This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 19, Dec 1925-Apr 1926; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J19)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Thursday Dec: 17th.
Edith & I went to Mass.
I went to Victoria directly after breakfast to see the other Edith & Miss Deane off to Alassio and then I dashed about London doing Christmas shopping for myself and looking for a rose bowl for Sister and the staff to present to Miss Brodigan for Christmas. I did most of my shopping in Selfridge's bargain basement which I found full of nice and cheap things - the latter a great consideration as I had to give 30 presents this year.
I got back to the Club feeling a grease spot at 3 o'c & rested till tea-time. We had the chair business again after tea only considerably worse because THE Princess & her sister were coming so everything had to be extra special.
Ethel the parlourmaid developed nerves beforehand so Budgett was dressed up as a parlourmaid to wait with her & I believe did it very well.
The hall was packed and they did the play far better than the night before.
Friday Dec: 18th.
I was made to have breakfast in bed to my extreme annoyance. We did various oddments during the morning and then I went off to go and have luncheon with Mary Meade at a Club in Cromwell Road. She was in London for a night or two and I hadn't seen her for nearly six years. She has grown very tall and excessively nice.
Daddie and I went to the wedding of Colonel Norton of the Mt Everest expedition at St George's Hanover Square & to the reception afterwards at the Langham Hotel; there was practically no one we knew there and we didn't stay long.
I hurried back to the Club to help in the preparation for a party we were giving for Miss Brodigan in the evening. Louie, Budgett, Sister & I went out to buy the drinkables & some little odds and ends for prizes and Louie was very shocked because I plunged into a pub to get ginger ale! Rosalind & Maggie came to the party besides all the people in the house except Miss North who we'd skillfully sent out. It was held in Louie's sitting room and we had an enormous meal beginning with scrambled eggs with prawns in them and going on to Melton Mowbray pies & vast masses of cakes, sweets, fruit and nuts. We played writing and guessing games after and laughed & joked a great deal. We arranged that the prize in each competition went to Miss Brodigan and in one she was given both the first prize and the booby prize! It was altogether a very amusing evening.
Saturday Dec: 19th.
Edith & I went to Mass. We & Louie and Naomi spent the morning in getting the lower hall ready for the mixed Club party sit-down supper, a very strenuous business as we were catering for 170.
I was sent off to rest in the afternoon and slept a log like sleep for over two hours.
The people who were waiting at supper came at 5.45 and had their's first and then the rest came at 6.15. Esther & Betty came & stayed the whole evening & were so nice. The supper went off amid much hilarity without a hitch & when it was over we all went upstairs & two professionals did eurhythmics and other dances & Betty & a poor lady from St Martin's with no voice at all sung. Some of the dances were very good but some, in which the dancers were excessively scantily clad, shocked the girls horribly. There was general dancing from about 8 till 11 o'c; everyone was fearfully smart dressed in their party clothes and it was all very amusing.
Sunday Dec: 20th.
Edith, Naomi, Budgett & I had an hilarious breakfast with the hostel. I went to High Mass at Dockhead - a packed Church and beautiful service - and then went on to have luncheon with Anne in Queensbury Place; she was feeling very unwell with what afterwards turned out to be 'flue but we laughed & joked a great deal and she told me that they are now making the engagement public.
I came home by the 3.38 and found Miss Wolff who however had to leave soon after I arrived. I spent a hectic evening getting all my Christmas presents done up.
Monday Dec: 21st.
I went up by the 10.35 and found a general fluster over parties - Edith came in after luncheon having been to take Maggie to the dentist and we all got the lower hall ready for the staff party which began at 4 and ended at 6.30. There were about 15 outsiders besides the servants and the charwomen; they each had a present and an enormous tea and after tea we had charades with me as Miss Brodigan at a rest cure in her cloak & veil, and then general games organized by Edith. As soon as they had gone we got the hall ready for a Companionship Social in the evening. Four ladies came from St Martin's & sang carols very nicely. There was a prolonged and hymn-filled service in the Chapel & the new Curate at Old Bermondsey Church gave rather a good address.
Budgett was turned out of her room for the night and came to sleep in the dormitory as Edith's and my room is called.
Tuesday Dec: 22nd.
Edith & I went to Mass.
It poured all day & we dashed about in the morning returning empty ginger beer bottles & clearing up all sorts of things. Louie and Naomi left about 12.
The Westerham guides sent me a lovely collection of toys and woolie garments & I went to see a Mrs Edwards (not the mother of 17) who had just had a baby, & took her some of the knitted baby things which pleased her very much. Edith & I went into the School & found an entertainment going on in the boys department got up by themselves and the masters; it was unintentionally quite one of the most excruciatingly funny things I have ever seen & we went through the most awful agonies trying to repress our laughter. One small & miserable boy dressed in a large ill-fitting cotton nightgown and armed with a small bugle stood up and recited "Tom, Tom the Piper's Son" in a shrill expressionless voice. Apart from the funniness of it it really was a scandal that it wasn't better done.
Sister, Edith & I wasted a great deal of time after tea playing & singing hymns and carols and then tidied the office in frantic haste. Edith went to supper with Maggie. I picked her up there afterwards and we went to see the 14 year old Club at the Alice Barlow Settlement which is almost entirely composed of Albion St girls. It was the last night of a dressmaking class in which they had been making most frightfully nice coats and frocks.
I wrote letters when we got in and Edith went to look at the guide party. Clara and Horace came in and were delightful.
We discussed the problem of Miss Brodigan at some length as usual.
Wednesday Dec: 23rd.
We spent most of the morning helping Miss Brodigan to sort out her Christmas cards and calenders and decide to whom she should give what.
In the afternoon we both tore round paying visits and leaving toys for various families.
Miss Brodigan, Edith & I went to tea with Dr and Mrs Salter (he is the Labour M.P for Bermondsey & she is on the L.C.C) they were charming, very friendly and most interesting about various political questions and leading lights in the Labour Movement.
Edith and I went over to Whitechapel intending to have a supper party at College Buildings consisting of Miss James, Solly & Henry but most unluckily Mrs Robson who has the key of Edith's room hadn't got her letter & so didn't come in. We made two expeditions to Smith's Buildings an appaling spot where the mother and father of two children who are now at Albion St School live but the women at the door wouldn't give us any information or let us by. We went in another part of the building up rickety outside stairs and along passages lit by flaming gas jets to see another family whom Edith knew. It was a small filthy looking room with a minute window very high up and filled with sad looking dirty children. They did not dare tell us whereabouts the family we were in search of lived so we retired defeated and took Solly & Henry to have supper at a Lyons. I left them about 9 o'c and went back to the Club where I found about 20 girls and was greeted with loud hurrahs and had a very happy evening talking to them.
Edith & I went to Mass.
We went round all the morning leaving Miss Brodigan's cards and parcels for her.
Miss North was ill with 'flue so we helped with the dinners. I went along to Anne's to fetch some gloves I'd left there & then Edith & I went to Bush House to try to get our hair cut but failed; we went on to Smith's and bought books for various people, then to a jewellers where Edith got a brooch for Alice Penny & we got a joint one for Sister. We parted there I went to Mudie's, had my hair trimmed very badly and returned to the Club, tried to tidy things up and collect the oddments I wanted to bring down here, said good bye to the Hostel, had tea with Edith and Sister and left accompanied to the station by Florrie Page and Florrie Miller. I found the family in a great state of agitation because they had thought I was coming down in the morning.
I went to Church at 10 o'c and stayed on for the next service. We had all the most screeching Christmas hymns.
We opened all the presents after luncheon. I had simply masses this year. A very nice fitted writing case from Mummy, two French bracelets from Daddie, a plant from Shortie; Mrs Idie handkerchieves; Uncle Oswald cheque for £10; Aunt Bobs gold chain bag; the children Canton enamel bowl; Uncle Jack & Aunt Madeleine hat orniment; Aunt Alys & Uncle Romer chocolates; Peggy Chinese lacquer match box; Anne R.L.S's "Prayers"; Kathleen book; Daisy handkerchief; Lil China rabbit; Edith bath salts; Mary gloves; Margaret Adam, shopping list; Margaret Maguire diary; Lady Barrington "The Common Reader" by Virginia Woolf; Anna book of Carols; Sir David Prain book; Miss Wolff cheque for £5; Esther agate handled pen holder; Mrs Waldegrave booklet by Evelyn Underhill; Maggie pink leather fur edged mocassins; Sister box of chocolates; Carrie slippers; Beatrice and Ethel nightdress case; Edie scent; Susie box of stationary; James Taylor box of soap & scent (with a delightful note beginning "Dear Miss"); Budgett scent; Miss Brodigan book and Florrie Page & Florrie Miller box of chocolates. I also had heaps of Christmas cards from Club girls.
