Friday 31st July 1987

The walk to the centre of Beccles after a better night for some shopping, back to The Lady for the cruise to the Waveney River Centre and where we went swimming and had hot showers, then on to Oulton Broad to moor where Daniel and I head for the chandlers for more and bigger fenders and then back for tea with the girls. The UK newspapers consider defying the SpyCatcher gagging injunctions, Britain decides not to send minesweepers to the Gulf, despite requests from the Americans to avoid escalation, Casper Weinberger testifies at the Irangate hearings and was against the whole Iran/Contra aid scheme, UK air traffic controllers complain of unsafe congestion in the airways and a Christmas Island nuclear test witness wins an appeal for compensation for contracting blood cancer.

Our best night’s sleep yet, from the moment we put our heads to our pillows until 7.00am in the morning. I put the kettle on and then Della was the first awake and in a much better state of mind and health. Our routine and then all ashore for a trip to the centre of Beccles. Got some nice video pictures of the girls before we set off for the town centre. We split up and Daniel came with me to visit Boots and electrical shops to buy more film for my video camera and a switch for his boat electrics. Back to The Lady and then off to the ‘Waveney River Centre,’ an hour’s cruise downriver near Aldeby. We went swimming and had hot showers there, which was very pleasant and refreshing and also all burgers & chips seated around the pool.

Thursday 30th July 1987

A trip by taxi from St Olaves to Fritton Lake and Country Park where the children enjoyed the playground, the family ate in the cafeteria and I could charge my video camera as Debbie and Della did some horse-riding. Then on up the Waveney to Beccles and he walk into town some good facilities and BBQ goodies for our evening meal on a muggy day which will soon herald more rain. The Law Lords rule against the newspapers publishing Spy-catcher extracts and nearly over rule parliamentary privilege to talk about the matter as well. More of the Cleveland ‘Child Abuse’ children are back with their parents and President Reagan is treated for skin cancer. Thatchers cabinet approved plans for the Poll Tax, which will be a big mistake and a huge bomb hits Johannesburg with the regime under threat from civil unrest and armed insurgence.

Della woke us early after a fair night’s sleep. The moorings downstream of St Olaves were very comfortable and quiet, though the tide strong. Our customary morning routine and then all off for the walk to Fritton Lake & Country Park. Did not get further than the service station where Daniel spotted ‘ St Olaves Taxi Service’ sign and I got them to drive us to the resort. Just as well, as the road was uphill, twisty and without pavements, which made the goods traffic quite a hazard. The weather was kind to us and the sun came out as we arrived. Spent a nice time in the adventure playground, with the children making ideal subjects for our video and still cameras.

Wednesday 29th July 1987

A cruise in torrential rain to Reedham after a quiet night at Rockland Staithe and coping with Della’s sickness in addition to working out the very tidal nature of the River Yare.  Then on past the Yare dykes and shore-side features to the Waveney and St Olaves and still to find the current too much for sailing and fishing but Daniel tuned the TV to receive local channels and so we could catch up with the news. It seems that the Tamil guerrillas are being challenged by India and Sri Lankan cooperation but Ghandi’s grip on government is still slipping. Russia is being very vindictive towards the Chernobyl managers and remains at odds with the US over their Pershing missiles and Star Wars programme before mutual arms reduction can be agreed

A quiet night in Rockland Staithe, but Della woke up very early and came in to see us at 6.00am to truncate our night’s sleep. Up early, therefore, and washed and dressed early to get breakfast. Della then managed to be sick over her bunk to give us a chore to cope with. In fact Diana cleared up there and I sorted out my drawers and wardrobe of clothes, folding most to take up less space and removing the shirts from scarce hanging space. Soon Daniel had joined us and we all had breakfast as the rain poured down outside. We unmoored and cruised in torrential rain down Rockland Dyke and then down the river Yare, past The Beauchamp Arms, Langley Dyke, Cantley, Hardley Dyke and past the confluence with the River Chet until we finally arrived at Reedham at about 11.00am – some 10 miles in a couple of hours.

Tuesday 28th July 1987

A quiet and enjoyable stay at Bramerton Wood End and then the cruise to Brooms at Brundall after breakfast where we moored for lunch at the Yare Pub before moving on to Rockland broad and staithe where we planned our trips around the Broads for the month, I did some fishing before checking my home telephone messages and making some investment decisions. The children seem to be behaving and enjoying the trip and we are blissfully unaware of the wider world as we enjoy no TV reception

A much sounder night’s sleep at Bramerton Woods, after a nice meal at the Woods End pub. It was beautifully quiet, and remote, the wind had dropped and the mooring was tranquil. Awake at 7.00am to the sounds of the woodlark and wood pigeon. Breakfast of poached egg and then the children went for a play in the wood, whilst Di did the housework and I did some filming. Soon we cast off and made our way down the Yare until we returned to Brundall for the riverside shop, fuel for Daniel and Diana and I lunch at the pub called The Yare.