Friday, 21 December 2012

The start

The Bern wandering Years ......
.................are the travel diaries of Bernard O’Brien documenting the wanderings of a rugby mad Welsh teacher from June 88 to June 95. An eventful time in world history with the Tiananmen Square massacre, the fall of the Berlin wall, The San Fransisco earthquake and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. It documents the Lions tours of 89 in Australia and 93 in New Zealand and the World cup in South Africa in 95 – presented by the great man.

I am typing them up – not in order..... But when I have the time... Hopefully I won’t offend or embarrass too many people ... it’s just what I felt at the time
Book 1 3 June 88 – 5th Oct 88
USA – Summer Camp,
Old Gayts Canadian tour,
Hitching across USA Canada

Book 2
swimming teaching
factory work
lions tor 89
Book 4 October 4th 1989 – July 12th 1990
New Zealand U2 Commonwealth games
USA – mainland St Patricks day t shirts
France Gunnersbury water sports trip
Italy Football world cup

Book 6
Book 7

New Zealand
Book 9 January 8 1993- 1 August 1993

Book 1
USA – Summer Camp,
Old Gayts Canadian tour,
Hitching across USA Canada

June 3rd 1988 London

Well what a day - went to soccer coaching at Southall and Redlees park - took so much stress off Jacko for not going on the pop with him in the evening. I went swimming with Heather at Isleworth and for a few drinks; we then went for a really big curry in Monty's. We got a taxi 'cause it was pouring down. I was puzzled as we never went to South Ealing - but to a surprise party in Isleworth. I couldn’t believe that the whole world was there. Kevin came down from Leeds, Mum and dad. Peter, Cath, Mackers, hungry Sian, Lucy Jacko Paula and loads of others. I had never shaved as I never knew anything about it - Heather won her £10 bet. I had quite a few beers and a bottle of whisky from Gareth Gummer. Afterwards 28 people got on to Brent' wagon and the party continued to 4 in my house. I took Heather home and got in at 1/4 to 5 and crashed out - What a day.

Saturday June 18th 1988 camp Moose Head Maine 7.30 PM

After a hectic few weeks of partying before I went I am last here in the States. Today was my first day. Last night I got absolutely bit to death by mosquitoes. It is really annoying to have a high pitched noise buzzing all the time, it is some possible to relax and in the morning it confirmed my worst fears. I went to bed about 9.00 last night I was really shattered. The flight was really boring - I was tired any way from the Blucher the previous evening and walking Heather home meant I got back at 2.30 with getting up at 7.00 for the plane. It was cloudy both ends so the only exciting thing was take off and landing. I hitched from Logan Airport to Portland. It took about four lifts - one bloke was gonna make a million on a board game called dictionary dabble. The fourth lift was a real psycho touch with a bottle of ale in the one hand and the wheel in the other hand. I thought I was going to miss the bus, but everybody was hanging round. I have tried to keep myself to myself a bit and let the prats establish themselves first half which as sure as eggs is eggs had they are.

There are surprising number of overseas staff with quite a few kiwis and Australians which will be good for contacts in the future, see how that goes and how I get on with them before I start imposing myself.

The camp itself is very idyllic with a huge lake. The water is a comfortable. I was able to knock out about 20 lengths before dinner and tea. There are chipmunks running around everywhere which is entertaining. I have yet to see my first skunk, which are two a penny. Weather today was really hot and my neck has reddened up nicely.

In the afternoon all the councellors went to a small town called Wyndham to a shopping mall where I spent a few dollars. Mostly on different types of mosquito repellent. Got myself some sunglasses and a Boston Celtics hat.

The kids are not here yet. They will arrive next Sunday. This week we are on an orienteering week.

Thursday 23rd June
Settled in now I suppose, we are just waiting for the kids to arrive on Sunday. Weather has been high 80’s all week. Last night we had a thunderstorm – we had to leg it back from a local lakeside beach, so that we wouldn’t get caught in it. I have written about 10 post cards and have a few more to do. As soon as I get them out of the way I will start writing letters. I am sure I am going to enjoy it by the lake side as we have had a few really hot days. There are 6 of us in my cabin. 2 for trips and 4 for section 3.
It seems a lifetime away now but it was only last week that I travelled up to London with mum and dad and had a few beers in the Blucher. A competition has started on the waterfront. The first one to shave gets the beers in.

Tuesday 28th June
The kids have been here for about 4 days. Me and Jonathon have been landed with some right swines. They are on the whole ok but three of the kids are unbelievable. Really abusive and won’t do as they are told. I was up at ¼ past 6 for the polar bear club. Quite a good start to the day once you get out of bed. I was in bed last night by 10. The camp has now split into boys and girls. Weather is great – we have been putting kids through swim tests and giving them tags. Lessons will start this afternoon. I am writing this in free time/ rest hour overlooking a trout pond. This evening is free. I have written a zillion postcards and letters to mum and Heather, but I have got nothing back.

Thursday 7th July 2pm
An absolutely scorching day for the third day running. Last night was really muggy so it’s down to one sheet. I had a day off yesterday so I went to Old Orchard Beach on the bus with a few girls. First of all we stopped off in Portland to get our Maine state ID. I got some photos on the one hour thing. – They are really good but I paid way over the odds for them. Some really good ones of Chicago Meatpackers. Excellent one of me and Heather drinking lager. Also a very good one of July 4th. On the 4th we had a very relaxed day. Boiling hot. I went in the stocks. In my evening my kids were a pain in the neck again. This time with fire. I put water over it, then saw that they were putting bug spray over it. I have found, at last some time to play tennis. If I don’t go out in my free time I can get a set in and still be out by 8.30. I have only had two letters. One from Heather and I was surprised to get one from Liz Rogers who hopes to be in Sydney in September. That could be handy as a start. I am in the middle of replying to them both.
Our kids are in the middle of another punishment. This time because they were fighting on the camping trip, which thankfully cannot be blamed on me. I am teaching boating in the afternoon and because of the heat will be doing capsize drill again so that I can get in another swim. In my cabin I am finding Dave very trying because he is so boring. On about his engagement. The Polar Bear club is down to 6. The only problem was last Sunday as I got back at ¼ past 6 and was knackered – out tonight. I will play tennis and get a few beers from the Ville and go to the banned beach.
Sunday 10th July
Temperature has been in the 80’s and 90’s over the last couple of days. Last night and today we have had two cracking storms – thunder lightening etc. My tan is coming on lovely – I was very surprised when I saw the white mark my watch had made – very impressive.
Today I was told to swap jobs. I had to see Yonce and Steve and Sharpy.I am now the tripping counselor with Pho;. Andy has gone to the owls and James to the falcons. I am all smiles about the arrangement as a few of the individuals I was in charge of are the most foul mouthed obnoxious kids I have come across. It will be a good chance to see more of the country and I will be canoeing, rafting and hiking – I get on better with Phil than Jonathon and I have every evening off we are on camp and I will have Saturdays free. On the negative side it will cost me a few bucks to get decent boots and some of the trips will be repeated. Last night on the beach was great fun, chatting to Helen Steve and others before being moved on by the police. We then had a few beers at the end of the drive before the rain and lightening came. It was great. Today at camp we had a camper hunt when all the kids had ¼ of an hour to disappear and we had to find them. During the week it was great to hear from mum and dad which included my access card. I will not use it unless in dire emergency. I was pleased to hear from Heather, Caroline and Jose Rubio from school.
Thursday 14th July
Taking a trip out today canoeing down the lake for a couple of hours and then camping overnight on a beach camp. Yesterday I got back from a hiking trip. Really good fun. I burnt myself quite a bit so I will have to be careful. With this tripping job I feel I may get very quickly cheesed off with burgers etc. Can’t find any socks anywhere. Loads of people went out to “show case” last night but I didn’t bother because of money. Polar Bear club this morning was down to 3
8.07 Took out 5 kids – just before dinner – had to keep to the side of the lake because the water was so rough. When we got opposite the camp ground we had to paddle like sin to get to the other side. No sooner had the tents been erected it poured down with rain. That settled down and the lake was calm so we went for a swim. I made a pot of “chuck it all in” – it was great – a bit too hot but the kids did not murmur anything but appreciation. I had them saying mmm after every mouthful. We then had a thunder and lightning storm. I said “sod this for a laugh” and dived into a tent + wrote a letter to Nolesy, - don’t know how well that is going to be received. Had a letter off Bill Cunningham yesterday. Everything seems ok on his camp. I will probably see him in Ottawa.
- I am quite excited about Canada. On Monday the whole camp is going roller skating. I don’t mind whether I go or not. If I go it should be a good crack, if I don’t I will get some waterskiing in. I am enjoying this trip job – lot’s more freedom. I don’t know how I will be feeling in 6 weeks time when the trips start repeating themselves
Sunday 17th July
Got up early at 6.20 for Polar Bear club. I upset the boys in my cabin because I keep pausing my alarm. After Polar bear club – it was cold today- I got in the camp bus with Simo to make some phone calls. It is great – it’s like winning the jackpot every time. You put in 6 bucks and when the operator buts in after 3 minutes you put the phone down and all the money falls back out. I phoned home and mum and dad were at a bowls weekend. God news from Kevin that he had a 2:2 in his B. Ed – still quits. Catherine is going to see Michael Jackson on Wednesday – she seems quite excited about it, she said he has been having really good reviews in London. I phoned Heather – no answer, Chris J no answer and Jacko was out at Hyde Park to hear Desmond Tutu speak – I presume. That’s where everybody else is. Tutu is speaking at a rally for Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday. If I was in Britain I would definitely have gone as he is one of my biggest heroes
I had yesterday off and initially I was cheesed off as I was stuck on camp but I ended up sailing on my own for the first time, although the wind was light. I also completed a lap of the lake waterskiing. Bill Roach did his utmost to get me over in the wake but I am not ready for that yet. In the evening I went to Portland, drinking Guinness and dancing. Again I really enjoyed it, the crowd I was with were really good company – had a sing song on the bus on the way down which killed the hours journey. I am thinking if at all possible the Olympics in September. It is all very remote and pie in the sky but if I could get a flight to Australia via Seoul it would be great. Raining and cold in London – good
Tuesday 19th July
Phones are still on the blink at the camp. I am trying to abuse them with little success. Yesterday I phoned a few people. No answer from Heather, Jacko and Nolesy were both out. I got through to Jacko and had a chat and then made a real balls up. I got through to the operator and asked for a number which she was connecting me + I asked her shall I put the money in. – The operator was surprised as the computer was saying it was a private call and not a public phone so I put the phone down and tried again, but I got the same operator, who recognized my voice and told me not to put the phone down. So I did. I was going to phone home and Heather.
At the moment I am sitting in a van on a trip feeling sorry for myself as ii have just had a smack in my eye from a stick off wood. I stamped on it and as it split it jumped up and gave me a smack in the eye. It’s blackened up a bit but keeps watering heavily and it hurts quite a bit.
Yesterday we went roller skating which I really enjoyed although I was pretty poor at it. I went over quite a few times and split my jeans.
I don’t have Saturday off this week as I am taking kids to Boston with Phil. I will have Friday off instead. I am also scheduled to take a bunch of group one-errs on a hike on Thursday.
Wednesday 20th July
My eye has blackened up quite a bit – I will have to get a photo of it. Last night I slept in the bus.I went to sleep really easy as I was less than useless outside of it as my eye was weeping like mad. It seems ok now but still weeping a bit.
Sunday 24th July
God what a boring day. It poured down all day – I had nothing to do at all. It was ½ way stage on the camp – the one half left yesterday and a new lot came in. Seems like all the best kids left and all the bad one remained. Yesterday I went to Boston for the day taking 12 Puerto Rican kids to the airport. I read the book Les Miserable’s all day to relieve the boredom of the journey On the way down one of the kids threw up on my arm because of travel sickness. On the way back Larry stayed in Boston, but me and Phil went for a great seafood meal in Massacheteus Got back at ½ 8 went to the beach with a few people and shared a bottle of wine. Had a good laugh. Bill Roach has said he may come on tour to Canada which would mean a lift for me. He could then join the Gayts when he is in London. I wrote a letter to Danny Garvey for information on the tour and also Jim Williams and Mandy.
Wednesday 27th July
I am in limbo at the moment. Phil has resigned, so I haven’t got a clue what I will be doing next week. The camp is expecting to employ somebody else. I am taking a group of kids on a hike to Eagle point today and tomorrow we are taking a tubing trip out. The water should be high. The new kids seem to be fine. Polar Bear club is still going strong- at the moment it is on 29. I have recently had a bit of mail. A couple off Heather, one off Nolesy and a p/c off mum and dad. At the moment I am reading the autobiography of Malcolm X. I can’t find my wallet anywhere.
Thursday 28th July 10pm
Got up at 20 past 6 for Polar Bear club – number on 25. After breakfast prepared for the tubing trip. As I still can’t find my wallet I had to phone Access in Scotland to stop it – just in case. I will probably find it later now, but I am concerned. I really must insure myself when I get to Oz. I phoned up Southend and got a free phone again. I asked for the operator and she assumes it is a direct line from a house so I am simply connected. I have got to abuse that phone. I may get up early to try it on Sunday. I am kipping in the van – we have got a pioneers group out – the kids are great. I have been swimming a couple of times – the weather is foul. It poured down at one stage and yesterday morning was completely rained off. I got stuffed 6-2 in tennis by Mark McDonald. The trip is tubing – I am hoping it is really hot.
Sunday 31st July
Got up at 6.15 for Polar Bear club. Bill never made it this morning. I had a shower and went to abuse the phone. I had a chat with dad – mum was out. Tim O’Donnell got 4 years for rape. Kevin has got a job in Treforest. I phoned the operator and she just put me through. I phoned Jacko who was in Mass and I had a chat with Jim Williams. I also had a few words with Pat who will send me a few Private Eyes. I tried to phone Hungry but the operator informed me I was calling from a call box. I denied it and put the phone down.
Bad news is that Mark McDonald has been fired for piercing a kid’s ear. Straight off camp within 12 hours. I hope to meet up with him in Sydney but I have got to get his address. Yesterday was georgeous, so I spent all day in the sun- life is hard. I had letters off Heather and Paula who has now moved, but I have lost the address. I would have phoned them both this morning but I have not got their phone numbers.
In “Three dollar Dewies “in Portland three girls recognized me from 3 years ago at Waterville. Unbelievable really – I had a few beers with them. A new tripping bloke is starting today as Phil has gone. I hope he is OK. My wallet has thankfully been found – minus the money. I have now got the problem that I have cancelled my access card + I will have to wait till a new one comes through. Still I have got my Maine state ID card back. World news is that the South African government has banned Cry Freedom which is hardly surprising.
Thursday 4th August 10 am
Lying in the sun on Sebago National park beach. I have just been swimming and the temperature is just perfect. Over the last couple of days me and Bob have run two canoe trips down the crooked river. Mondays was trying as we left late and it took over 5 hours. That meant we had to set up camp in the dark, and cook in the dark.. Yesterday we had a chance to swim, and then back to camp for an hour before taking another group out.
The new tripping bloke is different. He is heavily into identifying mushrooms of all things. I suppose it takes all sorts. – Could be worse – it could be Dave “spuds “Burns.
Luckily the weather is in the 90’s for our trip down the crooked river – most of it was under shade. – When we stopped for a dip the water was so refreshing. I had a letter off mum and dad and got Tina’s address in Toronto which is fairly important. Planned for this afternoon is 10 pin bowling which I have never done. It’s Kev’s birthday – I will try and get a freebie on the phone again. It blanked me on Sunday and James, but Simon was ok on Monday. I doubt if Bill will come on tour. I had a word with Pepper who is driving up to Montreal – he is prepared to give me a lift for most of the way to Burlington where I presume the Gayts are playing – I am waiting for a copy of the itinerary. I was also trying to get hold of Mike Ede but his phone was unavailable. I am still in the counselor table tennis and pool competitions. I am really pleased I beat Roger “YOOOO” Wilson in TT 2-0 and I fluked my pool game.
Sunday 7th August
In a really good mood. I have been abusing the phone again. God would only know what would happen if I got caught. I phoned Jacko, Nolesy, Heathers dads’ house, Bob Williams, H and Liz Charlton. I couldn’t believe they were all out. I had a chat to Chris Judd for ages then talked to mum and dad, Pete, Cath and Nan for quite a long time. The last four days have been brilliant; I have had such a fantastic time. Hitting the beach with beer and wine. I am out of the table tennis and pool tournaments – aaah well. Today is the day of the “great race” – should be different. I have had a Michael Pernface haircut. We had a scream in the barbers egging each other on to get it cut shorter. Chris Judd says the Gayts are training hard so I will have to go on long runs now ( I have heard that before) I have just put film in to get processed and am looking forward to getting it out. I am now reading Spycatcher to spite Thatcher.
9th August 5.45
Quickie this one as bugle for the flag at any minute. I have decided to get work with the North American Soccer Association so I have written them a letter with my reference from Brentford. It would be great if I could get a job in California in early September and they pay my way from Toronto. I would meet up with Quiggers Jon and Andy. I had a letter off Cath, wrote one to Paula. I did some fitness in prep for the tour. I am so unfit. I have really got to work hard. Bugle has just gone.
11 August 1.15
Just got back from another tubing trip. I am glad that’s the last one – I have been on about 7 now. On Monday is a hiking trip – should be good if we get enough people. My watch is knackered so I chucked it. I had a letter off Heather also one off Danny Garvey which gave me loads of info about the Old Gayts tour. I will miss the Burlington game but the boys are on a free day on Sunday the 21st – the day I travel up to see them. I have just had photos back – some of polar bear club and a couple of trips.
9.30 A mixed evening so far, first really frustrating and secondly really impressive. The latter first was Jamie Kellogg’s warrior ceremony. It was on the beach with a huge fire. The flame came from a tree and along a line and lit the fire. Canoes carrying torches came in from the lake. Indian dancers followed, with Bill Roach pulling people out from the crowd. Ernie, Fran and Roger suffered. I was so relieved not to get pulled out. James led the haka. I got a photo of them in the jump. I took 10 photos all together. Bill and Jamie then did fire juggling before the presentation and then he went out into the middle of the lake. I really enjoy good theatre and that was brilliant.
The former was concerning the phone. I have been on it free for about 3 weeks. I at last got Heather’s number for a chat and four times the operator asked for $5.50. I couldn’t believe it. I will definitely try again but it looks like my run of freebies is over. I will have to get in touch with Jacko for his brothers address and I also promised Mandy a ring. I have got to phone Tina to tell her when I will be in Canada. I know I have had a good run and it has been great to phone home but I still feel cheated and annoyed.
I am now going down the local beach via the ville for a few beers to undo the hard workout I did in prep for the tour – to Frankie’s two tribes. I am sweating conkers from the fire and the humidity
Friday 12th August 9pm
God it’s hot today. Things change. I at last got in touch with Heather and we had a really long chat on a freebie. Sometimes the phone gives it and sometimes it don’t. It was a topsy turvey day with all the year 3 girls on the water front. In the afternoon I got in the shade in the shop and listened to the Jam and made a gimp. I did no real exercise this morning and I feel a bit run down in my stomach. I did not go out to Portland this evening because1 I wanted to save money and 2 because I feel rough as sin. I have just been playing table tennis and it’s an early night for me.
Sunday 14th August 8.45
Up at 6.30 this morning. Not for Polar Bear club as that was at 7.30, but for the phone. News from home is that Peter and Marie have got engaged and have asked me to be Best Man in September 1990. I am really chuffed about it. I am also really pleased that it will be in 1990 not 1989. Kevin seems really pleased about starting in Treforest, but I got cut off when I was talking to him. I got Jacko’s brothers address in Sydney at last. He phoned home and gave it to dad, who gave it to me. I phoned Jacko in Havorfordwest, but he was at his nans – I may try and get back to him later. I had a long chat with Mandy, who has just got back from the Brisbane expo and reckons it is superb .I am really excited about going to Australia, but I would love to go to Seoul first to see the Olympics. If I can get 3 weeks work after camp I will go. Yesterday I went to Scarborough beach with Sanjay and Sharpy. The sun was so hot. I had a letter off Liz Rogers, so I gave her a ring and a chat in Sydney. She will definitely be there when I get to Oz as she is not leaving till early November. Yesterday evening I went to the beach with Graham and Chris Paykal and got hammered on cans of bud. I went for a swim to the dock and during a huge storm we all piled into cars.
Tuesday 16th August 7.10pm
This week is dragging a bit. The Gayts are already in Canada and obviously I would rather be on tour at the moment. Still it won’t be long now. This morning I was informed that me and Bob De Devilier were taking 10 group ones – Nine and ten year olds on a hiking trip up Mount Pleasant. I enjoyed it because it was different though tiring. The kids were bitching all the way up the climb. Yesterday I went to Windham for a few beers then onto a beach for lots more. Polar Bear club this morning was a struggle. I gave Dave Swainston a ring yesterday and had a chat with Chrissy Judd this evening. I am really going to miss t hat phone but to be fair virtually all the people I ring are usually out. Pepper still seems ok about giving me a lift to Burlington on Sunday. It will be a squeeze but will be great. I sent a card to Peter and Marie. There is an access card in the post for me. I hope to get it before Saturday.
Thursday 18th August
Really bad news today – my filling fell out. I phoned up the dentist and it could cost $29-$97 what a bummer. Apparently it will be much less in Oz so I hope it holds out till then. Last night was a really good crack. It was our last night so we hit “Showcase” + went fairly wild. I phoned up Heather earlier in the evening and had a chat. I tried to phone home but got blanked. I haven’t done much work over the last couple of days but Saturday is going to be really hard work by all accounts. It was the last day of the Polar Bear club this morning. We gave out T Shirts to the kids. The councellors didn’t get any because Yonce is tight.
10pm – got a letter off Heather which was posted 26th July, also a letter off dad with my access card and some clippings from the echo. I was able to phone and have a chat with Tina and she says it is fine for me to visit, so I am looking forward to that. I am so keen to be on my way now and join the boys who are having a riot of a time. Tomorrow I have a bum job – taking baggage to Portland airport. Saturday we are taking down camp which is supposed to be hard work and then onto the councellors party which is supposed to be a mega sesh. I am not at all comfortable about my tooth. I know it is going to need attention very soon, but I am reluctant to fork out nearly $100 for it, but the first sign of pain and it will be sod the expense. My wages from camp after all my advances will be $490.
22ND August 1988 1.45pm
I am on the tour bus with a beer in my hand on the way to Ottawa. Yesterday went so smooth I couldn’t have written it better. I had a lift to Burlington off Pepper with Danny and Steve Shaw. It was really cramped in the car. We packed it the night before. At Burlington I was on my own so I asked a few people where any of the rugby boys would drink. I was told the “Chicken Bone” café. I asked the barman did he know any rugby boys and asked me did I play against Mad River RFC yesterday. I said I didn’t but the Gayts did and I was trying to find them. He phoned the captain of mad river. He phoned the captain of Burlington who phoned up the place where there was a BBQ. I then had a message that I would be picked up. Danny Garvey came along and I have now joined the tour. I have got a kit bag with t shirts and ties but I am disappointed that it looks like I haven’t got the jacket I was expecting. Last night had a mega sesh and then back to the Chicken bone. I went home early and slept on a water bed. I was up early this morning and went for a walk to Lake Champlain. I wrote some postcards but did not address them all and left them behind.
The counselors party was eventful. – played THE most brilliant game “walleyball” – volley ball in a squash court. It was so fast. Later on I was lucky enough not to get caught up in a game if strip walleyball that went all the way. I did however get some photo’s. Burlington has so much character – I would love to visit it again – it was a pity I was only there one night. When we came through the White mountains the scenery was spectacular, with Mt Washington standing out in the clouds. I am really pleased to be on tour – the only thing I will miss is the free phone. Moneywise I am doing ok with $120 Canadian, $720 US and £700, although next week should be fairly high spending. Life is a laugh – chuffed on how things worked out yesterday.
Tuesday 23rd August 5.30
Woke up on a couch with a hangover. We arrived in Ottawa after 5 hours on the bus and got hosted out. We drank in the pub till 8 then dropped our stuff off and went out for more to drink – life on tour. Kevin my host got into a fight with a big black American football player and got a pasting.
Thursday 25th August 2pm
I am on the coach from Ottawa to Toronto – weather is rotten again. Yesterday’s game the Gayts won comfortably but the seconds didn’t get one. The night was brilliant – a cracking sing song followed by a disco in Hull.
Friday 26th August – Toronto
I found it impossible to write on the coach. We have a new host now, we being Bill Cunningham, Dave Russell, Paul Spellman and Phil Simpoes. We went out again yesterday. Socializing is really wearing me out. We went to the Duke of Kent pub. Which is the Toronto Scottish home base. – it was heaving, mostly with Brits. Good news is that it looks likely that me and Bill will get some labouring jobs in Toronto for a week - hopefully it’s not just beer talk. The bloke reckons we could be on about $80 a day- that would be cash in hand as well. We will hopefully spend a week working and then hitch over to the West coast. Bill has got a one week Greyhound pass and has to be in NY by the 28th September, so we will probably travel together for about 2 weeks before I go on. I still want to go to the Olympics in Seoul but we will have to see how things go. The Americas cup is in San Diego in mid Sept so that is a possibility as well. Booze is really expensive over here, 5 pints cost $19. I have phone Tina a couple of times, hopefully I will go around tonight. I may take the kids to the flicks if there is one local.
Saturday 12th August
Did the whole tourist bit yesterday. I did some laundry in the morning and then went into Toronto to the exhibition, which was like Barry Island. – not too impressed except for the loop the loop. One of the best things we did was go to the Canadian hall of fame. I saw the Stanly cup and other bits and bobs. We paid $8 to go up the CN tower. After that me and Bill went to Tina’s where we had a Chinese and a few beers. Had a great night chatting and got home at one. Our host “Majestic” is from London + his tour was brilliant - just pointing out four or five pubs and slagging off all the real points of interest. George Michael is in town tonight. Today we are off to Canada’s wonderland $20 to get in, but it is coming out of tour funds.
29th August Monday 10 past 10
Loads to write – been really busy over the last couple of days. Canada’s wonderland was brilliant – huge funfair with loop the loops, corkscrews etc. I was like a little kid lost in a sweetshop. I went on everything. In the evening was a party at Roger Swinburns house. Because we are on a budget we didn’t fancy spending a fortune in the pub before so me and Bill Cunningham went to the CNE where George Michael was playing. We avoided paying the $5 to get in and then messed around at the end. We went to the press box and I claimed I was from the South Wales Echo and demanded to be let in. Bill then said he was on an assignment for his school magazine. The copper was all in for letting us in but the steward blocked it. He told us the name of the head steward so we kept going to different gates. The concert had started by this time – we then saw a bloke coming out and the stewardess Mimi said to him “You can’t come in if you go out” - he replied that he had spares so Bill asked him for them. We got talking and eventually he gave us the tickets which were for the Royal box. The steward couldn’t believe it. I gave the bloke my Welsh/Canadian pin. Our seats were brilliant. After 5 mins this woman came to check if we were ok and got to our seats. The concert was great fun. “You just gotta have faith, faith, faith.. After woods it was up to Swinburns for the party. I got in at 3.
Yesterday was rugby. I played for the seconds. We won 22-0 I scored a try from the lineout – hardly a barbarian try. We had three pushovers which was great. The firsts also won 18-6 against Toronto Scottish. After woods it was drinking and singing at the Duke of Kent and at Tavios. I have got somewhere to stay for a week with Bill at this girl’s house in town. We have also been promised work as builder’s labourers for this Irish bloke, We will be working for $8 an hour – I expected $10 to be honest. We had to get somewhere else to stay as “majestic” will drive us around the bend otherwise. The postal strike is still on in Toronto. That means I have had no mail even though I gave millions of people Tina’s address as a forwarding address. At the moment I am sitting on the coach and we are going to Niagara Falls. I have always wanted to go there so it is quite exciting
Niagara 4pm
How anyone can underrate the falls I wouldn’t understand. What do people expect? The spray from them absolutely soaked us as soon as we got off the bus. The speed of the river is so fast and the scenery fantastic. All the way up on the bus we were drinking Labatt’s blue. Fairly wrecked when we got to Niagara. Had some great photos. I was starving – that’s all I had in the last 2 days were chicken wings and chips after the match yesterday. Me and Gareth Fox went for a meal in the Niagara Falls table restaurant. Had a three course meal with beer and then saved ourselves $37 by doing a runner. I couldn’t stop laughing. From there we went on the Maid of the Mist which was fantastic. We had to put on these blue macs but still got drenched as we went under the falls. What an experience. I was in two minds whether to go on the boat but I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Wednesday 31st August 7.50 Toronto
Been working all day shifting sand and knocking nails in wood. My back is really red. I will have to take sun cream tomorrow. Working for a bloke called Rob – who seems ok. The work was fairly hard, blisters all over my hands already. Last night we went to the Duke of Kent. Quite a productive night thought wise. What is the point of taking 5 days hitching west when I could work an extra 2 days and fly in comfort. . One of the boys Harry has loads of contacts in Calgary which could be good – loads of work as well. Then over the Rockies by train. It will be great.
Thursday 1st September 8.30
Up at 6.45 for work – spent all day shifting small stones. I am shattered but it will be worth it I’m sure. Last night I went with Bill for a Chinese and then for a couple of beers. Left the pub at 11 as we were so knackered. – chucking out time is 1. We are staying rent free in the rugby club physios place – Dianne! I was thinking of getting her flowers and chocs as a thank you, but it would be more practical to get her a kettle. Got in from work at 8. Bill had phoned up the airport and a return for Toronto – Calgary is $179 with 7 days notice. If we go in on Saturday we will fly out a week tomorrow. Out now for a meal, I really feel I deserve it as I have been flogging my guts out all day, sweating buckets and all I had at dinner was 2 sandwiches and loads of water.
Friday 2nd September
Things change daily – just when I had my heart set on a flight to Calgary – we can’t do it because Bill would have to stay 2 weeks which he can’t do. So – we may be leaving Toronto on Wednesday and hitching West again. I haven’t got a clue what is going to happen. Today’s work was preparing a house for painting tomorrow – very easy compared to the last couple of days.. Got paid $252 for 3 days work – which is brilliant compared to the $700 on camp for 2 months and I had to pay my air fare. I am working tomorrow, but if it rains there is no work.
Sunday 4th September
It did rain yesterday so no work which was a pity as I could have done with the cash. I spent most of the day in bed as I was shattered. I had a chance to do my laundry. On Friday – we (being Bill and Tony Zacconi went to three pubs which were “British pubs” in that everybody was Scots Irish and English. All the dialects meant t was like Nags Head in Covent Garden – spot the Canadian. A few of us went to a disco and they wouldn’t let us in with Jeans on so we took them off and they let us in with our boxer shorts!!
Today was a lazy day watching American Football and then the Blue Jays playing baseball. In the ninth innings the Blue Jays scored a grand slam. The two Canadian boys shouted “Duke Duke” – if there is a Grand slam in a Blue Jays game the Duke of Kent stands everybody a drink – so 5 of us ran to the pub for our freebies.. Earlier on in the day me Bill and Tony went for a meal and got chucked out because we had a few cans of Labatt’s Blue with us. I successfully sneaked on one into my glass but Tony got caught doing his.
Monday 5th September
Raining again this morning so no work. Gutted. Another lazy day. A gourmet meal was for dinner. Beans toast etc. Moneywise I am $181 Canadian, $558 US and £700. This means I have spent £126 since 23rd August which h seems brilliant but I have earned $250 since tour though.
Very boring all day – in the evening went to the flicks to see John Cleese in a fish called Wanda – really funny – then for a few beers before getting home for eggs and bacon supper. Plans hopefully include working all day tomorrow, Tina’s for tea in the evening then hitching to Chicago on Wednesday. The way things are going this week anything could happen. Weather-wise it is freezing, like November in Britain. – Cold, wet and windy. I wrote a letter to H – I hope to pick up some mail tomorrow.
Wednesday 7th September 8am
Off in about an hour – aiming to hitch to Chicago, I think it may be a bit optimistic. Worked painting all day yesterday which was ok and gave my funds a boost by $85. In the evening I went to Tina’s had a letter off Mary and an echo from home. I gave the kids a big bag of M + M’s and a badge each. Looking forward to moving on now.
11pm A really enjoyable, tiring day. We made it to Battle Creek in Michigan. Me and Bill caught a bus to the freeway and spent ages till we got a short lift out of the city. We made a sign which said England to Vancouver which worked as we had a monster of a lift – 3 hours to Windsor which is on the border of Canada / USA – we caught a bus to Detroit and immigration were really funny to me – where are you going etc. He asked me how much money I had, I told him and then he wanted to see it. Detroit was a problem getting out of. We were about an hour out and it wasn’t the place to be at dusk. Eventually we had a lift to Anne Arbor. It was a fairly rural place – we tried to hitch for ten minutes. It was getting dark so we decided it was a good place to put up a tent. Going up the ramp, an open topped van stopped and we jumped in the back. What an experience. It was freezing – we both pulled on our sleeping bags and lay down laughing. He dropped us off in a really smart transport café where we went in for a coffee. We had backpacks on etc and we got into a conversation with this old boy George who bought us coffee and a chili burger and then back to his place to crash and shower in the morning. He phoned up his English mate and we are now having a few beers – incredible really as at Ann Arbor we were willing to set up camp. He also gave us a gun that fires blanks “for our protection. What we are talking about now is not going through Chicago but hitching to Lake Michigan and getting a ferry across and then up to Minneapolis St Paul. I am shattered.
Thursday 8th September 10.30pm
Another fairly eventful day hitching. I am so tired it’s unreal. I know this sounds stupid but you cannot believe how big America is. We have travelled so far in the last couple of days, but if you look on the map it is nothing at all. Last night Old George wanted us to phone Britain . I plan on phoning home on Sunday to say I am ok so I phoned Heather. She said that Jacko is already in Australia. This morning we had very little luck until this black Vietnam vet gave us a lift to the outskirts of Chicago. Lift followed lift, then we had a really long ride to Madison Wisconsin. We had our only really bad experience on the road. This bloke picked us up and when he drove off it was obvious that he was blind drunk – swerving all over the place. We saw a MacDonald’s and me and Bill both said at the same time that we wanted food. It was the first opportunity to get out. He then wanted money for a burger. I gave him 2 Canadian dollars just to get out of the car. We then decided to have food so we went to this Greek place – the food wasn’t too good but the owner had sought political asylum from Greece in 1968 and can’t do enough for the British. We both crashed out on a mattress above the restaurant – another night without using the tent. I can hardly keep my eyes open. Hitching north again tomorrow – difficult to know where we will end up. Bill is now talking about using his Greyhound pass which he must use before it expires. I will therefore be on my own, which will be a pity, He reminds me in many ways of Mackers.
Friday 9th of September 1am
I am on my own now. Bill caught the 1.30am bus from Minneapolis to Vancouver. We left Madison Wisconsin, which I was not impressed with about 11 and had a quick lift to the motorway. We then stood for about an hour in the sun, god it was hot. A bloke stopped and was going all the way to Minneapolis, so we had a four hour lift. We got to the Greyhound station where Bill booked his bus and I left my rucksack. We then went for a $20 meal, steak and the works and then I had to find somewhere to crash. We walked to the Uni of Minnesota where we met these blokes playing basketball – got talking and I am now in a party which is dead. I have got my sleeping bag with me so I will crash here if needs be. We did some shopping earlier and I bought a jean jacket and jeans for $80
Saturday 10th September
Got back from the party at 4 am – woke up in the Delta Dildum? Fraternity – about 10. I managed to persuade one of the boys to give me a lift to the greyhound station and then to the motorway. I had a brilliant lift to Fargo – about 3 hours – we stopped for a MacDonald’s – it’s the only grub I have had all day. I am still at Fargo now and it is starting to get dark so I will be putting up my tent. The weather reports say there is 40% chance of storms. I will not be happy if it is raining in the morning, but the clouds are building up and it looks threatening. I have been sitting here all day on my own, it is so boring it is untrue. At one point the North Dakota Police stopped, I had to show ID and passport, then he went. Bored, Bored, Bored. I am now tired, hungry and cold. I hope I soon won’t be wet as well. I am not too keen on good old North Dakota at all. Looking at my map I predict I will be in Calgary by next Wednesday!! We will see.
Sunday 11th September 9.30
Last night I went to a transport café for a burger and coffee. Set my tent up in the dark and in the wind. Thunderstorm last night. Packed up ok then walked to the transport café for a shower and shave. God that felt good. I am now trying to phone home to say I am ok but I can’t get a line to Britain. – sent Gunnersbury a post card – North Dakota is flatter than Splott and more boring than Chris Hogg’s jokes. I don’t know how long I will be in Fargo. The sooner out of this place the better. If I could cross into Canada today it will be brilliant, but I doubt it as it is a Sunday
4.30 Had a really good four hour lift to Minot. Weather absolutely dreadful. If I get another lift I will probably be in Canada. Got through to mum this morning, she had sent a few letters to Tina which did not get through. I also phoned Jacko in Oz who says he has lined up a teaching job in Sydney for me but I need the originals of my degree and my PGCE. If I phone home when I get to Calgary I will get them to send them to Jacko’s brother. I had a count of my US money and I am down to $100 – which is bad. That can’t be right. Just had a huge meal of burger and chips and 10 cups of coffee. I am setting out to hitch in the cold and wet and it is really grey. I predict I won’t get further than this tonight so it will be pitch the tent in Minot
7.30 Two great lifts have got me 19 miles from the border. It really is desolate and cold.
Monday 12th September
Australia here I come. I have just spent one of the coldest nights of my life. I am in a truck stop for a breakfast and a shower. My hands are so cold I can hardly grip the pen. I did get to Canada and threw up the tent about 11.30 last night. I stripped off and dived into my sleeping bag. Within ½ hour I was freezing so I stuck on thermal socks, tracksuit bottoms and a top – the top had a hood. I then got right in my sleeping bag, but it’s only a lightweight – I bought it like that as I knew I would be in the sun all the time. Later on I was still freezing so I zipped up my coat and pulled it over my trunk and used a trick I learnt on an outdoor pursuit’s course. I emptied all the contents of my rucksack and stuck my legs in it for warmth. I had no sleep at all last night because of the cold. This morning I couldn’t pick up my tent because it was so cold. It had ice all over the fly sheet, so I have scrunched it all up and I will have to fold it up when it gets warmer. There is no cloud cover hence the frost so today looks georgeous. I am about 400 miles from Calgary at a place called Regina – it would be fair to say that I would be disappointed if I didn’t make it today. I found that extra $200 – I knew that there had to be some mistake being down to $100.
Last night was great – until camping started. I was about to pack up and put out the tent and then had a lift off this Indian who gave me a 3 hour lift to Regina via his mothers at White Bear Reservation. – He was really interesting. It had been raining so the road in the reservation was a really muddy dirt track – skidding all over the place. I have been joking that that all the way through the States the only wildlife I have seen has been splattered all over the road – skunks, raccoons etc. Yesterday in the dark we saw loads of deer and, by the side of the road a beautiful white owl and a white cayote. Really nice to see but obviously hazardous driving. When I get to Calgary I hope to bump into Calgary Saints RFC and look for somewhere to crash. I can’t see myself wanting to crash in the tent in the frost again so quickly! The shower here is costing me $5 – it hurt to pay it but it is so important to feel clean when hitching.
8.15 - After yesterdays really successful day today was a complete disaster. I should have known better!!! I had a lift from Regina to a place called Moose Jaw, then a van stopped and I was offered a day’s work roofing. – I even asked him how much but he didn’t tell me. That is the last time I ever work before knowing exactly how much. The work was hard and I am not exactly comfortable on a roof. The bloke was a real pig shouting orders here and there. It was a gorgeous day – perfect for hitching I suppose. I got paid $30 and there was nothing I could do about it. I then got a lift for an hour to Swift Current. There is no clouds in the sky so there is bound to be a frost tonight. There is no way I could bear another freezing night in the tent. – Ice droplets all over the tent like this morning, so I have cut my losses. OK so I messed up and I have spent the $30 on am motel room – so really, the only thing I have lost is a day and time is not of the essence anyway. I am 300 miles from Calgary. I will be very disappointed if I don’t get there tomorrow. I am going to take a walk into Swift Current to see what it is like.
Calgary Tuesday 13th September
Made it to Calgary at last – I got in about 5.30. After yesterdays disaster I was lucky to get one lift for 5 hours from Swift Current. Before leaving I had a Big Mac and I swear that’s the last time I touch MacDonald’s. On the way t he scenery was really boring again although we did see loads of deer on the side of the road and loads of “nodding donkeys” drilling for oil. I saw the Rockies in the distance about 180 miles away – they are so impressive. The background of Calgary is the Rockies which looks great from a distance. When I got to Calgary I had an Italian meal and phoned the Calgary Rugby Union, they gave me an address where I went to and watched a rugby match and then had a beer and got introduced to one of the Calgary Saints who was in London last year – he has put me up for the night. I will probably stay for two days and move on. Banff is supposed to be so nice, but very expensive.
Last night I went to the flicks on my own. I saw “Big” – ok – it killed a couple of hours – I then went to a bar with 5 people in – in the centre of town. I phoned home and asked dad to send my degree and PGCE to Jacko’s brother. When on the phone I continued the conversation and the operator told me I had $5 to pay, I said ok and then said goodbye and simply walked away from the phone. News from home is Adolf has gone North for £100,000
Thursday 15th September
Spent yesterday wandering around Calgary – got myself an Olympic pin and a lovely sweatshirt. In the evening went to watch the Saints beat the Irish in some cup competition. Had a quiet night after. I was in two minds what train to catch. One stops in Banff and I would spend 24 hours there but the other goes over the Rockies in the daylight. I wanted to go on the latter but was really disappointed to find that it is $370 and the other is $74. I went to get a ticket today and the bloke told me it was all sold out. I got a ticket to Banff – The guard said are you a student? I asked why and he told me it is cheaper “OK I am a student then” The fare to Banff is now $9 and the whole trip is $50 – probably kip in the tent again tonight.
Banff Friday 16th September
Had a really productive day travel wise yesterday. I dosed around all morning killing time before the train. Got chatting to this Scot who had been travelling since 1984. I bought a book RAGE for the journey which is great. The train journey took us into the Rockies which are obviously really spectacular – billions of peaks. There was nowhere at the station to store my gear so I went to the Banff Youth Hostel – sharing a room with 3 others for $9; I ate and read, then went out for a beer with 4 lads – 2 Ozzies a German and an Englishman. – They are travelling around in a VW van so I have joined them hopefully for a couple of days – today we are driving up to the hot springs and hopefully later on to the ice fields. The weather is dreadful so there is a chance they may go to Calgary, which would be a shame as I would carry on going west. At the pub there was a brilliant pianist – I phoned dad cos it was his birthday.
10pm – the 5 of us just went to the hot springs. The temperature outside in the mountains is fairly cold but in the springs it was boiling. We had to keep getting out to cool down – it was great – so relaxing. The van we are in is a real wreck – We have to park it uphill as the starter is wrecked. We left the hot springs on the way to the ice fields + then it started snowing – it was great. We picked up two French girls and packed them into the van so there were 7 of us. The snow got worse and the van started skidding around a bit so we came into a youth hostel called Mosquito Creek. We have got a fire going and it is snowing heavily outside. It is really scenic and spectacular. The dorm is loads of bunk beds which looks great. Everyone is in a party atmosphere. Snow is forecast again for tomorrow so I don’t know how long we are going to be stuck here for. I have taken some brilliant photo’s
Mosquito Creek Rocky Mountains Saturday 17th September 10 am
About 4 O ‘Clock all 7 of us went for a short hike along this river. Brilliant. We were snow fighting all the time. The best crack was to throw a snowball high into a tree which causes the whole load of snow to fall on someone. We saw this waterfall which I took a photo or two. The water is run off from the glacier – the colour is a pale blue. Later on we went for a brilliant sauna and again had a snow fight, again more photo’s In the evening we ate and played pontoon 21 for a couple of hours. Today the weather looks fine so we are going to head off to the ice fields and then probably onto Jasper. The cost of staying here last night was $6.50 – hardly broke the bank – a brilliant experience. This morning I had to wash in a mountain stream – so cold.
Sunday 19th September 9am
Well plans change again. We were warned that there was a heavy snow warning so because it is such a good place and we didn’t want to risk it we have stayed put. We had a ten dollar whip and me and Graham the Ozzie hitched to Lake Louise and got supplies in. We spent seventy odd on food and seventy odd on booze – ale, whisky, vodka, red and white wine. We then hitched back. The weather was ok so we then went for an hour’s hike which took 4 because we were aiming to see this beautiful lake called Lake Hector. We missed it – our feet were soaking. In the evening we had a brilliant meal – loads of veg and a mince, onions and red wine dish as well. We drank the red and white wine then started on the beers. The girl in charge of the place said we couldn’t drink the whiskey. What we did was sneak the coke into the lemonade bottles. We started a sing song with guitars – the nationalities in the place were Welsh, English, Australian, German, French, Swiss, Japanese, Italian, Dutch and Canadian. It was such a laugh jumping on the seats etc. The funniest thing was at eleven O’clock the woman in charge of the place imposed a curfew so we all had to go to bed – to the sound of Hi – Ho. We never went to bed but went to the VW combi to continue the sing song. After I went to bed the boys saw the northern lights. I missed them. We are now making breakfast, Eggs, bacon, sausages, the biz. - Everyone is so friendly here it is great. Washing in the stream is freezing. Hopefully we will get to the ice fields today.
2.30 On the way to the ice fields, seeing some of the most breathtaking scenery of mountains and valleys I have ever seen or am likely to see. I have been snapping photo’s like a Japanese tourist. The road is twisting around and all 7 of us agree that we are so glad we never attempted the drive in the snow – it’s absolutely beautiful – there is a definite snow line on all of the mountains.
4pm Just been walking and slipping over on the Athabasca glacier – the crevices were so deep and blue. Again I took loads of photo’s – one of me skidding down on my bum. We hiked up onto the ice and went for about 500 yards up to it. If it was snowing we couldn’t have done it. The VW took about an hour to start this morning. We pushed it, used leads and then had a tug. It took us ok to here but now won’t start again. Aiming for Jasper tonight, then onto Vancouver. I am really glad I met up with these boys as I never would have had the opportunity on my own.
Monday 19th September
The VW would not start so I resigned myself to a night in it. All 7 of us curled together in sleeping bags – instead we attached a tow rope and got a tow to Athabasca falls youth hostel. We thought it was closed, but couldn’t believe our luck when we were told not only was it open but there was a party going on with free food and booze. It was great with a disco inside and a roaring fire outside. The weather is wet and really cold. Plans for today is to get towed to Jasper and then catch the train to Vancouver and then get a cheap ticket to Oz. Reading a brilliant book Rage by Wilbur Smith.
Tuesday 20th September 10 am
On the train to Vancouver – I am absolutely shattered as I have been on this thing since 8 pm last night with very little sleep. Yesterday was a bit of a drag as the van wouldn’t work so we had it towed to Jasper and then it was in the garage all day. We did laundry, had a shower then went to the pub for happy hour. At first there were to be 4 of us on the train – Richard, Beatrice and Dominique but they decided to stay. I really wanted to be on the move again. The last couple of days were brilliant, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world – especially climbing on the glacier and getting stuck at Mosquito Creek – those photo’s will be brilliant. I got my ticket for $40 instead of $60 as I said I was a student again and showed my Maine state ID card. The Olympics are on day 4 today – it is funny I looked forward to them for ages, even considered seriously going to Seoul and then when I was in the Rockies I took no interest in them whatsoever.
Again I don’t know what I am going to do when I get to Vancouver. First thing will definitely be food as I am starving and then I will leave my gear in the station and get to the University and get a look at their travel board. I will have to get a paper and find any cheap flights. Accommodation could be Tom Barber – if I give him a ring or more likely the youth hostel.
7pm The University was useless so I went to a few travel agencies. They were all quoting $1221 with a 14 day waiting list. I was then able to get a flight this Friday for $1112 which I was fairly pleased with until I phoned up this Chinese place in the middle of Chinatown which was a fairly dodgy area – I have been able to get a flight for $948 leaving Saturday at 3.50pm arriving after about 15 hours in Hong Kong and leaving for Sydney at 10.20pm arriving at 8.55am – it will be hell of a journey but it will be great to get to Oz – I am fairly concerned that if I get stopped I haven’t got a return ticket and I am very short of cash entering the country. I will change my travellers’ cheques tomorrow and get the ticket; I will then phone Jacko and tell him when I get in.
Wednesday 21st September
Left the Hostel at 10 and bumped into the French girls Beatrice and Dominique who were just getting into Vancouver - that was really good news as I have got company for the next 2 days . I picked up my plane ticket and then wandered around Chinatown and then Gas Town. Gas Town was very impressive – we then went to Canada Place. I phoned Jacko and he said that he would be at the airport to meet me which is really good of him. I hope there are no delays. On the way back to the hostel I saw a rugby game taking place Vancouver Rowing Club v UBC old boys and got invited over for a beer within a minute. I posted a post card to Tina.
Vancouver Island Friday 23rd September
At breakfast yesterday I saw Richard who had just got into the hostel from the Rockies. By the sound of it the VW van had broken down terminally The four of us got on a bus to Vancouver and then out to the ferry. We had 20 minutes to kill so we went for a burger and missed the bus. With the girls hitching was easy. The ferry ride was really good – passing all the Islands, we hitched into Victoria before dossing around before going for a meal. Richard went back and we found the youth hostel, there was no one on the desk so I sneaked in for free. I phoned Tom Barbour who said it was ok to crash at his place tonight. – that is brilliant as I can go from his place to the airport. I really can’t wait to get to Oz now. I am not looking forward to the length of time in the air as it will be hell – I am also not looking forward to getting to customs. I will be very relieved when I get through. Jacko will probably want to go out for a beer or two but I will be shattered - begging for kip. Weatherwise it is rotten – Drizzle and health wise I have got a cold sore that I can’t get rid of and a heavy cold coming on – I will hit the beaches in a couple of days

Entry 23-9-88 Well Bernie we had a great night tonight!! You got so drunk at the Queen’s cross you passed out at the table!! Then back at Tom’s house you showed us your Flintstone’s boxer shorts and passed out on the couch. You had offers of gorgeous Canadian girls to use their bodies as you wished but you were asleep !! So we went home and nothing happened. Oh well Goodbye Canada and all those who sleep here.
PS Pizza was great – yummy. Love + best of luck Tom, Louise Denise
24-9-88 Planet earth Destination Vancouver – Hong Kong – Australia !!
Their speaking a language I can’t understand. God help me. I don’t care if they call me a Pommy Bastard – just speak my language!!
On the plane now – really boring travelling on your own. I love take offs and landings but 13 hours in between. Yesterday watched the 100 metres when Ben Johnson beat Carl Lewis- brilliant race. Lynford Christie came third. Mega beers after so I am again on a plane with a hangover, I will see my luggage again in Sydney hopefully. At Hong Kong I have to go through customs and check in for my flight, which means I will get a Hong Kong stamp in my passport. I am really tired and bored but find it impossible to sleep on a plane. Typically – I only saw two films in the States and “Big” is the in flight film – seen it.
On the second plane now to Sydney. When at Hong Kong I phoned home to tell them I was on the move. I had my photo taken next to a Welcome to Hong Kong sign – plane is delayed about an hour. Trying to knock out some zzzzzz’s but finding it very difficult? I am quite worried about getting through customs
Sydney Monday 26th September
Another city, another continent. I did not enjoy the plane journey at all as it was too long – also my cold got worse and worse as the trip went on. I could not believe what happened near landing. I blew my nose and it started pouring with blood. Waiting for my bags took ages and again my nose started pouring with blood. Jacko was at the airport. I was an hour late. I couldn’t have been good company as I was shattered – we went to Coogee beach and I swam for the first time in the Pacific – it’s as cold as the Atlantic. We had a few beers and watched the Olympics. A silver for a Cardiff boy Colin Jackson in the hurdles. The weather in Sydney is superb. It got dark at 6. For a laugh me and Jacko phoned Gunnersbury and spoke to Bob Williams – it was about ½ 9-10 on a Monday morning in school – we shouted down the phone that we had been to the beach all day. I phoned Liz Rogers and I will go out for a drink with her tomorrow. I don’t think I appreciate the fact that I am in Australia yet. I feel really rough – both tired and my cold is now on my chest - still summer is just around the corner again – ha
Monday 28th September
A very enjoyable couple of days, although my cold has got really bad. Yesterday I bought a paper and the headlines screamed out that Ben Johnson’s gold was void as he failed the drugs test – anabolic steroids. I just sat down and said WHAT – couldn’t believe it. He is now back in Canada – disgraced and banned for the rest of his life. Today I hit Bondi beach – the water was great. I had a letter off Nolesy and then went to the job centre. Me and Jacko were in stitches when we saw this job being advertised for Santa Claus. I had a go for it but I don’t think I will get the job as they seemed keen on someone else. It was in Bondi junction – so I had to hit the beach all afternoon. I wrote an aerogramme to Nolesy, went for a swim and did some reading. I spent yesterday in town. Still no idea on my GCSE results although Rourkey said they were all right according to Jacko. I am really keen to find out now if that’s the case. I will give Jacko hell if they are just one grade better than his. Out for a beer in town tonight.

Saturday 1st October 10am
Looking forward to today. I am working in the Sydney opera house this evening.

Wednesday 5th October 11.15pm
Probably my last entry as I have filled my first book. Last few days have been all rush and thankfully all work. Today is Catherine’s birthday and I managed to get a call through to her, which I was really pleased about. Mail wise has been a real bumper day – my degree and post grad certificates came through with a lovely long letter from mum and dad. Also were two letters from Heather – one was 4th August and the other was 11th August – saying you will soon be going to Canada. I also had a letter from Jacko sent to the USA. Still haven’t got my results though. – enclosed in the mail was a football echo. We are now in the Coogee youth hostel where we will probably stay till the 15th when we will move to a place on Maroubra beach – unfortunately sharing a room though. Monday was a bank holiday and we had a really good time at Randwick races. Jacko had the Midas touch – everything he backed came in - I typically wasn’t so lucky. The evening wasn’t so pleasant with Jacko and his brother Jim having a mega row so we moved out on Tuesday morning. We went to this hostel which was the wrong place. After work yesterday I went to the green room at the Sydney Opera house for a few drinks and got invited to a party. I got home about 3am and there were no beds – I had to sleep on the floor. I played hell with the woman this morning but didn’t get my money back. Jacko is the definitive winging Pom. Every third sentence is “God it is hot” to be fair it is warm but it is what I expected and what I came over for although I am apprehensive about Queensland in January – the heat will be unbelievable. I was pleased to hear from Catherine this morning that in Cardiff it was cold and raining - Ha – puts it into perspective. There is a moth outbreak in Sydney. The buggers are everywhere – but, give me moths over mozzies any day as moths only eat your clothes. The people at the opera house are a good laugh but there are too many poofs to be comfortable.

