Tuesday 21 April 1987

…Went to the cinema to watch Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home.
All I can say is that it was funnier than the other three films…

I remember laughing loud and long at the “colourful metaphor” scenes. The phrase entered my vocabulary for a while. How my schoolmates wept with hilarity* whenever I suggested that “perhaps now is the time for a colourful metaphor” or when I warned that “you better not let the teacher hear you using that colourful metaphor”.

I also remember enjoying the scene on the bus where Spock kills a punk rocker for playing his music too loud, after which all the other passengers applaud politely.

Whenever I’ve happened to see the film again I’m reminded that it makes no sense whatsoever. By flying around the sun you can go back in time? Wouldn’t robbing two whales from the 20th century and tossing them into the sea several hundreds of years later cause immense disruption to both ecosystems? And as for the bit where Kirk sells his spectacles for a quick bit of cash, then reassures Spock that he’ll get them again because they were given to him in the future… Dear oh dear.

It’s enough to make you reach for a colourful metaphor.

*They did not.

Monday 20 April 1987 (Easter Monday)

…Went to the post office to post a letter.
Mum said that if the shop was open, we could buy a lolly – and it was!
Ever wondered what I have for lunch on days like these?
It is as follows: a roll with butter in, some cucumber slices, coleslaw, a water biscuit,
some cold meat, and a United chocolate biscuit.
After lunch from 2.10 until 4.40 I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Long. Very long.
Later we went and counted traffic on the motorway.
In five minutes I counted 330 going south and 203 going north.
Best of all, I watched 45 minutes of From Russia With Love…

A spot of correspondence, a United biscuit, an audit of the M1 and three-quarters-of-an-hour of 007. Sounds to me nigh on the perfect bank holiday*.

From this angle, things are shaping up nicely
*Take or leave two-and-a-half hours of Captain Kirk *baldly* going (do you see?) on the interstellar equivalent of a bank holiday drive in the country.

Wednesday 15 April 1987

…What a day to have the Zeebrugge ferry disaster memorial service:
the day on which in 1912 the unsinkable Titanic sank.
Coincidence you might say, and I hope that you are right…

Who is this “you” that I am addressing rather pompously? Up to now I hadn’t really treated my diary as something – or someone – with which a conversation could be held. The whole “dear diary” approach only kicks in when you’re a teenager – doesn’t it? Anyway, I’m not really sure what I’m up to here, aside from some po-faced moralising, which in an 11-year-old is never a good thing.

Although you have to concede I did have a point.

Tuesday 14 April 1987

…Watched Carry on Laughing and a strange comedy called Late Expectations…

I have no memory of Late Expectations whatsoever.

In the Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy, Mark Lewisohn notes that this BBC sitcom involved Keith Barron returning home from a “holiday of a lifetime”, presumably the one he’d just had on ITV with Gwen Taylor. Except he is now married to the woman from the Fairy Liquid adverts, who, at the age of 43, is “shocked” to find herself pregnant.

This crepe paper-thin premise was somehow threaded through six episodes, of which today’s was the second. A plot twist of note, apparently, was the revelation that Mrs Barron is not just pregnant, but pregnant… WITH TWINS.

Happily, Late Expectations did not return for a second series. Unhappily, Keith was soon back on screens in the drama series Take Me Home, every episode of which seemed to involve him driving along a darkened road hissing “Sometimes I just… I just want to… to take my hands… off… THE WHEEL…”

At least Carry on Laughing ensured my evening did not pass off titter-free.

Monday 13 April 1987

…The first proper day of the holiday, and I woke up at 6.00am.
I don’t really know why, because I wanted to pretend to be broadcasting on the
radio, but I was too tired.
So I just listened instead…

I must have been the only person in my entire county who, on the first day of the Easter holiday, got up earlier than they would have done on an ordinary school day.

And even then it was all for nothing.