Thursday 31st January 1985

A restless night with Daniella’s cold and then morning news of a heavy Government defeat in the commons over London Airport development and then off to Oxford for some Research Machines consultancy with their founders before home and to Daniel for his homework as still the NCB blocks talks and unemployment rises to 3,341,000 and up to 90% in Middlesbrough whilst starving Ethiopian refugees trek 6000 miles to the Sudan

Awake early and before Diana as the children are restless. Daniella has been awake for some of the night and wakes with a fair cold. The morning radio and news of last night’s rebellion with 70 Tory MPs voting against the government on airport development. The Southern MPs do not want the noise and the Northern MPs are not allowed the chance of the employment. The morning tea and then the paper arrives for the headlines before breakfast and the detail after. By 8.30am, up and to get washed and dressed, shampooing my hair in the process. Out to the ducks (5 eggs) and the doves, who are hungry, but agitated by the territorial instincts of the Blue cock. I think it will not be long before they would wish to start nesting. Changed and to the office. Phone calls returned to Management Today (but no contact with the journalist), Kode to agree action on Microserve administration, and BMMG Secretariat Owles Hall to advise on DTI LAN report circulation. I used Prestel to transfer £1,000 to the Bank of Scotland to cover my Buckden Marina cheque and to check my statements. Back to the house for a coffee and then off by car to Oxford and my Research Machines visit.

Wednesday 30th January 1985

Off to London’s Millbank Tower  for a full NEDO Office Equipment EDC meeting,  a good hearing and a valuable lunch afterwards to lead discussions on Trade Association unity as I hear of my own successful TV appearance on ITN news and also of the latest Miners dispute developments where NACODs are back in the fray. Some of the Brinx Mat warehouse gold is recovered but the robbers have fled the country

Awake early again and my morning tea whilst listening to the Today Programme on Radio 4. Up quickly to get washed and dressed, breakfast as usual and then out to feed the doves. I took the opportunity to rinse their utensils and top up their water fountain. Quickly changed and off by car to Huntingdon for the 8.40am train. A relaxed journey, but the 1st class carriages were full and I had to find a seat in the 2nd class section, which is a strange turn of events. To Piccadilly from Kings Cross by tube and a short walk to Savile Row to Huntsmen’s, my tailor. A quick fitting and the result that the suit should at least be finished next week. On by taxi to Millbank and to check in at the NEDO reception desk, Millbank Tower. Up by the fast lifts to the 24th floor and conference room 11. My first meeting of the full NEDO Office Equipment EDC and I meet a whole party of new faces. A good meeting and Chairman, Campbell Christie, and Secretary, Stephen Hoier, who value my contribution and allow a good opportunity for my input.

Tuesday 29th January 1985

To London on a very rainy day for a NCC microcomputer advisory committee and then on to the Independent Television News Studios in Wells Street for me ‘News at Ten’ interview about the economy as Oxford University has decided overwhelmingly not to award Thatcher an honorary Doctorate in the greatest ever snub to an ex Oxford student. She does not deserve the honour, they say, because of her anti-education policies! Trident costs are up to £9bn from £5bn and still the NCB resists miners talks with pre-conditions


Woken early with a cup of tea and so made early use of the bathroom again. Then to a breakfast of toast and honey from our new toaster, which seems to work fine. I quickly get ready, fed the doves in the morning gloom, and then changed and took the car to the station. A quiet train journey reading The Financial Times and, on arrival at Kings Cross, scanned the book stalls and took the tube to Holborn. A smart walk along High Holborn to the NCC and up to the second floor Board Room to an advisory meeting of the National Computing Centre. I had left my card with the Microsystems Centre downstairs, expecting a call from ITN, and the message came through at 11.00am to attend their London studios in the afternoon. An interesting, but frustratingly unstructured, NCC microcomputer advisory committee meeting ranging across tele-software, software copy right and protection, and security export controls. More interesting conversation over a buffet lunch as I receive an update on an initiative to agree computer policy across political party boundaries. The company take great interest in my new business cards and coat of arms and we talk much also of boating as David Fairbairn used to have a riverside home on the Thames.

Monday 28th January 1985

Some morning office work and then to the old Clayton’s shop in St Neots for a new toaster as four clearing banks increase base rates from 12 to 14%and I get an invitation for an ITN TV interview in London tomorrow as a massive economic and oil crisis emergesand all the government can do is to persecute the miners and prosecute Clive Ponting for his Belgrano whistle-blowing

Awake early as Diana gets up to tend the children at the beginning of a school week. Groggily to drink my morning tea, then at 7.00am, with no sign of the paper, I use the bathroom to wash and shave. Back to bed with the FT then down to breakfast where I admonish Diana for eating two slices of toast with lots of butter when she should be slimming. After breakfast I shower and then finish the paper before dressing to go outside. The rain had relented before I went out and the air was milder today. The ducks had laid 6 eggs in their new straw and also fed well. Less appetite from the doves as they were reluctant to flutter around with wet wings, which are a hazard.  In to the office for the morning mail, which was a few more thanks for the calendars and some NEDO office equipment EDC papers. I file away a host of loose business cards in my card box and muse over some of the contacts that used to be. Some are now successful – others bust. Then to sort out my briefcase, file documents, and read up on some daily Informatics Bulletins and technical journals to keep up to date.