This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 14, Dec 1923-Jun 1924; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J14)
Images of the original diaryLink opens in a new window are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Sunday Dec: 30th.
Thank goodness to have got back to these books again!
Tuesday Dec: 25th. I went to Church at 10 and the rest of the family came at 11. A cheerful service - "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"; "While Shepherds Watched" - and no sermon – thank goodness. It was a very beautiful day so I took some biscuits in my pocket and went for a walk on Hosey Chart before luncheon. We opened all our presents after luncheon. Mine were: Mummy, cut glass scent bottle with silver top. Daddie, leather music case. Shortie Nubian stamped leather purse. Mrs Idie pin stand. Cousin Nell, silk "jazz" jumper. Aunt Madeline & Uncle Jack chocolates and evening bag. Anne orniment match box. Kathleen big box of De Reske [ De Reszke ] cigarettesLink opens in a new window and handkerchief. Peggy, three handkerchieves. Lil and Daisy, wooden powder box with painted design. Esther and Betty carnation toilet powder.Link opens in a new window Aunt Bobs. brown woolie. Anne, Joan & Anthony, trail of blue flowers for an evening dress. Aunt Mabel, cinamon coloured milanese silk stockings. Maurice and Bridget, hair wreath of silver leaves. Sir David Prain, Mrs Gatty's "Parables from Nature".Link opens in a new window Miss Wolff, beautiful edition of Shakespeare in 45 volumes bound in red leather. Sir Ernest Wilton, Correlion necklace with carved orniment at the end. Mary, handkerchief. Nina and Patsy, sweets, Mrs Waldegrave, book "The Kingdom & the King"Link opens in a new window by Annie Small, and Aunt Alys and Uncle Romer chocolates. I gave to - Mummy, white knitted spencer. Daddie, 50 cigarettes. Shortie table napkin ring. Mrs Idie writing paper. Mrs Simpson ornimental box. Kathleen, Masefield's Selected Poems.Link opens in a new window Anne, blue jar with bunch of wax grapes. Margaret Maguire, box with wax rose, Peggy, powder box. Nurse D'Arcy box with wax flowers. Addie night dress case. Lil & Daisy boxes with wax flowers. Esther diamond (sham) hat orniment (with Mummy). Betty, Russian box. Anne T, blue box with painted flowers.
I wrote a good many of my "thank you letters" in the evening.
Monday Dec: 31st 1923
Wednesday Dec: 26th. I wrote letters nearly all day.
Thursday Dec: 27th. Nothing happened. I practised and read.
Friday Dec: 28th. Our new boy came yesterday. He was with the Newbolts at Southsea and seems nice. The household have taken to him which is a blessing. The Canon came to call in the afternoon.
Saturday Dec: 29th. I modelled for a good part of the day and went into the village to shop in the afternoon.
Sunday Dec: 30th. I went to tea with Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer. Miss Deane's nephew was there and Miss Colville and a Mr Oliver. We had a most hilariously time; played all sorts of games and I enjoyed myself enormously. I was going to meet Mummy at Church at 6.30 but I suddenly discovered to my horror that the time was 10 to 7. They were singing carols when I got to the Church so I sat in the porch thinking it was nearly the end when suddenly the Canon began to preach so I sat there all through a long sermon, and then they had more carols!
Monday Dec: 31st. I went onto the Chart this morning and called on the Miss Liddells. "Viv" was there and appeared very pleased to see me. I went onto the Chart when I left her, it looked very pretty in the snow.
Hilary B-C [ Bonham Carter ] came to tea and we lent her a black skirt, blouse & apron for her part of parlourmaid in "The Magistrate"Link opens in a new window which they're acting here this week.
Jan 3rd 1924.
Jan: 1st Tuesday. I went to the library to help Mrs Darkin who is managing it in the absence of Mrs Busk. When I got back I opened my birthday presents. Mummy and Daddie gave me a lovely leather suit case, Uncle Holly a very pretty blue enamel bracelet and Daisy a sort of silvered vanity case and next day I had a cheque for £5 from Uncle Oswald. The Canon came during the morning and brought me a tin of toffee. Poor Mummy had a bad fall by the post office and sprained her ankle and it was most dreadfully painful; I went and fetched Dr Cotton and he came and said she was to keep it up and have hot fomentations every two hours. Daddie had to go up to London by the 12.45 so we had luncheon early. Captain Turner came to call in the afternoon and was rapidly followed by Mrs Boyd. I had 22 candles on my cake and they lighted up the whole room. Miss Hanmer was coming to tea but she never appeared; I met her in the drive on my way to the Library and she said someone had come down from London and she'd got kept. We went along to the Library together and found it slightly less crowded than usual.
Friday Jan: 4th 1924.
Wednesday Jan 2nd. I had a post card from Anne T in the morning saying she could come over from Falconhurst for luncheon so after breakfast I went & telephoned to tell her I should be here and she arrived by the 12.2 bus. We came up to my sitting-room and I showed her my Christmas presents and then Miss Hanmer came to borrow a book from me and we walked up the hill with her and met Mrs Granville Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ]Link opens in a new window whom she was lunching with at the top. Anne said she'd been in such a filthy temper on Tuesday that she felt she couldn't bear the sight of me and was going to telegraph and say so on the principle of our previous discussion on calm friendships!
Dr CottonLink opens in a new window came to see Mummy in the morning and said her leg was better but she was to stay in bed for several days. Daddie had to go to London for the day. Anne and I smoked for a bit after luncheon and then with difficulty got up energy to go for a walk, we didn't go far and discussed relations and how they always seem to imagine one can't have any friends independently of them. We had a very good talk when we got back mostly about people and their effect on one. She left by the 6.12 bus.
Thursday Jan: 3rd. It was a glorious morning. Daddie and I went up Hosey hill directly after breakfast and I walked over part of the Chart with him and went to Hosey Rigge to ask Miss Violet Liddell to come and see Mummy; I found her dressing to go into the village so I waited till she was dressed and then walked down with her. She came to see Mummy in the afternoon and stayed for tea. I got a telegraph from Aunt Lil in the morning asking me to go up and stay with her from Friday to Monday; I went to the post office after luncheon to telephone and say I should be delighted but they tried for half an hour unsuccessfully to get on so I finally telegraphed.
Wednesday Jan: 9th 1924.
Friday Jan: 4th. I did a lot of odds and ends in the morning, had luncheon early and went up to London by the 12.45 train and went straight to York Terrace where I found Anne was just going out with Mrs Bevan so I went up to her room with her while she got ready and then walked to South Audley Street where I saw Miss Wolff for a few minutes and from there went to Cumberland Mansions where I found Aunt Di and Aunt Lil both so nice. Aunt Di left for Ashtead in about half an hour and Aunt Lil and I talked together for the rest of the evening. The flat was very warm and comfortable.
Thursday Jan: 10th 1924.
Saturday Jan 5th. Aunt Lil and I started off for the sales after breakfast. We went first to Marshall & SnelgroveLink opens in a new window where I looked at afternoon frocks but all the ones left that were at all pretty were too expensive so from there we went to Evans and got a grey woolie for Mummy to give Mrs Idie and then went to the Galeries Laffyette [ Lafayette ]Link opens in a new window where we looked at masses more frocks; I wanted brown but it seemed impossible to get anything in that colour so finally I bought one in black with the neck and sleeves piped with magenta and the band lined with it. It is of silk repp very well cut and was only £4.4.0. We walked up Regents Street and got a bus to the top of Sloane Street where I went to Dibden and got my watch which they had cleaned and charged 15/- for. We went back to Cumberland Mansions for luncheon from there and after luncheon read till it was time to go to the children's party at Tilney Street. There were masses of relations there and other people whom I knew: Cousin Nell, Aunt Gealdine [ Geraldine ] and Cynthia (looking very pretty), Mrs Leigh, Mrs Blandy and Mr Ward-Cook. Children's parties are rather a wash out for grown-ups; we stood about in an aimless sort of way and made half hearted conversation. There was a very good conjuror and entertainer after tea. I went to see Peggy on my way home and sat with her while she had her bath and dressed to go out; she was to be called for at 7.20 and was sitting quite peacefully in her bath at 7.10 and just got out of it as the Sister from her hospital who she was taking out came to call for her.
Sunday Jan: 6th. It was a lovely morning so Aunt Lil and I decided to make an expedition to St. Jude's Hampstead Garden Suburb to heard Mr Bouchier [ Bourchier ]Link opens in a new window who is supposed to be a very good preacher. We finally arrived at Golder's Green by a circuitous system of tubes and then went about 10 minutes walk to the Church. It is a very fine modern Church with enormous plain glass windows high up, it has a great many arches, the walls are of brick and the ceiling which is domed is white. Mr Bouchier started badly but got very good as he went on; his text was "don't worry" and he said some good things but through having no notes he was rather disconnected. We went to luncheon with Aunt Lil's friends Mr and Mrs Russell in Courtfield Gardens; Mrs Russell's sisters Miss Lucy and Miss Maggie Mowett were there and we had a jolly good luncheon and they were very friendly. I went to see Anne from there and found her alone and in a very good mood so we had a good talk about all sorts of things.
A man from the German Embassy whose name began with "P" came to tea and was interesting and seemed nice though not over burdened with a sense of humour. No sooner had he gone than "Uncle Granville" (Lord Radstock)Link opens in a new window appeared and Mrs Bevan said she'd never speak to me again if I left because although he is a dear old gentleman he is a little overflowing with forced geniality; so I stayed for some time and made several very bad jokes. Aunt Lil and I were both so tired that we went to bed early.
Monday Jan: 7th. I started out directly after breakfast and went first to Charing X [ Cross ], then to the bank, than to HarrodsLink opens in a new window for writing paper as they have it marvellously cheap in their sale; very nice blue paper double sheets at 1/7 for 10 quires and 200 envelopes to match at the same price and good size plain envelopes at 3/6 1,000. I staggered along Brompton Road with an enormous parcel which very soon started to come undone, till I got to Harvey Nichols where I bought a leather belt and the assistant and I grovelled on the floor and tried to make the parcel more secure; I went back to the flat and left it there and then walked to meet Aunt Lil at Madame Vero a hat shop in Brook Street where we went to see about a beautiful astrakhan cap which Uncle Claude had given me and which he bought in Petrograd being made into a toque or cap for me; Madame Vero was very helpful and I think will evolve somthing pretty.
After luncheon Aunt Lil and I went to call on the Ricardos. I met Colonel Ricardo at Ashtead and Uncle Claude was very anxious I should make friends with them. They have a most attractive house No: 1 Montague [ Montagu ] SquareLink opens in a new window and Mrs Ricardo and the girls seemed nice. I went on from there to Anne and stayed for tea and then tore back to Aunt Lil's and said good bye. Kate (her maid) good naturedly came to Charing X with my box and I came down by the 6.34.
Monday Jan: 21st 1924.
Tuesday Jan: 8th. I went to the Library to help get it ready in the morning. Miss Violet Liddell came to tea and went down to the Library with me after tea.
Wednesday Jan: 9th. There was a monthly meeting of the W.I in the afternoon with a lecture on "Children and Parents in Dickens" by Mr Dolton; he gave readings from Dickens and almost acted them, it was quite fascinating.
I forgot to mention that on Tuesday evening I went to a W.A.D.S [ Westerham Amateur Dramatic Society ] performance of "The Magistrate" by Pinero, it was most amusing and remarkably well done. The caste included Hilary Bonham-Carter, Mrs Wilkins, Dr Russell, Mrs French and Miss Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ].
Thursday Jan: 10th. I went out on the Chart to leave some notes in the morning and met Miss Colville. Miss Bartlett came to see Mummy in the afternoon and I went back to tea with her and we talked about Yeats and she lent me two of his books, and seeing colour in music and other things like that.
Monday Jan: 11th. I left by the 10.40 to go and stay with the Waldegraves for the Schröder's dance at Englefield Green. I went to Madame Vero when I got to London and found she had done the cap very successfully; I changed my library book and then walked along Regents Street where I met Cousin Aimée Brazier-Creagh; then back to Waterloo where I sat in the waiting-room and ate sandwichs and then went to the train for Ascot; I had no sooner got in than someone came to the door and said "come higher up" and there was Esther who was just returning home after a hunt ball and had been eating sandwiches in a waiting room parallel to mine! We got to the Knoll about 3 o'c to find Betty whom I hadn't seen for months and months.
Peto Scott the Bevan's friend, whom I had not met before came for the week-end and our two other partners were local men, a Mr Ducan and Captain Totty. Hilary Keating who is attractive and clever and lives next door to the Knoll came to dine bringing an Australian. Mr and Mrs Waldegrave came to the dance too. It was at the Schröder's place Dell Park which is about 8 miles from Sunninghill. It is a big house with a beautiful ball-room and heaps of rooms to sit out in. We arrived before the first dance began and stayed till considerably after the last. The Bevans were in tremendous form, also Barbara and masses of other people. I went into supper with des Graz whom I hadn't seen for ages and we behaved uproariously. I had a long political arguement with Anne's friend - who I am alarmed to say shows every sign of becoming more than a friend - Philip Kenyon-Slayney [ Slaney ]Link opens in a new window who is a rabid Conservative we called each other awful names and screamed with laughter over it. Lil and Daisy and Alice and Paul and Mary D.D were also there. Scott and I danced towards the end of the evening and we were both so tired that we discovered a secluded sitting room and settled ourselves comfortably in arm chairs and only came to life to the strains of "God Save the King" at 3.45. I got to bed at 5 o'c feeling a rag but having enjoyed it enormously.
Saturday Jan: 12th. We all had breakfast in bed and slowly dressed and struggled down about 11.30. A nice young American called M'Comers came for the week-end. Betty and I went for a walk before luncheon and had a tremendous talk on Christian Science and pschology and the problem of pain. There was a great discussion what we should do in the afternoon and it ended in M'Comers and Esther staying at home and Betty, Scott and I going for a very prolonged walk on Swanley golf links, we plunged desperately through miles of bog and heather making breathless attempts at conversation and at one time got lost.
After tea we tried mesmerizing Betty and then doing table-turning and planchette; Scott and I were sized with terrible fits of giggles at intervals. M'Comers then sang N***** Spirituals to the banjolie which really was delightful. After dinner we played "coffee pots" and then "It" and then "Truth" in which we all asked each other the most heart searching questions, I wonder by an exhibition of the most brazen candour, finally they gave me up as a bad job because they could find no question that I refused to answer.
Sunday Jan: 13th. Mr Waldegrave, Esther, Betty and I went to Church at South Ascot; it was rather a high church and the music was quite excellent, also there was a fine sermon. Poor Mrs Waldegrave didn't feel at all well and stayed in bed all day.
Mrs Herbert Smith motored down from London for luncheon. We became very lively during luncheon. Esther, Betty, M'Comers, Scott and I went for another walk in the afternoon on the links. Betty and I got separated from the rest and climbing to the top of a hill we saw them walking in the valley beneath so we laid down flat behind some bushes and let out the most unearthly yells as though we were being murdered but I'm afraid they weren't taken in! Several people came to tea and after tea Scott and M'Comers departed for London in the former's little car. I like Scott and he talked interestingly; M'Comers was an extraordinarily nice boy interested in all sorts of different things and with a strong sense of humour.
A Mr Clark who plays the organ at the Church we went to in the morning and is a very fine musician came to dinner and played gloriously after dinner. He played the Moonlight Sonata and "Undertone" by John Ireland and one of Chopin's preludes and various things by Palmgren and Brahms and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Hymn to the Sun" which is beautiful and terribly sad.
Tuesday Jan: 22nd 1924.
Monday Jan: 14th. I had a very nice talk with Mrs Waldegrave in the morning. Betty walked with me to Ascot station, I left at 12.21 and caught the 1.52 from Waterloo Junction down here.
Miss Liddell came to tea, I went and rested after tea. Miss Hanmer came to dinner and she and I went to the W.I fancy dress dance both dressed as peasants. There were a good many people there some in very pretty dresses particularly Miss Gosling who was dressed as a Quaker. I stayed till 10.30.
Tuesday Jan: 15th. I felt desperately sleepy in the morning and didn't get up till nearly 12 o'c. Library after tea.
Wednesday Jan: 16th. I went up to London and stayed a couple of nights with Miss Wolff. Trinity College began again; Miss Medd-Hall says I have got on very well, she gave me Sinding's "Rustle of Spring"Link opens in a new window and wants me to go in for the A.T.C.L exam sometime. I changed my book at the library and went to see Miss Wolff for a few minutes, then went to luncheon with the Liddells; Bridget and Maurice were there looking very blooming, also Cousin Florrie and Cousin Lionel. There was great excitement because they were going to a dance that evening and Maurice and Bridget settled I must go too so we went off to Westminster School to try and get Robin but he couldn't come so then we went back for tea, Ruth Farmer came to tea. After tea they made poor Aunt Mabel ring up all sorts of people to ask them to the dance however none of them could come of which I was secretly rather glad. I went back to Miss Wolff who was very kind and fed me on nuts after dinner till I nearly expired.
Thursday Jan: 17th. I changed some stockings at Harvey Nichols, then went to the Kleinworts and found Daisy at home and sat talking with her for some time; then I went to see Cecil who was very cheerful and said business was quite good.
I had luncheon with Miss Wolff and directly after went to Anne. Mrs Waldegrave was there but she left as soon as I arrived. Anne and I had a very good talk on people and friendship and my great stunt of being impersonal. I said a sense of humour was the go-between between good and evil, which I only put down here because I think there is something in it.
I went to tea with Peggy who was at her nicest. We again discussed people and she said "it doesn't matter what people do to you because that you can grapple with but its when they do things to people you love and you are powerless that it hurts so dreadfully". Thats one of the splendid sort of things Peggy comes out with all of a sudden.
