Tuesday 30th April 1985

To Ely by car for the auction on a better day with my headache blessedly over without successful purchase of flatware but to buy a a fine drawing set and few antiques and with joy to see Patience, The Lady’s sister vessel moored nearby. Home to many messages received during my absence and to hear news of the shocking Jasmine Beckford child neglect enquiry and of virulent ‘Flu epidemic in Staffordshire due to more exposure from travel and of a political clash with Thatcher over the DHS review.


Another restless night with Daniella, but took the opportunity to take a couple of paracetamol tablets and woke up with the headache blessedly gone. A quicker start to the day – the paper first and then to get washed and dressed a little earlier than usual. After feeding the birds and collecting 9 eggs, I intended to spend another day in the office, but opted instead to go to Ely for the Comins Auction. A pleasant day, misty at first, but warm and the sun eventually shone through. Strange to visit Ely by car. It takes about ¾ hr instead of a day or two by boat, but it is always a pleasure to visit the waterside part. The auction was set out in The Maltings, an old building now converted for public use. A long, slow auction, with the bids small and longwinded. The furniture sales went apace with over £2,000 for the best Welsh dresser. The ‘ring’ seemed to operate well and achieved a coup with only a few hundred paid for a smaller one. Then the silver and, although it was a poor auction and many items going at low prices and others failing to meet their reserve, I did not buy anything as it did not suit me. Copious cups of tea and odd scones and rolls to eat and, as I waited for the other items to come round, I walked around the boatyard to look at Patience. This is a sister craft of The Lady and used to be in good condition, but has deteriorated sharply, which is a shame.

Monday 29th April 1985

Day trying to rest from tiredness with a headache all day as I try to catch up with reading,to  struggle with Homelink on-line finance, work with Peter on the moles and then drive to Ely for an auction viewing after grounding Daniel for misusing his stereo and an early night as Reagan continues to plan the German cemetery visit and Prince Charles/Lady Diana decline a breakfast and morning mass with the Pope at the Vatican after an intervention from the Queen

Awake with a headache after a disturbed night as Della kept Diana awake. Breakfast of toast as usual and then up to read the morning paper. Washed, dressed and out to the birds – 9 duck eggs today. To the office and the morning reading and catching up on a pile of magazines, journals and daily news sheets on computer affairs. By lunchtime, most of them finished and I break to have a ham pie salad and ice cream to follow. The moles have been active again and Gardener Pete puts down another two smoke pellets and we hope they solve the problem. An afternoon completing my sort of papers and then paying a few bills – school fees, water rates etc. – but the £1,000 is still frozen in the Nottingham Building Society. and I could not use Homelink yet.

Sunday 28th April 1985

Remaining in bed reading and tired until Daniel gets me up and helps to clean my car before Paul arrives to play with him before we use our new silver the first time to entertain Charles and Chrisula for Sunday lunch and then a smoky and poor conversation afterwards that ended up with me wresting Daniel to a standstill and watching unresolved snooker

Awake to the sunlight slanting in as I drink my morning tea. I start The Sunday Times and then down for my Sunday breakfast of fried egg, bacon, mushrooms and bread. Back to bed and getting rather depressed by the amount of reading outstanding, when Daniel gets me up and started with him cleaning my car. The day was sunny, but with a very cold wind and we were chilled as we vacuumed the car before shampooing, hosing and leathering it down. Paul arrives to play with Dan and I finish the Jaguar on my own and am pleased with the result. To the duck house, after a morning coffee, and there to clean it out and fit three new hinges in place of those broken. Just time to put away my tools and clear up and then to shave and change before ready to help Di to prepare the lunch table with our best silver for the first time. All set and then our guests arrive – Diana’s brother Charlie and wife Chrisula. Drinks, attention for both babies and then to lunch.

Saturday 27th April 1985

Looking after Della at home as Diana shops on a bitterly cold rainy day with driving sleet and snow later before we brave the elements to collect Daniel from St Neots and take them for a ‘Happy Eater’ lunch and an afternoon ‘Wimpy’ tea after some local shopping, buying Daniel his Micro User magazine and a new personal stereo. An ‘Octopus’ fair ground ride collapses in Kent, injuring 17 youngsters with five detained with broken limbs and Asians from Newham riot against the Police protesting at discrimination before an Old Bailey trial


Not today! The weather started with rain, cold and bitter wind and continued later with sleet and snow before clearing by night fall for a frost. Up anyway for breakfast of boiled duck egg, but back for a long lay in to read the last two weeks Investors Chronicles and Economists, as well as this mornings paper. Eventually Diana left with Debbie for a shopping trip in town and I washed and dressed with Daniella crawling around in tow. Then out late to the birds and fed the doves well, but found the gardener had already let the ducks out. Ten eggs safely collected. Pete had also put down the first of three smoke pellets for the moles and we shall soon see the effect. Diana returns and we set off quickly to town again, collecting Daniel and getting Debbie’s sweets from Readwells. Dan had also been nursing the last BBC Micro Users magazine, fearing it would be bought by someone else, and I bought it for him for £1.25. To the Happy Eater for lunch and the children were bad again as normal. Debbie was jealous and clingy and Daniel tired and irritable. They improve as Daniel winds down and play outside on the elephant slide together. After to Huntingdon and I look at the antique shops, but find nothing of real interest except, perhaps, an old CB 1837 teaspoon. Then to Boots with Daniel and I buy him a new personal stereo to replace his own, which he is selling to Jason Chambers.