Saturday 31st January 1987

After starting the day after another cold night worried about the delay to my mother’s operation and tending Diana and the children, I progressed my chapter on Paxton Park and then hosted lunch for the family and then home to carry on working until late out again to collect Debbie from Hail Weston House where she had been at a party for Nigel’s daughter. The bullying tactics of Special Branch after the Zircon satellite affair led to the BBc successfully overturning a search warrant but then another was immediately issued and more oppression has the phone tapped of union leader,. John Golding

A poor night, worrying this time about the delays in the operation for my Mum. There has evidently been a spate of accidents to old people and others that is keeping the orthopedic departments of this hospital full, so that only emergency cases could be accommodated. We speak to Mum and Dad this morning and decide to go and visit them tomorrow, even though the girls have got colds, as we will hardly manage to get there otherwise. After my restless night, I am awake early and manage to catch Diana in bed for once, with the usual satisfying result.

Friday 30th January 1987

To Bedford with Diana on a cold and frosty morning but nothing of interest at Peacocks Auction and so home to the warmth of my office and to welcome Rosa Young to help with my researches but time was short for her and so the outcome frustrating. The more so, as my photocopier had failed to arrive but this meant that I spent more time with Daniel and Debbie on their homework. It now seems that Terry Waite has been added to the ranks of the westerners kidnapped in The Lebanon. Four IRA bombs are set off in Belfast and an English language European satellite TV programme, got going today and is being financed by ITV, Virgin and Granada.

Because of my more relaxed end to yesterday evening, I seemed to sleep a lot better and it was soon morning and time for a wake-up call by Diana. Reluctantly through my showering, shaving and dressing routine and so was late down and angry with the children for not clearing up their rooms before the meal. Was ready to go to Bedford shopping with Diana this morning, but first I had to pay Joan & Pete and then the milkman as well. A cold and frosty morning. The sky was clear and the temperature dropped accordingly, but at least the sun was shining. A fair trip to Bedford and morning coffee in Debenhams as usual. I then left the girls to go window shopping (mainly in the Early Learning Centre) and I went to Peacocks to have a look round. A poor selection of lots in the general auction, spaces everywhere and the auction rooms freezing cold and so I did not stay long, but went back to buy some cassettes and batteries for my dictation recorder and some more A4 card indexes from A to Z.

Thursday 29th January 1987

Struggling to combine the final editing and recording of my Little Paxton Scrap-book transcription with interviews with other elderly residents but still helped Daniel and Debbie with their homework. Lebanese kidnappers threaten to kill four of the US hostages, more details of illegal  payments for Guinness deal revealed, but the best story is of Sir Ralph Halpern’s successful shareholders’ support for his share scheme even though theb tabloids were full of his exploits with the young model Fiona Wright

To bed at the usual time on a cold night. Was first grateful for the warmth of my electric blanket, but then I felt uncomfortable during the night and ended up sleeping quite badly. This lead to a rather poor start to the day as well. The problem seems to be a conflict between the work still necessary in the aftermath of the transcription, and the other priorities of interviewing the ladies again and the rest of my paperwork, which has been building up on me. Late down to breakfast and poor Debbie was not feeling well. She has a tummy ache and a temperature and, although very poorly, she insists on going to school, as there are several things there that she does not want to miss. Once the children are both off, I settle into my office to first write up yesterday’s journal and then get my own Little Paxton scrap book up to date.

Wednesday 28th January 1987

A better day for Debbie, her horse-riding, her eating and her relationship with her mum after I intervened and agreed an acceptable diet and then more progress with her number-work and homework than Daniel, who I had to press to work harder. This, as I was struggling to finish off and check my transcription of the Little Paxton Scrapbook as I had other pressing priorities. The Lebanese hostage situation is now critical with Terry Waite in acute danger, there are even more Guinness revelations and now pressure for more safeguards is growing but the coup in the Philippines is in its death throws

A reasonable night, with some intervals of restlessness. Slow to awake, but then quickly showering and dressing for breakfast. In fact, managed to catch the children out before the meal and insisted that they tidied their rooms. We all had boiled egg with toast ‘fingers’ to dip in and it proved popular and was all eaten up. Straight down to work afterwards, typing all morning in what proved a considerable exercise to finish the work. A salad lunch, which was quite slimming and then a lesser task until the transcription was done. An early tea before Debbie’s horse riding, and out prior to that to feed the doves and put away the ducks. A much brighter and easier day today, cooler, but with the sun to warm the soil a little, after the dull days of late. A less traumatic tea than recently. Debbie ate the fare of sausage rolls, toast and chocolate cake and was perfect friends with Diana again. I had spoken to Deb and she had written out a list of the things she would be prepared to eat for tea and now Di will try to do them.