Cold and icy day requires The Lady to have heating switched on

Full day of managing my Hayling View conversion project with the garden frost freezing the dove’s water and me running The Lady’s heating to keep her warm but the link building is progressed, the kitchen door is moved and the Smallbone installation delayed until next week as Terry Waite sets off to try and get the release of the Western hostages in The Lebanon, the racist headmaster Honeyford’s sacking is deemed lawful and four men are questioned about the Chelsea barracks bombs


Slept well despite the disorder and dust around us and awake for once without my cold drying my throat. My drink and then down to breakfast in the lounge, waiting whilst Di got washed and dressed. Then my turn and I showered first and enjoyed the relief of the warm water cascading over my body on a cold morning. Up quickly to shave and dress and ready by 8.00am when a range of building trades started to arrive. I let them in and then undid the security bolts on the new kitchen/breakfast room windows. Some time chatting to Mr Cheeseborough and then back to the house to call David Stokes about the new work and Anglia Interiors to try to get the bedside tables interchanged in the new guest room. Out to the doves and ducks, finding the birds hungry and their drinking water frozen. It took some time to get them fed and watered and, once inside again, I got ready and took Diana off to St Neots. As she attended the slimming clinic (and lost 3 lbs over the last week to 9st 9lb) I bought some chub security locks and some more wood screws for the floor boards. Then, together to the Cross Keys coffee bar to celebrate the progress before going together to the lighting shop to choose some outside lights and then on to Brittains to start choosing carpets and curtains for the new dining room and Daniel’s bedroom.

Back in a hurry to let Joan get away and then, for me, a lunch of smoked mackerel and buttered brown bread with more pears to eat after. This afternoon I fitted one of my security catches to the new window, directed the welders on the way to increase the height of our weather vane, and liaised with the builders. They moved the kitchen door today to accommodate the kitchen design, laid in the principal pipework and moved the sink and cooker units to the south east end of the kitchen/breakfast room to free up the room for the Smallbone fitters. Meanwhile the carpenter was up on the trestles finishing off the framework for the link building roof and the plasterer skimmed all of yesterday’s work to a good and final finish. The labourers started to punch out the opening from No6 Willow Close to the link building and so we had a fair amount of noise and dust and disruption all day. Late afternoon Mr Llewellyn, the Smallbone installation manager, phoned to delay the kitchen work until Monday, but I persuaded him to send a fitter along tomorrow morning to advise the builders on a range of outstanding queries, so that they can work on in the meantime. Out to the ducks to feed and put them away and also to The Lady. I had been running the engine and heating today and decided to leave the heater on at a low level to protect the water systems and toilets from the weather. It was bitterly cold last night and a hard frost greeted us this morning. The builders put on the ground floor heating pipework from No7 to the existing boiler today, which warmed the house up considerably. This evening Daniel and I ate our rolls and cake before I supervised his prep and then we played computer motor racing, with victory again in each case to the holder of the better joystick. Then a spell in my temporary office, when I managed to update our accounts, pay some bills and reconcile our statements. Diana was out at a fashion show tonight to finish off a day of engagements. To bed tonight as the clear skies foretold another heavy frost. News tonight of the latest mission by Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Envoy, to Lebanon to try to negotiate the release of hostages from America and the UK. He then held and impromptu press conference on his arrival as rival militia men argued about who should guard him. More comments from Reagan and Gorbachev in the East/West PR battle, prior to the meeting. Now Russia offer to join the West in peaceful space projects for research in communications, weather etc. as a ‘Star Peace’ rather than ‘Star Wars’ programme. An appeal court ruling authorised the sacking of the ‘racist’ headmaster, Ray Honeyford, by the local council, but it is not clear what will happen now. Four men are being questioned about the Chelsea Barracks bombs and an anonymous man is appearing in court on the Wiltshire/Surrey M4 rape cases. Edward Heath & Francis Pym spoke today against the Chancellors Economic Policy, but welcomed the apparent change for increased public spending. Sir Keith Joseph was attacked with eggs as he attended a student’s dinner at Cambridge University, but the Prince & Princess of Wales ended the US tour with more converts than ever.