Sunday 17th May 1992

The day visiting Wickstead Park on a cooler day after Diana had planned the family trip, running into trouble to use the Rolls Royce as the battery was flat. Diana used to go to Wickstead Park on St Francis school Ascension Day outings and the old rides had been supplemented with newer ones.

Home for teatime to find John Brown buzzing in and out borrowing my bike to deliver recruitment leaflets and to appreciate my hot and steaming compost heaps after my attentions.

No chance to relax at home and catch up with my work today as Diana had planned a family trip to Wickstead Park. I could hardly get out of bed I was so exhausted and then slowly got showered shaved and dressed. I did my chores and tried to start the Rolls Royce, thinking that it would be nice to use it instead of the noisy Range Rover. The trouble was that the battery was flat and so I put it on charge and we went off in Diana's little car instead. We had quite an enjoyable day and a picnic as well, but six hours is quite enough for me hanging around as the girls made full use of their £7 arm bands for unlimited rides! Diana used to go to Wickstead Park on school outings (it was the regular treat on Ascension Day at her catholic convent school) and so she and the girls could stay there forever.

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Saturday 16th May 1992

A very hot day, working on the Paxton Princess rubbing strakes, sometimes from The Jolly dinghy, with Jack rowing up and giving advice and sharing anecdotes. Eventually late back driving home to Paxton to help Di as she went off late to collect Debbie from a disco, testing the Range Rover by driving fast and noticing its noisy protests

I was up fairly early and had my Norfolk routine of cereal breakfast and bath to follow. I seemed to take my time but I was still out and working by 8.00am. I concentrated on the Paxton Princess, wiping off the dew and dirt from the woodwork and then starting to remove the old varnish where it had worn and deteriorated. I became concerned at how much the varnish had weathered since last season and decided to go into Jeckells to buy some new varnish and more sandpaper as I began to doubt the value of the varnish that I had been storing these last ten years. It is so much trouble to prepare the woodwork, the last thing to do is to use unsatisfactory materials.

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Friday 15th May 1992

This was a nice and hot and sunny day, after an early heavy shower that caught the girls waking to the school bus stop. There was double good news in the mail this morning to go to Norfolk with, the approval for my Horning building control consent, and the original Vat receipt from Barnes Brinkcraft.

After turning the compost heap first thing at Paxton, I set off for Norfolk to find the Amis workmen had been progressing the new Harnser quay heading. A make-shift evening meal of seafood that I had collected on my way through Wroxham after which I relaxed a while to listen to the radio and rest after today's exertion.

There was a certain reluctance on my part to get going this morning after last night's drinking and late night, but I was just about down to breakfast in time in the end. The girls went off to school and walked immediately into the only heavy shower of the morning and I just got the barbecue set out of the rain and under the balcony in time. I caught up on the mail and my journal before doing some Hayling View chores that had to be done before I could leave for Norfolk. Good news in the mail this morning: The approval arrived for my building control consent which was a great relief and then Barnes Brinkcraft had eventually sent me the original VAT agreement for the construction of the Paxton Princess that I had been awaiting.

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Thursday 14th May 1992

A full programme on a hot day, starting with playing with Della, showing the gardener how to care for the compost heaps and swimming pool, and then completing my admin chores as Glisson Printers Company Secretary before hosting a swimming and barbecue session for friends and neighbours and then an evening Parish Council A.G.M taking Linda there and home afterwards!

I was up and about fairly early again today and, after breakfast went outside to do a few things. I had given Della her usual "piggy-back" to relax her for school this morning; but then diverted round the house to take her for a ride round the garden which rather shocked her and made her laugh! I had just about finished sweeping the back garden and hoovering the pool by the time that Bill arrived, but still showed him how to do this for future reference. Then to my compost heaps where I instructed Bill in how to look after them; them being left unturned for too long and not rotting properly until I tackled them last night. He had brought along some runner beans to put in alongside the shed and I helped him move some things before having to leave him to it and coming in to get on with some other work.

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