere near as serious as some following yesterday. Got up at 8.30 a.m feeling rather tired and went into work and there was a pile of stuff to work through and I was able to keep busy throughout the day. At midday I had sandwiches in the office and then myself, Alan and Tony went to the Crown for a drink and a game of darts. Then back to the office and worked through until 4.30 p.m when I decided to come home and had tea and then at 7 p.m it was off again back into Beccles.

Anne was going off to a Ladies Circle meeting and myself to a meeting of the Estates Committee. I had hoped for a quiet week this time but what with one thing and another next Monday is the first evening I will have free. The meeting was long, boring and just about irrelevant. But it went on so long and by the time it had finished and I had got home and sent some copy over to the EDP, it was 10.30 p.m. Watches television until Anne came in at 11 p.m. Then went to bed.

Tuesday 11th April

Today brought my only visit to Carrow Road of the season and the reason was Duncan Forbes' testimonial with the present team playing the 1971-72 team. It brought some old memories back. Up at the usual time and into work and there was plenty to do. In fact the stuff has been building up all week.

Spent the morning sorting through a heap of stuff and at dinnertime had sandwiches in the office. At 1 p.m drove Anne back to her office and then went to Mettingham to see a couple who have been running a guest house for a year. A nice couple and their house is extremely peaceful and nice. Whether it appears in the paper is another matter because really it is a free advert.

Back in the office in good time, but felt rather lethargic during the afternoon and didn't get much work done. As I was going to the football match with Alan I didn't go home but stayed in the office and had fish and chips. Then we set off for Norwich at 6.15 p.m. Got to the office nice and early and took our parcel into Mercury Subs and then called in to the general reporters room before going down to Carrow Road. We met John Miles there and with just over 9,000 people there was no problem getting in. The match itself was average with the old team winning 3-0. It was good to see players such as Ken Foggo again.

At the end we went to the social club for what was supposed to be a short drink but which turned out to be a long drink and game of darts. Left at 11 p.m and got back to Ellingham at 11.30 p.m and went straight to bed.

Wednesday 12th April

Not a lot to write home about today except the fact it was full of work. Went in at the usual time and settled down during the morning to really churning through stuff and by lunchtime I had completed my third Samaritan feature.

Had sandwiches in the office and then started the afternoon by going to the Gateway Building Society to pick up the football for the latest presentation in the evening.

The afternoon was equally busy and I worked through until about 5 p.m. As Tony needed the office car and Anne had gone home early in ours I had to rely on Alan to bring me home yet again.

Had tea and then a quick rest and watched television until 7.20 p.m when I went and picked Adrian up and we drove to St Benet's school for the latest ball of the month presentation. This time to St Benet's Wasps and it was made by Pauline Wooden. It all went smoothly and took about half-an-hour. At the end drove home and spent the rest of the evening watching television and having a bath and it was quite late when I went to bed after watchng the European Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Borussia Munchengladbach.

Thursday 13th April

A very important day in my life. After totally giving up any hope of getting a reply from Nottingham, it came this morning. And I have been offered the job. The pay is 4,300 and renewable after six months. So I sat down and wrote out my resignation to send to Maurice Beales.

To start at the beginning up at the usual time and, unlike most Thursdays, I did not have the office car and so I went in with Anne. There was plenty of work to do and I got going during the morning. The call from Nottingham came through at midday. He made the offer, I had a quick word with Anne and then rang back.

With only a month to go now it's going to be a quick sale and plenty of work. Went down to the Crown although I found it difficult to concentrate or eat the dinner. I suppose it was the excitement because now I have got the job it's almost like being in a tunnel with Nottingham at the end. After a quick game of darts returned to the office and worked solidly through and it was 5.30 p.m by the time I had finished. Luckily Anne was late, having been to the doctors.

Came home and had a bath and then got ready and drove back into Beccles for the Round Table agm. By this time I wasn't feeling too hot and was a little disappointed that it went on for so long. We had a business meeting and the AGM. At least people were very kind when they found out that I was going. By the time all the reports had been filed it was almost midnight when I came home and went straight to bed.

