Thatcher prepared to send Challenger II tanks to Iraq

It was quite chilly with a heavy dew this morning but became quite sunny and warm again as the day went on as we first went across the dyke in The Jolly for a fine English breakfast in The Swan and then a look around the shops before cruising along the Horning waterfront and looking at the riverside thatched bungalow designs.

The day working on my old thatched garage walls and replacing the rotten woodwork just stopping for a sandwich lunch looking over the dyke to see an old boy fishing and two cock coots fighting over a hen. Home to find Daniel had looked after his sisters well and then typing up this last couple of days’ journal entries before bed.

The Gulf situation seem to have started to deteriorate with Thatcher planning to send British armour to the area in what I take as her opening gambit for the forthcoming election campaign

I was keen to get on, but Diana persuaded me that we should take The Jolly across to the Swan for a nice English breakfast and so we had to take time out accordingly. The engine started all right in the boathouse, and we were soon over there moored up. The Swan was very quiet as well with only four or five rooms occupied and plenty of capacity to serve ‘walk-in’ breakfast to non-residents. In fact, we had four large rashers of bacon as well as the sausage, egg, mushrooms, fried bread and tomato all accompanied by toast and coffee. We took a little look around the shops, me buying a morning paper and Di some provisions and a half-dozen pansies to put in one of the Heronshaw tubs. We met Dolly Edwards, busy doing her own shopping, and again the shops were as quiet as the other places. We extended our return across the river by cruising along the Horning riverfront to look at the thatched bungalow designs and then hurried back, changed and got down to work.

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I completed the first long side section this morning and then cleared out the garage corner and cut off the old timber to do the section that would complete the rest of the side. I had fitted most of the frame by the time I had to clear up in mid-afternoon. After all our large meals, I just had a few sandwiches for lunch and ate them while sitting on the stern cabin roof corner of the Paxton Princess and watching an old boy opposite fishing in the dyke. He had caught a couple of roach on worm but no more. I fed the coot with some of my lunch and seem to start a very noisy and violent territorial dispute with two birds, in particular, fighting by laying back on the water on their tails and wings and raising their legs to grip each other’s chest like a couple of men arm wrestling! When one was bettered, it dived underwater to try to shake the other off. This went on for ages, until I had gone well up the dyke and seem to finish with the victorious coot mating with its victim (or victim’s mate) like a duck holding it by the back of the neck underwater.

Once I had done as much work as I had time for, it was quite a job clearing up but I  put all of my tools away and packed them on board the Range Rover, before locking all of the buildings up. As we left for home, Diana telephoned a few times to see how the children were getting on, but she need not have worried as Daniel had been looking after them all right. We were back in time for her to make a cheese omelette for tea and then, after I had run round to feed and water the animals and plants and unpacked and tidied the car, I settled in front of my Mac SE 30 to type in this last two days journal. It had been a successful trip in terms of not only my practical work on the garage, but also the interest with which Di was sleeping in the old bungalow and planning a future replacement for Heronshaw.

Whilst we were away, the Gulf situation seem to have started to deteriorate after looking more settled. First, Thatcher intimates that she is planning to send British armour to the area and now the religious leader of Iran has declared a ‘holy war’ in support of Iraqi, despite the Iranian government’s studied neutrality. I see Thatcher’s tank deployments as the start of her election campaign. This evening, Di took the girls to their swimming lessons and Daniel was again able to go off in his car. It was quite chilly with a heavy dew when I started work this morning but became quite sunny and warm again as the day went on.