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
– 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
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

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

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
Most days are now
2p 1p

19th March 1979
Same as yesterday

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

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

12th March 1979
Same as yesterday!

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
Gotta pad on my foot

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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.

The Week That Was – 25th February 1979

23rd Nov 2021 – Trevor Brooking – I hated Trevor Brooking!

Record of the Week: Just a Gigolo – The Village People
Highest Entry: Gary’s Gang – Keep On Dancin’ – 23

23rd Nov 2021 – The Village People! I had not converted completely to punk rock just yet. Perhaps my attraction to them was the happy, fuck-you attitude they projected. Well, their upbeat gay anthems were (and still are) part of the western zeitgeist.

Tracy Pew R.I.P. – Haha

25th February 1979
The other lot came round today. All four of them.

23rd Nov 2021 – Hmm, so now I’m confused about the ‘first lot’ I mentioned and ‘this lot’, ‘the other lot’! If there were four of them…..perhaps my Aunt Shirley, Uncle John, my cousin Sharon and her husband Ken. It’s possible though I think my Uncle John may have already passed away by this time and maybe Sharon and Ken’s first son, Mungo, was already born. My uncle John was a competent carpenter, or at least that is in my memory bank somehow. Perhaps just some weird association with fresh-cut wood? I know I liked him.

I was ambivalent to my Aunt Shirley as she always seemed so strict but I really came to dislike her over the next few years as she would often tell my mum that she was doing a bad job at raising me. I tried to avoid her as much as possible, which wasn’t that difficult really.

I wasn’t very family-oriented really, possibly due to the fact that I never had a father around as he had passed when I was too small to even have any memory of him, and even though we were living with my grandparents I think I resented that in some ways, as other families of friends were just the more traditional family unit of parents and one, two or three children living together. There were times when I wished for my mum to remarry. I was always hopeful whenever some man or other came into our lives but I appreciate that my mum was happily self-sufficient.

By calling my extended relations, that lot and the other lot I’d already made my mind up about certain things.

26th February 1979
Didn’t see the eclipse today
Da! Da!
Ipswich 6-1 Bristol Rovers

23rd Nov 2021 – February in England. Well, it’s no real surprise that I didn’t see any eclipse.

27th February 1979
Had five pancakes
Did games today!
Even though my foot hurt

23rd Nov 2021 – My foot is hurting right now. I can still poke into the arch of my left foot and feel something isn’t quite right. But it’s mainly the joint of my big toe that is painful now. I’m considering going to get it checked out. I’m not sure what to expect from the Thai medical system here in Chiang Rai. It feels like we are a long way from where folks with real expertise might be. I’m sure whoever I see will give it their best shot though. At least I could get an x-ray done that might give a better idea of managing it.

By fuck, did I love my mum’s pancakes, covered in sugar and lemon juice. What a treat. I could never replicate them though.

28th February 1979
Went to orchestra at school

23rd Nov 2021 – I guess I was playing the clarinet. Mr Broadway was my science teacher and music teacher. He had curly brown hair and was quite fun to be around. But I gave up the clarinet when it started to get more tricky. This was quite a common behaviour through my teenage years. Too hard? Give up. Sometimes I still do this. And I see Hayden do this too. What is it that makes us give up so easily when things become more difficult? When I get stuck learning to play the guitar now, I just keep trying until I finally get it. I don’t put the kind of pressure on myself that I used to.

1st March 1979
1. Bee Gees – Tragedy (2)(1)
2. Blondie – Heart of Glass (1)(3)
3. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army (5)(2)
4. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive (7) (-)
5. Abba – Chiquitita (3) (4)

24th Nov 2021 – Oliver’s Army was great as were some other early Elvis Costello tunes but I stopped listening after listening to the “Carry On Sex Pistols” album where Steve Jones continually shits on him, so I thought I should too. I’ve more recently bought his first two or three albums as they are often revered in certain circles but I haven’t given them a listen yet. It’s only been about 5 years….one day, one day.

