Friday 31st May 1991

A day of paperwork, arrangements and household chores as Diana opened up with a litany of relationship complaints which I avoided responding to. In truth, we are not exactly an ideal match; but we have lasted this long and with a little more mutual consideration can make the best of it.

Some time playing with Della today, giving her a piggy-back into the conservatory to feed the fish before getting on and tending the plants, fish and swimming pool. Some repairs to my boats organised for the following weekend

To bed at quite a reasonable time and then slept soundly until woken by Diana with morning tea at 7.00am. She was still grumpy with me this morning; thinking that I had been bad-tempered and intolerant on our holiday and still holding a grudge about me not joining her for the funeral of her Aunt Ally and Uncle Tom. She does not like me getting so many visitors and telephone calls, nor always being busy so as to have no time for anything. In fact, she concluded, if I was to up and leave, it would be a very great relief! I just sat there and listened to this all; thinking that it was better to do this than respond with equal and opposite complaints about her being independent, un-social and un-friendly, lacking in support and interest in my public and community work, and slow and poor in everything that she does so as to be a frustration to any companion.

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Thursday 30th May 1991

As the chilly weather continued, I was working inside and catching up when Nigel arrived to talk about the Kimbolton School Speech Day row and to express himself disappointed that I would not stand as the constituency M.P.

Some calls to help Mum with her pond fish, to exchange my computer/navigator interface by post for the right one and then to work in the evening. The Ethiopian civil war is a cause of international concern with the population face starvation, the latest British government scandal is the 31% increase in the profits of British Gas following its privatisation to become a huge monopoly and the government refuse to drop the testing of seven-year-old school children in favour of continuous assessment.

I was back in my own bed for the night and slept well enough on it. Slow to rise and then to get showered and dressed but was still down in time to have breakfast with the others. We have had a recent problem with Debbie, who has been deserting her friend, Helen Cranston, in favour of new friends and I had to insist that she made arrangements to see Helen on Sunday if she was going to have another to stay with her after her party. Once Debbie was off to school, I stayed in to look after Della and her friend Naomi whilst Diana did some food shopping.

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Wednesday 29th May 1991

After a walk and look around Stokesby, we cast off and cruised on up the River Bure with Debbie helping at the helm and me tidying up the boat and lowering the mast and canopy for Acle Bridge on our way to Horning and home. We found Jack mowing the lawns and Daniel with Angela using the washing machine for their laundry.

The Jolly to Horning Staithe for lunch before leaving in two cars to visit Mum in Stanton. Then home to receive a bevy of letters and telephone messages and to work on without much progress before bedtime

We slept well at our Stokesby mooring and awoke to find the boat batteries low which meant the central heating had given up. I rigged up the auxiliary battery supply to get it started again and this gave us the much-needed heat for a cold morning. I took the rubbish to the disposal point and also paid a visit to the village store to get the daily paper and have a look around the village. Not much had changed since last year but the fish merchant had reduced its opening hours to two mornings a week due to "staffing problems" which is a pity. Once set, we cast off and cruised on up the River Bure with Debbie helping at the helm and me tidying up the boat and lowering the mast and canopy for Acle Bridge.

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Tuesday 28th May 1991

After an interesting night with the Dutchmen alongside and their shore access augmented by the transit across our decks of the Customs and Excise officers, we enjoyed Great Yarmouth seaside amusements with the snails in Joyland a particular pleasure for the girls.

We then cruised upstream under the Bure Bridges to moor at Stokesby where the antics of boat hirers were the next frustration. The weather is set to this cool pattern and we pity the holiday-makers.

We had a bit of a disturbed start to the night as the Dutchmen came back a bit drunk from the pub at 11.00pm, but then the night was quiet and calm so that we slept well. A bit better at our morning routine but the water was cold after some time passing since the engines were last run. Breakfast and then out to mop down the boat again. The Dutch shoes had also been supplemented by those of the Customs and Excise who kept passing and re-passing to get their forms properly filled in. We then got a taxi to take the girls to "Wally's Windmill" on the sea front before coming back ourselves to have coffee and do some shopping in the Market Gates shopping centre. I got some "clearview display pouches" for my boat folders and then some spare bulbs for the control panel.

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