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.
Links in the text highlight images, publications, biographical information and other contextual material, including primary sources held by other archives, museums and libraries.
Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 9, Jun-Aug 1920; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J9)
Images of the original diaryLink opens in a new window are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Wednesday June 23rd 1920.
Betty came up to spend the night with me on Friday to go to a performance of "The Mikado" which was being given at Birbeck [ Birkbeck ] College. She met me at the Club and we went off to buy a garden hat, I finally found one of different coloured straws at EvansLink opens in a new window which I bought. Kathleen and Mrs Grey came to tea. The performance of "The Mikado" was extremely good, it was done by students of the College and they really acted extraordinarily well.
Daddie went off down to Clifton soon after 8 o’clock on Saturday morning for the College commem and Mummy went down to Bath by a later train.
Shortie and I went off to Maidstone to the Kleinworts at 9.45, Betty came to see us off at the station. The motor met us at Maidstone and by an extraordinary coincidence another girl who was going there for the week-end – Linnette Lafone - travelled down in the same carriage with us.
The Kleinworts live at a place called Wierton PlaceLink opens in a new window five miles from Maidstone, it is rather high up and has a most wonderful view over the Weald of Kent. It was awfully nice to see them all again and they were most awfully kind. Two little girls who live near came over in the morning and Alice and I took them on a voyage of discovery.
Alice and I had a most interesting talk on the League of NationsLink opens in a new window after luncheon; she is dead keen on it like I am. Little John Marieka's little boy was there, he is a dear and most intelligent and can say almost anything. We all had tea in the hay and buried each other and had great fun. Alice and I talked incessantly.
We were all going to Church on Sunday but it poured so we didn't go. There was some talk of our all (except Alice) going over to St Leonards in the motor in the afternoon but finally only Lilly and Linnette went. Alice and I talked and played with John. Alice is a wonderful and beautiful person - much more than I had realized before.
We all played weird and very heating games on the billiard table after dinner and then Alice and Lilly came and sat in my room till nearly midnight.
Friday June 25th 1920.
It was a glorious day on Monday. Linnet went off early in the morning but I stayed till after luncheon.
Alice tried to teach me to ride a bicycle which was a dismal failure so we went to see Marieyka [ Marieka ] who had come back the night before and who has an awfully pretty little house close by. Then we went and sat on a bench in the sun and talked a good deal of nonsense till luncheon time. We left soon after 2 o'clock and just caught the train by the skin of our teeth. It was a most delightful visit, everyone was so kind and the place was so pretty I was awfully sorry to leave.
I went to tea with Peggy and had a long talk with her, she is in a difficulty (not through doing anything wrong) and it is hard to know what is the best thing to do.
Daddie came back from Bath on Monday for Geographical Committees and meetings. I had dinner in bed and wrote to Mrs Kleinwort and Alice.
On Tuesday morning I went to the Club and in the afternoon Miss Hills came and gave me a lesson. Mummy came back from Bath that afternoon because she was going to tea with Aunt Mabel to meet Mrs Webster who wrote "The History of the French Revolution".
Nothing very particular happened on Wednesday. Shortie and I shopped in the morning and went to see Wolfie after tea; she was very kind but says she hasn't been feeling at all well.
Yesterday morning at the awful hour of 10.30 I went off with Lois Yate to sell at a Y.W.C.A Produce Market in Devonshire House grounds organised by Cousin Gerty. Kathleen also came to sell. We were at the fruit stall, things sold fairly well. There were a good many people I knew selling including Aunt Geraldine, Uncle Raymond and Cynthia, Aunt Violet, Doria Stanhope, Audrey Vivian, Princess XeniaLink opens in a new window, Lady Evelyn Macdonald, Lady SligoLink opens in a new window and Julia Davis and Kathleen Watson. It opened at 11.30 and Mummy came and stayed for some time and saw a good many friends. Kathleen, Lois and I were caught and photographed by a "Daily Sketch"Link opens in a new window man but unfortunately it didn't get put in. Uncle Oswald and Aunt Bobs were there and both most awfully nice, I was jolly glad to see them again.
I am going to Kathleen's dance tonight and it's time I started to dress. I think it will be great fun.
Saturday June 26th 1920.
I rushed back here on Thursday and had luncheon and then went to sell at a fête in aid of Milk HostelsLink opens in a new window at Hanover LodgeLink opens in a new window, the Beatty'sLink opens in a new window house in Regents Park. Anne was coming to sell with me but, poor dear, she got hay fever very badly and couldn't come. Peggy was selling also Marlie and Elsie Raphael, Mariella Douglas-Pennant, Audrey Townshend, and Eileen Nicholson. Peggy and I had a quarrel which we made up on the telephone next morning. I sold till about 6 o'clock and then returned home throughly tired.
Mummy and Daddie went to Wimbledon with Uncle Claude to watch the tennis tournament and saw one very exciting match.
Yesterday morning I went to the lunch club. Miss Forrest who is excessively nice was helping there, we had a very easy morning. I came home from there and went to bed so as to have a good rest before the dance.
Mummy and Daddy dined with Sir Robert and Lady Carlisle and Shortie and went in a taxi to pick them up there at 10.15 to go to Kathleen's dance which was at 17, Bruton StreetLink opens in a new window. We sent up a message to say we were there and Shortie went up (it was flats) and told the servant to tell them we were waiting and they never came till 11 o'c and then it turned out the servant hadn't given the message. The result was that though I had two partners at the dance (a Colonel Stafford nephew of Mrs Gordon who we met at Lady Seafield's and her son) I didn't find either of them because I have never seen Colonel Stafford and I didn't remember what Mr Gordon looked like. Kathleen was splendid, she didn't lose her head a bit and introduced and looked after people so well. Alice was as charming as she always is, she refused to dance unless I found my partners and made all her partners dance with me. I got hold of some very nice partners and had an awfully good time.
Everything was extraordinarily well arranged, the supper was very good, there were Chinese lanterns and chairs all round the garden, all the windows were open and there was a plentiful supply of taxis at the door. Anne and Christina Bevin were there also Diana Robson and her husband (they came with Alice and Daisy), Audrey Townshend, Bettine Maryon-Wilson; Alannah; and Anne Keppel. Peggy came dressed in black and looking ghastly ill. It really is awful, she looks tragic, she says she feels very ill and yet she is so restless she can't stop doing things. We left about 3 o'clock.
Mummy went to luncheon with Mrs Webster today and Daddie went down to Hounslow with Lady Treowen to see Mr Armitage's boy scouts. On the way back they went to tea with the Egerton CastlesLink opens in a new window where they met Padrewski [ Paderewski ]Link opens in a new window and his wife. Daddie says he was very nice indeed but he has given up playing which is dreadful.
I stayed in bed till luncheon time after which Shortie and I sallied forth to go to the Quarterly Meeting of the Guild of Fellowship and incidentally to see the procession of the V.Cs for whom the King and Queen were giving a garden partyLink opens in a new window this afternoon. We had to wait an hour to see them because they were late starting but it was a wonderful sight. We went straight on to St Martin's and arrived in time for the end of Mr Martin Shaw'sLink opens in a new window lecture on "The New Spirit in Religious Music is shown in every age". He was giving some specimens of good hymn tunes when we arrived some of them were excessively good; the choir also sang that beautiful poem of Blake's "Jerusalem"Link opens in a new window to Parry's setting.
The Guild of Fellowship service began at 4 o'c and it was beautiful. We began with the Fellowship prayer, then we sang "Jesus calls us o'er the tumult", then Mr Sheppard gave us his address in which he said he thought that on the whole the Guild had done wonderfully well since the last Meeting, then he told us some of the things in which he thought we failed, the first thing was slackness, promising to do a thing and then not doing it and slackness in things which we were doing; the second was our lack of knowedge of what is going on today and of all the great problems, he said we ought to read much more and know much more of what is going on; it is not our duty to belong to any political party but to create the atmosphere in which all social problems will finally be solved. The last and worst sin was the sin of evil speaking which he said he was afraid we were not free from even in the Guild. He asked us to promise to try not to say an unkind thing about any member of the Guild till the next Quarterly Meeting. He also asked us to pray that we might be able to see the sorrow and joy of others and to help them. Then we sang "God is Working His Purpose Out" and then went down to the New Rooms for tea. Anne was there and quite charming and I saw a good many other people I know connected with St Martin's and everyone was awfully nice.
After tea we all went and sat in the largest of the New Rooms and Mr Sheppard took the chair and asked for various things he wanted and then asked if anyone had any suggestions to make, someone asked if the New Rooms, when the improvements they are going to have done are completed, could it be called the St Martin's Guild Hall, someone else suggested the Fellowship Hall and someone else the Welcome Hall and then Mr Sheppard chipped in and said why not the Welcome 'All! We voted on it and I am glad to say the Fellowship Hall won by 4 votes. Several other people asked questions and made suggestions and then the meeting terminated with Mr Sheppard saying there now remained nothing but to give the Chairman a very hearty vote of thanks for his humour! he was perfectly killing the whole way through.
Sunday June 27th 1920.
I saw Mr Sheppard to speak to yesterday and asked him if I could go and see him before we go to Spa (we are trying to get off on Saturday) he said he would be very glad to see me and asked me to ring up and arrange it.
Shortie and I went to the Holy Communion at 10.15 this morning; it was a beautiful choral service and so real. There were a great many members of the Guild of Fellowship there because we are all asked to go on the Sunday after the Quarterly Meeting. We stayed on for the Morning Service and Daddie joined us. It is Hospital SundayLink opens in a new window today and Lord KnutsfordLink opens in a new window the head of the London HospitalLink opens in a new window preached a most splendid and moving sermon on the terrible lives of the very poor and the hoplessness for them when they get ill. It nearly made me howl.
We are just going to a Children's Service at St Martin's.
We went to the Children's Service which was very well done by Mr Sheppard In his address he told the children about the hospitals and asked them to take flowers to a hospital whenever they could and to give as many pennies as they could and to pray for all who are working against illness.
Peggy came to tea with me, she seemed more cheerful and looked better.
I went to meet Mummy and Daddie who were having tea with Uncle Douglas and Aunt Aimée and saw Rosemary who is a darling. When we got back here I found the beloved Alice who had come straight from the station here to see me.
Miss Wolff is here now and Cousin Margaret is coming dinner.
Thursday July 1st 1920.
Oh goodness! so much to write.