I dined with the de Lyndens for a small dance they were having that evening for some Dutch de Lynden cousins who were staying there, 2 girls & a boy. The dance really was great fun; it was very small, only about 12 couples. De Bylandt was there and also by a strange coincidence Scott. I got back about 12.45.
Thursday Jan: 24th 1924.
Friday Jan: 18th. I went out shopping in the morning and spent a good deal of time looking at the sales without much result. It was pouring with rain and Miss Wolff insisted on giving me 5/- to spend on taxis so I had a taxi to Cecil's to take her back the books she had lent me in the nursing home. I went to luncheon with the Liddells; Maurice and Bridget were neither of them in the best of spirits because they were both going back to school that afternoon. I saw them off in a heavily overloaded taxi and then went to Hanan GingellLink opens in a new window where I got a pair of black strap walking shoes for 10/6 reduced from £2-15. There were only two pairs and one happened to be my size. I went and said good bye to Wolfie and came down here by the 3.50.
Saturday Jan: 19th. I practised nearly all the morning and after luncheon went up to Miss Hanmer and she and I went for a walk across the Chart to French Street and down the road to Weardale Manor. A tremendous thunder storm came on when we got back so I stayed and had tea with her and we had a terrific talk about politics and music and pschology and friendship and people. It is rather nice to have found someone here who really can talk and understand things.
Sunday Jan: 20th. I went to Church at 10 o'c and for the rest of the day did nothing except to practise and go for a walk.
Monday Jan 22nd [ 21st ]. All the enginemen except those belonging to the N.U.R went on strike on Sunday night so all the train services are completely dislocated.
I practised for over 3 hours and felt very virtuous.
Tuesday Jan: 22nd. I went to the library in the morning. Mrs Busk was back from Switzerland. I also went down again after tea as usual; Miss Hanmer was there, also as usual, and I walked part of the way back with her.
The Conservative Government was defeated on the amendment by a majority of 72 on Tuesday evening so now there is a Labour GovernmentLink opens in a new window with Ramsey Macdonald as Prime Minister which is very exciting and full of possibilities.
Wednesday Jan: 23rd. Daddie and I went up by the 8.40 because it was the only train that they thought was likely to be running. We had to wait over half an hour at Dunton Green but finally got a train that only stopped once and arrived at Cannon Street at 10.15. Miss Medd-Hall was able to give me an hour and a half because someone else missed their lesson. I went to Harvey Nichols from Trinity College and got Shortie a large woolie scarf reduced from 25/9 to 4/11. I went to luncheon with Kathleen, Anne T was there having got back from Switzerland the night before and we all screamed and shouted with joy at seeing each other again. A terrible fog came on at luncheon time and it was literally as black as night. We went shopping after luncheon and then they came to see me off at Charing X. There were a good many people and stacks of luggage. First they said the 3.50 wasn't going to run then they said it was, then they said there would be a train for Dunton Green at 4.6 so I came down in that with Betty Nissen and Kathleen Cooper; it wasn't very full when it left Charing X and was really empty at Dunton Green. When we got to Dunton Green they said there wouldn't be a train for Westerham for ¾ of an hour so Betty telephoned for their car which arrived in about half an hour but meantime the Westerham train had come in and gone out again!
Mummy is still only able to walk about one floor because water formed in the leg she had strained, it is very dull for her being here and seeing practically no-one.
Friday Feb: 1st.
Thursday Jan: 24th. A party of W.I people were going to the Old Vic in a char-á-banc to see "Henry VIII"Link opens in a new window which they are doing here. Miss Hanmer had a spare ticket and wanted me to go if there was room in the char-á-banc but it turned out there wasn't so I couldn't go which was rather tiresome. Miss Bartlett came to tea and stayed some time but otherwise nothing happened.
Friday Jan: 25th. I went to London by the 8.40 as I was going to stay the night with Anne. I had meant to go up in time for breakfast but the strike made that impossible; however I arrived in London at 10 o'c and got to York Terrace by 10.30. Esther was there in a terrible flurry filling up her passport renewal form because she was going to Holland on Monday. We helped - or hindered - her and she departed in a whirl. Anne and I went miles and miles along the Harrow Road in a bus to find a window cleaner and then came back and walked in Regent's Park. A very black Indian who is the head of the Shakespeare Hut (Y.M.C.A)Link opens in a new window came to luncheon; Anne and I said we must dash off and see Aunt Jane as soon as luncheon was over and went into the park again; then we came in and Anne played for a bit. Barbara came to tea looking most attractive with her bobbed hair. Anne gave us a lovely imitation of how someone had recited with music at an At Home she'd been to recently and then we made her do some more, she was quite marvellous. We just said "now do a vulgar fox-trot, or a "patter of little feet" song, or a leading boy in the pantomime song or "the rose you gave me when last we met" type or the pat-rustic type and she'd just reel it off making up the words and tune as she went along.
We went and rested after Barbara had gone. Esther came to dinner and Gus Blackburn, Scott and Victor MallettLink opens in a new window came after dinner and we went and danced at the new enormous dance hall at OlympiaLink opens in a new window which is most amusing with huge crowds of people and coloured lights and air balloons. We all shouted and screamed with laughter and stuck coloured balls in our hair and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. It closed at 11.45 and we left soon after 11.30 to avoid the crush. We all went together for a bit and then Esther, Gus and Mallett went off and Anne, Scott and I walked along for some way, then he went off to Chelsea and Anne and I got a train from High Street to Baker Street; when we got back to York Terrace we went down into the kitchen and rummaged about till we found biscuits, Bovril, marmalade and dried figs which we ate sitting on the kitchen table; then we went up to my room and talked for a bit and then went to bed.
Saturday Jan: 26th. Anne came to see me in bed in the morning which made us fairly late for breakfast. We talked for some time and then went to Hugh CecilLink opens in a new window where Anne was being photographed. It was rather a terrifying place with silver walls & dim lights and Hugh Cecil himself is a frightening little man. Anne was done first in her hat and then without a hat and a shawl draped over her shoulders. We walked down Bond Street and Piccadilly and then went home.
Edith RamseyLink opens in a new window came to luncheon to meet me; she is an L.C.C worker in Whitechapel, most interesting and well read and with a very well balanced and invigorating outlook on life. She is strongly Labour and was very excited at the thought of the new Labour Government. It is very refreshing to meet someone like that who is really doing something definite in life and has that outlook. She wants me to go and work in Whitechapel.
Barbara came after luncheon & she and Edith Ramsey went off together. Miss Constance Waldegrave came just after they left and was very interesting about an ex-servicemen's hostel she is running and a debate they had just had on prohibition. Anne and I had a very good talk after she had left about drifting and "white pigs at cross-roads" and the perennial arguement on being impersonal. She went with me to Charing X. I came down by the 5.35 which was running all right but took 1½ hours to get to Dunton Green. I had enjoyed it all fearfully and came back feeling very much woken up inside and stroked down the right way and interested in life.
Sunday Jan: 27th. Daddie and I went to Church in the the morning and heard a sermon by a Sir Alfred SmithersLink opens in a new window for the Diocesan Board of Finance that made me squirm with fury; it was on the lines of the British Empire having saved the world in the war & all that sort of thing. I went up to Hosey after luncheon and went and dug out Miss Hanmer and we went for a long walk & I told her all I'd been doing. We met the Miss Liddells and they asked us to tea so we went to tea there.
Monday Jan: 28th. Anne T came down for the day arriving about 11.30. We stayed in all the morning and went for a walk in the afternoon. She was in one of the moods when I can't get on with her or I may have been extra dull. Betty Nissen came to tea and after tea we went to a rehearsal of "Henry VIII" at the Women's Institute; it was frightfully amusing seeing all the people acting. Mrs Marks the fishmonger's wife was quite wonderful. Anne left by the 7.45.
Tuesday Feb: 5th.
Tuesday Jan: 29th. I went to the library to sort books in the morning. Captain and Mrs Bonham Carter came to call in the afternoon. Miss Hanmer came to tea and we went to the library together.
The strike ended at 4.30 in the afternoon with a compromise.
Wednesday Jan: 30th. Miss Gartside had written asking me to go to a small dance there and I had refused; however by the first post came a letter from her saying I could go with or without a partner and a card from Aunt Mabel saying she could put me up so I thought there was nothing for it but to go so Shortie hastily threw some things into a small suitcase for me. The train was 20 minutes late at Cannon St. for no particular reason so I missed a good deal of my lesson; I am doing Sindings Rustle of Spring, an Adagio by Bach and the Prelude from Prelude, Fugue & Variation by César Franck. Anne met me at T.C and we went to a shop in Orchard St and then back to York Terrace where I telephone to Gus Blackburn and got him to come to the dance. Anne announced that she had become a Conservative. I went to luncheon with Mrs Waldegrave and Betty who have taken a house in Cadogen [ Cadogan ] Street for a month. I arrived at 1.15 and Betty told me we had got to be at Kathleen's at 1.30 to go to a gallery so I had a lightening luncheon telephoning to Aunt Mabel between veal cutlet and pudding! We found Grizel Hay staying at S.G. Anne T came along first after us and we decided to go to "The Little Minister".Link opens in a new window Kathleen was at the top of her form so our behaviour was not all it should have been! We got quite good seats in the gallery. Owen NaresLink opens in a new window and Fay ComptonLink opens in a new window were in the play; I thought it good but not thrillingly so. Afterwards we all separated; I went to the Orchard St. shop to pick up my suit case which I'd left there in the morning and then went to Culford Gardens where I found Aunt Mabel. We had a Conservative - Labour arguement but she was very broad-minded and could produce a good many facts to support her arguements which was most unfortunate! Gus came at 9 and we went to the dance. Kathleen & Grizel were there but otherwise practically no one I knew. Gus was in a most cheerful mood and we had terrific jokes. I got a cup of coffee spilt right over the front of my dress which really was very tiresome. We left about 12.30 as the dance was supposed to end then.
Thursday Jan: 31st. I went to the Army & Navy in the morning and bought a chrystal wireless setLink opens in a new window complete with one pair of headphones and wires and insulators and things for £3.11. I also bought another pair of headphones for 24/-. Then I went to the library; then to change a pair of stockings at the hole proof hose place and from there back to Culford Gardens where I said good bye to Aunt Mabel and then went to luncheon with Kathleen. After luncheon we went to see the EpsteinLink opens in a new window sculptures at the Leicester Gallery they are marvellously clever and in a way awe-inspiring though strange. I came down by the 3.50 and found Miss Violet Liddell and Mrs Farnworth here when I arrived.
Friday Feb: 1st. A beautiful day; I went for a walk on the Chart in the afternoon. I went to see Miss Hanmer on the way back and helped her chop wood and finally stayed to tea and she walked down to the village with me after tea.
Saturday Feb: 2nd. Daddie and I went to Folkestone to spend the week-end with Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Leslie and see Laurie before he leaves for India on the 15th to join his regiment. We left here at 12 and having changed at Dunton Green, Sevenoaks and Ashford reached Folkestone about 2.45 and drove to Grimston Gardens where their house is. Laurie is exactly the same, a little grown but very cheerful and full of catch words as ever. We went for a walk on the Leas before tea and in the evening Laurie, Aunt Kathleen, another girl and I went to the theatre and saw a farce called "Peggy be Careful"; it was a thoroughly bad play but amusing in parts and the leading lady,Link opens in a new window an American, was very good.
Sunday Feb: 15th.
Sunday Feb: 3rd. I suddenly remembered that there was a clergyman at Folkestone a Mr ElliotLink opens in a new window who Aunt Lil said was a marvellous preacher so I asked about him, they said they all hated him, however Aunt Kathleen volunteered to go with me and hear him. The ChurchLink opens in a new window was packed, the Service was very long and very dull but he did preach very well. We met the others after Church and all went and walked up and down on the Leas which is the great thing to do on Sunday morning and there were crowds of people there; how I should hate to live at Folkestone.
In the afternoon Uncle Leslie & I went and listened to an orchestra. The Mayor and Mayoress and the girl who went with us to the theatre the night before came to tea and some of us played games afterwards.
Monday Feb: 4th. We left by an 11.15 train and came all the way to Dunton Green without changing arriving here about 1.30. I went to the village after luncheon to see about a wireless license and also to get Scott to send & put up an aerial. Shortie and I went to a concert at the Women's Institute in the evening. It was given by a concert party who go all over England and Scotland giving concerts. There was a pianist, a singer a cellist and a reciter and they really were most extremely good. Unfortunately the W.I piano is in very bad condition and half the notes don't sound so the poor pianist had a dreadful time.
Tuesday Feb: 5th. Library as usual morning and evening.
Wednesday Feb: 6th. I went up to London and for once the train was punctual so I arrived at Trinity College in time for my lesson. Afterwards I tried unsuccessfully to get a soft felt hat at Bourne & Hollingsworth and then went to luncheon with Aunt Lil, however she'd gone out to luncheon with someone else but Aunt Di was there very sad about the death of Mr Ralli; it will mean a terrible gap for them.
I went to see Anne and stayed to tea there. She was feeling rather depressed but we had a very good talk about the causes of modern unrest and whether it wasn't really better just to be a vegetable because although there were some things tremendously worth while one's effort to reach them were so very inadequate. We were both very much worried by the thought that we are prigs.
I came down by the 6.34.
Thursday Feb: 14th.
Thursday Feb: 7th. I practised hard for a large part of the day. Mrs Boyd and Miss Hanmer came to tea.
Friday Feb: 8th. Scott (the ironmonger) and another man came to put up the wireless and spent the entire day doing it. I went for a walk in Claketts [ Clacketts ] woods in the afternoon and after walking miles and crawling under barbed wire and sinking over my ankles in mud I managed to find quite a lot of pussy willow and palm and one primrose.
When I got back I found Monica Abel-Smith here; she is terribly worried about him because he has gone practically blind again and that oculist in America did him no good at all, it really is tragic.
We listened in all the evening; it was fairly distinct but sounded a long way off.
Saturday Feb: 9th. Miss Medd-Hall came down for the day arriving at 11.11 she was very tired when she got here and nearly fell asleep however she insisted on giving me a lesson before luncheon and continued it after luncheon. There was a very good concert being broadcastLink opens in a new window from Southwark Cathedral so we went to listen to it but all that came through were a few vague sounds every now and then, however we sat with head phones onLink opens in a new window the whole afternoon.
Miss Medd-Hall played quite beautifully after tea; she has a lovely touch and is very loose. She played several of the Chopin Etudes, the 15th prelude and the 2nd nocturne; La Foleuse; Waldersraschen [ Waldesrauschen ] by Liszt; Polish dance by Padarewski [ Paderewski ]; Island Spell by John Ireland; Beethoven's Marche Funèbre; the 1st 2nd and last movements of the Moonlight Sonata and the slow movement from another one; and the Harmonious Blacksmith. She left by the 7.45 in a great flurry over lost gloves and a lost ticket.
Scott came up in the evening and very kindly lent us his set and amplifier till he can get an amplifier for ours. The amplifier makes the whole difference and we listened to "Samson and Delilah" as if we'd been in the Opera House.
Sunday Feb: 10th. Daddie and I went to Church in the morning. Miss Popham who really is a very nice girl came to tea and so did Mr Dolton who is an amusing old gentleman and like a pocket edition of Mr Bevan to look at. Daddie and I went to see Mrs Busk after tea, she had an American friend staying with her and had asked us to tea. The friend said to Daddie "never mind the weather, tell me all about yourself"! We heard Lady Maud WarrenderLink opens in a new window sing in the evening.
Monday Feb: 11th. We had a small tea party in the afternoon, Mrs Andreae, Mrs Harvey and Miss Swan and Miss Gosling. I went with the two latter to the "Henry VIII" rehearsal; it was most frightfully amusing.
Monday Feb: 18th.
Tuesday Feb: 12th. I went to luncheon with Monica Abel-Smith as he had gone to London for a few days. We talked and laughed a good deal. She walked back with me and we went to Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer on the way because I wanted to let Miss Deane know I should be at the library after all that evening in case she didn't want to go. Monica came back to tea here but I had to go off to the Library almost directly after. I walked some way up the hill with Miss Hanmer after the Library.
Wednesday Feb: 13th. I went up to London. After Trinity College I tore along to Anne. I was only able to stay about a quarter of an hour but she told me a good deal of what is happening about Phillip Kenyon-Slaney. I went to luncheon with Anne T at Evelyn Gardens where her new job is. She and Jaycinth Ellerton and Brenda Colvin and one or two other girls work at painting furniture. We had a very amusing luncheon, a good many vague girls and no one hostess. Anne, Jaycinth Ellerton and I talked about Christian names and dreams and told uncanny stories after luncheon. Then I went to Harvey Nichol to get some yellow brocade to make a bag for this year's photographs of the Mount Everest expedition to be sent to the Dubai Land in; this took some time; then I went to the Times Book Club and to a music shop to order the Sonata Pathétique, then to a hat shop to buy a soft felt hat but they hadn't got my size. Then I went to tea with Peggy but found she wasn't there because poor Rowley had had an operation for appendicitis the day before so she was with him, so I went to Cozens after a hat and there I found the same hats as at the other shop for 3/11 instead of 5/11 so I bought one or rather ordered it because they hadn't got the colour I wanted. I came home by the 5.44
Thursday Feb: 14th. a freezing day. I did nothing except practise and do odds and ends till the evening when I went to dine with Monica; we had meant to go to the cinema but it was so desperately cold we decided not to. I told her about a man who gives electrical treatment for the eyes who had done Mr Leigh a great deal of good; she was very excited about it so I rang up Mrs Leigh and got particulars and then she rang up Mr Abel Smith to tell him about it and try to persuade him to go.
Friday Feb: 15th. Mummy and Mrs Idie went up to London to stay with Cousin Nell for a few days I think it will do Mummy a great deal of good because it is very dull for her being always here. Kathleen came down for the weekend arriving at 5.3. I sized the opportunity to ask her down while Mummy was away!
