Friday 5th January 1979: It was still the school holidays so the whole family went up to London by tube. Went to the Planetarium and sat back in our big seats in the dark watching a presentation about 'Explorers'. They sped up time to make the universe go whoosh. Didn't go to Madame Tussauds. Went to McDonalds for lunch (wow this was amazing in 1979 because there were only 20 in the country and none in Watford). Went to a bookshop where the books were only 40p. Went to Selfridges but didn't buy anything because not much cost 40p. Went to Hamleys where I was intrigued by a goofy golf ball. Stayed until after dark to see the laser Christmas decorations down Oxford Street. Waited for a tour bus to see the lights elsewhere, but no tour bus turned up so we went home. Fish and chips for tea (which may have been the first time I'd ever had two takeaways in one day). Watched Sale of the Century and the Liver Birds. Saturday 5th January 1980: Told my Mum about all the fun I'd had yesterday in Ormskirk. Took some heavy bags of firewood round to a neighbour. Bought a copy of the new Radio Times with Peter Barkworth and Hannah Gordon on the cover. Planned the route for the sponsored tube ride three of my schoolfriends and I were planning to do on Monday, visiting as many tube stations as possible before Mum insisted I came home for the evening. Watford beat QPR 2-1 away in the third round of the FA Cup. Watched the third episode of The Horns of Nimon (without realising how awful a Doctor Who episode it was because social media hadn't been invented). A brand new DJ called Steve Wright started an evening show on Radio 1.
Monday 5th January 1981: Mike Read took over the breakfast show on Radio 1. Because it was the day before term started I was press-ganged into attending an all-day orchestral rehearsal when I would rather have been at home listening to the radio all day. Sneaked home at lunchtime to watch Johnny Ball and C3PO on Pebble Mill At One. After the rehearsal ended dashed home to watch Blue Peter slam the evil hoaxers who bid £37000 in their chocolate auction, leaving the highest genuine bid at only £700. The Yorkshire Ripper had been caught. Tonight on BBC1, the first episode of The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which would be the talk of the playground in the morning. Tuesday 5th January 1982: The first day of term, in my awful sixth form suit. In the afternoon's lesson, learned about all the uses computers could be put to. Hurrah, Don't You Want me was still number 1. Peter Davison's second Doctor Who episode took the Tardis to Castrovalva. Chicken for tea. Wednesday 5th January 1983: The first day of term, still in my awful sixth form suit. Time to find out if anyone else got a good university offer over Christmas. Also time for a driving lesson, the first in our car rather than the instructor's, in which I kept changing into the wrong gear and stalled "loads and loads of times". Big family conference to try to decide where to go on holiday this year, narrowed down to Alnmouth, Arran or Thurlestone Sands (it would be none of these). Thursday 5th January 1984: Read the newspaper in bed. Put away the Christmas decorations. Caught up on some university notes. The 20th birthday edition of Top of the Pops kicked off with Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Relax (which was history in the making). In Rochester, the Treasure Hunt contestants got clue 5 with five seconds to spare. Saturday 5th January 1985: The social afternoon the family had been planning had to be cancelled because one of the retired ladies was ill. This meant my Dad and brother could go to football instead (to enjoy Sheffield United getting a five-nil thrashing) and I could watch Colin Baker defending London from some Cybermen (rather than trusting it to our recently-purchased video recorder). Shepherds pie for tea. Sunday 5th January 1986: There was leftover white chocolate cake from yesterday's social afternoon with the retired ladies.
Monday 5th January 1987: My student grant cheque was not available at the university office. One of my student housemates spent the morning whitening his trainers, while another returned from her Christmas break and then sobbed in her room for thirty minutes. Things went very much downhill from there. Unable to find the The The album in WHSmiths, Virgin or HMV. Tuesday 5th January 1988: I had a job now. Unexpected phone call from the former sobber, also now in work, saying her boss had suggested counselling. Thursday 5th January 1989: Ooh, they were repeating V (but I shouldn't have stayed up until 2am watching it, not even for the guinea-pig-swallowing). Friday 5th January 1990: Hurrah, I had workmates who liked to escape on a Friday lunchtime and go down the local Harvester for a cheesy cottage pie and a sneaky half pint. Saturday 5th January 1991: That was a violent storm out there. Managed to do quite a lot of the prize crossword. Sunday 5th January 1992: Sunday trading hadn't started at this particular Safeway yet, so I returned home unprovisioned. On ITV, David Suchet as Poirot solved the ABC Murders.
Tuesday 5th January 1993: Someone was walking in off the street and nicking mail from our communal letterboxes, so I had to ring Superior Software and ask them to send me another copy of Repton 4. Wednesday 5th January 1994: The deputy boss was back at work after 5 months off (following an unfortunate bouncy castle incident). Thursday 5th January 1995: Grilled some chicken. Some January 5ths just aren't interesting. Friday 5th January 1996: Helped draft a syndicate agreement so that my work colleagues could go for the Lottery's biggest ever double rollover tomorrow (but we didn't win the £42m). Sunday 5th January 1997: I should not have gone out clubbing last night, I think I may have had too many alcopops.
Monday 5th January 1998: First chat with the ex (not that they were the ex yet, but everything has to start somewhere). Tuesday 5th January 1999: The new boss's first all-staff meeting, packed with buzzwords, made me pleased I'd already resigned and was working out my notice. Wednesday 5th January 2000: Drove round to my parents' to collect a stack of redirected mail. It wasn't a great move to have had five addresses last year. They probably shouldn't have left a pan on the boil when they went to the hospital. Friday 5th January 2001: I spent the first Friday of the 21st century in Haverhill, not being listened to (but at least it wasn't Lowestoft). Saturday 5th January 2002: Spent rather a lot of money in Tottenham Court Road buying a hi-fi component I'd be dumping down the tip in December 2018. Sunday 5th January 2003: I have a blog now, so you've already read about the time I got upgraded on a transatlantic flight (and all the 5th Januaries that followed...)