Monday 1 February 1988

After those last four days off instead of the ususal two, plus of course the heady delights (such as they were) of the long trip down to Plymouth, Monday at college came as quite a shock.  In my diary I also reiterated that I simply had not been doing enough work towards my A Levels.  This evening I was struggling with a ‘simple’ problem.  What the problem was is totally irrelevant.  The real issue is with my oft spouted promise that I would ‘make up for lost time’.  I was going to do it during ‘the fallow times of break and lunch.’  Yeah right!  I really did use the term ‘fallow times’ and yes, we really have heard it all before.

Tuesday 2 February 1988

Today’s entry is relatively positive one.  First of all, I had built an amplifier in Physics, increasing a voltage of 50mV (fifty milli-volts or fifty thousandths of a volt) up to a whopping 2.5V an amplification of 50 times.  Of course I cannot remember what the voltage of a circuit actually represents anymore – I wasn’t that sure at the time, although I do remember that very high voltages are not necessarily dangerous but relatively low currents (measured in Amps) can kill.  I was then about to head off on a rant about Maths – ‘had a bollocking…’ but then checked myself and described the events of the lesson as a ‘gentle reminder.’

Wednesday 3 February 1988

Poor little lamb.  I played rugby today on a bog – the pitch really was more mud and water than grass.  No record of the result, but we more than likely lost.  In other, related, news I reported / complained / commented that I was ‘slowly losing grip on myself’ and that couldn’t find the time for homework (actually revision for my A Levels) because I was always too tired.  I can’t think why, as I never did any work.

Thursday 4 February 1988

A very sad entry in today’s space in my diary. I was shocked and horrified to hear that our milkman, with whom my brother worked on a Saturday, was killed on Tuesday when his float was hit by a lorry as he trundled his way back to the diary after his shift.  I’m not 100% sure, but I think that I recall that there was a negligence case for the driver to answer.  The milkman’s death was a real shame as he was a well loved and extremely popular chap.

I college news, I noted that Physics was ‘quite OK’ after a period of quiet reflection on my part.  Maths was boring and so too was Industrial Studies.  So, very little (or even no) change there then.

Friday 5 February 1988

So, moving swiftly on… today was Friday day of days.  Ish.  At least I wasn’t in college today as I was visiting a polytechnic.  ‘A what?’ I hear you all cry.  That’s right, a polytechnic, a fine upstanding provider of tertiary education.  Coventry Poly to be precise.  I had already managed to fulfill the requirements of UCCA (the Universities Central Council on Admissions) by getting my application off to them on time.  Now I was in the business (in my snobby view) of going through the motions of applying to up to four polytechnics.  I had no intention of going to a poly – heaven forbid – but the advice was to apply (you never know) and in any case, the process promised the odd day off college.

Anyway, I bumped into one of my colleagues from sixth form at Birmingham New Street and learned that he was going in the same direction so we naturally(?) tagged along together.  I was a strange creature at this time of my life and although I knew this lad, for the life of me I’d hardly describe him as a mate (nor him me), but here we were off on our jolly jape to Coventry Poly.  I can’t remember much of Coventry Poly’s Civil Engineering Dept, but I do know that I arrived back in Shrewsbury at 3:40 and took the 4:15 bus home.  I then stayed up watching the first ever Comic Relief comedy money raising marathon until 2:30 the following morning.  And here’s me complaining of feeling tired…

Saturday 6 February 1988

No mention of college today, just the fact that I went to the match at Gay Meadow, Shrewsbury Town versus West Bromwich.  Suffice to say that WBA won by the solitary goal and it was an awful game, a game in which Shrewsbury ‘didn’t look like scoring.’  It’s a fact that I went to many of Shrewsbury’s games around this time as they fought to avoid relegation from the second division.  It’s equally true that I did this at the expense of my A levels – I seemed to forget that my mates with whom I went were actually working men by now, whereas I was still a student and I really needed to be at it with my books.  Oh well.  In the first division, Liverpool scored an oxymoronical goalless draw at home to West Ham.  Nearest challengers Nottingham Forest and Manchester United both won, thus cutting Liverpool’s lead at the top of the league to just 15 points with 15 games left.

Sunday 7 February 1988

Today was a ‘goodish day’ – I am guessing that I meant this in a weather-type context as I went on to describe that it rained in the afternoon but not in the morning.  Blah blah blah.  Let’s use my precious 14 square centimetres to talk about the weather.  The next bit is worthy of comment mind, as once again I report that I have ‘finished reorganising myself’ and I am now ‘ready to get stuck in to revising!’  Note the use of another task (that of reorganising) to keep myself busy and give the air of doing what I really needed to do without actually doing it.  Then the intention ‘to get stuck into revising.’    A classic procrastinator’s tactics.

Monday 8 February 1988

A red-letter day today.  Of course, I made no real and lasting use of it, in my way, but there you go.  My entry also shows my rampant inconsistency in terms of what happened and what I actually recorded.  To whit: I record that it was a ‘bloody awful day’, apparently because nothing happened(!?!).  I then go on to report that we won our quiz – that’s myself, a friend of mine and a first-year girl in our tutor group.  I described her as beautiful, as indeed she was.  In fact, she was so beautiful that I resolved to send her a Valentine’s Card – the big day was only 6 days away.  In Physics we started doing Nuclear Physics.  No doubt I would go on to forget most of what was recounted to us.

Tuesday 9 February 1988

O.H. D.E.A.R. P.A.R.E.N.T.S. E.V.E.N.I.N.G. Apart from exams, I suppose that this was the only reckoning that I was going to face for the complete lack of application to my studies over one full year and going on for half of a second academic year at Sixth Form.  Or not.  I went with my Mum and to honest it was no sweat if the truth be told.  She had no real inkling about studying for A Level, having basically let me get on with making my own choices and being fully supportive in them without having much to add by way of direction – and Dad too.  It was the same old same old.  I must apply myself and then I will pass.  I then made the promise to myself that I would do the work and then promptly moved on to report that Everton had beaten Middlesbro 2-1 in an FA Cup replay and would now play Liverpool at Goodison in the next round.

Wednesday 10 February 1988

Another day, another Poly.  This time it was Sheffield.  It was the coldest day that I can remember in a long time.  I’m not sure, but I may have had a lift from my Dad to Sheffield for this visit.  (I’m not 100% sure because I also went to look at Sheffield Uni and it may have been that day when I had a lift.)

It was so cold that we had snow on the way home – I specifically remember sitting on the train that I had changed onto at Stockport station waiting for the off and watching the flakes falling past the carriage window.  This was another occasion on which I met a ‘colleague’ from Sixth Form whilst being out and about.  Again, he was someone of whom I had limited knowledge and was able to chat to on the train, but in actual fact had nothing in common whatsoever save for the fact that we were both at the same Sixth Form College and curiously both have O Level German.  I knew this because I know (well, der!) that I have one, and he had told me that he’d travelled to see Sheffield Poly with a view to reading German there.  I’m no Sherlock Homes, but putting those two facts together was hardly rocket science.