Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 253

Sunday 9th September 1984

Woke up at 9.00 and got up at 10.15. I played out till 12.00, when I had dinner. Then I played football till 1.45, when Doug came and we went out and played on the tarzie. Then we went on the field and played with a tennis ball.

We came in and had a drink, then we walked the dogs round the field. At 5.00 we came home, Doug went home and I had tea, then I played out till 7.15, when I watched Child’s play.

Then I went out till 8.30, when I went to bed.

What an rugged, outdoors, active kind of day! Clearly I was still hepped up to the eyeballs on plum lollies. Although it will have taken the sound of my Mum sweeping the patio with a gigantic, wooden-handled brush to wake me up in the morning. This was a regular early Sunday occurence, and meant that it was time to start wandering aimlessly around the house, yawning and looking for smutty stories in the News of the World.

We ‘took’ three Sunday papers when I was a kid… The News of the World, edited at the time by Derek ‘Do they mean us? They surely do!’ Jameson; the Sunday Mirror, which I remember virtually nothing about; and the Sunday Express – with its legendary columns by Keith Waterhouse, John Junor and ‘The Voice of Reason’ Woodrow Wyatt, former chairman of the Horserace Totaliser Board.

We didn’t get them delivered, they were generally bought from the old ‘Newsfare’ papershop in Yarm High Street by my Dad during an early morning dog walk, and so often arrived back in the house with a generous coating of canine slobber. All newspapers were, of course, completely in monochrome at this point, although you might get a splash of red across the front page logo if you were lucky. And, if you were unlucky, the same splash of red (with a liberal smattering of black bits) would be later emblazoned across your foreheads and hands after five minutes of flicking through looking for scandal (‘MY STEAMY SEX WITH CHEEKY CHART STAR – SEX-MAD SINGER HIT MY TOP SPOT, SAYS SAUCY SARAH, 19)  

A nice Indian Summer day, though… a kind of slightly faded facsimile of the school holidays, with the ground dry and the sun in the sky, but a few yellow leaves dotted around as Doug and I faffed about in the garden. We used to play a game where we’d tear two sturdy-looking sticks from one of the trees, and use them to thwack my giant-knotted tarzie back and forth at each other, attempting to remove an eye or a front tooth, or – at the very least – cause some permanent damage to each others’ hearing (which we considered a good thing, as it meant we’d be able to feign ignorance when we were called inside to do our homework…)

Speaking of which… NONE! I was fully prepared for a full Sunday evening of displacement activity, convincing myself that I simply HAD to watch the end of Songs Of Praise before embarking on my Geography homework for the fluffy-jumpered Mr Flynn. Oh… and Antiques Roadshow as well. And Last of the Summer Wine. And Child’s Play, which – in case you were wondering – obviously ISN’T the schlock-horror slasher movie with the murderous, marauding doll.

No, it was far scarier than that…

I love the fact that I clearly came inside from playing in the garden SPECIFICALLY to watch this genial Sunday evening quiz show, with the likes of Barbara Dickson and Jeremy Beadle guessing the subjects that a succession of grubby pre-school oiks are attempting to describe. I think my Dad was preparing the adoption paperwork before the first advert break appeared.


1 Comment»

  Doctor Giles Parcel wrote @

I pity the child who has to find words to describe your gigantic, knotted tarzie.

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