Clive Sinclair and Rob Wilmott my computer industry buddies

Closely watching the slide on Wall Street, with High Technology the big losers, as I worked on my investments and then buying a multi-bladed lawn mower from Cambridge and driving over to Buckden Marina to talk about boat designs but they were more interested in site development with cabins. Home to find a Directorship offer from Robb Wilmott to think about but Nigel talked me out of it as Rob lost most of his money in the October crash. The nurses are striking in three London Hospital as three Royal Colleges of medicine express dismay over lack of funding and Neil Kinnock carries all before him in the labour leadership battle

Still slow to get up this morning, but I did. Completed my preparations and still joined the family for some of the meal. Once the children had gone, I read the FT and sensed that the financial markets were jittery again and soon the screens told us that shares were slipping. There are rumours that the last month’s US trade deficit was under-expressed by £3Bn and certainly the Japanese figures on US trade suggested that this could be true. Later, slippage turned into a slide on Wall Street and the US dollar lost ground as central bank support faltered. I settled into my office today and first did my accounts, reconciling bank accounts and returning a phone call to my accountant over my BP transactions. Also made some phone calls on lawnmowers and ended up choosing to buy a 10-bladed model, second hand from Cambridge

, from a tyre place. When I thought about it, as the cylinder mower was to be reserved for the games lawn alone, we might as well get the best type. Also telephoned Buckden Marina and arranged to see Richard Allen this afternoon about my boat design. An early lunch as Di and Della returned and then let them go for a couple of hours swimming in St Neots pool, whilst I resumed my history. Used the car on their return to drive over to ‘Buckden Marina and Leisure Centre’, but had a disappointing time there. I was there for nearly two hours, but they were so busy with visitors and telephone calls, that I managed only 10 minutes with Richard. It seems they have got permission to put cabins on the site and, following enquiries at last week’s boat show, the customers were rolling in. In the end, I excused myself and left and they were most apologetic, but I had decided that they had so many ventures going that they could not have handled boatbuilding anyway. Once home, I phoned L H Jones and spoke to them and they are putting me on to Carrington, whose family once build many cruisers for this river. 15 years ago, Jones said they would have leapt at the opportunity themselves. Tea with the family and then two odd phone calls. First from Mrs Ruff and Bunnage, who together had heard from the St Neots weekly news reporter on her Little Paxton project. They had phoned me alarmed, lest the journalist ‘pinch my stuff on Little Paxton’ and had refused to be interviewed on the strength of it. I did not have the heart to explain that it would only help publicise my book and whet the resident’s appetite. Next, a call from Rob Wilmot, once MD of ICL, and now active in a venture capital company, who wanted me to take a non-executive directorship in Compsoft PLC, a company that his outfit, Octagon, has taken over. I admitted that I should have to think about it. After tea I worked on my history notes, dealing with the Hall Cottages, which are all confusion from the interviews. I later called Nigel and went round to discuss the development, as well as catch up on each other’s news. He talked me out of it, even though Diana is keen. Got home at 11.00 and wrote my journal before bed. The US Dow Index was off 57 points tonight and the Far East will be under pressure overnight. Interesting that the selling was heaviest in the ‘High Technology Issues’, which is a coincidental omen. It seems that Rob lost most of his money in the October crash. The main news tonight is of decisions by nurses at three London hospitals to vote for strike action. The debate in parliament yesterday yielded no more funding promises and, with movement only recently in response to blood transfusion and nurses action, the profession have got the message. The Presidents of the three Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons and Obstetricians have voiced their ‘dismay and surprise’ over funding. Health Minister Moore had given them the impression that more cash was needed, but then succumbed to Thatcher’s strictures and just mouthed statistics in the House in her image. The spending White Paper is all about tax cuts. Today is one year to the day after Terry Waite disappeared and the Archbishop of Canterbury prayed with hostage’s relatives for their loved ones return. Prescott has pulled out of a potentially damaging contest with Hattersley for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party and Kinnock seems to be getting more and more on top of the job of leading the opposition. Events of this month may well see Labour rising in the polls at the expense of the other two parties.