My scanning of old photos and diaries continues. L3 helped me in the summer for fees by scanning about 300 photos a day so we have done about 100 photo albums, that all done now.
Back to the diaries and now on to 1986. It is a very useful record of every day office life in the City (I was at a city firm) in those days and home life (L1 was 1 year old and I was pregnant). I forgot so much. Very interesting work. Hours much worse than I remembered. There seemed to be meetings all the time at the officel, with other law firms, at clients' offices, even up in Newcastle where I am from - I am 1 -2 years PQE that year. I do tend to look on the bright side which is probably why 30 years later I sitll love my work. Nice people at work.
We went to Spain for 2 weeks that summer with gorgeous little L1. We were constantly doing DIY at home, every room one after the other even plastering, painting, someting I'd forgotten -I don't often forget words - called "sizing" something you do to the wall before putting up wall paper. It's a long time since we had wall paper now. Then so much gardening in our little garden. I was picking peas and carrots and raspberries with L1 that I had planted (we bought the house in 84). They seem to be doing a lot better than my pathetic raspberries here that I put in last Autumn. The house cost £40k and we wanted when and if we were rich a 200k one. Those ratios are now £400k (that same house costs that today) and £2m I suppose. Interest rates seemed to be 13% going down to 11%. Lots of months we only just covered our costs - particularly massive childcare costs and London mortgage (nothing much changes...... it was so expensive to buy in even outer London that Mr XL's school had to put teachers up in school flats which we were in until we bought in 84. My pay seemed to go from about 7500 as a trainee to £10k and then up to £15 500 within just 18 months or so which helped as we were getting pay rises twice a year. I suppose that was left over from the 6% inflation rates of the years just before (and indeed 20% a year rates in the 70s). Mr XL's head of department teacher's pay was about £11,500. I mention a friend tells me a Lovells partner earned £60k a year - a massive sum I thought. Of course that figure may not be accurate, just rumours - less pay transparency in those days, no internet.
Lots of things took more effort eg often I had to queue at post offices at lunch time or go to banks to get cash out to pay for things, camera films to be posted off, visits to people selling second hand cots, constantly woken by the milkman arly although the biggest issue by far and away that year and the year before was having one of the least sleeping babies of all time. Again I had forgotten how bad it was, even at nearly 2 day after day up tuntil 10pm awake 1 - 3am, and that kind of thing both of us utterly exhausted with this gorgeous energetic non sleeping toddler. Unless you have a baby of that kind you just have no idea how it is. I seemed to write letters all the time - to HMRC constantly goodness knows why, Mothercare - they replaced our broken buggy free afte rmy letters, loads of planning of schemes to buy a property to let out, a business, all sorts. Masses of singing. Eg assumption August went to mass at lunch time with a Catholic colleague, that evening sang at the C of E mass at Mr XL's church. I was quite in demand for paid weddings, city services and that kind of thing. We seemed to do an awful lot of house cleaning as well as all the painting