24 December, 2005

Back stories

24th December, 1989:

"...Usual day. Wrapped the three Christmas presents while everybody else was out. This morning I stayed in watching The Return Of The Pink Panther. Dad's brother and missus were coming to lunch, or so we thought. They turned up at 1.30pm, five minutes after we'd already given up and started eating..."

24th December, 1991:

"...Illness haunts my nose, throat and head as well as ears. Watched Broadway Danny Rose and Rain Man, both of which I'd videoed last night and both of which were superb..."

24th December, 1992:

"...The Queen's speech has been leaked - ha fucking ha. Did some work on my arrangement of 'Ain't Misbehavin', watched Psycho, and decided to spend the afternoon copying up the Death Of A Salesman essay..."

24th December, 1994:

"...Spent the morning reading extracts from this diary, watching last night's Fantasy Football League, listening to the radio and shivering. Unfortunately I was then driven by my warped conscience to do some work - but at least it wasn't written, just reading more Disraeli shit. At least got 50 more pages through my head (and out again). Drove round to deliver some cards. Very calm - on my own, the roads fairly quiet, not many people around. In each case I parked the car away from the house in question and walked up to it so as not to draw too much attention to myself. David rang later and spurned me to ring Kate again since I'd been trying to get through to her all afternoon. And she was there, and there was so much to say to her I mumbled and erred and ummed before driving out to give her her present. Still a rushed encounter as she had to go out. Hopefully get to see her again soon..."

24th December, 1995:

"...Mum and Dad had some friends round for lunch. Hated the occasion and felt very uncomfortable, gladly retreating back up here as soon as I could to carry on re-reading this diary, finishing off jobs before tomorrow and later borrowing the car to go round to Kate's mums to briefly see her and give her my presents. David had rung to sort out plans for this evening and I headed down to The Griffin for 7.15pm. Town was dead - deserted, lifeless, windswept. But the pub was heaving and stayed that way all evening. We found a corner right by the fire exit which made it alternately very stuffy and very cold, and watched the day drift to its end in a boozy, festive, smoky binge which left me shattered. Even David, who was initially very pissed off with everything, ended up enjoying himself. Left about 11.45pm and raced home through the arctic streets. Heard some church bells toll the arrival of Christmas Day..."

24th December, 1997:

"...On the very edge of Christmas. Slept woefully last night due to the others staying up till almost fucking 1am doing god knows what. Kept me awake and made me angry, therefore making me even more awake and hard to switch off and settle down once everything was calm and quiet. It's happened before, this exact same set of circumstances, and it really pisses me off. Got up the same sort of time as usual. Christmas Eve is a ghastly anti-climax and I don't enjoy it anymore - it signals the end of the best period: the run up and anticipation, the preparation and the atmosphere and the music which nowadays really means more to me than anything else. Rained all day - horrible half-mild/cold weather with an absurdly strong wind that's now veering on gale force. Went out pretty early so I could make sure of getting a paper. My watch has stopped - the battery's flat, what fantastic timing. Wrapped all my presents which took ages. At least I had something arranged for this evening, to see David. I'm sure he was going out again afterwards, it wouldn't have surprised me. It was worth it, though, visiting him and exchanging present and chatting and watching TV. I got a biography of Bowie and - ho ho - The Vegetarians Of Love by Bob Geldof. Back here about 11.15pm. Oh, did speak to Kate on the phone, albeit very briefly. Compliments of the season, I guess."


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