Debbie and Della visiting Grandma Norma's house Christmas 1986

Boxing Day Waking up slowly to assemble Debbie’s new Cindy horsebox and feed the ducks and doves before noticing the ancient field boundaries on the meadows opposite and then taking the family to visit Diana’s people in Bar Hill for a pleasant afternoon before home to put the kids to bed. British tanker Syneta founders off of Iceland with the loss of all 12 crew and many die in a Ukrainian mining disaster but Ian Botham excels in Australia and Arsenal are top of the league

Tired last night and so slept well and woke slowly to my morning tea. Took some time to get showered, shaved and dressed and, by that time, the family had already finished breakfast. More relaxation and recorded TV films this morning and then I assembled Debbie’s new Cindy horsebox with Daniel to ensure that it was done properly. Dan had attempted it poorly yesterday and we had to do it all over again. A few of the large self-tapping screws were lost as well and so I had to go out to the workshop to find some similar replacements. This gave me the chance to take the air and also feed the ducks and doves.

Some of the juvenile doves have laid eggs, but can hardly succeed with their successful incubation at this time of year. As far as taking the air was concerned, not quite so cold as recently and bright sunlight this morning and lots of people out walking. Back at the house, whilst looking across the meadow opposite, I noticed some field marks – geometrically shaped old field ditches, filled in over the ages and, if other finds were anything to go by, probably Iron or Roman Age form boundaries. The close-grazed length of the grass and low angle of a bright sun showed them up very well and I sketched them before lunch. A salad for lunch, which will come as a relief to my system – when I weighed this morning I had put on 4 to 5 lbs since before Christmas. Started to watch a war film on the TV, but it was soon time to get the Range Rover out, load the family into it, and make our way over to Bar Hill for a visit to Diana’s family. Di’s brother and sister were there and children and we spent a pleasant, if somewhat cramped, afternoon and early evening, swapping conversation, presents and eating a nice tea. All were well with Sue looking slim and fit. Home in early evening and then Diana put the girls to bed and we watched a little TV together. News today is of another ship wreck, as the British ship Syneta sank off of Iceland, killing all of the crew in icy waters. They had sailed off course and foundered on the rock island. This is the second shipping tragedy in 24 hours in the area. Another disaster in the Ukraine area of the USSR, as many die in a coal mine explosion. In Australia, another comeback by Ian Botham taking 5 for 41 and three catches. Gladstone Small took 5 for 48 and the Aussies were all out for 141. Then England’s opener made a fair score with over 100 for 1 wicket and Broad not out 58. Plenty of exciting football matches in the football league for Bank Holiday, and Arsenal are top of the 1st division.