Nelson Mandela still in South African Jail as journalist jailed for reporting on his ANC party

Morning alone in Bedford for the Peacock’s Auction after I woke with a poor chest with my infection and dust inhalation and then the afternoon working whilst the builders continued their messy work before an evening playing with Daniel and then supervising his homework and classwork. This as domestic legal disagreements are eclipsed by the plight of the journalist who interviewed the ANC leader being jailed for three years by the repressive South African regime


A restless night; hot with the poorly adjusted heating and throat gulping from my infection and the dust. Awake after some sleep to morning tea, but slow to rise, being tired and weary of the dust and building work. Down to breakfast in the lounge with the others and then, it being close to 8.00am, I quickly showered, shaved and dressed so as to be ready before the builders arrived, and then collected the mail and read the papers. More cheques for government stock interest – several thousand pounds worth – and a hand written note from Bill Unsworth asking me to attend two BMMG meetings to let them know what I am prepared to do from now on. Across to see the building work and then fell to sorting out the outer garage with Mr Cheeseborough. We cleared out the carpets that were for scrapping and rolled up those to send to the auction. Argued after with Di, who wanted to go her own way today rather than come to Bedford with me and so I fed and tended the ducks and doves and then set off on my own. I stopped at the Willington Garden Centre on the way in the expectation of having a coffee in their camping centre, but it was closed for the winter. I looked around the plants and books, but saw nothing that I could not live without. On to Bedford, where I parked close to Peacocks and walked to the auction centre.

The most interesting thing was a fire screen that folded into a card and occasional table, but I decided not to bid as it needed too much restoration for Diana’s patience. Out to make for Debenhams restaurant for lunch, but I felt tired and a bit self-conscious being on my own and so settled for a take-away. Plaice and chips from the local fish and chip shop. Home then and a mug of tea for my thirst before spending the afternoon, first trying to sort out my office, then watching the builders, before I eventually settled into cleaning more of Bill’s plot in the area that I intend to have my workshop. Fed the ducks and doves and then in at dusk to see Diana and the state of the works. The electricians had done most of the work in putting the electrics to the new kitchen walls, the old plaster had been removed to provide space for the new channels and the boiler controls had been moved to the utility room. The plumber had connected up the water supply to the other side of the house and had made a start on the new water venting system. This will eventually go from the rising main on the old side of the house to the water softener in the utility room (dropping off a drinking water supply in the kitchen and outside water taps back and front on the way) and then in both directions to both sides of the house. Upstairs, the balcony door frame was fitted in Daniel’s room. Tea of ham rolls and then most of the evening with Daniel. After spending some time on his homework and classwork, where there was every scope for improvement, we then played several competitive games of motor racing on his Commodore microcomputer. Then, as Diana tried to clear up the remains of our kitchen, for which she has custody for the weekend, I updated my journal and heard the TV news. Shock and surprise today at the life sentence for a Chelsea football hooligan. Though all deprecate the actions of these louts, this somewhat eccentric sentence by a colourful judge will undoubtedly be reduced on appeal. More accusations and scandal over the JMB affair, with Sedgemore criticising both the Government and Bank of England. The Tin Council is still in crisis over the collapse of dealings on the London Metal Exchange. In South Africa, a journalist who interviewed the ANC leader has been jailed for 3 years by that repressive government. Mycock, a supposed thief, whose accuser has admitted he did not do it, is still serving his 5 year sentence whilst a judicial review takes place and this is causing controversy in legal circles. The weather was mild and moist today, but this is forecast to get much colder by Sunday. At least there will be no frost to try the exposed pipes in the link building.