On Monday at the screech of dawn Alice and I went off down to Ashtead to have luncheon and then go on to the tennis tournament with Aunt Di. The screech of dawn - or rather the screech of our train whistle leaving Victoria - took place at 10.25 and apparently we took two hours to get to Ashtead. I lost all count of time because we talked so hard but when we got to the Cottage poor Aunt Di said she had been down to the station to meet us and we had never appeared so she had gone back! Aunt Lil was there too and we had a most delightful luncheon in the open and then started straight off in the motor for Wimbledon. I had never seen really good tennis before and it was most thrilling. We saw GarlandLink opens in a new window (American) beat BlackbeardLink opens in a new window (South African) and MavrogordatoLink opens in a new window beat WilliamsLink opens in a new window; these were both for the finals, we also saw various other matches on the side courts.
Friday July 2nd 1920.
Uncle Claude arrived about 4 o'c and we all went and had tea. Alice and I had to leave just before six because Alice was dining out early, I went back to Belgrave Square with her to help (?) her dress for dinner, we found Lilly there dressing for a dance in a fine state of fuss, she asked me to stay and have dinner with her, which invitation I accepted with much pleasure. I assisted Alice to dress and she went off and then I watched Lilly having her hair done and then we had dinner and a long talk. I am sorry to say Lilly is jealous of Alice and I being such great friends, she says every one always wants Alice because she is such a perfect dear no one can help loving her. She said when I was down there for the week-end Alice and I talked together the whole time but I pointed out mildly that she did the same with Linnet; and she thought I was nearer their age and ought to have been their friend. Of course she wasn't the least bit angry in all this conversation, we were laughing the whole time. I said there was no earthly reason why I shouldn’t be the friend of all of them but I think she realizes how I adore Alice.
Mr Sheppard asked me when I saw him on Saturday to ring him up on Tuesday and arrange when I could go and see him so I rang him up and although he wasn't there he had remembered to leave a message for me (he really is wonderful) to say he could see me at 12 o'c on Friday.
I went to the Club that morning for the last time for the present I am sorry to say. Daddie picked me up there at 2.15 and we went down to Wimbledon with the tickets which the Archdeacon gave us. It was most thrilling; we saw Mrs Lambert ChambersLink opens in a new window beat Mrs MalloryLink opens in a new window, Miss RyanLink opens in a new window beat Mrs PartonLink opens in a new window, PattersonLink opens in a new window and Mlle LenglenLink opens in a new window (who is marvellous) beat HillyardLink opens in a new window and Mrs SatterthwaiteLink opens in a new window and JohnsonLink opens in a new window and TildenLink opens in a new window beat DoustLink opens in a new window and someone elseLink opens in a new window. It was most exciting seeing all those great players.
Miss Waller came to dinner and was charming.
I forgot to say that we saw the Archdeacon at Wimbledon and he was very nice indeed.
Saturday July 3rd 1920.
We went to Alannah's dance at Claridge's on Tuesday evening. It was very nice indeed. I had Robert Gunning and Mrs Gordon’s nephew "Teddie" Wallingford as my partners. Alice and Lilly and Daisy were there also Kathleen and Berta Mitchell. Kathleen and her partner a nice Mr Graham and Robert and I went into supper together and had great fun. I danced every dance except one which I sat out with Alice. We stayed to the end - because I was booked up several dances ahead - and got home about 3.30. I wish I really enjoyed dances.
I stayed in bed till nearly luncheon time on Wednesday; Kathleen was coming to see me in bed but she telephoned to say she was so sleepy and had got up so late that she wouldn't be able to come.
I spent the greater part of the day trying hard to get a partner for Alice for a dance on Thursday night because if she couldn't get a partner she wouldn't be able to come up for the dance and I shouldn't see her to say "good-bye" to.
Anne came to tea with me, Miss Potter also came to see Mummy who was out and stayed to tea in the hope that she would come back. Anne and I had an excessively interesting talk - Anne interests me enormously – and just when we were really beginning to get excited Kathleen came in but she was awfully nice and very kind about helping me to get a partner for Alice.
Mrs James (sister of the speaker) and Uncle Vesey came to dinner and Sir Harry and Lady Emma came up after dinner and were excessively amusing.
Greene - Alice's maid - rang up on Thursday morning from the country to ask if I had got a partner for Alice. I told her I was on the track of one (who subsequently failed) and she said Alice was probably coming up any how (Angel, she really came up to say good-bye to me) and would I go round there at 7 o'c and help her dress for the dance (I was dining with her).
Miss Hills came and gave me a lesson in the morning.
A delightful Mrs Gillet who is staying with Cousin Nell and is Victoria's Aunt came to luncheon.
Daddie and I went to a matinée in aid of Our Dumb Friends LeagueLink opens in a new window for which Mrs Henniker sent me tickets. Connie EdissLink opens in a new window sung in a voice such as I have never heard before and was extremely funny. Eva MooreLink opens in a new window recited and there was a lurid play of the French Revolution amongst other things.
I duly went to dinner with my beloved Alice soon after 7 o'c and from then till the time when we said a fond farewell here at 10.30 we talked incessantly and still have masses to say! I am so awfully glad we are real friends, she is pure gold through and through and such a wonderful friend; we told each other lots about ourselves and we discussed other people, she is a very good judge of character. I do hope we shall always be very great friends. Dear Alice! She dropped me here on her way to the dance and came up to say "good-bye" to Mummy and Daddie. She had to go alone to the dance because she couldn't get a partner and she was rather frightened at the prospect but she rang me up yesterday morning about 5 minutes before her train was due to go and said she knew heaps of people and stayed to the end and enjoyed it very much. We blew kisses to each other down the telephone and promised to write very often and to start off just the same when I come back.
Mr "Toby" Hoare came to dinner here on Thursday night and I just saw him for a minute yesterday morning just as I was thinking about starting off to see Mr Sheppard he rang up to say he had got such a splitting headache he was afraid he wouldn't be able to see anyone. I spoke to him on the telephone and he asked me to write to him as he couldn't see me. I was most awfully sorry about his head.
Shortie and I went to the office of the Guild of Fellowship and saw Miss Paton-Smith and asked her to send us the August number of the "Review" to Spa. Then we went to the Club and said good-bye to all of them there including Anne who was there.
Mummy and Daddie went to luncheon with Lord Leigh and Mrs Leigh
I went to say good-bye to Cousin Gerty in the afternoon but she was out.
Uncle Vesey and Mrs Lucas came here for tea. Directly after tea Shortie and I took Chi Chi up to Miss Wolff who is very kindly going to look after him while we are away. Timmy her white West Highland growled like a thunder storm which was not a cheerful sign.
We dashed out and did a little shopping this morning.
Mrs WebsterLink opens in a new window ("French Revolution") came to luncheon, she is an extraordinarily interesting person absolutely on fire with an idea - or an ideal I'm not sure which. She has made a very deep study of revolutions and says the rules by which they are made and the rules by which they may be defeated have been the same in every case. She is violently anti-Socialist and has an absolute horror of revolution and a good deal of contempt for the young people of today who call themselves Socialists and who she says would give up nothing for it. Perhaps she is a little bit intolerant and even a trifle hard but I may be mistaken in that, in any case she is intensely interesting
Daddie has gone down to Cousin V at Lingfield for the week-end.
We went to tea with Mrs Denham-Parker; there were several old friends of Mummy's there - Lady Saltoun, Lady Camoys, Lady Stratheden and Lady Beatrice Meade and a most charming young Mrs Codrington whose husband was killed in the war. We went on from there to see Cecil who was most delightful and Cousin Ted was much better and very cheerful.
Mrs Idie is coming up from Bath this evening.
Our passports have come. Our passport photographs are the most gorgeous things we look like a prize party of Bolshevists!
We are trying to get off on Monday evening.
Monday July 5th 1920.
Shortie and I went to St Martin's yesterday morning and Mr Sheppard preached on "The Lambeth Conference and Reunion". The Lambeth ConferenceLink opens in a new window is sitting at the present time and nearly 300 Bishops have come from all over the world to take part in it. Mr Sheppard says he does not think you could find a more splendid body of men anywhere or any people who know the Will of the Lord better but he is terrified that they will not give absolutely definite opinions on the great questions they are discussing. He wants re-union with all Non-Conformists (he says Rome and the Eastern Church doesn't seem possible at present) not that we should all slavishly conform to one type of service, there will always be differences of temperament and a certain type of service will suit one man better than another but he would like the Church to be like a great Cathedral with many side chapels all different and yet all in the one Cathedral. He wants passionately to be told by authority that he can give the Holy Communion to all who love the Lord and that he may recieve it with them. He feels so deeply about this that he says unless the Bishops come to a definite decision and say something quite decided - even though it is contrary to his views - he will be almost forced to leave the Ministry.
We stayed on for the Congregational singing practice after the service and saw Mr Sheppard on our way out and said "good bye" to him.
I laid on my bed most of the afternoon.
We went to the little Chapel over the road in the evening. Mr Studdert-KennedyLink opens in a new window who is a very well known preacher and who preaches a good deal at St Martin's was preaching. He seemed to be absolutely on fire and it was a splendid sermon. He seemed to have no faith in government or Labour or Socialism or Trades Unions, he said they were all useless the only one vital thing was Love - absolute unselfish Love which would give all and go on giving and withhold nothing. We've all got our yellow streak in us somewhere and we all reverance power and wealth instead of gentleness and kindness and Love but in spite of this the Brotherhood of men is coming - slowly but surely the world is getting better and better and the great Revolution is coming and we are going to make that Brotherhood and of our human nature it will be made. He said a great deal besides this - of a great Cross which hangs in the skies with the Christ on it stretching His Arms wide to the East and the West and of many other things. He was an extraordinary man, intensely modern in some ways and in others very like those preachers one reads of in books like "John Inglesant"Link opens in a new window.
I wrote a long letter to Alice yesterday in reply to one from her on Saturday evening.
Miss Wolff came to see us on Saturday evening, she said Chi Chi was terribly unhappy at first but he has settled down better now. Mrs Idie arrived here after 10 o'c having had to wait an hour at Paddington for a taxi because of all the people coming back from Henley.
The tennis tournament is over. Tilden has beaten Patterson the champion and so becomes the champion; Mlle Lenglen has beaten Mrs Lambert Chambers and so remains the champion. Williams and Garland are the holders of the men's doubles and Mlle Lenglen and Patterson of the mixed doubles.
Tuesday July 6th 1920.
We decided not to go yesterday because we weren't quite ready and it was a horrid day.
At luncheon time yesterday I got a letter from Aunt Bobs which ought to have arrived by the first post asking me to go with her to the Oxford and Cambridge Cricket Match at Lords yesterday, today and tomorrow. We were going out shopping so we went straight up there to explain why I hadn't answered. Aunt Bobs was sweet and so glad to see me and that we are going abroad. We went up to the nursery and saw the children who were fearfully pleased. Little Tony has grown enormously and is a most amusing little person, very fat and round, with a beaming smile and the most killing waddle, he presented me with nearly every toy in the nursery! Anne and Joan were looking very well and brown from the seaside; I was hailed with much joy by Anne. We couldn't stay long because we had so much shopping to get through. We went first to leave a message for Miss Wolff; then to Swaine about the photographs of me; then to the Royal Irish Industries Association to get some freize to take out to Spa to be made into a coat and skirt, then to the Army and Navy Stationary department where we met Mrs Inge who was very charming and also purchased large quantities of writing paper etc. And then thank goodness home!
