THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 1997
My second newsletter - EC Inform-Transport - was duly launched in January, and attracted a viable number of subscriptions, so that by the year’s end, the two newsletters and energy books were bringing in an annual turnover of nearly £100,000. However, because of the expense of employing Theo, net profit (i.e. my income) went down. I had set up a schedule that saw us publishing both monthly newsletters within a few days of each other in the four-week cycle, so our daily work got pretty hectic in the run-up to the deadlines. This was the year, also, that we set up an EC Inform website.
Barbara finally managed to find a house to buy - Yalta. The fact that it was only 300 metres from Russet House gave us much flexibility with regard to Adam. We soon established a basic pattern whereby he would live with me from Sunday night to Thursday afternoon, and be with Barbara (who worked full-time hours, but long days Monday-Wednesday and short ones on Thursday-Friday) for the rest of the week. However, Barbara would also look after Adam when I was in Brussels, while Adam and I would have time together at weekends when it suited us. This pattern, more or less, remained in place throughout Adam’s secondary school years.
In February, I took Adam on a skiing holiday to Les Deux Alpes - Adam had never been skiing, and I hadn’t been since my New Zealand days. In the summer, he and I went back to the same National Trust cottage near Fowey where we’d stayed in 1994 - but this time we took our bikes.
At this point in my life, I had never experienced the death of anyone close to me - so it was all the more sorrowful to lose three. My stepfather died, very suddenly on a trip to Zimbabwe, in April. Barbara’s mother, Rosemary, died in November. And my very good friend Rosy died, far too young still in her 50s, that July. Another death, a few weeks later, would cause a national outpouring of emotion.
‘Do you keep a fascinating diary?’ ran the headline on a brief item in a June edition of ‘Radio Times’. Yes, yes, I do, went my inner self. I sent off some extracts, as requested, and was then asked to provide more. In December, a producer of the Radio Four programme, ‘Messages to Myself’, spent several hours at Russet House interviewing me to gather material for a half hour programme on my diaries!
Paul K Lyons (December 2016)