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Category: Teenage Diary

Austria here I come!

23rd July 198..

Today’s the day. Austria here I come. Up bright and early to travel to Leeds in the car to catch the train which was dead on time!! I sat next to a girl whi didn’t speak, and opposite an Austrian and her friend and they didn’t speak. In London we went by tube (just managing to get past the ticket collector) to a hotel done like one in the Wild West where we met more people and had horrible breaded fish and chips a Northerner in the South and ice cream. Then we got a train to Gatwick (we left our luggage in London) that’s a bit worrying. I talked to a boy a knew by sight from the Grammar School who had a horn with him car horn? French horn? bull’s horn? I sat next to the Austrian girl on the plane presumably in further silence and the flight didn’t bother me at all and was a bit boring. A bus took us from plane to airport, I found my suitcase after a long wait, then on a coach to Graz with a very pleasant girl chatty presumably and a funny Austrian student to talk to. I met Gunter my exchange partner who had already stayed with me, and whom I didn’t like very much as we had nothing in common and only his mother in Graz at 9pm-ish. Their house is marvellous it was.

Brief Explanations

I need to open up the last blog post from my Teenage Diary. Jeremy was my best friend throughout my Secondary School. He was one of the funniest people I have ever met, and constantly reduced me to tears of laughter. We would sit at the back of the classroom and mess around, though we both worked. I remember one time (April Fool’s Day?) when we were in different classes – we had to choose between Physics and Biology, and Jeremy did the former and myself the latter – I went into the Physic’s lesson without my school blazer or tie, and Jeremy introduced me to Mr Linton the teacher, as being his German exchange student Fritz. We sat at the back of the class with me saying Ja ja ja a lot (we were both studying German needless to say) and Jeremy chanting: Who won the War? We won the War! At the end of the lesson, one of the class members overheard the teacher saying “that poor kid was crucified”.

Jeremy had quite liberal, academic and in hindsight rather eccentric parents. Utterly different to mine own. His father was a teacher and the four children all had names beginning with J. I think Jeremy is now a teacher. The irony. I remember he went off to see one of the Emmanuelle series (soft porn cinema film rated X) and later told his Mum who laughed.

So ringing up a photography business and trying to arrange a photograph session with a dog and two gerbils, or a dog grooming business asking if they could do something fancy for his Afghan was the height of hilarity for us teenagers.

As for the beauty pamphlets, well…this was our English Teacher. Looking back as an adult now, I still can’t quite figure her out, other than she was probably a lonely woman. And writing this now, out of respect to her I am not going to say any more. Children can be so cruel.

Torments and jokes

22nd July 198..

Decided to meet Jeremy this afternoon, so of course I had a morning of torment as usual, Mum was washing. That sentence leaves me quite speechless bringing back many a memory of the torments of Washing Day. The highlight of the morning was going to get a newspaper for Pop and an Aero for Mum! After lunch, went in to town and got a bit of shopping for mother before going around to Jeremy’s. Started by reading`The Courrier’ no idea what this was and ended up by ringing people. He rang up Voltans Photography and said he wanted a dog and two gerbils photographed together but burst out laughing. Then he rang a [dog] grooming place and asked if they could do something fancy for an Afghan I am struggling to type now as I am laughing so much remembering this – we were best friends. Then it was a Foreign Language school but the number was wrong and he chatted to a lady (a housewife I suppose) for ten minutes. Last he rang a beauty parlour and some leaflets are being sent to Mrs D Smith, 18 W**** T****! He’ll regret it! This needs explaining in full in another post.

Preparations

21st July 198..

I have been sleeping rather badly lately, perhaps because I am thinking about my adventure in two days time when I leave for Austria. My brother rang up this morning which was a relief for mum. Finished off my packing this morning this packing is epic so I will have nothing to do tomorrow. Mum tried to ring up the new next-door neighbours to see if they got their milk but couldn’t get through so she went to clean the windows outside! Met Dad in town and was three minutes late so his first words were “You’re late!”. I could have hit him. Anyway I got £40 worth of Traveller’s Cheques and some change and then I got a passport wallet which I can slip on a belt. After all that I met Jeremy best friend and bad influence. His mum and dad and sister are in France the thought of my parents ever going abroad and leaving meunthinkable on so many levels so he was doing his shopping in Marks and Spencer’s. I was likewise of course! my mother would not shop anywhere else Anna wrote him a letter saying she didn’t think they ought to see each other till September! Oh well, I’m going to see him in town tomorrow.

Life In A Nutshell

This entry says so much about my family, I was quite taken aback when I read it.

20th July 198..

Woke up fairly early but didn’t get up until nine o’clock when mum (sic) rushed in the room screaming why weren’t my curtains open as they should be at half past eight and everyone (i.e. one neighbour) would think I was extremely lazy. Received a letter from Janet at last! She also wrote to Mum and Dad thanking them for the cards. She is getting married in March. I am almost completely packed now believe it or not. Mum went in to town at lunchtime and I watched “She” on the television which was fun. I also got a letter from the A.S.A. (Advertising Standards Authority) saying the complaint had been discussed with the result that it was thought to be a disturbing advert but one which would not have any other effects I vaguely remember this – I think it was a newspaper advert with a photo of blindfolded man about to shoot himself in the head, and for some reason I wrote off to the A.S.A about it. The new next door neighbours moved in this morning. My brother came about five and played some music. After supper Dad sat down and accused him of wasting two years, as has now tried for job in the Social Services. He stormed out. My other brother is going to ring him.

How old?

19th July 198..

