January 1986

A month of ice floods and storms but the crash of destruction of the US Shuttle Challenger shocked the world; but also of the fall in standing and near demise of the UK Prime Minister Thatcher who was found, with her colleague Leon Britten, to have lied to the House of Commons over the Westland Debacle. This on a day I was at Westminster on my last Committee meeting before resigning as leader of the British Computer Industry and now spend more time with my children. Thatcher presides over the collapse of the economy and, in particular, the death of the coal and steel industries and UK manufacturing as she officiates over the abolition of laws protecting working people and runs out of wise colleagues and starts laying plans for the Poll Tax! At home The Hayling View riverside mansion is largely complete with the swimming pool half excavated and Diana survives this stress and eye infections so caused and the children are now very happy to now occupy a building of space and play potential but my Mother suffering pain. The Anglo-French Channel Tunnel is agreed and The Royal Yacht Britannia assists in the evacuation of Aden as the Middle East is in crisis with Gadhafi threatening the West with more terrorism. South African crisis continued unabated

And so ends January (I am only just getting used to putting a ‘6’ on the end of the date and one month has gone by already); a month that started mild and wet with floods killing boys in pot-holes and culverts but then turned cold and icy so as to freeze our adjacent river Great Ouse which had previously been in flood. There was a terrible gale and storm later in the month killing four people and 30,000 chickens. My family and I are in good health – apart from a few colds. No sign of my back trouble and Diana has recovered from her sore eyes, after having had her contact lens appointment such that she now only wets her contact lenses with water. She successfully starts her slimming campaign and then does very well until the stress of the change and house alterations take their toll later in the month and she gives up and reverts to former eating behaviour. I also have concern with my Mother, who seems low in spirit and physique with her hip joint pain and she is not one to take these things easily.