Thursday 31st December 1992 - New Year's Eve

Mrs Vincent visited on a bitterly cold day in another panic as another neighbour’s house, The Tree House, had also been broken into and contents rifled.

Some breakfast before our guests, Mr and Mrs James and Bernice Dunham, arrived, who had bought an Ocean 42 and were planning to retire to Ropes Hill Dyke. Lunch out with my family and an evening in playing Cluedo and watching an Agatha Christie film on TV

I had exercised Sam as usual this morning when Mrs Vincent came to me in another panic and showed me how the Lawrence's house in Ropes Hill Dyke had also been broken into. Some telephone calls later, we met up with their builder and key-holder Arthur Edmunds and the police at this building (called "The Tree House") and it transpired that the TV had been stolen, drinks cabinet rifled and house ransacked which came as a shock to Mr Lawrence who was shortly due to go into hospital for an operation. Some breakfast before our guests, Mr and Mrs James and Bernice Dunham, arrived. James is looking more frail and badly affected by his rheumatism but they have just bought a new boat (an "Ocean 42") and are planning for a redevelopment of the property here to become their main home.

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Wednesday 30th December 1992

Another very hard frost with all of Ropes Hill Dyke frozen over and the peaty ground frozen solid. A visit to see Sam’s family who had not been trained and just bred for the show bench rather than working.

To Wroxham for lunch with Diana and then, as she went swimming with the girls this afternoon, I worked on. Tried to see the film "Bodyguard", with Diana but we missed getting in as the house was full but enjoyed "The Last of the Mohicans instead.

We had another Sam did well again to go through the night, but I was personally less fortunate, being restless for most of it for no apparent reason. I am now training Sam to drop to command and whistle when not actually with me and am already making some progress. It seems that the conventional wisdom is to leave off serious gun-dog training until they are over six months old, but Sam seems to respond very well and I am achieving real progress with his initial obedience training. He also likes a lot of exercise and easily makes the return trip into Horning for the newspaper every morning. He went into the shop with less fuss today and was pulling less on the lead.

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Tuesday 29th December 1992

We slept well in a snug and warm Harnser, but Della announced that she was feeling sick with a tummy ache in the middle of the night. The dyke was frozen over this morning and a thick frost was everywhere.

Another good day with Sam as I took him for a long walk into Horning for the morning paper and then by car into the noise and congestion of Wroxham later on.

It was not Sam that woke us up in the night - he slept through which is fast becoming his custom, but Della who announced that she was feeling sick with a tummy ache in the middle of the night and that was a threat that we have learnt to take very seriously! She woke us up at midnight and poor Diana had to sleep next to her on the floor. Della's real problem is an irrational fear of the dark but we bought her a night light later on so as not to get a repeat performance. Another good day with Sam as I took him for a long walk into Horning for the morning paper and then by car into the noise and congestion of Wroxham later on.

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Monday 28th December 1992

The journey to Norfolk in two cars on our 24th wedding anniversary leaving Diana with Debbie eating their lunch at the Snetterton Little Chef as I drove on to Horning with Della. Sam was excited to be back, and I prepared my goose for the freezer. More family Cluedo this evening

Sam slept through the night and gave me sufficient time to wake Diana up with a coffee and make love to her on our anniversary before he whined and disturbed us. A fairly straightforward morning getting ready for the journey to Norfolk and packing up until Steven Bloom called on me just before we were due to leave. He was returning the Rolls Royce from loan and I had really wanted it back earlier or given to Daniel after I had left but at least it was returned safely. Diana wanted to take her own car and to drive separately, being nervous at being followed, and so the journey was a bit fraught as we tried to stop for lunch. It was a Bank Holiday and so the roadside eating places were full.

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