The family at London Zoo this day

Family visit to London Zoo after more hotel problems, about which we had to complain, and then the drive home to Little Paxton in traffic to open up my post as Terry Waite gets his first hostage release, David Jacobson; Papworth implants its first artificial heart, 40 people are arrested for anti-nuclear protests and 80 men have completed their repeat of the 1930’s Jarrow March

A much better night, even though we only got to bed after midnight. The air was cooler, I had turned down the radiator and the room was much more conducive as a result. I awoke first and made Di and I drinks, but the children were soon awake demanding theirs. As they sat in their baths afterwards, I caught Di between the sheets and was glad of the fortunate start to the day. Down to breakfast (which was less crowded than yesterday) but the poor English of the staff led to two of our meals being wrong again. Could not wait to leave the hotel and, once packed, checked out and gave full account to the receptionist of their shortcomings; doors not fitting, thermostats not working, video films wrongly charging etc. Glad to get the family installed in the Range Rover, as we cruised down to Regents Park for a trip to the Zoo.

A cold, but clear day and good opportunity to see round the zoo. Della and Debbie loved the animals and I took some good video pictures of them in the sunshine. Lunch at the excellent zoo café and then the drive back home to Little Paxton. Arrived well before dark and fed the ducks and doves, that seemed to have fared well enough in our absence. Inside then to a tea of strawberry jam scones and a fresh orange and apple to follow. This evening, I waded my way through the post that had accumulated and then the newspapers. I took down the string and bag barrier that has been protecting the asphalt drive these last three weeks and I hope that no misfortune will befall it. The news today is of the success of Terence Waite in getting the release of the US hostage in Lebanon, David Jacobson. He has been held prisoner by the Islamic Jihad group in Beirut for 17 months. Papworth Hospital has announced the first transplant in Britain of a totally artificial heart to a man aged 40. His identity is being kept confidential. Sinn Fein took their vote and agreed to end their boycott of the Dail, but the vote went 429 to 161 and 30 extreme delegates walked out in protest at the change of policy, which they say legitimises the partition of Ireland. The Knowsley North Labour Party Executive have refused to adopt the central party’s choice, Howarth, and now, individual members may take their own decision on whether to support and work for him. At a number of nuclear protests around the country, 40 people were arrested today for civil disorder. In another anti-government protest and rerun of the 1930s Jarrow March, 80 men have completed the trek once more, following the same route in an identical protest, over the lack of employment. Another clear night is in prospect, with a risk of frost and tomorrow will be a cloudier day, but hopefully, no rain is expected.