Thatcher announces armoured deployment in the Gulf as her first move in her next election campaign almost diverting attention for the latest increase in domestic inflation which is 10.6% the highest figure since the early 1980s

On a still, mild and dry day, gardener Brian Tee starts early, housekeeper Joan advises us of her plans to leave the following week, and the regional service manager of British Gas (Eastern) visits to promise rectification after poor service. A long day for me working on a range of administrative matters.

The British government is sending 6,000 troops and 120 tanks to the Gulf by diverting an armoured brigade from West Germany to Saudi Arabia to divert attention from the latest increase in domestic inflation which is 10.6%, the highest figure since the early 1980s, and we now have a record balance of payments deficit, high inflation, and rising unemployment as well as a shrinking economy in real terms!

I had a little trouble getting to sleep last night because of the heating trials making the house too warm and was then very reluctant to wake up. When I came down to breakfast in my night things, I found that Daniel had not come down at all! Brian Tee, the new gardener, arrived earlier today at 8am but fortunately I had just asked Diana to open the shed for him as I have not heard anything from Mark Bowles and am therefore lacking the spare key. I was dressed soon after and tending to the plants, fish and doves in turn and was then well at work in my office when Joan came. I chatted with her as she had told Diana she was leaving as our housekeeper next week. Diana was quite pleased as he wants to try to have a go at keeping the place clean herself and now wants the additional privacy. Joan will be working on a full-time basis at an underwear manufacturer in St Neots as a ‘presser’ as she needs the extra money. It is sad to see her go after nine years with us.

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I had a visit in mid-morning from the regional service manager of British Gas (Eastern) and his assistant following my complaint about the standard of workmanship achieved on our new boiler installation. They will now be returning on Monday to try to make amends and to put things right. A long day working on a range of administrative matters. I had to fill in about 16 forms for reorganising my National savings investments for not only Diana and I can, but all of the children’s and family trusts as well. Then a range of correspondence, an audit of my outstanding work and some messages for action, before finishing with the necessary filing. This went on all afternoon and evening with an hour’s break until late, but it was a good job well done. The break was to pay Mr Tee for this week’s gardening work, have tea and then to light and control a bonfire as we were becoming overrun with vegetation that is not suitable for composting.

The news today is of the British government sending 6,000 troops and 120 tanks to the Gulf by diverting an armoured brigade from West Germany to Saudi Arabia. Even the USA only has 200 tanks there but are believed to be bringing that up to 1,000. This news (which I take as Thatcher’s first move in her next election campaign) almost diverts attention for the latest increase in domestic inflation which is 10.6%, the highest figure since the early 1980s. Now we have a record balance of payments deficit, high inflation, and rising unemployment as well as a shrinking economy in real terms. Such an economic disaster! Today was still mild and dry and we had to have the sprinklers and again to try to stop the lawn from going brown.