Monday 31st October 1988

Halloween and ‘Back to School Day’ - A busy and frenetic morning, getting the children ready for school, after which I spent more time on the Apple Mac word processing function and organising data files before some outside work later on the games lawn with third of the top dressing now completed. The Mill Meadow farmer visited to tend his 21 cows successfully and this evening Debbie attended a Brownies Halloween party whilst I tracked news of the big vote in the House of Commons tomorrow where Tory backbenchers plan to rebel against plans for eye and dental check tests and more papers are released which were proposing the end of three further education and reduction of teacher and doctors training budgets. The Israeli army are wreaking revenge on the Palestinians by bulldozing their houses which is a gross atrocity and the Polish government announces the closure of the Gdansk shipyard with Lech Walesa claiming it is a political provocation, it being the birth place of Solidarity

Nice hot electric blankets to lull us to sleep last night on a very cold night. Slept well and woken before 7am with Di starting the mad rush to get the children off to school; Daniel and Debbie on the bus and then Della to Rising 5’s at the village hall. I continued with the Apple Mac Word processing learning session this morning and then found that another batch of my reformatted disks for copying onto my new computer. I called Bill Walston and arranged for him to get them ready next Wednesday evening. Pete and Joan had arrived without their car this morning, it had broken down at the weekend, but Joan was much improved and managed to do the domestic work today. I got Pete to mix up another large quantity of top dressing - this time for the games lawn. After lunch, I spent an hour or two spreading it evenly which was quite a chore. I did another 1/16 to make one third of it in all done now. With the sharp frosts and shortening days, I must really make use of the sunny weather and get the rest of the job done this week if possible. This afternoon, I also worked on a few desk matters and did some paperwork before feeding and settling down the birds at dusk. Whilst doing this, I saw the farmer opposite come to see how his cows are doing.

Sunday 30th October 1988

I spent some time on my computer early and late on a day that started cold and frosty day but improved later as I was mainly outside cleaning and pampering my Range Rover. To St James family service later this morning before my mum and dad arrived unannounced for a visit later, with my mother now over her shingles attack. The government plans a massive increase in nuclear power to reduce dependency on coal and the coal miners but their plans for charging for eye and dental checks are opposed by 60 Tory rebels. Some Arabs are calling for a general strike in Palestine over the continued Israeli occupation of their country and others use violence with a bus destroyed by incendiary bombs. A rebel congregation in London hold a Holy Communion with an overseas female priest.

Awoke on time this morning and, with Di having a lay in, I got up and had a shower and dressed early. By the time that Di had made the morning tea, I was ready and so had a useful session on my computer is a quiet time of the day. A nice fried breakfast and then smartly out to vacuum, shampoo rents and leather the Range Rover. It was cold and frosty outside but at least this meant that I could work flat out and finished the car in an hour and a half. After sweeping the leaves from the garage, there was just time to get changed and ready for our visit to St James’s Church Family Service at 11am. By then, the day was milder and sunny and we were pleased to see the church quite full. A service with the theme in line with ‘All Saints Day’ next Tuesday. Once home, a little more time on my computer before lunch. Back working again after as Di drove off to collect Daniel from his friend Gary’s house and, while she was gone, my parents arrived. Funny thing was, I didn’t know that they were here as they were met at the door by the girls and spirited away to play games! This, until I realised what was going on and joined them. Mum and Dad seem quite well with Mum much improved from the depths of her recent illness.

Saturday 29th October 1988

I spent some time clearing up Willow close today and working on the games lawn top dressing, then to check the old Reliant for frost protection before an evening compiling little Paxton press cuttings and editing my history text. Di took the girls to see the Disney ‘Aristocats’, and also to the Riverside fairground where she unfortunately dropped her purse and relied on a kind man later to return it.  60 rebel Tory’s rightly oppose government plans for eye and dental check charges.

Diana woke me late this morning and left me too little time to get ready for breakfast. Following my objection, the meal was delayed whilst Di took the girls off to their swimming lessons and I read the papers and morning mail. Then I decided to sweep up the end of Willow Close and remove that pile of sand that the builders had left behind. Debbie was very good and helped me to shovel up the sand and leaves whilst I barrowed the rubbish away. Soon time for lunch and then Di decided to take the girls to the Cromwell Cinema, Huntingdon, to see a Disney film called “the AristoCats”. She took along the Law’s children as well and they enjoyed the trip even if Catherine was a bit restless. Pity was, Diana dropped her purse at the Riverside fairground after giving the children a few rides and only realised when a kind man phoned us later to say he had found it.

Friday 28th October 1988

Some more Little Paxton history research this morning and I am greeted widely as I walk around the village, but I was sad to hear of the ill health of the St Neots Museum Director. Trips out for lunch to the Sandy Happy Eater and on to Bickerdike’s for some more moss peat. Home to implement The Lady’s lay up procedure for frost protection. A powerful and controversial documentary this evening featuring the conservation and architectural concerns of HM The Price of Wales, lambasting some architects. Life sentences from the IRA members plotting to murder NI Secretary Tom King and rail fares are sharply raised prior to privatisation.

We had a lay in this morning and I then sat in bed a while and read up more on the Apple Mac. A rush to breakfast and then I sat and read the Investors Chronicle and Financial Times whilst waiting for the post. I then had an appointment to go and see the Shotbolts of Gordon Villas about the history of the building. In the event they did not have much to tell me and it was a bit of a wasted trip but I was glad of their interest. I walked home exchanging greetings with all I met and I am pleased to know so many Paxtonions these days. I worked on the Mac for an hour or so and was expecting the girls to arrive back to take me to lunch any time. Our house is too big! Di came home, failed to realise I was there, quietly working away in my office, and went round the village looking for me! Eventually off to lunch at the Happy Eater in Sandy and after to Bickerdike’s Garden Centre to look around and get some more moss peat for my lawn’s top dressing. This afternoon was contracted as a result and I then spent the rest of the afternoon on The Lady. It was a fine and sunny afternoon and I use the weather to take my tools into The Lady and lay it up for the winter. I drained the engine calling system, the water tanks and toilet flushing system so that the season’s frost could do no damage.