Charles and Diana now visiting Australia

Domestic upheaval as Della and Debbie have work done to their bedrooms as I get some fireworks from St Neots before building a large bonfire and supervising Daniel’s English prep and then stripping the children’s  bedrooms and storing their excess belongings in the loft. This as HM The Queen tours the West Indies, Charles and Diana go to a rock concert in Australia and a brave South African newspaper publishes an interview with the banned ANC leader, Oliver Tambo


Awake to my morning tea and a little time reading my paper – The Financial Times has less substance and detail on Monday and so I was soon through. Down to my customary breakfast of toast and fruit juice and then washed, dressed and out to the birds. The weather still fine, but becoming breezy and the barometer is falling quickly. Rather cold today as well. The new doves are settling in now, but two of them still need ushering into the nest holes every night. The arrangement for constraining them is working out quite well, though I have to change their water and seed daily as it becomes quite fouled. The decorators make a delayed start today and the Anglian Interiors fitter arrived earlier and made a start on fitting Della’s old cupboards into Debbie’s new room, causing a little conflict with the decorators and a lot of consternation on Diana’s part. This morning she and Joan had to move out all of her clothes and things from our bedroom wardrobes, as it was planned to be their turn in the afternoon. We first popped into St Neots and bought a few things from each supermarket so as to get some large boxes for her packing. Then to get some more fireworks – rockets and large sparklers, plus one more large set – so as to add a bit more attraction to the display tomorrow night.

Then I treated Di to morning coffee and, the rendezvous being full of people and cigarette smoke, we went to a nice little place in the new Cross Keys shopping mall. It seems that its future is threatened by lack of planning permission, which is a shame. Home and Diana attacked her task, whilst I started to prepare my bonfire outside. I had one large stack of materials, which was too big and unmanageable in this wind and so began to pile the excess out of the way. Lunch of ham rolls and butter and some pears to follow, which were nice. Then out to continue my task. I covered over both stacks with tarpaulins and then trimmed back the shrubs down wind to save them catching fire. Then got out the outside coloured lights that we use each Christmas so that we can light the scene up well. Mr Cheeseborough popped by and asked that I light the fire in the new sitting room to help with the paint drying. This I did and also gave him his cheque and one of the drawings from Smallbone that had successfully arrived by courier. As darkness came, the sky clouded over and so I rigged up an extension cable with lights and a fan heater so as to keep the workmen at it as long as possible. Anglia Interiors had fitted the bulk of the cupboards to the new bedrooms. The fire was a bit of a problem today with the wind making it smoke into the house when the windows and door was opened. Also the carpenter thought that smoke was permeating through the cavity wall to come out in the playroom where he was working (!) but it may have been the wind swirling down around the back of the house. Tea in the old dining room tonight for perhaps the last time before the alterations. After tea I fed and put away the birds and then supervised Daniel’s prep and made him do some extra English. Then, with Dan and Di, I attacked the two children’s bedrooms; rolling back Debbie’s carpet first and stacking her things against the window. Then Daniel’s room, where we had an enormous problem with all his junk. Eventually, I filled the loft with our things quite full and then started disassembling the large white fitted wardrobes that were in the way. By the evening’s end I had stacked the pieces, rolled back the carpet and got everything stacked away out of sight. Daniel slept in the lounge tonight and Debbie in Della’s room. The news tonight was of the end of the Queens tour of the West Indies, the continuation of that of the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana at a rock concert in Australia and the defiance of the South African authorities by The Cape Times who published an interview with the leader of the banned ANC party, Oliver Tambo. The barometer drops even further tonight and gales and rain are forecast.