Wednesday 3rd December 1986

Out to saw logs on a very windy day and the afternoon at my desk working again after taking Debbie horse-riding and winterising The Lady as The Reagan supporters attempt to redeem the situation with Lt Col North is refusing to answer questions over Iran and in the UK, an Alliance bid to get a Privy-Councillor Select Committee to overview the security services was voted down by the government

A rather more dignified awakening this morning and everyone down to breakfast on time. Had to chase Daniel again to get his room straight afterwards. Read the paper and then opted to go outside and do some of the exterior chores, as the weather was mild. In fact, it was also very windy and gusting to near gale force. Once Pete arrived, I got us started on sawing up the logs. Although Nigel has been very good about it, he must need his chain saw back soon and so I thought we would get the work done now. Took most of the morning, but it was a good job well done; must be almost a seasons logs there. Rested half way through and to read the mail, and then finished just before lunchtime. Another salad to eat and ice cream after and I spent the afternoon in a more relaxing way; updating some paperwork and clearing my desk. I had received the Extract of Title on the Linton Lordships and had spotted a number of points to discuss with Fraser Paskell. Also had an acknowledgement from St John’s College of my latest offer for Little Paxton Lordships and they are to consider it. Went out this afternoon to feed the ducks and doves and put them away and the wind was so strong that it blew the doves feeding tray off of the table. Also worked on The Lady, tipping out the ‘reservoir’ of rainwater from the rear cover and draining the engine to protect it from winter freezing.

Tuesday 2nd December 1986

A late awakening to get the children to school and then us off to Cambridge to meet Di’s parents but I did not find any suitable history books there and so home via Jordan’s garden centre in Eaton Socon for a long-life Christmas Tree and to see Debbie after ballet and hear of Daniel’s success in his English and History exams. This evening making plans for a visit to my parents and hearing Thatcher and Reagan both trying to defend themselves against controversies of their own making with the former Morgan Grenfell Securities Director facing criminal summons for insider trading and the Prison and Teachers’ disputes continuing. A drive and walk around Little Paxton woods and Meagre Farm lands this evening but the Huntsman Thorn is long gone


Di overslept this morning and had forgotten to set the alarm and so we were all awoken with a jolt at 7.30am. No chance of the shower room before breakfast and so I went down to the meal in my pyjamas for once, eating cereal with Debbie and Della, as Daniel had already been rushed into having his breakfast by now. At least he got out on time for his school examinations today. I showered before our daily came at 9.00am. Then, out to the Range Rover and Diana drove to Cambridge whilst I read the Financial Times in the passenger seat. Rather late to Eaden Lilleys, but still in time to meet Di’s parents there. Charles went off to the bank, but Norma stayed and had another drink with us. Then I left the girls to go shopping and I went around Cambridge bookshops. Found no VCH’s of Huntingdonshire, but there was a 5-edition Cambridge, but not the one with Linton in it and so I did not buy it. Managed to find both a Rymans and Heffers stationers that stocked the folder refills for my study books and bought some large sheets and special indexes. Lunch with Di and Della at the Copper Kettle and then back to the car, via the shops again to get the rest of the things that I needed.

Monday 1st December 1986

Preparing the children for school and then to my desk and phone calls, ordering my affairs, and to spend £25,000 on Savings Certificates in St Neots Post Office, to their astonishment. More setbacks for the City of London as The Guinees Company is investigated for insider trading and the Attorney General has to answer to The House of Commons to defend himself. The Australian MIG hearing goes on with Prime Minister Gough Whitlam insisting that their security services would not be allowed to break the law. The Natal region of South Africa has negotiated and agreed a fair society model but it is rejected by the central government.

Rather groggily awake and my state of mind did not improve when Debbie descended upon me whilst I was drinking my morning tea, and joined me in bed. I had to get her showered in the en-suite bathroom, as well as tending to myself. Down to breakfast, getting Daniel to clear up his room better on the way. He seemed ready for his further exams in maths and history today and does not lack confidence. The morning paper – then post – but nothing of interest and so settled in my office and started sorting out my desk and making some phone calls. A rather dull day, seeing to routine paperwork and reconciling my bank and building society accounts. Relieved to break for a salad lunch and then returned to pay a number of bills and type out some important correspondence. These included a letter to St John’s College, turning down a suggestion of theirs about a lease of the Lordship. In later afternoon, I drove into St Neots and collected our new window seat cushion from Brittains, covered in our normal material and also collected my parcel of security alarm equipment from the sorting office and posted my letters outside at the same time. Then parked in the town centre, took my £25K-worth of Nat. Savings Certificate applications in to the Post Office and then did some fund transfers in the building society.

November 1986

Passing my 40th Birthday and celebrating Bonfire night during a generally wet and windy month but this makes my new project of researching and writing Little Paxton History a more attractive use of time but I also try to spend much of it with the family at home and on trips out and, although Diana struggles, I am pleased to see the children developing. Prime Minister Thatcher continues to pursue her controversial right wing policies with record unemployment leading to another ‘Jarrow March’ and cannot get away with her scandals anymore such as her duplicity over prosecuting an Officer for his MI5 memoirs and this may scupper her plans for an early election. The UK suffers huge financial scandals as a direct result of de-regulation and Europe sees tragic pollution of chemicals and oil after the recent nuclear incidents and the environment is a worry but a greater one is the East/West nuclear threats and the Middle East political tension is rising but Terry Waite brings back one released hostage and with it some hope, despite his concerns. The future of South African apartheid is also an issue

Another month has flashed by. The weather has been generally wet and windy, with some chillier periods, but no really severe frosts yet. Not that it has affected me very much. I have spent most of the month visiting Public Record Offices, Libraries, Norris Museum, St John’s College and The Cambridge Collection, etc., and have tried to find enough time for local, family, and Manorial history whilst still playing my own family and parental role. I am much closer to finding the Little Paxton Manorial holdings now and have also contracted to buy the Lordships of the Manor of Great and Little Linton whilst exploring a grant of arms that might accompany the matter. Overall, my Little Paxton History project is coming along well and I should get most of it researched and written this winter, but it is very hard work, though rewarding. This all made for an enjoyable November. The house is fine and we are using up supplies of logs with open fires on the chillier nights – though more are out there from the land clearance, waiting to be sawn up. This helped support a very  successful bonfire night party with lots of neighbours enjoying our fireworks and huge bonfire.  . The cows are still in the meadow opposite and getting quite fat and I think they will be gone by the end of the month. Still not managed to sign contracts on the sale of No.39 Gordon Road, which is a frustration but my new Range Rover had its first service  and I enjoy driving it.