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Diary July 1973

Sunday July 1st

Today was an extremely hot one and I really got sweaty in the morning tidying up my bedroom and setting my stereo out. Spent a leisurely afternoon watching television before driving back to Lowestoft at 5 p.m. When I got back to my digs I listened to records before George came round. At 8 p.m we went to the South Pier and saw Gerald Morter's production of Olde Tyme Music Hall. Afterwards we went backstage to tell GM how good (?) the show was. I will have to do a good write up anyhow or it won't get published. After the show we came back to the digs and had a cup of coffee before I went to bed at 11.30 p.m.

Monday July 2nd

Spent the morning writing up last night's shows and Saturday's fetes. Went round to see Mrs Oxborough whose daughter had emigrated to Australia, to get a picture. At dinnerhour I went down to the Wimpey with Andy and Steve and then spent almost all the afternoon looking up the 1873 files for the centenary supplement later in the year. After taking the parcel down to the station I went home and then went on to the record shop where I bought a couple of albums and four singles. Returned home and then had tea. Spent most of the evening writing up copy of the shows for The Stage and after that I took my copy to the office and got it ready for sending. While in the office we got a ring from the fire service to tell us that ammonia fumes had overcome a woman in St Margaret's Road. I went down and got the story and then phoned it over to Norwich and Ipswich before returning home to listen to the radio to Joe Frazier beating Joe Bugner. Afterwards I went to my room and went to bed at 11.30 p.m.

Tuesday July 3rd

Had to go out just after I got in to work to see Sister Mary Joan at the convent for my feature. Spent the rest of the morning writing that up and catching up on various other work. Spent the afternoon, after getting some fish and chips with Andy, largely doing the same things. I also got the files up to date. Left work at the usual time and came home and had tea and watched Wimbledon where I saw Roger Taylor beat Bjorn Borg. Afterwards I went with Steve and had a kick around over Normanston Park. Returned home and had a bath before listening to records. When Steve came in had some fish and chips before Christine came in to work her way through a quarter bottle of brandy and get horribly drunk. Finally got to bed at 12.30 p.m after we had listened to her ranting and raving.

Wednesday July 4th

Started the day in court, but every case was out of my area, so there was nothing to write up. Spent the rest of the morning doing sports stuff. At lunchtime went with Andy and Steve down to the Wimpey. After lunch I spent the afternoon writing up small stuff. Towards the end of the afternoon I took Argar out to Barnby to pick up his car. Returned to the office and then went home. Andy came round for a bite before I went over to Normanston Park with him, Steve, Nigel for a good kick about. Afterwards we went into the Norman before going back to the flat to clean up. Then went to the Volunteer and played darts until closing time. Came back to the flat and listened to the radio before going to bed at 12.05 a.m.

Thursday July 5th

Spent the morning on such mundane things as Shipping, Trawl, Diary and police and hospital checks. At dinnertime went across to the chinese with Steve and Andy. Came back to the office and mucked around in the front office before going down for STD. Spent the first part of the afternoon doing small stuff. At 4 p.m I relieved Sally from court and only stayed for 30 minutes before going down to Kirkley High School for sports results which I was unable to get. Came back and hung around until shorthand time. During shorthand I got really pissed off and took absolutely no notice. After shorthand went across to the Volunteer with Andy and Duncan and had a game of darts before going on to the Cliff in Gorleston for a drink. From there we went on to the Links where I had a very good meal. Left there at 10 p.m and drove home and listened to the radio before having a bath in the middle of one helluva storm. After that I retired to my room and went to bed at 11.10 p.m to listen to the radio.

Friday July 6th

A busy day work-wise which is quite strange for a Friday. Went in a bit later than usual and almost immediately began a feature for Andy on learner drivers not wearing safety belts. It took up all morning as I had to phone up a number of driving schools. At dinnertime I went down to  the Wimpey with Andy and Patsy. We stopped off at the chemists nearby so Andy could see Patsy's sister about some disguise for a fancy dress party he was going to. After the Wimpey I went back to the office before going to the convent school at 2.30 p.m for the presentation of a handicapped chair by Val Doonican to Ashley Downs School. After a slow drive back to the office I spent the rest of the afternoon writing up the stories. During the afternoon Ken Mason came in. He had taken his car to Day's garage. At 5.30 p.m we went back to the digs and had a cup of coffee before I ran him to the garage. Then drove back to Norwich and, after quite a hurried tea, took mum, dad, nanny and granddad out to the Silver Fox at Taverham. After a couple of pints returned home and wrote up this week's top 20 before running them home and returning to my room to listen to records before going to bed at 11 p.m.