Miss Brodigan arrived for the week-end in time for tea. We talked after tea and dinner and Daddie showed her mountain photographs. I ate too much Christmas dinner and was extremely unwell all night.
"Ina" had breakfast in bed and after she appeared she & Daddie and I went for a walk along the Pilgrim's Way. Rosalind came to luncheon and was very nice indeed; we took her into the village & showed her the sights and then she bicycled back to Crockham Hill.
"Ina" and Daddie talked mountaineering unceasingly, she has done some very good climbs in the alps and she & Daddie got on like a house on fire.
Sunday Dec: 27th.
"Ina" and I went to Church at 8 o'c and we all went again at 11 o'c, an interminable, very dull service only lit up by carols and a sermon in which the Canon denounced landlords as "blood sucking scoundrels". "Ina" and I set out in the afternoon to walk through Squerryes and down over Crockham Hill to have tea with the Chambers. Rosalind met us half way and took us to the house - a pretty little old farmhouse. Mrs Chambers was there and various other members of the family and the son & daughter-in-law motored us back.
Daddie showed Ina Tibetan things after dinner which seemed to interest her very much.
Monday Dec: 28th.
Ina left by the 10.35. I was really sorry to see her go, she is the easiest person in the world to entertain.
I struggled with terrible masses of letter writing for the rest of the day.
Tuesday Dec: 29th.
Anne Talbot came over from Falconhurst for the day arriving by the 12.2 bus. She was very excited because she and Dick are going on a sea trip round Africa lasting 3 months and she brought the tickets and all the information to show me. Evan is engaged to a girl called Cynthia Long and going to be married on the 11th. Anna left by the 6.12 bus.
I dined at Hosey Rigge with the Culford Garden Liddells who had been lent it for a week and Bridget, Julian and I went to a dance given by the Giffords at Chart's Edge for their nephew and neice. It was quite desperately dull but we managed to get a good deal of amusement out of it amongst ourselves.
Wednesday Dec: 30th.
Mummy & Daddie both went to London. Florrie Page & Florrie Miller came down for the day arriving at 11.11. Florrie Page having previously written to say she hoped we should all three have a very enjoyable time! They brought me a huge box of chocolates and were quite delightful. We talked and looked at photographs before luncheon. At luncheon Florrie P looked at the table and said "my, couldn't you get a lot on these things at the pop shop!" In the afternoon we went for a walk and they talked very illuminatingly about work and their home lives and friends. We came back and Florrie Miller played the piano, then we had tea and talked and they were most amusing. They left by the 7.50 saying they had enjoyed themselves very much and they said afterwards that they sat down and burst into tears when the train left! Certainly no people could be more charming or appreciative to entertain.
Thursday Dec: 31st.
Bridget came in the morning and I walked part of the way up the hill with her. I went to dine there and she & Aunt Mabel and I went to see a most lurid and disconnected wild west film at the local cinema.
Shortie and I went to a midnight Communion Service. It was rather thrilling and unordinary with great shadows in the Church and the feeling of the middle of the night.
Friday Jan: 1st 1926.
I had my birthday presents during the course of the morning. Mummy gave me a cheque for £10, Daddie a fountain pen, Shortie and Mrs Idie a pot of flowers and a silver napkin ring, Mrs Maguire a basket of candied fruits from Cannes; Daisy chocolates; Aunt Mabel cock brooch; Bridget artificial flower; the painting class chocolates; Iris Mann leather case with needles, scissors etc.; and Edie and Susey chocolates.
Aunt Mabel, Uncle Eric and Bridget came to tea, also Admiral Goodenough who came here to dress for the Wolf dinner at which he was the guest of the evening. He is quite delightful.
Saturday Jan: 2nd.
I went to London by Oxted to see Peggy who goes to Cairo for two or three months on the 11th. I went first to the Stores where I changed the pen Daddie had given me for a Waterman and also bought another; then I went and had a look at Harvey Nichols sale but bought nothing, then on to Wolland where I bought a handbag, put the fountain pen in it and sent them to Edith to replace hers which were stolen from our bedroom at the Club. I went on to Peggy in time for luncheon and spent the afternoon with her, she was very tired and I had a fit of dumbness so we were neither of us so intelligent as we might have been.
I suddenly thought I'd have time to go & see Maggie on my way back so I telephoned and she said she'd be there so I went but arrived as I should have been leaving to catch my train, we rang up & found there was a later one but she pressed me to stay the night and in the end I decided to do so. I went along to the Club before supper, saw Ethel who described it tensely as a little corner of hell, then went up to see Sister who had been in bed for nearly a week with 'flue and was being looked after by Lil Shoult who was also running the hostel and apparently most else besides. Aunt North was most aimiable although she'd had a fight with Edith a few days before. She pressed into my hand as a gift for Daddie an Egyptian statue & piece of Mummy cloth which she said had brought her consistant unhappiness for 6 years and she thought he might like to have it!
I went back to Rotherhithe St and Keble came round after supper very full of her new flat. Maggie and I sat up till late discussing the problem of "Ina", and young people, and Edith. She was inordinately proud of her new false teeth and I spent hours trying to get her to take them out for me.
Sunday Jan: 3rd.
We went to Church at St Mary's Rotherhithe. I left soon after 10 o'c teasing Maggie hard & having enjoyed myself very much. I went to the Club, collected one or two things and caught the 11 somthing train home.
We went to tea at Hosey Rigge; Maurice was there not nearly so nice as he used to be.
Monday Jan: 4th.
I went out in the morning & met Mrs Farnworth, she came to tea in the afternoon and afterwards I went to the library; it was very full & fun to be working there again.
Tuesday Jan: 5th.
Louie came over for luncheon very nice indeed and very full of plans and schemes for next term. She wanted me to go back with her for the night but unfortunately I couldn't.
Wednesday Jan: 6th.
I went to London by the 10.35 on my way to stay with the Bowens at Colworth for the Oakley Hunt Ball.
Having had my hair cut and waved I went to luncheon with Peggy.
The train for Sharnbrook left St Pancras at 3.35. Mr Bowen was at the Station with a car and two other people also arrived by the same train, a very pretty and attractive girl, Muriel Gore and a nice man called Burragh
We went in by the back door & up a side stair case because all the other part was full of the caterers getting things ready. The lower part of the house is unfurnished and they are living in a kind of flat on the second floor. We had tea in a very pretty sitting-room which used to be Mummy's bed-room. We talked for a bit after tea and then went to rest.
We had a most amusing dinner with a great deal of joking and laughter and we went down to the dance about 10.30. There were about 250 people - no one I knew except Judy Whitbread. I was introduced to Mr Alston who had been there in my grandfather's time & was very excited when he heard who I was. We danced among ourselves most of the time. Both the Bowens are quite charming & perfect angels in their different ways.
We went upstairs about 2.30 after bacon & eggs and sat in big armchairs in front of the fire talking for another ½ hour & feeling too sleepy to move.
Thursday Jan: 7th.
The housemaid who unpacked for me & called me had lived at the lodge in my grandfather's time, her father had been gardener there for 50 years and she asked after all the family by their Christian name and told me I was very like "Miss Geraldine".
Muriel Gore & I left by a 10.8 train. I having enjoyed it enormously and far more than I expected.
I took my suit case to Charing X [ Cross ] and then walked along Regents Street & Oxford St looking at the Sales & buying a petticoat for 10/- at Marshall.
I went to luncheon at Tilney Street. Uncle Oswald was much better & Aunt Bobs was awfully nice & gave me a very pretty red felt hat and sent me in the car to Anne who was staying with Miss Waldegrave in Duke St. I was only able to stay for a few minutes but she told me briefly the fresh complications & the urgent necessity of Charlie finding a job.
I went to tea with Peggy & we went to look at some frocks at a shop in South Moulton St but all the pretty ones had gone. She was very excited about Cairo and I think it will do her a great deal of good to get right away. I said goodbye to her as she goes off early on Monday morning, and came down here by the 6.34.
I had a sore throat and my voice was almost gone so I went to bed soon after dinner.
Friday Jan: 8th.
I stayed in bed till luncheon time & then read & wrote for the rest of the day and did not go out.
