Saturday 30th June 1984

Day spent with my family and boat after an office visit to order my desk as I tell Mum all about my visit to Brocket Hall

I wake early but lay long, reading the paper, until a breakfast of boiled egg and fruit juice. A decision to nip into town to pay in my cheque and drop Diana off, follows a working session where I clear my desk of paperwork and see the wood for the trees. Then to return home for a morning’s view of the television, alternating the Test Match at Lords Cricket Ground with Wimbledon. Less luck today as Chris Broad is dismissed for a duck, although Botham has dismissed 8 West Indies for 108. Also at No 2 court Virginia Wade loses a thrilling match to a Swedish beauty and with that ends her revival of fortune. Then back to town to collect Diana, Daniel and Debbie and off to our Happy Eater ritual for lunch. Attended by a new waitress Katie T whose young charm and suspenders attract a certain interest.

Friday 29th June 1984

Nervous day of doubts about Kode’s financial policies as I review Kode’s Circular and changes to my draft of the press announcement which raise concerns about the share valuations and options

A walk to the office without my car after a boiled egg breakfast. Another morning of waiting for phone calls and fretting over details. This time I first spoke to Roger Brittain and gave him an update on events. He had received the formal section 460/3 letter and would be passing on the paper to Ashursts. I spoke to them both about my latest concerns prompted by the note in the Kode circular to the effect that an extraordinary debit of £750,000 will be needed for deferred tax. The more I looked into Kode’s past accounts the more I was concerned by their risky depreciation policy; the past under provision for timing differences; the low write off levels for plant and machinery; and the lack of charge for a job lot of equipment not put into service on time.

Thursday 28th June 1984

Busy day calming events and resisting Kode’s demands for new sales forecasts as The Lords today inflicted a savage defeat on the Government by 48 votes by rejecting the end of GLC elections. The Enterprise Oil denationalisation is also a disaster with most of the shares left with the underwriters

A little late up and to the office noting the slight upset over my previous night’s efforts at rearranging the reception office. However people learn that when I ask for things to be done they do not leave it to the third request and then until the morning. Upstairs and to sort out my papers and to phone John and Derek. Then down to morning coffee and to see the latest envelope of papers from Ashursts and within them the most recent drafts of agreements and issue 5 of the circular. I then took a phone call from Stephen Day who was conciliatory over the Peter King matter and also pleased that Kode had confirmed his appointment as a new Comart Director, which makes two of us. Both Stephen and Geoff Hardle of Peats also in phone calls this morning, were pushing to get an update on the profit forecasts but I was playing cool and emphasising that we were not willing to update or change our previous forecasts.

Wednesday 27th June 1984

Day sorting out the Grove House office, agreeing press procedures with Kode and dealing with executive misbehaviour back at base as the family suffer and the railwaymen show solidarity with the miners

On time to the office and I am the first to unlock the doors and windows and prepare for the day’s work. Time then to brief Lesley Saunders on the capital approval decisions of yesterday’s meetings and to decide on the continuance of our Grove House tea lady. Then upstairs to write my latest letter to Kode, emphasising the finality of next week’s Tuesday signing and Wednesday announcements, providing for the opportunity for publicity agreement and insisting that to avoid misunderstandings; all future contact and communication will be through myself. Phone calls with Ashursts, Peter Smith confirming my views and then briefings with John Lamb to explain the position.