December 1985

Year of enjoying my ‘retirement’ from the computer industry developing my Hayling View into a wonderful riverside mansion and helping to nurture our children who are growing up in this troubled world and our parents who are suffering in their later years of it. The Band-Aid Ethiopian appeal was a positive highlight in a year when the USSR and USA struggled to agree nuclear arms control and the oppressive regime in South Africa is weakening but yet to be reformed. In 1986, we look forward to more cruising on The Lady and socialising at The Hayling View

And so ends December and with it 1985. We have now occupied and finished 80% of ‘The Hayling View’ in its new form and are enjoying the new facilities and furnishings. There are teething problems – both of equipment and use – but it is a magnificent home. In particular, the heating controls have still to be de-bugged and we are still a little unsure about our rules on smoking and pointed heels, especially as visitors are rather overawed by the changes and it’s difficult to get a congenial atmosphere. My alarm system is going in with great complexity and a fair amount of effort, but it is a great hobby of mine for now. Diana is less sure of it and sees it as 10 different ways of frightening us to death by possible false alarms! Still, the exit/entry and fire circuits are complete and personal attack buttons come next. Outside, Bill’s old plot is now largely cleared, keeping Pete in some work for the winter and I need to decide on the workshop location exactly and plans for the excavated earth, because the swimming pool contractors are due to start at the end of the month. The builders will return next week to knock a few more walls down, turn the staircase round, and make the upper bathroom en-suite to our future bedroom.