Prime Minister Bob Hawke and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Vancouver, 1987.

Some good introductions and discussions with old Little Paxton residents which brighten up an otherwise rather fragmented day as the Guinness controversy now involves charges for Gerald Ronson as well as Ernest Saunders, an Iranian missile hits an Iraqi school, killing 32 children and injuring nearly 200 more and the  Commonwealth conference begins with South Africa the main topic of discussion and Thatcher isolated

A very poor night, troubled with a sore throat and reaction to last night’s cigarette smoke, and mind active on the history of Paxton Park. Only a few hours sleep in the end, as soon morning came. At least I was awake when Diana’s alarm went off and took advantage of finding her in bed, as she usually is fast away! Also managed to get down to breakfast with the others and even checked on Daniel’s room and got him to tidy it before the meal. Straight to my office, after reading the post, and spent until coffee break and a long time reading the Financial Times. Then I got out all of my diskettes and history folders and started trying to find out where I had left things last winter. By midday, I had not got very far and it was time to get myself a salad lunch.

At the same time, I watched the closing overs of a live England vs Pakistan one day match and sadly saw our team leave themselves too much to do this time, losing by 20 runs. All afternoon on my computer files, indexing each archive diskette and noting that I still had a fair bit of transcription to do of last year’s interviews. Tea at 5.00pm, after a few dove distractions. First, one of my younger doves fell down the chimney again, spending a half hour fluttering about before emerging in the grate. Then, I had to check on a baby coloured dove that had been brought to me after it had been found poorly. I had to poke seed in its mouth to get it to eat, but I hold out little chance of its survival as being born too late. Tea of plaice tonight, then out to put the ducks away. The river has gone down quite a bit and just exposed the moorings. The riverside grass has quite a ‘top dressing’ of silt, which can only help to level it out. A little more time on my files and then Mr Smith arrived at 7.00pm and brought with him a dozen and a half picture postcards of Little Paxton, which I photocopy and then also borrow several of them to get photographic copies made. Later, I hear from a local taxi driver, who puts me in touch with an 80 year old man from Wantage Gardens, who has lived in Little Paxton since 1920 and has photographs and memories to share, so I arrange to see him next week, as this week is fully booked. Some time putting all of the things away safely, before it was late for bed again. Main news tonight is of Gerald Ronson being charged in connection with the Guinness affair and Ernest Saunders also appears in court on a further 37 charges, being bailed until November 3rd. The knives are sharpening. The latest Iranian missile in the Gulf War has hit a school in Baghdad, killing at least 32 children and injuring nearly 200 more. The British Navy has found two mines, the first since they started hunting for them last month. At the Commonwealth Conference, Thatcher and her adversaries amongst the African countries are seeking to avoid parading their differences and instead concentrate on collective efforts to help the front line states reduce their dependence on South Africa. There were showers this afternoon, including one heavy one and more are forecast for tomorrow.