Friday 14th April

A disappointing day on the whole. I had switched my day off from next week to today after agreeing to play pitch and putt. But it rained all day yesterday and was raining when I got up. So we called it off and I decided to go into work so that I can have next Friday off instead.

Being a Friday there wasn't much happening at work so I had a quiet day. It gave me the chance to sort the sale of the bungalow out. We contacted Gould and Renshaw and Norman Burtenshaw.

I went into work at 9 a.m and spent the morning doing little. Had sandwiches in the office at dinnertime and then went with Christine and Tony tot he Crown. Stayed there for well over an hour and then went back to the office to look at this week's paper. At 4 p.m drove home and there was a chappy from Gould Renshaw waiting for us.

During the day I had looked in estate agents windows and seen some of the ridiculous prices being asked for property. That prompted us to change the price in the EDP from 11,950 to 12,500. The chappy had a look round and valued it at 12,250. The post was quite productive as well. We had a letter offering us a holiday in America and also the confirmation of my new job and press cuttings of property.

Had tea and wound down a little before getting ready and driving back into Beccles for a twinning committee meeting. It was bloody cold and boring in the council chamber and it dragged on and on until 8.45 p.m. We came home, watched television for a while and then went to bed.

Saturday 15th April

It has always been said that an advert in the Eastern Daily Press works wonders and that was certainly true today. The phone never stopped ringing with people wanting to come and see the bungalow. Of course some were simply testing the temperature of the water and finding out where the place is. Nevertheless we had two couples round during the day and all in all it was an enjoyable Saturday.

I gt up at 9 a.m and, after breakfast, drove into Beccles to do some shopping and pick some things up from the office. Christine was there and so rather than have her hanging about the office all day I invited her back. Did the shopping and then we drove home to intercept all the phone calls.

The first couple arrived before dinner and in fact they were put in touch via the estate agents. They seemed quite impressed and left to think it over. So we had a quick snack dinner and mainly spent the afternoon watching the sport on television. The second couple arrived and they were much older and I don't think anywhere near as impressed as the first. They too left to make a decision.

At 5 p.m I drove Christine down to Ellingham Mill where she had a job and then came home and helped get things ready for the evening when Gordon and Heather, Mike and Jeannette and Roy and Joanne were coming round. They all arrived about 8 p.m and it was quite a zany evening because Gordon brought all his games with him. So after eating, the room was completely disrupted as adults turned into children and by the time they left it had turned to morning. We cleared up and then went to bed.

Sunday 16th April

The tidal wave began to flow with five couples in all coming to see the bungalow and at the end we had a definite offer of 12,000, which really would be quite acceptable.

Got up early because a chap from Southwold was supposedly coming to see the property but he never turned up. So had a cooked breakfast and then Anne went off to church. They started arriving shortly afterwards and the first two lots came together.

That was bloody hard work because neither of them said anything and I got the idea that firstly they didn't know what was going on and secondly they didn't particularly care. Just after they had gone an older couple came along and they liked the house but not the lack of garden. Then a younger couple who were suitably impressed and offered 12,000. I was glad to have a rest when Anne came home and we had dinner and got ready to go to Norwich for the afternoon and evening.

Stopped in our tracks, however, by another couple. They are cash buyers but I don't know whether they were interested. Then set off for Norwich and reached Mums at about 3 p.m. Sat round talking and reading and had a small tea before going to see Nanny and then on to Georges, arriving at 8 p.m. A fairly nice meal and chat and plenty to drink and we stayed until about 11 p.m. Then came home and went to bed feeling very tired.

Monday 17th April

The phone rang at 7.30 a.m which wasn't particularly pleasing. Then followed an offer for the bungalow of 12,200. The couple decide to come round in the evening. It's rather sad when you get down to playing off people against each other. After that I went back to bed until the usual hour. Then had breakfast and went into work.