Writing this post is making me want to go home and listen to this and the Birthday Party (Mr. Clarinet). Not the Village People though.

2nd March 1979
Get REV homework
Soap was on at 11:40
Only my second whole week at school

3rd March 1979
Do bricks 2p
Didn’t do them?
X – Ipswich 1-1 Forest

24th Nov 2021 – Outside our back door was a small bricked patio area that needed to be cleaned every week or two as it would get a little mouldy and slippery. I hated cleaning them, although I can imagine the first time I did it I was really trying to do my best but after a while I just resented the time I had to spend doing it and I would attempt to do it as quickly as possible and sometimes I would be made to do it again because I had been too careless, which of course meant losing more precious time.

I’m curious about the X, and various other codes that appear more often throughout the year. I’m thinking that this was some secret indication of my masturbatory habits as it would have been around this time I discovered the pleasures of touching my dick. More on that later.

The Week That Was – 18th February 1979

18th February 1979
No 5th Round Matches on yesterday
Them lot came round today

12th Nov 2021 – I believe “them lot” was my Aunt Lorna, her husband Jim and daughter Elise. When my mum and I first moved to Forest Cottage they actually lived next door, on the other side of the field I mention here. The house looks huge when I check on Google Maps and I think I only ever went inside once or twice. I then couldn’t understand why they moved to a much smaller council house in Ferndown soon after we got there in 1976.

At one point I used to like playing hide and seek in our garden with Jim but he would be off the scene sometime over these few years as they got divorced. I never became friendly with Elise, even though she was my cousin and maybe only one or two years younger. It seems that by this time I was in no mood for extended family and dubbed them “them lot”! It probably meant me having to join in with eating, talking and games with them and granny and grandad. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Sundays.

19th February 1979
No Monty Python but Fawlty Towers. Boo!
Boring Day!
But then it would be with no MONTY PYTHON

20th February 1979
Ipswich P-P Bristol Rovers

21st February 1979
Back at school today!
Not going to match tomorrow because of my foot!
H. First Leg 1-5
Second Leg 0-4

22nd February 1979
1. Blondie (1) (4)
2. Bee Gees – Tragedy (7) (3)
3. Abba – Chiquitita (2) (1)
4. Three Degrees (3) (2)
5. Elvis Costello – Oliver’s Army (13) (-)

23rd February 1979
Soap’s on tonight. Great.
Da! Da!

12th Nov 2021 – 11pm Friday nights and I was allowed to stay up to experience the joy of Soap. Classic soap opera parody that cracked us up with its absurdity. I have downloaded episodes even now and watched a few of them a couple of years ago. My humour has become a little more sophisticated but it still tickled the 12-year-old funny bone in my nostalgia brain.

24th February 1979
Everton 0-1 Ipswich
First time we’ve beat Everton in 13 years
Top: Liverpool

The Week That Was – 11th February 1979

Highest Entry – Tragedy – Bee Gees (7)

11th Nov 2021 – I think I hated this song at the time and I’m not sure about it now either. I can hear their high pitched voices screaming the title. I probably wouldn’t turn off the radio if it started playing but would be anticipating its end. I read positive things about earlier Bee Gees work and downloaded some to check out a couple of years ago. I don’t think I’ve heard it yet though (maybe one track on a Chiang Rai Alternative Hour podcast…)

11th February 1979
FONZ Great!
School tomorrow

11th Nov 2021 – That Sunday feeling. Sunday was bath day. I still have dreams in that bathroom. It’s weird now to imagine only bathing once a week! At some point, I tried to make bath time more interesting by getting undressed whilst balancing on the edge of the bath, walking back and forth. For every rotation, I would take off an item of clothing and being visible naked in the window gave me an odd thrill. The window overlooked a field so I don’t think anyone ever saw me or would’ve even noticed my weird game. I have distinct memories of the smells around the bathroom too. Some kind of soft floral perfume, Gardenia, perhaps. Gardenia was a favourite smell in 1998, that defined a period in my life, and probably was a reminder of this time in the late 70s.

