Peter Steward's Web Site
Diary May 1978
Monday 1st May
Why when everything seems to be going well does it all explode? That's certainly what happened today when we got home from Yorkshire. We had just got to bed when the phone rang. It was the chappy from the semi-detached in Long Eaton to say that there were other couples going for the house and he couldn't guarantee to get out before July which is no good at all. He gave me some hard luck story about having to travel 35 miles to work if he moved out earlier and I felt like saying do you want to sell the bloody place or not? After that I felt totally depressed because we seem to be completely back to square one after all this time and it looks like yet another trip to Nottingham.
Apart from that it was a pleasant, quiet day. I had intended going to Doncaster races but the weather was so grotty that I decided against it and spent the day indoors. Got up late and the weather was grotty. So I spent the morning reading and after dinner Anne took her mum off to Skipton. I stayed in and watched the racing on television and backed three horses and ended up losing 40p or so which is considerably less than it would have cost to go to the races.
When they got back we had tea and then set off for home. A straight forward journey, we were home by 10 p.m and went to bed soon afterwards only to be got up by the phone call which made me incredibly depressed.
Tuesday 2nd May
Hope is born out of despair and things brightened again today from the housing point of view. Not wanting to travel to Nottingham again on what could be another futile journey we decided to bid for the large detached house we had seen on the outside but not on the inside. Anne hit problems when she tried to phone the estate agents and they said we couldn't bid without having seen the property. What a load of crap.
So I phoned up the woman who was very helpful and wants a quick sale. I managed to knock them down to £15,250 which will absolutely stretch us financially, but that's probably a good thing as I will get extra tax relief and a better property.
We went to see Norman Burtenshaw to see if we could squeeze him for every last ounce of mortgage and then got the wheels moving.
I seemed to spend almost all the day telephoning Nottingham and also talking to people coming to our farewell due on Saturday. Bob Mason, the photographer at Nottingham was very helpful and even went out to look at the house for us. He also told me one or two things about the firm and it appears the other chappy who went for the job turned up in jeans and a T-shirt and was still offered the job. That doesn't say a lot for their thoughts on me but I will just have to prove them wrong won't I?
Apart from that it was back to work and I got very little done. On the way to work there was a nasty knocking sound which I diagnosed as the exhaust being loose. So I took it back to the exhaust centre to get it fixed. One good thing about all this is Anne received a letter from Nottinghamshire County Coucnil saying there was the possibility of a job as a careers officer which sounds promising. If she gets that it will bring a combined salary of getting on for £9,000 a year.
At dinnertime I had sandwiches in the office and settled financial matters. Eventually left the office at 5 p.m and came home and had a bath. Then it was tea and a quick rest before driving to Beccles for the football club meeting which dragged on rather and I must admit that now I'm leaving I haven't really got a great deal of enthusiasm for the inner workings of the club. One thing I intend doing in Nottingham is to get the Beccles and Bungay sent to me each week to keep in touch with the local football scene. By the time the meeting was over and I had got home, got my diary up to date and settled down for the night it was past 11 p.m.
Wednesday 3rd May
A frustrating and infuriating day thanks to the stubborn persistence of an estate agent in Long Eaton. He phoned up at 4.30 p.m to tell me that we couldn't buy the house without viewing it. Now what that's got to do with him God along knows. I will not be told what I can and what I cannot spend my money on. I had quite an argument with him and didn't get very far. So when I came home we contacted our solicitors and as I thought the Long Eaton chap has no legal standing and is completely over-using his authority. We phoned the woman up and as far as she is concerned it's all going smoothly. So bugger the idiot. If we lose this one because of him I shall take some very strong action indeed.
Apart from that the day at work was fairly straightforward. Spent the morning doing odds and ends. At dinnertime had sandwiches in the office and then spent the afternoon getting What's On done. Left the office at 5 p.m to come home in the office car and got down to sorting the office problems about the house out. Had tea and then had to get ready quickly to go to Alan and Christine's flat for a meal. We were there at 7.15 p.m and ate shortly afterwards. Nice meal but the evening was spoiled slightly by Anne becoming argumentative. Came away at just after 11 p.m and went straight to bed on reaching home.
Thursday May 4th
Surprisingly after last night's drinking I woke up feeling fine except for being tired. So as I had the office car I stayed in bed until 9.30 a.m and then drove over to Bungay to do the usual calls. It was straightforward and quite enjoyable as the weather was nice and warm.
Back at the office I spent the rest of the morning clearing stuff up and then at midday four of us went to the Crown. After dinner went to the library and then myself and Alan went to the sweet shop to get Christine a box of chocolates. Today was her last working day before moving to Yarmouth.
Spent the afternoon mainly on this week's lead story which has turned out to be the farmer at Haddiscoe. It was very difficult to unravel it all and very mind blowing and by the time I had finished it was past 5 p.m and time to come home. Over the past few weeks I have been putting on weight rapidly and am anxious to get back to 10 stone. So I had a salad tea and then, after Anne went off to Ladies Circle, I had a bath and spent the rest of the evening watching television, reading and writing.
Friday 5th May
I have just about had a gut full of the moron at the Long Eaton estates office. Today I sent him away with a flea in his ear. It was late afternoon when the silly bugger rang up and this time the story was that the pressure was on because there was another couple interested and he had promised to hold it for a few days to give us a chance to go and view. I told him in no uncertain manner that we could not go to view to which he replied that he was only looking after the interests of his client. To that I replied that he certainly wasn't because she wanted to sell to us. So he phoned up and got that confirmed and was most off when he came back.