Saturday July 7th

One of those mornings when nothing really went right. I got up after a lay in and phoned Mike up with the intention of having a game of tennis. That rather went by the board when it began to rain. Phoned Roy up but he said he didn't want to go out for a drink tonight and would prefer to sit in and mope. Spent the end part of the morning watching the Test Match. After dinner George phoned up to ask me if I wanted to go over to Lowestoft to see Bequest of a Nation at the ABC, I agreed. I spent all afternoon watching the test match and the Wimbledon finals in which Billie Jean King beat Chris Evert 6-0, 7-5 and Jan Kodes beat Alex Metraveli 6-1, 9-8, 6-3. After that I got ready and went round Georges. He drove us over to Lowestoft and we watched what turned out to be a good film about Nelson and Lady Hamilton. Afterwards we popped into the Volunteer for a drink and then got some fish and chips form Bevan Street and went back to the flat to eat them. Afterwards we drove back to Norwich and got involved in a motoring incident. George overtook this car which then speeded up and overtook us at Bracondale. After a good bit of non give and take the driver stopped us to ask what our game was. The driver got quite nasty until George got out of the car and towered over him. After that went back to Georges for coffee before returning home and going to bed at 1.15 a.m.

Sunday July 8th

Got up when the phone rang. It was Mike but unfortunately he couldn't play tennis today because he was going down to the coast. Spent a fairly boring morning listening to the radio. Did start writing a story, however. I will probably never finish but in case I do I'm recording when I started. Just after dinner George phoned up to ask for a game of tennis. I agreed and went round his at 3.15 p.m. After helping him to do some gardening we went to Higham Park and I beat him 7-5, 6-2 although we had to stop then because I had a nasty blister. After stopping for a cup of tea came home, had tea and a bath. Watched TV for a while before George came round just after 8 p.m. We went down tot he Cottage where we were joined later by Mike and Jeannette. They really do seem almost engaged. Left the pub and went back to Georges for coffee and a look at his roller cricket records before coming home and retiring to my room straight away before going to bed at 11.30 p.m.

Monday July 9th

Drove back to Lowestoft early and went into work for a very routine day encompassing files and small office jobs. At tea time went and got some fish and chips from Norwich Street and came back to the flat with Stephen. After tea went down to the Sparrow's Nest to see the Startime '73 which turned out to be a really good show. Afterwards went back to the office and waited while Steve phoned Christine up. Then came back to the digs where we were forced to listen to Christine ranting on and on. After listening to a couple of albums I retired to my room to go to bed, after making it, at 11.50 p.m. During the day George phoned up to say he had arranged a game of mixed doubles tomorrow night. I hope the horrible blister I got yesterday allows me to play.

Tuesday July 10th

A busy day to mark the 200th diary entry. When I got to the office this morning I went to court, where I spent the whole of the morning. At dinnertime Steve and Andy got me some fish and chips from Bevan Street. Spent the afternoon copying up court and tidying up several things. At 5 p.m I knocked off and drove home to Norwich as fast as I could as I had arranged to be round Georges at 6.20 p.m. I fought my way through the rush hour and went home to collect my tennis stuff. At dinnertime I had bought a new tennis shirt. Went round Georges where he told me that the girls were not going to play. Very unfortunate. Nevertheless we went over to Eaton Park and had a very good and testing game marred only by the fact that I couldn't hit the ball hard because of my sore hand. George won the match 7-9, 7-5, 6-4. Afterwards went back to George's, changed and had a drink before going back to Lowestoft. Stopped at the Oulton Broad fish shop and got some tea which I ate back at the digs. Had a bath and listened to some records before going to bed at 12.05 a.m. Two separate people have asked the new office girl out but she has refused both. I think I will ask her out tomorrow more for a laugh than anything else.

