Saturday 7 October 1989

Well, here we go again! Today was the day that I went back to Liverpool for my second year in University.

As had been the way of things in my first year, I would have had a lift from my Dad.  We would travel up the A49 from Shrewsbury, through Whitchurch before turning of just after Cuddington and heading off through the apparent maze of roads that made up Runcorn.  After the Runcorn Bridge it was an easy drive through Speke, on into the leafy suburb Allerton and thence to our house on the very edge of Toxteth.  Ooh, we knew how to live dangerously!

This was to be quite a year, and it started with me and six of my friends moving into a house after spending the first year in halls.  I am guessing that most, if not all, of us arrived throughout the course of this Saturday in early autumn prior to going out for an almighty session on the ale.  We were, of course, young men of the world… and that’s what young men of the world did…

Friday 13 October 1989

Well, between you and me, this week must have flown by in such a whirl as I did not make any entries since Saturday 7 October.

Today’s entry was by way of comment on the date, like er… Friday 13 October… and a note to the effect that I had withdrawn £50, of which £30 was spent on books, £10 on drink  and the weekend, with a further £10 put into our household kitty.

I can’t be bothered looking up the relevant stats, but back in the day we had £60 weekly to spend on the household necessities, like cheese, bread, frozen chips, tea, coffee, sugar, milk and the like.  I think that we did alright thank you very much.

Our rent was £79 per calendar month, each.  Sorry, but there was no reduction for the box room.

Sunday 29 October 1989

A dark day today. Well, a darker end to the afternoon at any rate, as British Summer Time ended at two o’clock this morning.

In other news, my friend and I went to Anfield to witness a 1-0 win over a dogged Spurs side.  John Barnes’ twenty-fifth minute goal was the difference.  By crikey, he was some player.

Monday 30 October 1989

Ouch! And again OUCH!

I woke up this morning with bad stomach pains.  I had registered at the University doctors so off I traipsed.  I then traipsed back again having been told that there was nowt wrong.  Just give it time…

And food, thought I. So I had the mother of all fry ups when it was offered at tea time.  Thing was though, this hearty eating nonsense had no effect whatsoever on my symptoms.

If anything, I felt worse… cold and shivery… slept with the electric bar heater on… very dangerous… rambling now…

(Was that suitably stoic or in the style of Scott?)

Tuesday 31 October 1989

And so, having avoided burning down the house, I woke this morning with worse pains than before.

This time, I was taken seriously by the University doctor’s and swiftly dispatched (ok, asked to walk round) to the Royal Liverpool Hospital.  At least they gave me a letter of introduction, so that was ok then.

Anyway, I digress (you may have noticed).  The diagnosis was suspected appendicitis. Have a couple of days in hospital under observation and we’ll see what happens…

Well at least I was in the right place if anything was going to go wrong…

But something had gone wrong already.  I had a ticket to go and watch Ben Elton doing stand up at the Liverpool Empire this evening… bugger, they’ll not let me out of here to watch that.

So, I suppose it was decent of all my mates to come round and see me, on their way to the gig.  At least the lad who had benefited from my misfortune had the decency to look sheepish.  (I sort of owed him one from the summer term previously, so I suppose karma had revealed her beautiful symmetry.)

The surprises hadn’t finished, nosiree!  The Mater and Pater made the journey from Shropshire to come and see their eldest and good on ’em!  The nursing staff were brilliant and even allowed them to come in after visiting hours, given the distance that they had travelled.

Thursday 2 November 1989

Well, well.  I was discharged this morning.

Obviously the policy of just keeping me in and starving me had worked.  I felt OK, but extremely hungry, having not eaten since that fry up on Monday night.

Upon my return home, I was greeted by a cold, quiet house.  The other two engineers had gone out.  One of the lawyers had gone out too.  The other two lawyers were still in bed.

The day petered out without further interest although being a Thursday… in 1989… we would have watched Top of the Pops… as I said, the day petered out.

The show was introduced by Anthea “(insert expletive)” Turner and Nick Berry’s much more talented brother, Andy Crane.  It featured such acts as Milli Vanilli, Mixmaster and  “(insert another expletive)” Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers.  For more information, do have a look at the entry in the TVRDb.com.

Sunday 5 November 1989

Another short diary piece here.  However, the story behind it is long and let’s not be coy, quite negative.  You might even say bitchy.

So, the entry,

Bollocks to you! Everton lost 6-2 vs Villa.

And now for the story behind it… well, in our house of six souls, we were grouped thus:

Three of us, including me, were Civil Engineers – see boring (an old Yellow Pages joke…).  The other three were Lawyers.  I got on perfectly well with everybody most of the time.

However, one individual, I need add no other detail than that, had the ability to wind me up something rotten.  To this day, I’m not sure that he did it on purpose or even if he knew that he was doing it.

Here are three, maybe four or five, reasons why he wound me up so much…

a) cheese.  I like cheese. Most people, unless they are lactose intolerant do too.  So did this lad.  Trouble as, he liked it a very lot.  He would eat cheese on toast for breakfast, dinner and tea if he could.  Of that I am sure.  The thing was, his cheese slicing skills were rudimentary at best.  So of course, his slices were more like wedges, or to be even more accurate, f***ing dirty great chunks of the stuff.  I think that you can guess the rest…

b) being pampered by his grandmother.  Ok, ok, there is envy at play here I am happy to admit.  But, try this.  We were all young lads of a certain age, living away from home.  Doing our own washing, probably for the first time.  Did we have a washing machine in our house.  Of course not, we had the launderette just across the road.  A two minute walk. Now, this lad’s grandmother lived reasonably locally so she would pop in for his laundry.  All fine, not a problem.  Until I found out that she was taking it to the launderette to do it for him.  Get that… She. Was. Taking. It. To. The. Launderette.

c) shared bills.  Much like the way that we shared our food shopping, we also shared our bills – gas, electricity and phone.  Now the phone was simple enough, we had no scope for any sort of argument there – it was incoming calls only, so no issue.  However, the use of gas and electricity was a different matter.  One incident comes to mind.  It was winter, I guess, so he had his gas fire on.  No problem there, that’s what happens in winter.  However, when I walked past his open door I noticed that his window was also wide open (fire blazing).  “How come you’ve got your fire on and the window and door open”, say I.

“It’s too hot in here”, responds he.

“Well, why don’t you turn your fr***in’ fire off then, eh?” was my reasoned reply.

d) football.  Lad was an Everton fan; I was a Liverpool fan (still am).  Domestically, the two teams had been going neck and neck in the mid- to late-eighties.  He gloated over Liverpool’s 0-1 reversal to Coventry City from yesterday.  I let him have it back with both barrels following Aston Villa’s fine win over the blues.  All’s, fair in love war and football and to be brutal, he was particularly clueless…

So there you go.  Here’s me, coming up to twenty years old behaving like a right mardy mare.  I had a lot of growing up to do…