My map of Little Paxton at the turn of the 18th Century

Swimming with the family at St Neots indoor pool, Ernulf, on a cold day and then shopping after lunch before drafting a map of Little Paxton at the turn of the 18th Century as Mum makes arrangements for her Christmas visit. More revelations about MI5’s attempts to discredit Harold Wilson’s ministers and IRA bombs explode across Ulster, there are more rumours of insider dealings in The City and the AWACs contract seems to be lost

A nice lay in until 7.00am, now that both Daniel and Debbie have broken up from school. A breakfast late as well, but I got up in time to enjoy it with the children. I had promised Di a trip out with the children to any activity that would be warm and where all the family would be happy and cheerful. She chose swimming and, Letchworth being closed until Jan 1st for maintenance, we went to the new St Neots indoor pool at Ernulf School. A very new pool, with a water chute and rather unconventional layout. A good swim, but both Di and Della went under water after the chute and neither liked it. A warm drink and relaxation period before we left and then on to the Happy Eater as usual for our Saturday lunch. I will be glad when this restaurant publishes its new menu, as they have discontinued all of the prawn dishes and have yet to offer anything in return. Home via St Neots, where Di got the special eczema ointment for the children and I got some cartridge paper and carbon paper from the stationers. This afternoon, I joined together two of these sheets and started the process of drawing Little Paxton as it was at the turn of the 18th Century – the old strip common field systems being replaced by the enclosures. I got as far as using carbon paper to trace the east of the Parish from the Award Map and then had to magnify the west part from smaller scale maps, using a graticule on a scale of 2:5. Di did her usual job of ironing and cleaning up and Daniel just relaxed in front of the television, as he has been doing ever since he broke up from school. Mum phoned and plans to come overnight on Christmas Eve, but hopes for an operation in the New Year and so is anxious to avoid catching colds etc and Della has just started a new infection. The news of more revelations about MI5, with detail being given of plots to discredit senior Labour Government Ministers in the Harold Wilson era. Now the Americans say that they are not sure that Iran arms deal money actually did get to the Nicaraguan contras, but the intentions were clear. A chain of IRA bombs explode across Ulster in a pre-Christmas bombing campaign. The rumblings over City of London insider-dealing go on. The Government’s ploy of announcing the AWACs decision just before the Christmas hols seems to have paid off. A cold night last night and another planned for tonight. No snow yet here, but it is forecast.