Wednesday July 11th

Workwise a very quiet day. Spent all morning doing sports stuff and various small things. At dinnertime went down to the Wimpey with Andy and then messed about in the office until about 2.45 p.m when I went to see Mr Breame about his retirement at 97 Gorleston Road. He turned out to be a very nice man and we talked for quite a while about poetry. Went back to the office and all I did was write the story up. At tea time I took the parcel down to the station and then went back to the digs with Andy. After tea we went down to Normanston Park where we were joined by Nigel. After returning to the digs to change we went to the Suffolk Punch up Westwood Avenue for a drink and then to the Wherry. We called at the Oulton Broad Road fish shop and then returned to the digs where we listened to the radio and clowned about. After all the company had gone, myself and Steve washed up before I went to my room and went to bed at 12.20 a.m. During the day I made tentative efforts to ask S out saying that as everybody else had asked her out it was my turn. During the evening Steve talked me into asking her out tomorrow. I will pluck up courage and do so.

Thursday July 12th

Spent half the morning in court and the rest writing it up and sending it over for the EDP. At dinnertime I asked S out mainly because I was pressurised by Steve and Andy. She wouldn't give me an answer but said she didn't like going out with people she worked with. Afterwards I was quite sorry I asked her. Anyway slowed things down in the afternoon by only doing STD. At 6 p.m as per usual I went to shorthand and it was even tougher and more boring than ever because there was only me and Duncan there. At 8 p.m I went and got some fish and chips before going back to the digs. Spent what was left of the evening watching television before going to my room and listening to the radio. Went to bed at 10.45 p.m.

Friday July 13th

Certainly not a bad day considering it was Friday 13th. Went into work and carried out work at the usual leisurely pace. During the morning I went down to Salisbury Road (walked in fact) for a golden wedding. Of all my stay in Lowestoft this woman was the nicest golden wedding I have had to deal with. Came back to the office and had a leisurely dinner hour during which time I went down to the Wimpey and into Morlings where my Jim Webb single had come in. Also bought piano books of David Bowie and the Beach Boys. After dinner I did a favour for George by taking down some holiday money for Sid Watts. Roy phoned up and we arranged to go round Mike Allendens on Monday at 7 p.m to finalise plans for the holiday. After that I went to the Oulton Broad swimming pool for the results of the Junior School gala. Came back to the office and typed the results up before coming home for tea. Today is the last time I will see Gerge as he is on holiday next week which is my last. After tea I went down to the record shop in South Lowestoft, bought some fairly good singles and had a long talk with Sterling Brocks' mother. Came home and had a bath, worked out my top 20 and then tidied my room up before going to bed at 11.20 p.m after listening to some albums.

Saturday July 14th

As it was Saturday I got up later than usual but I was still in at the same time as Steve. Began by writing up yesterday's golden wedding and then did nothing else during the morning except send the Nest show copy over to the Stage and go down to the post office for Glynne. At dinnertime went down to the Wimpey with Steve and Patsy. Patsy went back to the office with me where I phoned Mike up. We then went back to hers with a table and then on to St Peter's Fete at Kirkley. I then returned to the office and wrote up the fete. When Steve came back from his fete we went back to the digs where I spent some time loading my records into the car to bring home. Came home to Norwich and, after tea, I set my records up in the bedroom and spent the evening watching TV and listening to records. At 10.20 I watched a very exciting speedway match where England beat Sweden. I then returned to my room to listen to a Kid Jensen interview with David Bowie on Luxemburg. Finally got to bed at 12.05 a.m.

Sunday July 15th

A really lousy day weather-wise as it poured down non stop throughout the day. Spent all morning and all afternoon playing the piano as last week I had bought the Beach Boys complete and David Bowie complete. Did go round N and Gs in the morning and watched some cricket in the afternoon. After tea, and after watching the TV for a while I decided to go out and so went round for George as usual. Unfortunately he wasn't there so I decided to go and see Paul instead. I had another tale of woe as Martin has failed his degree. At 9.30 p.m took Paul over to the Cottage and had a number of drinks and a good old chat. Drove him back home and then returned home myself to go to bed at 11.35 p.m.

