Sunday 22 March 1987

…I didn’t find out who won the Littlewoods Cup, or the Milk Cup
as it used to be called.
At least I think I don’t know.
It might have been between Spurs and Liverpool, and Spurs won.
This afternoon I rollerbooted in the rain and fell over, then came in to listen to
The Lord of the Rings on Radio 4.
Watched Supergran, some International Athletics, a bit of Antiques Roadshow
and precisely 30 minutes of Dr No.
Yes, even while Dad was there in the room.
Then I had to switch over to the BAFTA Awards…

My confusion about who had won the Littlewoods Cup final is perhaps explained by the fact it had yet to take place. The match was actually on 5 April.

As such I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about here. Both Spurs and Liverpool were in the semi-finals, but in different matches, held nowhere near today’s date of 22 March. Indeed I see that Spurs had to play their match against Arsenal three times before a winner emerged. And it wasn’t Spurs.

Anyway, that clearly wasn’t the most important event of the day. The first 30 minutes of Dr No represent perhaps the most boring half hour in the Bond canon, but at least I got to watch them, as they were broadcast, in my own home.

Something of a result, then.

Which is more than can be said for Liverpool, who went on to lose the 1987 Littlewoods Cup final to Arsenal.

Do football programmes still have illustrated covers?

Friday 20 March 1987

…Mrs Kirkham [the headmistress] has been really horrible today.
She is a TWIT.
She never realises that class 4 have privileges.
She thinks we are all a bunch of noisy brats who don’t want to do any work
and want to do lots of sport.
I want to do work, have our privileges back, and not to have PE.
In Art we had to make traffic lights with bits of coloured paper…

I’m not sure what these “privileges” were; maybe getting to listen to tapes at dinnertime. The sad reality was most of my class were noisy brats who didn’t want to do any work. My headmistress was right. Not for the last time I was imagining my minority view was that of the majority. I should have just shut up and got on with cutting up my coloured paper.

Wednesday 18 March 1987

…At school we started off, and you won’t believe this, by doing
the Four Rules of Maths.
The four rules being: 1, avoid if not 2, copy if not 3, use answer book if not 4,
say you are ill and go home.
You know what they are: + – x and \.
In PE we went mad.
We wouldn’t keep quiet and were messing around, so in the end we
ended up doing nothing.
For lunch we had beef, potatoes, mixed veg and gravy followed by a
nice ginger biscuit.
Later we had the chaos of spending another of those afternoons where
classes 3 and 4 joined together and we all did assorted things.
It was Group F’s turn – my group – to do CDT: craft, design and technology.
We had to build a model of Blackpool Tower with straws and pins and then
put a light on the top and make it light up.
I was with two people from class 3, one of whom kept messing around with
a buzzer and the other who stuck pins everywhere.
I have discovered Dr No is on on Sunday.
Operation 007 is on again!…

The operation in question was the cajoling of my long-suffering friend Edward to video the film, followed by more cajoling over when I’d be able to go round and watch it. Yes, I was possibly just a tiny bit obsessed. But I really had no other options, given the continued absence of a video recorder within our house, plus the continued absence of sympathetic, pro-Bond sentiments within my mum and dad.

I’d stared at the record sleeve for long enough. Now I needed to see some real 007.

"...and you've had your six."

Tuesday 17 March 1987

…The Budget was mostly a big surprise.
People had predicted the 2p fall in income tax [down from 29p to 27p].
But very few people had suspected that nothing was to be done about
cigarettes, alcohol and petrol.
On the contrary, I think they SHOULD have put more tax on them,
because smoking and drinking are very bad habits.
Well, that’s enough about the Budget…


Perhaps I should say that nobody in our house smoked, and my mum and dad only drank on Sundays, when they had one glass of sherry at lunchtime, and that was it.

I didn’t think anything unusual of this until I was older and realised the people who I’d seen going into the pub at the bottom of our road weren’t just students but GROWN-UPS: ordinary men and women, sometimes alone, often in couples, occasionally even with families.

I never once visited a pub with my family as a child. I was never offered alcohol at home, and I never asked for it. When I did discover it, I discovered I didn’t really like it, though I went on drinking anyway. But thankfully that’s another story, and mercifully one that is safely many years into the future.

Saturday 14 March 1987

…Muppet Babies has been replaced with Dogtanian!
So now my television schedule for the start of the day looks like this:
8.30 The Hunter
8.35 Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
9.00 Saturday Superstore
to 12.15pm…

SCHEDULING FACT! Dogtanian should have started the previous Saturday, but suffered a first-ever-episode-of-Doctor Who-esque postponement because of bad news.

My television viewing later in the day would have included the News with Jan Leeming and Jim’ll Fix It, then either the Little and Large Show or Bob’s Full House depending on when we were eating tea. I would probably have hung around for One by One as well, but only because I remembered it as a comic strip in Beeb magazine.

What is a "zoo vet" anyway?