Friday 22nd February 1991

A milder day, with all traces of snow disappearing as a strong wind and showers developed from the south-west. Booking our US holiday flights and working at home with Pat and Percy on LibDem FOCUS copy as the US Gulf Ultimatum expires

To bed quite early last night but still a little tired this morning. I also retained that stiffness in my back (as I try to sit up first thing in bed each day) in sufferance for my exertions this last week. To breakfast after Debbie had gone to school, but Della was still here as she completed her week's half-term school holiday. I settled down to sort the rubbish from my desk and then made and received a number of telephone calls with my colleagues about local political activity and publicity.  Then I settled down with Diana to make some telephone calls about booking our US holiday during which we compared prices on the various methods of going and staying. The effect of the Gulf War and the recession has curtailed travel plans and now the airlines are beginning to offer special deals. For North-West Airlines, for example, the return flight costs would be £1424 rather than the £3082 for British Airways. In the end, however, we opted to fly British Airways on a direct route to avoid the delays of stopping off elsewhere and also to allay the security concerns of Diana and Angela's family.

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Thursday 21st February 1991

A day supervising the building work and catching up with my journal and many private affairs whilst hosting a cane furniture’s photograph visit in our conservatory. This evening to a meeting of the Parish Council Amenities Committee who supported my plans for extending the Village Hall. The Gulf news is of first Saddam Hussein broadcasting defiance to his domestic audience about being ready for "The mother of battles.

Up at a reasonable time again but further troubled with aches and pains. I got out quite early to do my chores, feeling guilty that I had failed to feed the doves yesterday with all of my rushing about. The plumber came today to finish off and the builder was also busy at his work again. He seems to be struggling to complete the job today but at least I had let him know in writing what he was letting himself in for. By mid-afternoon, I had paid him, and he was gone which just left the electrician and the carpet-fitter to follow. It was milder today and we actually had a rain shower early on. Diana went to do her Waitrose shopping in the morning as I worked in my office, catching up on this last week's journal.

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Wednesday 20th February 1991

No rest for me as, despite my exertions from recent days, I had just a short time to review my mail and council papers before undertaking three press and radio interviews and hosting Percy and Sally to prepare for our afternoon Full Council meeting of the HDC which went well considering.

Once back, off again to make up the quorum for a re-scheduled parish planning meeting and then once home, a long call with Freda about her Redgrave Stores business and the need for proper accounts. Still no reply from Iraq and the bloody ground war seems less than a day or two way now.

There was again no rest for me as today I had to quickly plan and implement our party's contribution to the Full Council meeting of the HDC. Tired and late up from all of my exertions, I had the added problem of a body full of the muscular aches and pains to cope with. Furthermore, I have hands sore with scratches and scrapes that also need to recover. At least I am fitter and a little slimmer from the experience. A short time to review the most urgent of my mail; to undertake three press and radio interviews and the shortest of periods to review the council papers before Percy and Sally had arrived to join me for a group meeting to plan our afternoon. We worked out a good plan of campaign and then drove off together and had a pre-meeting lunch at Pathfinder House before the meeting began.

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Tuesday 19th February 1991

A final hard-working day in Horning, breaking up the ice in the dyke to take the Paxton Princess to Barnes in Wroxham where I had located the Range Rover to be able to return to Heronshaw. The tiring task of draining the house water system to avoid burst pipes next time  and then driving back home to Paxton for a quick turnround for a S.W. Cambs Executive meeting of the constituency Liberal Democrats in to Cambridge. We were still waiting for Saddam Hussein's response to the Soviet peace plan.

This was yet another full hard-working day, the last of my "working" holiday. I had stayed up late the day before to tidy up the boat and bungalow and so was reluctantly up early to start work this morning. The ice in the dyke was remaining stubbornly and so I had a major ice-breaking job ahead of me. I first loaded up the car with excess items that were not needed before starting the job. By use of a large timber for the thicker ice and an old oar for the thinner stuff, I first broke up the ice within reach of the boat and then started the boat engines to edge out backwards breaking the ice as I went.  This was a very slow and ponderous business, and I enjoyed a welcome break when Jack came by and offered to give me a lift back from Wroxham after I had located the Range Rover there.

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