Monday July 16th

Did nothing all day except laze around, listen to records and play the piano. In fact a typical day off. After tea, however, at 7 p.m I went round for Roy and we went on to Michael Allendens where we talked about the holiday and I arranged to meet Roy at midnight and him at 12.10 a.m next Tuesday. We then went on to the Mustard Pot where we played on the fruit machine and had a couple fo games of darts before going to a pub in Exchange Street for another drink. From there we came back to the Boundary and had another drink before getting some fish and chips from Thompsons. We ate them in the car and then I took Mike and Roy home before coming home myself and going to bed at 11.45 p.m. Unfortunately the holiday doesn't finish until August 6th. It looks as if I will have to phone up Nunn and sort it out as that is the day I supposedly start in Norwich.

Tuesday July 17th

Came back to Lowestoft and went into work and started the day in court which dragged on and on. It didn't finish until dinnertime and I then had to go back to the office and send some of the stuff over for the EDP. After that I went down to the Wimpey where Steve and Andy were already. Spent the first half of the afternoon writing court stuff up and then at 3 p.m went down to interview Mr Newson who was retiring as Head of Pakefield School. On the way to see him I saw a van upside down and so stopped at a phone box to phone up the office to let them know. Then went on to the school and spent about an hour with Newson, Returned to the office and finished my court before going home. Had tea and then went to the Sparrows' Nest to see the second show. It was really excellent. After the show we went into the bar and met all the cast. Steve and myself both fell for the lead dancer who was a real cracker. It was amazing how different they all looked off stage, especially size-wise. After returning home and talking for a while I ended up going to bed at 12.30 a.m.

Wednesday July 18th

Had my day pretty much planned out so I wouldn't have too much to do. Started the morning by writing up last night's show and then concluded the morning's work with Newson's retirement. At dinnertime I popped into the bank to get my foreign currency and then went to Bevan Street fish shop. After returning to the office Steve brought Steve King from the Sparrow's Nest in for a coffee. We stayed and chatted for a while before getting down to a bit of work. At 5 p.m me Steve, Andy and Alfed went down to the corporation dump at Ness Point where we were joined by Steve King. Alfred took a number of pictures of us scavenging about. After returning to the office went home and had tea. Steve went to a Trade's Council meeting while I had a bath and got some things together. At 9 p.m Steve returned and we went down to the Sparrows' Nest. We saw the second half of the show and then went in the bar. Steve said he would try to get three of the girls to go over to Yarmouth with is. Unfortunately, however, they would not go. We left the theatre and got some fish and chips before me and the two Steves came back and sat talking. Steve King gave us a number of his impressions and also read our tea leaves. Finally got to bed at 1.45 a.m.

Thursday July 19th

Quite a quiet day compared with the rest of the week. Found it hard to get up after last night's late night. Finally got into work and spent the morning doing various things and tidying my desk up. At dinnertime went down tot he Wimpey with Steve and we were later joined by Andy. Afterwards I went into Barnaby Rudges and bought myself a pair of trousers and a Stan Hardy tee shirt. Went back to the office and had the unpleasant task during the afternoon of dealing with a drunk. After that I went down and got the Shipping Trawl Diary and then spent the rest of the afternoon writing it up. At 6 p.m went along to shorthand and then at 8 p.m went and got some fish and chips. Got my things together to leave tomorrow and then had a bath. Afterwards I had a cup of coffee and a quick word with Christine before going to my room, reading and listening to the radio before going to bed at 11.10 p.m. Andy brought the guitar in and I paid him 4.50 for it. Tomorrow is the day I leave Lowestoft although I am sure I will return from time to time. Anyway it's female cry time tomorrow. Christine and Patsy have both threatened to cry.

Friday July 20th

A very sad day although not bad on the surface. It was the day I had to say goodbye to a lot of nice people in Lowestoft. Slept in until later and then went into work. Had already decided not to do any work. Spent the morning talking and cutting out articles I had written from old journals. At dinnertime went over to the Foxburrow with Steve, Nigel, Patsy, Derek, Andy and Steve King for a farewell drink. Freddie the landlord bought me a drink which was very nice of him. Afterwards I went to the second hand record shop and bought That'll Be The Day and a number of singles. Then went to the old cake shop and got some dinner. Went back to the office and got my things together before saying goodbye to everyone. As I was about to leave Roy phoned up and then I phoned Duncan at Yarmouth to tell him that shorthand was next Wednesday. He told me that Bob was not coming down at the weekend. I then left the office and went back to my digs. Got my stuff together and the Christine came in to say goodbye. I left her some extra money for a drink and left before she could burst into tears. She told me to keep the doorkey in case I wanted to stay there anytime. Drove back to Norwich, had tea and then spent a long time sorting my stuff out. Went round the road to see Nanny and Granddad and then came home to watch TV, then go to my room where I listened to records before going to bed at 11.10 p.m. And so another yearly block ends and to the next one.

