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Diary January 1978

Sunday 1st January

The first day of the new year and it opened in Buckingham and closed in Ellingham.

Last night after the party we watched the late film on television and it went on until past 1 a.m. So by the time I woke up at 8.45 a.m I felt very tired and none too hot. That passed, however, thanks to a major sized breakfast in the hotel. We then got our cases packed in the car ready to leave in the afternoon.

Then the four of us set off in my car to visit Woburn Abbey. After a few miles the brakes started grating and it became obvious that I have got some trouble.

Indeed by the time we got home the brakes had completely worn down again. That makes the fourth time and I am getting a little sick of the car as something seems to go wrong every month. Add to that the fact it needs a new tyre and exhaust and its going to be rather costly again. Nevertheless it didn't spoil our enjoyment of the morning trip.

The abbey was closed but we were able to drive round the Safari Park to see all kinds of wildlife in their natural surroundings (or as natural as Lions can be in England in the winter).

We also had a good look round the gift shop and garden centre and then the village itself before driving back to the hotel for another three course lunch. In the end our bill came to 40 and, at their prices, well over 30 of that went on food so it was a very pleasant and extremely good value short break.

We left at just on 2 p.m for the long drive back which would have been completely straightforward had it not been for the brake trouble which meant slowing down by gear changing and taking it very steady the whole way.

In the end we arrived home at 5 p.m and had a light tea and then spent a quiet evening watching television and playing the piano. Had a bath and went to bed to read at 10.30 p.m.

Monday 2nd January

A frustrating and rather irritating day, mainly because it was a Bank Holiday and I had to go into work. Going in was actually a complete waste of time as there were no phone calls to answer and no mail.

What with Christmas and New Year falling at the weekend, just about everywhere has been closed down for two weeks, giving more fuel to the section of people who say the British will do anything to get out of work.

Anne didn't have to go into work, so there was no hurry for me to be in either. I eventually left at 9.30 a.m and drove very carefully in my brake-less car. Alan was the only other person in and as there was nothing and nobody to deal with it all quickly became very boring.

The problems started when I phoned Tony up to try and get the office car to come home early in. He wanted to go over to Bungay in it but promised to have it back after dinner. After dinner came and it had not returned, so I walked round his to find it outside his house. I became angry when I found out he hadn't been to Bungay yet and, refusing to hang around any longer, we sorted out a rather unsatisfactory solution.

I returned to the office while he finished his dinner and then he picked me up and brought me home.

I arrived at 4 p.m and had a nice rest before tea and then got ready to cycle into Beccles at 7 p.m for the football club meeting. It seems very dangerous cycling at night with the minimal lighting that a bike gives off and I was more than glad to reach the office and then walk to the sports club.

There were plenty of outspoken things said at the meeting, which turned out to be quite a long one, going on until 10.15 p.m. At the end I drove home in the office car and, after watching television for a short while, went to bed

Tuesday 3rd January

A much more routine day, with nothing much going wrong.

I also got up rather earlier than usual at 8.30 a.m and, after breakfast, set off for Beccles, dropping Anne off at work before going in myself.

Had no luck at booking the car in as, after numerous phone calls, I got through to the garage only to be told that Paul is ill. So it might be a while before it goes in. Also today the weather turned rather bad with hail storms in the morning and rather high winds.

On the work front there was little going on and it's going to be extremely difficult filling a pretty large paper this week.

Spent the morning sorting everything out and trying to get a few things cleared up. Stayed in the office at dinnertime and had sandwiches before spending a quiet afternoon mainly taken up with sports reports. It's one thing getting that done, but another trying to get the rest of the paper filled.

Left the office at 5 p.m and drove home and had tea and then a quiet evening playing Mah Jong and watching television. Had a bath and it wasn't too late when we got to bed.

Wednesday 4th January

A very full day indeed as the working frenzy works towards its height tomorrow. I got up and went into work at the usual time and spent the morning dealing with all the stuff that came in and working at a very fast pace through everything. The only problem is it's very much sport which takes care of itself and doesn't really fill up the paper.

Stayed in the office at lunchtime in order to get through as much as possible and then at 1.30 p.m drove to Lowestoft for the planning committee meeting. It lasted as long as usual but there didn't seem to be that much of note happening and I left at 4.15 p.m and drove back to Beccles.