"Well she seems to want to sell to you," he said. Later in the evening when we phoned the woman there was absolutely no problem at all. The silly bugger is just trying to stir things and make it obvious that he doesn't want us to have the place. It's a pity we can't do a deal behind his back so he loses his commission.
The day started fairly quietly when I went into work and, being a Friday, it was fairly quiet, although not as much as usual. Left the office at 11 a.m and drove to Haddiscoe to return the folder of papers loaned to me by the farmer. Then returned home to pick up the dinner we had forgotten. Back to the office and, after a sandwich lunch, went round the shops and then spent quite a bit of the afternoon telephoning people about tomorrow's party and doing an obituary for the EDP. Left the office at just after 4 p.m and came home and had tea.
Then had a sudden death to pick up from the police and apart from that spent a fairly quiet evening. Janet arrived at 9.30 p.m and she is spending the weekend with us. We sat round talking before going to bed at 11 p.m.
Saturday 6th May
A really nice day especially in the evening when we had our farewell party and were surrounded by good friends. Apart from that it was the FA Cup Final and that was very enjoyable.
Got up at 9.30 a.m and the morning and afternoon was spent lounging around and watching television. The surveyor came from the estate agents and Anne and Janet went off to Norwich.
The build up to the match between Ipswich and Arsenal was the usual stuff. I had a salad dinner and then settled down for the match itself. It was dominated by Ipswich who deserved to win by a greater margin than the 1-0. Anne arrived back midway through the first half.
At the end of the game had tea and then a bath and got ready to go to the Crown at 7.30 p.m. Luckily we were the first to arrive but soon people began to filter in and at the height there must have been 50 people there making it hot and smoky. It was a super evening, however, with Millie doing plenty of good food and of course I had more than I intended to drink. One nice thing during the evening was the presentation of an engraved tankard from the office and a £4 record token from various people from Norwich. It was approaching midnight by the time we split up and then a dozen people came back to Ellingham for more drinks and coffee. By the time I had finished I was well and truly the worse for wear and when we got to bed it was about 2 a.m.
Sunday 7th May
You always have to pay for enjoying yourself and for a great deal of today I felt bloody awful with the father of all hangovers. I think I will have to give up drinking for a while as it's too painful.
I woke up not feeling too bad at 7 a.m but I then felt very sick and had to pay two visits to the toilet before Anne got up. After she had gone to church I had to pay two more visits and stayed in bed until past 1 p.m. I couldn't face dinner and would have preferred to sleep during the afternoon.
Instead, however, I had a couple of jobs to do. In the end I was glad to get out into the air. The first job was the Hospital Cup match between Beccles and Bungay and Bungay won 4-2 with Beccles looking as if they all had hangovers.
At the end I drove to Loddon for the horse show. Being late it was just about over and I couldn't find the secretary so I gave up and after having a chat with David Frosdick came home. By this time I was hungry and so able to eat tea. Then did the police calls and sent some copy over to the Daily Press. Then spent a quieter evening than we expected because we had thought Malcolm and Christine were coming round. They never turned up, however, so we watched television and went to bed fairly early at 10.15 p.m.
Monday 8th May
I seem to get a little sadder as the days go by and I get nearer to leaving Beccles. It's going to be a tremendous wrench on Sunday when I leave the bungalow and the area for the last time. Nevertheless this was an enjoyable day with another good evening. Felt a lot better when I woke up and got into work at the normal time.
There was a slightly different look to the office today. Christine had left and been replaced by John Holland. I took it fairly easy from a work point of view and coasted through the morning and indeed the afternoon, mainly clearing things up from the weekend.
At dinnertime had sandwiches in the office and then went on quite a shopping trip with Anne. After the afternoon session we left fairly early and came home and had tea. After that watched television until 8.30 p.m when Shirley and Dave came round. Two reasons for that. One was to arrange to have our insurance changed over and the other to have a farewell drink. They stayed until past 11 p.m and, after they had left, I went to bed and read for a while before going to sleep.
Tuesday 9th May
Felt very depressed today. It's almost as if I'm walking through a dream and have been playing an elaborate game over the past few weeks. Now that game is turning into stark reality. It was a pretty busy day with jobs throughout and long hours.
Got up earlier than usual and had a bath before driving into work. At 10 a.m went with Lee to Worlingham Middle School to do a straightforward story on the rugby and soccer teams. Typed that up after walking back to the office and at midday went to the hospital for the round table cheque presentation for the heart machine. This time I was in the picture. Back at the office afterwards I did the story and then went to the library and had a walk round the centre before returning to do my afternoon session. I think one of the things that made me sad during the day was the nice warm and sunny weather and Beccles looked a picture. I mustn't get sentimental, however, and as Anne said, I haven't got anything to lose by this move. But have I?
We left at 5 p.m and drove home and had tea. I was out again at 6.15 to go to Bungay High School for my last ball of the month presentation. It was a straightforward affair and I decided to take the chance to do the presentation myself. That's the second time I will be appearing in the paper this week. There's nothing like going out in a blaze of glory. I stayed there for about 15 minutes and then drove to the office where I waited until it was time for Worlingham Parish Council. Again it was pretty straightforward with the main thing being the proposed development again. At the end came home and put some copy over and watched the news before going to bed.
