Thursday 20th October 1988

It was raining today, and it cleared up later, but not before I had to go out to measure up for the new pond liner before the supplier arrived. The plumbers were back, as was the conservatory designer and I just had time for some writing before my Parish Council meeting this evening. Draconian changes to the Laws of Evidence are being changed for terrorism to prevent those accused remaining silent and there is no compensation planned for Barlow Clowes investors, even though they had a UK investment license

Still late to bed last night but, at 11pm, it was not so bad as the previous night. Tired this morning as a result but was still up early enough to correct the children to get their rooms tidy it before breakfast. I was taking a cursory look at the newspaper and was pleased to note, at 8am, that the builders had arrived and were to continue bricklaying. I went out in coat and jeans in the rain and took a couple of hours to measure up to the fish pool liner, although it did clear up later. This was tricky with internal and external measurements being taken and the need to allow for further screed thickness as well. Then the rest of the morning making a clear and three-dimensional scale drawing with sections and elevations. The need is to make sure the manufacturers understand exactly what we are trying to achieve, as it is a complex three-dimensional shape to follow. No photography session for Michael Pope this morning and so I took an early lunch and then Steve Field of Avenue fisheries arrived and brought the rest of the pool equipment and took away the line drawings. He is being very helpful to me, though that I’m spending a lot of money with him!

Wednesday 19th October 1988

I was stuck inside doing finance work and reading on a marvellously warm and mild day which the builders used to good effect laying building blocks around the pool surround and I was able to join them alter to top dress the riverside lawns before going to the St Neots Museum Committee leaving Daniel at my Apple Mac. An Indian air crash kills 150 people as the latest in a spate of such incidents and the Monopolies Commission has ruled against the pricing and competition policies of British Gas

To bed very late last night, after watching an interesting TV programme on the work of John Cleese. I still had to get up early this morning, as I had to be ready for a visit by Percy Meyer to collect a few things and do some photocopying. As it turned out, I had hardly finished my breakfast when he arrived. I then read the Financial Times at length after I had a call from my stockbroker, on to the US, but keen to advise me that I shall hold onto my Glaxo shares for a while longer as the FT100 is going to rise to 1900 in the near future. The bricklayer and mates were here today, putting in the last single layer of building blocks on the pool surround and then starting the brick walls above damp proof course level. The plumber and mate also arrive later to start on the pool piping but had to leave again when they found they had the wrong fittings to connect to the bottom drain. I raked the leaves off the river garden lawns and then put down a layer of Autumn Top Lawn to add fertiliser and Carbaryl to kill the worms and leather jackets.

Tuesday 18th October 1988

The builders were completing the block work today and Frank Gadsby visited with the plumber to look at the plumbing for the pond ready for the installation of the conservatory starting next Monday. More work on top dressing the lawns on a remarkably mild day with the grass still growing as Daniel takes over my Apple Mac for a school project. 5000 civil servants walk out in sympathy for GCHQ staff after their victimisation for joining a union and a £600 million plan is announced for Britain’s air traffic control system. The government bans TV interviews with Sinn Fein and the IRA

Late to bed and reluctant to rise, having to eat breakfast in my dressing gown. After showering, dressing and shaving, I sat in the lounge for a long while reading both yesterday’s and today’s newspapers. I was waiting for the builders who arrived quite late. They finished the pond block sides today and I think they will now continue with the brick walls to be ready for the installation of the Frost conservatory from next Monday. Frank Gadsby came by with a plumber to show him the pipe runs, and they went off to Sandy to talk to the pull people to ease their confusion! After lunch, I went out to join Pete who was mixing get more top dressing. I spread a half-dozen more Barrow falls onto the front garden lawns and one more day will see them finished.

Monday 17th October 1988 – Di’s 40th birthday

Di’s birthday had been celebrated yesterday and so today we worked on other matters; with me in the office learning operations on the Macintosh, then this afternoon applying more lawn top dressing before this evening driving to Huntingdon to observe the HDC finance committee meeting, which was a poor one, and then chasing our FOCUS deliveries tonight.  The pond construction progresses well on a dry day and soon the conservatory work will begin. Strange scenes at the Heysel Disaster Court hearings and a crazier-still aircraft crash at Rome airport with a Ugandan plane flying blind, which killed 31. Health Minister Clark refuses to meet the nurses.

We had really celebrated Di’s birthday yesterday, but today was her actual 40th and she received one card with an ‘I am 40’ badge on it just to prove the point! On time to breakfast of wheat flakes and then I forsook the Financial Times and went to my office and learnt operations on the Macintosh, which went quite well. I did have to call Bill Walston at one point to get help in enabling the printer but otherwise it was straightforward if complex. Worked most of the morning at the computer before lunch; then this afternoon spreading many barrows of top dressing on the riverside and front garden lawns. Still there is most of the front lawn to do before we can return to the games lawn. After tea, I drove to Huntingdon for the HDC Finance Committee meeting. I was only an observer.