Australia...  August 1989
Surfers well, so if anything ever goes wrong with the car again we will simply get the honey out. I phoned Kevin last night because it was his birthday - I caught him home because it was his holidays - It's teachers like Kevin I hope to rope into my T Shirt selling scheme in the cesspot places of Europe. Benidorm, Cappella, Magaluf etc. We went for a pizza last night then a couple of quiet beers before hitting the sack at 1/2 10. Pat was funny as he had the top bunk, it was the most unsteady bed in the world.
My plan of attack for today is to go to Surfers and have half hour in the sea on the bookie boards - then head for Brisbane. We will pick up the Irish girls and we need to get a roof rack. In the pub I want to watch live coverage of NZ v Australia - the All Blacks will simply murder them. I suppose it would be nice to see an upset, but I can't honestly see it. After that it is all consensus. I don't really want to stay in Brisbane as I have been there for 3 weekends already, but we will see what every one else wants. I did 50 sit ups this morning. I have got to make some attempt.
11.40 Running about half hour late - never mind. A very cloudy day but when we went in the sea it was gorgeous. Paula wouldn't go in - me and Mackers steamed in - it was very rough = Mackers only caught one good wave - I caught about 5 - love it, I can't get enough of the sea + can't wait to hit the reef. As we were about to leave someone shouted "Bernie" - I looked over and recognised Paul Ennis from camp last year. He is living in Brisbane and has changed his name to Paul Matthews . Great to see him - a pity really that we only had a few minutes to chat. It would have been nice to have had a beer. If you stop to think about it it's unbelievable but it happens all the time - Yosser, Nicky Lia in Brisbane, JT in Sydney Welsh. Last night I got a "I support Greenpeace" sticker which is now on the car. Pat reckons that 's a bit rich when driving a V8 that uses half the world's daily output of petrol.
Sunday 6th August Noosa Heads
11 O'Clock start - I hoped to be off at 9 but we had to wake all the girls at the Downtown, then shave and shower and had a big breakfast. Abut of a dispute where to go today Frazier ISlanad v Rockhampaton with the latter winning. R is about 6hours worth so we hope to drive for about 3hours then hit the beach + then off again. A photo of the Tropic of Capricorn wIll be worth keeping. The weather is boiling.
Last night we arrived in Noosa about 7. We all went to the local pub. It was fairly dead so we went next door to where a Band was playing. The people we are travelling now are Bernie, Orla,Loraine and Caroline. Bernie was a riot last night selling arsehole t shirts. She sold 2. Me and Pat kipped in the car, fairly uncomfortable really as believe it or not it's not big enough to stretch out in. It will hopefully be a tent tonight. One of the things we keep swing is Big things. Big banana, Big pineapple, Big pineapple and we saw a sign for the Big fish. Pat loves it and is all in for missing the barrier reef to take pictures of Big things. Woke up this morning to see 5 pelicans - a bit different fRom London, Cardiff and Swansea.
11.30 - just passed the Big strawberry - getting loads of postcards.
Tuesday 7th August 8.30 am from My Larcombe to Yeppoon
An early start after a very eventful day yesterday . Our first disaster was our choice of beach Bargara - very impressive + miles or should I say K's from the Bruce Highway. We had food and drink - sandwiches again and then went off heading for Rockhampaton. Our next disaster was we ran out of petrol again. Pat walked to the garage with a can. The girls welcomed the chance to smoke. We trbundled until we had our major disaster of the day. Orla was driving and all of a sudden it became very bumpy. We pulled over and there was smoke everywhere - it smelt like a hot water bottle. The tyre had blown and it was in tatters. Quite frightening to look at. We took some photo's but my camera never worked. I hope it is just the batteries. I have only had it a week. Pat jacked it up, the girls smoked and I had a look at the spare tyre - it looks dreadful. We need to get two brand new tyres - I think they cost about $300 so we will get a brand new one and use the dodgy one as a spare again. Pat jacked up the car, but couldn't get it down so the girls flagged down a car and they helped us out. On we went intending to stop at the next petrol station but it was closed we were running low on juice so we stopped at this pub which was closed. Me and Orla went in to see the best place to go - this bloke who looked like IGOR came to the door and this big Aborigine behind him, I was all in for going but dopey Orla asked for some bread and milk. We then drove around and I found some open space. Caroline and Bernie went to ask for permission to camp. The funniest thing of the night was they were both petrified of all the dogs. Caroline was about 10 yards behind Bernie. If a dog barked, Bernie would twitch, Caroline would run, hotly persued by Bernie. This happened twice, we were in tears laughing - in the safety of the car. We were shown a place to camp by an irate copper who said we were disturbing the neighbourhood. It wasn't us - it was the dogs. We eventually set up camp in the show ground. It was a freezing night but I was fine in my sleeping bag Everybody else suffered from the cold. My tent was brilliant because of the fly sheet - it kept out the heavy dew.
10.30 ROCKHAMPATON - Yeppoon. We got our new tyre - it cost $80 while they were fitting it I nipped over to the garage for a shower. A bargain for free. The girls are staying in Yeppoon backpackers. I will be sleeping in the tent most probably.We intend to go to Great Keppel Island tomorrow- hopefully sell some shirts
5:30. Yeppoon backpackers - the best backpackers me and Pat has ever sneaked into. Disaster follows disaster. I have lost my St. Georges card so I had to phone Sydney to order another one. Fax and a letter - I will pick it up at Eirlie beach. I wrote a post card to mum and dad and I am writing one to Caroline. I posted a wedding card to Peter and Marie. This afternoon we went to the beach - boiling. I went in the sea to try out my new snorkel and mask. I also went for a run. Really hard work. Quite a good laugh throwing a boomerang with a nutcase of a dog chasing it.
Tuesday 8th August 3pm Great Keppel Island
Upat 7 showered and breakfast in time to get a boat to take us to the Island.The boat trip blasted about 2 hours - we stopped off at a beach playing this egg chucking game. The best crack was boom riding - a net over the side of the boat which was in the sea. Every one kept moving along and we all had a go of being supported by a singlerope being dragged along _brilliant laugh. We visited an underwater observatory and saw some reef and some fish. Unfortunately thaw sea was too choppy to go snorkeling which I was keen to do. We area staying on the Island till half 3 and then back to the mainland. God knows where we will end up today. Ian afraid to say I had a roasting yesterday off Bernie for being too dictatorial in where we are going. She has a points buts we have got less time than them because Paula has only got 3 weeks leftand I don't want anything stopping us going on the barrier reef course. Me and Pat had a good laugh by going in this boiling Jacuzzi but we got chucked out by this irate bloke.
Wednesday 9th August Mackay
Up very early and booked into what looks like a brilliant hostel for only $5. Lots to do here on first impression although it Lois like if you are not careful you could pay quite a bit. Last naiaght we camped in a field. Petrol was running low so we cut our losses and had a fee kip in the tent. On the way up. we had a massive scare. Markers screamed out 'Kangaroo'. This roo was on the other side of the road. He was massive -about 6 foot. As we approached he just stood there and started running towards us.. I thought we would give it a glancing blow with the side of the car, but thankfully we missed it. It would have caused loads of damage to the car. Pat also had to slow down as a bingo was on the road as well. We saw another this morning. Most of the wildlife is splattered over the side of the road. This afternoon I am in a tennis competition hopefully.
Thursday 10th August KoHuna backpackers Mackay 9:10
Up fairly early because of the noise in the bunkhouse. Thankfully the wind seems to have dropped which has spoiled the sea over the last couple of days. The place here is idyllic but last night in the bar was solo dead. There was carpet bowls taking place - full of the wrinkles. Me Pat and Paula were drinking and were joined by Orla and Caroline. It only livened up when this really drunk Aussie blome joined us and me and Pat tore him to shreds - we welcomed his views on Aborigines, Unions, Poms etc - he was more right wing than Thatcher. Today hopefully should be a good crack. We are going horseriding. $25 - money is a bit of an embarrassment at the moment . I have got enough, if you ever have enough but it is in the building Soc and I can't get it out until I get to Airline beach, so I am Barry the borrower at the moment. T Shirt sales are very low because everybody is on a budget - it would be handy pocket money if I could get rid of a few. Markers reckons he has been sparked. My lions shirts make me a lustful, he puts some money into cotton and we can't give them away.
1PM A fun filled morning - basketball, archery and a swim. The girls made a great Becky to give us energy for the horses this afternoon. Hopefully they will put me with Ed the talking horse rather than Nijinsky having a grand national flashback.
8pm. We are all about to go on the town to Mackay this evening because the girls know an Irish girl who lives here and the place was dead last night. Today the horseriding was brilliant - the second time I have been and I even got into a gallop a few times on the each. My horses was called Maggie believe it or not. I called it HFAR. Pat had never ridden before so he was very nervous. We split up into groups - most of us went into the middle group. Paula had a fall and hurt her hip, but it was on sand so it shouldn't be that bad. The funniest thing of the day was our horses had been walking and "Brumby Bob" gave Pat's horse a whack on th arse so it started centering. The look on Pat's face ! He started screaming " He has gone mad." I was giggling like a pixie until "Brumby Bob" smacked my horse and off he went. Galloping was brilliant but I was scared stiff throughout. We also went through the "crocodile path" Knee high in swamp, the bottom of my jeans got soaked. At the end we went for tea and damper - Bread and treacle. A really good crack. Tomorrow we may go into the rainforest then hitting Airlie beach for the evening and hopefully I can get to the post office for my new bank card and I can pay all my debts. I sent cards today to Lucy, Hungry and Nan Manly
We are just about to drive down the really steep Rd. The Eungala national park is a huge tropical rainforest - the road was recently damaged in a cyclone, so we could only get up driving certain times of the day. Paula was driving like Mad Max = CFAR really had it's suspension tested. We looked for platypus but unfortunately didn't see any. Beautiful scenery. Palms everywhere and the sounds of Cockatoo's and Kookabara everywhere (too many everywhere's in a sentence) We went to a lookout point with a great view of the valley and had a bit of a picnic. We all dived into the car and couldn't get it started, my heart was in my mouth for about 20 minutes. but this old boy gave us a hand and something to do with the starter was out - it must have been all the bumping when Mad Max was driving.
Saturday 12th August - Peter and Marie's wedding
A lazy day, - Me and Pat have booked out of the hostel - I am not that impressed with it so we will be Kipping in the car tonight I am all organised for the wedding party on the beach. We have got 2 bottles of Most and some other grog. I have ordered a wedding cake with Peter and Marie on it and we have some confetti. I will phone later and also try and phone Marie. My disaster with the bank card continues. The post office is closed till Monday. I now owe Paula $145 and Pat $140. We have booked to go on a sailing trip tomorrow.
Wednesday 16th August - Airline beach 9am
Loads to catch up on because we spent 2 days on the Whitsunday Islands and I didn't take the diary. I have just spent the night in the car
Saturday was brilliant - all 7 of us went over the beach and also a Scots girl and a few Irish lads from the hostel. The cake was really sickly. We drank all the champagne threw around confetti and took loads of photo's but my camera got stuck which I was annoyed with. We had a whip and got another box of wine in. I phoned Peter and woke him up and I also phoned Marie and she was in the hairdressers so I phoned her later. Cath was around mums house so I had a long chat to her. IT was the girls turn to cook so we had a big spag bol - we then went to the Irish boys roomfor a sing song and a chat. A really good evenings loads of drinking and on TV England were getting slaughtered in cricket. The party broke up by watching Black adder. From the hostel we went to a pub called the Hogs breath. Then onto a party. Pat was quite funny, after a week trying to get him to do his Belfast accent he started and we couldn't shut him up. The party went on to the early morning.
Sunday saw a very hungover party of 7 of us in Cfar to get to Shute harbour -we were about half hour late. We loaded sour gear onto a beautiful yacht called NARI - we were given a pineapple drink which went down the wrong way. It must have been the worst boat trip I have ever been on. Pat told the hangover joke about the bloke lying in bed - his wife came over and said I have bad news, Fred is dead. The bloke replied "The lucky bastard". I was so I'll I was throwing Udall the way over and eventually I was heaving and nothing was coming up. I was at thew most beautiful place in the worlds and I was dying.They all went snorkeling and I went for a sleep in the shade for a sleep. I couldn't face the smorgasbord salad but I recovered a bit and went for a Short snorkel. The coral is so gorgeous - just wetting my appetite for the diving course. We all went to a secluded beach called Joe's beach on Whitsunday Island. We set up our tents and cooked ourselves a spud supper. I was in charge of the fire. Just call me pyro. The tent was a bit of a squeeze - 4 of us in ours and 3 in the other one.
Monday was a very lazy day on the Island. Spent most of the day reading Howard Jacobson's In the land of Oz - I went snorkelling - brilliant saw Boy George fish and Shirley Bassey fish. I have yet to see Mackers Tartan fish. The coral was gorgeous. Food was fairly scarce - just sandwiches all day. We had a cracking fire in the evening and drank a case of beer. How I could even think of that after dying the day before I will never know. Ray wasn't in my good books. He brought some more people to the beach, even though he knew we wanted it for ourselves.

Tuesday. Went for a snorkel early in the morning but it wasn't good as the tide was in and you couldn't see the coral as it was too deep. It was a really cloudy day, we all sat around waiting for the NARI to appear. We were greeted by a crunchy and a can of coke and the girls dived into their fags. The boat trip was uneventful (thank god) sailing pastall theWhitsunday Islands. The girls booked into the backpackers and me and Mackers went into the car.
Wednesday. Nightmare start. My new card was not in the Post Office so I phoned Sydney and had a row with the woman. I can now go to any Metways building society and get $ 500 advance until I get my card -now in Cairns post office. I need the money desperately. I owe Pat $200 and Paula $140. I also have to pay for my diving course. Everybody says bad things about the course in Cairns because they are so overcrowded so we will probably do the course in Townsville. I met Linda and Graham , so we spent all the day on the beach. Messed around with the frisbee and did some serious tanning. They said they met Nick and Mike and that they did the course in Townsville and they loved it. We packed the car to head North but the girls changed their mind and we stayed another night in Arlie Beach. Hit the Hogs Breath pub again. Pat had the car, I had the tent , the girls had moved it. Pat swapped an arsehole t shirt with this 40 year old "madam".
Thursday 17 th August
Still in Arlie Beach.Wasted all morning really, while the girls were faffing around. We are leaving the girls in Bowen So we will have to get more people for the car - hopefully we will see some hitchhikers. The most important thing for me is to get to the building society andget some money. Weather is perfect.Good news is in Sydney it is really cloudy. World news is that unbelievably solidarity are about to take power in Poland. English cricketers are about to go to South Africa and also rugby boys may go as well.
Half 5. Lesson learned. Don't lose your cashcard when you are on the move. We stopped in Bowen for the girls to get out and Itook the opportunity to get $500 out of the building Society. It took me an hour and a half. I had the apprentice doing it I think. Igor back and all the girls gear was still on the roof. No accommodation for them in Bowen so they decided to rejoin us on the trip up to Townsville which we should hit tonight.
hail o great one
May the road never ride up _probably see you tomorrow -Lorraine
Zeig Neil. You would be far to tough to eat Ber! Lots of love - Orla
Lots of love 17/8/89 sloppy kisses Caroline xxx See you whenever !
Enjoyed all the sharking Bern....Catch you again on your travels Love Bernie. Thanks for everything.
Our t shirts haven't been selling well. Mackers reckons he has been sharked. I will probably lip in the car again tonight. A bargain for free. The nights have become really warm as we have travelled North. One incident was a giggle in the car.Paula bought a jelly snake - blue, green and red. I put it on Pat's shoulder. He screamed and threw it on Orla's lap - she had a fit. Meanwhile the lights changed and all the cars were backed up behind us.
Friday 19th August 10am Townsville
Well sharked last night. Everybody booked into the backpackers. Mackers couldn't take another night in the car so eve he went in. Decided to lip in the car. It so happened that there was a spare bed in Pat's rooms I settled in until this woman came in with someone else who had obviously paid for the bed. She said that there should only be 3 in here and then went out. I did a Houdini and quickly dressed and sneaked out, so I ended up in the car after all. Early on in the evening we all went for a meal. Me and Paula ended up in A Chinese. At the backpackers some bloke bought a Lions shirt so it paid for the meal - very nice.
On the agenda for today - we are going to look at a diving course. I am very keen to do it. It costs $325 for a five day course - 3 days in the pool and 2 days out on the barrier reef. What a crack that would be. I would have to go to the building Soc again and suffer all the palaver of getting my money out again. A pics of wisdom from the weirdo sharing the girls room. "Who is the more foolish the drunk or the man who talks to the drunk." Weather is perfect, writing Thais sitting around the pool.
1pm. Me Pat and Paula went to the dive shop and we can't get on tomorrow but we are in for Monday. Our teacher, believe it or not is Jake Taverner from Lady Mary - another one to add to the list. Paula is astonished, I am not the least bit surprised. I got $500 out of the building society to pay for the course. We have to get a medical and our plans will change again. We might as well go to Magnetic Island and Geoff's Place for the weekend, rather than hang around Townsville. After the course we can then go to Cairns via Mission Beach.
Sunday 21st August- Geoff's Place Magnetic Island
Things keep changing, yesterday morning Paula decided she couldn't afford (time wise) to do the diving course - we ddecided to postpone it. Me and Mackers will do it on the way back down south through Towns ville. Mackers has got to be able to equalise his ears anyway. We went in a and talked to all the lackeys and then the Head Honcho himself Mike Ball. He wouldn't give us our money back which we wanted, but we compramised on Pauala getting hers and me and Mackers holding a standbye. - There is no possible way that I won't scuba dive the Barrier Reef - I have never been so determined t do anything so much in my life. Yesterday was another wasted day. Me and Jackets, bored by the pool chucking each others clothes in. Very mature.
We had some grub and then to a very to Magnetic island. We told the girls to take off their watches because of the magnetic field. They half believed us but little bit gullible - Lorraine when the captain announced it over the tannoy. ( we had had a worqd with him) She put away her watch. Bernie was in two minds as well. We got the courtesy bus to Geoff's Place which seems OK. Last night we hit the bar and I sold a t shirt to a Welsh bloke from Bridgend. We are camping for a few days. Our plan of attack is to stay here for a little while and then on to Mission beach and do white water rafting and then onto Cairns. The girls, I think intend on travelling up with us - will we ever get rid of them!!!. In the bar last night I got stick off Paula for semi semi ripping into this bloke. God, if I would have really got stuck in with Mackers and Jacko we would have crucified him. He was public school educated - Welington - he told me it was one of the top public schools. I well impressed, also Cambridge followed by TA stint in Sandhurst including two tours of Northern Ireland as a little boy soldier when we has 20 + 21. Also his travels included visits to the much maligned republic
Monday 21st August Geoff's Place. Magnetic Island
Up at 9 to give the keys in and get my $5 deposit even though we have every intention of staying tonight. Yesterday we hired mikes and went to this beach. After a huge hike we went to this fantastic beach, it was gorgeous.. I had a bit of a snorkel and practised equalizing. I saw this huge skate or stingray or something lying on the bottom.It was huge.
In London there was another tragedy. A disco boat on the Thames sank killing 30. In the evening we went to the bar at Geoff's place. I sold another t shirt so it was basically a free night. If I sold one a night I would be well happy. The highlight of the night was a really los girl Michelle diving on the quietest bloke in the world Andre.I was in tears laughing. Weather today a bit cloudy, but it was like that yesterday morning but it cleared up great.
Tuesday 22nd August. Ferry to Townsville
We are on our way to Mission Beach today, We had to pick up the tent etc. this morning so we were all up early. My back is really sore from yesterday - the reddest back in the world. I wanted to go fishing yesterday, I was going to go with 4 lads but we couldn't gst a boat so we ended up going miles or k's to this quiet beach and did some snorkelling and had a laugh playing touch rugby with my hat. In the evening I had a steak meal and sold 3 t shirts. It was the ideal evening for having few beers.
This morning I phoned up mum and dad. The wedding was "just wonderful" and they have got the parcel I sent containing the videos and my sheet. Dad wound me up saying that mum had washed it. I have got to get some new shorts as mine are mank. I must have about 10 lions shirts and then iron so that I can sell them.

Tuesday 22nd August. Ferry to Townsville
We are on our way to Mission Beach today, We had to pick up the tent etc. this morning so we were all up early. My back is really sore from yesterday - the reddest back in the world. I wanted to go fishing yesterday, I was going to go with 4 lads but we couldn't gst a boat so we ended up going miles or k's to this quiet beach and did some snorkelling and had a laugh playing touch rugby with my hat. In the evening I had a steak meal and sold 3 t shirts. It wasthe ideal evening for having few beers.
This morning I phoned up mum and dad. The wedding was "just wonderful" and they have got the parcel I sent containing the videos and my sheet. Dad wound me up saying that mum had washed it. I have got to get some new shorts as mine are mank. I must have about 10 lions shirts to wash and then iron so that I can sell them. Hopefully at Mission Beach I will be able to go whitewater rafting. I am quite confident that me and Pat will fill the car when we go inland. The weather is so perfect it's untrue. I am glad we are in the car today because there is no way I could hit the beach anyway because of my back.
9pm Mission Beach Backpackers
We got here about 6. It was a three hour drive. Unfortunately we haven't seen any Cassevaries which are fairly common around here. I did the washing but not all the stains on the t shirts came out. Me and Paula paid $74 to go Whitewater rafting tomorrow, I can't wait. We are being picked up at 8.40 so it should be a full day. On the way up we stoppedto have our photo's taken next to all the sugar cane. I have yet to see photo's from the camera, I hope they are all Ok. The weather continues to be glorious. Paula booked her flight to Sydney for Monday. At the moment there is an airline dispute affecting internal flights. Hopefully she will be alright.
Whitewater Rafting
Wednesday 23rd August 6.45 Mission Beach Backpackers
Up at half 7 this morning - got very little sleep last night because the bloke in the bunk above me was snoring like no tomorrow. I showered and had breakfast - there were 4 other girls from our backpackers on our trip and we ended up in the same boat - they were a good crack. There must have been 7 boats on the river. We got drenched - totally exhillerating and great fun. The bloke in charge of us said "Is anyone confident" Me and Paula Said we were so we had the best seats of the boat right at the front. We were instructed of where to go if we had to go left or right and the down position. Obviously the rapids were the best - the longer and steeper the more exciting . Dinner was a BBQ followed by a rope swing. I thought that the bloke who run it was a div head. Our bloke was quite amusing - I liked his definition of monster sperm to describe the foamy water.
One of the other boats tipped and was stuck against a rock . We weren't strong enough because of the water pressure so more people were needed before we dragged it off. Going over the biggest fall me and Paula became "The offering to the water gods" We had to put our feet over the front and cling on to the ropes. As we hit the water the impact threw us both back in the boat with Paula landing on top of my head. The River Tully ran through fantastic sub tropical rainforest - just like the textbook. It would be fantastic teaching material. The rainforest was so thick with creeper and trees growing out of The V s of other trees. The gulleys were really deep and it would have been interesting to see the River in the wet season.
At the end we carried the boat to the truck and went to a town and country club for some food. We were a bit late and most had gone. I had a fairly good feed but Paula wasn't happy.
In the news the air traffic dispute is still on which could affect Paula on Monday .
We viewed the vid and will probably get some photo's. When we got bad we found that Pat and the girls had another eventful day as well. They had to get 2 new tyres because of a blowout and they had to be realigned = $$$$$. On a more serious note Bernie came up a cropped when she slipped on rocks into a pool. Bernie is not the strongest of swimmers and Pat reckoned she could have been a gonner. Lorraine pinned her against a rock and Pat helped them out. WE could do with less drama's like that on this trip.
I am fairly shattered - we will get to Cairns on Friday so that I can pick up my card. I will be sleeping in the car again tonight - save $10 and hopefully be able to use the hostel facilities again. Weather was fairly cloudy- just seen on the news that. Sydney's weather is 10-16 and Cairns is 19-25.
Thinking again of T Shirts last night . I may try and get a "Keep New Zealand clean - throw your litter in Australia shirt with. a Gren Welsh scene on it and also a Commonwealth games shirt on the streets for the Christmas market
Thursday 24th August Mission Beach Backpackers
At the moment II am writing this in hiding by the side of the car - last night we went over the pub - it closed at 10. We decided to get in a couple of casesbut we couldn't find any anywhere. It was a good laugh anyway as this Irish lad Sean led a sing song - he had a brilliant voice and it went on for ages. Me and Mackers sneaked in for a free night - hence the reason to be in hiding at the moment. It looks like we will be on the way to Cairns tonight. I will be at last able to get my card tomorrow. Bernie was in favour of tonight. Orla wasn't too happy about it at all. Weather today gorgeous - I will have to be carefull about the sun.
Friday 25th August Cairns. 4pm
Not very impressed with Cairns at all. Weather is very cloudy and very humid. The beach is like mud and the hostel is the worst I have been in. The rooms are a mess, it is really crowded and the beds are really uncomfy. I have spent the afternoon running about quite a bit. My card was not in The Post Office !! I honestly could not believe it. At the Post Office was my new pin number - big use that is and a statement , I have got $2075. I wanted $1000 to go to NZ with so that leaves me with about $1000 to keep me going. I have still got a few T Shirts left to sell which will hopefully boost my income.
The pilots dispute is far from settled. Paula could be in trouble on Monday if it is not settled. I went to the immigration office and paid $50 to extend my visa for 2 months, I have got to collect it next Friday.
Last night we stayed in Mission Beach in a luxury apartment. Orla and Paula met this girl Ann who we had met in KoHuna and Arlie Beach. - Mackers got a shine for her. We went for a coffee, had a few beers and stayed the night despite the fact that the landlord phoning them saying we weren't welcome. We saw Good Morning Vietnam on the vid. THe girls wee looking after a quadriplegic Andy - 29 who had been in a car accident - I honestly don't know how he copes. WE went swimming in the sea and it was amazing to see all these phosphorous dots in the sea. Everyone got a bit burnt today.
6.30 Recent news on the airline strike is not good - all the airline pilots walked out. and Paula'sflight has been cancelled from Cairns to Sydney. This puts her in a really bad position - she has got her money back but her options are now severely limited. She can't get a train because it doesn't get in til Wednesday and even the bus which takes 48 hours (AAAAARGH) only gets in 2 hours before her international fligh takes off. This will obviously put a real downer on her holiday.
Saturday 26th August
A very hot humid day which I have just fostered around in. I didn't get up till half 12 because last night we were drinking tequila spammers. I haven't got a clue how many we had but it was loads. First we went too a backpackers restaurant - $5 for all you can eat - a real bargain. We then went to a pub full of Aboriginals before going to this other place. Last night we moved to a new hostel - Tracks because the other one was a hole. I have put up notices all over the place to fill the car around Oz - we had a reply from a kiwi bloke II will have to get in touch with. Next week II hope to go to Cape Tribulation. I am thinking of doing a few days of fruit picking first.
Paula is off tomorrow on her horrific bus journey so she has been shopping for pressies all afternoon- I messed up on the rafting photo's- ordered the wrong ones but we can pick up the right ones tomorrow. We also saw the video we have bought
Sunday 27th August
Paula leaves in about an hours time - she has got a horrific journey to do. 2 days on the coach and 2 days in the air. Rather her than me. I have booked a trip to Cape Tribulation tomorrow - looking forward to it. Yesterday some bastard nicked my bag containing about 5 shirts. I was doing well as I sold about 6 last night. We went to Magnums again. I spent a long time talking to the Geordie couple Pippa and Steve. We were also drinking with a crowd of Jocks - good laugh. One of them - Johnny is coming to Cape Trib with us. We have had a good response to fill CFAR to Darwin it looks like a Kiwi bloke will be with us, a girl called Minnie and two girls Catherine and Julie. I have met the girls - they seem ok but I have yet too meet the Kiwi.
10.30 We just dropped Paula off at the bus stop- sad to see her go as she has been really good company. It was great to see her over here. I would not be surprised at all if she applies for a working visa in the next 3 years. Weather is so humid. I phoned Mike Ball and we are to do the diving course a week Monday. Up tomorrow at 7 am for the bus to Cape Trib. Very quiet evening playing cards. We did chinny chin on Johnny the Scot - worked brilliantly on him. I sold a couple of Lions t shirts - being an optimist I will take a few up to Cape Trib. Really funny talking to Pat about the arsehole t shirts as they are obviously a flop and he blames me 100% for conning him into it. - Pat says he is basically fed up with it all. The girls aren't coming up with us so I probably won't see them again, which is a pity as they are a good crack even if we did have our ups and downs. I did some swimming teaching with Bernie this morning. in the swimming pool.
I am quite happy with my tan but I have to lose some weight off my stumoch as it's a disgrace. Having said that Cape Trib will probably be a very heavy sesh.
Monday 28th August 8.58
Sitting on the bus to Cape Trib, fantastic scenery of the coast. Bus is air conditioned. When I got out for a stop there was a "wall" of humidity. Seen lots of cane fields on the way up.
Cape Tribulation 1pm God this is beautiful - the bus journey was a real treat - the driver for a change was very informative and we stopped at some really interesting places. A tarmac road took us to the Daintree river. Notices about crocodiles were worth a photo. We crossed the Daintree on a car ferry then it was on a dirt road through the rainforest proper. We stopped at couple of viewing points and a strangled fig which me and Pat did a "Tarzan" on for photo's. We also saw these amazing little plants called sensitive plants. If you touch them they immediately curl up. We are staying for 2 nights in a place called "The village" in Cape Tribulation. I have only been here for an hour and I would like to stay for another day. Cairns holds no pull for me at all now. We are staying in very clean wooden shacks. My bed overlooks a really scenic rock pool which we had a mess around with, with a ball. I have yet to make it to the beach, but I have had a game of volleyball. The social life is rumoured to be excellent but also rumoured to be expensive.
I wasthinking of doing a couple of days fruit picking but what I may do is be more aggressive in my t shirt selling. As II see it I can never ever lose now on the Lions ones as the ones I brought with me were profit anyway. I would have got about $60 fruit picking so if I spend a couple of hours visiting all the youth hostels I will be very happy if I sell 6. Pat is still concerned about the arsehole t shirts - we will probably start dumping them for $10 - we paid $8.70 for them. My Lions shirts still remain sell able at $20.
The weather is very cloudy very warm and very humid.
7.15. In this village two people have got on my Lions shirts and I have already been asked for one by three people. Very promising. I spent all afternoon down the beach. Very difficult to describe the path that leads through the rainforest to the beach. - It is a wooden raised platform - below is mud with dense branches - apparently it is fraught with danger if there is a beach party. People often fall off and the way to get along the path is on your hands and knees. It is now raining very light and it's warm. It is so humid as I write this and there is a permanent noise of frogs cloaking and crickets. I have come back to stick on Jeans on because of all the nasties. I really want to do a nighttime jungle tour tomorrow = What a fantastic place this is. My heart bleed for Paula - she is still on the bus and will be on it before 2 days on the plane.
Wednesday 30th August The village Cape Tribulation 11am
I am sitting here by the rock pool - weather is very hot. Last night me and Pat went on a night walk in the tropical forest.It was really different I am so glad I did it. There was a bit of a party on in the hostel, but my attitude was that you can get drunk at any time but this might be my only chance to see/experience the rainforest in the dark so you have to jump at it.There were about 10 of us with our guide in a 4 wheel drive. Went over really rocky roads that CFAR couldn't handle. We went along a path which was walkable but all along were vines you had to climb over. The guide had set traps using banana as bait and they were all full. There were cane rats in two of the traps - one he reset and caught a bandicoot - a marsupial that looks like a large rat. We saw a huge strangled fig which is formed by seeds germinating at the top of a host tree in bird droppings. The roots then climb down the host and embed themselves in the ground. They then strangle the original tree. They are huge. At one stage we all stood in an enclosed area and turned off our torches. We then listened to the noise of the wildlife - fairly deafening really: Birds, insects and all the nasties. The guide was saying that the human imagination makes things much bigger. We were told about logging and the damage that the cane toads and wild pigs can do. WE saw two wild pigs at the dump. Really huge. I would not want to mess with one. We went looking for crocs which was a laugh but we didn't see one. Up to my ankles in mud. We got back and my 4x was nicked from the fridge - had a chat to a couple of girls from Brecon, had a few beers and went to bed. The whole camp seemed to be messing around in the rock pool which was very noisy.
Today has been fairly quiet - bitten all over my ankles. I wrote some postcards and done nothing. I have booked in for another day and will be sad to be leaving this place - but really looking forward to doing the diving course in Townsville.
6.15 Spent all day lazing around a swimming / water hole - very cool which is a relief as it is very hot and humid. I had a disaster in that my flip flop bust - I only bought it on Friday so I got sparked. I had to hobble all the way home. A quick change of footwear and we went on a tropical fruit tasting session which cost $4 but I avoided paying by sneaking out at the end. There were star fruit (nice) custard fruit and chocolate chip cookie fruit. The smelly fruit (durian) the killer fruit - if you drink after eating it you die. The queen, Jack and king of fruits, boy George Fruit and Shirley Bassey fruit. Squishy black nice fruits and red dry citrus fruits. To end it all was miracle fruit which could be described as pewk fruit.
Thursday 31st August Cape Tribulation 1 pm
Unfortunately we have got to leave this gorgeous place. I spent all morning swimming around and lazing around the rock pool - weather absolutely fantastic. I sold 3 t shirts so it was a little bit more pocket money. Last night we had a few beers and went for a swim in the pool at 1 O 'Clock. I don't want to go to Cairns at all - probably end up sleeping in the car tonight and Friday and hopefully sharing the back packers by using their facilities. I will have to do a stock take on how many Lions shirts I have left - I am all in for going around the Cairns hostels tomorrow.
11pm Tracks Backpackers Cairns
Booked in for tonight, maybe spend tomorrow in the car. Me and Pat went to Backpackers for food - a bargain for $5 for as much as you can eat. We then did some serious running around to fill the car from Townsville to Darwin. - I have yet to contact Minnie - she wasn't in but she is is right through. Also a girl called Josie from here to Townsville. A cockney lad Tommie might come as well. From Townsville is Minnie, Julie and Catherine, also Lindsey from London who is very loud and her kiwi mate - should keep the costs down. I phoned Paula and she is now in Cardiff - I have got to send her a shirt for Hungry. It looks like we will be off to Mission Beach on Saturday morning.
Friday 1st September. Cairns
Woke up in Tracks hostel and booked out. We will spend the night in the car today and save $10. Same old story - budgeting on essentials and spending it all on booze. I got all I wanted to do except get a pair of flip flops. I posted a shed full of postcards and a shirt to Mike Radburn also my tax form. I posted a shirt to Paula for Hungry. and the white water rafting photo's. I also AT LAST got my cashpoint card and went to the immigration office to get my passport back. I have extended it to November as a holiday visa, but I won't need it that much. Pat was saying that he wants to go to Melbourne from Ayers Rock. I thought we were going straight from the rock to Sydney but that looks impossible. From Ayers Rock you have to continue South, there is no other way. We will have to go through Cooler Pedy, Port Agustus, Adelaide and then Melbourne where I can hopefully get a cheap flight to NZ. The size of this country is huge.
Time wise - it looks like a week to stay in Townsville to do the dive course, Sat 9. A week to get to Darwin - 16th: A few days around Darwin/ Kakadu/ Katherine Gorge - 21st: 3 or 4 days to Alice - 24th: A couple of days at Ayers Rock/ Olga - 26th: Then about a week to get to Melbourne - Oct 4th and then flying out as soon as possible - 7th !! Money is obviously going to be scarce. I have got $1500 in the bank and $300 in cash BUT - I have to get to NZ. If I spend all the money I have I am on $48 a day. I did plan though to leave for NZ with $1000 that would put me on $21.50 a day.
  • -----------------------------
Book 4 October 4th 1989 – July 12th 1990
New Zealand
USA – mainland

3rd October 6.30 Sydney – Wednesday
I spent all day running around in preparation for tomorrow. I’ve got my ticket and changed $800 AUS to NZ so I will make a start with NZ$147 cash and NZ$950 traveller’s cheques, so it will be a better start than when I got to Oz last year. I am in two minds about going. – on the positive side is the challenge and the Commonwealth games and on the negative is the fact that I know no one at all over there. I will try and join a running club as I have put on so much weight and it will be a good chance of meeting people. – Rugby of course is out as it is off season. My flight is at 1.15 so I will have to be at the airport about 11.30ish. I bought a new bag for 50 dollars which was the amount of interest I got when I closed my account. We got two films out today – mostly of Ayers rock – they were really good. So, I am all set for the land of the KIWI. Spent all day listening to the Les Mis tape mum and dad sent me.

4th October 12.30 Sydney Airport
A good night out yesterday. Went out with Mickey Radburn, Pat, Mike O’Connor and Jacko turned up – All news on that front. He has given up his job of teaching and is working as a labourer. He has moved into a new flat in Randwick and has got engaged to Pina.- He says the date of the marriage is June 30th 1990 so I might have to alter my travel plans around that. He has with Colm designed a T Shirt for the world cup – Ireland World Champs!! – A good idea, so I said I would come in on it. I am all for any ideas now.
This morning I was up at ½ 7 and went over Siw and Sharon’s for a coffee and a chat before they went to bed because they were on nights. Pat came around as well. I will miss that crowd – Funny I may never see them again, but in all probability we will meet up somewhere. Mackers said I would be saying GOODBYE AUSTRALIA in my diary. He is quite right.- a really excellent year. I am really sad to leave. NZ should be fun but I will probably have a rotten two weeks before I settle. I am a bit down at the moment with the prospect of having to start again. God knows what I will be like when I have to return home. I can’t imagine thinking it’s “all over”. I have got a bottle of gin at Duty free

5th October Auckland 7.30 am
Coldest, wettest day in the world. The weather really is miserable. Up at 7 to watch The Lions v France – should be a good game. I hope we stuff em! I stuck my Lions sweatshirt on and two Welsh lads were immediately keen to get one each. I love New Zealand. I have been here less than a day and there is live rugby on at the moment. The bloke who is cleaning the room asked me if I wanted a days work in a factory but I turned it down. 9.30 The home unions beat the French 29-27. Really good game. We were up all the time after a 90 seconds try. Really impressive performance by Gavin Hastings. Frightening really how impressive the English players were – Even without Teague, Richards and Dooley. Only 2 Welsh players in the side. 6.30 PM A very hectic day running around. The first thing I did was go to Poste Restante. Good news is 21 Lions T shirts were waiting for me. I’ve got to send Greg $200AUS tomorrow. I had no mail so that means I haven’t heard from a soul for 10 weeks. I went with this Irish lad Morris to the Uni looking for a flat. And then get in touch with the education office. It’s going to be a bit of a struggle at first because I need a work Visa for a job and I can’t get a job without a visa. = catch 22. Anyway she said I would have to send my info to Wellington for classification. Not my original certificates but photocopies signed by a JP. I went out and photocopied them and took them to the law courts and had a JP sign them. So I am ready as soon as the application form comes. I phoned rugby world and can put an advert in the rugby world paper for about $50NZ. I will do it but probably only once. I am full of confidence about getting rid of the 20 Lions shirts – I have cleared 3 in this hostel – got to get the money though..
Back to the hostel – went for a run with the two lads from Swansea. – did some sit ups and then had tea. – had a chat to Morris the Irish lad and two Americans – a couple. Touch wood they are the exception to my experiences. – Anyway, we are all looking for a flat till Feb. We rang around and we are seeing 4 flats/houses tomorrow. It’s a start anyway, so quite a lot accomplished in a day. In the paper there are quite a few ads for flat share if the house fall through and anyone drops out.
After the flat – back to the TV room and Top Gun is on the vid – what a bargain. I want to phone up all the T Shirt bods and get some prices. – The one I had a look at today was way above the odds compared to Sydney. In fact it would be cheaper to Get Pat onto it and get them sent over.
The other thing I did today which would be fantastic if it came off is applied for a job as a tour guide with a holiday firm. Newman’s Tours – Paul Williams 303 1149. I thought it went really well. He never dismissed me anyway. The upshot is if I didn’t have a visa I would not have a chance in hell. I would be considered with a visa.. It would be ideal to get a visa through teaching – jack it in and take up this job, - It will probably be pie in the sky but if it came off it would be ideal even if it meant sacrificing the commonwealth games.

6th October 1pm Friday
Bored. Up at 9.30 and I’ve done very little all day. I think No.1 priority is getting a house fairly quickly. The two Americans and Morris the Irish lad are ummming and aaaahing so we will look at the 4 houses tonight. I want a yay or nay otherwise I will start looking for flat shares. I can’t stay in a dorm with 10 people and its difficult applying for a job with a hostel as an address. Last night I sold 5 Lions shirts although I haven’t all the money in. I am owed $30 – it meant though I sent Greg $148 of my money and $100 that I already had in. The weather is still rain, rain, rain.

7th October Saturday 1200
A flat hunting day. I’ve got 5 flats to look at today so hopefully I will get a result. – It is the people I will be looking at rather than the flat. This morning has been more of the same – torrential rain. Out last night to a bar with the Welsh lads Ceri + ? and the cockney Kevin. It was OK but I have had better Friday nights out. I phoned home earlier in the evening. Nan has been in hospital – I thanked them for the Les Mis tapes. Dad is sending some clippings – all to be picked up at the post office Could be problems getting a teaching visa because they want transcripts again. I will be going to try and get casual jobs at Student Job search 23a Victoria St (off Queen St)
4.30 Weather torrential rain, thunder and lightening. I’ve looked at 4 houses and I have one to see. I like the look of two of them and am hoping to get invited into one where there is an Auckland rugby fan. House is OK and the bloke seems fine. In the other house there is nothing + the bloke seems fine. I didn’t like the look of the other two so I won’t contact them.

Sunday 8th October 12.30
Another grotty day weather wise. I’ve got to phone around today and see if I have got a house. I hope so desperately. Last night was really enjoyable. Me and Morris went to the Rugby Tavern – brilliant. The boss graham showed me around his museum which I will have to see again. He liked my T Shirts and I’ve put two in the window and left 5 others to sell, so that wont hurt at all .In the rugby tavern we got talking to these Jocks who gave me the address of a party, so I crashed it.
  1. I’ve got a flat and I’m very pleased with it it’s got a vid and a phone and the people: Wendy, Mike and Nicky seem great. A very sporty household. I will move in on Tuesday so my No.1 aim is completed and now for No. 2 – get a job
116 Garnett Rd, Westmere, Auckland 761738

Monday 9th October 9.00
The job hunt is on now. Looks fairly bleak to get teaching classification.. I need a visa so I will have to go into immigration this morning. I will also go to the student job search. – I am really knackered really because I only have $500 to my name and $200 will have to go on rent and bond tomorrow.
A very tiring and frustrating day with some result I suppose but I am not exactly happy. The major thing I have got to fight is beurocracy. I need a working visa to get classification and I need to get classified to get a job and a job to get a visa. I don’t know what to do apart from keep plugging on. Good news was the student job search was helpful. I have got work every Sunday by the looks of it – the bloke sounds very plumy English. It is $15 an hour but I will be taxed 1/3rd. He will be picking me up about 5 O’ Clock – contact me on Saturday afternoon. I’ve also got two days work tomorrow and Wednesday so it will keep the debtors at the door. That job is at $10 an hour with a bloke who can’t speak English. I will have to be in work at 6 to get up at 8. My main problem is that I haven’ worked since June so ANY work I’m not looking forward to. I am really looking forward to moving into the new flat tomorrow. My student job search number is 2104.
8.30 cheered up no end. I decided to try the old boy network.- this afternoon. I popped into the rugby tavern and got the list of all the Auckland Welsh members. I was going to leave it but then phoned at random and he gave me the number of the secretary Derek Williams. He had me in stitches – the choir meets Thursdays at St Luke’s prespertarian church in Renemeura Rd Newmarket 7.30 – 9.00, they then go for a beer. Funnier – he asked me was I around for the commonwealth games because on Fridays the Welsh folk dancing meets at the recreation hall in Grafton Rd. They are preparing for the games. On a more concrete note he gave me the number of Gerald Harbison.
I went for a run with Ceri in the rain, showered and had grub.
I phoned Gerard and he was very useful – he said he knew a bloke that had given two Welsh lads a start in a motor factory and a bloke called Ross Thompson who is a builder and needs someone quite often – so he will give me a ring tomorrow.. Hopefully using the “TAFFIA” will see me clear. I hope so because working every Sunday will be murder. On the social scene there is a game of soccer on soon and they also have a “social cricket” side – you can only catch someone out if you have a can of beer in the other hand

Tuesday 10th October 9.25pm
Up at 6 and caught a bus into town then another bus to Onehunga and worked shifting heavy machinery from one place to another. Hard work but much better than the flour mill type work. I was working with this Chinese bloke and trying to help him learn English. He is from Beijing and was in Tiananmen Square during the unrest. Really makes you think – it hardly got a mention in my diary but changed his life forever. I have got the alarm set for 6 again – my second and last day of labouring.
I moved into Garnett Rd this evening. – Had to get a taxi as my stuff was too heavy. My room is looking the tidiest it probably ever will – although I am trying to make an effort in this flat. A meal was presented on the table which was a bargain, but I suppose I will have to reciprocate. The flat has a microwave, a video and a washing machine. The TAFFIA Gerald phoned back but when I rang him he was out. I’m praying that it’s something permanent – I’ve virtually decided not to do the Sunday job. – too much of a commitment. – I really enjoyed my Sundays in Sydney. Everybody in the flat is playing tennis and the All Black games are on Sunday mornings. This week it’s v Cardiff. I wouldn’t be a genius to predict the blue and blacks will take a pasting. Everyone in the house seems OK but I have mild reservations about one of the girls who tried to push a Christian Union magazine on me – on the first evening. She can cut that straight out. But …diplomatic O’Brien didn’t go straight for the jugular, I just let it ride. I’ve got few enough mates in Auckland without getting onto a bad start with anyone. I wrote a letter to Siw and Sharon, Mackers and Giz (same letter) on the bus and started one to send home. What I really need is permanent work so I can then start applying for a working visa as well.

Wednesday 11th October 7.45pm
Up at 6 this morning for my second and last days labouring at Onehunga – I got paid $160 cash in hand – pays the rent. I was working with two Maori boys and Frank the Chinese bloke. – Torrential rain all day – what a surprise. I got back and Wendy made a cracking stew. My turn tomorrow – I have got in Salad and tuna pasta. I phoned Gerad of the TAFFIA and he said he was talking to a painter who may have some work on. I would love that as it wouldn’t be physically hard as labouring on a site and it would be more interesting than a factory. Music as well presumably. I phoned that bloke I was supposed to work for on Sunday and cried off – NZ are playing Cardiff.

Thursday 12 October 1.30
A very lazy morning – something I do not need. – Weather outside is appalling so no real incentive to go rushing around. Up at 11 and festered around all morning. I’ve made a big salad and tuna pasta for tea – looks quite good. I phoned up a few T shirt printers and it looks like it will be cheaper for Greg to do them in Oz and send them over.
3.15 Still the windiest day in the world. I’ve been a bit daft really all day – I’ve done bugger all – quite determined to do loads tomorrow but hoping for a phone call with a painter’s job at the end of it tonight. Soccer news is Wales lost to the Dutch so we are out of the world cup. England are through (0-0 draw) and Eire are through – beat N. Ireland 3-0. That result is really good news as Jacko can now get his world cup T Shirt out. I know that’s going to be a winner. I will just have to wait for him to get in touch. I bought a video blank video so I can get a few things on tape. – Street and sport.
11.15 A worthless day. I’ve got to phone this bloke Bernard something about a job. I’ve got a few things to do tomorrow. After phoning, I will go to town – see if I have any mail, also want to visit 2 Catholic schools in the area and work on my visa. Late this evening I had a phone call off a bloke who wanted 2 shirts. I only bothered putting ads up in two backpackers, so it may be worth running around and throwing ads up in all of them. It will be quite time consuming but worth it if I get the results. I could have done that today. This evening I saw the street then bottled out of going to choir practice as it was too far away and fairly cold. – I can’t sing anyway. The All Blacks v Cardiff is on at 2.20 Sunday morning with the Pontypool game 2.20 on Thursday. It would be a riot if Cardiff or Wales beat them but no one can really see it. It would be unbelievable if they did.

Friday 13th October 4.15
I’ve been in better moods. I am quite down really – running around all day and not getting anywhere. I phoned Bernard Newcastle of the Auckland TAFFIA 3 times but there is still nothing really on. He said it’s a bad day being Friday and will contact me tomorrow. I suppose if I didn’t pester I wouldn’t get anywhere. I went and stuck two Lions posters for shirts on the board. At the moment feeling fairly down – I just feel sod it they are not going to sell, and yet yesterday I was all in for getting a new batch. I know that the Lions shirts are “yesterdays” market. The commonwealth games have got to offer something better. I am really missing Sydney and all my mates but I know even in Sydney I felt really frustrated that I wasn’t working and was wasting my time. Here I’m really low on money
9.00 Cheered up quite a bit but again it could be pie in the sky. On the radio it said that U2 were playing a second concert in Auckland. I did some ringing around and I know it sounds boring but T Shirts could be on as well. The thing about doing nothing apart from lack of money is sheer boredom. I found out U2 are playing Christchurch on the 4th, Wellington on the 8th and Auckland on the 10th and 11th. For 50 shirts I would have to lay out about $700 – that’s the big problem. But I know I can sell them. Design would be Batman maybe or a superhero but U2 are bigger. On the back “I was There” (I have seen that before with U2 hits NZ and the dates. Other good news is Nicky from the flat invited me to a 21st tomorrow. – That would be great especially getting back to see Cardiff NZ live. I spent the early evening running around with Mike looking for a Friday 13th Badminton party – no luck. Back to watch the film Fletch. I’m having problems setting the vid. My room has lapsed a bit

Sunday 15th October 1pm
The wettest and windiest day in the world again. Yesterday I went for a run with Nicky from the flat. – She was the one that suggested it – so good news someone pushing me. We went to a party with her boyfriend Greg in the evening. It was a 21st. The girl whose party it was acted like a spoilt 6 yr old all night. It was definitely a family do which was disappointing, but I had a really good time. It was in a garage which got quite cold at times. Because of the game in the evening I took some stick but gave as good as I got even though I had a very defeatist attitude. I even got dragged up to make a speech. I got home at 12 – straight to bed and set the alarm for 2.20. I am really glad Cardiff played with so much spirit and hwyl. We were even leading at half time, with a try on the bell. Score was 25-15 but with 2 tries late in the second half by the incredible All Black machine – they just closed down the game and rolled the ball down the middle. Impossible to stop when done properly – and the All Blacks do it with precision. A very heartening performance. I felt a bit homesick watching the game. It was gorgeous weather and great to see the Cardiff side came out to clap the crowd at the end. We lost but with Welsh rugby at the pits playing the world champions we had a moral victory. Went to bed at 4 and got up at 1. The weather is dreadful – rain, thunder and lightening – the business.
Other news is I am all set to do a U2 T Shirt. I want it out as soon as possible. I obviously haven’t got the money so I will use the plastic and get it from my £600 from home. When I get some profit I will send it back. I abandoned the Batman idea.
9.30pm – a fairly uneventful day. The weather was so bad that I never even bothered to go out of the door. Thunder lightening and torrential rain. I must put another $120 more in the bank for the flat as I’ve to pay 2 weeks rent and 2 weeks $20 kitty. My finances are seriously low with only $350 with the promise of 1 days world tomorrow. I am really desperate for work. I honestly don’t know what to do. I want to get 50 shirts out straight away – I can work for myself then. I read the exorcist today.
I will have to give the library a visit soon. I was going to give the Irish club a try tonight but never bothered. 1) The Weather 2) the weather and 3) most importantly – I suppose the confidence of going somewhere on my own.

Monday 16th October 6.45
Up at 9 and a ½ hour walk to Mount Albert. I met Graham the bloke who owns Shirt Tales (English) and the artist Jim (Jock). I gave them my idea and the final costs were:
3 screens @$25 = $75. Printing @ $3.75 x 50 = $187.50 Shirts $7.50 x 50 = $375 plus $100 artwork = $737 which is $14.75 a shirt. Because of cash in hand he pulled it down to $6.87 = $13.75 for the first 50 after that it is minus screens and art = $10.35 a shirt. I went to the bank, paid some rent and bond $120. That leaves me the poorest man in the world $200 in travelers cheques, and $150 cash – that’s all. To pay for the shirts I took out $700out of the bank on my MasterCard – the first time I used it. I will have to send all of that to dad to put in my account to drag it back to £600.
I caught a bus into town and was really pleased to get two letters in the mail. One was from Graham and Linda – they are in NZ traveling around and trying to get in contact. They suggested meeting up for the Wales NZ game but I will be in Christchurch flogging shirts. I also had a letter from Siw, Sharon and Pat. Telling me what a laugh Australia is and how warm it is – as if I never knew. For the rest of the day I went to different shops asking them would they take my T Shirt. I had a favourable response from 3. I went for a run, passed the Zoo and the bullock track killed me. Even though I haven’t seen the shirts and I haven’t sold any I feel for the first time in NZ (apart from getting the flat) that I have accomplished something. I have got to ring on Wednesday to pick them up Thursday. I will spend all day Wednesday sticking up tents at the showground and then hopefully Thursday I will be working for myself at last. My aim is to sell enough on Thursday so that I can pick up 100 more for the weekend. Positive thinking. One funny thing – I went into Sounds record store. – the official sellers of U2 tickets - the bloke told me I could be prosecuted and then asked for my name and number. Not surprisingly I never gave it to him.

Thursday 17th October 10.45
Didn’t get too much sleep. Mind working overtime on T Shirts. A lesson learned from last time is I didn’t get around as much as I should have. This time I want to get to quite a few outlets. I will want to work hard on this as it will be the only solid work I have till Christmas. That means making it a 9 -5 job with overtime for myself on the weekends. If I made enough I could go to Sydney for Christmas. – New Years eve down the rocks would be heaven. I also want a bike. My plan of attack today is to go to all the local shopping malls and sell the idea. I will use backpackers as salespeople.

Wednesday 18th October 7.30pm
Shattered – I spent all day assembling units for a craft show in the Auckland show ground. Fairly easy work and got paid $75. I woke up at 4 and 5 O’ Clock because of torrential rain. I couldn’t get back to sleep as I had to be up at 6.30 to get to work. I woke up with a mild hangover, because yesterday I was asking shops would they be outlets and I saw an “I was there” Lions T Shirt. He had bought it off me in Sydney. We got chatting and went for a beer. A fatal mistake as it turned into a real sesh – the first real one in NZ.
Playing darts with 3 kiwi’s – I was hanging. I got a taxi home. Bernard from Auckland Welsh phoned with an offer of a job, but I am going full steam ahead with my risk on the shirts so I will turn it down. I phoned Graham of the T Shirt factory and I have got to give him a ring at 12. – Hopefully I will have them on the street in the afternoon. Weather today appalling again. Probably get up at 2.15 to see the All Blacks play Pontypool – come on Pooler.
World news is that there has been a huge Earthquake in San Fransisco – 6.9 on the Richter Scale. At least 200 dead – motorways collapsed – worst quake for 83 years.

Wednesday 18th October 11.30 am
Waiting, waiting, waiting. – Exactly the same as happened with C Bon. I am being stalled. I just phoned up and the artist isn’t in yet so I have to ring at 1.30. I can see me being stalled now until tomorrow morning. Very frustrating, because I’m really keen to get out and do some sales work. Up at 2.15am and watch Pontypool getting stuffed by the All Blacks. They were so efficient. Frightening to think what they will to do Wales in the test. The score was 47-3. In San Fransisco the death toll is over 270 because of the earthquake. I haven’t got a bed now – it’s been taken away.
1.00– A nightmare – just phoned and the artist still hasn’t turned off – I am really cheesed off as I am hanging around waiting
4.30 – Jim the Scots artist phoned up and is working on the artwork now. Graham reckons he will have it done by 9 so I will go around at ½ 8 to get them. I’ve got 23 days of solid work if I want this to come off. I know the frustrating thing will be waiting for the things. I should be on the streets flogging my guts out tomorrow. Bernard from Auckland Welsh and a few Welsh boys are going to the rugby tavern tonight so I will go down as soon as I get my shirts. He was saying that on the 4th Nov – Wales v NZ they are having am all night session in Mt Roskill Rugby Club. – I will be in Christchurch. If I can get a plane back I will. I wrote a letter home but spent all day festering around.

Thursday 19th October 9 am
Still haven’t got the shirts. Had a phone call last night so I am going in now. I went for a ride and a fish – (caught nothing) in Mike’s boat in the early evening. I went for a beer with Andy, met Bernard Newcombe, sold a shirt for $27. + Bernard sharked me – I’ll get the money off him. At the rugby Tavern Gordon told me Caron had been in. I got back and he had phoned. He phoned later and unfortunately he is leaving today so I have missed him. Jacko phoned at 3.30 am – He is sending me 10 Ireland World champion T Shirts.

Friday 20th October 7pm
At last the T Shirts have arrived. I walked to Mt Albert and he had only done 36. I went into town, sold a few then went back but he hadn’t done the 14. – I am soo cheesed off with him saying they will be ready and then them not being there. I ordered another 26 to make it 40. I then went back to town – flogged some more so I ordered 20 more. I have 17 on the go and 60 being made – but when will they be done?
On the positive side the T Shirts are brilliant. Really good quality and the design works lovely. I sold 17 so it’s the same as making $208.25. I am making $12.25 a shirt at the moment. I am getting rid of them for $26 or two for $50. I will do 3 for $70 as well I think. Although I must admit that I feel fairly frustrated because things are happening fairly slowly it has been a fairly successful day.
A really pleasant surprise was that I bumped into Caron in town and we had a chat about traveling in Australia – He is going to Hawaii + will be home for the test.

Saturday 21st October 6.15
Everybody in the house is away because of the long weekend. I was up at 10. I phoned up Pat and also had a chat to Siw ($22.46) News is that Pat is off to Bathurst to work. – His company will pay for his flight and housing – He wants a luxury house. Also, tragic news from Cairns about Caroline who has only just survived a crash on her bike. – she is in all sorts of trouble – been in intensive care, also she has no Medicare + when she flies home she will have to have 3 luxury seats.
I told Siw about my T Shirts and her reply was as expected. Why didn’t I get a proper job in a factory – she makes me laugh.
I phoned mum and dad from town but the telephone was having a nightmare. I told them about the shirts. I went into town and sold the grand total of 0. – Not happy at all. The weather is dreadful. I put 2 shirts in a shop in Grey Lynne and in 2 dairy’s around here.
I popped around the hostel and all the boys are going to the “press club” To watch the GB/KIWI game followed by the All Black / Swansea game so I will be up till 6 this morning. Bon Jovi are also playing Western Springs on the 19th so I may do a shirt for that. This is quite a laugh if it comes off.
Huge news from Britain is the Guildford 4 being released from jail after 15 years for the bombings they never did. The judged recommended they should be hanged at the time – if he could have. Jacko is ecstatic – told you so etc.

Saturday 22nd October
I can’t stress how wet and windy it is outside. Continuation of last night – it’s a pain in the neck. Last night I saw Rebel without a cause – James Dean. I really enjoyed it. I then went down the hostel. Me Ceri, Steve and a Yank, Troy went for a few beers at the Press club and had a few games of pool. Disaster – the big screen wasn’t working – why we went. I watched the first half of the Kiwi v GB rugby league game and at half time legged it for a taxi to save getting soaked. I sold 2 shirts in the Press Club – one for a cheque. I crashed out on the couch and woke up half way through the Swansea All Blacks game. The All Blacks won 30 odd to 20 odd – 6 tries to 3 but it flattered them. Swansea were really committed especially the forwards who were all very young – about 20 , 21. Arthur Emyr looked dangerous whenever he got a touch.
7.30 what a dreadful day – did my washing a joined a video club. Saw Planes, Trains and Automobiles = ok. Also saw the rugby again – Emyr was not as impressive as the outside half – Clements. Tonight I am off to the Auckland Irish club. It’s funny I am not that confident at all today about my little T Shirt venture – I have only really got 8 days before I go to Christchurch. To be honest I won’t sell enough to finance the trip. My no 1 problem is supplying the shirts – My problem is I need them NOW. But I have to keep waiting. It seems daft that they haven’t got a big stock of shirts in. I hope to shift a few tonight. I have a sneaky feeling it wont be a young crowd which will be a ‘mare.

Monday 23rd October – Labour Day Bank Holiday
A fairly interesting day running around and achieving nothing, but I think I learned a lot so nothing ventured nothing gained I suppose. I was up at 9 and took a trip to the craft fair – where I did some work last week. A dead loss – the woman wouldn’t let me sell there so I took a trip to the Victoria market. It costs $120 a weekend to have a stall. I got chatting to a bloke Trevor who let me flog my U2 shirts for $4 commission. I only sold 4 – quite surprised as I thought I would sell more I sharked Trevor for $4 as I sold one when he was off for a coffee. I could not believe what he was selling the most of. People were walking past very good T Shirts in droves and buying his “old fart” “grumpy old fart” and “boring old fart” T Shirts – just goes to show. I took a trip around the market and had a chat to a few people and will defo go back next week and leave some stock there. There is also a chance of going in tomorrow and leaving stuff with people who run it 7 days a week. I can also go to the oriental market – behind the bus depo as there are stalls three. First I have to get the shirts off Graham. Taxi home as I couldn’t stand to wait for a bus.
Last night I went (on my tod) to the Auckland Irish club – fairly dead – especially compared to the Mercantile. Apparently there is a bit of life in the Albion on Tuesdays.
On funny thing is Wendy wants to get rid of the couch. She asked me last week and I said that in my opinion it’s ok where it is. Today there was a note saying that unless there are any objections she is getting the Salvation Army to take it away. You can’t really reason with notes. The decision is made and a challenge must be made for anyone to alter it. Nicky got back and was furious as she is always leaving notes. If she wants to get rid of it she can – I don’t give a monkey’s, but I see some tension between Nicky and Wendy. I will call that note number 1. I can’t wait for note number 2. Nicky was all in for replying to the note on paper.
I am going to be cheesed off if I can’t get my t shirts tomorrow, but I can’t see it really. I will be happy if I get them by the evening.

Tuesday 24th October
Cheesed off with my little T Shirt man. Phoned him this morning, this afternoon and early evening. He wants me to ring him tomorrow dinnertime + he will only have 30 for me. I was hoping for 100 so I could start distributing them. I went into town today and didn’t have a good day. I only sold 4 – my aim is to sell at least 8 a day. Eight is the equivalent of a day’s wages. In town I saw Tony the Yank and had a chat to him. Also the 3 Scots turned up. They were all in for going ¼’s on a whole range of shirts. I am off tonight to the Albion pub where hopefully an Irish band is on. I had a phone call from an Irish lad who wants 3 shirts so I have nearly hit my target - + I have got bloody none left now. This is ridiculous – I ordered them Friday.
I got back and made the grub – Wendy had got rid of the couch. Amazingly it didn’t rain today. I read my Diary yesterday and found out it was Nolsey’s birthday so I gave her a ring. She wasn’t in.

Wednesday 25th October 11.30
Bored stiff, watching Tele. I ordered the T Shirts last Thursday. I think I have enough money to buy 80 and I can’t get hold of the bloke. I’m so annoyed. I went to the Albion last night + it was excellent. Fairly small and loads of atmosphere. I got rid of 5 shirts and could have sold more if I had any left. Taxi home.
This morning up at 8.30 and went for a run – a killer, really sweaty. I am now very frustrated. I should be in town making money. The Neath game is live on tele tomorrow. If one side can beat them it is Neath. – I will be up at 2.15 to watch it live.
12.30 Phoned Graham at 12 + I’ve got to ring back at 4 – another full day wasted. It’s just not fair. I have risked everything and no one seems to care. I am so annoyed. I said on the phone that I have done nothing for 2 days waiting + he had the nerve to say that I was luck as he had been working solidly for 16 hours. – That’s supposed to cheer me up!!
9.30 What a waste of a day. – I am fairly pessimistic about things now. I went into town – dead. I sold 1 shirt – went to the college with one of the Scots lads – I promised him some work on Friday. I will hopefully pick up 100 shirts tomorrow. I said I will go in and give him a hand about 4 so I would be sure of the shirts. The ones I got now are not ½ as good as the old lot. Spent the afternoon watching the film “Peggy Sue got married”. Up at 2.15 to watch the Neath game.

Thursday 25th October 11am
An absolutely gorgeous day. I am sitting here in Queen Street (Since ½ 10) and have had no luck at all. Just been reading the paper which you don’t really have to pay for in Auckland. – Fairly boring really. The pessimist in me is starting to creep in, but in reality I am sure I can make a killing at these concerts if I could afford to finance it. Selling 8 will be the same as a days work – I will stay t he day here so hopefully I will sell more. Grand total now though is 0
I was up at 2.15.Neath got beaten 25-17 – very close until the end but Neath had there chances but a couple of missed passes. Not happy with Wendy at all last night. She was moaning about me using the couch cushions as a bed as I would wear them out – so I had to kip on the floor. At the moment reading the “Go Between” by WP Hartley
Midnight. Going to bed tired but happy. I sold 3 from 10.30 – 2 and then really pushed it from ½ 3 and finished with a total of 11 sold. A day’s work is 8. At ½ 5 I went to Mt Albert as I said I would give Graham a hand. (I paid my rent of $190). The shirts hadn’t arrived till 7 so I potted around. Fair play to him he works really hard. I could only get 70 and had $150 left over so I struck a lovely deal for seconds @$6 each – some of them printed out so well I will probably get rid of them at $26. Now I have got some stock I can really get going. Hopefully I will give a few to the Scots lads tomorrow. Finished work at ½ 11 so what with getting up from 2-4 to watch Neath it’s been a long day. Still – I have got to be prepared to stick in the graft if I am going to get any success in this little venture. One note of caution – Bono has lost his voice and cancelled a Sydney concert. I would be knackered if that was the case and he couldn’t play NZ.

Friday 26th October
11.45 – Sitting on a bench in Queen St. + haven’t sold a light – fairly boring. Hopefully things will pick up around dinner time.
6pm – A fairly successful day – flogging shirts. Most of the success was around dinner. Very little after. A lot more confident but I realize I have got loads of graft before it all pays off. One of the Jocks – either Mike or Jim turned up and gave me a hand – meant I could go for lunch. He only sold 5 all afternoon – I am hoping he can be persuaded to come down to Christchurch with me as it will be good company. The weekend is coming up and I am a bit of a Douggie. Tomorrow is Nicky’s 21st birthday so that should be a good night and Sunday I will go to the Gaelic club. Hopefully, a few more than last week.
9pm – Douggie no mates tonight. Mind you I am knackered. – back into town tomorrow morning. Just counted up my cash + came home with $560 – so it was a good one. The news today in GB is Lawson has resigned, so Thatcher is up against it- The day she is out is drawing closer – DITCH THE BITCH!