Got delayed in the office for quite a while as people kept phoning up. Eventually got away and came home and had a quick tea and got ready to go out again. This time it was with Anne and the destination was the annual Loddon pantomime which this year is Sleeping Beauty.

We drove first of all to Beccles to pick up Tony's two lads who were going with us. We reached Loddon at 7.15 p.m, but, due to the slowness of getting in, we were only just in our seats in time for the start. It wasn't quite as good as last year but, when you consider they are all amateurs, it's a pretty good effort.

As usual what with the break and raffle and everything, it went on for an extremely long time and, at the end, it was a very fast drive back to Tonys to get some copy over for the morning's EDP.

With that done I had the chance to relax and we stayed for a number of drinks before driving back to Ellingham. By the time we got back and went to bed it was 12.30 a.m.

Thursday 5th January

Thursday dawns and hardly space to breath today. Up at the usual time and ran Anne to the town centre as she wanted to go to the fashion shop sale. I got into work and got stuck into the post and then last night's panto report before going with Paul Hewett at 11 a.m to the youth centre to see the new leader - the impressively named Torban Marriott.

We only stayed there for a short while as Paul went on to do a number of other jobs and the two of us went to the office to finish off the interview. By the time that was concluded it was dinner time. Myself and Anne went to ------ where she bought a blouse. Then it was to the Crown for a short lunch. Back in the office by 1 p.m I got stuck into yesterday's planning committee.

Then at  p.m I took Alan over to Bungay to do the calls and show him where to go. That was a short trip and back in the office I tidied up as much as I could before leaving at 5 p.m. Although I came home that was by no means the end of work. I had tea and then wrote the youth leader story which will provide a rather weak lead this week.

Then there was Felix to do. Anne went off to Ladies Circle at 7.15 and, after watching Top of the Pops, I had a bath and then telephoned my copy over to Norwich. Finally I was able to relax a little and watch television, listen to records and start a jigsaw that Penny had leant me. Finally went to bed when Anne came home at 11.15 p.m.

Friday 6th January

So the paper actually made it onto the streets and, although there is an amount of stuff from Diss and Lowestoft, it hasn't come out too badly and with a little more imagination from the subs it could have been better.

Up at the usual time and into work and, apart from answering various queries, I didn't make much effort to do any work during the morning. Got a call from Brian Solomon, the Lowestoft Recreation and Amenities Officer, saying that the BBC swapshop crew were coming down to Beccles tomorrow. I had planned on having a quiet day tomorrow but that's one job that I don't mind doing. Had an early lunch in the office and then set off with Anne for Norwich as I had decided to take the afternoon off.

It was sales time again and obviously not particularly enjoyable pushing through thousands of people. In fact we didn't stay too long, just long enough to get some groceries, have a cup of coffee at Bonds and buy a headboard at Wallace Kings. That done we came home and had tea and then watched television for a while before setting off for Halesworth Police Station for a press meets police evening.

I went to Beccles to pick Tony up before driving to the station. It was a strange evening. About 15 reporters facing a load of top notch cops. The idea was to iron out problems and discuss the release of information. It turned into the George Smallman show as he hogged the talking. To think I really respected that guy once upon a time.

Now he acts as if nothing matters to him outside Lowestoft. I wouldn't want to end up like him, I really know that I can make something more than a narrow-minded parochial reporter. After the formal part we went into the police bar for a couple of drinks and then set off to come home. Dropped Tony off before coming home myself and going straight to bed.

Saturday, January 7th

Quite a busy day after all, although we didn't go anywhere in the evening. Woke up rather stuffed up but that disappeared as the day passed. Up at 8.30 a.m and after breakfast I drove into Beccles and went to the Quay to see the producer of the swapshop and establish contact.

Then I went to the office with the idea of meeting John Rogers, the photographer from Norwich. He was late and I didn't feel like hanging around so I drove back to the Quay where it was all go. Hundreds of kids were there and the BBC unit with Keith Chegwin.

It was a breezy affair, although a little slow at first. I stayed until 11 a.m before popping back to the office and then coming home to put some copy over for the Evening News. Spent the rest of the morning watching television and then had dinner and at 2 p.m drove into Beccles and to the sports club to see the reserves play Wroxham Reserves.

A good game and the 5-0 scoreline rather flattered Beccles. At the end helped to clear everything up, before coming home and having tea. Then spent a very quiet evening in, watching television, playing the piano and doing a jigsaw. Went to bed after Match of the Day.