12th February 1979
Boring day but
Monty Python’s Flying Circus will change that

13th February 1979
Went to rugger club for the first time

11th Nov 2021 – I was a sporting wannabe for sure. I did very well at most sports and as I was bigger than a lot of other kids teachers wanted me to try out for everything. I never enjoyed rugby though. I thought I was a tough nut, but I really wasn’t. I enjoyed the competition but rugby got too brutal for my skinny frame. I also didn’t know all the rules and one time Sean McDonnell took great advantage of this when I was preparing to run up to kick a try conversion. I had mistimed by run and turned around to start again. I didn’t know that there was no second chance with this and Sean ran and stole the ball for a try at the other end as I stood perplexed and whinging!

14th February 1979 (St Valentine)
Nothing much happened today so I’m not going to say anything!
Didn’t get any did I! Heyy!

11th Nov 2021 – Was I ugly? I didn’t know really. I thought of myself as well-liked by others but I think I was already starting to break out from the norm. Kids generally tolerate each other at this age (11-13) but apparently, I didn’t endear myself to anyone.

15th February 1979
1. Blondie (1) (3)
2. Abba (2) (1)
3. 3 Degrees (3) (2)
4. Leif Garrett (7) (-)

11th Nov 2021 – Fred was my mum’s boss. My mum was a machine knitter for hire and he ran some sort of clothing business selling guernseys. My mum was busy night and day doing this with two machines set up in our rooms, wool stored in every spare nook and cranny. A quick search found this site and this piece of information which tickles me – “The sweater of choice for fishermen, servicemen and criminals.”

16th February 1979
Half term
Matthew came down today
Had x-rays of my feet
Top: Liverpool

11th Nov 2021 – Matthew lived in a big house about half a mile away and I was a little envious and shy of his family at first. Along with the big house, they also had a classic Mercedes Benz (probably just a normal Benz at the time but I would consider a classic now) and a tennis court at the bottom of their garden. They felt to me to be a different class, well-spoken, well dressed and well behaved. At first, Matthew came to my house, where I was more comfortable, and we designed and discussed the big castles that we would live in when we grew up.

Sometime in the early oughts, Matthew sent me a message via Friends Reunited, a website where you could add your name to your school and the year you finished and reconnect with your old schoolmates. I had never really kept up with anyone, even immediately after leaving school but put my name down, perhaps in the hope of reconnecting with Julie Roberts, Leslie English or Tina Park, all of whom I had had crushes on!

Anyway, Matthew sent me a brief catch up email asking how I was. I was in a funny place at the time which I will eventually document and simply replied along the lines of “I’m great! I got just my dick pierced!” I don’t think that this would have been entirely out of character from how he might’ve remembered me but I never heard from him again.

17th February 1979
Ipswich P-P Bristol Rovers or Charlton (FA Cup 5th Round)
Top: Liverpool

The Week That Was – 4th February 1979

10th Nov 2021 – I have no memory of ever seeing George Best play football, just a little bit before my time. I only really knew him as a fallen from grace drinker. I think I secretly liked him for that. His name though was slightly lower than some of the classics from England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team. Even more than a decade later those players were legendary. Any post-war successes in England were to be celebrated perpetually as the empire continued to slip away.

4th February 1979
Damn cold’s killing me
Yesterday the sun came out, would you believe it

10th Nov 2021 – This is such an English statement (about the sun). Already 35 days into a new year and it could be the first sighting of direct sunlight. I want to go back to England sometime and suffer this miserable experience again, perhaps just to remind myself how lucky I am. No place is paradise.

5th February 1979
Not feeling well so off school, cos of cold of course

10th Nov 2021 – I seem to have been quite a sickly child and still go through bouts of lethargy even now. Possibly psychological in origin, I have no real explanation sometimes. Maybe my autopsy will reveal the truth, a little too late for me.

