7th May 1981 No one dropped the bomb But only just
Operation RYAN At a secret meeting of top Soviet officials in May 1981, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev condemned Reagan, whose aggressive rhetoric was decidedly anti-communist. Yuri Andropov, the head of the KGB and the future General Secretary, furthermore explained that the Reagan administration was preparing for a possible preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. Andropov announced that the KGB was launching an intelligence program, Operation RYAN, which was an acronym for Raketno-Yadernoe Napadenie, or “nuclear missile attack.”
8th May 1981 I’m dead Hoare’s read my story
9th May 1981 FA Cup Final Spurs vs City 1-1 replay Thurs PiL
10th May 1981 SID VICIOUS LIVES (Sid Vicious born 1957)
This week’s chart-topper is: Adam and the Ants – Stand and Deliver straight into top 75 (at number 1)
Record of the week: Stranglers – Nuclear Device Highest entry: Suzi Quatro – She’s In Love With You
10th Aug 2022 – The Stranglers had passed me by until now and I reckon I only heard Nuclear Device once and never again until I bought a copy a few years later. It felt strange that a song I loved and I believe charted was so rarely heard on the radio. I was starting to feel that someone out there had it in for the punks and good music. I don’t recognise this Suzi Quatro song but she was always a pleasure to watch on Top of the Pops, though as a weird soon-to-be 12-year-old I didn’t quite understand why!
21st October 1979 Nuclear Device (Wizard of Aus) is great 2p 188p*
10th Aug 2022 – Perhaps this was the start of my education into the terrible power of nuclear weapons which would only cast a longer shadow over our lives in the early 80s. I did love the pun in the record’s title. Perhaps a first inkling of an interest in language.
22nd October 1979 (tick) Specials Message To You, Rudy is as above 2p 186p*
10th Aug 2022 – The Two Tone ska revolution was just starting to swing and my friends and I were getting into it. The music wasn’t punk but the messages were. I could identify. Any youth culture was interesting to me at this formative stage.
23rd October 1979 (4) Not long Took radio to school 2p 8p 1756p*
10th Aug 2022 – Countdown to my birthday. Birthdays were still exciting. Soon to be 12. I took a radio to school so we could listen to music and particularly the chart run down.
24th October 1979 (3) Not as long as yesterday 2p 1754p*
25th October 1979 (2) Even shorter 1. Lena Martell 2. Buggles 3. Michael Jackson 4. Dr Hook 5. Sad Cafe 2p 152p*
10th Aug 2022 – Apart from the Buggles this top 5 is pretty atrocious, though I do have a Sad Cafe song in the memory banks.
26th October 1979 (1) One day Christopher’s coming down tomorrow Greatt! 2p 150p*
27th October 1979 Great HEYY! Ipswich v. For what I got, look at next week 2p 148p*
10th Aug 2022 – A Saturday birthday with a friend visiting. Unfortunately, no memories retained, sadly.
Record of the week: The Dickies – Walk Like An Egg Highest entry: Angelic Upstarts – Teenage Warning
25th May 2022 – My ‘record’ of the week seems to be just different songs from the Dickies album. Well, it is that good, I suppose. Angelic Upstarts – fantastic youth anthem, Teenage Warning – classic. I wonder if I could play it on guitar? Definitely not the guitar solo though!
12th August 1979 Might be watching the match on Saturday vs Forest
25th May 2022 – I think this would be the first of two times I saw Ipswich play. The other was in Bristol, vs Bristol City, though I’ve no idea what mum and I were doing in Bristol. Maybe just visiting Bath?
13th August 1979 I’m writing this on Thursday and I can’t remember what happened today 2p 93p* 86p* 179p*
14th August 1979 Went to Sharon and Ken’s 2p
25th May 2022 – Before moving to Dorset to live with my grandparents, we lived in Devon. I also don’t really know why we moved to Devon from Cumbria, though I would guess it would have something to do with my mum’s then-boyfriend committing himself to more than one girlfriend at a time. I never really saw my mum with another guy after that. Anyway, in Devon, my cousins, Sharon and Ken lived about 3 miles away from where we did. After leaving Devon at the end of 1976, Sharon and Ken moved too, also to Dorset, about 10 miles away from us. I used to enjoy Ken’s sense of humour and playfulness. Also by this time, they must have had a least one of their two children, Mungo followed by Kim. I was deemed to be close enough in age to play with them and get out of my mum’s hair for a while.