Daddie dined with Mr Cobbe last night and went to the inaugural meeting of a society to be called the British Institute of International AffairsLink opens in a new window for the purpose of really trying to know other countries better and sympatize with them and for studying international affairs and not to be on any one particular side but to try and see the good on all sides and to influence and help them for good. Its principles are very much the same of those of the League of Nations and it sounds a most splendid thing. Lord GreyLink opens in a new window, Mr ClynesLink opens in a new window and Mr BalfourLink opens in a new window are the presidents.
I wrote a long letter to Mr Sheppard yesterday about something I want to know.
We are going off this evening by the Harwich - Antwerp route. We leave Liverpool Street at 8.30 arrive Harwich time unknown, the [ ship ] leaves in the early hours of the morning and arrives at Antwerp at noon which place we leave - apparently - at the same moment at which we arrive, get to Brussels somewhere around the direction of 1 and 1.30, from thence our journey is veiled in mystery but I don't think we arrive at Spa till the evening.
There is a Conference sitting at Spa at the moment for the purpose of making Germany keep the terms of the Peace Treaty.
Thursday July 8th 1920.
Hôtel de Lacken, Spa, Belgium.Link opens in a new window
Everyone tore round madly on Tuesday packing up and getting more and more muddled but we got ready in the end.
I had a long talk with Peggy on the telephone in the afternoon, she sounded very depressed but I think things are really going better with her. Rowland comes home from Switzerland on the 22nd.
Alice wrote me a long and most charming farewell letter. Uncle Claude came to tea to say "good-bye" which was very nice of him.
We got to Liverpool Street nearly an hour before our train left at 8.30 and it took practically the whole of that time getting our tickets and having our luggage weighed and registered. It was a ripping special express to Harwich and they reserved us a carriage all to ourselves so it was very comfortable. We arrived at Parkston [ Parkeston ] Quay, Harwich at 9.45 and then had to fill up forms saying our age, profession, address, when and why we were born, sex, Christian name, surname and 101 other things in exchange for which we were given a ticket of leave to embark which seemed a very tame ending. I now took firm command of the party and marshalled them onto the ship and into our cabin; the Stewardess was so impressed that she thought I was the head of the party and took no notice of anyone else. We had a deck cabin which was about the sieze of the table at which I am writing but most comfortable and clean and with four delightful bunks. The ship was called the "Frinton". I went to bed almost immediately to try and get a little sleep before we started, the others sat up for a bit and then went to bed. We started between 12 and 1 in the morning, unfortunately it was a cloudy night but it was a beautiful sight all the same, the sea was like glass and all round the lights of the ships were glittering. I looked out of the porthole window nearly all night and hoped in vain for a rough sea - probably the only person on board who did! - but the hope was not realized though we did roll about quite decently at one time. I adore the sea and ships and it was sheer joy lying in my bunk looking out of the porthole; it all reminded me of the voyage home from India. There was a glorious red sunrise when we were on the open sea. Somtime later we began to see land so we got up and went on deck and discovered to our dismay that it was only 6.30. an hour later we passed Flushing, a funny looking town with huge iron cranes in every direction. We took up a pilot here to navigate us up the Sheldt [ Scheldt ].
About this time we consumed an absolutely enormous breakfast which testifys to the smoothness of the crossing, then we went on deck but it was drizzling and there was only the flat, green country of Holland to be seen so we went to our cabin and I sat in my bunk and wrote a very long letter to Alice; I looked out of the porthole at intervals, the sun came out every now and then and the country was very green and pretty with funny shaped trees and innumerable little churches and windmills.
We went up on deck later in the morning and watched a big town in the distance which we seemed to be approaching but on being told by a sailor that the town was Antwerp and we should be there in 1/2 an hour we made a wild stampede below to get our things packed up and our passports and embarkation cards ready.
Friday July 9th 1920.
It was really lovely going into AntwerpLink opens in a new window; our landing place was rather far up so we went for some way along the river with the town on the left of us watching the spire of the beautiful Cathedral drawing nearer and nearer till finally we passed it. There were a good many big ships at anchor in the river but the thing which struck me most was the fact that nearly all the ships and nearly all the landing places were either English or American.
We got through the Customs very easily and they never even asked to see our passports. We had a wild rush for the train which a nice and frenzied old gentleman held up for us. We only stopped at Malines on the way to Brussels which we reached at 1.15 and our train for Pepinster went at 1.50 so we had heaps of time but at the booking office there was a poor Italian who couldn't speak any French and who was trying to make the booking office clerk understand what he wanted, Mummy tried to help him and it took so long that we very nearly lost the train. It was a very good train and only stopped at Louvain, Tirlemont and Leige [ Liege ]. We didn't see the ruined CathedralLink opens in a new window at Louvain but we saw a good many ruined houses all along the line, otherwise the country looked very prosperous and there were corn fields everywhere. All the railway stations (except Lèige) looked very delapidated and the railway carriages and engines want painting badly but the carriages were very comfortable and travelling is easy.Link opens in a new window We arrived at Pepinster a little before 5 o'c, changed there and got here just before 6 o'c. The railway station and town is covered with flags in honour of the Conference.
This is a very nice and comfortable hotel and the food is good but I think the French idea of meals is feeble, coffee and rolls instead of breakfast, luncheon at 12 o'c, no tea (we make tea in our bedroom) and a jolly big dinner in the evening. Monsieur Duvivier the Maître de Hôtel says the hotel was absolutely stripped by the Germans. The French section of the Conference is staying here (not Foch or Millerand) and they are rather overbearing and discourteous and think the whole place belongs to them; no one may sit near them in the Salle à Manger for fear they should overhear what they say. The British delegates are at the Hôtel Brittanique [ Britannique ] and the Germans are at a Château two miles out of the town because it wasn't safe for them to be in the town. There are innumberable motors belonging to the Conference dashing through the town at full speed all day and all night and apparently not minding the least if they run over people.
The prices are quite enormous, worse than in England, even with the rate of exchange which is 41 francs to the pound at the moment. The people are all very kind and smiling and pleased to see one and I am sorry to say the manners of the people in the shops are a most refreshing change from those in England.
All the people who Mummy knew here are fearfully pleased to see her and remember her quite well. For the first time in my life I wish most heartily that I could talk French properly, I understand most of what they say but it is a most awful bore not being able to talk.
There is a most delightful Duchess in the disguise of a femme de chambre by name Céline on this floor. She comes in three times a day to enquire after our health and hold a conversation.
I had a long and delightful letter from Lilly this morning in which she says she isn't jealous any more and it wasn't at all nice of her to be then and I am an Angel (poor Lilly!) and she quite understands that I can be equal friends with all of them even thought they are sisters. I hope I shan't go on adoring Alice with quite such violence as I do at present or it will be very difficult. Diana and "John" Robson and Kathleen and John Grey were down there last week-end and she says they had great fun. I also had a most charming letter from Mr Sheppard in which he answered very satisfactorily somthing which I asked him.
We went and had mineral bathsLink opens in a new window this morning, I seldom felt such an utter idiot in my life! You sit in a sunk copper bath with just your head showing above water for 20 minutes and the water comes up very brown and very bubbling, personally I am convinced it is the town drain but that is neither here nor there! then you ring a bell which hangs over your head like the sword of Damocles and a woman comes in and wraps you in endless towels and rubs you.
After luncheon I wrote a long, long letter to Lilly and rested.
Daddie is coming over today and ought to be here soon.
Saturday July 10th 1920.
Daddie arrived about 9.30 yesterday evening having left London at 8.30 and come by the Dover - Ostend route. He was at the debate on General DyerLink opens in a new window in the House of Commons on ThursdayLink opens in a new window from 3 o'c to 11 o'c and he says there was wild excitment one side calling Dyer a butcher and the other side calling him the saviour of India.
Mummy has been having a mineral bath this morning; I went and drank some very nasty iron water and then Daddie and I went and sat in the public gardens and I devoured stacks of English papers which he brought over with him.
It is expected that the ConferenceLink opens in a new window will be over by Monday. The Allies have told the Germans that they must reduce their army to 150,000 by October 1st and 100,000 by January 1st other wise a good deal more German territory will be occupied.
This hotel is most interesting, it and the Hôtel Brittanique [ Britannique ]Link opens in a new window were the German head-quarters during the war and Hindenburg and Ludendorff stayed here and at the end of the war the terms of the Armistice were arranged here, I think in the Salle à manger. Monsieur Duvivier was here the whole time, it must have been fearfully exciting.
I had a long letter from Peggy this morning; poor child, she is awfully unhappy.
Monday July 12th 1920.
On Saturday afternoon Mummy's dressmaker Madame Xhcrouet (pronounced without the Xh which is merely for orniment) and a nice little friend of hers came here with stuffs and things and talked about dresses for Mummy and me very fast and very loud and with no pause for 1 1/2 hours.
We went for a long walk on one of the hills by which SpaLink opens in a new window is surrounded after tea, on the way we met and had a long conversation with a delightful young Belgian soldier. We saw, in the distance, the Château from which the Kaiser fled when the Armistice was signed and passed the Hôtel Annette et Lubin where the lesser Germans are staying and saw some of them.
Daddie and I went to a concert at the casino in the evening, there is a beautiful great hall and little tables with chairs around them and rows of chairs in the front. They have a big and extremely good orchestra and there was a lady singer with a lovely voice.
Tuesday July 13th 1920.
We went to the English Church on Sunday morning and coming out, to the mutual excitment of both them and us, we met the Lawrences, the people who were so kind to Daddie when he had that bad accident here (he was run over by a motor and his leg was broken), we also met a Miss Lupont who Mummy and Daddie knew here before and were introduced to several other people.
Sir Reginald TowerLink opens in a new window who is our Commissioner in Dantzig [ Danzig ]Link opens in a new window came to luncheon with us on Sunday, he was rather late because there was a meeting of the Conference in the morning and the question of Dantzig came up last; it is to be used freely by Poland but to belong to the League of Nations. He says there are a good many strikes in Dantzig and it is great fun settling them; some of the leaders of the SpartacistsLink opens in a new window came to see him in a deputation one day and he had a long talk with them about their principles, they reject patriotism and pride of country altogether, some of them allow pride in the place you were born in and live in but most of them reject even this. He says what people in England do not the least realize is that Imperialism is absolutely dead in Germany. He was going back to Dantzig that afternoon, motoring to Cologne and catching a train there. He is going to send me a complete set of the postage stamps of Dantzig.
