Sunday 31st March 1985 – Clocks to BST today

Clocks to BST today as we take The Lady for a day trip to St Neots and Eaton Socon on a  very windy day, enjoying a fine Sunday lunch and cruising back as the continual shootings of Blacks in South Africa stores up big trouble for the White minority government in my view

Awake to my morning tea on a misty morning and Diana suggested we take The Lady out today. An hour with The Sunday Times and then down to my Sunday treat of fried breakfast. After to wash and change promptly and out to feed the doves. The breeze was still chilly this early. Then the ducks and Debbie helped me to gather the 11 eggs. I began to ready the boat, putting on the new fenders, finding room for the baby’s travelling cot in the saloon and loading it up with the goods brought by Daniel. At last all set to cast off and the girls join us aboard after we had hoist up the Blue Peter sailing dinghy on our davits. We cast off and cruise straight into the Paper Mill lock, open from the downstream end. We realise how windy it has become as we struggle to enter in a straight line. I work the gates slowly and then out upstream to cruise along the stretch to St Neots. We pass the building sites of the new cluster of riverside houses in Savile Close and moor at St Neots Bridge Hotel and go in for lunch in the Beefeater restaurant. Tomato soups all round, a roll and butter for Debbie, fried plaice for the others and a rump steak for me. Ice creams all round afterwards and then back to The Lady, where Daniel and I lowered the dinghy and started to rig it for sailing.

Saturday 30th March 1985

Daniel’s Birthday Party – A full but blustery day after an unsettled night as we took Daniel and his (male and female) party guests swimming at The North Herts Leisure Centre, to McDonalds in Letchworth and then showed them a film before I drove them all home as a Hovercraft accident at Dover kills one passenger with another missing, The Anglo/Irish talks proceed and 40 people die in clashes between Muslims and Christians in The Lebanon

A milder night and I felt a bit too warm, but could not tell if this was the reason rather than my having another cold coming on. Awake to morning tea with a dry throat and knocked over my bedside glass of water to wet everything. Before and after a toast breakfast, to read the FT, with not much of interest, although Kode shares have risen to 200p. Up and dressed and out to the doves. They had been strutting all over the paths and lawns foraging and came straight to the table to eat a fair measure of seed. I have now moved the table at least half way across the riverside garden and they still come, though on a windy day, such as today, they swerve towards it. A strong but mild wind from the west. I feed the hungry ducks and obtain 12 eggs and they continue to lay well. In before 10 and the guests start arriving for Daniel’s party day. First Jason Chambers, then Paul, then Ruth and Venetia to follow individually and nervously, before finally Jonathan Bloom arrives. Poor Gary was ill with a cold today and his mother would not let him come.

Friday 29th March 1985

A busy first but rainy day of my holiday shopping and attending to investments, deciding to sell at least 1/8thof a £million -worth of Kode shares on strength and then reading poetry to Debbie and consoling Daniel about some bullying before catching up on some depressing news: Britons advised to leave Baghdad due to the Iraq/Iran war, South African authorities now jail political leaders and Greece considers blocking Spain and Portugal’s application to join the EEC

The first day of my ‘holiday’. Awake to my morning tea and read a few papers from my briefcase until the paper came. Mention of Kode International in The Financial Times and the shares tipped as a two-way bet for recovery and possible takeover as they rise in price, which is a relief. Up to breakfast with the family and then showered, shaved and dressed as Debbie left in Daniel’s care for school. Out to the doves in the pouring rain and cold north-westerly winds and the blonde Qualmond was too wet to come down to feed, but the rest were OK. Over to feed the ducks and a full house of 13 duck eggs, which had to have something to do with them being left out the previous night. To the office to call Tessa Curtis and said rather too much on the LAN initiative, but we have to keep the press on our side. On with the answering machine and back to the house at 11.00am for coffee and then all (except Deborah at school) to St Neots. As Diana and Daniel shopped at the Co-op, I posted letters, bought an accessory for our broken toilet, got some smoked mackerel for tea, and picked up my bank statement from Barclays.

Thursday 28th March 1985

A cold morning tending ducks and doves and then some phone calls and messages/ press coverage to read before recording a message to give us a 14-day leisure break as the NUM scales down its action after their main defeat, the UK government reduced rate subsidies and the repression continues with more violence and brutality in South Africa

Awake early and snuggled up with Diana on another cold morning. Tea and both yesterday’s and today’s Financial Times to read before breakfast. Out to the birds and as the doves feed eagerly, I use the ladder to check the two eggs. One is dented and, after three weeks and the cold weather, I am now sure that they are not going to hatch. To the office and to complete outstanding matters, intending to have a couple of weeks off, if the weather breaks. A few phone messages to return and a long call with APT News Services for a Mini Micro news article in the US; and also chats with Bill Barret of the BMMG and Martin Isherwood. Diana calls and we break off to have coffee and then go into St Neots to see some materials. It seems that they do not do fabrics of the quality we require and so we have to leave it. Home again and to the office where the mail had arrived. My post moratorium and budget comments noted in Electronics Weekly and Computing. Letters in reply to Keith and Murray and to Export IT and then lunch with Diana’s parents and Daniel.