The broadcastingLink opens in a new window was very good in the evening. We had "Hamlet" and the the third act of "Parsifal" from Covent Garden. It went on so late that Daddie went up to bed and Kathleen was fast asleep by the time it ended!
Thursday Feb: 28th.
Saturday Feb: 16th. We went to the village in the morning, Kathleen in search of a pair of woolley knickers one shop said they were not in their line and no shop had any so Kathleen did great measurements with a woollen scarf and finally bought that to make knickers of. Then we went and got buns at Boreham's and came back for luncheon. We went up to the Chart in the afternoon to collect Miss Hanmer who had said she wanted to go for a walk, however when we got there she said she was very busy packing but would come to tea so we went off past the Nissen hutLink opens in a new window into the deep valley of Valence where we got quite a big bunch of primroses. It was perfectly delicious there with primroses first beginning and brown woods and green fields. We had a great talk on the futility of talking and of most intellectual effort. We picked up Miss Hanmer and brought her back to tea and teased her dreadfully about a reed bunting which she said had come & sat on her window cill. We had a terrific time trying to alter my red velvet evening dress and it was finally done most successfully mainly through Kathleen's help.
The broadcasting was good, we had the whole of "Cavallieria Rusticana" [ Cavalleria Rusticana ] and two acts of "Palliaci" [ Pagliacci ].
Sunday Feb: 17th. We went to Church in the morning; I read nearly the whole of Ecclesiastes during the sermon. The afternoon was mainly occupied with woolie knickers and evening dress.
The broadcastingLink opens in a new window in the evening was very funny; it was announced that the R.A.F band was to play the "Holy City", then "Nearer My God to Thee" was to be sung followed by an address. The band started off quite happily but suddenly there were awful poppings and cracklings and everything ceased, a little later they announced that something had gone wrong and they were going to start again. So off they started quite happily when at exactly the same place the poppings occurred again and everything became inaudible, nothing happened for a bit and then we heard a frenzied voice evidently not meant to be overheard saying "Lets chuck the 'Holy City' and get on with "Nearer My God to Thee"! and after that all went well.
Monday Feb: 18th. Daddie and Kathleen went up by the 9.38. I was going up to stay with Kathleen for a week but as she was working all the morning I decided not to go up till the 10.40. I got to Sloane Gardens about 12 and was very kindly welcomed by Mrs Corry. I did my unpacking and Kathleen got in soon after 1 o'c. We started out together in the afternoon but parted somewhere by Peter JonesLink opens in a new window and I went to Cozens to change the hat they sent down to me which was sizes too large in the head. I went to tea with Peggy and found her dreadfully worried over Gus who is in love with her and was coming in at 6.30. to say Good bye before he went off to Danzig the next day. She felt it was all so depressing for him because he really is frightfully nice and being older he is more badly bitten. He came in just before I left and I went away leaving Peggy dithering with fright. I went to Lowndes Street on my way back to see Mummy. We went to bed fairly early and I undressed in Kathleen's room.
Tuesday Feb: 19th. I went to meet Betty at the Wigmore Studios at 11.10; there was no sign of her at 11.45 so I went up to Mr Mockridge's studio and found she had left there at 11.15 so after that I went to the Times Book Club and changed my book and had a good broze in the books, then went to Mowbray and bought Inge's new bookLink opens in a new window and the "Green Quarterly" and came home.
Kathleen and I both had bad headaches and felt rotton so we stayed in all the afternoon. Betty and Evie Townshend came to tea. It turned out Betty had waited ½ an hour for me in the Wigmore Hall part of the building!
The Bevan's play came off that evening Kathleen and I went feeling like death and destruction and inveighing against parties and London life and Kathleen saying "I don't want to be made to laugh". Mrs Waldegrave and Betty were there of course and Barbara, Scott, Kunz, Juliet Mansel, Dora Morris, Mrs Blackburn (Guse's [ Gus' ] mother) and a good many of what Anne calls Christina's dagos. The first play was a political sketch written by Mr Bevan and acted by him and Mr Walker. This was followed by a melodrama the scene of which was laid at Monte Carlo. It was excruciatingly funny with Bernsdorff with an accent you could cut with a knife as a typical Englishman; Christina as an innocent young English girl exactly like Lil who she confessed afterwards had been her model and Anne as a French Vampire, she was quite unrecognizable with hair scraped straight back, a great deal of blue on her eye lids and a scarlet frock and long red earrings. We went home in the same taxi as the Waldegraves as we all lived in the same direction and foraged for food in the kitchen when we got in.
Friday Feb: 29th.
Wednesday Feb 20th: I went to Trinity College in the morning. Kathleen and I had luncheon with Betty and then I went off to Whitechapel to see the Bevan's friend Edith Ramsey who had promised to take me round, I met her at the L.C.C. office in Osborn Place off Commercial RoadLink opens in a new window she took me first through awful slums to see some people who live in one of the worst streets in the district. We climbed up flights and flights of rickety stairs and found them in a room about 10 feet by 6 feet on the top floor under the roof. The man, his wife and little boy live & sleep there and pay 10/- a week rent for it. The woman was very nice and we talked to her for some time, then we went on through more slums to see some other people in an awful Court full of dirt but they were out so then we went along Leman StreetLink opens in a new window and into a side street to see someone else, the Aunt and three dreadfully sickly looking children were there. From there we went to the Catholic School on Tower Hill which Edith Ramsey wants me to go and work at; we talked to a young school master there and went through several class rooms then we walked back along Leman Street to Commercial Road and I took a flying leap to Park Street to meet Mummy at an At Home of Mrs Goldman's; a strange change of atmosphere! Mrs Goldman asked me to dine there that evening so I didn't stay long but dashed on to Peggy where I had been going to tea she had to go off and see Rowly soon after I arrived so I went back to Sloane Gardens and watched Kathleen dress to go out then changed myself and went to the Goldman's. There were only Mr & Mrs Goldman, Hazel and a Mrs Bell Lady Malet's sister there which was nice. I like Hazel enormously, she is clever and talks well and is beautiful to look at but people say she is desperately shy.
Thursday Feb: 21st. Kathleen and I started out together in the morning and got as far as the top of Sloane Street where we parted. I went to Anne and told her all about Whitechapel which excited her very much. We went in search of a tweed coat and skirt for her and tried Burberry and Nichol unsuccessfully and then I went back to Sloane Gardens.
"Cousin Harold" (Sir Harold Pelly) came to luncheon and as soon as he had gone Kathleen and I went to Harvey Nichols to meet Milly Lowe - a friend of K's and we went to see the film of Stanley Weyman's novel "Under the Red Robe"Link opens in a new window it was good on the whole especially some of the scenes in the forest but I have seen better films. Milly Lowe came back to tea. Anne T came in after dinner and we laughed and joked.
Friday Feb: 22nd. I went to see Anne in the morning; we walked in Regents Park and talked brightly about the futility of life. Kathleen and I stayed in most of the afternoon and about 4 o'c set forth first to a pop shop and then to see Cecil, she and Kathleen were mutually very much taken with each other. There was a Dutch girl there who designs fancy covers for chocolate boxes, she said she hated going round to shops trying to sell them whereupon Kathleen said she would do it for her so the Dutch girl offered her 15% commission and Kathleen said "done". She said to me "what is your name?" I said "Younghusband" and she went into fits of laughter and said "is it a name?"! The result of all this was that we were ¾ of an hour late at tea at the Kleinworts, Lil and Daisy were very nice.
Joan Thornton and Scott came to dine, Anne T and Arthur Montgomery came in after dinner and we went to dance at the Criterion roof garden and were joined there by Esther Macartney the Wheelbarrow; a tall youth called Tubbs and another friend of Kathleen's Tony Anson. Everyone got on well with every one else which is a great blessing in a party of that sort and it was great fun and ended all too early at 12.30. Barrow came back to Sloane Gardens with us and we ate all we could lay hands on. Kathleen and I talked for a long time before we went to bed.
Monday March 3rd.
Saturday Feb: 23rd. Kathleen and I went off with the Dutch girl's boxes in the morning we were recieved with bored indifference at RumpelmayersLink opens in a new window and told they had no use for us so we went on to the sweet department of Harrods where we saw a nice woman who said Saturday morning was a hopeless time to come and the buyer was very busy but would we come back some other day so we left and Kathleen went home while I walked across the park to Upper Berkeley Street to have luncheon with Peggy. Anne and Christina were there for luncheon because Anne wanted Christina and Peggy to meet thinking they would get on well so I had arranged it. Rowly was back but still in bed of course. I went to see him for a few minutes after luncheon, the poor dear was very bored and furious with people who said how nice it was to be in bed. Peggy and Christina got on very well and we had a great arguement on individuals versus people in the mass. It is amusing seeing two different lots of people both of whom you know very well but who don't know each other at all well talking. Anne, Christina and I left together and went back to York Terrace where Anne and I spent most of our time in teasing Christina and I sized her by the nose and rubbed all the powder off and polished it well just as she'd got it all powdered in preparing for a tea party. I went to tea with Anne T, there was a girl called Betty Dodds there with her husband, he harmless and aimiable though silly and she hard as nails. Mr Talbot came in after they had gone and we discussed going abroad, they have asked me to go with them to France at Easter.
Kathleen and I dined with Jock at the Piccadilly that evening, he brought another man an excessively nice Major Wynne and at the last moment Kathleen added on to the party a Captain Barnett and Evelyn Porter (I don't think her name was Evelyn but its as good a name as any other) which was all to the good as they were both nice especially him. We all took interminable ages finding each other and still more interminable ages over dinner during which I carried on one of my usual long arguements with Jock. The result of all this was that we didn't start dancing till 10 o'c and were scarcely into our swing when the Cabaret show began, there was a marvellous man who did imitations of a band on a mouth organ and of bagpipes, complete with drone on a penny whistle. Peggy's friends Norah Blaney and Gwen FarrarLink opens in a new window also performed. It closed at 12.15 and we decided that we couldn't go back to bed and it wasn't safe to go to Sloane Gardens and play games because of waking Mrs Corry I said Peggy had said she was going to the Mayfair night club that evening and would sign us in if we liked to go on there; this was received with great enthusiasm by Barnett and with more tempered enthusiasm by Jock and we set forth. It was at the end of a mews off Bruton Street and when we got there there was no sign of Peggy and they hummed and hawed a good deal about letting us in, however finally they said they would and when we came out of the cloak room we found Peggy had just arrived so all was well. It was a long room with a low ceiling painted black, the walls were all black picked out in gold, the lights were very dim and had black masks on them and the heat was too appaling for words. The Prince of Wales and Prince Henry were there. Jock said how terrible it was seeing them in a place like that and Barnett said how ripping the P. of W was and why shouldn't he enjoy himself, I agreed heartily with both of them. We left about 3.15 Kathleen and I both too tired almost to move.
Sunday Feb: 24th. There were great discussions about Church and finally Kathleen and I went to St Martin's and heard a very fine sermon by Mr Ritchie on the futility of words compared to action. I stayed on for the congregational singing practise and saw dear old Miss Baker and Mr SheppardLink opens in a new window in the distance.
Two cheerful youths called Goldsmith came round after luncheon and we went and picked up Joan Thornton at her flat and set off in a bus for the Zoo;Link opens in a new window I established my position in the party by putting bus tickets into peoples hats. When we arrived at St John's Wood station it was pouring so we plunged straight into the Underground and went back to Sloane Gardens and had tea and then started to make toffee on the sitting room fire. A young man called Douglas Lockhart appeared and promptly upset his cup of tea on the floor. Christina and Anne came and Evans and Esther Macartney. The party got wilder and wilder and we ate toffees off the ends of knives and made toffee moustaches and toffee teeth and played "Snap" and threw waste paper baskets about, I cannot imagine what would have happened if Mrs Corry had come in but fortunately she was at a lecture on the new pschylogy. Joan Thornton stayed to dinner and Kathleen and I being quite unable to keep our eyes open or even remember what we were talking about went to bed very soon after dinner.
March 12th Wednesday.
Monday Feb: 25th. I walked with Kathleen to the Websters in the morning and then went back to Sloane Gardens, collected my luggage and moved to Brechin Place to stay with the de Lyndens for two nights. The Baroness was out so I just dropped my luggage and then walked along Brompton Road, stopping to have a look at the Oratory on the way, and through Belgrave Square to Cecil; I sat and talked to her for a bit then went to luncheon with Anne, we all made desultory jokes for some time after luncheon; Anne and I started out together and walked Baker Street where we parted. I went to meet Mummy at St Martin's and we went to the Speaker'sLink opens in a new window House to call on Mrs Witley [ Whitley ] who was not at home so then I went with Mummy as far as Miss Buxton's and from there to the de Lyndens arriving there in time for tea.
I dined with the Corrys that evening and Kathleen and I went to see "Ruddigore".Link opens in a new window Mrs Corry wanted me to go and see a Gilbert & Sullivan play while I was with them and this was the only night they could get seats. It was tremendously good and very funny though I thought the beginning poor. Kathleen & I were still very sleep - in fact I nearly fell asleep during the play.
Tuesday Feb: 26th. I went along to Peggy about 10.30 (she'd got a week off from nursing) and of course found her in bed, we talked for a bit then she got up and I talked to Rowland while she dressed, he was getting steadily more bored with bed. Peggy and I went out when she was dressed and walked down Bond Street having hot chocolate at Gunters and discussing the ways of families. We parted in Dover Street and I tore back to Brechin Place for luncheon.
In the afternoon I went to SwaineLink opens in a new window to be photographed (complimentary) and Anne met me there but they wouldn't let her come up into the photographic room; I was taken in several unnatural positions craning my neck to the uttermost. Anne and I walked along Bond Street and went our separate ways at Piccadilly.
I had tea with Miss Buxton and went with her to a lecture in the great hall of Westminster School on the tombs of the kings in the Abbey: interesting and excellent slides. I dashed from there back to Brechin Place and we dined at 7 o'c and went to an L.N.U [ League of Nations Union ] debate at some public bathes in North Kensington, getting there was a perfect nightmare; we went to Notting Hill Gate station and a policeman told us it was better to walk from there than go by bus so we walked and walked and walked for unending miles along wide dark roads and finally arrived in a packed hall but luckily got seats. The Duke of NorthumberlandLink opens in a new window was proposing that the League of Nations was a danger to humanity, not at all Christian, most imperious to the peace of the world and so on. He spoke extremely well and although I disagreed with everything he said he made out a good case - from his point of view. Sir Frederick MauriceLink opens in a new window opposed and though of course he really had all the arguements on his side he spoke very badly producing nothing but platitudes and quoting what other people had said about the League. There was a good deal of noise and interruption at times. I was rather horrified to see that about ¼ of the meeting voted in favour of the resolution. We got home quite quickly by an underground just round the corner.
Wednesday Feb: 27th. I went to Trinity College in the morning; Anne T met me there and I went back to luncheon with her and found Kathleen ringing me up as I got into the house. Mrs Talbot, Anne & I discussed going abroad most of luncheon. Anne & I started out together and met Kathleen in Sloane Avenue and went with me to Brechin Place to pick up my luggage and then to Charing X. We composed a letter to Jock on the way & posted it at Charing X. I came down here by the 3.50 very glad to be back and finding ten days of London quite enough. Daddie came down at 7.30.
Friday March 14th.
Thursday Feb: 28th. I practised in the morning and tried to read in the afternoon but was so fearfully sleepy that I fell asleep most of the time. Mummy came home in the evening very tired but a great deal better for her time in London.
Friday Feb: 29th. Nothing in particular happened.
Saturday March 1st. A glorious day; I went to the cottage to get Miss Hanmer to go primrosing but she wasn't back; I went to the valley of Valence where K and I went before but they had been very much put back by the cold and I only got a minute bunch of a dozen or so. Went to enquire after Miss Liddell on the way down.
Practised and did theory for the rest of the day.
Sunday March 2nd. A beautiful morning, snow and bright sunshine. We went to Church. The Baroness and "Wobert" came down for lunching. He wasn't feeling at all well and ate practically nothing because he said "they" meaning his inside wouldn't like it. A bad snow-storm came on in the afternoon so they had an early tea and then started off back because they were afraid of getting stuck on Westerham hill.
Monday March 3rd. A most wonderful day, deep snow and brilliant sunshine. I went for a walk through French Street and towards Weardale. Too lovely: snow on all the trees of the woods on each side of the road and deep blue shadows on the glistening white. I went to see Miss Liddell on the way home, she'd had bronchitis and had been in the house for a fortnight.
The Congregational Minister and his wife Mr and Mrs Dowswell & a friend came to tea. They are nice people. I went to the Shakespeare class after tea, it was very funny as usual. I have to be a Lady-in-waiting and ogle Miss Stretfeild [ Streatfeild ] as Sands and then flirt with Mrs Wilkins in the banquet scene.
Saturday March 15th.
Tuesday March 4th. I went to the Library and helped Mrs Busk in the morning and in the afternoon I went to tea with Miss Liddell; Mrs Schuster was there & we played Mah Jongg before tea. Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer came to tea and the latter & I had to leave directly after to go to the library.
Wednesday March 5th. I went to London for the day. Anne met me at Trinity College and we went for a walk. Then I went to Harrods and from there to Head where I bought some wool, then I walked along Sloane St. and suddenly saw Kathleen on the other side of the road talking to Lady Helena Acland-Hood so I bolted across and caught her and she went with me to Peter Jones. I went to luncheon with Aunt Mabel; a girl's luncheon party consisting of Bea Liddell, Joyce Waller, Eve Wise and a delightful young Mrs Ross. It was quite fun and Aunt Mabel is a very good hostess. I went from there to see Anne and on from there to tea with Peggy, she and I had a great arguement because I said all girls ought to work or at least be able to work at something and she said certainly not there were quite enough people in the world who had to do unpleasant jobs and if they didn't want to work why should they? And anyway it was all the same a 100 years hence. I came down by the 6.34.
