A month pressing hard for acceptance of the BMMG LAN standards

Busy month with the BMMG advocacy in between spending more time with Daniel and Debbie as the duck eggs arrive in droves but we retrieve The Lady and start using her after her refit and renovations. Thatcher’s government becomes every more unpopular and she faces equal criticism from Bishops and her own senior members for the austerity and divisiveness. The miners march back to walk after they are spyed on illegally, starved and bullied into submission. Good talks commence between Ireland and the UK over Ulster and between East/West as Gorbachev looks set to succeed Gromyko but worrying developments in South Africa, the Iran/Iraq war and The Lebanon lead to deaths and mistrust

Thus ends March and some contrasting weather as Spring begins. The family end the month fit and well after a series series of colds and flu that we had and my mother seems to be better and, no doubt, looking forward to a visit from us.  I am spending more time with the children than before;  reading to them and helping with their homework, which is a blessing, but I hope that I didn’t leave it too late to form a closer relationship with Daniel before he grows up. However, we give him a great Birthday party with Girls (!) as well as his male friends. . The doves and ducks are doing well in the better weather with plenty of eggs being laid and, fortunately, subsequently sold. We have managed, at last, to get out in The Lady on a very windy day, but the season is still early. At least we have got her back from her renovation and have checked out that she her new curtains both fit and look fine and the structure is waterproof and the equipment working well. We are about to get our children’s trusts sorted at long last and are negotiating for neighbouring riverside gardens to add to the house we are also buying next door. Some walks around Paxton Pits as I study the local and natural history of the area.  I have just started a two week holiday, after a very successful and busy period with the BMMG gaining members and involving many speeches, radio and Tv interviews meetings with DTI and NEDO at Millbank,  a press launch and a presentation to the PICOM parliamentary committee. Meetings with the DTI secure support for our £250,000 LAN grant, subject to application.

Thatcher’s government becomes increasingly unpopular and embattled as the month progresses with as another bishop attacks the government for its divisiveness and key Tory colleagues voicing their criticism openly.  Francis Pym comes out against the Government austerity and then Ted Heath and Jim Prior’s do likewise as interest rates rise to 13 ½ % whilst US Savings and loans institutions collapse. Also, prescription charges are hiked and the most expensive and divisive strike in British history draws messily to a close. Ollerton miners  and those of Maerdy march back to work, heads held high and with bands playing, banners flying, in a display of defiance and then Thatcher shows little sympathy during the visit of 25 jobless youths from Liverpool. Stories emerge of the MI5 spying on the CND and NUM and the BBC will not publish the programme revealing the details but Virgin media do and Belgium have agreed to deploy Cruise missiles but immediately 100,000 Belgians demonstrate against Cruise missile deployment.  Thatcher’s Chancellor presents a lack-lustre budget with nothing for industry or infrastructure spending .  Still we are adventurers and our injured British Antarctic explorer gets rescued by helicopter during a miraculous break in the bad weather. Egyptian Al-Fayed takes over Harrods and the House of Frazer and there is a riot at the Luton vs Millwall Riot football match - 'The day that football died'. The Anglo/Irish talks get under way as do the East/West arms talks after the Soviet premier Chernenko dies and Gorbachev is poised to take over. The situation of Black unrest becomes ever more tense because, and not in spite of, the mass killings of demonstrators. as police in South Africa arrest 200 people for marching and then jail political leaders afterwards.  Ten Israeli soldiers are killed in a suicide car bomb attack,  and this results in draconian reprisal raids with Israeli troops running amok in The Lebanon,  wantonly murdering men in reprisal raids for these killings and then Syrian troops wade in and move against Christian Militia in the Lebanon and then 40 people die in clashes between Muslims and Christians in there.  An earthquake in Chile kills 124 and injures more than 2,000 and the Gulf War escalates with cross border Iran/Iraq incursions such that Jordon and Egypt trying to mediate and a British oil tanker captain is seriously injured by Exocet missile attack at Kharg Island in the first of three such attacks this month. Britons advised to leave Baghdad due to the Iraq/Iran war. Elsehwere,  a US major being shot dead by a Russian in East Germany for taking photos and Greece considers blocking Spain and Portugal’s application to join the EEC until they are bought off with a sweetener.