Monday, October 31, 1988

The Report on Francisco Franco is Still Dead

Happy Halloween! This was my first Halloween in seven years where I didn’t dress in a costume. Oh well, I’ll just have to make next year’s a doozie.

I did some more reading today of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (I’m really into that book!), as well as practicing my guitar, as usual. Then, because it was necessary and the reason why I am in England, I went to class... an interesting Poetry and Drama lecture.

After dinner, I picked up my mail from the mail table outside the refactory, which included a post from Dr. Morrison and Fiona, who were currently on vacation in Greece. I traversed down the hall back to my room, where Liz and Viv later visited.

Then Liz left, as Viv and I remained to talk about the day’s events. We decided that we would go see the Tom Hanks movie “Big” tomorrow. I then let her (told her, actually), to go back to her room to continue working on her Francisco Franco report. (She's an international business studies major, so in addition to her business classes, she's studying Spanish language and Spanish history.)

After hanging about, I joined several others and we walked down to the Gardner’s Arms pub on Cottingham Road for a pint. A bit later, Doug and I left and headed over to Double Happiness, where I got some chips ‘n gravy.

Then, as we approached the offie (or "Off-License") we ran into Sid, Liz and Viv (who wasn’t working on her Franco report), heading for the Gardner’s Arms. We went into the offie, where I purchased a German wine for future consumption, went back to Doug’s room and ate.

Doug then went to wait for a call from his parents, and I went back to my room to do some reading. A bit later, Liz came and got me to come up to their room for a bit. Then Liz and I came back to my room, where we talked for a bit while Viv worked on her report. After Liz left, I did a bit more reading, then went to bed.

(Pictured: Marvell Hall at the entrance of the Cottingham Road Campus, Humberside College of Higher Education.)


Sunday, October 30, 1988

Match of the Day

Still only had 9p on me, so I couldn’t do much. (There’s a lot to be said about allowing yourself to be poor.) I did a good bit of reading today, taking a big chunk out of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” Ian Fleming’s excellent James Bond thriller.

Then it was an afternoon highlighted by a football game (“soccer,” of course, and my first organized game in at least 5 years) on the field behind the residences, featuring a lot of English and Irish lads who’ve been playing for years, which made it interesting.

Our team won, 7-3, and while I was rusty and largely useless, I did manage a few shots on goal. The one guy on our team was Bono. That was good fun, and J.P. and I got quite a workout.

That evening, Viv and I decided to get some Chinese from Double Happiness, and had dinner in my room with a bottle of Ernest & Julio Gallo Chenin Blanc. Afterwards, I walked her back to her room, and, being Sunday, went to sleep so that I could get up for class tomorrow at 3:15 p.m.

(Pictured: St. Martin's Hall. Follow the path off the right, then make another right, and you'd be on the field where the soccer game was played.)

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Orinoco Flow" - Enya
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Kokomo" - The Beach Boys


Saturday, October 29, 1988

Spurning Spurn Head

Woke up around 10 a.m. I took a shower and then met up with Viv and Liz for lunch after we got Liz off to her home in Manchester (her brothers were supposed to pick her up at 11 a.m., but they didn’t arrive until after noon.)

After lunch, we walked to the surgery, but the doctors weren’t on duty at the time. So we left and went to the store for more Lockets and medicine for Viv. When we returned to The Grange, she went back to her room to rest while I went to mine to read.

Doug, J.P. Big Jon and others went to Spurn Head today, but I opted not to go because I wanted to take care of Viv, but also because it was quite cold outside. Oh, and I only had 9p to my name on me. Can’t get too far on that. When they returned, they were all generally disappointed, so I was glad that I couldn’t go.

We ate dinner, and since Viv was still ill, we stayed in again. Viv rested for a good bit of the evening while I stayed downstairs watching TV and hanging out at St. Hilda’s. I went up to check on her and she was awake, so I stayed to try and cheer her up and make her feel better.

(Pictured: A map of the Cottingham Road campus. Building D is the Student Union, a bar/disco where many an evening was spent.)


Friday, October 28, 1988

Feeling Poorly

It’s Friday! I went to Soc/Pol Structures with Evil Roz, although she wasn’t too bad today. Doug and J.P. are now in different seminar groups, so I will only be with them during the lecture classes.

After that, I went up the road to do a bit of grocery shopping, because I needed to stock up on food and drink in my room. When I returned from shopping, Viv stopped by my room for a visit, saying that she was ill. She has been fighting a cold all week (as have I), but her condition worsened. So she came over and rested while I did some reading.

We went to dinner, and afterwards I walked her up to her room, and then went with Paul to the store to get her some Lockets (throat lozenges), juice and medicine. I then stayed with her for awhile, but decided to let her rest, and I left and went downstairs, where Paul and I sat for the next hour-or-so playing guitar. (He brought his electric guitar.)

After that, I went back up to see how Viv was doing. She said she was feeling so poorly that she couldn’t sleep, so I decided to stay over the night (innocently, of course!) to make sure she was alright. I feel really bad, because I think she probably caught her sickness from me.

(Pictured: The desk in my room, skillfully designed to give Roz Billington apoplexy.)


Thursday, October 27, 1988

I Bought a Guitar!

I bought a guitar! I bought a guitar! Woke up at around 8:30 a.m., had some breakfast, then got ready for my excursion into town. I decided to go it alone, because I could then go in, look for what I wanted, then come back to my room.

So that’s what I did, and found a really nice new Hohner steel string guitar at Gough & Davy’s music store, for only 60 quid. I also bought Yes and Eric Clapton songbooks.

I made my way back home, guitar in hand, and then walked up to the Student Union to meet with Viv and Liz for lunch. After that I went to Lloyd’s Bank to pick up my cashpoint card, and then returned to my room to try out my new toy before class.

When I got to class a few minutes late, however, nobody was there. Appearently it had been moved, and I had no idea where it was being held. Rather than go back to my room, I decided to be constructive and head over to the library and read a bit from the book we were reading for class.

Well, as it turned out, the room where class was now being held was in the library, and they watched a film based upon the book we were reading. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until after the class had ended. Oh well.

Afterwards, I ate dinner, visited Viv, and practiced my guitar a bit. Spent the rest of the evening hanging out with Viv.

(Pictured: The chair in my room, with my new guitar leaning on it. Note the James Bond novel and the "Sack Edgar Page" poster.)


Wednesday, October 26, 1988

I Want to Buy a Guitar

I did not make it to my 9:15 a.m. Geography class… since I woke up at noon.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve had far too many “lazy” days, but they’ve nonetheless become commonplace. Anyway, J.P. came to wake me up, and at first I didn’t believe him that it was noon. He got me a sandwich, then came back and we ate lunch in my room.

I didn’t really have anything else to do today, so when J.P. and the Gang invited me to join them into town, I couldn’t think of anything I needed to buy so I passed. Well, that is, until after they had already left. That was when I decided that I was going to buy an acoustic guitar. I decided to wait until tomorrow, because I couldn’t find anyone to join me on a trip into town.

Anyway, I ate dinner, then relaxed and spent the rest of the evening with Viv.

(Picture: Not much to show from this day... so here is my coach card to get discounts on bus fares.)


Tuesday, October 25, 1988

First Date

Woke up this morning at 8:30 a.m., roughly five hours after I got to bed. Went and grabbed a little breakfast (love that Weetabix!), took a shower and took off for my Literature in Context class. For some reason, Doug was in a silly mood in class, which naturally rubbed off on me.

Then it was off to geography, which is a great seminar because I’m the only American in the class, so I’m “special.” Then I had to return for Social/Political Structures with good ol’ Roz Billington. It is now a goal of mine to get into and win a political discussion with that Marxist/Feminist wench and show her the difference between right and her point of view.

After class and dinner, it was preparation time to head out to LA (Lexington Avenue) disco. I guess this is technically Viv and my first date (although Liz came along with us.) I did my fist ironing since arriving in England (with only marginal success), and at 8:30 p.m., Liz, Viv & I left for LA.

I guess you can say that Viv and I were relatively unsocial (except to each other), but had a good time and danced a bit (though not as much as we did last week).

J.P. had a bit of a scuffle when a man accused him of taking his cigarettes. Fortunately, J.P. avoided a fight, but naturally found the whole affair quite annoying. Funny thing was, I had earlier told J.P. that the shirt he was wearing was going to get him into a fight.