Thursday March 6th. I went to London by the 12.45 to spend the night with the Bevans and go and dance at the Criterion roof garden. I went first to the Times Book Club and then to a committee meeting of H.M.U.H [ Home Mission Union Helpers ] at Lady Kathleen Studd's house in Great Cumberland Place. I sat there for 1½ hours saying nothing and feeling very useless and then went on to the Bevans; Anne was resting so Christina and I had tea together and were very foolish. Anne came down after tea in a strange mixture of garments, a boudoir cap, a bed jacket, a woolie skirt and evening shoes. Christina and I teased her for some time then Christina went to dress and Anne and I talked till it was time for us to do the same. I was sleeping with Anne and her room is very small so the mess by the time we had finished dressing was almost unbelievable. Christina came up in the middle and wanted me to do her hair so I did it with one hand and finished dressing with the other and no sooner was it up than she patted and pulled it till it fell down again. Three men came to dinner, Mr Jopling, Mr Alhansen and Christina's latest a man called Bar Baker. We went on almost directly after dinner to the Criterion and were met there by Colonel O'Gorman,Link opens in a new window Von Plesan, Bernsdorff and his sister and cousin and another man. Colonel O'Gorman dances quite divinely, he taught me all sorts of new steps and made me do the Blues. Anne and I decided we didn't like Baker, we thought he had no sense of humour, was conceited and a little mad. I think he returned all our feelings about him. Alhansen is a very nice young thing. We danced till it closed at 2 o'c.
Anne and I talked for ages in bed although we were quite desperately sleepy. We talked alternately about serious things and pure nonsense. One would make a remark which was answered by the other and then would come a long pause, then a remark from the other and so on till finally we fell asleep altogether and slept solidly all night.
Sunday March 16th.
Friday March 7th. We didn't wake till we were called and then talked for ages so that I was ¾ of an hour late for breakfast (Anne stayed in bed). After breakfast I went to Baker St Station parcels office and arranged for my box to be taken to Hampstead where I was spending the week-end then I went back and sat on Anne's bed the whole morning talking to her. We discussed religion and why it is people will never talk about it while they are quite ready to discuss anything else under the sun. We came to no conclusions on this subject. I went to luncheon with Uncle Oswald to Aunt Bobs; Mrs Blandy was there just back from Mentone & we had mangoes for luncheon.
I went to Charing X to meet Violet Grenfell with whom I was spending the week-end. She and I used to work together at St Martin's Club. She met me in a two seater and we went first to the Haymarket Theatre & got tickets for a matinée of "Havoc" the next day. So we started off for Hampstead and in Regents St. the traffic was stopped by a policeman, Violet was talking so hard that she never noticed when he put his arm down so we had the traffic half way down Regent's Street madly hooting and screaming to us to go on.
The Grenfell family consists of just Violet and Mr Grenfell who has a preparatory school for boys called Heath Mount.Link opens in a new window I saw him for just a minute as he was tearing off to London, he is very nice, very jumpy, teases Violet a great deal and is very kind. Violet and I went for a walk on the heath after tea but unfortunately it was very misty so the famous view was completely invisible. She played the piano both before and after dinner and we talked a great deal about music and became very thrilled over it.
Saturday March 8th. We went into Hampstead to shop in the morning and then went for a walk on the heath which is a bad imitation of real country like Wimbledon Common. In the afternoon we went to "Havoc"Link opens in a new window which is a wonderful play but intensely gloomy; the action takes place during the war and there are several scenes in the trenches. It was unrelived tragedy all through and I felt like a grease spot by the end. Mr Grenfell was at home in the evening and Violet played again and we turned the wireless on for a bit.
Sunday March 9th. Violet and I went to dear St Martin's in the morning; it was very full but leavers gave us seats in the private pews. The Vicar of Southport Mr. DwellyLink opens in a new window preached on the whole rather a tiresome sermon of the boistriously sentimental sort. I turned round as we were coming out and to my amazement saw Margaret in the pew behind, we sized on her and insisted she should go back to luncheon with us. Mr Grenfell met us with the car and we motored out to Hampstead in lovely sunshine, through Hyde Park with all the silly people doing Church Parade,Link opens in a new window including Anne T who wouldn't recognize me. Margaret was in great form, very cheerful and seems to be getting over her operation well; it was jolly to see her again. We motored Margaret back to where she was staying and then went to a concert at the Albert Hall BratzaLink opens in a new window was playing the violin; a man called Popiloff (or words to that effect) the piano and a Russian or Polish girl sang. They were all extremely good, Bratza played wonderfully & was encored again and again. We got back in time for a late tea and then Violet and I went over to Hendon to see the Bonds; Gerald and Greta were there, also Mr and Mrs whom I'd never seen before although they are cousins.
Tuesday March 18th 1924.
Monday March 10th. I came home by the 11.15; Violet motored me up to Charing X. We got into several blocks in Tottenham Court Road and reached Charing X at 11.14 so I had a pretty wild dash for the train but just caught it. I found Mummy in bed with flue when I got back and Dr Cotton said I wasn't to go into her room. I went to the Shakespeare class after tea and sat with Miss Hanmer and didn't have to do much.
Tuesday March 11th. I went to help Mrs Busk at the library in the morning and in the afternoon went to Clacketts Woods in search of primroses but found very few. Library in the evening and I walked nearly all the way up Hosey hill with Miss Hanmer afterwards.
Wednesday March 12th. London as usual. After Trinity College I went to change my book and then walked to Oxford Circus where I got a bus to Charing X and put my music case in the cloak room and then went to luncheon with Aunt Lil; Uncle Claude & Aunt Di, Uncle Barney & Aunt Clare and Daddie were there; we had an excellent luncheon and then the two Uncles and Aunts and I went to see "The Green Goddess"Link opens in a new window a thrilling play of the Indian frontier with beautiful scenery and very well arranged native crowds and music. I tore on to the Baroness's At Home at the Ladies Carlton Club but by the time I got there almost everyone except Daddie had left. He and I came down here by the 6.34.
Thursday March 13th. We had the most fearful excitement here all day. Mummy came to my sitting room about 12 o'c and said will you go to the garden, theres a fire I don't much like the look of so I strolled out in a leisurely way and when I came to the stables I found the fence a solid mass of flame. Shortie was there and Salmon the old carpenter who was helping to move boxes and Percy and Mrs Simpson, they were dashing about with buckets but buckets were perfectly useless because everything was bone dry and there was a strong wind blowing in the direction of the stables. I found that the fire brigade had been sent for, then I dashed down to the Crown HotelLink opens in a new window to try & get a hose but they hadn't got one so I tore on to Stone's garage and they hadn't one either as I came away from there I saw a woman going along the street ringing a bell to summon the firemen and several men were getting out the fire hoses so I thought it useless to go any farther after a garden hose and so returned; by the time I got back a big shed full of furniture and books was blazing and the stables had caught; a good many people had come up by this time and Blackwood the man who owns Langridge's nurseries was splendid in organizing rescue operations, we all hauled out packing crates and stacks of books and tore about with buckets of water pouring them over each other and over new places where the fire was spreading. The heat was immense and the smoke quite blinding, I got a red hot cinder down the back of my neck but was otherwise undamaged. Daddie was up in London and Mummy was in bed with flue but she got up and came out arrayed in a multitude of dressing gowns & cloaks; Dr Cotton came up and stayed for hours beseeching her to go back to bed which she absolutely refused to do and as a matter of fact she doesn't seem any the worse. The fire brigade arrived fairly soon; Miss Bartlett and Captain and Mrs Bonham-Carter also appeared and were most helpful. They finally got it out between 2 and 3 o'c but that big shed full of furniture was a heap of ashes, all the fence between us and the field had gone, a good deal of fencing between the stable yard and the kitchen garden and the whole roof of the stables together with a good deal of the contents of the stables; luckily the garage was completely saved. Miss Bartlett was splendid, she refused to go home to her luncheon till after 2.30 and then was back again in about ¼ of an hour; I had a very hasty meal somewhere about this time and then she and I and two boys started collecting together some of the piles of books and papers that were scattered over the garden and bringing them indoors. Then someone started a hare that nothing must be moved till the insurance people had been so we left off carting books and tried to make an inventory of all the remains of books in the shed most of which were Mummy's historical and French books. I had tea and rested for a few minutes then went to the Brownies. Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer came up afterwards to see the scene of all the excitement. I went down to meet the 7.30 train and break the news to Daddie, he was quite cheerful about it and did nothing but say "Good Lord".
John Ireland was broadcast in the evening playing his own works including a sonata for violin & piano with Daisy Kennedy as violinist. Unfortunately it wasn't very clear.
We all retired to bed feeling very shattered.
Monday March 24th.
Friday March 14th. We spent a large part of the day in rummaging in the remains. A benevolent old gentleman came down from the insurance people.
Saturday March 15th. Miss Hanmer came in the morning and said I need not go and help her clear the Institute as I had been going to do because she had arrived there and found it already done. I went to tea with Betty Nissen in the afternoon and on the way went for a walk along the Pilgrim's Way and found masses and masses of dog violets. There was rather a nice girl staying with Betty and we played Mah Jongg after tea.
Sunday March 16th. I went to Church at 10 and then practised for most of the rest of the morning. In the afternoon I went up to Miss Hanmer and we went for a walk in the Tower Woods and practised signalling for the Brownies.
Monday March 17th. A delightful person appeared from the insurance people's accessors to access the amount of damage done here. We started off after luncheon and it was a prepetual game of his saying "I think I'll put that down at so and so" and Mummy saying "oh dear no thats much too much" and my saying "not at all I think thats quite right" till finally he called me the Lady Chancellor and referred all disputes to me. They are going to repair all the damage done to the stables and the fencing and they are in almost all cases giving us very good prices for the things that are destroyed or damaged. I have got £5 for several boxes of old toys and papers and books; I suggested £2 for them but Mr Rice said "you can't get much of a dress for £2 we'd better make it £5"!
Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer came to tea and we went to the Shakespeare class after tea. I have been made (amongst other things) one of Katherine of Aragon's Ladies in waiting.
Tuesday March 18th. I went to the library in the morning and sorted the books and helped Miss Hanmer dust the Institute. I went for a walk in the afternoon and got masses of primroses in Valence Valley. Joan Maguire is staying with Mrs Blandy because Anne has got the measles and she and Louise, Mrs Blandy's maid, came to tea; she seems a very nice little girl and it was the first time I had ever had her by herself. There was no library in the evening but a perfectly excellent lecture by Professor LethabyLink opens in a new window the architect in charge of Westminster Abbey, on Village Greens, the lecture wandered a good deal from the subject but it was first rate and there was a very good discussion afterwards on how village greens could be kept clean and tidy and yet used.
Wednesday March 19th. I travelled up to London with Miss Hanmer and then tore to Trinity College. I went to luncheon with Kathleen who wasn't feeling at her brightest and best and after luncheon I dragged her in search of a summer hat for me and she felt even less bright; we scoured Brompton Road and finally ran to earth quite a passable hat at Owles and Beaumont, it is brown straw, the crown is bound with different coloured swathings of crêpe de chine & it cost 12/11. I went to tea with Peggy who has had her hair shingled, I'm not sure yet if I like it because I've only seen her in uniform. I came down by the 6.34; Miss Deane, Miss Hanmer and Miss Colville fell into my carriage just as the train was going and I sat on the latter's lap as far as London Bridge. Margaret Maguire arrived to stay in the evening.
Saturday March 29th.
Thursday March 20th. I took Margaret for a walk along the Pilgrim's Way in the morning and we found masses of white violets. We went to the Brownies after tea and Margaret was much impressed by how well they are run.
Friday March 21st. Margaret and I went to London by the 9.38 it being my first day at Whitechapel. We went straight to the office, Miss Ramsey was out when we arrived but a nice Miss Lee explained the card indexing of the child to me and I was very muddled by all the abbreviations they use. We did one visit in Collier's Buildings but it was unsuccessful as the mother was out. Miss Ramsey came in and took us over the road to see dinners being given to underfed children. We had luncheon at the office and two Jewish workers Miss Samuel and Miss Moses came in and talked a great deal about education. After luncheon Miss Ramsey took us to Tower Hill School and we distributed a shower of dental cards, then she left us and we went and did a couple of visits in Lambeth Street, from there we walked across Tower Hill to Mark Lane Station and from there went by a round about way to Marshall & Snelgrove and Margaret tried on frocks unsuccessfully so then we went to Debenham where she was again more or less unsuccessful. I dashed across to the T.B.C and changed my book and then we went to the Galeries Lafayette but she couldn't get anything there either so we gave it up and I went to Culford Gardens where I was staying the night and arrived more dead than alive because I'd lugged my suit case round everywhere. Miss Violet Liddell was staying there. We played Mah Jongg after dinner and shortly before 10 o'c Daddie called for me and we went to the Speaker's party and were joined there by Mummy. There was an immense squash of people including several men in "gent's lounge suiting" but we didn't make out any big wigs of the Government except Mr Noel BuxtonLink opens in a new window however I don't think there were any there to make out! I'm sorry to say I missed being introduced to Lady Russell the author of "Elizabeth & Her German Garden"Link opens in a new window as I was away eating with Adelaide Yate at the time Mummy met her. We saw Hazel Goldman, Canon & Mrs Carnegie and Kathleen Carey & the Yates and a good many other vague people.
Saturday March 22nd. Aunt Mabel and Miss Liddell had a great jumper measuring after breakfast. I came back by the 11.15 and travelled down with Mary Smith and another girl. Poor Margaret was here in solitary glory but seemed quite happy. We went primrosing with Miss Hanmer in the afternoon and got some really long stalked ones.
Sunday March 30th.
Sunday March 23rd. Margaret, Daddie and I went to Church. Sir William Roberts came down for the day and Hazel and her small brother Pen motored down for luncheon. Margaret said to Pen, "how do you manage to be away from school?" and Pen answered "well you see I've had a disease" but the disease turned out to be only German measles! I took Hazel and Pen for a long walk and it poured with rain and we were all soaked to the skin. They came back here to tea and then went off. I like Hazel so much and there is a tremendous lot in her. Sir James stayed for dinner.
Monday March 24th. We sat about and sewed most of the morning. It suddenly cleared up in the afternoon and was quite divine. I had to go to the W.I at 4 o'c for a lesson on the pavane we are to dance in the banqueting scene in "Henry VIII". There are four couples and Miss Hanmer is my partner. We are only doing two figures and they seem fairly simple. Margaret came down for the rehearsal of "Henry VIII"; in one scene everyone taking men's parts was made to appear in bloomers and Margaret and I sat and rocked with laughter at some of the revelations.
Tuesday March 25th. I went to the library in the morning and Miss Hanmer helped me to get it ready as I am acting librarian in the absence of Mrs Busk! Margaret and I went for a walk in Squerryes and Tower Woods in the afternoon and on the way back met Mrs Darkin staggering under a load of new books so I went with her to the W.I and helped her to card index them; I found Mrs Farnworth there and brought her back to tea and directly after tea went back to the library where we had a pretty busy time.
Wednesday March 26th. Daddie and I went to London by the 9.38 and Margaret left by the 10.40. After T.C I went to the Holeproof Hosiery CoLink opens in a new window and bought a couple of pairs of stockings and then to the Nordonne Shoe Co in Oxford Street where I bought a very nice pair of brown strap shoes with crêpe rubber soles for 21/9. Then I went to the T.B.C where I met Mrs Leigh and Barbara both at once and just missed seeing Christina whom Barbara had been with. Daddie & I lunched with Uncle JackLink opens in a new window and Aunt Madeleine at the Tower to meet Barbara Foster who is engaged to George; we both liked her very much. I went from there to see Anne T and got there a good deal later than I should have done through going the wrong way of the Inner Circle! We were very excited about going abroad as it is now definitely decided that I shall go with them to wander about the Rhône Valley and we start on Monday week. I went to tea with the Kleinworts; their nice German cousin Otto somthing was staying there and we played Mah Jongg and they were quite like their old selves as Shortie would say.
Monday March 31st 1924.
Thursday March 27th. About 11.15 Aunt Di telephoned to ask if I would go to a matinée of "Diplomacy"Link opens in a new window that afternoon as she was in bed with flue and couldn't go; I said I should love to and went up by the 12 o'c train; I had a short time to kill when I got up so I went and listened to an organ recital at St Martin's and then went and met Aunt Lil, Uncle Claude, Colonel Benet and Mrs Blakeway at the Adelphi. The play was most thrilling and wonderfully acted; Owen Nares,Link opens in a new window Gladys CooperLink opens in a new window and Lady TreeLink opens in a new window were in it. We went behind the scenes afterwards and saw Owen Nares and Mrs Nares they were very nice and took us onto the stage which was an enormous place. I went and had tea at St Martin's Club and found that Margaret was there dressing to go to a theatre so I went up and watched her dress and teased her horribly and came down here by the 6.34; ate a hasty dinner and then went with Mummy and Daddie to the meeting to elect the new parochial church council, it was one of the dullest meetings I've ever been at.
