Monday 25th December
COLDER AGAIN TODAY. We finished the Portugese rosé in a.m. and had Asti Spumante with dinner. Up and dressed for breakfast soon after 9. It was bacon, fried bread and tomato. Tig washed up and then we had our presents, holding back 2 each for after lunch with Auntie Olive. (Dad forgot and had to wrap up his whisky from Tig again.) Then Tig drove us in the Bluedaf to Howe common. I sat in the back with a dog on either side, Dad sat in the front. When we arrived two other black dogs came out to greet us. A man there said it was the black dogs’ conference. Saw the donkeys, and Tig drove us home via Leafy Oak Lane. Auntie arrived at one. The Fido dog went wild. He stole her hankie and when Dad removed it from his mouth he was cross and snapped, so had to be punished. Then one of his canine teeth fell out. His mouth is very sore; he has lots of raw gum & loose teeth and this makes him worse than he would otherwise be. After a delicious Xmas dinner we opened the rest of our presents in the front room (by the way Christopher sang the solo “Once in Royal David’s city” – which we listened to and recorded). My extra presents were from Jill (aftershave) and Aunt Billie (address book)- which I filled in with addresses. Also in a.m. I got a writing case and next year’s diary. A tie (Sansoms), films, soap, Indian shirt( from Mum) – and other things. Aunty Olive and I took dogs up the lane while Tig had a rest. I had a little rest. By the end of the day I had written 5 thankyou letters with new compendium; nearly all. 2 kinds of cake for tea. Mum had a bath. Dad and I heard “My Word Its My Music” [on Radio 4], 2nd Act of Ruddigore (with Tig) and Xmas programme on radio later.
NOTES. (At this stage I was still living at home in Poringland.) TIG. My sister Margaret Mason, teacher on Guernsey. AUNTY OLIVE. My Father’s sister Olive Anderson. CHRISTOPHER. Christopher Anderson, my cousin David’s eldest son. This year he sang the treble solo in the Carols from King’s on the radio. We listened to the broadcast on Christmas Eve. JILL. My cousin Jill Sansom, daughter of my Mother’s younger sister. AUNT BILLIE, widow of my Uncle Tony Rivett. BLUEDAF, my Mother’s car, a blue Daf Dafodil (Daf 33). FIDO, the family dog, about 6 months old. Punishing him involved threatening him with a rolled up newspaper.
Don’t I sound perfect by the way? Fancy a young man of 23 writing 5 thankyou letters on Christmas Day! Its almost too good to be true. In fact 1972 had been a rather uncomfortable year. January ended with Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland. The Watergate Scanal got off to its unremarkable and slow start. Union discontent with Ted Heath’s Government was to culminate with power cuts and the 3 day week a year after Christmas 1972. None of this shows in my diary entry this Christymas Day. Current Affairs pass me by. You will notice we didn’t even have a television.
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