Tuesday 18 November 1986

…At 8.15am we had our water cut off.
But we had been warned, so we had filled the bath with
cold water for the loo, saucepans for mum’s cooking and
a few jugs for drinking water.
It came back on at 2.15pm…
…For lunch at school we had pizza – yuk* – potatoes – yum –
oranges – yum – coleslaw – yum – and for pudding we had
milkshake.
This afternoon we did maths and after that swimming.
I hate swimming, because now I’ve got my grade 3
I am in the top group doing eight lengths of breaststroke!
Watched Yes, Prime Minister as always this evening…

This would have been episode three of series one, The Smoke Screen, which had been first shown earlier in the year on BBC2. This was its repeat on BBC1.

I doubt if I grasped many of the script’s subtler observations and jokes. In fact I’m not sure what I would have grasped. But I’d discovered a copy of volume two of Jim Hacker’s ministerial “diaries” on one of my parents’ shelves a few weeks earlier, and I had become hooked. I’d even taken the book to school for when we did silent reading. If it was possible for a 10-year-old to be dizzyingly pretentious, then – in this instance at any rate – I was that child.

Anyway, 25 years later, I now get all the observations and the jokes, and most of what is laughingly dismissed here has almost come true:

*To coin a Sir Humphrey-esque phrase, I have since reversed my position on this continental comestible.

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