Friday March 28th. I went up to London by the 9.38 and went straight to Osborn Place where I found Edith Ramsey. I did a bit of rootling in the card index and then went to the school and had out several children and asked them questions about their eyes. Then I went and visited some people called Casey in Mayfield's Buildings and then a nice woman called Alcock in KatherineLink opens in a new window (which I found must be pronounced Kathe-rine with the accent on the second syllable) Buildings, from there I went to Lambeth Street and drew a blank, and so back to the office for luncheon. Edith Ramsey and I had luncheon together and had a very good talk about the purpose of life and immortality. After luncheon I went again to Mayfield's Buildings and interviewed Mrs Macdermott of the families of Macdermott and Thurling and got particulars for a grant for spectacles for Maggie Thurling; then I went to Linden Place, Pell Street and had a long talk with a very nice woman called Sullivan also re grants for spectacles. Then I went back to the office and wrote up the card index and filled up forms for grants and then went viâ Liverpool Street to the T.B.C arriving just before it shut. There was a bus strike on and I had to get to Culford Gardens where I was staying the night again for Kathleen and Anne's combined party. I went to Oxford Circus tube and got involved in immense crowds but finally arrived at Sloane Square. Aunt Mabel & Uncle Eric were dining with the Chelmsfords so I had dinner alone and was picked up at 8.30 by Kathleen and Anne. We went to Sloane Avenue and Anne dressed and Kathleen and I put finishing touches and made endless awful jokes. The party was a huge success; they had a very good man who told stories and sang songs and everybody seemed very happy. I spent most of the evening with Peggy and left with her about 1 o'c when the party was still going on more or less with Elizabeth Ponsonby singing pointless and rather improper songs.
Saturday March 29th. I went to see Peggy about 11.30 and she, Mrs Leigh and I went to Rose Bertin to chose a hat and then Peggy and I went to Gunters and had coffee and biscuits and she told me a great deal about Gwen FarrarLink opens in a new window and Teddie.Link opens in a new window I went back to luncheon at Culford Gardens and came down here by the 2.17. It was a perfectly lovely day when I arrived so I went for a walk along the footpath to Brasted. Miss Thrison came to tea and was very amusing.
Sunday March 30th. We all three went to Church. Mr Tucker came down from London for the day and Mr Dolton and Colonel NissenLink opens in a new window and Betty wrote an April Fool letter to Maurice for me supposed to be from a girl called Margaret Lion (who really exists) and asking him to dine and go to a dance saying she met him last holidays. I gave the telephone number of Madame Tussauds and Peggy's address.
Monday March 31st. I went to the W.I about 11 o'c and sorted the books and helped Miss Hanmer dust and clean up; then we went shopping and I walked nearly up to the Cottage with her. I went to Clacketts to get primroses armed with a large basket in the afternoon but only got one medium sized bunch. There was a rehearsal of the pavane at the W.I at 4.30; we did it over and over again and everyone made different suggestions. Miss Hanmer came back to look at my carnations which an evil beast hath devoured. She doesn't think there is anything to be done for them. Mummy and Daddie both went to London for the day. Thank goodness this horrid diary is written up to date at last!
Saturday April 5th.
Tuesday April 1st. I went to the Institute in the morning to get the library ready and had to tear all over Westerham for the key. I went for a short walk along the footpath to Brasted in the afternoon but there was an icy wind so I didn't go far.
I went to the library after tea and we had rather a rush. I made a complete April Fool of Miss Hanmer; she is always having W.I Committee meetings which I tease her about so I wrote her a letter - or rather Shortie wrote it - from Mrs Brown (the President of the house committee) saying it had been decided to form a committee to raise funds for the purchase of a Hoover suction cleaning machine for the hut and would she be willing to act as treasurer. She told me all about it at the library and said she must catch Mrs Brown before she left the hut so then I told her about it and she screamed with laughter and vowed to be even with me.
Wednesday April 2nd. We all went up to London. It was the last day of Trinity College and from there I went to the Times Book Club and then walked to the Army & Navy & had my hair cut; then went to have a look at Westminster Cathedral which I love then I went to the dentist because one of my teeth felt as if it had gone completely hollow, however it turned out that the stopping had fallen out so it had to be re-stopped. Kathleen met me there and we went pattern and then coat & skirt hunting for her both more or less unsuccessfully. I went to tea with Peggy & we had a good talk.
Thursday April 3rd. Anne T rang up in great agitation in the morning to say I'd filled up the wrong passport renewal form and they must have the right one at once if not sooner. Luckily I had got the right one so I filled it up and dashed off to the Canon to get him to certify that I was a fit and proper person to have a passport and managed to catch the 11.45 post. Betty Nissen and I went primrosing in Westerham Woods in the afternoon and got masses and masses; she came back to tea here and we went together to the Brownies. Poor Miss Deane is in bed with flue again so she wasn't there and I had to teach two of them semaphore signalling which I know nothing about and got thoroughly tied up in it.
Friday April 4th. I went to London by Oxted and went straight to Osborn Place and took down particulars of cases before luncheon.
We had luncheon early and I got off visiting about 1.30. I went first to Mrs Murphy in Lambeth Street to arrange about Robert Murphy going away to SouthendLink opens in a new window for a fortnight next Thursday; he has never been away in his life and showed his first sign of animation over it. From there I went to Everard St a bad slum and interviewed a very loquacious woman called Anderson about her boy who has got bad tonsils. She said all the family was weak in the "swaller" and refused to have anything done about it especially as the little girl at the pub at the corner had died under an operation for tonsilitis. Then I went to the next street Boyd St and saw a nice woman whose name I forget about her little girl's teeth. We had had a letter from one of the treatment centres saying her eyes were very bad & they couldn't continue dental treatment till her eyes were well but apparently what had really happened was that the child had kicked and struggled so much that the dentist could do nothing with her! From there I went to Cornwall St to see if one Pat Brown aged 6 who was reported to be very weak and delicate could go to Southend on Thursday. I saw Mrs Brown quite a young woman who looked desperately ill and worried; she was very keen for Pat to go as she said none of the children had ever been away but he wanted more underclothes only possessing those he stood up in apparently and she didn't know where the money was to come from to pay for them. I lent her 5/- not being able to bear it, and she was going to let Miss Ramsey know as soon as she'd talked it over with her husband. I gave her a bunch of primroses and a nice old man who was there said "what shall we do to them Miss? Will they keep if we put them in water?". I went on in search of Lowood Buildings and walked the entire length of Cable St till finally a jovial policeman told me I'd come a mile too far so I walked back an interminable length and when I finally got there there was no one there so then I went to Mayfield's Buildings and first talked to a Mrs Dowler about ionisation treatment for her boy, I surprised her rather by saying it was dental treatment when it applies to discharging ears however we got on quite happily in the end. I went from there to Mrs Macdermott also in Mayfield's Buildings and had a long talk about Maggie Thurling's glasses, William Macdermott's teeth & Lizzie Lambert's ditto. Then I had an interview with William Casey still in Mayfield's Buildings, over his spectacles and from there went to Mrs Sullivan in Linden Place Pell St however only the sister was in so I went on to Peabody Buildings,Link opens in a new window drew a blank at one flat and talked most learnedly about ionisation to a Mrs Clarke at another. Then I went back to Mrs Sullivan and we all sat down on any chairs that weren't covered with other things and discussed the intricate problem of the payments for Nellie's & Michael's spectacles. From there I dashed back to the office & filled up forms and entered results of visits in the card index and had tea, then went to Victoria & caught the 5.47 to Oxted and got back here on the bus just before 7 o'c.
Saturday April 5th. A lovely day. I did one or two things in the village in the morning & in the afternoon took Shortie primrosing in Westerham Woods. We scrambled & floundered about & got very much scratched by brambles but the primroses were very good and we got quite a considerable quantity.
Colonel and Mrs Thirson came to tea and after they'd gone I washed my hair.
Sunday April 6th. I went to Church at 10 o'c and spent the rest of the morning doing odds and ends. In the afternoon I went up to the Cottage; Miss Deane was in bed with flue and Miss Hanmer was finishing letters so I went to see the Miss Liddells who were just going out, I walked a short way with them and then went back and picked up Miss Hanmer and we went and sat on the Chart & basked in the sunshine and talked, mainly about the Canon.
I am desperately excited about going off abroad with the Talbots to-morrow.
Tuesday April 8th.
Monday April 7th. I got a post card from Anne T in the morning saying Dick had got flue and so they were putting off starting till Wednesday anyway which was rather a blow.
I went for a long walk in the morning along the foot path to Brasted and then down a very winding lane which finally landed me by Force Green, from there I got onto the Pilgrim's Way and got masses of white and purple violets and a few primroses. I gardened in the afternoon and in the evening went to the Shakespeare class but I found Miss Lalley [ Lally ]Link opens in a new window wasn't going to be there and only a few people were rehearsing so I left after about ¾ of an hour.
Tuesday April 8th. I went and helped Mrs Busk at the library in the morning. There was a rehearsal of the pavane at 3.30. Miss Hanmer was there and she said Miss Deane is better but she has got great pain behind her eyes. We practised for ages and all danced in different times and then had tea there and after that came the library which was rather hectic because Miss Hanmer had to go back to Miss Deane so I took her card index as well as my own.
Wednesday April 9th. I rang up Anne last night (we have got our own telephone now) and we really are starting to-day so I am in a wild state of excitement.
Dieppe - Paris train 3.45 a.m Thursday April 10th.
I saw Miss Hanmer off by the 10.40 train and told her I really was going. There was fearful agitation over packing because we got all the things into one suit-case and then it wouldn't shut so another suit case had to be found and when it was found it hadn't got a key so we had to try endless heaps till at last one fitted. Mummy & I came up by the 1.52 & went first to Victoria to put my luggage in the cloak-room, then I went to the Stores to get something which they turned out not to have. From there I went to Aunt Lil's flat. She & Aunt Di were at a matinée but I waited for them & was joined there by Mummy; they came in about 5.15 and were delightful & very pleased to see us. I left there soon after 6 & went to Sloane Avenue where I found everyone in a great state of excitement. We had dinner at 7 - Mr & Mrs Talbot, Anne, Dick & me; all making jokes about going abroad and howling with laughter. Mrs Talbot & I left in a taxi for Victoria at 7.35 and went to the train where we found Mummy and Daddie who had got seats for us. We all laughed and joked a great deal till the train left at 8.20 with Anne, Dick, Mrs Talbot & me in possession of an entire carriage. We stopped at East Croyden & Lewes & Anne and I got more & more thrilled at the thought that we were in the Boat TrainLink opens in a new window at night. We reached Newhaven at 9.45 and went straight onto the boat. It was a lovely night, brilliant starlight & a new moon just coming up, the sea was rolling a little but wasn't actually rough. We all stayed on deck for a bit and then the others plunged into the seething mass of humanity below but I stayed on deck almost the entire time; I can't say it was warm but I had on a tweed coat & skirt, a woolie and a Burberry & a very large thick scarf round my head so the only things that got really cold were my hands and feet. I went downstairs about 12.45 where I found poor Anne being "took amiss". I read the "Evening News" & discovered an article by Daddie in it. We got into DieppeLink opens in a new window Harbour somewhere around 2 o'c. The excellent sailor who took charge of our luggage got us off before anyone else; we had no trouble at the Customs, in fact they never even opened my box, and got very good seats in this train, we kept the carriage to ourselves for a long time by drawing the blind across & all pretending to look very ill but in the end we got three other people in which isn't so bad as the train is packed. The train left at 3.45 and is going along merrily but of course it is pitch dark still.
Friday April 11th. Hotel de la Postes Beaune.
Thursday April 10th con: The dawn was quite lovely, very clear sky and pink sun over a deep blue distance. The train got slower and slower after Pontoise till at last we were only going at a crawl with the result that we reached the Gare St LazareLink opens in a new window an hour late and bundled out and into a taxi at terrific speed. The drive to the Gare du LyonsLink opens in a new window was great fun, we went very fast past the Place de L'OperaLink opens in a new window and along the Rue du RivoliLink opens in a new window and other exciting places till we reached the station where we got a most intelligent porter; there were three trains going to Dijon, one at 8, one at 8.10 and one at 8.20. We made for the 8.20. We found it very full and covered with thrilling labels - Modane, Milan-Lausanne, Geneva, St Moritz; for some mysterious reason we were put into a reserved compartment because we had tickets for Avignon so we did well. The moment the train started we rushed to the restaurant car and had an enormous breakfast consisting of rolls and butter and coffee, 2 oeufs sur le plat apiece, and honey; we were all ravenous having been up all night and had practically nothing but an orange and a bit of bread to eat since 7 the night before. The Country was flat and uninteresting for some distance and we all tried to sleep; about half way and for the rest of the distance to Dijon it was lovely, hills rising suddenly from flat fields, very blue and covered with woods and steep valleys in between with very old grey and red villages nestling in them. The fields were all covered with cowslips. We arrived at Dijon at nearly 1 o'c.
Saturday April 12th Hotel de la Poste Saulieu.
Thursday April 10th. con: We told the porter we wanted to go to the Hotel Lorraine and he made a face and said it was "pas possible", however as it was just by the station we went & looked at it and thought the outside looked all right so we decided to go there; it was pretty impossible inside but the rooms were only 8 francs so we decided to stay there one night & have our meals out. We went over the road to the Hotel du Jura for déjeuner; it was 10 francs without wine and perfectly excellant. After déjeuner we went in a tram to the MuséeLink opens in a new window which is a very fine building having been the palace of the Bourgoynes but it contains one of the worst collection of pictures I have ever seen. From there we went to the Church of Notre DameLink opens in a new window which has a wonderful caved porch and a rather fine inside though spoilt in parts by modern additions. We wandered about the town and had tea and then went to the station to ask about trains to Beaune and Anne & I went and bought post cards and stamps. We all slept till 7.30 when we went & had a marvellous dinner at the Jura and then wrote letters which probably never got anywhere because we subsequently discovered we had only put on 50 centime stamps instead of 75. We went to bed early feeling absolutely dog tired.
Friday April 11th. The train for Beaune was supposed to leave at 8.24 and they didn't call us till 7.40 instead of 7.15 so we had a wild rush and after we'd flung ourselves panting into the train they said it didn't go for another quarter of an hour. We got to Beaune about 9.30 and having put our luggage in the cloak room we went up into the town which is lovely; old houses with carving, and winding cobbled streets. We went over the Church of Notre Dame and then to the HospitalLink opens in a new window which is the great sight of Beaune it is 15 century and most beautiful. We wandered a bit after that & then went to the Hotel de la Poste and sat in the salon till it was time for dejeuner. I went into the town to buy post-cards which as far as I can make out cost 40 centimes for six. I created great excitement by walking through the streets in a tweed coat & skirt, crowds of children collected and after puzzled silence said triumphantly "Elle est Anglaise" as though that explained everything! We had a very good luncheon with delicious Beaune at 6d a bottle, I drank a whole bottle being very thirsty and saw life rather mistily for some time. We were all so overcome in fact that we slept for an hour and then explored again in the midst of several snow storms.
We left at 4 o'c for Saulieu in the most amazing conveyance;Link opens in a new window it had funny carriages with wooden seats, and a steam engine but it went on tram lines along the streets and roads sending forth immense clouds of white smoke and took 5 hours to reach Saulieu which is about 70 kilometres. Part of the journey was quite lovely winding through steep hills & valleys covered with woods & vineyards and on the top of one hill amongst juniper bushes were masses of amenome pulsatilla; I was wild with excitement. We had several snow storms & could see hills covered with snow in the distance. Anne & I both got headaches at intervals and had to be dosed with aspirin. The journey began to pall after between 3 to 4 hours though it was really very amusing while it was still light. We were very glad when we finally reached Saulieu and the hotel turned out to be very comfortable and clean and first class food. We went to bed about 11 o'c & slept like logs.
Saturday April 12th. We had the most luscious coffee & rolls in our rooms at 9 and then went exploring. There is no great sight in this town but it is all old and very pretty.
Monday April 14th
Saturday April 12th con: We had a great orgy of letter and diary writing till déjeuner and then in spite of rain and snow went for a walk in the direction of a village called Chanteau passing through lovely woods on the way. We discovered Chanteau to consist of a few tumble-down cottages and as it was pelting we went and sheltered for some time in a barn or outhouse which contained amongst other things a quantity of wood, a great many pairs of boots and sabots, agricultural tools and several dead animals. We tried to go back through the woods which were carpeted with anenomes but got lost and had to retrace our steps on to the road. We arrived back at the hotel absolutely soaked and hung all our wet clothes on the radiators. After tea I went up to the town and bought a note book, two packs of cards and some post-cards and when I got back Anne and I started to write the general diary which they always keep when they go abroad and we continued it after dinner. We went to bed early on account of an early start the next morning; Anne and I sharing a bed-room because our original rooms were let.
Sunday April 13th. We were called at 7 and dressed and ate petit déjeuner hastily and then tore off to the station to catch the 8 o'c train to Avallon. The guichet was closed when we got there and when we had hammered on it for some time a man standing by said "there is no hurry the train doesn't go for another minute yet" finally we discovered it didn't go till 8.19. I have never seen anything like the vagueness of the trains here, we have come to the conclusion that they always go a quarter of an hour after the advertised time. The country was very hilly and pretty and the journey took a little over an hour. AvallonLink opens in a new window was a lovely old town built on a hill. We went first to the Hotel de la Poste to see how it was possible to get to Vezelay [ Vézelay ]; the nice man and his wife took endless trouble about it and as it seemed to be impossible otherwise than by car ordered one for us to be there at 1 o'c. We went next to see the Cathedral of St Lazare; it was packed with people, and the High Mass of Palm Sunday was just starting and everyone held branches of box. A procession came singing up the Church and went out of the big doors which were then closed and for some time a man inside and the choir outside sang alternately and then the doors were flung opening and the sunlight streamed in onto the scarlet cassocked procession as it came back into the Church. We left and went along a path under the ramparts along the steep hill sides and got a beautiful view to the river and road below and up a wooded valley. Mrs Talbot & Dick went for a walk and Anne sat on the ramparts and sketched while I stayed with her and basked and watched two small boys playing. When the sketch was finished we went exploring, as we reached the Church of St Martin crowds of people dressed in black and carrying branches of box came out and looked very picturesque. We all met at the hotel for dejeuner, it was not very good and 15 francs a head which we thought enormous as even Beaune was only 12.