Sunday 29th October
1.30 Up at 4 to watch NZ beat Llanelli 11-0 – the windiest day in the world at home. The All Blacks just played it to the forwards and crucified the Llanelli pack in the second half. Last night I went to Nicky’s 21st – ok, but I’ve been to, and was expecting much better. Got home at 12 and was up at 4 to watch the rugby and then up at 11.30. Did the washing and got a vid and a Chinese in for dinner – Sad man. I have got to go into town later and pick up my shirts/money from the markets. Yesterday morning I sold 8 shirts which was pleasing.
I have virtually decided that to go to Christchurch I will go right up to my credit limit on my Access. I will fly to Christchurch on Thursday morning at 9 am. – gets in at 10.40. So I will have a full selling day there. Finance will be coming from different sources hopefully.
5pm – A bus ride into town + to the Victoria market. Trevor had sold 4 so I got $88 and he took 10 off me for $19 each so he will give Graham $190. I then went to the Chinese market. Mario was not there so I have to go in tomorrow - he had sold 2 though. Tonight I will go to the Auckland Irish club – hopefully it will a good night.
Weather over the last couple of days have been lovely – I went for a run yesterday with Mike – that hill is a real killer. Being Sunday it would have been Mercantile night, so I am definitely still missing Sydney. Hopefully the U2 shirts will go very well and I can have Christmas there. I am still intending to travel around Feb/March time – I am really hoping Pat makes it over.

Monday 30th October
Last night at the Gaelic club was really good – chatting to quite a few Paddies. One lad Brian was very keen to come down to Christchurch with me but no sign of him today.
Up this morning at ½ 7 and hit town at ½ 10. A fairly successful day selling T Shirts – sold 17. I also got rid of 10 in the Chinese market. Did some running around and had a curry for dinner. I got a plane ticket for Christchurch for Thursday. Cost $106 – paid on Access. I also took out $940 on access – determined to pay it back very quickly. I don’t like using the plastic – too easy to do.
My sales pitch is all lies - $35 at the concert etc. I ordered 200 for Wednesday off Graham – I am hoping for a lot more. Had a bit of a scare in town when this bloke told me that the U2 concerts were cancelled. Neither confirmed nor denied at the moment – Hopefully the latter. If one concert is cancelled I must not panic as there are 3 others.
At home Thatcher is still taking loads of stick because of the resignation of Lawson - Good. In South Africa there was a huge turnout of the ANC welcoming the released prisoners – Good

Wednesday 1st November 12 Midday
I am taking a day off today`- I have been running around like a blue arsed fly for the last 2 weeks – not complaining as it’s work which is what I need. The next week is so important to me and sod having a social life. I need to go for solid graft. I phoned up Graham and ordered 250 shirts costing $3,000 – I’ve got about $2,700 so I will be owing him $300. I was aiming to take down 400-500 so I will be very disappointed if I don’t sell all of them in Christchurch. I am flying down tomorrow at 9
Yesterday wasn’t that successful especially compared to Monday. I went to Grey Lynne to pay a cheque into the bank and then got to town at ½ 11. I only sold 4 shirts all day. Had a curry for dinner – I got really cheesed off and came home at 4. I got St Elmo’s fire on the vid.
The evening was great. I went to the Albion at 8 chatting to Bernard + ? It is a disaster that stop tap is 10 O’clock. Just as you are getting into it the pub shuts. I then went to the international backpackers where there was a Halloween party on – a good laugh. Got a date with Lorraine – but not for a couple of weeks when U2 is all over.
Up at 3 again and watched Newport get stuffed 54-9. The test is on Saturday – I will be in Christchurch. I saw a brilliant cartoon of a Welsh bloke smacking the arse of an All Black – if only.
10pm – A very tiring day doing nothing – Got “Hannah and her sisters” out on vid – up to Woody’s high standards. I made a Chile for dinner. At 5 Graham gave me a ring and I went around helping him do the t shirts. I paid out $2,870 for 145 shirts. I’ve packed them and it fills up a rucksack, Nicky’s suitcase and my big bag. I will expect to pay some luggage costs.
I am really looking forward to going to Christchurch – the sheer size of the T Shirts though is daunting. I will be very happy if I sell them all. I do expect to. It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t though as there are still 3 more concerts.

Thursday 2nd November 8am Auckland airport
Up at 6 this morning, quick shower and brecky and Greg gave me a lift to the airport bus. I checked all my baggage on the plane and I have now got ¾ hour to wait. I haven’t got that much money on me. When I get to Christchurch I hope to get a single room at the backpackers so that I can organize myself. I also want to get a couple of people working for me today and tomorrow. If t he shirts went really well I would love to miss the concert – jump on the 9pm plane Saturday night and be back in Auckland to watch the Wales / NZ test at Mt Roskill RFC. with all the Welsh boys. Because I have only got 250 shirts I may up the price to $28 and see how it goes. I will be able to pay $6 commission then. The weather is gorgeous now; hopefully it will be the same in the South Island.
Starting to descend into Christchurch, I will be equalizing like a good un. Below the scenery is fantastic – huge mountain range with the highest being snow capped. First time I have seen snow since Canada over a year ago. I am really looking forward to this little venture but I know I have to work really hard, - it’s very exciting though.
I’ve got to get a backpackers near Lancaster Park where U2 are playing.
Booked in – no real lock on the door which I am not happy about. Owner came in and wanted a free T Shirt for a night accommodation. Job done, as I’m paying $24 a night. All set to hit Christchurch now – it’s freezing.
6.30 Very eventful. I went to the mall and was selling nicely when these blokes came up and said was it a licensed product. I said yes, + they wanted to know who by etc. They gave me 10 minutes to clear out. One was really aggressive and his mate was a gorilla. – I buggered off sharpish – the coward I am. I then came back because I thought they had gone but they came back. I was really scared but everything is riding on theses shirts so I decided to take another load out and went around the mall asking in the shops. I ended up selling 43 today which I am happy about and will go to the Irish pub tonight and hopefully sell some more

Friday 3 Nov
Happiest man in the world. Had a really productive day selling shirts followed by a really good night at Warners Irish bar. Excellent laugh really. Saw the Wizard give a speech. First impressions of Christchurch are very favourable. Really good atmosphere in the square. Spent all morning really hung over from last night. Judy did very well working for me – really pleased with her but very disappointed with these other lads who let me down. I phoned Paula because it is her birthday. Phoned Graham and ordered 250 more – aiming to clear the rest of them and fly back to Auckland to see the Wales / NZ test. – I am really praying we beat them. What a turn up for the books that would be.

Saturday 4th November
Back in the game. Exactly the same response as with the Lions shirts. Brilliant. I went town with Judy with 79 shirts – sold t hem all within half an hour. – people were just swarming around me and gave me all their money. – Brilliant, I paid Judy with a U2 ticket - $80 – I think she expected more. Shuttle bus back to the airport and then I am flying to Auckland – should be brilliant tonight at Mount Roskill rugby club. Even though on paper it looks like I have made $2000 I see it as I have made nothing as I have got to pump it all back in for Wellington and Auckland. A gorgeously, sunny day. Paid £180 for the airline ticket
Auckland. Got back and I have got $5300 plus $500 in cheques – ordered 500 shirts. A word of caution is apparently Jacko got “taken in” but was not charged at a U2 concert for selling his Ireland T Shirts – so I have obviously got to be very, very careful I Wellington and Auckland – They weren’t even U2 shirts.

Sunday 5th November 8.15
Very Tired. – spent all day with Graham on the shirts. I gave him $5,000 for 500 shirts, I owe him $1000
Last night was really good at Mt Roskill rugby club chatting to everyone. Met some really good people BUT Wales got stuffed 36-9 – virtually all the points in the second half. Off to the Gaelic club tonight – I must organize getting the shirts down to Wellington. I know I am being optimistic but if I could hot $20000 I would be able to fly mum and dad out for the Commonwealth games. That would be brilliant. If I raised the cash + they wouldn’t come I could give Peter and Marie a late Honeymoon.
11.30 Had a phone call off Ian – him Margaret and Chris are coming around at 9. I will have to arrange a minibus to get them to Wellington. I will fly and take 100 down with me. Gaelic club was very quiet, I also went to the Ivanhoe lodge – said Goodbye to Steve and Ceri who are leaving which is a bit of a shame.

Monday 6th November 1pm
Sitting again in Auckland airport ready to fly to Wellington. Up at 8.15 and Ian Margaret and Chris came around at 9. Spent a few hours sorting out a hire car. They are on the way now with a car full of shirts. I have paid on Access again – had to get a blank one which I will fill out at the end. I banked $640 and then got a taxi to the airport ($34). I got here at ¼ past and the plane is due to leave at ½ past – a bargain at $78 + it takes less than an hour where as the car will take about 8 or 9. I have got a widow seat – Yess. It’s funny – I have just got on the plane and I read the in flight magazine last Thursday. I am very confident about the shirts. If possible I will fly back to Auckland to pick up more – if I sell them as fast as in Christchurch. All cloudy below – bit of a shame as I want to see the coastline. Hopefully I will be able to see the U2 concert on this little trip. About to land – can see a few smaller islands, cloud cover has thinned about quite a bit.
Wellington – Brilliant landing – looks like we were coming down on a beach
10.30. Wellington has got a rep for being windy, and they are not wrong. It is quite blowy out now. I got the airport bus to here – Rowena backpackers + grabbed a single room. Got chatting to this lad Phil who is helping me sell shirts. – a little bit of a divhead really but is very keen. We went into town and between us only sold 20 – a start I suppose. We grabbed a pizza and festered all night. – I am very tired.- but that’s expected after an all nighter Saturday and working all yesterday. A bit concerned that I haven’t seen the car and the rest of the shirts – I was expecting them around 9 but they haven’t arrived yet. Phil said he saw Judy, who will be around tomorrow. So, what with Ian, Margaret and Chris we should hopefully sell a gutsfull. I phoned Graham and he gave really bad news that the bloke whose logo of the kiwi and the wellies we nicked came around and will presumably be looking for me. I sold 2 shirts in the record shop so I bought myself a U2 ticket. On the ticket it’s got the point that official merchandise will only be at sale at the venue.

Tuesday 7th October 11.30pm
A very busy day. Started off with Phil insisting on going to Lowerhutt which was ideal to get rid of him. Me Ian, Margaret and Chris went into town and had a very disappointing day, I suppose. I sold 40, Chris 15 + Margaret and Ian 15 between them. Highlight of the day was when I am sure I saw 2 U2 gorillas running down the street so I grabbed the bag and me and Margaret legged it into an arcade – down another one and hid in a cupboard with Margaret – people can talk. We met Judy and took a trip to Athletic Park to see it. No big screen tomorrow which is a surprise. This really bossy woman ordered us out (“Seig Heil”) Back to the hotel and Phil had sold 48 “I could have sold hundreds more if I had mediums”. Fair play – he worked really hard + I will be really pleased if he comes to Auckland on the plane and then sells them there for me.
In the evening the fun started. I settled down to watch Cheers and Brush strokes – all the others were off out. Ian lost the keys to the car. We tried to break in, but no luck – tomorrow’s problem. We went for an absolute gorgeous curry – fairly confident about selling tomorrow but we’ve got literally hundreds left. I will be very cheesed off if we don’t sell them.

Wednesday 8th November 9.15
Quite a big day today. Phil – the keenest man in the world has come in to collect his shirts and is off – what a difference to the lads who let me down in Christchurch

Thursday 9th November 11.30
I am now sitting in Wellington Airport. I have just passed the Wizard who is really famous in Christchurch – really funny to see a bloke in a full wizard outfit – stick as well with a hat on, waiting at the airport.
Well, what about yesterday? I am really disappointed to be honest, but I should qualify that by saying I made about $2,000 profit. It just wasn’t the same as Christchurch, probably because Christchurch concert was on a Saturday so – Wellington was more of a rush. Apparently it had been on the radio all day that official T-shirts were on sale at the concert and too aware of rip off material. I must have brought home about 120 which I’m really cheesed off with. One of the problems I had were the people working for me obviously wanted to see the show so about 2 hours before the start they all disappeared leaving me with 100’s of shirts. I saw most of the show- U2 were really good but I left an hour before the end which I was glad I did as I took $1,000 after it finished. Phil was a real pain all day, I did offer him $100 to be a driver and God, the power went to his head. Anyway, he was happy enough to have 4 shirts this morning. It’s a shame he’s not coming to Auckland as he would have sold loads of shirts but an hour next to him on the plane would have been unbearable. It’s Peter’s birthday today so I’ve got to try and give him a ring later. I’ve got a really long day ahead of me. I’ve ordered 600 shirts off Graham so I will be helping him from 5o’clock tonight.
The cost of the plane is $137. I owe out bits to different people. $1,125 to Graham, $95 each to Nick and Mike for rent and my excess bill of about $1,700, also I’ve got to pay for the hire of the car. My biggest concern is that the locks on the windows are knackered. I hope I don’t get stung for a fortune on that. Weather in Wellington is normal – very, very windy.
I really feel I’ve failed on this trip, but in reality that’s daft because I’ve at least broken even. I suppose I had really high expectations. Even if I had 100 odd after the last concert I’m sure I could get rid of them before Christmas.
12.00 Just booked on the plane and in the departure lounge were loads of U2 heavies with Security written all over their shirts, so I’ll keep a low profile – no sign of the boys. I’m looking forward to take off because the landing is spectacular but it is very cloudy, so once we are in the air I’ll see bugger all!
Just finished lunch – I was starving, I’ve got a major moan that the bloke next to me hardly touched his – I could have murdered at least his roll.
12.30am Got home and phoned Graham. I went to town and sold 5 shirts before going to Mount Albert for half 5. Worked solid till Midnight. 4 of us printing 600 shirts – paid Graham the $1,500 I owed him plus $7,000 for the shirts. I now owe him $325. I had a really interesting mail at last from Joan Conlan with loads of gossip from Gunnersbury. I just tried to phone Peter – it’s his birthday but he wasn’t in, it’s only 11am at home, I’ll bell him first thing tomorrow morning. Tomorrow and Saturday are probably the two most important days I’ll have in New Zealand, I am absolutely shattered a the moment, I’m getting up at 8am and phoning up Youth Hostels for salesmen, I’m looking for about 12. If I can’t get them there I’m looking at the Student Job Service. I really want to be organised tomorrow. 700 shirts is really filling up the room. I’ll be happy as Larry if I sell them all by Saturday, but what a laugh if I can sell them all tomorrow!! I’m feeling fairly pessimistic after my efforts yesterday, I feel as if I failed although I sold 400.

Friday 10th November
Up at 8am, phoned Peter ($43) for his birthday, then rang all the hostels. Ian and Margaret are coming over at 9.30am and the Scots lads, Jim and Mike are coming over asap.
Huge news worldwide is that East Germany has thrown open its gates – that news is so big, obviously a direct consequence of Gorbachovs glasnost – got to give it to old Gorby.
12.30 Well the workers are out, I phoned up the Student Job Service and they have sent over a few. All the backpackers were really useless which was really surprising. As I write I’ve got 200 on the streets. The Jocks, Jim, Mike and Grant have got a prime site, hopefully in town. Ian and Margaret are in Henderson, a girl Jane is out in Newmarket and a Malaysian bloke Vincent is having a mare – just sold one. I’m fairly bored and jumping up every time the phone rings.
8pm HELP. I’m a frightened man, isn’t life interesting. The shirts have been selling, the Jocks flogged 86 in town and Jane sold 26. At half six everybody was out and I got bored – there was a few hundred t-shirts in the house so I went the concert gates, a really, really dull move, obviously motivated by greed! I knew the gorillas were around. I sold about 5 and this van pulled up and could see Security written all over them, I thought I’d apologise then move on, but this bloke had a real go at me and the gorilla scooped up about 20 shirts and told me if I wanted them back to come to the dressing rooms – I was really shaken again. Then again, what should I expect? I knew it would be risky by there. The American girls came back – sold 20 and were really pleased with themselves and were all in for taking another 20 more but as people were coming back they were saying how they had been hassled as well. But thankfully I was the only one to loose shirts. Ian and Margaret had this gorilla really rip into them, where did you get the shirts? It’s illegal etc and they were just sitting having a smoke with a big bag of shirts next to them. I obviously won’t be ordering any more – got a shedful left and will be looking for a proper job on Monday. In the evening we all went to the Gluepot – Ian and Margaret are leaving for Sydney tomorrow (I envy them) so I’ve said goodbye, hopefully I will see them again. Everyone else is working, despite the gorillas. God, I’m a coward, but my nose is still not broken.
All exciting stuff, better than working in a factory.

Saturday 11th November
8pm – I’ve won, I’ve won, I’ve won! Just counted most of the money in and its $8,465, quite a few shirts left which I can milk. I will unload at Christmas. At the moment I have still got Kevin the cockney lad and 3 of his mates pushing out 100 + 30 in the Victoria market. – Probably all sold and 15 in the Chinese market. Jim the bluenose went out and sold 40 in town and Sarah and Louise sold 50. I sold quite a few in town – really running around. I was in the paper again – what a laugh. I phoned up Chris Paykal – off to Oz tomorrow and will give me a ring when he gets back. I also phoned up James Poff who will be in for a beer in a week. I am also going out for a drink with Lorraine next Thursday!!. I have won – brilliant! I was a bit concerned yesterday + I have obviously got loads left but as I see it the biggest risk was spending $8000 on Thursday and I have now got $8,400 so even if I throw all the shirts away I will have made $400 since Thursday – a good weekends work.
1.30 – before I left the cockney lads brought a few bob back- upped it to $8680. I phoned mum to tell her the good news – Nan O’Brien is ill again, she is in hospital and crying ‘cos she won’t see me again. I can’t do nothing really – I feel dreadful about it.
At ½ 9 I went and filled my rucksack full with shirts and listened to the end of the concert, sitting in the Bullock track. I sold them all for $20 then ran back and got some more – ended up with £1,760 = $10,440 + bits and pieces coming in.- a definite success. I am knackered

Sunday 12th November
In quite a good mood today – strange that. At the Victoria market Trevor had sold 30 shirts and about 8 of the 15 I gave him today – I will pick up the cash next week. – got loads to do tomorrow.

Monday 13th November
Up at 10 – phoned Christchurch and will send him down 15.. Phoned up Graham and ordered 50 more – trying to milk it.. Went to the bank and stuck in $9000 cash and $1000 cheques – very healthy. Christmas in Sydney is about $600 return. I met Kev the cockney. He is off on Friday so we went for a beer. Stood in Queen St for 40 mins and sold 6. Went to the Aussie embassy – huge queues so I will go back. Starting to think of Christmas presents now. Peter and Kevin can have an ANZAC jersey. I will have to look around for everyone else. Last night I went to the Gaelic club – got home with a few beers in me and phoned Nolesy, Caroline, and Mary. Also phoned Jim and Heather – who weren’t in. Nolesy is seeing Richard Burke as Jacko predicted.
5.45 – Sold about 10 shirts in town – also got chatting to an Art student who has screens and all the stuff and is willing to come in and do a shirt for next Saturday’s Bon Jovi concert. I am really interested despite last Friday night.
World news is dominated by the opening of the Berlin wall. Brilliant scenes in West Germany. Nicky and Mike are up at 6.30 to go for a run. I hope to join them

Tuesday 14th November 9.15
Up at ½ 6 and went for a run with Nicky and Mike. Achilles hurts like hell, but I feel great now after a breakfast and a feed. – Just off to town and take my library books back. Hopefully I will get my Australian visa for Christmas, send home $4,000 to pay my visa with a bit extra lobbed on top. I will also sell some shirts. Weather really wet. – Hopefully see that bloke about Bon Jovi T Shirts – might give it a go.
Things always change. Went into town – no real problem in booking my Australian visa – I will get a single entry for a month before December 31st. I then went flogging T Shirts outside MacDonald’s – sold 2. Then had a break for dinner. In between a bloke came up with a camera and started taking loads of photos of me and the shirts. He said he was from Acme records + I was obviously a small business. They have got some of my shirts and now photos of me selling them. I still think it is a bluff but I am not going to risk Bon Jovi shirts.
Two Christmas presents out of the way. I got ANZAC jerseys’ for Peter and Kevin.- They are gorgeous
6pm – World news is gain dominated by the opening of the Berlin wall with ‘000s of East Berliners flooding through – really heartening to see. In Melbourne some nutcase jumped into a gorilla pen in the zoo and attacked a cowering gorilla – got caught and now certified as a nut and possibly a murderer. It takes all sorts.

Wednesday 15th November
A fairly quiet day. Went to the Albion yesterday. Really good night again. Siobhan gave me a lift home (I think she fancies me). She is a top salesman for my T Shirts. Talking to Bernard and he said he met Leo Duffy and Jacko in the Mercantile. I phoned home for my bank account number – had a chat to mum, Kev and dad. St Peters have got Treorchy in the WRU cup and if t hey beat them they have got Swansea at the Harlequins.
I spent all day reading Brendan Beehan’s book – Borstal Boy. Really good. I done the grub + in the evening I got another video. Spent an hour looking out for a pushbike. I will get one by the weekend. A fairly quiet day today.

Friday 17th November
Another Lazy day – Idle rich can be a bit boring. I’ve got to pick up another 50 U2 shirts tonight – I’m quite confident of shifting them through the markets and that shop in Christchurch. Yesterday I spent all day festering around. I went into town and transferred $4000 to my account in Swansea so I can pay off my access and bought myself a pair of 501’s. I spent the evening with Lorraine – quite a good evening out. She is very chatty and has got more stories than me. Went to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and then went for grub.
I have had my week off now so I need more work. I am seriously thing of trying the world tour idea. Mackers will go half’s and I will ask the Jocks. Only an idea – I will be very reluctant to go working in a factory. until I am desperate. I went looking for a job in the market and they are only on $7 an hour and that’s taxed – AAAAGH. I want to buy a bike tomorrow.
5.20 A fairly boring day really. I went into town and took out $1000 to pay off the T Shirts I owe for. I will be picking up 60 tomorrow. I’ve got to do something for Simple Minds. – These days life is fairly boring. Nothing can really top Henry Root. I have got the video Cocoon in to watch this evening.

Saturday 18th November
Mike woke me up at 5.30 to go fishing. – No chance. Up at 9 taxi into town and got paid $800 by Trevor. A bloke from ACME T Shirts had been around and was asking lots of questions so I quickly changed into a Splat man shirt. Luckily as well because he came back, but I don’t think he recognized me. I was going to flog some in town but I didn’t cos of that. I went to Penny Farthings bike shop + got a lovely bike. BFAR for $150 – I spent $50 on lights and a lock etc. – quite pleased with it but knowing my luck with anything mechanical it will fall apart.
Lat night I went out with Jim the Jock – quite a good laugh but ended up night clubbing/ It doesn’t matter where in the world we are I hate clubs. Good laugh winding up Jim – not only is he a bluenose but he is the only Thatcher supporter in Scotland. No brain obviously. Wait till I drag him down the Mercantile on New Year eve. I am really looking forward to going back to Sydney for Christmas. Tonight the Paddies are facing the awesome might of the All Blacks rolling maul. Up the Irish. Next week is the big one – the Barbarians.

Sunday 19th November 6.30
Up at ¼ past 3 this morning. The Irish played really well but got beat 23-9. – three tries. It will be great if the Baa Baa’s beat them next week. Back to bed then up again at ½ 10. Dreary wet day. I watched the end of the vid Mosquito Coast and festered away – really boring really. Wendy came out with a classic; - Did I know who the Unification church was? As she is thinking of joining. It is the MOONIES. She can sign away anything of her own but I reckon the Moonies are after my T Shirts.
I have filled in the form for Commonwealth games tickets. – going to day 5 athletics. Finals boxing and closing ceremony. Tickets about $50 each. Tonight I am off to the Gaelic club for a beer. I went for a run. I’ve got about $600 that I want to reinvest into different shirts – world tour T Shirts and England world champion T Shirts.
I am happy to wrap up my Christmas presents this week. Mum and dad a sheepskin rug. Helen and Tony T Shirts and Stark. Also Catherine and Marie. Nan and Nan will be difficult + I have got to get something else for Catherine.

Monday 20th November
Up at 10 – festered around for an hour + then had a bike ride to Grey Lynne. Posted a letter to Mackers and 18 shirts to Christchurch. Life without work is so boring so I phoned up Greg in Sydney and re-ordered – he hasn’t yet sent the 20 Lions shirts. I also ordered 20 of Jacko’s Irish shirts so hopefully “I will be back in the game” very soon. In Grey Lynne I paid my rent – late again!!. I am also definitely going for the world tour idea. How it will sell God only knows but it won’t be half as good as the U2 idea. I phoned Graham and put the idea in. Another thing I will have to do is get a bed soon.
World news is still dominated by changes in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary with huge demonstrations – good old Gorby’s Glasnost.

Wednesday 22nd November
Up at 8 this morning and live on TV was the All Blacks beating Ulster 23-3 – Baa Baas Sunday morning. Yesterday turned into a mega sesh. Started off quietly enough. I biked into town and went into the visa office. Huge queue but I had a slip so I was in and out. I’ve got a one month Australian visa. – I’ve got to be in by December 31st. I went to the post office and surprise, surprise my “instant arsehole” shirts had arrived so I have got them now. Some of them are wrecked but I can flog the others I suppose. I have really got to put money aside for T Shirts and not keep dipping into it like I have been. I then went to the travel agent and paid for my Sydney trip. At the moment going over on the 22nd, coming back on the 8th – where to stay? – cost $569
I then went out and ordered a gutsfull of Commonwealth games tickets $825 worth but I will get a lot of that back. Then came my downfall. I met Bob – a Yorkshire lad – I had met him twice before, once in Auckland and then in Christchurch. He was flying to Fiji at 9 so we went for a beer at 1. We got dragged into a round with these Cockneys who had been in the country for 6 hours and also a lad from Brum. A mega sesh in the afternoon. I biked home – the big hill by the Victoria market beat me. Had some grub, watched Cheers and then caught a taxi for Paddy night there. Mackers phoned and I had a letter off Caroline. – A very full day. Today I am off to town again got some Christmas presents. I want that Sheepskin rug for mum and dad
My bank balance is $5,787.20 – could be worse.
4pm Spent the morning doing my Christmas shopping. I got a gorgeous sheepskin rug for mum and Dad. For Cath, I got an Auckland Uni Sweatshirt and Stark for Marie. The Nan’s were the most difficult – I got them NZ honey and Kiwi fruit jam. It’s all packed and ready to post tomorrow. I am bored stiff not working.

Thursday 23rd November
Pouring down outside – no real incentive to get up at all. I am bored stiff not working. I am waiting on Graham for these world tour T Shirts – I really hope they go well. I have just had a look at my bike – no mudguards so I can’t really ride it in the rain. Not many things to do really. Just post off my Christmas presents – I reckon that will cost a fortune.
5pm Siobhan came around at dinnertime for a coffee and gave me $60 and took another shirt and invited me to a BBQ on Sunday. I had a phone call from Jim + I went around and we had a chat about my new shirt. I think it will be good and sure to sell but it will cost an arm and a leg for art work. The world tour is relegated to the back with the University of Life on the front
$450 for artwork, it’s going to cost an absolute fortune to set up. $1145 – about $23 a shirt for the first 50 but obviously after that it will fall
10pm I phoned up Pat + he wasn’t keen at all on the University of life T Shirts. He is all in for the England world cup one though. – a bit of a damper – I suppose. I am still confident though.

Friday 23rd November 1pm
I am quite chuffed with myself. – I have just biked up College hill – which has beaten me twice. Only trouble is I have set a precedent now. I got Stark by Ben Elton, so I have done all my presents now. I will send them this afternoon. I went to the library and photocopied a cartoon for my T Shirt file. Pity it never happened but I can easily adapt it in the future. I got a few books out, Henry Roots letters, Spike Milligan’s book and a couple of others/ - Read some of the papers, biked to the fruit market. Had a chat to Alison who told me the Simple Minds concert was cancelled. So I did well not to make shirts for it. She also gave me definite doubts about t he University of Life T Shirts – I will phone up Jim and cancel it and go for the Scotland and England world cup T Shirts.
Biked down with my Christmas presents and postage cost me $161 – so expensive. I will be so annoyed if it didn’t get there by Christmas. I phoned up Jim the artist and cancelled the Uni of Life shirt and ordered England and Scotland world cup shirt.

Saturday 24TH November
In the mail was my classification as a teacher – so I will phone around a bit and see if I can get a job. – will be a nice change – only relief work though. A little bit interesting in the flat, Wendy storming in and out + screaming at me that she wasn’t interested in my quotes from the Spike Milligan book I am reading. She also “had a word” with Nicky. I sat there like a naughty schoolboy trying not to giggle as I thought she was having a moan about me to Nicky, but she was giving Nicky a going over as well. She is giving huge hints that she is looking for a new place – strange girl. Judy from Wellington + Christchurch phoned up + asked could she crash tomorrow – so I said OK – so I won’t be able to go to the BBQ that Siobhan invited me to.
Only one month till Christmas.
Tonight I am off to see Rodney Rude with the Scots lads. – I rate him as an overrated blue comic but we will see how the night develops. Baa Baa’s v All Blacks at 3am – I might give Jim Williams a ring as it’s his birthday.

Sunday 25th November
Hungover. – A really cracking night last night. I went to the rugby tavern and met Jim and the Scots lads – had a few beers and a game of darts – retired unbeaten. Some brilliant flukes. From there we went to Rodney Rude. – Absolute garbage. We left before half time. We then went to the Nags head for a few more before going to a club where we abused this poor sod by doing “cheeky cheeky” on him. The best I have ever seen – He was covered in ash. Really funny. Went back to the Scots boys flat to watch the Barbarian game. All Blacks won 21-9 – very close until the last 10 mins. Crashed on the couch and woke up with a cat on me.

Monday 26th November
Nightmare for relief teaching. I have got the classification but to get a visa I need a valid airline ticket out, a letter from the school and the board of trustees, qualifications, passport and $90 so, I can’t really see me bothering. I need those T shirts quickly to do some work.
I spent all morning watching the Baa Baas v All Blacks game a very good match. Yesterday I was hangover. Judy came around and imposed on me, but she is now in a youth hostel- she did a lot of hinting to stay. I was really pleased to get a phonecall from Siw, Sharon and Pat. Siw and Sharon are going to live in Cairns – so they say. In the evening went to the Gaelic club. Weather is dreadful.
Wendy continues to be a bit of a nightmare. – she is looking for a flat because she says she doesn’t fit in – she is leaving all newspapers all over the place with adverts circled all over them.
4.30 What a boring day. Jim still hasn’t done his artwork. Raining all day, so I’ve stayed in. I sent off Siw’s birthday present, and a T Shirt for Paula and a few Christmas cards. Bored. Reduced to making the dinner and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. – Nothing in the post again. I am expecting T Shirts from Greg, Wales/ NZ programme from dad and a card from Siw and Sharon.
6.48 Wendy’s home and in a happy mood – all smiles and brought home Strawberry cakes. She has also invited me and Nicky to an opera. No thanks wend, I can’t afford it (Nicky) Na, I think I will give it a miss (me). Next was singing in the choir for the Commonwealth games. – Can’t sing Wend (me) They wouldn’t let us through the door (Nicky). Next was some art and craft open day. – Just leave me alone Wendy, please. But bring us some more strawberry cakes.
11.20 Just about to knock off to bed, still pouring with rain. Just watching the news about the Round the world boat race – ¼ million people welcomed it in last year. I hope to be back in Auckland for the 4 Jan. I think that the boats will start arriving during Christmas week but if it is later it would be a good T Shirt earner. I will find out tomorrow.

Tuesday 28th November
Up at 11 – AAGH. I phoned up the Steinlager people and really good news is that the boats are due in Auckland between 5-12th. I hope to be back by the 4th. I have already got the map of the world screen, so now I have to find the route. And of course order the art work. – Very confident.
I went for a run. I want to do it every day now especially up to the 10k run. That’s a challenge. Off to town today to sus out where the boats are coming in. No mail today.
7pm – into town – paid rent $195 then went to the travel agent trying to get a flight back either on the 3rd or 4th – preferably on the 3rd as the boats are in on the 5th – 12th. I went down to the Princess wharf to see all the gear – its all Canterbury stuff – the cheapest shirt is $37 – very good but very expensive – also they haven’t got any singlets. There is a definite market. I bought 2 posters and sent one to Gunnersbury. I am too good to them and took one for Jim the artist to work on. I got home and phoned Sydney – Greg sent the shirts only today. I then biked up Graham’s – paid Jim $105 for artwork on England world cup T Shirts, Scotland world cup shirts and map of the World. Should be out by the end of the week. Graham is very exited about the round the world shirts but pessimistic about the England and Scotland shirts.
Off to the Albion tonight – hopefully the Jocks will be there ( Wendy is also going with her man)

Wednesday 29TH November
Another fairly lazy day – hopefully the lull before the storm – as I hope to get some T Shirts tomorrow. I got up at 11.30 – went for a run (twice in a row) Siobhan came around for dinner + that’s all the excitement I have had. Last night was really great down the Albion and later to the Terrace bar. I was chatting to Grant and his woman, Siobhan, Judy and Cath and Bernard the Paddy. The only worry is Wendy again. She had a “Wonderful time” and will be going every Tuesday. I think she will be going to the Gaelic club every Sunday as well. – the girl is haunting me!! I gave Siobhan a big kick when she invited Wendy on Sunday. I don’t think I will see Judy again, She was “having a crack” at me all night, but I blew her out. Bored – Shirts not ready till Friday.

Thursday 30th November
Up at 9.30 – early for me these days, and its freezing. Poured down last night – what a surprise. It doesn’t look too good now.
The disaster of Wendy continues. She got sacked from her bank job after 3 days – she is not a happy girl at all.
I had a chat to Mackers on the phone yesterday – he is definitely “in” for the round the world yacht race – he would be a fool not to really, as well as the soccer ones which I suppose are more of a risk. Pat won’t be over till mid January but good news is he is in for traveling through Asia a bit.
Last night I saw Platoon on the box – very strong
I am bored – I need work
10.15 – Had a letter off Sharon and Siw inviting me over for Christmas.
Back to town and took out $1000 for T Shirt money – so that leaves me with a balance of $3,597.20. I have got $1260 for shirts with dribs and drabs coming in all the time, so I will try and reinvest it all for the big one which will hopefully be the Round the world yacht race, what I would like to do is finance a gutsfull of England world cup T Shirts to take to Sydney. Sell them or unload them at cost price then bring back a shedful of Ireland world cup T Shirts.
I changed my date of flying to Sydney to the 18th confirmed but I want the 17th for the Mercantile in the evening. I am still on the 8th flying back but I want the 3rd

Friday 1st December
A new month – no mail. I was thinking I hope this month is more exciting than last but I suppose last month was exciting looking back on it. Up at 9 Very stiff from running and cycling yesterday, so I skipped my run – no self control. I cycled up to Shirt Tales to pick up my world tour T Shirts and England world cup shirts – I am pleased with them and hope they will sell well. I will have to work on it though. The world tour shirts look good but two problems remain. The drawing of the line of the trip. I will see a company about that later and the other problem is lettering. – I will sort that out. If I can crack that I reckon they will sell well.
Weather very cloudy – 1st day of summer as well. I am supposed to go to a party with the Jocks tonight – I am very keen but they are meeting at 2 – sod that for a crack. I will get there at 5.30 which is still early. I have got to get in touch with Siobhan – I think she wants to come as well.

Saturday 2nd December
Up at 10.30. Had a letter of Siw – about 3 this week, - very keen + welcomed. Interesting news about Jacko getting refused residency. She said to come over earlier, which I am and she asked me to tape the street – which I have been doing. Yesterday was very busy – running around to Albert Hill to get the T Shirts then Newmarket for fabric pens + then to the North Shore for lettering – I spent $180 so it should be all systems go for next week. They are quite good – all pastels.
I went to the rugby tavern at 5 and got into a monster round with Jugs. The game on the vid was ’73 – THE GAME. Played darts and went to the Nags head. Siobhan turned up – we then went to the Bird Cage, then a club – I hate night clubs. This morning I went for a run and this arvo I will be going to a BBQ. James Poff gave me a ring so hopefully I will be seeing him this afternoon as well. Weather cloudy and windy – I will be disappointed if Sydney is not hot.

Sunday 3rd December
What a laugh yesterdays BBQ was. The Scots lads and Nick the Geordie are absolutely nuts. If only I had my camera with me. We went up to this deer farm – KIMU or something.
They had a full lamb which was roasted. It was great seeing how the spit operated. If I had a go I would have loved it. They set up a fire and laid the ashes below the lamb. It was gorgeous. – took 4 hours. In that time we did some serious drinking. The highlight was when a log was in the fire and a couple of the boys were on the log up singing before the fire burnt them.
Poor old Jim was left behind by Patti. We then went to another party. At this party we introduced ourselves as Bob, Robbie, Robert etc. The girl didn’t know what to say.
Our next party piece was a race with trousers around the ankles – all in scrap as the last one back was eliminated. We then went to another party which was dead so we went back to the original one + then to a house with a hot spa – brilliant. – Crashed there – going to another party this afternoon. Siobhan phoned so I will also go to the Gaelic club – I have a full night ahead of me.
2.43 – Biked down to the market and gave Trevor 6 arsehole T Shirts – the sooner I get rid of t hem the better. He will be giving me my U2 shirts back as I wont give them to him for $15.

Monday 4th December
First the good news – then the bad. The good news being it’s great that I have got the flights I wanted. I have got to pick up my ticket on Friday. I will be flying to Sydney on Sunday December 17th - I will get to the Mercantile – what a laugh. I leave at 10am and arrive at 11.15. Coming back will be on the 3rd January leaving 3.10 and getting in at 8pm – that’s great news because I will be back for the boats coming in.
The bad news is that the world tour T shirts didn’t exactly set the town alight. I sold 2 = dreadful. I saw Gibby and Jim – they had free tickets to Ghostbusters 2 – I thought sod it and went – film not that good but special effects were brilliant.
I then went to the globetrotters – Andy is selling them for me – I will be popping into town to the Ivanhoe lodge in a minute to see if I can sell them I will try to do it with one person in every hostel. Preferably the boss. I will try and do one or two every day.
10.30 I biked down to the Ivanhoe – not a very good response. Steve – one of the blokes working offered to sell them, but I have no real confidence in him at all. Still, I have had a go – I can see myself festering around a bit over the next couple of weeks. A fairly muggy evening. – I have to go for another run tomorrow in prep for the 10k run. My social life over the next few weeks is looking good. Tuesdays are the Albion, Friday I will be out with the Scots lads, Saturday I have an invite to a party, Sunday is the fun run followed by our BBQ. Following Saturday is the Irish Club ball then it’s Sydney. Siobhan has offered me a lift which is good of her. I owe her a meal as it looks like Wendy won’t be going to the ball after all. – Thank god. No mail today – I am expecting Lions and Irish T Shirts and a letter off dad.

Tuesday 5th December 4.30
Up at 10 and went for a run. Did some washing and wrote a letter home. I biked to the post office and sent the U2 shirts to Nolesy and Caroline and also Christmas cards to the staff of Gunnersbury. Like an idiot I locked myself out of the house. Siobhan called around and we went to Mission Bay. – Fantastic place to sell shirts when the boats come in in January. World news is the bastards in the American Navy have rammed the Greenpeace boat – Typical – I will send Greenpeace $20. I phoned up Jim the artist and he has done the artwork for the round the world t shirts, which is great news. I am hoping to have them in the markets by the Weekend.
Tonight I am off to the Albion for sing a long a Paddy night.
7.10 Jim has done the artwork and it is excellent. I paid him $270 and he was taking it over to Graham. I have already ordered 100 – I am hoping to collect on Friday. I will ring tomorrow so no real excuses.
Wendy is still on about going to the games thing on the 16th. My alibi is the Irish ball but I’ve got to ask Siobhan and Cath.

Wednesday 6th December 12.15
Up at 11.30 – feeling a bit rough. The meal I mad last night gave me the trots. I blame the tomato sauce. Last night I saw cheers – ran for the bus and missed it – had to get a taxi to the Albion. Talking to Siobhan and a Welsh lad Meredith who I met at Mt Roskill rugby club- He is keen to sell T Shirts in January. I also saw at last Jacko’s Ireland T shirt – I am expecting them by post. I think I may get 100 of them when I am in Sydney. I will get rid of them easily.
I have got tickets for the boxing, day 5 of the athletics and the closing ceremony. I paid $825
I phoned up Graham and hopefully I will get the yacht race T Shirts on Friday. I will have to get $1500 out of the bank – that will only leave me $2000 but I am expecting $1000 off Pat soon as part of the investment into different shirts. Graham is charging $14 for the first 100 and $13 after that. For singlets I have got to get him down a $ at least. I phoned up Christchurch to get paid for the 18 shirts – he said he will get in touch with accounts to pay me.
3 O’clock – biked down to the International backpackers in Ponsonby Rd. Had a chat with Dave the manager – he bought a Dave’s world tour T shirt off me. + took 5 to sell on. And an England shirt, which was quite pleasing. I then went to Interflora and bought a rose for Siw’s birthday on Saturday (What a raving poof I turned out to be) If Pat found out he would crucify me
11pm – spent the evening watching The French Lieutenants’ woman. Very good. Poured down with rain this evening + is raining now. I phoned Pat and told him about the Commonwealth games tickets + when I will be arriving. He will be in Sydney then but won’t make it down the Mercantile. Pat confirmed what Siw said about Jacko being an “illegal alien” as he is overstaying his visa – silly boy. I suppose Jacko has always wanted everything to be dramatic. Pat says that there is a cheque for $500 on the way for the shirts – that will be very welcome.

Thursday 7th December 11am
Phone rang at 10 – as I got up it stopped ringing – great start to the day. Rang again at 10.30. The American girl who wanted a U2 T Shirt. I will see her outside the CPO. It will kill the afternoon.
The nightmare with Wendy continues. I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. On the table is a note pad with all messages and doodles on it. I turned it over and on it was written "I need love lord- the agony of having Bernard around is torture - he is just what I wanted in a man - I wish I could have him but I don't think I'll get him" Your quite right there Wendy!! Than god I am getting out of the way next week.
Changing the subject - weather today is gorgeous

Friday 8th December
Up at 10 – showered and then read an autobiography on Cosby. – Not so good, but I read it outside because the weather was so sunny. Got to get a base tan for Sydney, I phoned Graham and I can pick up 100 around the world shirts at 4. Very excited about that. I have been for a run – felt fairly comfortable, but very sweaty. What I want I suppose. Last night I watched and taped the street. Went to the Shakespeare with Siobhan – giving me loads of stick about Cath, Chrissie and especially Wendy. On the way a cat ran out and Siobhan killed it. That’s all you could hear was a dull thud.

Saturday 9th December 5 O’clock
Up about 10 + biked down the markets. Gave shirts to Trevor’s stall – he wasn’t there, which was quite pleasing as I am up to here with him. I also left a few shirts with another bloke – then biked to Mario’s stall in the Chinese Market – he is moving it but he will take them in High Street. I left a couple in Traffico. I then biked home but didn’t fancy attacking the hill. I phoned Siw, but she wasn’t in. It’s her birthday. Don’t know what I am doing tonight. Mum phoned but I wasn’t in. I don’t want a heavy night tonight as I am doing the 10k run. It’s also our party tomorrow. Wendy has been running around doing decorations.

Monday 11th December 9.30
A very eventful riotous day yesterday. Up early for the fun run. It was really hard work and I can feel it now, the weather was really scorching. I wore a singlet so I really caught the sun. I ran around with Mike – I was pushing him up the hills and he was dragging me along the flats. Even though it was painful I did enjoy the run and I obviously want to do more and beat my time of 48 minutes.
After the run we started preparing for the BBQ. It was fairly quiet to be honest. I spent loads of time just trying to avoid the sun. Mike and Julie came, also Siobhan and Cath, and the nurses Clair and Jo. It livened up towards the end with a Jelly fight. Which was a laugh. Then Jim and Gibby turned up and it livened up even more. Drenched Lynne which really upset Mike, but I thought it was quite funny. They got their marching orders and Nick was really abusive to Siobhan.
I then went down to the Gaelic club which was quite a good night again. I got a ticket for the ball for next Saturday. I’ve got to pay Eileen 2 T Shirts so it’s a bargain.
When I got home I gave mum a ring – questioned when I was coming home? My reply was I don’t know, but definitely by next Christmas. They haven’t got my parcel yet and there is one in the post from me. I hope I get it this week before I go to Australia. I am really looking forward to going to Oz. I hope it’s not an anti- climax but with Pat, Sharon, Siw et it should be a good crack.
Today looks like a real scorcher. I am going to town to try and put some shirts in different shops. I am also picking up my airline ticket and going for a drink with James Poff at 1.30
7.00 Fairly optimistic about the shirts – I first biked down the Chinese market – had a chat to Paul who was keen to take some shirts. I then went to Mario’s place in the High Street. He took some and paid me for 6 U2 shirts. I banked the $500 that Pat sent over and then went to a couple of souvenir shops. I will go back tomorrow to push some more. I then went to the travel agent – my tickets for Oz weren’t there. Then to the rugby tavern and met Chris Paykel and James Poff. I maybe in for a ride on a yacht on Wednesday or Thursday. Had a few beers (shouldn’t have really) and then biked home. I had a letter of Ryan Dodgson who has left school and intends to head off to Australia in February.
I also got my Christmas parcel from home. Boxers, Welsh T Shirt. A sweatshirt off Cath which was too small – I may send it back for a bigger one. Also a lovely towel and a Gren diary + a book off mum and dad.
Today was a scorcher again. Same hopefully tomorrow – really feels like summer is here.
Other news is the draw for the soccer world cup has been made. England are in the same group as Holland is very dodgy. Also Ireland are in the same group. I hope the Paddies stuff England.

Tuesday 12th December 11 O’clock
Another lazy morning. Got up at 10 and festered around. Had a Christmas card off Nan with £20 – very nice. I phoned Graham and ordered 20 more shirts – He then phoned me to tell me Kiri Te Kanawa is doing a free concert in One Tree Hill on January 14th – expecting 100,000 people. I could be very interested but it will be a big risk – I will have to think on it. Looks like summer is over – very cloudy with rain threatening.

Wednesday 13th December 6pm
Got up at 12 – disgraceful!. I am feeling a bit rough really – stomach ache. Last night went to the Albion and felt too rough to carry on after as not feeling 100%
I had some grub and biked to town – Gorgeous day. I went to the Victoria market. Trevor hadn’t left my cheque or the remainder of the U2 shirts.
I parked my bike near the Post Office and then walked up and collected my ticket to fly to Sydney on Sunday morning. 10am so I have to be there at 1/28. Coming back its Wed 3 Jan 3.10 pm so I will be at the airport at 1 – I will be back at 8.
I phoned up Greg in Sydney and will pick up 100 Ireland shirts next Tuesday – I will get the money off Access.
Over the road to pick up 2 Pogues tickets for the 2nd of Feb. It will be an ideal birthday present for Pat – on New Years Eve.
When I was in the travel shop I looked at prices to go to Hong Kong for the 7’s. It’s about $1100 one way with stop overs in New Caledonia, Jakarta, Singapore which would be great. Hopefully the round the world T Shirts will pay for this.
I then had a 20 minute bike ride to Mission beach and was very surprised to see that there were no T Shirt shops but I went into a dress shop and left 5 singlets and 5 T Shirts. Very happy about that. Biked back, very tough on the legs. I went to the wharf and the woman agreed to take some – then biked home. Couldn’t face the hill at all.
No mail
9.30 Pat phoned earlier asking how the shirts were getting on. He told me that Siw was copping on like a goodun in Sydney to forewarn me. I hope it’s not too awkward staying in Randwick with Siw and Sharon. If it is I will simply move into Giz and Cam’s house if it’s ok with them – anyway, I will have to play it by ear,

Thursday 14th December
Up at 9 – early for me these days, although come January I have got to do some real graft. Graham came around with the Scotland shirts and some more round the world shirts. The Scotland ones are OK but the blue is a bit light. Me and Graham had a chat about July and the problems facing me. He is not coming back till the 8th Jan – The boats are due in between the 5th and the 12th Jan. I am going to give him $500 for 100 shirts so I will owe him $700 – he will print them and get them to me before Christmas. He is asking George to be available on the 5th so hopefully I will give him a ring that weekend and get something sorted out. Weather today is gorgeous again – I have to bike into town today and pay my rent.

Friday 15th December 5pm
Up at 11 then festered around for an hour before biking up to Mt Albert. I owe Graham $500 for the 100 shirts he will bring around. Back home for grub before biking down the Victoria market and collected $38 which I stuck in the bank, then up the hill to home. Showered and did some washing. Weather very cloudy and close. Tonight I am off to the rugby bar and then the Nags Head. Last night I went to the Shakespeare after watching and taping the Street for Siw and Sharon. (I am too good). In the Shakespeare were Siobhan and Paula, who I gave loads of stick too – all deserved.
I have booked the Super Shuttle for Sunday – it will be picking me up at 7.30.
I am very seriously thinking of making it over to Italy to see the soccer world cup in June. That would probably cut my trip short as it’s only a hop skip and jump from Britain.

Saturday 16th December
Up at 10 – feeling a bit rough from last night – God knows what I will be feeling like tomorrow after the ball and having to get up at 7. I have got to do all my packing tonight.
Weather outside is dreadful + I have to get all my washing on the line. Last night I met the Scots lads in the rugby Tavern – had a game of cricket on the darts board and then went to the Empire. At 9 I dived into a taxi and met Siobhan and Paula in the Nags Head. At closing time we went to the Bird Cage – NO MAIL.

Sunday December 17th 10.15 Auckland airport
What a disaster. The plane has been delayed for 4 hours. I should be in the air now. I didn’t get home last night till about 3 from the Irish club ball. I was up at 7 – quick shower then to the airport on the shuttle. I am not quite sure what type of welcome I will get in Sydney. I phoned Sharon to say not to bother coming to the airport and she said she hadn’t planned to anyway. I am looking forward to tonight down the Mercantile but it will be a bit of a rush job now. I have packed my rucksack with loads of English and Scottish T Shirts – I hope to collect 100 of Jacko’s T Shirts Tuesday.
The most frustrating thing about the delay is I could have murdered another 4 hours in bed this morning – Bored.
Airborne between NZ and Oz. – What a waste of a day. I am starving. We were given a $6 voucher for McDonalds, but I have kept to my vow of never touching that stuff again. I met at the airport an Irish lad Paul who I have been on nodding acquaintances’ with. We ended up in the bar – outrageous prices. I have got a bottle of Baileys which I will give to Siw and Sharon for letting me stay. – If it is awkward I will see if Giz and Cam will let me crash. – I will take my Baileys back then though. I am really looking forward to Sydney but I am very tired. I am hoping to see Jacko, Leo etc at the Mercantile tonight. I am starving – I wish they would bring the grub around I could then knock out some zzzz’s.

Monday 18th December Sydney
A gorgeously sunny day. Last night I went to the Mercantile with Sharon. – I love that pub. Talking to quite a few old faces. Jacko was there with Pina and told me all about him being an illegal alien! He is so serious all the time, he should lighten up and start enjoying himself. Colm was there knocking out Ireland world cup T Shirts – they have also done an England one – same idea as mine but to be fair much better. I went to the Gaelic club, but didn’t know anyone so I got a taxi to Randwick.
This morning I went to Randwick with Siw – got a Christmas tree and lights – so the house looks very Christmassy – Spent all day reading Trinity – Brilliant book.

Tuesday 19th December 11 O’clock
Up at 7 – Sioned and Awen had returned from Brisbane. They will be in Auckland in January. Weather outside really scorching. I might go to town later to kill the day. I phoned Greg this morning and I have to phone him later. He said he sent over the 20 Lions and 20 Irish shirts so I will have to pay for them as well. – I will be hoping to pick up the 100 Irish shirts today so I will have to get $1,000 on access. Last night went for a pint with Jacko over the Dog.

Wednesday 20th December 2.30
Up at ½ 8 and a bus and taxi to Lillifield, picked up 100 Irish T Shirts which fit in the rucksack with a squeeze. Taxi back. Weather absolutely boiling – shorts and T shirts a must. Spent all day reading Uris’ Trinity again. Can hardly put it down. Last night I called over for Orla, who with Lorraine went to Giz and Cams house for a BBQ. God it’s hot. I maybe playing soccer tonight with Jacko and his mates. Seen quite a few cockroaches which I didn’t see in NZ.
Plans include going to Randwick races Saturday and beach on Christmas day. On New Years Eve, Sharon, Siw etc are going to a dance party at the Horden Pavilion – tickets about $50. I wouldn’t go if they paid me $50. At the BBQ last night they had about an hour of house music but I was glad when Abba came on.
4.20 Jacko phoned, so I will be playing soccer this evening. I phoned up a fancy dress shop and it’s $45 to hire a Santa outfit – that would be brilliant for both the Mercantile on Christmas Eve and Bondi Beach on Christmas Day.

Thursday 21st December 7pm
A fairly quiet day – weather was very cloudy which was a bit of a shame. I was feeling really rough as a result of a bit of a sesh last night. Jane got in the video Mississippi Burning, which I had seen before but was brilliant. We then saw Crocodile Dundee 2 which was fairly crap. I finished Trinity which I really enjoyed for the second time. I am still thinking of hiring a Santa outfit for Saturday – that would be a real laugh.

Friday 22nd December 4pm
Another day festering. Up at 10 and did some tidying up and then some washing. Weather is gorgeous. Sitting here in shorts. Forecast for Christmas day is storms. I won’t be happy. Got a video “Hope and Glory” – brilliant. Out tonight to the Grand. Mackers comes in at 9

Saturday 23rd December 11.30
God I feel rough. Grand and Bondi Bay Hotel last night – so easy t o get back into the old Friday routine. My poor liver. – I spent all the time in the Grand talking to Colm. His attitude on the T Shirts is the same as mine – absolutely brimming with ideas. He was trying to persuade me to go to New York for the St Patrick’s Day parade – lovely idea but I want to go to the Hong Kong 7’s.
This morning there were 6 of us sleeping in the same room. A bit of a squeeze. Mackers did the business and went over the shop and Jane did the breakfast – the works. Bacon, beans sausage eggs etc. A great start to the day. Jacko is around – he is not a happy man at all. The new immigration laws say that if he gets caught overstaying he will get deported for 5 years. He says that he is leaving on the 11th January.
National news is that a huge coach crash killed 30 yesterday. Something always tragic occurs a few days before Christmas. International news is that in Romania massive street riots have been suppressed by the government – blasting away at the crowd. Also USA attacked Panama. Peace to all men and such like.
Today a big crowd of us are off to Randwick races but as I said earlier I am not feeling on top of the world after last night’s sesh. Me and Pat phoned Paul Jordan. He said he saw my flag on the Lions tour.

Sunday 24th December 10.30 – Christmas Eve
Up at ½ 9 to a phonecall off Jacko – calling a sesh for 2. - avoid it like the plague. Yesterday was brilliant even though I had a hangover all day. We went to the horse racing at Randwick. There was a really good crowd of people there – it was really hot. I came out $10 up. I bet on all horses with the word “rock” in it – a brilliant system. As we went in we saw a bloke dressed as Santa so we had a few photos. I had one on his knee. I never had a drop to drink but everyone else was wellying them down. We then went to the Doncaster pub. We stitched up Jane a treat by letting her climb over a gate and then everyone walking through it. Had a meal in the pub and then to the London Tavern in Paddington. Giz was really on form. They were singing dreadfully and this woman started complaining. About half an hour later a rose seller came in. Giz and his mates bought some roses, got on their knees and started serenading her with “You’ve lost that loving feeling. The other highlight in the pub was we did “cheeky cheeky” on Sue Daly. It worked really well – we had some photos so hopefully they will come out. From the London Tavern it was a taxi to the Bondi – 24 hour license. I stayed till 3 and taxi home. I tried to get a Santa outfit this morning but being a Sunday it was shut.

Christmas Day 1 am – Wrecked
What a brilliant night – went to the Mercantile at 4. Really Really good night. Saw Leo who was really on form. Jacko and Colm were arguing like sin, At the Mercantile was Sharon, Sioned, Mackers, Jacko, Giz, Orla, Bernie etc. Then onto Gaelic club.

Christmas morning in Sydney
Pat is complaining that the only thing he has for Christmas is a balloon – but he is happy. Something to tell his grandkids.
Just phoned mum and dad to wish them Dolly Clowid. My bloody parcel broke and Peter never got his ANZAC jersey. I am not happy about that. Usual questions from mum and dad – Mum – would you settle there – I said yes. Dad asking about Mass. Nan told me it was raining.
12.30 Just off to Bronte beach – had a chat with Martin Buckley on the phone – I will see him on the beach. – I am in a really good mood, not hung-over at all – like last year. A friend of Sharon’s came over – Lynne who was in Beck with me in 81/82. I didn’t recognize her but she remembered me. Weather is perfect for Christmas day. Camera all loaded up and Sharon is nagging me to move.
7.15 A fantastic day down Bronte beach. Weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Bound to have qualified for the hottest day in the world.

Boxing day
About yesterday – All the Welsh boys were in the park behind the beach. We started off by playing rounders. North Wales v South. The Gogs won 8-5 – everyone cheating like sin. I saw Martin Buckley on the beach. Had a few photos for the family. I can’t stress how hot it was. One of the Irish boys had a video camera – I want one – brilliant toy. I went in the sea. Surf was very strong. Best part of the day was when Gwynfor said “Would you like a steak?” – Me and Mackers dived in – Gorgeous. Games played were pyramids, a massive piggy back fight and going on for hours was a water fight starting with balloons and then full buckets of water until an unfortunate Japanese family got it full in the salad, and all over them. They were not happy at all. From the beach we walked back to Gildethorpe and then had a cold turkey salad and champagne. Festered a bit before me Sharon and Mackers went to the Bondi. From there I went to a party with Giz, Orla, Siw and Anne (Mackers’ missus) who we are seeing on Tuesday. The party was not that great but a lot of Champagne was drunk.
I went to bed feeling very bloated, I didn’t feel too good and it was a very muggy night. My worst fears were realized so I quickly dived out of bed and ran to the loo. I could imagine Siw, Sharon and Dee giving me a pasting if it was in the house. I obviously was 100% innocent. The only person I could really blame was Dee for making me wash the dishes before I went to bed.
8pm Today was another cracker weatherwise. We spent all day down Watsons Bay. Firstly to watch the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race, and then sitting in the sun having a few beers. Same as yesterday – I took a few photos. Weather was scorching, at one stage I thought it would pour down.
This weekend – Mercantile on Christmas Eve, Bronte on Christmas day – Watsons Bay today has definitely justified my decision to come over to Sydney for Christmas. Not only the weather/ the setting but importantly the people who made it well worth it.

Wednesday 27th December 10.15
Yesterday evening we saw the video one of the boys made. It is quite funny but obviously amateur. Legs and sky – some of it with the cap on. You can see as the video goes on how people are getting more and more drunk. I could hardly send it home. In the evening we went to the Welsh boys – Mike, Anthony and Gerald’s house. As part of the flat it has a pool so we went for a swim with Sioned, Awen and Jane. Chatting and having a few quiet beers. Weather is very warm again.
Today looks like another scorcher. After seeing the shape of me on the vid I have got to go for a run. That will be cancelled out by going to the Mercantile tonight.
1.45 Boiling out. Sharon came in all bubbly as she has got a job. – Just walked in off the street – says it would never happen in Britain.
5.30 Went for a walk with Sharon and Jane in the heat. Siw phoned and I am her courier now. Seeing her down the Mercantile with cream. We walked to Clovelly and up to Coogee and up to Randwick to get some photos which were of Christmas day. Some really good ones of Buckers and me and Pat etc. Pyramids and all the nonsense. On the way back home we popped into the Welsh lads’ house for a swim.- Oh to have a pool in the back.

Thursday 28th December
10.30 – We have just had an earthquake – only a small one. Sioned had just gone to bed and dived up. Me and Pat were there to protect her. Awen dived on me for protection – do we go outside or stay in. Sharon was in the shower and thought the water pipes were rattling. The cat (twpcat) is missing, we are all worried. Jane just came in to tell us she survived. There could be a T Shirt in this. I survived the 10.75 Richter scale Sydney quake. Siw just phoned to say she was OK. Should we phone home? – blame the Ozone layer – Thatcher is to blame.
5.30 – Just been to town with Mackers. He has booked his flight for the 25th January. I couldn’t believe the news in the paper – 60 dead. I was only taking the mick when I wrote the above. Actually the Daily Mirror is like the Sun at home. Lies. – actually there are only 6 dead with 100 injured.
Fairly hot out but not as hot as it has been. I got some more photos out – Quite good – One of my favourites is sitting on Santa’s knee at Randwick. Had a curry in town – horrible – too mild by far.
12.15 – I phoned dad earlier to say I was ok The earthquake was quite big news at home. Spent the evening in front of the box. Saw “Letter to Brezhnev” – great – a dodgy film. Mackers wrangles an invite to go around Orla’s tomorrow for a meal. Hopefully I will get a game of tennis in with Pat tomorrow. I have got a bed tonight as so many of the girls are on a nightshift. The earthquake was 5.5 on the Richter scale.