Sunday January 8th

A most enjoyable day in every way and one of the nicest for many months. I was supposed to be working but in fact left home before 10 a.m and didn't arrive back until approaching 11 p.m. So if anything had happened I wouldn't have been around to pick it up. I got up at 9 a.m in time to get ready before being picked up by Gordon and Heather Hickman to travel to Norwich for the Round Table football match against Castle Round Table.

They didn't arrive until about 10 a.m and it was a very foggy morning and miserable. Indeed we wondered whether the match at Colney Lane would stay on. We arrived at 10.25 a.m and indeed it hadn't been called off. It was a good match, although I just couldn't get into the game. In the end we lost 3-2. That was a pretty good performance as most of us hadn't played for many months. At the end we drove to the Red Lion at Eaton for a lunchtime drink. Stayed there until 1.30 p.m and then Gordon and Heather insisted that we returned to theirs at Beccles for a meal.

Arrived at just after 2 p.m and spent an interesting afternoon playing indoor games with the two kids. Then at 5 p.m we had a full meal and then spent the evening chatting and playing more games. I made my police calls from Gordons just before he drove us home again. Unfortunately all good things come to an end. After getting home I had a bath and by the time we got to bed it was approaching midnight.

Monday 9th January

A much quieter day at work and really Monday at work is second only to Friday for quietness. Indeed spent quite a time discussing various topics both connected with the job and not.

Felt a bit tired when I woke up and it was an effort to get up, have breakfast and be in at sometime around the 9 a.m mark. Spent the morning cleaning up weekend stuff and sorting other stuff out and at lunchtime had sandwiches in the office before listening to the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup. If Norwich beat Orient in the third round replay they are at home to Blackburn.

After the draw, went with Anne to do some shopping and then spent the afternoon on sport before leaving at 5 p.m. I thought that I would have to go to the Waveney Policy and Resources Committee at Lowestoft in the evening but was rather glad when Tony put it down for a pick-up job.

So that left the evening free and after tea spent it quietly watching television, playing scrabble and getting down to some serious piano practice. I really seem to be playing more and more nowadays. It's like a bug. In the end I came to bed to read at 10.30 p.m.

Tuesday, 10th January

Didn't seem to be able to get a great deal of work done today and for no particular reason. Up at the usual time and into work and it wasn't a particularly auspicious start because I had an argument with Anne.

Spent the morning not doing much at all and had sandwiches in the office before running Anne back to work and then driving over to Bungay to cover John Simpson's New Year message to the Rotary Club. I arrived very early so I had a drink in the bar of the Fleece before going up to the dining room. It was quite an emotive speech about the National Front and neo Nazism.

I got back to the office at 2.30 p.m and couldn't really face putting typewriter to paper and so spent much of the time talking before coming home at 5 p.m Had tea and then a rest and watched television before setting out for the King's Head at 7.40 p.m. It was for a Round Table council meeting, which went on for an hour and a half. A number of topics came up including wish week and what to do with the float money.

Plenty of talking but very few decisions. In the end we broke up and I cam home and watched television for a short while before going to bed at 10.30 p.m.

Wednesday, 11th January

It's not very good to drink at lunchtime and today brought one of those long sessions that almost sent me to sleep during the afternoon. Up and into work at the usual time and it was a day in the office. At least my car got repaired today and once again it was the brake shoes. The other thing outside work that I tried to arrange was our office visit to Vittorios, which is on Friday and meant to make up for the Christmas fiasco.

Spent the morning dealing with sport and capturing all the events of the past few days. At dinnertime had my usual sandwiches and then went to the library before the entire office adjourned to the Crown. We stayed there until 2.30 p.m and by the time we returned I don't think any of us felt like work so we mainly sat around chatting and then I came home at 5 p.m.

The wind by this time had started to get up and throughout the evening there was a tremendous and frightening gale that was to cause havoc throughout East Anglia. Had tea and then watched television and at 8.30 p.m Shirley and Dave Butcher came round for drinks. They brought with them their new puppy, which of course became the centre of attention. We spent the evening drinking and listening to records and went to bed after they left at 11 p.m.

Thursday, 12th January

Today was extremely interesting if nothing else. Being the day before going to Press, it was of course hectic, but there were one or two added ingredients today. To start with the gales had brought flooding and so we had to keep a watch on that situation.