It was raining when we started for Vezeley [ Vézelay ] and we had to have the hood of the car up which was a great pity because it rather obscured the view and the first part of the drive was through the Valley of the Cousin which was quite lovely, a torrential river and high wooded slopes with huge granite boulders on each side; at the head of the valley was the village of Pontauberd with a fine Norman church. Some way further on the driver stopped and said we must go down the gorge of the Cure so we got out and walked down a steep slope covered with yellow potentilla and little purple cranesbill to an old grey stone bridge over the river and from there we could look up at the huge modern bridge we had first driven across. The next excitement was the extremely ramshackle village of St Père sous Vezeley dominated by the wonderful 13th century church with its high carved spire. After looking at church we drove on up to Vezeley which was built on a high hill for purposes of defence. We got up to the Basilica of the Magdalene only to find that vespers were just beginning and we couldn't see it till they were over so we waited about till 3.15 and were then shown round by an organist with long hair who talked unintelligably. The inside was unbelievably lovely, an enormous naveLink opens in a new window of pure white stone and the circular part behind the high altar of an even deeper white; the whole thing in a perfect state of preservation unencumbered by chairs. It is mostly 12th century and is supposed to be the biggest Romanesque nave in the world. The crypt is a chapel of the 9th century in perfect condition. There used to be a large Benedictine monastry at Vezeley which accounts for the size of the Church.
We drove back by a different and rather uninteresting road; Anne slept most of the way on the shoulder of the chauffeur whom we had named the Bear because of his enormous shaggy fur coat. We had tea at the Poste tea-room consisting of horribly bad coffee and toast and the sugar basin contained the beginnings of an ant heap. We had great jokes about ant's eggs hatching inside and having home-laid ant's eggs with our petit dejeuner. The train left at 6.30 and managed to crawl back here by 8 Anne and I talked till nearly 1 o'c after we had gone to bed.
Tuesday April 15th.
Monday April 14th. A glorious morning. Anne and I wandered through the town she with sketching things and we finally planted ourselves on a doorstep in a street and she sketched the view looking back towards the church tower and shops with coloured blinds. I wrote my diary and read. We were very worried as to how we should ask Madame of the house (who kept leaning out of the window) if she minded our sitting on her doorstep but we felt that our French wouldn't raise to plunging straight into it and almost certainly being greeted by "Comment?" and then a long flood of talk. However after a time Mrs Talbot and Dick came along and Mrs Talbot had a long conversation with Madame who turned out to be a dear old thing and told her all her life history.
After déjeuner Anne and I wrote a joint, and we thought excrutiatingly funny letter to Kathleen. Mrs Talbot and Dick showed us a place above the town where Anne could sketch; Saulieu lay in the foreground and beyond miles of hills. We spent the afternoon there sitting under a wall in really warm sunshine.
We had tea at an excellent & very clean little pâtisserie. It poured in torrents and then suddenly cleared up and became the most wonderful evening Anne & I went for a walk & wandered about in lanes and woods full of anemones, violets and cowslips and heard the cuckos and felt as though we were in England except when occasionally we heard workmen talking French in the distance.
After dinner we wrote up the family diary and darned stockings. Anne & I talked till after 2 o'c. I went to sleep every now and then & woke up to find her asking me a question.
Wednesday April 16th.
Tuesday April 15th. Anne and I sat on a bench in a street of old houses all the morning and she did a most attractive drawing. After luncheon they went off on hired bicycles to see the Chateau of Thoisy-la-Berchère about 10 kilometres away. I stayed behind as I can't ride a bicycle and went to see the churches, there is a beautiful old church on the edge of the town. I slept and read and darned for the remainder of the afternoon. The others got back at about 5 rather tired and having had a poor time because the road was hilly, the bicycles much too small and the Chateau closed for repair. We had tea at the same pâtesserie and as we were leaving Madame asked if we would like to see the bakery and we said "yes" with alacrity. We found a spotless white tiled kitchen and a young man mixing brioche; we watched him thrilled: he put 15 eggs into the mixture of flour, salt & sugar he had already made and kneaded and patted and threw the whole thing about and then put in at least two pounds of butter and then a big lump of yeast and did more thumping and tossing and then put the whole thing to stand in a basin for the night.
At the table next to us at dinner there were two extraordinary people, he very ugly with rather long black hair, horn rimmed spectacles & a white sweater, she fair haired in a dirty brown dress. They kept looking at us and complaining to the waitress about the food till Monsieur Burtin the proprieter came to them, the man went out of the room, came back almost directly, said something to the woman & they got up and left directed. We were very excited about all this and concocted all sorts of stories about their being wanted by the police. Just as we were lamenting that we should probably never hear what really happened the door opened and the woman came in in a wild state of fury, stood in the middle of the room and shouted to us all to listen that they'd been robbed of 50 francs and that this was "une maison des voleurs" and a good deal more of the same sort, then went out, this was more than we could bear so we followed her out, found wild talking and gesticulating going on and gendarmes - whom they had summoned – all over the place, finally they left amidst mutual recriminations and the proprietor told us afterwards that they had complained bitterly of all the English people in the dining room which probably really meant us. We had a long conversation with some charming Americans in the Salon.
Anne & I talked till long after 2 o'c. We really were extremely humourous unintentionally but were far too sleepy to appreciate it.
Thursday April 17th.
Wednesday April 16th. It simply poured all the morning so Anne & I wrote our diaries & read parts of them to each other. We went out later to see the churches, the big Church of St Andoche, which I had only just peeped into before, is very fine. We asked the Sacristan if it was possible to go up to the tower, he said not at that moment but arranged to take us up at 1.30 so we all went back then and scrambled up the extremely perilous staircases, the first bit was in pitch darkness and all the top part was made of wood because the tower had been set on fire by the English during the hundred years war. How long do men's actions survive after they themselves are dead! We had to jump about from rafter to rafter between the bells and finally having endangered life and limb came out on the sort of bacony at the top of the tower, it was too misty for a good view but the uneven roofs of Saulieu were very pretty to look down on. The Sacristan told us that on a clear day in summer one can see Mont Blanc in the far distance. Arrived at the bottom Mrs Talbot, Dick and I went for a walk while Anne sketched in a drizzle. We went two or three miles along the road to Chatillon looking towards the Morvan (all this Country is called the Morvan) as far as we could see for mist it was lovely country, line upon line of uneven wooded hills and a lake in the foreground. The weather suddenly cleared up after tea so we went for a walk and Mrs Talbot & Anne sketched
There was a sequel to the behaviour of those awful people the night before. Madame, the waitress and two chambermaids came into the salon carrying a sheet with a great square tear in the middle. One of them had evidently deliberately opened the bed and done it for revenge before they left. They were an extraordinary couple. We think they must either have been unhinged or else had just acquired some money and had no idea how to behave and were afraid of being laughed at.
I fell asleep in the middle of our conversation at 1.30 a.m. Mrs Talbot and Dick complained deeply the next morning of the noise we had made but as they don't seem to have heard us before we were not as impressed as we should have been.
Thursday April 17th. A glorious day and very hot in the sun. We packed directly after breakfast and then Anne & I set forth along the road to Chartillon [ Châtillon ]. She did two sketches sitting in a field while I wrote my diary. We hurried back for déjeuner and found Mrs Talbot and Dick very glum over the hotel bill which was enormous - 1,550 francs, déjeuner & dinner 22 a head; it worked out at about 65 francs a head. Very depressed we said goodbye to Monsieur & Madame who were charming, and went to the station to catch the tram-train for Sémur.Link opens in a new window The journey took about 1½ hours parts of the way through immense woods. We left our luggage at the station to be called for by the bus and walked up to the Hotel Côte d'Or where we had taken rooms. It was pretty outside but rather dirty and ill-kept inside possessing however the great merit of cheapness, the rooms 8 & 10 francs and dinner 8 francs. The town is even prettier than Avallon a fine old gateway and church and delightful old crooked houses. There are four large towers in the middle of the town which are all that remains of a medieval chateau. Anne sketched while Dick sat with her & Mrs Talbot & I went for a walk ending up by the other two. We all sat balanced on a heap of logs till Anne's sketch was finished. Then we went & looked at the view of the town from the other side of the bridge. After that we did a great picture post-card buying and having unpacked necessities had dinner and are now sitting in the estaminet wondering how we can kill time as it is now only a little after 8.30.
Monday April 21st.
Good Friday April 18th. We had breakfast & wandered in the town a little and then, in company with a good many other people & a quantity of luggage, squeezed into the hotel bus & caught a 10.15 train to Les Launes where we changed into the Dijon train. We had about ½ an hour to wait at Dijon before the arrival of the Paris – Marseilles Rapide with Joan & Mr Talbot in it. The train was crowded so we had to scramble for seats without any reference to the other two, however we found them quite soon and all had déjeuner together. We passed through Chalons [ Chalon ]-sur-Saône during déjeuner and between Chalons & Mâcon I saw snow mountains on the very far horizon. It was intensely hot and as soon as one opened a window in the corridor someone came along and put it up. We arrived at Lyon after a lovely run along the bank of the Saône about 4 o'c; I discovered we stopped there for ½ an hour so Anne & I went out and looked at a tremendous FairLink opens in a new window that was going on in the open space outside the station. When we got back a rude & furious official at the barrier refused to let us through without platform tickets; there was a jumble about changes for the ticket machine, Anne got thorough & I was left rushing about wildly thinking the train had gone & I was left stranded with practically no money at Lyon, a perfectly awful feeling; however finally I got through with the help of a woman & on the first platform found a train labelled Marsaille Rapide, luckily I stopped to ask whether it was our train because it wasn't & was going through Avignon so then I did a wild dash through the subway & landed panting at the train which didn't go for another quarter of an hour! The country grew more & more beautiful & suddenly at one marvellous moment I looked up & saw snow mountains like some lovely mirage on the horizon their snow peaks and the slopes looking unearthly and ethereal in the evening sunlight. The country grew more southern as each mile passed and we came to olive trees and cypresses and jagged hills and rocks and little grey flat roofed houses just like Italy so those of the others who had been there said.
We arrived at Avignon at 7.45 and having written for rooms at the Regina made straight for their bus which was standing in the station yard, the bus man seemed very doubtful whether there were rooms for us, however consented to take us to the hotel to find out. When we got there they said they were full up (having never let us know although we had written twice) then followed a desperate drive through the town with always the same result, finally we went to the swagger hotel – the Europe - there a haughty personage told us the only rooms they had were two double ones with bath-rooms attached at 100 francs a night, & one servants' bed-room at 30 francs. We got them to telephone to the Luxembourg at Nimes but that was full & in any case we couldn't have got there till 2 a.m so we were forced to take the rooms at the Europe. Very tired & dishevelled we were given what remained of dinner in an empty salle á manger at 9.15 and then unable to face the people in the Salon, we went up to our magnificent rooms. Anne & I just stood and laughed weakly with joy at the sight of our private bathroom and both spent hours in the bath absolutely wallowing as it was the first bath we had had since we left England.
Saturday April 19th. The perfection of awakening to unclouded sunshine was a little marred by the recollection that we did not know whether we should have anywhere to sleep that night, however Anne & I burst forth into cotton frocks & hoped for the best. We all had a late breakfast & set out for the bureau des reseignements where a capable & helpful woman gave us the address of a woman who had rooms to let at 11, Rue Saluces, we found it with great difficulty and our hopes were dashed when the girl who let us in said they only had two bed-rooms, however she went to a neighbour who produced one room and the first people said they could arrange two sitting-rooms as bed-rooms, so all was well and feeling immensely relieved we went back to the Europe packed & said good bye to our beautiful bath-rooms and left our luggage at the Rue Saluces. We had déjeuner at an indifferent restaurant and afterwards went over the Palaces of the PopesLink opens in a new window conducted in a party by a handsome & conceited guide. It is rather disappointing inside at first & even outside but the more one sees the outside the more lovely it seems to become; it is absolutely plain & simple and of great height. We had tea at a very smart patisserie in the Rue de la Republique and then went in a bus to VilleneuveLink opens in a new window on the other side of the river; it is a little grey town with enormous fortifications & towers; we wandered about amidst cypress trees and grape hyacinths. We had a very good dinner and returned here to grapple with the problem of inadequate wash basins etc: Anne, Dick & I had to wash in one basin and Mrs Talbot and Joan in the other so arrangements were a little difficult to make.
Easter Sunday April 20th 1924. We got up at 6 to catch an early train for Nîmes, had breakfast at 6.45 and went to the station for the 7.49 train which turned out to be purely mythical and there was no train for an hour and a half. Feeling a little peevish at having got up quite unnecessarily at such an early hour we went and sat on seats outside the station and Anne and I grappled with the family diary. We changed at Tarascon & arrived at Nîmes about 10.30 and made a bee line for the Hotel du Cheval Blanc where we engaged rooms at the low price of 30 francs a day tout complis. From there we walked across to the very fine Roman amphitheatreLink opens in a new window and sat on the top seats looking down into the arena. Then we went to the Maison CarréeLink opens in a new window a fine specimen of Roman architecture which didn't thrill me particularly. We had a most excellent luncheon at the Restaurant Durand and then after some discussion went to the public gardens; they turned out to be quite lovely full of flowering trees & shrubs and wonderful butterflies; we laid on the grass and went to sleep in the scented air. We had an English tea of tea and toast at the Luxembourg Hotel and then went to the station in a leisurely way to catch the train back to Avignon. We had dinner at the Héilay [ Heily ] restaurant and very tired went early to bed.
Wednesday April 23rd.
Monday April 21st. We had to have petit déjeuner at 8 o'c because that was the only hour at which Mrs Talbot's landlady could provide it but we pottered about for some time before we finally went out to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame des Doms next door to the Papal Palace, it was fine inside but not equal to a good many of the churches we have seen. We stood on the place where the popes used to give their benediction to the people below and then Anne & I went off post card hunting and I tried unsuccessfully to get Debussy's "Coin des Enfants". We all met and had a not particularly good luncheon at the Crillon and afterwards walked across the road to take our seats in a char-á-banc for the Pont du Gard; a terrible fight took place before we started about someone having got into someone else's seat, a crowd collected and gendarmes were summoned but it all ended in laughter. The drive took about an hour through hilly country covered with olives and vineyards past Remoulins and the lovely village of Rochefort. We were rather horrified when we arrived to find the whole thing one immense seething mass of trippers which we might have known it would be as it was Easter Monday. The whole thing apart from the trippers was wonderful; the bridgeLink opens in a new window itself is a huge three tiered Roman aquaduct built by Agrippa to take water to Nimes. The country also is beautiful, the intense blue river Gard at the bottom of the valley and then olive covered slopes and rocks and great clumps of thyme & rosemary. Anne did two sketches while I paddled and the others laid about. We got back to Avignon about 6 o'c and after going back to rue Saluces and washing & tidying up had dinner at the Heily restaurant and dribbled back to bed.
Friday April 27th. Hotel du Cheval Blanc, Nimes.
Tuesday April 22nd. We had an unpleasant surprise in the morning before we left rue Saluces in the shape of the bill for our rooms. The woman had charged 18 francs a room a night and 4.50 a head for petit déjeuner when we had only paid 15 for rooms & 3 for petit déjeuner even at Saulieu. The daughter had said she thought the rooms would be 12 francs, however no amount of arguement would make Madame reduce it to less than 15 francs. We felt very sorry for them because Monsieur Dubry had been the best advocat in Avignon & quite well off with four servants; he died after a long illness two years ago and they were left with nothing but in spite of all this we left with a nasty feeling of having been done. On the way to fetch a carriage for the luggage we met Mr & Mrs Edgar Dugdale & the boy & girl & a talk and arrangement to meet for déjeuner followed. We went to see the Church of St Didier after we'd left the luggage in the cloak-room but it turned out to have no particular point of interest. The Dugdales met us for luncheon at the Crillon and then we caught a 1 o'c train for Orange. The heat was sweltering on the white dusty roads and having admired the very fine Roman arch built by Tiberius and the fairly fine Roman theatre we set out in search of a buttercup field. Dick discovered a perfect one with a view of the snow covered summit of Mount Ventoux on the horizon & we lay there in perfect bliss till all too soon it was time to go & catch the train. We changed at Avignon, collected our luggage & went on to Nimes which we reached feeling very dusty & dishevelled about 8 o'c; we changed, unpacked, had dinner, wrote the communal diary, talked a bit and went early to bed.
Wednesday April 23rd. We all went to the public gardens in the morning; Anne, Joan & I went off up into the wooded part. Anne sketched and Joan & I laid on the grass & talked about civilization, politics, finding one's groove in life, and the birth-rate, she is a first rate talker. In the afternoon we went to Arles; when we got outside the station there were two carriages standing temptingly in the station yard so we took them up into the town. The best thing in the Arles is the church of St TrophimeLink opens in a new window with its perfect little double-columned cloisters. We went over the musée and then to the remains of the Roman theatreLink opens in a new window with two columns standing up in the middle, then to the Roman amphitheatreLink opens in a new window which although larger isn't nearly so fine as the one at Nimes. We had beer, brioche & oranges at a café served by a woman in Provençal costume. After that we went to Alyescamps [ Alyscamps ]Link opens in a new window the Roman burial ground with tombs lining each side of the road and a beautiful little byzantine chapel at the end. We discovered & laid in our inevitable buttercup field till it was time to catch the train back to Nimes.
