Sunday 30th November 1986

Family day at home in front of log fires, reading, relaxing and watching Steve Davis win the UK snooker championship and hearing of Cary Grant’s death after a long life and many marriages. Both the UK and US government will be facing scrutiny over Thatcher’s position on MI5 leaks and how Lt Col North could have arranged the Contra military aid without Reagan’s White House backing. The Israeli nuclear technician, who was allegedly ‘snatched’ from Britain by Israeli security agents after leaking information to the press, has appeared in court

Slept in a while this morning, until my morning tea at 8.00am. Then, after resting a while, sitting up in bed, I showered and shaved and just got ready and dressed in time for breakfast at 9.00am. A nice fried breakfast, as is my habit. Time after to read today’s papers and then start on Michael Wickes book on Huntingdonshire. I thought of going for another walk around Little Paxton this morning, but Di needed some help with the children and so I stayed at home and continued my reading. Also watched some television; Steve Davis winning the UK snooker championship. Towards lunch I let the ducks out, fed them and the doves, and then went in to prepare the table for Sunday lunch. Lunch of pork roast with vegetables was soon ready and we all enjoyed it, even if the girls were playing up somewhat. The chore afterwards of washing up with Daniel and then, after I had got in a couple more baskets of logs and lit the fire in the lounge, I settled down to more reading and watching.

Saturday 29th November 1986

Time preparing Daniel for his examinations and studying the weekend financial press and the British Gas privatisation offer before off to Jordon’s in the fog for layers pellets and back for lunch with Daniel and the family as the NUT ratify the pay agreement,  the government come under pressure about the MI5 security breaches being kept from The Attorney General and the CND have been demonstrating on the missile transport roads holding up the traffic

To bed quite reasonably last night, to make up for my excesses of the night before. Slept well, after a little trouble getting warm on a clear and cool night, but awoke to find the fog came down and everything damp. Dressed and washed before breakfast and pleased to find my weight down to 13st 9lbs, the lowest it has been for a little time. Checked the children had cleared their rooms, before we all had cereal and milk to eat and apple juice to drink. Some trouble making sure Daniel had got his pencils selected and sharpened for the start of his examinations today, then sent him off in good time for the school bus. Then settled down to read today’s papers – the Financial Times and the Investors Chronicle – and read about the terms of the British Gas share offer, but have not decided upon it yet. Not much in the post and so out at 10.00am to feed the doves and let the ducks out. I seem to be missing one dove – only the two Qualmonds as white ones and the Grizzle hen missing, which is a pity. Then to load the family in the car, put the alarms on, and set off for Biggleswade. The road still very foggy and it was to stay that way all day and so lost my way once or twice. To Jordans Mills and bought 3 bags of layers pellets for the ducks. An old hand complemented me on my new Range Rover and the fact that I had bought ‘British’. I agreed with his sentiment that we should all soon be done for if we did not, but many consumers value their choice and would disagree.

Friday 28th November 1986

With the family to Bedford and there to the library to study local history in the nearby three counties; discovering more about Moynes Manor and its division between the Reynolds and Heddings before home to encourage Daniel with his homework as I started to untangle the Little Paxton Manors. After the intervention of The Attorney General, Sir Robert Armstrong had to go to the Australian Courts to confess that previous answers were wrong and the Government had made a conscious decision not to prosecute which torpedoed the case there, attempts to salvage the Kowloon Bridge are abandoned and Iraq tightens its grip on Iranian oil export terminals. Chris Broad makes his maiden century for England and raiders with shot-guns steal £7,000 from Little Paxton sub-post office

Could not warn Di about my late night and so was woken up early anyway. Quickly drank my tea and then went down to start printing out my Little Paxton manuscript update. Did this continually through my shower, breakfast, and afterwards, returning to turn over and load up paper at regular intervals. Unfortunately it took until 9.30am to finish and, by this time, Diana was back with Daniella from taking Deborah from school and they were agitating to leave. Eventually finished and we set off, arriving in the coffee shop in Bedford by 10.00am, which was not too bad. Left the girls to do shopping and I went to Bedford Library. This is a good place of study – plenty of desks amongst a wealth of history books from surrounding counties, as well as Bedford. I went through the Herts and Hunts shelves and scanned the former for any intelligence on Watford family history, and the latter for new sources. Found some interesting inputs from Tebbutt. Soon it was time for lunch and so met Di at Debenhams.

Thursday 27th November 1986

By car to Stevenage and by train to Kinds Cross for a stockbroker’s meeting with Nicholas de Zoete and colleague to no effect and then on to the British Museum to study their indexes on Little Paxton before on to the Hertford Record office for some family history research and then home to some very hungry and deserted ducks. The evening and until early morning writing up my history notes and hearing of rows over Thatcher resisting questions on MI5, Reagan still in trouble over arms to Iran as they now break the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty 2 by loading a bomber with multiple cruise missiles and the Royal family field criticism over accelerating King George Vth death and the IRA miss a police station with their mortars and hit houses near the Irish border

Awake quite early and quickly showered and dressed in my best sports jacket and trousers, ready for my day in London. Breakfast of wheat flakes and fruit juice to drink, then out with my briefcase and papers to the Range Rover. Opted to drive down to Stevenage, as the A1(M) traffic was not too bad, instead of catching the train from St Neots and was pleased with my decision. Parked easily in Stevenage and was soon in Kings Cross station, picking up another £1.10p-worth of ‘Visitors London’, as I had forgotten mine from home and needed to find my way round the city. Went first to the Kingsway branch of Rymans and bought another large Filofax wallet – now that I am studying both local and family history, I need two. By taxi on to Swan Lane by the Thames to the new Barclays de Zoete Webb building, where I met Nicholas de Zoete and his colleague, Peter Roy.