Thatcher visiting Israel in 1986

Awake at Huntingdon on a chilly morning but soon warm with the boat heating as the girls played on the adventure playground, the boys played in the dinghies and I scrubbed the decks before  on through Houghton Lock to the GOBA meadow for a barbecue before mooring at The Waits Quay in St Ives. Thatcher visits Israel, vetoes a UN move (with the USA) for South African sanctions and falls foul of Commonwealth colleagues.


Woke early and heard the girls chatting and romping in the front cabin from 5.00am onwards. We are trying Della in the bunks for the first time, but still have a folding cot in reserve. I put the heating on and it was quite necessary to bring the cabin temperature from below 50degF to nearly 70degF, when the morning sun took over. The boys seem to have managed OK, but come over to The Lady for a hot drink and use of our sea toilet. Breakfast of toast, and we gradually calmed down our agitated Della. Then the girls played on the riverside adventure playground, the boys went on their dinghies and I scrubbed The Lady’s decks, roofs and hull for the first time this season. Di went shopping as I finished off in the warm sunshine.

The day’s weather is forecast warm, but there is a fair breeze from the south and it will eventually cloud over late. Our barometer rose yesterday to 1027mb and is staying constant, which is encouraging. At last we set off further downstream and soon stopped at Hartford Marina to try to find Daniel another sleeping bag. He has outgrown his present one and sleeps somewhat confined! Alas they sold none, but we filled up the water tanks and got some ice cream and so the time was not wasted. On through Houghton Lock and along to Hemmingford, where we moored on the GOBA meadow and got out the barbeque. As it was quite breezy, I found a hollow crack-willow tree and lit the barbeque inside it. Grilled sausages and burgers for us all, which we enjoyed, in spite of the chilly circumstances. On through Hemmingford Lock and surprised Daniel by my navigation prowess as I accelerated out of the cross flow and just stopped in time in the lock chamber. Then to St Ives, where we moored at the Waits Quay and did some shopping. The girls also went swimming and enjoyed it, whilst the boys used the dinghies again. A quiet evening, resting after the day’s exertions. The wind fell and the sun was warm, until it drizzled slightly at dusk and got quite cool. The TV news on our small colour portable. Mrs Thatcher flies to Israel, as the first such trip by a British Prime Minister. The South African Law and Order Minister needed a big police escort to be able to speak in spite of white right-wing agitators. Britain and the US have vetoed a UN move for sanctions against South Africa and Britain is in political trouble with our Commonwealth colleagues as a consequence. The ‘Sport Aid Flame’ is being run through London’s streets, with Thatcher and the Prince of Wales helping with the photo calls. The England test team lost the first one-day test against India, with David Gower out for a first ball duck and the opposition cruising home.