January 1989

A month that started mild but had some cold and frosty days later which brought on normal family coughs and colds with Debbie’s the worst; compensated by me buying her a pony and some more tack. Della successfully started school, Daniel revelled in his school narrow-boating holiday with friends and passed his French ‘O’-level GSE and, apart from nice family events, I took Diana for a London shopping and leisure break. After the novelty of settling my new Koi carp into my new conservatory pond and me over-feeding them we were overcoming their health issues. I managed to complete a few more chapters of my Little Paxton History book this month, after overcoming AppleMac problems and mastering AppleScan issues and negotiations with printers were advanced. My local community work was developing beyond Parish and District Council meetings, as I persuaded the Village Hall Committee to provide changing facilities for the village sports teams, made progress on local road-naming disputes, and helped SLD colleagues to get local Focus newsletter campaigns up and running such that our publicity profile was sharply increased. The Stock exchange is soaring despite record interest rates, rising inflation and labour disputes but I stick to cash, as mortgage rates rise to 13 ½%. The New Year’s Honours list was packed full of knighthoods for Thatcher’s political and business cronies and, as private medicine is encouraged, the NHS structure is challenged with the planned abolition of Local Council Regional Health Authority involvement and for hospitals to opt out of the National Health Service. Investigations continue into two air crashes, with Lockerbie’s being traced to a bomb. Fugitive Viraj Mendis was brutally captured from Church sanctuary and deported to Sri Lanka despite demonstrations and parliamentary objections. The US shot down two unarmed Libyan jet fighters in retaliation for Lockerbie, but the USSR started withdrawing tactical nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe and a chemical weapons ban was signed Paris by 150 countries. Both the US and USSR suffered critical earthquakes and terrible Atlantic gales sink a freighter. Japanese Emperor Hirohito died after a 70-year reign.

After a mild start to the month with a little rain, it became cold and frosty on most days with a little sunshine but also some fog when it was not windy; but this compared with the record minus 86°F cold weather emergency in Alaska! A generally healthy month but, predictably, I was suffering from a headache after two very late nights, with a cold coming on later. A successful visit to the dentist albeit was marred by my referral to their hygienist the cleaning work. My Mum has resumed therapy, but Dad’s ear seems to be slow to heal up after his skin treatment. My daughters, Debbie and Della also contracted colds which, at first, were not quite bad enough to miss school but then Debbie’s turned into a chest infection before she started coughing nicely to clear it. Debbie had a notable month as we bought her a pony, Sundance, which I financed but got her to share with Lisa Drake, from our village, so that the care of it would not interfere with her schoolwork. This was all prompted by the news that Offord Riding School was due to close. The establishment remains as a ‘self-service livery’ and the girls will now alternate days there and enjoy him together at the weekend.

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