Saturday 22 August 1987

…Torrential downpour followed torrential downpour.
We went to Leicester where I bought three, yes three, Doctor Who books.
Got stuck in a horrendous traffic jam inside the Lee Circle car park.
I ate mince, peas and potatoes while watching Carry on at Your Convenience…

There’d been a run of Carry On films on Saturday nights throughout the summer. I’d seen Cruising, Cleo, Cowboy and Don’t Lose Your Head over the past few weeks; the season would end next Saturday with Screaming.

The pick of this bunch is definitely Convenience. Bizarrely this was the only Carry On film my parents ever saw at the cinema. Trust them to go and see what was, on its release, the biggest commercial flop of the whole franchise.

I’m surprised I was allowed to watch it 25 years ago, given there’s one scene where viewers are treated to the sound of Kenneth Williams getting a hard-on. Maybe my dad approved of the film’s anti-union sentiments. I can’t believe he approved of Sid James’ pro-union designs on Joan Sims.

I’ve always preferred the mid-to-late Carry Ons. I love the broader gags, the brassier tone, the technicolour malaise, the fact the cast have stopped trying to act and are simply being themselves, often sharing the same name as their character, but above all I love the desperate, bungled sentimentality.

The Carry Ons became truly great when they stopped believing in proving a point. They then became truly awful when they started trying to make one.

(Note: Here’s the Lee Circle car park in all its brutalist glory.)

Friday 10 October 1986

At lunchtime it was recorder practice so I gobbled and scoffed down my food…

I’d learned to play the recorder a year or so earlier.

Like everyone, I started on a soprano, but had recently moved on to a treble. I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed the experience, but always had terrible trouble with the fingering.

And if anyone finds any sort of double meaning in that paragraph, consider me stunned*.

Next you’ll be saying there’s something funny about the word ‘semi-breve’.

*Besides, there’s only one sort of double meaning that I can see.