Jane and John visiting with my parents in 1985

Morning mole-chasing and then visiting the Bedford antiques centre before lunch with the family at the Little Chef and an afternoon visit from Mum and Dad with Jane Butterfield and John when we watched some videos. The news is of the Spike Island Irish prison riot being contained and of some slight agreement between Maxwell and the NGA but of deteriorating South African finance and missed debt repayments and this could yet be the tipping point

A good night’s sleep and awake to this week’s Investors Chronicle. Daniel hid the Sunday Times and it was the evening before we found it. Some time before a nice fried breakfast and then back up to read a wealth of news and background to current political and economic affairs. Then down and, Diana being in difficulty, I played with Daniella and pointed out a lot of pictures in her books. I then took her up to the bathroom whilst I washed, shaved and dressed until Diana whisked her away for her morning sleep. Out to the doves and ducks, who both fed well. Three eggs today. Then some little time chasing moles with another smoke canister laid, before off to Bedford for an antiques fair at the Bunyon centre.

There was no silver or folding mahogany chairs on offer, but plenty of stands and well worth visiting on another occasion. The next one is on November 9th. Home via Willington garden centre for more mole poison and noted the ever increasing facilities there, which are well worth a longer visit when we have more time. I then took the family for lunch at the Little Chef, where the service was a bit variable and settled down on our return to wait for our visitors. Whilst waiting, I took Daniella for a good walk round. She now pads along behind me like a faithful dog, holding my hand for the steps and ramps. Our new gardens are ideal for this as she can follow the paths, collecting little stones, which I put into her ‘pouch’ pocket. Then they arrive, Mum & Dad, plus my niece Jane Butterfield and her boyfriend, John. We chat a little, walk around our gardens taking some family pictures and then go in for a cup of tea and look at some videos of Norfolk, our visit to Freda, and time with Nanny at Papworth Hospital on Christmas Day. Then tea of sandwiches and cream cakes and we stay together until the early evening when Mum was getting tired and feeling a bit dizzy. We saw them off and settled to our chores. Jane is quite a surprise. Tall on very high heels and very well groomed and made up. John is a pleasant and relaxed type, but neither are very outgoing and a bit shy, perhaps having not seen us for so many years. Back to the birds afterwards and managed to find another half dozen blue pigeons had joined our doves on the house roof – refugees from a race perhaps, looking for a roost for the night. Then to more mole operations, setting a further two smoke canisters in two more runs that I excavated. I hope now that the majority of the infestation are now dead and that will only have to cope with the odd rogue from now on. In to update today’s journal, read briefly our paper, until now denied to us, and be updated on the latest TV news. Main news is the deterioration of the South African finances even further. In the absence of the international central banks assisting, the SA government have had to suspend all debt repayments. A riot in an Irish prison over the prison conditions, but the prisoners were controlled without concessions on the Spike Island site. After last minute brinkmanship, the Mirror may be printed again on Tuesday after two weeks break as a tentative deal has been struck between Maxwell and NGA officials. Rain is forecast for the next few days after today, which was fine, but breezy, with a little drizzle.