Tuesday 31st March 1987

A trip to Cambridge today via the scenic route to avoid the A45 roadworks with Daniel to use his birthday vouchers and for me to research Koi Carp keeping before home to fit Daniel’s new propeller and to start restoring the swimming pool for the season and cleaning out the duck house until dusk. News today of Thatcher being ‘converted’ to the prospect of East/West arms limitation talks, of The Herald of Free Enterprise sinking killing more passengers and crew than at first thought and yet another top secret defence worker has died in suspicious circumstances giving rise to a conspiracy theory


A poor night and then tired when it was time to wake for my morning tea. Showered and dressed and able to get the children to clear up their rooms before we all had a breakfast of boiled egg and toast fingers. After we had got Debbie to school, the rest of us set off for Cambridge in the Range Rover. We took the route via Woresley and the Gransdens to avoid the A45 road works and therefore arrived in Cambridge Round Church car park a bit later. A brisk walk to Eaden Lilley, but Di’s father, Charles, slipped out past us as we went in, in his normal hospitable fashion. Still, met Norma and she looked after Della as Di went shopping and I accompanied Daniel to spend his birthday money and vouchers.

Monday 30th March 1987

Daniel cruising on his boat on a sunny, still and mild morning after an earlier studying session to earn it and me arranging and then fulfilling Little Paxton History interviews before calling in at The Ely Boat Chandlers who had secured the propeller we needed for The Little Lady. Thatcher struts in Moscow about rather too obviously as The UK Stock Exchange records its record one day fall over fears of a US/Japanese trade war, the IRA kills another soldier in Belfast, and the trial starts in Spain of the alleged perpetrators of the huge poisonous cooking oil scam that it is claimed killed over 500 people and crippled tens of thousands

Late to sleep with Diana and then, after a sound and satisfied sleep, was reluctant to wake up and get out of bed. Still the first down, dressed and showered, for breakfast. Once over, Daniel took his boat downstream to Offord to try to get some more fuel, Di took Debbie to school and I did a little work at my desk, reconciling my bank account and arranging some account transfers of funds. Also used the telephone to arrange visits this afternoon to Miss Hazelton and Ken Gambier of Samuel Jones. An early lunch of salad and then changed to receive Nigel Smith, who came round for a chat, a coffee and to advise me on my new conservatory idea. Took longer than planned and so was a little late gathering my tools together to see Miss Gladys Hazelton in Eaton Socon. Poor thing, she had mislaid the photograph of herself in nurse’s uniform in the time of Paxton Park Hospital, but I still installed a door viewer for her flat, which will make for much better security for visitors after dark.

Sunday 29th March 1987

Daniel and Gary off boating first thing on a fine sunny morning as I continue with investment correspondence and then I drive the family via Horningsea Garden Centre on Mother’s Day to visit Mum at The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds where we visit Mum and hatch the idea of a Koi Carp pond with Dad as Nigel calls, concurs and asks me to be the Godfather to Kate and Ashley. This as Thatcher enjoys the stage management of her Moscow visit, a scandal emerges over cervical smear test delays,  19 Zulus die in South Africa and Iraqi war planes attacked the Iranian oil pipeline terminal at Ganaveh after repeated recent attacks on the Kharg oil terminal


Later to bed than Di and then awake to my morning tea on a fine morning, with sun streaming into the room through the curtains. Showered and dressed in time for our nice Sunday fried breakfast. Gary had awoken Daniel at an early hour and they were both anxious to get out to the boat as soon as they could. I read the Sunday paper and then went out to feed the ducks and doves. 5 more duck eggs for the larder. To my office to actually complete a little work – mainly composing and printing a letter to my forestry accountants, with copies to all else. Time for lunch, which Diana had prepared in the breakfast room, as we had no time for the Sunday ritual. Soon we all piled into the Range Rover and set off.

Saturday 28th March 1987

Daniel giving boat trips on Little Lady to Diana and the girls and then to Gary Skinner, with whom he went through the lock to St Neots Marina for fuel as I dug a trench for laying 40m of power cable to the moorings and reported two motor cyclists for riding down the footpath and gave a statement. This as Oxford unexpectedly won the Boat Race (without their rebelling Americans) and Harvey Proctor survives a bid to oust him as MP and Thatcher and Kinnock return from their overseas adventures.

Slept well and the gales of yesterday had moderated overnight, so that there were only strong winds this morning, by the time we had woken up. Showered and dressed and then down to breakfast with the others. A boiled egg and toast fingers all round was the fare (except Diana). The eggs have now passed the ‘red’ phase and our new ‘candler’ checks for any irregularities as well. After breakfast, I read the paper and then went with Daniel into my office to phone Ely Yacht Chandlers to check on the new propeller, but it had not arrived yet.