Monday 26th June 1989

Some work indoors on yet another warm and sunny day before the arrival of my huge conservatory de-humidifier and then the children come home with good school reports. Thatcher is alone in resisting EU reforms, more strikes are threatened and Soviet new nuclear submarine K-278 Komsomolets is stricken by fire off of Norway

A reluctant start to the day on yet another warm and sunny one. It has been a month or so since we had rain and at least it is forecast for tomorrow. Before returning to my press cuttings, I decided to do some adjustments on the conservatory doors. I changed the draw bolt positions and then the door hooks designed to hold the doors open. I had just done most of this, when a carrier arrived with my new de-humidifier. It is a large thing and came on a pallet with a weight of 80 kg. I offloaded it with the lorry driver and then unpacked it and put the heavy duty brackets on the wall and got Pete to lift it up onto them. I’m a bit distracted by the size and noise level of the machine, but it will be worthwhile if it can cope to the winter levels of condensation. At least being wall-mounted, it takes up no floor space.

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Sunday 25th June 1989

Daniel’s friends came over to swim in our pool on a very hot day as I had news of my Dad’s cancer taking a turn for the worse and was thinking of him when I was working on John Grosvenor’s election address this evening

I started the day with a fried breakfast and was the only member of the family to have an egg! The ducks have been roaming free lately and we have been unable to get them in at night to produce enough for the others. Daniel worked on the cars, cleaning them and intended to go across to Gary’s in Cambridge for the day, but he missed one bus after another. In the end, his friends came over here to go swimming on a very hot day. I worked all day on the backlog of press cuttings, pasting them into the Little Paxton scrapbook and my career book of cuttings. I have several envelopes full of items from the end of last year and I also had to sort out my fireproof safes to find them all. I telephoned my Mum and Dad today and learnt of the distressing deterioration of my father’s ear and jaw. His ear is virtually closed and now he has a swelling by the jaw which has to be investigated by scanning prior to further operation or radiotherapy. I worked on my press cuttings this evening until John Grosvenor came around quite late and I drafted out and printed on election address for him for next Thursday’s Parish Council By-Election

Saturday 24th June 1989

Another poor night, despite an early bedtime, as it was uncomfortably warm and humid but then an enjoyable breakfast of croissants with the girls before watering and feeding chores and then mowing the games lawn after which Daniel joined me for a game of croquet. His friends came to play croquet, swim and use the outboard motor dinghy rather too enthusiastically as I worked on my photographs. The news today is of the dismissal of the Chinese party leader Xhao Ziyang, who had been conciliatory to the student protests and paid the price with his job as students are tried and executed and the ‘tank martyr’ was shot dead. Rival Asian and National Front rallies clash in Dewsbury and Peter Walker issues a challenge to the Prime Minister over early connection to the EMS as the Tory support plummets in opinion polls.

I had an earlier bedtime but still a restless sleep on a warm and humid night. I was still up as usual for a meal of croissants which the girls particularly enjoy. Then my range of watering and feeding chores before I decided to mow the games lawn. It is coming on very well but will still need more work to make it very level in years to come. I dragged Daniel out to join me after for a game of croquet. Then lunch, after which Daniel had a whole posse of youths visiting to play with. They swam, used the croquet lawn and then the outboard motor dinghy and had a good time. Unfortunately, they did each to excess and I had to have a go at them for going mad. I was sticking back the rest of the photographs used in my book into the album which took all afternoon and evening. However, I was also watching England being humiliated by Australia in the second Test Match. England captain, Gower, was making a terrible job of using his bowlers and then we could not bat for toffee. I also went out to deliver more books that had been requested for the two Little Paxton Newsagents and then I returned a number of photos to three people who had lent them for the book. I tried to get to sleep earlier again tonight. The news today is of the dismissal of the Chinese party reformist leader Xhao Ziyang, who had been conciliatory to the student protesters in Tiananmen Square and paid the price with his job.

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Friday 23rd June 1989

After a very late night, I was tired getting up this morning on a fine day but still wrote to the local Euro election candidate and Paddy Ashdown before my press interview with Tracey Reddit of Saint Neots Weekly News. Earlier to bed this evening after replacing my book photographs in my album. Thatcher is under siege from external industrial disputes and internal dissent over EEC economic cooperation and the EMS and her Welsh colleagues urge to keep Peter Walker as Welsh Secretary.

I was very late to bed again and tired when it was time to get up this morning. I was going to do some paperwork but decided to read the mail and newspapers and then type a long letter of advice and consolation to the local Democrat Euro candidate with a copy to Paddy Ashdown. After lunch, I had a press interview with Tracey Reddit of the Saint Neots Weekly News. We chatted for a while about my book and my past career and she then took notes for a profile article to be published soon. This evening, I resumed my task of replacing the book photographs in my album and managed to get to bed by 10:30 PM for once. The opposition within the UK Conservative Party and Europe are pressing Thatcher to adopt closer EEC economic cooperation and the need to get Sterling into the European Monetary System. Michael Heseltine, Lord Plumb and others back the move. Welsh Tories have urged Thatcher to keep Peter Walker as Welsh Secretary. Growing industrial problems for British rail, the Underground and the BBC. Thatcher is under siege! Another fine day today and the same forecast for tomorrow.