Monday 30th September 1985

Up early to unlock the new house for the builder to start demolition of walls when they discover the well which stops work but I lead the quest to find the right real oak kitchen for us and home in on Smallbone and visit their showrooms in St Albans and like what I see whilst Diana attends the doctor for tests and I get some lunch. The Russians make substantial offers in the arms reduction talks and police victim Cherry Groce’s son is allowed bail after surrendering to tend to her as she recovers but there is trouble brewing as Labour’s Kinnock is overruled about supporting the miners who have been fined but the TUC votes otherwise.

A sound sleep all and then brief read of today’s papers, saving my back again. Out in my dressing gown to unlock our new house and the door to Bill’s plot, so that the builders could make their early start. In no time they had knocked a large section of wall down in what was my office yesterday! Breakfast, a wash and shave and then out to feed the doves. Another fine day, but a misty start and slightly chilly as I stood outside. Then to the office and I made up a list of the seven real oak manufacturers from the Ideal Home Kitchen Guide magazine and phoned each one to ascertain delivery, country of origin and arrangements for viewing. A long process and ready for coffee at 11.00 and to discuss the results of my survey. Eventually homed in on Smallbone of Devises and, after speaking to their St Albans designer, agreed a campaign to visit their showroom and view this afternoon and receive him here tomorrow for a design appraisal.

Sunday 29th September 1985

More relaxing day, being Sunday, and some time sitting out and enjoying our riverside gardens, managing a barbecue for the family and our friends before recruiting help to move my office away from forthcoming building work as work goes on to clear up after the Brixton riots, blamed on discrimination and poverty by Lord Scarman,  and outrage now focuses on the police killing of a suspect’s mother with the family refused access to the investigation. The last babies are saved from the Mexican earthquake rubble and Syrian-back militia attack Libya’s capital Tripoli with 200 dead and 1,000 injured as 5,000 demonstrate against neo-Nazism in Germany.


A good night for all the family as we are now reasonably fit and well – Dan and Di are over their sickness and my back is healing steadily. Out of bed with my morning tea and paper and I sit on my folding bedroom chair and scan the Sunday Times. Down to a cooked breakfast, my Sunday treat, but there was no mushrooms and I had to create to get the salt! Washed, showered, shaved and dressed and then out to the doves, who feed well. I put on the sprinkler on another beautiful day. There is even no fog this morning and the sun was up by 9.00am. A walk round the gardens when I noticed that the Boston Ivy was starting to climb over East Wall, which is progress. Then to see that several boulders were strewn in the vicinity of the step and so I put them in and started to sort out a few more to line the rest of our front garden where it borders the Hayling Walk.

Saturday 28th September 1985

Recovery day for the family with Daniel back to school and me to the St Ives auction and then the garden centre until later when I help Daniel fix his outboard and plant some new wisteria as another ‘ accidental’  police shooting sparks a Brixton march, demonstration and riot and another 50sec tremor strikes Mexico and Barry McGuigan retains his featherweight title in Belfast

A fair night for me, but Diana could not sleep and had to spend the night in the lounge – not surprising in view of the time she was in bed yesterday. Awake to morning tea, but quickly out of bed to ease my back. It seems to uncomfortable bent at right angles when sitting in bed. My back is a bit better today and eased further as the day went on. Toast and fruit juice breakfast and then I opened up the house next door at 8.00am and, as expected, the builders arrived to continue their work. They cleared away the rubble from yesterday’s demolition and removed another path. On Monday they should dig the footings. To the doves, who feed well and then the ducks, but only three eggs. Daniel was back at school this morning and so I took the girls to St Ives for the general auction and also the viewing for Tuesday’s antique auction.

Friday 27th September 1985

Family recovering on a warm and sunny day as Pete and Joan help us in the house and the builders and architect attend to help plan the building work as the Soviets make major concessions in the arms talks and the third biggest hurricane this century is landing on the US Long Island coast


A better night’s sleep and I did not need the bowl kept by my bed as a precaution against catching the general malaise. Diana got the morning drinks and then collapsed again, feeling sick. Although Daniel could probably have managed school, he was too late by this time to go and it was probably wiser to keep him at home, which he did. Debbie and I made the breakfast and managed to tempt Diana into half a slice of bread and some orange juice. Debbie was all right and got herself ready and then I fed the doves before taking her for a short walk to school. We joined Pat & Annie and got there quite early and Debbie kissed me and then went off. Back home and in Diana’s car to St Neots. There to a 9.15am appointment with Dr Osborne, the dentist, who examined them quite a bit later, pronounced them fit, but arranged a visit with his hygienist to descale the back of the large molars in three weeks’ time. On then to do a round of shopping; the building society, the bank for my statement, Readwells for some more colouring pens, the Co-op for grocery and then Sketchley to collect my suit from its cleaning.