Mr and Mrs Lawrence came to tea and told us some of their experiences in the war, they must have had a most exciting time; they were here when the Germans marched through on the 4th of August and while the siege of Léige [ Liège ]Link opens in a new window was going on and then they said it was a terrible time when they used to walk up and down the garden and say "why can't we hear the guns" because of course when they ceased to hear them it meant that the Germans were advancing; they said that people don't realise what a check the Belgians gave the Germans at Léige, they blew up the tunnels and the bridgesLink opens in a new window and consequently it was several days before they could bring up their heavy guns and they were almost a broken army by the time they took it. The Lawrences could talk no English for fear of being discovered to be English and often they paid as much as 2/6 for a copy of the "Times" and they used to sit and read it in their room, every bit from beginning to end and every time there was a sound there was a rush and the paper went under the carpet. Later on they got over to England, I'm not sure whether they returned before the Armistice but anyhow they were in Verviers when the British troops marched though and they said the whole town went absolutely wild, especially over the Scotch soldiersLink opens in a new window. They have a wonderful French servant named Victorine who stayed in their house the whole time and took care of it and ruled the Germans with a rod of iron, she buried all the silver in the garden and told the German soldiers in the house that if they broke or hurt anything she would go to the Commandant about it; two of them once did somthing she didn't approve of and she said she was going to the commandant and they finally apologised.
I wrote long letters to Aunt Di and Kathleen.
We went to a concert at the Casino in the evening. A Madame Marie Delvna sang she had a glorious contralto voice.
Yesterday morning I had a long, long letter from Alice, it was a very amusing and a very interesting letter, she is fearfully enthusiastic about the League of Nations and she said a good deal about it in her letter.
We partook of baths yesterday morning and then went to see the little dressmaker (not Madame Xhcrouet the other one) She is an awfully nice little thing and I think she will make us some very pretty things.
After luncheon I was supposed to rest but I sat on my bed and wrote pages to Alice.
After tea Daddie and I went in the tram to a place called Balmoral about a couple of miles from here; it is really a collection of hotels up on the hills with a most glorious view of the country all round. We saw the Château were the Conference is being held, and also a good many of the Conference returning to their respective hotels including the Germans going to the Annette et Lubin and the Italians going to the Balmoral.
We went to the Concert in the evening and on our way out met Colonel TilhoLink opens in a new window, who was lecturing at the Geographical in the spring and came to see us at the flat, and his friend and a nice English Colonel Witlock [ Whitlock ]. They are here on a Commission to settle - or report about – the frontier between Germany and Belgium.
There was a terrible thunderstorm last night, it began with loud claps of thunder at the beginning of the Concert and I thought that the Conference was being bombed and that there would be a fearful uproar in a moment. I have never heard such rain and the thunder and lightening followed right on top of one another. It started again very badly at 4.30 this morning.
Wednesday July 14th 1920.
I had a mineral bath yesterday morning and slept and wrote this in the afternoon.
Miss Larpent called in the morning and told us a great deal about their experiences in the war; they were paying a visit when war broke out and a message came one morning to say "the Germans are coming, you must leave immediately" so their visit came to rather a hasty end. They went on to Antwerp and were giving special permission to stay on there when people who were kindly described as "bouches inutile" were sent away; they were there in the first zepplin raidLink opens in a new window of all which was on Antwerp; finally things got too hot and they had to leave; they crossed over to England on Captain Fryatt'sLink opens in a new window ship the "Brussels"; the Captain said to Miss Larpent at the beginning of the voyage "I am more nervous this trip than I have ever been before", she asked why and he said "because the whole of our course had been strewn with mines by the British", she rather thought that they had come out of the frying pan into the fire! but they got across safely. The servant they left behind took great care of their things, she buried the silver in the garden and grew cabbages on top of it! hid all the bronze things in the roof (the Germans took everything like that for guns) and walled up the best linen!
Yesterday evening I went out shopping with Shortie and Mrs Idie; it was most amusing.
We went to the concert yesterday evening and to my joy they played the "Intermezzo" from the "Cavalleria Rusticana" and selections from Faust.
I wrote to Aunt Venetia and Mary yesterday.
Shortie and I went to the Holy Communion at 8 o'c this morning. There is such a nice clergyman.
Mummy asked Miss Larpent yesterday if she knew of any one who would come and talk French with me and a very nice little Mademoiselle appeared this morning and stayed for ½ an hour and talked to me; she is coming every morning, I think it will really be a very good thing.
The Conference isn't going till Saturday now. Daddie met Reuter's head corresponant this morning and he told him that he thinks that the Germans are perfectly right in what they say about the coal (the Conference is asking them to give up more coal than they say they can possibly manage) and at the time they signed the treaty of peace they had absolutely no alternative but to sign anything. It is the French who are pressing it so hard. It seems to be (this is my purely personal opinion) that we are not only beating a man when he is down but also behaving rather like hypocrites, the Allies say that they want their just due from Germany but that they want to help her to build herself up again – it doesn't seem to be doing that to squeeze out of her more than she can possibly give.
Of course the question of indemnities is a fearfully difficult one - for instance, this town has got things going again in a wonderful way but it is very deeply in debt and unless it pays extraordinarily well or gets an indemnity it will be bankrupt. Things are naturally far worse where there was fighting. The world is in a terrible muddle.
I have written today to Cousin Gerty and sent a post-card to Pompey.
Friday July 16th 1920.
Mademoiselle came yesterday at 9.30 and stayed for an hour and we talked French.
I had a long letter from dear Aunt Di yesterday and a fearfully amusing one from Kathleen.
Daddie and I went over to Verviers on the tram to have luncheon with Mr and Mrs Lawrence; it is about 11 miles and a most lovely drive with miles of woods and hills all round. The Lawrences were awfully nice and kind and Mrs Lawrence gave me some very good stamps. We went to see the Sanitorium where Daddie was when his leg was broken but none of the nuns he had known were there.
We were going to tea with Mrs Ellerman and Miss Larpent and the Lawrences had been asked too so we all came over in the motor belonging to Mr Lawrence's firm and had a lovely drive by another and almost prettier way. Mrs Ellerman is a dear old lady of 87 and there was quite a big party there – the Brailsfords (the clergyman and his wife), Mrs Moore and her sister and her two girls and four or five other people. We picked up Mummy in the motor and took her there. We didn’t leave till 7 o'c and enjoyed it very much.
Daddy and I went to the concert after dinner.
We have been at the Conference today and had a most exciting day but I'm writing in bed and am very tired so I must try and write about it tomorrow.
Saturday July 17th 1920.
Daddie and I decided that we would go to "La Fraineuse", the villa where the Conference was heldLink opens in a new window yesterday morning. Mademoiselle came at 9.45 and we took her with us; we had a carriage there because we thought it was some distance but it turned out to be only a little over a mile. There was no sign of anyone at the lodge so we walked up to the houseLink opens in a new window, there were several gendarmes about but they took no notice of us so we wandered about and explored, it is a very fine house and a beautiful park with woods and streams. Then growing bold we went up to a kind of sargent and asked him if we could see the room where the Conference was held and he asked where our tickets of permission to be there were! he said we couldn't stay there if we hadn't any but that we could get them from the Hôtel Brittanique [ Britannique ] and that the Conference didn't begin till 11.30 so we should have time to get them. He was very nice indeed and let us see the Conference roomLink opens in a new window, it was a very fine room with a big
shaped table which nearly filled it. Daddie said he would go back to the Hôtel Brittanique and get the tickets and try and be back in time and we were to sit in the Park and hope we shouldn't be turned out, so we sat there and talked French and no one took any notice of us and just before 11.30 poor Daddie came tearing up the drive having run nearly the whole way but having by great good luck found at the Hôtel Brittanique the man who is running the whole thing who he knew and who gave him tickets to go as far as it was possible to go, that is right up to the door of the Conference room.
We saw Marshal Wilson as we went up the drive and as we tore up to the front door Lloyd GeorgeLink opens in a new window was getting out of his motor and I photographed him frenziedly (it was a gorgeous day and brilliant sunshine).
Marshal FochLink opens in a new window came down on foot from the Villa Neubois surrounded by French officers, he was most charming and smiling to everyone and I photographed him splendidly; MillerandLink opens in a new window came in a big Rolls Royce and I photographed him too.
We also saw Lord D'AbernonLink opens in a new window our ambassador at Berlin and the French and Belgian and ItalianLink opens in a new window and Japanese delegates and probably the Polish and Roumanian; they all came rolling up in endless motors. The Germans were not coming till the afternoon.
We came back here and had luncheon and then went to the Hôtel Brittanique to find out what time the Conference met in the afternoon, they told us 4 o'c and just as we were coming away we met Reuter's head correspondent who gave us tickets for a reception of journalists at the Pouhon at 3 o'c so Mummy, Daddie and I went; the Burgomestre spoke first, Foch was supposed to have spoken but didn't appear, Wickham Steed the editor of the "Times" was also speaking but we didn't have time to stay and hear him because we had to get to "La Fraineuse" however Mummy heard him. We arrived there at 3.45 and soon afterwards Marshal Foch came walking in and when he saw me with my camera he stood still and smiled while I photographed him (we were the only outsiders there at that time and there weren't many afterwards). We met Reuters’s man there and he told us who everyone was which made it much more interesting. Several of the German secretaries arrived quite early and they said the Germans weren't coming till 5 o'c. We saw Millerand arrive and Lloyd George and Sir Henry Wilson and I photographed them both.
When they had all arrived we went and sat in the shade till the Germans arrivedLink opens in a new window. Reuter's man had been up to see the Germans and they told him they are going to sign. It was almost oppresive the feeling while we were waiting that history was being made under our noses. The Germans arrived very punctually in fact before their time and Reuter's man told us who they all were - Von Simon [ Simons ] and the restLink opens in a new window. I photographed them as they went in. It is a funny feeling that there is one thing going on which all the world is watching and that you are on the actual spot where that thing is happening and all but seeing it happen.
We had to dash back here because the Brailsfords were here for tea. They are very nice people; they have caught me to sing in the choir! and I went with them to a choir practise after tea yesterday. Miss Larpent (who was playing the organ) and the Brailsfords and I were the only people there and we practised for 1 1/2 hours and I made the most weird noise.
The British delegation went off by special train this morning at 9 o'c, we went down to the station to see them off and saw Lloyd George splendidly, we were standing right by him for over a quarter of an hour. I photographed the train as it went out of the station but rather doubt if it will come out as the light wasn't very good.
The Conference sat for 4 hours yesterday and the Germans finally signed. We haven't seen the papers yet so don't know the details. I don't think we have behaved very well over the coal.
