Wednesday 30 July 1986

No mention of that word today you’ll be pleased to learn.  No, today I was indulging in a spot of retail therapy – I withdrew £25 from my savings account in order to have some money for camping and also to buy presents for my mum and my sister who both have birthdays in August.  And wait, it gets better – I bought my mum a bike rack!  My total fund for camping now stood at £35.

Monday 28 July 1986

As expected, Thompson won the Decathlon – the margin of his victory was 490 points (8663 v 8173) from Dave Steen of Canada.  As for me and my life, well it was (predictably) ‘boring because it rained all day.’  I must’ve been getting over that stage in any young boy’s life when they want to go outside and play when it rains and stay in and watch TV when the sun shines.

Sunday 27 July 1986

Now this was the year of the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, don’t know if you remember?  According to my diary I paid it no heed at all until today, but I know for a fact that I would have been glued to the telly watching it.  In point of fact, the games had started on 24 July and would run until 2 August and were plagued by political controversy as many African, Asian and Caribbean countries boycotted the event due to the Thatcher Government’s attitude towards sporting contact with the then outcast (due to its system of Apartheid), South Africa.

But enough of that nonsense, today was the day when the Decathlon started and that meant only one man – Daley Thompson.

Wednesday 23 July 1986

We slept in the tent again.  Me, my friend and his brother were the human occupants and Auntie’s dog also joined us.  I remember telling anyone who’d listen for days, weeks, months and years afterwards about the fact that the dog seemed to expand as the night progressed.  She started off occupying a decent enough space – she was a black lab, but by morning seemed to be all over the place.  Before sleep eventually came, we had treated ourselves to coffee, sandwiches and chocolate.

Tuesday 22 July 1986

We collected the tent and straightaway had a trial erection in the back garden. Of the tent! Look if you’re going to read everything with that sort of slant well I’m sorry this isn’t the sort of thing for you to be reading… LOL!

The tent was, and I quote, ‘damn easy to put up.’ Once it was up (in the back garden), we did what all boys of a certain age should do – yes that’s right, we had an overnight-er in it. I didn’t note who, but I’m presuming that it was my brother and our friend who joined me in it. In a shocking disregard for our need for sleep (isn’t being a teenager just MAD eh?), we didn’t go tot sleep until 12.30am!