1991

A year of weather extremes, hot and cold, and of travel, friendship, with political, relationship and family developments as Daniel went off to UEA and the girls were doing well at school and me progressing property plans but against a background of a nation under stress and in the face of personal disaster as Della had her accident, being run over by a car as she left the school bus in Gordon Road! Her nursing and recovery was a tough process.

It was a tough year for colds and ‘flu as well and we all suffered with that. We had enjoyed a good time in California in the spring, when our holiday in San Francisco brought back the memories of all our past Californian pleasures and we also had a long cruise along the UK East coast and up to York on The Paxton Princess. I still found time to have a grand shooting trip to my Broubster estate in Scotland with Nigel.

Di’s parents had their health issues and my sister Freda was a cause of concern in her new retail role due to inexperience and failing health and because her and Alf were slow to accommodate Mum at Redgrave. As well as completing improvements to The Hayling View, I was planning the renovation and development at Heronshaw as well. Much work was done on my Range Rover, Rolls Royce and Reliant with all three then in working order.

In terms of local politics, and despite the problems, my Liberal Democrats carried all before them during the year with me organising them, getting our Mayor elected in St Neots after we took over the administration and I was leading the enlarged opposition to my local Tory Council’s plans for the Poll Tax. I was busy organising other local institutions such as Little Paxton Parish and local committees gaining grant funding and still opening fetes and jumble sales for good local causes including the Village Hall. I contributed to the formation of a LibDem printing company, Glisson Printers Ltd, as their Company Secretary upon incorporation.

Back home, the age-old problems of Ireland are still brought to prominence due to the violence of the extremists and half of Europe is in economic chaos and the major economies elsewhere running out of steam. Add the homeless to the jobless and there is misery in even better measure for this society is as divisive and class-ridden as ever it was. The IRA made life difficult for city commuters by first attacking shopping centres with incendiary bombs and then shutting down the London train and underground stations with bomb warnings.

The gigantic significance of the latest 'Russian Revolution' at the end of the year that left all in confusion, and there was the Gulf War at the start of it as the war-makers won over the peacemakers leaving oil wells ablaze and a huge oil spill started growing and spreading southwards along the western coast of the Gulf from an off-shore oil terminal and scuttled tankers with this oil slick then threatening the regions drinking water by clogging the Gulf sea-water intakes of its de-salination plants.

The inevitability of war in Yugoslavia between the Croats and the Serbs. In India, Rajiv Ghandi, leader of the Congress party was assassinated just like his mother, Indhira, had been. The EEC negotiations at Maastrict, with the Major government being dragged into closer European unity with great reluctance on economic and foreign policy.

Still 1991 brought more of the modern "opium of the people" - Television - with satellite and cable versions adding to this popular form of escape whilst social life declines in tandem with it and the rise of the motor car. Against this background, it will be my aim to keep all things in perspective, to read and relax with fine pastimes and to guide my family, friends (and all to whom I am council) through this increasingly complex maze of life for these are surely difficult and confusing times in which we live.

** "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **