Wednesday 30th November 1988

A mild and fine day after a very wet and rainy night for my visit to St Neots for my meeting with my accountant Roger Brittain and then a lift with Diana back to Little Paxton after which We then took Daniella to the Village Hall as ‘Rising 5’s’ were taking the children off in a coach to the Godmanchester ‘Wood-Green’ Animal Shelter and she then also went to the Little Paxton Primary School for story time this afternoon. I visited Vera Ruff and other ladies that had constituency queries and then this evening, I went to the Diddington Parish Meeting and then on to see the family in Southoe that delivers my leaflets. Deaths from AIDS in Britain is predicted to rise to 17,000 in the next few years, as so far over 1000 of died. The new UK Official Secrets Bill has been published and the powers have been stepped up in the range of matters will be protected for political as well as security reasons

I slept well last night and woke up to a mild and fine day after a very wet and rainy night.  I then dressed in my going-out clothes for an appointment with my accountant, Roger Brittain, in St Neots at 9am after having breakfast and reading the paper before going into town with Diana giving me a lift. I had a good half hour meeting and ascertained that most of my outstanding tax affairs were clear and I got details of the receipts and payments applicable as a result.  I also got warning of a £4000 plus accountancy charges bill as well! I was walking around St Neots when Diana spotted me and picked me up and gave me a lift back to Little Paxton. We then took Daniella to the Village Hall as ‘Rising 5’s’ were taking the children off in a coach to the Godmanchester ‘Wood-Green’ Animal Shelter.

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Tuesday 29th November 1988

Another tiring start to the day but again I buckled down to editing FOCUS newsletters before I heard upsetting news from poor Mrs Smith who phoned me about being burgled last night. Thatcher is lashing out at Ireland and Belgium for not agreeing Patrick Ryan’s extradition, but the evidence was incomplete and contradictory, and Britain has been contravening the European Convention on Human Rights for detention without trial which does not help. Thatcher is also distancing herself from her Chancellor Nigel Lawson, which is ominous, and US government has run into united condemnation from all other United Nations countries for its exclusion of the PLO leader from the country for a UN debate and they adjourn to Geneva to let Yasser Arafat speak there. The A45 was closed for 15 hours after a chemical lorry overturned and the lethal chemical called Resouranol was spilt, the second chemical disaster in two weeks.

 I was tired again after waking this morning, but I ploughed on to get dressed for a belated breakfast of croissants with the children on their way out of the door. To my office, where I spent the day working on three editions of the Buckden FOCUS for each district’s award. Firstly, I transformed the text into correct format, fonts and more appealing copy; then I laid out the rest of the newsletter pages, all unfolded A3 (four A4 faces) with the last three pages common and the three individual fronts pieces. I was interrupted by a number of phone calls and visitors all day. Good news from my accountant who says that my affairs now seem to be up-to-date and in order. I plan to meet him at 9am the next morning to resolve details of my outstanding payments. Two calls and a visit from Percy who was anxious in the progress of the newsletters and then a couple of distressing calls. David Rudd phoned me to make arrangements of the return of my history file and I learnt that his brother, Granville, died yesterday. Then Mrs Smith of High Street, Little Paxton, phoned to tell me of the way in which she was burgled on Sunday night. She has a disabled and ill husband who is a problem to care for anyway; and was very upset by the theft of rings, watches, jewellery etc. She was weeping on the phone but consoled by calling me.

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Monday 28th November 1988

Making several organising phone calls after a tired and reluctant start to a much milder day but some considerable achievement as a result. Debbie was performing in the ‘Brownies Entertainments’ display this evening after which I attended the first meeting of the new Village Hall committee and became its Vice Chairman. Ireland has opted not to arrest Patrick Ryan due to the flimsiness of the case against him, the US as the venue of the UN comes into question after they ban Yasser Arafat from entering into the U.S.-based United Nations assembly to speak in the Middle East debate and the nurses are still protesting about unfair grading and the government is closing mental hospitals to quickly to allow the community care schemes to take up the patient’s care satisfactorily.

I was really tired this morning and most reluctant to wake up when called.  I eventually dragged myself into my dressing gown and went down to breakfast like that. I was so confused that I started putting apple juice onto my cereal that made an interesting taste when mixed with milk! I caught Pete when he came with Joan and asked him to finish sorting and washing the three-quarter inch gravel for my ponds and that took him all morning. I then made a number of phone calls: Charles Frost agreed my list of outstanding items for the conservatory and will be attending to them in the next week or so; Roger Brittain agrees that the Inland Revenue seem to be approving my last few years tax returns at last, and I received a £15,000 cheque to prove it. I asked Roger to set out the outstanding capital tax payments that I will now have to make. Percy Meyer phoned and came around and then I spent the rest of this morning and afternoon laying out the start of the Buckden FOCUS newsletters. I fed the ducks and doves twice. After tea, I changed and first went along to the ‘Brownies Entertainments’ display, which was a bit nervy but otherwise all right. Then a walk to the Village Hall for the first meeting of the new Village Hall committee. They elected Mr Cromarty as chairman and I seconded his nomination even though he was a confirmed Tory and former chairman of the Sandy Conservative Party. I took the Vice Chair and will keep an eye on him! It is good to have as many active people involved as possible in the task of getting the hall maintained and improved.

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Sunday 27th November 1988

A disorienting start to the day after shots from wild-fowlers in the field opposite work me up and I broke the bedside light and flooded the en-suite but then I settled down to sorting stones for my new pond despite Percy and Pat arriving to use my computer. Then to winterise our boats and listen to the news in which David John Evans awaits extradition for the murder of Anna Humphries as was IRA suspect Father Patrick Ryan whilst Welsh extremists are suspected of fire-bombing five London Estate offices

 I was awoken today at 7:30am by shot guns firing in the meadows opposite, but they soon stopped. A rather problematical day which started with me knocking over my bedside light and having to spend a long-time re-assembling it. Then the sink overflowed wetting the ensuite carpet. Eventually own to a nice fried breakfast and then out to start work on the gravel pile. Using a ½ inch riddle, I started separating the larger stones from the smaller ones, washing the same with the hose and then transferring them by bucket to the pond. I used one of the conservatory windows to access the ponds without disturbing the new screed floors which were still ‘green’. The trouble was that there were two buckets of small stones to every one of the three-quarter ones. There is no way that the stones were three-quarter inch as ordered. During this process, Percy Meyer phoned and asked if they could come around and use our computer. I explained that this was a busy day and I could only spend 10 minutes with them, but this proved inadequate. To make a long story short, it was a rather unsatisfactory day which ended up with much of their data lost.

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