Saturday Jan: 9th.
I went a short way into Squerryes in the morning, then went to see Mrs Farnworth and we walked along the footpath to Brasted.
Daddie and I went to see the W.A.D.S performance of "Grumpy" in the evening; Dr Russell was really wonderful as the crochety old gentleman and the whole things was very funny.
Sunday Jan: 10th.
I went for a walk in the valley by Valence and found several primroses fully out and smelling quite delicious.
The Club re-opens to-morrow and I shall be very glad to have something to do again.
Monday Jan: 11th.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44 and found when I got there that I was the first person to arrive. Edith came about ¾ of an hour later very annoyed & disgruntled at being back at the Club again. We took a sewing machine to be mended & then had luncheon. In the afternoon we went over to Whitechapel to see the sister of a child Edith has put with a foster-mother. She was not at home so we went to see Jessie Macdonald who lives in a filthy dirty, pitch dark little room with packing cases for tables & chairs and a heap of old clothes & rugs to sleep on. We made another unsuccessful attempt to see the Hopkins family and then went to see our Rosie Tree in Guy's Hospital. She has had a mastoid operation and looked very subdued poor little thing.
We got back in time for tea & the Peter Rabbits. Twenty five fourteen year olds came an hour too early & were very wild & noisy when they got in. We had got no one to teach them anything so Edith gave them a talk about the Cottage & then we had an election of officers. They played games & danced later on and we turned them out ¼ an hour early for being so noisy. Louie Hall gave me a bottle of scent & Sarah Wallace asked if she might teach a dramatic class!
We talked to Lizzie, Cissie & Ethel for some time till the Club shut.
Tuesday Jan: 12th.
There was a black fog when we woke so we lay in bed till long after the gong had gone. Only Miss North & Miss Brodigan were back but Louie came in the course of the morning.
We did C.C indexing and then went visiting. I did 10 visits in just over ½ an hour but I'm bound to say that was because most of the people were out.
I did nothing in particular except end a book in the afternoon. Barbara came to tea & was at her best & most fearfully amusing.
I did the register for the first part of the evening, then went upstairs & tried to get people to put down their names to join a handwork class and talked to Maggie.
Wednesday Jan: 13th.
We flew about leaving messages for Sunday School children & Brownies and ordering cakes & writing out lists most of the morning.
Edith & I both had violent headaches by the afternoon & she said she was sure she was getting 'flue so we went for a walk in Southwark Park and ended by hiring a boat & going for a row on the lake; there was a freezing wind blowing & it was bitterly cold but we felt infinitely better by the end.
There was a general flutter at the Club because the Princess was coming to talk to the Brownies on West Africa. Edith was furious saying she disapproved of Royalty & refused to bob to her. Exactly eight Peter Rabbits turned up instead of the usual 20-25 & I was alone with them when she came in so Edith escaped having to bob.
I did the library for the first part of the evening. Florrie Page & Florrie Miller came & talked to me & were very delightful.
After Chapel there was nothing but Bible classes & everyone else was turned out. Louie & I sat in the sitting-room talking & she said she'd never known the Club in a worse or more unfriendly mood than it was that evening.
Thursday Jan: 14th.
Edith & I went soon after 8 o'c to look at a school children's free breakfast place in connection with the South London Mission in Abbey St; there were about 100 there & they were having a mug of cocoa & two thick slabs of German sausage between. They were described in the newspaper appeals as starveing & half clothed but they were the average children one sees in any elementary school. The tickets are sent to the school teachers who distribute them very probably after giving them to the first children they think of. It is very bad for the mother to feel the responsibility is taken away from them & bad for the children to know they are being fed by Charity when it was obviously unnecessary in the case of a great many of them & it is a poor home indeed that cannot provide the usual breakfast of a bit of bread & a cup of tea. The children were all very eager to tell us their names obviously thinking there might be somthing more to be got out of it.
There was a staff meeting after breakfast to decide on the programme for this term. I sewed & did a cross word puzzle all through it.
Edith & I set out west together and parted at Oxford St. I went and had a look at Marshall & Debenham & then went to Knightsbridge. I bought a jumper suit in cinamon stockinette at Eve Valerie, it was marked 3 gns & I found afterwards that they'd charged me 3½ so I've written to point out their error to them.
I went to luncheon with Ruby and Mrs Smith who have taken a house in Sloane St. Ruby was as delightful as before & I was so glad to see her again. Lady Helena Acland-Hood was there & Lady Flora Poore & General Poore (Kathleen's "Cousin Bertie"!) They talked a great deal about Kathleen & Anne. We all went in the afternoon to see the Circus at Olympia. There were 70 lions & wonderful fancy riding & trepeze stunts & trick bicycle riding and women gymnasts doing the most amazing things. I went back to tea with Ruby, there was another girl there called Violet somthing who was staying in the house. We talked after tea about what job we could all three do together in the summer.
I came down by the 6.34 & found everything deep in snow here & Aunt Venetia arrived to stay.
Friday Jan: 15th.
I spent nearly the whole day in altering the jumper suit.
Saturday Jan 16th.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44 for a children's party and found everyone very busy preparing for it when I arrived. I buttered buns and then we got all the tables up and laid. After luncheon we decorated the Christmas tree with some beautiful toys sent by a lady who was also giving the tea. The children came at 4 o'c (or rather were let in then - they came a good deal earlier!) there were 120 of them from the Junior Club, Brownies and Sunday School. They had a huge tea and crackers and then were taken upstairs where a party of amateurs also sent by the lady gave a perfectly excellant entertainment with singing, dancing and acting; the children simply loved it. We went downstairs again and they had the toys off the Christmas tree and were very excited by some of the really beautiful toys they got. They were each given an orange as they left.
Edith & I set out about 6.45 to go & see "Juno & the Paycock". We'd arranged it some time before but when it came to the point Edith simply hated going. We laughed a great deal at her inability to find any excuse for not going. When we got there we found there was only a pit bookable in advance at 4/9 so we went on to "Hay Fever" but that again was only a pit so we went on to "Henry VIII" at the Empire & found there was a 1/2 gallery there. The queue had gone in but we decided to chance getting seats so in we went, got two perfect seats in the front row & saw and heard perfectly. It was a wonderful production with the most gorgeous colour schemes and staging and first rate acting from all of the very large caste and especially Sybil Thorndyke [ Thorndike ] as Katherine of Aragon. Edith bucked up considerably and was quite cheerful by the end. We got back at midnight.
Sunday Jan: 17th.
We lay in bed frightfully late.
I wrote an official letter, helped get the room ready for the Sunday School & came down here by the 11.19.
Everything is covered in thick snow and it is freezing cold.
Monday Jan: 18th.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44 and did C.C indexing in the morning. Barbara came and we went to luncheon with Maggie; poor Alice carrying up the luncheon slipped on a mat and the whole thing was spread over the floor. Barbara, Maggie & I got hysterics of laughter which made Alice very indignant. We had a very nice time and Barbara was fearfully taken with Maggie's house. I met Edith at Albion St and we had a talk with Miss Williams and then went to see Maisie Bailey's mother as Maisie wants to come into the hostel. She seems to have been behaving very badly at home. I went on to see Mrs Taylor who was very pleased and very nice and insisted on making me a cup of cocoa - with four heaped up teaspoonfuls of sugar in it and sweetened condensed milk.
A nice New Zealander a Miss Holdsworth sent to us by St Martin's came to see the Peter Rabbits who luckily behaved very well. Miss Holdsworth stayed on for supper and came to the Intermediate Club Officers Committee meeting; a most delightful occasion. They objected to the name Intermediate Club and tried hard to think of a better name, finally they suggested it should be called after St Francis (they are having his life in their bible class), Edith said she thought it would be better if they tried to live up to the name for a year before they took it, so they said "oh anyone could be like St Francis if they tried"!
Tuesday Jan: 19th.
We did oddments in the morning. Louie's new gramaphone which she has got to have music appreciation classes for the girls arrived and we listened to it for some time. Then we went after luncheon to the Sunday School Union at Ludgate Circus to get some things Edith wanted; from there we went to see Ida, Annie Smith's sister in Whitechapel and found her in this time. She is a most attractive young woman and seemed really fond of Annie and quite aware of the impossibility of her going to live with her.
We went to tea with Maggie & had tea in the kitchen with the most perfect bloaters and a birthday cake for Edith's 31st birthday.
