Friday 31st May 1985

To Peacocks Auction rooms in Bedford to view my new steamer chairs and then back home for some games of croquet with Daniel and Paul and then to read to Debbie as the worldwide ban on English football teams takes shape and unemployment hits the headlines

Awake slowly to my morning tea and then Diana brings me my breakfast in bed again – this time boiled egg, which is lovely. I finish The Financial Times and then the morning mail brings the Investors Chronicle and I read through that as well. Late up, at 10.00am, and showered/washed before dressing casually on another day of cool wind and hot sunshine. Out to the ducks (11 eggs) and to the doves, who feed well from the table. To the office briefly and I scan the mail and take a message from the NCC who have cancelled Mondays advisory committee meeting. Out to the car and we load up as usual, with the exception that we now have the central rear lap seatbelt for the child’s seat, which is much more secure. To Bedford together (except Daniel at school) and we park at the central multi-storey car park and take an early lunch at Debenhams. After, I walked to Peacock’s showroom and looked at the lots for tomorrow’s auction. I was particularly attracted to three folding wooden chairs and brought Diana back afterwards to see them, who also would like them, providing they are renovated. In particular, they were made of numerous components and slats and were very comfortable to sit on.

Thursday 30th May 1985

Sunny day negotiating for woodlands, visiting markets with the children and looking around the sights of Cambridge as politicians wade in and football authorities go overboard in the aftermath of the Heyzel football deaths


A good night’s sleep and awake on a sunny morning to my morning tea and paper as usual and back to normal. Time also to read the Economist before breakfast brought to bed for me by Diana as a special treat. Up at 9 for a shower and shave and then out to the birds. The doves fed tamely from the table and were quite hungry. 12 eggs from the 12 ducks I now have, as the 13th seems to have become a full casualty. Sometime in the office sorting the mail and reading today’s computer journals and then a phone call from Barry Gamble of Fountain Forestry. He reported on the £40,000 offer we made to Ekins for Archers Wood on Friday and will phone tomorrow afternoon to chase up our ultimatum. He also tells me of the additional land from Broubster up for sale from its new owner, but I only offer 70-80% of its former price as an opportunistic move. Back to the house for coffee and then all together to St Neots for market day. I took Debbie to look around Shaw’s produce auction, but not much of interest. Alone; on to look at the pig market and then the stalls in the market square.

Wednesday 29th May 1985

Home to find Dixie Dove killed by a cat and then to hear of a football riot and 39 deaths at the Heysel Stadium which will lead to a ban for English football

Diana awake first on a beautiful sunny morning and breakfast and preparations as usual. Debbie gets out early to play with her friend from the neighbouring boat, Nicola, but after chatting for a while on a bench in the sunshine, they are sadly parted as her family leave for St Neots. Daniel and Diana leave for an hours shopping in Huntingdon as I stay in The Lady to read and Debbie plays with her new colouring book. Daniel comes back first and takes Debbie and I for a cruise round in the dinghy and we take a close look at Huntingdon Bridge, the boatyard and the Hinchingbrooke Arbitrary. Back to The Lady and, the dinghy safely on the davits, we cruise upstream on a glorious day through Godmanchester, Brompton locks and moor in late morning at the end of River Road. We all walk along to the Brampton Garden Centre and, after a lunch of snacks such as peanuts, fudge and ice cream, take a good look round.

Tuesday 28th May 1985

Some time in St Ives swimming with the kids and shopping before moving The Lady on to Huntingdon Riverside park as Debbie finds a friend to play with there and then needs reassurance as she falls and bangs her head

A sound night’s sleep and I awake to the rising sun on what proves to be a warm and sunny day. Up to get the morning drinks and then to keep the baby happy whilst Diana washed and dressed. Breakfast of toast only and fruit juice to wash it down and then out to the town centre to use the telephone and establish that the swimming pool was open to visitors today, that the Norris Museum was open and that a Gateway Building Society branch was in the High Street for us to stock up with cash later. First to St Ivo pool and I collect the family and we walk up and enter. Today Della joins the rest of us in the pool, but she is very wary of it to say the least. More wrestling fun with Daniel and also to take off Debbie’s ring and inflate one of the two rings on her armbands to teach her to swim.