Saturday July 21st

Got up late as it was the first day of my holidays. Phoned Mike up and had a chat and then spent the rest of the morning listening to records and watching cricket on television. George phoned up to arrange a game of tennis at 2 p.m. Unfortunately it never materialised as shortly after it began to rain and carried on doing so almost all afternoon. Nevertheless went round to Georges and we went up the city where I bought a couple of guitar books, Afterwards went back to Georges and played Monopoly and chess before coming home for tea. After tea I watched TV and listened to records and attempted to clear my room up a bit. After That's Life I went to my room again and listened to some records before going to bed at 11.50 p.m.

Sunday July 22nd

Slept in late once again and spent the morning in various musical pursuits. At dinnertime George phoned up to ask if I wanted to go over to Foul Anchor the village somewhere in the Fens which is supposed to be just about the end of the earth. I said no for a number of reasons but mainly because we had no idea where it was. Spent the afternoon listening to the radio, a very interesting Jimmy Saville programme on oversized and under-sized people. George phoned up just before the end and asked me for a game of tennis as the weather had improved. After a quick tea I went round his and we went down to the University courts where I beat him 6-4, 6-2, 6-0. It was the first time I had played on hard courts since I left school. Came home and had a quick bath, then got ready and went to the Cottage where I met George, Mike and Jeannette who are almost officially engagaed. Mike asked me if I would be best man. Came home and watched the end of the play before returning to my room and listening to RNI for a little while before going to bed at 11.45 p.m.

Monday July 23rd

Spent the morning resting, getting up late and listening to records. The afternoon was spent up the city, something that I really dislike. I went up with mum and she bought me a shirt. I also got some shoes and some films for my camera. Returned home and helped to get the carpet up from mum's room. After tea watched TV up to 9 p.m and then took some records round to Mike. I played them while he telephoned Jeannette. At 10 p.m George came round and we went to a pub in Catton Grove Road. Mike didn't come because he had a stomach upset. After a quick pint returned home, watched Horse of the Year Show before going to my room and getting to bed at 11.20 p.m.

Tuesday July 24th

Probably wrong to differentiate between today and tomorrow because they run into one another. Anyway had a slight headache when I woke up so stayed in bed until 11.30 a.m. Then got up and did nothing all day except give the car a quick clean and go down to the chemists to get some tablets against the Spanish food and water. Mum spent all day fussing about getting my cases ready etc. I didn't give getting ready a thought until after tea when I filled the car up with petrol and had a bath before helping to get my cases ready. Generally messed about getting ready. Certainly won't get to bed tonight but finished writing this up at 9.30 so as to get the book into my case.

Wednesday July 25th

Started off on holiday at midnight when I went round to pick Roy up. Followed that by picking Mike up and after running his girlfriend home started out on the long journey to Gatwick. We were well ahead of schedule by the time we got to Tunbridge Wells, even having time for a break at Sevenoaks. Just outside Tunbridge Wells we took the turning to Brighton which was a mistake. We did manage to rectify it, however, and turned back to East Grinstead. On the way we were stopped for a routine check by the police. Finally got to Gatwick which is atrociously signposted at about 5 a.m and had a long wait. We mucked around with an IQ machine until we had to check in at 7.30 a.m. Perhaps surprisingly I wasn't feeling all that tired. Finally boarded the plane and took off at 9 a.m. The journey was surprisingly fun and, apart from a slightly sinkin feeling on take off and landing, the whole thing was incredibly smooth. Arrived at Gerona airport and then had a 45 minute coach trip to the massive Hotel Monte Christo. Dinner proved quite a surprise with some very strange food that tasted odd to say the least. We were supposed to go to a champagne reception after dinner but none of us could make it when we fell asleep and remained so almost all afternoon. At tea time the food had much improved. After tea and a quick game of table tennis returned to my room and wrote out a number of postcards to send home. Posted them and popped into the hotel disco. Intended to have an early night but first decided to walk down to the beach. On the way back we were accosted by two Irish girls who wanted to know the way to Paddy's bar. Roy went on back to the hotel whilst myself and Mike took them there and had a very pleasant evening singing and dancing. Finally took them back to their hotel and came back to ours to go to bed at almost 3 a.m.