Betty, John, Hugh Tennant and another man came down to the Club in the evening and gave a most excellent concert. Poor Miss Brodigan was very fussed because they did comic turns & it was supposed to be a religious evening; the girls loved it and mercifully Louie was in bed & didn't see. A friend of Edith's Mrs Cook who is a missionary to Central Africa gave an address the second half; I had a bad fit of coughing & had to come out but they said it was excellant.
Wednesday Jan: 20th.
There was a medical inspection in the morning. Edith brought Miss Holdsworth who came in the morning to it & left her there with me. She was very much interested and asked intelligent questions. After luncheon we prepared progressive games for the Intermediate Club, gave the Avery Hill Students their visits and then went visiting ourselves. I only found one person at home and wasted a good deal of time at the School but had a very pleasant afternoon all the same.
Edith shot me off to a lecture on Industrial Psychology at the School of Economics, however when I got there I found I'd have to take a ticket for the whole course which cost 24/- so I returned much to Edith's annoyance.
A friend of hers – Dorothy Whiffen and her friend came to teach the Intermediates country dancing and were splendid in the way they organized and taught them. Afterwards we had progressive games till 9.30 when there is nothing but Bible classes. Edith & I attempted to start writing a short story but our composition didn't flow very freely and Louie came and interrupted.
A Club girl, Mary Rolls, was walking back from work along Dockhead at 5.30 p.m when three men set on her, hit her very badly in the face and kicked her all over. The next evening two policemen were attacked at Tower Bridge.
Thursday Jan: 21st.
I did C.C indexing in the morning and then went to luncheon with Daisy. She was very nice and full of bits of family gossip. Lil was in bed having had a miscarriage poor dear! She looked fearfully attractive and exactly 17. I went with Daisy to try on a coat and skirt, then left her, did a little shopping and went to tea with Anne. We discussed various subjects more particularly the growth of immorality in the present generation. She was just going to be interviewed for a daily teaching job and she wrote later and said she'd got it, teaching a little girl of 9 from 9.30 - 1 daily for 2 gns a week which seems pretty good. I came down by the 6.34.
Friday Jan: 22nd.
We all went up to London to have Charlie Fraser to tea at the Wellington Club before he went off to East Africa.
I went to the Club and collected Miss Brodigan and took her to one of Daddie's Zenith Society's lunch hour addresses at All Hallows Lombard St by Mr Cope Cornford. From there I went to Mudie's and then did a prolonged orgy of sales; during the course of the afternoon I met Edith purely by accident in Oxford St and went and did some shopping with her.
We all met at the Wellington Club at 4.30. At 5 o'c Lady Cromer with whom Charlie was staying came saying he was in bed with a fearful cold and couldn't come which was very tiresome. I went to dinner with Aunt Lil who was delightful & it was very warm and comfortable there. I went back to the Club because I'd got to be there first thing next morning to get ready for the children's party.
Saturday Jan: 23rd.
We worked hard all the morning at getting ready for the party and Carrie & Alice Penney came to help us. Edith was very annoyed with me because I got flippant and then I got annoyed with her for being annoyed with me but luckily we'd ceased being such fools by the time of the party. There were 24 of the Intermediate Club and 60 children from Albion St. Edith and I were running the party and we had no entertainment for them after tea so we got Polly Carden to come and play the piano while Nell Rolls & Florrie Page (the latter dressed up in white trousers) led jazz choruses which the children loved. Maggie came in for part of it but went away very angry saying we were letting down the spirit of the Club. They danced and then went downstairs for the Christmas tree and presents. They all seemed happy and to enjoy themselves very much - and certainly Edith & I did.
I went to dinner with Sybil Buxton and had a very nice time with her. Edith went to a party and didn't get back till between 12 and 1.
Sunday Jan: 24th.
I went to see about two children going away for a holiday, got the room ready for the Sunday School and came down here by the 11.19 meeting Wolfie on the train. She was very kind and as usual full of tag ends of gossip about various people.
I found poor Daddie in bed with a bad cold. Dr Cotton said one lung was touched & if they hadn't caught it in time he would have had pneumonia.
Monday Jan: 25th.
I went to London by the 9.44 & went straight to Miss Chaplin the Princess's lady in waiting, who lives in Cadogan Place and read out lists of subscribers to her while she typed them. Her typing was the funniest thing I've ever seen and it took us two hours to get through about a hundred names. She is a nice creature all the same. I had luncheon there & then fled as fast as I could to a Medical at St Joseph's Catholic School which we were doing for Budgett who was still away. I took over from Edith there, a nice doctor and nurse and some very attractive fearfully dirty children. I got back in time for tea & Peter Rabbits and to find Budgett returned.
I did the library after dinner (the Intermediate Club has been changed to Wednesday) and then read a book on psychology for the remainder of the evening. Miss Brodigan's sister came to see her and behaved like a devil.
Tuesday January 26th.
Edith & I went to Paradise St but they gave out at the last moment that there wasn't going to be any Mass.
We spent most of the morning tidying the Care Committee office.
Mummy & I went to a luncheon party at the Carlton given by Mr Anthony Wingfield. There were 18 people there including Margaret and Dr and Mrs Adam. I sat between young Mr Wingfield who is a Conservative and a Fascist but nice all the same, and a very agreeable Mr Samson who was apparently an art critic. It was superbly good food.
I left Mummy at Piccadilly Circus & went to get some knitting cotton for the Intermediates at Selfridge's, then I went to Miss Taylor's office where there was a conference between C.C members and Club workers on the after-care of the difficult child. There were about 20 people there. Edith made a speech and then there was a general & not very illuminating discussion it was not nearly so interesting as last time when there were only about half a dozen people. We had a good rag afterwards with Miss Tennant and Miss James which was fun.
Louie, Budgett & I started the handwork class in the evening. I took 1 hour to cut out a princess petticoat and then it was big enough for three people!
Rosalind and I sang hymns outside the bathroom door while Edith was having a bath till at last in desperation she opened the door & then I tried to pull her up by the toes till her head went under and she splashed me till I was soaked to the skin and the bathroom floor was an inch deep in water.
Wednesday Jan: 27th.
I went to Victoria to see Charlie off to East Africa. He had grown a moustache and I didn't recognize him at first but in other ways he is quite unchanged and talks just as much as ever, in fact he was talking hard when I had to draw his attention to the fact that his train was due to go in another ½ minute. He says he will be in London in the spring.
I went straight to the school on my way back to get somthing for Miss Williams.
Edith went off after luncheon to go to a play with Dorothy Whiffen & brought her back with her at 7.
Miss Holdsworth came in the afternoon and I gave her some C.C visiting which she did most awfully well. I also shot off and received back four students.
There were 35 Peter Rabbits with me in command of them but not of the situation however they were perfectly good with toys up to the last when I completely lost control of them.
The new housekeeper got by Edith - Miss Cook - arrived at tea-time. Maggie after seeing her for a quarter of an hour described her as "out of the frying pan into the fire" but I hope thats not true. Aunt North to everyone's unbounded relief goes on Monday.
There was Country dancing for the Intermediates from 7.30 - 8.30 and then poetry reading, scrap book making, knitting and games.
Thursday Jan: 28th.
Edith & I went to Mass at Dockhead. I did a medical inspection and had a long talk with our nice lady doctor.
I went to luncheon with Mrs Corry who was fairly full of news about Kathleen. Walking along Knightsbridge afterwards I walked straight into Maggie coming out of the tube and made her go with me to look at jumpers at Harvey & Woolland but found nothing I wanted. We parted & I did some more or less unsuccessful shopping in Oxford St and went to tea with the Kleinworts very late. I came down here by the 6.34 and found Daddie much better.
Friday Jan: 29th.
Aunt Venetia went in the afternoon to see Miss Deane who was full of Alassio and not at all happy at being back here.
Saturday Jan: 30th.
I stayed in all day trying to get my cough better.
Sunday Jan: 31st.
I went to Church at 8 o'c & for a short walk in the morning.
Miss Deane & her sister and Mrs Farnworth came to tea.
Monday Feb: 1st.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44 and found Edith doling out C.C visits to Miss Holdsworth. I did some visiting and got back in time to help Miss Cook the new housekeeper with dinners. I did some more visiting in the afternoon, came back and had an early tea and then went to see Uncle Leslie in a nursing home beyond Paddington. He has been having heart attacks & I thought looked much older and with all his energy gone.
