Birthday boy Daniel and his sisters

Enjoyable start to Daniel’s 15th birthday, as he opened his cards and presents, with Della still spottier than ever with her chicken pox, and then to my office to clear a pile of mail, financial transactions and the huge task which is my history book. A so-called ‘Killer Storm’ 99mph winds  today ripped down branches, whipped up spray from the river and demolished some of my fences and others locally but toppled Waresley Church Tower, shredded two airships in Cardington, killed ten people throughout the UK whilst over in the US, Reagan was issuing anti-UK-Labour party statements concerning defence policy and at home Thatcher meets Jewish dissidents

Awoken rather early by Di as today was Daniel's 15th birthday and he had his presents to open. I had hardly finished my drink and started to use the bathroom, when all the family rushed in, as Daniel had woken up and wanted to see what he had got. Besides the boat, I had got him a shaving kit (wet shave) to acknowledge his growing maturity (and ‘bum-fluff’ on his upper lip). Della had got him an Easter Egg, Di some more rechargeable batteries and Debbie a new Rubik Cube puzzle to replace the one he had worn out. Other relations had sent money and vouchers, which were highly appreciated by Daniel, though I would always like to see a thoughtful present in place of money.

Breakfast, which we all ate together. Poor Daniella is even more spotty with chicken pox, her whole body and face now being affected. She is such a funny little girl that she takes this intrusion of her looks rather to heart, but is still quite brave, if temperamental. This morning I go to my office and clear a pile of mail. I phone to chase the unit trust transactions and then read all outstanding matters and put things away in various action categories. Spend some time studying the size of my dilemma over the local history. It is difficult to stop operations dead and re-interest the key sources in 6 months time, but I will have to achieve it somehow. A storm force gale was blowing outside today, ripping down branches, whipping up spray from the river and demolishing many of the fences in the neighbourhood. Lunch early at 12.00 midday and then I studied my forestry files this afternoon, actioning a request for any allowable expenditures to be notified, and analysing the progress of development costs against initial estimates. Later, having ignored the weather outside, I was forced to go out to help put the boat canvas back on, help take down a damaged fence abutting a neighbour’s property, and then effect repairs to our picket fence by the new games lawn, which the winds had also blown over. Daniel sat in his boat most of the day. After Debbie came home from school, I sat with her and Daniel watching TV a while and, after an omelette tea, I got both Debbie and Daniel studying their maths. This evening, I arranged for the Anglian Windows salesman to call and obtain measurements to quote for my new conservatory. My journal and, after studying these conservatory brochures for some time, to the lounge to see the TV news. The so called ‘Killer Storms’ vied with Kinnocks meeting with US President Reagan for the main news story. Neil Kinnock claims a friendly meeting took place, with a general exchange of views and attempt to explain further the Labour Party’s defence policies. Although Reagan offered a stance to avoid interfering in British politics, the White House did issue a statement after the visit, saying that Labour’s policies would weaken the Alliance. The other main international news story is of mounting tension between Greece and Turkey over oil exploration in the Aegean. Conflict seems likely to risk the chance of armed confrontation for these two countries, which are both members of the NATO alliance. Domestically, the gales led to the death of 10 people. 4 victims on a train from East Grinstead to London were killed by a falling tree. High sided vehicles were blown over by the high winds. A schoolgirl was killed when a 6ft school wall blew over. Elsewhere, a school classroom blew down, but luckily no children were in there. The salvage operation on ‘The Herald’ has been postponed in the gale force winds. The latest opinion poll has put the Alliance firmly in second place to the Tories, with Labour third. The fight is now on and election fever is rife, even though a June election seems less likely now. In Russia, the propaganda continues to chasten the Thatcher visit with TASS, criticising her for human rights problems in Britain. In turn, she intends to meet prominent dissidents at the British Embassy and a further Jewish demonstration took place today. Today’s storms led to the abandonment of all three horse racing meetings and tomorrow’s university boat race is threatened, but they will try to start it if at all possible. In the Eastern Counties, winds were up to 90mph and 999 calls were being received every 30 seconds. In Waresley, near to St Neots, the spire was blown off and part of it ended up in a pub car park opposite. Two of the Airship Industries passenger balloons at Cardington were destroyed at their moorings and ripped to shreds in the winds.