The Week That Was – 25th March 1979

Record of the week: Late Show – Bristol Stomp
Highest Entry: The Jacksons – Shake Your Body – 26

29th Dec 2021 – I had to go back and check these again. Bristol Stomp was quite an upbeat pop swing-around, singalong that quickly becomes forgettable (obviously). I like some of the Jacksons/Jackson 5 music but this one is pretty bland and was surely reused for MJ’s Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. I never got into Michael Jackson. It had no redeeming features in my mind.

25th March 1979
Italy’s gonna win the Eurovision Song Contest
2p
– Israel won!

29th Dec 2021 – Once again my wish and support for the team in blue. Didn’t quite work out. As well as supporting the Italian football team I also had a passing interest in learning Italian and borrowed a book from Sharon and Ken for a little while. I was fascinated that other people used different words for things. The fascination didn’t last many chapters in though, and that was a sign of things to come when it came to studying French in High School. I should’ve tried harder but French sucked!

26th March 1979
You know I think school days are really getting boring so this is all I’m putting (March 27)
2p 1p

29th Dec 2021 – It seems most of my day was based around school at this point and I wasn’t getting up to anything worth writing about at home. These times were when I was still staying in my mum’s room in the evenings and the bedroom was just where I went to sleep.

27th March 1979
I don’t know what to put
Same as yesterday
68p
2p 1p

29th Dec 2021 – Here I started accounting more properly and noting how much I had in savings. Later in the year, with much conniving and begging, these would usually be negative numbers. Early learning about overdrafts though thankfully without interest.

28th March 1979
Real drama in Coronation Street
2p 1p

1st Sep 2021 – Unbelievable! A quick search finds the storyline of this episode (# 1898!):

Ivy shocks the girls by siding with Steve against Vera. Alf comes out of his coma. Vera discovers Steve is doing a time and motion study on the girls. The girls accuse him of spying on them. Ivy calls a stop to the work when he refuses to rip the study up. Steve is shocked that Mike told Ivy to keep an eye on him. Ivy phones Mike. Mike can’t believe that the girls have stopped working on an important order. He orders Steve to get them working again. Steve accuses him of undermining his authority. Mike decides to leave the hospital. The nurses refuse to help him so he struggles with his crutches. Alf can’t remember the crash at all. Mike tells Ivy there’ll be no more clock-watching. She gets the girls back to work. Mike tells Steve he has a lot to learn. Alf tells Renee he will return to the GPO. Ivy realises Gail has wedding bells in mind and doesn’t like the idea.

29th Dec 2021 – We tried Emmerdale Farm and Crossroads but Coronation Street was the only one my mum and I would watch together in the evenings. I think eventually, as I transitioned to staying in my bedroom, she stopped watching it too. Later, we did bond again over BBC’s new offering of East Enders when that started – unbelievably not until 1985! I can’t find the ‘real drama’ of Coronation Street in the description alluded to in my diary entry. Fairly mundane stuff by modern standards.

29th March 1979
1. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
2. Village People – In The Navy
3. Sex Pistols – Something Else
4. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army
5. Lene Lovich – Lucky Numbers
2p

29th Dec 2021 – Hmm – does this mean I earned 2p and then had it taken away! I don’t know.

30th March 1979
What a day – so many bad things happened today
This is all I’m going to say
2p

29th Dec 2021 – Another one of those times that I probably thought I would remember these events forever just by seeing these words again. Sadly not. But this may have been the time of an after school event, some kind of series of plays and performances for parents and everyone was at school in the evening which called for much festivity, particularly after we might have finished with our tasks for the event. I was enjoying going around all my friends and talking excitedly with them. I was in such a joyous mood that I wanted to kiss my friends. I’m not sure where I got this idea from. I thought that’s how we showed love or pleasure for each other maybe.

Anyway, after trying this a little, my so-called friends started making fun of me, jeering and calling me gay. I didn’t really know what that meant but it appeared to be obvious that they thought it was bad. My balloon of joy had been rudely pinpricked and no one would talk to me for the rest of the evening. In the car ride to the school, I had been very excited and my mum couldn’t get a word out of me to find out what was wrong on the journey home, as we dropped off David and Joan Anderson to their house.

This specific event left me emotionally scarred and sticks in my memory still. Being called names was nothing really but the quick rejection by friends cut deep. Of course, I didn’t really understand my emotions at the time, or other people’s motivations. But I did understand that people can be pricks.

31st March 1979
Do Bricks
6-a-side match P-P
Ipswich 2-1 Man. City

The Week That Was – 18th March 1979

Record of the week: Car 67 – Headlight
Highest Entry: Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes – 27

28th Dec 2021 – I think I checked out the Car 67 song again back when I initially wrote this entry and now, can’t remember a damn thing about it. Art Garfunkel though – ugh. These were the times of realising that popular music was quickly becoming something I hated. I don’t hear this song anywhere in popular culture these days either so perhaps it has been justly forgotten.

