Tuesday 31st October 1989

Rather later to bed and to rise on a cooler day and to spend time trying to adjust my dehumidifiers before trying to talk to Mum and Dad about the future after Dad dies as he is deteriorating daily now.

This evening at an HDC Policy Committee monitoring matters due to come before Full Council and then hearing ex-Chancellor Lawson’s revelations about government rifts on economic policy and of Nicholas Ridley opting to surrender early the ‘golden share’ that prevents Jaguar from takeover. The ambulance dispute is stepping up and trouble will surely ensue

I was a bit late to bed last night and suffered this morning as a consequence. A bit late to breakfast as well and my French toast was cold. Diana was running around today over her chores and the children, but I got down to some useful filing and cleared a few matters out of the way. I also made my plans to visit Norfolk next Tuesday via Newmarket and return via Stanton with the items Mum and Dad need from the bungalow. I was also ‘playing’ with the conservatory dehumidifiers, to try to get them to come on and off with the humidity. The large one as a very poor humidity stat and, although I have now adjusted it, I feel sure it will have to be replaced with something more sensitive.

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Monday 30th October 1989

Up early on a sunny and bright day for a change and then time in St Neots, seeing my doctor, shopping and getting building society interest updates before treating Di to lunch. Then back to try out my new de-humidifier in the conservatory until I had to leave for a Buckden School Governors’ meeting to agree budgets and expenditure.

Thatcher’s problems with Cabinet colleagues continue and she fights colleagues over Europe and now her plans for privatising the electricity industry reveal 30,000 job losses, mass mine closure and electricity bills raised by 15%.

I had another very sound night’s sleep and then I was up quite early as a result. At breakfast, I forwent my croissants and had wheat flakes instead. Just an hour or so of work at my desk before it was time to see Dr Wright in St Neots about my leg. He examined it and agreed to arrange a small operation with the nurse for next Monday to remove the irritating mole and send it off for histology. I had coffee with Di and then we both spent the rest of the morning shopping. My cycle of visits to the building societies revealed that their top rates were going up from next Wednesday, November 1st which is good for me but bad for borrowers.

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Sunday 29th October 1989

Clock Change Sunday – Some time inside and then outside doing chores after the gales and then we collected Debbie from horse-riding and dropped her off at Weald House to play scrabble and Connect 4 with Mum, as Dad came back with me to have a quiet time by the pond and watch Spurs play on the TV.

Prime Minister Thatcher is belligerently defiant and full of herself as opinion polls show her as being at rock bottom ahead of markets opening tomorrow. 70,000 attend a massive ANC rally in South Africa and there are other demos for political reform in East Germany

I was a little late to bed but then had an unusually sound sleep it did not end until I was awoken at 8am. We had to put the clocks back this morning (so it was back to 7am again) and so none of the day was lost. I got dressed and showered ready for a nice fried breakfast and then I went outside this morning to backflush the filter, feed the fish and doves and then set about pruning the oldest espalier apple tree by the summerhouse that had been left unattended since replanting. There were a few branches down from overnight gales and I tended to these as well.

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Saturday 28th October 1989

After spending time with the Koi in the conservatory on a dark morning at first light, the family had breakfast with Freda before we gave her a lift to the station to start her journey home. This morning working on my new computerised investment and income summary spreadsheets and then visiting Mum and Dad this afternoon, when Mum behaved very badly and embarrassed Dad.

As Thatcher’s government faces political crisis, Howe and Hazeltine speak out and opposition politicians make hay in the sunshine. The day ends with a stormy gale and around the country boats are sunk and lives are lost as a consequence

I slept all right but awoke early again and so I took my morning drink at the same time as Diana. Soon Debbie was knocking on the bedroom door itching to go to the stables again and I had my shower and shave on a dark morning before going down. I went to the Koi pond and fed them in the first light; Dawn comes an hour earlier there than in the house and dusk an hour later due to the open glazed aspect. We had breakfast of croissants as ate with Freda and the whole family but stuck to her more familiar toast as she was planning her journey home today. Di gave Freda a lift to the station and she caught a train at about 9:30am.

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