The October 1987 floods were subsiding

Di’s Birthday – Celebrating Di’s birthday on a much less eventful day, with the South of England slowly recovering from ‘The Great Storm’ as 500,000 homes remained without electricity and I also carried on working on my history project. Thatcher still remains embarrassingly isolated at the Commonwealth Conference, the remaining Tamil Tiger are ‘fighting to the death’ in the Jaffna Peninsula, and the tanker attacks continue in The Gulf.

At last, a reasonable night’s sleep, free from storms and other disturbances. I still had my cold, but put it out of my mind for the duration. Awake quite early, but still groggy for my morning tea. The mornings start dark at this time of the year, but there was enough light to reveal that the river flood level was still the same and well restricted to below a harmful height. Slowly and deliberately, I showered, washed my hair, shaved and dressed, getting to the breakfast table late again. Di was pleased with her birthday cards, but lacked presents as yet. She was quickly out, as her contact lens problems meant an early appointment in Cambridge. Fortunately for me, she took the girls along too, leaving me alone this morning to get on with my office work. I used the peace and quiet to sort out my stockbrokers tangled web of errors.

We had sold more EHP shares for the Trusts than we were entitled to and BZW’s delay had compounded the muddle. Replacement contract notes had been sent and I checked the whole thing through with reference to my files and then parcelled the new forms into concentric envelopes for onward transmission by the Trustees for signature. Made myself a coffee, then prepared the envelope of information for Debbie McKensie, the schoolgirl doing a Little Paxton geography GCSE project. Then composed and typed out a couple of pages of advice and left the whole for collection. Di was back by now and we left at 12.20 with the rest of the family to pick up Daniel from the school bus. Quite a performance getting out, with the house in a mess and everything on pressure mats and blocking alarmed internal doors. We drove to the Sandy Happy Eater for a change and had a good meal and service, even if the restaurant was a bit hot (until I insisted that they opened some windows). Home and Debbie had to do some clearing up to get out of the doghouse, before being allowed to have her best friend Clare around to tea. Later this afternoon, I slipped out with Daniel to get the children’s birthday presents in St Neots. A birthday tea with Di blowing out 5 candles (a serious underestimate). In the end she had by way of presents: From Me – portable TV/radio/cassette, coffee percolator; From Daniel – toilet set – soaps, bubble bath etc; From Debbie – small fragrant talcum powder. Her parents are now back from Menorca and will be coming round tomorrow for lunch. This evening Daniel went to Paul’s party and we hoped he would be sensible about staying there until 11.00pm, but still regretted the planned lateness of the hour. I caught up on my reading this afternoon and early evening, but had more time for the history whilst Daniel was at the party. News today was of continued efforts to restore the south east of England to some sort of normality. It seems the majority of the remaining trouble is in Kent, where most of the remaining 500,000 premises are still without electricity. British Rail says the country is a disaster area and the armed forces are helping the corporation to clear railway lines from the hazard of fallen trees. Rough seas prevented the re-flotation of the channel ferry, Hengist, which is still aground off of Folkestone Harbour. The wife of US President Reagan, Nancy, has had a mastectomy operation to remove her left breast, after the discovery of breast cancer, but it is expected that there will be no spread of the problem to the rest of her body. The Commonwealth Conference has isolated Mrs Thatcher and her anti-sanctions policy, as the rest of the nations support their extension in relation to South Africa. The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka are ‘fighting to the death’ in the Jaffna peninsula, as Indian troops make their final assault. Iraq have made the latest attack on a tanker in the Gulf.