Mum just before her operation

Dealing with another family crisis this bitterly cold morning abdicated by Di and then carting the family off to see my mother Grace in hospital today following her operation where the girls behaved well and we had fun and I could chat to Dad afterwards. Home to news of the INLA feud continuing with 9 more deaths and the youthful killer of 13-year-old Jaqueline Gordon appearing in Magistrates Court and that the teachers’ dispute, planned for Monday, will affect 1.8million schoolchildren

Slept well, but Diana did her ‘laying-in’ demonstration this morning and was also in her normal Sunday mood of depression. Eventually, I put the bedroom light on and started to read yesterday’s papers, then the girls came in after 7.15am to find out what had happened to the morning drinks. I showered, shaved and dressed, but by the time I had got down for breakfast, Della and Di were already at odds and Di wheeled Della out into the hall screaming again. After this, I managed to calm Della down and get her to eat her breakfast. I then took both girls out to the cul-de-sac and, whilst they cycled on other bikes, I modified Debbie's old ‘budgie’ bike by lowering the saddle and putting on the stabilisers for Daniella.

It still proved a bit too big for her, but they enjoyed the fresh air and exercise. It was a bright and cold morning, still at first, but a colder breeze getting up later. Soon Debbie trotted off to church with the Laws and I fed the doves and ducks, prior to drinking my morning coffee. A more settled spell, before I laid up the table and personally supervised Daniella in the run up to lunch, ensuring that the TV was off and that she was in the dining room, at the table, before the meal was due to start. A nice lunch of tomato soup, roast chicken and ice cream after. Di and I did the washing up and then it was time to get everybody in the car, secure and alarm the house, and set off for Bury St Edmunds to see my Mum in the recovery ward F4 of the West Suffolk Hospital. She was quite improved and safely through her operation and both girls behaved themselves beautifully. Della sat with Mum quietly and then went off with Dad for him to read her three stories in the waiting area. Debbie was good company and played noughts-and-crosses and then scrabble with her, quite cheering her up. Mum had taken off her wedding ring and then misplaced it just before we arrived, which was a bit silly, as the nurses had previously suggested it be kept in the safe, but a nice visit and relief to see her absence of pain and improvement. We stayed an hour, until the end of visiting time, and then chatted to Dad in the car park, before setting off for home. Dad has been using these last few days to do some decorating in the house. We arrived back before dusk and I managed to feed the doves and ducks satisfactorily – it seems that the fishing season is well and truly ended now. I had recorded this afternoon’s live TV coverage of the Spurs v Wimbledon cup football match and was pleased to play it tonight for entertainment and see Tottenham win 2-0. News of the death today of one of the main instigators of the INLA feud in Ulster, Gerard Steenson, nick named ‘Doctor Death’. The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Thomas O’Fiaich, has called for a halt to the killings that have seen 9 deaths in the last week. A youth of 15 is to appear before Greenwich Juvenile Court tomorrow, accused with the murder of schoolgirl, Jacqueline Gordon, in Eltham, Surry. She was aged 13. The latest teachers dispute stoppages, planned for Monday, will affect a record 1.8 million school children. The weather has been bitterly cold lately and tonight will be no exception, but increasing cloud will make tomorrow lightly milder.