October 1986

We suffer a month of weather contrasts as I complete my work decorating the Hayling View and landscaping its riverside gardens and then turn to inside projects and family and local history research. The children are fine and progressing, apart from colds, but Diana taking things badly at homeas we argue. My mother is struggling with a broken wrist after several falls but joy as we purchase of a new Daimler and then a Range Rover. Thatcher’s government is ever more extreme with BBC bashing, public sector privatisations and redundancies despite  the huge unemployment, inflation and welfare issues and, above all, still holding out alone in the world against South African sanctions even though atrocities regularly take place there. The Reagan/Gorbechev talks falter after a hopeful start and action against Syrian lacks agreement even after they are revealed as being behind the El Al airliner bombing. India is blighted with assassination attempts but HM The Queen completes her historic visit to China with Prince Phillip’s ‘slitty eyes’ gaffe forgotten or, at least, overlooked

The first half of the month continued dry, and unusually so, but later it just rained more and more to make up for it. At least by then I had completed the decoration of all of the house paintwork, had the garden wall rebuilt and drive tarmacked, had the riverside land cleared and levelled. The JCB had been in, uplifting trees and bushes, breaking up paths, burying concrete and levelling area for our new games lawn. More progress then, cutting up logs and concreting the Hayling View slipway winch into position on a another cold and blustery day by wheel-barrowing stiff concrete  mix from the lorry. The Lady’s winter cover was water-proofed and we had some last cruises and worked more on her for the last time this year. Our season ended with a GOBA dinner amongst much older guests at The George in Huntingdon but at least the Wells lifeboat mechanic’s talk was interesting.