The Diary That Was – 31st December 1979

29th Sep 2022 – And so we are here, at the mysterious back pages of the diary.

Record of the week: The Greedies – Merry Jingle

29th Sep 2022 – Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy and Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols were the Greedies and this song is a fun, romping Christmas song but as with most Christmas songs, won’t hold up at any other time of year. I wonder what it is that makes people think to write a Christmas song? If it’s your last resort maybe it’s time to give up?

29th Sept 2022 – Paul Mariner, Mick Mills, Mick(?) Lambert, Bobby Robson, Trevor Whymark, Roger Osbourne, John Wark, George Burley, Paul Cooper, Kevin Beattie…the other faces are familiar but names stuck somewhere deep in the noggin. I’m going to go search the rest of the names as a reminder.

Frm Fidy tety sx nw cod i sudrtkn

29th Sept 2022 – Any codebreakers got this one? I reckon ‘From Friday Twenty Six…….” – any significance to the missing letters? Children and their warped minds.

Andrew said “I don’t think the FONZ is very interesting.”

29th Sep 2022 – It was all downhill from here.


29th Sept 2022 – Me trying to work out how to spell Leif Garrett, and yes, I had to look it up again just now.

Me —— Them
-8 —— -2
-2 —— -2
-3 —— -6
-4 —— -10

29th Sep 2022 – In my childlike imagination my bedroom was a golf course. Using one of our eating knives as a club and a marble as a ball, I devised a course around the bed, chair, floor, drawers etc.

I remember the knife well, it was one that was least favoured to be used at the table, it was the odd one out in the cutlery drawer. It had a cream handle, some kind of imitation ivory, bakelite maybe? Where the blade joined the handle had a small piece missing that added to its devious charm. The tip of the knife was an industrial semi-circle shape, with no pointed end as with our other knives. It was ugly. So it became my mini golf club and I loved it for that.

Of course, I just played against myself, labelling the scores Me and Them and generally always favouring Me, naturally.

When you chatted up the girl with the great big boobs
I don’t make a fuss, I just kept me cool

29th Sept 2022 – The genesis of getting into writing lyrics and trying to make them outrageous as per my idols. I didn’t yet have the vocabulary and ability but genius (haha!) must start somewhere!

Bed (curtains) 2p
Bricks 102p
Make own tea 2p
Make both teas 5p
Make tea to drink 1p
Collect coal 1p
Collect wood 1p
Extra jobs… 1p
Depending how hard… 2p
It is 3p and so on

29th Sep 2022 – Keeping track of potential earnings. No matter, I would always spend more than I earned, well into my late 20s. Some lessons take a long time.

Kempton 1.30pm 10p stake
1. Be Better 8-1 80p
Kempton 2.00pm
Catechism 7-1

29th Sep 2022 – A minor interest in Maths, betting and odds developing. I soon realised what a con gambling is, though when I say soon, it probably took another ten years as I did usually put some money through the fruit machines of pubs I attended for a while.

29th Sep 2022 – Artistic skills don’t look particularly promising but that never stopped me from trying.

I want Sex Pistols book, LPs and Clash ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’, dartboard

29th Sep 2022 – I ended up with all these except the Clash album which I curiously never owned on vinyl and even now when I listen to it it still sounds fresh and new as many of those songs are not so familiar to me. Weirdly, I think I only ever owned the first album and Sandanista on vinyl and I’m not sure why I missed out on London Calling, which is also a little less familiar to these ears.

Friggin’ in the Riggin’
Friggin’ in the riggin’
(repeat two more times)
Cos there’s fuck all else to do
Stick glass up your arse
(repeat thrice)
Cos there’s fuck all else to do

The captain’s wife is Mable
And when she’s fully able
She’ll give the crew the daily screw
Upon the mess room table
The captain’s name is Dodo
And he’s a lazy bugger
He isn’t fit to shovel shit
From one place to another

29th Sep 2022 – As Graeme Gray introduced me to the Sex Pistols through this song I would ask him to repeat these lyrics for me until I could remember them and write them down. Not accurate as expected but filthy enough to warp the precious minds of eleven and twelve-year-old potential brat-punks.

75m – 11.2

29th Sep 2022 – I was obviously pleased with myself for being a fast runner.

Chorus to Pretty Vacant
We’re so pretty, oh so pretty -ow
– Vacant
And now, we don’t careeeee!

Second verse and chorus to Silly Thing
People here, people there
People around you everywhere
What you gonna say
What you gonna do
Now you’ve missed out once again
But I thought you knew
Oh, you silly thing
You’ve really gone and done it now

More songs
There’s a girl from Birmingham
She’s had an aboushtion
She looks a screaming mess
Screaming mess
Fuck this, fuck that
Fuck that fucking little brat
She don’t want a baby like that
I don’t want a baby like that
She looks a screaming mess
Screaming mess

29th Sep 2022 – More outrageous Sex Pistols lyrics. It’s really hard to comprehend what an impact this band had at the time. For folks like me, it has been a lifelong inspiration and influence that I am proud to be a part of. It all looks old-fashioned and pointless now so I’m forgiving of anything that kids are into these days and forgiving of those who were consumed within their own subcultures that were at pinnacles in the past. We don’t have to understand what they like but we can understand the feelings that it gives them.


