Friday 19th February 1988

To Bedford today for a family photographic session and then some shopping for car servicing pools and equipment before lunch with some of Debbie’s friends. Di and the girls off to St Neots indoor pool as Daniel came back with me to work and anti-fouled the hull of his cruiser as I carried on painting the Reliant. More history research calls about Wray House and late up writing this journal. More trouble in Ulster, Edwina Currie, Junior Health Minister  gets bags of flour and rotten tomatoes when visiting Glasgow University as students protest over the NHS

Awoke quite early this morning and went down in search of my drink. Stayed there to have my breakfast in pyjamas and then had to rush to get ready. The children being on their school half term holiday, we had decided to all go into Bedford together for a family photograph session. Got out OK in the end and made good time to park in the Lurke Street car park and arrived at the photographers when they opened at 9.00am. Some nice poses and we shall soon see the results. Elsewhere in Debenhams after for our morning drinks and then we each went our separate ways to do some shopping. I made for Halfords and bought a whole lot of car servicing tools and equipment and we all met back at the car park. The drive via local villages to collect two of Debbie's friends and then off together to the Happy Eater for an early lunch.

Thursday 18th February 1988

More work on my Reliant after meeting Connie Morris in St Neots buying the paint and then jacking it up to remove the wheels for restoration before on to the riding stables with Debbie who rode Flint who was quite a handful. The children broke up for their half term holiday today. The Ford workers have accepted the latest pay offer and now Land Rover have last-ditch talks to avoid a strike. The Midland Bank has lost half a billion pounds affecting the stock exchange and more  trouble in the Middle East as a US Lt Colonel is kidnapped  and Neil Kinnock sees injured Palestinian youths in the refugee camps there

Slept well last night and woke slowly. Rather late down to breakfast, collecting my newspaper on the way. Read it afterwards and went through my mail. Only thing of interest was my Reliant Club member’s card and last newsletter. A sad tale within it of somebody’s two Reliant vans being destroyed in a fire, but more encouraging news of a range of spares that could be available. Later this morning I drove into St Neots to get some more paint from the motor shop, and Exchange and Mart, and some petrol for the car. I met one of my old ladies, Mrs Connie Morris, from North Lodge, in town and chatted to her for a while. Home and then sprayed my Reliant mudguard again, before and after lunch. Then I jacked up the back of the van and put the ramps underneath, then jacked up the front and got Daniel to help me remove the front wheel. Black hammerite smooth paint was used to paint this wheel and fittings, after thoroughly sanding them all down.

Wednesday 17th February 1988

After a late breakfast of boiled eggs on a very cold morning, I was working on my bank statements, more of the Little Paxton history project and the painting of my Reliant van acquisition. More controversy over the handling of investigations in Ulster, some doubts over the outcome of Ford pay negotiations and a demonstration took place ‘for peace’ in London today

Slept soundly and it was very cold when I was woken with my morning tea. There had been a fair frost today, as the high pressure stays around, but at least it meant another bright and sunny day. A bit late to breakfast, but our boiled eggs were overdone anyway. Straight after, I sat in my office in the slanting sun and read today’s paper. Later, as there was nothing in the post, I sat at my desk and reconciled my bank account statements. Then, I eventually got back to my word processor. I started the editing of The Grove chapter and had to break off at lunchtime. Another salad to help my figure.

Tuesday 16th February 1988

Some time with Diana first thing this morning for our belated Valentines Day before her day to see her parents in Cambridge and return to entertain her friends here for lunch. Daniel’s career advice looks good. More work on the book today and visualising the era when it was Heddings’s manor in our Hayling View spot overlooking the river. Nurses’ picket lines outside 30 hospitals, some movement on the Ford’s strike and more provocative moves against terrorism in Ulster,  as Primary Fever starts between Dole and Bush in the US

I awoke very early this morning, turned over and found Diana still in bed, and celebrated a delayed Valentine’s day before getting up. I made the morning tea for me and coffee for Di and took it up on one of our tray/tables. I had also brought a spare jug of coffee, so that Di could have her morning ‘caffeine fix’, and we sat and chatted for a while. We do not usually get much chance without the children around. The children had their drinks brought and so Di could sit in bed with the girls for a change. Daniel did not appreciate being woken so early. I got a flying start to my shower and shave and was nearly ½ hr early for breakfast! Managed to read the newspaper before the meal. After the post had arrived and with it the forms for registration VXD1 for the Range Rover. I quickly tended to them, so that Di could post it back as she went out. It was her day to go to Cambridge and she came back early after lunch to entertain her friends – Pat and Helen – in the house, which was nice.