Wednesday 25th November 1987

A bright event on this otherwise cold and wet day as my new ‘Penny Edition’ of the ‘new’ Domesday books arrived so that I could study the Manorial entries for Little Paxton and my own manors of Great and Little Linton all recognised in 1088. A visit from the Rev Peter Lewis and a call to his PCC chairman gaining praise for my St James Church history chapter and the sad news of the state of the St James Church bells. Appalling news as Thatcher is now ending free NHS dental and eye tests which is a backward step for public health and more controversy due to delays in children’s’ hole-in-the-heart operations and as the Cleveland Child Abuse scandal wrongly accuses and imprisons more parents

Di slept a little better last night, but, after the day started well for her, she fell victim to eating certain of the chocolate icing whilst making some charity cake this afternoon. A mixed day for me. Started off by updating yesterday’s journal and reading the Financial Times and then tried to clear my desk and do some work. Then an event, as my ‘new’ Domesday books arrived – the Penny Edition. Had to check these thoroughly in view of their value and I set them out in our dining room, open at the places of Paxton and Linton. These will now aid my history researches, be safely kept as an investment and will accompany my documents and title as ‘Lord of the Lintons’ to add authenticity. Both of my Great and Linton manors were full manors at the time of the Domesday Book. Soon it was lunch and then this afternoon I made a list of my urgent priorities and had started to type letters when the Rev Peter Lewis arrived with back numbers of the Parish Magazine.

Tuesday 24th November 1987

Against a background of Di being troubled over her weight and problems coping with the children, I embarked on an ambitious, and very tiring but successful, day collecting the Reynolds sisters and taking them to Vera’s daughter and son in law in Gamlingay for another Little Paxton History interview recording session. Late home to a TV dinner with Di, who was feeling a little better. The big news is of great progress between Shultz and Shevardnadze with quite advanced mutual agreements on inspection and monitoring were reached. Now progress is needed on their long range arsenals.

Slept well enough, but Diana has been troubled of late, waking up in the early hours. She has been over eating again and worrying about the children, who are very demanding at the moment. Della is quite an absorbing and exhausting little girl and I have suggested she is both stricter and more demanding in return. The kids can look after themselves a lot more, if we insist, as Diana does far too much running around after them in my view. This morning, I got straight down to my job of editing and printing out the history topics to be ready for my meeting with Little Paxton’s two oldest inhabitants later on. I had hoped to be clear in time to get over to the St Ives auction for that McNish desk, but it was not to be. Still, I was well prepared for my meeting and had a couple of salad rolls before I set off. Collected Mrs Ruff from 16 High Street first and then Mrs Bunnage from a few doors along. They were brought up at The Anchor as Reynolds girls and the family was only forced out by the wartime fires. I was collecting them today to take down to Mrs Ruffs daughters in Gamlingay, where we had planned a recorded session on Little Paxton history. It was enjoyable, if hard work, as we talked on for some 7 hours!

Monday 23rd November 1987

A cold day after a cold night spent monitoring the financial markets and progressing my Little Paxton History which involved transcribing more of the Hall and Hazelton interview tapes and meeting the two owners of the former Paxton Park North and West Lodge before home for a late lunch made by Norma and to more typing and to supervise Daniel’s homework. A massive police effort in Ulster arrests 40 IRA suspects, two more police shooting incidents in Englandand the East/West arms talks are back on again

Awoke to a very cold bedroom. It had been a cold night and turned out to be a bitterly cold day to follow. We can conclude that autumn has ended and winter has begun. Got showered and dressed early, so as to be ready for more work and had enough time to ensure that the children tidied up their rooms before breakfast. A poor meal of wheat flakes and apple juice to drink and then straight to my office for an early start. I got a couple of hours work in, sorting more of the Hall and Hazelton interview text files into subject order. I also scanned the Prestel business information and watched Plessey shares particularly closely after my recent disappointment. The stock exchange improved a little today, and Plessey with it, and I took my brokers advice and kept the shares. Soon it was time to prepare my things for this morning’s interview with Mrs Connie Morris of North Lodge. Learnt a little from it, particularly about the late Mr Morris, who mended the villager’s bicycles for years.

Sunday 22nd November 1987

This chilly morning studying the papers and financial news with the aid of my Prestel Citi-service terminal before lunch of roast chicken and then transcribing the Hall/Saunders tape as Di ferries the children everywhere this afternoon The news today is of the special remembrance service at Enniskillen with Thatcher in attendance in a mammoth security exercise and Shevardnadze is still optimistic on an arms agreement with the US.

A little late to bed last night, catching up on my journal, but I had not managed to read the day’s financial papers. This morning, I stayed in bed for most of it and read yesterday’s Financial Times, The Investors Chronicle and then the today’s Observer. All this told me to be very careful with stock exchange investments and I do not know that the sages are any the wiser after this US budget agreement, which is a bit marginal. It was nearly lunchtime before I was showered and dressed and then I called up the Prestel Citiservice with my terminal and updated my personal and family portfolios of shares. I could then check both of the Prestel stockbrokers, Hoare Gareth and BZW, on their advice on them. I am disappointed at getting into Plessey and Bank of Scotland and do not think much of the BZW analysts opinion of these companies. Lunch of roast chicken, then, this afternoon, I started to transcribe the relevant parts of the second Hall/Saunders tape, whilst Di embarked on a bewildering series of ferrying jobs