January 1988

Stormy wet and miserable month flooding the moorings,  family fine with Daniel making some school progress and enjoying a school narrow-boating holiday and a Boat Show trip with me. Di and I a stay in London without the children. Debbie widening her taste for food, riding well and elegantly in her new kit and Della started Playschool happily. Regular meals out, church family services with the Rev Peter Lewis having the same ‘flock’ as I for my forthcoming Paxton Ward election, where my party is gradually getting its act together after merger pains. My Little Paxton History project grinds on through its editing stage, I am managing investments, turning down a Non-Executive Director position with Compsoft PLC  and supervising work on my riverside Games lawn and gardens, surviving high flood-water in the process. Bought an old Reliant and was zeroing in on a Rolls Royce convertible to buy as a leisure vehicle. Thatcher roundly condemned for trying to supress the dirty deeds of the security services and the ‘Shoot to Kill’ policy in Northern Ireland, but loses a Bill on ‘Whistle Blowing’; her visit to Africa is marred by anti-Apartheid demonstrations, she has a whole month of industrial unrest in the coal, motor and ferry industries but, even worse,  unprecedented strikes and protests from NHS professionals and three presidents of Royal Colleges but refuses to allow increased funding or an investigation into NHS finances. She loses her key ally, Willie Whitelaw, her Tories rebel on the planned child benefit freeze. The government of Israel are in even worse odour; the UN Security Council voting 14 to 0 to insist that Israel repatriates Palestinians illegally expelled from their country, UK ministers visiting Tel Aviv roundly condemn the shooting and beating of demonstrators, as Arabs stage a 3,500-strong torchlight procession. The Amoco oils spill of Brittany costs them $85.2 million of damages and now a giant 4.5million gallon fuel spill on a river 16 miles long in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh has forced 1,000 people to evacuate their homes. The world economy is a study. Most chartists have the present slight recovery in the run up to a deeper depression and give the system 2/3 months to run before the big drop happens. Reagan and Gorbachev exchange pledges and hopes for their future negotiations in New Year’s Day resolutions which also aim to garner their citizens’ support.

Yet more stormy weather sees out the month of January; such a miserable month in many ways with gales, ‘severe weather warning’ and rain storms which sinks small fishing boats off of Blackpool. The wettest January for as many as thirty years but the flood not as much so as in 1974; but with the ground water table being very high, more persistent the rising floodwater floating the edging planks for my Games lawn but receding gradually with many fields still under such that I will be glad to see them again. Normally the gardens are not affected, but this time the plants may be drowned and today. Our immediate family are all well, for the most part; even though the children complain about not feeling well sometimes and Diana having a sickness bout one time, blaming me for causing tension, which led to a depressing row; but she has resumed Slimming Club, which is good. Chas and Chrisula visited to collect my spare video camera on loan Daniel and Debbie’s hearing is slight cause for concern but Daniel doing a lot better with his sinus condition. We saw Daniel off to Kimbolton for the start of their school narrow-boating holiday with Steve and collected him after a break very much disrupted by the weather but totally enjoyed. Steve also joined us as I took Daniel to The Earls Court boat show and we heard about the sad story of the marital problems of his parents driving there.