Debbie in the lounge in 1986

Studying the news after waking up with my family and then driving them to Cambridge shopping this morning before relaxing with Debbie and Di  this afternoon, watching television whilst writing my diary and hearing news of several incidents of murder and abduction this ’festive’ season. Hearing also of serious death and injuries of holiday-makers due to a gas explosion in Germany and cable-car collapse in France . Unrest and deaths in South Africa, a less-than-positive Reagan State of the Union address in the US and demonstrations in several countries on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan


A very poor night. Awake feeling hot from the excesses of food and drink of the season and very restless with it. Could wait no longer to end this torture and with a thirst for my morning drink, I woke up Diana after 7.00am and implored her to make me one. She was not willing to do this and so I spent a companionable time with her to my satisfaction, even though it was an awkward time of the month. Even after, I still had to make my drink myself and one each for the family as well. Debbie was first awake, appreciating her drink, and afterwards sweetly brought me a couple of ‘Christmas cards’ from her toy ponies. Daniel was dead to the world, having set his new watch to wake him early and listen to his personal stereo. Nevertheless, I woke him and got him to drink it.

Then back to bed to rest and listen to the radio, before I was dragged up to have breakfast with the others. Opted for a slice of toast and natural honeycomb and fruit juice to drink, which will get me back onto the dietary straight and narrow after a Christmas blow-out. Still feeling in the holiday mood, I lingered at the table and read the first newspaper published for a few days. It could only tell me of the stock exchange status before Christmas and was full of silly season stories. The real test in the New Year will be the by-election, to see if the Tories can really justify the 8% lead they were given recently in a Daily Telegraph opinion poll; I think not. Upstairs to shave and dress and then I decide to take the family to Cambridge. Daniel phones Gary and arranges to pick him up to spend the night with us and we collect him on the way. A busy city, what with shoppers in town for the holiday supplies and the start of the sale season as well. We park a little out of the centre and walk in to Eaden Lilley’s for a coffee and snack in late morning. Nearly two hours look round the shops and then back to the car for a late lunch at the Happy Eater on the way home. I had decided to buy a Filofax-type pocket wallet and diary to go with my other storage of notes and I also looked round the shops for a pair of shoes and an anniversary gift for Di, without success. Once back home, I put the ducks away after feeding them and the doves and then I stacked up the baskets with logs from the garage and then lit the fire. This afternoon and evening relaxing with Debbie watching the TV, then with Di much later, taking the opportunity to write up my diary in between. More morbid news tonight. First a 17 year old girl missing from Cheshunt, Samantha Ettridge, is believed to be held captive by somebody and, although she telephoned home twice, the family and police are in fear of her life. A murder investigation has begun in Sheffield after a 19 year old woman has been found dead, and a 28 year old man is dead in Liverpool in separate, but similarly suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile the authorities are only just beginning to bring to trial men responsible for other recent incidents. In South Africa, two police were killed by 5 ANC ‘terrorists’ of which four also died. The fifth is still at large after overpowering the two guards. Riot squads have been brought in to police holiday beaches near Durban, after trouble and deaths of whites at racially mixed beaches. There have been demonstrations in several countries on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Reagan featured in these efforts and he also gave a state of the nation address in the USA, admitting that 1986 had ended on a disappointing note. At least 4 people died, one missing and 20+ injured after a gas explosion in a ski hotel in the German mountains, and in France a collapse of a cable car system also injured many (36 at least) in their alpine ski resort incident. After the Christmas football league fixtures, Arsenal have moved into a 7 point lead at the top of the first division.