Monday 31st August 1987

Bank Holiday – Back to St Ives for the market and antiques fair after which we viewed All Saints Church and tried unsuccessfully to stop at Brampton Mill on the way back but it was far too busy. There was rioting at The Notting Hill Carnival today with looting and missile-throwing, an acrimonious SDP conference votes for the merger, three men are arrested outside Ulster Secretary Tom King’s farmhouse and 8 more die in the South African mines; making 800 in the last 10 years!

Late to bed watching TV sport. First the athletics and then boxing. Lloyd Honeyghan made mincemeat out of his world title challenger, but Frank Bruno making heavy weather of his over-the-hill opponent. Di brought me morning tea and, when I had drunk it, I dressed and went out fishing, but did not manage to catch anything in the morning sun and breeze. Back in for breakfast, which proved a good way of building up an appetite. Showered and shaved rather belatedly, then got the rest of the family loaded up in the Range Rover for a trip to St Ives.

Sunday 30th August 1987

An early start to the day and a healthy walk around Paxton after a very unhealthy fried breakfast and then back for a swim in the pool and some success fishing afterwards. Iraq have been attacking Iranian oil installations and tankers with oil flooding into the sea from Kharg Terminal, the Miners’ strike is over in South Africa and world records tumble in the World Athletics Championships. Dr David Owen at the SDP Conference spoke well about social democracy, but the merger argument rages on as the party blood is spilt.

Awoke to find Diana still in bed and took advantage of the situation accordingly. I got up first and made the drinks, then went out to check the swimming pool. The boiler had cut out again and I had to trigger it, but in plenty of time for the family to go swimming later. To the lounge in my pyjamas and worked my way through the last few week’s local newspapers and saved the cuttings on Little Paxton. Soon it was time for a nice breakfast and I enjoyed the first meal of fried egg, bacon and mushroom/tomato in a long while. The children also had fried egg and toast fingers, but Di stuck to her cereal. Back to my papers for a good while, until I got shaved and showered quite late. Then decided to take Di and Della for a walk around Little Paxton, along the boundary path to Gordon Road, through the churchyard and back. Little Della was quite good, but still moaned of course, until we carried her.

Saturday 29th August 1987

Visit on a fine and warm day to St Ives to visit the auction viewings and L H Jones Chandlery before lunch and back in time to Eynesbury for the St Neots Carnival Procession before home for a quiet evening as The SDP party is divided with Owenites resisting the new leader and its plans to merge with the Liberals and the bloody aftermath of the failed coup against Cory Aquino in The Philppines

Slept well after yesterday’s disturbances, then awoke to Di and Della with my morning tea. Fortunately, Di took our baby girl off me and finished reading the story I had started so that I could get washed and dressed. Everyone on time for breakfast and then I went out to feed the doves on a warm morning. In fact, I was moved to change my clothes into something cooler, but later today it became cooler again as the cloud cover increased and it started to rain. Fine this morning as we set off in the Range Rover for a visit to St Ives. A nice chance to look round the auctions, before walking to L H Jones Boathaven to make our planned rendezvous.

Friday 28th August 1987

Collecting The Lady from Buckden Marina but missing the horse-riding for Debbie as she was sick today. Some paperwork but then distracted to do some fishing from my moorings and then in the main river from my dinghy after Peter had been cutting the lawns on a warm and muggy day. Cory Aquino is secure as Phillipino President but only after a closely-fought fight involving air attack and artillery. The Spanish Ait Traffic dispute is settled  to their advantage and British min-sweepers are deployed in the Gulf after Iran rejects ceasefire

ur night was much disturbed by Debbie coming in several times having been sick. She seems to have caught the illness from her friend Amy. Groggily awake at 7.00am and breakfast with Gary and Daniel at 7.45am, but poor Debbie is still unwell and must miss her riding day that she was very much looking forward to. She is laid in a sleeping bag in the back of the Range Rover and the rest of us take off for Buckden & Offord anyway, as I am due to collect The Lady. Gary & Daniel help me to prepare it by putting the dingy back on the davits and fitting the fenders. The inside is quite chaotic again, drawers and their contents everywhere. It seemed to work fine and we filled up with diesel at the landing stage and cruised back through Offord Lock and back to the Haylings.