The Intermediates came in in the evening to knit shoes for Country dancing and I dashed about between them and the library. Louie was away all the week having a slight operation on her throat. "Aunt North" left in the course of the afternoon and the atmosphere was very greatly lighter and more free after she had gone.
Tuesday Feb. 2nd.
I did some visiting in the morning and got back in time to help with dinners.
Maggie, Edith, Budgett & I went to the anniversary meeting at Greyladie's [ Greyladies' ] College Blackheath; there was a long narrow hall full of people and various clergymen & women made dull speeches. We all behaved appalingly sitting at the back & sucking sweets and giggling till poor Miss Brodigan wished she had nothing to do with us. There was tea afterwards & I met an amusing Mrs Buckingham from St Martin's who bucked things up a good deal by telling us vulgar limericks. Miss Brodigan took us over the College & when we came down we found Maggie and Edith had started back without us so Budgett & I found our way back alone.
I helped Miss Cook with hostel teas.
Budgett & I conducted the lingerie (pronounced as spelt) class from 8 to 9 very much assisted by Betty who came & was at her nicest.
There was a lantern & cinema lecture by Dr Connor the T.B medical officer for Bermondsey on Mother-Craft with literally nothing left to the imagination. The girls behaved extraordinarily well did not laugh when they might have done so and were really interested. Edith & I shrieked with laughter almost all the way through and afterwards she & I & Rosalind rolled round the sitting room with laughter over it.
Wednesday Feb: 3rd.
I did a few visits in the morning & a good deal of indexing and correspondence.
Having shot Miss Holdsworth & the students off to do visits in the afternoon Edith & I discussed a talk she was to give at the officer's meeting in the evening on the duties of officers, & Bible Classes.
The Peter Rabbits were quite angelic most marvellously kept in hand & managed by Edith.
An attractive girl a friend of Edith's called Mary Benson came to take a poetry & dramatic class for the Intermediates.
I guided the knitting group in the way it should go, & dashed about doing all sorts of oddments.
Edith's speech at the officer's meeting was excellent but they quite missed the point of it.
Thursday Feb: 4th.
I did oddments of tidying and writing in the morning, then went to Bush House to have my hair cut and from there to Mudie to get a fresh book. I took over dinners from Maggie & when they were finished went to join Edith & Budgett at her house.
Edith & I went to the Divisional Officers to see Mr Malone the school attendance officer about various children in the Sub-normal class.
I went to catch a 4.35 train but found it only ran on Saturday so I went back to the Club & then came down by the 5.11.
Friday Feb: 5th.
Daddie & Aunt Venetia both went to London. I stayed in bed all the morning to try & get my cough better & went for a short walk in the afternoon. Otherwise I spent most of the day reading MacDougall's "Outlines of Psychology".
Saturday Feb: 6th.
Mummy had a frightful cold which turned to 'flue and she had to stay in bed.
I took Aunt Venetia for a long walk through the Valence Valley and we got quite a big bunch of primroses.
Sunday Feb: 7th.
Aunt Venetia & I went to Church at 10 o'c. Mummy was still in bed.
I went up to London by the 5.20 to go over to Stepney & hear Edith open a debate at John Knox Church. I got there about half way through the evening service but in time to hear a very good sermon by R: Little. Afterwards we went into a hall behind and Edith spoke for about 10 minutes on "The Christian and the Church", they all said afterwards that it was very good but they couldn't understand a word she said! She had only really thought it out and written it down that afternoon so the ideas were a bit involved. Afterwards we broke up into groups each with a group leader – Edith was the leader of the group I was in - and discussed a set of questions, then the leader of each group stood up and said what conclusions they had come to. It was great fun and very interesting in showing their extraordinarily narrow conception of the word "Church".
Edith, Budgett, Sister, Lil Shoult & I went to supper at College Buildings and had an awfully good time there. We didn't get back to the Club till nearly 11.30. Edith & I talked for some time.
Monday Feb: 8th.
There was a medical inspection in the morning which I took with Edith & Miss Holdsworth there part of the time.
Edith & I did a great deal of writing up in the afternoon and discussing and sorting out of cases.
The Peter Rabbits got the devil in them and were completely unmanagable.
I dashed about between the library and the Intermediates doing knitting during most of the evening.
Lizzie Burke was laughing & joking in a sickening way about how she'd been drunk Sunday night & unable to go to work the next day.
Tuesday Feb: 9th.
Edith & I went to Mass.
Budgett, Edith & I spent a good part of the morning in writing an annual report of the P.C & then Miss Chaplin came & we had a staff meeting and read our report which to our surprise they passed. We had tried to bring in a little local colour and make it not so deathly dull and fatuous as the one Miss Chaplin wrote last year.
Edith & I went to the school in the afternoon and got a list of the free milk cases to visit before the Care Committee meeting on the next day.
After tea we all sat on the floor and played games and Edith stood up on a chair and gave a speech she was going to give to a Band of Hope. Then she went off to address the real thing and then on to her girl's Club in Stepney for the evening.
Budgett & I conducted the handwork class which was not very strenuous although I spent most of the time running about doing other things. After Chapel there was dancing upstairs and Florrie Page & Nell Rolls dressed up and were very amusing.
I forgot to say that Miss Williams the Head Teacher at Albion St came to supper and was full of interesting things about the school & the girls.
Wednesday Feb: 10th.
We drew up the agenda of the C.C. meeting and wrote up case papers, then went out to visit the remainder of the free milk cases. I went in to Maggie on the way back to help her read the rough copy of our report which she was typing. Then I rushed back and helped Edith with dinners, crowds & crowds of people came in and all the food gave out & we had a wild time. Then we had a perfectly frantic rush bang on top of that getting ready for the C.C meeting which was at 2.30. Miss Tennant was there & Sister Mary from Albion St Chapel in addition to the ordinary people & as Maggie was at a managers meeting I was in the chair. It was a most interesting meeting and went with a swing. We got back just in time for tea & Peter Rabbits, only about a dozen of the latter turned up so we left the students to amuse them and tell them stories most of the time.
Dozens of the sub-normal class at Albion St turned up to the Intermediate Club and seemed very happy.
Edith gave an address in Chapel on the work of Dr Barnardo.
After everyone had gone to bed we sat up till nearly midnight cooking the dinner accounts and re-writing parts of the annual report to get it better. Then when we did get to bed we were frozen and had to get up and heat water for a hot water bottle. Altogether a very hectic but very pleasant day.
Thursday Feb: 11th.
We wrote out the minutes of the C.C meeting after breakfast, then Edith wrote out the annual report, while I did case papers & indexing.
I went to luncheon with Margaret Adam. Margaret herself was in bed with tonsilitis & there was a very dull lot of about eight "Young Conservatives", I fled as soon as possible after luncheon & went to see Esther who has got over her appendicitis operation most marvellously.
I had tea with Anne who was altogether at her most charming and very refreshing I wished I could have stayed for hours longer.
Mummy was much better when I got back but still more or less in bed.
Friday Feb: 12th.
I stayed in bed till tea time trying to get my cold & cough better.
Daddie got back from speaking at Leeds University in the evening.
Saturday Feb: 13th.
Daddie, Aunt Venetia & I went for a short walk in the morning & then I stayed indoors & read & wrote for the rest of the day.
Sunday Feb: 14th.
I went for a walk up towards Hosey in the morning and on the way met Mrs Fox coming out of her gate, she came with me & we went for quite a long walk through Squerryes.
Betty Nissen came to tea & told me she is working one day a week at the Eton Mission in Hackney Wick. I talked Socialism to her till her head was in a whirl.
Monday Feb: 15th.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44 I did some holiday visits in the morning and in the afternoon Miss Holdsworth & I did after care conference visiting.
Miss Tennant came to tea. We had tea in the dining-room & sat in hysterics of laughter the whole time.
The Peter Rabbits came in hordes & were like wild animals and quite uncontrollable.
I dashed about between the Intermediates doing knitting and the library in the evening. And also had a long talk with Lizzie Burke on temperance and drunkeness.
Tuesday Feb: 16th.
Edith & I did a couple of visits in the morning and then she & I & Budgett went over to Poplar to see Bow Road Open Air School. The headmaster explained it all to us & showed us over. There are a little over 100 children drawn from all over the district and as far afield as Tower Hill. He says the improvement in the children's health is extraordinary & there is always a long waiting list of children recommended by school doctors.
We saw a Salvation Army home for destitute boys opposite so we plunged in & asked them all about their work.
Edith went to luncheon with Maggie. I went along there in the afternoon, Edith sang to us & then she & I went and did a few visits.