Then there were plenty of other jobs. I n at usual time, I worked through incoming stuff until 10.25 a.m when I walked to the Gateway Building Society for the Ball of the Month presentation. It was a quick one to Beccles Caxton and all went smoothly. I am getting a little fed up, however, with the way my arranging seems to be taken for granted without even a thank you. I wouldn't be bothered if they stopped tomorrow.

After that went with Paul Hewett to St Mary's Children's Home where John Cornwell was presenting the cuddly toys swapped last Saturday. Again a pleasant job and a  fairly quick one and I was back in the office in time to get some of it written up before going to the Crown for dinner. It was a quick lunch and then back to the office.

At  p.m with the high tide approaching myself and Alan went to the Quay in the office car to see how the floods were getting on. The water was a foot deep and swamping the Quay. We drove through it and then decided to return to the office. Along Ravensmere the car started to stall and we had to pull into the side of the road. After 15 minutes we couldn't get it going and, thinking it was waterlogged, walked back to the office. Got all my work finished and then an hour later returned. Again it wouldn't go, so it doesn't look as if it is the water.

On returning to the office we phoned the garage up. I left shortly after, came home and had tea or should I say a snack. Then at 7.20 p.m Malcolm Bardsley came to pick me up and we drove into Beccles for the Round Table meeting. A very enjoyable evening with an interesting speaker on mountaineering, plenty of food and a good few laughs. By the time we got home it was approaching midnight and I went straight to be. Was paid a number of complements today by people satisfied with stories I have written over the past few weeks.

Friday, 13th January

Friday the 13th and really it should have been an unlucky day but in reality it was rather pleasant thanks to a nice evening at Vittorios. The only problem surrounding that was the organising.

The numbers fluctuated between 10 and 16 during the day and in the end there were 13. The unfortunate thing about Anne working is that I have to go into work on a Friday at 9 a.m and today there really was nothing to do. I seemed to do nothing other than moan and complain all day and that couldn't look very good to a work experience pupil from Sir John Leman School. During the morning Tony showed me a letter sent to him from Graham Garnett.

It was an extremely poetical and moving letter about his problems and resignation from ECN. Emotive phrases such as  "It is a cold wind that blows in January, although I feel that I am weathering the storm and my coast is warm as I look forward to the spring." The poor bloke still has a long way to go, however, and one must feel sympathy for him. Mainly sat around in the office during the day apart from doing some shopping at dinnertime.

During the afternoon John Miles arrived and at  p.m we drove home and had a snack and watched television before getting ready and driving into Beccles and arriving at the Italian restaurant at 8 p.m. Apart from Paul and Joan Hewett there was nobody else there. Eventually I had to go to the King's Head where the remainder of the party had met. By the time they arrived it was 8.30 p.m. It was an exceedingly pleasant evening and a good laugh. We split up at 11.15 p.m and drove home and went straight to be.

Saturday 14th January

Yet another great feast this evening. This time it was at George's and at the end of the evening when I weighed myself and found I had put on half a stone I had to decide to lose a few pounds which means not eating so much and getting more exercise.

Luckily with the night's lengthening I will soon be able to cycle to work. Overslept a little bit and by the time we had breakfast it was 10 a.m when we set out for Norwich. Quite a shopping expedition and I got a couple of pairs of trousers in Hatters' sale. One was an amazing bargain of 15 velvet trousers for 2.95. I think they must have been put on the wrong pile.

By the time we had got everything it was 1 p.m when we reached Mums. Had dinner and then went to Gladys' to have a look at the possibility of us having some of her furniture. It's rather creepy going through somebody else's possessions. Back at 3.30 p.m watched the sport for the rest of the afternoon and then at 6.15 p.m went to get a Pink Un. Norwich lost 2-1 at QPR, Beccles lost 2-1 at Diss and so altogether not a good day.

Finally got ready and drove to George's at 7.30 p.m. Once again we weren't the only guests as Sue and Nigel Tansley-Thomas were there. What a couple. She never stops talking and goes on and on and on and he's very obtuse. That made certain parts of the evening a little difficult and some of the conversation was rather boring.

Still plenty to eat and drink and we stayed until about midnight before driving back to Ellingham and going to bed feeling very tired indeed and with the pleasant thought of a really quiet day tomorrow to recuperate.

Sunday 15th January

One of the quietest days for many weeks. I always look forward to these do nothing at all days every once in a while. The trouble is when they eventually come I get rather bored at sitting around doing nothing. Slept in late after last night and made no attempt to get up until Anne had gone off to church. That meant 11 a.m. Spent the morning listening to classical records I bought yesterday at Smiths with my Christmas gift tokens.