Sunday July 18th 1920.
Lloyd George must be fearfully over worked. Reuter's man told us he is worn out. I heard yesterday that the Conference on Friday sat till midnight and even from the train yesterday he was saying somthing which about 1/2 dozen shorthand writers were taking down (Daddie thinks it was probably a message to the Belgians) and he had a typewriter with him in the carriage so I suppose he was going to do some dictating in the train.
Mademoiselle and I walked in the Park in the morning and then Shortie and I went to the dressmaker and she tried on the pale blue muslin frock and the petticoat and they came this morning and are so pretty. The frock is sky blue muslin with little flowers worked on it and it has a lovely soft apricot coloured satin round the waist. The petticoat is princess shape and crëpe de chine of the same colour as the frock.
I went to tea with the Moores yesterday and they were so nice and kind, they consist of Mrs Moore, Phyllis Moore who is 16, Miss Cockburn her half sister, Mrs Moore's sister and a nice girl who was staying with them. They have got a pretty villa above the town called "Mosella" which was the British G.H.Q when we were here. After tea we went up in their motor to the tennis courts which are a good 2 miles from here in the direction of Francochamps [ Francorchamps ] and had two sets of tennis which was great fun. They are very good hard courts but it is a great pity they are so far away.
We went to the concert yesterday evening and heard a very good singer. The electric light went out at intervals which was a trifle disconcerting.
I wrote to Esther and Cecil (until lately "Cousin" Cecil) yesterday.
Monday July 19th 1920.
We went to Church yesterday morning and I made an odd noise in the choir; they told me I must sing alto but (tell it not abroad) I have no idea what it means! I tried to follow Mrs Moore who is alto but continually found myself following her sister who isn't!
There was a fête yesterday afternoon and much excitement, its coming was heralded throughout the morning by the firing of excessively loud guns. There was a procession consisting of a detachment of the 4th lances, school children with enormous red, yellow and black ribbons round them, more school children belonging to the school of gymnastics dressed in white and with blue sashs, Ardennaises in national costume, boy scouts and various people carrying banners. They all marched up to the Casino where the Burgomestre and General LemanLink opens in a new window (the one who held up the Germans at Léige [ Liège ] so well) and various other people were waiting to recieve them; we couldn't see what happened after that but there was loud clapping at intervals and they played the "Brabaçonne" [ Brabançonne ]Link opens in a new window six times and someone sang. It was really very pretty. After that they went and put wreaths on the monument to the Spadois who fell in the war.
Shortie, Mrs Idie and I went to Church yesterday evening; Mrs Brailsford and I were the only people in the choir and Mr Brailsford had to play the organ, he played the voluntry and then came and whispered to us "having played my own voluntry I supposed I'd better go and come in now"!
We went to the concert in the evening; it was very full and there was a splendid violinist called Monsieur CrickboomLink opens in a new window.
I had a letter from Aunt Alys this morning saying Joffie is very well and happy and they are very fond of him, and a post-card from Alice saying she is writing me a letter but it isn't finished yet! I also had some awfully nice stamps from that nice Monsieur Centene who we met at the Lawrence's including a complete set up to 2 francs of Belgian stamps surcharged for Eupen which has become part of Belgium.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a walk this morning.
We are moving from here tomorrow into lodgings because it is so dear here (40 francs a head a day).
I wrote to Ann B and Miss Medd-Hall yesterday and to Kathleen today.
Tuesday July 20th 1920.
We went to tea with the Brailsfords yesterday at their lodgings and had a very merry tea. We went, as usual, to the concert after dinner.
I had a very long letter from dear Alice this morning; she writes awfully good letters.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a walk along a beautiful path through the woods this morning and then met Mummy, Mrs Idie and Shortie at Monsieur Noel the tailor where we ordered a beautiful brown velour de laine coat for me and a coat and skirt of the freize which we brought from England.
We have moved from the hotel and are now -
À L'étoile du Nord
26, Rue du Waux-Hall ( Vauxhall!)
They are very nice clean rooms over a kind of Army and Navy Stores and we have a nice woman who comes in to cook for us.
Friday July 23rd 1920.
We didn't do anything much on Wednesday. I wrote a long letter to Alice in the afternoon and after tea Daddie and the Brailsfords played tennis in the Park and I watched them.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a walk yesterday morning and then Mrs Idie and I went to the Prince de Condy [ Condé ] water drinking place to meet Mummy and Miss Larpent and discuss the question of the Burgomestre's ball which she wishes to accompany us to.
I had a most amusing letter from Lilly yesterday morning which I answered in the afternoon. I also had a charming letter from Aunt Venetia on Wednesday; she is allowed to get up and come downstairs now and the nurse has left but she (Aunt Venetia) has been in bed for 8 weeks. Nina and Patsy have been doing great stunts with their girl guides and have won two cups. I also had a letter from Pompey on Wednesday who says they have had no summer at all at the Glen and it pours all the time. I also had a letter from Mary who says they have all had the measles and they are going to Seaton soon. I also had a post-card from Wolfie who didn't say much but told Shortie on another post-card that Chi Chi and Timmy haven't made friends yet! I had a most amusing letter from Miss Medd-Hall this morning in which she says she is very glad I am singing in the choir.
Mrs Moore had an "At Home" yesterday to which Daddie and I went; Miss Larpent, Mr and Mrs Brailsford and a nice Belgian lady were there besides of course all the household of Moore; there was a most beautiful tea after which the more intelligent members of the party played bridge and the others – myself included - made polite conversation; Daddie and Phyllis had a game of billiards and Daddy suddenly appeared as a brilliant player having never before devulged the fact that he could play or knew anything about it. Mrs Moore very kindly sent us all (except Daddie and Mr Brailsford) home in the motor.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a walk this morning.
The Brailsfords and Miss Larpent asked me to join them to go to the Concours Hippique this afternoon but it is at Sauveniere which is two miles away and we are going on a long picnic tomorrow with the Lawrences and then probably to the ball in the evening so I didn't go.
Monday July 26th 1920.
Daddie and I went over to Heusy to the Lawrences by the 9 o'c train on Saturday morning; unfortunately it was pouring with rain and the Lawrences weren't sure whether we should come because some other people had given it up because of the weather but we decided to go all the same and blow the rain. A nice Scotch boy, Mr Holmes, who is over here to learn French came with us. We were going to the Gileppe which is a very fine dam across a lake not far from Dolhain. We went down to Vervier [ Verviers ] station in a tram and met Mr Lawrence there, we thought we had missed the train but we had 10 minutes to wait! it was a slow train going to Germany and we got into a German carriage the stuffiest thing I have ever been in and puffed along to Dolhain which is only two stations away. Dolhain is a small town on the main road into Germany the way the Germans came in and it got rather badly treated, there were a good many ruined houses dotted about the place which had been destroyed by the Germans.
[At] Dolhain we got onto the most amusing little light railway I have ever seen, the engine was like a small edition of an ordinary engine only cased in till it looked like a kind of square but the carriages were very high and we went puffing through the street blowing a whistle which made more noise than 10 express trains! We got down at a place about a mile from the Gileppe and walked there along a most lovely road surrounded by woods. The Gillepe [ Gileppe ]Link opens in a new window itself is a huge barrier across a beautiful winding lake surrounded by hills and woods and on top of the barrier is a perfectly gigantic lion whose nose alone, they say, is 6 feet long.
There is a little café close by and we got beer and citronade there and eat our luncheon on a table outside, in the middle it started to pelt so we had to finish indoors. After luncheon we walked back to the main road and then as the light railway didn't go till 3.42 and was timed to miss our train by 2 minutes we started to walk towards Dolhain; when we were nearly there Monsieur Centenen and one of his partners came along in their motor and very kindly motored Mrs Lawrence and me all the way back; it was a most interesting drive through a very pretty valley and along the main high road by which the Germans came into Belgium. The others didn't get back till some time after us because they had to wait for the train. We had tea with the Lawrences and then caught the 6 o'c tram (which went at 6.30) home. It was most lovely evening and a beautiful drive home.
Tuesday July 27th 1920.
We went to the ball that evening and it was great fun; it was given in the big concert room of the Casino and an officer told me there were supposed to be 1,000 people there, it was a very pretty sight and the dresses were awfully pretty but they didn't dance as well as an English lot and the girls weren't as pretty as English girls. There were very few English people there – only about 3 others besides Miss Larpent, Mr and Mrs Brailsford, Mr Koop and Mummy and I.
Wednesday 28th 1920.
I had one dance with a nice Belgian officer to whom I had to talk French! I was glad not to have to dance any more because I really only wanted to watch it. There were excessively good refreshments of which we partook largely. They also had two English exhibition dancers who was staying here dancing; They did an Apache danceLink opens in a new window in semi-darkness, it was most lurid. We got home about 1.30. Poor Daddie couldn't go because he brought no evening clothes with him. I am very glad to have been, it was a very pretty sight and an interesting thing to see.
We went to Church on Sunday morning and again in the evening.
I had a long letter from Peggy on Monday. Rowland is back from Switzerland and has had a splendid time. Poor Mrs Leigh was suddenly taken ill the other day and had to have an operation at once but is better now. "Uncle Duddy"Link opens in a new window has lost a lot of money and has got to shut up Stoneleigh, poor things! I'm awfully sorry for them, they will feel it so much. She also said some other things and altogether her news was somewhat depressing.
I also had a post-card from Alice thanking me for my letter and saying she was just off for the week-end and would write when she came back.
Thursday July 29th 1920.
It poured on Monday morning so Mademoiselle Reussens and I did a puzzle and talked French when our brains would permit of it.
Mummy and Mrs Idie went over to Verviers to see Mrs Lawrence.
Daddie and I went for a little walk after tea and I also went to the tailor Noël to be tried on; he is making me a beautiful coat and coat and skirt.
On Tuesday I went for a walk with Mademoiselle Reussens and Miss Larpent, Mr and Mrs Brailsford and I went over to Verviers by the 11 o'c tram to spend the day with the Lawrences who were so kind. We were very wild in the train going over and more or less wild there and excessively merry. We all went down into Verviers after luncheon and explored the town; it is a big place and the shops are much bigger and more solid looking than these and I don’t think the prices were quite so bad. We got back to the Lawrence's house in time for tea, after tea we said we must catch the 6 o'c tram home, then we said we would wait for the 6.30 then it started to pour so we said we would go by the 7 o'c one by which time of course it was pouring worse than ever however we sallied forth to catch the tram which was 1/2 an hour late so we were like drowned rats by the time it arrived but the Lawrences very kindly lent us macks. We were extremely merry in the tram coming home and I don't know what the Belgians can have thought of us. We didn't get home till 8.30.