6th February 1979
Going to get Plastic Letters
Got it last Friday

10th Nov 2021 – The first entry would have been a planned prediction and somehow I would’ve begged my mum to have brought my satisfaction forward. I was well-practiced at that. I can recall a particular failure, perhaps around 1974 or 1975 in Whitehaven, when I was enraptured by a talking Mynah bird outside the pet shop on the pavement. I badgered my mum so much to get this pet but, quite correctly, she didn’t give in. I think I talked my way into getting a child’s snooker table instead, which wasn’t as grand as it sounds, but kept me quiet for a while until the next object of desire made itself known to me.

Blondie’s Plastic Letters is a masterpiece still.

7th February 1979
Yesterday tried get arch supports
Off school again cos of cold

10th Nov 2021 – I had constant pain in my left foot and throughout this year went to the chiropodist often. It was eventually discovered by X-ray that a couple of my joints were growing on top of each other instead of side by side. I eventually ended up having to wear a thick arch support that I was very ashamed of and tried to hide from my friends. I couldn’t be anything less than a perfect specimen human being and this was also a time when I still wanted to fit in and just be normal. I realise the paradox now.

8th February 1979
1. Blondie (1)
2. Abba(8)
3. 3 Degrees (3)
4. Ian Dury and the Blockheads (2)

10th Nov 2021 – Ian Dury and Blondie are still awesome to me and even music that I didn’t like back then such as Abba and 3 Degrees are still part of my psyche. The possibility of hearing something good amongst the drek made listening through the drek worthwhile. The drek stuck too and I would rather listen to ‘bad’ music from this era than ‘bad’ music from now. There is no chance of hearing anything interesting in what might be termed popular music these days. Rock music is dead on the radio. Of course, now anyone can listen to whatever they specifically desire at a moment’s notice. This seems to have taken a little of the fun out of it. We need some balance – we can’t just be enjoying everything all the time. We need to suffer!

I listen to music stored on my computer and it spans many weird and diverse genres – often including music I don’t like! Sometimes I sit through a 30-minute harsh noise piece knowing that coming next could be a classic Buffalo Tom tune or a Trojan dub reggae tune, imitating what it was like to listen to John Peel on the radio, patiently waiting for anything new that piqued interest.

9th February 1979
Part 3 Happy Days
I do like REV actually
Didn’t go to school all last week COLDS!!!

10th Nov 2021 – Multi-part stories of favourite TV shows felt like a new thing and we learned patience by having to wait a whole week to get the next episode. Growing up in these times are now nostalgic memories and wishing for them to return is useless and I refuse to be a grumpy old man complaining about the now. But, obviously, for everyone, at whatever time, things were better then!

REV again? I would guess it may have been Religious Education class but then seems odd that I would mention it when I didn’t go to school this week. Some sleuthing may be required. Is it worth it? As if anything really matters! The things that were once so important are quickly forgotten. Treat it as a fun test, easing out memories from dark recesses.

10th February 1979
Records wanted – Ipaula (?), Sound of the Suburbs, King Rocker
Ipswich 0-0 Southampton
Top: Everton

10th Nov 2021 – Damn, how good was music? Sound of the Suburbs and King Rocker are classic pop tunes. The Sound of the Suburbs in particular feels like the sound of 1979. I wish I had learned guitar back at this time. In 1976, when Andrew Farmer asked me if I wanted to join the guitar classes at school I told him I already knew how to play. When he insisted I show him a chord I held up my fingers in a shape and told him that was A. He said it wasn’t but I told him that that was how I played it. He left, bemused, and I missed my chance. I was a dickhead.

The Week That Was – 28th January 1979

Highest Entry – Abba – Chiquitita #8

28th January 1979
Did homework

2nd Nov 2021 – I think this term would have been my first introduction to homework and it probably wasn’t too hard but I already knew how I felt about it. I think there wasn’t much I was really interested in that I would want to study even longer than being at school. In my primary school years I was quite a good student and I can remember the exact time when that changed.

It was 1976 and I had just moved with my mum, from Devon to Dorset, where my mum would take care of my grandparents in exchange for free rent. I started a new school and was one of the ‘top’ students, I guess. I tried my best. At Christmas that year I was chosen to be Joseph, opposite Becky Houldey as Mary in the school nativity.