Dad took Pop out for a drive this morning which left Mum and I alone in the house (eek!) for the morning. As Anne (my piano tutor – an acutely shy girl) is on holiday I didn’t have a piano lesson so was able to listen to all of “The Archers” in peace and read the magazines and reviews (17 years old going on 57 years old…). Then around lunchtime (I sense the peace isn’t going to last…) Mum started on at me about getting a proper wallet to keep my money in which led me around to getting ready to go. So I made a great list (does that mean a long list or a stupendous one?) out of everything to be packed and did as much as I could so I’m about 3/4 ready (was that mother’s actual devious plan for me to achieve?). Dad couldn’t find my passport and as he had cleared his draw out yesterday or some time so I had visions of it being in the dustbin (always looking on the bright side). I couldn’t sleep for worrying about it and then at 11 o’clock (morning or evening?) Mum came upstairs and found it in her dressing-table drawer! I’ve put labels on my suitcase and have to get a wallet and films tomorrow.

Friends

18th July 198..

Toddled off in to town this morning fairly early as mother wanted me to pick up a lamb shoulder from the market butcher the since demolished beautiful indoor market replaced with ghastly shopping centre half full of empty retail spaces. I presume we will eat it tomorrow. Went to the card gallery card shop where Jane and Anna school friends were both working. Jane’s French friend had gone home yesterday. Anna said she had been working in the members’ canteen at the Yorkshire Show note I had no job – too busy being sent on errands by my mother probably. She also said she had been to see ‘S.O.B.’ a film in which Julie Andrews swore I seem to remember with Jeremy my best secondary school friendwere they going out with each other? but didn’t enjoy it that much and in future will only go to films she really wants to see!! Jeremy didn’t want to see that film (or ‘Tess’) so I know whose sic the loss! After fish and chips for lunch REAL fish and chips I had a boring afternoon but bought a puzzle magazine life on the edge from Mannings you see- I said they were the newsagents which wasn’t much good. This evening I had my hair cut and washed it. I now look as if I have a square head my mother used to cut my hair and inevitably it ended in tears or a shouting match. What was wrong with the barbers??? I must sought out traveller’s cheques next week, Dad’ll ring bank.

Worries

The excitement of the Yorkshire Show is over. Where can my life possibly go next? Let’s find out…

16th July 198..

A week to go and I will be off to Austria! I went on an exchange with the Anglo-Austrian Society if it still exists. The Austrian boy had already stayed with us. We weren’t the best of friends. Got a letter from Gunter Austrian boy this morning which took 3 days to get here, his last took 12 days! He siad my German was very good I didn’t speak a word of German when eventually I got there with hardly any mistakes. Simon called round in the morning to see if I wanted to go for a walk with him and Kim I still have no recollection of that dog which I did. Went round the Stray (see photo above) where he couldn’t get the collar back on her and she got quite visious (sic) but he didn’t help matters much nothing judgemental there – my mother’s son. Arrived home to find Mum had sorted my medical almost. A full one costs £15 so she rang Mrs Johnson neighbour who couldn’t help couldn’t help what?? and Mr Stamp my German teacher at school who said I would probably just need a general one. So I have an appointment with our doctor those were the days for next week at 9.10am. Mr Stamp also said £30 would cover me to take to Austria well that would be £130 nowadays Gunter hadn’t answered that question in his letter. Didn’t do anything much for the rest of the day! (& evening!).

The Great Yorkshire Show

Well, the hen interlude meant you were all hanging off the edges of your seats in anticipation of what happened when I did got to the Yorkshire Show. Hold onto your hats…

15th July 198..

Today I went to the Yorkshire Show with Simon. First thing went to get a paper for Pop and some bacon for mother note `mother’ – not my mother, or Mum. Mr and Mrs Manning are still working in the grocer’s in my memory the Mannings ran the newsagents – what grocer’s? no matter. Set off at ten to the Show which was very full. Cost £4.50 to get in! It’ll cost £29.00 this year. Once in bought a donut, a flavoured milk drink and a milk shake (my annual one!). Simon spent most of the time looking at fishing equipment, locks and safes oh we had so much in common. After lunch at home i.e. saving money went with Simon for a walk with Kim around the Stray where he let her loose and she had a good run no recollection of them having a dog. Then back to the Show in the afternoon. Found a stall which sold nothing but herb seeds and when I told Mum (sic) they also sold herb plants I rushed back to get her some i.e. she sent me running back just before the Show closed. I was absolutely exhausted when I eventually arrived home. Spent the evening watching television.

My Teenage Diary

Yes you read that correctly. I’m in the process of clearing out the family home in Yorkshire. I opened a laundry box to find it full of letters, diaries and a scrapbook from my mid-teens to early 20’s I guess. I have so many diaries, but they all peter out after a few months. As does this one. The book was given to me by my brother as a congratulations for winning a piano playing award. No idea what. Words in italics are my blog comments:

July 14th 198..

Hooray! Today I decided to write a sort of diary in the is book which I have had for quite a while now. Pop my mother’s father has been here for two days now. Mum was washing this morning and in a bad mood as usual interesting. It is the first day of the Yorkshire Show and the roads were packed as I went to get a paper for Pop and post Janet’s next door neighbour engagement cards and Mum’s letter to Austria I was about to go on an exchange there. Later Mum went to the Planning Office with Mrs Dale one of her friends to look at the Harlow Grange replacements WHY? Nowhere near where we lived. I spent today doing very little except playing the piano. Arranged to go to the Yorkshire Show with Simon lived up the road and same age as mewent to Infant and Primary school together tomorrow. But Mrs Black my Year 6 teacher rang up to see if I could help take some children tomorrow. I refused harsh but can you blame me? and then had a row with Dad about what? but Mum calmed things down. Mum and Dad both out this evening where I wonder….

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