When Anne came home we had a quick lunch and then I watched the soccer on television and spent the afternoon and early evening working on a jigsaw. It's a soothing occupation. After tea spent the evening watching television and had a bath before going to bed fairly early.

Monday 16th January

I think the phrase to describe today is "being sold down the river." It all started when I got in during the morning and got a personal letter from Maurice Beales. It was my new banding under the house agreement and the letter said that I had been put in Band 2 as a journalist giving an above contribution.

That made me feel good at the time, but when we reached the union meeting in the evening I found out that it was a sop. A load more people had been sent identical letters and it appears that rather than being one from the top group, this is one from the bottom.

It's yet another case of the management giving sod all to the workers and indeed the banding is set to keep you at roughly the same salary as you earn at present. So much for the firm recognising the individual. I will now have to decide whether I should appeal against it. Spent the morning working through stuff that came in without doing that much and at dinnertime had sandwiches in the office before doing some shopping. Worked through the afternoon until 5 p.m and then went with Christine to get a takeaway chinese meal for tea.

We ate that and then, when Tony arrived, drove to the union meeting. Apart from the enlightening news of the banding, the meeting decided that we should accept the across the board payment of just over 7. We left at 7.15 p.m and drove back to Ellingham to pick up some glasses for the football club meeting before returning to Tony's for the sub-committee meeting.

It was quite informative and with only six members, we were able to get through a fair amount of business. We split up at 10.30 p.m and I drove home to hear that Norwich had lost their FA cup replay 1-0 against Orient. I went to bed rather disgusted.

Tuesday, 17th January

More trouble with the office car on the way into work today and it doesn't seem as if I can drive it anywhere without some trouble. This time it was a smashed windscreen. It happened after I got up later and started on my way in. I was passing a double decker bus when bang it shattered.

So in the rain I had to pull in at the side of the road and knock it in and then drive to Beccles which wasn't very pleasant because the rain drove in and every time a lorry passed I got a face full. After geeting to the office I took it down to Delfs and then later in the day picked it up. The rest of the day at work was pretty uneventful. Worked through the morning and then at dinnertime went to the library.

The afternoon was spent in a similar vein to the morning and I eventually left at 5 p.m and came home for tea. Then watched television for a while before driving over to Hales Hospital for the agm of the friends group. Ironically it was my first working evening for 11 days, quite a rarity. Actually it was a very easy one. I got to the hospital nicely on time and the meeting was very short and over by 8.15 p.m. At the end I came home and sent some copy over to the EDP and then spent the remainder of the evening watching television before going to bed.

Wednesday 18th January

A rather cheerless and foggy day outside but otherwise fairly straightforward. In at the usual time and started by clearing up incoming stuff and then had a period out of the office on a round trip of the town. First stop was Waveney travel to do a story about a holiday boom. The chappy in there had phoned up earlier in the morning. Then I went to see Norman Burtenshaw in an attempt to have a chat about Gateway sponsoring the football club.

But he was in the middle of a meeting so I went on to see Vittorio to give him and advert receipt and thank him for Friday's do. From there back to the office and at dinnertime had a laze around and sandwiches in the office. Spent most of the office afternoon typing everything up apart from a trip out to Worlingham to run Janet home and get some petrol for the office car.

Left at 5.20 p.m and came home in the office car and had tea and then watched television before at 8 p.m setting off for Beccles to spend an evening at the Butchers in their new home. It was a bit foggy on the way and we saw an accident at the corner of the road which meant Anne had a fit of the drive carefuls. It was a pleasant evening drinking and listening to records. We left at 11 p.m by which time the fog had cleared. Drove home and went straight to bed after doing the weekly football pools.

Thursday, 19th January

A nice morning in Bungay despite the coldness of the weather. Actually the day at work was a bit of a con. Thursdays is always busy and it's important to be seen to be busy.

Today I didn't have that much to do and so I spun the morning out effectively. I got up rather later than usual as I had the office car. Then I had a leisurely bath and got ready and set off for Bungay at about 10 a.m. Started by going to the newsagents and then went to see the new restaurant owners of the Bigod in Earsham Street. What a couple of poofs, but in their own way quite nice blokes.