Friday 29th December 11am
Woken rudely by Sioned at 8. The night shift had returned, so the day shift had to vacate the beds. I just moved onto the couch and fell back asleep. Carl Denning called around to get the dates of the Hong Kong 7’S. It will be great having a few people I know in Hong Kong. Me and Pat were talking about his travel plans. He is coming over on the 25th. – hanging around Auckland for the games and the boat race, then driving around NZ on a trip for 3 weeks. We will then go into Asia, something like Fiji, Bali, Bangkok then Hong Kong. Pat has to be back home for his sisters wedding. IF we do well on the boat race shirts. (For me it is essential to get home). If Pat does well as well he is thinking of seeing me back in Hong Kong and we can do the Trans Siberian train and maybe see the soccer world cup in Italy. We will have to see, but a lot depends on the round the world yacht race T Shirts.
I am still confident but my confidence took a knock on Boxing Day when we went to see the boats leaving Sydney Harbour because I know I wouldn’t have bought a T Shirt. The other thing that doesn’t build up my confidence is the fact that there have been no reports at all over here about the round the world yacht race. I know that it will be huge in NZ now but it wouldn’t hurt if I could get a little bit more news on it. Obviously my hopes on making $20000 were optimistic, but having said that I am well prepared with all the souvenir shops ready to sell them.
Nightmare on the financial front – I have only got about $150 left to last till Wednesday with one of the most expensive weekends of the year coming up – HELP.
Spent all afternoon playing Pat in Tennis at Maroubra beach. Beat him 5-7, 9-7, 6-2. Both really bad but he is obviously crap. He blamed everything from age, sun in his eyes, his backhand and his ankle, but whatever he says it goes down as a W in the column.

Saturday 30th December
Woke up at ½ 1 really hungover from last night. I got stitched up a treat at Orlas playing this stupid game. One red hen, 2 black cats…. 7 secular sailors sailing the seven seas etc. Ended up in the Bondi.
I phoned up Siobhan because it was her birthday. Jim the Jock phoned but I messed up badly. I thought the Lord Nelson was down the Rocks but it wasn’t. Going to the Mercantile later + then it’s on to the Bondi.

Sunday 31s6 December Mackers 30th Birthday
Up at 12.30 feeling rough as sin again. Yesterday we got a taxi to The Lord Nelson followed by The Hero of Waterloo. Then it was on the Mercantile with Jane, Sioned and Sharon. We met Pat, Jacko etc and then onto the Bondi – the pub of no return. Weather is perfect again.
Tonight its off to the Harbour to see the huge firework display, then onto the Rocks.
My feelings on my T Shirt venture for the round the world boat race is very low. I honestly don’t think they are going to sell very well. If they don’t it will be a nightmare as I don’t really have any money to travel around NZ and Asia with. I can’t see any reason why people would want one!!!
Pat suggested that I should write a review of the year here but I’ll leave it a couple of days till I get back to Kiwi, and I will consult my old books – one thing is it’s been a brilliant year. Lions trip and our around Oz trip defo being the Highlights.

A new Decade
Who would have thought 10 years ago I would be in Australia

I wonder where I will be in 10 years time

Monday 1st January 1990
Well what a laugh last night was. The Rocks was absolutely wild. I went into town with Pat. The first thing we heard was these trumpets, which were going all the time and were driving me nuts. As the night went on I was all into it.
We saw the fireworks – I am always a bit cynical but God you couldn’t beat it. (although Sound Cloud last January was better).
Me and Pat met Anne and Sue (another one) + had a spot near the Rocks. I took loads of photos – God knows how they will turn out. The Rocks was unbelievable. The Mercantile had 3 huge lights and stereo speakers, so everyone was outside. The small room of t he Mercantile was closed and was flogging beer. People were climbing up trees and getting pelted with cans. Circa The Hill.
I got soaked with beer, champagne etc, but gave as good as I got. At midnight it was like everyone was on a different plane- it just moved up a notch. Fantastic fun. Pat copped on with Anne – the girl he has worshipped for months. He said fireworks were coming out of his head.
It was murder coming home the taxis just wouldn’t come. Got home at 4
Woken up at 7 by a phonecall off mum and dad. Lovely to hear from them, they were just about to go out.
One funny thing about last night was this poor little Asian bloke trying to cop on with everyone – he was dressed like John Travolta.

Tuesday 2nd January
Another mega sesh yesterday culminating in the Bondi (The pub of no return). I saw Jim and Gibbie there. Seeing them tonight at the Grand. They are loving Sydney – who wouldn’t. Yesterday was Jazz in the park. The weather was threatening all day with rolls of thunder and streaks of lightening but the expected down pour just didn’t happen.
Before going to the Domain me and Pat went on a wild goose chase to Redfern because he was sniffing after Anne. They weren’t in so we went for a steak. Jazz in the park was great, the best was this Spanish guitarist – only way to describe it. There was a Welsh flag which was a honey pot for every Taff in the place. It was flying all the time. I led a conga with the flag with 100s of people in it. Next week will be better with Rock in the park with The Eddies; unfortunately I will be in NZ.
After the Jazz we (being all the gogs) went to the Grand. Brilliant sing song on the bus and then to the pub of no return.
Pat leaves for Bathurst today, still skipping wildly about Anne – He will be coming to Sydney next week to see her.

Wednesday 3rd January
Sitting on the plane at Sydney airport. Sharon came to see me off which was really good of her. I have kept my record of having a hangover on every international flight I have ever been on.
Last night I went for a curry with Jacko – bloody horrible, and then onto the Grand. I didn’t need much persuading to go to the pub of no return – The Bondi – and crawled in at 5 in the morning.
Jacko’s news is he is going home on the 15th and hopes to get married in June – Sharon is not so optimistic. When I last left Oz I wrote in my diary that I may never see Siw, Sharon, Dee etc again. But, as I leave now I know I will bump into them again. Probably in Wales. I will definitely, definitely definitely come back to Australia some time. It’s got so much to offer. When I left last time I was really upset, but now I know people over there it’s ok.
Going to Australia for Christmas was a brilliant move. I will never regret or forget what a riot we had. Auckland has a lot to offer next month. Hopefully I will make a fortune – it’s so, so important that I do.
Last night on the news it showed a shark that got caught just off shore in Victoria. 3.5 metres big – the biggest shark in the world.
The customs bloke was really officious and wanted to see my outward ticket from NZ luckily I have got one. I know Pat has got just a single. The only problem with traveling is the hanging around all the time. Going to NZ is not as bad as going to Oz when we had a 3 hour delay but it is still very boring.
Later Food is about to come around. – Good I am starving and bored again.
Later Nightmare – there is always something you leave behind but my sleeping bag is still in Randwick – AAAAGH.
Bored, bored and bored. Food was lovely so that is all the excitement of this flight over now, How could I possibly have left my sleeping bag in Sydney = DULL.
Landed. Quite funny that a few lads at the back of the plane have been on the pop for the whole trip. On landing they started clapping.

Thursday 4th January
Siobhan came to the airport to pick me up, which was really good of her. She is having a going away party on Saturday which should be good. I gave her an Ireland T Shirt and she took 6 to sell. I think they will go easily.
I couldn’t get any sleep last night – I was still awake at 5 so I am fairly tired now.
I phoned around this morning and the response to the shirts hasn’t been that fantastic – but the boats come in tomorrow so hopefully they will pick up. I am just off now to town to put a few more in different shops and replace the 6 sold in the market.
7.00 Spent all afternoon in town. I can’t really say how I’m feeling about the shirts – at times feeing really confident and then very pessimistic. Really big day tomorrow though. The boat race is huge news – due in about 11 but could be as early as 8. Grant is calling around at 8 – he is giving me a hand. I’ve got to get in touch with Jane to see if she wants to work. I may give Greenpeace some shirts to sell for me and I will give them commission. I am so generous. One of the Markets sold 4 and in the Treetops they sold 2. BUT – They are charging $39 for them so how can they expect to sell them. I have ordered 45 more so I will be going to work tonight. Hopefully I will flog them all and order some more.
I got Pogue tickets for Jane, Awen, Sioned and Carl Denning, but tickets for the closing ceremony are all sold out.
10.30 To bed early today because I have got to be up at 7 tomorrow- really big day tomorrow. George brought around the 45 so I have about 128 to sell. Which I will reinvest. Grant etc are coming around at ¼ to 8. I couldn’t get in touch with Jane.

Friday 5th January 7.30 YACHTS DUE IN
Really bad news is the weather is really awful. – pouring down which will obviously affect the crowds at the wharf. I got very little sleep again last night. Elton John is coming – got to be something in that.
8.40 – stopped raining but still very grey. Bloody NZ – Heat wave in Oz + I return and within 2 days it’s raining. The hype for the boat race is full on. I phoned up Grant and Pattie at ¼ to 8 – the time they were due around, but they were still in bed. They will be around at 9. I hope to be at the waterfront at ¼ to 10. At the moment I am fairly confident. Plan of attack is if I sell 30 I will immediately phone George to start up the presses. He has to wait for the shirts to arrive and then screen both sides so the frustrating thing will be waiting I suppose the 2 hours for the 50 to be done. I will ring him when I sell 20. Hopefully leave one of the Jocks on the waterfront when I go down. Obviously things could go wrong and I may not sell 20 all day.
11.30pm Well, day 1 over and I suppose I am winning. My end result is I sold 80 and brought home £1300 which I am spending on 100 odd shirts tomorrow. I was very optimistic but the weather really spoilt the morning. There is a lot of competition. Everyone seems very friendly. Trevor Wart turned up – slagging off everyone’s shirts and saying he won’t take mine. I hope he doesn’t do one.
Grant and Pat helped me out – they sold about 20. Pat was really cheesed off. We all got drenched. I stayed till ½ 6, went home and saw the street, had a bath and went to the Nags Head. – I stayed on the wagon cos of tomorrow. I saw John Grice at the wharf – he has been here for ages.
On thing that didn’t please us was we got thrown off the wharf. I hope we will be ok tomorrow.
Tomorrow evening is Siobhan’s going away party. Paula is picking me up about 7. I’ve got to ring her!!

Saturday 6th January 9.00
Phonecall off George at 8 this morning. He has been around and I have paid him $1,300 – weather pouring down again – Nightmare.
7.30 – Not as good as yesterday, competition too good. They are all buying Mike and Alison’s shirts. I sold about 31 and brought home $600- my Scotland shirts sold, and Ireland, and Lions. I will take a few of t hem down tomorrow. I have sun burnt my nose and my neck a treat. I will have to be really careful as I will be outside most of this month.
Tonight I am going to Siobhan’s going away party – taking a shedful of Irish shirts.
Cameron phoned me up – he is in Auckland just for tonight – had a bit of a chat and said we would meet up either in Wales or Scotland sometime.

Sunday 7th January 8.45
A fairly hard day flogging T Shirts. Hard, because I didn’t get home from Siobhan’s party till 5 O’ Clock this morning. I was at the wharf at 12. It went fairly well, better than yesterday but not as good as Friday. I brought home $600 odd dollars. I also sold 5 Irish, 2 U2 and even an England shirt. I will be reordering another 20 U2 shirts. Might as well keep milking them as I will be on the wharf all month. The sun was so hot, I got blue nose guard – covered in cream and a T Shirt covering my neck.
Siobhan’s party was a good crack. Great to wander around with loads of people you know. The sing song was naturally very Republican.
Atmosphere down the wharf is brilliant. Julie is doing some designing and will hopefully be doing a Kiri Killer out of the bag. I am aiming to be working at about 10.30 tomorrow – I have got to get to the bank. Mike and Julie have made a sign – T Shirts $25, US $15, AUS $20 GB £10 – I have sold a few for US and OZ – Why not. I didn’t sell any Lions shirts – disappointing. I can’t stress how hot it was.

Monday 8th January
Up at ½ 8 and got to the wharf at 10. A lot slower today as expected. – I sold about 14 world tour shirts but a bonus was flogging 11 Irish shirts and 2 arsehole shirts for $15 – a bargain. Really bad news is I’ve been moved off the gate. A bloke from the Port Authority had a word – we got shifted – I will be back Saturday though.
The cockney lads were there again shifting cheap perfume.
Other news is that Kiri is playing Christchurch tomorrow. If I would have known I would have gone. I got another load of shirts in today. My Scottish one looks really good -. Navy Blue.
Siobhan phoned when I got home and said the Irish boat crew were down the Birdcage. I went and believe it or not there was a free bar if you were with the party.
I started on the wagon but – you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth. One of the crew – Bob said he would show me around the boat.
I swapped one of my Irish shirts with one of the crew. – They also had a map on the shirt. – It is brilliant which shows what could have been done if Jim the artist would have showed some imagination, so, I will change my design and copy theirs. It is so classy; I have got to do it.

Tuesday 8th January 10am
Up this morning at 7.30 – I’ve been running around like a pixie. I phoned Jim the artist and he is coming around by 11, I will show him the artwork. I’m trying to get in touch with Greg from Sydney to get more Irish shirts. I also phoned Mike and Andria and am going around tonight to look at the Kiri shirts at 8.
6.00 A dreadful day. – at 10 Mike and Rosie came around trying to give me a really really hard sell on pyramid selling. – Serves me right I suppose to give out my phone number after a few drinks. I’m expecting a phone call any second – they were so pushy. – Luckily I am a cynic + I will have nothing to do with it. I got in touch with Greg and he is sending me 20 Lions, 100 Irish and 20 of Jacko’s English. I will have to send him $1220 Australian tomorrow.
I sold 3 singlets all day. I’ll be on the wall again tomorrow – they will have to move me. I also sold 6 Irish, a couple of Scottish and a Lions shirt. Kiri is playing Christchurch today so we really buggered it up by not being there. Very frustrating all day. I gave Jim my Irish shirt to copy – he said it would be a lot of work – I am fast losing confidence in Jim. That’s the type of shirt he should have originally knocked out for me.
12.00 - Spent the evening around Mike, Mark and Andréa’s. We are going to print 1,000 Kiri T Shirts for Sunday’s concert which is expected to draw 130,000 people. At a rough cost it will be $2,250 invested, so I could be looking at Access again. Hopefully it will be a killer.

Wednesday 10th January 6.15pm
Another fairly slow day on the wharf, which I think will be the general pattern until a couple of big days. At dinnertime I sent $1,000 to Sydney to pay for the next consignment of shirts. I’ve got to send another $500 on Friday.
Boiling hot all day today, so I covered up again. It looks like I will be chucking in about $3,000 on the Kiri T Shirts – A real bugger is that Kiri’s Wellington concert is the same day as the Colin Jackson race which I’ve got tickets for. At the moment I will have to see how this Sunday goes, but I really want to see the day 5 athletics. Grant may want to put some money into it – which I can see no problem. Mike, who is in partnership with me doesn’t want it, but I will let him as he is a bigger mate than Mike.
Tonight is Siobhan’s last night in Auckland – we are going out for a meal.

Thursday 11th January Midnight
A very frustrating day which could be a real disaster. After being thrown out of t he wharf and then being thrown off the gate we are now being faced with hassle from the Whitbread people who have the franchise. I will probably just ignore it and see how it goes, hopefully they are bluffing, but I can’t afford to stop flogging shirts. It could be a good move to bugger off into Queen St for quiet days and the reappear for big days. Anyway, on the last day I should be able to get rid of them all.
At dinnertime I got an hour off by Pattie and I went to the bank. To my amazement the MasterCard people refused me $1,500 for the Kiri T Shirts so I paid Mike $1,000 and I owe him $500.
This morning I phoned mum and dad and they have been sending mail to Windermere rather than Westmere.
This evening I went to see Siobhan off. – She had quite a crowd to see her go – which to be fair she deserved as she is quite a character. Cath gave me a lift there and Paula’s sister Annette gave me a lift back. I don’t think I am in either Cath or Paula’s good books.
Wendy will be back tomorrow so I will be sleeping back on the floor now.

Friday 12th January 9am
Woke up to the phone of Graham the printer trying to persuade me to make a Kiri T Shirt. – Gave me all the facts and free credit till Monday and any not sold Jim the artist is prepared to go to Wellington and flog them. There is no way I could do it as I am in with the other crowd – I couldn’t raise all the money yesterday. I was $500 short and Mike covered me. I am sure if he didn’t I would have thought sod it and gone with Graham. – Graham does his shirts for $12 – Mike does his for $10 – starting to learn business I suppose.
5.30 A wasted day really, it was the windiest day in the world, I only sold 5 shirts then it started to hammer down so I thought sod it and got a taxi home. Did a bit of a stock take – I’m holding about 235 shirts. Tonight I am going to Mike, Mark and Andria’s house to pack the Kiri shirts. If it pays off the Kiri shirts should pay off quite a bit of my debts. I will really have to work at it. Patti and Grant will be working on Saturday and Dave the Scotsman will work with me down at the wharf.
If I raise enough money I may even be able to afford a new pair of daps and even pay the rent. It should have gone in today but it’s all tied up in cotton.

Saturday 13th January
Up at 9 and down the wharf at 10.30. A very windy day with some rain. For a weekend I didn’t do too well. I sold 12 shirts, 9 Irish and a couple of Lions. I knocked it on the head at ½ 5. Tomorrow is the big day with the Kiri concert. I phoned Patti and Grant, I may go out but it will be a quiet night. The cockney boys were there and again they did better than me. I am really banking on doing well tomorrow and hopefully those Irish, Lions and England shirts. I’ve also to decide whether to do a Welsh shirt for the games.
10pm – Quiet night in because of tomorrow is a big un if it comes off. I went down the video shop and got in “scandal” which I hadn’t seen before – really enjoyable film. I have got to phone Grant about ½ 9 tomorrow. They may be working on the hay, but I hope they are not. I wrote a letter to Caroline – I am on a bit of a pessimistic trough on the shirts at the moment. If I do a Welsh shirt it will be a copy of Jacko’s Irish shirt. Just spent half an hour reading about the Lions trip which has given me a real taste for traveling again. Next few months will be great if I can raise enough money this month.
I have got to graft for it – selling the round the world shirts are so much harder than selling the Lions shirts.

Sunday 14th January 9.50
The Kiri concert is today. – very big day. Last night was freezing – I am in that skinny sleeping bag because my good one is in Sydney – and I am back on the floor.
Up at 9, showered and phoned Grant – hopefully him and Patti will be around and not do the hay, as it will be awkward for them to find us. I am quite looking forward to hitting the streets with my T Shirts – I’m very confident. 1,000 shirts – obviously not all mine – I’ve got 250 – that’s more than I did on the best day on the Lions tour.
10.45 Still waiting for Grant to come and pick me up. I’m going to be fairly annoyed if he is going to the farm to “do the hay” as I feel I would have been let down. Mike phoned about ½ hour ago – he is as inpatient as me. When I phoned Grant he said he had 5 U2 shirts in the house – which is good news as I’ll get rid of them easily. I am sure that Grant would not have been late if he had $500 wrapped up in this. Come on hurry up, this is worse than waiting for a bus. I’ve got to get a new pair of daps on Monday if I do well on the shirts today, as the ones I’ve got are mank I am wearing them all the time as I left my shoes in Sydney.

Monday 15th January 9am
At the moment I am sitting on a loss of $1,900 on the Kiri venture. Everything looked good but the type of people who went simply did not want T Shirts. There were 140,000 people there – we couldn’t get rid of 250 shirts. There were 9 of us working. Patti, Nick and Grant did OK and earned about $100 each. I am really tired as I slept little last night – to rub it in it’s on the news all the time. I put in $2,500 and got back $600. I owed Mike $400 so that left me with $200 – thank god it’s enough to pay the rent. The Wales shirt is definitely out now.
My only way out now is there is a Wellington concert. It is the same day as the Colin Jackson race which I really wanted to see. If it is a toss up between Colin Jackson and the Hong Kong 7’s the rugby would always come out on top.
Mike Reynolds just came around about that pyramid selling job. I was polite but got rid of him very sharpish- I wasn’t interested anyway but he picked the wrong day to come around. I think on a positive note ANY thing I can claw back on those bloody Kiri shirts is a bonus now.
The worst thing I can think happening is the bloke who had the Whitbread license to come down and clear me off the wharf. It would be a nightmare. One thing is I am bound to look back at this in a few months/years time and laugh but at the moment I am not happy at all and I am a bit worried about my future traveling plans especially through Asia being cut short.
5.00 Spent all day down the wharf. Those Kiri T Shirts are my new Arsehole T Shirts. – Every one sold I have got to rejoice or I will end up chucking the buggers away. I got to the wharf at ½ 10 + didn’t have an exceptional day, although I did bring in a few bob. I got rid of 2 Lions shirts to a couple from Ynswbwl, 6 Kiri’s @ about $10 each 4 Ireland, 2 U2 and a Scotland. Very sunny again, I can really feel the heat on my face now. I am still smiling about yesterday and I am sure that if given the same figures again I would do it again. – A very good lesson learned though.
10 I phoned Pat and he laughed like a pixie when I told him about Kiri and made the point that its two months work. Oh dear, I never thought of it like that. I phoned Mike and he has been phoning around and some bloke will take the shirts of us for $5 – I am still keen to go to Wellington and work at it. A boiling day today, I have got quite a colour on me. I have to be careful that I don’t get burnt – especially on my face.
10.20 – Seriously thinking of Sod Wellington. If I can defo get $950 back I may take it and run. If I flew to Wellington it would cost $260 return and the concert is at Lower Hutt – outside Wellington. If I sold them all it would be $1900 - $260 add bus fares - $950 (I could get) = $690 = a lot of effort for $690 especially as I probably wont sell them all. I have got to get back to Mike tomorrow.

Thursday 16th January 11
The wettest day in the world so I am being forced to have a day off. I slept like a log last night and at 9 when the alarm went off I could hear the rain so I thought sod it the wharf will be empty.
Got the paper and still can’t see the Welsh side for Saturday’s game against France in Cardiff. I doubt it will be on tele.

Wednesday 17th January 9.30
Forecast is rain again today – I will go to town and if it rains I will set up in Queen St near McDonalds and try to earn a crust down there,
Last night I went to the Albion, but there was no music on. A bit annoying as I phoned earlier and they said there was. Got talking to a few Kiwis so I stayed. Name dropping Keith Quinn the rugby commentator was there with a load of other commentators. The producer of rugby special over here assured me that the rugby from the 5 nations championships will be shown “as live” at 8 O’clock on Sunday morning which is brilliant news. Yesterday I did very little – got a couple of videos out – Highlander – which was excellent and Plenty which wasn’t that brilliant.
After Kiri my confidence on all the shirts is fading fast. Tomorrow and Friday are important. UK and Ireland day. I hope I haven’t ordered too many Irish shirts.
7.30 Spent all day in town flogging shirts. I got rid of 5 more Kiri shirts and sold 9 others which is not that brilliant. Town is starting to fill up with athletes – especially Canadians. I met a Welsh lad in town who is going to Hong Kong.
The story of the day has got to be Wendy again. It’s bound to be her. I got home and for the first time since October the dead lock was on. It’s not on my key ring so I was locked out for an hour. I would still be out now but my neighbour helped me squeeze through the bog window. I was really annoyed. Out tonight to the pub next to the Irish club. I am quite looking forward to the Welsh girls coming over on Sunday but I haven’t heard from them.
The weather today was predicted to rain but it never – it was the muggiest day in the world – pouring with sweat. Big day tomorrow on the shirts as it is UK day. I am hoping to get rid of the majority of my England, Scotland and Lions shirts. I have got a cold sore forming on the side of my mouth.

Thursday 18th January 9.20 am
Hoping for a good day on the shirts today as it’s UK day, but I haven’t heard too much publicity about it. The main problem is the weather; it was pouring down last night and looks a bit threatening today.
Last night I went to the Newton pub for the Irish night. A really good crack again. A bargain catching the bus when I was all in for a taxi. Tonight I am off to the rugby tavern with Patti and Grant for a stag night.
5.30pm not too bad of a day in town. Got rid of a few shirts, but I was daft to have an hour off to see the Welsh choir on stage. I got back to good and bad news. The good news was there was a cheque for $340 from Christchurch for U2 shirts and the bad news was my Irish T Shirts are being held in customs so I will presumably have to pay some tax on it. But worse I’ve got to pick them up.
I saw Chris Paykal in town – I am still keen for a trip on his old mans boat.

Friday 19th January
I am not really winning on the shirts am I?
Bloody Kiri.
I woke up this morning to a phonecall from Graham – obviously wanting his $700 – which of course I will honour. Secondly I phoned up customs about the parcel of Irish shirts from Greg. To get them in I have to show an import license and pay 40% duty, and it goes on. I will send them back. – he will be able to give them to Colm. I have paid more than enough for them anyway. Thank god I didn’t send the full amount over to him.
Last night, I really enjoyed, but the stag night was awful. I went to hear the Welsh singing down at Princess Wharf and they all went to the rugby tavern. It was a really good night in there. Stayed open till ½ 11 – me and Patti spent more time in there than in the stag.
The other thing is I am now an Arsenal supporter. They can be my London club. I was chatting to these two London boys. One Arsenal, one Chelsea. The Chelsea boy has been to Ibrox a couple of times, got a King Billy scarf and knows the sash. That’s good enough for me to support Arsenal. Up the Gunners.

Saturday 20th January 11 am
Planning on being at the wharf at 12 (ish). Yesterday was very eventful. – quite a good day on the shirts.- It was Irish day. I saw quite a few people I knew
BUT I had a visit from the man from the council because the Harbour Board has been complaining of “illegal street traders”. I told them my name was Robert Jones. The upshot is I have had my warning and they can now confiscate my T Shirts for 3 weeks. I have got to get a permit at $14 a day. I will be knackered if I don’t get accepted – I have got to see the bloke at 9am on Monday.
I worked until ½ 5 – I got badly burnt again on my nose – just call me Rudolph. Taxi home and phoned up Sharon because it was her birthday and also Greg and explained the situation with the T Shirts – so I will send them back.
Taxi back to Princess Wharf for a couple of hours for Irish night – sold about 4 shirts – a bargain. Then I went to the rugby tavern and had a fantastic time at the Welsh night – another on Feb 1. Grant and Patti were there – they are leaving for Sydney on Sunday, tomorrow. They got hold of a gorgeous Auckland Welsh polo shirt that I have ordered. I am taking this girl out on Monday – Sally from Bristol. – Only 20, that’s Catherine’s age.
I might ignore the permit for the shirts and take a risk over the weekend – hoping that the council work Monday – Friday 9-5
12.00 – pouring down outside which is a bit of a blow but I will still go down and do a bit of graft, The tall ships are coming in which could pull in a crowd but the rain may keep them away
4.20 Nightmare in town – just poured down all day – sold a few shirts but very depressing.- I got drenched. Came home festered around a bit. Sioned and Jane are arriving tomorrow at 8 and Awen about 2. I wont meet Awen as I have got to work – Pat is poofing around with his woman and will not arrive till the 30th or the 1st. I phoned Sally for about half an hour and tried to encourage her to come to the games with us as she has a day 5 ticket. Getting grub from down the road again then to the rugby tavern for another sesh as it’s Grant and Patties last day.

Sunday 21st January 9.10
Waiting for the Wales France game to start – we will get stuffed. England have creamed Ireland. Lat night me and Bernard tried to pick a Welsh side and we couldn’t because every man and his dog has gone North.
Half Time – we are beating France by 4 points – lovely try by Tittley BUT the daft bugger Mosely got sent off – had to go – stamping. So we are really up against it.
11.00 – We got beat 29-19 we were in it till the last 10 minutes when the Frogs scored twice. Awen phoned from the airport. I am quite looking forward to the Gogs coming over – they can be my new mates now that Grant and Patti have gone to Sydney. We had a really good sesh in the rugby tavern again last night. Got in about 3 again because they had a lock in. Thank god they played the England Ireland game first as I overslept all but the last 20 minutes of it. England are the team to beat this year – hurts me to say it. I can see Wales beating Ireland (maybe) but England and Scotland will hammer us.
Patti and Grant said I must see an Old Firm game. I would love to go but I would defo go to the Jungle – no way would I stand with the blue noses.

Monday 22nd January
8.30 an early start to the day – a bit cloudy, but that should keep the sun off my nose. Yesterday at the Wharf
I got home at 5 – the most burnt man in the world again. There were millions of people but no one wanted to buy T Shirts. – I sold 20 – still that’s $200. Awen had arrived – we festered around for an hour – had fish and chips and then Nicky lent Awen the car so we went to the airport. Sioned and Awen were the last people to come through the gates. We came back and taxi to the Irish club. Brilliant night – stop on again. Quite a few athletes in there – Irish and Scots. I sold a bag full of T Shirts – even the one off my back. There was a buffet. – Singing etc. Back to the flat + had baked spuds and baileys as a nightcap.
Today the girls will be working for me and I can do a few things – go to the council and try to get a permit – doubtful. I can also go to customs and try to get the Irish shirts – no chance. Bank about $7,000
8.00 Spent all day in town – very quiet on the shirts. Banked about $1,800. Awen Jane and Sioned looked after the shirts when I went to the council. Basically he is turning a blind eye unless someone complains. If they do and I don’t move he said he will have to come down and give me a second warning – which is great, rather than have my shirts taken. I banked my cash then went to the customs place – no chance of getting my shirts out. I had to pay 40% duty - $470 and GST $50 odd. So – I had to send them back.
Weather today was very bleary, at dinnertime I took the girls to the Rugby Tavern for an hour for lunch – also went with two of the bowlers from the Welsh team.
Taxi home and mail at last from home. – They have been sending mail to Windermere. It was full of photos from Christmas day at home. Kevin has got his ANZAC jersey on. Peter hasn’t. If I’ve got enough I will try and get him another one.
Tonight’s news is another one of Wendy’s notes. Quote “Go easy on the food this week as there will be up to 8 people living here. Be considerate – Love Wendy.” Unquote.
The reason she wrote that is because last night after the Irish club we had a glass of baileys and a baked spud each. The cheek of it especially as the girls chucked in $20 each this morning.
The girls are going up to the Bay of Islands tomorrow – something I should have done in November when I was bored stiff. They will be back Saturday.
I phoned up Sally to take her out but she lives too far away – it would have taken her about an hour to get into town on the bus. She would have got in about ¼ to 9 – the pubs close at 10 so it wasn’t really worth it. I will see her tomorrow down the Wharf and take her to the Albion.

Tuesday 23rd January
Just off to town – The girls are hitching up to the bay of Islands – very cloudy day – very chilly. Not too hopeful about sales today. The girls are going to the ticket office to get Commonwealth games tickets in the same place.

Wednesday 24th January 10.30
Just off to town – looks like a nice day – I got my hat. Yesterday I didn’t do too bad but I am out of Irish shirts now, Sally turned up about 2 so I spent the evening chatting to her – we went for grub at an Italian and then onto the Albion. The “usual” crowd weren’t there. Probably in the Newton House tonight but I may stay and watch the opening ceremony of the games on the box.
I phoned Pat and he is not coming over till the first now – Anne was there so I told them what I said to their flat mate yesterday – Pat may miss some of the boxing.
7.30 Watching the opening ceremony – Prince Edward ruining it – what a poofter. He has had a nightmare with his hair – His Royal Highness the Prince (spam) Ed.
Today’s weather was gorgeous – I only sold 12 though. All covered up with cream + hat. It was worth going in today because a Welsh bloke Richard came over for a chat and he has taken 200 Kiri T Shirts to Wellington as she (the bitch) is playing there on Sunday. I have got to ring up a few people to sell them. That move can only be good.

Thursday 25th January
Woke up at about 10 to Graham on the phone – obviously wanting money. I will be able to give him the $200 tonight. He will have to call around for it though. I was in town by 11 and sold only 4 shirts all day. No yacht race shirts again. I met 4 Cardiff boys and gave them my number – they are staying in Papatoe. The chain on my bike is knackered. The games have started – England and Australia creaming everybody in the pool. I haven’t seen any Welsh medals yet, although in the boxing a Welshman hammered an NZer – In the Scottish cup it’s Celtic v Rangers at Parkhead.
Boiling hot – pretty down about the shirts – I hope I get rid of them all. This evening I will have a night in. I phoned up Sally and I will see her tomorrow. I had a bit of a go at Wendy for leaving that dreadful note on the fridge.
9.00 A fairly boring evening – being in Wendy’s company never helped. That girl is driving me around the bend. Mike went fishing and brought back a guts full of snapper. I am hoping for a good day on the shirts tomorrow but at the moment pessimism is ruling.

Friday 26th January
Had a letter off mum this morning addressed to Windermere, so there is still a chance of my diving card coming through.
Looks like another real scorcher today. It is the day of the street parade so I hope to sell a few shirts – having said that it hasn’t been going that brilliantly recently. My cold sore is still there – typical as I am seeing Sally tonight. Overdoing it on iodine.

Saturday 27th January
What a nightmare on the shirts yesterday – only sold 3 all afternoon – boiling. Very, very pessimistic on the whole venture now although this morning I have sold 6. Yesterday was the Whitbread street parade which looked great but didn’t help sales rocket. Sally turned up at 2 so that killed the boredom. Carl Denny is in town and was supposed to meet us last night in the Irish club.
Saw Seb Coe walk past yesterday and Tessa Sanderson. The little name dropper I am. Sun is really scorching again and I am really covered up. Sally came out with a really red face yesterday.
Big news at home is that hurricane winds – stronger than the ones we had in London 3 years ago hit Southern Britain. – Artic lorry blown over on the Severn Bridge. London on a standstill. Had a postcard off JT snr.
8pm I didn’t have a bad day on the shirts today – 19 – quite happy with that. The girls are back from the Bay of Islands – all burnt – especially Jane’s chin. We have made a sign
“KAERDIFF BORN AND BRED – ST PETERS RFC” – off to the Rugby Tavern today seeing Carl Dennihy.

Monday 29th January – Auckland anniversary day
My first athletics meeting I went to see yesterday went very well. I went with Awen, Sioned and Jane and sat next to Mike, Lynne and Sally. Weather wasn’t that hot which to be honest was a relief as we would have got a pasting from the sun. Thankfully Colin Jackson won the gold so we all did some performing – we had our banner, so did a few other Taffs. A real surprise was Rob Watkins from college who came over to say hello. We had a beer then he had to go back to his wife!!!. – Quite a surprise to see Rob as I haven’t seen him for 5 years.
Me and Sally spent most of the day laughing at the fact that the Kiwi’s were coming last in everything despite the hype.
About the athletics – I really enjoyed the track but long jump; high jump etc is very slow. Apart from Jackson’s glorious win we saw Lynford Christie win the 100.
5.30 A dreadful day in town – thousands of people milling around - I must have sold 6. I will try to unload this week so I am not holding on too many next week. I will start flogging my around the world T Shirts for about $15 from tomorrow. If I have got loads next week I will be in a mess because when there are thousands of people you simply can’t sell them. I went to my usual place and this street entertainer started up + I was done as people were 4-5 deep on the fence. I moved to the gate and the Whitbread boys moved me on so I thought “sod it” – time to unload definitely – hopefully it’s not too late. I saw Rob Watkins again in town. In Athletics today – don’t know – but Kevin McCormack lost the boxing to a Kiwi. My cold sore is still very bad.
8.00 Quiet night for a change – can’t honestly remember the last one. Pat phoned – defo coming over on Thursday but will most probably miss the boxing, most of it anyway. Sally phoned – I was supposed to see her on Wednesday but she is not working tomorrow so she phoned to tell me. We arranged to go out tomorrow BUT – at the cycling where she is working it has been raining so it will probably not be on today – on tomorrow instead. So, I won’t see Sally tomorrow or Wednesday – a pity cos she is quite a good laugh. I will probably see her now in GB.

Tuesday 30th January
Pouring down with rain – nothing I can do. Saw the marathon finish this morning. Jones came 4th. Gold was Kenya then Aussie then Zambia.. Graham phoned and I gave him $200 – I’ll hopefully pay him $300 Monday. I went to town and got drenched so I came home – I phoned Sally + she is coming around. I will make her a salad.
2.00 Salad made – what a chef. Big news on the games is that yesterday an Indian weightlifter got stripped of his medals because of drugs. Anabolic steroids + today another positive. Strong rumors it could be a Welshman. – Disaster as all our golds have come from the weightlifting – having said that if they are cheating – they deserve to get caught.
Absolutely pouring down outside.

Wednesday 31st January 5.45
In town all day flogging shirts – I’m trying to get rid of them now so reduced them to $15 and sold 20 odd. – Hopefully the weather will be ok over the next few days – I went to the bank and the balance is $3,850 – hopefully it will be able to get me around NZ and into Hong Kong. If I have to get home on the plastic – so be it.
The girls are off to Taupo for the evening – they have seen more of NZ in a week than I have since October – what a mug I am. I had a letter of Heather this morning which was a surprise.
Last night Sally came around – we spent the evening trying to avoid Wendy’s inane conversation. She couldn’t raise one iota of intelligence so to speak.
Mackers arrives tomorrow – hopefully he will get to see the boxing.
In the games it was a Welshman on anabolic steroids – so we have lost a gold. Daft bugger – he should be banned for life. A third positive has been made in Weightlifting and strong rumours that it is another Welshman. Probably not a good time to be here.

1st Feb Thursday
10.20 Just off to town to unload (hopefully) a shedful of shirts – I have got millions of mediums left and very few large. Weather looks ok. Tonight I am off to the boxing.
6.08 Not a bad day in town – very hot. I sold about $400 worth of shirts which was quite pleasing as it was the hottest day in the world. I am meeting Carl in the Rugby tavern tonight – then boxing. I am looking forward to seeing Mackers again. He should hopefully arrive half way through the fighting. Unfortunately the rumour of a second Welshman on steroids was true – so he has been sent home and banned for life from competition. – Quite right.
The girls are not too happy with me as the Welsh night is tomorrow not tonight. Maybe go before the Pogues
12.30 Back from the boxing. The Kenyans cleared the board.. Best crack was a Northern Irish boy who won Gold and they couldn’t get the tape to start, so the commentator sang Danny Boy – all the crowd singing. Mackers turned up and caught the last 2 fights. He got stitched up at the airport for $400 because he never had a return.

Friday 2nd Feb
Day in town flogging shirts – boiling hot – did OK. Mackers in the field now as my competition – with my shirts. Pogues tonight – should be good.

Saturday 3rd February 9.10
The Pogues were brilliant – before we went we hit the Rugby Tavern – difficult to leave because we were having a really good tome there. I was skipping like a good un. The poof I am.
Free bus to the concert – we timed it nicely – 20 mins before the concert started. I got up for a bop or two. Mackers said he had never been to a livelier concert – but it was the same atmosphere as the Jam concerts – I loved all that. Dirty Old Town and The band played Waltzing Matilda, were the ones I recognized, although some of the instrumentals were great. McGowan is a nightmare waiting to happen – The girls didn’t enjoy it all.
Today it’s down to the wharf till 1 and then to the closing ceremony. Strong rumours of Kiri playing at the finals. Can you imagine the wailing bitch coming back to haunt me.
Big big news in the world is in South Africa (Is the world becoming normal again? after Gorbachev’s achievements, Berlin wall coming down etc)
De Clerk has un banned the ANC and agreed to Mandela’s terms. Brilliant that Mandela can give the terms of his own release after 30 years in prison. Hopefully he will be out today – What a hero. Nan Manly’s birthday 70 on Feb 20 – Marie 22 on 1st Feb

Sunday 4th Feb – Whitbread boats go out
Yesterday was the closing ceremony – what a fantastic day – it was scorching all day. The day was spoilt for me by getting some cream in my eye, which was really sore all day. We were in the stand, I was sitting next to Sally and Pat – Thankfully the sun wasn’t in our eyes. 1500 metres was brilliant with Elliot winning really well. HRH the Queen was there but I think she kept on nipping out for a leak – she was on the DB draught all day – official beer of the games + she was wellying them down. Prince Edward just sat there looking like a poof and losing hair by the minute.
Me and Mackers had (if it comes out) a brilliant photo with one of the Aussie 4 x 400 gold medal winners.
My favourite part of the closing ceremony was these Maori kids aged about 10 doing a Haka. The Indians of Victoria Canada – brought over a totem pole – which was nice of them I suppose but a bit of a squeeze in your rucksack. A lot of the closing ceremony was fairly boring – skipping and kids dancing. Pat wanted to see some patterns and shapes by the people but all we got were some small hearts. The announcer had a mare. All the silver things in the programme people were waving all day, she was asking us not to. At the end she asked the audience to remain seated. We were the last to leave – the stadium was empty and she said “Thank you for your patience – you may leave now”
The wailing bitch Kiri turned up to ruin the day and sing “Now is the hour”
At the end we went to the Gluepot and saw a brilliant Canadian comedian. Sally wanted to phone Pat to say she would be home late, so I grabbed a phone card and phoned home as well – weather at home dreadful – torrential rain + wind (good) here it was boiling.
We came back home and chatted with Mackers and Sally till 2. I was trying to persuade her to come traveling with us. I don’t think she will though – a pity.
Up early this morning to watch the rugby. England creamed France 26-3 (they will stuff Wales) and it’s into town to get rid of the rest of the shirts.
One major thing on yesterday. Her Royal Highness waved at Pat and he was up – tears in his eyes, clutching his Union Jack and cheering like a proddy. Pat’s mum would be really upset and his granny revolving in the grave.
9.30 Sioned has just had a bad start to the day “When the Spanish wave went around the ground”
6.30 I am all set to go on my travels now. We spent all day down the Wharf turning out the rest of the round the world T Shirts. I am quite glad to see the back of them especially after last Monday’s bank holiday when I only sold 6. After counting up me and Pat brought home $300 each. I’ve got about $1500 to put in the bank – I owe Graham $150 cos Trevor will give him $150 – that leaves me with about $4,500 to travel around with. I will get a balance tomorrow. Really, really roughly I am planning on spending $1,000 traveling around NZ, $1,500 going from NZ – either Fiji or Tonga – Bali / Jakarta – Bancock. – Hong Kong, spending about $1,000 on that trip and about $1,000 in Hong Kong. My plastic can then take me home and I will get a job straight away to pay that off and maybe save to go to Italy in June. Again that’s a very rough plan – I will probably have a wild 3 weeks in NZ and spend it all. My major aims now are to do a Bunji jump in the South Island at Queenstown, go climbing on a glacier again at either Fox or Franz Joseph and I am really looking forward to seeing the Hong Kong 7’s.
Pat will hopefully be with me as far as Hong Kong, but he is madly in love, (he is over 30 so obviously looking to settle down) with Anne. If she gives the nod he will abandon me like a kipper without a tail. To be fair I don’t really blame him. As I said yesterday I doubt very much whether Sally will come down south, so she will have to go in the air until we both get home and see where it goes from there. All the people weren’t on the wharf today as they were all on the water – so it was a bit slow. Me and Mackers took a ride to Devonport, which was a waste of time, but a nice little ride.
Got home and Wendy had done the deadlock again, but luckily I had the key – the girls never had one though if they had got home first.


Well – who would have thought – I couldn’t believe it’s happening, light bulbs popping like good uns.
Me and Pat went to the Irish club and it’s changed our lives quite a bit. We met Brian who I met at the wharf. He wanted an Irish T Shirt but I had sold out. He said he lived in New York. I suggested he brought a camera to the club and photographed it. He could then set up in New York and make a few bob. He was there tonight and I took my T Shirt along – he photographed it and got me a beer.
Bryan C Flynn
Long Beach, New York
I took his address but obviously had no plans in visiting the USA in the future.
Later in the pub people were talking about the Irish T Shirt. New York is the place to be, especially around Paddies day, so is Boston, Chicago etc. Me and Pat started joking but the upshot is we are virtually 100% defo going to New York to flog T Shirts. I reckon I will be in NY for 2 weeks at least – fly to Boston and everywhere. I am so excited – it’s like starting all over again. Sod the South Island and the Hong Kong 7’s – WHAT A STORY. I couldn’t do it on my own. We have to go very, very soon. We will have to work so, so hard. It’s Feb 4th today and St Pat’s day is 17th March. It will be all go. Hopefully it will be better than U2/Lions / etc all together.

Monday 5th Feb
Didn’t get much sleep last night, T Shirts, shamrocks, Jacky Charlton, Sweatshirts, Megalopolis and millions of people running through my mind. We are just off to the American Embassy. I looked at my passport and I have got an indefinite multiple entry in it so I should be ok – Probably queues, queues, queues. Weather lovely. The biggest shock of getting to the States will be that it will be freezing.
3.00 Been to town – we have already paid for our ticket. Auckland – Honolulu – San Fransisco – New York – London. God I am excited. We will have a day in Rotorua tomorrow and fly out from Auckland on Wednesday at 9.00. The flight cost us $1,162 which we both reckon is a bargain. I can’t wait to get to New York and get started up. My legs are killing me from my run yesterday. I have got to get fit again. I haven’t done anything for months. Just think in 2 weeks I could be playing rugby again. Not looking forward to the cold at all.
Wed 7th Dept Auckland 9.30pm
Wed 7th Arrive Hawaii 6.45 am
Friday 9th Dept Hawaii 10.30pm
Saturday 10th Arrive San Fransisco 5.18am
Monday 12th Depart San Fransisco 10pm
Tuesday 13th Arrive New York 6.10 JFK
March 16th Depart NY – London Heathrow

Tuesday 6th Feb 4.00
First thing I have got to stress in view of where I will be next week is the heat – it’s absolutely boiling – difficult to get to sleep last night because of the humidity. Last night we had a meal at La Barossa – Me, Sally, Pat, Sioned, Awen, Jane, Mike and Julie, Mike and Lynne, Wendy and Carl. It was quite a good laugh. We took BYO and all had stupid hats on. Me and Pat were performing our Medley of American songs.
After the meal – back to the flat – Wendy acting drunk and Sally being hysterically funny – ripping into Wendy with no mercy. The worst thing about traveling is you meet someone you like and if you move on you don’t give it a chance – the someone I like obviously being Sally not Wendy. Back home it was really hot – we taped Black Adder and Faulty Towers.
I phoned Sally this morning – being a bank holiday – it was Waitangi Day – 150th anniversary of the treaty of Waitangi – agreement between Pakeha and Maori – I digress. We were going to go to Rotorua but there are no trains. The bus took 4 hours. I will hopefully see her tomorrow before I go.
Today is, as I said very humid and boiling hot. I will go for a run later though. We spent all day festering around. Sioned, Awen and Jane left to hitch down South. On Sunday afternoon I had planned to be on the road also – but things change.

Last Day in NZ
Wednesday 7th Feb 8.45 am
A little bit of a cloudy morning but will probably warm up later.
Yesterday evening me and Pat went for a run. That Bullock track hill murdered me. It was so hot – no cloud cover at all, sweating like a pig. Festered around for an hour – had a chat on the phone with Sally – basically filling in her diary as she had got behind.
We went down the Albion in the evening – very quiet, talking to Paul – the man with the secret money making idea he wants to keep to his chest. Also Moraid, the girl who arrived a few weeks ago – lived through the San Fransisco earthquake – she is so confident now after a couple of weeks. Also in the pub were the girls who stitched us up on John Perigo’s car in Sydney, who we saw on the way up to Queensland. – I have got her Cardiff address. Pub bloody shut again at 10 – the landlord is a pig in that pub. We went on to the Terrace bar and chatting to Moraid/ Paul about shirts in USA. They told us about the Gaelic games in the USA – God that would be a killer.- they were very pessimistic about going around skyscrapers flogging them. Me and Pat are trying to get as many contacts in the USA as possible. Give them a bell as obviously there will be different Irish communities.
Today we have got loads to do – pick up our tickets also importantly get some insurance. I want to get some rugby in so insurance is very important. Also pack up a load of stuff and send it home.
As I write this Wendy is droning on and on – God she is boring.
9.30 Just about to take off – running around like a blue arsed fly all day. We went to pick up our tickets – our flight had been cancelled and we are now on Continental. I went to the bank and changed all my money to $US – I have got about $1500. I had a meal in the rugby tavern and said goodbye to Roger and the others. The most eventful thing of the day was in Traffico. I went to get my $60 they owed me. Basically the boss wasn’t there and they weren’t authorized to give it to me. I could cope with that but they were really smug about it. I tried to speak to Mario and he wanted to speak to one of the girls and she put the phone down. I was getting very stroppy and she wouldn’t let me ring again. She snatched the phone off me, so I ripped a page out of the phonebook to get the number. I was really angry – there was no way in a million years I was going to get paid.- I had explained I was flying out later that day – they were so smug so I just swept my hand along the counter and pushed all the jumpers on the floor and kicked over the stands – I have always wanted to do that. She threatened to call the police. I was furious. Ripped off for $60.
I got some photos out – OK but only half came out.
Home by taxi, showered and packed. Taxi to Sally’s who was seeing us off. – I bought her Stark as a present (Oh yes, I just remembered – me and Pat both nipped into Interflora) I got a rose for Sally for Valentines day – also included, to the disgust of Pat a poem by Robert Frost “Two roads diverge in a wood” Jacko would love it)
I packed. We went through our check list – Everything AOK BUT we got to the airport and I realized I had forgotten my ticket. – Much stress from Pat and Sally and a quickie phonecall to Nicky who thank god brought it around.
Went to the bar and had a beer while watching the street. Hardly a tearful farewell – I will see you at home. – I will as well. As we were boarding the plane it hit me that I had left behind my tent. I am determined to leave everything I own at a different place in the world.
So – it’s leaving Auckland and off to Honolulu – what a story. I am looking forward to ringing mum from Frisco.
Feelings on Auckland? Fairly boring place. My routine which I enjoyed was Albion Tuesdays, Newton House Wednesdays and the Rugby Tavern on the weekend. The around the world yacht race was good fun but I got beat by the competition. The Commonwealth games were great. I should have perhaps have gone to a few other events, but I was working. The people I met were great and will hopefully see them all again. Different groups. My drinking mates’ pre Christmas were Grant, Gibby, Patti and Jim – The Jocks. All Tory, Prod blue nose bastards, but a brilliant laugh and we had a great time, especially in the rugby Tavern with a million stopovers. Then also Pre Christmas was Siobhan – a really good laugh. Not my type at all but great company. Always stirring about Cath McCardle, Paula and Chrissy. I made a really good move going to the Irish club and getting involved with that crowd. People like Michael O’Malley, JJ were really good company and I enjoyed the chat of the oldies like Cath Doran and her mates. I got to like Irish music in Sydney and enjoyed more of it in Auckland. Also thinking pre Christmas was U2. I really like Graham. I think he made quite a bit out of me but I could hardly complain. Also on the shirts I met Trevor down the market – his FART t-shirts’ selling like hot cakes. – An absolute prick of a bloke.
Pre Christmas also obviously were my flat mates – Time for a character assassination. (I will leave Wendy till last)
Mike interviewed me. – I really wanted to get into the flat on the strength of his personality. Very keen on rugby – season ticket holder at Auckland and obviously gave me loads of stick during the All Blacks tour of Wales.
Mike’s keenest interest is fishing that does nothing for me. I only went out once for a couple of hours – freezing, boring and I never caught anything. He can give stick and take it which is great. His biggest problem is his 39 year old girlfriend who he worships. – I suppose if he is happy that’s all that counts, but a very deep relationship with too many ties – 16 year old daughter etc. Mike really wants to do a European trip. But he won’t. I reckon the only time I will see him again is when I go back to New Zealand again to see the South Island. (Because I’m missing it chasing money in the big apple).
21 really good looking. A real good laugh who has obviously got money behind her. Gorgeous car with plates NICKY 1 on it for her 21st birthday. Really tried to make me feel welcome – inviting me to her mates 21st after a couple of weeks – and my confidant in the house as Mike was never there. When talking about Nicky you must mention Greg – A Yachty – again with a few bob behind him + a good crack. Nicky at the moment is looking to move out because of …………
What a nightmare – she is a bit of a misfit – even though she tries well, she will always balls things up. She never got off to a good start by trying to shove Christian Union literature down my throat on the first day. The easiest girl in the world to wind up. To describe Wendy is to say she is really wimpy. Everything she does – dress, mannerisms, choice of reading, company and conversation is wimpy. I used to get home see that Wendy’s bike was not there and breathe a sigh of relief because I wouldn’t have to get bored by her.
She had a bit of a shine for me which I couldn’t understand because we are poles apart and not in a million years would I be seen in the same company let alone a date.
She, like a lot of other Christian Union people sees herself as very pious but in a way they are very evil. For example all her really twisted notes – getting rid of the couch, the awful note when the girls got in. I’ve got no time for her and the best laugh over the last week was when Sally crucified her after she had a few beers. Not a girl I would like to see again. I probably made it clear.
That was all pre Christmas. After Christmas the Jocks went and thankfully Awen, Sioned and Jane were my new mates. Also Mark O’Brien – he is really going places with his MONSTAS. Mike and? came on the scene. The Kiri disaster hit and I started seeing Sally. Only 19 but a real riot of a laugh and really good company.
Pat came over and within a couple of days I was no longer going to the South Island but am off to New York – what a brilliant story.

½ an hour from Honolulu
God knows the time because we crossed the International Date Line. We are going to arrive 6 O’clock am on the same day that we left, so today is the longest day in the world. So – its Wednesday 7th all over again. The film they showed last night was Parenthood with Steve Martin which was OK. Our seat didn’t have a view of the screen so me and Pat moved. When we got back the Old Boy sitting next to us had stretched out so I had to go back. As we descend I am having to start equalizing again. It’s still dark outside. I hope Hawaii is nice and warm. Hawaii!! – Its impossible to believe that last Wednesday Mackers hadn’t even got to Auckland. I was planning on hitching down to the South Island. I got a couple of hour’s kip on the plane but missed out on the coffees when they came around. We will both be very tired today. We have got to find a hotel for tonight.
Pat is having a nightmare – In his diary Anne has left a little smiley face. Instead of cringing with embarrassment and burning the page he is all in for “Oooh look what a lovely thought” he has got it bad.
6.45 – landed safely – We have just had our first Aloha – I can see me getting cheesed off with that by the end of the couple of days. – Everything is getting corny already. Some bloke just said “I hope you have a safe day in Paradise” – Arggghh. The old boy next to us suggested leaving a rucksack in left luggage – brilliant idea. – Still funny to think we are starting Wednesday again. Got here before we left.

9am First impressions of Hawaii are not too favourable – Windy and raining + the hotel is stinking. Glad we only paid for the one night. Crashing out till 1 now as I am knackered.
8.30pm Not impressed with Waikiki at all – much, much too commercialized – after traveling up the Queensland coast we are much too spoilt. Give me an empty beach like Byron Bay, Mission Beach, Cape Tribulation anytime compared to Surfers Paradise or Waikiki. We went for a walk along the beach. May get some body boards tomorrow if the weather is ok. Had a great meal as we were both starving. The side salad filled me up. Every intention of going for a run, but that’s all gone for tonight. I have got to get the fitness going. The fattest man in the world.
Thursday 8th February
Last night was a good laugh – we had some sandwiches with these three Aussie girls and went over the Rose and Crown pub. Started on the pitchers and stayed till the close. Hope that’s not going to be typical for every night in the USA but I suppose we could do worse. Funny that in my year in Oz we hardly met any Aussie girls but once you start traveling you bump into some.
We are now looking at a completely different Hawaii than we saw yesterday. We have hired a jeep between 5 of us and we are now looking at a gorgeous beach – Hanauma bay – palm trees, beautiful bluey green sea. Quite a few people snorkeling – I can’t wait to get in the sea. Our jeep only cost $60 between us – It doesn’t matter if we crash it as it is on Pat’s credit card.
Behind me is a huge dormant volcano called the KOKO crater – its shape is very impressive and all tree lined – It looks far too steep to climb. I also found out we are not on Hawaii at all – Honolulu is on the island of Oahu – no wonder I couldn’t find the Mauna Loa volcano. There are Island of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai. Oahu and Kauai + a few others- Sea looks gorgeous.
3.00 Gorgeous snorkeling. The coral is dead but there are zillions of fish – some grew to quite a size. Me and Pat went in while the girls sunbathed – we hired snorkel, mask and flippers for $5 – bargain. We came back for the girls to have a go but they weren’t keen so I went back in and saw a sandy camouflaged sandfish. I played with him for a few minutes – dropping sand on him and annoying the little bugger till he moved, then I followed him and started again. I saw these blokes with a bag of peas. They were dropping them down and attracting loads of fish to this hole. It was ok until I heard them speak. “Hey you guys there is a whole bunch of fish in this hole.” Americans again. I can’t complain as technically we are in the 50th state, bit there are so many Polynesians about you find it different to relate it being in the states.
Pat has become the most boring man on the Island – complaining we are only getting one Tuesday when he was used to getting two days of everything.
7pm – we decided not to go north as the weather could have turned nasty – we will hopefully go up tomorrow and see the Bonsai Pipeline. We drove to Pearl Harbour but they wouldn’t let us in without military permits – went to the memorial but it was closed. Early evening we went to a place called “Smorgys” – all you can eat for $7.97 – all five of us pigged out, so my fitness is on hold for another day. – we were thinking of going for a run earlier but no.

Friday 9th February 12.40 Hawaii
Woke up this morning with a hangover – what a laugh this world tour is. Getting drunk in as many places in the world as possible. Last night we went to see a ventriloquist called Freddie. Excellent ventriloquist – quite a good show but ruined by the fact that he was really, really racist. The funniest thing of the evening was that he really murdered Pat. – He really got a pasting. An eventful night as at the end we got accused of “sharking” this woman for a beer – there is no way we could have done – the reason she was upset was because we weren’t tipping her – different culture see. We moved on to the Rose and Crown and then back to the back packers for some wine.
Daft really because we have missed another day on the Island. We won’t go north today as it is too late – will probably go down Waikiki beach, get some big boards and go into the sea.
9.00 Sitting in Honolulu airport waiting for our plane to take off at 10.30. On TV is a baseball game. We spent the afternoon at the beach – fairly warm. The surf was very low so I didn’t catch any waves on the boogie board. Very rocky beach. In the evening me and Pat went for a meal – seafood salad and a clam chowder for entrée. Before that we phoned up Paul Jordan from an international phone centre. The bloke said do you realize that it is only 3am in Britain – we both said “Good” at the same time. No answer, it rang for ages so we phoned back after the meal. He wasn’t the happiest man in the world getting up at 4 to answer the phone. The other thing we did was get 3 really tacky photo’s that look really funny of me and Pat surfing the Banzai pipeline. Pat is the only pro surfer in the world to surf in his Jeans. We’ve one with us two standing on the board, one with Pat on my shoulders and on the third with me leaning off the board.
So we will be hitting San Francisco for three days soon. We will obviously be tired, but I am hoping to do a few things, namely ride on the trolley car up the big hill. 2. See the Golden Gate and it could also be a good idea to see the Giant Reds in the Giant Redwood forest or whatever it’s called. One thing that could be a major concern is the weather. We have been really been spoiled over the last year – I am not looking forward to the cold at all.
I am still very very confident about the T Shirt venture in New York.

