November 1985

A cold and disruptive month of house building work, which takes its toll on the health of our family, but one also of good progress with The Hayling View project, even though my computer industry work has tailed off. The USA/USSR arms talks suffer a roller coaster of expectations but end up with optimism. Anglo-Irish pact is ratified my parliament who are on the verge of admitting TV cameras for the first time but the headlines feature murders and assassinations along with the expected deterioration of South African stability as apartheid suffers its death throws. The biggest loss of life is in the mud and meltwater from the Columbian volcano eruption engulfing the complete village of Amero

And so ends November – a month of cold and disruption and, in all, a most uncomfortable period to suffer and survive. It is strange to see how the recent weather changes have fitted the months, but November has been bitterly cold and so most of the leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees – the sycamore first, then the hawthorns and lastly the oak tree was clinging to its leaves until the last minute. Outside, Peter has cleared a bit more of the new riverside plot, felling the ash and sycamore saplings in the corner destined for the workshop and lastly the willow by the river, which was growing far too big. The rest of the gardens have been well maintained, with only the lawns close to the building work muddied. Now the new front path and ramp are installed, the adjacent lawns have to be re-levelled and turfed anyway and should thereafter escape further damage. Most of the building work is finished on this year’s phase of the house, and next week should see the plastering and finishing of the utility room and another boiler being installed. Then they have to finish off the hall and move the second boiler, the decorators and furnishers have to catch up, then the remaining work will be outside on the balconies only. Our decision to postpone further building work and demolition in the last quarter of the house until the New Year is undoubtedly a good one.