Saturday 31st October 1987

A few changes of plan as we faced an unusually-wet day. It being unsuitable for Universal Studios, we first tried the Central Los Angeles Shopping Plaza and found out how to park after some trouble only to find many of the shops closed on Saturdays but I did get a copy of Mr Wright’s ‘Spy Catcher’ that is still a banned book in England! Then I suggested the ‘South West Museum of Indian and Western peoples’ which I always like and think about how these Native American Plains ‘Indians’ were dispossessed and displaced by the hunting of the Buffalo, and then appropriation of their land. Family lunch and dinner and another early night

Our habitual fitful night’s sleep, but, since we were in bed by 7.00pm and up by 5.00am, we had a good 10 hours period to choose from. Di made the early morning drinks and, as we bathed and dressed, I noticed it was pouring with rain outside! This was to last all day. There is supposed to be only ¼ inch of rain, on average, in Southern California in October and 2 inches in November. However, we have had more than that in a few hours of an October day and several inches more in all. I tried to find a news and weather programme on the TV and radio but, being Saturday, children’s TV programmes reigned supreme and I could find nothing of interest, let alone information. Then we loaded up the car and drove to Coco’s for breakfast and watched the rain fall outside the window.

Friday 30th October 1987

Up early listening to news of the underwriting by the UK government of the BP flotation, which is a compromise, and then planning our week ahead; which will include two more days in Disneyland, one in Knott’s Berry Farm, a combined day at Universal Studios/LA Zoo, half a day at Marineland and I also want to see the South West Museum, where the Indian heritage is to be seen. Today we visited Knott’s Berry Farm for a long day of thrilling rides, refreshments and distractions but came home before the Halloween evening display to keep our body time clock settings

At about 4.00am, the children and I were awake, having spent the previous 8 hours sleeping. After all, it was the equivalent of midday. By 4.30am, the whole family were awake and Di was making us morning drinks. Della was coughing well last night, but just seems to have a heavy cold this morning. I have settled into the habit of watching the ‘Ag News’ on channel 4, which is a sort of early morning Farmer/Businessman financial and commodity news programme. It seems to suit our odd hours! The news is of a better day on the world’s stock exchanges. The British Government confirmed the BP sale was to go ahead, but took a positive decision to underpin the share price by deciding that the Bank of England will buy back any at Thursday’s price levels, should institutions wish to sell, for a few months. This allows the US institutions in particular, but also others, to hold on to them, hoping for better times.

Thursday 29th October 1987

Catching up on my journal and the international news as we rest in our hotel and hearing of the continued fall of the Dow Jones index to nearly 1700 with US underwriters praying in vein that the UK BP issue is called off as they would lose a packet. Shevardnadze and Shultz are going to meet again and US commentators hope that there will be a Gorbachev/Reagan Summit in the US in Nov/Dec. An early start to the temperate day, with clouds and sunny periods allowing us to enjoy the start of a three-day Disneyland Pass and a long day of rides with ‘Star Tours’ being the highlight. By 6.00pm, the three children were in bed and asleep and, within half an hour, Di and I had joined them, after an enjoyable, but very tiring day.

We all slept off and on during the night, but got a fair rest, all things considered. Woke up at about 5am local time and the children bathed whilst Diana finished the unpacking and I wrote up my journal for yesterday. Scanned the local news on radio and TV. The main international story is of the collapse of the Dollar, which is sliding. It seems that the International Louvre Accord (where nations support the relative levels of currency at a pegged rate) has collapsed along with it, as all central banks are doing is to slow the dollar’s fall to new low levels. The Dow Jones index finished at yesterday’s levels after a mini roller coaster. The feeling here is that if it falls below 1700, it could go all the way down to 800. Failing that, there might be a steady recovery back up to 3500 or more. The Americans are worried about the UK BP issue and Treasury Secretary, James Baker, has been lobbying the UK government to put it off. Because of local underwriting rules, the four US investment banks underwriting the issue could not spread the load amongst other institutions and so stand to lose a packet.

Wednesday 28th October 1987

Travelling to Anaheim from Paxton to start our holiday – A full day of travel driving to Heathrow Airport in the aftermath of the great storm, dropping the car off at the Excelsior off-airport car park and then checking at Terminal 3 and on to a TWA Boing 747 for the 10 ½ hour flight that taxed both our mental and physical stamina. All of the immigration checks and forms and further problems with our hire car and the drive to find our Ibis Hotel in Anaheim but we made it and turned in at about 9pm local time (5am in the morning for us) and thus ended a tiring day.

A little late to bed, running around and making last minute arrangements, so that all was reasonably ready for an early start this morning. First task for each of us was to get washed and dressed, before having a normal cereal and toast/fruit juice breakfast. Then the packing of our personal things and toiletries that could not be stowed away last night. In the end we had four suitcases and a pushchair for the aircraft’s hold, and then four carry-on bags and a camera holdall to take into the cabin. A dull and chilly day greeted us, as we loaded the things into the Range Rover and set off about 8.30am. Drove off down the A1 carriageway, in company with quite a bit of traffic, but made good progress. A little tense trying to ensure that we had taken everything with us that we needed and we did make a couple of false starts, alarming and disarming the house, before we were underway.