Tragic and unneccesary death of Elio de Angelis from smoke inhalation as a result of poor safety and rescue measures

Day working on Lady Martina’s heating and plumbing at Buckden Marina with limited success before and after a lunch with a delayed and upset Diana as more redundancies follow and unemployment soars to over three and a third million and their benefits are cut for good measure! Formula 1 racing driver, Elio de Angelis, has died and Mario Andretti has a near escape after crashes in practice

A day of working on The Lady, punctuated by a variety of other chores. Started the day as usual after a sound night that was ended by Diana rising early and then tended the ducks and doves. The oldest chicks had kept their rings on satisfactorily and so I had just ringed them in time. The next brood are still well, but too young for ringing. Then I got The Lady ready and set off for Offord. She ran well and I quite enjoyed the trip, looking at the moored boats and the landscape. Our old Utopia II seems to have been replaced by its owners with a Freeman. I could not have the doors and hatches open, however, because the wind was still strong.

I put on the ropes and fenders and locked through Offord without much difficulty and then moored at Buckden Marina. Richard said the engineer was not able to look at my boat heater immediately and so I settled down to service the fresh water system. I replaced the pump pressure switch, then impellers and washers on the two Jabsco pumps and finally started work on the hose connections. They were prone to leak from original poor fitment and age and so I replaced the copper collars, put in pipe stiffeners and then used my stock of pipe to replace that as well. I did not phone Di until 12.30pm and she was furious, but still picked me up. Lunch of roast pork sandwiches, then back again to work all afternoon. I met Alan Ball (late of Trivector) a couple of times there and chatted to him for a while. He told me that the Darlows had negotiated to sell Buckden Marine (Richard said for £700,000) but that the deal fell through. Home at 4.15pm to get Debbie and take her riding again. Today they let her out on the road for the first time, though she was led by an instructor’s assistant. Tea and then another couple of hours at Buckden, but the job defeated me for time and, with cut hands and feeling discouraged, I drove home to tend the ducks and doves and lock and alarm the house. I wish the family would help sometimes with my chores. In my pyjamas I update today’s journal and then the TV news. Main story is of the plight of the unemployed. After the shipyard job cuts, there are more than 1,000 redundancies by British Caledonian and also many British Rail jobs (as many as 400) will be lost due to the Post Office switching its parcel service from rail to road. The unemployment figures are up again, soaring to a record 3,325,058, even after the fiddling of the figures. The gap between North and South has widened more, with the South averaging 10-11% and the North 15-20%. The Government is also planning to hit these jobless further by reducing the mortgage assistance to people on supplementary benefits. Instead of all of mortgage interest being met in full, they will now only get 50% after 6 months. The Tory debate still goes on with Norman Tebbit, the Conservative Party Chairman, addressing the backbench 1922 Committee during a difficult week. An opinion poll puts Labour well ahead, with more than half feeling that they will win the next election. Formula 1 racing driver, Elio de Angelis, has died after a crash in practice and Mario Andretti had a near escape; both crashing at 150-200 mph in practice sessions.