Sunday 25th June 1989

Daniel’s friends came over to swim in our pool on a very hot day as I had news of my Dad’s cancer taking a turn for the worse and was thinking of him when I was working on John Grosvenor’s election address this evening

I started the day with a fried breakfast and was the only member of the family to have an egg! The ducks have been roaming free lately and we have been unable to get them in at night to produce enough for the others. Daniel worked on the cars, cleaning them and intended to go across to Gary’s in Cambridge for the day, but he missed one bus after another. In the end, his friends came over here to go swimming on a very hot day. I worked all day on the backlog of press cuttings, pasting them into the Little Paxton scrapbook and my career book of cuttings. I have several envelopes full of items from the end of last year and I also had to sort out my fireproof safes to find them all. I telephoned my Mum and Dad today and learnt of the distressing deterioration of my father’s ear and jaw. His ear is virtually closed and now he has a swelling by the jaw which has to be investigated by scanning prior to further operation or radiotherapy. I worked on my press cuttings this evening until John Grosvenor came around quite late and I drafted out and printed on election address for him for next Thursday’s Parish Council By-Election

Saturday 24th June 1989

Another poor night, despite an early bedtime, as it was uncomfortably warm and humid but then an enjoyable breakfast of croissants with the girls before watering and feeding chores and then mowing the games lawn after which Daniel joined me for a game of croquet. His friends came to play croquet, swim and use the outboard motor dinghy rather too enthusiastically as I worked on my photographs. The news today is of the dismissal of the Chinese party leader Xhao Ziyang, who had been conciliatory to the student protests and paid the price with his job as students are tried and executed and the ‘tank martyr’ was shot dead. Rival Asian and National Front rallies clash in Dewsbury and Peter Walker issues a challenge to the Prime Minister over early connection to the EMS as the Tory support plummets in opinion polls.

I had an earlier bedtime but still a restless sleep on a warm and humid night. I was still up as usual for a meal of croissants which the girls particularly enjoy. Then my range of watering and feeding chores before I decided to mow the games lawn. It is coming on very well but will still need more work to make it very level in years to come. I dragged Daniel out to join me after for a game of croquet. Then lunch, after which Daniel had a whole posse of youths visiting to play with. They swam, used the croquet lawn and then the outboard motor dinghy and had a good time. Unfortunately, they did each to excess and I had to have a go at them for going mad. I was sticking back the rest of the photographs used in my book into the album which took all afternoon and evening. However, I was also watching England being humiliated by Australia in the second Test Match. England captain, Gower, was making a terrible job of using his bowlers and then we could not bat for toffee. I also went out to deliver more books that had been requested for the two Little Paxton Newsagents and then I returned a number of photos to three people who had lent them for the book. I tried to get to sleep earlier again tonight. The news today is of the dismissal of the Chinese party reformist leader Xhao Ziyang, who had been conciliatory to the student protesters in Tiananmen Square and paid the price with his job.

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

Friday 23rd June 1989

After a very late night, I was tired getting up this morning on a fine day but still wrote to the local Euro election candidate and Paddy Ashdown before my press interview with Tracey Reddit of Saint Neots Weekly News. Earlier to bed this evening after replacing my book photographs in my album. Thatcher is under siege from external industrial disputes and internal dissent over EEC economic cooperation and the EMS and her Welsh colleagues urge to keep Peter Walker as Welsh Secretary.

I was very late to bed again and tired when it was time to get up this morning. I was going to do some paperwork but decided to read the mail and newspapers and then type a long letter of advice and consolation to the local Democrat Euro candidate with a copy to Paddy Ashdown. After lunch, I had a press interview with Tracey Reddit of the Saint Neots Weekly News. We chatted for a while about my book and my past career and she then took notes for a profile article to be published soon. This evening, I resumed my task of replacing the book photographs in my album and managed to get to bed by 10:30 PM for once. The opposition within the UK Conservative Party and Europe are pressing Thatcher to adopt closer EEC economic cooperation and the need to get Sterling into the European Monetary System. Michael Heseltine, Lord Plumb and others back the move. Welsh Tories have urged Thatcher to keep Peter Walker as Welsh Secretary. Growing industrial problems for British rail, the Underground and the BBC. Thatcher is under siege! Another fine day today and the same forecast for tomorrow.

Thursday 22nd June 1989

After a late night and a slow start to the day, I attended to my mail and correspondence; crafting motions and questions for forthcoming District Council agendae and then took Diana for lunch in Saint Neots before driving to my solicitors in Cambridge to discuss the Cow Lane, Godmanchester acquisition. Then to Huntingdon for a Planning Seminar for Members before back to Saint Neots for a meeting of the Southern Area District Councillors before visiting the Moughton’s of Lakefield Avenue about playing field disturbances. Directors of P&O ferries face prosecution over the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise and Thatcher faces railway, tube and dock strikes with GPs also discontent as the House of Lords defeats the government on its Child Benefit policy whilst the Bank of England spends reserves to try to maintain the value of sterling.

I was late to bed and slow to get up again and Diana and the children were already on the way and I showered and dressed on my own and then ate breakfast in the same way. This morning, I reviewed the papers and a large post and then typed out several letters on District Council business. I was putting motions and questions on the agendas of the next main Council meeting and to committees. Then lunch out with Diana in Saint Neots to compensate her for the lack of trips this week. I then embarked on a series of meetings. First, across to Cambridge to Vinters/Taylors, my solicitor, for a briefing on the contract for Cow Lane, Godmanchester. We are left with some queries on access and vacancy at possession. Then on to Huntingdon for a District Council Planning Seminar for Members. I stayed a short while in Huntingdon for a doner kebab and then drove to Saint Neots for a meeting of the Southern Area District Councillors, where the main matter was securing the election of a decent chairman after the disastrous chairmanship of Bill Longford last year.

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