Friday 31st August 1990

A late decision in favour of joining Nigel Smith’s party at The Kimbolton Summer Ball as I was serving on the Kimbolton School Society committee after much of the day working on the Hayling View swimming pool and watering the gardens.

Met several people we knew after arriving in our Rolls Royce. Roger Peel, the headmaster, was pleased with the news that Daniel had got into The University of East Anglia and Peter Watson disclosed that he had telephoned to lobby them as well and so it was quite a team effort. Western women and children still cannot leave Iraq yet despite frantic efforts by foreign nations.

It was a duller day today but still warm with no rain. We were a little slow up and then had breakfast together. I worked on the fish, doves and conservatory and hoped that Daniel would do some more gardening for me this morning, but he was not interested. This was even though his friend Steven wanted to come over and help to earn the money. I then found out afterwards that the swimming pool was all cloudy and short of chemicals which did not please me either. I set to work on it which took a couple of hours in total. I had to use the pool vacuum to remove all of the rubbish, then the pool brush to disperse the algae deposit on the tiles. Then I had to backflush the filters and empty the filter baskets before testing for the chemical level and adding enough chlorine to super-chlorinate the pool. Lastly, I switched on the pool boiler and so I judged that it might be swimmable from tomorrow onwards.

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Thursday 30th August 1990

Catching up with care and gardening for The Hayling View with the aid of Daniel and his friends Gary and Steve after the failures of our gardener whilst we were away. Debbie went to see her precious Sundance this morning but, as there was a good hack going in the afternoon, she worked around the stables and saved him for then.

Britain were doing well in the European Athletics Championships, 237 British women and children in Iraq and Kuwait were being gathered together in a Baghdad hotel in the hope of being freed by Sadam as the UN Secretary-General Peres de Cuellar met the Iraqi Foreign Minister for "an exchange of views".

Today was a day for catching up on the gardening. Due to the poor attentions of our gardener, the garden was in a very sorry state; parched and untended. The overnight rain did a little good, but I had a mountain to climb today. Daniel had his friends Gary and Steve staying last night and so I propositioned them over breakfast and employed them for three hours each at an hourly rate of £3.50 per hour. I had Gary cutting the games lawn and then edging all of the lawns. Steve was cutting the hedges and Daniel was mowing the rest of the lawns. I concentrated on supervising them and kept them hard at it but also got them a couple of glasses of orange squash each to keep their liquids up on what became a very hot day again.

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Wednesday 29th August 1990

Our departure day, starting reluctantly with a visit to the Wroxham launderette as we enjoyed an English Breakfast at the Hotel Wroxham. We dropped into Stalham for some steel plates, dropped by Jack's house on the way back to leave them for drilling and then loaded up on a day had got very warm and humid again.

We telephoned ahead to Freda and Alf in Redgrave before visiting them and then Mum at Stanton and then made our way home to Little Paxton where the garden was in a mess and I will have to sack the gardener and get another one which is disappointing. News of a probable recall of parliament to discuss the Gulf Crisis at the request of the opposition leader, Neil Kinnock, as Ten Opec countries agree on rapid rise in oil production to fulfil Iraq/Kuwait loss. Britain win three more gold medals for a total of five so far at the European Games.

Diana was first awake on our day of departure. We were slow to get going, being reluctant to leave, really! Di had intended to get up very early and be at the Wroxham launderette to wash our sleeping bags by 7.00am but there was no chance of this. The girls were in my cabin before my drink was ready and then spent some time wrestling. The funny thing was that Della, being quite physically advanced and boisterous for a 7-year-old, was on the point of overpowering Debbie, who was somewhat restricted by being in a sleeping bag! Soon, Diana was fretting about getting off to do the washing and a peaceful bath of mine was somewhat curtailed as a result. We left after 8.00am and then found the launderette nearly empty and so there was no justification for this panic. We loaded up the machines and then went to the Hotel Wroxham for an English Breakfast.

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Tuesday 28th August 1990

A later start on another warm day after a cooler morning after which we cruised upstream with the flood tide across Breydon Water and under the Bure bridges to arrive at Stokesby for lunch at The Ferry Inn. Then back to Horning with Helen Cranston taking the helm where we met her family for some refreshment in the shade of the balcony before they left.

Relaxing with the ship’s log this evening and de-commissioning the Paxton Princess, taking off her burgees, ensign, fenders, ropes as Di packed for home after a splendid time cruising. Iraq declares Kuwait as its 19th province and Saddam suddenly announces in another TV interview that foreign women and children will be free to leave Kuwait and Iraq. 

 I was still asleep as Di got the morning drinks on. It was another warm day and we missed most of the cooler morning by being slow to get going. This did not matter as I was timing our cruise upstream to coincide with the flood tide to save fuel. We shopped for bread and things at the adjacent shop and then took off across Breydon Water at 10.00am. By listening to Channel 12 and calling, I was able to establish from the bridge-master that we had clearance without taking down our mast which was good use of the radio. There was no sign of the sea-lion this time and it must have left or been caught and taken away. We went under the Bure bridges in Yarmouth where we did have to take the mast down and we were reminded just how busy these waterways were by the sheer volume of boat traffic crossing under the bridges in a continuous stream.

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