Thursday July 26th

Got up late and having missed breakfast decided to go and sunbathe by the pool. Lunch was quite good as this time we got chicken and chips. During the afternoon we had a wander through the shopping center and were extremely shaken to find how much everything costs. A Sun newspaper was the equivalent of about 8p. After the walk we relaxed by the swimming pool again and I think I am beginning to get a suntan, well it's burning a bit anyway. After the rest went back to our room and had a shower prior to going downstairs for tea. After tea went for a walk down the front and then called in at The Top of the Top nightclub but soon left when we found out that not only were most of the people inside male but most of them seemed to be queers. Called into the Western Bar and straight out again and then made our way back towards our room. On the way stopped off and had a hamburger and then went on to Paddy's bar. Tina was there but with another fella so I only just said hello. Roy went back to the hotel but myself and Mike continued drinking before going back and finally getting to bed once again at 3 a.m. It seems surprising but I don't yet feel as though all the sleep I have been missing is affecting me.

Friday July 27th

Got up late again and only just had enough time to have a cup of coffee before dinner. Dinner wasn't too bad and afterwards we spent the whole afternoon sun bathing by the pool. Came back to the room and had a shower before tea. After tea we went to the local football ground nearby to see the Lloret team play a Brazilian side. It was the silliest football match I have ever seen. Brazil won 3-1 but the score was irrelevant. The Brazil team had three sent off and the Spanish one in a number of fights. Even after the match there was a full scale fight between the teams at the dressing rooms. After the match we came back to the hotel and went into the disco for a while before walking to the front and back. Returned to the hotel, had a drink and then went to bed at about 1.15 a.m.

Saturday July 28th

Got up fairly late again and missed breakfast. Went down to dinner to play on the pin table machines and have a drink. After dinner sunbathed for a while but the weather was not too good so we went shopping. All the shops seem to be the same, all selling the same stuff. Came back and spent some time in the room. Unfortunately whilst reading a book I had borrowed from downstairs I felt asleep and felt really tired when I woke up and had a shower. After tea we went along to the Moby Dick - an English Pub. From there we went on to a kind of disco in a cove away from all the noise. Mike started dancing with a girl so we (me and Roy) walked back to the hotel a different way and indeed got a little lost before getting back to the hotel and getting to bed just after 1 a.m.

Sunday July 29th

Traditionally Sunday is a day of rest and this one was no exception. Didn't get up until well past midday and then had a cup of coffee before dinner. Spent the afternoon sunbathing (despite the fact that there wasn't much sun) and playing on the pin table machines. After tea and a shower we went on our usuaul walk along the front and then decided to spend the rest of the evening in the hotel disco. Me and Mike had one dance and I ended up partially pissed on three pints. Finally left and got to bed at about 2 a.m.

Monday July 30th

Arose even later today and from the start began to feel the effects of the past week's food. Had a bit of a stomach ache all day and went to the toilet no less than five times, giving me a very sore bottom. As we spent all morning in bed just had time to go in for dinner. Spent the afternoon sunbathing, reading and going to the toilet. At 7.30 went out and did some shopping, bought myself a medallion and something for mum. Came home and had tea before going out at 11 p.m. Went to the rifle range after calling in at the hotel disco for a drink. After a few shots we went on to the disco by the sea shore where we had some non alcoholic drink before returning to the hotel disco. Roy went to bed early again but I finally got to bed at about 2 a.m.

Tuesday July 31st

Started the day in what seems to be the accepted fashion of getting up well after midday and just in time for dinner. After dinner spent the entire afternoon sunbathing and for the first time have really caught the sun and gone red and I must watch it tomorrow. Came back to the room and had a shower and lazed about before going down for tea. After tea went out to the rifle range and then back to the hotel for a drink before going to our room to read. We were just settling down to sleep when a couple of Welshmen on the balcony next door woke us up talking to a couple of birds downstairs. It took about half an hour to shut them up and we then got some sleep.