Wednesday 10th May
Felt more stable today. I think as the time goes on I'm getting more used to the idea of moving. A fairly static day at work with not too much going on. I was up at the usual time and spent the morning doing very little. Had sandwiches in the office for lunch and then after dinner spent the afternoon on What's On and last night's meeting.
Had cleared up fairly nicely by 5 p.m and Alan was kind enough to run me home as Anne had driven home earlier. Once at home I set about tidying up the front lawn so it shouldn't be so messy when the new couple move in. I quite enjoy gardening nowadays especially when the weather is nice and warm.
After that I had tea and then settled down to watch the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Bruges, Alan came round and we all watched the match which Liverpool won 1-0. It wasn't a great match but the result was correct. Alan left at the end and we watched television for a while before going to bed fairly early.
Thursday 11th May
My last real working day because although I am in tomorrow it's a Friday. It was a fairly busy but also fairly leisurely day. One good thing was a letter in the morning from the Long Eaton estate agent saying that things were now running smoothly.
Up at the usual time and as I didn't have the office car I couldn't do the Bungay calls and so drove straight into work. Spent the morning on various stories such as Sunday's horse show. At midday went to the Crown for lunch and stayed there until 1 p.m. At 1.45 p.m drove to the Crowfoot School to do a job on a sponsored walk which was pretty straightforward. At the end returned to the office and spent the afternoon clearing everything up before leaving at 5 p.m.
Came home and had a small snack for tea and then had a bath and got ready to set off for the last Round Table meeting. It was very much a straightforward one with a chap talking about teaching centres and then a buffet and business meeting. Being a person who hates goodbyes I got away quickly at the end and drove home and it was 11.30 p.m when I went to bed.
Friday 12th May
It takes considerable time trying to tie up loose ends before moving as I found out today. Got up at the usual time and into work for the last time, although I will be going to the office tomorrow to pick up my wage slip. The starting point for the day was court and it was a pretty long list that would have gone on for some time and I thought bugger that on my last day and so I left at 11 a.m. Back in the office I tidied up my desk and then had sandwiches in the office before going on the usual Friday shopping spree. Then at 1 p.m the members of the office went to the Crown for a farewell drink. I stuck to orange juice and in fact I haven't touched alcohol since last Saturday.
I stayed at the pub until 2 p.m and then it was into the hairdressers for my last snip. That didn't take too long and I was back in the office in time for the papers to come in. Then I went to see Jack Welham at Lloyds Bank to pay him my Round Table fees for the year. That saves me having to pay at Long Eaton, where the fees might be more costly.
By the time I had messed around at the office after that it was time to go across to the solicitors and that was a pretty valuable thing as we found out that the people who are buying the bungalow will get their mortgage at the beginning of June. So now it's a matter of how quick we can get ours.
At the end we cleared our final things up in the office and left at about 5 p.m and drove home. Once there had television to watch and tea to eat. After tea had a good clearing up session and then spent the remainder of the evening watching television. Had a bath and it wasn't too late before I went to bed. Quite a sad night because it's really the last I will spend at Ellingham without anything particular to do.
Saturday 13th May
In effect my last day in Beccles, although most of it was spent in Norwich. Nevertheless it was extremely pleasant. Got up at around 9 a.m and after breakfast we set off for Norwich. I am quite looking forward to going to Nottingham now and this thought even made the shopping bearable. Added to that we didn't have to do any food shopping and I bought the second book of Scott Joplin piano rags.
Before driving to Mums we had coffee at Bonds and then on the way home stopped at Nannys. Reaching home it was time for dinner and afterwards spent the afternoon watching sport on television. We had decided to leave at 5 p.m but just as we were on our way out Jennifer, Ray, Vera and the new baby arrived and that delayed us especially as Ray insisted on showing us his new car. Finally got away and drove back to Ellingham.
It was then a rush to get ready in time to go to Beccles for the football club end of season party. On the way in stopped at the office for the last time to pick up my wage cheque, but it wasn't there. So we went on to Gordon and Heathers. There we had a drink before setting off for the Caxton Club. It was a good evening which started slowly but then built up into a highly enjoyable affair with presentations, dancing, a buffet and plenty of free wine. Indeed we stayed until almost midnight before running Gordon and Heather home and returning ourselves and going straight to bed with the horrible thought of an early start tomorrow.
Sunday 14th May
Today marks the beginning of a new life. In some ways it was an interesting day, but in others a highly depressing one. The depressing part came in saying goodbye to Anne and I probably won't see her for two weeks. It's harder to leave her for two weeks than to leave Beccles and all the other people for ever.
Had a slightly fitful night's sleep with the daunting prospect of getting up at 7.30 a.m or thereabouts. Nevertheless we made it and at 8.15 a.m I set off for Nottingham. It was an easy drive with just one stop at Trowse to pick up a Sunday paper.
There wasn't a lot of traffic on the road and I reached Nottinghamshire in good time despite pelting rain. I then had difficulties finding the house in Long Eaton and had to get directions before doing so. Eventually we made it and it's quite pleasant. The kitchen is extremely well equipped. The bedrooms are basic but okay, the lounge is fairly large but decorated in black. We will probably have to alter that and paint the hall but that apart its okay and about seven miles from the centre of Nottingham. Inspection over we decided to drive out to the country and have our sandwiches. We found a country park on the way to Mansfield, but couldn't enjoy the scenery as it was raining very hard. In the end we just ate the food and then drove to Nottingham centre.