It was a pretty slow day and I took it easy, just completing my Samaritan feature. At dinnertime had sandwiches in the office and then went to see Mrs James at the solicitors' office to arrange business regarding the home exchange. Had to wait so long that we gave up and returned to work. Spent the afternoon on the feature and then came home early at 4.20 p.m.

Had tea and then a quiet start to the evening watching television. A 7.30 p.m the couple who are buying the bungalow came round and we tentatively agreed a sale of 12,200. We just hope they now get a mortgage. The only problem was the other chappy who had offered 12,000. We felt it fair to give him the chance to up his price but I was unable to contact him. That's the trouble selling a house, you always feel sorry for those that can't make the price. After they had gone, watched the television for a while and then went to be early.

Tuesday 18th April

Sorted pout a bit more about the bungalow today when the chappy phoned up and I accepted his offer. Then at dinnertime I had to tell the other bloke his bid had failed.

Up and the usual time and into work and it appears I have trouble withthe car brakes again. So with a trip to Nottingham set up for Saturday I wasn't taking any chances and got Paul to pick it up in the afternoon. The day's work was short and I didn't take a great deal of interest. Spent the morning mainly on soccer stuff and then at dinnertime had sandwiches in the office and went to the library. Then a number of us went to the Crown to celebrate Allison's engagement. Stayed there playing darts until 2.20 p.m and then messed around in the office before going home at 5 p.m.

Had tea and then a completely quiet evening watching television, listening to records and playing the piano and again it wasn't too late when we went to bed.

Wednesday 19th April

Not a lot happening today except had more calls during the evening for the bungalow. The estate agents have circulated it and although it's down as under offer the people are still ringing up. Also we went in to see Norman Burtenshaw during the morning and there seems to be no problem in us getting a mortgage for 11,000. We have worked out that gives us the chance to buy something in the region of about 13,500.

The only other problem was the car. Paul took it in yesterday and brought it back today and it appears the brakes have gone again. After we have moved to Nottingham and settled our finances it will be time to think about getting a new car.

Got up at the usual time and went into work and spent the morning quietly doing one or two things. At dinnertime had sandwiches in the office after going to the Gateway Building Society for a finance chat. Spent the afternoon doing What's On as I have a pretty heavy day ahead tomorrow.

Came back in the office car at 5.30 p.m and had tea and then decided not to go to the Waveney Recreation and Amenities meeting I was down for. The main reason was because the England v Brazil football match was on television. So I spent the evening watching that and it ended in a 1-1 draw although England were unlucky not to win. At the end watched television for a while before going to bed.

Thursday 20th April

The rumours were today that __ was again questioning my expenses. Although it was never confirmed, it made me angry and if it is so I shall be absolutely livid tomorrow. Apart from that it was a busy and pretty enjoyable day.

Got up at the usual time and started the day by going to Bungay. I called in at the community centre to get a story about a new lease. Then did the usual calls and went back to the office. Only there for a few minutes before setting off for Haddiscoe to see a farmer who had phoned up the previous day ranting and raving. What it appeared to be was that they had been refused planning permission for a dwelling house on agricultural land. The bloke just never stopped talking and in the end I got drenched in the rain and came away with a folder full of official documents to read through. Came away at 11.50 a.m and dropped the car off at the office and then went to the Crown for lunch. That was pleasant and after, returned to the office and got through some work before the woman from the Spastics' Association arrived. She was looking round for rented property and I took her to one or two empty shops.

On returning to the office I got down to some solid work and was surprised to be finished in good time. Set off for home at 5.15 p.m and had tea. Anne then got ready and went off to her Ladies Circle dinner. I had a bath and then, not wanting to stay in, went over to Loddon to see Christine and Alan's flat. It was quite comfortable. From there we went to the Swan for an evening of drinking and darts and then back to the flat for coffee. I came home at 11 p.m and watched television before going to bed.

Friday 21st April

__ newspapers stinks, or rather __ does. When I got my expenses today they were minus 3 that God Almighty __ deemed to take off. So during the afternoon I put the matter in the hands of the union and also wrote another letter to Maurice Beales stating that in my last three weeks in Beccles I would appreciate __ off my back. In fact the entire Beccles office is fed up with the meanness and the tightness of the firm. Alan was refused a free advert for a flatmate. The whole thing makes you sick as they are so bloody money grabbing.

