Saturday 31st December 1988 - New Year’s Eve

I was up early with the children for breakfast and then loading up with luggage to take Daniel and his friend Steven Hicks to Kimbolton school to join their school narrow boating holiday before taking Helen Cranston home to West Perry. Home for coffee with the girls, looking after the doves, before visiting Mr Ramply to collect his Little Paxton Scrapbook and then taking my computer to Cambridge for upgrading and meeting Diana’s Australian cousin and family. Late tonight scanning drawings on my computer as my Koi carp recovers.

I was up early and ready with the children for breakfast and then dressed to go out with them. I loaded the Range Rover with luggage galore and set off the Kimbolton School where Daniel was due to leave at 10am for a school narrow boating holiday. Supervised by two teachers, and accompanied by 16 boys, Daniel and his friend, Steven Hicks, were the ‘senior members’ who were to assist the leaders and skipper the boats. Fortunately for Mr Corner and Mr Watson, Daniel and his friend, were fully experienced in boats and waterways due to having their own craft and swimming daily in our pool in the summer months. They loaded up a large minibus with the pupils and the trailer with the baggage and set off exactly at 10:30am. We then had to drive to Perry to take Helen Cranston home. She had enjoyed her stay with Debbie, but I must say that they had been very lively and was pleased to see the end of the stay for now.

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Friday 30th December 1988

I was concerned with the health of my larger Koi carp today but I had reassuring advice and remarks from Mr Field. Debbie’s friend Helen Cranston still being our guest, I took them both riding today and then this evening Daniel returned from his stay with his friend Gary and was preparing for his narrowboat holiday starting tomorrow. Semtex explosive has been discovered as having caused the Lockerbie air crash. Further controversy over the German air display crash, the Japanese corruption scandal and former President Marcos of the Philippines is both ill and facing corruption charges

I had a good night’s sleep and then got up in time for breakfast with the others. Debbie and her friend Helen Cranston were up and awake until midnight, but they seem to survive the experience. I was taken with concern for my Ohgon Hari-Wake carp this morning. It was lying on the bottom, then flicking and swimming in a bent way. Upon reading the Koi carp books and telephoning Mr Field, I deduced that the condition is due to it transferring to a warm environment and eating too much for its own good. The funny thing is that the carp experts acted just like a doctor; saying that I should stop feeding it and let it rest and recuperate and if it wasn’t better by Sunday morning to call him and he would come over to see if you could give it a salt bath to ease its constipation! It sounds like the care due to a precious child.

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Thursday 29th December 1988

I woke early to find Diana much better this morning and, after I attended to the temperature of my new conservatory on another very mild day, I fitted the new extractor fan in the shower room at Diana’s request. Later in the day sorting out press cuttings and watching another two hours of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ with the girls. Mortgage rates rise to 13.5% and the trade war posturing between the US and EEC is escalating

I woke early and made my own tea again but, when she awoke, Diana had improved and was much better this morning. Early in the conservatory, feeding the fish with Daniella and worrying that the temperature had fallen to 50°F, too low for certain of my plants. I made some adjustments to the heating valves and let the heating settle around the 40°C Mark as I think the floor is up to it. I asked Diana what I should do today, and she had me fitting the extractor fan in the shower room. I paid a visit to Cosy Corner and hired a core drill – 4 ½ inches and tipped with diamond – to cut the hole. It did the job easily and I was then concerned to secure and fit the fan and cover and wire it into the light switch. By lunch, I had the thing working and had cleared up in the aftermath. After lunch, I did very little work at my desk and then the rest of the day deteriorated into taking press cuttings from the local papers and then watching another two hours of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ with the girls.

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Wednesday 28th December 1988 - The 20th wedding anniversary of Diana and I

Taking Di to Bedford shopping on another very mild day, before home to lunch and then doing some DIY chores for her and watching ‘Anne of Green Gables’ together this evening to please her but she remains in the wars with soreness and coughing. NHS Hospital doctors complain of tiredness after working 80-hour weeks and the threat of an EEC/US trade war increases.

Poor Diana had a rough night with her coughing again, keeping me awake as well, and she went to sleep on the settee in the lounge about 3am. I was first up, checked on Di who was still asleep, and so made my morning tea and then started showering and shaving. Breakfast together with Gary, Daniel’s friend, who was still staying with us. I exchanged affectionate cards with Diana on this, our 20th wedding anniversary, and told her that I was at her bidding for the day. I asked whether I should take her shopping, do practical jobs around the house or restart my history work. She opted for Bedford and we enjoyed a morning looking at the sales. At least, she did that and I went in between Woolworths and Marks & Spencer comparing the plants. I had chosen a fine Croton but it was sold as I decided and so settled for a small Areca Palm instead, which was small but of good value. We drove home and had lunch, as we still have lots of Christmas food left uneaten.

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