29th Sep 2022 – I had an irrational dislike for my grandparents. Being a snotty kid around Victorian/Edwardian grandparents was never going to be easy. I did like them when I was smaller but perhaps they were more forgiving then too. I would soon be driving them crazy with super loud music and friends visiting for drinking parties. I never really reconciled with my granny (as I called her and my mum wished to be called by Hayden) before she passed but I was more sympathetic to my grandad as I got to my late teenage years. I was surprised to find out at one point that they were actually quite liberal and were members of CND. They weren’t quite so impressed when I showed them the lyrics to Crass’s What The Fuck but they did seem to get the sentiment.

This fucking’ little bastard
Was a fuckin’ little burk
He didn’t know what to do
When he went to work

29th Sep 2022 – Prophetic!

The Week That Was – 23rd December 1979

Record of the week: Beat – Tears of a Clown

23rd Sep 2022 – The Beat were tied in with the Two Tone movement but were more traditional in their songs than the almost straight-up ska of the Specials and early Madness. The Beat trod a more poppy path than the Ruts and I’d argue even some Haircut 100 went down that path too and later this sound was brilliantly utilised by one of the best bands no one has ever heard of, Crane, who covered both The Beat and The Ruts at different times.

23rd December 1979
Wonder what I’ll get
see 26 Dec
2p 2p 94p*

24th December 1979
Can’t wait
2p 4p 92p*

25th December 1979
2p 2p 88p*

23rd Sep 2022 – I believe in the afternoon of this Christmas, mum and I went to my Auntie Lorna’s house and it looks like my Auntie Shirley stayed at my house with my grandparents.

I thought my Auntie Lorna was quite sophisticated as her house had a lounge that went around the corner and the corner part had a lamp, table and cup holders. At this time my cousin Elise would have been about 10 I guess and she and I never got on, possibly because we just had different lives and the only thing that connected us was this odd tie of family.

Lorna was still married to Jim though that would fall apart over the next couple of years, I believe because of his infidelity but that is only what I heard. I liked him because he would play with me. Children make interesting judgements on adult’s characters. I would make fun of him because I discovered his middle name was Aloysius, which was (and is) an unusual name, so much so that I just had to look up how it was spelt. When I knew how much he hurt my auntie though I didn’t have such a great opinion of him and he disappeared from all our lives once they got divorced.

26th December 1979
Got Never Mind The Bollocks
This pen, desk diary
Book – I Like This Poem
2p 2p 84p*

23rd Sep 2022 – Boxing Day and the shops were open again. I’m not sure why but we made a special shopping trip to Bournemouth which was just amazing to me.

We parked at the Triangle which I would become more familiar with over time as it was the bus stop for buses from Wimborne and also you could usually find a parking spot here. It’s usually a nice walk down to the Gardens and to the record stores on the other side and up the hill. I have a clear memory of it being gloomy and cloudy when we arrived and then dark and rainy when we left, this was so magical to my little mind. I was in the big city at night time!

Bournemouth Gardens, down to the beach.

Bournemouth was so high class compared with sleepy Wimborne and the, as then, still unexplored Poole. At the record store, which may even have been a chain store such as Our Price, I convinced my mum to buy me the picture disc version of the Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks album. I was so proud, and, not being able to play it until getting home a few days later I stared at the live shot for hours.

27th December 1979
Don’t think there is any charts today
Shirley sleeps in my bed Ha Hee
Not charts
2p 2p

23rd Sep 2022 – Knowing that my Aunt Shirley would sleep in my bed whilst I was away I filled it with itching powder that I’d either received for my birthday or that Christmas morning!

28th December 1979
Get the car re-serviced
Got a taxi home only to Horseshoes, had to walk through the water.
2p 78p*

23rd Sep 2022 – This was the year of the big flood and on the way from Ferndown to Holtwood, which isn’t too far, we had to slow down many times after hitting water that just looked like the road in the early dark of the evening.

I’ve seen images from the floods in 1979 but can’t find them now. This one is from around 2014 and shows what it was like driving through the waters. Imagine that at night time and not even being able to tell where to road turns to water.

We couldn’t even get directly home and had to go around through Gaunts Common and even then the depth of water was too intimidating for the taxi driver at Horseshoes. I couldn’t believe it. Mum said, Come on, we’ve got to get out and walk through the water!

The top of the hill, coming from Gaunts Common down to Horseshoes. It looks beautiful here and makes me want to go and visit again.

And me with my brand new unplayed copy of the greatest album in my world, that I hadn’t even listened to yet! The water came up to our waists and we held our bags as high as we could and at least it had stopped raining.