Yesterday morning Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a very pretty walk along the top of the hill and got lovely views over the country all round. Mummy and Shortie and I wandered about the town yesterday morning and met Daddie in the course of our wanderings and he and I bought some photographs of the first British troops marching though here. We then met Miss Larpent and subsequently Mr Brailsford I slumbered most of the afternoon and we went to tea with the Brailsfords who had an "at home" in which most of the Moores, Miss Larpent, Mrs Saunders and Miss Saunders and we took part. After tea Mummy, Daddie and I went for a most lovely walk to a place they call the "Promenade des Artists [ Artistes ]".
I had a long letter from Vallie from South Africa this morning; it was a typewritten letter and Vallie's typewriting is as delightfully vague as she is herself, there were stray letters wandering about all over the place and the spelling and punctuation are quite wonderful. She has got her house built and seems very pleased with it and the other lady has arrived but there is a bad drought on and they can do nothing in the way of farming till it stops. I also had a very nice note from Sir Reginald Tower from Dantzig [ Danzig ] and a complete set of German postage stamps up to 5 marks surcharged "Danzig" which is very exciting.
We were motoring up to Sauveniere with the Moores this morning to play tennis but it was raining hard after breakfast so Daddie went off out, however it stopped raining soon after and the Moores appeared so I went up with them, it was a great pity Daddie got left behind, Mr Brailsford came too and we had some very good games.
Mrs Lawrence came to luncheon and went on with us to Mrs Ellerman's "At Home". Just as we were starting a Mr Carey appeared to call and turned out to be the son of our beloved Mrs Carey at Bath so there was great excitment; he is married to the sister of the Burgomestre's wife and is a charming person. We had tea here and then went on to the "At Home where we had another tea! Parts of the Moore family were there and Mr and Mrs Brailsford and Miss Saunders and a Mrs Wilde and several very nice Belgians it was great fun.
Yesterday was the 36th anniversary of Mrs Idie's coming to Mummy and it was here that she came to her so it was most appropriate that we should celebrate it here.
Saturday July 31st 1920.
I had a lovely letter from Alice yesterday. I do love getting her letters, they are so interesting and amusing at the same time, like she is.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a walk yesterday morning and then I went and had a mineral bath.
Miss Larpent came to luncheon and was very nice and amusing.
I wrote a long letter to Alice in the afternoon but couldn't get in nearly everything because we were going out to tea and we were violently late as it was. We went to tea with Monsieur and Madame Haymal [ Hayemal ]; he is the banquier and a most amusing (unintentionally) old gentleman. There was also a son there and an excessively nice daughter who is engaged to an Englishman. I had to talk flowery French for two hours but I think I got on all right though they did look rather startled at times poor things.
We went on to the choir practise for which I was very late but they went on for well over half an hour after I arrived.
I had a killing letter from Kathleen this morning; they are at DinanLink opens in a new window and she say they had a fearfully rough crossing, her description of it was enough to give one hysterics.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a very pretty walk this morning.
The Brailsfords and I were getting up a party for an all day picnic today but the weather was so unsettled that we decided not to have it.
Wednesday August 4th 1920.
Six years today since the Germans came marching through here! The world looks very black today but almost anything is better than war.
I went over to the Lawrences for the night on Sunday because it was the fête day of Heusy the town on the outskirts of Verviers and they thought I would like to see the religious procession which takes place in the morning, Daddie took me over but did not stay. The procession was a very pretty and a very interesting sight; the windows of the houses had statues in them and flowers and lighted candles and the roads were strewn with flowers. The procession itself consisted of a band, then little children in white carrying banners with figures on them and a scroll on which was written "laissez venir à Moi les petites enfants"; then came choristers some in scarlet and some in blue then a statue of the Lord as a boy, then more people and a statue of the Virgin dressed in red velvet and with a crown and lace veil, then choristers singing and ringing bells and swinging censers and then the priest in vestments and with a canopy held over him and carrying the sacrament at the passing of which a good many of the people knelt down.
The three Miss Lawrences (one is married and in Australia) have come home two from England and one from Paris. They are all very nice indeed.
We went to watch some gymnastics in the afternoon; it was an excessively funny sight, they were all got up in the most gaudy and wonderful costumes and had a very vague idea of what they were to do or rather each one did the exercise on his own and the tout ensemble was not a harmonious one in consequence.
Two nice Frenchmen came to tea and after tea we went for quite a long walk.
Two Miss Lawrences came over with me on Monday and came to luncheon here. The Lawrences were awfully kind and I enjoyed being there very much. After luncheon we took them to the Musée des Beaux-Arts where they have got some quite good modern pictures; then we walked up the hill to Annette et Lubin to look at the view, then we came back and had tea and then went to the thé dansant which they have every afternoon at the casino. The Hymals had asked me to go with them that day but we hadn't arranged about meeting or anything so we thought it would be better to go and see what was happening. We met them there also Phyllis and her friend and Mr Brailsford. There wasn't very much dancing, it mostly consisted of people sitting about having tea but Miss Marjorie Moss and Monsieur Fontana did some very pretty exhibition dances which the Miss Lawrences enjoyed very much.
I went for a short walk with Mademoiselle Reussens yesterday.
Miss Larpent, Mr and Mrs Brailsford, Phyllis and her friend and I and Phyllise's [ Phyllis’s ] dog went for a grand picnic to the valley of La Hoëgne yesterday taking our luncheon with us. We left here by train at 11.15 and went to the Hockai and then walked through the Valley of La Hoëgne to Sart. It is a most lovely thickly wooded valley between the hills and with a wild little stream running through it. It reminded me in some ways of the Glen in Devonshire and also of the glen at Moniack but although it had many things in common with them it wasn't really like either of them but had quite a distinct character of it's own. One longed to stay there all day and paddle in the stream and lazily roam about at ones will. We consumed our picnic luncheon sitting on huge boulders in the middle of the stream and reached Sart on the top of the hills soon after 3 o’c feeling just a little bit weak and weary. There was a glorious view over the miles of hills and pine woods and Spa in the distance and the valley lying at one's feet.
At Sart we found Mrs Moore and Miss Cockburn and Phyllise's American nanny and their motor and Mrs Moore gave us some most refreshing cooling drinks before we (Miss Larpent, Mr and Mrs Brailsford and I) caught our train back to Spa. They came back to tea here.
We went across to Madame Sody in the evening to see some hats she had got on approval for us; they were very pretty indeed and we had four, one wedgewood blue georgette bound with black and trimmed with bluch ripping, one deep cream and blue turned up all round; one white plush (sounds awfully but is very pretty) and one is being copied in brown velvet to go with my new brown frock. They are marvellously cheap, all under a £1 with the rate of exchange.
Shortie, Mademoiselle Reussens and I went for a walk along the Promenade des Artists [ Artistes ] this morning. It is a very pretty wood with a stream running through it. On the way back we passed behind Mrs Ellerman's house and I called Pat (the dog) and Miss Larpent heard me and asked us to come in so we went in and saw them and came away with a lovely bunch of sweet peas. After which I went and had a mineral bath.
I had a very amusing and long and delightful letter from Anne B this morning and one from Esther and another from Betty, they go up to Scotland for the Northern Meeting at the beginning of September. I have written a long letter to Aunt Vallie.
Friday August 6th 1920.
Daddie, Shortie and I went by tram up to Balmoral after tea on Wednesday and down through the woods to Lac Warfaz [ Warfaaz ]Link opens in a new window and so home. Warfaz is a pretty artificial lake at the side of one of the wooded hills. It was a gloriously lovely evening.
Yesterday morning Mademoiselle Reussens and I walked up to the Villa Neubois where the Kaiser lived and where his dug-out is.
Mrs Lawrence and Dorothy came to luncheon and I went with them to Mrs Moore's "at home" where we met all the usual people and had a very nice time. Daddie came up after tea to fetch me. The idea of getting up and acting a play suddenly occurred to them in the middle of tea and there is wild excitement about it but I don't know if it will come off.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I discovered a lovely walk through the woods in the direction of Balmoral this morning.
Shortie and I went to Madame Sody at 11 o'c and she tried on my brown afternoon frock and the black evening one; they are so pretty, the brown is a fine stuff rather like thin serge and with an accordian pleated skirt and a jade green georgette vest in front tucked and with little frills. The black is in satin charmeuse at the with mother-o'-pearl trimming at the neck and sleeves and an accordian pleated overskirt of black tulle and a tulle waistband with a long loose bow at the side.
Daddie is rather depressed because the Government of India have put stokes in the wheel of his Everest scheme which is a great pity.
Monday August 9th 1920.
Mrs Carey came to tea on Friday, she is Belgian but speaks perfect English, she is pretty and excessively amusing.
I went to the choir practise after tea, there was chaos at the beginning because the key of the organ was lost and it is singularly difficult to hold a choir practise without an organ however in the end we prised it open and then for some length of time sang hymns which we did not have on Sunday.
I can't remember what happened on Saturday morning except that I went for a walk with Mademoiselle Reussens and we paid an unsuccessful visit to Monsieur Noël.
We took Mrs Short and Mrs Idie to the thé dansant at the Casino after tea and saw Miss Marjorie Moss and Monsieur FontanaLink opens in a new window dance, they do dance well.
Shortie and I went to the Holy Communion at 8 o'c yesterday morning. We went to church at 11 o'c; there were 35 people there which is a great deal. Daddie and I went for a beautiful walk in the afternoon, we went right through the Promenade des Artistes which, as I think I have remarked before, consists of woods and a stream, we came out on the Rue de Sauvenière and then came down over a moorland covered with heather where we got splendid views right over the hill and of Spa lying in the valley.
We (Shortie, Idie and I) went to Church in the evening and Mrs Brailsford and I composed the choir. I walked up with the Brailsfords to see Mrs Ellerman after the service.
I had a charming note from Alice yesterday saying she was longing to write to me but hadn't had a moment as there was so much to do being the only daughter at home. I sent her a note by return of post saying not to worry about not writing as far as I was concerned. I also had a long letter from Peggy with almost more than the usual collection of bomb shells in it. She is paying numerous visits at present with either Mariella or Julie and Katie before they go off the former to South Africa and the two latter to America. Mrs Leigh and Rowly are going to France for two or three months in October, Mr Leigh is going to stay with "Aunt Daisy" in London and Peggy is thinking of going as a "lady probationer" to the Westminster HospitalLink opens in a new window because she says she can't face another season with all her best friends away.
I have written to Mary, Anne (the real Anne) and Pompey in the last day or two.
Tuesday August 10th 1920.
Mademoiselle Ruessens [ Reussens ] and I went and sat in the Park yesterday morning because it was very hot. We also went to Noël, he has finished my coat and coat and skirt and they are so nice; the coat is dark brown velour de laine and a very pretty shape; the coat and skirt is of the freize which we brought from London and beautifully cut.
