Sunday 31st July 1988

To the Rev Peter Lewis’s family service at St James’s Church after an early visit to Willington Garden Centre with the girls and then home to host a big summer party with 7/8 cars bringing lots of guests. The ladies and girls enjoyed the pool and the men the croquet and bowls lawn. Four Britons are feared dead after a catamaran sinks off the South Coast, two men are shot dead in South London and 30 die as a jetty collapses in Malaysia where 1,000 peop[le were queuing for a ferry

I found the bed warm again last night and then discovered why – Di had got a hot water bottle in there! This morning, we got up at quite an early time and all ate breakfast together. I decided then to go to the Willington Garden Centre and took the two girls along with me. Found out it did not open until 10.00am on Sundays, but I hung around and they let us in early anyway. Whilst I wandered round, first the girls played hide-and-seek along the long entry gangway and then I took them to see the sheds and summer houses and they played on the little children’s playground, which they enjoyed. Home in a hurry for 10.15am and then, as Di’s parents got the house ready for the party, we went to St James Church for a family service. We walked there and back and got there early for a change. Not a large congregation, because of many being away on holiday, but the Rev. Peter Lewis did his best to make a good service of it. Once home, we helped in welcoming the family guests. Food, chairs etc had been layed out on the lawns and inside The Hayling View and all of Di’s family had been invited. The cars completely filled our drive and were about 7/8 in number, as many relatives had responded to the invitation. We gathered, chatted, had drinks together and wandered about.

Saturday 30th July 1988

Another slow start to the day, then a fine cooked breakfast before a combined trip shopping and attending to financial matters in St Neots and then off to the Eaton Socon garden centre for wiring and posts. Afterwards, to erect a fence to keep the ducks off the lawn and the bowls out of the river. Mowing the lawns ready for tomorrow after first repairing the lawnmowers and then relaxing watching boxing on TV and writing my journal. More bomb attacks supported by the ANC in South Africa, Britain’s are advised to follow the example of the Soviet Red Army in leaving Afghanistan and news that July has been the second wettest this century!

Felt cold again during the night but slept well. Slow to breakfast, but so was everyone else. We had a fried meal on this day for once, as tomorrow is going to be very busy. We enjoyed the meal and then got ready for a combined trip to St Neots to do some shopping. First to the town centre, where I withdrew some money and visited the library to look at the last few days editions of the Cambridge Evening News. Then off to Jordan and Addington’s garden centre, where Di could order us some morning coffee and I could buy some fencing wire and posts. Di also bought some flowers to make the house look nice for tomorrow. Home by 11.00am and then I changed and went out to start to enclose the ducks in fencing, which would also have the benefit of stopping bowls rolling into the slipway and then into the river.

Friday 29th July 1988

An early start after a slightly unsettled night and then the financial papers after breakfast until the arrival of Charles Frost for a meeting to complete my conservatory order. Then on to Huntingdon for an HDC reception and opening by John Major of the Ermine Business Park. Back to play lawn bowls with Daniela and friends. South Africa’s government censors ‘Cry Freedom’, The Iran/Iraq talks proceed at a snail’s pace, Red Adair finally plugs the Piper Alpha oil leaks and the Education Reform Act reforms education without funding it properly

A little unsettled during the night, but then slept better after rolling over to see Diana for sex. This morning we were all up quite early, which was rather a test for Daniel’s friends Steve and Gary, who had stayed the night and were not used to getting up in the morning. Took time after breakfast to read today’s Investors Chronicle and Financial Times to get up to date on investment affairs, as I will soon be needing to reorganise my finances and need to judge the market. No sooner that done, than Charles Frost of Frost & Co Conservatories comes, by appointment, and we review the final plans and timescales for my conservatory, before giving him a 10% cheque for £2000+. We agree the final drawings for building regulations approval and groundwork tender for next week. Then a couple of weeks for the builders to quote, so that we meet again to decide on a builder for the groundwork, after three weeks, in August. We want the building work done in September and the conservatory erected in October, but we shall see! Then a rush to get the family and myself ready and in the Range Rover and off to Huntingdon for a District Council reception and tour. I leave the family to their own devices for three hours and join the dignitaries in the coach and we go to the Ermine Business Park for the Rt Hon John Major MP to open it in a brief ceremony.

Thursday 28th July 1988

Unsettled, like the showery and breezy weather, after yesterday’s Council meeting and the forthcoming Planning meeting for which I was reading the papers. I took Debbie horse-riding and there met Cllr Smith (Fiona’s dad) laying concrete in the yard and then home when Debbie had an early night but Daniel had Steve and Gary round swimming. Paddy Ashdown wins the SLD leadership contest by a landslide, Winnie Mandela’s wife’s home is destroyed by an arson attack, the Commons Social Services Committee has warned against radical change for the NHS and Kode International has a 40% profits downturn reported today

A difficult time getting to sleep last night, mind still full of the Council meeting that I had yesterday afternoon. I realised that I was too hot and so opened the curtains to let the breeze come in. Then, this morning, I awoke because I was too cold! We laid in late and I came to the breakfast table in my dressing gown and then went back to bed afterwards. In fact, I was reading the Planning Papers for Monday’s meeting, an interesting distraction, but one that takes a couple of hours. Washed and shaved between 10 and 10.30am, then sat down with a morning coffee with Di and we swapped dates and commitments from our diaries, as life is getting a bit hectic at the moment. The morning paper and then phone calls to progress my Rolls Royce repairs, the conservatory construction, my forestry taxation and other things. Relieved when lunchtime came and then back to my desk to try and tidy it up and sort more things out. I have created and ‘action list’ and it is depressingly long.