Debbie doing better at her school work and riding

A better day for Debbie, her horse-riding, her eating and her relationship with her mum after I intervened and agreed an acceptable diet and then more progress with her number-work and homework than Daniel, who I had to press to work harder. This, as I was struggling to finish off and check my transcription of the Little Paxton Scrapbook as I had other pressing priorities. The Lebanese hostage situation is now critical with Terry Waite in acute danger, there are even more Guinness revelations and now pressure for more safeguards is growing but the coup in the Philippines is in its death throws

A reasonable night, with some intervals of restlessness. Slow to awake, but then quickly showering and dressing for breakfast. In fact, managed to catch the children out before the meal and insisted that they tidied their rooms. We all had boiled egg with toast ‘fingers’ to dip in and it proved popular and was all eaten up. Straight down to work afterwards, typing all morning in what proved a considerable exercise to finish the work. A salad lunch, which was quite slimming and then a lesser task until the transcription was done. An early tea before Debbie’s horse riding, and out prior to that to feed the doves and put away the ducks. A much brighter and easier day today, cooler, but with the sun to warm the soil a little, after the dull days of late. A less traumatic tea than recently. Debbie ate the fare of sausage rolls, toast and chocolate cake and was perfect friends with Diana again. I had spoken to Deb and she had written out a list of the things she would be prepared to eat for tea and now Di will try to do them.

To Offord in good time for the horse riding, and this week Debbie got Emma, with another girl (a farmer’s daughter from Ellington) getting Barbie. She trotted and cantered quite willingly, but did not keep the pony on the track very well. She was also reluctant to try the low jumps, but was proved right when another girl, on Hereford, fell off and was trodden on (without any notable injury). So she has not won a ‘mint surprise’ this week for a change. It was still light when we arrived, but was dark as we came home, but the days are lengthening slowly. This evening, I made the effort to spend time with both Daniel and Debbie on their work. Dan had made a poor attempt at his and I had to upset him to get him to make the proper effort to get it right, but Debs was as keen as ever and she managed to do her number work very well. There were ‘sunny smile’ stickers in her book to reward progress and I gave them one each, which took Daniel by surprise! The latter part of the evening printing out the last section of the scrap book, whilst proof-reading the rest. Quite a few mistakes, which I found, and also the odd page missed out entirely. In truth, such a job is never finished, but I must soon call a halt to it, as I am getting behind on all other work. Packed up without finishing the checking and also had to leave my journal for the morning. The situation in Lebanon is coming to a head. The US has ordered all of its citizens out of the country, after the recently renewed bout of hostage taking. Fears over Terry Waite have eased a little, after reports to the C of E by the Druze leaders that he is still all right. But there is no knowledge of his whereabouts and I, for one, will believe in his safety once he is back in the public eye again. More Guinness revelations trickle out. Jack Lions admits to a £2million ‘fee’ for consultancy related to share price support operations and another central bank, Austria’s Zentralsparkasse, has admitted receiving £254,000 as compensation for losses on its shares from Guinness. With the pressure now on the government, DTI Secretary, Paul Channon, announces an initiative in the Commons for discussing with the City the strengthening of the takeover panel and the rules relating to the conduct of takeovers. In the Philippines, the leader of rebels holding a radio station agreed terms for leaving it with the government, but then the rebels did not follow him out and confusion reigns. There will be a fair frost this evening, as the price of today’s sunshine is paid.