Friday 20th January 1989

I was again concerned with the health of my Koi this morning and then spent the day fulfilling a photo-call with the Ramply family for the Express and working on my history of Little Paxton clerics, poor laws and charities. The dramatic inauguration of US President George Bush took place as more Boing air-liner faults cause safety concerns. 1,000 protesters support Viraj Mendis in Manchester after his deportation to Sri Lanka

I had a good night’s sleep after an 11.00pm retirement. After breakfast, I tended the fish was a bit concerned that they were not eating. The large Kohaku is the most worrying. At least the nitrite and ammonia levels are down to virtually zero. I then spent the morning working on my history until a late lunch at 1.15pm. It was a pork pie salad that I had to make myself, as Diana was off to Bedford buying wall lights and looking at furniture for the lounge. After lunch, I made my way to my ‘photo-opportunity’ to meet the Ramply’s and have our picture taken by the Express newspaper. Di was not back and so I took the Rolls-Royce which still had an exhaust leak. The photographer was late and so I chatted to Jack Ramply and his daughter-in-law, Helen, as we waited. After all this, I drove on to Southoe to see the people of Lees Lane council houses where the contractors were installing the new central heating and had been doing a bad job and upsetting them.

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Thursday 19th January 1989

I was recovering from feeling cold with a headache, after yesterday’s eyestrain, as I investigated the underfloor heating controls in the conservatory and fed my Koi on their antibiotic soaked pellets. Amongst calls on my answering machine, was one leading to a photo opportunity with the Ramply’s former campaign for getting Rampl(e)y Lane correctly named. Daniel gets an O-level equivalent pass in French today, but Debbie is riding school is due to close. The USSR starts withdrawing tactical weapons from Eastern Europe but the deportation of fugitive Viraj Mendis has been lost in the Court of Appeal today and the South African Premier, PW Botha, has had to step down after a stroke

This was the day which, despite my best intentions, did not produce very much progress on my history book. I woke feeling cold with a headache. After the eye-strain of yesterday’s screen-work, and the open door of my cold bedroom on a very frosty night, it took a few hours for the paracetamol tablets to remove the nuisance. I started late for breakfast and then went into the conservatory and played around with the under-floor heating controls, believing that the temperature sensor was not behaving itself. Sure enough, I found that the sensor had only been loosely taped to the pipe and so I experimented and ended up using copper wire to make a better bond and contact. I tried feeding the Koi on their antibiotic soaked pellets today and all except the Kohaku took them. That one is not feeding at the moment.

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Wednesday 18th January 1989

Another slow start, this time on a very frosty morning, to find one of my Koi carp had died. Di emptied the playroom and started its decoration as I worked on my Little Paxton Church history for most of the day before attending Southoe Parish Council meeting and given the Rev Peter Lewis sight of my work. An outrageously violent action by 50 police officers today breaking down church doors and cutting away a Sri Lankan refugee from a radiator, who had sought sanctuary, caused a crowd demonstration outside Manchester police station and a row in the House of Commons. Convict accidentally released from prison by ‘administrative error’ knifed a young woman to death in the London Underground.

I had the same trouble getting up this very frosty morning but still made the table with the others for breakfast. I stopped off at the conservatory on my trek around the house and was distressed to see my ‘dropsy’ fish dead. It had not lasted the night in the isolation tank full of salt water and I was hardly surprised. I really think we should have been treating it for a bacterial infection rather than dropsy. The fish man dropped off another ultraviolet light unit last night and I spent a couple of hours commissioning it this morning. Di had emptied the playroom, set up everything in the dining room for the girls, and started the decoration of the playroom first.  I started back on my church history but it was soon time for lunch, but I worked all afternoon to complete the chapter on St James’s church building itself.

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Tuesday 17th January 1989

I had an earlier night which was counter-productive as I was restless in the early hours but then I was up early to tend my fish pond before starting work on my Little Paxton church history chapter. Stephen Field arrive later and treated my fish for dropsy and gill fluke after they had succumbed to these conditions after the nitrite water shock. A good Environmental Services Committee meeting this evening with recommendations overturned so that St Ives bypass will now be named Harrison Way and post meeting chat with Ross McKay who may come across from the Conservatives.

I had an earlier night for once, but then found that I was restless and awake in the early hours and had to get up early. I was dressed and showered half an hour before breakfast and tended my fish and their pond by pumping out some water for a change and starting its refilling. I started work on my chapter on Little Paxton St James’s Church again and it all went very well until my morning coffee break when I noticed that my pond ultraviolet light sterilising lamp had failed and so I then spent the next two hours taking it to pieces. Eventually, Stephen Field arrived to look at my fish with me. We netted out the young fish with ‘dropsy’ and gave him a three-minute bath in potassium permanganate in an isolation tank. The other fish followed one at a time and then the Ohgon had some mercurochrome put on its bruise. Lastly, the ‘dropsy’ victim was left in the tank in a saline solution to be made gradually more concentrated.

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