In fact it was a pretty good story and they chatted on and on and I think offered us a free meal. I eventually got out and completed the calls before driving back to Beccles, arriving at 11.30 a.m. When Anne arrived at 12 p.m I went to the fish and chip shop and we ate them in the office before going to the library. Then ran Anne back to work before getting down to the afternoon session.

Cleared up nicely by about 4.30, although there were a number of queries after that. By the time Paul had brought the car back after its service it was getting on for 5.30 p.m. Came home and had a snack tea and then, after watching television for a while, got ready to go to Round Table husbands' evening at Loddon Swan.

We were picked up by Heather and Gordon Hickman and it really was a super evening. A small bar, but the company was good, there were eats and drinks and games of pool to play and the evening went very fast. We stayed until closing time and then were run home and went straight to bed.

Friday 20th January

A pretty busy day considering it was a day off. I had a number of things to do, so it was into Beccles when Anne went to work. Spent the first hour lounging about and then at 10 a.m went to see Norman Burtenshaw on football club business and had a very constructive meeting.

He agreed to become a vice president, have an advert on the stand, sponsor tracksuits and offer us good investment facilities. Then I had to drive home to pick up my plimsolls which I had left at home and needed to play squash in the afternoon. Back in the office in time for sandwiches and then the usual round of the local shops. Spent the early afternoon in the office and then at 3.15 p.m drove to the sports centre to play squash against David Williamson.

It was a pretty poor game as neither of us had played since Christmas and by the end we were pretty flustered. Actually he won four sets to three although I didn't feel very mobile. At the end I drove back to the office to give Anne the car. Got a quick change of clothes and then set out for home on my bike. Managed to make it just before it got dark, although the bloody gears stuck again and shot into fifth when I went up a hill. I had to stop and turn the thing upside down to get it back.

Eventually got home at 5 p.m and had a quick bath before tea and then spent the evening resting as I was very tired. Watched television and did little else before going to bed. At least I started trying to get fit today and arranged for an hour of squash with Dave on Tuesday.

Saturday 21st January

Quite a nice day but I suppose in the long run it could have been better. Got up and had breakfast at 9 a.m and spent the morning reading and watching television. Had dinner and at 1.30 p.m set out on my bike for Beccles to see Beccles play Lowestoft Reserves.

For some reason I found it bloody hard going and my legs almost seized up at one point. Nevertheless I got to the ground well in time for the start. It was a match full of incident with Lowestoft winning 4-2 but Beccles being rather unlucky in many ways. At half-time I put copy over for the Pink-Un from the phone box and then at the end cycled back to the office to put more copy over.

The reason for the cycling was because Anne wanted a car to go to a children's party at church. So I cycled home in time for the football results. Had a quick snack tea and then had a bath and got ready and when she returned at 7 p.m we set off for Norwich. First stop was at Mums and we stayed there for half an hour before going to Mike and Jeannette's for the evening. Roy and Joanne were there as well and it was quite pleasant and there was plenty to eat.

The only reservations I have are that going to somebodies at 8.30 rather eats into the evening and also I don't really feel on the same wavelength as the others. It's something that happens I suppose as we have made our own friends in Beccles now and it's a whole new circle. Anyway we stayed until 11.30 p.m before driving back to Ellingham and going to bed after midnight.

Sunday January 22nd

Probably a nice way to spend along four day weekend is to have two busy days and two really quiet ones. That is the case this time. Yesterday and Friday were busy and today and tomorrow should be extremely quiet. Today I did very little and the only time I ventured outside was to see if it was raining. It was so I came back in again.

Got up rather late after Anne had gone to church. Got up and had a leisurely morning taping records and then had a snack lunch when Anne got back. The afternoon was spent listening to records and watching television. After the evening meal, the evening was spent in a similar vein. Had the usual kind of argument with Anne over sex.

The thing was this evening that she refused to take any clothes off and I am getting absolutely fed up with her attitude, not to mention totally frustrated. In the end went to bed at 10.30 p.m.

Monday 23rd January

Today seemed to be one of the longest for ages with the time going really slowly. I suppose in the end I enjoy days at work more than sitting around. Anne went off to work at the usual time and I stayed in bed until 10 a.m. I had arranged to play an hour's squash tomorrow against David Williamson but he phoned up in the morning to cancel as he has a shoulder injury.