The inauguration of the golf club up at Malchamps about 3 miles from here took place yesterday afternoon and we went up there in a char-a-banc. It is a lovely place high up on the hills with a wonderful view – they say as far as Aix-la-Chappelle [ Aix-la-Chapelle ]. Miss Marjory Moss and Co were in the same char-a-banc as us! and she fed us on sweets and we talked to her quite a lot and she was awfully nice!! All the English people were up there and there was a jolly good Scotch "pro" who gave an exhibition. On the way down the char-a-banc stopped at Tir aux Pigeons at Sauvenière and we went and saw them shooting for the Burgomestre's prize and incidentally saw Mr Carey.
Shortie, Idie and I went out after tea to get one or two things and look for a kind of knock-about straw hat for me which article apparently doesn't exist in this town. Mrs Idie had an awful habit of dashing into hat shops saying "Madame, chapeau?" and then expecting me to carry on an intelligent and fluent conversation in French and extract them elegantly when we couldn't find what we wanted! We finally found a very nice stone coloured straw hat which we bought and placed a dark blue ribbon there-on and it really looks quite nice.
Daddie and I have been for a picnic to the valley of La Hoëgne with the Miss Lawrences today. We met them in the 11 o'c train and went to Hockai in it and then walked down to the valley, at the beginning of the valley it began to rain so we took shelter under some pine trees and eat untold quantities of food after which it stopped raining.
We got a lovely misty view over endless pine woods and hills beyond which was Germany and the direction of the Rhine. We walked through the valley and then instead of turning up to go to Sart station went straight on and passed a boy scout encampment in a green field surrounded by pine trees which looked extraordinarily like what I imagine Switzerland to be. After a while we got onto a high road which we trudged along for miles and miles and miles - or so it seemed to me - till we reached the hotel at Sart-Tiége [ Tiège ] where we eagerly consumed "café cramique", cramique being common or garden currant bread. Altogether we walked 8 miles through lovely country. The Miss Lawrences went back by train to Verviers and we came back here by the same means.
Mummy, Mrs Idie and Shortie have gone over to Verviers to see Mrs Lawrence and haven't come back yet (7.30).
I had a delightful letter from Alice this morning enclosing some very interesting articles on Bolshevism by Bertrand RussellLink opens in a new window; he has seen the working of Communism in Russia and he tells of a good many of its faults and also of the good things it has done. He says the peasants prefer Tsarism but are on the whole sublimely indifferent except when their food is taken from them and they are given paper money for it. They know very little or nothing about the blockade and the possibility of war or invasion and neither do they care.
All the world is watching with bated breath the war between Russia and PolandLink opens in a new window and wondering despairingly whether other nations (including ourselves) will be involved in it. Poland went to war with Russia several months ago (apparently because if they didn't attack Russia, Russia would attack them), now the Russians are nearly in Warsaw - in fact they may be in by now. The Spa Conference sent a note to Russia lying down as a condition of peace that they should conclude an Armistice with Poland, allow her to retire within her ethnographical frontiers and not try to impose a Soviet form of government on her. Since then a conference between Russia and the Allies has been suggested, endless notes have been passed but nothing has been done. Polish delegates went to negociate for an armistice with the Russians said they must be empowered to make the groundwork of the peace terms and they hadn't got that power so nothing happened. The questions - or some of them - are: is Russia genuine in her desire for peace or does she want to conquer Poland? Has Poland done all she can for peace? Have the Allies done all they can? If the worst comes to the worst must we go to war on account of 1. independence of small nations. 2. the menace to Europe if Poland became Bolshevik and part of Russia? The Labour party is showing great signs of animation and condemning the idea of war.
Friday August 13th 1920.
As far as I can remember I went for a walk with Mademoiselle Reussens on Wednesday morning. I finished an interminable letter to Alice in the afternoon. Miss Potter and Mrs Stanhope who have come over here and are staying at the Luehen came to tea; it was the Brailsford's "at home" day so I went to them, afterwards Miss Larpent and I went to the Church and were met there by Shortie who pumped the organ while Miss Larpent practised.
Yesterday morning I went for a walk with Mademoiselle and then Daddie and I went up to the Villa NeuboisLink opens in a new window to see the Kaiser's dug out there, it was most interesting, there were iron doors 4 or 5 inches thick and weighing over 4,000 pounds and a nice little room made of concrete with immensely thick walls and ceiling and electric lighting and heating and electric fans and the remains of a telephone which went right through to G.H.Q in Berlin. It is strange to think how much history must have been made there; Hindenburg was at another château a short distance away.
Mrs Lawrence came to luncheon. We went to tea with the baranne Crawhey (wife of the Bourgomestre and her sister Mrs Carey, Mr Carey was there too and a Comte and Comtesse Van der Buch.
We have just heard that dear old Mrs Ellerman passed away at 6 o'c this evening. It must have been terribly sudden because we were all there yesterday and she was seeing people; she had had angina and it must have been a sudden heart attack. I am so sorry for poor Miss Larpent, I don't think she can have been there in time because Phyllis and I met her and were talking with her at a few minutes before six. Poor thing! she is such a dear and so gentle and kind. Everyone loved Mrs Ellerman.
Saturday August 14th 1920.
Yesterday morning I went for a long walk in the woods with Mademoiselle Reussens and wrote to Peggy and slept in the afternoon. Miss Potter and Mrs Stanhope and Phyllis came to tea and after tea Phyllis and I went for a walk and crawled under barbed wire fences and carried on an animated conversation with a nice old horse who, however, insisted on following us which was a trifle tiresome. We went to the choir practise at 6 o'c; the choir consisted of us and Mr and Mrs Brailsford.
Mr Brailsford came in after dinner and told us about Mrs Ellerman; we have heard since that she did not die till nearly seven and Miss Larpent was there which is a blessing. She had been suffering a great deal with angina and she knew she was very ill. It is far better for her but I am so sorry for poor Miss Larpent. Everyone is very much upset about it.
Mademoiselle and I went for a walk this morning and then Shortie and I went across to Madame Sody to decide several things. Mr Lawrence and Majorie [ Marjorie ] and Dorothy Lawrence came to luncheon to go with us to seem some tank racesLink opens in a new window they were having at Sauvéniere [ Sauvenière ]; we were going up in the char-a-banc so we went down to get it at 2 o'c; there was a crowd of people waiting and in the booking office they told us they had got 80 people booked but if we liked to wait till 5 o'c we might get in! so we took a carriage up. It was quite amusing; they had French tanks of the Renault typeLink opens in a new window and English of the "Mark V" classLink opens in a new window and they were driven by English, Americans, French and Belgians. They didn't actually have races but the point was who got round the course and over the obstacles, rough ground, ditches etc in the shortest time. They went extraordinarily fast considering their apparent unweildyness and they can turn right round on their own axis. I don't know who won because we came away before the end.
I wrote to Anne B today.
Wednesday August 18th 1920.
We went to Church on Sunday morning and Mr Lawrence came to luncheon, he had come over to see Miss Larpent and taken two hours getting over because it was a great fête day and the trams were so full and stopped so long everywhere.
There was a battle of flowers in afternoon which Daddie and I went to see, it was an hour late arriving which didn't seem to worry the people who amused themselves by throwing long paper ribbons which they call serpentier or words to that effect, the whole place was covered with them and it was very funny to see a very fat and still more pompous gendarme marching along with a long green ribbon flowing from his arm and sublimely unconscious of the fact! The actual show consisted of a procession of carriages covered with flowers and was very pretty indeed; there were also several French tanks all covered with flowers and one of the big English ones with a fair damsel as Brittania [ Britannia ] on top when it got opposite us it stopped and suddenly flames began to issue forth all over the top and very near Brittania who alighted with some haste but was very calm; a very grubby tommy appeared from the depths and proceeded with a perfectly immovable face to put it out with a squirt to the cheers of the populace. We had some difficulty in getting home because there were such crowds everywhere.
There was a service for Mrs Ellerman in the evening. The coffin was in the Church with a big black pall over it and covered with beautiful flowers. There were a great many Belgians there; it was a beautiful service and Mr Brailsford gave such a nice address. At the door of the Church after the service I found poor Majorie [ Marjorie ] Lawrence who was in a great state having only just arrived and having taken from 4.15 till 6.30 to get over; Mrs Lawrence and Dorothy came over too but they didn't dare get off the tram in case they couldn't get one to go back. Majorie found Mr Lawrence and he and she just managed to get standing room squeezed like sardines on a tram; Mrs Lawrence's tram passed us while we were seeing them off, she was so unhappy poor thing! I saw Miss Larpent afterwards in the Church, she is wonderful and so kind and gentle, I think she is dazed by the shock.
Mademoiselle couldn't come on Monday morning. I went to see Miss Larpent for a little bit and then went down to the swimming bathsLink opens in a new window where I was to have met Phyllis and Mrs Brailsford but Phyllis had a bad throat (and has subsequently been in bed with it) and Mrs Brailsford didn't appear so I bathed alone. They are very good baths and extraordinarily cheap – only 25 centimes. I snoozed and wrote to Aunt Lil in the afternoon. Mrs Stanhope and Miss Potter came to tea and Mummy and Daddie went out with them after tea. I went up to see Miss Larpent, she was so gentle and dear; I realized before that she was very charming but did not realize what a really beautiful character she has.
We met Mr and Mrs Brailsford as we went in and Shortie stood talking to them till I came out so we all walked down together.
We went to a "grand soirée de gala" at the casino for which we had been sent tickets. They first had a very amusing little comic opera in one act called "La Noces de Jeynette [ Jeanette ]"Link opens in a new window and then a ball. Miss Majorie [ Marjorie ] Moss and M. Fontana danced beautifully. They distributed masses of souvenirs including packets of that paper ribbon, by the end of the evening the floor was inches thick in it and everyone was covered with it. We left soon after 12 o'c.
Thursday August 19th 1920.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went out for a walk on Tuesday morning; we went up to fetch Pat (Miss Larpent's dog) to take him for a walk but he refused to go with us so that ended in failure!
The Brailsfords, Shortie and I went up to Sauveniere by the 12 o'c char-à-banc taking our luncheon with us; we had luncheon up there and played about and found four leaved clover and then played tennis; Mr Brailsford beat Mrs Brailsford and me every time which was rather depressing but Daddie came up soon after 2.30 and then we had some very good games. We walked down about a quarter to six and I went in to see dear Miss Larpent on the way home. She had been having a most tiring and worrying day with lawyers and things like that and I think she was tired out; she asked me to wait while she finished two letters and to take them to the post for her, the dressmaker came while she was finishing them and kept her for some time. She was charming to me. As we were going out of the gate we met Mummy coming up, she went to see Miss Larpent and was able to help her a great deal by going to see a lady who has a telephone to Antwerp and getting her to telephone to ask a cousin of Miss Larpent's to come over here and take her to Antwerp today for the funeral. None of her relations who are coming have been able to get here yet because of the difficulty of passports.