Anyway, Liz found her ex-attraction (a guy she is still very much attracted to), and eventually made friends with him.

Even good ol’ Kofe was there, having an all-around good time, and wearing his Philadelphia Eagles jersey (Uniform #17, which I initially confused with #7, and told him that he was wearing Ron Jaworski’s jersey. Hopefully he didn’t catch my error.)

Viv and I left around 1 a.m. and returned to her room, where we waited for Liz to return. When she did, Viv and I traversed down to my room. I finally got to sleep at about 5 a.m., so needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be making it to my 9:15 a.m. Geography class.

(Pictured is the hallway you would walk when you traversed down to my room. My room is the one on the left, with the door open.)


Monday, October 24, 1988

‘…it was a Monday…’

Well, this day was significantly less confusing… thought not at first. It didn’t really get started until noon because I was sick, and also because I didn’t really have anything else to do. I grabbed some lunch at the refactory and slowly got ready for class.

We went to Poetry and Drama class, where J.P. were placed in a group with a girl we thought looked like Margaret Thatcher. After class, we went for dinner, and then I went up to see how Liz and Viv were doing. Viv (pictured) was, again, very friendly toward me (platonically, folks!) Liz was doing a bit better, but basically still hurt from losing that guy she really liked.

Later I left the room and traversed the halls a bit to visit others, but afterward I returned to my room. It wasn’t long afterward that Liz stopped by again, and she and I had another lengthy discussion. However, it was during this visit that Doug stopped by to tell me that he had talked to Viv and told her where he stood, and that he was not interested in being any more than friends, and that his feelings wouldn’t change.

Well when he left, it gave Liz and I an entirely new topic of discussion. (I had since told Liz of my affection for Viv.) She then left my room to return to her own and talk to Viv, while I remained in my room.

After awhile I was shanghaied by some friends to join in a game of Scruples in Bits’ room, but I took a detour first to pay a visit to Viv. That may have been a mistake. She was in a confused but not quite upset state, almost angry at how many people knew about her dilemma. It was an awkward situation for me, being in that room at that time, and I really wasn’t quite sure what to do.

A few awkward minutes later, we all left for Bits’ room for that game of Scruples. Viv and Liz didn’t play, but Paul, J.P., Bits, Sid, Little John, Lisa, Neil Roberts (from south London), Irish Johnny (from Ulster), and I played. Sid was the eventual winner. During the game, Viv and Liz left to visit some other friends. After hanging out in St. Hilda’s for awhile, I wrote a note to Viv and Liz inviting them to stop by my room if they so wished, and placed it on their door.

Sure enough, a little later on, a tap came on the window and it was little Liz. When I went out to let her in the building, I saw Viv walking down the hall. They both came into the room for a little while, but then Liz left. It was then that Viv told me she had changed her mind about us. Needless to say, I was very happy to hear that. Things are looking pretty good right now. Cheers!


Sunday, October 23, 1988

The ‘Wanda’ Curse?


What a frustrating, roller-coaster kind of day. I guess going to the movie theater to see “A Fish Called Wanda,” I should have anticipated that frustrating things would happen, since apparently, frustrating things happen to me when I see it.

Anyway, I woke up late, since I could, and tottered down the hall to the refactory for lunch. After watching an episode of “Lost in Space" in the St. Martin’s TV room, I spent the afternoon helping nurse Sid, who was quite ill. Viv was also there as well. When Sid fell asleep, we stayed in her room and Viv did some homework while I wrote some letters to friends back home… Scott Reed, Trista Levy, Chris Mulvihill and my ex-girlfriend Deb.

Sid came to around 5 p.m, which is when I left her room to await my parent’s call. The call came at 5 after 5 (1 p.m. EST, since daylight savings time hit us, but not them, yet.) I finally got to talk to Dad, as well as Mom and Angie, and I let them know how I was doing, and found out how things were going back home. They are planning to call again next Sunday, same time.

Well after dinner, as I mentioned earlier, a group of us went into Hull to see the 8:00 p.m. showing of “Wanda.” Again, Viv and I got along very well during the film. Though I saw it already when it was showing in the States, it was a fabulous opportunity to see it with a whole bunch of British people, because it gave a whole new outlook on a lot of the jokes.

When we left the theater, everything seemed great. We stopped off at Double Happiness, although this time I did not get anything. It was during our walk home that everything crumbled.

First, Viv said that she liked me very much, but that she still was attracted to Doug. I was shocked and speechless, but I kept my composure because I had suspected that she did still like Doug. I just did expect her to say anything about it at that time.

Well, I then walked her up to her room, where we found Liz a total wreck. It turns out that the guy she liked told her earlier in the day that he wanted to break it off. What a bum rap.

I left the room so that Viv could talk to Liz, then returned to my room, where after a bout to get back into my room (I had given J.P. my hall key so that he could do his laundry later… and since it was later in the evening, the door was locked), I sat in the room with J.P., listening to “Dark Side of the Moon,” trying to sort everything out.

Then I heard a knock on my window, where I saw Liz standing, saying that she couldn’t get in the building, so I came around and let her in. We proceeded to talk over the next hour and a half about many different things, but mainly about her frustration. I think she left here a little bit happier, but in these situations, it can take time to heal the wounds. Well, it was late when I walked her back, so when I returned, I was knackered, so off to sleep I went.

(Pictured: Shops along Newland Avenue in Hull. I just loved the juxtaposition of a health food store right underneath a billboard with a picture of a humongous burger.)

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "One Moment in Time" - Whitney Houston
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Groovy Kind of Love" - Phil Collins


Saturday, October 22, 1988

The St. Hilda’s Pisshead Zone

We were talking about taking a short trip out to the coastline today, but no one really felt up for taking the trip, even though it was a very nice day, weather-wise. There’s a flu that is going around that everybody’s been catching, myself included. So it looks like it’s going to be one of those easy-going weekends.

After a mediocre lunch, J.P. and I took a shopping excursion, where we decided to take a look down the other side of Cottingham Road. What we found could not be believed… it was an outlet district! Shopper’s heaven. Well, maybe that’s a bit much, but there were a lot of great shops. We went into Texas Hardware (sort of a Hechinger’s, only bigger) and we each bough reading lamps for £5. They were much needed. We then walked back to do the rest of our shopping, satisfied with what we had found. We then went to our respective rooms to play with our new toys, then went to dinner.

Afterwards, it was over to the “St. Hilda’s Pisshead Zone” (as Kurt decreed himself the St. Hilda's Pisshead, a reference to his penchant for drinking) for some leisure hanging about… and playing some cards. I was a bit of a wasteoid because I was so exhausted, and after awhile, I went back to my room for some rest. Later, Doug came by to let me know that he was heading up to Double Happiness for some Chinese take away. I wasn’t very hungry, but I decided that I needed to get out for a walk. Of course, I bought some of their chips ‘n gravy. The nice man who owns the restaurant and is always working there at the counter gave me a break when I was 3 pence short. I guess he’s starting to recognize me as one of his regular customers.

I walked back feeling a bit better, and we hung out in Doug’s room, eating our food. Later, Viv and Liz stopped by Doug’s room, having returned from the Student Union Disco held that evening. Viv stayed with us while Liz, who said she had a headache, went off to bed.

Viv and I were friendly again. I think I like her, but I’ve got to be cautious, because of her feelings for Doug. He was being quite distant tonight, moodier and darker than usual (and that’s saying a lot!), just staring at candles burning in his room, listening to the Ultravox album, “The Blooded Sword.”

Next we just goofed around a bit in J.P.’s room until about 1:30 a.m., when Viv and I left for our respective rooms. J.P., Kenny and Kurt were pretending to be from Pluto, and they got it all recorded on cassette tape. Odd.

Pictured: J.P. & Kenny walking down Beverley Road near Humberside College.
Update (4/10/2009)... Viv adds another perspective to this day, with an excerpt from her diary on Saturday, Oct. 22, 1988 (with a few contemporary comments): "When we (I believe that is Puri, Angie and me) first met the three Americans, we thought they were real creeps! Now we know that they're a lot nicer, especially Rick and J.P. To start with, it was Doug who went out of his way to get to know us. Now his attention is concentrated on Sid 'cause she listens to his problems. Rick is mine and Liz's special friend - he's especially good to me... (ahh!) ... 'cause he knows I like Doug (I was so mis-guided!) but Doug is not in that frame of mind. In fact I don't think he's in a frame of mind at all - he's been acting extremely strangely lately."