15th August 1979 Came back from Sharon and Ken’s 2p
16th August 1979 1. Boomtown Rats 2. Cliff Richard 3. Ian Dury 4. EWF 5. Abba 6. Hersham Boys 7. Police 8. Dooleys 9. Darts 10. ELO 2p 173p*
17th August 1979 Go on holiday to East Anglia Not Dead 2p 171p*
25th May 2022 – Hehe – I’m not sure why I wrote ‘not dead’. I suppose it was a long drive. I was excited to be in the county of my team and to be going to see them play the following day. Here, we stayed with my Auntie Eileen and Uncle Dick, after them having stayed with us last week or so.
18th August 1979 Up until now because I’ll be giving Ipswich’s scores Ipswich 0-1 Forest – Boo Watched the match live. 2p 169p*
25th May 2022 – In East Anglia I remember being allowed to drink Cinzano, which was Eileen and Dick’s favourite tipple.
I also managed to convince my mum to buy the Sham 69 Hersham Boys 12″ which no one else was very impressed with but didn’t stop me from playing it. Especially showing these ‘old people’ how angry and mature I was by enjoying the beeped-out swearing on the live tunes.
We also went for a walk across a heath with lots of brackens and their old dog trailing behind. But the football match that I was so excited about I don’t remember a thing, except perhaps, being disappointed at losing.
The other time I saw them, they lost too and that trend continued many a time I went to watch the Swans play in Sydney too. There was a very big difference in the atmosphere at matches between English football and Aussie Rules.
In England there was always a tension, a palpable possibility of violence, not even my mum could protect me from. In Australia, everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy watching the sport. Overzealous fans tend to be frowned upon. There is also no separation for supporters because it just isn’t necessary. Fans would poke gentle fun at each other, that was as violent as I ever saw at a game. Even opposition fans could make me laugh when one time, Collingwood scored their first point and shouted ‘You’re losing, Sydney!’
Record of the week: Squeeze – Up The Junction Highest entry: Amii Stewart – Light My Fire
3rd May 2022 – What the world never needed. A disco version of Light My Fire. At least it’s not got Jim Morrison singing it, I suppose! Squeeze – when New Wave still had potential. Great storytelling songwriting performance. It’s hard to comprehend the deep meaning songs like this held, as part of our cultural growth, the collective zeitgeist for those exposed to it and how, now, it’s forgotten and meaningless. Or it feels that way at least. But maybe I’m just in a funny mood.
I think about the impact I might’ve had on some of the people I’ve come across in my life and some days it feels like that moment may have disappeared forever, ineffective, meaningless. Then on other days, I consider how every little bit counts, that they may not be specifically recalled but one’s actions always have an effect, no matter how trivial and small.
I guess I’m projecting what I’ve been reading today back onto this time and a song by Squeeze!
17th June 1979 Dunno 2p 2p
18th June 1979 Rubbish day – really crap! 2p
3rd May 2022 – If I could go back in time, I would slap myself and tell myself to write more detail!
19th June 1979 Boiling hot, as it has been recently But there’s a LOW coming 2p
3rd May 2022 – I was watching some video recently about the foibles of the English and one point was that we always talk about the weather, not just as small talk but as main conversation points. Of course, you can analyse all the possible reasons for this but my main thought was that this doesn’t seem to be an idiosyncrasy peculiar to the English.
20th June 1979 Er.Hum.Er.Yes.Er.Erm.Um.In one word Dunno 2p 11p
3rd May 2022 – I can hear this only spoken in an English accent. Imagine Basil Fawlty. I feel comfortable enough to make this stereotype.
21st June 1979 1. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell 2. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric? 3. Roxy Music – Dance Away 4. Blondie – Sunday Girl 5. Earth Wind and Fire – Boogie Wonderland 2p
22nd June 1979 Seemed pretty long and hot. Went t’ chiropodist got another pad 2p 2p
23rd June 1979 1 year, 1 month, 17 days since Ipswich won the cup. 2p 30p*
Record of the week: Roxy Music – Dance Away Highest entry: Blondie – Sunday Girl – 10
24th Mar 2022 – When I saw this Roxy Music song here, the tune popped into my head and I thought, I hate this song! Something about it must have caught my interest. I was still into Blondie though I didn’t explore their releases after Parallel Lines. It got a bit too slick, though Union City Blue was ok.
13th May 1979 Feel sick Found out what was at number 1
14th May 1979 Still feel sick
15th May 1979 Don’t feel as sick as yesterday Rangers 0-0 Hibs 2p 123p
24th Mar 2002 – Such a sickly boy. Ipswich were my main team but in the Scottish League, I supported Rangers, because they also wore blue. Scottish games were never shown on TV so I could only follow them by watching out for the results on TV on Saturdays or perhaps reading results in my grandparent’s newspaper.