I got up at the usual time and went into work and deliberately did nothing all day. Spent the morning tidying out my desk and throwing away my old notebooks. Then at lunchtime had sandwiches in the office and then did the usual Friday shopping before going down to the Crown for a quick drink. Back in the office there was little to do apart from swear at the firm and walk out disgusted at 4 p.m. Came home and watched television and then had tea.

During that period I phoned up the photographer at Nottingham and he sounds like a complete nutter, but a very nice bloke. The evening was fairly quiet. The couple who are buying the bungalow came round and it seems everything is going smoothly enough. After they went, spent the rest of the evening watching television and it was fairly early when we went to bed in order to get up at 6 a.m tomorrow morning.

Saturday 22nd April

A totally depressing day of disillusionment. It could have been a nice day as well but I'm afraid that I lost some of my faith in human nature today. They all seem to be a set of money grabbers. The reason was a very long and futile day in Nottingham.

We started off at 5.45 a.m and got back home at 9.30 p.m. The rest of the day was full of travelling, looking at house after house and getting totally fed up.

I found it surprisingly easy to get up at 5.15 a.m and, after a quick breakfast, we set off. Things went very smoothly to start with and the journey was nice and quick and we arrived in Nottingham before 9 a.m. We were well in time to meet Sandra and Jim at the station. We had a look round the shopping centres which were quite impressive. Unfortunately some of the other parts are rather slums.

We started by going to estate agents and we soon gathered from them that properties were being snapped up very quickly. Eventually we were equipped with plenty of hand-outs. Then found the office which is opposite the playhouse and in a very quiet spot near the centre but tucked away. The office is on the third floor and a bit of a dump although pretty comfortable. There are one or two problems like nowhere to park the car which could mean continual shifting and only 9p a mile expenses compared with the present 12p. Still the photographer chap is a good laugh.

While we were there I phoned up an estate agent and we arranged to go to a home at midday. So picked up Jim's car and we set off for an area called Woollaton. Very select and nice but the house was grotty and smelly. So we came away and had a general drive around before finding a pub for a drink and then another for dinner. At least the weather was quite good.

After dinner we set out on a search which drove us mad. We went from one part of Nottingham to another and even villages outside and saw absolutely nothing. Tramped in house after house  but they were all grossly overpriced. 15,000 was being asked for a squat two bedroomed place with no garden overlooking a railway track. At least it was in a nice village. Others weren't and the prices being asked were ridiculous - total extortion.

Finally we drove back to the centre to pick our car up while Sandra and Jim set off for home. We continued our search in other parts of Nottingham and came across a number of grotty houses. The only one we liked was a two bedroomed bungalow, but that was totally overpriced. Feeling very depressed we turned round and headed for home. On the way we called in at Radcliffe on Trent and that was much more pleasant. More private and countryside and at last we called at a house we liked.

The only problem was the price was 18,000. By no stretch of the imagination was it worth that and we cannot afford it. The whole thing's a game and a sham. People are asking ridiculous prices for second rate rat holes. After that we decided to give up and come home.

The journey was dull because we were both tired and depressed, not to mention hungry. So we stopped at Grantham for fish and chips before driving the rest of the way and getting back to Ellingham at 9.30 p.m in time to see the end of the Eurovision Song Contest. Had intended watching the end of Match of the Day but I was so tired that I had to go to bed.

Sunday 23rd April

Woke up feeling very depressed about yesterday and facing the fact that we will have to start all over again on Friday. Of course there's always the feeling of am I doing the right thing and that's a question that's impossible to answer. Only an idiot pulls himself away from an area he likes, people he likes. But I suppose that if I want to get on I have got to make the effort.

I have precipitated that by the fact that I no longer feel I can work for __ and indeed following __ latest little onslaught I have written a fairly strong letter to Maurice Beales. I suppose as the day went along I began to feel a little more optimistic about things. I only wish we could have found somewhere nice to live last week.

