Wednesday 31st December 1986

New Years Eve – Starting the day with Di and Della and then continued compiling and printing out my massive Excel summary of my investments and income to send to my financial advisers for comments and advice. Stayed up with Daniel to see the New year in and hear of the Honours list, full of Thatcher’s cronies and henchmen but pleased to see Frank Williams recognised for his F1 achievements.

Awoke first again this morning and, this time, caught Di before she could creep off and make the morning drinks. After we made love, I sat up in bed and read the Hunts Post from yesterday and then took a shower, shaved and dressed. Della came toddling in during my preparations and I chatted to her for a little while and sent her to find her Mum. I showered with here there, having to keep chatting to her for fear that she would draw back the shower curtain and let the carpet get wet. Breakfast with the family of wheat flakes. I have lost a couple of pounds after the Christmas excesses, but still have a way to go. To the office after breakfast, and started to input the new information to update the Investment and Income Summaries. But first read the rest of the local newspapers and today’s mail before setting to the task.

Tuesday 30th December 1986

A personally bland day of paperwork , but necessarily important, and some family time as politics and the passing of politicians holds the minds of the nation. Tributes to Harold MacMillan feature his ‘one-nation’ approach which he always emphasized without directly criticising the divisiveness of Thatcher and the funeral takes place today of David Penhaligon as the US implements anti-European tariffs, more City revelations of insider-trading reveal the selfish outcome of financial ‘de-regulation’ and more countries and firms pull out of links with South Africa due to their racial discrimination and violence

I was the first to wake this morning and then read Family History magazines, as I drank my morning tea. Showered, shaved and dressed in time for breakfast with the family for once and then to my office to start a day of work. It had rained all night and was still raining this morning and the river will soon be in flood at this rate. At least the temperature remains mild and it was warm enough in my office for it not to be a distraction. A hard slog today, working on a mound of reading and other papers, and it was well until lunchtime before I had a clear desk and could actually start the paperwork in earnest. A cooked lunch and sweet to follow, as our main meal of the day, and then I resumed my work, paying a host of our bills and putting the cheques in envelopes. Also had to reconcile bank and building society accounts, so as to evaluate the cheques that I needed to balance them.

Monday 29th December 1986

News from Marilyn this morning about history feedback from local resident Mrs Davies after working with Joan and Peter to clear the Christmas rubbish and then to St Neots for coffee and Huntingdon where Daniel searched for a computer program, Diana bought pans in a Sale and I searched The Record Office in vain for Heddings Wills. Della to Bar Hill to be looked after by the grand-parents as the rest of the family enjoy the pantomime ‘Robinson Crusoe’ in Cambridge before home to a windy and wet evening. News of the missing girl, Samantha Ettridge, being recovered today but in tragic circumstances for a baby girl and of the unsatisfactory circumstances of the lost fishing boat off Iceland and speculation grows about a new Election as the old fox Harold MacMillan dies after taking his Eardom and opposing Thatcher’s divisive politics in remarkably lucid speeches

Another reasonable night, although I was hot then cold in the middle of it, before returning to sleep. Still, more rested of late when I awoke and quickly drank my morning tea. Late down to breakfast of wheat flakes and fruit juice and the others had already left the table. I spoke to Diana and we will now try to agree a time for breakfast during the rest of the holidays. Joan makes a welcome arrival for Diana, after several days coping on her own. I ask her to pass out the empty boxes and wrapping paper and Pete to burn them, and as many of the pile of the leaves as he could manage to burn with them. A short while with my desk, shuffling a few papers, but not achieving much more than reading the mail. Then a phone call to neighbour Marilyn McGinness. She had borrowed my Little Paxton manuscript for herself and Mrs Davies to read and I was wondering when it would be returned. The answer is Wednesday and she is also trying to obtain some photographs and another manuscript that was written about Little Paxton before the war and was damaged in one of the cottages during the fires. I shall look forward to seeing it, if it can be obtained. Then I decided to take the family off early for a day out.

Sunday 28th December 1986

Wedding Anniversary – A walk across the meadows, a nice lunch and some final touches to my Little Paxton map as depressed spouses seem to be more numerous this Christmas.

A much better night, sleeping soundly and even then reluctant to wake up at 8.00am when Di brought me my morning tea. Laid there and listened to the radio for a while and then struggled into the shower. Was the last to the breakfast table, but still in time for a fried breakfast – I had forgotten that it was a Sunday. Read the Observer cover to cover and then, after coffee, went out to feed the birds and get the tool kit inside. A milder day than of late, so I took a walk across to the meadow opposite and checked the field marks, which are less obvious when you are closer.