Parking the car by the office we had a walk round the shopping area before driving out to the Victoria Centre where Anne was being picked up by Alan and taken to Yorkshire. It's a happy co-incidence that he has spent his weekend in Nottingham and Yorkshire and can take her down to Beccles tomorrow. After I had left her I felt extremely depressed and sad. Two weeks seems so long to be parted.
As it was raining I drove back to the office and parked outside and just sat there. Eventually the weather brightened and I was able to go for a walk. I decided not to go to the pictures as I had first intended but returned to the car and read the Sunday paper from cover to cover in an attempt to waste enough time before driving out to the photographer's home at Sherwood. I am staying there until our house is ready, but couldn't arrive until after 7 p.m because he was out for the day. It was a straightforward drive and I arrived before 7 p.m and sat outside reading and waiting for them to come home.
After a while an old chappy from next door came out and invited me to wait in his. I said that was kind of him and his reply was "not kind, humane lad." He almost ordered me to have a wash and freshen up, but at least I was grateful for it. I then sat talking to him and his friends until Bob arrived home at 8 p.m. Then spent the rest of the evening chatting to him and his wife. They seem a nice enough couple and at least it took away some of the pain of being parted from Anne. The room's quite pleasant and by the time I got to bed it was 11.15 p.m.
Monday 15th May
At the end of this my first day at the new job I really have mixed feelings. In many ways it was okay but in others it wasn't. I suppose the main problem is being a little homesick and parted from Anne. When I get my home and everything else down here it will probably be okay.
I found no difficulty getting up at 8 a.m and had a fairly leisurely breakfast before setting off at just before 9 a.m. I followed Bob in and it was a pretty straightforward journey and didn't appear to take too long. The main problem seems to be in car parking and that's a bloody pain. The longest parking is in a two hour zone and that means moving at least four times a day. Then you aren't always assured of a place. As for the work it was an extremely busy day and I was thrown straight in at the deep end.
That meant a morning spent in juvenile court covering the case of four little bastards who beat up an old woman. It's been plastered all over the nationals and there were plenty of reports in court. I managed to park the car in a car park nearby and found the courts okay. The case went on until dinnertime and by the time I had sent the copy over to Derby and answered copious calls from the London Standard and Telegraph etc, it was about 2 p.m. I then moved my car from the car park and eventually things slowed down somewhat.
I still haven't got the hang of the thing. I can't see where the news will come from or in what shape or form. The thing that worries me is that for much of the time I will be nicking stuff straight from the Nottingham Evening Post. That's plagiarism and totally unsatisfactory. During the afternoon I made contact with John Andrews who is now on Radio Derby. He's coming over tomorrow which should lighten the load somewhat.
I stayed in the office until 5.30 p.m to get rid of the rush hour. The journey back to Bob's was quite straightforward. We had tea and a chat and then he went off to see somebody. I took the opportunity to have a tinkle on the piano. It's a funny household as he has no television which means that it's difficult to break the evening up. I hope it doesn't mean that I will miss the World Cup. As a favour to Bob I drove to the hospital at 9 p.m to pick Liz up and that really concluded the day. After that we sat around talking and after having a shower it was approaching midnight when I got to bed.
It seems Bob isn't expecting me to stay at the weekend and I don't really feel like doing so and so I will probably go home. The only trouble is if I do that I fear I won't want to come back. So after this first day I ask myself if I am going to settle in this job and the answer is I really don't know.
Tuesday 16th May
When you leave a place your friends go with you. They become ghosts in your mind and mingle with the wallpaper. They were the last words of a play by Tennessee Williams at Nottingham Playhouse that I went to see during the evening and how true they are in my case at present.
This was a really dull day made only bearable by the fact that John Andrews came over. I was up at just after 8 a.m and after breakfast set off for work. This time I lost Bob in my efforts to find him and so elected to take the straightforward way in along the Mansfield Road. That meant more traffic but at least I didn't get lost. I parked the car on a two hour spot and then went in and what a boring day it was.
I did absolutely nothing. The first thing I got was a call from J and he seems a right bastard. He wouldn't let me get a word in edgeways. treated me like a child and then rang up later in the day to say I had missed a story on the mining strike. The only other thing I did all day was a story on a policeman who is giving up the force and taking on a freelance photographic agency. Apart from that a great deal of the day was spent shifting the car.
John arrived around dinnertime and we went for quite a nice meal in a pleasant pub. Then had a look round the shops and arrived back two hours later. Spent most of the afternoon writing a letter to Anne and indeed at 5 p.m I phoned her. John arrived back at about that time and shortly after we went to the Ancient Trip to Jerusalem for tea. That took the time nicely to 7.15 p.m and time to go to the Playhouse to see Via Carre. A strange play it was all about sordid life in New Orleans. Very long, it was dull in parts but also quite lively and the end quote really hit home. I suppose I mustn't kid myself because really I hate the job and atmosphere at the moment. I just hope it's a passing phase until I get used to it. If it isn't I'm in trouble.
I am normally a very lively and happy person but over the last few days have felt very depressed and tearful on many occasions. I suppose that could be because I'm away from Anne. At least it's made me appreciate her. I do hope things get better. I really couldn't stand sitting round the office all day. It wouldn't be so bad if I knew what I was doing. Still at the end of the play I drove back to Bobs and still managed to get to bed before 11 p.m.
