Sunday June 30th 1985

The electronics shares lead the Stock Exchange down and I have to put my parents off of visiting this Wednesday as the family is so busy and they are disappointed that we have let 39 Gordon Road before we watch Debbie leading the fairies in a junior ballet show at The Priory Centre before some time outside on my steamer chairs and inside testing Daniel on his French and History as the US hostages are handed over to Syria and the Jumbo Jet wreckage is found without bomb damage apparent but 50 people die of cheese poisoning in the US from listeriosis.

Another restless night and awake early to read my Peacocks Robert Room antique catalogue and then the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report on the Forestry Commission’s disposal policies. They are very critical of the confidentiality, not to say secrecy, of the Commission in refusing to publish the prices realised on the sales of forestry land. Down to a very nice fried breakfast and even Della had fried bacon and bread today, with only Diana not having any. Up to read The Sunday Times and the business news section dominated by news of this week’s collapse of the stock exchange, lead downwards by the electronics sector. There are further rumours of bad news to come from STC and Thorn-EMI on the profit side, and also that Olivetti are considering backing out of the rescue bid for Acorn. As I finish my reading, Diana joins me and we discuss next weekend’s christening of Charles & Chris’s new baby. We decide to go to the party, not the church service, and call in at the Anchor antique fair on the way back. Then my mother phones and I have to talk her out of visiting on Wednesday.

Saturday 29th June 1985

Visit to Peacock’s Auction in Bedford for folding furniture before lunch at The Anchor and some afternoon work gathering logs after my garden clearance and then an evening enjoying Goldie Hawn

Awake to my morning tea and I sat on the left of our bed drinking it and gazed at the new Hayling View. Down to breakfast of cornflakes and top of the milk and to see Daniel safely off for his examination school day. Then to The Financial Times and the City news, but fortunately the stock exchange took a breather yesterday and the electronics shares were not further hit. Up at 8.30am as the girls came in to my bedroom, and then me showered, shaved and dressed. Out to the birds – the doves were very hungry as they could not come down to eat properly for two days, due to the bonfire smoke. No such problem with the ducks and nine eggs this morning. Marilyn’s Aylesbury (“Michael”) is waiting for them and has adopted them. To the house and, after one or two false starts, we set off for Bedford and the Peacock auction. I found another mahogany folding deck/steamer chair and a small oak gate leg barley twist table. I bought them both for about £70-odd the two, although I had to stay until 12.30pm to get to the second lot number 166. Diana had collected Daniel and we set off together to The Anchor for lunch.

Friday 28th June 1985

Organising my office in 7 Willow Close as the landscape gardeners clear the new riverside garden extension whilst Daniel does better at his exams and revision and Thatcher combats IRA terrorism and the High Court rejects the FA’s appeal against the Euro-ban

A slightly wakeful night and drowsy to wake to my morning tea. The Financial Times until breakfast of toast and fruit juice and then quickly washed and dressed. By this time the workmen had arrived and stoked up the fire and it was too smoky to feed the doves, but I fed the ducks and collected 8 eggs. To the office then and time taking all my things across to 7 Willow Close. Later in the morning Pete, the gardener, helped me as well and I installed my desk, furniture and computer before lunch. Poor Di wanted to go out to lunch, but I insisted on working on with a sandwich and an ice cream. More transfer of goods in the afternoon and I also took all my telephone equipment across as well. I typed a friendly letter to my old neighbours, briefing them on the new tenant and apologising for the smoke these last two days as the workmen burnt the undergrowth. By the end of the day they had cleared the riverside garden in total and the view was an amazing transition from before. Such good views of the river from all parts of the house and I almost suffered from agoraphobia at the wide open spaces. The gardens were bigger than I thought. Then tea with the children and I started Daniel on his revision of physics and biology. He said he had done quite well in today’s English literature and very well in the mathematics.

Thursday 27th June 1985

By train to London for two BMMG meetings at The World Trade centre and then back home to read a story to Debbie and supervise Daniel’s homework as a July IRA bomb threat, a Falklands aircraft collision and a falling stock exchange hit the headlines

Awake early and by 7.00am, washed, dressed and eating breakfast. Last minute instructions to Daniel and the girls and then off out to feed the doves and then by car to Huntingdon station. The 7.45am train to Kings Cross and time to read The Financial Times before it arrived at 8.30am. Tube to Tower Hill where I met BMMG Vice Chairman, Bill Unsworth, and then we walked to the World Trade Centre and made our way to the National Microprocessor Centres Floor and chatted as we went. Two BMMG meetings for members and they went well. There was a good attendance for both and, despite Nigel’s absence, they were very productive. I managed to offload a number of items on volunteers and we can now make progress without it falling too heavily on me. Lunch with a few members and then home via tube, train and car. A stunning, but youthful beauty on the train was quite a distraction. On arrival I could see the workmen had progressed well and, after tea, I set Daniel working on his revision and then went out to stoke up their fire with some of our old conifer trees and get the neighbour’s kids to help. I also took a few more video pictures of the progress and then came in to read Debbie a story and test Daniel on his knowledge of Maths and English literature. As it was acceptable, I let him go to Computer Club.