Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 73

Tuesday 13th March 1984

Woke up at 7.50 and got up at 8.00. The I wrote my story and at 9.30 I went for the bus. First at school I went in for assembly then when we came out I had to do a language sheet. At 12.00 I had dinner and it was an indoor playtime so me and Doug did some maths.

In the afternoon I finished my maths and painted the background on my Dogorilla picture. At 3.15 I came home and at 3.25 I came down to Doug’s. First we smashed up ROB-E for the loudspeaker and after that we had some orange and a pikelet. Then we went out again and sawed up some wood for the shelf on the den.

After banging it on I came home and played on the ZX81 and then I had tea. Then I wrote my story and at 6.40 I watched Tuckers Luck (New Series). At 7.40 I watched a question of sport, then I wrote some of my story and at 9.45 I went to bed.

PS Forgot that at 4.40 me and Doug watched Charlie Brown.

Oh, the intrigue! Why was I not required at school on this day until… what, 10am? Presumably there must have been some sort of early morning training session for our teachers, during which they were taught new and exciting ways to smoke Rothmans King Size out of the staff room window and write pithy, sarcastic comments in red biro.


Whatever they learnt, it must have been effective – an indoor playtime, and Doug and I did MATHS?!?!?!! Clearly the school must have run out of shiny greaseproof paper for us to mash up and push down the toilet bowls. Oh, we knew how to live.  

(By the way, I’m assuming everyone had tracing paper-esque toilet roll at school, and not just us cheapskates? I’m not entirely sure who thought it was a good idea to make toilet paper shiny and slippery rather than absorbant, but they must certainly have had sturdier buttocks than anybody at my school…)  

I love the two strange sides of my personality displayed in this entry. Firstly, I was SO obsessive compulsive that, having finished writing up my day’s activity, I simply HAD to add the postscript that we’d watched Charlie Brown inbetween pikelets (and let’s not open that particular can of confectionary again) and ‘banging it on’ in Doug’s garage.

And yet we were ‘living in the now’ enough to smash up ROB-E, the robot that had taken us months to build, without even a flicker of sentimentality.

I don’t think it even crossed our minds that we might like to keep ROB-E. He was an old project, we needed the wood and other parts, so he went. I’m not exactly sure what the loudspeaker was for, but it’s possible we were intending to rig up a state-of-the-art stereo system so we could play Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Break Machine in our den.

I’ve been racking my brains for the last few days to remember any details about the ‘story’ that I seem to have been spending half my waking hours working on. And I think I’ve got it! After having read The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen, The Moon Of Gomrath AND Elidor over the last few weeks, I’m pretty sure I’d started work on my own Alan Garner-esque saga of elves, dwarves and other assorted nasties let loose in the English countryside.


I did this a lot – aping my favourite writers – and there was no subtlety about it whatsoever. I was convinced that this stuff was ‘going to get published, mam’ despite the fact that my characters had the same names as Alan Garner’s, the plot was virtually indentical (just jumbled around a bit), and all of my books (or, to be more accurate, all of my half-finished Chapter Ones) had titles like ‘The Bridestone of Gomsingamen’ and ‘The Weird Moon of Bringrath’.

Of course, when you’re planning a fantasy novel, the most important thing to get out of the way first is… the map. Yep, the detailed map of woodland, hills, swamps, crumbling houses and ancient stone circles together with feathery arrows pointing at trees with captions like ‘Here be buried Othar Windleskin, the Dwarf Lorde’. And that’s undoubtedly what I did in this case, scrawled – like the rest of my opus – on a A4 pad of WH Smiths lined paper, and looking a bit like this…


Anyway (hem hem) an apology… I did say a few weeks ago that we were now into Series 2 of Tucker’s Luck, however the giveaway ‘(New Series)’ here suggests that I’d actually been watching a re-run of Series 1, which is a good enough excuse for watching this…

….Series 2 starts here, and features sterling work from current Moses Jones star Adam Kotz as Chris ‘Creamy’ Eames. He became my TV hero for the duration of the series,  so if anyone knows him then send him over to say hello! 

Good to see that British TV staple ‘A Question Of Sport’ making an overdue appearance as well, with David Coleman hosting and the classic captain’s line-up of Emlyn Hughes and Bill Beaumont still firmly in place. I think the early-to-mid 1980s were probably the show’s peak, and it was a splendid riot of Pringle sweaters, Farah slacks and attempts to identify Kenny Sansom with a yellow helmet pulled over his eyes, driving a Fire Engine to the strains of Disco Inferno. I think even the moustaches were pastel-shaded in 1984…


Oh yeah, just a quick PS – I’ve redone the ‘back to school’ video on yesterday’s entry, and it seems to work for me now – give it a try!



  fiona tims wrote @

Eurggggh tracing paper toilet roll. What sick f****r designed that? We had it all through secondary school too. I won’t go into any detail about tracing paper TP and menstruation. I’m still haunted.

Sorry to lower the tone ;p

  bobfischer wrote @

*stares traumatised out of bedroom window*

  bobfischer wrote @

Oh, I’ve reloaded the ‘back to school’ video from yesterday and it seems OK – give it a go!

  Alan Garner wrote @

Small world. David Coleman and I grew up in Alderley, 300 yards and 7 years apart. I was groomsman at his wedding. David, despite the evidence of later years, was an athlete, and once ran the mile in 4 min. 10 sec., at a time when the world record was about 8 seconds faster. His future is mapped in the village school log book. “David Coleman sent home after being hit in the eye by a cricket ball.”

  bobfischer wrote @

Fabulous! You’d never think he could move so fast. I bet he left Emlyn and Bill Beaumont for dead when they dashed down to the BBC Club for a late half.

Difficult to outrun a speeding cricket ball, though…

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