Wednesday 17th May
A day when I suffered so many emotions from virtual triumph to total despair. Nevertheless a highly active one and I virtually worked 12 hours.
The reason was a major national story about the murder of a Worksop policeman. I got up at 8 a.m and shortly after received a call from J. He's a strange bloke but more about that later. He had heard that a policeman was missing after chasing thieves across Worksop. I picked up some details from the police and sent some copy over and then drove into work.
Immediately things began to happen in the form of his body being found and then it being turned into a murder inquiry. Evidently the first police officer to be murdered in Nottingham. Throughout the morning I made numerous inquiries to the police, had numerous notes and calls from J. I think he is paranoid. He tells you exactly what to do and you can't get a word in edgeways. Eventually I got the story as far as I could get it and had a break for lunch. Then at 3 p.m I had to go over to Worksop for a press conference and what a marathon that turned out to be.
It was about 30 miles there and of course I had difficulty finding the police station and when I did I found the meeting was over. I nevertheless picked up the details and rang them over to J who promptly told me to stay until the next press conference at 7 p.m. So I had almost two hours to waste apart of course for phoning him up for directions. I felt desperately in need of driving into the country but in the Midlands it's not quite that easy. It's all rather gray and claustrophobic. So I had a drive round and then found a car park.
Gradually the time slipped away and 7 p.m came and time for the next press conference. This one I made in good time and the news was that two people were helping the police with their inquiries. So after that it was back to the phone box again and calls to Birmingham, Leeds and London. I think today I have worked for just about every national paper. Even now it hasn't stopped as I have to get up at 7 a.m tomorrow to send copy to the Evening Standard. Certainly today couldn't have been more hectic and I got to know Worksop quite well.
At the end of it all I drove back to Nottingham and made my final call of the day to wonder boy J. Then I phoned Anne up and had quite a long chat and then talked to Bob and Liz before going to bed and reading before going to sleep
Thursday 18th May
Had to analyse myself and evaluate today what kind of future there is in the Nottingham job. With about a week gone I am still very depressed. I feel totally claustrophobic both in the city and the job.
Firstly I feel the city closes in on me. I must love the country more than I ever thought. No hassle there. I suppose I could get used to the city, but do I want to? I must give the job a chance but the more I look at it the more I think I have made a mistake. I like the quiet, leisurely life but now I see no way of getting back to it. The question is when I get home at the weekend will I be able to come back. On the other hand it might be different when we get set up down here and Anne joins me.
The only problem seems to be that normally I am a person that settles down easily. I always have at Harlow, Lowestoft, Cromer, Norwich and Beccles. This time I don't feel I will be able to settle. Poor old Anne got the lot today. I phoned her up at dinnertime and had a good depressed moan and then late in the afternoon she phoned me back. We will have to have a good talk this weekend. Of course when I get back to Suffolk I will be my old self again because I will be back amongst nice, friendly people and not the morons here. Where can I go from here. I have thrown away so much that is precious to me. At present I give a sigh of relief at the end of each day and dread tomorrow. At Beccles I loved going to work. Now I wander round Nottingham or enjoy driving a long way to jobs simply because then I don't have Derby on my back. Oh to have had the chance of a week's trial. I would happily have given up a week of my holiday to be able to retrace my steps.
With that copy on the copper to put over I was up at 7 a.m and phoning to the London Standard at 7.30 a.m. Then had breakfast and went into work. Bob was off today and that made matters worse. J came through almost immediately to send me to an industrial tribunal. I had trouble finding that but eventually mad it and it looked as though it would be settled out of court. So I left. I was then bugged by it for the rest of the day and it's going on for 14 days. I may have to waste my time there tomorrow. Although nothing is going to stop me going home. Fancy me the great traveller homesick. By the time I had sorted all that out and generally walked around in a daze it was time to drive to Worksop for the appearance of the yobs in court who murdered the police officer.
J had ordered me to beat everybody else at phoning stuff over, so at the end I had to dash to a phone box. I seem to have made it in time because I got no complaints. Anne told me to be forceful with him, but that's not my style and I still think I am a better person than him for being kinder and more understanding. At least I enjoyed the drive out and back. It gives me time to think.
After piddling around and trying to talk my way out of the industrial tribunal J said I could go. He tells you everything you should do like yesterday he told me what time I had to get up in the morning. So I left the office at 5 p.m and drove back to Bobs in time for tea. After a nice meal they went out and I was left alone. I phoned Mum and then spent the rest of the evening playing the piano, listening to records, reading and had a soothing bath.
I am looking forward to getting home tomorrow, at least I will have somebody I can talk to. Here in Nottingham it's all been bottling up inside without any way of getting out. To make matters worse during the evening I listened to a song "Sad Songs" by Olivia Newton John that said it all and I reproduce that here.
It's early in the morning
Today I am moving away
Sitting here for the last time makes me feel so strange.
My life here has ended
Like a pulled up weed
Don't play no sad songs
Don't make me cry
The situation reminds me of when I went away to school
My friends all called me and said I had been made a fool.
My boyfriend he left me
For my best friend.
Don't Play no sad songs
Don't make me cry.
Because sad songs are tearing up my heart again
Loneliness is standing in my path again,
I can feel it coming
I can hear it calling out my name.
I don't want to remember all I am leaving behind
Radio plays a sad song and brings it on.
Loneliness surrounds me like clouds bring the rain
Don't play no sad songs
They will make me cry.