Friday, October 21, 1988

Leisure Lounging

Woke up early to prepare for our Social/Political Structures Seminar, which started at 9:15 a.m. Fortunately, the awful Roz Billington was away that day, so we were left on our own for the class. Interesting session, with the students running the show. It was actually quite good and a lot of fun holding class this way.

On the way back from class we stopped for some food, then brought it back to our respective rooms and ate. Then it was leisure lounging pretty much for the rest of the day. We sat around in Doug and Kenny's room playing cards and such.

Later that evening, while some people chose to go out for a drink, we continued to sit around in the residence and chat. Among the people there was a very frustrated Viv (pictured), whom I tried to cheer up. I think I helped, but probably not very much. She's still hung up on Doug, but she knows that he's not interested in pursuing a relationship with her. I hope I said the right things to help her. At 2 a.m., I finally went to bed.


Thursday, October 20, 1988

The Short, Wonderful Life of Charlie

Woke up at 11:30 a.m. and really lived a dog day today. I went to the refactory for some lunch, then hung out in J.P. and Doug's area on the first floor of St. Hilda's until class, when at the last minute, Doug decided not to go. Good for him, because it was quite dull.

During class, J.P. and I goofed off most of the time (rememberances of my high school days in Chemistry class taught by "Lucky Leif" Erickson, drawing dumb cartoons, making up funny names (I pulled out one of the best from those Chemistry days - Boncho "Bull" Oney - created by my friend Ted.) And for awhile, we even befriended an insect.

Charlie was the little guy's name. We had him crawl all over our table, and even created a little sports arena for him. (I beat him in soccer, 1-nil.)

Then J.P. squished him.

I laughed for about five minutes straight, because I was totally not expecting him to do that, and J.P.'s finger totally annihilated poor Charlie. J.P. said I was "getting too emotionally attached to Charlie" and he was getting jealous.

This was starting to become a habit for J.P., because after dinner he squished a big spider. It was a little more messy than Charlie's demise

Afterwards, we sat around south St. Hilda's, roaming around, talking to folks and accomplishing very little. At around 11:30 p.m., I got bored and left St. Hilda's, and went to visit Viv and Liz to see how they were doing.

Liz was actually a bit depressed when I got there. She said she was homesick, but I suspected something else was going on. And Viv said she was "poorly" (pronounced "paulie," meaning she was ill.) I spread what little cheer I could, then at about midnight I left to return to my room.

Thought I'd do a little laundry, so I grabbed my mud and blood-stained sheet (from last night's Toga Disco) and other whites and put them in the one working washer that was in the laundry room. While the washer was running I called Mom back in Camp Hill. We talked for awhile, and she said that Dad was at a class. We decided that she should call me on the community phone in our residence at 6 p.m. on Sunday (1 p.m. EST.) Everything was fine at home, and Angie said the she enjoyed the letter I had sent her.

Returned to my room until my wash was finished. Once it was done, I finally had (sort of) clean sheets again, and I went to bed.


Wednesday, October 19, 1988

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Woke up at 9 a.m. and decided not to go to class this morning. I got myself awake, and after a little chat with the maid, I took a shower (conveniently located across from my room) and then went to meet J.P. and Doug to go to the Finance Department at the Cottingham Avenue site to pick up our food money. We had £50 waiting for us, which certainly helps.

Then Kenny, J.P. and I went into town to buy some odds and ends. I got my pictures back (some look pretty good), a flash for my camera, two photo books to hold my photos, a cassette of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” another cassette of classical music, and some hangars for my clothes.

We returned for some leisure “hanging about” until 7:30 p.m., when we watched our weekly “Doctor Who.”

Then we got ready for the Toga Disco, being held at the Student Union, located at the Cottingham Avenue Site. With the exception of Kurt, we all took our sheets off of our beds, wrapped them around ourselves, and began the long cold walk to the Union, where along the way we encountered a high locked fence to the entrance we usually use, so we were forced to climb over it to get to the disco. During our walk, Big Jon suggested that Kurt (who is of Spanish heritage), should’ve come to the dance dressed up as an Inca.

When we got to the Student Union, there were a good number of people already there dressed in their Greek/Roman garb. We all had some Foster’s Lager, bitter or cider, then went dancing on the dance floor for awhile. Later we got a little more bold and went up on the raised stage that they have there, usually reserved for better dancers than us. That was good fun.

The DJs started playing some unusual selections, including “YMCA” by the Village People, and music by Abba and from the Grease soundtrack, but it was all great. All-in-all, I though this dance was much better musically than what they played at LA’s last night. The DJ also played three songs by The Beatles, two by Prince, and a number of older tracks.

At about 11:30 p.m. we left the Student Union to begin the chilly 20-minute walk back to The Grange. It wasn’t long before we encountered the same locked fence that slowed our progress when we walked to the Union. I grabbed the iron bars and pulled myself over the sharp edges at the top, and I thought I cleared it with no problem. However, I later discovered that my sheet caught the bar and ripped, and must’ve cut my heel in the process, because there were blood stains on the sheet as well.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, it started to downpour. With the rain drenching us, Kurt, J.P. and I broke into a sprint for a good bit of the way… which was quite humorous, now that I think about it. When we returned we ran right into St. Michael’s, with our sheets and clothes muddied and soaking wet (and mine ripped and blood-stained). As we approached the St. Hilda’s TV room, Viv “kidnapped” me and took me back to her room, where Liz, Viv and I sat, talked, and watched the movie “The Thing” on Viv’s TV.

I was a bit worried about what would happen with the sheet when housekeeping came to take it for the wash, but I just couldn’t get myself too concerned about the muddy thing at this time. I stayed in their room until after 4 a.m., when I made the decision to return to my room for some sleep.

Fortunately, my first class isn’t until 2:15 p.m. tomorrow. Needless to say, I slept without a sheet tonight.


Tuesday, October 18, 1988

A Night at LA's

Got up and went to class. Nothing exciting to report about the first part of the day since it was all classes. However, after dinner and a shower it was "dress-up time" in order to head to Lexington Avenue, or "LA's," which is a popular nightclub in Hull. Since it was Student's Night, there were a lot of students at the club. We (J.P., Doug, Liz (pictured), and Viv, among others) got there at about 8:00 p.m., but they didn't open until 9:00 p.m., so we hit a warm-up pub, then went back when they opened their doors.

Well, needless to say, J.P. and I had a blast. Midway through the evening, though, I was feeling a little depressed, a bit because I realized that nothing was going to happen between me and Liz... her interests lie elsewhere. I was tipped off by Doug before we headed to the dance, and I took the news pretty well at the time. However, Foster's Lager has a way...

Anyway, J.P. cheered me up by telling me that we were going to be going up to dance on the balcony, or the "elite" dance floor. There, I started dancing with an attractive girl who's in my Soc/Pol class, although I know nothing about her. Later, I found out through a mutual friend that her name is Helen, and today was her 21st birthday. She must have known something about me, because while we were dancing, she asked me if they had "Acid House" music in America. Admittedly, I had not heard it before coming to Hull. I'm not crazy about it... it's a very bizarre style of dance music. But the beat does grab you after awhile, especially after a few beers.

It was quite an interesting evening, and J.P. and I were wired. We left after 1 a.m. with Viv (Liz stayed behind) and took a taxi back to The Grange. We then went down to Sid's room, and sat and talked until about 2:45 a.m. Sid told me she was sorry to hear about me and Liz, but I was already past the point of really caring about it. Finally, it was off to a solid night's sleep.


Monday, October 17, 1988

Big Decorate the Room Thing

Since our only class is at 3:15 p.m., I only woke up around 10 a.m. The day started at about 10:30 a.m. with Doug and I walking down to Newland Avenue to hit the bank, Herby’s Deli, and Tony’s Textiles, where I bought some things to liven up my room. That included a set of curtains for my windows, a sleeping bag to use as a blanket for my bed, and a red cloth to cover my light (giving it a softer, reddish hue). Got that idea from Doug. Now my room looks pretty sharp. (You can sort-of see some of the design in the B&W photo of the room, including the curtains and comforter.)

