Thursday 5th April 1990

We packed up and left The Hayling View for Horning, stopping off at Stanton on the way to hear of Mum’s troubles with her electric chair and to appreciate the care given by her neighbours. Then the Norwich the drive-through MacDonalds on the way and then we arrived at Heronshaw to find Freda, Alf and Chris safely installed. Me off to complete financial transactions in Norwich as Diana settled us and our things into The Paxton Princess.

The news is of reconciliation in the air between the US and USSR over the future of East Germany, In Nepal, protesters demonstrating for democracy came under fire from troops with 50 people being killed and up to 200 wounded. The opinion polls now have Labour at 53%, 23% ahead of the Tories and a 9% rise in the last four weeks alone. There already having been two horse deaths at Aintree this week, the build of the notorious "Beecher's Brook" has been altered to improve landing and lessen the ditch that has trapped horses after falling in the past.                 

We rose at 7.00am, with me being the first to stir; showering and then working on a few jobs that I needed to do. We packed up the car with some trouble and argument as usual but we got under way at a reasonable time. We stopped on the way for a nice cooked breakfast that cheered everyone up and then drove on to visit Mum at Stanton. Whilst we were there, Alan (one of her neighbours) was doing the garden and I took the trouble to go over and appreciate the trouble that he is taking. I realised that he was also getting paid but also that people need praise and encouragement. Home-help Doris soon arrived. We had failed to see her walking up again from the village as we passed her in our car, and I am always doing that which is unfortunate. Then, after we had chatted and had coffee etc, the repair man came to look at Mum's new chair and so we took this opportunity and left. She has a brand new electric chair and is very pleased with it, but it seems to need re-charging very often and she wanted it looked at.

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Wednesday 4th April 1990

After the expected very cold night, as I made my final preparations for Norfolk, I mourned the demise of the conservatory ladybirds, overwhelmed by the aphids, and then completed my financial planning and consequent actions before calling Jack to find the Butterfields nicely settled in Heronshaw.

Then a call from the Labour leader on the District Council, Jim Lomax, after their Labour Group meeting last night, pleased that the election nomination lists had closed as a good anti-Tory line-up; giving both of our parties the best election prospects. A disappointing District Planning meeting in the evening after my campaigns for Paxton and Bury.

Reagan and Gorbachev agree to meet in May for a second summit, despite American concern over the situation in Lithuania and the first elections take place in East Germany. Leaders of Labour's 20 charge-capped councils are taking legal action to try to overturn the government's decision on the grounds of political bias.

I was tired when I went to bed last night and the bed was cold and so Diana and I snuggled together for warmth. I was a bit slow to get up this morning as Della came into my bedroom and I played with her there. I tended the plants and fish in my conservatory. I am getting trouble with sediment in the pond and may soon have to try to find a way of vacuuming it out. No sign of the Ladybirds that I introduced, and I believe that they must have either died or fled as the aphids are coming back again. The morning mail and papers and, with it, plenty of financial transactions to do which took a while. Then Di went into town to send off my BES application by DataPost, pay in lots of children’s' trust income cheques, and collect Deborah from her friend's house where she has been staying.

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Tuesday 3rd April 1990

On a colder day, with icy northern winds, with a widespread frost expected, I stayed in for much of it working on my investments before more election organising and then a late planning meeting at Pathfinder House. Caretaker Jack Edwards saw my sister Freda and her family settle in to Heronshaw and took her son Chris to the pub.

Secretary of the Environment, Chris Patten, named the local authorities to be "capped" by restriction of their Poll Tax precepts to an outcry from the opposition, as the list of 20 authorities included no Tory councils, and was condemned by The Metropolitan and County Council Associations as being politically biased. The Strangeways Prison riot was still continuing, with seven prison officers were injured, the day after Iraq's weapons threat, Israel has launched its second satellite into orbit

I had a tough day today and was not very much encouraged by the weather taking a turn for the colder with icy winds coming down from the north. I stayed in during the day, first doing some financial calculations necessary at the end of the budget year. I was all set to sell some securities to take advantage of my capital gains tax exemptions but then worked out that, with indexation, it was not worth doing. I did decide, however, to get information on the new British Airways secured tenancy scheme for which I could have up to £40,000 tax relief under the Business Expansion Scheme.

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Monday 2nd April 1990

We feel an Earthquake in Shropshire this afternoon measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale after we took the Rolls Royce in the pouring rain to P & A Wood in Essex fore service and repair. I had a planning meeting with an important item for Little Paxton on the agenda; and I made a logical and eloquent speech but the committee chose to ignore me and the vote was lost.

The Poll Tax information arrived in Government white, orange and green leaflets all with great complexity and the switchboard at Huntingdonshire District Council have been jammed with enquiries. Elsewhere, the prisoners at riot-hit Strangeways Prison in Manchester are still in control and one of the injured sex offenders has since died in hospital of his injuries; meaning murder.

Awake early again, even though I was tired and have been missing quite a bit of sleep. I dressed in sports jacket and trousers before breakfast as we were due to take my Rolls Royce to a new service dealer today. We left after breakfast, once Della was at school and Debbie was at horse-riding. It was pouring of rain which was a pity to take the Rolls Royce out but it drove well and the weather cleared up from time to time later. I drove on ahead to P & A Wood in Essex and Di followed in the Range Rover to pick me up. I got a chance to see around the place and it was full of all types of Rolls Royces - old and new. They are restoring on behalf of the manufacturer the original Silver Cloud that completed the endurance run in 1907 and gave the Rolls Royce its reputation for reliability. Also an original prototype of a Bentley. They also had the latest version of a brand new Bentley Corniche Convertible, worth £140,000. They are going to do an "Inspection and Report" and then discuss with me on Wednesday which of the items that they find are to be done at this time.

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