Because sad songs are tearing up my heart again
Loneliness is standing in the path again
I can feel it coming
I can hear it calling out my name
Sad songs are tearing up my heart again
Loneliness is standing in my path again
I can feel it coming
I can hear it calling out my name.
Sad songs are tearing up my heart again
Loneliness is standing in my path again.
Friday 19th May
The feeling of relief I got today when I reached Norfolk again was tremendous. Throughout the day I just counted the minutes until I could leave Nottingham and that was as early as 4.15 p.m I didn't tell anybody I was going and so will probably get the lug ache on Monday. I don't really care because it's probably time I stood up for myself. I haven't got anything to lose, only a job I don't like.
On the way home in the late afternoon I felt so desperate to move back to Norfolk that I even thought of giving up journalism to do so, but Anne didn't like that at all.
Got up at 8 a.m and had breakfast before going into the office. There wasn't a great deal to do and it was helped by the fact that J seemed to be taking a day off. At 10 a.m I went to the bank and then had a look in at the industrial tribunal which is expected to last for two weeks. Luckily a reporter from the Derby Telegraph was able to give me the background details and I went back to the office to put them over. Spent the remainder of the day reading and, as nothing was doing decided to come homeat 4.15 p.m.
It was depressing driving through Nottingham but then things improved when I got out into the open country. Of course starting at that time I hit a fair amount of traffic and by the time I got home it was 7.45 p.m. Had tea and a long chat with Anne about the position, which I must admit at the moment is very cloudy. In the end I felt slightly better and am looking forward to my two days at home. In the end it was fairly early when we went to bed.
Saturday 20th May
The relief continued today as I spent a nice quiet time dealing with nice people that I know. I now realise what is meant by getting away from the rat race. At least being in Norfolk I can look at things a little in perspective. There is no way that this job is going to get me down because I will give it up first. I will also fight the buggers if necessary because as long as I do the work satisfactorily they can go to hell. Even without that it was an extremely pleasant day.
Got up at about 9.30 a.m and had a bath and then breakfast and then we drove into Beccles. I felt depressed at first but slowly cheered up as I enjoyed familiar sights. We did some shopping and then drove over to see Heather and Gordon. Only Heather was in and she had problems of her own with her mother ill. Nontheless we cheered each other up and it was past 1 p.m when we got home.
Had dinner and then spent the afternoon watching England beat Scotland 1-0 on television. Quite a good match and it was good to have a rest with no pressure on. After that had tea and stacked my records in boxes ready to go away. Then got ready and at 6.45 p.m drove to Lowestoft to the Odeon to see a film entitled Julia. It wasn't bad but seemed to lack a lot, especially plot-wise. At the end drove back to Beccles and got a Chinese meal before coming home to eat it and got to bed shortly afterwards.
Sunday 21st May
Another very nice day on the surface but of course underneath it all felt really depressed and could hardly raise a smile. That's mainly thinking about going back tomorrow. The main thing I have decided this weekend is to give it a go and treat the people at Derby the same way that they treat me.
Had a nice lay-in before getting up at just after 10 a.m and after breakfast we got ready and set off for Beccles to go to church. It wasn't a bad service and at least I was able to think a few things over. At the end we decided to go out for Sunday lunch and settled on the Norfolk Barn at Belton which was a very good choice. The food was good, not too expensive and they were all very friendly. We stayed there for quite a while and then decided to drive on to Yarmouth.
Parked the car on the front and went for a bracing half hour walk along the front. Then back to Beccles and Ellingham. Shortly after arriving home, Allison and George arrived. The main idea for that was for him to pick up the pullover Anne had knitted him. They stayed for a cup of tea and then I spent the late afternoon watching the Sunday cricket and tidying everything up. Had tea and watched the evening slip away, trying to grasp every last moment and dreading going back to Nottingham tomorrow. Eventually had a bath and watched That's Life on television and then went to bed.
Monday 22nd May
Well here we go again and back to my second week at Nottingham. Felt a little bit happier today but was still pretty miserable. The problem is I don't feel like going to work and that ruins the entire day. I really cannot live for the evenings and weekends especially at present when the evenings stretch ahead and are all the same. It's really sad but this is one summer I will be glad to see the back of.
I suppose I will have to stick it all until September when we go to America at the end. Then I shall start looking in UK Press Gazette and I will be looking for a nice weekly paper somewhere in the heart of the country. I must just put this down to a bad patch in my life.
I had intended getting up at 5 a.m but was very unready for what happened. It was 1 a.m when I was woken up by Anne complaining of a very bad pain and saying she thought it was serious. Being worried I phoned the doctor and he told us to go to the hospital. So off we went.
After a good examination he said it was nothing serious but some blockage. So we returned home and went back to bed. Eventually I got up at 5.30 a.m and after getting everything ready set off for Nottingham at 6 a.m. It took just over three hours and I was there at the usual time.
There seemed nothing to do in the morning and I must admit I didn't make much effort. Then J came on to shake me up and I ended up doing three stories by the end of the day. One from the Evening Post, one about a new beer and one on the copper who is going into glamour photography. All straightforward and it wasted the day until 5 p.m when I drove back to Bobs. Had tea and then afterwards they went out.
I spent the evening listening to records, playing the piano and reading. That way it wasn't too late when I went to bed. At least one thing was that I didn't have a lot to do with J today as the usual bloke was back and he was considerably more humourful and human.
