Sunday 17th February 1991

After another hard frost, I worked all day on the boat alarm and monitoring system and learnt that Della’s new teeth were forming. Iraq's Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz, arrives in Moscow for talks over a new Soviet peace plan just as the Royal Air Force had to admit that some of its bombs fell into civilian areas

There was another hard frost again last night, but this reverted to a slow thaw today. I achieved the commissioning of the engine-room sensors, front bilge level warning and gas/vapour detector and then plumbed in and tested the gas valve cut-off and was pleased to see that it was working perfectly. During my telephone call home tonight, I learnt that Della's "sticking-out tooth" had fallen out today which is the first step in allowing her remaining teeth to straighten nicely. One compensation with the loss of trees next door is that my cellular telephone reception is much improved, and I am therefore better able to keep in touch with the outside world.

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Saturday 16th February 1991

Up to a considerable thaw on a much brighter and milder day and Jack came round and I took some addresses for following up on the Mr Lincoln incident. Off to the shops for materials, grocery, and some fried plaice for lunch and then I worked from mid-afternoon until bedtime on my projects and then had a hot bath and bedtime drink before falling asleep. Iraq's offer to withdraw "with conditions" is rejected as "a sham" by US President Bush.

We had quite a thaw on what proved to be a much brighter and milder day. A dredger had broken a channel along the dyke, and it was beginning to look much more hopeful that I would soon be able to get the Paxton Princess out. Jack came round this morning with names of a man in Racing Reach who had been complaining before about the activities of Mr Lincoln in avoiding planning constraints and that of the local councillor. I telephoned them both later and obtained a positive and helpful response and I will now have to write letters when I get back. I spent some time measuring up for the remaining materials needed to complete the garage work and listed other things I needed for the boat work.

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Friday 15th February 1991

Steve was up first and made the breakfast and then helped me progress the Paxton Princess wiring but he was distracted and worried about his problems at home and wanted to get back, so I took him to the station. Late today Iraq offered to withdraw from Kuwait but a string of unacceptable conditions was attached. I tackled Mr Lincoln about leaving logs in the drainage ditch and got an earful of abuse and then threats from his younger colleague.

Steve was up first and made the breakfast. He was a bit scathing on the lack of any cooker at the bungalow and we had to settle for Oat Bran Flakes. It was back to work again, but Steve was understandably distracted with wanting to get back to tackle some of his problems. He is another casualty of the recession; with the sale of his house in jeopardy and job lost through redundancy, which is a shame. By now, I was expecting Diana and the girls to be coming up to join me on the boat for a few days but, with the dyke and river iced-up and weather freezing cold, she was opting to stay at home and watch over the builders working on the Hall/Utility area. It was intended that Steve be able to borrow her car to get back for the weekend, but I took him to Wroxham to catch the train home instead.

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Thursday 14th February 1991

By thawing out the drainage pump, Heronshaw was now fully functional and so Steve and I worked on the Paxton Princess, installing an alarm system and then getting some fish and chips for tea. On the laptop, we plotted a course from Yarmouth to Harwich for Steven

The following morning, we found the bungalow floor still very wet, but had managed to thaw out the drainage pump and sump which meant that at least the property was fully-functional. We were getting organised and so started work on the boat. Steven noted a fault and so re-wired and improved the sound of the boat stereo which was much improved as a result. I got under-way with installing the boat alarm system and then we both went to Wroxham to do some more shopping and to get some fish and chips for tea.

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