Category: Maureen’s Diary

My diary entries from the week I first met Alan in 1961.

25th August 1961

Dear Diary,

A day that deserves capital letters and all the fancy trimming it can get!

All through the day I had been doing my utmost to clear all thoughts of him from my mind.  I know that the more I thought about him the slower the time until the evening would pass.  I think I did jolly well, for the evening arrived before I realised it. 

After the disappointment on Tuesday I have resigned myself and was thinking along the ‘whatever will be, will be‘ lines.

Read more 25th August 1961

24th August 1961

Dear Diary,

The main happening today was Lena’s return home from hospital.  Dad phoned the hospital after lunch to see how she was and they said we could bring her home whenever we wished.

Read more 24th August 1961

23rd August 1961

Dear Diary,

Another lazy day.  I didn’t get up until nearly lunch time and I haven’t got one scrap of conscience about it.  Isn’t it marvellous to be on holiday?

Jennifer and I went to see Lena in hospital.  She is fine but complaining about the injections she has been given.  Apparently they hurt more than her ankle.  There was so much to talk about that I nearly forgot to ask her how she was.

Read more 23rd August 1961

22nd August 1961

Dear Diary,

The day I have been waiting for, for many, many weeks.

I was actually up pretty early considering Lena is still in hospital and I am on holiday.  I dressed with extra care, for, not knowing what time he would be here, I wanted to look perfect every minute.

Read more 22nd August 1961

21st August 1961

Dear Diary,

Of all the absolute rotten luck.  I’ve never known anything like it in all my life!  I  had better start from the beginning before I get carried away with my tale of woe.

Uncle George came round as arranged and took us to Rush Green Hospital.  He waited outside and I went in the Outpatients Department with Lena.  Half an hour later, I was informed that they were going to keep her in ‘for 2 or 3 days’.  The swelling had gone down as expected but they were frightened of tetanus. They said they do have to keep a special eye on foreigners as regards to tetanus – something to do with the different air.

Read more 21st August 1961

20th August 1961

Dear Diary,

Today has been very quiet.  Just the sort of day needed to recover from last week.  Nothing very interesting has happened and all thoughts, especially mine, are turned to Tuesday and Alan.  One thing can be said about this holiday, it hasn’t ended in an anti-climax like all the others.  Usually, coming home from a holiday especially one that has been enjoyable, is terribly and depressing.  This year there has been so much to think about and worry about, we were home before I realised it.

Read more 20th August 1961

19th August 1961

Dear Diary

Feeling very, very sleepy.  We crawled to the dining room for breakfast and crawled out again.  By the time we had packed the last odds and ends it was ten to eight.

 The taxi was already there when I reached reception.  We said our farewells to David and Ian who were staying over another week- and, the taxi pulled out of the camp.  Breaking the final ties of a marvellous holiday.

Read more 19th August 1961

18th August 1961

Dear Diary,

Last day of the best holiday I have ever had.  Yet it hasn’t gone particularly quickly.  It feels like we have been here for weeks.

Neither Lena nor I got up for breakfast, although we were awake.

Nothing spectacular happened during the day.  The gang walked to the nearest village, Osmington Mills, during the afternoon.

Lena’s ankle has been a bit stiff and she went to the First Aid place after dinner so I walked back to the chalet alone. 

Read more 18th August 1961

16th/17th August 1961

Dear Diary,

This evening was the best part of today.  No one had much energy after the barbeque last night and the gang spent the whole evening in the Sun Lounge.  One of the crowd realised he hadn’t had much to drink all week and obviously decided to make up for it.  He was making an awful row in my ear with his singing.

Read more 16th/17th August 1961

24th July 1961

Dear Diary,

This is becoming a habit. A third letter from Michael arrived this morning. This time apologising for his second letter and asking me to reconsider my abrupt answer.

This is too much. I shall ignore it.

Read more 24th July 1961

20th July 1961

Dear Diary,

Well, this certainly is quick work. I received a second letter from Michael this morning yet he could only have got mine yesterday. I have never read so much rubbishy trash in all my life and so insulting! I was furious.

Read more 20th July 1961

17th July 1961

Dear Diary,

This morning, of all things, I got a letter from Michael. It was quite drooly really, considering the writer. He repeated the same old arguments and it annoyed me that I couldn’t answer them as he had put them.

Read more 17th July 1961

30th June 1961

Dear Diary,

Michael came to the house as arranged but in a worse state than expected. He was cycling to work this morning when a lorry, with a plank overhanging the side, overtook him and knocked him off his bike.  He was taken to Oldchurch Hospital, patched up and sent home.  He still looked pretty shaken up when I saw him.

Read more 30th June 1961

27th June 1961

Dear Diary,

I don’t think I can reproach myself at all.  I said all I had planned to.  Maybe it was a half-hearted attempt but I was only trying to let him down lightly and make him say the final words.  This gets worse and worse.