Although I felt quite refreshed when I woke up I stayed in bed until 10.30 a.m and then had breakfast. Spent a much needed quiet morning doing a few odd jobs and having a walk to a house that sells flowers on the main road. Had dinner and then at just after 2 p.m Norman and Marilyn Hicks arrived. They were coming round for tea and brought Rebecca round with them. Last time we saw her she was just a few months old. Now she is over two and a real jovial baby.

We spent a quiet but enjoyable afternoon and then had tea and they left shortly afterwards. We cleared up and then spent a quiet evening reading and watching television. As the day carried on I began to think straight about Nottingham again. When we go down on Friday I think we must look at things from a more roundabout fashion and look at the villages around because I really don't think the middle of Nottingham is for us. It wasn't very late when I went to bed.

Monday 24th April

Back to the routine of another week. Up at the usual time and into work and spent the morning on straightforward stuff. Unfortunately when we went into work we left the lunch at home. So at dinnertime we drove home again and had lunch before going back into Beccles.

Then at 2.15 p.m I drove over to Langley School for the opening of new indoor cricket nets. I made that a nice leisurely job before wandering back to the office. There I worked through until about 4.30 p.m and then we came home.

Had tea and then a short rest before driving over to the Patrick Stead Hospital at Halesworth for a meeting of the Community Health Council. It was pretty straightforward and pretty boring. Went on until 9.15 p.m when I left before the finish and drove home and put some copy over. Finished the day by watching the championship snooker on television and then went to bed.

Tuesday 25th April

Had our appetite well and truly whetted today about the United States. It came in the form of the Scope American evening in Norwich and we almost decided to join the 80 strong party. In the end decided against it as most of them seemed to be older people and by going on our own in an exchange it will be cheaper and give us more freedom.

Up at the usual time and into work and the morning was spent clearing up sport stuff. At lunchtime had sandwiches in the office and then went to the library. Then spent the afternoon working through the wealth of stuff I got hold of at the Haddiscoe farm last week. Left at 4.45 p.m in order to get to Norwich just ahead of the main rush hour.

Arrived at Mum's in time for tea and then afterwards watched television for a while and then set out for the American evening at Blackfriar's Hall. Quite interesting with plenty of slides and it didn't go on too long. Going over to the States will be a very enjoyable experience. At the end we came home and watched television for a while before going to bed.

Wednesday 26th April

Leaving in the near future basically means that we have a lot of people to see but little time to see them in. So it was another hectic evening and this will go on until we leave. Then I should imagine that things will become very quiet for a time and we will be struggling to find things to do. Who knows?

Got up at the usual time and it was an extremely busy day at work. In fact it was a busy day all round. Spent the morning working through a number of things and got the Pink-Un notes and What's On out of the way. Then at 1.30 p.m I drove out to the planning committee meeting at Lowestoft. A very long but worthwhile meeting with plenty of copy resulting including a lead story for this week. The meeting ended at 5.15 p.m and I was hampered in getting back to the office by an accident at Carlton Colville which blocked the road. This meant I had to go all round the countryside.

Just stopped off at the office before coming home and having a salad tea while Anne phoned up estate agents in Nottingham. Watched some television and then put over some copy to the Daily Press. Then had a bath and got ready and at 8.15 p.m drove to Christine and Malcolms. We thought we were just going out for a drink with them but they had friends round and there was quite a mini party of us gathered at the Geldeston Wherry.

We stayed there until past 10 p.m and then returned to Christines for quite a substantial supper. By midnight I was overcome by tiredness and so we came home and went to bed.

Thursday 27th April

When you come to leave a town you realise just how much people appreciate you and that was the position at the Round Table meeting tonight when everybody was so kind in wishing me well. In fact it wasn't my last meeting as I shall be able to make the one in two weeks' time.

Got up slightly later than usual as I had the office car and at 9.15 a.m I set off for Bungay to do the usual calls at the usual places. On the way into Beccles I stopped off at the apple farm and then got to the office. The morning was taken up with clearing up various small stuff that was outstanding.

