Sunday 17th January 1993

Many training sessions and log walks for Sam this morning and time to practice my air rifle shooting as well. A more relaxing afternoon reading yet another book about gundog training and then an evening watching TV and updating my journal for yesterday and today.

The papers published a transcript of a private conversation between The Prince of Wales and a mistress today in the latest outrageous breech of privacy and now the government must legislate.

Diana woke me up at 7.30am after a late night but I was still able to shower and get dressed and ready before the dog woke up at 8.15am. I took Sam on several long walks today and gave him some more obedience lessons - this time on sitting on command at a distance and also on not "nibbling" hands and gloves when offered. It was an altogether milder day and the wind had dropped and, after breakfast and doing the chores, I got out my hunting air rifle and shot starlings and sparrows out of the oak tree and hawthorn bushes in my riverside garden.

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Saturday 16th January 1993

More time training Sam today before an afternoon watching an exciting game of international Rugby Union on TV, seeing England just beat France at Twickenham.

I took Di to Bedford cinema where we saw the new Richard Attenborough film, "Charlie Chaplin", which was a good, if sad, dramatic portrayal of his life and times which was in the epic tradition.

Some more time with Sam today, trying to teach him more about obedience despite his youth. Was still rather upset at my accident to my favourite "poop-scoop" and resorted to sticking it together with Superglue but with little expectations of the repair lasting. The afternoon watching an exciting game of international Rugby Union on TV, seeing England just beat France at Twickenham in a closely fought opening match in the Five Nation Championship. Debbie had a friend, Zoe Bee, round later to play for a while and we thought that she was going to stay until after 8.00pm but she was gone sooner, allowing me to take Diana out for the evening. I took her to Bedford cinema where we saw the new Richard Attenborough film, "Charlie Chaplin", which was a good, if sad, dramatic portrayal of his life and times which was in the epic tradition.

Friday 15th January 1993

I awoke earlier and managed to walk Sam before he messed his run but then had a worry as my ‘poop scoop’ had broken and I had to rush off to buy another. There were more gales and rain today and so, after a long walk for him along the Crabbett's Marsh, I loaded up the car and headed home.

A quiet afternoon and evening, servicing Diana and finding out her news, tending to Sam and then updating these last two days' journal.

There were more gales and rain as I used the alarm radio this morning and was ahead of the game and washed, shaved and dressed when Sam started up. He still had to wait until after I had eaten my breakfast before he got his but did so without fuss after being told. In fact, he was particularly good as his run was clean and then, after eating, he relieved himself three times in the approved area so that the "poop-scoop" seemed to weigh a pound heavier when he had finished! I still marvel just how much goes through a growing puppy of this size and how much lighter and more comfortable they must be after episodes like this. A long walk for him along the Crabbett's Marsh sawdust road and several opportunities to practise him staying as I walked ahead quite long distances. Between times, he enjoyed galloping along the soft track which is kind on his young feet and legs. We met Doris Vincent on the way and he still jumps up at her but I shall teach him not to.

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Thursday 14th January 1993

More Gales and rain today as I carry on training Sam work inside, fitting the larder, airing and stairs cupboard doors. In Iraq, the Allied raids were some 50% successful in knocking out mobile missiles and command centres but the whole idea of "exclusion zones" is not covered by direct U.N. mandate anyway.

There were more gales and rain this morning and so I was slow waking up again. Sam woke me up and so performed the task normally left to my alarm/radio when it is set. It was after 8.30am before I got to Sam and his run was quite messy by then. More long walks for him today and I saw the owner of the stylish Afghan hound again, still wearing her pink "play-suit" and said "hello". Sam is performing a ‘stay’ quite well as I walk away and increased the time and distance greatly.

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