After tea Maggie, Edith, Budgett and I went to a Care Committee Secretary's meeting at Miss Taylor's office. Before we started Edith, Budgett & I changed hats and looked most ludicrous. I in a vast hat of Edith's that came down over my nose & Edith with a very small black hat of Budgett's perched on top of her head. Miss Holdsworth was there & went into fits of giggles when she saw us.
The meeting was not thrilling on the whole although parts were good. Someone gave a totally incomprehensible talk on the new widow's & orphans Pensions Scheme.
The Miss Maclarens came & gave a very good concert in the evening and afterwards there was an address in Chapel. An obviously nice man - Mr Miller vicar of St Luke's - but a very dull address.
Florrie Miller who has gone to Edith's people as their servant came in to see me during the course of the evening.
I forgot to say that the day before Miss Holdsworth had told me to call her Beatrice and announced she was coming to live at the Club on the following Monday. She is about 40 and a most awfully nice person.
Wednesday Feb: 17th.
As it was Ash Wednesday there was a service in the Chapel at 7 o'c. Edith & I got up before 6.30 to get the bread & butter cut & the kettles boiling to give the girls breakfast before they left to go to work. There were only about eight there.
We talked and did oddments most of the morning. I dashed into the school to get after care forms, to the labour exchange to tell them there was an after care conference and to Maggie's house to collect the card indexes; then back to help with dinners & fill up after care forms in what intervals there were.
Budgett & Beatrice went with us to the Conference & Maggie was in the Chair. There was no one from the Exchange there & it was a dull Conference.
I went back to tea with Maggie who was utterly soaked in depression. I got back to the Club to find Edith & three students dealing with about six Peter Rabbits so I went off & had a bath.
The Intermediates got on very well with their Country dancing and at the end a new lady who had come to play for it did a most beautiful action song with words composed by herself to the tune of "Danny Boy". They had then small groups till 9 o'c & then went into the general Club for a talk on temperance by Mrs Lowe who is the Labour L.C.C member for West Bermondsey. Most unfortunately it was a pouring wet night & so there were very few people there which was a great pity as she is a first rate speaker & was quite excellent.
Thursday Feb: 18th.
I went to a medical inspection in the boy's department in the morning and Maggie & Edith took over from me. I helped with the beginning of dinners and then went to have luncheon with Violet & Leonore Henry (Americans who used to be at Wolfie's) at the Westminster Technical Institute where they work at painting. Violet was in bed with a cold but Leonore & I went & had luncheon at the Army & Navy & talked over the days of Wolfie & how impossible it was to exist unless you worked. I walked back with her to the Westminster & then went to see Violet at the Connaught Hotel. She was very nice & we talked a great deal about Socialism & conditions here & in America & education & she promised to ask me to luncheon to meet Ramsay Macdonald's daughter Ishbel.
I went on to Anne & had tea with her & we were both very silly. Charlie has got a job with the Shell-Mex Company but it will be several years before he is earning enough for them to be married.
I came down by the 6.34 & found a sweet letter from Florrie Miller beginning "My darling friend".
Friday Feb: 19th.
I went to bed at 9.15 p.m & slept till 9.45 a.m !
Having got a fresh cold I stayed in & read & wrote.
Saturday Feb: 20th.
I gardened a bit in the morning & in the afternoon went to see Miss Deane who was delightful, & stayed to tea with her.
Sunday Feb: 21st.
I went to Church at 10 o'c & as it was a beautiful sunny day did a good deal of gardening for the rest of the day.
Monday Feb: 22nd.
I went back to the Club by the 9.44 and found Beatrice had already arrived to live there.
Maggie talked to me very nicely about how she must take over the Care Committee work now & have it at her house if Edith & I are both leaving at Easter. She said she realized I must mind (which I do) having it all taken from me but there was nothing else to do.
Budgett & I did dinners & then she & I & Edith went along to Maggie's house & looked out visits.
Budgett & I spent most of the time hanging out of the window comparing the ships that went up and down the river to different people. I did a few visits & then got back to the Club for tea. Millie Edwards came to tea & helped with the Peter Rabbits afterwards, there were very few of them & they were easy to manage.
I showed the Intermediates who came to do knitting some pictures of India which thrilled them. One of them looked at a beautiful picture of snow mountains & forests & said "just like down 'opping ain't it?".
We had a Committee meeting afterwards consisting of Edith, Budgett, Florrie Page, Emily Stocking, Lizzie Burke & me to arrange a charade for Tuesday evening.
Tuesday Feb: 23rd.
There was a west-end meeting at the de Lyndens in the afternoon to describe the work of the Club & appeal for funds with no one who really knew about the work speaking. We had a great arguement with Miss Brodigan to let Edith go & ask questions at the end. She wouldn't agree to this but she said Edith could certainly go if she didn't ask awkward questions showing up the ignorance of the speakers.
I set off to Maggie's to get visits but felt so desperately tired that I turned back & rested for the remainder of the morning.
Barbara came to luncheon at her very best & most amusing. She started up West with Budgett, Edith & me afterwards & we spent most of the time on the 'bus pinning a notice with "I am a Gentlewoman: Would you believe it?" written on it onto Edith's back. We got it on most beautifully but she somehow managed to wriggle it off against the back of the seat.
The meeting was even worse than we expected. The Princess made a speech very full of "my Club" & how she had started it 20 years ago & although she said she was in close touch with it now she had to ask Miss Brodigan every time she referred to any thing whether it was correct. She laid great stress on the fact that "all my girls are taught cooking & dancing at the Club" which is of course pure bosh. Then Mrs Philip Snowden got up & buttered up the Princess no end and said she had known the Club intermately during the last two years when she has been down twice during the 15 months I have been there, and she was altogether quite insufferable & horribly vulgar.
Edith & I snorted with indignation all through & wrote furious notes to each other. Afterwards we went & had tea at Peter Jones & held an indignation meeting & were altogether, as Anne said when I told her about it, very childish.
I had the lingerie class in the evening & then for the second hour Edith, Budgett & I organized charades. We did a scene in a hospital; a beauty contest with people dressed up as the most fearful frights for the beauties and a night journey on a French train. It was a huge success and the audience laughed so much we could scarcely hear ourselves speak.
Edith & I had a long talk in bed & she was very charming.
Wednesday Feb: 24th.
We all went along to Maggie's to look out visits and Edith & I stayed after the others had gone writing letters & getting the card index straight, then we went & did some visits.
I slept most of the afternoon & we all (Edith, Beatrice, Budgett & I) went to tea with Maggie who had a party for the teachers in the girls department of Albion St School. They were all excessively nice once they had thawed & got over being ill at ease. We had a musical story after tea & then writing games.
The Intermediates had their usual dancing & then groups.
Maggie gave a talk in the Chapel on the story of Bartimeus which was one of the best done and most vivid things I have ever heard.
Thursday Feb: 25th.
I did a good deal of letter writing & writing up cases in the morning. Mr Malone the school attendance officer came to see us about a case & Edith got back in time from a local attendance sub-committee just in time to see him.
We lunched with Mr Ward-Cook & met there Sir Beilby Allston & his daughter who were going next day to Brazil. Mr Ward-Cook, Daddie & I went on to Joycey Smith's Wedding to the Verney boy at the Guard Chapel. The Church was packed & it was a very pretty wedding with scarlet & white bridesmaids. Daddie says Wardie-Cook made all the responses even to saying "I will" with the bride! We saw Mrs Talbot afterwards & various other people in the distance.
I went to tea with Anne. Charlie has got the job with the Shell-Mex definitely with a salary of £350 & "a substantial rise" at the end of six months. Anne is very excited & they can begin now to make plans.
We travelled down with Miss Deane & Miss Colville by the 6.34. They were very full of the wedding.
Friday Feb: 26th.
A heavenly day & very hot. I gardened & sat out all the time.
Saturday Feb: 27th.
I gardened a bit in the morning & read & wrote the rest of the day. Mrs Farnworth came to tea.
Sunday Feb: 28th.
I went to Church at 8 o'c. Wolfie came down for the day.
It was a perfectly beautiful day & I walked through Squerryes to meet Rosalind & a friend of her's & went back to tea with them & had a very nice time talking about the Club, psychology & the School of Economics. They motored me back afterwards.
Monday March 1st.
I went up by the 9.44 straight to a Medical Inspection. Edith & the doctor went to luncheon with Maggie afterwards. Budgett & I went back to the Club & ate our luncheon sitting on the roof.