Saturday 10th February – San Francisco 8am
Backs to the wall we are in Frisco! Very tired, we had very little sleep on the plane last night and got in about ½ 5. We couldn’t lock our stuff in the airport as we were too early. First thing was to stick a jumper on because of the cold. It wasn’t freezing – in fact it was quite a pleasant bracing morning because it was very stuffy on the plane. We had a bit of a laugh getting here because the two English girls (very la de da) who were on the plane had a word with the bloke in the Limo and it cost the same if all 4 of us to use it than the shuttle bus. So we arrived at the Youth Hostel in a stretch Limo – style eh? Had a few photos naturally. The weather is foggy which is as it should be according to all the text books.
The Hostel looks very clean, but being a YHA we can’t have a room till 4, which is dreadful because we want to kip in now. According to the bloke at the desk – another of the most helpful blokes in the world is the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown today – see how we feel later.
4.30 Very impressed with the bay area of Frisco. From the YHA we took a walk through the park. We were forced to leave the hostel between 2-4. Before that we got out our sleeping bags and crashed out on the most comfortable settees I have ever seen in a hostel. As we walked through the park we could see the Golden Gate Bridge – what a sight – the sky was really blue, but the fog hadn’t lifted from the water so the bridge rose above the fog and it was like seeing the sky upside down. For a bonus we also had a view of Alcatraz, again misted in fog. I am quite looking forward to visiting Alcatraz.
We were starving so we went into Safeway and went to the serve yourself salad area. You take what you want – they weigh it and you take “it” away. A bargain for only $3.40 for a really filling meal. We sat with the la de da girls when we ate the grub. They were very difficult to talk to – so different from the Aussie girls who were on our wavelength. These two had painful accents and were obviously travelling on mummy and daddies money. Me and Pat went for a walk cos we were freezing. I was going to describe it as a lovely January morning at home – Correct I suppose, but it is Feb.
We walked towards the bridge along this parkway. Quite a few people flying kites, roller skating along, working out etc. We also took a walk along a few streets and saw some of the earthquake damage from October 17th (who would have thought I would have been here – I just looked back and I did make a note of it) There were buildings being propped up, signs about trespassing – obviously everybody had abandoned their houses. On some of the worst ones were signs in yellow paint “SEARCHED” – some just had “S” on the door – all interesting stuff.
We had a walk back, then I phoned home. DAD “What the bloody hell are you doing in San Francisco?” – I gave a quick explanation and had a chat to mum. I told them I went to Hawaii and they could hardly believe it – I don’t think it has sunk in for me yet either.
It looks like the Giant Redwoods are out as it is 4 hours in the car and 8 hours in a bus. Still we will “do” Alcatraz – Isn’t life a laugh at the moment – not too happy about the cold though.
Fantastic news – Dad told me that Nelson Mandela is being released at 1.30 UK time – what a hero
Mandela released
Tyson knocked out
10pm – went out to see the Chinese New Year parade but never made it. The news of the night was not Mandela but the fact that Tyson got knocked out by a nobody. Buster Johnson – nobody has ever heard of him.
Sunday 11th Feb 8am
Just got woken up – what a difference between a YHA and a backpackers in Oz. In a YHA you are treated like a little kid – lights out at 11, doors locked at 2. Everyone up at 8. You must do a chore. – Hostel closed between 2.30 – 4. We are supposed to be on holiday. I honestly can’t see me and Pat volunteering for our chore – we are bound to shark them.
We went for a pint last night and wore the Irish shirt. Really good response – most encouraging that about 4 people wanted to get one.
Weather again looks gorgeous, but a bit cold. Bloody winter. Mum thought we were a bit daft leaving summer for winter
This is a joke. The whole place is a hive of activity of people running around doing chores. A bloke came in and told Pat off for still being in bed and to report to the kitchen at 10 o’ clock. The bunk overhead was empty so he asked Pat where was the occupant. Pat said he didn’t know. The bloke said “Darn I’ll get him tomorrow” I was writing postcards not on my bunk but on someone else’s. The bloke checked the number on his sheet of bunk numbers. He gave me a big thumbs up and a smile as if to say well done and went out. Me and Pat collapsed laughing. The bloke was only about 20. I can see me and Pat getting thrown out for being naughty and not doing our chores.
12.45 On the ferry to see Alcatraz prison ($7.50) weather cold and foggy – as it should be to see Alcatraz I suppose. Bad news this morning is that Dai Young has gone North. Another one of Wales’ best players. – We are playing England next week + will probably get stuffed.
Monday 12th February 9.45
Weather very sunny but also a chill in the air. I really enjoyed Alcatraz – a cold and damp place. It’s a national park and the ranger who welcomed us onto the “rock” was the spitting image of Sue Mitchell. Loads of stick off Pat as she started chatting up every bloke there. Tart (Bitter, bitter, bitter)
We started off by seeing a slide show and the long walk up to the cell block. The highlight of the trip was the guided tour. Really well done. I couldn’t have coped with an American guide being questioned by sycophantic tourists. The tour was on tape so you could go at your own speed and stop for tacky photo’s if you wanted. Me and Pat had photo’s in Times Square, Broadway, CD square also in the prison cell sitting on the bog. We saw the cell of the birdman and the dining area etc.
On the descent we tried to avoid the most boring man on the rock Don Hurley who was plugging his book on childhood reminisances.
Once we got out we were knackered, cold and hungry but we couldn’t go into the hostel till 4.30, what a nightmare. We festered and festered, had another clam chowder and pizza and eventually killed enough time to get into the hostel.
We phoned New York and Bryan seemed quite pleased to hear from us. We will get a taxi for about $25 and Siobhan should be at the house to meet us.
Down to Safeway’s for some grub and we both crashed out about 5. Far too early as I had about 5 hours kip and couldn’t get back to kip then. God knows what we are going to do - probably go on the cable car and into town. I am quite looking forward to hitting New York and getting started on the T Shirts. Rough aim is to get them on the streets by next Tuesday – our cost must be about $6-$7 selling about $15 - $20.
5pm – just killing time in the hostel before my flight at 10. – bus booked for 8.30. Today we went to the centre of San Francisco – talk about hills. Weather was gorgeous – very sunny, cloudless sky, but it was freezing if you went in the shade. I got some photo’s developed of Hawaii and Frisco. Pat’s camera had a ‘mare, reversing tables on dodgy cameras. We took a trolley bus – clanging away to the centre and had a look around. – Like any other city I suppose. I bought myself a wallet and Pat cashed in some travelers cheques. I am really looking to moving on so we can “set up business”. – still very confident, only thing that could go against us is the weather. God knows how cold it will be when we arrive at 6am.
San Francisco is supposed to be full of queers and we have certainly seen our share of camp effeminate men – especially the shop assistants.
We got away without doing any chores this morning. A bargain. I hate the coziness and chumminess of the YHA compared to a backpackers. Being woken up at 8 and a lock out between 2 – 4.30 and then having to be in by 2 – they can shove it. Last night someone came around with a torch to check we were all in.
The American accent is driving me around the bend. The newest one which is really annoying me is that if for example you get a cup of coffee and you say thanks they all say in a sugary sickly way “yourwelcome” (one word) – AAAAARGGH. If it happens too much I will stop saying thanks.
9.45 Just boarded the plane. It is absolutely freezing out. New York is supposed to be much colder. Our Taxi driver to the airport was assuring us that San Francisco doesn’t really have a winter and as he was saying it he was swerving to avoid Polar Bears and Penguins. He was warning us how violent San Francisco was. Early on in the evening I read every magazine and paper in the YHA to kill a couple of hours. Mandela was the story of the day- released yesterday + it showed his speech. To conclude it he repeated what he said in his trial 27 years ago – showed up that he hadn’t backed down, but the government had. What a hero he is.
So it’s goodbye San Francisco. A very picturesque place, obviously 2 days doesn’t give it a chance – I sent the usual guts full of postcards. I am not looking forward to the NY winter at all.
I forgot to mention that Pat broke my diary – he is not in my good books at all.
Aims – when we get to New York has obviously set up the shirt business as soon as possible – it looks like sweatshirts will be high on the list – also fitness- I want to do something every day – hopefully beat Pat in squash and badminton to go with my recent tennis and table tennis triumphs. Swimming is also on my list and maybe some gym work, but I can’t see myself doing too much running in the cold. I want to play some rugby but it will be very social as I haven’t got all that much time and I may be flying to Boston or wherever there is an Irish do some weekend
Delayed for 20 minutes – Capt. Just told us that we never had enough fuel, very slack. I was in charge of fuel all across Australia – I will give him a few tips. Those 5 gallon cans are very handy. Mackers reckons that a 5 trillion gallon Jerry can is a bugger to get off the roof rack. Another good tip is get some honey oil.
Tuesday 13th February New York 9.15am
Really shattered – we got in about 6.30, which was 3.30 on our body clock because of the time difference. – Had very little kip on the plane at all. Weather not as cold as expected.
Me and Pat got into a taxi and the bloke reckoned on $82 fare so we got out immediately. Siobhan and Brian reckoned it would be about $25. We then had an offer of $47 from a limo and finally down to $30 from another taxi which we took.
Got to the house – no answer so we let ourselves in- they have got a dog who is a real pain. Siobhan got on the coffees and then we both crashed out till about 3 but the dog kept getting in the room and disturbing me – the sod of a thing.
I sharked myself badly because I got in which I thought was the best room but Pat got the room which locks to keep the dog out and also the one with the TV – 32 channels on cable.
I phoned up T Shirts and it looks like we will be paying $4.50 a shirt – that will be great if we can get rid of them for $15. $8 for sweatshirts – sell at $25 – try to get the ball rolling tomorrow – all I want to do now is sleep.
Thursday 15th Feb 9.45
Just woke up to the dog diving on me. Yesterday me and Pat went to Valley Stream with the shirt and put in an order. We have got to go in again and front up 50% of the cash. We went to the library first and got a stronger map for the front. Got back and were dragged to the pub “The Inn” – so again our threatened run was put on hold. Good news is that Liam Brady is giving a talk for two days so we will be there. Weather very cold.
I got my card off to Nan for her 70th birthday. I must remember to phone on the 20th or I will never forgive myself.
Me and Pat are becoming real yuppies – we have paid a deposit to go on a days ski trip next Wednesday – it should be a good laugh but I have never been before so it could be really embarrassing. Last night talking to a bloke about the T Shirts – typical New Yorker “ Hey, I like you guys – I don’t even know you” – I am sure we will see a lot more of Pete. After the pub we went over to one of the neighbours. He let us in and me and Pat picked up his wife for a Valentine’s kissagram job. – Then, he released his mad budgies. I think today we have got to go back to Valley Stream to pay half the shirt money. The bloke “Bob” doesn’t seem to be that “with it” for some reason. Not half as keen as Greg in Sydney or Graham in Auckland.

Weather looks really cold out. One of the obvious problems of being in Long Beach is that we are a fair way out. Yesterday was murder waiting for a train – we will have to use the timetables much better – looks like an hour to town (The Apple). The advantage of being here is obviously safety – hopefully not much violence, crack etc in Long Beach.
It is immediately noticeable in all the papers the concern of drug abuse compared with anywhere else I have been. It started immediately on entering the States. – The customs man “Do you do drugs?” “What is your attitude to drugs?”
Midday – Oh the cold. We just ran for the train to Valley Stream. I have got to get gloves, a hat and a scarf or I will die. For the first time in months you can see my breath – my ears, hands and even teeth are freezing. We must be mugs leaving Auckland and leaving Hawaii – really hot to get to this climate.
7.30 Me and Pat have just been for our first run in the States. – Freezing cold, drizzle. I enjoyed it more than the heat in Auckland. The run was about 22 mins along the boardwalk. We hope to go for a run every day.
10.30 A quiet evening in. We saw a good film. “Billy young guns” on the cable. The dog was a good laugh – on his back snoring away. A couple of dead days before the shirts come in. We may do more sightseeing and ring around to get some shirts in different functions.

Friday 16th Feb 12.45
A lazy day in bed – didn’t even stir till 11 – no real incentive because we have no work to do until the shirts come out and it’s freezing out. The warmest place to be is in bed. We were thinking of doing the tourist bit today but it looks like we will be happy just doing the washing and going to the post office.
9.30pm – The lazy day continues – Siobhan made a cracking chicken dinner. Me and Pat wolfed it down because we had an appetite from our run. We did the boardwalk run again, but this time the other way. God it was nearly twice as long. The cold AAAARGH. My hands especially were freezing but were ok half way through. Did a few sit ups after woods. Out to a few pubs tonight but it looks like a very late start. Posted a million letters today but doubt if I get any back. – Jacko, the Jocks, Sally and home. Playing rugby tomorrow is England, Wales. Odds are heavily in favour of England being in Twickenham.
Me and Pat spent an enjoyable 10 minutes pestering the dog getting the swine back for waking me up in the morning.

Saturday 17th February 10.45 At home now Wales are playing England at Twickenham. Two years since we had about 30 people on the floor at Gravel Road. Funny – 2 years ago if we would have lost I would have taken so much stick with teaching in London, but if we lose today Pat might make a passing comment to wind me up but no one will really care. I will phone home later to find out the news.
Fairly sunny day out – hopefully we will go into the city today and have a look around and do the tourist bit.
Last night wasn’t that brilliant – we went to all the local pubs in Long beach and they were fairly dead. Brian was out of his tree, so Siobhan brought him home. – She wasn’t that happy. I woke up this morning again with the dog crawling all over me – bloody thing
8pm Freezing out – that wind is so cutting. News of the day back home is that Wales got absolutely stuffed by England 34-6. 34-6 can I even imagine the stick I would have taken at home. 34 -6 that’s a crucifixion. In the other match Scotland beat France. I phoned home and have a $10 chat with mum and dad. They didn’t realize I had an address in New York – I think they thought I was staying in a hostel.
We caught a train to New York. Change at Jamaica to Penn Station. We then went on the subway. A really wrecked black woman asked us for money. Pat gave her 25c – but she wanted a dollar, so he had to cough up the 75c he owed her.
We got the tube to Battery Park and got the ferry to Liberty Island. We had a few photo’s of Manhattan and some of the Statue of Liberty. Today there was no cloud so it was freezing on the ferry. More photo’s of the statue and then we joined the queue to the crown, but it would have taken two hours – it was too cold so we went for a coffee, some post cards and the ferry back. The statue of Liberty wasn’t half as interesting as Alcatraz.

I bought a watch for $20 much to the amusement of Pat who thought I got sharked. Back on the tube. I was not comfortable at all. One weird black bloke singing for Jesus up and down the carriage. Another bloke pulled out what I thought was a knife but it was a comb.
We got to Penn Station and we had 20 mins to wait for the train so we went up onto the street. God, talk about culture shock. It was really cold. People asleep with blankets in the auto bank place. Loads of street stalls selling chestnuts and scalpers offering Knicks basketball tickets. We also stopped for a few minutes to watch the black Muslims ranting on and on. It was a relief to get on the train. The train had a completely different atmosphere than the subway. I felt really safe on the train and very ill at ease on the subway. We had a 20 minute wait again at Jamaica – Freezing.
The walk back to the house was perishing – got to get some gloves at least. Siobhan has got a turkey dinner on. We will have to make some meals next week.
I am really looking forward to get the shirts so that we can do some selling, but I can’t see myself going to Penn Station to sell them.
World news is that loads of the exiled ANC leaders are planning a return to South Africa now that the ANC is not banned. God it’s cold.
Pat has lost his glasses – looking everywhere for them – he gives me stick for losing things. Mackers’ cousin phoned from Queen’s so we may go over to visit them. She hasn’t been into the city for 20 years!!
2am A quiet evening in. Saw on cable Whoopi Goldberg introducing Billy Connolly – Yanks have never heard of him. – No beard. Followed by Clint in the Dead Pool. Weather in the freezing temperatures now.

Sunday 18th February 3.45
Another Lazy day – Got up at 12 – went over the diner for some grub – got the NY times, about 14 ft thick. Came back to watch Papillon but couldn’t find it on the cable. No report of yesterday’s rugby in the paper. Spent the afternoon festering – may go for a run, and take the dog to the beach later. Very sunny out but very cold – Last night the dog’s water bowl froze over. Why did we leave Auckland?
11pm – nothing to really write about – I wrote a really wrong letter to Nolesy, took the dog for a run around the block and then and then we went for a proper run along the boardwalk. It took 32 minutes and really is a killer, but obviously no hills. The wind is really cutting. I would say that it is more enjoyable than running in the sun as you soon warm up. We saw Papillon which was on at half 5 and had a couple of cans of Bud.
Hopefully we will get the shirts tomorrow. I can’t see it but there is a possibility – Tomorrow is a bank holiday because of “Presidents Birthday” – our problem is all our money is in travelling cheques. I must remember Nan’s birthday on Tuesday and give her a ring.
Monday 19th February 6.45 pm
Highlight of the day was getting up at 8 O’clock – the dog diving on me again – bloody thing. Me, Pat and Brian did a shop $103. Pat will pay half – at least we are paying our way a bit.
Phoned up for the shirts and as expected they are not ready. They said late tomorrow or Wednesday. Going by experience you can read into that Thursday or Friday. Festered around all day. It is freezing out.
We had a bit of a laugh when Brian’s mate Danny came over. He has a girlfriend from Aberystwyth so I phoned her up and said I had talked to someone in the Farmers Arms in Aber – he had given me her mum’s number in Cirencester and she had given me her number in New York. Me and Pat were at JFK and were waiting to be picked up. She didn’t quite know what to say and asked me to phone back in 5 minutes. Danny phoned in 5 minutes and said she was in a real panic. – Brian said we could stay here so the story is still going.
Mackers made the grub, my turn tomorrow. We are going skiing on Wednesday. Got some of the gear.
I wish we had the shirts.
11.30 – another quiet night – I was keen to go for a pint, but I started watching a really good film “Principal” with James Balushi, which killed the evening with out resorting to the pub. There is supposed to be a cold spell coming (Not sure what is supposed to be now?) – I am not looking forward to it. Hoping for some mail tomorrow.

Tuesday 20th February 3.30
Same old story – shirts still not ready. They will hopefully be ok to pick up tomorrow – me and Pat are going skiing so we will have to ask Brian to get them. I don’t see why he can’t as he is in 3rds on it. Up this morning at 10 – Freezing out. Pat is having loads of trouble cashing his travelers’ cheques because they are in Australian dollars.
I went to the post office and posted some post cards and letters. I got $20 in quarters. I phoned Nan as it is her 70th birthday, but there was no answer. I also phoned home but there was no answer there. Probably out with Nan. I will try to give her a bell again in a minute. To go out I wore Brian’s ski jacket, so I was fairly warm despite the cold.

I made the grub today. Green salad and tuna/pasta salad
11.15 Just been down the Inn to find out when the ski trip is on tomorrow. We have got to be there at 5.45 am. Not happy about that at all. Borrowed all the equipment – only thing to hire is ski’s and boots.
I phoned Nan earlier to say happy birthday – it sounds like she had a great day. I said I would see her before Christmas, but I will be back before then (explain later) I also had a chat to mum – spent a fair bit of time chatting to Catherine.
Plans for the near future: Hopefully as from tomorrow I will be flogging shirts like a good un + I can make some money. At the moment me and Pat have tickets to London on the 26th March. One thing I really want to do is go to the Hong Kong 7’s on the 31st March – 1st April. If I kept my ticket it would mean getting back on the 27th and leaving for Hong Kong on the 29th. I would be home for a day. St Patrick ’s Day is on the 17th I could aim (if I made some money) to get home on the 21st so that I could have a couple of days at home. – bugger off for the Hong Kong 7’s and then come home through Asia – again setting up the Irish shirt in Cardiff so when we get home we could go over to Ireland in June for the world cup and sell them over there. Again only ideas but it will be interesting to see how it works out. I would really like to go to the Hong Kong 7’s – could be my only chance. All the time in between I could do supply teaching.
Wednesday 21st Midnight
A very full day. Two real stories. Skiing and T Shirts. Me and Pat were up at 5 and got to the Inn at ¼ to 6. We were buggering around till ¼ past 7 which was very frustrating as we were knackered and could easily have had another hour in bed. There was no snow in Pennsylvania at all. I wasn’t impressed, but when we got to Camelback there was artificial snow.
Pat thought he was the boy wonder because he had skied a week in France before. I paid for a lesson but I wish I hadn’t as no one checked. I did the beginners job then started down the “bump” like a man possessed. The funniest part of the day luckily no one witnessed. It was on the bunny slope. I shot down like a bullet – I couldn’t stop and wiped out a complete fence. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing. A 13 year old girl also fell – looked at her mates and said “It wasn’t me – it was that man over there – he is worse than Sarah” – The shame.
After dinner I took my second lesson on the slopes – making Father Christmas turns. I did fine on that so it was up to the green with Raj.
I was pleased with my performance on the green slopes – I did about 5 runs – it was exhilarating – I was on my arse a bit.

Thursday 22nd February 11.30pm
I’ll finish off yesterday, I was obviously ½ cut. The green slopes were a bit of a shock – I thought it would be less steep than it was. I was tumbling over like a good un. Skiing is very, very exhilarating. At some point you come to a point of no return and some how you recover – brilliant. I didn’t like the ice on the slopes at all. Because we had borrowed all the gear I was as warm as toast – really, really enjoyable.
We got back at 8 – got to the flat and at last the shirts had arrived. We went to the Inn and there was a Guinness promotion. I was disappointed we only sold 3 but I had a really good night.
Today – feeling rough all morning. Me and Pat went into town – a few things to do. First we went to Queens to this Irish shop, but the woman had been called out earlier so it was a wasted journey. We then went to Manhattan – Pat had to get money as all his $$ were in Aussie currency. We then had grub. We were at a loss so we stood in the street and sold very few. Then onto a wild goose chase around Manhattan to Tommy Maceys bar – dead. Then into a few bars in Queens after getting lost a million times. Grand central is an amazing place. There are homeless everywhere. I didn’t feel quite as threatened as Saturday but still very wary. All told we only sold 10 shirts and both of us are very tired – again very disappointing. We will “do” the Bronx tomorrow. Might do the tactic of using one of us as a plant, especially if Brian is with us.
The other thing that is really annoying is we phoned up Bob for more shirts and he is insisting on us paying a deposit again + they won’t work weekends by the look of it, so we are going to dump him and have a word with the Long Beach bloke and tell him the crack. We need to phone up any time and get them printed, even if it means us going in and printing them.
A few things to do tomorrow. Get a poster printed for the shirts, get bags for the shirts. Pat will go in with $250 to order more shirts and I will go into the West End of Long Beach and get him to set it all up. I am absolutely shattered but it is better than sitting around all day like we did last week.
Friday 23rd Feb 12.30
Up at 11 – lay in because we are working nights now (sort of). The dog had dragged the rubbish bin into the cellar, so we smacked his arse and chucked him out. Bloody thing.
7.00 Writing this on the train to the Bronx. A wee bit different from Auckland. A fairly interesting day. I went to the library and got the map and went to see Luke. In the West End of Long Beach. – Much more helpful than Bob. The deal with Luke depends on us getting the shirts, but hopefully it will be a lot faster. Pat went to Valley Stream and paid for 80 more but they won’t be ready till Tuesday.
I got the photo of the shirt and made up a poster, which isn’t that bad. I also sold some shirts to the Irish shop in Long Beach for $10 each. The other thing we did was get plastic bags and packed a shedfull of shirts. We are staying in the Bronx tonight – In a friend of Brian’s house – Pauline – which will be fairly handy. Fairly cold out – I did all the running around on a bike which cut the time in half.
Saturday 24th February 1pm
Didn’t sell many shirts in the Bronx last night – about 9. It looks at the moment that flogging in pubs is not working very well. We got soaked as it was bucketing down. I was on club soda all night – haven’t had a drink since Wednesday – with the work we are doing I might stay on the wagon till after St Patrick’s Day. Last night we stayed in the Bronx in a friend of Brian’s house – glad of it as it would have taken about 2 hours to get home.
Woke up this morning to snow, but it has brightened up a bit now so that it’s gone. – We went for a lovely brecky and then to an Irish gift shop in the Bronx, “The Celtic Connection”. We had to hang around for an hour so we went over the pub and saw the first half of the Wales/England game – England so dominant. We then got our first big order on the shirts. 15 T’s and 20 sweats. Take them around next week. We also left him one of each to hang up so hopefully we will get repeat orders from that. He was suggesting taking World Cup 1990 off it and they would sell for ever. An idea I suppose when we get back home but I would have to have a word with Jacko.
We are on the tube now going to Manhattan + we may try to work our way through every store in Manhattan on the St Patrick’s day parade route + see if we can get some type of response.
6.00 another wild goose chase. We walked up 5th Avenue – full of really high class shops like Gucci – that wouldn’t dream of taking our shirt even if we asked them. We saw a bloke flogging sweatshirts on the street with Hard Rock Café on them - $10 for a sweatshirt. We stood for about 5 minutes trying to flog shirts but it was freezing.
One thing I forgot to record yesterday. We were walking through Manhattan between stations – we saw what I am sure must have been a “crack” deal or some other dodgy substance. We walked along a fairly unlit street and passed a deep doorway. – 3 blokes “dealing” in the door one on the door itself and another being the most observant person in the world (for some reason) – looking this way and that. Me and Pat didn’t try a citizens arrest – but, head down, arse up and carried on walking.
Midnight Spent Saturday night in – I was keen to go out, but Pat wasn’t. Watched Escape from Alcatraz – been there!. Also we phoned Gildethorpe and spoke to Sue Daly. We also phoned Mike Ede, but he wasn’t in again. We gave him the usual message and his flat mate said “Where from this time?” We also rang Paul Jordan about 5 times but he wouldn’t answer. Weather is freezing. It’s been snowing a bit but it’s stopped now. Sue Daly said she had just been down the beach. One thing I am worried about is I can’t find the ski mask I lent. I have got to get that soon. Pat had a phone call from Anne – he is seeing her in Indonesia in April. I haven’t heard from Sally yet – surprise surprise. God it’s cold.
Sunday 25th February
The days are creeping closer to Paddies day – we have yet to make our fortune. – Always seem to be shelling out. Weather today was bitter with a capital B. - didn’t snow too much last night but it was on the ground. I had to nip over the shop for milk – God it was cold. Got up at 10, at 1 me and Brian went into the Lower East side and picked up 5 Dozen sweatshirts and 3 dozen T Shirts. We also got 3 brilliant running tops with hoods for $9 each. I took them to Luke and he said he would start the screens tomorrow – hopefully they will be ready Tuesday evening. I wish!! The qualities of the shirts are 1000% better, so we will probably keep collecting them ourselves.
We got back and gave Brian’s mate Danny a hand getting this kitchen into a house. – I was frozen. Mackers got two Woody Allen films from Danny. Love and Death – which I haven’t seen and Manhattan. We stoked up the fire a treat. I love making fires.
We were going to go to the pub and hopefully flog some shirts but it was simply too cold. Plan of attack tomorrow is for me to go to Brooklyn and Pat to go to Queens to different Irish shops and get some orders. We also want to make a phone call to this woman from Hallmark cards which I reckon could be big if it came off. Why did I leave Auckland? It is freezing.
Monday 26th February
Another fairly frustrating day although we did clear a few shirts in an Irish shop called Gibbons in Queens. Up at half 9 – absolutely freezing out. I was frozen as I biked to a shop in Long Beach, but the woman wasn’t there. I had to empty the ice from the dogs bowl and replace it with water. You should see his face when we are about to leave and we chuck him out. Basset Hounds look fairly miserable even when they are really happy, but to face the cold he just lets his jaw drag to the ground and his eyes look at you. Mind you it is so cold if I were a dog I would put up a better fight.
We got on a train to Queens and gave the woman 16 shirts and got an order for 12 sweatshirts so that was nice but it was the highlight of the day.
We walked to the end of 5th Avenue but there were no pubs there at all. We will have to split up as its pointless both of us doing the same places. It is so cold out!!
Nothing doing tonight. No real events in the diary and too cold to go out. Tomorrow we are hoping to pick up shirts off Bob the Nob and some off Luke. I suppose Luke’s won’t be ready even if I am prepared to go in to help.
On the news there was a piece about severe storms again in Bristol – so Cardiff would have got a hammering as well. Britain has really taken a pasting tonight.
For a laugh we will phone up Jordan again – It is 3 in the morning and he refuses to answer the phone, but we will phone him every day till he answers.
Tuesday 27th February 3pm – snowing
Up at 9 and showered. Pat went for a run, but I jipped out. Too cold – I did some tidying up. I did some phoning around – I couldn’t get in touch with Nancy from Hallmark cards – I am sure they would take a lot. I phoned Luke and the shirts will be ready tonight. Pat phoned Bob and the shirts are ready to be picked up.
A good laugh watching the dog. He had the leftover soup, so I boiled it up and put it in his bowl. It was far too hot but being a greedy fat git of a thing, he piled straight in and couldn’t figure how to gulp it down without burning his toungue.
Me and Pat were going to go to Valley Stream to pick up the shirts, but it was daft as you only need, so I am now a packhorse. I have filled my rucksack and a bag with shirts and I have to wait 20 mins for the train back. It really is a pain getting in and out of the place + the fact we have to do it twice because of the deposit. I hope Luke does a good job as I don’t want to use Bob again. Tonight there is a soccer tournament in Queens that we will hopefully go to and please god shift some as it is fairly slow out. Weather wise it is cold but not as bad as yesterday. It is snowing.
I am hoping to get some mail today – haven’t had any for ages. With the shirts we will probably drop our prices for the Irish boys to get some turnover and then up them for the Irish Americans on and around St Patrick’s Day
Wednesday 28th February 8pm
Not that a productive day – saved by a good deal in the night. Pat phoned Gibbons Irish store and she blew us out for the 12 sweatshirts. – Wanted to drop the price – we wouldn’t. We picked up the shirts from Luke – much better. He has made a much brighter orange, which is better and the print is better.
I flogged 1 of each- T Shirt and Sweats to Futons in Paradise and Pat biked for an hour on a wild goose chase. In the early evening me and Brian went to Far Rockaway – sold 2 sweats, then did a lovely deal in the Saloon. – Wants 12 sweats and 12 T Shirts – paid $150 and owes $162 – so we have about $500 in the kitty.
Thursday 1st March – St David’s Day 12pm
No big parades in New York for St David’s day – the Paddies have all the big parades sewn up.
I am writing this on the train going to New York. We are off to Wall St to peddle our wares. Up this morning at 9 and biked over to Luke’s place – filled a rucksack and a big bag full of shirts and cycled back. Last night we went to The Inn and sold 8 shirts including the hooded one off Siobhan’s back. Quite a good laugh with the owner getting stroppy that we were flogging gear in his pub. The kitty now stands at about $700. Weather wise today was quite pleasant after the recent cold spell. I am getting stick about being always too optimistic and Pat is exactly the reverse. I am always taking a huge bag of shirts everywhere whereas Pat will take one or two. To be fair Pat is usually right but twice I was justified yesterday. In the Saloon we didn’t have enough to give him and in the bar last night we sold out of Sweatshirts. Next time I will just have to take all the stock.
I had a letter yesterday off mum – fairly interesting but normal type of news. – Everybody is getting married. Claire Norman, Ian and Patrick Dacey (not to each other) and Deborah Hasset.
Friday 2ND March 11am
Bad start to the day. Brian took the jeep into work. Phoned the house. I phoned the T Shirt shop and they close at 1 so Brian can’t pick them up. He wasn’t happy at all. We have at last got an early train. I am again very confident. Hopefully we will sell out this week. Pat will be happy if we sell about 3. Weather wise – very pleasant winter’s day again. I have got gloves today though because obviously being in Manhattan the sun can’t get between the big buildings. Tonight it’s off to see the Wolfetones with all our stock. Last night we went for a Chinese meal at K O’s – very nice and then on for a club soda in the pub. We had a coffee in Barry and Lisa’s house – gave them a sweatshirt each.
3.10. We are winning. Our first real result on the shirts. Me and Pat stood in Broadway from 11- 2.15 and cleared a bag full of shirts each. I have about 2 and Pat has 4 left. It was fairly cold, so I have two sweatshirts on. Quite a few blacks were buying them as well. I got told by the police that I couldn’t sell on the street so I went and had a chat with Pat for about 5 minutes and then went back. Luckily I never saw the copper again. He asked me if I was Irish – I said yes – it helps. If any Yank asks me and PAT we just agree with them. Our problem now, as I predicted is we probably won’t have enough shirts for tomorrow’s parade in Hoboken. I can’t think of anything we can do about it.
On the tube on the way to Penn Station another bloke came begging. You could hear a voice down the end of the train “Excuse me I am handicapped + I live in the subway – please can you spare a nickel or Dime” then went on with “Have a nice day” and all that. He shuffled along the train and we did give but I don’t know what to think. To be honest there is a bit of revulsion as well as a lot of pity. – There are so many people on the streets begging – it puts it into perspective that me and Pat probably made about $200 in about 2 hours with our first real “result” on the shirts.
Reading Pat’s diary and he makes the point that we could be home in about 3 weeks. Apart from seeing everyone again, I don’t want this particular trip to end. My main long term plan of attack is to firstly do well on the Irish T Shirts – I think we will as long as we can keep getting the shirts. I really want to go to Hong Kong to watch the 7’s but I can only do it if I can make these things work. My ticket to London is on the 26th of this month, what I want to do is bring it forward to something like the 20th – fly into London arriving in the morning, so I would nip into Gunnersbury + say hi, - stay till dinnertime and then go home to Cardiff. I can’t imagine what reaction I would get if I said I was only staying for two days and then going to Hong Kong. If the flight was early in the morning, I could stay in Gravel Rd. I have also got to think about getting a permanent job next September. I think it would be too easy to go back to Gunnersbury, although it would be a lot easier. I don’t want a really rough school as I want to teach, not fight the kids all the time. My first priority is to get a driving license. It is getting ridiculous at 26 not being able to drive. When I tell people they just look at me in disbelief. I am very confident of walking into a teaching job, but I don’t feel I will be happy doing it for the rest of my life. I would like to do a “Devaney” – take all the computing qualifications I can get and then get out with a proper wage rather than the peanuts with all the crap you have to do every night, weekends and holidays – Joke. Another thing I would like to be is a rep on a holiday bus going through Europe. When I get home I will have to make a more up to date CV. My last one is about 4 years old.
Saturday 9th March 9am
We are definitely winning. We went to Queens last night and brought home over $300 – if we can keep this momentum up in the next two weeks I will be Hong Kong bound. We are off to the Bronx now to deliver that big order to the Celtic connection. We are then off to the Hoboken St Patrick’s day parade, our problem is we have very few shirts left.
10.30pm The Hoboken St Patrick’s Day parade was a dead loss – about 5 men and their dogs watching it. – Any Hoboken robber would have had a field day as the whole constabulary was there. We only sold about 4 shirts all day. A fairly cold day. We went to the Bronx in the morning – had a brecky and collected $460 from the Celtic Connection. – We were given a brilliant idea by the bloke in the shop- so obvious that it is hitting us smack in the head. Exactly the same shirt – without the world cup on it and change one of the flags to the stars and stripes. – The Irish Americans are the ones buying the shirt anyway, not the Irish, so it would really work well. Pat is thinking of spending all next summer in the USA travelling to all the Irish exhibitions – I’d have to think seriously about it. It would be a good laugh travelling the states but it would have to start for the St Patrick’s Day Parade. – For the big earner (hopefully) and then through the summer. So – if I got a teaching job I could only take it till February. Not sure about how I would feel about that. It would be easier for Pat as he is self employed, but as he says, - Life is more interesting on the road – not paying taxes etc. We went for a few beers in some pub in Hoboken and then for a meal. I phoned home and Wales lost again – to Scotland 13-9 – Try by Emyr. – What a season. Big clash now in a couple of weeks. Scotland and England are both playing for the Grand Slam + Wales and Ireland are both fighting for the wooden spoon. I will have to get one to present to Jacko if we get the correct result.
I am writing this on the train – getting back from Hoboken – it’s a real drag. We have got over $2,000 to spend on shirts tomorrow.
Sunday 4th March 8am
Just woke up – no Lecky but its on now. Had another idea for a T Shirt- I think it is brilliant . Basically it’s a rip off of the cartoon in the Auckland post – The idea is an England Grand slam T Shirt.
It will be quite expensive to set up as it will be four colours. An English rugby player whacking the 4 nations on the arse. Red, green, navy and light blue. Maybe 5 screens on the front – black as well. We could get a big advert out in Rugby World – set up a box office. Ring up Jeff Taylor immediately and get him to do it. Pat will probably want in as well – so that will keep costs down. If England don’t win then Scotland will have the slam and I could do it for the Jocks. For shirts it would be better if England won as there are more of them.
Got home last night to a letter from H. She is marrying Jon on November 10th. Do I want to come to the wedding – will I be home – YES.
11.30 Brian and Pat have just gone into town with $2,000 to spend on shirts. – We phoned Brendan O’Shea and he is paying $8 a shirt and spending $1,200 so he will have 150 shirts. Not a bad deal.
I phoned home and had a chat to mum and dad ($20) it will be great to see them in a couple of weeks although they will go nuts if I hopefully go to Hong Kong within about 3 days. I have got Jeff Taylors phone number so I will give him a ring later. We are off to the Bronx later to Lehman College and hopefully get rid of the last of the shirts.
4.30 On the way to the Bronx. I phoned JT twice but he had his answering machine on. I also phoned Joan Fuller a ring. We took the shirts around to Luke and he is working on them now. He printed a shedful to take to Lehman so we can take the “good stuff” i.e. Fruit of the Loom shirts rather than the rubbish that Bob gave us. We are much more organized than on Friday. We will actually be there early, but on Friday we got the break of having a table to sell off. Hopefully we will get another table tonight. – Inside the hall. We are staying in Pauline and Tom’s tonight.
Later on the Tube It’s a real nightmare on the tube – don’t feel threatened at all but seeing how people live when they are at the bottom of the pit. Walking through Penn Station you can see loads of people lying on the station at 5 O’clock for the night with a blanket over them. As we left the tube station a bloke with a stick announced to the whole carriage that he wasn’t an alcoholic or on drugs but he was starving – where do you look? I gave a handful of change – hardly generous, but what can you do? What would have happened if at the next station someone else came begging? It’s really awful. I feel ashamed a bit to have money, especially as we have 3 bags of shirts and if things went really well we could make about $200 in a night doing very little work.
It looks like Pat won’t be in on the Grand slam T Shirt. I think to repeat the cartoon 4 times would be boring so I could have the slapping the arse of one country, my Lions cartoon for the other and I would have to work something else out for the other two. Ideas could be a handoff in someone’s face and scoring a try in the last one.
½ 8 Another balls up, our planning is atrocious. I cannot believe we are making very simple mistakes. We caught a taxi to the Lehman centre and people were streaming out. – it started at 3pm – we looked at a poster and it clearly said it started at 3. We were only there 2 minutes and we sold 7 sweatshirts – there were about 2,000 people there apparently, so so so frustrating. On a positive note we only had about 50 of the poorer quality shirts. I am sure we would have got rid of them. We are making basic mistakes which are costing us a fortune.
We then went over to Pauline and Tom’s and Ger’s house who we were supposed to be staying with in the Bronx, but there was no one in. We were only going in for a coffee anyway. Pat’s quote sums it all up. “Just a night for F**K ups”. I am bored on this tube – not that I’d be happy if anything exciting happened. Time it’s taken to get to Long Beach = 2 hours – similar from driving from London – Bristol. Hopefully if we get our connections we will be back in the house by 10. So we have had 6 hours of waste.
I have got to get a new walkman.
Tomorrow we will go back in town for my job on “Wall St” – hit the dinnertime mkt then have an hour off and get them coming out of work as well. Needless to say I’m freezing.
Monday 5th March 2pm
On a train again, if we get a result on these shirts on St Paddy’s day no one can accuse us of being “lucky” – this is really hard work. After Friday’s result and Saturday’s disappointment + Sundays disaster we had another bad day – reason is it’s freezing. Me and Pat stood near Wall St for about 2 hours and we were unable to continue – it’s just too cold. Be fair, selling T Shirts when it is snowing is a bit beyond. We were going to go to the offices but is says no soliciting. I got warned by the police again so I moved for about 5 minutes.
We are thinking of going to Springfield Pennsylvania on Wednesday. It would be about 3 hours away – I may ring Heiler or Matty Lagowski.
I have also got to get a walkman as travelling on the train is so boring. I posted Nana’s birthday card today and I will phone her on Thursday.
Pat is laughing at the fact that we only sold 4 shirts in town – I, again brought the whole stock in. A rucksack of sweats and a bag of shirts. My rucksack needs sewing up. When I get back I will have it replaced as it’s under a lifetimes guarantee.
Tuesday 6th March 9am
Snowing out – not exactly T Shirt weather. Thank god we went into sweatshirts as well. After last nights wild goose chase into town I spent the evening on a wild goose chase with Brian running around every pub in the world having a club soda and not selling at all.
I phoned up Pan Am and hopefully I will be able to change the dates of the flights to the 19th which will be great if I can get to Hong Kong. I phoned up JT and he has got to run around finding info on the T Shirt.
6pm – A freezing cold day – really heavy snow all morning. I went for a bike ride this morning and dropped off 6 sweats off with Gerry to take to Islip. Get money Friday.
I then went to town – stopped off at Queens and sold Mary Gibbons 9 sweats – she dragged me down to $15. I got a daily mail (yesterdays) I then went to town and changed my ticket to the 19th. We had to pay $50 each. Siobhan priced my ticket to Hong Kong $500 but that’s BA – hopefully Cathays Pacific will be cheaper.
Me and Brian went and picked up a load of Sweats and T Shirts.
I phoned Jacko and he is through all the rigmarole of applying for residency. I will see him two weeks Friday in Cardiff for a beer, He had to have an AIDS check for his application – he hasn’t got it. Tomorrow it looks like me and Brian will be going to Pennsylvania to Philly to flog shirts.
God it’s cold.
In Grand central station I also got yesterdays Times. It is sickening how sycophantic IT IS TO Thatcher.
Good news is that Celtic beat Rangers in the cup. Big news is the Poll Tax. It is so unfair.
Wednesday 7th March 10.30pm
Another disastrous day on the Ireland shirts – they are starting to build up. Me and Brian went all the way to Philadelphia and sold 0.
Fair play we had a laugh though. We arrived at the place and the boss wasn’t there – we conned the people that we were with the Wolfetones and conned them into giving us a table. We were about to set up. I went to the loo and I could hear the boss “Jesus H Christ – what the f**king hell is this?” There was our table and the Wolfetones. He said to me “Are you with the Wolfetones?” I was saying well………….. Brian just disappeared. He wanted to see contracts and everything – so we buggered off. A journey home – back by ½ 9 what a waste of a day.
Pat is in Manhattan – hopefully he will have done well – but I doubt it.
Got back and Brendan O’ Shea hasn’t picked up the shirts – says he will pick them up on Monday.
The more I think of it the more I am looking forward to going home for a few days – The price of a ticket for Hong Kong looks like $550 – which is fairly steep.
No mail again. I was expecting a bit that should have come via NZ. I know Jacko, Kevin and Sharon sent letters to Auckland + I am not happy at all not to get a letter off Sally.
I am not quite sure whether to get my ticket for Hong Kong over here or wait till I get home. I definitely want to go – obviously we have got to do well on these Irish shirts – I know Pat will laugh after our result today but I am fairly confident.
Thursday 8th March 8pm
A really, really enjoyable day at last – a fair result on the shirts, did some sightseeing, took in a ball game and had a postcard from Sally. Up about 9 – cold out but not as cold as it has been. I phoned Nan – her 85th birthday. I told her that I would be home on the 20th and she promised not to tell anyone. She said she would try and “Cling on” till I got home.
Me and Pat got our bags together and Brian gave us a lift into town. We started selling very fast outside the World Trade centre – had some photo’s and then got moved on to our normal spot – “Broadway” The shirts went OK – more T’s than sweats. At ½ 2 we went for a pizza and then the tube to the Empire States Building. – An enjoyable couple of hours – more photo’s at the top. Equalizing coming down. Unfortunately we missed most of the people coming out of the offices, but we still sold a few. We then went to Madison Square Garden and saw a college basketball game. Really enjoyable – and only $10 – we moved to these brilliant seats. We saw the Uni of Pittsburgh beat the Uni of Boston. The best laugh was photo’s especially one of the most georgeous blonde cheerleaders. Me and Pat had the pom poms and she was in the middle – hopefully it will come out.
We bought the Today newspaper and the London Times – both yesterdays, and so sickenly right wing and sycophantic towards “we who are a grandmother”
All the news is the Poll Tax – huge demonstrations and loads of arrests.
Home via one beer, and a postcard from Sally from Hawaii. I had given up on her. She obviously had the flower (and poem) for Valentines Day and my card from Hawaii, but nothing else. I am pleased to see that she is travelling through the South Island. Tomorrow’s plan of attack is off to town early.
Friday 9th March 8pm
Another very good day in town. Up at ½ 9. Brian gave us a lift in to town. Pat was at the world trade centre, I was at Broadway + Brian picked up 7 dozen more T Shirts. Pat won the badge of employee of the day. I won it yesterday. Brian gave us his shirts and took the 7 dozen to Luke for printing. In the afternoon I got moved on by the police and went to help Pat. We virtually sold out of T shirts and only had Large sweats left, so we knocked it on the head at ½ 5. On the train home I wrote a letter to Sally suggesting she travels through Asia with me.
Tonight Brendan O’Shea phoned and he is coming around to pick up the 150 shirts he ordered. We made about $500 on that deal. We are going to the Inn tonight for a beer or two and tomorrow we are going to the Rockaway Irish Parade. Hopefully send Brendan to New Jersey or somewhere with his.
8.20 Just been watching the news about Britain and the Poll Tax. All the violence at the protests in London. All those people who ignored the miner’s situation. Exactly the same response by Thatcher. – Left Wing militant activists – so predictable.
Every paper will have the government line – one or two people will be highlighted as an example of the extreme left etc. Then they will fly the flag – how wonderful the police are – good councils etc. If there are any demonstrations on in Cardiff when I get home I will go. When the Poll tax was introduced in Scotland no one said a word. The people of Britain deserve it. They voted her in their droves and ignored the other protests. God I hate that woman – Ditch the Bitch.
Sunday 11th March 10am
Yesterday was the Far Rockaway parade – a bit of a result but not a resounding success. It was very, very cold. We got a taxi. – God that place is very, very rough. Pat went home early and I went on a lone mission to sell, sell, sell. I got waylaid in the rugby bar chatting to the ruggers. I got rid of all the Sweatshirts in the evening. Funny that the T Shirts were selling in Manhattan and we couldn’t get rid of sweats and the reverse was true yesterday. It poured down with rain last night so hopefully it would have cleared up for the Golden City St Patrick’s Parade, then on to Liam Brady tonight.
We have all taken back our initial investment of $400 each so everything now is profit. We have a guts full of sweats and 7 dozen T Shirts to pick up.
4.50 Just come back fro Garden city – a pleasantly sunny day – shifted about $450 worth of shirts – Virtually all T Shirts today, hardly any sweats.
I had a pleasant surprise of 2 letters waiting for me when I got home – One off Mary Carson’s – married on May the 26th – Invited to the wedding in Brighton – I will probably go. Also a letter off Catherine – she says the Poll Tax in Cardiff is £250 – called Thatcher a cow – good O’Brien political thought coming through from young Cath.
Brady tonight doesn’t look too promising.
½ 8 – Brian phoned up and Brady is defo out as they have the official ones. Pat is going to see the presentation tomorrow in Queens. I may go but I don’t really care. I gave Cathy a ring who I met yesterday and she is driving over to Long Beach for a beer this evening.
Just been watching American home videos on TV. Very funny – bound to catch on all over the world.
Monday 12th March 11.30
On the tube going to work on Wall St. Last night I took Cathy – or rather she took me in her car to The Inn and the Chauncey’s. She was telling me about the reason she can’t travel at the moment is because of her student loans (which they are bringing into Britain). She has to pay $500 a month for the next 10 years!!. Tonight I will stay in Manhattan and hopefully get to see Les Mis, but if that is not on the cards I might go to the flicks, perhaps to see My Left Foot – which has had rave reviews.
Weather is very mild and forecast is the same for next week so me and Pat have gone for T Shirts rather than sweatshirts. I am fairly optimistic and Pat is pessimistic because it’s a Monday and he has come to really hate flogging shirts.
Looks like I have missed the connection to Jamaica, so I want to get home for 2 – disadvantages of a big city. A fairly tedious day flogging t shirts – fairly cold. My biggest moan is I have developed a sore throat and it’s getting worse and worse and worse. Niggling doubts whether I will be fit for work tomorrow.
I am fairly bored with selling shirts myself. Give me a proper job. Cold and boring all day. Myself and Pat kept getting moved on. It looks like we will have to get more T Shirts, but we have too many sweatshirts – especially the large ones. I called for Cathy at her office and we got the tube to Les Miserables.
It was brilliant again. London, Sydney and now New York!!!
The show finished at 11, so now is the problem of getting home. I couldn’t really let Cathy go through the city on her own, so I had to go miles out of my way – I left her on the train with two stops to go in a “safe” neighbourhood. Another really nice girl who I may not see again because I am moving on – ships passing in the night + all that. One notable event in the theatre. When we were giving in our coats in to the cloakroom the woman in front of us had a fur coat + the bloke refused to take it – or anything with fur on – quite right as well.
I was hoping to get the 12.24 train but as it turns out I was lucky to get the 1.24 train as I went to the wrong stop and the next one is not till 3.24. I am absolutely knackered.
Tuesday 13th March 1pm
First really absolutely gorgeous day we have had and my throat is murder, I am a bit fluey – no real enthusiasm for doing anything so everything can just fester. In the diary is the Chieftans but I just don’t fancy going at all. I hope this doesn’t last for long. Last night we had a letter off Mike Ede.
3.30 – we phoned up Mike and had a chat for about 20 mins. He is very jealous of the things we are doing. – As it should be. We asked him about the poll tax and there were more huge riots in Islington. Mike couldn’t give a toss as he was paying rates anyway – He always was a Tory. I feel really, really rough.
Other world news is in Russia – Lithuania is trying to secede from the USSR and Gorbachev is gaining more power – some critics don’t trust him but at this moment in time I feel he is the strongest and best world leader in the world. Mandela would also be up there.
6.30 Siobhan has just come home from work with a quote from London Heathrow – Hong Kong on British Airways. Leaves Mon 26TH March 9.15 and gets in on Tuesday March 27th at 5.30pm – the price is £339 or $554.79. I am very tempted to take it as it would be fait accomple + I would have to do it. That is only one way so I would need money to get home.
Wednesday 14th March 9.20
Full cold now. – although my throat is better. Weather is absolutely georgeous. Me, Pat and Brian are all loading up to go to town. Hopefully to do well, but I think that tomorrow and Friday will be the big days. We have so many sweatshirts it’s untrue.
After yesterdays feeling of “I have got to go to Hong Kong” today I am having second thoughts. $600 to see a 7’s tournament – I would really love to go but the argument against going is that if I say travelled through Asia in April/May it would be in school time – when I was able to earn some cash doing some teaching. I could travel in August + I couldn’t gain any money from it at all. I think I will be offered a job in Gunnersbury because of the turnover of staff – I would be willing to do it till the end of term but there is no way I want to live in London. My main priority when I get home is learning to drive.
6.14 Sitting on the train on the way to Long Beach – Isn’t commuting fun. I feel rough as sin as my cold is right in my head now- I just want to go to bed. We did have a bit of a result today. I just scraped in winning “salesman of the day”. I got rid of 24 T Shirts and 4 sweats. We had grub in Houlihans which was quite pleasant for a change. Salad much better than Pizza’s and burgers. Tom and Brian worked. Tom has turned out to be a liability. He is never a salesman. On Saturday at Far Rockaway he sold 1 sweatshirt and then spent the $20 on a taxi home. He only sold 7 T shirts today but he was getting rid of them for $10 – so effectively after wages it was $8. I felt really tight only giving him $10 but we bought him grub and he never turned up till gone 1. This afternoon was really dead and after the gorgeous morning it clouded up and got really cold – I wouldn't be surprised if it poured down tonight. - Hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.
Later on the train – bored, been thinking all day of what to do when I get home – I would really enjoy being a rep on a travel agency for the summer. I will go to places like Top Deck, Thomas Cook and the infamous Club 18-30 and see what the crack is. It would be a good way to see Europe during the summer
11.30 – A quiet night in in which I spent most of the evening blowing my nose – god I feel rough and heavy headed. Weather outside is rain ad drizzle.

Papillon McCann

Thursday 15th March 10 am
A gorgeously sunny day – we are catching the later train because yesterday no one sold anything for the first hour. Weather forecast for Thursday Friday and Saturday is showers. Hopefully they wont materialise at all
10PM – an eventful day
I had an “arrest” assisted victory in the T Shirt seller of the day competition. Things were
going OK but at dinnertime Pat hadn't turned up which was unlike him as he is usually the first to finish. We waited and waited then me Brian and Tom went for a meal in Houlihans. I was flogging shirts where Pat usually is (outside the World Trade Centre) and a bloke bought a sweatshirt off me and said “You got away then?” I said “What do you mean”and he said that he saw Pat being arrested – What a story. Pat got charged with illegal street vendoring and resisting arrest. Apparently the police from the Port Authority came up to him and said “Have you got a license?” Pat said “Shall I move on 2 – Which is resisting arrest.
I went straight to the station and the cop said “I can guess whose friend you are. - I was wearing the Irish sweatshirt.
Luckily Pat had 1 phone call – Siobhan, whose dad has some clout and he was able to “Spring him”
Actually it wasn't funny at all – although we are all in hysterics now. Without Siobhan's dad Pat was facing at least a night in the Brooklyn detention centre. That would have been a nightmare – Just think of ll the real criminals in New York. Crack, murder etc. - Pat's fellow jailbirds were another vendor selling cuddly toys and some poor bugger who got caught jumping over the fence to get on the tube free.
Friday 16th March 10pm
All loaded up for what will hopefully be big day in town. It will be a worry if it is not. I will hopefully finish without being arrested Pat was up and out at 7 wearing a collar and tie for his court appearance at the Manhattan Criminal Court (for it his he). What a story to take back One of the main reasons he could have stayed overnight in the cells was because he is not a citizen. They took his photograph 4 sets of fingerprints (dabs) and read him his rights It goes without saying that terminates Pat's short T Shirt career. Weather is very pleasant so hopefully we wont get the forecasted rain. I am quite looking forward to the parade tomorrow, hopefully we wont have too much stuff to get rid of and I can enjoy it! We had a letter off Sharon saying that Colm knows about us being here and wishes us best of luck.
In the kitty is about $2200. I've virtually decided not to go to Hong Kong now – I will have to get some supply work I suppose. God just think that after nearly 2 years of traveling it's nearly all over What a laugh it's been.
One story of yesterday which was funny but nothing compared to Pat's escapades was Tom's efforts – He only sold 6 shirts yesterday so I gave him “my place” outside the bank in the afternoon. I think he sold 1 but after waiting for Pat to be released we walked past and he had left a sweatshirt hanging up.
11.30 On the train on the way back to Long beach. I suppose a very successful day. I took about $300 in the morning and $200 in the afternoon. I think Tom sold about 4 but he had a good meal at lunchtime. Pat went to court and all the coppers couldn't believe that anybody could be charged with anything so petty – he has to go in on Monday. They were recommending him to rip it up and leave the country.
In the evening me and Pat went to see the Pogues. McGowan was fairly sober and it was much better than in Auckland. I have got to get a Celtic Shirt. I did some flogging of shirts so I left for the encore. Big mistake as I only sold 6. Me and Pat were in the “scrum” most of the night – behaving like two 19 year olds at the Jam. Was a bargain at $10
Big day tomorrow cos of Paddies Day. I am really looking forward to it. We have only got sweatshirts to sell really. If Pat wouldn't have been arrested we would have done more T Shirts but we will get rid of what we have and see what we get.
Saturday 17th March St Patrick's Day
Big day today – we have $3000 in the kitty anyway so we are winning. Good news is that it is fairly cold so the sweatshirts should go well. Really bad news is I can't find my camera anywhere.
7.30 Absolutely shattered – sitting on the train on the way back from town with an empty bag which is brilliant. We all sold out but at times Siobhan Brian and Eileen were virtually giving them away. We got to town far,far too late – there were millions of people – you could hardly see the parade. Virtually every single person was wearing green. I doubt if I will see more impressive parade. It certainly beats the Lady Mary contingent at the Corpus Christi parade in Cardiff.
I phoned dad early in the day: big big surprise Scotland bet England 13-7 what a turn up for the books. I thought England would stick 30 on them. So Scotland win the Grand Slam.
I asked for the Wales, Ireland score and it is being played next week because all the Yanks had booked up the Dublin hotels because of St Patrick's day.
That is really brilliant now, because it means me and Pat can go to Ireland next weekend to see the game so we can tag another week onto our travels. I am really looking forward to going home now. I am absolutely shattered.
Monday 18th March 10.30
Just got out of my pit – god I was really tired yesterday – a fantastic parade. Home tomorrow – a few things to do. Haircut, new daps, new jeans. I have been looking at last years diary and it's coming up to Easter – hopefully St Peter's will be having a tour to somewhere in Britain over Easter. If they are – I am “in”. What a good couple of weeks to look forward to – what with the Irish trip and hopefully a tour.
1130 – I phoned Jacko and he looks like he is off to Australia in a month so I will have a weekend in London as well.
Finances – I have got $1800 to take home – I will have to get a job straight away – spend a few bob on clothe tomorrow. Ii had to pay a phone bill of $170 – nightmare
I phoned Madison Square Gardens to see what is on tonight and there is a hockey game – The Rangers are playing the Cannucks. I defo don't want the blue noses to win – it would be a a good crack to go.
11.30 Not too impressed with seeing my first Ice Hockey game. Rangers were beating Vancouver 4-2 with 6 minutes left. It was very fast which was impressive and the third goal was a gem. Also some really good scraps but something seemed to be missing. It is all the hype and the repetitive tapes going on and on and on and on. The crowd seemed to be very plastic, clapping twice in response to one tape and 3 times in response to another. The train was leaving Penn Station t 10.10 or 11.10 and both of us couldn't give a monkeys who won so we left before the game had finished. I can't remember any sport in which I had felt like that. I have started doing some packing but I still have a bit to do. This time tomorrow I will be on a plane and it will be nearly all over apart from Ireland which I am looking forward to.
Monday 19th March 1pm
Well; I am ll set for the off now. I am ll packed. I hope I haven't forgotten anything over here. I got myself a new pair of daps. A “NY” hat and had a “going home” haircut. Pat has gone to town to sort out his criminal activities at the Manhattan central court. The postman has been and nothing again. Sally said on the phone last week that she wrote me a letter so it will have to be sent on. I was to get jeans but couldn't find any. I am just waiting around for the flight.
3.30 Freezing. Pat got a $25 fine with no criminal charges - what a waste of time because of some jobs worth copper. Especially in a city like New York where there is so much crime. We went for grub and got Siobhan some flowers. Our flights have been reconfirmed and at the moment it is due to leave on time.
Just about to take off – luckily Brian gave us a lift to the airport – just as it was starting to rain.
So it’s goodbye to New York – my impressions are it is definitely a dangerous and dirty city. Every time you opened the papers there were stories about stabbing, murder and violence. They all seemed to have a common denominator – CRACK. – that stuff is so cheap. $5 a vial apparently.
So the UK beckons – very mixed feelings. Of course I can’t wait to see all the family again. It will be great to surprise them. On the negative side – what do I do now? I am bound to go back to teaching but I am entering a profession with no real hope. Teaching is, and will continue to be dragged downhill. Still it will be better than selling bloody T Shirts. I want to get my driving license very soon. It is to my shame that I haven’t got it yet.
Bad news on the plane is that it is fully booked so that there are no spare seats to spread out. I have got dad a litre of Glenfiddich and mum a litre of Bailey’s. – Pat will take the Bailey’s through customs for me. I will go to Gunnersbury for the morning before getting the bus home. I am quite looking forward to seeing SW lads again and Nolesy, Caroline, Jim, Bob etc. Hopefully I will be able to get in before school starts or otherwise I will interrupt their lessons. I am also sniffing for some supply teaching if I can’t get a job in the travel game over the summer.
¾ an hour to landing
This is a specially designed flight to completely bugger up your system. It’s only 5 hours so they mess around for the first 3 hours giving you drinks etc and just when you decide to go to sleep the captain says there is no point in going to sleep as there are only 45 minutes left. Pat has decided to go to Gunnersbury for the day as well for a laugh. Weather in London is supposed to be foggy. I want to go back to Australia already. They are waking up all the foreigners now to give them a landing card. All the poor British don’t have to fill them in. We have just got to pay zillions in Poll tax
Reading the guardian on the plane – so much has happened since I left. Poll tax and student loans. They are trying to do away with child benefit etc. She has got to go down in history as an evil bitch. God I despise that woman.
Other unbelievable changes have been in Eastern Europe directly attributed to Gorbachev, and of course the best thing Nelson Mandela has his freedom. Other events have been the increase in environmentalism.
Other increases is the size of my gut and the decrease of my pate (I am bored)
Just looking out of the window I can see some serious dawn taking place, it’s strange that we didn’t have to pay any poll tax at the airport on the way out.
10 mins to landing
We have just been told to stick on our seatbelts. Ridiculous really. Thinking of Billy Connolly’s advice. Can you imagine crashing into the side of a mountain, how would a seatbelt help? Everyone shouting together, “Go away nasty mountain”
Tuesday 20th March 5pm Newport Wales
I am writing this sitting on a bus, I caught the 3.10 bus from Heathrow and I am feeling very jetlagged. Pat came with me to Gunnersbury – we went for the morning. A pity that Caroline and Nolesy were on a field trip – had a chat to a few of the kids. Also had a word with Bob about supply teaching in 3 weeks. Had a brecky with Jim and I will go to London in 2 weeks with Jacko. Jim also invited me onto the water sports weekend with the kids in May. I am really looking forward to seeing mum and dad in ½ hour. I will get a taxi from the station – I have got a bottle of Glenfiddich and Bailey’s as presents. At Heathrow I saw Anthony Griffiths from college who was just flying back from Canada.

Thursday 22nd March
In another airport. Wasn’t too sure whether to get the plane or boat – the price of the flight was £123 return. Bargain – so we don’t have to suffer the sea
A great welcome I had when I got home- an obvious surprise for everyone. Even Peter was home. Ii went over the club and yesterday I visited the Nanna’s. Really nice to see them again. Again spent the evening in the club. On Tuesday the younger boys were leaving for Ireland and gave me the address where they were staying. Hopefully that’s where we will be. Yesterday talking to Eugene O’Brien and he gave me the gen on where to meet. I am really looking forward to this little trip.
Nicky Lia is home as well, only last week though. I also spoke to Martin Buckley. Dad gave me a ticket for the game so we only have to find one for Pat and we are set. I can’t see that being a problem.
10pm Me and Pat are not impressed with the plane.
10.05 Landing already. By the time we finished our snack and started our coffee we started to descend. We are equalizing. A bargain of a quick flight. We also had a ghost next to us so we had one and a half meals each.

Friday 23rd March – Dublin 2.30
Talk about having a lie in. Me and Pat just stirred. I looked at the travel clock and it said 9.30 – that’s New York time.
Last night we went to where the St Peters boys were staying and no joy because it was fully booked – she gave us the number of a place around the corner. It’s $10.50 a night so we are in. We just dumped our bags and went straight out. It was fairly dead for a Thursday night apart from the roaming drunk Welsh boys. I left my address book at home so I can’ contact the Woyans or Siobhan Devine. Unless I phone home.

