Tuesday 18th July 1989

I had a number of appointments with contractors concerning my interest in renovating Heronshaw; revealing some alternative strategies, all of which would make it a good investment, in my view. I therefore made an offer for the property of £105,000. We then set off from Horning downstream to South Walsham, mooring up with a mud weight in the centre of the broad and fishing and pestered by eels after which we sailed on the Blue Peter.

I slept in a bit in Horning and it was past 9am before we were washed, dressed and breakfasted. I was dressed in sports jacket and trousers and had a succession of appointments concerning Heronshaw. First Mr Golden, the proprietor of the Broadland Agency who told me how good the property was etc.! H also took me to Willow Fen and showed me how he had personally conducted an exercise of jacking and levelling a property on steel beams. Next I met Mr Edmonds, a local builder, on site who explained how he would tackle the property by using internal hydraulic jacks to pile connecting segments of wooden pile each in turn below the boathouse.

Monday 17th July 1989

A slow start today on a very hot and humid day after a surprisingly quiet night at our Wroxham public moorings. Smartly to my solicitors to hear that there was no progress on Admiral’s Cottage and so I discontinued my interest and we looked at Heronshaw instead after a refreshing cruise to Horning. I arranged for contractors to visit tomorrow before considering an offer. Debbie went out on the outboard motor dinghy for the first time today.

I had a lay in this morning and it was only after 8am, that Di got up to get us started. Surprisingly, it was quiet at the public moorings in Wroxham, considering the type of crews we had as neighbours. It started and continued sunny and very hot today and it was a bit too much to bear in terms of both the strength of the sun and humidity of the air. This morning, I dressed in a smart suit and went to see my solicitor in the Broads Centre. She told me that there had been little progress in solving the outstanding queries on Admiral’s Cottage and so I made the decision to discontinue my interest.

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Sunday 16th July 1989

Up and about early this morning but foregoing the keyboard, not wanting to upset Diana again. Daniel took us in his boat to Horning village where we had coffee and a chance to look round the shops together. The girls went swimming and then I could play the keyboard and was making good progress and have mastered half a dozen tunes so far. We took The Lady through Wroxham Bridge and moored the public Staithe and then took Daniel’s boat to cruise to the model railway attraction which we all enjoyed. A further walk this evening looking at properties, favouring Heronshaw as the best of them. Always assuming that we could justify buying a second riverside property.

I awoke early this morning and read yesterday’s newspaper until the kettle boiled and I stirred. I would have liked to have played at my keyboard a little more, but I did not want to upset Diana again. Soon we drank our drinks together and, with Daniel, went through our morning shower and breakfast routine. Once we were all finished, Daniel took us in his day boat to Horning village and we had coffee and looked around the shops together. Then Daniel went to Wroxham as the rest of us walked back to The Lady and looked around.

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Saturday 15th July 1989

We stayed in Potter Heigham for a while on another warm dry and sunny day and Di took Della shopping as I played with Deborah on the new keyboard. A late morning cruise down the Thurne following the Albion Wherry in full sail and struggling to keep up with this magnificent craft going downwind until we stopped at Horning Ferry Marina and walked into Horning village where I got details of riverside houses including Heronshaw. Dan and I cruised round by boat to view them and was late back for tea. The national news is all about Thatcher’s troubles at home and in Europe where she is totally isolated.

This was another fine, warm, dry and sunny day so that this summer in general, and this holiday in particular, are turning out very well as far as the weather is concerned! We stayed in Potter Heigham for a while this morning, Diana took Della shopping and I played with Deborah on the new keyboard instrument. We had eaten breakfast with the sliding canopy back in the warmth. In late morning, we took off and, as we cruised down the Thurne, we came up behind the Albion wherry in full sail. With the brisk breeze, it was all we could do to keep up with this magnificent craft going downwind! I moored up at the village of Thurne and we had lunch at the pub there which is a splendid old house.

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