Tuesday 16th August 1988

A further day replacing the glass windows in The Lady and applying more protective varnish to her superstructure and also buying a large-framed Raleigh Chiltern bike from St Neots and riding it home. This as Daniel and friends entertain more girls in the pool and my girls are hosting Amy and Katherine for the night sleeping in a tent! The nurses sisters’ pay dispute is resolving, Nelson Mandela’s health is an issue, the US election conventions are a sad theatrical spectacular as ever but this year in sweltering conditions as it was 97degF in New York today, the 35th day over 90degF!

A rather chilly, but very clear and bright night, that had Diana feeling too cold. Awoke to my morning tea and then, after breakfast of ‘French toast’, I went out to the river garden. I set up the hoses and sprinklers to water the games lawn from both taps and left them to play all day, moving them regularly to give a good soaking. I shall cut the lawn tomorrow and we will see how much I have enabled it to recover from the yellow strips of a week ago. Another fine, warm and sunny day, ideal for varnishing. I had to dry The Lady off, as I had left it without a cover overnight and a dew had formed. Then I gave the entire sliding roof (exterior mahogany surfaces) a coat of varnish by coffee and another by lunch, as the hot sun dried it well. We all went to town then, and I took the three front windscreen sections to Hunts Glass to get some laminated glass of the right size.

Monday 15th August 1988

I was taking advantage of the warm and sunny weather to work on The Lady’s woodwork, as my neighbours were enjoying their riverside gardens, Daniel & Steve were hosting girlfriends in our pool and on his boat and Debbie and Della were hosting friends Amy and Katherine and swam all day. An overheating economy is worrying the markets, authorities are under the spotlight over chid abuse and pollution, postal workers have voted to strike and Enzo Ferrari dies, aged 92

Up several times during the night and to the toilet. First, too warm, and then, too cold, and so did not get a full night’s sleep. A fretful breakfast, trying to read my paper. The girls are getting very naughty these days, playing me up and being egged on by Daniel. I read a little of Saturday’s paper, in which the gurus are becoming quite nervous about the stock exchange. Out to The Lady on another fine day and first took off the tarpaulin that had been protecting her all yesterday. Then I sanded down all the varnish that had hardened in the interim and pieced back together the sliding door surround channels. I screwed them into place using Seelastic to seal them against the weather and it took all afternoon, as well as the morning, to complete this job. My Gordon Road neighbours were well in evidence again on this fine day. Now that Eddie & Stella have filled in their river frontage and turfed it, they share the amenity with not only their next door neighbour, Jenny and Jim, but also with the new owners of No 39, with whom Jenny & Jim seem to be great friends. Di and I are pleased that we sold our old house to suitable people after it was previously let to all and sundry.

Sunday 14th August 1988

Rolls Royce Enthusiast Club day trip to Mill Farm, Happisburgh, for a barbeque and beach party in the heat without air-conditioning as diplomatic efforts to free Iranian hostages grow, as does the row about British soldiers number-plates making them vulnerable in Germany with Sein Fein applauding the recent attacks

Awoken this morning with Della on one side, bouncing around, and my morning tea and Diana on the other. The process of getting up, washed, dressed and to the breakfast table, then we loaded up the Rolls Royce and prepared for our day trip to Happisburgh. We had intended to leave at 8.30am, but it was 9.00am before we were ready. Even then, the journey to the farm on the Norfolk coast took us 3 ¼ hrs. We started with the hood down and dressed up in warm clothes (at Diana’s insistence) and then used a number of back roads through the Gransdens to make the slower travel more interesting. Short of Cambridge, we put the roof up to make further progress and quite sweltered with the lack of air-conditioning. It was unfortunate that it had failed before this trip. Then, at Wroxham, we had the hood down again and arrived in style. Mill Farm (named after a windmill that was once there) is nicely situated and the owners were very hospitable and friendly for this Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club outing.

Saturday 13th August 1988

A full day working on The Lady’s sliding mahogany roof channels and mowing our games lawn after Debbie’s friend Phillipa stayed with us overnight. Diana was shopping today but in pain. The IRA shoot and kill another British soldier abroad, in Ostende, as his car plates give away their identity. Jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela is admitted to hospital with pneumonia, which frightens the authorities

A good night and then down to a nice fried breakfast, served today in place of tomorrow as we are due to go on our Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club trip then. Little Phillipa was with us last night and was picked up this morning. She is a bit juvenile and shy and it is interesting to see how much they are different at age 9. I went out this morning and continued my work on The Lady. I got Daniel to help me prop up the starboard side of the sliding cockpit roof this time and took off the door channel. I had obviously doubled up on the securing screws last time I worked on it, as it took a long time to undo them all. Lunch and tea at home today, but Diana went to Waitrose to buy some goodies for our picnic tomorrow.