Saturday 31st March 1990

I tended the conservatory plants and fish on another splendidly sunny and warm day before being collected by Pat and Percy Meyer to go canvassing in Offord and then Great Paxton. Back for tea in the lounge as we watched a pretty scary film with Della this evening before several phone calls with party colleagues organising the local elections.

News of a full-blown Poll Tax riot in Trafalgar Square as a well-attended peaceful demonstration then deteriorated into a violent protest with buildings and cars burnt, shops looted, and hundreds injured in a running battle between police and protesters. Thatcher is still protesting very loudly that there are no vacancies for the Tory leadership at the moment and is very much under pressure from all sides.       

Diana had a long lay in this morning and I got up on my own and boiled the kettle. It was another splendidly sunny and warm day and I had arranged to help Percy with canvassing the High Street areas of Offord Cluny and Great Paxton; but first I could spend a little time at home. I tended the conservatory, feeding the fish and watering the plants etc. The seedlings have germinated quite well, and we are rapidly catching up for the lateness of our sewing them. The greenflies still prevail, and I am still experimenting by introducing ladybirds to see if they will contain the infestation as I do not want to use chemicals with the fish there.

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Friday 30th March 1990

Diana and I agreed to go back home on a beautiful sunny and warm day after a cold start and we agreed to collect Della later to give us all afternoon at Heronshaw. I was working on the shed with Diana polishing the boat and ended up with the shed very high indeed pending efforts to raise the rest of the ground. A little spin in the Zodiac inflatable before putting boat and property to bed and driving home, collecting Della on the way.

Both Michael Heseltine and Norman Tebbit are sending out coded signals about standing for the Conservative Party leadership if Thatcher stands down as the Treasury spending targets for 1991/2 outlined in last week's Budget are being undermined by inflation and new poll tax reliefs. In Lithuania, Soviet troops have forcefully occupied party and government buildings

Diana and I had another debate this morning about exactly what time we should head back with Diana favouring lunchtime and me much later. In the end we agreed that I should telephone her parents and agree a time after tea for us to collect Della to give us all afternoon at Heronshaw. It was a beautiful sunny and warm day after a cold start and I got out to work on my shed at last while Diana polished the outside of the boat. I did the remaining work in fitting the braces, jacking it up and making the block foundation in the morning; and then did the cladding in the afternoon until it was all done apart from the access and trap doors. I have raised it a lot and it looks too high off of the ground but I intend to raise the garage and plot as well as Heronshaw and was doing a job that is intended to last well into the future.

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Thursday 29th March 1990

After a slow start to make the boat warm enough for Diana to rise (!), I cleaned the outside of Paxton Princess which made a great transformation. Then a meeting with RYA instructor Tom Phillips about a trip for my RYA Day Skipper Certificate, a visit from Jack Edwards and lunch with Di at the Wroxham Bridge Restaurant. A trip on the boat for fuel and a pump out and on to St Benedicts Church, Horning and back.

At a Cambridge meeting of Thatcher with West German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, they agreed to differ on the need for a closer form of European integration but found compromise in a plan for air-based nuclear weapons

We were up early but a little slow to start as I had to get up and put the heating on and boil the kettle before I could arouse Diana. I really wanted to finish off my shed today, but Diana wanted me to clean the outside of the Paxton Princess and so I relented. I went outside straight away and there was no doubt that the difference a good clean made was stunning. It was a great transformation. I had a telephone call from the Wroxham-based RYA Instructor, Tom Phillips,  and when I had nearly finished cleaning the boat, he dropped in to visit me and we looked over the boat and discussed the question of a 4-day period of tuition on my boat to the syllabus of the RYA Day Skipper Certificate. The Jack Edwards, my caretaker, dropped by with the metal braces and nails for the shed and, by the time I had introduced him to Diana and had a chat, it was quite late for our trip to Wroxham for lunch. I still took Di to the Wroxham Bridge Restaurant where we thoroughly enjoyed a roast dinner cooked and presented impeccably as usual.

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Wednesday 28th March 1990

After an early start on a rather cold and slightly showery day, , we dropped Della off at her Grandparents' house in Bar Hill on our way to Heronshaw in Norfolk. Upon arrival I repaired the old utility area floor an installed a washing machine and tumble dryer. England beat Brazil in a friendly 1-0 and only rain stopped us beating the West Indies in the second cricket test.

More publicity proving the innocence of ‘the Birmingham Six’, Relations are deteriorating in Lithuania as the fate of an estimated 1000 Red Army deserters is disputed and five Iraqi agents are arrested in a Heathrow sting trying to buy electronic triggers for nuclear bombs.

We were up early at my instigation and had packed and got ready in short order. In fact, I had loaded most things the night before which helped. We decided to have breakfast on the way and dropped Della off at her Grandparents' house in Bar Hill at 8.00am to find them both in their dressing gowns having breakfast. The journey went quite well with me trying not to speed and get too close to the car in front as Diana doesn't like that! We stopped at a Little Chef at Snetterton and had a lovely fried "early starter" breakfast which we both enjoyed. Once at Heronshaw, we unpacked the car and unloaded the automatic washing machine that we brought from home. Di was impressed with the work that I had done on the shed and in the boat-house.

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