Tuesday 12th December 1989

After an incomplete night’s sleep, and a simple breakfast, I joined Diana for some Christmas shopping in Cambridge when we met Di’s parents for coffee as well. Lunch at the Greek bistro restaurant, which we enjoyed and then home quite weary to watch some televised rugby and the local news.

A backbench Tory revolt has made Cambridge county council and ruled out the Tory plan to discontinue the school meals service and the national government is under attack for failing to offer safety for Vietnamese refugees

I still did not get a complete night sleep, but it was better than of late. I had breakfast of a single croissant and then, once the children had gone to school, Diana took me off to Cambridge for some Christmas shopping. The A45 roadworks delayed us again and then we had to queue to get into the round church car park. At least Di’s parents were late to arrive to and so we sat with them chatting and drinking coffee until 11 AM. The presents we then bought included a large bottle of dear SMO perfume for Diana, a new Archimedes microcomputer (£1000 worth) for Daniel and prayer books and other books for my God children Kate and Ashley Smith.

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Sunday 10th December 1989

A restful family morning tending the ducks and doves, feeding the Koi and then phoning mum to ensure she was okay before visiting dad’s grave in the cemetery to check his flowers. Home for a nice lunch of roast lamb and then to play with the Commodore computer the children this afternoon until back to work this evening catching up with filing and my financial affairs.

The new Czechoslovakian government consisting of a majority of non-Communist’s has been sworn in as Alexander Dubcek stands in the wings. Mikhail Gorbachev has said that his Russian Communist Party must reform or lose power and in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, 60,000 people have been on the streets calling for reform

Another restless night but I got to sleep once the room temperatures had been correctly adjusted. Then I was awoken at 1.50am by some youths running home. This morning, I laid in a while but then so did most of the family. Fried breakfast was at 9am and, by the time I tended the doves and ducks and fed the Koi, it was 10am. I worked at my desk for most of the day. This morning, I phoned Mum, brought in the Christmas tree and then went up to the cemetery to check the flowers on Dad’s grave. They had kept well and Joan and Pete have added a couple of chrysanthemums. I just took off some paper and cellophane from those flowers that were getting too much condensation.

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Saturday 9th December 1989

After a morning working hard in my office on all manner of council and private business, and lunch with the family, and collecting Debbie from horse riding on a very foggy day and took her with me to Stanton to visit Mum where they played a good game of Scrabble as I tended to a few things to help.

Doris, her home help, popped in and we agreed that mum would now be all right. Thatcher was outvoted 11 to 1 on the Social Charter and during a special conference on Monetary Union at the EEC summit, and the others are going ahead regardless

After a fair night’s sleep before and after which I spoke to Mum on the telephone. Today, I was due to visit her but she was doing much better this morning and so I got on with some paperwork. My word processor was busy all morning on all manner of council and private business. I had lunch with the family but I reduced the amount on my plate. Di seems to feed me up in the mistaken belief that it makes her own indiscretions less noticeable. I took off after this, collecting Debbie from the riding school route and was a little late getting to Mum’s house Stanton at 2:30pm.

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Friday 8th December 1989

I stayed at home on a reasonably mild day today rather than going to buy a Christmas tree with Diana in Bedford so as to be available to reassure and help Mum by telephone on her first day at home but she was eventually settled down by her home help Doris and the district nurse organiser visiting and by Marie bringing a meal from next door.

Some time catching up on council casework and voluntary endeavours before putting up the Christmas lights later. Daniel is pleased at the end of school term coming but the girls both have colds. Thatcher is isolated in Europe over monetary union and the social charter but the peaceful democratic revolutions in East Germany and Czechoslovakia continue apace.

I slept well enough and was up on time. Diana went to Bedford this morning, shopping, and was due to buy a Christmas tree. I decided not to go out as I had a mountain of work to do and I wanted to be available if Mum phoned. It was as well that I did as she called in a right state upset about being in a mess, missing things and, in all probability, grieving and lonely on her first morning waking up alone. I settled her down and then Doris, the home help, arrived there and reassured her. She had a visit from the district nurse organiser and had a meal brought in by Marie next door. I called again twice later, and she was all right.

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