I visited in the afternoon & went to see Mrs Taylor where I found both the children had had 'flue & bronchitis & the father had been out of work.
The Peter Rabbits, in spite of the fact that there were only a few of them, behaved like complete devils.
Budgett & I went to a school concert at St Joseph's Catholic School in the evening in which various of our Intermediates were taking part. The hall was packed, the atmosphere was very potent & we couldn't see very much although what we could see appeared to be very well done. We left half way through & it was a great relief to get into the fresh air again.
After we'd gone to bed Edith told me about an evening she & Budgett had had dressed up going round pubs & lodging houses in Whitechapel.
Tuesday March 2nd.
Edith & I went to Mass. She & I & Budgett went along to Maggie's fairly late in the morning & collected visits.
I visited most of the afternoon & got through a good deal.
Florrie Miller came to tea & was very sweet. Afterwards we and Edith & Budgett went up to Louie's room & sang songs.
A Kings College girl came in the evening to show the girls different kinds of raffia & basket work & to start a class. I had a handwork class.
The lady who came to accompany for the Intermediate's dancing one evening & sang afterwards came down & sang divinely for ½ an hour. She has the most lovely liquid soprano voice very rich & full with none of the shrieking scrape up to the top notes peculiar to sopranos. She sang "Killarney" with eurhythmic actions to it & it was one of the loveliest things I've ever heard. She kept the girls in complete silence the whole time which was a great achievement.
We did charades afterwards; they were even better than last time & some of the girls acted most fearfully well especially in one scene with Florrie Page as the father, Emily Stocking as the mother & Edie Fitzpatrick as the girl coming home late from the Princess Club & being told off for it. It was a great revealation of Bermondsey life.
Wednesday March 3rd.
We did writing & tidying in the morning. Edith made me go & rest in the latter half & tucked me up on her bed with a hot water bottle. I was suddenly overcome by the depression that I've had on & off for months & for no apparent reason burst into floods of tears. Edith was wonderful, kinder & more sympathetic than words can say.
Miss Wright one of the teachers from East Lane & another very nice young teacher came to luncheon. They were so nice & we talked a great deal about India.
Edith, Beatrice, Budgett & I went to see "Juno & the Paycock". It was perfectly acted by the Irish Players. The scene is a Dublin tenement house during the fighting between the Free Staters & the Republicans in 1922 and although it is very amusing in parts the end is desperately sad. We came out feeling like damp rags but soon recovered and had a very hilarious tea at a little French shop & then went back to the Club on top of a bus.
The Intermediates Country dancing went extremely well & Edith & I took part in several of the dances to every one's amusement.
Louie gave an address in Chapel.
Edith was so good to me & so sympathetic & understanding that she completely laid the devils, at any rate temporally.
Thursday March 4th.
I went to see Sir John Broadbent in the morning because everyone has been worrying me to go & see the doctor for a long time. He thumped me all over & said there was nothing wrong except that I'm run down & anaemic so that's all right.
I went to luncheon at Tilney St. Mrs Blandy was there & Lady Treowen & a Captain Boyle so I didn't see much of Uncle Oswald & Aunt Bobs. Anne had just got two certificates for drawing at Graham St School.
I went on to sell at a bazaar of the ex-Duchess of Somerset's in Grosvenor Square. There were of course a good many more sellers than buyers and it was full of smart middle aged women. How inconceivably vulgar the rich & the well bred can be!
I went to meet Daddie at the Wellington Club & we had Mrs Herbert Smith for tea – Ruby couldn't come. We came down by the 6.34 & Daddie went on to Sevenoaks to lecture to the Literary Society there.
Friday March 5th.
I had a most charming letter from Edith enclosing the typed copy of the letters from France of her brother who was killed in the war. He must have been a very fine person.
Daddie & I went primrosing in Westerham woods in the afternoon & got masses & masses.
There was an L.N.U lecture in the evening by Sir George Parish the economic expert on the entry of Germany into the League & the question of the admission of Poland, Spain & Brazil. It was an excellent & most interesting lecture. Sir George & Lady Parish came here for refreshments afterwards & were very nice.
Saturday March 6th.
I read, wrote & washed my hair in the morning & went for a walk in the afternoon & did some gardening.
Sunday March 7th.
I went to Church at 10 o'c.
In the afternoon I went up to the Cottage to see Edith who got back on Friday. Miss Deane said firmly that she was much better but she didn't look to me any different. We went for a walk on the Chart.
Rosalind & her younger sister came over for tea.
Monday March 8th.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44. We both started out together. She went to Maggie's and I went to see Mrs Taylor & then on to do one or two visits.
Miss Emerson the new I.C.A.A [ Invalid Children's Aid Association ] Secretary came to luncheon.
I did some more visiting in the afternoon and got back in time for tea.
The Peter Rabbits were quite angelic and played several singing games on their own.
Beatrice, Budgett and I went to see over Fair St Evening Institute and were shown all over by the principal, Miss Knight. There were classes in tailoring, embroidery, home nursing, cooking, drill, acting, singing and design. There are over 1200 pupils on the register and a nightly attendance of over 200. It is held in a large elementary school where of course there is masses of room; every class was completely orderly & looked very happy. Miss Knight knew every girl by name & I should imagine she is quite excellent at it. She told us that cookery & violin playing are her two most popular classes. We were there for over an hour & a half.
Tuesday March 9th.
I did some visiting in the morning and then helped with dinner.
Edith made me rest in the afternoon & after tea we went out visiting Non-Conformist clergy to tell them about a temperance campaign which Miss Brodigan is trying to get up. We found them all immersed in Band of Hope & bursting with enthusiasm till I longed to go off & get drunk.
There was the handwork class for the first part of the evening and then a little youth sent by the L.N.U gave a very dull lecture on the League of Nations but somehow managed to hold the girls. Alice Penny, Florrie Page & I sat at the back & giggled all through it.
Wednesday March 10th.
Edith was going to her dentist in Russell Square directly after breakfast & I went with her to go & get my hair cut afterwards. She nearly fainted while she was there & was very bad when she came out, shaking all over, so it was lucky I went. We had some coffee at a Fuller's & then went and had our hair cut at Bush House where they tried to persuade both of us to undergo a £5.5 treatment for scurf!
I did some visits in the afternoon & then took Beatrice & Budgett to a Committee meeting of the C.O.S. There was one frightfully amusing case of a woman who had been ordered a set of false teeth by her dentist, one Albert Evans. She could not afford to pay for them so he advised her to write to the King, the Queen and the Prince of Wales, which she did. The Prince of Wales didn't answer, the King sent her two Surgical Aid letters & the Queen referred her to the C.O.S which supplied the teeth but said the Surgical Aid letters must be given to them to return to the King, so now the local branch is wondering how on earth they are to be sent back!
Beatrice and I went to a lecture at the London Day Training College in Southampton Row by a Professor Hill on the history of the education of mentally defectives. It was fearfully interesting.
Neither Miss Whiffen & Miss Grantham who teach the Intermediates Country dancing, nor Miss Benson, who takes the dramatic class, were able to come so we had them completely on our hands, however they played dumb crambo & musical games very well & then did scrap book making and knitting.
There was a very dull Officer's Meeting after 9 o'c.
Thursday March 11th.
Edith took Budgett & me to a Local Attendance Sub-Committee at Farncombe St School. It is the committee to which parents are summoned whose children have been out of school continuously and it tries to arrange for their return to prevent legal action being taken. Mrs Blogg one of our most difficult mothers came up and was very truculant, and Mrs Fenton, Carrie's mother, was also there for refusing to let Ivy go to a deaf school.
I went afterwards with Edith to interview someone in Neckinger St who wants a post as kitchen maid for their daughter.
I had luncheon with the Broadbent's & Sir John showed me books on Italy. From there I went & met Mummy, who is staying with Cousin Nell, and we went to call on Aunt Mabel who was out so then we went to a very dull fashion parade at Peter Jones.
I went to tea with Anne & found Charlie there and they were very busy discussing ways & means & how soon they could be married.
I came down by the 6.34.
Friday March 12th.
I went up to the Cottage in the afternoon and sat talking with Edith & she walked down the hill with me, otherwise I did nothing all day.
Saturday March 13th.
