The coldest October for nine years and a very wet one, spent in the highlands of Scotland and the exposed flat-lands of the Norfolk marshes. I purchases my first shotgun as Nigel and I enjoyed good sport at my Broubster forest and White Loch shooting geese and a duck from neighbouring Lochs Saorach and Saorach as well as grouse, snipe and hares.
I then bagged four trout from my own loch, including a 2lb 4oz one but heard that my loch been let out without my knowledge. We started stalking Deer and shot Red Stags in South Strathy and Sika Stags near Lairg with ranger Chris Ross preparing our trophies.
I brought back gifts for Diana and the girls from Caithness Glass and caught up with affairs at home as well as getting some shotgun tuition from John Buckle at the East of England Shooting Ground and studying a book on how to train pointer-retrievers. Then lone trips to Norfolk for a final two-week group work session to complete the building work on my new Harnser boathouse, fitting architrave, skirting, and lining with masterboard internally and cladding outside. T
he active month has seen me ending it in good health, though my knees are creaking somewhat at the strain of all that Caithness walking and Norfolk bending. Back at home, I laid up the swimming pool for the winter, caught up my journal and investments and helped with the girls’ homework. I looked into getting and training a young gun dog but according to Diana, it could only be done at the sacrifice of taking the family to California every year!
In Norfolk, I got a wider agreement than ever before with my neighbours on maintaining Ropes Hill Dyke Road. Della is doing very well at school, coming in the top five or so for all her subjects with no social or behavioural problems. I had a session with Debbie showing her how to do word processing on my computer as Diana went to a Brownies Swimming Gala in St Neots.
Diana attained her 45th birthday which we celebrated with Debbie serving us with breakfast in bed. We then had lunch at Bridge Hotel and a drive the following day to Letchworth, Shefford and Lower Stondon as a trip down memory lane. I also managed to get her some red roses on her birthday, and we then compounded this with my real present of a weekend in London at the Marlborough Hotel, taking the girls to the London Palladium theatre to see "Joseph".
All the family were well and I found Mum well settled back at home when I made a visit during the month, and she seemed to be coping as well as before her accident with her leg healing up slowly but steadily.
The government in industrial crisis as their ill-thought-out plans to close down much of the coal industry are opposed, unemployment spirals out of control above three million or ten percent of the working population. John Major is also set for another show-down over the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty.