January 1991

The start of The Gulf War was regrettable this month as the war-makers won over the peacemakers with the weather in keeping with very high winds and rainstorms followed by steady chills with bronchial infections widespread.

I struggled to get over a bad cough and poor Diana had her ear and throat infection and continued quite deaf. Della passed her Kimbolton School Entrance Exams and, like Debbie, who enjoying her much more satisfactory Staughton livery was doing well at horse riding as well as outings with Di and I. Daniel was enjoying his UEA Computer education, his own room and receiving passionate letters from Angela and visiting me in Horning to help and do his washing. Just Freda was a cause of concern in her new retail role as Mum seemed to be managing.

Plans for completing The Hayling View were proceeding and I was visiting Heronshaw to carry on work there, first with Di and then alone as Daniel also visited and helped. I visited the Boat Show with Stephen Bloom. I was still leading the opposition to my local Tory Council over their Poll Tax plans, with radio and press interviews, attending all manner of Parish, District and Constituency meetings whilst still finding time for the local Little Paxton Cubs history project. This whilst still undertaking my administration and upgrading my alarm system and recovering my fitness after illness and witnessing the demise of my Onsite Training investment.

There was a fatal rail accident at Cannon Street with a growing death toll, but the Iraq War was dominating the headlines. The Gulf War began with a US warship off-shore firing a Cruise Tomahawk missile fusillade and hundreds of Allied warplanes attacking strategic Iraqi targets opposed by just surface to air missiles and gunnery.

Iraq retaliated by attacking Israel with Scud missiles and the true aircraft casualties were kept secret on both sides. Iraqis were then able to launch a total of 10 Scuds at Saudi Arabia, three at the eastern military bases of Dharhan and the rest at the capital, Riyadh which wrong-footed the Allies who were defending Israel, but they could not prevent Scud attacks killing 100 Israelis due to the collapse of a two-storey apartment building as the air war continued.

Soon, following the mass exodus of 100 Iraqi war planes to Iran, Iraq was suffering land and sea attacks without their air cover. Then a huge oil spill started growing and spreading southwards along the western coast of the Gulf from an off-shore oil terminal and scuttled tankers with this oil slick then threatening the regions drinking water by clogging the Gulf sea-water intakes of its de-salination plants. At Al Khafgi, some 5,000 Iraqis and around 50 tanks took the Allies by surprise and occupied it

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