Sunday 29th March 1987

Daniel and Gary off boating first thing on a fine sunny morning as I continue with investment correspondence and then I drive the family via Horningsea Garden Centre on Mother’s Day to visit Mum at The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds where we visit Mum and hatch the idea of a Koi Carp pond with Dad as Nigel calls, concurs and asks me to be the Godfather to Kate and Ashley. This as Thatcher enjoys the stage management of her Moscow visit, a scandal emerges over cervical smear test delays,  19 Zulus die in South Africa and Iraqi war planes attacked the Iranian oil pipeline terminal at Ganaveh after repeated recent attacks on the Kharg oil terminal


Later to bed than Di and then awake to my morning tea on a fine morning, with sun streaming into the room through the curtains. Showered and dressed in time for our nice Sunday fried breakfast. Gary had awoken Daniel at an early hour and they were both anxious to get out to the boat as soon as they could. I read the Sunday paper and then went out to feed the ducks and doves. 5 more duck eggs for the larder. To my office to actually complete a little work – mainly composing and printing a letter to my forestry accountants, with copies to all else. Time for lunch, which Diana had prepared in the breakfast room, as we had no time for the Sunday ritual. Soon we all piled into the Range Rover and set off.

Saturday 28th March 1987

Daniel giving boat trips on Little Lady to Diana and the girls and then to Gary Skinner, with whom he went through the lock to St Neots Marina for fuel as I dug a trench for laying 40m of power cable to the moorings and reported two motor cyclists for riding down the footpath and gave a statement. This as Oxford unexpectedly won the Boat Race (without their rebelling Americans) and Harvey Proctor survives a bid to oust him as MP and Thatcher and Kinnock return from their overseas adventures.

Slept well and the gales of yesterday had moderated overnight, so that there were only strong winds this morning, by the time we had woken up. Showered and dressed and then down to breakfast with the others. A boiled egg and toast fingers all round was the fare (except Diana). The eggs have now passed the ‘red’ phase and our new ‘candler’ checks for any irregularities as well. After breakfast, I read the paper and then went with Daniel into my office to phone Ely Yacht Chandlers to check on the new propeller, but it had not arrived yet.

Friday 27th March 1987

Enjoyable start to Daniel’s 15th birthday, as he opened his cards and presents, with Della still spottier than ever with her chicken pox, and then to my office to clear a pile of mail, financial transactions and the huge task which is my history book. A so-called ‘Killer Storm’ 99mph winds  today ripped down branches, whipped up spray from the river and demolished some of my fences and others locally but toppled Waresley Church Tower, shredded two airships in Cardington, killed ten people throughout the UK whilst over in the US, Reagan was issuing anti-UK-Labour party statements concerning defence policy and at home Thatcher meets Jewish dissidents

Awoken rather early by Di as today was Daniel's 15th birthday and he had his presents to open. I had hardly finished my drink and started to use the bathroom, when all the family rushed in, as Daniel had woken up and wanted to see what he had got. Besides the boat, I had got him a shaving kit (wet shave) to acknowledge his growing maturity (and ‘bum-fluff’ on his upper lip). Della had got him an Easter Egg, Di some more rechargeable batteries and Debbie a new Rubik Cube puzzle to replace the one he had worn out. Other relations had sent money and vouchers, which were highly appreciated by Daniel, though I would always like to see a thoughtful present in place of money.

Thursday 26th March 1987

Busy day helping Daniel to wire up his new Viking 17 and breaking off to welcome Di’s mum for lunch and then receiving a visit from John Lamb and then taking him over to Nigel’s Hail Weston House to review the landscaping operations whilst Daniel enjoyed his new boat and poor Della had her customary does of chicken pox but still retained her appetite. This as The Alliance rates second in the latest opinion polls despite Tebbit’s attacks, Kinnock visits the USA via Concord, paramilitary funerals are banned in Derry, Thatcher tries sabotaging the East/West nuclear arms limitation by linking progress to civil rights and. Lastly, efforts start to try and right The Herald of Free Enterprise

Awoken early by Di with the morning tea. Daniel had asked that we make an early start on the Viking 17, to finish the job of wiring the new electrics, so that it could be tried out. Down to breakfast. Poor Della has a good case of chicken pox, with spots everywhere, but she is brave and bearing up well. She wanted an egg for breakfast, as well as cereal and Di was able to use my new ‘egg-candler’ to ensure they were all right before cooking them. Daniel and I were out by 8.00am and well underway by 9.00. We put in the inside light, the horn, the tachometer and broke off at 10.00am for morning drinks. Nearly finished at midday, but not quite, and so broke off for lunch. Di's mum had been delayed by the A45 road works and was delayed and so I changed my clothes for lunch.