Monday 15th December 1986

Slow start after a cold and windy night watching Debbie’s school play video and then went to see Debbie’s Brownie Pack’s contribution to the Carol Service at St James Church before completing my history book section on the Anglo-Saxon period as the Australian Judge calls the English testimony ‘baloney’ and an MP back home accuses Sir Robert Armstrong of ‘lying for the Crown’ and then more calls for a parliamentary debate on the Nimrod contract but at least Short Bros of Belfast  are awarded a £225 million Starstreak high velocity missile contract. The UK & US leaders agreed to aim for a 50% strategic arms cut over 5 years and to continue to support star wars, which will not be popular with the USSR

A cold and windy night and was glad to get into bed in the end and snuggle up with Diana for warmth. Slept well and was not at all ready to get up when called. I had a headache and the wind was still whistling through the house. We have secured windows (so that they may not be opened from inside or out by burglars) and so we do not have draught proofing, so that cold and windy weather becomes a bit of a trial, unless we light a fire for radiant heat. Listened to the radio, but was eventually evicted by an unsympathetic Di. Quickly showered, shaved and dressed in the cold and was down to breakfast with the others. All, that is, except Daniella, who also overslept and had to have a biscuit and mug of orange juice in the playroom, whilst Deborah was watching the recording of the school play on the video recorder (which had both now been returned by a grateful borrower). I read the morning paper and then resumed my toils in the office. This effort lasted most of the day, but I broke in the afternoon for the doves and ducks and then we all had an early tea, changed, and went off with Debbie for a carol service at St James church, in aid of her Brownie Pack.

Sunday 14th December 1986

Laying in bed on a cold and frosty morning and then Debbie to church with the Guides for the Christingle service as I complete my Little Paxton History Romano-British chapter and research Anglo-Saxon facts and figures. Fierce ethnic violence in Pakistan kills more than 50, the Air Defence radar row breaks out and also that following disclosures of the hounding and bugging of the Wilson administration with two Tory MP’s aiding and abetting this scandal. The Swiss journalists are released but native South Africans do not have that support and remain jailed.

A lay in this morning and needed it after my late night and efforts of yesterday. Sat in bed for a while listening to the radio and then went downstairs in my pyjamas and dressing gown to write up my journal in the kitchen and await my Sunday fried breakfast. A nice meal, which we all enjoyed and then to the Sunday papers, before going up to catch up on my shower and shave. Dressed in my old jeans and, after a cup of coffee, out to the ducks and doves. No duck eggs for some time now, but all the birds are well. To my office for an hour and a half of work on the Romano-British period of Little Paxton and then to prepare the table for lunch in the usual way. A nice meal of tomato soup and then roast lamb, with some pears and ice cream to finish off. Daniel’s friend Stephen had joined us for the day and the meal was very enjoyable.

Saturday 13th December 1986

The morning at the auction in St Ives, leaving Daniel to his own devices in St Neots after missing his school bus but then collecting him for lunch with the rest of the family. More history books from St Neots and Huntingdon libraries to aid my writing about the Roman-British period in Paxton after calling in on Nigel to accept a sherry and return his chain saw.News today of the government abandoning our Nimrod defence research in favour of the US AWACS system, of Tory MP’s combining with MI5 to try and discredit the Wilson administration and of 100 casualties,  with at least 21 dead,  as rival religions battle it out in Palestine refugee camps

A fair night and prompt start, being washed and dressed in good time for breakfast and well able to sort the children out before the meal. Della’s cold appears to be improving, although she sneezed all over the butter and we had to scrape the top layer off it before continuing to eat! Read the paper after and did a little in my office, before I settled in the lounge to do some reading and listen to the Handel compact disc. I particularly liked certain parts of the Water Music, a short aire and the closing and triumphant tune. It is an interesting thought, seeing the music barge of Henry IInd, with orchestra in tow, as he cruised the Thames. The peace was shattered by Daniel phoning to say that he had missed his school bus in St Neots and this rather spoilt our day. Unlike previous times, we refused to drive him to Kimbolton and left him in St Neots to his own devices.

Friday 12th December 1986

To Marshalls in Bedford with the Range Rover on a cold and frosty morning and then researching the life of  John B Papworth who died in Little Paxton in 1847 and then I tried ordering a Hotpoint Freezer for Christmas without success. Home via St Neots library to hire some CD’s and then anavening of filing and writing chapters about Roman, Saxon and Danish conquests  as South Africa attempt to justify their repression, 60 people die as a Russian plane from Minsk crashes in East Berlin coming in to Schonefeld airport                                                                         

A better night after a friendly start with Diana. Still tired in the morning, but soon bucked up and got showered, shaved and down to breakfast. More trouble getting the children to clear up their rooms, yet again, and then I could settle to my paper after they had gone off to school. The post is coming later just recently and it is not enough to blame Christmas, as cards have hardly started to arrive yet – more a question of Post Office staff getting out of bed on these cold mornings. We had a decent frost this morning for just about the first time this winter and perhaps now the grass will stop growing. Not much time at my desk this morning, as soon Di and Della were ready to go to Bedford. We dropped off the Range Rover at Marshalls to have the disc-brake warning light fixed and then walked into town for a coffee. Di did some shopping as I mused around the library. I was not too keen on researching too much information, as I already have far more than I can absorb and record at the moment, but I did look out the biography and portrait of John B Papworth, who must justify more coverage when I get the time as he died in Little Paxton on the 18th June 1847, aged 72.