At noon Doug and I went downtown so that Doug could buy Duran Duran’s new album “Big Thing” – the album he has been anxiously waiting for. He bought the album on cassette, and then we shopped for about an hour and purchased some other necessities for our rooms.

After we returned from our “Big Thing” excursion, I set up my room with my new items, then headed over to Doug’s room to listen to the new album. I thought it was very good, so I’ll have to tape it from him. Following that, we went to our class, and then went for dinner.

At 7:00 p.m. we planned another Risk match. With six teams playing (Kenny joined my “Flamingo Empire”), we began our quest for world domination. After several glorious battles. The board was down to three remaining players: J.P., John (now known as “Little John,” to avoid confusion with Jon Whalley, or “Big Jon.”) and a severely weakened Flamingo Empire. However, J.P. and Little John underestimated us and chose not to wipe us out, instead choosing to knock each other around in the hopes of dealing a fatal blow.

Quietly, we won a few minor battles, collected our Risk cards, and slowly rebuilt an empire in the Americas. At around 10:30 p.m., we cashed in another set of cards for additional armies, and that enabled us to conquer the world!

Doug, who had left the room when we were weak and assumed we would be wiped out in short order, returned to find us on our final rampage, and was quite shocked at the turnaround (though he said that he kind of expected something like that might happen.)

After that, I visited Viz (Viv and Liz) briefly, then went back to the gang in St. Hilda’s before returning to my room for some sleep.


Sunday, October 16, 1988

Just “Viz”-iting, Starting Fires, Etc.

It’s Sunday! That means rest today, because absolutely nothing in town is open. I didn’t really do that much of any substance today. I started to read “Heart of Darkness” again, but soon got frustrated with it (again), and took it over to J.P.’s room in St. Hilda’s. I pretty much spent a good bit of the day in St. Hilda’s, talking to various people and eating.

I went to visit Viv Schofield and Liz Ortega (“Viz”, for short, like the popular British comic book) to see how they were getting on with their work. They said they had woken up at about 7 a.m., just three hours after they left my room last night!) They had stopped by my room at 11:45 a.m. this morning, unintentionally waking me up to return the jacket they had borrowed from me.

Anyway, they were both slightly brain-fried from the lack of sleep and the academic work that lay before them, so they were not really jumping into their assignments.

There was a bit of excitement during our visit to J.P.’s room at St. Hilda’s. First, the official story:

Cigarette causes fire in J.P.’s Room

American student J.P. Cardoso (pictured above, left) was lighting a cigarette in his room at St. Hilda’s residence in the Grange Halls on Sunday afternoon, when he accidentally threw a still hot match into his paper-filled trash bin, located in the center of the room.

The match ignited the paper in the bin and remained on fire until it burned itself out. No one was injured, but the inferno in the bin burned so hot that, once the bin cooled and was moved, it melted the carpet, searing a black circle into the carpet.

That was what the campus security were told happened in the room. Now for the actual story:

Aspiring Pyromaniac Causes Fire in His Own Room

In a fit of boredom, American student J.P. Cardoso pulled out his lighter and began burning small things of no importance in his his room at St. Hilda’s residence in the Grange Halls on Sunday afternoon, joined by several of his friends. However, this innocent game took a turn for the worst when his friend, fellow American Rick Reitz, picked up a copy of the Sunday Sport and began to read it.

While perusing the purile publication, J.P. quietly took his lighter and set fire to the newspaper while it was in Rick’s hands. In moments the flames quickly licked up the newspaper, leaving Rick no choice but to throw the burning newspaper into a trash bin located in the middle of J.P.’s room.

The fire soon became a small inferno and took a few moments to burn itself out. No one was injured, but the inferno in the bin burned so hot that, once the bin cooled and was moved, it melted the carpet, searing a black circle into the carpet.

We felt the real story did not reflect well upon J.P., or us. In order to cover the damaged carpet, J.P. rearranged his room so that his bed now covered the burn mark (although it looked a bit odd jutting out into the middle of the room.)

After dinner, it was back to socializing. At half-eight we watched “Bread,” a bizarre sitcom set in Liverpool that I would most closely compare to “Soap.” After the show ended I returned to my room, where a short time later Liz and Viv stopped in, announcing that they were finished with their class work. We sat and talked awhile, during which time I attempted to get through on the phone to call Camp Hill. I was able to talk to Angie, but no one else.

Liz, Viv and I then headed over to St. Hilda’s to do a little visiting, and after chatting it up with others, Viv decided to go back to her room, while Liz came back to mine for about 5 minutes, and then she decided that she was too tired, so I walked her back to her room. I came back, and being tired myself, nodded off shortly thereafter.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "One Moment in Time" - Whitney Houston
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Groovy Kind of Love" - Phil Collins


Saturday, October 15, 1988

'Risk' Taking

Doug woke me up around 10:30 a.m. so we could get ready to go into Hull for a Record Fair. Bad news, huh? I took a shower then caught the 11:30 a.m. bus into downtown with Doug and J.P.. We first stopped at Midland Bank for J.P., then the photo store to pick up a batch of photos. J.P. and I overshot the store and were walking all over Jameson Avenue before we realized our error. Then we finally made our way to the Record Fair.

Awesome find #1: I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I found one of the record albums I was hoping I’d find here… Prince’s rare, bootlegged unreleased “Black Album”on vinyl, which is what my friend Scott really wanted. So I bought the vinyl copy of the record for £12. I guess I’ll keep the cassette tape I bought in London for myself.

Awesome find #2: Next I found something that I’ve been looking for over a year and a half – the original Genesis “I Know What I Like/Twilight Alehouse” single, and for only £2! I left nearly broke but tremendously happy. Shame I don’t have a record player in my room to check out my find. Hopefully someone in the residence has one I can borrow at some point.

We then found a toy store where we all chipped in £1 for a Risk board of our own. That game has fast become our latest obsession. Next we hit a deli for some sandwiches, then took the bus back home. I went to my room, but it wasn’t long before a game of Risk broke out (already!) in Doug’s room. After awhile, I stopped in to watch. We then broke for dinner, where I had what qualifies as the worst meal I’ve ever had anywhere. So we came back to Doug’s room and split a garlic loaf, which helped.

Then it was back to the game. I helped out Paul Crowley, who was down to one country and on the verge of elimination. Through creation of various treaties, I was able to help him get back into competition, even controlling North America, before we were eventually eliminated. (Sorry, that would’ve been a better story had we won the game.) Then Jon Whalley, who was doing quite well in the game, had to leave, so I took over his troops. I was then able to conquer and destroy Andy Croxhall, and then, after a few aggressive moves, wiped out Kenny Prunty’s army for total victory. Of course, I couldn’t qualify it as my victory, but at least I helped.

It was time for another break, during which time Doug and I took a short walk up the street and around the corner to Double Happiness for some actual food. Man, they have the best chips and gravy there! The gravy has a nice oriental flavor that cannot be beat.

Well, at 8:30 p.m. we started The Game of the Century II (no hyperbole here!), featuring myself, J.P., Doug, Paul, Andy and Kurt Dross, with a slightly intoxicated Jon joining his team for this go-around. Well, Kurt was eliminated in about 5 turns, which left 5 superpowers remaining. J.P. and I had established a non-aggression treaty, so we were able to concentrate our efforts elsewhere. Paul and I got into some fierce battles, but soon Doug went on the offensive and whittled Paul down to three countries, though he chose not to wipe him out. Doug also knocked Andy out of the game during this offensive, which screwed up J.P. strategy.

So J.P. and I got together and decided to sacrifice J.P.’s armies for the win. He took his armies and knocked out as much of Doug as he could. Meanwhile, I took advantage of Doug’s tactical error in not wiping out Paul by wiping him out myself and taking his cards. With seven cards in my hand and J.P. on my side, we had no problem taking Doug over. So I was the victor, with the significant help of J.P. But then, all is fair in love and war, right?

During this game, Jon’s termination of two full bottles of Thunderbird wine and a bottle of Concord wine began to take its silly – and then violent – toll. He told Bonk that he loved him, wore a towel on his head and called himself “The Virgin Mary” (which he did last night as well, even wearing the towel out to a store), and kept asking “What happened to the red armies?” (which were Kurt’s pieces.) He sat in a closet for awhile, continually asking “When can we have a serious talk?” and other humorous anecdotes. Anyway, I’m sure he’ll be in agony tomorrow.