Thursday April 24th. We hired a motor for the day & set out at 10 o'c to do a tremendous round of sights beginning with Aigues-Mortes. The country was flat & uninteresting and suddenly as we were bowling along a straight flat road there was a loud pop! and a tyre had punctured, we got out and walked about in the grassy ditches of vineyards till it was mended and then set out again; just as we reached Aigues-Mortes the car drew up with ominous suddenness & another tyre had gone. We walked on into the townLink opens in a new window which is a queer smelly little place with all the household rubbish deposited in heaps along the streets but it is completely enclosed on all sides by the most wonderful ramparts & towers built by St Louis at the time of the Crusades and looking as perfect as the day they were built. We ate our luncheon sitting on dusty grass surrounded by scavenging dogs and then went back to the town. I bought some post-cards & a pottery pig & we went up the Tour de Constantin and looked right over all the ramparts, it was tremendously impressive to see those great walls standing in a waste of marsh land and to think of the Crusaders setting out for the Holy Land. We got back into the motor and went on to Les Saintes Maries de la MerLink opens in a new window crossing a bridge of boats on the way; soon after the village came in sight the by now familiar event re-occurred and we sat in the ditch, having sail races till the newest hole had been patched up. The Church at St MariesLink opens in a new window was very unlike any we had seen before it was fortified outside & very dark inside made of rough hewn rock with a staircase leading down into the crypt in front of the high altar & candles glimmering in the half light. There is a legend that Mary Madaleine [ Magdalene ], Mary the Mother of James & Joses [ Joseph ] - Mary Salome landed there when they fled from the Christian persecution in Palestine. A woman took us up to the tower and on the way showed us a little chapel containing the bones of the Marys and hung with the crutches, surgical boots etc. of people who had been healed there. We went & sat by the blue-grey waters of the Mediterranean & felt thrilled by the thought that we had crossed right over from sea to sea. After this we started off again in the direction of St. Gilles; miles from anywhere the inevitable puncture took place again; the originally punctured tyre had to be put on again & the inner tube mended & we crawled on again scarcely daring to breathe. Two or three kilometres from St Gilles the already too sorely tried tyre gave up altogether with a rip several inches long, our best hope was gone & there was nothing to be done but for the chauffeur to leave the car, walk into the town buy a new tyre & walk back with it. We set out at the same time and arrived very hot & thirsty at a grubby little hot hotel which gave us quite good coffee & roll & butter. After this we went to the church with its three beautifully carved doorways, bought post-cards from two amazingly old & unintelligable women; then went back to look for our orange car, there was no sign of it so we sat down to wait & amused ourselves by watching all the people who passed, peasants in blue blouses & sabots,Link opens in a new window very old lop-sided women & extraordinary little donkey carts. It was not till 7.45 when we really were beginning to get a little alarmed, not to say annoyed, that the car reappeared and we whirled back to Nimes with glorious swiftness. Anne & I talked in bed till just on 4 o'c discussing our respective families, families in general and all sorts of kindred subjects.
Friday April 25th. A good deal of the morning passed in a tremendous arguement as to what we should do in the afternoon and in the small portion of the morning that was left over Anne & I sat on a bench & wrote letters & Anne nearly got sunstroke. We went to Foux les Bains close to Pont du Gard. The country was very hilly & stony with olives, rosemary, lavender, thyme & orchids growing everywhere. We climbed half way up the side of the hill & settled down & had no sooner done so than as usual everyone said they were dying of thirst so Anne, Joan & I walked into Remoulins to buy provisions & returned laden with oranges, raisins, biscuits & bottles of beer. We very soon decided that the stony shadeless side of a mountain is not the best place to spend a hot afternoon so we climbed down to some trees & grass by the roadside & slept heavily there for an hour, then woke up and had our tea & walked to Pont du Gard by Remoulins. We discovered a delicious path over flat rocks by the edge of the river and walked along looking into the deep blue pools below. Pont du Gard was certainly a great deal more impressive without the swarms of Bank Holiday trippers. We had coffee at the charming little hotel on the far side of the river & then walked back to Foux les Bains by the other road & so came back to Nimes.
Saturday April 26th. The orange motor came for us at 10.15 this time with completely new tyres and we started for St Rémy via Tarascon; we stopped a few minutes at the latter to see the church of St Martha and the tremendous fortified chateau now a prison. There is nothing in particular at St Rémy itself but above it are a remarkably perfect Roman arch & tomb, the remains of an old Roman town. A few yards away was a church with charming little cloisters. We sat on the grass eating our déjeuner & wishing there was more of it and set set out on a wonderful drive through the Alpilles to Les Baux. The road wound up and down & in and out through immense rocky gorges and hills covered with pines & rosemary till having negotiated several hair pin turns we found ourselves suddenly with no warning in the amazing village of Les Baux;Link opens in a new window it clings perilously to the hill side & nearly all the houses are hewn out of the living rock so that it is impossible to tell where the rock ends & building begins. On the top of the hill is all that remains of the Great Chateau of the Les Baux family and this again is almost entirely natural rock. The view is quite splendid below in the valleyLink opens in a new window are writhing, contorted white roads, then the wonderful jagged hills and on the other side unending stretches of blue plain & the white stripe of the Mediterranian on the far skyline. There is a dear little church with fat [ illegible ] pillars & steps leading up to it. We bought postcards & left for the more or less ruined monastery of Montmajour;Link opens in a new window it contains the remains of a fine church & cloisters but the most interesting thing about it is a little 6th century chapel cut in the rock where St Tromphine [ Trophime ] lived. We had tea & gateaux at the Forum Hotel at Arles and then motored back here by Bellegarde arriving about 7 o'c. After we had got into bed Anne & I heard a band & saw crowds of people and lights so we decided somthing was going on which we must see so we put on stays, stockings, shoes, jumpers, skirts, coats & hats & went out but nothing was happening and after walking about a little we returned to bed.
Sunday April 27th. We woke feeling very sad at the thought of our last day in France & that we left for England in the evening; Anne & I explored the town in the morning & discovered all sorts of amusing little streets & shops. We bought two little pottery cups for 60 centimes a piece and spent a short time in a church where Mass was going on. The others have gone to a bull fight in the arena this afternoon; there are tremendous crowds in the town for it and every now & then I can hear wild shouting coming from the arena.Link opens in a new window They have them every Sunday with killing once a month. Six bulls are to be killed today. I didn't go thinking bull fighting especially when the bull is certain to be killed a barbarous amusement.
I am miserable at the loss at Avignon of my beloved fountain pen which had been one of the joys of my life since 1916 & never once got out of order.
Huge crowds are streaming out of the arena into the Place des Arenes so presumably the bull fight is over.
Monday April 28th. Avignon - Paris train.
Saturday April 27th con: The others got back from the bull fight at 5.30 & we left directly for the Station. The train left at 6.7 and there was the most terrific crowd as bad as any Bank Holiday or race crowd, however some more carriages were added onto the train & we travelled very comfortably 2nd Class with our 3rd Class tickets to Avignon changing at Tarascon. We had 2 hours to spare at Avignon so we went & had a surpassingly good dinner at the Terminas and became quite sentimental about being in Avignon again.
Our train was at 9.30, it came in with not a single seat on the whole train and as the porter said there was another train in 10 minutes we decided to wait for that but that too was crammed except for two first class places & so we decided to wait another 10 minutes for the next which also came in packed, however finally they found us three seats in a 1st class carriage & said we needn't pay the difference between that & our 2nd class tickets so in desperation we got in. The carriage contained three French people who kept all the windows closed & the whole thing hermetically sealed so that anyone who slept in there nearly fainted from lack of air. We spent the night alternately in the carriage & on rugs & coats in the corridor. The only time I got any real sleep was lying flat in the corridor which was by far the best place & not much more uncomfortable than sleeping on a hard bed. We got very refreshing hot chocolate and brioche on the platform at La Roche and have spent the last four hours from Dijon in an agony wondering whether we shall catch the boat train by the original train we had two hours in Paris but this train is not due till 10 o'c and the Dieppe train goes from the Gare St Lazare at 10.36 so if it is the least late we shall be done for & have to spend the day in Paris feeling very dirty & dishevelled, & cross at night. The country here is very different, grey skies & sheets of rain and the trees only just coming out.
Wednesday April 30th.
Monday April 28th con: We didn't reach Paris till 10.15 and then there was a crowd at the station so it took a little time getting away. We tore wildly across to the St Lazare passing the Louvre, the Rue de Rivoli, the Place de le Concorde, Notre Dame & the Madeleine and arrived to find the boat train had gone 1/4 of an hour ago. Shivers of despair went down our backs at this news, however there was nothing to be done so we put our luggage in the concierge and went to Cook's office in the Place de la Madeleine to ask if we could use our tickets viâ Calais - Dover if we paid the difference; they said this was quite impossible so feeling very dejected and unable to do any sort of justice to a day in Paris we tramped back in pelting rain to the Hotel Terminus, Gare St LazareLink opens in a new window where we had a marvellous dejeuner followed by the most superlatively good coffee ever made and a horribly big bill. We then went and did as much washing and tidying as was possible and sat dejectedly in the huge luxurious lounge feeling rather like slum children let loose in a Park Lane house. Joan & I started talking about clothes and our enthusiasm was so fired by the thought of the Paris shops that we offered to go and do some money changing at the Bourse and made our way there very slowly glueing our noses to the huge windows of PrintempsLink opens in a new window and the Galeries LafayetteLink opens in a new window and the Grands Maison des Blues as we went. Arrived at the Rue Quatre Septembre we found the friendly portals of Barclays Bank facing us and foregoing the glories of the Bourse for the undoubted advantage of our native tongue we did our changing there and returned to the Terminus viâ the Place de l' Opera still looking longingly at the shop windows. There was no question of buying anything because Joan had 50 centimes and I had a sous. We saw wonderful scarves and scents and bags and stuffs and Joan stood in front of a window murmuring pensively "50 centimes!". The others greeted us very peevishly for having been so long gone, however they brightened up at the news of the shops and we all with the exception of Joan & Dick went to the Galeries Lafayette where I bought a very attractive little brown straw hat with some money Mrs Talbot had borrowed from me & returned. It cost 9.90 which is about 4/-. We all met and had an indifferent tea at the Restaurant DuvalLink opens in a new window and afterwards explored the St Lazare with a view to dinner. Then we returned to the Terminus lounge & slept and read the papers till 6.45 when we had our last meal in France & a very good one too, at the station buffet. The train came in at 8 and left at 8.45; we had a nice French man who spoke English extremely well in the carriage with us & he talked almost the whole way to Dieppe. The boat was full but not overcrowded & we all got lying down rooms. It left somewhere about 1 o'c and we had a very rough crossing pitching & tossing and rolling all the time. Poor Anne was sick the whole of the voyage. I slept uncomfortably a good deal and once went on deck to see what the sea was like; I could scarcely force open the doors and when I did there was a terrific gale blowing, the rail of the ship was bobbing up and down like lightening and mountainous seas were washing over the decks. I never felt the least sea-sick but was sore and badly adjusted all over. We arrived about 4.15, I was the first person off the ship and through the customs and looked so guileless - as indeed I felt at that moment - that they never opened my box. We had coffee, tasting of hot water and bovril at Newhaven refreshment room and then got into our carriage which we had all to ourselves the whole way. The train stopped at Lewes & East Croydon; we slept and talked in spasms during the journey. Our arrival was heralded by a most marvellous rainbow which moved along beside us for some way and feeling very unrainbow-like we got out of the train at Victoria at 6.20 made miserable by the thought that our last journey was over. We went in two taxis to Sloane Avenue where we had glorious hot baths then dressed in clean clothes and had a tremendous English breakfast feeling temporally very cheerful and reminiscing a great deal, making lists of all the places we had eaten in and all the Churches we had seen. Anne & I rang up Kathleen but found she was away till Friday so then I rang my Anne & she met me at Harvey Nichols at 11 o'c and we walked in the Park, I was insufferable very tired & disgruntled and hating everything English. I went back to luncheon at Sloane Avenue and after luncheon Anne and I slept like logs till 4 o'c when we woke and grappled ineffectually with the communal diary till tea-time. I left at 6 o'c to catch the 6.34 train to Westerham very sad at saying good bye to the Talbots and feeling that really set the seal on the end of things. Anne went with me to Charing X and we both nearly wept at the thought that our lovely time abroad was really over. Daddie met me at the train and I told him all our experiences as we came down. Mummy met me at the station and Shortie had touchingly bought pots of flowers for my sitting-room. I was in bed by 8.45.
Wednesday April 30th. I slept almost uninterruptedly till 12.30. Once I woke and looked for Anne in bed & the Arena at Nimes out of the window and another time couldn't make out why everything was still because I thought we were dashing along in the train. I went to sleep again till 4 o'c when I got up had a bath, washed my hair and dressed and had tea & then wrote to Mrs Talbot, Anne T & Margaret Adam. Mummy went to London for the day and returned very tired & drenched to the skin at 7.30. We did the entire trip for £23.6.8d a head which is really very good considering prices are by no means low in that part of the world.
Monday May 5th.
Thursday May 1st. I got up for a late breakfast and spent the morning doing odds and ends. A Mr BrackettLink opens in a new window from the Victoria and Albert Museum came to luncheon to see a chest of drawers made by Chippendale which Mummy wants to lend to the museum; he appeared to be very shy but anyhow was amazingly monosyllabic. I went to a rehearsal of the banqueting scene in "Henry VIII" at Chart's Edge after tea.
Friday May 2nd. I set forth to go to Whitechapel via Oxted on the 10.12 bus but the times have been changed & I had to wait till 10.42 and as a result did not arrive at Osbourn Place till 12.45. We had luncheon straight off, Edith Ramsay very amusing about a visit she'd once paid to the Bevans and then I collected cases, went to the school and interviewed several children there including two whose parents had been written to by the N.S.P.C.C. for not allowing the children to be treated. Then I went to Cornwall Street to saw Mrs Brown and one of the children who had just come back from three week's holiday the result of my former visit. I paid the perennial visit to the Macdermott Thurling family about spectacles and then went to see a nice Mrs Murphy in Pennington StreetLink opens in a new window about a holiday for her girl Kate who is 14, desperately delicate and the doctor says ought to live in the country always. After a visit to Peabody Buildings about a boy going to the opthalmic Hospital and a dive into Cuttle Place where I was greeted by a one-eyed unshaven man, I returned to Osborn Place, wrote up the cases, applied for vouchers and caught the 4.50 from Victoria to Oxted feeling very sad at the thought of the last time I was at Victoria.
We dined at Squerryes that evening and found there Lady Sybil and Mr Smith, Vere, Joycy, Honor, Lord & Lady Antrim and Mr and Mrs Paul Cooper. We had a first-class dinner & after dinner the three girls and I played Mah Jongg and they were interested to hear about France because they know all the Talbots well & Vere was with them in Italy two or three years ago, so we compared notes. Altogether it was a very jolly evening.
Saturday May 3rd. I read and played and gardened till 3.30 when Anna (I'm going to call Anne T that to avoid all the muddles with the other Anne) arrived for the week-end, it was a joy to see her again but funny to be in different surroundings. We went for a walk up the London road and sat on a log reminiscing and eating oranges. After tea we did a bit more of the family diary and after dinner arranged all the post-cards we'd collected in books. I crept up to her room after we'd come up to bed and we had a great diary read & talk till 2 o'c and I had a terrible time stealing back to my room down creaking stairs.
Sunday May 4th. We did a little more of the diary, then went to church & then sat in the sun discussing girls we knew & did some more diary. After luncheon we finally got the family diary ended with a great struggle and went for a long walk to the Trust Ground which is just beginning to be covered with bluebells. We talked about parents and what a pity it was they wouldn't really make friends with one's girl friends and came to the conclusion that they didn't really realize people's personalities at all. After tea we talked about depression and did a list or two. The wirelessLink opens in a new window worked intermittantly in the evening and we had Cardinal Bourne - very uninteresting - and the Westminster Cathedral Choir. Anne & I diary-read till 1 o'c.
Monday May 5th. Anne had to leave, to my sorrow, at 9.38. I played the piano and read. There was a rehearsal at Chart's Edge at 3.30. Edith Hanmer was there just back from Suffolk. Miss Lally let them know at the last moment that she wasn't coming till 5 o'c so in disgust I left.
Saturday May 10th 1924.
Tuesday May 6th. I returned once more to the lovely sight of Mrs Busk at the library in the morning and as soon as that was over went for a walk in Squerryes wonderful with the new green of the trees, and innumerable primroses. Edith came to tea and was very nice and we went to the library together after tea.
Wednesday May 7th. A glorious London day. We all went up by the 9.38. I tore to Trinity College; Anne met me there at 12 and we went to a music shop then the Times Book Club and then the Galeries Lafayette where I discovered all their prices are much more than at their Paris shop. We walked a little further along Regents Street and then parted. I went to luncheon at Sloane Gardens. Kathleen was in tremendous spirits and Anna was there too and we had a wonderful time talking and diary reading and telling all our experiences and having tremendous jokes and no one complained of anyone else being insufferable (Anna says that K & I are insufferable together & Kathleen says the same of Anna & me). Ernest Montgomery came at 4.30 just back from Egypt; we all started out together & I went to tea with Peggy who was in good form and is having two months holiday. We talked a great deal about whether sentiment is or isn't a good thing and in what connection it is good. I came down by the 7.18.
Thursday May 8th. I practised and wrote letters all the morning. There was a rehearsal of the pavane for "Henry VIII" in the afternoon. Everyone talked and made suggestions and we didn't seem to get much further. Edith came back to tea here and then we went to the Brownies.
Friday May 9th. I went to London by Oxted. Betty was to have come down to Whitechapel but she met me at Victoria & said John had just got leave for the afternoon & so she couldn't go. Mrs Beckett (Christina's bugbear) was there & there was great talk at luncheon about the non-existance of time, dreams, going to heaven & coming back, thought reading and so on. I did several visits to arrange for children to go away for holidays and went to the school, then back to Osborn Place to fill up case papers and grant forms and came down here by the 5.48.
Tuesday May 13th.
Saturday May 10th. It poured all day and I did things indoors till the evening when Daddie, Shortie and I went to see "When Knights were Bold" performed quite excellently by the Westerham Amateur Dramatic Society. It was excruciatingly funny and we laughed till we could laugh no more.