So I got in touch with Owen Perkins and arranged to play him. Then phone up Leggetts to try and arrange for them to pick up some furniture from Gladys. That done, spent the rest of the morning taping some more records and then had a snack lunch and did similar uneventful things in the afternoon like reading, cleaning the record player etc. Anne came home at 4 p.m and we had a cooked meal and then spent a quiet evening watching television.

Tuesday 24th January

A pretty rotton day and my first day off work through illness since I had my teeth done. Just before going to bed last night I had a headache and sore throat come on and when I got to bed I had an awfully restless night tossing and turning, being very hot and feeling sick.

Morning came and I still felt lousy so I decided not to go to work which will put me a day behind. Anne went off to work and I slept through until she phoned at 11.30 to see how I was. I then went back to sleep and the next thing I knew it was 2 p.m. I eventually got up just after 3 p.m - a complete waste of a day.

Then had some soup and read until Anne came home. I couldn't face any food but as the evening progressed I started to feel better. It appears there is a form of 48 hour flu going around and that is what I had. Eventually I had a bath and spent the rest of the evening reading and watching television.

Wednesday 25th January

Today went on a much better thread and indeed was rather enjoyable. I spent a much better night and, although when I woke up I didn't fell completely recovered, I was good deal better.

So it was up at the usual time and into work and really with just two days my contribution to the paper this week is going to be minimal. Spent the morning doing most of the things I usually do on Mondays. Then after having sandwiches in the office most of us adjourned to the Crown and indeed stayed there drinking for some considerable time.

It was getting on for 3 p.m by the time we got back to the office and I spent the rest of the day on sport before leaving at 5 p.m in the office car. The idea was to go to Norwich to meet George and Allison to get Gladys' house valued. We were giving Christine a lift to Norwich. So at Ellingham we swapped cars and drove to Norwich. Had tea at Mums and then watched television before driving to Georges at 7.30 p.m. When we got there we found nobody at home and so had to wait in the car.

Eventually they arrived and we went to Wodehouse Street before returning to Mums and then on to the Red Lion at Drayton for a drink and lively discussion. Left there at 10.20 p.m and drove them home and then returned to Ellingham and watched the drama awards on television before going to bed at midnight. George will be working the evaluation out to give to me in the next day or two.

Thursday 26th January

Felt a but rough today, mainly because the flu has turned into a cold and as the day progressed I lost more and more of my voice. As I had the office car I was able to stay in bed until 9.30 a.m and then start out soon afterwards for Bungay.

Undertook the usual Bungay calls and then went to the Community Centre to do a story about the drop in coffee mornings. Very straight forward and at the end I drove back to Beccles and shortly afterwards went to the Crown  for lunch, staying until just before 1 p.m.

I didn't have a great amount to do in the afternoon but made it last until 5 p.m when we came home. Had a bath and then got ready to go to the Round Table Founder's dinner. That was a novelty in itself. It was a dinner jacket affair and on the way home we had dropped in at Penny's and she leant me her husband's suit which fitted perfectly.

But nevertheless it's definitely not me. So at 7.30 p.m I set off for the King's Head looking a right pansy. Met in the foyer before and in there I met Graham Garnett who was down for the evening. He seems to have got over his ordeal rather well and I had a chat with him. The evening was not too successful. It dragged, was rather flat and the food for 3.50 was no better than what we normally have for 1.50. By the time the meal was over and the speaker had finished the room began to fill with smoke and I began to cough. So at 11 p.m I got out and came home and went straight to bed.

Friday, 27th January

Felt extremely stuffed up today as my cold seems to have completely broken out. Nevertheless I got up and was into work at the usual time. And what a boring day it was at work with nothing to do, not that I felt like doing anything.

Started the day by getting some eggs for Anne from the market. Then went to Fred Taylor's to pay my 50 club money to Bob Knights and finally to Billy Binghams to get some tickets for the ceilidh tomorrow night at Geldeston. After that spent the rest of the morning in the office until dinnertime when I went shopping with Anne.

Spent the afternoon doing very little, except chatting about football with John Humby when he came in. I agreed to go to Sheringham tomorrow with the team. That's going to make a busy day with jobs in the morning and evening and the dance. Left the office at just after 4 p.m and came home and did very little for the rest of the day except eat tea, rest and watch television and it was pretty early when we went to bed.

Saturday 28th January

A day of changing scenery that could have been much better than it was. That was mainly due to one or two things not going as smoothly as I would have liked and also the fact that my cold has really broken out. Now I have a nasty cough and my eyes are completely bloodshot which I think must be a touch of conjunctivitis.