Then I popped into J.P.’s room, where Sindy "Sid" Bajaria (pictured above with me, photo courtesy of J.P.), Liz Ortega (from Manchester), Vivienne Schofield (from the small seaside town of Skegness) and Bits (London, I believe) were hanging about. We sat talking for awhile, and then, when J.P. wanted sleep, Liz and Viv came back to my room for some coffee. It was finally 4 a.m. before they finally decided they needed to go back to their room (they share one of the double rooms.) I loaned Liz my jacket, and we walked back to their room (after some problems with the key) and I bid them good night. Viv seems to fancy Doug, and I think I’m moderately attracted to Liz, but I’m not about to say too much about it yet. Oh well.


Friday, October 14, 1988

It’s Curtains for Doug. Curtains!

I woke up around 8:30 a.m. for my first class, a Social/Political Structures Seminar that begins at 9:15 a.m., which wasn’t too bad. Following class with Ms. Roz Billington, Doug and I took off for Newland Avenue, where we stopped at Lloyd’s Bank to withdraw a bit of cash from our accounts, then at a bakery where we purchased some garlic bread (our latest obsession). Then it was off to a curtain/blanket store, where Doug bought curtains and a sleeping bag/comforter for his bed. I’m going to have to come back here and get some things for myself!

Well, then it was back to the residence so that Doug could install and check out his new “toys.” After lunch, we more-or-less relaxed. We finally got a hold of a Risk board, so we played a few games of that for awhile. The first game we played, I finished second to J.P., who played quite well. Next, I helped Kenny finish second to Andy Croxhall, a native of Huddersfield and a fanatic for his hometown football team.

Then, after dinner and some supplemental food, we travelled up to Sid’s friend Bits’ room for what was to become the Risk Game of the Century. It all started at 10:30 p.m. with Kenny, Doug, Andy, a friend of Bits’ who’s name I don’t recall, a myself leading our respective troops into battle. There was some fierce battling through the night. Apparently it got a bit too loud for some, as an annoying downstairs neighbor came up to our room to complain about the noise (the nerve!) and then got the hall assistant (who was on our side in this battle) to ask us to turn our radio down. That was amusing, since we hadn’t had the radio on for about two hours.

We completed the game at 2:15 a.m. with Kenny working out of Australia to defeat me at the very end. Once again, I was the bridesmaid. Oh well! After the game, it was off to my room for some much needed rest.


Thursday, October 13, 1988

The Significance of ‘Heart of Darkness’ (Is There Any?)

I was awoken this morning by one Douglas Schoener, who was slightly brain-fried from reading “Heart of Darkness’ last night. He did about as well as the rest of us attempting to read the book. At 11:30 a.m., Kenny, J.P., Doug and I headed out for some lunch, and after stopping at a deli for some garlic loaf (excellent), we stopped at a fish ‘n chips take away restaurant and had one of the greatest meals I’ve ever had. At least, considering what I’ve had to eat of late at the college, it felt that way.

While we were out, Kenny bought some speakers for his stereo and he was eager to try them out, so he headed back to the residence while we stayed at the restaurant and ate.

As we were walking back to The Grange after lunch, we were greeted by a jogging Kenny, who mentioned to us that the store forgot to include the plug for the speakers with the purchase. Anyway, after awhile, it was off to class (oh that’s right, we’re students!), with J.P. opting to stay behind. Class didn’t go too poorly, considering none of us fully understood the significance of “Heart of Darkness.” Of all of the classes, I think this literature course is going to be the roughest.

We returned from class at 4:15 p.m., and at 5 p.m. went for another disgusting refactory meal. At least the apple cobbler was good, though. Then it was laundry time, which ate up a good bit of the evening. Afterwards, I went over to Doug and Kenny’s room, and a group of us just sat around and talked awhile about nothing in particular. After all of that, it was time to head back to my room for some sleep.


Wednesday, October 12, 1988

Brain Fried

Just one class today – at 2:15 p.m. So J.P., Doug and I trotted into town for a little shopping. I bought some paper, pens, and dropped off some film for developing, while Doug bought a cassette of the new Falco album, “Wiener Blut.” He was quite excited about his purchase.

Then, after a brief photo shoot, we stopped at the Hull Library, where we checked out a copy of “The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, which we were all to read before our class tomorrow.

When we returned to The Grange, J.P. (pictured above, right) was the first one to take a crack at reading the book, and I went back to my room to do a bit of creative writing. After dinner, J.P. brought the book to me, looking brain-fried, saying it was quite difficult to read. He didn’t get the whole way through. So then, I started.

I paused for awhile at 7:30 p.m. to watch the new episode of “Doctor Who,” which is now a weekly ritual, then returned to “the book.” At about 9:30 p.m., I gave up and, slightly brain-fried, gave the book to Doug. I stayed in his room for awhile, with Sid and her friends, in Doug’s new room. Today was the day of his big move between him and Bonk.

I think Doug will fare much better in this area, with Kenny Prunty (from St. Andrews, Scotland) as his roommate. Kenny (pictured above, left) really couldn’t do any worse, than Bonk. Soon everyone was getting tired and dropping off to their rooms for some sleep. I soon followed suit, leaving Doug to “The Heart of Darkness.” He said he “enjoys a challenge.” I returned to my room to do a little more creative writing, then nodded off.


Tuesday, October 11, 1988

'Write My Girl…'

Today is my sister Angie’s 11th birthday. It’s also a very busy day for classes. I woke up and casually got prepared for my Literature in Context class at 10:15 a.m. It was a pretty good class. Following that, J.P., Doug and I went over to the Inglemire Site Refactory for lunch. We then returned for our 1:15 p.m. class, which was Social/Political Structures.

I’ve been noticing some extreme left-wing tendencies (or at least slight) in most of my teachers. Oh well, grin and bear it, I suppose. It might be kind of fun.

After class, we returned to The Grange in preparation for, ahem, “dinner.” Following that, it was off to St. Hilda’s, where we were planning to play the board game Risk. Unfortunately, the game never occurred because the people who were going to loan us the game board weren’t in.

So we decided to play a little live action Risk, mimicking a war in the hallway, using fake guns, grenades, “petrol bombs” and dramatic death scenes. It was highlighted with lines like: “Write my girl… tell her I love her.” And my favorite, “Hey look, it’s a dud…!!BOOM!!” This game ended when we got a noise complaint.

We proceeded to break up into various rooms for chat, and Sid even bought me some chips before I retired to my room. I hope Angie had a good birthday.


Monday, October 10, 1988


Well, it was another slow, lazy day here in Hull. Since I didn’t have a class until 3:15 p.m. (that’s a nice set-up to start the week!), there was nothing to worry about. Around 10 a.m., Doug, J.P., Sean Furness (or “Bonk,” as Kurt has started calling him, which is “Knob” backwards, short for knobhead) headed over to Cottingham Road. Doug and Bonk are switching rooms, so we were heading over to make it official. Bonk will take over Doug’s single room, and Doug will now reside in the double room with Kenny.

It’s actually a pretty cool double. There are two separate small rooms for Doug and Kenny, and then one large living area that they both share. It’s a pretty cool place to hang out. Hopefully the move will boost Doug’s spirits.

After the change was made, we dropped Bonk off at the Student Union, and the three of us Americans went to register with a doctor for the national health service. (My NHS card is pictured, right) Doug, who has a bad sore throat that has chewed up his voice good, made an appointment for Wednesday.

Next, it was back to my room for some more sleep… until 2:45 p.m., when I rejoined Doug and J.P. and we headed to our Modern Poetry and Drama Class. It was an interesting lecture, with an interesting tutor, Don Ward.

After that, it was back to The Grange Refactory for another revolting and unsatisfactory meal. Following our meal we sat around, talking with Sid, Kurt and others in St. Hildas before J.P. and I took a much-needed chips and gravy run up to Double Happiness. However, when we returned, we realized we had forgotten to get Doug some as we had promised. As my punishment, Doug shook up my can of Coke, then rolled it down the hall.

