Thursday 31st May 1984

Completing the Grove House purchase ready for the following day’s office move, Chairing the Byte Shop Review Meeting and then updating Kode accordingly as Diana becomes increasingly uncomfortable from loss of sleep and further stock exchange falls follow more attacks on Iranian oil installations

A poor night with sleep interrupted by the nettle burns from my slipway tumble yesterday. Nevertheless up on time, washed, dressed, and fed and to the office early for a meeting with Stephen Day to brief him on the group executives and their backgrounds. After to clear the mail, sign the Comart payroll and complete arrangements for the completion today of the purchase of Grove House. We are now the owners and had the power supply points and two emergency telephone lines installed today. The furniture arrives on Monday morning and The Byte Shop, Group Marketing and myself are to pack our things and leave this Friday evening.

Wednesday 30th May 1984

Off to London on a beautiful day for a Comart Computers Press Briefing in the morning and then back this afternoon at the office to sign off minutes and sales forecasts as Liverpool win the European Cup final on penalties and the stock exchange has its biggest ever drop

Up a little late and to the office and, after briefing June and Leslie on arrangements for furniture and telephones at Grove House, off with John Lamb by car to Stevenage and on to London by train for a Comart Computers Press Briefing at the Westbury Hotel. A fairly poor turnout – some 10 or 11 – of rather junior journalists but a good press kit and selection of releases that will be circulated to all our other press contacts and will find interest and space coverage I am sure. Our PR consultants, MEPR, are on trial at the moment and struggling to appear proficient. John had details today of Peter Robinson’s resignation and the background and manner with which David Fear has managed his sales team, even prior to his family troubles, is coming under increased scrutiny. Back to the office in the same way this afternoon and a useful hour or two signing off the Comart minutes and updating my profit and turnover forecasts from the Xitan and Comart Review information.

Tuesday 29th May 1984

Sunny day sorting out Share conversion formulae and Chairing a Comart Review meeting that approves £100K capital requests before late home to hear of more conflict on the miners picket line with missiles thrown, riot shields used and police horses charging the pickets.

Up on time but, after breakfast a hair wash and shower, late to the office laden with my two weekend leather briefcases. A hectic morning with yesterday’s work lost to the Bank Holiday. First a series of meetings with John Lamb, Peter King and Stephen Day and phone calls with Geoff Lynch to try to move along the minority share negotiations. The first Kode proposals, based on a share conversion formula that relied on two year performance levels to allow their shares to be transferred at today’s conversion rates was too harsh and led to a rather hostile reaction all round.

Monday 28th May 1984

Bank Holiday Market and then cruising home on The Lady from St Ives to Paxton, completing necessary repairs en route after the coldest and wettest spring bank holiday since records began in 1941 as Eric Morecombe dies on stage and Zola Budd won the UK championship 1500m with a world junior record run

We awake to more continuous rain and on another cold morning but by now we are getting used to it. Not much leakage during the night and a sound night’s sleep for all of us without Debbie having any unsettling dreams. After a breakfast of melon, toast and tea I leather the outside of the boat down as the rain has virtually stopped and the rest of the family go out for a walk around St Ives. Gradually more and more people and cars arrive and this, plus the failure of the others to return, signals confirmation that St Ives Bank Holiday Market is taking place today. By now the rain is only in the air and we enjoy one of the best markets in the land with the whole of the high street and overflow streets crammed with many stalls and a good crowd disregarding the weather.