Sunday May 11th. I went to Church at 8 o'c. Wolfie came down for the day arriving at 12.33. Very nice to see her again. Miss Deane and Edith came to dinner and after dinner we listened in to a serviceLink opens in a new window at St Martin's with Mr Sheppard preaching, we heard very well at times but occassionaly he dropped his voice a great deal and we could hear nothing; the singing was very clear.
Monday May 12th. I went to the Shakespeare rehearsal at Chart's Edge at 3.30. We did the banqueting scene horribly badly and so had to do it three times over. Mummy came up after tea and we left together at 7 o'c.
Tuesday May 13th. As usual I helped Mrs Busk at the library in the morning and went down there after tea.
Uncle Eric is very ill indeed with 'flue and congested liver. He was out of danger last week but had a relapse and isn't out of danger yet.
Thursday May 22nd.
Wednesday May 14th. Anne met me at Trinity College and we went to a music shop and the Times Book Club and I walked part of the way home with her and then took a bus to Sloane Square to go to luncheon with Anna. Only she & Mr Talbot were at home for luncheon and we talked a great deal about France. After luncheon we went round to Kathleen, Ernest Montgomery was there & we talked in a desultory way. I went to enquire after Uncle Eric and then went to tea with Peggy and came down here by the 6.34.
Thursday May 15th. A glorious day. Daddie and I went over to Knole in the morning. The park was wonderful with undulating grass and the fresh green of the trees. I went to the Brownies after tea, Miss Deane was away so Edith, Mrs. Lutt[--], Brenda and I took them on.
Friday May 16th. I went up by Oxted and as I had an hour to wait at Oxted wrote three letters and two post-cards on the station platform. I tore to Osborn Place and took notes of what I had got to do, then tore off to luncheon with Aunt Clare & Uncle Barney which was very tiresome as I didn't get back to Whitechapel till after 3 o'c and only had time to do four visits and go back to the office before I had to go to Victoria and meet Anne who was coming back with me for the week-end by the 4.58. We got into the train and settled ourselves and the train started, we took no notice of the stations till suddenly I looked up and saw we were at Sutton and realized we'd got into the wrong train so we leapt out. A nice ticket collector told us we could get a train for West Croydon in a few minutes & should have time to walk across to East Croydon and catch the 5.48 from London. We got to West Croydon and were directed wrongly to East Croydon so that we had a most terrible rush and only caught the train by two minutes.
We tried to listen in after dinner but it wouldn't work. We talked till about midnight about the way the present generation is going to the dogs.
Saturday May 17th. We started out about 11.30 taking our luncheon in a basket and laid for a long time in a field by the Tower Woods and Anne told me a good deal about Phillip's people. After luncheon we moved on to the beech trees in Squerryes and ate the remains of luncheon for tea and talked most sensibly about sex. We got home about 7 o'c and after dinner got the wireless to work more or less.
Sunday May 18th. We sat in Westerham Woods all the morning they were looking quite lovely with bluebells and primroses & young green. We talked about the tragedy of the disillusionment of youth owing to the War. We laid in the garden in the afternoon till it started to rain and we had to go in. After tea we went to leave a note for Mrs Busk and then walked along the foot path to Brasted. Miss Tenison came to dinner and was amusing. Anne & I talked till we were discovered and stopped.
Monday May 19th. Anne & I sat in the garden in the morning talking about politics and various things; she left by the 1.52. I practised hard and then went for a rehearsal of the pavane at Charts Edge. I left at 5 o'c and caught the 5.27 to London as I was spending the night with the Goldmans for the Duchess of Norfolk'sLink opens in a new window At Home for Overseas Visitors. I arrived to find Hazel reading "Pride & Prejudice". We talked for a bit and then I went to change. Mr & Mrs Goldman were going out too so they very kindly took me in the car and picked up Mummy and Daddie and took us all to No 1 St James Square. There were crowds of people there fat dowagers and scraggy dowagers and old gentlemen covered with decorations and a sprinkling of girls. There were a good many people we knew and Daddie was sized by the Duke of Connaught.Link opens in a new window We left soon after 11 o'c. I thought it a deadly performance. I found Pen & Nanny in the dining room when I got back so I talked to them for a short time & then went to bed.
Monday May 26th.
Tuesday May 20th. Mrs Goldman very kindly asked me to stay on another night which, as the invitation appeared to be bonâ fide, I accepted to do with great willingness. Hazel and I went to meet a friend of her's at Bedford CollegeLink opens in a new window in the morning and she took us over the College which is a very fine building and I temporally pined to be there. We parted in Oxford Street and I went to meet Betty at Marshalls and she and I went to various shops to try and find an evening dress for me for the Court Ball, our efforts were still unsuccessful when I had to give it up to go to luncheon with Anna. Mrs Talbot was there and charming, also a girl called Violet Waddington who I had met the day I lunched with Anna at Evelyn Gardens. I had to leave early to go to the dentist who kept me for an hour drilling and scraping and stopping. From there I went to see Uncle Claude & Mr du Cane at the latter's office in Parliament Street and was there for some time having the awful money situation explained again and signing deeds. When this was finished Uncle Claude and I went to Palace Houses Bayswater to see Aunt Di dressed for the Court and looking very pretty in green and silver. Mrs Porteous and Phyllis & Lilac were there; it is quite dreadful about Simon, he has suddenly lost his memory and remembers nothing since 1919, not even that he is married and has a son; they think he knows people again when they go to see him now but there doesn't seem to be any certainty that he will ever get back his memory of those five years, so amongst other things he has forgotten all the farming he ever knew. I am so sorry for Lilac. I went back to Park Street from there and Hazel and I went to the Pavilion Cinema after dinner, it was tremendously full & we had to stand for a bit; we saw a silly film called "The Marriage Circle".Link opens in a new window Mrs Goldman, Hazel and I talked for some time after we got back.
Wednesday May 21st. Hazel and I started out together and went different ways at Oxford Street. I had enjoyed staying with her, she is clever and an interesting person, different from other people and in some ways very hard to get at.
After Trinity College I went to Charing X and put my suit case and music case in the cloak room & then went to meet Mummy and lunch with Miss Fitzroy at the Rubens Hotel. After luncheon Mummy and I started out to look for my evening frock and having tried Fifinella and the A & N unsuccessfully we went to Edith Clarke where I had seen some pretty ones with Betty the day before. After much consulting and trying on of various frocks we bought a very pretty red georgette one with a long straight bodice and full skirt and with fine gold embroidery on it (how hideous this description will sound in a few years time!). From there I went to tea with Peggy and Anna was to meet me there for tea by the formers request. Peggy was out when I arrived and Mrs Leigh said she was quite mentally deficient and oughtn't to have any engagements. Anna arrived soon after me and Mrs Leigh gave us tea and then we went up to Peggy's sitting room and finally Peggy came in and was quite charming, at her very best and Anna was fearfully taken with her. Anna came to the station with me and I came down here by the 6.34.
Thursday May 22nd. I practised and had great dressmaking schemes and went to the Brownies.
Friday May 23rd. I went to London viâ Oxted; Betty met me at Victoria and we went to Osborn Place together. When we arrived we found Mummy had just left; there has been great excitement because some idiot send Mummy an appeal for funds for a Child Rescue Society that is being started down there; the pamphlet put things so broadly that Anne who was to have been hon: treasurer withdrew her name from it and everyone thought it had been decided not to issue it in its present form. Mummy was naturally very much excited and imagined I was mixed up in all this when as a matter of fact its not even connected with the office. She wants me to leave Whitechapel but I hope to goodness the whole thing will be settled all right when she sees Miss Ramsey and knows what I really do down there; I should hate to leave it now. Betty and I put down particulars of visits and then started out together. I did visits in Ellen Street,Link opens in a new window Cornwall Street, Pennington Street, Mayfields Buildings, St Georges Street and Katherine Buildings. I met Miss Ramsey just as I got back to Osborn Place and went with her to the offices of the I.C.A.A [ Invalid Children's Aid Association ] about a case and then returned to Osborn Place and made out case papers and things and said good bye to Betty and left for Victoria, Kathleen was meeting me there and coming down with me for the week-end by the 4.48; I waited till 5.46 and there was no sign of her so I gave it up in desperation and came down. She finally turned up here at 7.30 and it turned out she'd been waiting for me in the S.E.C.R [ South Eastern and Chatham Railway ] section! We laughed and joked a great deal and it was lovely to see her properly again.
Sunday June 1st.
Saturday May 24th. Daddie was sent two tickets for the Empire Day Show at Wembley and wanted me to go, I didn't want to go particularly because it was a horrid day and having got Kathleen at last I wanted to see her; however there was nothing for it so Daddie, Kathleen and I went up by the 10.40. We went by tube from Trafalgar Square to Wembley Park & found it was nearly 10 minutes walk to the Exhibition from there. We went first to AustraliaLink opens in a new window which wasn't very exciting, then tried unsuccessfully to get into the Palace of Arts to see the Queen's Dolls HouseLink opens in a new window so we went next door to the Palace of IndustryLink opens in a new window which was really thrilling, there we each bought a fountain pen for half a crown and I am using mine at the moment. We then walked across to the Palace of EngineeringLink opens in a new window and I was very excited by real express engines and saloon cars but left rather cold by hydraulic pumps. We went to IndiaLink opens in a new window next, luckily the sun came out just as we arrived there and the whole buildingLink opens in a new window with its gleaming white walls really did look lovely. It was all very well arranged inside and we saw a good many different kinds of Indian work before we had to go to the Stadium. We parted from Kathleen on the steps with arrangements where to meet and climbed up to our seats which were just above the Royal Box. The inside of the Stadium reminded me a good deal of the arena at Nimes except that it is oblong and very ugly. There were processions of Church Lad's Brigade & Boy ScoutsLink opens in a new window and Girl Guides and Naval Training Schools and a good many other organizations of the same sort and the Duke of Connaught made a speech which everyone could hear perfectly by means of microphones. The massed bands played and marched and countermarched at the same time; they were the largest number of bands that had ever been massed and the result really was very fine. We came out and met Kathleen and tried to get tea but found long queues in front of all the restaurants so we went and had another look at India and then left by the L.N.E.R. had tea at Marylebone Station and went to Charing X where we caught the 7.18 back to Westerham where we arrived very hungry but having enjoyed it.
Sunday May 25th. Mummy and Daddie went off to Wembley in the morning for the Empire Thanksgiving Service.Link opens in a new window It rained most of the morning so Kathleen and I made attempts at dressmaking and then later when it cleared up walked up to Hosey to leave a message for Miss Deane and Edith from Mummy and came back by Tower Woods and Squerryes discussion the badness of being conscious, and other things of the same sort. After luncheon we sewed and talked and sat in the garden and Kathleen routled about in the remains of the fire. After tea we walked up to Miss Swan & Miss Gosling to try on a dress which Miss Swan's sister had kindly offered to lend me for "Henry VIII". The sister dressed up as Boudercia and Kathleen as a Tudor page. We talked and looked at Egyptian remains waiting for the rain to stop and then left. The sun suddenly came out and it was the most amazingly beautiful evening, marvellous translucent green and purple shadows and clear shining after rain and all the dandylion heads in the fields looking like balls of light. We walked home breathless with it all, one of those rare times of the right person in the right mood at the right time in the right place.
Mummy and Daddie lost the last train to Westerham so had to come from Sevenoaks by bus and didn't arrive till after 8.30. They said the Service was very impressive.
I went up to Kathleen's room for a diary-reading after we'd started to go to bed and ended by staying there all night; we were discovered by Shortie in the morning both hanging onto the edge of the very small bed by the skin of our teeth.
Monday May 26th. Kathleen left by the 9.38. I practised most of the morning and wrote letters.
There was a rehearsal at Chart's Edge after tea. I went up by the Tower Woods. Miss LallyLink opens in a new window seized on me as soon as I arrived & said would I be Mrs Siddons in the West Kent Pageant and go to Bertram Park sometime in the week to be photographed for the Tatler which I said I would do. We did the banqueting scene dance very badly again.
Tuesday May 27th. Mrs Busk was away so Mrs Hipkin the new bank clerk's wife came to help me get the library reading. I practised frenziedly and about 3.30 went up to make Edith go for a walk and come back to tea. She took a long time finishing letters so we went through the Tower Woods and Squerryes by a special way of hers which ended in our having to climb over a fence of upright stakes and wade through a bog. Library as usual after tea.
Thursday June 5th.
Wednesday May 28th. We went to London by the 9.38. Anne met me after Trinity College and we went to Bertram ParkLink opens in a new window and arranged for me to have a sitting the next day. I went back to luncheon with Anne; there was a nice American girl called Dora Greene there, she was dressed like a woman of 30 but turned out to be only 23. I tore off after luncheon to Clarkson to try and hire a Mrs Siddons dress, after a very long time of hunting it turned out they had nothing so I telephoned to Heselwood who would have nothing to do with me and then to Simmons who said they had got it so with great relief I went there and tried it on and found it fitted and so hired it. Next I went to the Army and Navy to have my hair waved and had to wait 20 minutes before I could get anyone to do it. Then I went to see Aunt Bobs who was knocked down by a taxi and had her arm badly hurt but she was out so I went to 37, Pont StreetLink opens in a new window the de Lyden's new house where we were staying the night for the Court Ball. The Baroness has been ill for two months but was just beginning to go about again. Mummy arrived soon after me; we had dinner early and Daddie came to fetch us in a hired motor at 7.45. We got a very good place in the queue in the Mall and were in the Palace by a few minutes after 9 o'c and so got splendid seats in the throne room in the top row. The dresses were quite lovely nearly all beaded and very long of course. The Royalties appeared at 10 o'c; the King and Queen of Italy and an Italian prince & princess were staying with the King & Queen.
The dance was opened with all the younger royalties dancing a waltz and then everyone joined in. We waited till the Royalties and big wigs went into supper and then went to the supper room on the ground floor and had some very good refreshments ourselves. We saw Ramsay MacdonaldLink opens in a new window and ClynesLink opens in a new window and Sidney WebbLink opens in a new window and Lord OlivierLink opens in a new window and a good many smaller fry and friends of our own. After sitting in the picture gallery for a bit we went and got our cloaks and asked for the car but we had to wait 1½ hours for it so we didn't get back to Pont Street till nearly 2 o'c.
Thursday May 29th. I went to Bertram Park at 10 o'c and changed into the Mrs Siddons costume and was photographed in various attitudes. I went to see Peggy and we went to Gunter and had coffee ice cream sodas and she told me long tales; then we went to Head in Sloane Street and parted there. I met Kathleen & talked to her for a brief moment on my way to Pont Street. I picked up my luggage, said good bye to the de Lyndens and caught the 1.50 train to Westerham. I did a great many odds & ends and went to the Brownies after tea.
Friday May 30th. I went to London by the 9.38. Peggy met me at Cannon Street because she wanted to be introduced to Whitechapel. We went to Osborn Place to collect visits then went to the school and paid several visits most on the subject of Julia Dipple and Nora Brown's holidays. Mrs Dipple showed a regrettable desire to pull the nose of the teacher at Tower Hill School! We went back to Osborn Place for luncheon and then did more visits; Peggy was excellent & very interested in it. We went back again to Osborn Place to fill up case papers etc: and then left. I went to Sloane Gardens and changed to go to an At Home of the Duchess of Atholl'sLink opens in a new window and arrived there soon after 4.30 to find Daddie and one or two other people there, Mummy didn't arrive till 5 and it turned out afterwards we hadn't been asked till then! I talked to a nice old Colonial lady and left soon after 5.30. I went to Sloane Gardens and saw Kathleen for a few minutes then went to Victoria and caught the 6.30 train to Ashtead. Uncle Claude met me at Epsom Station and we drove to the Cottage. Aunt Di and Aunt Lil were there and we had dinner and talked till bedtime. The garden was looking quite lovely.
Saturday May 31st. Lady Victoria Manners came down for luncheon and tea; we took her to see the wild garden in the afternoon then came back and I had a sleep before tea. Miss Denshire & Mrs Wingfield and her sister came to tea. We dined with Mrs Ralli (Mr. Ralli died last January); Mrs Zarafie, Mr Ralli's sister was there and they played Bridge after dinner.
Sunday June 1st. I went to Church in the morning and then wrote my diary till luncheon time. After luncheon we gardened and took Timmy for a walk. Mrs Monty Thorpe suddenly appeared having motored from London and stayed to tea. I had great fun polishing a brass can after dinner.
Monday June 2nd. Uncle Claude and I came to London by the 10.13 train. I left my luggage in the cloak room at Victoria and went to leave some flowers from Aunt Di for Uncle Douglas who is ill in Sister Agnes' nursing home. Then I went to see Cecil who was very cheerful and from there walked along Piccadilly and up Bond Street to the Guards Club where I was having luncheon with Uncle Vesey. We had an excellent luncheon and then went to see a charity matinée for the King George's Fund for actors & actresses of "The Ware Case".Link opens in a new window There was an all star caste the principle parts being taken by Marie Lohr,Link opens in a new window Gladys Cooper,Link opens in a new window Gerald du MaurierLink opens in a new window and Owen Nares.Link opens in a new window It was a thrilling murder trial play and du Maurier's acting in the last scene was superb. The King & Queen were there and we had celebrities all round us. Uncle Vesey took me back to the Guards Club where we met Mummy and she told me she had managed to get three rooms at the Charing X Hotel for Lady Sibyl Smith's dance that night; no one could put us up and all the hotels were full on account of Derby week. Colonel O'Connor dined with us and went with us to the dance which was at Chesham House the late Russian Embassy. A man called Evans a friend of Kathleen's kindly procured for me by her came and was very nice. The dance was splendidly done, there was a gorgeous supper and altogether I enjoyed it very much.