Wednesday 28th February 1990

Worries this morning over Debbie’s treatment at the Offord riding stables but at least our tree was made safe by lopping in a lull before the winds returned. Lighting a log fire brought cheer to my office, where Di accompanied me as I caught up on my journal and other work.

Then a much more enjoyable Little Paxton Village Hall meeting this evening. Dan was preparing for his driving test next Wednesday and Debbie has her Kimbolton Entrance Exam on Saturday so a big week ahead.    

I was very tired this morning after yet another late night. Meetings going on after 10.00pm are a real trial. Even so, I was awake at 7.00am and so went down to have my morning tea and a chat with Diana. She is pretty worried and depressed about the riding stables and their behaviour in being awkward over lights and other facilities. There was a lull in the stormy winds and the tree fellers arrived and took off the four largest branches from the overhanging oak tree. They did a reasonable enough job and I paid them £100 in cash; one of them having to climb the tree with ropes and a harness and saw them off by hand. I was relieved later because the respite from the wind was brief indeed and the winds returned.

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Tuesday 27th February 1990

The storm continued, threatening our conservatory by dangerously sawing a nearby tree and the poor people of Towyn, on the Welsh coast, fell victim to a lake of sea water after their defences were breached with up to 3000 being accommodated.

I worked on this latest burdensome Focus copy and Diana again tussled with Fiona over Debbie’s accommodation of Sundance at the stables. A problematical meeting of Buckden School Governors this evening, fears over the new Government Student Loans scheme and a 10% fall in Japanese Share values at one time completed a difficult day. 

I slept soundly, even though the winds were still howling and we had not managed to get the tree lopped yet. It is so unbalanced and swings around violently in the wind and threatens the conservatory which could be demolished by a fall. After getting up and having breakfast, I had to resume work on the FOCUS - this time on the advertising copy that we are doing for the first time. Percy came around and proof-read the leaflets as I worked on the computer ads, but it took me all morning to finish the job. The trouble was trying to get the right things in the right places and imagining how the final page would look. We tried very hard to please everyone and had the alterations to do and ads to move from one sheet to another. I created an Offords/Buckden sheet as well and had to lay that out. By lunchtime, I was very tired and had just about finished. Percy then took the result over to Cambridge and got it organised for printing on Friday.

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Monday 26th February 1990

A very busy day working on my FOCUS newsletters as we experienced a violent storm with torrents of rain, killing 14 in this country and 35 across Europe. Diana was suffering very badly with an infected throat and I had to go to the surgery in the afternoon to get my foot re-dressed. Soviet troops are leaving Czechoslovakia, another historic landmark.

Today was a very busy day for me but it started with the distraction storm force winds blowing violently and tearing at us. Then came a torrent of rain that was too much for the gutters and was penetrating the windows on the windward side of the house. The radio reports were of more deaths and destruction with trees and masonry falling onto people and killing them: 14 die in this country and 35 across Europe. Routes were blocked by lorries and buses falling over and leaving the road and I was glad that I no longer have to drive for my living or even go out if I do not want to.

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Sunday 25th February 1990

A slow start after a poorer night enjoying our friend breakfast and then utilizing the finer weather which was not due to last. Daniel cleaned the car but was thwarted by droppings from a flock of birds soon afterwards, I got down to FOCUS writing and editing but was interrupted by neighbouring LibDem organisers coordinating campaigns and again raising with me the subject of standing for parliament and then by Steve Bloom with some boating plans. A social afternoon for the family as the wind was getting up and a severe gale warning imminent. The Sąjūdis independence movement of Lithuania has won the first multi-party elections ever in the Soviet Union                  

A bit slow to get going today after Diana could not sleep so well with her sore throat. We enjoyed our nice fried breakfast on a day that started fine but with a forecast that said this better weather was not to last too long. I got Daniel out cleaning the car for the first time in a while, but he was demoralised when he had finished by yet another flight of birds coming over and messing all over it! We have been often blessed with this recently and our conservatory bears obvious witness to this. It seems to be one of the repercussions of having an excellent nature reserve in Paxton.

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