Monday 10th September 1990

With Daniel tired after a late night and Debbie happily off to school on the bus, I could just do my conservatory and garden chores, undertake telephone calls and do administration on my financial affairs and book sales. I arranged to host  a dinner party fpr later in the month and then went to St. Neots in late afternoon to do some payments and transfers, post my letters and got some stamps and a few items of office equipment that I was needing.

This evening to Kimbolton School for a meeting of the Kimbolton School Society Committee, which went on quite late.  President Samual Doe of Liberia was captured, injured and killed by torture after his visit to the West African Peacekeeping HQ was overwhelmed by rebels, Bush is home in the US with glowing reports of his meeting with Gorbachev and the number of refugees leaving Jordan now exceeds the flood coming in from Iraqi and Kuwait. Irishman Keenan, a former Lebanese hostage, has spoken of seeing British hostage, Terry Waite.

Daniel had stayed out late last night to watch his friends bowling etc. and was paying for his intemperance this morning; being very tired and crotchety when called for breakfast. The rest of us were up and about and Debbie was again got off to school without a fuss. I managed my conservatory and garden chores and Daniel had mowed the games lawn yesterday and so it was looking very nice for a change. I made a start updating this last couple of days’ journal and then made some telephone calls and undertook administration on my financial affairs and book sales. I dealt with the most urgent outstanding matters and also arranged a dinner party for later in the month, which is a small effort to return the very many social events that we get invited to and take advantage of.

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Sunday 9th September 1990

I rose tired after last night with aching legs from an evening of energetic dancing and the rest of the family came to the table in their night things. Then I went off for a political meeting in Cambridge, dropping her off at Great Staughton for her special morning’s horse-riding hack on a friendly farmer’s fields and organising to put Sundance out with the other ponies kept there for a ‘rest week’.

The meeting had been called to for organisers to discuss the Liberal Democrat strategy for the forthcoming General Election for which it was agreed to target Cambridgeshire North-East for victory but I struggled to get them to unite against the Tories and cooperate with Labour. The afternoon and evening pasting cuttings of Little Paxton news in my scrapbook. It was a lovely day today – cool overnight but then sunny and barmy which made it very pleasant just to wander around the gardens this evening.

The Gulf Summit had gone well with accord on all points of current policy but others were resisting the US and Britain stance ‘reserving the right’ to invade Kuwait without the further endorsement of the United Nations

I was tired after last night; not only with loss of sleep, but also with aching legs etc., from an evening of energetic dancing. I was still the only one up and dressed for our traditional Sunday fried breakfast and the rest of the family came to the table in their night things. I tended the conservatory plants fish and doves and then took Debbie with me as I went off for a political meeting in Cambridge. I dropped her off at Great Staughton for her morning’s horse-riding hack. She had arranged with a riding companion and her mother to ride around the farmland opposite which was a special concession as a friend knew the farmer very well. I drove on to Cambridge and met representatives from four of the Cambridgeshire constituencies.

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Saturday 8th September 1990

Awake feeling a bit chilly, as the days are warm but the nights cool, to comfort poor Di as she was struggling with a period and finding the return home and organising the children quite a strain. Then a morning of paperwork, updating my journal and working on correspondence and financial matters. Later, once Debbie was home from her Saturday morning school session and Daniel from his eye test, I took them all quite late to a disappointing lunch with cold food and poor service at Tooks in St Neots Market Square. This evening, Diana and I went to the village hall for a barn dance featuring the Paragon Quadrille band of ancient and traditional instruments to celebrate our friend Eric Young’s 40th birthday.

News tonight of the eve of summit preparations for the Bush/Gorbachev meeting on the Gulf which seems to be going well. More women and children allowed out of Iraqi/Iran, but they tell of being interrogated to reveal the whereabouts of their husbands and fathers.

I was awake at 7am, feeling a bit chilly. We are now into a spell where days are warm but the nights cool and it is difficult to have the right amount of bedding as a result. Poor Di was struggling this morning. She is having a menstrual period and finding the return to home quite a strain, having to remember things and organise the children who kept forgetting their belongings that they need for school. I relieved her tensions by rubbing her tummy, back and breasts first thing and we had time to chat a little. I was therefore late down to breakfast and had to do my morning tasks after the meal. I then started a morning of paperwork, updating my journal first and then working on correspondence and financial matters. I wrote to our new gardener confirming his appointment and to the unsuccessful candidate as well. Lastly, I updated the job centre on what I was doing.

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Friday 7th September 1990

A slow start to the day, feeling quite stiff after my practical work at Heronshaw so I got Daniel to do some gardening work to earn money as I hosted the morning’s political visits of  Percy Meyer and Sally Guinea and received a decorator who I contracted to decorate the outside of The Hayling View for £2,200.  I also interviewed two gardeners and chose Mt Tee.

After Di collected Debbie from her horse riding, I took them both over to Kimbolton Castle to join a St Neots Local History Society historical tour of the place conducted by our children’s English master and local historian, Mr Stratford.

More of the British women and children from occupied Kuwait came home in convoy today but were very sad and reluctantly left their husbands and fathers behind. It was cool and very windy today and it then rained after dusk which has been a rare occurrence lately

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I had a slow start to the day but was still down and ready in time for breakfast. I was feeling quite stiff after my practical work at Heronshaw but felt a little better after a shower and hair-wash before breakfast this morning. Some little time on my morning routine, but I still did everything including watering the hanging baskets, even though the weather had changed. Daniel did some gardening work to earn money as he needed it to be able to go out with his friends in the evening. His work on the lawns was less than perfect, but at least they were cut.