But as the year came to an end, students worked on their individual ‘big project’. This involved excursions and other types of research as opposed to sitting in classes. I started off with gusto and through working with various other students at points became good friends with Paul Sotheran. I loved his sense of humour and crazy attitude to life. He didn’t give a shit about the project and I soon fell into that mindset too!

29th January 1979
Monty Python’s Flying Circus

8th Nov 2021 – I was allowed to stay up after 9pm to watch this every Tuesday night. I think my mum enjoyed watching it too. We both appreciated this kind of quirky British humour. I know Spike Milligan and Dave Allen were amongst mum’s favourites.

30th January 1979
Blondie 1
Ipswich 2-0 Orient (at Orient)
Mariner 2

31st January 1979
Don’t know!!
Nerds Words

8th Nov 2021 – I thought perhaps Nerds was in reference to the candy but a quick search shows they weren’t introduced until 1983. I think this must have been another Happy Days reference. Looking back I can see the creeping influence and Americanisation (with an s!) of British culture already.

1st February 1979
1 – Blondie
2 – Ian Dury
3 – The Three Degrees
4 – Village People

2nd February 1979
3 times 20
Doctor 5.05 Miss Happy Days

8th Nov 2021 – REV? Revision? Reverse? 3 times 20? 60? I don’t know. Perhaps like the X, and tomorrow’s 1, some sort of code I thought I would never forget again.

3rd February 1979
Hey Nerd!
Bristol City 3-1 Ipswich (Mariner)

The Week That Was – 21st January 1979

Highest Entry – Blondie – 6

18th Oct 2021 – It seems to be around this time that I was really starting to pay more attention to the charts and leaning further away from pop and disco tunes and towards louder raunchier music.

21st January 1979
Horray no school tomorrow

22nd January 1979
Boring day

23rd January 1979
Great, school bus didn’t come so I ain’t going to school

18th Oct 2021 – Already sarcastic, aged 11. Just looking at these words, they could be read as positive – ie – Awesome, no school! But I know that is not what I meant. The school bus didn’t come but I was still up and ready and waiting for it when I could’ve been sleeping in or getting up to whatever other nonsense I usually did on free mornings.

24th January 1979
School today
Leeds 2-2 Soton (League Cup semi-final 2nd leg)

18th Oct 2021 – I’m pretty sure these were times when I could tell you all about football teams, players, scores etc even those I didn’t really follow. I think this was the time of Allan Clarke (Leeds) and Mick Channon (Southampton)?

25th January 1979
(1) Hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me
ID and the Blockheads
Once I had a love and it was a gas, soon found out had a heart of glass

18th Oct 2021 – I loved that this Ian Dury song was number one, after 1978’s What a Waste was a favourite. Somehow I convinced my mum to buy me this single and I was thrilled that the b-side title was “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards”, finding it very daring to have what was then considered a swear word in the name.

Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ wasn’t my favourite song from Parallel Lines, which would have been one of the first albums I owned, again, after convincing my mum to buy for me. Anything that featured Debbie Harry and saw the chance of seeing her beautiful image on TV again was wholly supported by my imagination, which had already run wild after seeing the video for ‘Presence Dear’ where I was certain she was talking directly to me from the screen.

I dreamt that she was waiting for me by a particular tree in the woods and hurried that morning to go and meet her. I waited and waited, trying to feel her presence, almost ecstatic and a tingling in my pants that I was only just learning about.

I limped home ever so disappointed as my youthful hard-on waned in my tight pants but I didn’t give up hope.

26th January 1979
Got a new magazine called Superpop

27th January 1979
Ipswich 0-0 Orient
Hey Nerds!

18th Oct 2021 – There are many codes in my diaries that I was sure I would remember the meaning of because they were ‘really important.’ A couple I’m still able to work out and I also left deciphering clues elsewhere in the pages but this entry I don’t know.