This alone was funny enough, except it got better. It stopped rolling right in front of where a shoeless Bonk was coming out into the hall, and thinking that this was an empty Coke can on the ground, decided it would be funny to kick it back. Oh, the pain he felt when he discovered it was a full can.

Well, the evening continued, with people poking fun at Bonk (as per usual), and sitting around talking in Kurt’s room, even though Kurt wasn’t there. When I left to go to bed, I was to encounter Jo, whom I now simply refer to as “The World,” and her friend, and they decided to come into my room for a bit to chat. It wasn’t long before they left for bed, which I think is a good idea.


Sunday, October 9, 1988

Life Is Easy When It’s Boring

This could easily be called the laziest of the lazy days. I woke up around 11:45 a.m., just in time to head over for lunch, as is. The meal was actually pretty good, but I went 30p over, of which I had to borrow, embarrassingly enough.

After the meal and a shower, it was back to my room for a little more resting, writing, and listening to music, specifically The Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” My solace was interrupted briefly by a trip over to St. Michaels to visit some friends there for a bit. Later, after dinner, I wrote a bit more in my journal, then headed over to St. Hildas, where a group of us sat in Kurt Dross’s room (next to J.P.’s room). During this time I introduced them to the tape of my band, Yokël. We later went into the TV room, where we watched an episode of “Bread,” a popular sitcom here.

After a few more chats, it was back to the room for some reading and a wait of a half hour for a call from my parents, which never came. It still might, since it’s only 6:45 p.m. there, so I’ll wait a bit longer. I think this day can best be summed up by what I said to Doug after he asked me if things were going OK today, and I paraphrase The Police:

“Life is easy, when it’s boring.”

So true. We all need days like this sometimes.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Desire" - U2
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Red Red Wine" - UB40


Saturday, October 8, 1988

A Lovely Day in London Town

We woke up around 8 a.m. in preparation for our day in London. By 8:45 a.m. we had begun our brisk walk to the Longfield train station, which took us about 25 minutes. From there, Doug and I caught the 9:45 a.m. train to Victoria Station, where we arrived at around 10:10 a.m.

Not long after that I had a bit of a stroll down memory lane. It was a little over a year ago when my high school sponsored a student trip to England, a trip that was all too short and definitely sparked my interest in wanting to come back and spend more time here. Doug and I walked past the King’s Arms… a pub where my friend Justin Tappan and I had our first pint in England; The Reuben’s Hotel, located across from Buckingham Palace, where we all stayed while in London; and then Buckingham Palace itself.

Doug and I timed it perfectly and we were able to catch the changing of the guard ceremony. Quite a spectacle to witness… lots and lots of people gathered around the giant fence at the palace to see the changeover. When that concluded we walked back toward Victoria Station, where we stopped to have a good ol’ American meal at Burger King. Had another flashback to my high school trip in April 1987, when we walked past the Scotch Steak House, where Mike Straub, Molly Sherman, Pete Farrell, Debbie Jackson and I ate our first meal. We also saw the video arcade that lured Josh Weinberger and I, keeping us from going to Harrod’s with the class. Ah, memories!

With a slight drizzle falling from the sky, Doug and I returned to Victoria Station, and with our capital cards (pictured, right) in hand (£2.50, and you can ride on any train or bus in London all day, which has already saved us a bundle), we headed into Camden Town, where there was a market and smaller shops that we wanted to check out.

That’s where I found a cassette tape of Prince’s rare, bootlegged unreleased "Black Album", which my friend Scott Reed had asked me to try and find for him. I was hoping to find it on vinyl, but just in case I don’t see it again, I bought it. Scott is a big Prince fan and has been unable to find it in the States. He’ll have to hide it well since his Mom disapproves of Prince and will confiscate it if discovered (she already swiped his Prince tapes… but he found those and gave them to me for safe keeping… which isn’t a bad deal for me!) Scott’s at Liberty University right now; but unfortunately for him, I don’t think Jerry Falwell thinks any more highly of Prince.

I also found a rare bootleg Genesis LP called “A Trick of the Tail, Outtakes,” but it was £10 and I couldn’t afford it, so I had to pass. Hopefully I’ll see it again soon.

While walking around this area, we were continually approached by foolish socialist students peddling copies of the Socialist Worker newspaper. It wasn’t long before we’d had enough of that annoyance, and we hopped back on the Tube to head to Pimlico, where we went into the Tate Gallery. It was a fabulous art gallery, which featured so many different artistic styles. The highpoint of this venture came when I found Andy Warhol’s famous “Marilyn Monroe” painting, of which I have a copy back home. It was quite large, actually.

Well, after leaving the Tate Gallery (and witnessing Doug tell the gathering pigeons outside to “Get a job!”), we walked along the Thames River in search of a phone to tell Sid that we were coming back to her house at around 8 p.m. However, when we finally found a phone box, we ended up waiting 10 minutes before leaving because there was a knobhead suffering from malignant plumber’s butt calling car dealers galore.

So we left and continued to walk along the Thames until we came upon Parliament and Big Ben. We took a few pictures here (including the picture of Doug in front of Big Ben, top), then went into the Underground where we finally found a phone to call Sid. However, she wasn’t in, so we left a message that we would call back later, and continued our walk along the Thames to Trafalgar Square. Once we got there, we attempted to find Hamley’s, the world’s largest toy store, on Regents Street. However, we never quite made it. We stopped at Garfunkel’s restaurant in Piccidilly Circus for dinner, and afterward decided to skip Hamley’s, skip London, and head back to Hull tonight instead of tomorrow, as originally planned. The meal at Garfunkel’s was exquisite, and I had chicken kiev and Doug had a kabob. Doug also treated for the meal, which was very kind. Doug, I’m starting to notice, also has a way of confusing and disorienting waitresses.

Anyway, we left for King’s Cross Station, where we called Sid to tell her that over dinner (which we ate at 5 p.m., or noon Millersville time – I wonder what they had for lunch??), we decided to go back to Hull, so not to expect us. We then caught a 6 p.m. train to Doncaster. When we got to Doncaster, we fortunately had a few minutes to spare, because our train to Hull was 10 minutes late. Had the train been on time, we would’ve missed it. Thank heavens for late trains!

We arrived in Hull at 9 p.m., a three-hour trip again, and took a bus back to The Grange halls… tired, broke and happy. Doug was in very good spirits today… best I’ve seen him since we arrived. I guess a little journey to London was all he needed to break out of his funk.

However, the night was still young.

After checking the mail and unpacking, we went to Kenny’s room to talk for awhile. Kenny is a nice guy from St. Andrews, Scotland, who has one of the double rooms in St. Hilda's with a guy named Sean.

Then I returned to my room for a bit, because I wanted to listen to the “Black Album.” It was weird, funky, dirty, evil, and very black. Scott will get thrown out of college for sure! After that, I popped in “Sign O the Times,” then fell asleep until about 11:15 p.m. I walked over to the TV room in St. Hilda’s where theywere watching “Monty Python's The Meaning of Life” – on regular TV, unedited. That was on until 1:30 a.m.. Afterward I talked to a few people in the hall, including J.P., who had had “a few” and was very surprised to see that Doug and I were back.

Then I went back to my room, popped in an Andreas Vollenweider tape (or "Andre Volkswagen," as Greg Swartz calls him) to mellow out to some New Age music, closed my eyes and went to sleep. It had, indeed, been a very fine day.


Friday, October 7, 1988

The Big London Tour Thing Begins

Karin’s birthday is today. I woke up with visions of London in my head. Doug came in to my room (yes, it turns out he had a good time at the party last night) and we got ready for our trip. Again, it was windy as we walked up to the Cottingham Road site to check with Dr. David Foster and see if our food checks were in, to cover the cost of our lunches (which Millersville University room & board covers, but Humberside does not). The checks were in, so we went to the bank for some money.

With £80, some change, and the weekend ahead of us, Doug and I departed for London. At the bus stop we met Sindy Bajaria, or Sid as she is usually called, took the bus into the Hull Train Station, and then caught the noon Intercity train to London. Thanks to the BritRail Youth Pass we picked up yesterday, thee ticket was £25.75 return, as opposed to £39.00 without the pass. It’s already paid for itself!

After a changeoff in Doncaster, we arrived at King’s Cross station, about three hours after leaving Hull. From there, Sid went to her home outside London, and Doug and I headed down to the Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus.