Tuesday 23rd May
For the first time today I felt slightly as though I belonged to the area. Probably at last I am settling down and I am sure that when we get our home sorted out I will be more settled, although I don't ever think I will like the job.
Got up at 8.15 a.m and had breakfast before going to work. There was a fair amount on and by the end of the day I had sent five stories over from various sources. Matters were helped by a nice bright sunny day. Spent the morning in the office and then at dinnertime decided to have a look round the shopping area. I had intended going to the Victoria Centre but got slightly lost and ended up at the Broadmarsh Centre instead. Spent the time mainly looking in record shops.
Came back to the office at 2 p.m and spent the afternoon doing one or two things before coming home at 5.15 p.m Had tea and a quiet evening reading and writing. That's what not having a television does, although I must admit I do miss it. I phoned Anne up and we had quite a lot to discuss. We have now received our contracts for the house, although it says we can't move in until a month after the completion date, which is likely to make matters a little bit awkward.
Also heard the disturbing news that Alison's engagement is off which is a great shame because she is such a nice girl. After that it was quite late when I went to bed.
Wednesday 24th May
Felt more depressed again today. At least now I can see things a little bit in perspective. Basically I have got the job and I'm lumbered with it whether I like it or not, so I must make the most of it, but of course I don't have to enjoy it. One crumb of comfort came in a letter from Maurice Beales.
When I left I sent him a letter asking to be considered for any jobs in the future. The reply said they would be happy to have me back if and when I made an application. The whole thing seems rather clouded and it would probably mean working in Head Office,, which after Nottingham would probably be enjoyable. It's a thought to consider for the future because it means we could live somewhere out Beccles way.
Apart from that it wasn't too busy a day and the quietness was helped by the fact that J was off. I got up a little earlier than usual and, after breakfast, set off for Worksop for the latest court appearance of the police murderer. It took a little while as the court took the licensing matters first. In the end it was over by 11 a.m and I was able to find a phone box in the court building, thus beating PA. At the end I drove back to Nottingham and did little else in the morning.
At lunchtime had another walk round the shops and then spent the afternoon on a couple of stories. One about valuable chairs in a council chamber and the other about the sacking of the director of a charity. I left the office at 5.30 p.m and drove back to Bobs and had tea and then a quiet evening listening to the radio, playing the piano and reading. Had a shower and went to bed fairly early.
Thursday 25th May
Another long day and another trip to Norfolk, this time to pick Anne up. She is going to Yorkshire from now on so our life at Beccles is almost over. At least I am feeling a little bit better at work even if today was an extremely boring one. The problem on Thursdays is that Bob has the day off and I am left on my own.
I got up at 8 a.m and went in to work and there appeared so little to do. Nevertheless one or two things came up especially in the late afternoon when I was hoping to go home. At dinnertime I had a wander round the shops and finally left at 5 p.m. The journey to Trent Bridge was difficult and took half an hour. Finally got out into the country and arrived at Ellingham at 8.30 p.m Had tea and then the couple who are buying our house came round to measure up. Shortly after they left I drove into Beccles to take something to the electricity place and our signed contracts to the solicitors. Then returned home and went to be with the thought of starting out at 6 a.m tomorrow.
Friday 26th May
A busy day but on the whole more enjoyable than of late especially as it was a lovely warm day. It lasted more than 17 hours and at the end I was absolutely knackered, having driven for about six hours and done a full day's work.
Got up at the ridiculous hour of 5.30 a.m. My life at present seems to be a mixture of driving and rushing around. We got ready and left at 6 a.m and drove to Nottingham. Taking three and a half hours, we arrived at 9.30 a.m and workwise there wasn't a lot on.
Anne set off to go round shops and I walked up the Derby Road to see a bloke about appearing on a Radio Four programme. He wasn't there but I left a message. After that I had four or five minor stories to do in the office and I sent them over before going out for a very long lunch. Went to the Chinese near the office and had an average meal and then to the travel agents to book our trip to America. That took an eternity to do and by the time we had finished it was time to move the car.
Anne went off to do more shopping and then I cleared up one or two things before leaving at 4.45 p.m. I have got holiday Monday off which will give me a nice break and if the weather in Yorkshire continues sunny it should be a nice restful period. The journey up was rather dull. On the M1 there were cars screaming past all over the place and then trying to avoid the Doncaster traffic we hit twisty back roads all the way from Barnsley and the journey took longer than we anticipated.
Finally arrived at 6.45 p.m and had some tea and a rest and then it was over to Joans. There Anne was picking up a car that is being loaned to her for a week and I was taking my Samaritan feature to Peter for a quote as the local branch want 200 reproduced. We stayed there until almost 10 p.m and then drove home and went to bed shortly afterwards.
Saturday 27th May
A much nicer day than of late and the glorious weather continues. I can't say that I'm sorry to be away from Nottingham either. I had a lay-in and got up at 10 a.m while Anne went to do the shopping. I had a bath and breakfast and then watched the beginning of the Roses cricket match from Headingley.
Then at 11.30, myself, Anne and Arthur set off for Doncaster races. We decided to take the country route and stop for dinner. In fact we stopped at a strange pub called Annies Arms and then had no trouble getting to the course. It was quite a profitable day as I picked four firsts and three seconds. Although I didn't back them all I still came out by covering my expenses. I love the atmosphere at a race meeting, especially when the weather is nice.
