Tuesday 18th October 1988

The builders were completing the block work today and Frank Gadsby visited with the plumber to look at the plumbing for the pond ready for the installation of the conservatory starting next Monday. More work on top dressing the lawns on a remarkably mild day with the grass still growing as Daniel takes over my Apple Mac for a school project. 5000 civil servants walk out in sympathy for GCHQ staff after their victimisation for joining a union and a £600 million plan is announced for Britain’s air traffic control system. The government bans TV interviews with Sinn Fein and the IRA

Late to bed and reluctant to rise, having to eat breakfast in my dressing gown. After showering, dressing and shaving, I sat in the lounge for a long while reading both yesterday’s and today’s newspapers. I was waiting for the builders who arrived quite late. They finished the pond block sides today and I think they will now continue with the brick walls to be ready for the installation of the Frost conservatory from next Monday. Frank Gadsby came by with a plumber to show him the pipe runs, and they went off to Sandy to talk to the pull people to ease their confusion! After lunch, I went out to join Pete who was mixing get more top dressing. I spread a half-dozen more Barrow falls onto the front garden lawns and one more day will see them finished.

Monday 17th October 1988 – Di’s 40th birthday

Di’s birthday had been celebrated yesterday and so today we worked on other matters; with me in the office learning operations on the Macintosh, then this afternoon applying more lawn top dressing before this evening driving to Huntingdon to observe the HDC finance committee meeting, which was a poor one, and then chasing our FOCUS deliveries tonight.  The pond construction progresses well on a dry day and soon the conservatory work will begin. Strange scenes at the Heysel Disaster Court hearings and a crazier-still aircraft crash at Rome airport with a Ugandan plane flying blind, which killed 31. Health Minister Clark refuses to meet the nurses.

We had really celebrated Di’s birthday yesterday, but today was her actual 40th and she received one card with an ‘I am 40’ badge on it just to prove the point! On time to breakfast of wheat flakes and then I forsook the Financial Times and went to my office and learnt operations on the Macintosh, which went quite well. I did have to call Bill Walston at one point to get help in enabling the printer but otherwise it was straightforward if complex. Worked most of the morning at the computer before lunch; then this afternoon spreading many barrows of top dressing on the riverside and front garden lawns. Still there is most of the front lawn to do before we can return to the games lawn. After tea, I drove to Huntingdon for the HDC Finance Committee meeting. I was only an observer.

Sunday 16th October 1988

After a slow start to this Sunday morning, I spent some time outside watering the games lawn and then ‘helping’ Daniel clean the Range Rover before collecting Debbie from church after her overnight stay with Helen Cranston. Then to celebrate Di’s birthday early with an extensive lunch at Wyboston Lakes, and then a present opening and game session back in my office. Later, collecting my new Macintosh from Bill Walston which Daniel monopolised before bedtime as a further example of his computer expertise. An Ulster feud between rival Unionist loyalist organisations leads to a killing and an earthquake takes place in Western Greece.

We had a lay in this morning and a little fun in bed before Della arrived wanting her drink!  A slow start to the day after which I had to come down to the customary breakfast in my customary dressing gown. After feeding the doves, I noticed that the ‘Autumn Top Lawn’ had not merged in and so I spent an hour and half with a hose watering in until the blue dye was no longer visible. I then went to help Daniel clean the Range Rover properly as he was skimping on the job. We finished it about 11:45am and it was immediately time to lock up and going get Debbie from St Neots Evangelical Church after she had enjoyed her overnight stay with Helen Cranston. We drove down to Wyboston Lakes for a nice but expensive lunch as we were celebrating Diana’s birthday today, a day early. Afterwards, we went upstairs to see an exhibition of oil paintings and bought one for Di. Then on to Willington Garden Centre where Di chose some pretty prints to hang on our bedroom wall. I bought some more peat for our top dressing and sieves to grade the constituent earth with.

Saturday 15th October 1988

A frenetic time with the girls choosing cards and presents for Di’s birthday, wrapping them and getting them ready to deliver them. Di took Debbie to stay overnight with her friend Helen Cranston today and I watched James Bond video with Daniel after top dressing the games lawn with Carboryl as a combined pest killer and fertiliser.

Slept well but seemed tired this morning and a bit reluctant to get going. Had breakfast in my dressing gown and then sat in my office going through the mail and reading the paper. Di had taken the girls off swimming and Della cried again because she doesn’t like the Super Ted lessons as they necessitate her jumping in and getting water up her nose! I had just got ready and tended the ducks and doves when the girls were back again and I had to take them to town to get Di birthday cards presence and wrapping paper. A frenetic hour with the girls being difficult but at least we obtained the goodies.