Saturday 24th March 11.30
Match day – wooden spoon decider, Ireland V Wales. Yesterday we were due to meet all the St Peters boys in Abbey Mooney’s pub but it was being renovated. We went for a pizza for grub and then went to see “My left foot” in the flicks – brilliant film. I phoned Lorna and she turned up with her boyfriend at O’Donoghue’s pub – we also saw Sean who we last saw in Cairns. I was chatting to some of the boys from South Glam and also when nightclubbing saw Sweeney from London Welsh. I’m a bit hung over now. Taxi home cost £7 – the money is going through my fingers like a sieve.
Weather now is dry and windy =- rained last night. I am looking forward to the game, but it is between the worst two teams in the world.
In politics the Mid Staffs bye election was yesterday. Labour won by 7,000 overtaking a Tory majority of 14,000 because of the poll tax and Thatcher. On Wednesday is a programme on the Birmingham 6 – it is obvious that they are innocent.

Ireland 14 Wales 8

Monday 26th March 8.30
We are sitting at the airport. Pat is not that happy, we should have been here yesterday. In black and white it says on the ticket that it is the 24th but I remember in the travel agent saying you can’t get back till Monday night.!! About the match – Wales won the “Wooden spoon” for the first time ever. It was awful. It was a bad match played by two bad teams in appalling conditions.
Me and Pat called for the St Peter’s boys but most have them had gone to see the oldies playing. We went out with Leighton and Jenksey. First stop was Juries- They didn’t have a ticket but luckily we were given two. Touts were asking £25 for £6 tickets, but as always we managed to get hold of some. Before the game was a vicious hailstorm – the less said about the game the better – Awful.
After the game we went to Juries again and stayed virtually all night. Pat jipped out early.
On Sunday we got up late and decided to hitch up North. In hindsight we messed up because Pat suggested trying to get back a day early – If we had tried we would have realized the mistake on the ticket.
Anyway we had a lift to the airport and Pat suggested we hired a car. It was cold and wet and neither of us felt like hitching so we got a grey one for £46 a day. We stopped in Dundalk for grub and I phoned ahead for Siobhan.
We thought she lived in Strabane, but in fact it was up in the hills on a sheep farm.
On the way up at the border we were stopped by the army. Where are you going? Why? Phone number, check passport etc
We had a coffee and grub in Siobhan’s and she took us to the most awful come live band ever. It took about an hour to get there. This bloke had a vest on and a cucumber down his trousers. – an Ulsterman trying to be an American is not very entertaining.
Tuesday 27th March 1pm
Well the fitness has started again. I went for a short run around the rec when I got up. Yesterday worked out ok after all. We got on an Air Lingus flight and Kevin picked us up at the airport – went to the club for a beer to finish it all off. Now I have to start looking for a job of some sort. – I will phone around a bit. I also have to sort out my CV and also get my driving license.
11.30 pm A fairly uneventful day – as it will be until I get some kind of work. I got an application form for driving – that has got to be a priority and saw St Peter’s beat St Joe’s.
The film “My left foot” which me and Pat saw won two Oscars.
In the evening I phoned Jacko and he may not be going to London this weekend so I would stay in Cardiff.
In the evening I went to the club talking to Billy, Skinner and Paul Wade which I suppose cancels out my run. Tomorrow’s run will be around the lake and I may be playing Peter in badminton or tennis.
Wednesday 28th March
A very boring day – up at 10 and went for a run. Only went as far as the flower gardens again – weather freezing and a touch of rain. Peter was due around at 2 – I went to see if he was coming and locked myself out.
I phoned around and it looks like I won’t be a courier on the continent because all the places would have been filled by Christmas. I haven’t got a clue what to do for the summer.
I phoned Bob and I have got 1 days’ supply teaching next week and 3 days the following week.
I went over Peter and Marie’s house in the evening watching the box “Who bombed Birmingham” – all about the Birmingham 6 – so obvious that they are innocent.
Friday 30th March
A couple of quiet days. Yesterday evening I went for a drink with Martin Buckley. When I went to the club I was the only one there, tonight I am off for a drink with JT to discuss some business – and to tell each other we have been to Australia. I am also off to the club tomorrow to see Hungry. I phoned up Chrissy Judd and it is ok for me to travel up to Gravel Road on Sunday. Weather is quite pleasant. I have been running every day. I have an invitation to Mary’s wedding in Rottingdean on May 28th. I also had the box of T Shirts I sent over by sea mail.
Saturday 31 March 12.43
Night over the club last night. JT never turned up. Not happy at all with him. I will see him tomorrow morning. I am expecting to play for St Peter’s today as Adrian Carpinini has cried off. Gorgeously sunny day out.
Sunday April 1st
Up to London today – my poor feet are killing me from yesterday’s rugby. We lost and I was really, really unfit. I had a few five yard runs but mobility in the second half was nonexistent. Because it was my first game of the season both big toes have painful blisters on them. I went to the club in the evening and Hungry and Sean turned up – had a few beers and a gorgeous curry. We called over Phil Harry’s but he wasn’t in. I n the Hong Kong 7’S Wales got to the semi’s after beating Aussie 16-10 and then lost to Fiji 34-6. I would have loved to have been there.
I will be getting a bus to London about 3 O’clock. One worry is I don’t know where my card is for the bank. Dad gave it to me before I went to Ireland but I don’t know where it is.
On the bus – lots of drama on the M4. We just stopped and two cars were pouring with flames – completely gutted. On the side of the road was a bloke with blood all over his face and a woman not looking too clever in the recovery position – Just before the bridge.
10.15 I arrived at Gravel Rd just as Chris was getting back from Oxford with his Jock girlfriend. I am crashing in Jane’s room as she has cracked up and is in hospital. Paula phoned and will be over on Tuesday. I also gave Christina a ring from camp in the States. In the evening we went over the Barmy Arms by the river. I suppose that I am looking forward to doing a bit of supply tomorrow- that will last about a day.
4.30 am Very little sleep tonight. I have been thinking again of what to do in the future. Now this is only a thought but I think it is definitely worth following up. When in the USA you could definitely see the market for quality Celtic goods. The Celtic connection shop suggested I started a mail order firm. Just get the suppliers and then make a mail order booklet of Welsh goods and bob’s your uncle. What I could do is over Easter really go for it and try and find all the Welsh goods suppliers and then go to the States in the summer on BUNACAMP and then try and set it up with the “Welsh connection”. It would be a real challenge and could be a real long term earner. It could be anything from slate statues of miners, Wales / USA badges and T shirts and sweatshirts. I would follow the Celtic connexion lead and everything would be made in Wales. I don’t know how much it would be to set up but I suppose I could ring the WDA for advice with the catalogue – I honestly at the moment feel it could work really well . After setting up the outlay wouldn’t be that much because I would be in the middle. Basically I am combining what I saw in the Celtic Connection and Mark O’Brien with his MONSTA mail order. I could write to Mark for advice The thing is some of the T shirts and sweatshirts I could make myself as well. I will phone Pat tomorrow - - I have got to decide if I really want to do it very soon because if I do it it will mean not applying for a full time job this September – because I will be running around the USA looking for Celtic Connections in all the big cities – it would also mean writing off to summer camp and doing something useful during the summer. I could even set it up and get Kevin, Peter or Cath to start sending stuff off. I would probably need to open a post office box number. Teaching is obviously not the profession to be going into in the 1990’s. I want to travel more and this could be a really good opportunity. At least if I had a go and failed it would show I was doing something. Another thing I would have to do is phone someone like Chris Paykel and find out how much to ask Bob for in wages this year. So at the moment my thoughts are dragging me to the USA this summer.
5.45am Still can’t get to sleep. The more I think about it the more I have to go for it. – Basically that’s all I can lose is a summer in the States. I would have to spend my summer travelling visiting different shops. I remember in Portland a “British shop” selling all sorts of tacky things – I am sure that if I took over examples of different pins, key rings etc they would go down like a bomb – especially the Welsh / USA badge. I think it would be a real challenge. I can see myself going into shops with one of each – taking orders and then getting someone to send them over to me from Wales. – Once I have their order I have their names and it could be a long term thing. “Just Welsh Ltd” sounds ok to me. When I get home I will see the National Bank of Wales or the Principality building soc and see which is the best to go for. At the beginning I could just use the gift shops then go for direct mailing, The great thing is I could still carry on a teaching career or if needs be any other career and work from home. In the summer holidays I could bugger off to another country and do the same thing there. What a way to visit Australia again or NZ To be fair in OZ there are only about 5 or 6 cities – things Welsh would probably go down a bomb in places like Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne etc.
I have basically definitely decided to go for it after a very sleepless night – I am going to be shattered in the morning. Basically time wise is looking good. 1ST April today – If I do a summer camp it will be about June 10th – that gives me enough time to do supply work and earn some cash and also sort everything out this end – that is get in touch with the bank and suppliers. Unlike the T Shirts I want this to be a fairly long term thing so I will want to set it up as a business and pay tax etc on the profits and make it legal. I may then be able to get tax relief on flights to the States etc. I will have to find out. What a really good laugh this will be if it turns out ok. I’ve got a good feeling because the Celtic connection was really going out of its way to get all Celtic goods in but it only had one pin. I must be aware that the number of Welsh descendants is nothing like the Irish but I am really sure I am filling a gap in the market. Again the risk is not that huge because once I set it up I only buy what is ordered. Outlay will be getting examples of all the goods though. Probably get a loan or apply for a grant
Monday 2 April – continued – really! 11pm

Fairly tired because of the lack of kip last night and my little session on the weights and the run after school. I saw Jim on the train into school. I suppose I really enjoyed it because it’s nice to see everybody again but I definitely feel that as a job you are banging your head against a brick wall even when you have total control. (Which I did, as I knew the kids – Gunnersbury is hardly an inner city school) and knew the subject – I was taking Caroline’s classes and the kids were great. There are still problems – for example the Geography dept. has run out of text books and lined paper because there is no money left. – How dare the bastards in government let education fall to this level – it is totally dispiriting.
As I said I went for a run. The weather today was awful. I will not teach Wednesday because of the NAS strike and I won’t cover. Bob tried to put me in a position.
This evening I made a big chicken dinner and phoned Jacko who is coming down on Friday – defo. Good news from him is that he has been accepted into Oz.
Bad news from Pat is that Anne has dumped him. – I know I will wind him up in the future but I am really, really gutted for him because he was really keen on her.- He is obviously not going to Indonesia now.
I have decided not to go back to camp and set up that business “Just Welsh”. I will have a crack anyway. Pat is keen to go as well. I phoned Steve Kellogg and I have got to get in touch with Yonce – it would be a great summer if I could get Pat in as well.
I hit the Blucher for a couple of beers in the evening. On Wednesday I have got to set up the Middlesex 7’s T shirt. Tomorrow I have got to ring Camp America.
Wednesday 4TH April 11 pm
A day off today because of the NAS strike – Bob Williams asked me to work, but I will not cover a Union strike. At the moment I am not working tomorrow or Friday, so I am hoping for a phone call. I can’t really afford not to work.
I didn’t waste today as I did some running around trying to set up a T-shirt for the Middlesex 7’s – I will use a Twickenham firm.
This evening I went for a curry with Chrissy Judd – very nice but not the healthiest of food. I didn’t go for a run today. Weather fairly present but freezing cold now
Big news is still dominated by the unfairness of the poll tax and also the prison riots in Manchester’s Strangeways prison.
Yesterday I was having some doubts about setting up for the USA again in the summer, but I have to do something to break out of the vicious circle of teaching – the poll tax cuts will mean even more cuts in education. There is no way you can win. I phoned up Bob Johnston who said his camp was full but if anything came up he would let me know.
Thursday 5th April 9am sunny but cold
Not too happy a man but I suppose that is what supply teaching is all about. The phone hasn’t rang so I won’t be doing any supply teaching today – to be honest I am fairly surprised. I was up at 7 – showered and shaved, ironed my shirt and waited – very tedious, relieved by watching tele for the first time. Parliament – very entertaining.
Still very unsure what to do in the future. There is no way I could teach full time in London. Supply teaching is not guaranteed – I’m not sure whether I will get the ok to
go to the USA for camp. I have got to give this “Only Welsh” thing a go
2 pm Bob phoned about 10 so I have got work tomorrow. Good because it’s boring not working. I also phoned up Spongy and ii am doing soccer coaching for the Bees from Tues 17th – Friday 20th. So that’s a few bob over the holidays. Holidays, that’s a joke after 2 years away.
Next term will probably be a nightmare for supply- I have made my first tentative steps towards my “Just Welsh” venture. I phoned up the Welsh office and I am having a brochure sent to me which will arrive in a couple of days - we will have to see.
Friday 6th April 10am – Sunny but cold
At the moment sitting in the second lesson in Gunnersbury. Very easy work.
In the Times Ed is a job in Cardiff High School. I may write off for it. I could still go to the States in the summer but I wouldn’t be able to travel around at the end.
Tonight I am playing in the staff v pupils match – we will be lucky to raise a side by the look of it. We will hit the Globe after. Jim has done the cartoon for the Middlesex 7’s shirt. It is really good. I have got to decide on colours now.
Last night we went over the Blucher. Phil Driscoll and Bob Wade were flying to LA so over the pub was me, Keith, Chris Phil and Bob and also Christine Wade and Angela Nugent – we spent most of the night playing “Killer” in darts.
I have got to admit I am in two minds whether to apply for the Cardiff High job. My present feeling on teaching is it’s a mugs game and I can’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life. What I know about Cardiff High is that it has a fairly good reputation – being on the “right” side of town – i.e. not Ely or Llanrumney – a bit of a prod school though.
Monday 9th April 11.30 sunny but cold
Supervising a 5th year class in Gunnersbury. An enjoyable morning with the 1st years playing soccer. Some real swine’s down there though.
Friday’s game of soccer was a real disaster. We lost 5-1 but the best laugh was Dave O’Hanlon’s own goal. I was hopeless – hardly the slinkiest footballer in the world. My poor feet were really blistered because of the hard ground and my boots. Hobbling around like a good ‘un. Onto the Globe later. Jacko turned up but Jim let us down. Paula and her mates turned up so we went for a curry.
Saturday was up early and a train to Staines and had a lift off Bob Williams to the Gayts. I played – believe it or not on the wing in my daps because my feet were really painful. A boring position to play in. I had 1 tackle and 3 touches of the ball. Give me the forwards any day. Back to the club then a lift to Twickenham and onto the Orange Tree. – A good laugh with Jacko ripping into Jim’s girlfriend about losing her Welsh accent – a curry to finish the evening again.
Sunday was spent all day spent festering in front of the TV watching soccer. Liverpool lost to Crystal Palace 4-3 and Man U drew with Oldham 3-3 in the FA cup semi finals. Ski came out with us and got absolutely legless. Out in to Twickenham in the evening.
Monday 11th April
11am supply teaching. Jim has nearly finished the Middlesex 7’s shirt – it looks really good. As ever I am very confident.
It doesn’t look that optomistic about supply teaching for next term. Hoggy reckons there is little available.
Tonight I’m off for a meal with Nolesy and Caroline because it’s Nolesey’s last day in Gunnersbury
Tuesday 12th April 1.00
Up at 9 fairly hungover because of last night – quite a good crack. I went to Brentford for Nolesey’s going away do. At the pub it was a real bargain as there was a Guinness promotion on and the Guinness was free. I couldn’t believe it – so we were wellying them down. We went for a meal in an Italian – we being about 12 of the Gunnersbury staff – Most of them I didn’t know but quite a good chance to get to know them. Quite impressed with Louse and Jane!!
I was going to get a bus to Cardiff this morning but I wasn’t too hot so I will grab a lift off Chrissy Judd tonight so it looks like I will be getting home about 10.
In Gunnersbury at the moment ii am “Golden Boy”, but whether that is reflected in supply work next term has to be seen. Graham and Roger were pestering me to apply for the Geography job which is going. They are also hinting I could get an allowance A. Which is worth £800 and I would be second in department. I can’t see myself living in London at all bnext ter m – it would be a definate step backwards. On the positive side I could move straight back into Gravel Rd and it is obviously a good school. I am applying for a job in Cardiff High School, so we will have to see how that goes as well.
I would prefer to be teaching than just doing supply because supply is no challenge at all, although it is a doss.
This morning I went to the T shirt company in Twickenham and had a word with the boss Dennis. He is prepared to come in on the morning of the 7’s. I ordered 11- at roughly £4 each, so I have obviously got to find £400 for the little enterprise. I am really confident especially now that I have seen Jim’s cartoon. I am still waiting for JT to get in touch, if he doesn’t sod him – he has had his chance.
I also had a word about the Irish T shirts – I have got to find a good map of Ieland again from the library in the week.
I gave Heather a bell and invited her down for Monday. – She wasn’t over keen which was a pity. I will be working for the Bee’s on Tuesday. Jacko got £104 for the weeks work
Sunday 15th April
A fairly cold and wet day. Last night wentt o the Albert and the Kiwi bar – ii was knackered so came home early. God knows what happened to Pat – he was supposed to come here but never turned up. He wasn’t at Paula’s when I rang.
Yesterday I played for the 4ths against some Newport side. Peter and Kevin played as well – the first time we had played together, so we got dad to take a photo – another one for the growing album, we won the game. I am so unfit.
Yesterday morning I had a phonecall from Jacko – virtually demanding £200 each from me and Pat for using his design in the USA – I am furious with him for quite a few reasons. I really put myself out to make sure he had a hooded top and a pogues T shirt as a thank you. We had phoned him up to tell him what we were doing and ii wanted in on the whole thing at the beginning. He had agreed and then didn’t contact me when I phoned. His figure of £200 is preposterous as well as we only made £1300 after throwing in £500. Unfortunately I cant go out for a drink with him on Thursday. Rather than wishing him best of luck – it will degenerate into an argument. Typical Jacko trying to take the high moral ground. Also it means that if I do well on the Middlesex 7’s T shirts I will be unable to go to his wedding in Oz as I hoped as there will be bad feeling. Sod im if he wants to be like that.
On Friday I saw that in the paper that the Welsh Anti – Apartheid group had got hold of some tickets for the Mandela concert. I got 2 and gave Heather a ring, but she said no as she is studying. Hopefully I wont be stuck with a ticket. It would be great to hear Nelson Mandella speak on Monday. The only problem is the forecast for the weather is not looking hot at all. It will have to be an early start tomorrow morning. I will take some stuff up to London with me.
11.30pm really tired – I’ve been playing on the computer all day – really enjoyed this puzzle- all about being in some maze and working out how to escape bloody guards with numbers on their hats, which keep appearing. I phoned Paula and she is driving me up to London at ½ 8 – to ½ 9 so I will be up early. I will take a bit of stuff with me. I started a letter to Sally but I am too tired to finish it. I can’t find my cheque book anywhere now. I am hopeless like that.
Tuesday 17th April
My admiration for that man couldn’t be higher. I wouldn’t have missed Mandela’s speech and especially the reception he got for the world. The concert as a musical event was a real disappointment though, and Wembley is such a pain in the neck to get away from. Mandela slagged off Thatcher’s view on Apartheid and said she wasn’t welcome in South Africa. She being as pig headed as only she can be has said that she will go whenever she wants. I HATE HER.
Today I did some soccer coaching for the Bees – really enjoyable – a real doss – a class of 2 in the morning. And worked in Twickenham in the afternoon – a bargain. Tomorrow is Hounslow and Twickenham. Start at 10 finish at 4 – nowt on the box at all tonight.
Main news of course is Mandela but also that the NUT is voting to strike again. I agree with them. I t is looking so depressing that 20,000 teaching jobs could be axed because of Poll Tax rates – unbelievable. What is the point of staying in this job – we get NO support at all.
Wednesday 18th April 8.20
What a lovely job starting work at 10 means. I have got a good hour to myself to do the odds and ends – weather today is perfect – really sunny but I suppose it will be nippy. Had a letter off Sally this morning which was quite pleasing. She will be back at the end of May
9.10 Weather changed – freezing cold and wet now
11.30 went to Hounslow Town. No one there – so I came home and had the morning off. I am now running around trying to finance 30 Irish T shirts. I took out £50 from the bank and then found my $US travelers cheques – a pleasant surprise in that I have got $340 rather than the expected $200
Thursday 19th April 6.30 pm
Up at ½ 8 – had an enjoyable day doing soccer coaching, Bus to Hounslow and did 2 hours there. 3 other coaches – loads of kids – I then went to the T shirt printers and the bloke virtually talked me out of making the Irish shirt. In hindsight I feel I should have gone on with I – in fact I probably still will in the future. That cut my dinner down to only ½ hour.
I had to leg it to Leatham house for my afternoon course. A good laugh but we had a nightmare with the weather. First rain, then hail then torrential hail.. All the kids were freezing and when the thunder and lightening came I dragged them all inside. – we were drenched. Home then showered. Wrote a letter to Sally and also watched live Today in Parliament – really entertaining. On about Hong Kong today.
Dad phoned and the application for Cardiff High is on the way.
Teaching is really ridiculous at the moment because of Poll Tax capping of “overspending councils” (by the most devious of criteria) by the govt means that cuts have to be made of teachers. The profession (that’s a laugh) is already on its knees and all this is a kick in the teeth.
Pat phoned and put it into perspective. He got paid £240 last week for 4 days and e said he did bugger all. I was pleased to scrape in £100 over half term.
Tonight is Jacko’s last night. He is on his high horse at the moment so hopefully the night wont generate into an argument. He is being ridiculous. Last day teaching soccer tomorrow, party on Saturday – uncertain about work next week.
Friday 20th April 8.30
Up at ½ 8 – struggle as it’s quite cold out. I was kipping in Keith’s room because Janes’ mum and her brother were in “my“ room – cleaning out all of Jane’s stuff and will be here over the weekend. – Job application for Cardiff High school, which I have got to have in the post by Sunday as the closing date is Tuesday. Also had a letter off Sue McCahill? – kiwi who knew Siobhan – asking could she crash in Cardiff on Sunday. I’ve just phoned up the London number se gave and told them I am in London.
Work this morning in Hounslow – good crack. Got paid £104 for the weeks work. Home then onto the afternoon work coaching in Twickenham. No work now to look forward to.
Paula has just arrived from the Lake District so I will be going for a beer with her tonight and anyone else who is around.
Saturday 21st 9.10
What a laugh – up about 9 Lovely day. Phoned up Gayts for a game. No answer till ½ 12 – all teams meeting at the club at 1. I ended up playing for the youth of all sides and at number 8.!!I couldn’t believe it. For a lineout in the first couple of minutes I charged down a kick and ran 10, 15, 20 – no – half the pitch (10 yards) to score under the posts. We drew 10-10. I really enjoyed it. Bus to Twickenham and now off to Chis’ girlfriends – Karens party in Hounslow. In the youth side were 3 kids in the 5th form. They were calling me “sir” in the warm up.
Sunday 22nd April 11pmNot a well man at all because of last nights party which finished about4 O’clock. Woke up to the sound of Rupert and Claires kids arriving. Rebecca, Sally and Kate – 6,5 and 2. God what a handful – they were really well behaved but were just being kids – LOUD and enthusiastic about life. I was feeling hung over and looking for Pat’s “Bucket of Ice cream” to put in my face. They were showing us things, jumping on mre etc. I had an hours sleep in the afternoon and also threw up.
Janes mum left so I can move into her room – at the moment all my stuff is dumped there. I will right it tomorrow.
The afternoon was spent in front of the box watching Cardiff Devils beat Murrayfiekl Racers on penalties in the Ice hockey cup final. Really exciting stuff. That is why Clare and Rupert were in London.
We have just had a curry and are watching the killing fields.
I spent some time on my application form for Cardiff High school. First job tomorrow is to send it off. It could be that someone else is lined up for it.
I haven’t got any work lined up for next week. I will get that Irish shirt out – against the advice of the printer. I am still very excited about the Middlesex 7’s T shirt – I need some sellers.
Monday 23rd April
Up at ½ 8 and filled in the application form for Cardiff High – posted it off so I will have to sit and wait now. I had a shower and organized and hoovered the room.
I gave Jim a ring – he came round and we ended up in Hounslow and I spent £109 on a new bike. A few accessories dragged it up to £130. I am quite pleased with it and as long as I don’t lose it – it will pay for itself over the next couple of months. Lock number 5242. T shirt for the Amsterdam 7’s – huge event and he says nowt on sale. If I do well on the Middlesex 7’s I will defo do it. It clashes with the Old Gayts dinner – but that will go out of the window. A fairly pleasant day, but turned nasty just as I was about to bike home.
9.45 – festering night – Chris came home and offered me a salad. Bit of a daft question really. Good night on the box highlighted by Alf Garnett arriving in Australia (Been there). Karen called around on her bike so that the kid I am I raced her around the block – she, daft as a brush raced as well.
Tomorrow ii am going for a round of golf. My handicap is I can’t play.
Tuesday 24th April 10.15
Up at 8. Went for a run – took half hour to the shot tower – quite a pleasant run, but really hurts – after a shower it felt brilliant though. I have got to get into it every day. Chris phoned and is all in for going for another run tonight. I am all for it.
Played golf all afternoon with Jim and Steve Curry. Really enjoyable although my golf leaves a lot to be desired. My worst fault was topping the ball so that it only went 10 yards. I went around in 128 on a 68 par course. I had to borrow golf shoes and I trudged along a huge bag on all 18 holes, but only used the number 7 iron and the putter. “I think I will use a no. 7 on this one”
On the last 3 we were playing for beer and the Woosnam came out in me.
Wednesday 25th April
A fairly quiet day – school is due back tomorrow, I don’t really expect any supply work. I will phone Gumley and a few others to get work.
I phoned up Richmond council and they don’t give out hawkers licenses at all for outside Twickenham. So, it will have to be illegal work again! On T shirts I went around the printers and ordered 30 Irish shirts and 7 sweats. Don’t really know when I can collect them, hopefully by this time next week. The big news of the day has been the ending of the roof top protests by the Strangeways prisoners. I was quite enjoying it to be honest. There were 5 left and they were trapped – they came down on a hoist.
I didn’t do much today. I went up Jim’s on my bike – my excuse to use it.
9.30 Brilliant news – Bob Williams just phoned and said that I should come in tomorrow. John Bellamy maybe out till Wednesday so that’s a few days work. Hopefully if the weather is fine I will cycle in. Nigel Griffiths phoned this evening – I may go out for a beer with him on Sunday.
Thursday 26th April 10am
Up at 7 and cycled into school for the first time. Quite a pleasant ride nipping in and out of traffic. It took about ½ hour, so I got into school quite early at 8.10. Bob asked me was I available all term , so ii said yes – hopefully that will mean loads of work. We will see. On the supply side it looks like I am the only supply teacher in. Golden boy see. Ii am sitting in lesson 2 with 2nd years – no work set and they can’t get to their lockers so it’s a sit quietly and talk amongst yourselves lesson.
Friday 27th April 12 noon
Up at 7 – cycled into school – very pleasant although nippy in the shade. The supply teaching is boring but better than sitting down at home.
Yesterday afternoon there was a post office robbery in Brentford – a bloke got shot in the head near Enfield Rd – near Dave O’Brien’s house. I went to the cabbage patch with Juddy and Tim Regan at the alternative comedian night – quite a good laugh really. Two of the comedians were really good but the others were awful.
I got a Times Ed and there is nothing going in Cardiff. Gunnersbury had advertised their Geography job, but no need to panic I suppose. I phoned yesterday about the T shirts and they said it could take up to 3 weeks. That would be a nightmare.
3pm – good news off Bob Williams. He has given me work till half term and there is a possibility of work after that – that is quite a relief actually because it is so regular. I may be doing some English teaching as well. Get a timetable sorted out on Monday. I will have to have a “word” with Bob about half term if Ireland beats England, because I will be wanting to nip over to Italy.
Sunday 29th April
A festering sort of a day – spent a couple of hours burning the old fence. Then watched the soccer on TV. Yesterday I played for the Old Gayts youth (Peter Pan) O’Brien – I only played a half because Justin O’Bierne had to have a half. It was boiling. We bet Old Millhillians – had quite a few beers after. It really is a good clubhouse. I sold my first Middlesex 7’s T Shirt – by cheque. So I was pleased with that one.
I phoned up Liz Charlton yesterday. I will see her next week – she is now working selling computers and she asked me if I was interested. I said I would think about it, so she will bring some info with her when I see her next week.
Monday 30th April 11pm – sunny
Up at 7 – Jim cycled around and called for me, we biked into school. He is having loads of stick because London Welsh got relegated on Saturday (again). I have been given a bit of a time table. I am still uncertain on what to do in the future. I don’t want to teach in London! The thing with Liz and computers would be good but it would mean staying in London. I haven’t heard anything about the Cardiff job. I am not worried at all, to be honest I can hardly give a monkeys.
I am quite excited about the Middlesex 7’s T shirt. At the moment everything is going ok apart from the fact I have no people to sell them for me.
I have virtually sussed out the Irish shirt if Ireland beat England in June. The front can be an Irish player whacking an English player on the arse with a shillelagh. The back can be the headlines of all the papers the next day. Tonight I have got to do my washing and also get a pair of swimming trunks and goggles so that I can start swimming every day after school again.
3.10 sitting with 4th years- to be honest I am bored stiff. The kids are not motivated and nor am I.
Tuesday 1st May
An absolutely gorgeous sunny day, sitting around doing supervision all day. Billy Bragg is playing in the Town and Country pub so I may/will organize a few people to go and see him. It should be a good crack.
Last night I stayed in till about 9 and then we went to the Prince Blucher. I went for a swim after school and did about 30 laps. – I will try and increase it by two every day. There were quite a few little kids getting in the way, so I may try the Brentford pool today. My goggles were hopeless.
2pm sitting with double 1st years – fairly boring. I would rather be teaching – crossed my mind a couple of times about teaching here next year, but I doubt it.
Thursday 3rd May v sunny
Up at 7 and cycled into work – very enjoyable but too much traffic. A full day of babysitting lined up. Keith phoned this morning and said he may get a job in Cardiff so he would be moving out soon and we would have to get a new flat mate. A Swedish Au Pair would be ideal.
Last night I went over the Albert with Chris and his boss – quite a nice pub. Saw a few people I know. Renee – who used to do soccer coaching for Brentford.
Today is a polling day for the local elections – hopefully the Tories will get a real pasting as predicted. The important councils look to be Wandsworth, Westminster and Bradford. They are all the “flagships” – The poll tax continues to dominate the news. A widower got a bill for his late wife of £1.98 – that represented the two days she was alive in the financial year. It really is scandalous.
In world news Mandela is meeting De Klerk for talks on apartheid – the first time since 1921 when the ANC was formed.
I went swimming yesterday 32 lengths – the goggles were ok as I tightened them up. I prefer the Brentford pool but it doesn’t open till 4.
Pat phoned and the good news is that he will be coming to France on the water sports holiday. He will chuck the cheque in the post. I am still considering whether to make the Irish shirt in big numbers for the Irish festival in Finsbury Park in June. It clashes with the France trip – it would involve flying home a day early but could be a good earner. I am still thinking of going to Amsterdam for the 7’s. I will have to get the teams off Jim. I am really relying on the Middlesex 7’s T shirts to go really well. I still need a few people to work for me. Hopefully Catherine and Barry won’t drop out.
There are a couple of lads a couple of doors down who may be interested. I will pop in and ask them tonight.
6.20 Poor old Pat is out of the game because there is no room for him on the trip. If one of the kids drops out he is in.
I have been for my swim- very enjoyable – I have got to keep it up for fitness sake.
Thinking again on the future I would love to go travelling again and the rugby world cup would be a good crack. Cardiff High hasn’t even taken up my references. I will have a chat to mum about it over the weekend. I know she defo wants me back in Cardiff. I could try the Gunnersbury job that’s going. The benefits are that I have a flat in a reasonable area at a fairly good rent for London. The Gunnersbury staff are really good and although it’s hard work I get a real kick out of teaching. I know all the crap that goes with it, but simply, I enjoy it. Negatively I will be in the same school living in London. The financial aspect of teaching will be overcome by flogging shirts, which I also get a kick out of. If Keith moves out Mackers can move in.
Friday 4th May 2 pm sunny
Up at 7 I have got the TV in my room now – watching the local election results – a bit disappointing – Labour won 300 odd seats but the Tories have got a victory in keeping Wandsworth.
Weather today is boiling. I biked into school and have had all upper school which is great. At dinnertime I cycled to the bank and took out £500 on access for the Middlesex 7’s T shirt – hopefully the weather will be like today.
Home tonight by train – the roads will be packed solid – should be a good laugh – home for mum’s birthday – 50!

Sunday 6th May on train to London 5.30
An eventful day yesterday. I went to the cup final with Peter – out then with the family for a meal and the house got burgled. The weather is and has been gorgeous. The cup final was won by Neath who beat Bridgend- really close game. Second row got sent off for stamping.
We then had a wild goose chase to Rhoose for a meal but it was fully booked, so we had a meal in Whitchurch. It was ok but when we got back ( me via the club – chatting to Karen – Jims missus – what a nightmare) the home had been burgled and the video was stolen. – Dad, ever subtle blamed Cath, who was in tears. They had got in through the window, nicked the video but the security in the house prevented the tele or anything else going. That must be the third time the house has been robbed. It makes you think – especially with the house in Twickenham – I have got about £700 lying in cash in the house and the front door has a dodgy lock and its is also easy to get in the back.
I had a word with mum about staying in London – she was not happy about it saying I haven’t really tried, but I can see myself going for the Gunnersbury job. – it was in today’s Universe. I phoned up Pat and told him that Keith’s room in Gravel Road was up for grabs – he is thinking about it. If Mackers was moving in I would defo stay in the smoke for a year. If I do stay in London I’ve got to really work hard on a few different shirts and “use” London for my advantage for example there is a Kiwi tour of England in cricket now on, The kangaroo Aussie Rugby League side are coming over. The rugby world cup and the soccer world cup. I have got to find out about opening a PO Box number and have a word with Karen about opening some kind of business. I have got to learn to drive.
If I go legit I can afford to advertise. Next week’s shirts have to go really well. My first thing will obviously pay back the £500 I owe on access. I have also got to decide whether to fly back early from France and take 100 or maybe 150 shirts to the Irish festival. It will hopefully finance my jaunt to Italy in the summer, if Ireland win. I’ve got to keep my cards more to my chest.
Monday 7th May – Bank Holiday
The sides have qualified for the Middlesex 7’s next Saturday so ii can now get started. Good news is London Welsh have qualified and Jim wants me to put London Welsh on the back and I will have a definite order of 30.
I got back yesterday and went to the Barmy Arms – a gorgeously sunny evening. Chris was there with his mates from Orleans – I was not impressed at all. Typical “pants on your head” rugby boys. I would not have been happy if I would have had a tray on my head.
I phoned Jim this morning and I have to go and see about the back..
Bank Holiday today so no work, a festering day
Tuesday 8th May
Sitting with 4th years in lesson 1 – they are ok. I have phoned through to the printers and gave them the list.. I am hoping to pick them up tomorrow but expecting it to be more like Thursday.
I didn’t do much yesterday but thankfully I managed to squeeze in a run. Me and Chris went to the Blucher in the evening. I gave Liz Charlton a ring and I am seeing her tonight in the Orange Tree. Jim’s idea of making them for London Welsh has not come to fruition yet – he is going to fax through the design just in case it is too aggressive. If there is an order for 30 I can get the money up front £240 – I would reinvest it and get 30 more. So really I wouldn’t have taken any risk.
Lesson3 Jim phoned through and they aren’t prepared to put the money up front – doesn’t really matter as they will hopefully buy one anyway Lesson 4 supply teaching is really boring. I have now got 3rd years – I have set them up with work, now keeping them quiet and waiting for the bell I suppose. I am definitely grateful for the work though.
Wednesday 9th May lesson 2
Went for a swim at Richmond pool last night – then for some grub and over for a pint. She had to get back to Redbridge which is a real nightmare, especially as all I had to do was dive on a bus back to Twickenham.
I have just phoned up the T shirt place – he is now printing the fronts and they have to make the back so I’ve got to give him a bell about ½ 3 today – hopefully I can pick them up at 5.
5pm – as expected I have to pick up the shirt tomorrow. I had a phone call from Bernie Norris – she and her two friends will be working for me on Saturday. I suppose I will have enough now with Catherine and Barry, Kieron from school and Ryan and his mate – hopefully the weather will be ok.
I spent the afternoon covering an exam – computing in the design block – fairly boring, but better than standing in the hall all day.
I paid Bob £10 for my ticket for the Old Gayts – Bob has been asked to be the coach of London Welsh – if he takes it, he will let the Gayts down a bit but it has got to be tempting.
Thursday 10th May weather cloudy and raining
Lesson 2. Just had a call off Catherine this morning. Her and Barry won’t be able to come down on Saturday so I will be needing someone else – one of the Borough Road boys will be ideal – I will try and see them at dinnertime. On the shirts front I will be picking them up tonight – hopefully then start to get rid of a few.
Weather outside is really grotty – drizzle and rain – it was fairly chilly cycling in today. The 5th years have now left, only coming in for their exams.
Last night I didn’t bother going out as I had an early night. Good news is that Pat phoned up and is moving in. Because of that I will almost certainly apply for the Gunnersbury job. I will be wanting the “A” allowance – and hopefully mainly upper school classes.
Midnight Decisions, Decisions. What I decide over the next day or two will decide my future over the next year.
This morning as I wrote the above I was I quote “almost certainly applying for the Gunnersbury post” The reason was – I enjoy the school etc. and that Cardiff High had not taken up my references
Things changed at 5 O’clock. I have been invited for an interview next Wednesday. Thinking about it at 5 O’clock I thought I would defo go for the interview. I would expect to get the job (on an MPG) and I was quite looking forward to the challenge.
Me and Chris went to the Blucher at ½ 9 and met Renee. He told us that the Kangaroo tour of GB would be in October. This really twists it all around because I am sure that I can make real guts full on the Ozzie shirt. I’ve got a kangaroo tour 1990 – exactly the same as my Lions shirt. I could be at Earl’s court by 5 every night in October. I will have to discuss it with Caroline, Graham, Bob Roger and even John Heffernan tomorrow. I would be thinking at least an A incentive. I would take in my letter of interview and when I get the job I would get some Ozzies to travel to the games.
I don’t think I will get much sleep tonight.
Friday 11th May 12.30
Decision made. I will go to the interview in Cardiff High School on Wednesday. To be honest I will be disappointed if I don’t get it. I had a word with Bob and he said I would be dull if I didn’t go for it as he has been desperate to get into Cardiff for ages. I am still very keen to do the Kangaroo tour shirt.
I hope I have made the right decision. I am fairly tired as I didn’t get much kip last night.
I brought a few shirts in today and got rid of them – mostly to staff for £5. I won’t raise enough to order more until tomorrow. Weather is fairly chilly – hopefully it will brighten up for the 7’,s Later Bob has changed his mind and I should reconsider staying here. I will be going to the interview.
Sunday 13th May
A result yesterday at the Middlesex 7’s. I made about £300 profit, but it was hard work. The weather was against us – very cold. The girls didn’t do well and knocked it on the head about 1. Ryan Dodgson turned up with a black eye and was never really in the game. I flogged them for £8 and at 2 O’clock decided to get 80 more. A risk which I regretted a bit but it turned out ok and got rid of them all – with the help of Jim I unloaded at £5. I paid Jim for his artwork £65 and had about £800 left. I have got to pay access £500 I borrowed for the shirts. To be fair it was very hard work and I thought I would do far better – the optimist coming out in me again. Still, it’s paid for my trip to France over half term. The Quins won the competition for the 5th year running. In the FA cup final it was a draw between Man United and Crystal Palace 3-3. In the evening I went over the Blucher, the Eel Pie and then for a curry.
The main thing preoccupying my thoughts will be my future in teaching. Cardiff High School v Gunnersbury. It really is difficult as I keep changing my mind more times than Wales have beaten England at Cardiff in the last 30 years, more times than London Welsh and Cardiff City have been relegated and more time than I have been dumped
( That’s enough more times – ed.)
At the moment I am all keen to go back to Gunnersbury. On Friday I was all keen to get a job at Cardiff High School.
Monday 14th May 12.15 sunny
A fairly relaxing morning – spent supervising cricket down the fields with the first years and now “babysitting” first years again. I gave Steve Curry £40 to see if he could get hold of some FA cup Final tickets for Thursday. If he gets some Mackers will come up as well
The fifth years today sat their GCSE exam. I still haven’t made a firm decision on Gunnersbury v Cardiff High.
Jason Wing said about 12 Borough Road boys want a shirt, so I said that I would make an order next Monday and get the money first. Milking it now.
7.00 Scurry went to Wembley but all the tickets had gone. In the afternoon I took a really bad cricket lesson with 2nd years. This little swine gave me tons of stress, so I phoned his mum, but they were in the States – I’ll Have him !! On the way home I had my hair cut – a number 4 – quite short.
I am still undecided about Cardiff High or Gunnersbury – I gave Heather a ring, she says the same as everybody else – my decision. God it’s hard. I am sure I would enjoy another year at Gunnersbury but London is so expensive. Then again if I had the Aussie rugby league shirt on the go I am sure I would get a really good result. Heather says she will be in London on the 12th June. If Ireland beats England in the world cup I will be off to Italy – she could work for me if she was prepared to risk it.
Tuesday 15th May 2pm – sun / cloud
A fairly quiet day - off to Cardiff in the evening. I am in two minds about the interview. Got rid of a couple more Irish shirts – they are going ok. I will catch a train to Reading and then pick up the Cardiff train from there rather than travelling across town.
Friday 18th May
My concerns over the last week – Cardiff High V Gunnersbury have now been solved. I wasn’t offered the Cardiff High job – a blow to my pride. I suppose that the reasons being was that I had no A level experience, I had been travelling and the on that should concern me the most was my language in the interview. “Bloody cold” for glaciers Vamps of the sixth form and Aussie blokes – did not go down well. I suppose it was good feedback for the future.
I wasn’t that over impressed with the department or the school. The department was spread all over the school and the school itself was very drab. If offered I was going to refuse (honest). One of the main reasons was that the staff was so old.
I have now filled in the application form for the geography job at Gunnersbury. I think I would be favourite as the present incumbent Cathy Taylor is not that over popular,
I had my interview and went over St Peters club on Wednesday evening – in the early evening I had a look at the baseball. Our firsts won and the seconds lost. Train back yesterday – the connections worked ok.
Last night I saw the FA cup replay. Man United beat Crystal Palace in an uninspiring game. I did some tinkering with my brakes and will have a look at them again tonight. Tonight I am off to the Old Gayts dinner. I will be playing for them next year, providing of course I get the Gunnersbury job.
Saturday 19th May Cold
Up at 9 and did some reading. I didn’t have a hangover as in past dinners because I kept off the wine. I had a fairly dossy day in school yesterday. Bob gave me 2 lessons off to fill in the application form for the Gunnersbury job – 3rd time I have applied for the same job.
Post applied for – Gunnersbury; Previous experience – Gunnersbury; References – Gunnersbury.
I would be very disappointed if I didn’t get the job and very surprised. Next week I am off to France. Should be a laugh. The dinner last night was very enjoyable. I am being sounded out to be second team captain, but I don’t want it.
Mackers is coming down later – I am off to the school whit fayre, I’ve got to keep my nose clean.
Sunday 20th May cloudy 2.15
Up at 9 and did some reading – did my washing over the laundry. We then got the breakfast in – Pork sausages, not beef because of the “mad cow disease”. Me and Pat went over the Blucher at dinnertime – I don’t want to get into that habit again as I crashed out for an hour and feel wrecked.
Last night I went to Waterman’s for a trivia quiz with Pat, Anne and Jim. It was really good – different than just hanging around the pub.
Good news is when Pat moves in he has a TV and video. The one we have now is a nightmare – it keeps losing its picture and we are stuck with “snow”
10pm – spent the evening in watching the box. Jeeves and Wooster – brilliant; and looking forward to Spitting Image. The week ahead involves an interview on Tuesday – I expect to get the job and I am also going to France on Friday. Should be a really good crack. I will order another 100 Irish shirts tomorrow so that I can sell them at the Irish Festival in Finsbury Park on the day we get back.
Monday 21st May 11.45 cloudy
Up early, cycled into school – my tyre is really low- it needs some serious air in it.
I phoned up wages and I should be paid on Friday. I also phoned up the T Shirt place and ordered 100 for the Irish Festival in Finsbury Park. That is on Sunday 3rd June the day we get back from France – so it will be “all go”
Jim Williams has got an interview for Mal’s old job – interesting to see whether he gets it.
11pm John Gallagher has signed for Leeds for £500,000 – what a surprise.
Tuesday 22nd May 1.30
Well I got the job – one of the most awkward mornings of my life – I hated it. There were 4 candidates, one Cathy Taylor, the present incumbent – who I think was never in the game. The other two looked fairly strong – especially the girl, who was quite smart. The interview started at ½ 9 and went on for ages. They kept us waiting a full hour after the last candidate. I was fairly confident, but very nervous. It would have been a real nightmare – so embarrassing if I wouldn’t have got it.
The interview went ok but “Heffo” asked me that did I think that teaching and selling T Shirts complimented each other. I couldn’t believe how long I was waiting – it went on for ages and ages – I will get the gen off Caroline but I don’t think the management has that much confidence in me. ‘Caro will hopefully give me all the news.
Anyway, onto the positive side. I’ve got a job and can start thinking about “A” level teaching next year. That is going to be really hard work, but a real challenge. I know there are times I will regret it but I am pleased to get it.
Before the interview and during it I kept myself to myself in the staffroom – it was so embarrassing
In the news is the Maguire family, who – just like the Guildford 4 are having their sentences totally squashed because it is obvious they were stitched up. How the Birmingham 6 can remain in jail baffles me. – British justice I suppose.
The Whitbread round the world yacht race finished today – as expected Steinlager II walked it.
6.30 – I phoned home to tell them about my job and fairly bad news about mum’s eyes. She has lost the use of one of them and has been told not to drive. Obviously loads of tests to do. I hope she is OK
Wednesday 23rd May 12 noon sunny
A gorgeous day – cycled into work and started babysitting. Only one real incident of note. – some nutcase of a first year, Gavin. Jim Williams is working on my Irish T shirt – looks very good but very aggressive.
At dinnertime today I have to get about £350 on access to pay for the 100 odd shirts to take to Finsbury Park. Richard Burke said he would pick them up.
Thursday 24th May 8.30pm
Just about packed for the French trip – off tomorrow and looking forward to it. I have a sore throat and feeling fairly rough.
I had my letter offering me the Geography job. I have got to write a letter of acceptance. Spent the day supply teaching, gave Burkey £500 to pick up the Irish shirts so that I can take them to Finsbury Park.
In the afternoon I was up the BIS room so I had a fiddle on the computers
Home to a cheque for £500 for supply teaching up to the 2nd May.
Friday 25th May 2pm
Sitting her with 4th years – writing letters or something. All set for the trip to France – should be a good crack. Last night ended up over the Blucher and for curry with Chris. The shadow Michelle followed. Jim was in trouble with Anne because he never told her he was going to France till yesterday – daft bugger.
Talking of Jim, he has taken the job in a private school so he won’t be in Gunnersbury next year. I gave in my letter of acceptance today.
I am taking my rucksack and a small bag- we got a taxi to school. On the things I forgot list was my jeans. A fairly dossy day again.
Can’t think of much happening in the world – Labour won the Bootle bye election with ¾ of the vote.
11.30 Boulogne
A very uneventful trip so far – 16 hours to go – boys very well behaved – thankfully! Cathy Taylor got the geography job in Lampton so I don’t have to feel guilty – not that I was. As a bonus Crocodile Dundee is on the vid. Been there – both Sydney and New York.
Saturday 26th May – very sunny – on coach 2pm
Crashed out ok for a few hours on the bus. Went through a few videos “Preditator” with Schwartzenigar was deemed unsuitable – quite right – saw Naked gun which I really enjoyed, I had never seen it before. We have stopped a few times – spent some of my pfennigs’ – had a bit of a water fight. Poor old William Martin ended up in the fountain. – He wasn’t a happy man. We are due to arrive in the camp site in about an hour – we will have free time, so it will be straight down to the beach. I read viz and private eye on the way down. Different but equally as good.
6.00 Sitting outside the tent after spending a couple of hours on the beach. A fairly hot couple of hours – so I was fairly covered up with blocker etc. The kids have been great so far touch wood. We jumped Steve Curry – rolled him in the dense leaves which are on the high tide and bunged him in.
Sunday 29th May 9.30
A fairly late night last night. Kids fairly excitable – expected I suppose. The boys were introduced to the Quest staff – some of them real prats. About 9 of the “lads” hit the disco and the 8 of us went to our tent – away from the mozzies, and made a hole in the supply of booze. Me and Jim went to check about ½ 10 and the music was “We are gogoggggtooto play house music ic ic all night long all night long, house music all night long” – sorry not for me.
During the night a school from Aberdeen arrived. Apparently they caused blue murder – swearing and noise, but I was knocking out zzzz’s
A brilliant bollocking this morning for the Jocks. Breakfast was croissants and coffee.- ok. Today we are off to Aqua land. In the evening will be the option of seeing an -21 European championship game England v Czechoslovakia.
5.30 “COR WAT A SCORCHER” – A real hot’un at the waterslides and a real good laugh. Really caught some sun and had a few good photo’s taken on the Niagara and some of the flumes. There will be some really sore kids today despite repeated warnings. The response to see the soccer is not that high so it maybe beach games.
Monday 28th May 5.30 stormy
A very mixed day spent on the beach. Weather-wise it started really cloudy then at dinner it was a scorcher, we then had to come back early because of the threat of a storm. – ot hasn’t happened yet, but could be on the cards. In the water I went on the wave ski and also had a crack on the hobicat with Jim – the instructor who looks like a woman “Burglar Bill” – lots of games on the beach – rugby etc. Scurry is like a tart with all the coloured cream on his eyelids etc. Nice to have coffee in the tent.
This evening’s activities could be limited because of the threat of rain will knock horse riding on the head and go carting – so it will be into the local town called HYERS. This is all very tiring, I forgot to report that the mozzies are biting.
6.30 – We spent about ½ hour chatting about various members of staff. “Herman” came up – my new mate next year in the geog department. By all accounts he has rubbed everyone up the wrong way- no one really has a good word to say about him and socially he is a mare.
I’ve a gut feeling he will resent me getting “Cathy’s” job, but I suppose I have got to give him a fair go. First impressions are obviously not someone I would socialize with, but he looks to really work hard. It is a worry that he has already got his toe in A level which I am keen to get.
Tuesday 29th May
Off to the “Island” today. - It looks really hot so I will have to cover up. Yesterday’s storm never materialized – a pity because I love storms. We went to the Port Hyeres. I wasn’t too impressed – like a bigger Mumbles. Our instructions to the boys left a lot to be desired. “We will see you at 9.15 by the bar”! After the kids were safely padlocked in their tents we went over the road and had a few then had a bop in the disco. I can’t handle the house music at all. I really hate it – we did have a chance to go crazy to ska. Madness and the boys. – End of the evening I told the boys the corky story.
5pm – sitting on the beach with sore feet – cracking day weather wise on some French Island – went over on a boat which had an underwater viewing area. Did a bit of sunbathing then all the staff went snorkeling. I enjoy snorkeling, but to be honest you can’t compare it to coral. Lots of weeds and some fish but not the mind blowing variety of fish and the colour of the Great Barrier Reef. We had a game of volleyball and some dinner.I gad a lazy afternoon reading and crashing out. I then had a nightmare jumping Scurry – I bust my flip flop. I have got to get some more – my poor feet are so sore.
Pre dinner Got some new flip flops – 250 zonks. I am all showered and ready for grub. – Starving; the showers were freezing – we all got back to the tent and slagged off more members of staff. Jane Weaver, Peter Ward and Marie Christine took a pasting. I may have to come next year just to avoid having to get talked about. Weather has clouded over a bit. Tonight’s exiting activity is 10 pin bowling. I don’t think a sesh is on tonight as stocks are low in the fridge, but you never know.
Wednesday 30th May 9am
A fairly chilly cloudy morning – the boys are on wave skis and toppers all day. Breakfast was ok – loadsa coffee and cerials. We have got 2 more GOEFAS – Matthew Ryan and Dymott – we caught them drinking last night. Punishment was straight to bed and stick off us all the week. The mozzies have been giving us a real pasting. Last night was a real bargain as I borrowed “Fitzey’s” tracky bottoms.
6.15 A really good crack today despite the dull weather. We have found a new game on the beach. – sod all the water sports – the game is chucking all the woody “flotsam” over each other. The important sporting news of the afternoon was beating Jane (I play tennis for the county) Chambers in tennis 3-0. I had to sneak in some sneaky Splott tricks. I lost to Brendan though. We are also having a rugby comp. 1-1 at the moment.
Could be problems with the Jocks and our lads. A scrap is rumoured to be planned at the big Disco tonight or on the last night. Steve Curry is all in for a scrap as he hates the Scots.
Thursday 31st May 9am
Looks like it’s going to be a really hot one. I have got to be a bit careful. I think the boys are water skiing and windsurfing.
Last night we went bowling. Most of the boys played soccer. Thankfully as only 2 alleys were open. It was a real laugh when someone had a duck as me, scurry and Jim were doing this duck walk – we were giggling like a gang of 7 year olds but Louise got upset because the duck walk came out about 4 times for her. We had a fairly early night, but I am knackered now.
1.30 Gorgeous day – but annoyed with myself – I said earlier that I was knackered. I went to the beach – did a bit of reading (Fatal Shore) and then when I awoke.

Went water skiing – quack quack quack- bever going to live it down the boys are going to slate me (Jim Williams)

6pm what a brilliant afternoon – sun scorching. I had a crack at wind surfing – very frustrating and only had a ten minute go as the kids had to have the boards.
We then had a sit down and me and Maguire had a go on the topper, really relaxing and quite successful. I was , for a change in charge and control of the board/boat. When that was finished I queued up for a water-ski. It was brilliant – best I have ever done. At first I had a go as a refresher on the bar and then on the rope. I went outside the wake, which I have always wanted to do – I was really pleased with myself and was very surprised with the mega stick about being the worst poof ever, because I went on the bar first.
Tonight we are going to one of these bug Euromarkets – the girls will love it. Shopping to their hearts content.

Friday 1st June
After being Mike Hazelwood yesterday, I decided to be Chay Blyth today with my trusty companion (Claire Francis (Another quack quack). It appears that in these unexplored waters on the South of France there are some turbulent undercurrents. Again today I was hit by a ferocious tidal wave that appeared from no where. This resulted in man and woman overboard, followed by the now infamous cries of Quack Quack Quack!!. The boats gone missing. I always believed the Bermuda triangle was in the Atlantic (Jim Williams)

Friday 1st June
A brilliant day weather-wise – the afternoon’s entertainment for me was sailing. I loved it. As soon as I could I grabbed a boat, which was immediately. The wind was perfect for my standard of sailing which is improving from the last time I sailed, which was camp.
II went out with Jane which was ok although we did capsize once or twice. Then there was Louise! – the jinx. It was my fault that we lost the boat. – (hence the stick from Jim above)
What happened was the centre board was stuck in the sand – Louise was up front – I 9 stupidly) let go of everything, the wind caught it and lobbed us both into the sea. That would have been ok but the boat was on the horizon by the time we both surfaced. The most unfortunate thing about the whole episode was that Jim, Scurry and John were watching.
I then went out with Caroline – whizzing up and down the coast
After the sailing we had another mega fight with the wood chippings – a few photos were taken.
Last night we went to the supermarche – got loads of booze to take home and for the evening’s entertainment – as a bonus we confiscated a case of beer as well.
Tonight being the last night could be a long one, The Jocks have had £30 nicked so there could be some repercussions.
I have caught a bit of sun thankfully
7pm Post dinner – Gorgeous again. Being the last night the kids are a bit hyper – some of it forced
Saturday 2nd June 9.30 v.v sunny
Off home in an hour with a dreadful journey ahead of us – plan of attack is to leave at 10.30 – get to Boulogne at 6 and Gunnersbury by 9. I then have to zip up to Finsbury Park with my shirts for the Irish Festival.
Very, very sunny so the coach will be murder.
Last night was the most dreadful cabaret. Me and Scurry sneaked out the back over the wall. Quite a few of the kids had been drinking a fair bit so it wasn’t quiet. A really enjoyable week. Lotsa sun
8.30 A fairly tedious coach journey, with the worst still to come. Boredom relieved by watching videos – Swartzenniger in running man was so, so bad. We saw lots more cheers and some music vids. We have stopped so far a couple of times for coffee breaks and will probably hit Paris for about 11pm. We may have to hang around the port for the ferry. Then it is back to the land of the Thatch. – Jonathon Fitzpatrick had his diary out – declaring his undying love for Debbie – one of the girls on camp
½ midnight The little name dropper I am. We are now driving through Paris and stopped outside the Eiffel Tower for some photo’s – very impressive and daunting, all lit up. The traffic around Paris is murder – especially around the Arc de Triumph – again – very impressive. There are people everywhere – then again it is Saturday night. I am very tired – I don’t know how much kip I will get tonight.

