September 1989

A month of generally fine weather to end the summer, with cooler nights and a few wet days amongst some dry ones for the end of our boating holiday and the start of our outside ‘catching-up’ jobs. My direct family are fine, children back at school but Daniel still struggling a bit with his chemistry. The main concern now is the health of my poor Dad. Antibiotics of growing strength did not stop the swelling and pain, and the growth in his ear spread via his lymph glands to his neck and brain so quickly that his life was threatened. The only hope is of very major surgery such that a forthcoming brain scan and consultation between plastic and neurology consultants will decide his fate. Unfortunately, the pain and anguish of my parents had an unfortunate outcome as they fell out and I had a distressing letter from my Mum, who wanted to leave my Dad!

 We enjoyed our boating holiday on The Lady, cruising up the Cam to Cambridge, back along the Old West River, stopping at St Ives before cruising home to Paxton. Once back, there was work to be done to repair our Rolls Royce and Range Rover cars. We bought folding bikes and used them for city shopping trips and I improved my pool sand filter connections to aid ease of care. We struggled to get the children back to school and to get Debbie back to her horse-riding, but we enjoyed the Kimbolton statute fair. I dealt with a couple of repairs for The Lady and we attended the Southampton Boat Show, looking at various models and homing in on the Broom 37 as our next choice of craft if we decided not to renovate The Lady. At home, Pete and Daniel were both recruited to help with painting my steel quay-heading with pink primer and then Tractol. My purchase of Heronshaw in Horning is proceeding but that of Cow Lane Meadows in Godmanchester is falling by the wayside over problems with the fishing and mineral rights. I witnessed a scary Reliant Robin accident on the way and supervised the rescue of a heavily pregnant lady.

Cambridgeshire Deputy Chief Constable, John Stevens, is to lead the investigation into the leaks which have thrown the Anglo-Irish agreement into stress. The Northern Ireland ‘troubles’ lead to the IRA attacking two British soldiers off duty in Germany and of two Ulster Volunteer Force men are charged with complicity in a scheme for revenge killings against Republicans; but the worst news was of an IRA bomb strike killing 10 Royal Marines bandsman and injuring others. The government is under attack for its social and economic policies and now trailing in the opinion polls with a 40% drop on the Stock Exchange, a £2b trade deficit and sky-high interest rates due to continue as Sterling falls despite Bank of England support. Ambulance officers have joined their men in implementing an overtime ban.

It has been 50 years since the war broke out between England and Germany and when my parents were married and now in their former home of Tottenham, 400 police have raided Broadwater Farm, Tottenham, looking for drugs in what was virtually a paramilitary operation. A collision between two oil tankers off Humberside left a 140 mi² oil slick which is luckily drifting offshore. England draw with Sweden to qualify for the World Cup Finals with 100 fans arrested after the reports of ‘rioting and looting’ by English soccer fans on the North Sea ferry, the Tor Britannia, after being denies tickets. Now the Football Association have cancelled the friendly match against Holland in response.

23 people killed and 100 injured at election demonstrations as the blacks are excluded in their unjust South African ‘All-White’ elections. President Bush is calling for a mutual 80% chemical weapons reduction for the US and Russia. There is an exodus of East Germans through Hungary and Austria to West Germany as its German reunification and Europe restructuring begins and the European commission adopts a workers charter despite Thatcher’s opposition. A month of plane and road accidents. Hurricane Hugo leaves 25 dead and 100,000 homeless in Puerto Rico and is now turning along the US coastline and half a million people have fled Georgia alone.

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