Friday 30th September 1988

A poor night and a tired start to bright and sunny day receiving Charles Frost and Frank Gadsby to resolve the new conservatory fish pond designs before I ordered the pond liner. The Soviet Union endures a major political shuffle, Britain and Iran resume diplomatic relations, the Gibraltar killings were decided as being ‘unlawful’ and Kinnock and Hattersley are on course for re-election in the Labour Party leadership election.

Thrashed around a bit last night and was then was very tired when it was time to wake up this morning. Breakfast in my dressing gown again and then some time watching the overnight Olympic coverage before I got washed and dressed. I went out to help with the ground work this morning, receiving visits from Charles Frost and Frank Gadsby and discussing the remaining construction problems with the fishponds. I have now managed to get the pond liner ordered with the actual dimensions left to the cutting and at the end of the waiting time. They are excavating the deeper of the two pond sections today and existing footings were in the way of the outer edges of the pond which will be a bit smaller as a result.

Thursday 29th September 1988

News of Olympic defeats and positive drug test results for Britain’s team make a poor start to the day and I receive several HDC meeting agendae in the post but my efforts were needed outside to help Peter direct the spoil from the digging. A meeting of the Southern Area Consultative Group but there is not much support for the council buying the Little Paxton Riversfield Site for industrial development! The US Space Shuttle Discovery finally resumes flights with a perfect launch and Paddy Ashdown brings his party conference to a close with a rousing speech.

Straight out of bed this morning and to the lounge TV where I saw Daley Thompson struggling with misfortune in his decathlon attempt. His pole broke in the volt in the end it is lack and lost all chance of a medal although he did complete the competition. Our showjumpers were eliminated in ignominy from the team competition, knocking fences down left right and centre. Breakfast, and was still in my dressing gown as I read the morning paper and my post. Several meeting agendae received from Pathfinder house and minutes of the St Neots Museum committee as well. A hasty wash and shower and then I went out to help the labours. With a larger shovel for the digger, the barrows were flying backwards and forwards, overcoming Pete at the receiving end and so I went to help him.

Wednesday 28th September 1988

The Olympic Games and their positive drug tests was again forming a distraction, as I supervised the disposal of the spoil from the excavation of my new koi carp conservatory foundations and also received a couple of Local History students. The USSR withdraws from Afghanistan amidst a government re-organisation, the UK exchanges diplomatic expulsions with the Czechs, the US Space Shuttle seems all set to resume launching and Thatcher visits Ulster.

Went to bed very late last night because I was watching Daley Thompson in his first day’s decathlon events and it also enabled me to calm down after the tension of this evening’s meeting. I was awake early as well this morning and went straight to the lounge to watch the TV Olympics. After yesterday morning’s narrow defeat of the British lady’s hockey team, this morning the men were playing and beat their principal rivals – the Australians – three goals to 2 in the semi-finals. Very exciting game indeed. Later to breakfast and later still to get showered and dressed. This morning I had great difficulty in settling down in my office and so went out to help with a soil disposal from the excavations. Pete was away today, and the builders were not putting the spoil in the best places and so I took over the job of receiving and distributing it.

Tuesday 27th September 1988

Building work on my conservatory foundations continued today with a visit from the building inspector expected and he agreed the necessary depth and approved the works. I was working today in preparation for my HDC environmental services committee meeting, but I was disappointed with this poorly attended affair this evening and even more annoyed by the Tory council’s  lack of proper procedure when they replaced my motion with one of their own. News today is of the UK balance of trade deficit falling to ‘only’ £1.31 billion and the aftermath of Ben Jonson’s disqualification for drugs taking is the shaking of the international sports community to the foundations.

Awake early this morning and found Diana in bed beside me for a change and so I then took full advantage! To shower and dress early and the chance to watch the TV Olympic hockey semi-final between England Ladies and Korea where we were narrowly defeated 0-1 in a thrilling game. Trouble was that the television programme editors kept insisting on breaks to fit their normal schedules, which was a bit frustrating. This morning, the builders resumed their excavations and prepared for the Building Inspector to come later. The spoil covered most of the target filling area on the riverside gardens today and, with much more to come, it seems that we will have to deposit at least one more layer on top. I worked on today on my speeches and notes for this evening’s environmental services committee meeting and only just managed to complete them by the end of the afternoon.