Reagan and Gorbachev with Bush a few years later

A very cold but busy and productive day for the builders and organising day for me as arms control talks between Reagan and Gorbachev go well

A good night and awake to my morning tea on a very cold and breezy morning. Up to our normal routine and then washed and shaved after Daniel had left for school. By 8.30am the workmen had arrived and we were pleased to see the plumber and electrician to do the tasks that allowed the kitchen fitters to carry on. These fitters were here by 8.45am and I left them to it after satisfying myself that all was well. Out to the ducks and doves and a longish chat with the gardener, informing him of the work I wanted done to clear the undergrowth from the boundaries of Bill’s plot. Then up in the loft so as to fetch a cordless telephone to connect to my office number. There was so much noise and disruption that I could not possibly make calls from there. The carpenter was knocking on skirting boards in the corridor and the builders were knocking out the door to the new ironing room. Then, from the lounge, I returned all of the calls on my answering machine. I spoke to Robin Tracey of Jarogate and accepted the invitation to perform the opening ceremony for his new factory.

I had formed the view that I should continue to help the people in the computer industry, in some small recompense for the fortune I have made out of it and in faith with the people I have worked with in the past. I could only leave messages for Peter King, and the security salesman however. Lunch of a salad sandwich with a few old ham sandwiches to follow, then more reading, writing and phone calls. I wrote to Elm Leisure about the swimming pool quotation an asked for timescales. A phone conversation with architect, David Stokes, appraising the plan for an en-suite bathroom for our new bedroom, and eventually managed to get through to Anglia Water Authority and inform them that No 7 was unoccupied and no water rates should be payable. Today the builders finished the ironing room door, put up one of the link building upper door frames. The kitchen fitters finished installing all of the base units today and some of the wall units, and the effect is terrific. I lit the log fire today to keep the lounge warm, at least, on this bitterly cold day and used two large baskets of logs to keep it burning fiercely throughout the day. I have turned the heating down so as to avoid damage by hot pipes through the newly repaired kitchen floor. This evening to supervise Daniel’s homework and then play a few games of computer motor racing, where he beats me 3-2 and I decide the scores are close enough to conclude the match was an honourable draw. Tonight I manage to return John Lamb’s call and he asks to see me for lunch tomorrow for some news and advice, and I agree. News this evening was of the opening of the arms control talks, where a 15 minute fireside chat between Reagan and Gorbachev turned into an hour and was an encouraging start to the process of negotiation. In this opening session the two leaders forwent advisers and only had personal interpreters. Elsewhere the cold weather has taken its grip on Europe and we had snow showers today on a bitterly cold day. The two heavyweight boxers who fought in the weigh-in room before the British title fight were fined £15,000 and £5,000 which was a bit silly as they are supposed to be paid to fight as professionals not to have to pay to do it!