Sunday 3rd June England
We are still on the motorway – expected ToA was now but we got held up for two hours at the Port of Dover because we never had a relief driver and now the motorway only has one lane. This is really bad news for me because I have got to get straight up to Finsbury Park with my T Shirts for the Irish festival/ It would be a ‘mare if I was really really late. I’ve taken out £350 on Access so I am looking at least to recoup that – so, anything above £350 is a bonus. I am very tired, but as always on these ventures very confident. Virtually everyone on the coach is sleeping. Wales beat Namibia 18-9. England only drew with Tunisia 1-1 and Ireland beat Malta 3-0. Hopefully that will crush England’s confidence and Ireland will get the victory I am praying for next Monday.
Later – still on the bus. Things are looking very bleak. – to describe it as “not being T Shirt weather” would be an understatement. It is wellying it down outside as we approach London.
Midnight - + so ends one of the most tiring days of my life, I can’t believe how tired I am. John Heffernan gave me a lift to the house. I immediately had to phone mum because last night there was a coach crash in France killing at least 10. She says that her eye is hopefully not as bad as first feared, although she is not allowed to drive.
I obviously got to the concert area late and there was loads of competition. It was cold and pouring with rain. I started selling at £8. I then swapped a shirt for a ticket and got into the arena. I dropped my price to £6 and stood for hours. I had given up and was walking to the tube when I met this bloke who had a table and had about 5 shirts left so I moved in and sold mine. I got rid of all the XL – only a few mediums and smalls left – they will go (back up to £8 now,) I also sold a few sweat shirts.
Long tube ride home and a taxi from Hounslow East – counting up – I have got £605 so it was a definite result. Out of that £605 I have got to pay Access back £350 and Burkey has got to give me £100 so that leaves £350 in the kitty for different shirts. I am determined to keep the different monies separate, so that I can build on them. Basically I earned about £200 today which is over a week’s work. It was very hard graft though – I will be thankful of my bed now. Alarm is set for 6.30.
Monday 4th June 7.45pm
I was the tiredest man in the world this morning and it was reflected in the patience of my teaching. I cycled into school and coming home – something didn’t feel right. I asked Jim and he said it was ok but when I got to Twickenham Green it was as flat as a very flat thing. I know what I am like with bikes – a flat tyre means I might as well chuck the thing away.
At the end of the day in school there was a staff meeting. Talk about déjà vu. It was virtually a different staff moaning to a different headmaster about exactly the same thing we were moaning about 3 years ago – sod that. I am not looking forward to a return to that type of life at all. I think I am far too cynical now.
11.30 Just got back from the Blucher. Only had a couple but I have really got to think seriously about fitness. Tomorrow I will go up to Old Gayts training session. In future I have got to start doing runs and weights at dinnertime – I can easily eat my grub after. Bring on supply most dinnetimes I am only sitting around anyway. This evening Pat phones and will be moving in some of his stuff up next week. Hopefully on Monday. I gave Sally a ring – she has been back a week now – we had a chat for about ½ hour. I invited her up for the weekend but got blanked.
News today is the SDP have folded up.. I have got no time for them anyway – The fence they kept sitting on has obviously collapsed.
Over the Blucher I got rid of two Irish shirts to my shadow Michelle and a South African barmaid. – Talking to some blokes – I may bring out an England shirt if they beat Ireland, but I am still backing Ireland. If they win I am sure I am in for a fortune.
Tuesday 5th June
Train to school today because my bike is out at the moment – fairly cold day. I spent a couple of lessons in the special studies room on computers. I gave Luigi a hand in the sweep for the soccer world cup. I jipped out of training – the poof I am, I am still determined to go running at dinnertime tomorrow.
This evening I have had a night in – been tidying up. I gave Heather a ring about her exams – she will be in London next Tuesday. I gave Peter a ring and he will send up the cucumber and beer books
Wednesday 6th June 27
A fairly rotten day weather-wise. I had to get a train because my bike is still ill. No mail this morning as the postman hasn’t been before I left. I have got a free next lesson so I may go on the Apple Mackintosh computer and design some sort of poster for the Irish world cup or the Oz NZ shirt.
Thursday 7th June 4.30
Felt rough all day because I went over the Blucher at ½ 8 to celebrate my birthday. I didn’t want to get up this morning + struggled through.
I had a bargain of an idea. Any good classes I will take to the computer room and ii will learn how to do word processing. I phoned up the post office and will get a box no. for my shirts – it costs £41 / annum which sounds quite reasonable to me.
6.45 I have just put my bike in the shop to get the back wheel done – should pick it up tomorrow – cost about £6. I phoned up Paddy Phoenix the T shirt man from Manchester – he is asking about £2 / shirt or less if I order a quantity of over £300 – that would be unbelievable. I am seriously thinking of doing the Benedorm touch in the summer.
8.00 more thoughts on the crack in the land of “Here we go” land of Benidorm, Callella etc. The hero of all these boys will be Sid the sexist. I could bring Sid and the fat slags in on the beer and cucumber T Shirt – it will be a real killer I am sure. What a laugh that would be.
Friday 8th June 3.00
A rotten day weather-wise. Pouring down all day. Doing supply I spent a couple of lessons on the computer – getting better. At dinnertime I did Jim’s fitness session – which was enjoyable but killed me. Last night we had a brilliant storm. Paula phoned and I went over the Turks Head with “her man” Jules. The world cup soccer starts tonight with Argentina v Cameroon. I am really looking forward to England v Ireland on Monday.
6pm – watching the opening game into the second half Cameroon 0 Argentina 0. I picked up my bike and decided not to go to Burkeys as it was raining.
Brilliant news Cameroon have just scored, just moments after one of their players got sent off. The Cameroon player should never have gone – the crowd are right behind Cameroon because it was so unjust. Another Cameron player sent off. This one should go. – Result 1-0 Cameroon – what a start to the world cup!
8.15 I phoned Mike Ede. He is in London next week and is very keen to see the viz shirts – he also knows a mate who will be more than happy – so hopefully I can pull it out of the bag and have them flogging for me. – Benidorm etc.
Saturday 9th June 8pm
A bit of a “Dougie no mates” today with Juddy in Yugoslavakia.I phoned up Pat and he is not coming till next week now. That means we are stuck with the dodgy black and white TV that is likely to go snowy at any time. It is not that much of a mega disaster because I will be seeing Heather on Tuesday when she gets to London from Brum.
I missed the morning- got up ½ midday, which is a waste – I cycled into Hounslow and bought 3 shirts, some grundies and shorts. – About £70 all told. I gave Nigel Griffiths a ring and cycled over to Surbiton and saw Romania beat Russia 2-0 which is another surprise. Griff is working behind the bar tonight so I cycled back and am now watching Italy v Austria. Still 0-0 but the wops look strong.
One thing on the news is the Italians are searching everyone. If Ireland beat England I am virtually committed to going over, but it is not 100% certain I can get over the border – what a laugh.
Weather today has been grim. Italy 1 Austria 0. A really good game, Italy kept missing chance after chance, but got the well deserved goal with 10 mins to go.
Sunday 10th June
God I feel rough- I had a fairly unsettled night running to the loo with the trots. The thing is I went over the pub last night and I was on the wagon – it’s not fair. I have festered around a bit today. Even did some tidying up!! I am now settling down for another world cup match. USA v Czechoslovakia. Tomorrow is the big one; Ireland v England – virtually committed to trying to get through customs and into Italy with the shirts. 8pm Yanks are getting stuffed 3-0 and one of their players have been sent off. Personally I am dying. Stomach cramps and running to the loo all afternoon. – I did some ironing and tidying up – that’s what caused the cramps probably.
10pm Still running to the loo every 10 minutes. Not too happy. Hopefully it will clear with the Alka selsa tomorrow.
Earlier in the day Bernie Norris called around with £50 from the Middlesex 7’s shirt which is a bit of a bonus. Just saw Brazil v Sweden 2-1 – but not impressed.
Monday 11th June 10.30 cloudy
Up about 7.15 – cycled into work with Jim. I was up a couple of times during the night – I don’t feel too hot now. I have got games this afternoon but didn’t bring any kit!! Today I have to find out prices and availability of planes to Palermo and see if it is worth going and take 150 shirts. It will be such a laugh if Ireland beat England. – Steve Curry has got a BBQ so it will be up to his for the match.
5pm I am dressed up for Curry’s tonight – Irish T shirt and sweatshirt on. Spent this afternoon on games and quickly cycled home for the Scotland v Costa Rica game. Just into the second half and the Jocks are having a mare – 1-0 down. They always mess it up against the minnows.
6.00 Jocks are virtually out – I have got a stomach ache, still. Ireland v England is on in a couple of hours. If Ireland beat England I will make a gutsfull on the smacking the arse shirt.
Tuesday 12th June
I am writing this, unfortunately in Gunnersbury because Ireland only drew with England 1-1. Poor game, but very exciting. England scored after only 8 minutes with a goal by Linecker and Ireland came back in the second half. We saw the game over Steve Curry’s which was a good laugh, as the split was 50/50. I am feeling rough, not because of drink, but because of a stomach bug. Hopefully Heather will call around tonight – I haven’t seen her for a couple of years – so she will no doubt have a few stories to say. I cycled into school this morning and it was freezing.
A real pity about Ireland not getting the second. I was fairly well prepared and life would have been very interesting had I got the shirt out.
Wednesday 13th June
Cycled into school- again freezing. Such a luxury to have a clean shirt every day (5) rather than last week when I had only 2, so I had to wash one every day. In school fairly uneventful – I had mostly upper school thankfully, so I went on the computer and had a crack at the Tower. Bob Williams said that I have probably got a 3rd year next year. I was hoping for upper school.
Last night Heather called over and we went over the Blucher – I was on orange juice and soda as I still have a bit of an upset stomach. – Quite a few others came over as well, Caroline, Eva, Dave McCord.
We are thinking of having some kind of party on the final of the world cup. Any excuse. Hopefully Mackers will be up otherwise we will only have the black and white.
Thursday 14th June
Cycled into school – absolutely freezing again – school didn’t start till10 because of Corpus Christi. I jipped out of mass.
I am sending a letter to the NZ embassy to find the days of the rugby tour to France so I can set up the shirt – it will be the smacking the bum shirt. I am sure that will be a winner – then again I always do.
After the exams (which are next week) I have to teach Bob’s lessons on science – doing pollution. I have to get together with Heather as she is doing the same thing with the first years. For next year I think I have been lined up in one of the humanities rooms, which I am not happy about because I want one of the Geography rooms – I will have to throw some hints. I don’t want “Herman” to get “my” room.
Friday 15th June
A big improvement in the weather – cycled to work in the sun.
Yesterday from school I went over Burkey’s house to watch the Cameroon v Romania game – fairly boring game until the last 15 minutes when 38 year old Roger Millar scored two crackers. That puts Cameroon top of the group and through to the last round. What an achievement
I cycled home and watched the box TOTP was a nightmare with one of the songs Betty Boop and the Boops singing the Doo, making me rush for the button.
9.15 Annoyed with myself a bit and the other with Herman Muncer. God if I keep this diary up I will be giving him such a pasting next year. After school I went for a beer with Jane and Louise. John – a history teacher (bit of a sap) and Herman were in the pub. We had a couple of beers then did a really dull thing. i.e. phone Heather – I have got to avoid her at all costs or the last 2 years have been for nowt – I am so dull + so annoyed with myself.
Herman has annoyed me as he has made a play for G2 as his tutor base – announced Caroline has G1 and he has G2 because he put up the curtains. I am sorry I will fight it. I still may do the smacking the bum shirt only order 30 though.
On TV at the moment West Germany are stuffing UAE at ½ time.
I have every intention of getting up at 3.15 to watch NZ v Scotland in the morning (stuffed 31-16)
Sunday 17th June
Very pleasant day weather wise. Spent the day festering – picked up the washing, cleaned the bog and went for a run – so, I can be a bit smug. Looking forward to the Ireland v Egypt game this afternoon. If Jackie’s boys can beat the Egyptians they are through to the knock out stages. I hope they cream them
Yesterday I went with Chris and Karen to Paula’s hospital school – we took two of Karen’s charges with us. They were ok but we thought we had lost them at one stage, Karen was very blasé about losing them as “that’s the nature of the beast” I suppose. Me and Chris went over the Blucher and the Albert to watch England v Holland 0-0 What a laugh. England had so many chances in the second half – they scored a goal from a free kick but it was indirect. All the English were gutted. The Jocks beat Sweden 2-1 so they are back in the game.
I phoned Pat and he is moving up tomorrow – hopefully with his TV and vid, so I will have to peg it back tomorrow. A bloke called around and our door will be fixed tomorrow. With Pat moving in we can have a BBQ for the world cup final. It is the same day as the Wimbledon final.
½ time Ireland v Egypt 0-0. Not a bad game – Ireland on the attack all game but Egypt looking warm.
Monday 18th June 9.15
Invigilating lower school exams should be a very boring day, but hopefully a chance to get some letters out of the way. I owe one to Cathy, Siobhan and NZ
Yesterday’s second half of the Irish game was awful. That side can start packing their bags now because they will never beat the Dutch. Went out for a meal with Paula and then to the Albert – a quiet night.
Pat moves up today – I am hoping to get some tickets for Ben Elton’s play “Gasping” – see if anyone else wants to go.
Weather wise today is perfect. – cycled in ok this morning. Hopefully go for a run tonight. I am off to Jim’s keep fit tomorrow night.
Tuesday 19th June 9.30
Cycled into work today – just avoided the rain. Pat turned up yesterday minus the TV and vid – we were gutted. – We saw Argentina + Romania draw on the black and white.
Caroline has just given me a copy of the “A” level syllabus – god it’s hard. There are some words in there that I don’t even know what they mean. Mind you I will really look forward to teaching “A” level next year – it will be a real challenge, although I will obviously have to stick a shed full of work in. I jipped out of my run yesterday, but I still intend on going to the keep fit tonight.
Main topic of conversation of course is the world cup. In the staff room we have got a 10p sweep going every day on guess the score. I have only won once so far. The world cup will get much more exiting next week when it goes into the knock out stage.
I have got to get on the apple mackintosh soon to knock out some of my designs for my shirts. Aussie kangaroo one, NZ and France one and the two viz shirts. I phoned Mike Ede yesterday and he will be sending some viz to the house so I can trace them
11.00 Just spent 20 mins buggering around on the Apple Mac. It is so impressive.. I have got to get more proficient at it.. At the moment I am invigilating 1st years – boring, so I am knocking out some letters.
3.00 I have got my Mercantile T shirt in school and looking it I can improve the back of the Kangaroo tour T shirt by copying Kangaroos along the bottom similar to my U2 shirt and the kiwi’s.
Wednesday 20th June 10.15
Weather gorgeous. I am writing this during exam invigilation – I have taken a hammering on cover today. My legs are aching all over because last night I went fitness training up the Old Gayts. – Very enjoyable but hard work. I am suffering now. Went over the pub after and had a couple of pints – which was annoying. Chris’, mate was there – showing off his Porsche – what a prat. I am thinking of going home for the weekend. It will be decided if Chris is heading home and I have a lift
Kit was talking about going to aerobics on Wednesday. I am sure I would enjoy it but it would be awkward if Heather is there.
In the world cup tonight it is Scotland v Brazil. If the Jocks get a point they will go through, but if they lose they are out.. Luigi Fulgoni is opening up the envelopes today for the world cup draw. Italy are still in it but I bet I get UAE or such like.
Thursday 21st June 12.20
Weather raining. This morning I have got a second year class who are a real pain in the neck. Earlier on today I had my science class working on pollution. Tomorrow I am out of school on a trip to Heathrow which will be different with a first year class. Last night I saw Scotland get knocked out of the world cup 1-0 by Brazil. Tonight England and Ireland are playing. I would expect England to beat Egypt and go through and Ireland to lose to Holland and go out. Juddy is not going home on the weekend so I will probably stay up in London. Cycling to school this morning I saw Tony Barry and Neil ? in Brentford High Road.
Monday 25th June
Loads to catch up on. The main world news of the weekend is the earthquake in Iran. Over 40 thousand people died – that is such an unbelievable number and is simply impossible thing to imagine. The thing with an event like that is I don’t feel the same numbness as I did for example Hillsborough or Kings X disaster where the casualties were under 100. I suppose I could identify with those victims.
Friday – I spent dragging 1 Pole down to Heathrow with the poisoned dwarf Anne Clair, who was alright as it turned out. The day was split into two halves – one being very boring and the other was ok – a really gory film on safety on the track – showed all the burns etc. In the evening I went out for a beer with the girls – Jane, Louse and Heather – then cycled home and gave Claire McAuliffe a bell – I went to town and went for a beer with her and an Aussie girl, Sarah who might be interested in going to Spain with the viz shirts, I crashed around there.
Saturday – got home about 11. Made the breakfast and generally festered around for a couple of hours. Chris gave me a lift to Cardiff – got home about3. I looked for that T shirt everywhere- of the kangaroo jumping on the Lions head but couldn’t find it – I have tried to trace it myself but can’t. I will have to get Jim on it.
I went over the park to watch the baseball and watched Cameroon – they are unbelievably in the quarter finals now, with a 38 year old Roger Miller – the story of the world cup so far. I went over the club and then the Philly. I saw Anthony Sagona, then, right at the end I unbelievably saw Sioned and Awen. – They only got back last week. From the Philly I went to the Welsh club down Womanby St. Very different. Then to Cathays for a coffee. Home at 3 and locked out. Had to get dad up.
Sunday – typical weather rain/drizzle all day – what a drag. Nan came over and we watched My Left Foot on the vid. Festered around most of the day. Saw Brazil lose to Argentina 1-0 and GB league beat NZ. I missed most of the West Germany v Holland game because we had to get back to London. Ended up having a curry to finish the day – got in at midnight. I brought back quite a bit of stuff but the thing I was trying to get I couldn’t find. I have got loads of files because I am teaching “A” level next year
Today – up ok and cycled to work – weather grim but not wet. I have got a box number – 91. PO BOX 91, Twickenham TW26SZ.
I have got a bit to do – I am going to get the Aussie shirt to the printers by Friday
7.00 What a laugh Ireland v Romania. I saw the first half in the staff room and then cycled to Burkey’s for extra time. – 0-0 Full time. 0-0 after extra time. – Then onto penalties. After 4 each it was 4-4. Romania missed and O’Leary scored to win the game. What a laugh. Rome has got to be on. I phoned Jacko. Woke him up and told him the news. He had over slept and missed it. Probably Ireland v Italy ¼ finals on Jacko’s wedding night – what a laugh.
I phoned Pat and he is definitely in – we will hopefully leave Wednesday. Tickets to Italy are going to cost a fortune. £219 return. Leave Wednesday but can’t get back or £171 single. That’s BA so hopefully we can get a cheaper ticket. What a laugh. The T Shirt I will be taking will be the Ireland one with I was there – Rome 1990 on it,
10pm – Defo going- I have got to. Pat is in charge of getting the flights and I am in for getting the T Shirts.
Tuesday 26th June 11.30 pm
Up very early and showered and cycled into work, weather really sweaty all day.
First thing was to see Bob Williams and tell him that I was going to Rome. I have said that I will try and get back on Sunday. It was quite funny – Bob was saying “Are you serious?” and I just smiled. I have got to go.
I thought earlier about not mentioning it to anyone, but it is not my personality – if something really exiting like this is coming up I have got to tell the whole world – it is just me.
I spent all day trying to mark the 4th year exam papers – I am not unhappy about their knowledge. A drag marking them – so, so, so time consuming. At dinnertime I phoned Pat – We are DEFINITELY, Definitely, Definitely going to Rome on Thursday morning £166 return. Brilliant. Unfortunately we don’t get back till Wednesday. I really want to get back on Sunday – read on to see if I get back!
I phoned TSP and ordered 200 shirts. Pat is having 50 and I am in for 150. Dennis was umming and aahing and gave me the impression that he couldn’t get them. I really pleaded with him and when I phoned back he said that he would do it. I can pick them up tomorrow. After school I played tennis against Louise who I comfortably beat and Jane, who I got stuffed 3-0, 3-2. Very sweaty and I suppose got beat by a better player.
After school Jane called over and me and Chris went to Pat Harty’s to watch England play Belgium. Boring game, but a really good night. 0-0 full time and 1 minute left Platt scored this beautiful volley from a free kick – sensational goal which puts England in the ¼ finals against Cameroon – what a world cup. I honestly can’t wait to get to Rome. Jack Charlton has again upstaged everybody. He has cancelled Ireland’s training session tomorrow because the whole squad is going to meet the Pope – what a coup for big Jack. I am off to Italy – YESS.
Wednesday 27th June 7.45
Really excited about going to Italy tomorrow – what a laugh. School was ok today – fairly muggy. At dinnertime I went to the bank and picked up £600 on Access. Spent a lot of t he day marking. What a drag After school I went over the pub with Louise and Heather – only had an orange, then cycled to the t shirt place to pick up my shirts.
They have got ROME 1990 on them and look very good – I hope I get them through customs OK - be a bugger if I can't. Pat phoned and we are flying up at 10.30. I have to be up at 6 so I can get to Gatwick. Why Gatwick when Heathrow is really close? I am still hoping to be home on Sunday.
Thursday 28th June – Gatwick Airport 10.30
Up at 6 this morning and Juddy gave me a lift to Twickenham. Train to Clapham and then Gatwick. The bags weighed a ton but thankfully I've unloaded Pat with a bag full. Here is praying that we get them through the airport ok. I am really looking forward to this trip. I have no doubt that Ireland will get stuffed by Italy but it is going to be a brilliant laugh. At the check in was a very nervous 18 year old with his uncle. He asked us to look after him, so Lorenzo is “with us” - or rather we are with hm if we can't get anywhere to crash.
We went for a coffee in the restaurant and had a nightmare with the marmalade – me and Pat couldn't open it and this woman showed us up by easily cracking it open.
On the plane
Pat has just got sharked by Lorenzo. He dived into the window seat and Lorenzo insisted that it was his. Pat tried to explain “the rules” but Lorenzo was going to burst into tears so poor old Pat had to change seats.
Star spotting in the business class is sitting Andy Summers of Police” fame – where is Sting? In the paper is a report on the Irish team meeting the PAPA in Rome yesterday. Another of Jackie Charlton's quotes “The pope had been smaller than he expected, but only in size”

Friday 29th July
I am feeling really rough. We ended up in an Irish bar. “The fiddlers elbow”
On arrival in Rome we had to get a 40 minute bus to the centre – talking to these people who said tickets would be available. The HEAT – it's better than Sydney !!
We went to the railway station and got ourselves a room for £12.50. It's clean but in a really seedy area
We went for food at 6. Walked to the pub – a fairly bad move as we obviously stayed We cleared about 50 shirts – they went really well. We knocked the price down from £8 to £5 so we can get rid of them quickly and enjoy ourselves. A fairly riotous night.
The hope now is for tickets. Apparently 8,000 are kept for the Irish so we are going down the stadium very early and will probably be queuing all day. I will expect to pay about £60 for the ticket. Scandalous price but if there is an outside chance of seeing the game – I am in.
3 pm I've got a ticket – we paid £40 for a ticket – which is cost price. The heat is so hot it's unbearable. I am soaking with sweat + I have got jock rash because of it.
We went down the stadium+ there were hundreds of people queuing. We got chatting t these two Aussie lads, Sharpy and ?. I lent him about £50 to get his ticket – we waited in the heat which was stifling – no water and came up trumps. I think virtually every one who was there would have got one. I then did some selling of shirts and got rid of all the ones I had - about 80 without any problem. - pity we didn't take more The frustrating thing for me is I haven't got any photocopies of my address so people can get them by mail order – A good lesson as soon as one of my shirts comes out I have got to get it immediately photocopied.
We then went to St Peters Square – rally impressive, absolutely huge. – went into the basilica – again it was gorgeous. Everybody was very friendly and you could see the Italians are very confident. Because we have got Irish shirts on the touts are trying to flog us tickets. We are being asked for £150 -£200. I am so pleased to get the ticket for the ¼ final of the world cup. The atmosphere will be great. We wandered around a bit and then had a big incident on the bus. The gypsy kids tried to snatch Pat’s wallet and again at another stop someone nearly lost his wallet. We have come back to have a siesta because it is so hot outside – we will hit the pub about 7 tonight.
7.00 Had a lovely 2 hour kip and we are ready for the off again now, I am enjoying this – it’s a real good laugh. I am fairly peckish though. I have just showered, had to pay 2,000 lira for the privilege. I have just washed the T Shirt that I wore yesterday so that it will be clean for tomorrow. The match kicks off at 9 – we hope to be in the stadium about 6 so we will have to leave 4-5 – I have caught a bit of sun today.
Tour songs so far: “Tell me ma, me ma. I won’t be home for tea, We are staying in Italy. Que serra, serra.” “ OOOH AAARH Paul McGrath, say ooh aaargh Paul McGrath (repeat for ever)
Saturday 30th June – Match day 8am
Really, really good crack last night. We got rid of all the shirts. Me by selling them and Pat by leaving about 15 of them in a restaurant, Typical.
We first went for a meal and some vino and to the fiddlers elbow about 8. The atmosphere in the pub was wild with the most dreadful songs being sung. “Who is that lying on the seafront, who is that lying on the beach. It’s Norman Tebbit and his wife, she’s paralyzed for life and they won’t be going to Brighton anymore”
The pub closed really early so me and Pat went with these two American girls for a meal. I went to the loo and heard them talking about us. One of them was keen on Pat and the other wanted to go, so all the pressure was off me and I gave them verbal abuse all night. Pat reckons ii am a jinx. Pat then forgot to pick up the bag of shirts. Divhead.
We then went to the Piazza and enjoyed all the singing till 2 in the morning.
10.30 The sweat is pouring off me. We went to the restaurant we were in last night but the bag had gone. I’ve been looking for a photocopier. I found one, but I have no change now.
We divvied up the money. I’ve got 1275 lira – about £640. Pat got 425 lira. Basically the £640 has covered my flight over as I owe access £600 so I can pay it back on Thursday. Loads of Irish in town – quite a few drinking already which is daft.
7.00 all set for the game now. Ticket checked and a camera check. We will go for a beer and then to the Olympic stadium for a few cold ones, then who knows. My prediction for the game is for Italy to beat Ireland by 2 goals to 0, one of the goals to be a penalty. Tomorrow I can forecast having loads of difficulty getting a flight.
5.00 Back to the hotel with a couple of CIOA’s mascots of the world cup.- bargain at £2.50 each. Back to the hotel to grab a beer but the ban is on. – absolutely pouring with sweat.
Sunday 11am
“We” went down 1-0 – what an experience. The whole game and the evening was incredible.
My problems start now. I have a ticket which says Wednesday on it and the ticket says it can’t be changed, so I will be hanging around the airport for days.
I didn’t get back to the hotel until ½ 6. I spent the evening singing, dancing, jumping on cars etc. My photo’s will be fantastic.
1.15 as expected I am struggling to get a flight. Every plane is fully booked and they are charging £200 one way on standby. I have put my name on the list but on my ticket it says it can’t be changed – the flight looks fully booked and there are 15 people in front of me. I have told them I have been robbed and have no money so I have got to get back. – Please god I make the plane, I am so tired now.
About the game yesterday: There was an alcohol ban, but we got loads of booze from the supermarket and sat on the grass outside the stadium.
Unbelievably we saw Brian, Bernie’s boyfriend. We last saw him in a pub in the Ireland Wales game and before that in Sydney.
To describe the atmosphere as electric would be an understatement. We were with thousands of Irish fans, but obviously heavily outnumbered by the Italians.
Scilachi scored for Italy after 38 minutes and was unlucky with a free kick that beat Bonner and hit the crossbar. I must have taken about 50 photos – so many flags etc. Ireland attacked throughout the second half but Italy closed the game down. After the match all the Irish fans stayed singing and chanting for an hour. Charlie Haughy did a walk but all the chanting was for JACKIE CHARLTON who got such a reception. I have got loads of photos – I hope they all come out.
As I am writing this I can see the queue of people lining up for “my” plane. There is only one flight and it looks packed.
After the game me and Pat went to this bar by these steps. – The atmosphere was unbelievable with all the Italians riding around in cars, waving flags and beeping horns – an experience I will never forget. I don’t know what I will do if I don’t get a flight. I am so tired now.
11.30 – a day I would rather forget- I am shattered and still in Rome. I couldn’t get on a flight as my ticket was a no change one. If I had paid an extra £30 I might have had a chance. I have put my name down on a list for tomorrow –it’s not guaranteed but I am praying that I get home. I phoned home to tell them to ring Gunnersbury to tell them the situation. I feel like I have jet lag which in a sense I have because I got no sleep last night.
I met two lads at the airport Tony and Jim – they were wearing Celtic shirts – I was chatting to them – they had no money at all so I lent them £100 I will get a cheque off them. I went for a Chinese meal which was lovely then back to the hotel to watch the ¼ final. England beat Cameroon 3-2 so the semi’s are England v West Germany; and Italy v Argentina. I would say that West Germany will beat England in the final.
I may borrow an idea off a brilliant shirt I saw with a stand full of soccer supporters, all with flags and team names on the flags. – It looks really excellent – I could do it for all the different sides in the world cup – just change the names and the colours on the flags. I am praying for a flight tomorrow
Monday 1ST July 11.30 Hot and sweaty
Took ages to get to sleep last night because of the heat and all the noise outside from the Irish fans. Aim today is obviously to get out of Rome. I will be so cheesed off if I don’t get out. Obviously our chances have improved with England getting a result last night.
1.30 Rome airport again. – they say it’s not looking good again but I am hopeful as they have said I am no1 on the list, but it’s fully booked and there only has to be 1 business class person to come along and I am knackered. Please god let me get home. The airport is packed with Irish people again. – Thank god England won or the situation would have been much worse
Tony Quinn/Jim McNally 6 Horlich Drive Dulghetty Bay Fife Scotland 0383 825083
3.15 Joy oh Joy – I am on the plane waiting for takeoff – very much looking forward to getting home and getting some grub down my neck. I have only had a Chinese in the last 2 days. Being no.1 on the list was a real bargain so I will be able to make school tomorrow. I will give Bob a ring.
11.30 Showered etc and chucked all the stuff in the cupboard. Saw Dear Sarah on the black and white TV – it’s got to go. All about Giuseppe Conlon – so moving. School tomorrow.
Tuesday 3rd July 2pm
Up early and cycled into work. I saw Alex Higgins in Twickenham – a pig of a bloke. A fairly quiet day compared to the last few days, I am very tired though.
Tonight I have a game of tennis against Jim and I am going up the Gayts to go training – trying to get the fitness going.
Wednesday 4th July
Train into work today as it’s pouring down with rain. News from Heather is that she passed all her exams so she will be in London all next year.
Last night I played tennis in school – lost to Jim and then went training up the Gayts but no one was there because of the soccer.
Me and Jim went over the Blucher and saw Argentina beat Italy on penalties, so the Argies are in the final against England or West Germany who are playing tonight. I may go over Pat Harty’s to watch it. My form next year is 3D
Thursday 5th July
England got knocked out of the world cup last night on penalties. I saw the game around Pat Harty’s house with Jane and then saw Louise in the Blucher. – Very exciting stuff. Pat got back from Italy. – Didn’t have a great time in Florence as he was Dougie no mates. Today I had off as it was a Baker day. I cycled up and put in my photos – very good, then did my washing and had a brecky with Pat.
Weather today really awful – rain and wind. Spent all day working on the viz shirt. The Sid the sexist is looking really good – even if I say it myself.
Friday 6th July
Weather not too good – spent all day on supply showing the kids my photos of Italy – the little egotist I am. I can’t resist a captive audience. Paula gave me a ring this morning and will be coming over this evening.
After school I am playing badminton against Brendan Bloomer – apparently he is very good and I will get a pasting, but it will be good exercise. All talk is still about the world cup – Why is a German egg better than English egg – because it stays in the cup longer.
Monday 9th July
A fairly hectic weekend and I am fairly annoyed with school. Jim Williams phoned up at ¼ to 8 to say that he couldn’t come in as he was ill and he was missing the field trip. Surprise surprise, - he said last week he didn’t want to go. I took in my kit/ gear but I would have been very aggrieved to have gone because of the state of the house because of yesterdays Barbie. I also want to set up the viz shirt which I hope to do today. It would have been a real inconvenience at short notice. On the other hand it is ridiculous that I haven’t gone. I know I am on supply but I am teaching the kids who are going next year. I have been overlooked in favour of Bob Williams, Jim, Luigi etc so I am not happy about that. I was annoyed this morning but now feel sod em and not let it worry me and concentrate on getting the Sid the sexist shirt out.
Yesterday was the BBQ which went a bit flat because of the lack of people attending. West Germany beat Argentina having had 2 players sent off – they won no friends at all.
I expected a few more people at the house and to be honest I was quite disappointed by the lack of response. In the men’s tennis final Becker lost to Edberg – not a bad match.
Saturday I festered around a bit and at last got a TV and video. – It’s £30 a month and gone on direct debit. We went to a party at London Welsh, I wasn’t too impressed to be honest because 1 it was a disco and 2 the bar closed at 11.
This week we have to advertise for a new flat mate as Pat is definitely not moving in – a shame.
9pm – I phoned Kingston + no joy on the shirts front so I phoned the bloke from Manchester – Paddy and hopefully he is getting back to me. I still don’t know whether I will be going on the fieldtrip tomorrow. – Probably not tomorrow, but I couldn’t give a toss. I want to sort out the shirts first.
Got home after school and tidied up the flat – what a wreck.
Paddy phoned and I have got to give him a ring about 6. Even if I went on the fieldtrip – which I doubt, as it’s too bloody like common sense. He said I could meet him this weekend as he is “working” the rolling stones concerts. One thing I don’t want to get involved with is working concerts for someone else.
Thinking ahead, I know teaching is really going to cheese me off next year- I have seen the bloody mindedness and the stupidity of management over the last week with this fieldwork thing. I have no real respect for John Heffernan, Ian McGibbon or Peter Ward and I have got to work under them next year. God it is going to be frustrating. Plus, throw in Herman Muncer and you have a nightmare waiting to happen.
I have got to be determined not to let the “bastards grind me down” for example this fieldtrip thing has really cheesed me off but why should it really worry me – it’s their loss. I was talking to Pat Harty about inter school politics – you can’t avoid them because obviously if you have any common sense you can’t let anyone get one over on you in work.
The other thing that is really cheesing me off is the women situation. If I am honest I am really keen on Heather but I am not prepared to go back to the situation that existed pre my travels so that effectively that’s her out of the game completely because it’s screamingly obvious that she is not going to change at all. What a waste. Brilliant laugh, but………..Jacko would have a field day with stick as they didn’t really like each other at all.
While I am writing on a downer I must grudgingly admit that I miss Jacko’ company in school. He was a real pain to share a flat with but in school at the moment I am a bit out on a limb socially. I don’t particularly want to knock around with the PE crowd but the other social set I am not being invited out as I want. I can’t do anything about that, just wait, I suppose. It was really disappointing that Caroline Ferrario the other week had a party and I didn’t get invited. I think that could have been Heathers influence – if it is, I suppose I shouldn’t be a hypocrite and say that suits me fine. As the way things stand I can’t and won’t socialize with her as I won’t and can’t be second best. She was making noises about going to Spain selling Sid the sexist shirts- obviously deep down I couldn’t think of better company, but I would be the biggest mug in the world if I took her up on it – mind you she is all talk anyway.
Thinking about school politics, I am sure that my biggest problem ( it always has been) is my big mouth. I have to keep as mum as possible about these viz shirts as THEY – the staff will use it against me, especially someone like Muncer, who is an arselicker.
Tuesday 10th June 2.30
A very enjoyable day, but I am really shattered. I am writing this in Gunnersbury park, supervising the boys playing tennis. I had an absolute disaster on the way down as my tyre is flat. I will have to find a bike shop to get it fixed. There is training at the Gayts this evening but at the moment I don’t feel like it at all. Stupid really because I really need the fitness.
Caroline Menton ended up going on the Geography fieldtrip – what a totally ridiculous situation that was. I must honestly be laid back and not let it worry me and not see it as a personal affront. I had a chat with Heather in one of my frees. We combined classes because they were 4th years. Basically said to her what I wrote yesterday – what a waste.!!
Tonight I have to sort out the Sid the sexist T shirt and stick some adverts in some of the shop windows to get a flat mate.
In some ways I am really looking forward to teaching next year but in many ways I feel it is going to drive me around the bend especially if similar situations occur like the beginning of this week. I am thinking of asking Brad to do the artwork for the rugby world cup shirt because Jim Williams is too slow – he is taking absolutely ages to knock out the Aussie shirt.
Wednesday 11th July
Last night I managed to fix my bike – cost £5 to have a new tube stuck in. I went training – fairly hard, but the real thing starts next week Tuesday and Thursdays. I phoned Paddy and I’ve got to see him outside Wembley. The price he gave me was £2.15 which is a real improvement on £3.20. After training I got home and watched desperately seeking Susan on the box.
7pm Today – gorgeous day – mostly geog – I have got to sort out 2W at dinnertime. I went for an orange with Heather. She reckons I have made a big mistake going back to Gunnersbury – She could be well right.
After school I had a game of Badminton with Pat Harty. I beat him but he took a game off me. Tonight I am off to the pub with some of the PE dept.
I had a shock when I got home – I had mail from South Glam county council. My first reaction was the poll tax people had caught up with me but thankfully it was a cheque for £37 – exxies from Cardiff High School
Thursday 12th July
A gorgeous day. Cycled into work Really pleasant lessons went ok. I had a little time on the Apple mac
After school I had a 5 setter game of Badminton with Jim. He creamed me in the last game 15-2. The sweatiest game in the world – I absolutely love playing and it has got to be good for fitness.
Jim still hasn’t done the artwork for the Aussie shirts which is a bit annoying – so basically I am going to sack him!! I had a word with Brad at dinnertime and he will do the cartoon of the crowd for my world cup shirts. He will have them ready for September – I hope it’s good.
On the way home we popped into Dave O’Brien’s house. It looks fairly good although he has got lots to do. This evening was fairly boring – just watched tele and not much on there. Tomorrow I am seeing Paddy and setting up the viz shirt
Close of the diary
Reflections speak for itself really – a really, really interesting nine months of my life – I can’t, unfortunately see the next nine months as interesting.
Thinking of the above statement I have got real reservations about joining Gunnersbury again next year.
Hopefully my T shirts will take off and it will be a really good year. On the menu at the moment is the Australian rugby league tour, the All Black tour of France + the world cup shirts England, Wales Cymru, Ireland NZ and Oz – also this summer Sid the sexist and fat slags.
My aim is to make as much on the shirts as I make teaching.
Book 9 January 8 1993 – 1 August 1993
New Zealand

8th January 1993 Sydney
Presently living in Coogee in Sydney. During this diary I hope to go to NZ and make a killing on the Lions tour 93
This will hopefully finance a trip home for Kevin’s wedding and also pick up Caroline who I am devoted to!! On page 1 of my last diary I said i was very keen on her. This has now progressed to being totally in love.
We” hope to travel through Asia in September hitting Nepal and Bali – we will see. My toe hurts. I have had an in growing Toenail cut out. Work wise I am working in a factory for DSC but I will do swimming teaching next week.

Saturday 9th January
Sunniest day in the world – Woke up feeling rough as I went out for a meal last night and drunk far too much wine. Jane (Jones) put me in a taxi cos i was wrecked. I stayed in all day because I have got an in growing toe nail cut out. A pity really as it was a cracker of a day and I would have liked to have gone to the beach, Sharon called over for an hour. I am out tonight with Jane and Fiona at Kitty O’Shea’s

Monday 11th January
Up at 6 thankfully my toe is improving but still painful. I took my camcord into work and was quite pleased with the results. I spent the morning sticking stickers on things then shifted some boxes for a couple of hours then did 3 hours overtime but stitched myself up a bit because I missed the last bus and had to catch a taxi home. Chicken for tea. Wrote a letter to Caroline, I really want to phone her but I am skint. I will ring her Saturday – her birthday. I generally festered around in the evening. I am working tomorrow, but I will have to phone in to Gerard to tell him I am finishing Wednesday to do the swimming job. What has really made me decide to do the swimming is the 200 shirts in the room that I have got to shift – please god

Wednesday 13th January
Up at 8 this morning – no work, which was expected so I did my washing over Sharon’s. Mail came and incredibly I had 4 letters off Caroline – they all came at the same time – brilliant to hear from her. I went to the post office and sent her a video tape and some T’s to various locations.
Last night dad phoned and said a Cardiff boy broke his neck at Coogee on New Year’s day. Andrew Lucas, so I went to Prince Henry hospital to see him, what a nightmare – nice bloke lying in traction – his arms are moving. There is a benefit on the 30th – I will go along to that. I will see if I can do anything.

Thursday 14th June
Quite a tiring day – weather was scorching which I didn’t need as I had a rotten hangover from last night’s mega sesh. I met “Woody” who is a mate of Giz – couldn’t believe it he was wearing a Rangers shirt. I drove to Botany pool and worked with Jody and Sue who are fine. I have got a lift in tomorrow. God I was dying this morning . I enjoyed the teaching – it was all outside – it will be hell if it cools down.
I drove to the SCG and sold 30 then came home and nursed my head – had a lay down. I wrote a letter to Ian K and one to Plucko – back to the SCG – even though it was a full house I only sold 9. Tomorrow I have got to pick up my Celtic and Rangers shirts. Pat would be grinning if I said I was very confident with these ones.

Friday 15th January 11.20
Sitting here pouring with sweat. It’s really, really hot – very enjoyable morning in the pool. I had a lift in off Sue. In the afternoon I crashed out. I picked up my Celtic and Rangers shirts – about $1,070 notes. They didn’t do the Rangers shirts correct. I ordered my Lions shirts.
Good news for Andy – British Airways are going to fly his parents out.
I went into Coogee in the evening – drinking coke!
My gums are very sore – I may have an abscess forming – I hope not. Caroline’s birthday tomorrow – I will give her a ring.

Sunday 17th January
Good night last night at Sharon’s for a meal – got in for the rugby which started at 1. I phoned Caroline and she was out. I taped the game, luckily because the next thing I knew it was ½ 5 – I had slept through it. I phoned Caroline and had a lovely chat- I really miss her (lots) Watched the game England beat France – we can beat them in 3 weeks.
Went down Coogee beach with Sharon – there is a perfect job for me in the Sydney Morning Herald (Geography teacher – St Paul’s Manly) – I will apply my CV will get typed tomorrow. I really want it. I am not as confident as I was about the other one. It would really put me on my feet if I got it – I could then go to NZ as planned.
Beach was great, very hot and sweaty – we will have a storm soon. I went to Paddington with Sharon, Jane and Andrew to Kitty’s for a beer. I am swimming in the morning so I have to be up early. I have got the car. The boys have been using my video all day – quite a good swapsie. Financially I am fairly knackered at the moment.

Monday 18th January
The georgeous weather has nearly broke. A very cloudy day but still warm – enjoyable morning swim. I took my red class into the big pool – they weren’t happy at all. Thankfully I had the car.
Fiona moved her gear around and Jane will move in tomorrow. She pointed out how small the advert was for the job. It could easily be an inside job. Sharon’s mate Sheila did my CV – it looks great so if there is a job going I will be in with a chance, but to be honest I am very pessimistic. I will phone Thursday to see if a short list has been made.
In the afternoon i went out with Jane and Sharon to the harbour and did some residency, I went to the dentist – he just returned my forms which are sorted. I went down to Coogee and picked up 15 tickets for that benefit night a week Saturday. I also had a letter off Sydney Welsh to go to a BBQ next week. I am quite tired now. Up for swimming in the morning – my gums still hurt. I wrote a letter to Caroline and one to Caroline Ferrario.

Thursday 21st January 8.15am
Up early for teaching swimming, it looks like another really hot day – we have been very lucky with the weather. Only 3 days I will be unemployed again. A horrible thought. I have applied for the job in Balgowlah – I really want it but I doubt if I will get a look in. Loads of mail yesterday 1 off Caroline, 1 off mum and dad and a Christmas card off Liz Rogers who is now in Perth. I had a rejection on the shirts and an order for 30 T’s from Adelaide which was unexpected. In the evening I went to the Olympic. I was home by 11 because of swimming today. I don’t want to teach with another hangover like I did last week.

Friday 22nd January 5
Fairly shattered – bad start to the day, car wouldn’t start – fl;at battery – taxi in. Sold the driver a ticket for Lucas do. Poured down with rain all day so dragged in my groups and gave them a water safety talk – bargain. I went for a burger with Sue and Jodie after work.
I phoned up about that teaching job. It is being advertised again on Saturday – so there is a job! Shortlist to be made Wednesday – I will phone again Friday. Sounds better the more info I get – 450 boys school – a bargain.
Yesterday I had 4 letters off Caroline which was very pleasing.

Saturday 23rd Jan 7.30
Rain drizzle – up at 7 . My last day teaching the ankle biters which I have really enjoyed.

Monday 25th January
I feel so cheesed off. I have lost my wallet – I have looked everywhere, but can’t find it. I think I may have left it in the phone box yesterday when I phone Caroline. God I am annoyed. I had such a great day yesterday and this has put a real downer on it.
Financially I feel really knackered + I feel I am trying so hard. I haven’t even got an access card now and I have got to pick up $1000 worth of gear on Wednesday. No bank cards. I am upset because it was the wallet that Caroline gave me + it had a photo of her in it. I want it.
Yesterday Caroline phoned but I was suffering from the night before – I wasn’t happy with the way the call went so I phoned her late at night. – I love her so much. Dad phoned and unbelievably St Peters beat Cardiff in the cup – what a result.

Wednesday 27th January
I lost my wallet the other day – what a mare. All my cards etc. I made it worse by phoning up Plucky and starting off with “This is not a lovey dovey call” – so stupid. Annoyed with myself. I have phoned her up 3 times in 3 days and she has cancelled my cards. She is hating school at the moment – 11 people out today.
Financially things still aren’t good. I went out yesterday for Australia day and sold 30 shirts – so I have got $300 – that has soon been taken. Rent is due and of course I have no money to pay for the shirts I have ordered today, so I will have to owe CBon about $1300. My Lions shirts are out – these are the ones I hope to make my cash on. Please God. I have said that I will give $10 a shirt to Andy at that benefit. So I will lose money on the Lions shirts but will have 50 on the streets being worn. I will only start taking orders on Saturday. I am off to Huntsville now to register for the state sector as a supply teacher. I am phoning up for that job in St Pauls Balgowlah tonight and tomorrow “Am I on the short list?” If I get it I honestly believe my financial worries will be solved.!
I went to the Sydney Celtic supporters club on Tuesday – Jacko went with his mate Pete – who is a bit of a sap “I am not going over there they will be talking soccer all the time. It was a laugh but a way out in Martindale. They took 10 shirts off me for $100 which again is not breaking even but it will in the long run. In town yesterday the Irish shop in the rocks which is a start as well – especially when I pick up 30 today and I have already got rid of 20. I can always order more. Setting up is a fortune but my aim is to be the middle man. Weather remains warm.

Thursday 28th January
Not a happy man. Nothing has gone right today – I obviously didn’t get that job as it is a set up. I got through at last to the deputy and at one stage I thought I was in with an interview but there was no job. I have got to phone him up tonight.
Then I went to meet Nicky who I last met in Kuala Lumpa. She was returning home to get married – like soul really, someone travelling around and in love but that all fell through.
I took the Irish shirts into the Rocks but had no money as no one was there. Very hot day – nothing has gone right. Also 20 of those brilliant Lions shirts are on Chinese cotton which are rubbish. I phoned CBon – not happy.
I desperately need a job – this whole dream of getting back to Caroline is slipping away. $3K in debt. I have been there before but not without a job.

Sunday 30th Jan
Welsh boys were around all day – very festering day – bit hungover from last night’s do.
I only sold 20 shirts which was a disappointment. I got wrecked talking to Jacko. Yesterday afternoon I went to the “Cross” and in the Kings cross Hotel – Ii have manged to get 10 shirts in. I will take them in tomorrow. I approach a new week now with spirits not remaining mega high. I have still got no job, and to be honest the shirts aren’t taking off and I am getting worried about even getting to NZ.

Wednesday 3rd Feb
On a mega low at the moment. On Monday I had what I thought was a productive day. I phoned Caroline on the way to the beach – she was not in good spirits so I phoned her in the evening “cos I luvs her” I sent off resumes to loads of schools and in the evening Russ Morgan phoned with 4 weeks work – I was on cloud 9 but Tuesday morning it just evaporated. I was gutted. On a mega low yesterday – up early today, showered and nothing doing. I am not winning at all.

Thursday 4th Feb
Starting to win. The difference a day makes. Phone call last night put me back in the factory today. So pleased. I am back tomorrow at 7.30 and a vague promise of three weeks – hopefully it will take me to when teachers start to go sick – Hooray !! Also the chemist in Coogee shifted a shirt.
It was the hottest day in Sydney for two years – I was unloading container trucks – very hard work, very pleased to be working though. We were taken outside and hosed down with a fire hydrant. Lovely – loads of water. Got back home and straight to the beach – had a letter from Catherine. The sea was fantastic – salad for tea. I am absolutely boiling. I hope to go to the 7’s Rugby League.

Friday 5th Feb
Nightmare of a start to the day. Got on the bus to work and left my bag on the bus stop – so bus back. Work went ok in the factory + I am working at ½ 7 tomorrow overtime. – I will be knackered – no bus to work so I will be up at ½ 5. I am pleased to be working though. I went and picked up some Irish shirts – new one with Australian map on the back and 50 Lions shirts – paid $500 I owe to CBon. Got home to a $180 cheque and a letter off my beloved. I have written back and included an Irish top.

Sunday 7th Feb
Wales beat England last night – what a laugh. I saw the game in Randwick rugby club. 10-9 - 1 lovely point.
Got up this morning at ½ 1 so I missed the replay – what a laugh. I was very rough. Went to Coogee beach and took my camcord. – left it with the boys from the flat and went for a dip. The waves were really huge – just what I wanted. Jacko phoned so I am off to the Merc now – running a bit late. I am so pleased to be working tomorrow.
Yesterday I met Toby and Mandy for an hour and went to the Captain Cook then over to the 7’s. Hit the CBH at 10 drinking with the Cardiff boys – Pete and? We went over to the Randwick rugby club and there were about 20 Welsh boys in red. I took my flag and we had about 3 others – great fun. Especially the result. It was so close. Afterwoods – stupidly in retrospect- especially with what happened to Andy – we went for a swim in the sea. Waves were huge. I walked home and phoned up the Gayts which was a laugh and then Krystoviak then mum and dad and then the girl herself Caroline who seemed in good form. This is very hard on both of us – I hope we both pull through.
Today was the sunniest day in the world. I have got to get some post cards to send to everyone

Monday 9th Feb
Up at ¼ past 6 Fiona told me that her and Jane were moving out tomorrow which was a surprise – they didn’t want to give any notice – we would have been stitched – after chats they are now giving a week. Work in the factory went ok. I am still very happy to be working. One of the other casuals is on a different (higher) rate than me so I will have to check why. I got paid $200 for last Thurs, Fri and Sat. I got back to rain – it was very sweaty all day .. and is now!
I did a stock check and worked out my finances. Basically with all the shirts and money I’ve got I am about $1000 under – my short term aim is of course to fly to NZ at the end of April, buy a car and set up the shirts. I have a hell of a lot of work to do – to say the least.
The boys wanted to review the rent – which was fair I suppose so I will be paying a little more but not the $100 what they wanted because they never considered the house just the room. Jason and Chris at least listened but Peter flew at me. He has been getting under my skin recently and I flew back. I basically decided a few weeks ago that he is a prick so in a few words I told him. A bit stupid really as it will put tension in the house. I wrote a letter to Caroline.
Sharon phoned and I will go and have a look at her new house tomorrow. If there was room in it I would move.

Wednesday 10th Feb
Raining this morning – worked from ½ 7 to 4 on picking and sorting out bags in the factory – boring but the radio helps even though I am getting cheesed off with the station. I will get in early tomorrow and alter it.
After work I went for a swim at Coogee – festered around. The telephone bill is in at last. Peter is still in my bad books – how dare he start all that foot stamping. I am still not happy with Jane and Fiona’s attitude on trying to avoid paying a weeks’ notice. A bit of a kick in the teeth really. – As Sharon said “They haven’t done me any favours at all” which is true. So, all in all not a good atmosphere in the house.
I had 2 letters off Caroline – she is not in the best of spirits either. She will be going home to see her new nephew on the weekend. I had 2 letters off Caroline – she is not in the best of spirits either. She will be going home to see her new nephew on the weekend. I tried to get her flowers for Valentine ’s Day but it was closed. I want to be with her. It seems to be getting harder and harder. I went over Sharon’s place in the evening – really nice – not as handy as Queen St though.

Saturday 13th Feb
Had a phone call this morning at ½ 8 Caroline Louisa has arrived on the scene – Helen’s baby – mum was really excited – wonderful news.
I have been in quite a lot of contact with “my” Caroline – had a few letters and written lots and phoned her up yesterday - I made a balls up of sending a single red rose to Gunnersbury on the 15th when they are on ½ term. Went to the Cock and Bull last nighr – Elton John was playing – brilliant.

Sunday 14th Feb
Feeling fairly tired after being out last night. I went to a BBQ at Cindy and Kev’s then to the Merc with Sharon and the others – then onto the Cross – out far too late. Met Andrew Korn (Acorn) who I used to teach.
Today down to the beach. Weather was great – did some T Shirt stuff then back to the beach and over to Sharon’s. Phoned Caroline who gave me loads of stick for sending her a lovey dovey card and now an early night.
Alarm set for 5 in the factory – no complaints as I am pleased to be working – hopefully do another two weeks at least. I would obviously prefer to be teaching.

Monday 15th Feb
Up at 5 but I was still late – I missed the bus as I got a paper. – An ok day in work. It went fairly steady – tried to get home for the post but missed it. I had a great 20 mins on the boogie board. Got home to a pleasant surprise. John and Martina – who we last saw in India gave us a visit – perfect timing – they are moving in tomorrow, which I am happy about – for four weeks. I went for a meal with John and Martina – they were impressed with China, but I never fancied it. I put John in touch with Mark Pluck for a job. I hope they both benefit.
Chris wanted 8 Irish shirts – I will have to order another 50 tomorrow – they are going OK with Paddies day coming up which is good news.
The Australian election is coming next month. Looks like the Liberals (Tories by another name ) looks favourites.
Wrote a letter to Plucky about boxes!

Wednesday 17th Feb
Up at 5.15 and clocked on at 6.15 – at last caught the bus. Work went ok but I was a bit stiff from training last night. Had a bit of a result in Kingswood – sold 10 shirts and Bill Cunningham has been around and got 6. Chris gave me $50 so I can easily cover the 50 Irish shirts I have to pick up Friday.
Didn’t do too much in the evening – bed by 10.20. Today’s weather was really bad – storms. Wrote a letter to Plucky and Kieran.

Sunday 21st Feb
Been neglecting this diary, - a reason being is I have been spending all my time writing to Caroline. Basically I have been twiddling on in the factory not doing too much overtime. Working from ½ 6 to ½ 3 – still pleased to be working. Caroline sent me Whitney’s tape “I will always love you” – what a woofta.
I can’t get my video to work – the editing part.
Friday night phoned Plucko – she was in good form. I went to the Grand in Bondi and had a mega sesh – ended up in the Coogee Bay Hotel and then asleep on the doorstep. I was dying yesterday. Had a good hour on the beach, did some laundry and then went to the cricket with John and sold another 3 shirts.
Straight out and met Jacko in the Captain Cook and dragged him to Coogee to see Sharon, Woody, Perigo etc. Had a few beers and went to Randwick rugby club to watch the rugby but it wasn’t on. I came home to watch it but not surprisingly crashed out so I don’t know the score. Wales were losing 14-0 at half time. The game on was Ireland/France. The frogs looked in control.
Wales got stuffed 20-0. The day was awful – went to Paddies market got myself a wallet and watch. Cooked a chilli, wrote a letter to Plucky and did some editing on tape.

Monday 22nd Feb
An ok day in work – up at 5 and did some editing on the vid. Work went smoother than normal. After woods I went to the Post Office and took the boogie board to the sea. – Freezing
We had a game of touch and had an all you can eat Monday special nosh up. I feel bloated now. Wrote to Caroline and it is time for bed.

Tuesday 23rd Feb
Knackered – just came back from training, running up and down those steps on the reservoir. Killed me. Today in work I had to unload a container which was different from my dossy little number that I have got at the moment. When pay came it was £357. I asked Gerard why I was on $10.50 and the others on $11.87 – he was really weird “This is not the time and place – phone me later” – I did and I got my pay rise – means nearly $48 a week – bit of a bonus.
I went to the beach and had surf on the boogie boards and went training. Written a letter to Caroline.
Freezing cold this morning.

Wednesday 24th Feb
Up late so I had to run to work – well, to the bus stop anyway. A quiet day in work, because the system is improving I suppose. My feet are still under the table. Got home to a letter off Catherine Buckley and a photo of her sprogs. I have written a letter home and one to Caroline. We all went out for an all you can eat Pizza – not impressed – too samey. I went down the beach, but the waves were garbage.
I phoned Helen to see how she was and everything is ok with Caroline jr.

Thursday 25th Feb
A mare of a day. Up ok but Fred told me that tomorrow would be my last day. – Talk about a kick in the balls. I was gutted. I feel like I have let Caroline down a bit. I need work to get my NZ plan in operation – not over happy at all. Spent all day with my chin on the floor.
Went in the sea – garbage waves. I phoned Plucky to cheer me up; I also had a letter from her. I really miss her, it’s all got to work. I am sending her a video tomorrow.
I went to the gym with Chris and Jason – really good fun. I will go again.

Friday 26th Feb
Now unemployed again. Gloom, gloom, gloom.

Sunday 28th February
3pm – full up with a cold. Feeling very rough. Yesterday I went to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi gras with Sharon. What a laugh – I got some brilliant stuff on the camcord – really outrageous, but bad news is that it doesn’t work now with the battery because one of the pins has broken. We are now over to Jane and Fiona’s for grub. I have said that I won’t drink so that I will drive back. I was going to see Jacko later but he jipped out.

Tuesday 2nd March
Things are not going good at all on the job front. No work Monday or today – very frustrating. Had a letter from Paula – who s pregnant, which is good news for her.
Haven’t done that much. I have a little deal with the Aaronbrook Lodge to make their T’s – I quoted them $7 a shirt so I will make a dollar on every one and I will make a few bob on the artwork and on the screens for setting them up. Not working hasn’t really worried me because it is sunny and I have a cold, but I really need work + if I am not working tomorrow I will get worried.
John and Martina are moving out on Saturday and we have two Manchester lads moving in. I don’t even know their names. I am off training now with Waverley – should be hard – GIZZAJOB.
Later 11pm. Tomorrow I will be more positive. If (as if) DSC don’t give me a job I will phone up the other job agencies.
I went training – very hard, which has got to be good for me I had a bit of luck in the evening, the Moon and sixpence pub wants 20 Celtic shirts – brilliant. I will wait for the cheque to arrive before I send them off but I will order them tomorrow.

Thursday 4th March
An enjoyable day doing supply teaching at last. I had a phone call at 8.10, quickly showered and changed and got a taxi to Sydney Boys school. What a doss – had three classes, all boys – all very well behaved. Two free periods. I will not rely on teaching as it is very limited at the moment but a real bonus for today, only problem was I had a hangover all morning.
Yesterday I registered in another agency and had a frustrating day phoning around places. – I have an interview in the morning, but hopefully won’t be able to make it as I will be working somewhere. I went to the Oceania last night and had a fair old sesh. Got back at 2. I sent off quite a lovey, dovey card to Caroline + had a letter off Kieran – I am quite certain he knows about me and Caroline, not that it really matters to me.
I sent a birthday card to Nan and yesterday sent 20 Celtic shirts to Perth. I am now out and will be picking up more tomorrow.

Friday 5th March
Phone rang at ¼ to 7. I am sure it was a school but I didn’t get to it. I phoned up the two agencies I am now in but no work. I went and signed on with Manpower so I am now in 3. These will of course be of use next year as well. From North Sydney I went to C Bon and picked up my 30 Celtic and 30 Irish shirts. They were giving the Ranger’s boy a flash of orange so I stopped it (luckily) I had to wait an hour for it. I went over Jane Jones’ house last night for a georgeous Thai meal. I want the recipe. I had a letter off Helen with some georgeous pictures of Caroline-Louise. I also had two letters from “my” Caroline who is as beautiful but a bit older.

Saturday 6th March
Not a good day on the shirts. I went to a few pubs, but little response. I phoned Plucky for a nice chat this morning, gave me a boost.
Two lads phoned up who will be in NZ for the Lions – Stuart and Adrian who I am off for a beer with tonight. Rugby is on live Scotland v England – up the Jocks. Our boys are playing Plucky’s boys in Cardiff. Up the dragons. 1.30 – back to watch the rugby. A disappointing night – I am very tired and was just not “with it” – funny, I didn’t really want to make the effort to talk to anyone really – I felt I was killing time before the game. Definitely missing Caroline so much, especially nights like tonight. I am so much in love.

Monday 8th March
Quite down now – no phonecalls from schools and no luck in any of my agencies. I phoned up Drake and I am going to register with them. I mustn’t let myself get too low as it does happen. I cried out of Canberra with Russell Morgan. Caroline phoned up to rip into me about the game.

Tuesday 9th March ½ 6
Work! – I am working in a factory job in North Ryde, which is miles away. I phoned up all the agencies at 4 – nothing, then had a phonecall at ½ 5. $13.70 an hour – the journey in is a drag but it’s work and I am very pleased. Ironically after all my lack of work I had a call off Andy Martin the deputy head of St Paul’s in Manly for a day’s teaching which I had to knock back for the factory. I would rather be teaching.
Last night played touch football – fairly hard as it was 3 on 3. My feet are playing up with athlete’s foot which I can’t get rid of. I phoned up Nan yesterday to wish her happy birthday. Woke up to a massive electrical storm. I have to get to town by 6.59 to get a bus to Macquarie shopping centre by 7.40. Hopefully I will be able to get in by train. I will try and sus it out tonight. Today I expect to be unloading container Lorries.

Wednesday 10th March 6.15
On the bus to work in N. Ryde. It took me 1 ½ hours to get back last night. The work is in a Sony factory. Yesterday I spent the day opening boxes and sticking warranties in them and re sealing them. I was also sticking plugs on tele’s. The main problem is the distance from Coogee, but some of the boys in the factory have been there for 3 months. The job is not 100% secure – when the work runs out they lay you off but here is fingers crossed for work till May – hope so anyway. I have a problem of when to get to CBon to pick up my shirts for Sunday. I will have to give them a ring from work. Of course I am happy to be working. The hours vary, usually 8-4 but sometimes they add another hour on either side.
I wrote a letter to Caroline yesterday on the bus expressing some of my feelings – the poof I am. I don’t know when I will be able to phone her on the 11th. It is important for me as well as her. I am really missing her now. I had a letter off Juddy and Plucky yesterday. She was saying we are over half way, figuring March is ½ way between September and September. That is ridiculous as I expect to be back by the end of July.

Thursday 11th March
Just got to the Sony factory ½ hour early. Didn’t do anything last night – got in about 14 to 6 – went to CBH and they won’t take the shirt – gutted. Had some grub, festered around - saw Oprah interview Michael Jackson and went to bed about 10.
I phoned Plucky today – not in. The 11th is very important for us + I need to talk to her, but I don’t want to dwell on it every year.
The job is going ok – a few people to talk to and the radio is on. Yesterday we were opening boxes and today it looks like a container lorry has arrived – what does that mean?

Friday 12th March
A very mixed day yesterday which thankfully turned out ok? Work was fine and I was quite enjoying the security of working. At 5 to 4 he dropped the bombshell that 4 of us weren’t needed. To say I was gutted was an understatement. I was back to square 1 again, I couldn’t believe it. I got off the bus and phoned Caroline – I needed to. Not much of a conversation because she was half asleep – I had woken her up. I phoned up all 4 of my job agencies. DSC said I could take down a tent on Monday and Tuesday. I got back by train, really gutted. I phoned up Andy Martin from St Paul’s – he had asked me to work Wednesday and I said No, I said that I was now available and he said what about tomorrow. YEEES. What a bargain. So I am in. Up at 6 today and phoned Caroline again. Had a laugh on the phone about her “feeling strong” Into work on the jet cat – what a way to commute. I got in far too early. – Andy said the kids were trouble but they seemed fine – only 400 in the school. I am now in two minds whether to take down the tent! Do I do those two days or do I hope for more teaching. If I go for the teaching it means I blow out DSC which is daft. But – teaching is double the money and more fun.

Saturday 13th March
Election day in Oz (10pm) and things are looking great. I was concerned that the Liberals (Henson – Tories) were going to get in but now it looks like the boys (Keating Labour) will stay in power. At last we have won an election.
Today is a festering sort of day. I couldn’t raise the $600 for the shirts so I had to grab $130 from rent. Picked up shirts for tomorrow – please god let me do ok. Missing Caroline lots. Went to the TakiToa sesh so I got back early to watch the election.

Monday 15th March 7.30
Fairly hungover – went to the Mercantile last night – got there about 9. I worked at the Irish festival flogging shirts. It started off ok but basically the competition crucified me. I was banging them out for $20 and these other lads dropped their price to $5. I had no chance at all. I brought back about $800 which will pay off a few debts and obviously something to build on for Wednesday.

