Monday 23rd November 1987

A cold day after a cold night spent monitoring the financial markets and progressing my Little Paxton History which involved transcribing more of the Hall and Hazelton interview tapes and meeting the two owners of the former Paxton Park North and West Lodge before home for a late lunch made by Norma and to more typing and to supervise Daniel’s homework. A massive police effort in Ulster arrests 40 IRA suspects, two more police shooting incidents in Englandand the East/West arms talks are back on again

Awoke to a very cold bedroom. It had been a cold night and turned out to be a bitterly cold day to follow. We can conclude that autumn has ended and winter has begun. Got showered and dressed early, so as to be ready for more work and had enough time to ensure that the children tidied up their rooms before breakfast. A poor meal of wheat flakes and apple juice to drink and then straight to my office for an early start. I got a couple of hours work in, sorting more of the Hall and Hazelton interview text files into subject order. I also scanned the Prestel business information and watched Plessey shares particularly closely after my recent disappointment. The stock exchange improved a little today, and Plessey with it, and I took my brokers advice and kept the shares. Soon it was time to prepare my things for this morning’s interview with Mrs Connie Morris of North Lodge. Learnt a little from it, particularly about the late Mr Morris, who mended the villager’s bicycles for years.

Sunday 22nd November 1987

This chilly morning studying the papers and financial news with the aid of my Prestel Citi-service terminal before lunch of roast chicken and then transcribing the Hall/Saunders tape as Di ferries the children everywhere this afternoon The news today is of the special remembrance service at Enniskillen with Thatcher in attendance in a mammoth security exercise and Shevardnadze is still optimistic on an arms agreement with the US.

A little late to bed last night, catching up on my journal, but I had not managed to read the day’s financial papers. This morning, I stayed in bed for most of it and read yesterday’s Financial Times, The Investors Chronicle and then the today’s Observer. All this told me to be very careful with stock exchange investments and I do not know that the sages are any the wiser after this US budget agreement, which is a bit marginal. It was nearly lunchtime before I was showered and dressed and then I called up the Prestel Citiservice with my terminal and updated my personal and family portfolios of shares. I could then check both of the Prestel stockbrokers, Hoare Gareth and BZW, on their advice on them. I am disappointed at getting into Plessey and Bank of Scotland and do not think much of the BZW analysts opinion of these companies. Lunch of roast chicken, then, this afternoon, I started to transcribe the relevant parts of the second Hall/Saunders tape, whilst Di embarked on a bewildering series of ferrying jobs

Saturday 21st November 1987

Off to St Ives auction viewing with Debbie’s friend Amy where I spotted Mr McNish’s St Neots paper mill old desk and then a look at Cow Lane Godmanchester meadow fields in flood conditions before a visit to Nigel Smith for a chat about investments and shares. News today of the grisly process of identifying the underground fire victims, as police believe they have found the reason for the fire that smouldered for over 2 hours prior to the blaze. Another bomb was detonated in Northern Ireland on the eve of a new memorial service planned for Enniskillen in the morning

Slept well enough and then lay in bed listening to the radio and drinking my morning tea. A little late to breakfast, as I was thinking and dreaming too much. Then became more active and decided to go out this morning. Today is the viewing for St Ives auction and so I took the girls there (Daniel was at school of course). We picked up Debbie’s friend, Amy, and drove off. First, we stopped off at the top of Paxton Hill and looked down over Little Paxton, but the sun had gone in and I could not take any satisfactory photographs. Then, we went to the end of Cow Lane in Godmanchester to see my meadow fields. The river levels had been up and I wanted to see how this affected them. Also, the girls wanted a walk. The sun came out, we had a nice exercise and I got some good photographs. Then on to St Ives, where our first priority was some morning drinks at the cafe. This accomplished, I viewed the antiques, whilst the girls went round the shops.

Friday 20th November 1987

A day of domestic problems with the family and with Colin Howard not returning with the photos and I could only finish my tax correspondence and tidy up and so another day passes with no progress on my local history studies. Reagan and the US Congress finally agree a budget with a poor outcome and Ken Baker encounters controversy over is education bill but the main news is the details of the Kings Cross fire, which killed 32 and ten more badly injured

To bed on time last night and a restful night’s sleep. Still slow to breakfast, but made it in the end, if a little late. Had an argument with Di after the meal, over a petty matter, and then I retired to my office whilst Di went off to Bedford. I worked this morning on my tax and trust affairs, as well as catching up on the national and local newspapers. This took me until lunchtime and I had to make myself a salad again, as the girls were not yet back. Worked on this afternoon, tidying up as many things as possible. I prepared the next batches of photographs for Colin Howard to copy, but he did not visit to bring back the others as promised. By 4.30pm it was quite dark and I had fed the ducks and doves. Soon the children were home. Di had collected the kids from school and taken them to the dentist. Bad news. Daniel needed his teeth cleaned and Debbie another filling. The dentist is not happy with her diet and has suggested a course of treatment to coat her teeth as well. Di had forgotten to take the Range Rover in to be repaired as well and so was in quite a mood.