Thursday 21st January 1988

Informing Rob Wilmott to turn down the Compsoft PLC Directorship, making arrangements to advertise in the RREC magazine for a Corniche convertible and then taking Debbie horse-riding after an early tea when she did quite well on Rumpold. A mounting conflict today between Mrs Thatcher and the medical profession over Health Service funding as the dollar stayed depressed today and the stock markets continued both nervous and erratic,

Awoke this morning and made better headway of getting ready for breakfast and actually managed to join the family at the table for once. Straight to my paper after and then the mail, which was very thin for once. I made my call to Rob Wilmot and turned down the offer of a Compsoft PLC non-executive directorship and rested more easily for it. I heard from John Lorey of Ely Marina about boatbuilding for the Ouse. Again he is reluctant to consider it on his behalf, but has referred me to others and I shall follow these lines of enquiry up. Received the Exchange and Mart today and there were no Rolls Royce Corniche convertibles for sale at all. I started to plan to advertise in it, but find out that such a ‘wanted ad’ could not be published for two weeks.

Wednesday 20th January 1988

Closely watching the slide on Wall Street, with High Technology the big losers, as I worked on my investments and then buying a multi-bladed lawn mower from Cambridge and driving over to Buckden Marina to talk about boat designs but they were more interested in site development with cabins. Home to find a Directorship offer from Robb Wilmott to think about but Nigel talked me out of it as Rob lost most of his money in the October crash. The nurses are striking in three London Hospital as three Royal Colleges of medicine express dismay over lack of funding and Neil Kinnock carries all before him in the labour leadership battle

Still slow to get up this morning, but I did. Completed my preparations and still joined the family for some of the meal. Once the children had gone, I read the FT and sensed that the financial markets were jittery again and soon the screens told us that shares were slipping. There are rumours that the last month’s US trade deficit was under-expressed by £3Bn and certainly the Japanese figures on US trade suggested that this could be true. Later, slippage turned into a slide on Wall Street and the US dollar lost ground as central bank support faltered. I settled into my office today and first did my accounts, reconciling bank accounts and returning a phone call to my accountant over my BP transactions. Also made some phone calls on lawnmowers and ended up choosing to buy a 10-bladed model, second hand from Cambridge

Tuesday 19th January 1988

The morning working on my history project, supervising work on our gardens and then this afternoon collecting a very unwell Ivy Bunnage and taking her to Vera Ruff’s house to talk about Little Paxton history. Tory health Secretary Moore refuses to consider more funding for the NHS or even an enquiry into NHS funding whilst the Chancellor is looking to make tax cuts and refuse more spending.

Slept well enough for a change and was in the bathroom just about to shower when I was called to breakfast 5 minutes early. It was the nearest to being ready for a week! Ate my wheat flakes, finished getting ready and then went to my office to read the paper and review the mail. A few small cheques to pay in and a bank statement. Di went off to St Neots to do the chores and I worked at my history, comparing the notes from the most recent transcript with others and starting to make notes for each house in the village. Before coffee, I also popped out to see Pete and put him right on a few things to do in the garden. Worked on until 12.30 when I went into the kitchen, put on the TV news, and made myself a salad lunch.

Monday 18th January 1988

The drive to a Rolls Royce dealer to see a Cornish Convertible but the condition was not of the best and so I made a low offer for them to consider, yet the good Silver Cloud II convertibles were worth far too much money too. This evening working on my Little Paxton History draft, hearing of much better news of the Liberal/SDP policy negotiations as Thatcher receives protests over the state of the NHS and Thomas Sopwith, creator of The Sopwith Pup is 100 today!

Awoke very tired this morning and most reluctant to get up. To breakfast dressed in my dressing gown once more and ate alone. Slowly showered and then to my office to read the morning mail and newspaper. Not much of interest, apart from a £79K cheque from the recent share sales. By 9.30 I had finished this process and Di was pressing to find out about the planned visit to view a Corniche convertible and so I made some telephone calls. One likely candidate in the weekend’s papers had been sold, but the Irthlingborough dealer had now got the walnut 1979 car in and we drove off to see that, whilst Daniella was kept happy at playschool. We found the place OK and put into action a plan to get good value for money. Though the car and colour were acceptable, Di avoided being too keen on the brown colour and I found fault with the body work and car service record.