Got up at just after 9 a.m and had breakfast and then spent the early morning watching television. Then myself and Anne went out at 10.45 a.m. The first stop was at Ringsfield Village Hall for a very interesting arts exhibition in a nice setting. Then we had coffee before driving to Beccles for an early lunch at the King's Head. It was timed beautifully and we had just finished in time to get down to the sports club at 12.30 ready for the long journey to Sheringham for the Beccles game.

I took Alan Barnard from the clubhouse and then picked up Mick Seager from Norwich, where I dropped Anne off. It was a pretty long journey and we arrived just 10 minutes before the kick off. It was nice to renew some old acquaintances at the match but the game itself was a disaster with Sheringham winning 6-0 and thoroughly deserving it. Beccles played like a bunch of morons.

At the end I was glad to get out of the dressing room where the language consisted mainly of obscenities. Drove back to Norwich and picked Anne up. Then back to Beccles to drop the kit off at the launderette and so home. But that certainly wasn't the end of a very hectic day. Had tea and a bath and then at 7.20 p.m drove to Bungay for the agm of the Royal British Legion Club. I hadn't intended staying there for longer than an hour, but it only went on for threequarters. A complete waste of time at that. All highly parochial and not the kind of thing to mess about with on a Saturday evening.

Drove home and picked Anne up and this time went to Geldeston Public Hall for a ceiledh. There we met the Hickmans and the Binghams and it would have been fun but for two things. Firstly I was all hot and gunged up and secondly there were so many people there that it was impossible to dance. So in the end we went across the road to the Wherry for a drink and then myself and Anne left early at 10.15 p.m. Came home and watched the end of Match of the Day before going to bed.

Sunday, 29th January

A very dull, lifeless day trying to get rid of the bug I have. That meant staying in the warm, continually taking cough medicine and bathing my eyes and wearing sun glasses. At least by the end of the day my eyes were rather better. Anne went to church and I had intended getting up shortly afterwards, but I went back to sleep and it was approaching midday when I roes. Not much left of the morning.

When Anne got back we had a snack and then spent the afternoon watching television and doing very little. Tea cam along quite early and shortly after I made my weekly calls. There was little happening there. Then I spent an equally quiet evening just watching television and it was pretty early when I went to bed at about 10 p.m.

Monday, 30th January

A busier day than usual for a Monday and that was mainly because of the mountain of stuff I had from the weekend. Didn't feel any too special when I got up and had a coughing fit. The bloody cough medicine I bought seems to have had no effect.

Went into work and spent the morning on a slamming report of Saturday's match and then did a story on the celidh. Spent lunchtime in the office and then the afternoon doing various other stuff from the weekend. Came home in the office car at 5.30 p.m as Anne had been for an interview for a job at Bungay. Had tea and then spent another fairly quiet evening watching television and making up questions for the coming sports quiz to be held next month between Beccles, Bungay and Loddon.

Tuesday 31st January

A funny old mixed up day. At work it was once again slow and it is very quiet times at present. As I had the office car there was no particular hurry to go into work, so I got up at 9 a.m and had a bath and by the time I made it into work it was 10 a.m. Started by clearing up stuff that came in and then had sandwiches in the office at dinnertime.

Then at midday I just realised in time that I had a job. So it was down to the Oxfam shop to see a chappy who had identified a front page poser from last week. It was a Madeira Music time beater. Back in the office I worked slowly through the afternoon. As there was a union meeting in the evening I had decided not to go home but have fish and chips in the office. Tony very kindly offered me tea, however, so at 5.30 p.m returned to his and had a fairly substantial tea before setting off for Norwich at 6.45 p.m arriving at the social club well in time for the meeting.

It was rather a lively one with some objectionable reactionaries from Cambridge having a go and getting shouted down. In the end it broke up with us refusing to take out sanctions which possibly means some of us will be forced out of the union. I couldn't really care less. At the end decided to have a drink in the bar and was just doing so when John Downing came over. He was taking Tony down to his local and as I had come with him I had no option but to go along as well.

So we went to the Ferryman and topped up an already considerable quantity of beer. Then we ended up back at John Downings for coffee and it was just beginning to drag a little when we set off for home. Arrived back at about 11 p.m and watched the end of the football match on television. Then went to bed and had an almighty row with Anne over sex again. So it was quite late when I got to sleep.