18th March 1979
Clocks forward
Boring day
Really
Most days are now
2p 1p

19th March 1979
Same as yesterday
2p

28th Dec 2021 – It’s a shame I couldn’t find anything to write about, or thought that was worth writing about at the time. It was definitely an effort to try to put anything down here every down and there would be long periods where that became normal. I don’t think I have any diaries between 1986 and 1994. I seem to be fairly regularly making 3p per day – making my mum a cup of tea and something else, maybe washing up, though I can clearly view the sink and often still have dreams in this kitchen I don’t recollect ever washing up!

20th March 1979
Got new pair of shoes, wedged
2p 1p

28th Dec 2021 – I was probably costing my mum a fortune with my dodgy feet. These ‘wedged’ shoes would’ve also made me more conscious of standing out from everyone else. It felt like a negative for me and I didn’t appreciate at the time that I was receiving help from others. I found my life to be a hell that everyone wished on me. A lack of self-esteem. I can’t really identify where I developed this from. Perhaps from not having a father figure around? I did often wonder how different my life would have been if my father had been alive for my childhood.

21st March 1979
European Cup Quarter Final (2nd Leg)
Barcelona 1-0 Ipswich
Colehill P-P Cranborne
2p 1p

28th Dec 2021 – There were three middle schools in the catchment area for Queen Elizabeths (High School) in Wimborne. I was at St. Michaels (up the hill in Colehill), Allenbourne was down in the town and Cranborne covered all the rest of the countryside to the north. My house was along one of the catchment borders, or thereabouts. A bit further north and I would have been going to Cranborne too. The bus route is etched in my memory and it always weirded me out that we drove a long way down one road to pick up a couple of kids and then the driver had to reverse into a side track and drive on back again. It felt like it added so much extra time to the journey but it was really only a few minutes.

Through this school year and the next, I developed a habit of getting up earlier and earlier, even before the TV programs started in the morning at 6am. If it was too early for TV I would find something on the radio. I would eat biscuits for breakfast with a cup of tea. I encouraged my mum to buy more and more different types of biscuits and I would eat two of each, lining them up in the order of least tasty to delicious. I would take a bite and suck in a mouthful of tea and feel the biscuit crumble in my mouth dispersing its taste within. On and on…if I ran out of tea before biscuits I would make another cup.

22nd March 1979
1. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
2. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army
3. Lene Lovich – Lucky Numbers
4. Sex Pistols – Something Else
5. The Real Thing – Can You Feel The Force?
2p 2p

Sid Vicious had died in Early February and there was still money to be made.

28th Dec 2021 – Seeing Sex Pistols videos on TV was thrilling as all hell to me. Who were these crazy people? There was nothing I could identify with from my beautiful green countryside surrounds. I thought Sid Vicious came from another planet. More and more I wanted to be like that. To shock, upset and offend. This would develop much more strongly in the next school year, got me in a stack of trouble and ultimately confused me and made me bitter. It was a lot of fun at the time, a way to express myself and I soon discovered how boring and straight most people are.

At this stage though, I was just beginning to dive in. I was still teetering on the edge of being a good student and being a rebellious one. It’s fantastic to recognise these exact same traits in some of the kids I teach now. I try my best to encourage them but, fuck, I know exactly what I was like at their age and wouldn’t listen to anyone – especially teachers!

23rd March 1979
Rev.’s got more boring since a couple of weeks ago
2p 2p

28th Dec 2021 – Rev. must have been Religious Education but what the hell did the word Rev. actually mean? I wonder if subjects are still called this?

24th March 1979
Liverpool 2-0 Ipswich
10p

28th Dec 2021 – 10p – I was a money-making machine! It wouldn’t last.

The Week That Was – 11th March 1979

Record of the week: Thin Lizzy – Waiting For An Alibi The Jam – Strange Town
Highest Entry: Players Association – Turn The Music Up – 25

24th Dec 2021 – Thin Lizzy and The Jam – classics. It reminds me to take the time to play their music again but I don’t know if I will feel this way when I sit down in front of my collection looking for something to play. Players Association? Remembered by some I’m sure, but forgotten by me.

11th March 1979
Not much happened today
2p

12th March 1979
Same as yesterday!
2p

24th Dec 2021 – Well, not much I can say here except to remember that this was more than 40 years ago. Sometimes it feels like nothing much happens to a 12-year-old, much the same as a 54-year-old! Perhaps I need to make some excitement for myself!

