January 1993

Another busy month with lots of time spent with my growing dog Sam and the girls. A cold, windy and stormy month in the main with floods to match but it turned mild for the last few days. I was spending as much time in Norfolk as I was at home; first with the family and then on week spells by myself, overcoming the unfortunate setback of having my car broken into and tools stolen on New Years Day.

Della had to go through a stage of being nervous at school, missing lessons and this manifested itself by her plucking her eyelashes and eyebrows out, which was scary. Diana and I talked late into the night, worried about this tendency as it was inexplicable and very disfiguring. I spent lots of time with her as she started going for walks with me and Sam on a regular basis to get her Saturday sweets from the shop and to help try to find muntjac deer in the pits.

Debbie had better news as she was given the go-ahead to remove her braces during day-time at school as she improved all of her grades on assessment and she was always hosting friends at The Hayling View. he dentist ordained a filling for Daniel who was far from happy with this, but he otherwise had a good month and we saw quite a bit of him. Poor Angela had to have a hospital check-up in Manchester about her nausea and stomach problems, but it was diagnosed as nerves. Diana got on well with her slimming at Weight-Watchers and keep fit sessions and got her belated Christmas present when I bought her membership of the A.A. with a car-based emergency telephone to go with it. We also booked an expensive fortnight's holiday in California to please her.

Despite my building work in Horning, I still spent quite a bit of time with the family with trips out swimming and to the cinema which always culminated in meals out. My mother was fine in body if weak in voice and beat the girls at "Cluedo. My own month started slowly as, in common with Diana, I had great trouble getting down to work again after the seasonal celebrations and then suffered from a kidney infection later. I was just about finishing off the odds and ends in Harnser and trying to lessen the planning restrictions. Apart from a little help, I had moved on from helping the Liberal Democrats and was shooting wildfowl and cooking game and relaxing with TV sport and restful baths after hard work.

It was a full month training for my new German Shorthaired Pointer, Sam, who developed physically, settled into much better family behaviour and learnt a great deal about taking commands and starting to retrieve and work. Elsewhere, the tragic grounding of a tanker off the Scottish coast on the south-west shore of the Shetland Islands with a complete loss of all the oil in its tanks which could yet be Britain’s worst ever environmental disaster, Prince Charles was under scrutiny after his privacy was breached and John Major was taking on national newspapers with a libel suite concerning an alleged affair.

The West were still furious over regime in Iraq as Saddam Hussein’s men ventured into Kuwait to recover equipment and the \US took to bombing mobile missiles and command centres. All hell broke out in the former Yugoslavia as the Croats resumed fighting and the peace talks went out of the window. Israel is now fretting at the prospect of United Nations condemnation and sanctions about their repression of the Palestinians.

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Sunday 31st January 1993

Exercising Sam across the Mill Meadow and then collecting Debbie from Zoe Bee’s house before taking the family to St James Church for the family service. Then some relaxation in the afternoon for once

The morning routine but this time I was up alone with the rest of the family still in bed and laying in. I took Sam across to the Mill Meadow opposite and controlled him well, despite an absolute invasion of anglers who must have arrived by coach to fish a match. Breakfast on my return. I have been eating a mixture of a new unsalted and unsweetened muesli with a smaller proportion of Jordon's sweetened crunchy cereal and I like this and think that it will be healthier. At least I have reduced my weight to 13st 13lbs in the last couple of weeks.

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Saturday 30th January 1993

Spending time with Della, taking her for walks with Sam around Paxton Pits and letting her play on my computer but still worried about her eyelash plucking removing most of the lashes from those remaining on her left eye-lid. Diana and I talked late into the night, worried about this tendency as it is inexplicable and very disfiguring.

Up early and my chores again, this time taking Della with me and Sam and seeing off Debbie at the school bus stop. On to the sweet shop and there waited outside as Della bought her weekly sweets. Then on to the pits where we all searched for muntjac deer tracks and found plenty but no sign of the animals to go with them. A long and energetic walk and then back home to rest and recuperate and Della's friend, Naomi, came round to play. Once Debbie was back from school, we all set off for The Southoe Little Chef for a quick meal and Debbie had a fit about not having been able to change and make telephone calls before she left.

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Friday 29th January 1993

A milder and drier day to walk and train Sam and then the task of packing up ready to leave for Paxton as Arthur Edmund's man had started work on building up Doris Vincent's garden, which had been nine inches under.

Then home to Paxton and a long walk for Sam across Mill Meadow. A worrying development with Della still plucking out her eyelashes and eyebrows because of some sort of neurosis. To the cinema with Di and then tired to bed after the driving and unloading.

Up early and first awake even earlier as some old lady telephoned my mobile telephone by mistake at 1.00am in the morning! Sam was whining again before breakfast, but I settled him down by telling him off and went out to him at the normal time. I took him across and up the road by the marina opposite and, for the first time, he was under control as we walked along that track and did not break any boundary unless I approved.

Then the task of packing up ready to leave for Paxton. Arthur Edmund's man had started work on building up Doris Vincent's garden by skimming off the gravel by shovel and wheelbarrow ready to pile wood shavings and bark pieces on the top. During the recent higher water, she had been up to nine inches under around the whole garden.

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