Saturday 1 February 1986

Some confusion in the 16 year old’s diary.  I noted that we had a match this week, but then I had scrubbed it out with a note to the effect that we had played the week before.  It was therefore, a quiet day.  I noted with disgust that Liverpool had lost 2-1 away to Ipswich Town.  The weather was very windy, cold etc.  So no change there!  Telly not much good, but there is football on tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday 2 February 1986

Right.  Before you all start, this is not pretty and there’s no other way of putting it.  It may or may not flavour your opinion of me in a favourable light, so here goes…

“Ha Ha – Man Utd lost 2-1 to W.Ham on ITV.  And that **ss*r Robson went off injured again – Ha ha ha!!!”

On my paper round I had a good morning, collecting £108 and we had some rain and snow, but the snow didn’t stick.

Monday 3 February 1986

Uh-oh look out.  There’s a bit of teenage politics going on on this diary entry.  First of all there’s a comment on the weather – “Bl**dy hell it was cold today.”  Short sharp and to the point, just like the frost I’d say.

Anyway, back to the politics.  I went to a village seconday school – quite a large one, with a wide geographical spread of pupils.  I’ve alluded to this already by mention of the early darts that some of my schoolmates got when anything like bad weather was in the offing.  In the nearest large town there were at least 5 other secondary schools – yet quite a few kids travelled out to our school – and the came through the village where I lived.  So you can imagine my disgust when I got on the bus to go home and discovered 3 (three) “townies” on the back seat.  Pah!  I probably didn’t do an awful lot about, save mutter ferociously under my breath and sit somewhere else.  Soft sh*te.

At school, I handed in my Chemistry book – or at least I would have if my friend had remembered to bring it in (don’t know why he had it, perhaps we had a bit of an homework-network going on) – and if the bag who taught us Chemistry had been there.  I also checked my exam entries and signed to acknowledge that they were correct.

Tuesday 4 February 1986

I got up late this morning.  I can’t remember what my usual getting up time was, but 7.15 was late.  To compensate, I probably got dressed into my school uniform to do my papers, instead of changing into them afterwards.

In a shock result, Aston Villa beat Aresnal at Highbury by a score of 2-1.  Apart from this little nugget, the day was cold and boring.  I had almost finished my English Lit essay – which piece of literature, I cannot remember.  I know that we did a folder based course for Eng.Lit.  We covered enough pieces of work to enable us to write a minimum of 15 essays, with a minimum quantities of prose, poetry, drama etc.  My favourite piece of work was probably Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the story of the Salem Witch hunt and trials in the late 17th century.  It wasn’t made clear to us at the time – like we would have understood anyway – but Miller wrote the work as an allegory to the 1950’s anti-Communist purges by Senator John McCarthy.

Wednesday 5 February 1986

What is wrong with me?  Not content with a lie in until 7.15, this morning I didn’t rise until 7.20.  I must’ve really had to rush today!  I just hope that everybody received the correct newspaper.  If you didn’t, then I am sorry.  Can you imagine getting the Daily Mail when you’re expecting the Daily Mirror?  Ooh, the shock of it.  Having to read that rag… Eurgh.

There were more bl**dy townies on the back seat.  I have to explain, that the back seat represented a sort of holy grail for us – there was quite a rigid pecking order, 5th years at the back, then 4th years, 3rd years and so on.  These interlopers, whilst although 5th years and quite entitled to sit there, were just that – interlopers, and as such should have sat elsewhere.  But it’s over twenty years ago, so I guess I should just get over it, huh?  You bet – in fact I have, I’m just faithfully reporting the diary of a 16 year old kid I once knew.

Thursday 6 February 1986

It was very, very, very cold today.  The nights may be been getting shorter, but boy was it cold.  We were warmed by another installment of BlackAdder II on BBC1 in the evening.  We were starting to get in the thick of it wrt exams.  Today for example, we received the dates for our German exams.  And I had an essay to write on the German School system.  If I remember, we had at least two essays to write and learn for the exam.  The examiner would pick one at random in the exam, we’d recite it and then answer questions on it.  In German, obviously.  Doh!

Friday 7 February 1986

Another day another dollar.  Today though was very, very, very, very cold.  That’s an extra very since yesterday.  But no more school for 2 days – every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.  There was bad news regarding another townie infestation of the back seat, and SHOOT! magazine came today.  I can’t remember when it should have arrived, but it must’ve been late for me to have commented.

Saturday 8 February 1986

Shrewsbury Town lost 3-0 at home versus Norwich, it was bleedin’ cold – so much so that it snowed at the match.  The author bought a Valentine’s card (to send it to himself…??? ho ho he he).  Well no actually, I did have someone in mind to send it to and I was going to trust to the Royal Mail rather than hand delivering it – well, she may have seen me and that just wouldn’t do.  More later – like next week sometime.

At some stage I did some homework including finishing my English essay, you know the one I mentioned the other day.

Sunday 9 February 1986

Sunday was the annual journey to Anfield for Man Utd.  Screened at 3pm on BBC the game finished 1-1, with John Wark getting Liverpool’s goal, and I-neither-know-nor-care-who scoring for the opposition.  We went out to Aunty *****’s for lunch although we made it home in time for the game.

As was common in these games at this time, Liverpool were, so I report all over em in the second half and should of (sic) won.  Of course the tide seems to have turned nowadays and it’s the other way round.

Monday 10 February 1986

Bl**dy cold again, I report.  I handed in my shiny new English essay and actually did some work on my next one, which I noted was on D H Lawrence’s Odour of Chrysanthemums.  Talk about gearing up (natch, panicking) for the end of school.  Like I say, we had 15 essays to write – this one must have been something daft like number 12 or 13.  Anway, back to Odour of Chyrsanthemums… don’t know if you’ve read much Lawrence, but I do have to say this, it’s not all about swearing, far from it, as I think this short story demonstrates.

A miner’s wife is waiting for him to come home from work.  As it’s payday, she’s not expecting him anytime soon – he’ll be at the pub spending his hard earned.  Of course as she hears all the other men coming home, she starts to get agitated about his return.  He’ll be drunk, she’s not got enough money to last the week etc… Only, he doesn’t come home, well not walking… or breathing even – there’s been an accident at the mine.  It’s a powerful piece of work, it had quite an effect on me at 16 – I’ve precised it from memory without cheating and looking on wikipedia or similar.