Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 58

Monday 27th February 1984


Woke up at 7.45 and got up at 8.00. First at school we went in for assembly then when we came out we went into Topic groups. Then I did some writing with Frankie about Italy. At 12.00 I had dinner and after dinner I played cricket with Ozzie, Gazzie, Doug and Nibbsy.

When we went in I did Maths and at 3.15 I came home and at 3.40 I went down to Doug’s and we started a new model called MOG-E. Then we went inside but were bored so we went outside again and played with K9.

Then we did some more of MOG-E and I went home at 5.00. At 5.10 I had tea and after tea I wrote a letter to Richard Moxham. Then I Washed my hair. At 8.00 I watched Duty Free and at 8.30 I wrote my diary. At 9.30 I went to bed.levendaleprimary


Ah, the end of a blissful week of half-term fun comes to an abrupt end. Still, at least Paul Frank (farm lad, black shirt with white tie, you remember) and I managed to console ourselves by writing about the lack of proper road transport in Venice. I’m pretty sure that’s what our Italian Topic project was about.


Good to see a game of cricket attempted between four people rather than the more traditional, but clearly misguided, 22. This time, darting between the two wasp-infested rubbish bins at either end of the playground, we’ll have had two batsmen, a bowler, and one hapless wicket-keeper (probably Nibbsy) whose job it was to chase dejectedly after every single ball that Gaz or Doug had lamped with wild abandon 50 yards over the school hedgerow.   

It was probably character-building, but only if you’re determined to become a really embittered, twisted and vindictive character.


I’m still really impressed by mine and Doug’s ability to move swiftly from one woodwork project to another. Although… (dramatic music)… this one was to be our downfall. Yes, sadly MOG-E was our bete noir, The One That Got Away. As you can probably guess, he was a wooden robot cat (and yes, the excruciating pun was mine) but he barely got beyond the prototype stage before we re-assessed our progress and decided that we really couldn’t be arsed. He’s probably still stuck at the back of Doug’s old garage somewhere, mewing softly and wondering when his ears are and legs are going to be attached.

There was another project on the way, though… stay tuned!


And back home in time for Duty Free! I always had it in mind that I’d watched this uber-Eighties sitcom from the start, but clearly I didn’t – this was the third episode of the debut series. For the benefit of our younger viewers, Duty Free was a very, VERY broad farce acted between two middle-aged couples on holiday in Spain, with one of the husbands (Keith Barron) having an affair with his counterpart’s wife (Joanna Van Gyseghem, who became a mid-80s ‘posh totty’ sex symbol despite it being obvious that Barron’s on-screen wife Gwen ‘Life Of Brian’ Taylor was actually far sexier). 

It was basically like watching an entire three-series sitcom built around Howard and Marina’s affair in Last Of The Summer Wine. And, amazingly, it was topping the TV charts by the end of the series, causing a tabloid sensation by knocking the seemingly unassailable Coronation Street from its perch.

Written by Eric ‘Rising Damp’ Chappell though, so it can’t have been too shabby… can it? I haven’t seen it since 1986, so I’m probably in no position to judge.

And if ‘at 8.30 I wrote my diary’ then when did I write ‘at 9.30 I went to bed’? Doctor, it’s a temporal paradox! Quick… is that an eddy in the space-time continuum racing towards us?

(No, it’s actually one of Doug’s cricket strokes entering geo-stationary orbit. Get after it, Nibbsy…)


  bobfischer wrote @

Bloody hell, just realised that 1984 was a leap year and 2009 isn’t, so I’ll have to write two entries tomorrow to stay on track!

  fiona tims wrote @

Oh the hardship ;p

I never watched Duty Free that I remember.

How was the gig?!

  bobfischer wrote @

It was great, thanks! Sang some out-of-tune comedy doo-wop and had tremendous fun doing it. 🙂

I think you can buy all three series of Duty Free in a box for about £7.99 these days. The number of times I’ve been soooo tempted…

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