16th May 1979 I wish Bright Eyes would budge now European Cup Winners Cup Final Barcelona 4-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf
24th Mar 2022 – I really wanted Pop Muzik to get to number one. It almost seems inconceivable these days that a song could keep selling more copies week after week. I think Pop Muzik is more likely to be heard than Bright Eyes, in other contexts now, such as movies, soundtracks or TV shows – if I may be allowed to reduce cultural attache like that. Bright Eyes was a real downer of a song.
17th May 1979 1. Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes 2. M – Pop Muzik 3. Boney M – Holiday 4. Abba – Does Your Mother Know 5. Peaches and Herb – Reunited 2p
18th May 1979 More drama in Soap 2p
19th May 1979 Found out that Ipswich are in Europe
24th Mar 2022 – This current wonder of the internet tells me that Ipswich came 6th in the league which means they would play in the UEFA Cup the following season.
18th February 1979 No 5th Round Matches on yesterday Them lot came round today BLURP! BLURP!
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 1 Ipswich P-P Bristol Rovers BLURP
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 Allenborne
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 1 Everton 0-1 Ipswich First time we’ve beat Everton in 13 years Top: Liverpool Heyy!
31st December 1978 Snow started falling yesterday HEYY!
2nd Aug 2021 – My first memory of snow, though it is likely I experienced it previously when I lived in Cumbria. About 4 or 5 feet of snow fell over a few days and hung around for ages as the temperature stayed around freezing. I built huge camps by the garden hedge, reenacting great trench warfare battles with pine cones as grenades. My machine gun also finding the target of the British soldiers. As with football teams, I always sided with the team in blue, obviously not knowing the real history behind the wars. It also made me want to side with the underdog and to try to appreciate the other side of a story. This was probably helped along by a continual stream of British movies celebrating victory against all odds, an attempt to counter the decline of the Empire since the end of the second world war.
My brief research indicates that there was snow around Dorset until February at least. A child’s dreamland!
2nd Aug 2021 – That’s Kenny Everett and Rod Stewart – and this is what people looked like in 1979! Other guests were Leo Sayer and Hot Gossip. Punk had definitely not gone mainstream yet!
2nd January 1979 Tried some tricks with rubber bands HEYY!
2nd Aug 2021 – Not sure what I was doing with rubber bands here but my mum taught me how to tie rubber bands together to make them longer. In summer I would tie four together and shoot dead the flies that had come in through the open windows during the day. Their blood-splattered remains smeared across the walls and ceiling.
3rd January 1979 I rolled a snowball about 3 feet high but later I smashed it with Kung Fu kicks
3rd Aug 2021 – Kung Fu was a pretty popular TV series and I was always in awe of when the guy gripped the molten pot that burned images of a dragon and lion onto his arms. I think I checked out the show again a few years ago and like many things, it’s best left good in the memory of the past. Looking for the attached picture tells me the show has been revived this year. Hmmm….could be good. Could be terrible.
4th January 1979 ‘Blue Peter’ were talking about diaries HEYY!
3rd Aug 2021 – No one who saw it at the time will ever forget Peter Purves exclaiming ‘What a lovely pair of knockers!’ about a couple of door handles. A further search for this has the phrase spoken by Simon Groom – see how fallible our memories can be?
5th January 1979 I found out that Saturday’s match wasn’t on HEYY What do you mean Heyy
3rd Aug 2021 – I was writing HEY on most pages of my diary because I loved watching Happy Days and also thought the Fonz was so cool. It was as close as a prepubescent could get to being a potential rebel. It was the nearest we got to seeing punk rock on the TV most weeks. I notice most of my diary this week revolves around TV. At this time we cherished these shows as they mostly were only on once a week and life was planned around things you wanted to watch.
On Saturday’s I would usually play football for the school team – I was centre forward, wishing to emulate my heroes Trever Whymark and Paul Mariner. Talking of which, as previously mentioned I think I also asked the hairdresser to cut my hair like the Fonz – which also never worked out well for me or the hairdresser.
I think in this case the match I was talking about was the Ipswich game as this would have still been school holiday time.
6th January 1979 Ipswich P-P Carlisle BLURP!
3rd Aug 2021 – Ipswich had won the FA Cup last year and I believe did very well in 1979 too, winning the Cup Winners Cup and possibly the First Division (though that may have been in the following couple of years). These were days before big sponsorship deals and the names of the competition changing every year depending on who provided the money.