We didn't have much trouble getting away at the end either and were home by 6 p.m in time for tea. On the whole it had been a very tiring day and so after tea had a rest and watched television until just before 9 p.m when we went for a drink to the Cobblers at Pontefract, That was a quick affair and on the way home picked up a Chinese takeaway before returning home. After that watched television for a while before going to bed at 11 p.m.
Sunday 28th May
A gloriously sunny day again although inside I felt cold and depressed. I suppose it's withdrawal symptoms and not wanting to go back to Nottingham. It's as if the last two weeks have been a game.
I got up at 9.30 a.m and spent the morning sitting in the garden reading and getting red. Anne went off to church. Had dinner at midday and then spent the afternoon watching the cricket on television. Had an argument with Anne and generally throughout the day felt in an argumentative and irritable mood and not at all like my old self.
Had tea fairly early and then decided to take Anne's parents out for a drive which I honestly felt was very boring and I just didn't feel like beng sociable. Firstly we went to the river at Fairburn and had a sit down and ice cream. Then we drove through a number of villages and so to Selby and back to Knottingley. Then stopped at Hilda and Les' and by the time all that was finished I felt like a bloody taxi driver being shifted from one place to another. Came home after that and it wasn't too late when I went to bed.
Monday 29th April
This was another nice day, although that's probably more due to the fact that I am away from Nottingham than anything else. It was a fairly relaxed one as I had no wish to join the traffic and stagger to the seaside or anything like that. What's the point in driving bumper to bumper and then end up lazing around in the sun when you can do the same thing in the garden? That's basically it and what we did.
Got up at 9.30 a.m and after breakfast walked round to see Kathryn and Terry. There basked on the lawn and got thoroughly red and had to come home before we got too bad. That was in time for dinner and after that spent a quiet afternoon watching the sport on television. Then had the usual early tea before having a bath and getting ready to go out for the evening.
Myself, Anne, Christine and Ian and Kathryn and Arthur set out at 8.30 p.m and started at the Bluebell at Wentworth. It was still warm so we were able to sit outside before moving on to the Ancient Shepherd where we stayed until closing time. Came home and went straight to bed after a very enjoyable evening marred only by the thought of going back to Nottingham tomorrow.
Tuesday 30th May
A day of fits and starts at work. As I stayed in Yorkshire overnight I had to make a fairly early start although I wasn't too bothered about what time I got to Nottingham. So it was up at 7.30 a.m and set off at 8.15 a.m. It was a pretty straightforward journey along the motorway for most of the 60 miles. In fact there wasn't much traffic about at all. and most people seem to be having an extra day's holiday. Started the morning with the police calls and following up one or two things and by dinnertime I had sent over eight stories, one of which was to come back in the afternoon.
Apart from going to the travel agents to pick up our USA Visa forms I didn't do much at all at dinnertime. During the afternoon the Daily Express phoned up wanting a follow up on a youngster who had gone missing. So I drove out with the intention of seeing the mother but there was nobody in and that gave me a problem for the evening. So I drove back to Bobs and had a quick tea and then went into the centre again to see the woman.
I found out that in the afternoon I had gone to the wrong house. Eventually I found the flat and got an interview with the mother, who was happy to talk. Unfortunately I made a right balls up of the interview by forgetting basic stuff like the mother's name, the description of the boy and what he was wearing. It was probably in my hurry to get out and off to Derby to see John.
I had problems finding him and had to ask a couple of people. Eventually arrived at his digs. The place is quite impressive and there seemed swarms of people staying there. He took me on a guided tour of the Radio Derby offices. That rather bored me and the more I see of the big time the more I realise it's not for me. My niche is in some nice quiet backwater in the country. After the tour we went to a nearby pub and had quite an enjoyable evening chatting before going back to his place for a cup of coffee and listen to records. I left at 11.30 p.m and drove back to Bobs and it was well past midnight when I got to bed.
Wednesday 31st May
The last day of May and in many ways I'm glad it's over. It's been a difficult uprooting time and has completely changed my life. Still it was all my own doing. It was also a busy and strange day of contrasts. The weather was again very warm, but late afternoon there was a violent thunder storm. On the work front it was a day of tragedy and joy. It certainly wasn't what I had planned.
When I went to bed last night I expected a trip to Worksop for the further remand of the police murderer. That all changed, however, when we heard on the early morning news that a 16-year-old married woman had drowned. So I drove into Nottingham and parked the car and then went to try and find the husband. We just had the road name and, after asking neighbours and various shops, we found his house but he wasn't there. All we knew was that he was with his parents or something in Radcliff on Trent, a place of some 8,000 people. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Our only chance was a list of people by the same name taken from the phone book. So we went round and round in circles drawing blanks.
Eventually we found his parents from a lead given from the office. When we got there they were quite happy to help, although of course they were numb with shock. After the quick interview we were given the husband's address, staying with friends. But he wouldn't see us. So it was back to the office to put a story over.
Then another job came up at Stapleford. At least that was more cheerful. About a family who have been refused admission to Australia but now won £1,000 on a local lottery. After going out there and then back to the office it was time to clear one or two things up and then unwind before going home at 5.30 p.m.
Back at Bobs I had tea and then spent a quiet evening having a shower, playing the piano, reading and generally doing nothing. Will I be glad when we get into our Long Eaton house. It seems like a bloody eternity I have been staying here. Luckily our mortgage should officially come through tomorrow.