13th March 1979
Chiropodist
Gotta pad on my foot
2p

24th Dec 2021 – My foot aches still now and I think it’s time I tried the local hospital here in Chiang Rai though I’m not very confident in the quality of service I may get here – perhaps similar to the UK in 1979. I hated wearing the pad that was supposed to help re-align my bones. It was very uncomfortable and I was conscious of it if I had to change into sport shoes at school. I wasn’t ready to be different to others just yet.

14th March 1979
I don’t know what to put today
2p

15th March 1979
1. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
2. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army
3. Bee Gees – Tragedy
4. Lene Lovich – Lucky Numbers
5. The Real Thing – Can You Feel The Force?
2p

24th Dec 2021 – That damn Gloria Gaynor song has become a classic. I mostly associate it with gay clubs in Sydney that I would go to sometimes with Amy. I can understand its lyrical appeal for anyone feeling disenfranchised and seeking a positive message. I’d rather not hear it again though. Oliver’s Army and Lucky Numbers were fun pop tunes though and The Real Thing is an ok watered down funk tune that I quite enjoy.

16th March 1979
Just thinking how boring this week has been
8:43am
2p

24th Dec 2021 – Indeed! But what did I draw this No Parking sign for? I can’t make out the text. Was it a positive message from the past to my future self? Doubtful!

17th March 1979
Do bricks
Football League Cup Final
Forest 3-2 Southampton
Ipswich 2-0 Arsenal
2p

24th Dec 2021 – Football trophies were simpler to understand back then. There was the League, The FA Cup and The League Cup. I don’t know what the difference was between the FA Cup and the League Cup. Maybe the FA cup was open to the minor league teams too whereas the League Cup was just for teams in the first four divisions. The League Cup didn’t really carry as much prestige for some reason and felt a little exploitative for this reason. Just another way to make more money. These days the cups are all named after their advertising sponsors and as I don’t really much follow football now I don’t understand which cup is which anymore.

The Week That Was – 4th March 1979

Record of the Week: Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army G. Harrison – Blow Away
Highest Entry: Thin Lizzy – Waiting for an Alibi – 25

29th Nov 2021 – I don’t remember this George Harrison song – wait, I’m gonna listen…..weird. I don’t recognise this at all! Thin Lizzy on the other hand is ingrained in my psyche. A stone-cold classic.

4th March 1979
Not feeling very well!

5th March 1979
Didn’t go to school today
2p 2p 1p

29th Nov 2021 – For someone who was sick enough not to go to school, it seems I was well enough to earn a few pence doing chores.

6th March 1979
Same as yesterday

29th Nov 2021 – The poor kid was sickly again. I don’t know why. Was I just a dirty kid picking up infections from every other dirty kid? I could never stop picking my nose no matter how much my mum told me I should. At least by this age, I had stopped wiping my old snot on the back of the sofa for someone else to find and clean.

7th March 1979
European Cup (1st Leg)
Ipswich 2-1 Barcelona
Go to school
2p

29th Nov 2021 – Whilst Ipswich struggled in the league, we were giving it our best shot in Europe. I only ever attended a couple of football matches in the UK and I think I was too young to notice any violence in the air at the stadiums. It became obvious on TV and over the next few years as rival fan attacks got more brutal and bloody. One countermeasure taken was to make stadiums all seated and it still looks weird to me to watch every sitting down at a football match.

Another I notice is how small the stadiums appear and how close the fans are to the pitch. It makes everything look quite quaint. My only other experience of watching football was at the Sydney Olympics and it felt like everything was so far away, the players looked like ants.

When I started attending occasional AFL games in Sydney there was no air of violence, no separation of supporters and tons of kids with their parents. There was plenty of good-natured cajoling and any angry scenes were soon forgotten. It was always a lot of fun. I seem to have a bad run with paying through the nose to attend games though. It was very rare that my team won, even if they were doing well that season. So I made a point not to go to any games again so as not to jinx my team.

8th March 1979
1. Bee Gees – Tragedy
2 . Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army
3. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
4. Lene Lovich – Lucky Numbers
5. The Real Thing – Can You Feel The Force
2p

9th March 1979
Got a new bus driver
On bus of course?
Only for that day though
Shaun Marchit
2p 2p 1p

29th Nov 2021 – I remember the bus to middle school being quite a nice air-conditioned coach. The fourth-year kids always got the back seats and had the best fun. It would be a couple more years ’til I graduated to the king of the bus. Our bus driver doesn’t stand out in my memory perhaps because of the legend of our high school bus driving who was a champion never to be forgotten.

Who the hell is Shaun Marchit? Or was I trying to tell myself something? Was it the bus drivers name? Doubtful. It must have been relevant at the time for me to write in my diary but alas, it’s gone now.

10th March 1979
FA Cup 6th Round
X Ipswich 0-1 Liverpool
Top: Liverpool
2p 1p

29th Nov 2021 – Fucking Liverpool! I admired Liverpool cos they were always winning. So, obviously, I hated them too.