Friday January 29th, 2016

I was up at the crack of 8:30am to watch Andy Murray winning his Australian Open semi final match against the giant Canadian Milos Raonic who, at 6’5″, could have had a career cleaning 2nd floor windows without a ladder.

The match went on for over 4 hrs but finished just in time for me to have a shower and get off for my usual Friday afternoon and evening visits.

First up, I popped into my local Subway to bring lunch to my friend Barbara who is disabled and can’t get out of her house.  We had steak and cheese subs but the coffee machine was on the blink so she had a can of diet coke and I had a hot chocolate.


After lunch and a bit of a chat, it was 3pm and time for her to go for a nap and for me to get off to my next Friday “date”, an evening with Daphne and Stephen and a Chinese supper followed by a movie.


Back in 1970, I was still making tentative plans for going to England to get a summer job to make enough money to go for a holiday to the US.  I’ve no memory of planning to work in the US but my diary entry for today states that I got a letter saying I couldn’t get a US Work Permit unless I was at University or a College of Further Education.

Maybe I wanted to stay longer in the US and do a bit of casual work to make that possible.

This is why I’m enjoying reading the diary as most of the entries are news to me !

Being in the Upper Sixth and with “A” Level exams looming, I only had a few classes per day and so I spent many hours in the school library trying to study.  Another entry for today says some boys were messing around with Paul Keaney‘s sheath knife “when the inevitable happened and James McMichael had his hand slashed and had to go to Martina”.

Now Martina was Sister Martina, the nun who was our first port of call for medical matters.  I know, right.  A school full of boys going through everything from puberty to acne to….well you can imagine, and we have to go first to a nun !

She and her predecessor, Sister Oliver, had one remedy for everything from nettle rash to decapitation, namely lashings of iodine.  Clearly they believed this stuff had been blessed by The Pope and was a miracle cure all. Visitors would look in a mix of astonishment and sympathy as they’d see purple skinned boys wandering around the school like extras from “Braveheart“.

The 29th being a Thursday, we got to watch Top of the Pops and on it were Blodwyn Pig, Jethro Tull, Brotherhood of Man, Chicago, Shocking Blue, Edison Lighthouse, Canned Heat, Bad Finger, Jonathon King and Mary Hopkin.

Here is the performance of Shocking Blue from that very episode.


Back to the present and my Chinese and a Movie evening. I’d enjoyed my meal so much last Friday that I ordered the same again……Chinese roast pork in OK sauce with thin noodles.  Yum.  Then we settled down for the movie, and this is usually when one of the two cats will come up onto my lap to watch with me.

It’s usually Froggie who is about 46 and has no internal organs. When you pick her up, she weights almost nothing, your hands almost meet despite her body being in between them and she has no discernible heartbeat. Still, she’s a lovely old cat and keeps me company as I doze off during the movie !

Tonight it was Wendy who got onto my lap first which made Froggie go off to curl up by a radiator, her favourite spot in the winter.  Wendy is still kitten-like and never stays long in one place. She is, however, rather cute and I managed to get a photo of her before the movie started.


We watched “Bridge Of Spies” starring Tom Hanks and having seen it before, I have to admit I did doze off a couple of times.  We had an interval as usual when the ice creams got handed out although I do think that at such times, Daphne should stick to tradition and enter the room as a proper usherette.

I’ll work on it.

1956, advert, Eldorado, ice cream, food, sepia photo, cinema

I think “Bridge Of Spies” was a success and even Daphne managed to follow the plot, despite, by her own admission, being confused by most movies that aren’t made by Disney !  Maybe our Friday sessions are finally paying dividends.



I’m almost at the end of “Treasure Island” now and woohooo to that.  I’m more than ready to start a new book and I think I’ll go back to Ken Follett before my next classic.  I’m still trying to read all of his Century trilogy but keep getting stuck on the first one, “Fall Of Giants” which has more characters than inhabitants of Lichtenstein.

I’ve started it 3 times now and haven’t got anywhere near half way and given my memory for names, I have to start from the beginning again each time.  Very tedious.

But after struggling with Treasure Island, I’m going to give it my best this time.

Then as I went to bed, I heard that snow was being forecast for tomorrow.

I can’t wait.


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