The big purchase of the day, and one that put a smile on Doug’s face, was tickets for the Duran Duran “Big Tour Thing” concert, scheduled for December 23 at Wembley Arena. (That’s his favorite band.) Tickets were £12.50 each. I also bought the Talking Heads album “More Songs About Buildings and Food” on cassette for £2.99.

Once we left Tower Records, we began to walk wherever around London, ending up on Oxford Street. After dining at a Wimpy’s, we went into HMV Records, where I purchased both albums by The Proclaimers on cassette – their new one, “Sunshine on Leith,” and their first album, “This Is the Story,” for £5.99 and £2.99. That’s one of the bands here that I’m really starting to like a lot. From there we continued to walk blindly, where we stumbled upon a Virgin Records Megastore, where I bought a cool Genesis book for £2.50.

At about 7 p.m. we decided to head to Sid’s house on the outskirts of London, where we were staying for the weekend. At Victoria Station we caught the 7:30 p.m. train (£3.20) bound for Longfield. Sid picked us up there and drove us back to her house, where we spent the evening watching the telly, eating rice, chicken & curry. The three of us talked for awhile, and at one point Sid asked Doug and I if we minded sleeping together. We had a good laugh at her odd wording.

Not long afterward we went to bed to get a good night’s sleep for our “big day” in London tomorrow. After talking to Doug about various topics, we finally fell asleep.


Thursday, October 6, 1988

An International Gathering and a Good German Beer

Doug's birthday is today. It started out to be a relatively decent day, waking up around 10 a.m. to go into Hull. We picked up our BritRail Young Persons Railcard (pictured) to save money, and walked around for a bit. We caught the bus back in time for our 2:15 p.m. literature course, which was quite dull.

Following that we pretty much dogged around, ate dinner, then waited for Karin to show up. When she arrived at my room at 7:30 p.m., Doug, J.P., Karin and I left in Karin's car to her flat, where we met some others and took a bus into Hull so that we could go to a pub that Karin insisted "served a good German beer."

It took awhile and the walk from the bus stop to the pub was quite windy, but we finally got there. We met other friends of Karin's there, and had a table of 10 in the pub. It was quite a lot of fun, but Doug was a bit hostile at first. I assumed it was because of it being his birthday and this not being exactly how he wanted to be celebrating it. But he cooled down after awhile. Later, he and J.P. left the bar because of "prior commitments," but I opted to stay at the bar.

We remained for quite awhile, and I mainly talked to Suzanna (from Germany), Lieselots (from Denmark), and Karin (from Germany, of course.) And yes, the German beer was quite good. These are the classic moments that I'll never forget from this experience.

We left the pub after the final round, and after a walk in even more brisk weather, we caught a taxi to the Supabar Chinese Take Away, where I got sweet 'n sour chicken and ate it back at Karin's flat, along with everyone else.

When I was done eating, it was time to head back home. I entered the cold once again with Lieselots and Suzanna (Lisa and Sue) to walk them to their flat, and then continue my perilous journey (25 minutes in all) back home towards sleep.

I found out that Doug's "prior commitment" was a party that was still going on. I decided not to attend, because I was quite tired, and Doug and I were getting ready to leave on a weekend trip to London tomorrow. I hope the party was good, because Doug needed it.


Wednesday, October 5, 1988

"The Girl in the Red Dress"

Woke up much too early, as my Geography lecture was at the ungodly hour of 9:15 a.m. I took a lot of notes during the class, and afterwards just took it easy. I was originally planning on going out this evening with Karin to celebrate her birthday, but when I returned to my room there was a note on my door telling me that she was busy today, but that she was going to go out with a bunch of her friends tomorrow and that I could join them.

Oh, and she also said in the note that she's "seeing a guy named Steve."

So, with my plans totally rearranged for the evening, we started by watching the new season of "Doctor Who" in the common room in St. Hilda's, the residence hall where J.P. and Doug reside. After that we decided to go to "The Oasis," the Inglemire Site Night Club and Disco. It was slow at first, but soon it picked up (for J.P. and I, at least), as we had quite a lot of fun drinking and dancing. We left the club at about 11:30 p.m., when it closed, and we returned as a group to some girl's room, where we sat around drinking coffee for awhile, and talking.

I then left to return to my room for some sleep, but it was not to be. I ran into Kofe, who convinced me to come with him to visit some people. I certainly didn't want to be impolite, so I joined him. When we got to the room at the top of St. Michaels (the other residence in The Grange, located between St. Martins and St. Hildas... you need to walk through St. Martins to get to St. Hildas, actually), sure enough, four girls and one guy were there just hanging out. We all chatted for awhile, and as we lost people to sleep, only two of us remained, "The Girl in the Red Dress," and me. I just can't remember her name now, but we talked until well after 4 a.m. She was nice but was way into astrology (I mean, big time!), which I found to be a bit weird.

Well, eventually I was able to trek back to my room, and this time uninterrupted, so I finally opted for some sleep.

(Pictured is my Student Union identification card from Humberside College. You needed this to get into any number of college functions.)


Tuesday, October 4, 1988

Burning the Midnight Oil with the Guy Who Looks Like the Lead Singer of Midnight Oil

I woke up and went to class this morning. Not much exciting there. I spent the day just dogging around until around 6 p.m., when I went out for another run on my own to visit Karin. She wasn’t at her flat, but I left a note for her to stop in later. All-in-all, I ran five miles today, and felt pretty good afterward. Maybe I’ll be able to stick with this.

Later on, at about 9 p.m., a girl named Vicki and an friend of hers stopped by my room. I had met Vicki earlier in the day, and she told me she has no place to stay at the moment. I told her I’d talk to Karin and see if she possibly had an extra room in her flat. However, since Karin was not in when I visited, I had no news for them, so alas, they were out of luck. I offered to let them stay in my room until they found something. They then left to look at another place (located on Karin’s street.) I haven’t seen them since, so hopefully they did OK.

Well, it wasn’t 10 minutes after they left when Karin stopped into my room, and we sat and talked over coffee until about 1 a.m. After our excellent conversation, she left to return to her flat, and I went up to the community phone to attempt to call Mom and Dad again. After two attempts, I got through… but once again Dad wasn’t home. I talked to Mom for about 10 minutes, and we determined that on Sunday at 11 p.m. (GMT, or 6 p.m. EST) she would call me at the residence phone. (So don’t forget!) Hopefully the phone will be available at that time.

After our phone call, I started talking to Steve, who is the “resident assistant” for St. Martin’s Hall (the main entrance to St. Martin's is pictured above). Friendly fellow… tall, bald… he looks a lot like the lead singer of Midnight Oil. He has a habit of starting sentences and greeting you with “OK…” He’s from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, a few hours north of Hull, and though that’s not too far away, the difference in his accent verses the local accent here is staggering. I’ll admit, it was difficult to understand a lot of what he said. Still we sat in his room and talked over tea until about 3:30 a.m. He is big into history (especially war), and appropriately enough, accents. When we were finished talking, I was good and knackered, so it was off to bed.


Monday, October 3, 1988

Sack Edgar Page

I'm getting a little worried about Doug. Today we went into town where he bought himself a stereo, but that seemed to only be a temporary remedy, as he soon receded back into melancholy. He read me some of the poetry he has written while here in Hull, and it's rather depressing, and often frightening. I'm sure Doug could overcome it, but I'm not sure he wants to.

Well, anyway, this day started like any other... by waking up. Since we still didn't have any lectures to attend, we spent the day in Hull, after getting Doug squared away at Lloyd's Bank.

We then experienced a most unusual event, as we watched teachers from Hull University who were on strike, as well as other supporters, march through town, carrying signs that read, "Save Edgar Page". They were marching in protest of the recent "sacking" of a tenured philosophy professor named Edgar Page. They, of course, are worried that if this firing is allowed, then their jobs could be in jeopardy as well.

From what I was told, he is the first tenured college professor to ever be sacked in Britain. Of course, I don't know what he did to get fired, but considering he's the first ever, I figure it must be pretty bad. Personally, I think this could set a good precedent, since it would force tenured teachers with cushy jobs to make themselves an asset to the university, or risk being fired. Later, I decided to hang a "Sack Edgar Page" sign in my room.