Read more 27th June 1961

25th June 1961

Dear Diary

Michael came to tea, then we and the family went to Auntie Elsie’s.  Mike’s classic remark: ‘Does your auntie run your uncle?’  Does she??

Read more 25th June 1961

24th June 1961

Dear Diary

We went to a Midsummer’s Dance at Rainham Town although the weather was really baking and much too hot for dancing.  We had a marvellous time.  I enjoyed myself more than I had before.  Since I have been going out with Mike, that is. 

Read more 24th June 1961

17th June 1961

Dear Diary

Life seems to be a succession of arguments when I am with Michael.  He started off in a very good mood.  In fact, celebrated by giving me a (friendly) punch in the street.  Then he took offence because I wouldn’t tell him what time I got up this morning.  He even walked away from me at the bus stop.  Think I will surprise him one of these days and instead of the ‘letter from Alan’ way I’ll just walk away from him in the middle of an argument.  Wonder what he would do?

Read more 17th June 1961

10th June 1961

Dear Diary

I got another letter from Alan this morning.  It seems we are back where we started.  Went to Rainham Town with Michael tonight.  Had one great discussion which turned into a very heated argument. 

Read more 10th June 1961

8th June 1961

Dear Diary

Last Tuesday a letter from Alan was waiting for me when I got home from work.  He seemed so pleased because I had written to him.  I can’t remember exactly what I had said but I don’t think I meant to give him the impression he has got, that things are back to normal.  He has put off giving me instructions for sweater til ‘his next letter.’

Read more 8th June 1961

5th June 1961

Dear Diary,

Went to see the Bank Revue with Mike, Clive & Carol, Penny and Richard.  It was a rotten show.  Carol and Clive walked out during the second half.  We went for a drink with Penny and Richard afterwards.

Read more 5th June 1961

3rd June 1961

Dear Diary

Only one clear month left before Alan comes home.

Michael came round after his exams on Wednesday and again Friday evening. Dad made his usual remark last night ‘Getting his feet under the table.’

Read more 3rd June 1961

30th May 1961

Dear Diary

I posted the letter this morning.  Mum took great pleasure in reading out my stars which said something like ‘favourable time for love.  Pleasant news.’

At work Pat was thrilled to bits and kept remarking how much it would please Alan.

Read more 30th May 1961

29th May 1961

Dear Diary,

6 pm went up to my bedroom and finished said letter.  After an hour or so Mum came up to see what I was doing.  When she saw the pages strewn over the floor she just said ‘oh! In a very understanding way and left.

Read more 29th May 1961

28th May 1961

Dear Diary

This evening I’ve got myself involved one step deeper in the eternal triangle. I don’t know whether I was in a bad mood this evening or whether Mike was worrying about his exams tomorrow but we didn’t get on very well when we went out for a drink.  To add to all the difficulties I got it into my head that I wanted to wear my lilac two-piece and so, by finishing it made myself 75 mins late getting to Michael’s house.

Read more 28th May 1961

27th May 1961

Dear Diary

This morning I was woken up at 11.45 and informed that Vic was downstairs waiting for me. Taking a few minutes to rouse myself I donned my blue silk housecoat and strolled in to receive my guest.  He stayed talking for about half hour, though he had actually come about the Chris Barber LP.   I told him I didn’t get paid until next Wednesday so he said he’d come back then.

Read more 27th May 1961

26th May 1961

Dear Diary

Last night Michael and I went to the Sports Club to play table tennis.  Not much came of that, as, after 15 mins we played records.  Finally met Vic who Mike is always talking about.  He is nice, much better than the crowd of last Saturday.

Read more 26th May 1961

22nd May 1961

Dear Diary

We started 10.30 am, loaded with sandwiches, camera etc.  Mike in slacks and sweater, me in new trousers and ‘horse blanket’.

We decided to catch a 145 bus to Chingford and walk through to Epping Wakes Arms.  We got to the Royal Forest Hotel OK, had a shandy and started walking.  The unfortunate part was that we were walking in the wrong direction!  We did find out when we were in Buckhurst Hill, ‘cos we walked around it 3 times.

Read more 22nd May 1961

20th May 1961

Dear Diary

Michael arrived in the afternoon, full of plans for where we are going in the evening and on Monday.  He had been drinking with a crowd of friends at lunch-time and half agreed that we would go out with them Saturday evening and Monday.  He checked with me and then phoned Peter Wilson and ok’d the evening.

Read more 20th May 1961

19th May 1961

Dear Diary

As arranged Michael came to the house at 6 o’clock to take me to see South Pacific.  After a bit of a tussle about what time we would get up to the West End, I was wrong and we were early.  It was a bad start and could have deteriorated into a bad-tempered evening but anticipation of seeing the film overrode any impending argument.  We went into this old decrepit type bar just off Tottenham Court Road and had a drink to while away the half hour we had spare.

Read more 19th May 1961