Thursday 15th December 1988

Ill and coughing from my chest infection this morning, I just reviewed scanned files from yesterday, phoned my parents and heard about my father’s ear cancer and then took Debbie horse-riding later as the day got colder but stayed fine. At a committee meeting this evening, I was advising the parish council to pay more for the village groundsman. Market demand for eggs has fallen by 60% due to Edwina Currie’s silly statements and the US and PLO are scheduling direct talks, leaving the Israelis on the side-lines.

I was shattered this morning and choking with my chest infection as well and came down to breakfast in my dressing gown. I was slow to get anything done afterwards and then sat and reviewed my scanned files from yesterday on the computer. I did not make a great deal of progress and then phoned my parents to see how they are fixed to visiting us over Christmas. My father has a cancerous ear growth needing surgery and must wait until after his hospital appointment next week to see what their plans are. I took Debbie horse riding this afternoon as the day got somewhat colder. At least the weather is fine, and my sole conservatory decorator got on quite well.

 ** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **

Wednesday 14th December 1988

I made another slow start to the day and saw that the conservatory contractors were not making much more progress and so I called Nick Frost to ask for more effort to be made. I took Della to her Playschool play and Di went to Kimbolton School to see Debbie perform in the carol service. To Cambridge after lunch to get my Apple Mac memory capacity increased and to scan many images for my book and FOCUS newsletters and then late to the St Neots Museum Management Committee after which I could playback my recordings for Diana to see. The US agreed to support direct talks with Yasser Arafat of the PLO and the UK government continues to complain about the Republic of Ireland’s decision not to extradite Father Patrick Ryan.

I was slow to wake and get going again this morning but had breakfast a little earlier than yesterday. The builder’s carpenter arrived early to ease a few doors, let in a couple of edging strips for the tiles at the doorsteps and to grout the tiles on the shelf. A sole conservatory painter worked on at a slow pace and then called for scaffold towers which were brought out by another. It was all taking too long and so I called Nick Frost and asked for more effort to get the job finished as we wanted to occupy. I worked on the Anglo-Saxon chapter of my book and then took Della to her Playschool play which was ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ with Della as the ‘Drama, Drumming’. Di had to go to the Kimbolton School Carol Service to see Debbie and so I was there alone. At least I chatted to a few local mums and took a video picture of proceedings.

 ** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **

Tuesday 13th December 1988

I made a slow to start today, with my headache and sore throat, to observe equally slow progress from the conservatory decorator and plumber but my Koi carp water tester fish started to eat pellets. Most of the day editing and laying out chapters of my book and then admiring, with the family, the terrific picture on our new television. The Clapham Junction train crash death toll is now estimated at 33 but evidence emerges of a prior known fault with the signalling system. Health Minister Edwina Currie is facing calls for her resignation over her egg comments at home, but PLO chairman Yasser Arafat is making progress with the UN and USA at the United Nations Assembly in Geneva.

I woke up feeling quite groggy again with a splitting headache due to my sore throat and cold and went down to a late breakfast after a struggle to get up and dressed. I was then disturbed by the arrival of the conservatory decorator who today sanded down the conservatory exterior and applied a coat of porous paint to it. The plumbers then came and took a whole day to connect the heating pipes to the boiler, and they still did not have the correct parts to complete the control system and will have to come back. My Koi carp ‘water testers’, the three pioneers, started to eat a few pellets today which is a good sign that they are very nervous of their new environment. I spent most of the day at my desk, editing the early chapters of my book and laying them out and typesetting them with room for the drawings and pictures that I will hope to include.

 ** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **

Monday 12th December 1988

Undertaking a number of chores in St Neots and supervising more contractors working today after dropping Di and Della off at the station for a trip to London by train to see Father Christmas at Selfridge’s and then Matthew and Sooty in pantomime at the Mayfair Theatre. After this, the whole family enjoyed our new 33 inch TV/Video with ‘super VHS’ recording as I had more HDC meetings at Pathfinder House. News today of a horrific train crash at Clapham Junction, where three trains crashed into one another, killing some 40 people and seriously injuring many more.

This day started slowly for me. We had been awoken in the early hours of the night by the hilarious spectacle of a group of police on foot trying vainly to herd a cow that has got across to the side of the river. They were pretty hopeless! Had my breakfast in pyjamas and dressing gown and only cleared the room just before Joan arrived to do her work at 9am. Some chores in St Neots this morning, buying a supply of fibreglass insulation from Tebbutt’s, then having a haircut before off to A.N Audio where I decided to buy a new television/video recorder combination made by Panasonic. We have therefore exchanged our 26 inch TV for a 33 inch one and now have ‘super VHS’ recording. Home after dropping Di and Della off at the station for a trip to London by train to see Father Christmas at Selfridge’s and then Matthew and Sooty in pantomime at the Mayfair Theatre.

 ** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **