Thursday 30th June 1983

Group Review Meeting & plans for the new Duck House and then some work for the BMMG

A cool day with fine showers, but none of the storms of yesterday. This morning, my mid-week hair wash and off to a Group Review Meeting. We review the group performance in May for all subsidiary companies and are particularly concerned with the London Byte Shop where Bob Robinson is allowing his stocks and overdraft to spiral out of control. There is a rumour that he intends to resign and if he did I would surely accept.

Wednesday 29th June 1983

Indecent executive bargaining in the Comart Group, a recalcitrant Thatcher in the Commons despite Francis Pym's speech and a wet evening cruise

A day ending pouring wet and stormy but beginning dull and sultry. First the mail and then a hard slog through a backlog of items for urgent attention. Disputes to resolve with David Fear on sales executive’s packages. Ian Nickson with the type of word processing printer for his new system and Geoff Lynch over a large budget approval for new furniture for the separated Xitan operation. John offers to mediate in the latter as the intermediate sounding board.

Tuesday 28th June 1983

Early morning duck house design and then heavy day of Board Meeting budgets and plans for massive expansion in year ahead

A fine warm start to the day, turning cloudy and a little cooler, but no longer the cold wind of last week. An early morning sketching a new design of Duck House, thinking to have it with internal sections of flexible design, and opening ‘drawbridge’-type doors at each end to act as a ramp. Then just in time at 8.30am to work for a hectic hour distributing mail and preparing papers for a Comart Board Meeting. Intended for the morning it extended all day on lengthy consideration of the 1983/4 Budget plans and the Product Development Strategy for the next 2 years. All this plus the capital approvals, and the normal sequence of departmental reports, which had fortunately been prepared in good order.  

Monday 27th June 1983

Back to work to a mountain of problems and paperwork and much press recognition on dull and cold day as we had the best of the weather

Back to work and to a desk of briefing notes. Folders for “Immediate Action”, for “Correspondence for action”, for “Internal memos, minutes etc”; all thoughtfully prepared by my personal assistant, June for my efficient return. As is my custom, I peruse them all, actioning items that can be easily dealt with by dictation or annotated decision. Also passing on with or without comments/requests items that need the attention of others. Trade journals and reports are briefly scanned for an overview and the remaining matter is reduced to an inch or two of items for paper reading or insertion into my running Action List – A day to day list of tasks outstanding.

Sunday 26th June 1983

GOBA Hemingford mooring to Paxton aboard The Lady after a walk around Houghton & Wyton and back to my ducks and business

An early breakfast and, after safely stowing the dinghy onto The Lady’s davits, we cruise to Houghton. A lad from Connington works us through for my tip of 50p. He has been walking the 7 mile and serving this function now for three seasons. He enjoys the journey and the work, though he already has a job during the week. We moor the Lady by the lock and take off for a round trip walk of Houghton and Wyton.