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…

Monday 6 November 1989

If you have studied my 1986 diary in any great detail, like you would, then you will know that my life at the time revolved around two things.

The first being the avoidance of doing any school / college (and by extension, university) work until absolutely necessary.  The second, football.  This diary entry encapsulates me in around eight words.

Went to lecture – ok

Went for game of football.

Of course at this age, you could add drinking into the equation, for that, there’s always tomorrow

Tuesday 7 November 1989

Tonight, we went out for a drink.  I didn’t have much.

Innocent words, but probably worth taking notice off as the usual thing was to go out and get absolutely bladdered.  I put this down to a number of things, not least, and you need to bear with me here, the exuberance of youth.  You might well ask, “why not do something constructive to utilise this exuberance?”  Well, that’s where football came in.

No, drinking offered me a vital commodity, one know as Dutch courage. Again, you might have a question, “what would a young nineteen-, almost twenty-year-old need by way of Dutch courage?”  Especially one with a slew of O Levels and a clutch of A Levels.  Well, in a nutshell, it’s that ‘c’ word, confidence.

But I obviously didn’t need much tonight, hence the comment in my diary.

Wednesday 8 November 1989

Another short entry, grief I was good at this wasn’t I?  (Rhetorical!)

After a hard day at it, studying was such hard work, tonight we stayed in a watched the boxing.  I made no note at the time regarding who it was, but the tiniest amount of internet research has revealed to me that we must have watched highlights (we may even have watched live) from a couple of bouts from Wembley’s Grand Hall.

The top of the bill was Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley’s split decision victory over his challenger for the IBF flyweight title, Filipino Dodie Boy Penalosa. Also on the bill was Duke McKenzie, from whom, McAuley had won his title five months earlier.

Thursday 9 November 1989

This entry forms the last one for a while.  Again, it’s short, pithy and I think bang on the money.  Of course, there’s a story to go with it, so let’s just quote the entry, then I’ll share…

Had my bike nicked by some Scouse Bandit!*

What’s not to comment on eh?  I was a student from Shropshire, studying in Liverpool.  In actual fact, it could have been any other large city, but I had chosen Liverpool. Prior to leaving for University way back in September 1988, I had lived a most sheltered existence.

This made me as naive as naive could be.  I was also quite materialistic in my outlook on life. This combination then, of my naivety and materialism, lead me to chain up my brand new bike to some railings outside the entrance to the Civil Engineering Department on this Thursday morning.

I attended my Thursday morning lectures, then headed off to the pub for a liquid lunch, after which I rolled back for the afternoon’s lecture.  Having imbibed I was a little obfuscated then, when I saw a gap in the railings between a couple of other bikes where mine had been previously.  My bike was there, wasn’t it? Hang on, does this mean that someone has nicked it? If so how so… I chained it up.

Of course the mystery was soon solved.  The chattering classes were in the common room and of course they had seen a white van pull up, two blokes jump out replete with bolt cutters and… well, you can work out the rest.

I remember the interview with the policeman at the station when I reported it missing.  He didn’t actually say it, but the inference and his body language was “Why did you bring a brand new bike into the city and expect to keep it for more than a couple of weeks you thick yokel?!”

*When I say Scouse bandit, I’m not exactly making an unfounded general accusation am I?  I mean, this was in the centre of Liverpool.  If it had been in Newcastle, then the term used would have been Geordie Bandit.  You. Get. My. Point.

Sunday 26 November 1989

Not a diary entry as such.  Just a note to the effect that I attended Liverpool versus Arsenal at Anfield.

This was the first league meeting of the teams since Arsenal had won 2-0 at Anfield to win the League Title at the end of the previous season.

On this occasion though, goals from Steve McMahon and John Barnes were enough to see off the challenge from North London.  Alan Smith scored the Arsenal goal.