- Published: 31 December 2016 31 December 2016
A good year for me and my family as we complete our creation of The Hayling View, buy new vehicles, and get over illnesses to enter the Christmas period fit enough to enjoy it, although my extended family are still struggling with health issues. Have managed to research and write much of Little Paxton’s history for my book and also managed our investments and financial plans well. Elsewhere, there are Still unresolved conflicts in the Middle East. Rising trouble in China and India, and the apartheid in South Africa ever more repressive and unfair, Russians will resume nuclear testing with the first new test of the Americans in the New Year. The Americans have already breached SALT-2. The EEC admits Spain and Portugal and this attracts US trade tariffs and there is much more European reform needed on CAP and EEC budgetary control. Thatcher is pursuing very divisive polices and I pray she goes soon. Much anger, conflict and the normal sad deaths from natural disasters, conflicts and misadventures but hope still being expressed at year end by HM The Queen and The Pope.
And so ends December and with it, 1986. A more settled year for us, with the end of the house extensions and improvements, construction of the swimming pool and completion of the riverside gardens. We are getting over our coughs and colds, but my poor Mum and Dad are only just mastering theirs. Mum is still very uncomfortable and unhappy with the pain and discomfort of her hip and hoping desperately that the New Year will bring a new and effective operation. The Butterfields are also in the wars. Recovery for Alf has been slow, but steady, after the removal of malignant growths from his back and Freda is retiring early with the affects of thrombosis in her legs. Daughter Stacey has also been in the wars with asthma and allergies and son Chris is still out of work. We have helped them in the past, but will no doubt need to help them again in the future. On Di’s side of the family, her parents are well and so is brother Charlie and sister Sue, but I worry about Charlie’s job and career security, as I fear he could be out of a job soon and their expenditures seem out of pace with their income. Other friends and relatives get by. We are enjoying our new Range Rover and look forward to the arrival of a Jaguar Daimler early next year. We still have the swimming pool boiler contract to sort out, and the river bank to pile, but all’s fairly quiet on the home front. I have become the Lord of the Lintons, but have been approached already about selling the Manors at a ‘good profit’. The Lordship of Little Paxton still eludes me for now. Have managed to research and write much of Little Paxton’s history and hope to finish most of the rest before long.
I will have to leave a full research of the Manorial History of Little Paxton until a second edition. Have made little progress on family history, which is a worry with family members ageing, with the risk they may not be around much longer to assist. Daniel has been making even more progress at school and may yet be accomplished enough to go to university, but does not yet have any ideas for a future career, other than computer programming. Debbie tops the class at her school, but struggles at the physical skills of horse riding, ballet etc, but is keen enough. Daniella grows up so fast and is quite a little character, insisting on doing things herself, but settling more into play patterns with other little girls. Diana is slimming (again!) and keeping up her exercises and friendships with a circle of friends. Elsewhere, the last year has not been a very inspiring one – in many ways even more depressing than the last. Still unresolved conflicts in the Middle East. Rising trouble in China and India, and the apartheid in South Africa ever more repressive and unfair, as now we are even deprived of news of it. The USSR/USA peace moves seem to be foundering, as the chances of nuclear detente fade. The Western democracies are still within the grip of right-wing politicians and the consequent liaise fare sees more record levels for unemployment and the unequal and inequitable separation of means and need. In the USA, an appalling year saw the fate of the Challenger spacecraft and with it the lives of US astronauts and reputation of high technology. As the year wore on Reagan stumbled over Libya, then Iran and Nicaragua. With Congress against him and the country losing faith, he is a lame-duck President and something of an embarrassment. In the USSR, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and radioactivity leak was a sobering experience and, at this time, the Soviets actually seem the most peace-minded of the two. After a year of abstinence, the Russians will resume nuclear testing with the first new test of the Americans in the New Year. The Americans have already breached SALT-2, the last arms limitation treaty and there is not much to be optimistic about. The British Presidency of the EEC in 1986 comes to an end as Buggins turn moves on. The first year of the inclusion of Spain and Portugal has ended with retaliatory measures from the USA over their lost grain markets. Internal trade barriers in the Community are weakened a bit, but the intractable problems of the Common Agricultural Policy and Budgetary Balance remain for the next Presidency to sort out. In little old England and the rest of the Britain, unemployment is as high as ever, after the attempts of the government to understate and eliminate the jobless total are taken into account. Monetary economic policy is thankfully dead, but there is little sign of a change in underlying economic and (non-) industrial policy – only the traditional easing of credit for the temporary period of a run up to a general election. Depressingly, the Thatcher administration gets away with it all and sadly another true Statesman, in Macmillan, and worthy opposing politician, in Penhaligon, die as the year draws to a close. My hope is for a politically and economically better 1987 and that the electorate realise the problems of voting for narrow self interest, as the rest of the populations welfare declines. I only hope that the parliamentary opposition does not remain so hopelessly divided, for it is this that keeps the Thatcherites in office. 1986, a year when Nigel Mansell was pipped at the post for the Motor Racing Championship and when England Test Cricket team, recoiling from a 5-0 thrashing by the West Indies, then by Sri Lanka, fight back to retain the Ashes in a successful winter tour of Australia – the last tour for that record-breaker, Ian Botham. For myself, I hope that 1987 sees the end of my Little Paxton History, a fine summer of boating and swimming, and another year of progress for the children’s education and growing up. I also hope that Thatcher delays the election until next year and then loses it!