29th December 1979
Norwich 3-3 Ipswich

The Week That Was – 16th December 1979

Record of the week: M – Moonlight and Muzak
Highest entry: Elvis Presley

22nd Sep 2022 – Ploughing through adding these entries for 1979 has taken much longer than expected. As my enthusiasm for keeping a diary in 1979, so did my enthusiasm for finishing these off! There’s also little information contained within for me to comment on.

I don’t even remember this M song now. I think it was a disappointment after the fanaticism I had for Pop Muzik.

16th December 1979
2p 1p

17th December 1979

18th December 1979
3p 1p

19th December 1979
End of school
2p 104p*

20th December 1979
1. Pink Floyd
2. Abba
Matthew was ill

21st December 1979
Feel sick
Ipswich 3-1 Spurs

22nd December 1979
We played yesterday
Yesterday read 80 pages of Trillions and I got Star Trek
2p 98p*

22nd Sep 2022 – ‘We’ being Ipswich, not my school team. Getting Star Trek, I’m not sure what that was, a game, a toy, magazine or book? I was into the 60s/70s Star Trek series but never got into the later versions. I was all about Kirk, Spock, Uhuru and the…er…Scottish guy!

Trillions was one of the very few books that I read when I was in school. Something about it grabbed me and I knew that it was possible for me to read and enjoy it. Perhaps I just never came across the books that I needed to inspire me to read more.

Trillions were hard, bright, tiny things which suddenly arrived, millions and millions and millions of them, one windy day in a village called Harbourtown…..No one could explain them, much less why they had suddenly arrived. Were they a blessing, as their beauty suggested, or a deadly, inexplicable threat?


The Week That Was – 9th December 1979

Record of the week: Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

14th Sep 2022Well, there ya go. I had already recognised this genius even at age 12.

9th December 1979

10th December 1979

11th December 1979
2p 1p

12th December 1979

13th December 1979
1. Pink Floyd

14th December 1979
1p 2p

14th Sep 2022 – What the hell were these ticks?

15th December 1979
Bolton 0-1 Ipswich

14th Sep 2022 – It seems that the daily diary thrill had almost completely worn off by this point and I couldn’t even be bothered to list the charts. Number one was Another Brick In The Wall which, as a schoolkid, was enjoyable for the representation of mind-numbing school lessons. It became so popular though that I ended up disliking and resenting it.

The Week That Was – 2nd December 1979

Record of the week: UK Subs – She’s Not There
Highest entry: Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

9th Sep 2022 – How many singles did the UK Subs put out in one year? Rock bands these days are slow as fuck to do anything. ‘In my day’…haha – the punks were cranking this shit out month after month, no wonder there is so much great music from this time period. Of course, there was lots of shit getting cranked out too but let’s not talk about that.

Despite hating Christmas, Paul McCartney and Christmas songs, for some reason I really like the tune in this song. I mean, not so much I went out and bought it but at least I can find it somewhat unirratating. I suppose Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas’ isn’t a bad vocal melody too. You don’t hear that one so much though. And since living in Thailand, never heard again!

2nd December 1979
Not a lot happened
give me self a new hairstyle

9th Sep 2022 – I can’t imagine that this went well but this was the year of hair experimentation. It wouldn’t be long until Mr Gander sent me out of class to go and fix my messy hair in the bathroom. As a teacher now I can’t really imagine asking a kid to do that. Imagine messy hair being such a terrible affront to the possibility of learning.

3rd December 1979
did myself

4th December 1979
2p 6p

9th Sep 2022 – I seem to be just filling up the days with a sentence spread out a word a day, just so I could feel that I managed to write something every day.

5th December 1979
Got it
Punk rocker in Coronation Street

Trouble at t’factry!

Mike refuses to get involved in an exchange trip to Charleville as the machinists are too busy. Renee returns from her mother’s. Suzie rouses Hilda into having a slanging match on the other side of the connecting wall to put buyers off No.11. Steve tells Ivy the Trades Council are organising a French exchange for five of the machinists. He realises he shouldn’t have told her when it’s too late. Suzie puts six buyers off the house. The factory girls challenge Mike about the French invite. He tells them he’s been too busy to tell them. Paul Haines, the estate agent, rings Suzie to tell her that he’s not happy with the way no one is interested in No.11. The machinists row over who’s to go to France. Mike isn’t happy with Steve’s attitude.

9th Sep 2022 – Punk goes mainstream. I don’t think any punk representation was portrayed in a particularly positive light though. Still not as bad as CHiPs or Dr Quincy would be.

6th December 1979
1. Police
2. Pink Floyd
3. Donna and Barbra
4. Dr Hook
5. Gibson Brothers
6. Tourists
2p 6p

7th December 1979

8th December 1979
Ipswich 4-0 Man City

9th Sep 2022 – Well, that’s a positive result to end the week on.