Cold and slightly snowy day working outside on the  gate and ducks and also accompany the family on a Cambridge shopping trip as we have lunch put, buy a large new TV and I read and research local history

Up reasonably early for a Saturday and noticed a very slight covering of snow following the odd flurry yesterday. Laid in bed reading The Times and then The Economist when it arrived. They are unfair, in my view, on the response to Mr Edward Heath’s speeches in the House and elsewhere on the government’s Rate Capping Bill and Budgetary Policy – taking him as being jealous when I believe his comments were never truer. Up to a toast and fruit juice breakfast and quickly washed and dressed. Down to the river plot and to catch a large duck that has joined our flock these last few days. Diana has been helpless to stop it feeding on our grain, bullying the others, and entering the hutch when we put them away.

I reach in, grab it and take it to the shed and dispatch it in the approved way for ducks. A grip by the legs, broom handle across its neck with feet each side to secure it, whilst pulling and twisting to dislocate its neck. Unfortunately it is such a tough old and ill kept duck that it is unsuitable for roasting and I throw the carcass away in the river. I open up the hutch to help it dry out after a week of occupation and, after allowing the tame ducks to go, collect three small eggs from the corners which I believe have been laid by a single duck these last three days. Next to tackle the gate with hammer and nails. My neighbour knocked late last night and complained of vandals running down the Haylings and smashing his fences and I told him that I believed my gate had also been broken. Soon to fix it without need for any wood and back to the house to warm up and have a coffee. Much discussion with Diana what to do today. I wanted to take off alone to Watford to see the Red Lion, watch them play in a first division football match in the afternoon, and research in the library for more information on John Broad. Whilst she would consent to it, Debbie was keen that I stay and, knowing that Daniel wanted me to take him to Cambridge, I decided to maintain today as a family day. Off then to St Neots to pay in £30 of Daniels £50 sale proceeds into his Building Society Account, to buy prawns for tea and, with much fuss, to order our new colour teletext 26” television ( £530-odd!) Also to spend a half hour in the local library, returning old books and lending new ones on our local history. Whilst there noticed how few entrances there are in the commercial reference books. On to meet Daniel at the newsagents and all together to The Happy Eater for our Saturday lunch. After to Cambridge parking so as to walk across Parkers Piece between two hockey pitches set out there and then around town with Daniel to spend his £20. After a while I to the Central Cambridge Library to study the reference books and make notes on entries to them whilst Daniel set off and bought a hand-held electronic game – Donkey Kong II for £17.50. We rendezvous with Diana and Debbie at Cambridge Computer store and return home to tea. I manage to put the ducks away in the dark and also help fill up the water softener with 28lbs of salt which I think is a lot. A quiet evening without television reading Pepys 1663 summer and autumn journals before on time to bed and rest.