The Copper Kettle in Cambridge for lunch

Family day of heavy rain with Diana taking Debbie to the doctors and Daniel being reprimanded whilst I firstly attend to my investments and then take Diana to the Copper Kettle in Cambridge for a fine lunch, after which I buy some antiquarian history books and herrings for tea which I eat after playing with Debbie and supervising Daniel’s schoolwork. Talks about talks for the coal dispute but Thatcher is dead set against making any concessions to the miners as imported fuel to break the strike costs £2.7billion but  we do see the first signs of compromise from Botha in South Africa

A good night’s sleep and then awake to my morning tea. After half an hour I read some of Pepys early 1666 and then The Financial Times, when it came. Down to a breakfast of boiled duck egg and buttered toast fingers, which was delicious as usual and then up to finish the FT as all degrees of mayhem ruled below. Daniel was being bad and only just left in time to catch the St Neots bus after his cycle ride. Di then left to take Debbie off to the Doctors and then on to school. Poor Debbie has been anxious and slightly wetting herself, but there is no known infection. Up and to get washed, dressed and out to feed the doves. They are quite hungry, but the two active cocks still vie for territory on the feeding tray. No frost this morning and the weather mild. Down to the ducks and them hungry too and now fully in the habit of feeding morning as well as night. Three eggs again today – one large. The river has receded after the thaw and rain run-off and leaves a thick slimy mud deposit as usual on the slipway, which is a hazard when changing their drinking water bowl.

Inside as Diana arrives back and I gather the office post before settling down to scan it quickly and drink my morning coffee. Out to the Jaguar and, after loading, all to St Neots. Diana and Daniella go to Keymarkets to buy the weekend groceries and I trail between Barclays Bank and the Abbey National and Gateway Building Societies, sorting out my cash balances. Barclays have luckily got my statements of account for two weeks and so I see that I am £2,000 in balance with some cheques outstanding and monthly standing orders soon due, which is fine. I received a £6,000 cheque for 6 months Kode non-consultancy this morning; £2,000 cheques each for Diana and I from the Exchequer on account of half year interest in our long-dated gilts and a few more hundred pounds each for Index Linked Stocks. All paid in safely, but only after upset and error from the Abbey desk clerk still making mistakes. They have had my passbook for nearly 2 weeks to correct it and I am rapidly losing my patience. I will also have to withdraw £35K+ next Monday for my Alexandra Workwear share application as the Barclays Bank cheque would then have been presented. I heard today that the AW share issue was hopelessly oversubscribed at its offer price of £1 per ordinary share. I will only get £400 worth and therefore expect a £36,600 refund, but at least I hope to make several hundred pounds capital gain on the premium. All business finished in St Neots and so all off by car to Cambridge. We are lucky to find a 2 hour parking bay free on the outskirts and therefore elect to walk in on a mild and dry day. Lunch and drinks at The Copper Kettle and good fare of traditional English cooking. Roast beef nicely done with Yorkshire pudding, peas and roast potatoes, garnished with gravy and horseradish. A fine homemade chunky and crusty pie, hot, with cream to follow. All refreshed we set to shopping and, leaving Diana, I went to Jean Paine – the antiquarian and second-hand bookshop. An hours browsing in fascination before buying old books by the Dean of Ely (1897); Arthur Mee’s Cambridgeshire (1947); a handbook of the Rivers and Broads (1893) and Heathcote’s Fen and Mere (1876). Also across to Heffers for a modern history of Cambridgeshire and Mid-Anglia National Trust Histories. Home to Little Paxton and then, on my own, back to St Neots to drop off my brown suit for cleaning by Monday and buy a couple of herrings for tea. Back to the office for a couple of hours and phone calls from Computer Weekly and Computer News asking for a report on the LAN seminar, which I give. To read also a folder from a forestry company on the tax treatment of forestry before putting the ducks away and returning in the dark to my tea of grilled herrings. A chance to play with Debbie at wrestling and then to go over Daniel’s school work and supervise his prep. We lecture him on good behaviour and he is better this evening. News today of a planned meeting next Tuesday between the Coal Board and the mineworkers. They will be talks about talks. The negotiations are being overshadowed by political will and the government’s determination that no concessions will be given to the miners. Importing oil and coal cost Britain a further £2.7 billion pounds last year because of the miners’ strike, according to today’s figures. In opening the new South African parliament, President Botha talked surprisingly of more say being needed for black people, but only in their own affairs. More stories from Moscow of Chernenko, the Soviet Premier, being seriously ill. In the English courts SDP leader, Dr David Owen, loses the battle against the Broadcasting Complaints Commission on unequal air time, but the judge said that individual programmes should be criticised. To bed tonight as the rain returns and becomes heavy.