(Starting this a couple of months in)

Tuesday 20th April 6.15am Sydney Airport
Off to Auckland now – hopefully to make my killing – it won’t be for lack of trying. I spent yesterday running around. Did some editing in the morning then went to Randwick and picked up a cracking pair of hiking boots – really nice. I then went to Bondi with Gwynfor. Amazingly my ticket wasn’t there. I hung about for an hour then I went to see Andy Lucas. I will see him again in Cardiff.
I finally picked up my tickets in Bondi. I couldn’t get in touch with J+F because they never left a forwarding address + City Extra were totally useless. I went for an all you can eat Italian – in the evening had a quiet night in.
Sunday night at the Mercantile was a cracker – went to the Hero of Waterloo as well – got a bit of it on tape.
6.45 am Pat would crucify me. All the artwork I had was left at the counter so I had to run back through customs for them !!
So – aims for New Zealand. Basically I have got to do well. I am confident (as always) but I realize that the competition might absolutely crucify me on price. This week when I establish the price will be as important as actually selling the shirts. I want a price of $6 a shirt, I will easily go up to $7 and reluctant to rise to $8. I also want a price of $1 for printing. I have got about $2,000 to play with. I want to make $10k which will mean I will be able to fly home for the wedding, pick up Caroline and fly back. – no Asia $10K is the minimum if I fly back. $20K will mean going through Asia with Plucky (what a dream). Anything over $20k would be great. I want to leave anything over $30k in Oz so that I can get a Kombi. I have got to aim high. So far Bill and Rob and Gwyn are in defo. It should be a great laugh – I am really looking forward to it.
Money matters I have got $700 Australian with a chance of $400 being sent out by Sharon from shirts. In Access I have £2,000 - £200 available.
11pm Ivanhoe Lodge A bit iffy about the place – I may have a look at a few others. 3 girls in the dorm. One very strange and unfriendly and snoring loudly. Weather is definitely colder and I am very tired. I phoned Caroline and she said I sounded down, I am not, just tired. $20 lasted no time. I did a shop and got myself a bank account. Shirt tails – the company I was with last time doesn’t exist anymore which is a big fly in the ointment. I had hoped to be with them. Tomorrow I will visit a few and sort out prices etc. Hopefully I can start it all up. Auckland are playing W. Samoa on Saturday which will be a cracker. I will try and phone Graham tomorrow for advice on prices. I hate the girl who is snoring – I hate dorms.
Wednesday 21st April 9pm
Up at ½ 9 and showered + had a coffee. I posted my letter to Caroline and walked for miles but they didn’t exist. I went to my first place and will not get the price I wanted. The first place gave me a printing quote of $3 but + GST so that would be $3.45. He has given me an address of T Shirt place that I can get plain whites at $7.36 which gives a shirt price of $10.81 that is better than Graham’s U2 price of $12 but still too high for me. I want to give them to the boys at bulk for $15 so my price has to be lower than $10.
I came back to the hostel for dinner – coffee again and two of the boys wanted a shirt so I sold them one each at $20 and gave them my talk. The “Chelsea Boy” – no names yet wants 10 for tomorrow as he has got 3 sold already, which is a real result for a start – get the buggers on the street while I am setting them up – hopefully they can earn easy money and come back for lots more.
In the afternoon I went to town then a bus to Mount Eden. Some old lady directed me the wrong way. I walked for miles and the heavens opened and I got drenched. I ended up buying a street directory so it won’t happen again. I found the place and Chris (ACI) was much more bendable on his printing costs. Looking at $2.40 for printing so that brings the price down to $9.76 which is better. I will spend tomorrow visiting another 1 or 2 printers then give them the art work to set it up and while they are doing that I will work on getting down the $7.36 for a blank shirt.
I got back and phoned home to tell them where I was, showered and had some grub. Wrote my letter to Caroline and now I am watching Prizzi’s Honour.
I tried to phone Bill but no answer – not that I expected it. I want Bill and Rob here asap – I wouldn’t have got drenched today with a car – also when the boys get here I will be able to move out of the dorm into a triple room.
Thursday 22nd April
Up at gone 10. Annoyed with myself a bit but it’s fairly cold and I was snuggled into a warm sleeping bag. I got a bus to a T Shirt place. Ridiculous quote, but I did eye some fairly cheap shirts – not many, but a few. I came back and Scotty in the hostel took 10 off me for $150 which was a confidence boost.
I then went back to ACI and ordered the screens. I have now got to get the shirts. I will take them in on Tuesday and they will hopefully be ready on Friday. My job now is to get the shirts as cheap as possible.
A bit of fun in the hostel as the manager is getting funny about putting the heat on – it’s freezing – what a joke. If he patronizes me just once I will leave. Basically in this hostel Scotty and Chris (I think) can sell the odd shirt for me and I can move on.
On the sports front good news is that Rangers are out of the cup as they only drew. Good. Also Rob Jones is in the Lions as Armstrong is out. Personally I reckon Rupert Moon has had a better season.
Friday 23rd April
Slept in till ½ 12 because I went out late last night to Tappers with about 6 people from the hostel. I had a sauna earlier and was really alive. Sold a couple of Lions shirts and more importantly got a few contacts. The buggers will go well but the competition could kill me.
I was dying this morning (afternoon) I found out where the shirt manufactures were – in Glenfield which was miles away. I thought sod it, I will go Monday – I then gave myself a bollocking. I am here to work, not to go on the pop. If I didn’t go to Glenfield I couldn’t justify going out last night. I am really determined that for the sake of a few beers I am not going to blow it. I remember sleeping in till 1 during U2 because I went clubbing the night before. It’s ridiculous putting in so much money and going on the pop. I have got a real aim now anyway, so old Caroline can be my conscience. I will always remember that day in Oz when I made 2 grand and how much contempt I felt about the bloke who was on the pop from ½ 11 and sold 0. I will drink but I have got to be disciplined. I will hopefully have the car most of the time anyway so I can’t drink.
I went to Poste Restante and had a letter from Caroline. Not just any letter but a really fantastic one saying how much she missed me – that’s defo mutual.
I had to wait 40 mins for the bus so I had a look around the Chinese market. A bit of a downer as I went in and showed this bloke my sample and he said that some bloke had phoned in that morning with Lions shirts – competition rearing its ugly head, It is the competition that could kill me.
I went to the factory and saw some gear- the prices were:
White $7.20 that means + $2.40 print = $9.60
Black $7.59 = $9.99
Grey $7.84 = $10.24
Cheap white in med $4.50 =$6.90

I have ordered 200 white, 100 black, 50 meds and 2 grey
That comes to $2440, I also priced sweats at $23.06 so I ordered 20 = $461.26.
I have to get out $2,900 on Monday and I will be in business. I have of course got printing costs then. I will charge an extra dollar for XL and take of a dollar for medium. Sweats are a tricky one. I am paying $25.46 for a printed sweat so I will sell to the boys at $40 to sell on at $60 – which is only £20.
I went back to the hostel and made myself a Thai curry and spent ¾ hour writing to my darling. I then went for a sauna for ½ hour which was lovely. A night in watching the rugby league.

Sunday 25th April Auckland beat Western Samoa in Super 10
Another late morning. I have no mega incentive to get up so simply I don’t because it’s fairly cold. Yesterday I went to see Auckland beat Western Samoa at Mt Smart. We sat on the hill. Before the game I went to see Scott and Huw in Auckland central – they are both in for shirts and Scott is prepared to stand in Queen St and sell them. We got on the shuttle bus and there were 3 public school boys doing their “world tour” before Uni – I had a word with them and they are going to take 50. Good lads. They will get rid of them easily because they are headed down to Queenstown. What a bargain. I actually ordered 50 more on the strength of that. If they let me down I will still use them.
I phoned Bill up in Christchurch and am not overjoyed with him. Basically I desperately need the car to kick things off here and also somewhere to store the shirts in. Bill is happy to stay in Christchurch because they have got free rent. I understand that but our aims are completely different.
I phoned Brent Scott to say I was around and he invited us all down which will be a laugh. – he said he hasn’t even got an address!!
At the rugby bar I took my flag and the bloke said to come in for an interview and he will get me in the paper as one of the first Lions supporters to arrive, - what a bargain. So, being modest I will pop in today and then wander over to the Vic market for the afternoon and see if I can get a contact or two there.
5pm went to the rugby bar – no interview. Those boys may not take 50 either – ii told them to let me know. I then went to the Victoria market and hopefully had a result. I have to see “Buster” tomorrow. His sister was talking in ‘00’s but I have heard it all before. I popped into Kitty O’Brien’s an Irish pub and they might take some.

Monday 24th April
Midday – went to the bank and took out $2,700 and $500 of my own money and paid for the shirts $2,800 and also $200 deposit on sweats. So it is all go now – I have got to go and see Chris at the printers about 4. I am off to see Buster now. Last night I went to the Auckland Irish club – really dead so I went to Kitty O’Brien’s – I knew quite a few people there which was nice. I tried to phone Plucky twice with no luck so I was a little disappointed in that. Gutted in fact. I can’t see me going to Tappers again. It will be either the rugby bar or Kitty’s.
Hopefully with seeing the artwork today they will be printed before Thursday and I can start.
9pm I am actually sitting in the sauna so I will write a few words before I start sweating. I did quite a lot today and spent quite a lot as well. I went to ACI and looked over the artwork. I am pleased with the way things are going but as soon as I get the shirts on Thursday I can really start. People are always so full of it before they part with their money. Those 3 lads disappeared. I am still hoping on Buster in the market but it is all talk until I see the cash. The black shirts will cost $4 to print, which is a fortune.
I phoned Caroline and had my little chat so I was pleased about that. Just think IF (fingers crossed) everything goes well in 3 months I will be with her – what a dream. I can’t get in touch with Bill – I phoned twice. I reckon that if he was here now he would be bored stiff. But, at the moment I have no mates – although I am working hard doing all the running around. If I ring him I hope to see him Friday, but in reality I would be happy if he is here a week today.
Tuesday 27th April
A real downer of a day. I’ve been soaked through and achieved less than very little. Up early, my shirts haven’t arrived at the printers so I had to chase that up. They were there by 12. I phoned Bill and he is in two minds whether to hitch up or to get a car in Christchurch and drive up. It will cost $140 to get over from S to N island.
I never left the hostel till ½ 10 because we were in the middle of a massive storm. I went walking around all morning and got absolutely no where. I went to the university and got nowhere. No rugby clubs on campus. Up to some pubs – nothing.
Being cynical: Yesterday I had a day where I felt I achieved something – everybody was very positive and I was going to make a fortune. Today – nobody wanted to know. What was the difference? – Easy – yesterday I was spending $4,000 and everyone was nice, but today I was trying to sell them. Nobody would even buy 10. Tomorrow I have got to get a present for mum and a card in the post. I am shattered.
9pm – Sauna time – a quick entry before I start to drip – Ii will be glad to sweat out a really awful day. I phoned Sydney and it looks like Fiona did take my bag which is important. It will be an excuse for her to see Caroline. My bag will actually be in the air as I write. I phoned Bill and he will probably get the car in Christchurch and drive it up. I would expect to see him I would say Sunday which would mean I would be off the ground by then. I hate t he waiting around. The boys in Sydney said that there were two letters from Plucky but they haven’t sent them. – I am starting to sweat a bit now.
Monday 28th April
I had my lie in till 11. I will be up early tomorrow as I have got to pick up my first consignment at last. I walked into town. Yesterday I felt quite stressed out. The rain didn’t help Today I had fairly low expectations so it went ok. I got mum a relaxation tape – I don’t know how she will take it. I had a card off mum wishing me all the best in NZ and two letters off Plucky (love her) so I had a great 20 minutes reading the mail from the women in my life. I met up with the two Cardiff girls from the hostel, Caroline and Vicky and had a wander around Auckland with them.
I had a monster of a curry in the evening. Nice to see the Street on the box – I have just had a sauna.
I have moved into my own room and will be joined by Bill and Rob hopefully on Sunday – they are looking at cars now.

Thursday 29th April
Sitting in a room of shirts. Very daunting. I have been to town to get rid of a bag full to different places. I have got $660 in cash, but my access bill is $3765, so obviously I have loads to do.
I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. – Very cold. I went to the bank and then the printers to help them out. I got back and gave Andy the 10 shirts I owed him; I then took in 10 shirts for Huw and Scott in town. They are very keen. Then to the rugby bar. He gave me $100 – owes me $50- Not happy with him at all. Then to Bad Habits who had 10 off me and then to see Buster who wasn’t there in the market. He will not take 100 off me now surprise, surprise. I had a message off Bill and Rob and I’ve got to ring them now.
¼ TO 10 Just got in the Sauna – It is hot and what I need – I have had a fairly eventful day. I have just walked to Ponsonby Road to the Harp and Crown and he has taken 1 of each to show around – I really don’t want to do that. Why should I? I went to the Horse and Trap and have got to go again tomorrow. I was tempted to go to Kitty O’Brien’s but I knocked that back, I will go tomorrow after Auckland v Natal. I phoned up Bill and he has checked the car and expects to be here Monday now as he will pick it up Saturday and drive up Sunday. On a positive note: I have two definite outlets already with 4 boys pushing them for me. That’s better than even U2, but I have got to aim higher because it is a bigger reward i.e. Plucko

1st May
Up at midday – what a mare – but it is cold – a fairly fruitless day. I went to Parnell but the Nags head was not available. I went to the Chinese market which is a story in itself. Yesterday I left a shirt with a bloke and he had sold it within 2 hours – but today they didn’t want it. The bloke in the stall next door told me he was a “copier” so Berns shirts could be a victim of the rip off boys. Yesterday I went to see the rugby and my flag got drenched and ran everywhere. Gutted. I will be up tonight to watch Wigan / Widnes live at ¼ past 1. I may have a Sauna and go to Kitty O’Brien’s

Monday 3rd May
Up at ½ 9 – my coffee was nicked!! Bad start. – phoned Plucky for a few minutes – not enough and drove into town – got rid of a few shirts today in the market and a few pubs. The car broke down on me. I drove home and saw Bill and Rob were in so we went back to town. We had some grub and had a real laugh going through the offices and taking notes. We went to the Nags Head, Kitty’s, and King and Crown and back to the Ivanhoe to watch the State of Origin League game. NSW beat Queensland – great game – its cold We are moving up country tomorrow.

Tuesday 4th May
On the road. We have just been to Weiwera Hot pools so I am feeling all glowy. I flogged only 6 shirts but I have got to get the money tomorrow so it’s not a great result. We got in by paying an entrance fee of one shirt. Up this morning and into town. I bought 100 cheaper shirts at $5.70 and 6 sweats and took them to the printers. Hopefully I will be able to pick them up Thursday with the new black ones. I spent about $700 again today, but that is out of my “wedge”
11pm Whangarei – we are booked into a motel for $15 each – great rooms. We will use it as our base during the Lions tour. I did a stock take. We are well short on All Black shirts so I will ring tomorrow and get all of the 100 of those shirts to be printed as All Black shirts. Tomorrow we have a job to shift 30 odd All Black shirts, once we have done that we may as well go back or see some sights or some spots – why not?

Thursday 6th May
Back in Auckland. We cleared all the All Black shirts yesterday and drove back in the evening. I phoned mum for her birthday – the twins were around so she was in good spirits. Nan O’Brien is very ill.
10pm The Whangarei trip was fairly successful – gave me a buzz to get out of Auckland. 10 shirts here and there in the pubs didn’t hurt at all.
Today I was up at ½ 8 the boys were dead to the world. I picked up the 100 All Black shirts – the quality was garbage – much stress off Bill and Rob. I’ll get better in the future i.e. tomorrow hopefully. Into Beer Essentials – they had sold out so I replaced them – I took 20 to the Tartan bar so I got some money together. – After dinner I picked up my new black shirts. Really good quality and design. The boys went to see the crying game, I had a sauna and an early night. Looking for a big day on the shirts tomorrow as North Harbour are playing N. Transvaal – hope to flog a bit of cotton and then push down South on Monday, or even better would be Sunday.

Saturday 8th May 1993
Just got in the sauna. Hung-over all day – feeling really rough. Yesterday we went to the rugby and N. Harbour stuffed the boys from South Africa – quite a good game. We ended up having a major sesh in the hostel – a few freebies thrown in – which was nice. The boys had quite a good day flogging which is good for me. I did some running around and picked up my new sweats which are real crackers. I also organized a bit of couriering which I will hopefully try out soon. We went to North Harbour today – had grub but no sale. Bad Habits phoned and took another 17. I have got to make a delivery to the Harp and crown.

Sunday 9th May Hamilton
We moved off down South – stopped at about 4 pubs but no one wanted to know. We have got a motel room – TV and all the stuff. Just had a feed and now watching Total Recall, a bit disappointed about the lack of interest today. Doing Hamilton tomorrow! Then whizzing around the North Island. Got into the motel and into the hot tub – lovely. Last night I sold a celebrity T Shirt to Bernie McCahill. I didn’t drink so a cheap night. I am all in for getting up at 7 tomorrow. The boys are talking ½ 9 ish – I can’t get the staff.

Monday 10th May Hamilton 9am
I have been up since 7.10 pestering the boys to get up and on the streets. I have had light bulbs chucked at me, the radio is on and now we are into Hamilton. Hopefully to have a good day. The boys got rid of 28 in Whangarei and I did 20 so if the boys can do the same and I did say double ii would be happy.
On a financial report I have got $600 with $500 in the bank. I haven’t had a stock take but I have roughly got 80 black shirts, 150 All Black and 70 Lions – a good aim would be to break even before the tour starts and then make some $$ during the tour.
I have lost my little red book which was not a good move but luckily I have made a copy of most of my addresses and numbers.
We had a spa last night – really warm – took in the camcorder. We also had meeting + we have made a plan of attack over the next 7 days which will keep us busy. New Plymouth, Wellington, Napier, Rotorua + Taupo.
Turangi 9pm
Turangi is south of Lake Taupo. We were at Hamilton all day and we have driven the wrong way. People kept telling us we were going the right way – we are now 5 hours from where we should be. – What a mare. I kept saying we were going the wrong way but the boys wouldn’t have it. We are now in a hostel having a beer. No food to be found. It is not as if Hamilton was a raging success. I had one hit of 14 shirts, and a couple of All Blacks and two places took 1 of each. The boys sold 15
Our plan of attack for the next 7 days have gone out of the window. We bought ourselves a crook lock for 60 odd dollars – unlike Bill’s radio it works.

Tuesday 11 May
After yesterdays debacle we have had a better day today. We have just arrived in Napier but are struggling to find accommodation because it is the school holidays – everywhere seems to be full. We lost our deposit in the YHA in Turangi but Bill gained a sleeping bag and the room was better aired than when we found it.
We had actually written off today and decided to head for Napier but we popped into the local Taupo Gazette where we gave an interview. It actually cost us about 2 hours of time as we ended up going with the photographer to some rugby ground and had our photo taken with me standing on the car, Bill standing on the posts and Rob sitting on the cross bar. The boys sold 20 and I had one big hit and then we drove on to Napier and swapped a shirt for $15 of veggies. I also got a sale in the pub! Napier looks like a really good place with first impressions, but we are a day behind. I phoned up Irvie Blue and ordered 120 shirts and put $787 in the bank and phoned Chris to print them tomorrow. I have got to phone up the couriers to get them to Rotorua hopefully for Saturday. The All Blacks trials are on Sunday – hoping to clear a few then.

Thursday 13th May Nearer Hastings than Palmerston North 10.20
A late start today, but well deserved. Yesterday we had a real stormer of a day in Napier with the boys clearing 40 and me pushing out 80 to the shops. Napier is a great place! So it’s off to Palmerston North with very little gear. I did some banking yesterday and have got 300 shirts arriving in Rotorua on Friday morning. I ballsed up a bit because I could have got the 100 All Black shirts to go to Palmerston North and given us more work in the place. I am learning. Yesterday we rewarded ourselves with a $60 motel room- had a massive egg curry – some red wine which killed me. Only TV of note was the Street. I just couldn’t get to sleep. Got myself some 501’s for $130.
In discussions I will raise enough cash to get 300 shirts down to Rob in Wellington. He will fly down ahead of us and miss the North Auckland game. It’s a fairly grim day, raining: we are about an hour from Palmerston North
10.30 a disappointing day on the cotton in Palmerston – we had very little gear and no one was interested. We are now in Rotorua. Me and Rob just had a hot bath. Amazing. Tomorrow I am going to pick up the 300 odd shirts – I have got to order some more. Things a really working.

Sunday 16th May Rotorua 9am
Not confident at all for today. It has been raining really heavily all night and it is really dreadful out now. In Rotorua is the final trial for the All Blacks but there won’t be any crowd. Everything is against us. The ground is very exposed, and it’s live on Tele. Can’t be helped though.
On Friday we had a fairly good day in Rotorua. I had enough money to order another 200 All Black shirts and my wedge is $1400, but I owe $400 in printing costs. Friday night the boys went out at ½ 6 and got slaughtered. Bill trying to flog shirts to Laurie Mains and Earl Kirtain the All Black selectors. Yesterday was a wipe out – we were up late, but basically Rotorua was closed. We went to see Groundhog Day – started out crap but it was ok. I phoned Caroline. She said she had written a couple of “low” letters because C.Menton has got a job in Ireland – 2 miles from Plucky’s house. Caroline is thinking what if she got a job like that and is hoping everything works out. It won’t be for lack of trying. Sometimes phoning her really hurts because I want to be there. It’s only two months to go. I have still got a lot of work to do and can only have faith in her. I love her.
Back to the cotton front things are bleak today.
11pm Today was a total washout – what a massive bummer. It has poured down solidly for 24 hours and we sold v. little shirts so basically a waste of time coming to Rotorua. The thing is we couldn’t have been better at planning and we couldn’t have worked harder – happens, I suppose but it is annoying.

Monday 17th May 9pm Auckland
Just came into the sauna to sweat away all my problems. They are mounting. I am at my lowest I have ever felt in NZ. We got back to Auckland after a particularly bad days selling in Rotorua to the news off Andy that my shirts have been copied and are on the streets of Auckland now at $15 each. We are knackered. I am angry and upset and thinking for the first time about failure. I knew competition would kill me but not my own shirt with my name on it. It is not fair. This was the big one. What if I can’t get home to see Caroline? I would be defeated. I love her.

Wednesday 19th May 8.30 am
Started to calm down now. I was really stressed out yesterday. Basically we have got to get out of it. Yesterday I had loads of mail. 5 off Caroline, the little treasure she is. One off Kev, One off Paula. I picked up loads of Black tees and took them to the printers. Then into town. Bad habits = no, but Beer essentials took another 10. A quiet evening – met this bloke Mark who wants to flog shirts and saw Simpsons, Cheers, sauna then bed. I really needed an early night because I was overtired and stressed out. Today I will pick up Gwynfor at the airport and I want to get a roof rack. Pick up the black shirts later and shove off to Whangarei tomorrow.

Thursday 20th May 8.45am
Feeling rough. Had a few beers in the bar last night. Yesterday Yan took all day to fix the stereo on the car. At last we have got sounds.
I went to pick up Gwynfor but the plane was delayed so I nipped into Mangere and sold 4 shirts. I picked up Gwyn and then drove back to the hostel and then into town. No mail, into the market and then picked up 100 black shirts. Had a row with the boys about a roof rack. Yan back on the car in the dark.
I went to town about 8 and had a chat to these lads who are following the tour. I have got to make a delivery today. I then had a sesh in the evening. Gwynfor has coined a lift up to Whangarei with these 3 girls who are going north.

Friday 21st May 7.30 Whangarei
On the cotton today in Whangarei. I didn’t do so great but Bill and Rob had a stormer. After Gwynfor’s salesman of the day stunner yesterday he is wearing the dunce’s hat today. We are all fairly tired but we will hit the pubs tonight. I phoned to get more sent up but it wasn’t on. The first Lions game tomorrow. – it would be great if we stuff them, greater if I can get rid of all the shirts.
Yesterday I got two letters off Caroline. She was fairly down so I wrote a stunner last night. Up at 7 top watch the FA cup. I won $10 off Rob on Arsenal beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1

Saturday 22nd May 8.45
Match day today – North Auckland v Lions. Weather is fine thankfully. I am praying that we don’t see any competition which would kill us. I have got a wedge of $2200 – obviously I will aim to get $3200 by the end of the day. We did end up in a bar but I came home early. Saw a few people who I had flogged t shirts to and some lads who I met who got a campervan who bought 15 so hopefully all those will do well as well
Just got back early and with cheques and money in the bank I have got about $4 and a half K. This is great news. No real sighting of the rip off boys. The Lions won 32-18

Sunday 23rd May 12.30
Am I hung over or what. Great night last night in the Grand Whangarei. Lions all were doing the karaoke. At the moment we are waiting for Bill as he is a dirty stop out. There is no room in the car at all. I have about $4 and a half k so I will throw $1000 in the bank to pay off my access which will help. On the Caroline front she has resigned – which is brilliant news. I had a chat. I also phoned dad and I an. We all still have a bit of work to do. I am hoping that Rob will get on a plane with about 300 shirts tomorrow and head down to Wellington. I want to go to sleep.

Monday 24th May
I’ve had a really busy day doing organizing. I got up at ½ 8 and drove Rob to the airport. He flew to Wellington with 230 shirts which, hopefully he will get rid of.
Then back to the hostel. Bill was still in bed. I went over to North Harbour and picked up 200 shirts, then we had a real result. We went to the pub to pick up my flag – it looks brilliant. There was a press conference on, so we just went in. All interesting stuff. Then to Novelli to pick up another 200 shirts and then to ACI to drop them off. I have lost my brown book which is really annoying.
Into town to re trace my steps – to the post office. I had two letters off Caroline. I will reply to them now in the bar, while watching the State of Origin game.

Thursday 27th May
Neglected the diary a bit because I have been busy which is not a bad thing. The Lions beat North Harbour yesterday 29-13 – really physical match. Brilliant try by Tony Underwood and a mass scrap. These t shirts still puzzle me how they are going. We seem to be doing better on the day before the match than on match day which is really strange. Yesterday the boys hired a car, but it didn’t really work out as they never sold that many. Tony has now joined us from the full trip. From Cork – He has basically dumped his American girlfriend to follow the Lions – she was not happy. I am a bit fragile as we were in Kitty O’Brien’s till midnight – a real great night again. About 6 of the Lions were up singing
10.30 pm Bulls
As expected, a very late start half 12 – I wanted to leave at 9 but we all had things to do and were in no real mood to do it. I went into town with Bill and filled up Beer essentials with shirts. I collected a letter off Caroline – giving me stress about last year’s diary. I gave her a ring cos I loves her. – She has told me not to ring next week as she is up in York with Jo.
I picked up 100 Black haka shirts and gave in 110 Lions shirts to be couriered to Christchurch to pick up Monday. Off we went and we have left Auckland for 3 weeks now. I am looking forward to the South Island. The trip down was a bit of a drag. We stopped off in Hamilton but no real luck there. I sold 10 shirts to Kelly and Graham at the Ivanhoe and we saw them in Hamilton. We had grub in Wanganui and have now booked a motel. - $50 I have sneaked in. It’s freezing out so we have got the heater on and electric blankets. I have set the alarm for ½ 6. The boys won’t be best pleased but we need an early start as experience shows the day before the test is the best day! I am very tired.

Friday 28th May
Up at ½ 6 and drove to Wellington. Rob done really well and gave me $1300 which I put in the bank. My access bill is now $1400 – I have got a long way to go before I reach $10,000 to get me back to Plucky and obviously the above (solicitors letter) notice doesn’t help at all. I am actually trespassing if I pay to see any of the games! It’s not as funny as the boys feel. I have got so much to lose. I am fairly tired but will go out tonight.

Wednesday 2nd June
Christchurch hasn’t been too kind to us, there doesn’t seem to be any real interest in the rugby and we have sold very little cotton. The backpackers Charlie B’s is awful and I have got a rotten cold. Game today is v Canterbury. Time now is 10 so we will give it another push.
6.40 Another win for the Lions. Absolutely freezing weather – we got stuffed in the first ¼ but Guscott scored a brilliant try and we dominated in the second half – probably go to a pub called Lochabars Scottish pub in town – off to Dunedin tomorrow. I phoned home, mum talking about Caroline.

Friday 4th June 11pm
I like Dunedin. A city with real character. Also the shirts have gone down very well . I sent home $1600 this morning. Pulled that in on the drive up. I also paid $80 to pick up the 100 Haka, All Blacks and Lions shirts. I worked really hard + even went out in the night. I have got $1700 with about $600 in the bank for printing.
A really sunny day but pouring down now. The Lions have picked a really strong side for the Otago game. No news from Bill, we will hopefully see him on the terraces tomorrow if the worst come to the worst. The backpackers we are staying in is the best one yet. Very impressed. Basically a house, very comfy. I was gutted that I have lost a letter that I wrote to Plucky. I am missing her – I don’t think she would enjoy all this t shirt flogging though.

Saturday 5th June
Dunedin is still a brilliant place but the Lions got creamed 37-23. A real pasting in the second half. Cotton is flying out of the window though. Bill came back from Invercargill with $1200 for me. Me and Rob did about 2 hours solid graft after the game. All in all over the last two days I have accumulated $4,900 which is fantastic. A lot of cheques but as Rob keeps saying “Dunedin is wedge city”
Got home to a meal off Gwyn and now on the town. Bayfield is out of the tour and Carling went off – obviously a bit of a worry as it was a shadow test team. 30 Tomorrow argghhhhh.
The backpackers doesn’t cease to amaze me. The bloke in charge saw us in the pub and said there is a fridge full of beer to commiserate – we caned it.

Monday 7th June Invercargill
Tour news not great. Scott Hastings is going home – fractured cheek and we are losing Dooley as his dad died. What a nightmare – for the test we lose both our line out jumpers. NZ are becoming very hot favourites. Personally I think we are in for a real pasting on Saturday. Money situation looks ok – I am in a position to order another 350 shirts and send another $2000 home which will be a total of $4000 saved. I have always said that I am aiming for $10k to get me home. Not over impressed with Invercargill. We have booked into motel units – even with the heater on it is very cold, Today is a bit of a dead day cotton wise as it is a bank holiday. Bill and Gwyn have just gone to some pubs - me and Rob will have a crack later. We had a meeting and Rob will fly from Christchurch to New Plymouth and from New Plymouth Rob will fly to Napier and Bill up to Auckland. I phoned home yesterday. Cath’s engagement to Barry is off – she is very upset. I wouldn’t be over surprised if I saw her in Oz next year.
I phoned Caroline, she was in good form and sunbathing as much as she can. I am missing her dreadfully

Wednesday 9th June Queenstown
Who couldn’t be impressed with Queenstown? We got up very late and drove up. Stopped a couple of times and arrived at Queenstown at 5 – too late to go around so we will hopefully be up early tomorrow, do a couple of hours selling and then the long drive up to Christchurch for the first test.
Predictions for the team is Leonard, Moore, Popplewell, Bayfield, Cronin, Richards, Webster, Clarke, Morris, Barnes, Guscott, Carling, Evans, Rory Underwood, Hastings (capt)
Bill reckons delete Richards and in goes Winterbottom – better ball hands. Rob wants Gasgoine, Linecker Gascott and Georgie Best

Sunday 13th June Christchurch 12.30
Feeling rough. Well 1-0 to NZ. The All Blacks beat the boys by 20-18. Not a great game but really exciting at the end. Gavin Hastings kicking a massive penalty with 5 mins to go then Fox winning the game in the last minute – gutted.
I had an awful day Friday, Nothing went right. My toe was killing me. The bloke who wanted 20 Haka shirts never showed, the rugby shop only wanted 2 shirts. I ended up having an operation on an in growing toenail. To make it worse we had the car broken into and I lost my green bag with about 40 shirts and my camera. Not happy at all.
Saturday was better on match day. Sold all the Lions shirts and the atmosphere at the ground was great. After the game we went our separate ways and sold loads of All Black shirts. I have got over $5000 in the safe so I will be making a phone call tomorrow to get some more shirts and I will be sticking some money in my “Caroline” account. I phoned her yesterday for a little chat – she is worried when to apply for her visa. I wish it was for more than a year. I phoned mum and dad this morning.
Rob is flying to New Plymouth and we have the long drive to Picton. We can’t get on the ferry as it is fully booked, but hopefully we will be on tomorrow.
12pm Picton in the backpackers - A great one compared to Charlie B’s. My name in the backpackers is Ronald Jerusalem which had us all in stitches. The trip up was uneventful – very windy and we killed a rabbit. – stopped at Kaikura for a fish supper which was georgeous. Bill sharked Gwyn lovely and Gwyn sharked Bill impressively later on – I was winning both ways.

Monday 14th June
We are now on the way to New Plymouth. Up at ¼ to 4 to get the ferry. Stopping all the way to sell cotton. Gwyn was mega out of order in Wanganui. Our meet was ½ 1 and he has us waiting till ¼ past 2 in the car. We set it up on tape and I had a real go at him so he upped and started packing to go home until we showed him the tape. Weather is really awful, I phoned through for 300 All Black shirts to pick up tomorrow in New Plymouth. Also, good news was I was able to put $2000 in my account at home which will now reach $8050. $2000 to go before I can make realistic plans about going home to pick up Caroline. When I get to the $10000 mark I will send her a shed full of flowers – the poof I am.

Wednesday 16th June
Match day again, Lions v Taranaki. We are now in New Plymouth. I had a couple of letters off Caroline and a strange one off Ian K’s mum asking me to go around the Lions asking for autographs. Nope – sorry. We haven’t really wedged it in New Plymouth but the money is dribbling in nicely. I will make another order tomorrow before we make another long drive to Auckland. Bad news is that all the tickets for the third test have been sold out. Graham and Kelly are back in the game flogging cotton like pixie’s. My toe is still killing me. Weather is freezing. We are off to the parade now at 12.
Lions stuffed Taranaki 49-23. Gibbsy had a good game. A very good morning on the cotton as Mike Burton’s boys arrived – so all the Lions shirts went – after the game – nothing. The news is I have $2000 to put in the bank – I will send it home tomorrow so that = my $10k to fly home. I will inform Caroline by a massive bunch of flowers tomorrow. Brilliant news. My aim now is to get to $15000. That will be $5000 = plenty for travelling + then I want some money for us to have a car in Australia. Everything is positive today.

Saturday 19th June
Match day again. Lion’s v Auckland.
Thursday was basically travelling all day. Highlight of the day was when some old witch demanded a hawkers license off Bill. – We made one.
Hawkers License. This license allows “Harry the Hawker” to sell cotton in New Zealand during June 1993 signed Larry the license provider Larry
She started arguing it wasn’t from Waitamo district – we argued back that Larry was from Auckland – much bigger. In the evening we saw “Consenting adults” which I thought was ok. On Friday we had a fairly disappointing day. I went to ACI to pick up shirts and then we went into town. I went to the post office which effectively wiped out the morning for me – I had 8 letters off Caroline. God I love that girl. I also had a letter off Nolesy and a card off Caroline Ferrario.
I restocked Bad Habits’ but Beer Essentials jipped out. I went back to Bad habits later and she took $500 worth – brilliant. Graham, Gary and Kelly were out – they all done well and wanted more shirts. In the evening me Bill and Rob went out – a bit too late really as we had a fantastic roast lamb from Gwyn really georgeous. So it’s all go today. I have got $1300 and $280 in cheques. We took a visit to Eden Park. Fox was practicing his kicking and we went over and had a word. – a bit of the tour I enjoy. He reckons no pressure today at all. No test, no championship points – missing Caroline heaps.

Sunday 20th June Auckland
Yesterday was a complete write off – we probably lost money!!. The Lions lost and I stuck $10 of diesel in the car. Clouds of smoke everywhere – boys aren’t happy. It will get fixed tomorrow. Rob is now in Napier – he flew today with a major hangover. I took Rob to the airport and tried to take the car back – went to see a film – Indecent proposal. Demi Moore is georgeous, but not as nice as Caroline.

Tuesday 22nd June ’93 Napier
Match day again. Today’s game is against Hawke’s Bay – we should win, but Saturday is the important one – 2nd test. Yesterday was all car. It had to be drained and ran through – cost me $80 – bargain. We actually left about ½ 1. I bought another 100 Lions and 100 Haka’s to be delivered to Wellington.
We can see things on the shirt front are definitely slowing up.- Most of the Lions supporters have now got one . I have now stopped making All Black shirts for the Lions and I am looking for the Bledisloe Cup. I have a couple of nasty patches of psoriasis which I am concerned about . Today is obviously the game, Bill is getting the car serviced. I know we won’t “wedge” today but I am hoping for a good one in Wellington. We are virtually writing off Hamilton and Auckland. I am relaxed. I have got my $10000 so all the risks are not real risks. I have got to get $1500 soon together for my ticket. So I will be looking forward to seeing Caroline again soon. 28 days is nothing but seems like an age.

Wednesday 23rd June
What a nightmare of a match yesterday. The Lions were 19-5 up at half time and got stuffed 29-19. They were awful, weather was georgeous. I didn’t enjoy the evening. The match never helped but I felt very unsociable. I was (am) missing Plucky so much and I didn’t really want to talk to anyone else. We had our car serviced which cost us $50 each,. Today we got up late and are driving down to Wellington On the cotton front I have ordered 50 more All Black and 50 more white Hakas (Whakas).
I have about 150 Lions 200 Hakas (Black) 130 All Blacks 70 Whakas. I have about $1600 in cash and soon I have to pay for my flight ticket. I am just hoping that the flight touches down in Heathrow. My Caroline count is 27
We have an executive meeting tonight to discuss our plans for the Aussie game.

Thursday 24th June
Up at ¼ past 9 and drove the 20 mins to Petone and picked up 100 All Black and 100 Lions – typically we are out of All Blacks now. – I am pleased that I got that extra 50 to be picked up tomorrow. Bill and Rob are suffering because they have had their jabs. I went out flogging cotton and sold 15 all day. – Same result for everybody else so I got a few bob in from Bill, Rob, Gwyn Graham and Kelly. Hoping for a big wedge day tomorrow. I have about $2000 in cash so I might book my flight ticket tomorrow which is a nice thought. At 2 a reporter came around to the backpackers and we had an interview which took an hour. When I got out I couldn’t find the car – the boys had it – a bit of a worry.

Saturday 26th June Match Day LIONS V NZ 2nd test
Today is the match of the tour. Wellington has given us glorious weather and I am convinced the Lions can win, but they will have to play brilliantly. Out last night to Midnight, got back to no bedding – Rob playing funny buggers – not happy with him at all. Gwyn is selling no cotton today as it’s his last test.

Sunday 27th Lions 20 Blacks 7
Really good fun yesterday with the boys doing the business on the park. We were miles and miles up – freezing cold. Lions faced a really strong wind and turned around at 9-7 We were then always going to win – Love it.
Cotton flew out of the window from all directions and I have wedged $6k over the last week. After the game me and Bill went flogging and ended up drinking with these Kiwi’s from Hawke’s Bay. I had a big steak in the bar and we went out about ½ 10 to really celebrate. Great night. I phoned Caroline – I am still madly in love and looking forward seeing her. Count is now 23. I also phoned home and Kev asked me to be an usher so I have to wear a monkey.

Monday 28th June – Bulls
We drove a couple of hours from Wellington yesterday. Stopped to play golf at Levin. I started off brilliantly – my putting superb but I went rapidly downhill and became the worst golfer in the world. Got to Bulls and bad news is there is snow. In the mountains and the Desert road is closed, so I can’t see us stopping for cotton selling as we will have to make loads of detours.
8pm A mixed sort of a day. I am really annoyed with myself because I have lost $400. We drove up from Levin. I had $6000 on me. I sent home $3000 so at home my total is $13000. I have also got my flight booked + I have paid $1000 out of the $1500 – I will pay the remaining $500 in Dunedin. I also paid $1500 towards 100 Lions and Aussie shirts.


So I will be in Caroline’s arms defo in 22 days time.
The drive up was driving rain but it could have been worse as the desert road was closed – also there is icy conditions in the South Island

Tuesday 29th June ’93 Hamilton
The Lions took a massive pasting 38-10 – they were absolutely crap which was a real bummer. I picked up 100 shirts this morning and they are virtually all gone now + I am sitting on a wedge of $1,800 – I will buy another 100 (Lions) tomorrow. I have tried to get in touch with a mate of Peter’s brother. I will have to do it tomorrow. After the test I went to the box office and bought some tickets for the final test $13 each, which is pleasing.
So 21 days and falling now, I got hammered on the phone $110 for 3 calls yesterday. Tonight’s agenda is curry and beers.
*Peter Wright at prop has completed a tour where he has impersonated a tea pot. Immobile with arms on his waist, for many games* Sums up Peter Wright’s tour, so frustrating to see someone playing for the Lions and walking around.

Thursday 1st July Auckland
Back in Auckland. Didn’t sell any cotton yesterday but I had a great result in that I found the missing $400 notes – yippee. To celebrate we had a game of golf which was a laugh. A quiet evening and a wonderful sauna. Read 5 letters from my darling, - Had a wedding invitation from Kevin. First time I have had a card to Bernard and Caroline!! Also had a letter off mum and one off Caroline Ferrario. Georgeous day but ice on the window screen this morning.

Sunday 4th July
All Black !!
We got stuffed 30-13 after being 10-0 up so disappointing. All gloom last night – after following the tour it is all over.
We went into town in the morning and shifted quite a bit of gear. Obviously now we are not getting any more.
So it’s all over – for us it’s been very successful – I will be sending home $2000 tomorrow so that will get me up to $15000 – That is all I will send home. I am basically now saving for a car for me and Caroline What a dream, this all seems to be working. So if I do get any money I will buy Aussie travellers cheques. My aim is to get about $5000. At the moment I have about 70 Blackas, 140 Whakas and 100 new Aussie shirts, I have left 30 Lions and 20 All Black shirts. Tomorrow I will buy another 100 Blackas and send them down to Wellington.
I phoned Caroline – really lovely to hear her voice – I spent $40 on the call – don’t begrudge her a penny. She is keen to go to Thailand now as well. Good. She had some bad news, but when she told me I laughed. – She really is funny – worrying about little things. I really do love her and can’t wait to get home to see her. Only 15 days before I am in her arms. Getting deep here but I remember flying into Heathrow at the end of my last trip and I felt really defeated. It was all over, but now it is the opposite. I have achieved what I wanted and it feels like the big beginning of my life with her. I can only give it my best.
I phoned home and dad wanted to know exactly when I will be back for my fitting.

Monday 5th July
What a waste of a day. My intention was to do some running around till ½ 10 and then shove off. In fact I got up at 1 and we didn’t get off till 7. The car wouldn’t start – live wire not connected. I couldn’t believe it.
The reason for the late start was last night. Saturday was heavy but last night was very heavy. 4 of us went into the sauna and had a water fight. One of the girls Kylie got drenched and became mega stroppy. Later we went to the bar to watch France / South Africa and Kylie was watching the film. – I wasn’t happy at all with a 16 year old kid stamping her feet. Film finished at ¼ to 11 so we wanted the Aussie Tonga game on. Kylie wanted to watch another film. I said we wanted to see the manager and we got our way. The rugby finished ¼ past 12 but Robbie was in charge of the bar. I was showing him sweats while Bill was filling up the glasses and at one stage Robbie went to the shops to get Mars bars and left us in charge of the bar. Bad move Robbie.
This morning I went to the post office – nothing, - chased up Mike Burton – not happy with him at all. I got money off Bad Habits then up to ACI –picked up 10 shirts and gave in 300 for Wellington. Bill and Rob are now in Blenheim for the game v W.Samoa and we will do the Samoa v NZ Uni’s game at Wellington on Saturday. We are now in Thames and will be travelling south tomorrow – ending up in Rotorua probably. Now travelling with Dave and Mark.

Tuesday 6th July Te Puke
Up at 7 – fitness, my god. I did 50 sit ups. No reason why I can’t do sit ups every day I did some banking and we worked in Thames, then drove down the coast stopping in different places. I ordered 100 more Blacka shirts and will pick up 100 in Rotorua today. We are now in Te Puke in a motel. We had a brilliant spa then a cracking meal. Saw the Simpsons and Cheers, them went to a club to watch rugby on Sky. Natal v Transvaal. Tomorrow we will hit Te Puke and then travel via Rotorua. We may do the luge and then the big trip as far south as possible to get to Wellington on Thursday. My count is now on 14. I sent my Welsh flag and other bits and pieces to Plucky’s brother Mark.

Wednesday 7th July Wellington
Back in the Downtown Backpackers, but obviously not the same atmosphere as the last two times I was here. A waste of a day really but we made up for it by making the long drive to Wellington. We stopped off in Rotorua and basically wasted our selling time by going on the luge. – absolutely brilliant. – Huge queues but exhilarating must be the word. I came off three times in two goes and thankfully the third time I got down OK. Mark cut his knee open and ripped his jeans and sweat. O even though I came last I did survive. Fairly long drive – arrived about 9. I am hoping that Bill and Rob are on the late ferry and will join us about 11. If not we will hopefully see them tomorrow. We will all work Wellington Thursday and Friday then we have some options. Either stay in Wellington for the NZ Uni’s v Samoa game on Sunday or push down south Asap to wedge out in prep for the test on Saturday. I am pushing for the latter I suppose.

Saturday 10th July Christchurch
Wellington was useless. Bill and Rob came from Blenheim – useless, so we have driven down to Christchurch. Dave and Mark were on the bus with Mickey B – stop press – they have just arrived – they got their car. We have knocked the Samoan game on the head. We have been caning boxes of red wine every night which has crucified me twice.
I phoned Caroline last night. Good move as she was in fine form. I am so, so looking forward to seeing her again. My count is now on 10.
I also phoned mum and dad for a chat. Our car is so packed, I hope I haven’t overstretched myself! Ever confident though. We will have a short drive tomorrow.

Sunday 11th July Tamuka
Small place – 20k north of Timaru. We had a late night last night and did the 2 hour drive south. We wanted to play golf but couldn’t get a course that rented clubs. Gorgeous day – freezing night. We have got ourselves a motel room which is nice and warm. On the way we got stopped by the police – they were checking everyone. Billy C had his license handy. It could easily have been at the bottom of the car. Grub was beef stroganoff.
Tomorrow I aim to sell a wedge full of cotton – start at 9 and do some work in Timaru – then work down slowly southwards stopping in every pub/place on the way down. 9 days before I meet Caroline – something to look forward to.

Monday 12th July Omaru
Up at 9 and did a bit of work in Timaru – hardly flying out of the window but they are shifting slowly. We have got as far as Omaru which is 130km north of Dunedin. Roughly I have got 150 Blackas and 150 Whakas and I am thinking of getting 100 more. I have got $2900 – out of that $500 is taken by my air fare. I have got $365 in the bank so that is $2750. I need to put away $2000 to make my aim of $1500 for travelling so I suppose I can put another $750 into shirts. Virtually all the gear has no dates – so I can send them to Aussie (hopefully)
A fairly wet day – we stopped a number of times but most of the pubs we had already been to. We have got a motel room which is really lovely.
I posted a letter to Caroline this morning. No point in sending her any more really although I am tempted. I want to give her a ring on Thursday morning too see how she got on in her driving test. – It would be brilliant news if she passed. This time next week I will be on my way to Singapore so my count is on 8.

Thursday 15th July Dunedin
Caroline failed her test – I got the blame for not phoning to wish her best of luck – women!!
On a positive not I will be back o wish her best of luck in person. I phoned her tonight and she said she is starting to tell people in school. Paul Muncer didn’t believe her – Jealous probably! She can tell everyone as far as I am concerned.
Me Bill and Rob had an awful day on the cotton – because we hit the red wine last night. 3 boxes between 5 of us. I reckon I will clear all the T Shirts – I have just over $3000 in cash so tomorrow I will go to the bank and change them into travelers cheques. – Aussie dollars – that will be for a car. The rest of the money I will change into sterling traveler cheques for pocket money when I get home. My count is on 5

Friday 16th July Dunedin
A day of banking – didn’t sell that much cotton on the eve of the game really, but the money trickled in.
I went to the bank and changed $3200 to $2700 Aus traveler cheques. I like putting money into compartments and that is my money for “our” car when we get to Australia – hopefully we will both be able to drive it. We spent a few hours in the quadrant and in the evening had a less than successful sneak around the pubs so I have got $1700 in cash. Fairly cold day tomorrow in the Bledisloe Cup. I am sitting on loads of shirts but with the 6 of us I really believe we can do well.
So – Basically it’s one working day left! I am setting the alarm tomorrow to get the troops out at 9. I will do all the driving around - calm down Bern!! + get them flogging. Plan of attack is to get rid of all the white shirts first and then unload on the blacks. If I get stuck with any I would prefer them to be Blackas. I have every confidence the Whakabies will go.

Sunday 18th July 1993 Dunedin Midday
Well it’s all over – good.
On the rugby front the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 25-10. Enjoyable game – packed solid – tries by Bruce after Inga stormed through and a try by Fitzy. Foxy made a break!! Horan snatched a try for the Wallabies – brilliant player
The day started early – freezing cold and foggy. I dropped Mickey B, Dave and Mark in town and then went back for Bill and Rob. To say the morning was quiet was an understatement. We all went to the village and cleared a few and then it picked up fairly well, We did get rid of all the Whakas and I am stuck with about 40 Blackas and 30-40 Whakabies which I will post to oz – so the right result – I am pleased as sin. Final total was $4200 last night added to the $3200 for the car and $15000 I have sent home = $22,400 or £7000 odd pounds – a result for 2 months work. Looking back I can always say I made $20k but it was really really hard work and there were loads of worries. I have got quite a few people to thank but I can give myself a big pat on the back as well. I am pleased that I achieved what I aimed for and it means lie with Caroline will be easier next year with a car. Home to her tomorrow.
The evening was brilliant. The 6 of us went to the Little India curry house. I shouted Bill and Rob as a thank you and got in 3 bottles of Champagne the 1st one went everywhere – the grub was fantastic – we all had the banquet and two boxes of red went down well. – Really good company – we wee celebrating as well. I phoned Caroline and was over the moon that she was taking Tuesday morning off (for jabs!!) – such good news – we have so much to talk about. She was moaning that in school everybody knows about us. She can hardly blame me for that one. I phoned home as well + I have got to be back a week Monday for the fitting. I will go to Kevin’s wedding – Cardiff on Monday + Tuesday. I have got to pack today. Up at 5 tomorrow.

Monday 19th July Christchurch NZ

Up at 5 this morning. A bugger of a job to wake Billy C as we all went out last night for a meal and beers at Rosie O’Nasties. Bill and Mickey went on till about 3. Flew to Christchurch and now the for the big flight. This is a bind, but I am so looking forward to seeing Caroline. I don’t think I have ever looked forward to seeing someone as much as I do with her – it must be love (Poof)

I have changed all my NZ to £ 1,300 = lots!!

I got rid of shrapnel by playing machines and phoned Sharon, Jane and Jacko to tell them how I am getting on. So now it is to Singapore. In the three hours I am there I may go for a haircut and a shower. I am tired now – I don’t think I will even try to kip on this flight but try and knock out zzz’s on the next one. I think this plane goes to Auckland first – it does – we have actually got one and a half hours wait in Auckland –it’s a 1 hr 05 minute flight. I am feeling bored already.

11.50 Bored!! – I suppose it is only just sinking in that I will be seeing Caroline very, very soon. I have been on a high with the success of the Lions venture but nothing can compare with the high of our reuniting. I have missed her so much and I want to share all my thoughts and feelings with her.

Later – on my 4th wine + bags of nuts. This is a 10 hour flight. I will obviously watch the film, grub and stick my head down. I don’t mind staying awake on this flight, but I would love to kip all the next one. Even though it is boring I do love flying – all the energy involved. It is funny on these long flights I do miss the company of Pat. I can’t fathom that it will be Caroline with me on my next one. I have worked so hard for this

A preview of what I expect over the next few weeks. Obviously a week of real “Quality time” with Caroline. I just want to soak up her presence. Staff social on Wednesday which should be a good crack. On Thursday my darling tells me we are going to Caroline Menton’s BBQ. I will get back to Cardiff say Sunday afternoon. I would love Caroline to come – in fact I would love to be inseparable but she has got her brother in town. Kieran’s wedding is a week Saturday which I am really looking forward to. I have got a fitting this Monday. Then there is Kevin’s wedding – should be great, followed by a visit to Ireland and seeing Caroline’s folks. I will be a bit nervous but something I have to face. Then see some of Ireland. – Home and then the “Dream trip” with my “Dream woman” – I don’t feel nervous about travelling with Caroline – very excited yes and there will be problems being in each other’s pocket for 24 hours, but she has given up the security of a job and taking a mega risk coming with me. Similarly I am flying around the world to capture (re capture) her heart so I really think we deserve each other. I have always wanted us to be open and honest and our relationship is built on trust – after a year (nearly) all I can see is trust, honesty and openness getting stronger. I actually need Caroline very much. Our time apart has dragged and this 24 hours is also dragging. I am obviously looking forward to seeing Mum and dad, Pete, Kev and Cath, the twins and my new cousin Caroline.

As we are flying there is a map of the area showing progress. A geographers dream. We are now half way across the Tasman – looking down all is clouds

Later Four hours to Singapore

Outside I can see the red sandy desert of Oz near Broome. Films have been on and I have kipped a bit – Groundhog Day – I had seen and Home alone 2 was always going to be crap. I love the screen with the map on it showing the progress

Later smack on the equator now. And descending into Singapore. I have got a 2 ½ hour wait in Singapore. Plan of attack basically is to stay awake in the airport and on the next plane I would love 3 seats together and stretch out and kip. In Singapore I wouldn’t mind a shower and if possible get my haircut. That might not be on. I am shattered. I threw a couple of Bloody Mary’s down my neck which was nice

Singapore airport

Missed on a haircut as it was closing but I treated myself to a sauna – so obviously had a shower and shave so I am all fresh but tired to get on the plane. I got a bottle of Bailey’s for Caroline but I may end up giving it to mum as I can hardly turn up empty handed. Plan of attack now is easy – sleep. A lovely thought is that this flight will take me to Caroline.

Tuesday 20th July

Airborne – dawn or rather pre dawn – it’s about 3 hours to London (and Caroline) I have managed to get a bit of kip on the flight – but not much. I killed and hour by watching Disney’s Beauty and the beast. Home alone 2 is on now, which I am not the slightest bit interested. I am so pleased I had that sauna + shower. They have just woke us up as brecky will be served. I could do with a feed as I was asleep during the meal. Looking out the window there is a beautiful dawn waiting to take place. Being deep it’s like me and Caroline – hopefully a dawn of a continuation of a fantastic relationship. I really can’t wait to see her in less than three hours. I will be asleep by about 9 or 10 so it’s probably best she is in school this afternoon. She will be shattered tonight as it’s an early start for her.

Later – Less than an hour to go. Weather report is cloudy, which is a pity as I have a window seat. Feelings: excitement, apprehension – I have waited for this moment for a long, long time. An hour is too long. Waiting in customs for the bags will be murder, especially since I intend buying another bottle of Bailey’s to smuggle through – hardly a capital offence. London time is now 5 O’clock  - to think Caroline will be out of bed and will be on her way. I am so pleased she has got the morning off

6.20 She is not here!!

40 bloody hours in the air. I honestly didn’t want too much fuss but the excuse had better be a good un. I actually feel quite bemused. I was wondering what I was going to first say to her, but I can say if it all goes wrong now – you were late at the airport. I do love her so

11.20 pm – A lovely day - spent some fantastic time with Caroline, I have to pinch myself to believe it’s happening. Funny though – she has her English dept do tonight and had to go, so I was dumped. This afternoon I had a couple of hours kip and when she went out I popped over Ian’s – he gave Lowie a ring and on my first night back I was over the Blucher for a couple of pints of London Pride with the boys. I feel very tired now. Staff social tomorrow. I am all smiles.

Thursday 22nd July Twickenham

A couple of days of déjà vu. Yesterday was fun – I went into school about 2. Frank and Paul Leigh were retiring. – spoke to lots of people I wanted to. I told Caroline F about me and Caroline and she bit my head off for not telling her earlier. Mass was at ½ 2 and they had speeches. I nipped down to Nolesy’s for a chat. A BBQ was in school – good fun. Graham was digging like sin. Caroline told everyone about us. It was really wonderful to talk to everyone about our plans. Over to the plough for a late night.
Today I have been fairly bored. I made a Thai curry for later and had a kip as I still haven’t really recovered from the flight. I phoned mum to say I was back and I will be in Cardiff on Sunday. Tonight we have got our meal. Champagne is in – quite right we are celebrating! Tonight’s discussion will be on our timescale of when we are leaving. I will go into school tomorrow.

Saturday 24th July
A really enjoyable day in Gunnersbury yesterday, I went in with Caroline, but (silly girl) I disappeared on the way up to get a paper. I did some much needed weights in the gym and went into Scurry’s lesson for a sports quiz. I did Bob Williams a favour and took his lesson. The crack in the pub was great. Graham and Roger on fine form. – Planning their trip to Dublin!!! – behave boys. I had a good sesh and went for a meal with Caroline, Ed, and Jo et al. I’ll go home on my tod on Sunday – coming back up Wednesday for a BBQ.

Wednesday 28th July
Now on the train back to London. – BBQ tonight at Caroline Menton’s. I went home on Sunday. Peter was there showing off the twins + then I was whisked off to see Helens’ Caroline. Sunday lunch and went to St Peters in the evening. I am going to miss Kev’s stag this Friday as I will be in London for Kieran’s wedding on Saturday.
Monday – I went for a run, festered around a bit and spent about 3 hours in Catherine’s house decorating – stripping walls. – her house is a mess – but it has real potential!! – like me!!
On Tuesday I was up early and played badminton against Kev. I lost the first game 11-0 humiliating but came back and beat him, he had match point in the last set. I then went over Peter’s for the day – did some editing and had little Kieran and Hannah running wild. Funniest part was when he was spinning them around and they were giddy. In the evening I did some more work for Cath and went for a pint with dad.
I will see Mackers tomorrow – a bit of a tricky one as he wants to crash, but I haven’t the place to let him really. I will have a word with Ian – Good old Gravel Rd.

Wednesday 11th August Dublin
Missed loads and loads of this diary as I have been massively busy – a pity really because there has been loads’ going on. At the moment I am with Caroline in Dublin – hence access to the diary has been limited, Kev got married and we have booked our flight through to Asia.
The trip to Asia looks so good! We leave London 14th Sept – Delhi. At the moment we have no time in Delhi but we may change it to 3 days – we will go to Kathmandu and have 3 weeks in Nepal trekking and then to Bangkok, down the country to a temply place before heading into the jungle for a few days and then Phuket. A week or two on the beach before Malaysia KL and Singapore and then on to Indonesia before hitting Oz on December 4th for Christmas.
Kev’s wedding went very well – lots of tears from the Butt’s family and Catherine.
We hired a car on Thursday which was a story in itself. We had been in town to get the tickets and had been running really late – I went into Heathrow to get the car and they wouldn’t give it to me because I had the wrong points. – I ended up paying above what I wanted to but I was so grateful to get any car – we ended up with a metro. On the Friday we picked up Caroline’s stuff – suitcases and suitcases of gear. We visited her sister Louise for an hour and hit the motorway at ½ 11. The drive was a drag, we got to the hotel at 5. Kev gave us a lift to Chester to take the car back. Out in the pub in the evening with all the future outlaws. Saturday was the wedding.

Thursday 12TH August
More caching up – I was usher at the wedding + late. Peter was panicking because he was the best man. I gave him a hand. To be fair the better jokes were his anyway. Rain kept off quite well – but poured down at the reception. Meal was great, all in all it was a brilliant day. Catherine wasn’t in the best of spirits so I had a word. In the evening we ended up in a hall with a big sing song.
On Sunday mum and dad gave us a lift to Holyhead + then we took the ferry to Dun Louhrie. There were loads of people waiting on the Quayside – very daunting. In the evening I got dragged over the pub, I didn’t fight much.
Monday I went to a place called New Grange – an ancient burial ground with passages – very interesting. Near the River Boyne. We went out for a great meal 16 of us sat at the table – again very daunting.
Tuesday – we had a look at Medieval Dublin and took a visit to the Guinness factory. Yesterday we went to UCD to sort out Caroline’s transcripts – went surprisingly ok . In the evening Caroline Menton came over with some stuff.
Today we are into Dublin to meet some of Caroline’s friends.

Friday 13th August


To come in Book 9

Asia - Delhi, Taj, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Yogya, Bromo, Komodo, Bali – Sydney 14th December Diary slows down and finishes 1st August 1994

Ghana 2012
This blog is written by 3 students, myself and another teacher who were lucky enough to travel to Ghana in Feb 2012 on an educational trip. We visited a school in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city and then went down to the Cape Coast
A highlight of the trip was a visit to a cocoa plantation. This was run by Kaupa Kokoo who gave us a presentation how the company operates under the fair trade mark with money reinvested in the poor farmers and social projects such as clean water, sanitation, mobile hospitals and education benefiting from the “premium” they make. The cocoa is sold to Devine chocolate which can be bought in shops in Bridport. One of the students was lucky to meet the president of Kuapa Kokoo who have over 70,000 members. She was a very impressive lady.

No comments:

Post a Comment