OK, well, after the march, the three of us went into Hull to do a little shopping, and to register with the police (required of all of us questionable American students.) And that's pretty much what we did.

We found an excellent record store called Sydney Scarborough, where I bought a Genesis EP ("Throwing It All Away," "Invisible Touch (Live)" and a previously unreleased track, "I'd Rather Be You."), and a Peter Gabriel EP ("Big Time" and an unreleased track, "Curtains.") Doug broke down and went wild buying here. J.P. didn't, but only because he didn't have any money with him.

We continued to walk around (I bought batteries for my stereo to make it functional... still haven't found an adapter that will work for an American stereo) and then returned home (Home, Home on The Grange) by bus, arriving just in time for dinner. While at dinner we saw Kofe Kari Kari and another student, both of whom had studied last year at Millersville University, so we chatted with them for awhile.

When I got to my room, there was a note on my door from Karin (from Germany), which made my day, and included a phone number where I could now reach her. I tried to call the number using the community pay phone on the second floor of our residence, but I had a bit of trouble and I was never able to get through. I'll go visit her tomorrow.

At around 7 p.m. I decided to just relax and write a few letters to friends and family back home. I didn't do much else this evening other than head over to visit Doug to try and cheer him up, and then take a walk with him to the same Chinese take away restaurant I went to yesterday, Double Happiness, for some more chips and gravy. If this doesn't put a smile on Doug's face, I don't know what will. Ironically, while we were there we saw Sara and Louise stop in... guess they had the same idea!) We talked to Sara and Louise for a bit, then returned to our rooms.

I made an unsuccessful attempt to call home, but when I called, my 10-year-old sister's friend Aiden answered the phone, if you can believe it, and my sister Angie was the only member of the family that was home at the time. Since this call costs a fair bit of money, I said hello and then said that I couldn't talk now, but that I'd call back again.

I returned to the room, and with little else to do and with visions of sleep in my mind, I felt compelled to oblige.

Humorous anecdote of the day: This morning, while visiting a slightly catatonic Doug in his room, we heard what we thought was J.P. fumbling at the door. It was at that moment that Doug uttered the now immortal words, "It's open, ya boob!" A moment later we realized it was the cleaning lady. Needless to say, Doug was quite embarrassed and apologetic.


Sunday, October 2, 1988

Discovering Double Happiness

The day began for me around 10:30 a.m., with Doug coming to my room to see how I was doing. Apart from my sore throat, I was fine. Doug (pictured in his room) also mentioned to me how depressing his room is. I am trying to cheer him up, but it’s difficult when the person doesn’t seem to want to be cheered up. But then again, I still think this phase will pass him in a week or two.

Around noon Doug and I went to lunch (which they actually do serve here on Saturdays and Sundays), and it actually wasn’t too bad today. The biggest problem I have is the fact that we are limited in our portions. I was used to Millersville, where you go in and eat until you are full. Here you are given a budget, and if you go over, you have to pay the difference. As a result, I couldn’t even afford the bread and butter to go with the meal, which was quite frustrating.

We were originally planning to make a trip up to the City of York, but we decided to take it easy instead and just hung around the residence. One thing I did was fulfill my promise to start running, and so I joined Karen on a four-mile run, which is quite a distance to start running the first day back. Needless to say, she is in much better shape than I am, so I was completely unable to keep up with her. Oh well, the important thing is that I keep up with it. I also did something that I was never able to really do before… run a well-paced final mile after slowing down to a walk. I guess that’s something.

I came back, took a shower, ate dinner, and then fell asleep for awhile. I was awaken some time later by three girls (named Jo, Jane and “?”), who came into my room and started talking to me. It was quite odd, but after awhile I was finally coherent enough to figure out what was actually going on. So we all sat and talked for awhile, during which time two other girls, Sara and Louise, came in to talk as well.
A little later on we all went over to see Doug and J.P. to see if they were interested in heading over to the Welcome Back Disco being held at the Student Union (about a 10-15 minute walk from the Grange). When it became apparent that Doug and J.P. were planning on staying at The Grange, the group of us (minus “?”) headed over to the Disco. That turned out to be good fun, and I saw several people that I now knew, as well as some that I met for the first time that evening.

Aftter dancing and chatting a bit at this dance, we decided to leave and walk over to the nearby Hull University Union. It was much bigger, but also much more crowded. In fact, it was annoyingly overpacked, so we didn’t stay very long. It was a nice complex, however.

Anyway, I left with Louise and Sara, and we headed back to The Grange. Sara was wearing her Bros. jacket – “rubbish music” as she calls it. I have to agree with her on that one). But before returning, we stopped at Double Happiness, a Chinese take away restaurant located a few blocks from our residence... and at that moment defined my new staple in the food department… chips ‘n gravy. Chips ‘n gravy from a chinese restaurant are outstanding! We finished the walk around the corner and back down to The Grange, where we each returned to our respective rooms for some sleep.

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" - The Hollies
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Love Bites" - Def Leppard


Saturday, October 1, 1988

Beverley, and "How About Some Coffee?"

It was another amazing, fun-filled day. Woke up much later in preparation for our visit to Beverley, a small town about 10 miles north of Hull. Doug and I took the bus into town, and once we arrived proceeded to walk through the shopping district. We had to wait awhile to enter Beverley Minster because a wedding was going on that the time. Actually, we soon found out it was the largest wedding ever held in Beverley Minster, as over 600 people were in attendance. (Who knows 600 people?)

We shopped until noon, when we found a pub to have some lunch. Doug and I both had chicken kiev, which was excellent. I'd never had it before, but now it's one of my favorite dishes. Afterwards we shopped a bit more, where I bought a mug (now I have two for coffee with guests in my room!), tacks for my wall, Q-tips and more candy bars. I can't get over how inexpensive candy bars are over here. I've been buying Twix bars for about 18p (roughly 25 cents each) whenever I see them.

Doug and I trekked back to Beverley Minster (pictured above, with Doug admiring the main entrance), and with the wedding now concluded, we were free to walk around for a bit. Although it wasn't quite as magnificent as Chester's Cathedral, it was still very impressive. We walked inside andh outside, snapping several pictures (naturally) of the outside of the minster. After that, we caught the bus (one way trip cost 1 pound 5 pence) back to Hull. It was about 3:30 p.m. when we left Beverley, and when we returned, I was rather tired. So after a meal at the Grange, I came back to my room (located in St. Martin's one of the three buildings that makes up the Grange) and slept for awhile.

I awoke at about 8 p.m., wrote a bit in my journal, and then went to J.P.'s room over in St. Hilda's (the building on the other side of the Grange) for a little get-together he was having. Doug was there, along with David Hart, one of the students from Juniata, and a few other folks. We sat and talked for a bit, but then decided to take the party on the road. We eventually stumbled onto a gathering in a room on the second floor of St. Martin's. There were just a few people there, but after we showed up, more people began to come in and out, including the hall resident assistant, Steve. To be drinking in a room, with the RA right there drinking with you, is unheard of at Millersville! In addition to having a conversation with Steve, I met a lot of people here, including two guys named Alex and Ian, a girl named Jane, and then Karen, who is from Bristol. She came to the party later, and I started a good conversation with her after finding out that she's a long distance runner. Having run cross country for four years at Camp Hill High School (and not at all ever since), she sparked my interest in finally getting out there to run again.

We talked there for awhile, but when several rugby players arrived, it got annoying, so I unsed my new catch-line, "How about some coffee?" And she accepted, so we headed down to my room for some coffee and continued conversation. Again, I discovered that she is also a conservative, which provided for some interesting conversation. As we were sharing our various running stories, she invited me to join her on a run tomorrow, which I gladly accepted. That should be good. If I have someone to run with, I can do it, so I'm jumping at the opportunity. I just hope I can keep up! I think it will take me about two weeks of continuous distance running to get back into shape. Anyway, I was glad to meet Karen (another attractive, intelligent, interesting and friendly girl.)

After I left and returned to my room at about 4 a.m., it took me very little time to fall asleep. Well, tomorrow's Sunday, so it should be peaceful. I just hope that Doug cheers up soon. Between J.P., Doug and myself, Doug is having the roughest time adjusting to life here. Perhaps he's just trying too hard, but I think he'll adjust in due time. "Take it as it comes," I reiterate.