Saturday 30th June 1990

Returning to Norfolk this morning, without stopping to see Mum and Freda, and there to buy and organise some more things for the Paxton Princess ahead of our next sea trip. Ireland play and lose a valiant game and are out of the World Cup but England continue

I set off for Norfolk again this morning and chose not to stop on the way as I had lots to do and not much time to do it. The weather was warm with some showers when I got there and so I was for ever opening and closing windows etc. I did one or two things on the boat including fitting better supports for the two shower curtains and then drove over to Lowestoft to the Marine Safety Centre with my two life jackets to get lights fitted and a scrambling net made up. It was quite a journey with the hoards of tourists around, clogging up the roads with their cars. I had filled in the form for the Coastguard and dropped it off at the Yarmouth Coastguard station on the way so that they have information if I run into trouble at sea. Had lunch of fried plaice at Oulton Broad and bought some more chandlery bits at Jeckles there. Back to Horning via Ludham Bridge where I bought another Calor Gas cylinder and via Potter Heigham where I bought some folding fishing tackle for sea use and both of these will be of use for the boat. This evening, I watched Ireland play and lose a valiant game of football on TV and they are now out of the world cup, but England are still going.

Friday 29th June 1990

Mainly working inside on another warm and sunny day which was planned to became cloudy later today with rain soon forecast. I was taking phone calls and organising my office work as my gardener/handyman completed his first trial week and will not continue. A visit to Brittains in St Neots to order all manner of household furnishings and then to collect office accessories on the way home. Mum has had a successful stay at Redgrave and the shop seems to be doing well for Freda but I had a complaining call from the local Police Divisional Commander, who was upset with the last FOCUS

Another warm and sunny day but I spent most of the day inside and working away at my administration. Some letters, lots of telephone calls from constituents and about my office and then a visit from the electrician who will be helping with my office re-wiring. The handyman was cleaning the windows today but made quite a meal of it, although they were very dirty and had not been done for some time. It was the end of his two weeks probationary period today and both he and I are willing for the relationship to continue. Later this afternoon, I paid him for the week and then went into St Neots and handled some building society transactions. I then rendezvoused with Di at Brittains and started to make my selections of office carpets and blinds for the renovations. Di managed to get Debbie along with her to look at the same things (plus furniture) for her new bedroom. They are coming to take measurements for the carpets on Monday.

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Thursday 28th June 1990

An opportunity to catch up with work on a day that was cooler but still very warm and I planned my office renovations before Sally arrived with her two girls Alex and Adelle who went swimming with Debbie in the pool. Some chores and then to chair a candidates meeting about this coming year's St Neots Town Council Elections and then home late and to bed even later.

The government retreats from introducing any further laws to allow widespread Poll Tax capping and accepts the European judgement over the repayment of subsidies for the Rover group. A record 15% increase in crime at home in the first quarter of this year with large increases in burglary, theft and vandalism

I had more of a chance to catch up with things today and was up early again as the light from the open curtains let me hear the dawn chorus. Diana had made me French Toast for breakfast and then I got out to the conservatory, the doves and the fish. It was a little cooler today with a fresher breeze and less sun, but still warm enough, nevertheless. I spent some time with the gardener, getting him to start on the window cleaning amongst other things. Then a further measure of letters about Heronshaw and telephone calls etc and some time planning my office renovations. I checked through the drawings and ascertained where the power and telephone points have got to go by cutting out shaped pieces of cardboard to scale for the desk-top equipment. I found one or two extra features that I would like in the furniture itself. I have arranged for an electrician to call tomorrow to review the work needed as I must get on.

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Wednesday 27th June 1990

Another hot and humid night spent with the windows wide open and then up early to tend the garden before a 9am meeting at Grove House with Online Training where I was presented with an investment opportunity. Then home to meet a British Gas man surveying the house for a new boiler and hot water system and then Di’s father Charles arrived and we took him to lunch in Wyboston.

We had a merry band of children in the swimming pool tonight; Della, Amy and Katherine, Rebecca and then cousins Natalie and Catherine who came over with Di's brother and stayed to tea. I typed a long letter to Mrs Ruff, trying to make up for not having asked her to do the deliveries this time. News that the security video camera at the Carlton Club being left switched off on the day of the blast which has embarrassed the club and Tory party.

A German company director has been jailed for 5 years for illegally helping Libya to build a poison gas factory near Tripoli. Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia seem to have resumed the offensive after 11 years of skirmishing. Former Energy Secretary, Cecil Parkinson, and Scottish Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, have both been heavily censured by the Conservative-dominated Parliamentary Energy Committee for making a non-competitive hash of electricity privatization and a complete mess of nuclear power.

This last couple of nights we have slept with the windows wide open to stay cool in hot and humid weather. I opted to get up earlier than usual today to tend the garden and things before a 9.00am meeting in Little Paxton. I also decided to water my bedding plants which were looking decidedly the worse for wear. Then I changed into my suit and got Daniel to drive me to Grove House. I had an appointment to meet Ian James of Online Training Ltd and a senior colleague from Mass Consultants who were approaching me with a business proposition. They need venture capital for an apparently-successful training venture which is being franchised around the country. Ideally, I would invest some money and be the non-executive Chairman to give advice and be a figurehead of known industry achievement. I did not rule out the idea as it is a good investment opportunity in my view, and have asked for them to prepare some further information for another meeting later.

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