At 12 p.m went to the Crown for dinner and stayed there for an hour before returning to work for a hectic afternoon session spent entirely on yesterday's planning committee. I finished nicely on time at just after 5 p.m and we came home. As I had Round Table in the evening I didn't have anything to eat but instead had a bath and got ready. Alan was coming as a guest and at 7.15 p.m he picked me up and drove to the King's Head.

It was the official chucking out night which took the form of a This Is Your Life on Keith Hipperson and David Gregson. I played one of the parts and we had a good laugh. At the end had a hot buffet and then a short business meeting during which my resignation was read out. At the end I had another quick drink and then came home and watched the snooker on television before going to bed at past midnight with the daunting thought of another early start and days house hunting tomorrow.

Friday 28th April

At last today I think we have found a house near Nottingham and it's probably thanks to the fact that we went with a determined attitude today. Up ridiculously early again and we set off at 7 a.m and this time it wasn't quite as easy to get to Nottingham as there was more traffic on the road.

We eventually reached Radcliffe at 10.30 a.m and stopped at the estate agents to pick up some more gen and a key and then we set off to look at three properties. The first had a nice outlook onto open fields but was rather small and dirty. The second was huge and dirty and needed so much decorating it wasn't true. Eventually we found a very neat and tidy bungalow, but it had an extremely small lounge and only two bedrooms. It was just too small. By this time we realised it wasn't going to be Radcliffe which is unfortunate because it's a nice little village.

So we stopped at a  local pub and had a drink, but not lunch as they didn't do food. So it was on to the other side of Nottingham and once again we looked at houses, houses and more houses. Quite a nice one at Toton, the best yet. Then we got some lunch at a nice pub on the way to Long Eaton. There it was on to the estate agents and round some more houses before going to Castle Donnington. In the end we liked the look for a rather nice semi-detached with a nice garden and at a reasonable price - 12,450 - which would prove no problem from a financial point. We didn't see much at Castle Donnington.

On the way back to the estate agents we saw quite an attractive detached house at Long Eaton, tucked away off the main road. We couldn't get in that one because the people weren't there. After that we decided to drive up to Yorkshire and in the evening to make an offer for the semi-detached at Long Eaton and the Toton house.

It took well over an hour to get to Yorkshire and the main reason for that was I took the wrong turning and ended up going via Wakefield. In the end made it and had tea and then during the evening went to Mrs Harris' to make a phone call. We rang the semi-detached woman and she seems to have accepted the offer and so we should be able to get things moving now. So we are feeling more satisfied as we went home and went to bed.

Saturday 29th April

A quiet day spent doing very little and that was really the enjoyable thing about it as now we really feel as though we are getting somewhere. I got up late and it wasn't long before dinnertime. The afternoon was spent watching the sport on television and a couple of bets at the bookies made a gigantic profit of 13p. At least the place was lively with plenty of people around.

Had tea and then watched television for a while before having a bath and getting ready to go to the Ancient Shepherd to meet Sandra and Jim. We were rather late getting there and so Sandra and Jim were already there. Had a couple of drinks and then decided to go to the Chinese restaurant at Pontefract. Plenty to eat there although thy seemed to be trying to get rid of everybody as soon as possible. So from there we came home and, after watching television for a while, went to bed.

Sunday 30th April

A very rainy day indeed which more or less meant that we had to stay in all day. Not surprisingly I got up late and did very little before dinner except read he Sunday papers. Had dinner and then spent the afternoon reading. Coming to Yorkshire gives me the chance to do plenty of reading.

Also played cards during the afternoon and after tea spent a quiet evening watching television, playing cards and reading and it was quite early when we went to bed.

The break gives me the chance to evaluate the move. The housing seems t be going smoother. I suppose I am just about ready now. The salary of 4,300 is just about the same as I'm getting at present. Although my present is 4,000 that includes a bonus and considerable expenses. The difference is all a matter of telephone, expenses and bonus.