Saturday 30th May 1987

To St Neots Priory Car Park after time sorting photos and press cuttings but then to find bad news of our lost ‘flower fairy’ but a better lunch and trip to the fair in the riverside park afterwards before the children to bed as I take Di to Cambridge for a war film in the pouring rain. The bizarre lead story today was the chase of a West German aviator, Mathias Rust (19), who flew to Moscow, buzzed the Kremlin in a light plane and then landed in Red Square after which Russia’s Chief of Air Defence and Defence Minister were both summarily sacked by Gorbachev!

A bright morning and Diana was awake very early after losing the bed clothes in the night. Tea, then breakfast, myself dressed in a sports jacket and best jeans for going out later. Even so, we stayed in until quite late in the morning. I was sticking my Little Paxton press cuttings and photos into the scrap book and cataloguing & referencing our latest photographs. Let the ducks out and fed the doves – 6 eggs as usual – then it was time to go. A little while in St Neots looking around the Priory car park for the girl’s flower fairy that Della lost their yesterday. Sadly, we found her dress, then head and two legs and it seems that some demented soul dismembered and scattered it, which fact upset Debbie greatly. Picked up Daniel and then drove off to the Croxton Happy Eater for lunch. It was very crowded with families coming back from the East Coast at the end of school half-term week.

Friday 29th May 1987

I opted not to join Di for the trip to Bedford today but was monitoring the dredging and organising plans for my new conservatory. News of the assault and abduction of British Diplomat Edward Chaplin, apparently following arrest of an Iranian diplomat for shop-lifting two weeks ago. Election rows continue with Thatcher accused of trying to sabotage East/West arms talks as Gorbachev calls for conventional disarmament as well and the Tories pledging to sell off more council houses. The Herald of Free Enterprise disaster is still dominated by the complaints from Townsend Thorensen that the proceedings have been ‘unfair and intimidating’

Slept well and awoke to my morning tea. My foot felt a lot better this morning after yesterday afternoon’s rest and I was limping a lot less today. Showered and dressed in good time for breakfast and ate wheat flakes and a slice of toast, as I was hungry. Daniel to school and then I decided not to go with the girls to Bedford, which disappointed Di, who missed the free lunch! I stayed at home and caught up with the task of sticking in my backlog of Little Paxton press cuttings. I also got a call from the Biggleswade conservatory company, Frost and Co, and their Mr Ivor Gibson called over later in the morning to see me and measure up the site. Mr Larkin also came to see how the dredger was progressing and had not heard from Robin about coming with the digger. I asked him to make contact and liaise accordingly. The dredger has progressed to Eddie & Stella’s plot and has dredged a good 5ft (and more in the middle). Quite a sight, swinging out the bucket and allowing it to fall into the water just by the bank. I made my own lunch of salad and then fruit to follow and then, hearing of a forecast of rain for later, I went out in the sunshine and took the fenders, lifebuoy and red ensign off The Lady.

Thursday 28th May 1987

Nursing my foot as I visit Shaw’s auction in the rain and then take Di and the girls to lunch after her ‘supermarket trauma’ and then to a huge backlog of matters in my office as the dredger works itself along the bank opposite. The election concentrates on defence and the trade deficit in manufactured goods widens but is offset by services. John DeLorean is considering another project after his past debacle and the IRA is succeeding in intimidating builders and stopping police station repairs whilst customs officers widen industrial action over pay and conditions

Slept soundly in our own bed and was awoken to my morning tea by Di. Read the Kimbolton school magazine, which I had wrestled from Daniel last night, and found it most interesting. Much concerned over my foot injury and had a bath before breakfast to clean the wound. Down to the morning meal in my dressing gown and took some time afterwards to get ready to go out. Fed the doves and checked on the dovecotes. The largest of the chicks has survived and will probably reach maturity now. Two chicks by the river are dead, but another small brood on the wall-cote have hatched to give more hope. Let the ducks out and collected a half dozen eggs. The dredger is still working its way along the river bank opposite and is nearly at the downstream end of our plot now. We will soon have to move the boats. We then locked up the house and set off for St Neots in the Range Rover. The falling rain reassured us on the timing of our past week’s holiday. I was dropped off at Shaw’s Auction and took a good look around the produce and plant auction, but decided not to bid for anything due to the crowds of waiting bidders. Met Di back at the car, who had experienced a harrowing event at Budgens, the supermarket.

Wednesday 27th May 1987

A good night at the Huntingdon riverside park moorings, despite the nail wound in my foot not yet healing, and then a look around the town before setting off through Godmanchester, Hemingford and Houghton locks until we chanced across the Chambers on Dawn Treader, unable to pass under Offord bridge. The boys took Di and the The Lady through and back to Paxton as I stayed with Debbie and The Little Lady and walked her to a challenging horse-riding session in which she did very well. Home to clean the pool and then rest, very tired, until roused for Di and then to hear the election news. The Tory press (and even US President Reagan) are winding up the campaign against Labour who are gaining on The Tories, Chase Manhattan follows Citi Corp is writing down Third Wold loans and starting a banking crisis, Townsend Thorensen is under increasingly bitter attack at the Zeebrugge enquiry over its sacrifice of safety to profit motives and he Irish referendum comes out in favour of stronger links with the EEC

Slept well at our Huntingdon riverside park moorings and ensured that the boys also settled down to an early night as well. Slickly into our morning boat routine. Di made the drinks today and the heating cut out itself by thermostat after an hour, as The Lady was well warmed by morning sunshine. Breakfast as usual and it is an irony that we become settled into a boating routine, just as we are enjoying our recreation to the full. All soon ready for a walk into Huntingdon to look round the shops and the girls played at both the riverside adventure playground and the conventional playground inside the ring road, as I rested my foot and sat on a bench. My nail-wound is as painful as when it was first done a week ago and soon I shall have to see a doctor for help, if it does not improve. Coffee, and then I looked around the reference library as the others tramped the town centre. I found nothing much of interest in the inspection copy of the Cambridge Structure Plan, now in the local history shelves, which I had adequately studied before. Lunch at the burger bar with the children. By letting the boys have a separate table with Debbie and Della and us on another, we seem to avoid much of the mealtime trouble. Back to the boats and make ready to set off.