There was a communion service at the Church yesterday morning at 11 o'c with special intention for Mrs Ellerman; Mummy and I went, Miss Larpent, the Brailsfords and Madame Duvivier (who is English and has just come back from England) were there. We all walked part of the way back with Miss Larpent. Mummy and Mr Brailsford went to the Laeken and telephoned to the lady who was going to telephone to Antwerp and said it was quite alright and the cousin was coming.
Friday August 20th 1920.
We went for a glorious motor drive with Mrs Moore and Miss Cockburn on Wednesday afternoon. We went straight up the rue du Francorchamps, past Sauveniére [ Sauvenière ] and Malchamps, then down the hill through Francorchamps and across what used to be the German frontier, then along a road which wound up the side of hills all covered with heather and pine trees and with lovely views of hills in the distance and then down on the other side into MalmedyLink opens in a new window which used to be German but was given to Belgium by the treaty of peace. It was extraordinary how different the country was as soon as one crossed the frontier, the whole atmosphere seemed different, the country itself looked different, the houses were different, the roads had long lines of fruit and rowan trees beside them and the cows were brown instead of black, Malmedy is an extraordinary mixture of languages, half the notices and the writing in the shops is in French and the other half in German but I suppose it has always been like that because there have always been a good many Belgians living there. We went on from Malmedy to Ligneuville a fishing village about 5 miles further on; most of the people were German; we went into a little kind of post office and bought some post-cards and some Belgian stamps surcharged "Malmedy" from a German then we went and looked at the Church - an extraordinary mixture of "new art" and the usual coloured statues. We had a tea of delicious coffee and masses of honey and butter at the Hôtel Dumoulin [ Du Moulin ] and then motored home through a most lovely evening.
Miss Larpent said perhaps she would come down and have supper with us but her cousin arrived from Antwerp so she didn't come. The Brailsford told us yesterday that he was such a nice boy and quite cheered her up and took such care of her and they got off to Antwerp quite alright yesterday morning for the funeral.
I did nothing particular yesterday morning or afternoon; we went up to the Moores "at home"; most of the usual people were there and several new ones. I like Madame Duvivier very much.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went out for a walk this morning. We went up to the Villetta des Bruyéres (where Miss Larpent lives) to see Pat but he had gone off for a walk on his own so we went for a walk in the direction of Sous bois.
Phyllis came to tea and also a Mrs Wills (one of the tobacco WillsLink opens in a new window) and her married daughter. They are staying at the Brittanique [ Britannique ] and are very nice. Phyllis and I went to the choir practise.
I had a long letter from Alice this morning and a very nice one too. She hasn't been very well poor dear! She goes to Holland to stay with her sister either the end of this week or the beginning of next. I had a hasty and amusing letter from Lilly from Holland the other day, they went home yesterday.
Sunday August 22nd 1920.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I went to to Miss Larpent's yesterday morning and saw her; her cousin, Lady Palmer, has arrived which I am very glad of.
I went to meet the Moores in the Park at 11 o'c to take part in a conference about a fête foraine (gypsy fête) which they had asked me to sell with Phyllis at; we were told we were to be waitresses at the tea place and we returned to the fray at 2 o'c; it was held in the glass gallery in the Park which was a good thing because it was freezing cold and we had to wear white. They had the usual kind of stalls and numerous side-shows including gaming tables, a circus, a fortune teller and a characerturist. Nothing much happened at our part till 4 o'c but after that there was a wild rush, we alternated between the gallery and an upper room where there was dancing going on. I managed to break 1 teapot lid; found 1 purse full of money; upset 1 jug of milk and several cups of chocolate. Mrs Moore and Miss Cockburn came down in the course of the afternoon and very kindly gave us all tea in the dancing room and also gave Phyllis and I some money to gamble with, Phyllis won once but I lost all mine. We left about 6 o'c.
Tuesday August 24th 1920.
We went to Church on Sunday morning; it simply poured in the morning but cleared up in the afternoon. Daddie and I went to see Miss Larpent, she was awfully nice; we also saw Lady Palmer who is very nice.
Mummy, Daddie and I went to tea with Mrs Wills and Mrs Grinnell (her daughter) at the Brittanique [ Britannique ]; there was a nice Sir Digby Lawson, who is in the army of occupation at Cologne, there and also another very nice officer who had been in Poland a good deal in the war and was fearfully interesting about it, he says the Poles are rather a rotten lazy people.
I went to Church in the evening and sang in the choir with Mrs Brailsford. Miss Larpent was there and I walked a little way up the hill with her after the service.
It poured yesterday morning so I didn't go out with Mademoiselle but Mummy and I went to Noël and ordered a lovely suit for me; it is going to be made of a kind of soft sapphire blue velour de laine trimmed with imatation sealskin. I think it will be ripping.
It cleared up a little bit in the afternoon and Daddie and I went for a walk.
Mrs Stanhope and Miss Potter, Madame Hayemal and Mademoiselle Hayemal and Phyllis came to tea. The Hayemals are very nice people indeed. Phyllis and I went for a walk after tea and were somewhat wild; I patted the horse in a baker's cart and he promptly proceeded to follow us, cart and all! we managed to stop him with some difficulty. We came back here and I lent Phyllis some foot wear because her own were sopping; we found the tea party still going on, with the exception of Daddie who had fled, but it dispersed rather hastily when we got back.
I had a post-card from Alice this morning saying she crossed to the Hague vîa the Hook last night. I also had a letter from Daisy from the Hague, they seem to have had a most splendid time in Holland and to have been all over the place.
I went out blackberrying with Phyllis and her American nanny this morning; we went up the hill behind them through beautiful woods and found masses and masses of huge blackberries. Apparently the Belgians don't like them and scarcely use them at all. Daddie came to fetch me home and we were very late getting back and kept him waiting ages and were very late for luncheon.
I slept and wrote to Lilly this afternoon.
We went to tea with Mrs Zunz who has a villa called Ivy Lodge on the Avenue de Barisart. Mrs Stanhope and Miss Potter went with us; the Brailsfords and the Moores were there and also a nice Belgian lady and it was very nice indeed. Phyllis and I went for a long walk afterwards; we went up behind the villa and then landed on the Rue de la Geronstere and went on and round by the promenade des Artistes all of which will leave you perfectly cold but it really was a very long walk!
The Poles have started an offensive against the Reds who according to all accounts are in head long flight and being taken prisoners by the thousand. I hope to goodness there will be peace soon and peace with Russia.
Saturday August 28th 1920.
Mummy, Mrs Short and Mrs Idie went to Léige [ Liège ] for the day on Wednesday to look at the shops and buy various things they wanted cooking and heating stoves amongst others.
I went out with Mademoiselle Reussens in the morning. Sir John and Lady Hale came to call in the afternoon; they were staying at the Brittanique [ Britannique ] but have left now. He commanded the Irish Guards at the end of the war.
Daddie and I went up to see Miss Larpent and stayed to tea, she was charming and I like Lady Palmer very much. We had a very merry tea.
The Léigeoise [ Liégeoise ] returned about 7 o’c leaving enjoyed their day very much and in raptures over the Léige [ Liège ] shops and the Museum.
What on earth did I do on Thursday? Oh yes! went for a walk with Mademoiselle Reussens and then went to the swimming baths and then with Mummy to a hat shop. Snoozed in the afternoon and then went to Monsieur Noël to have my blue coat and skirt which is going to be ripping tried on. Met Miss Larpent and Lady Palmer going out to tea and then to meet the latter's two boys who were coming from France. Great excitment in the town because the Queen came through on her way to Le Neubois where she was going to stay for the VieuxtempsLink opens in a new window Centenary at Verviers. We thought she had gone when we came out of Monsieur Noël's, then found she hadn't, so tore wildly up to the Park but were just too late which was a great pity. She walked through the town with the Bourgomestre and went to the PouhonLink opens in a new window and the baths and the Park which pleased everyone very much.
Madame Duvivier came to tea with us. I went out shopping with Shortie and Mrs Idie after tea. Some prices are quite enormous here, they wanted 40 francs to re-cover an umbrella.
Yesterday morning as usual I went out with Mademoiselle Reussens on the way home we met a poor woman with a big bouquet of flowers who asked us where the Queen was. I suppose she was going to take the flowers to her, it was rather nice.
I spent a large part of the morning at Madame Sody's. She has made me a very pretty powder blue cloth frock piped with black and white.
Sunday August 29th 1920.
We were going to tea with the Hayemals on Friday afternoon to meet Mrs Stanhope and Miss Potter and Miss "Billy" Moss (Miss Marjorie Moss'es sister) but Mrs Stanhope and Miss Potter got there before us and they met us coming away and told us that the poor Hayemals had heard that their son-in-law in Léige [ Liège ] was very ill so they had torn off there and there would be no tea party so we all went and had tea at a Swiss chälet in the ParkLink opens in a new window and then I went and collected Shortie who was having tea with some Belgian friends (they speak English!) and went up to see Miss Larpent, it was a lovely evening and we sat out in the garden and it was awfully nice.
It was too wet yesterday morning to go out with Mademoiselle Reussens. It was a horrid day and I spent most of it busily engaged in doing nothing. Two ladies came to see us in the afternoon and Miss Potter and Mrs Stanhope came to tea and we went out with them afterwards; then we went to see Madame Sody and I tried on a charming white georgette evening frock with blue ribbons at the waist which she had made for me.
We leave here at the break of day on Wednesday and I am beginning to realize with great vigour the fact that I shall be very sorry to go. When we first came I was rather homesick for England and the difference of everything here and the different language got on my nerves but now I have been seized with the fascination of being abroad and the interestingness of it all and it will be quite dull to be back again where everyone talks the same language; it is such fun being able to talk a language which other people can't understand and I'm beginning to get quite inordinately proud of being able to talk English!
I am sorry to say the English as a whole are not at all popular here, they think it is the fault of our government that the rate of exchange is so high against them (it has gone up to 48 francs to the £ now) and they think we want to take their coast line and that we ought to have got them the Sheldt [ Scheldt ]Link opens in a new window in the Treaty of Peace (which we ought) as it is the Sheldt which is the approach to practically their largest port - AntwerpLink opens in a new window - belongs to the Dutch and I believe they have to pay enormous duties to use it. They have no idea what conditions are like in England and apparently look on us in very much the same way that we look on the Americans. They have no idea what we did for them in the war because in all the occupied areas all through the war they got nothing but German papers which they didn't believe so they had very little idea of what was going on.