I was desperately disappointed because I had been going to London in the evening, meeting the other three at College Buildings and going pubing dressed up, next day we were going to free breakfasts in Whitechapel and spending the whole day going about getting free meals & talking to people, then in the evening Edith & I were going to John Knox Church and going to sleep at College Buildings. However I got a post-card from her in the morning saying she was wanted at home, and also had toothache & neuralgia & so Sunday was off, & I didn't of course think it worth while to go up just for Saturday night, so that was that.
I went for a long walk in the morning along the Pilgrim's Way and onto the downs and got a huge bunch of primroses and mauve & white violets.
I went to tea at the Cottage and stayed for some time talking to Edith afterwards and she walked part of the way down the hill with me.
Sunday March 14th.
I went to Church at 8 o'c & gardened, read & wrote the rest of the day.
Monday March 15th.
I went up by the 8.40 to go & meet Edith at the dentist. However as I got there I saw her & Maggie walking away from him. She had written to tell me the time had been changed but I hadn't got the letter before I left. Maggie left us to go and have her hair shingled and we went to Mudie to change books. I found there had been a silly muddle about Sunday & Edith had only meant that the things she & I were going to do in the evening were off & they'd done all the other things so I'd missed it all through a misunderstanding. Edith & I argued bitterly all the way back to the Club.
I did some visiting in the afternoon.
There were comparatively few Peter Rabbits but after the first ½ hour their behaviour went in a crescendo of badness so that finally I had to exclude about half a dozen from coming next Monday.
I did the library in the evening.
Edith spent the night with Maggie.
Tuesday March 16th.
I went to Mass at Dockhead.
Edith, Budgett & I went to see Decima St shelter in the morning and the matron took us over. It is a very nice place, quite small and almost entirely composed of separate cubicles. It is free.
There was a dull staff meeting when we got back to discuss what is to be done in the Club next term.
I went to luncheon with the Bowens. There was another man called Milne there. They were quite charming, talking most interestingly about literary people, & books, and spiritualism and I enjoyed it enormously.
On the way back I did a C.C.H.F visit in Walworth.
Miss Davis from Farncombe St Settlement came to tea and after she'd gone we made Edith stand up on a chair and give a children's Band of Hope address.
Betty came down in the evening and was very nice indeed. I had the handwork class for the first hour.
Mr Odell of the Mount Everest lecture came in the evening and gave an excellant lecture with slides on the last expedition. The hall was full and the girls enjoyed it enormously which was a blessing as they've been very indignant against lectures lately.
Edith & I had a long talk in bed.
Wednesday March 17th.
I did some visiting in the morning and Edith & I did dinners.
There was a Care Committee meeting in the afternoon but we did nothing much except to go over old cases.
I was simply dog tired so I slept for two hours after tea instead of going to a lecture on the After Care of Blind, Deaf and Crippled Children which I should like very much to have done.
The Intermediate Club went well but the Senior Club was almost empty. Miss Brodigan gave a short talk in Chapel. Edith went away for the night.
Thursday March 19th.
I left the Club soon after breakfast & went to see Anne who was looking perfectly rotton, had a splitting headache & felt very sick. I made her get into her bed, gave her Sal Volatile and did as much of her packing as I could because she was leaving the hostel in a couple of days and going to Wray Lane. I had luncheon there and left soon after because there was nothing more to do for her & she was feeling too rotton to talk much.
I went out to Edith's home at North Finchley for her sister's wedding reception (the wedding isn't till next Thursday). Budgett was dressed up as a parlour maid opening the door & announcing people & it was great fun catching her eye and trying to make her giggle. They were all so nice and kind and friendly introducing people to one another and making them feel welcome.
I came down by the 6.34.
Friday March 20th.
I gardened in the morning.
Edith came to tea & stayed some time after and I walked part of the way up the hill with her.
Saturday March 20th.
I went to London by the 12.45 and then down to Ashtead to spend the week-end with Uncle Claude and Di. Di & I went to the village before tea to send off a telegram and came back through the park which is all up for sale in building lots & looks very different & unkept.
Uncle Vesey was staying there looking much older but very cheerful.
Sunday March 21st.
I went to St George's Church in the village & found a nice, high service there.
We went for a little walk in the afternoon & then some rather tiresome people came to play bridge.
Monday March 22nd.
Uncle Vesey, Uncle Claude & I left soon after breakfast. I got up to the Club about 11.30 and found an urgent visit waiting which I dashed off & did & then got back in time to help with dinners.
Edith & I went along to Maggie in the afternoon to collect visits and I went off & did some Bushey visits which had just come.
Edith & I went to tea with Beatrice & Ethel. We had a delightful time there & it is nice to go to people who are so obviously glad to have one.
The Peter Rabbits behaved comparatively well - probably because I'd excluded all the naughtier ones the week before.
I did library in the evening. Edith suddenly developed a violent cold so I shoved her off to bed and administered masses of remedies all at once.
Tuesday March 23rd.
I went to Mass.
During the morning I did some more of the Bushy visits.
In the afternoon Edith & I went to a meeting of East Lane Care Committee but the Secretary had forgotten all her case papers & it was a horribly dull meeting.
We went on to Christ Church School to make an enquiry about a girl.
A delightful child of 8, Tommy Barrett, who is a ? encephalitis lethargica (sleepy sickness) case, came to tea. He greeted us with "hullo lady! I've come". No school will help him because he wanders from classroom to classroom & can't be kept still. He loves walking and goes for immense tramps sometimes as far afield as Sutton & Bromley; he starts between 11 & 12 & often does not return till between midnight & 2 a.m. He reads very well and has a huge fund of knowledge on all sorts of subjects. He asked us if we believed in fairies and when there was an awkward pause said that people didn't much nowadays but that they all had in the olden days, then he went on to tell us all about Puck and Oberon, and Robin Hood. He longs to travel & knows a great deal about foreign countries. We pointed out to him how difficult it would be for him later on if he wasn't educated; he said "I'm teaching myself" but we told him he couldn't do that & finally he promised to go back to school & try to see if he could stand it. He was completely natural & unselfconscious. Altogether a very remarkable child full of individuality & probably quite outside the scope of the elementary school system. We are wishing that someone would adopt him and educate him properly.
In the middle of our tea party with Tommy in came four people from Time & Talents whom we'd completely forgotten about; they were followed by Miss Joy the Rescue Worker & she was followed by Mrs Oates. We nearly screamed as they all trooped in one after the other. We had great fun playing chicken food with T & T after tea.
We did charades in the evening for the first half & they were a great success. There was a talk in the Chapel by a Miss Streeton, she was excessively good in places but apt to be sentimental in others.
Wednesday March 24th.
Miss Brodigan went off to Italy at 8 in the morning.
I did the finishing up of the Bushy visits during the morning & then helped with dinners.
Shortie suddenly appeared after luncheon armed with a large bunch of flowers for Edith & "Miss Rodigan". Everyone was very pleased to see her.
Edith, Budgett & I went over to Whitechapel to see Jessie Macdonald whom I'd been to see with Edith before. When we got there we found she'd been taken to the Infirmary the day before, so we went along there and found her in the mental ward. They let us see her for a little while, she said she'd been to the London Hospital to get a tonic and they had communicated with the Infirmary who had sent two policemen to fetch her there and she was not at all happy & wanted to get back to her room & her cat. She will probably be passed on to Colney Hatch & never come out again. It is all very sad because she is a borderline case & although she has sunk so low she is obviously gently bred & resents & shrinks from the roughness all round her.
I did a Bushy visit going back but the woman was out.
While we were having tea a little old woman appeared with her grandchild, a girl of 7, asking if we could take them in for the night. It turned out that they had come down from Yorkshire because the child's mother had died in an asylum and the granny didn't approve of the way the child (who seemed to be mental) was being brought up. The granny had lived in Plough Road for 11 years & had come back thinking that friends would take them in & find them lodgings but of course no one could take them in for more than a night or two & certainly couldn't find them a room, so they had wandered about between friends & shelters for a week till finally the Salvation Army hall by the Tunnel had sent them on to us. We could not of course take them in so I took them along to the Decima St Shelter, the old granny, who is 83, was all bent up & could scarcely walk and it was very pathetic to see the innocence of the old woman & the child imagining that they were quite all right now they had got to London & that they would easily find a room & be able to live on the 10/- week of the Old Age Pension and also that the granny would be able to take care of the child. The matron of the Shelter was very nice indeed and promised to take them in for a fortnight while it was decided what could be done with them. Miss Tennant was going round to see them the next morning & it will probably either end in their being sent back to Yorkshire or the child being put in a home.
The Intermediates had their country dancing and Mrs Melleris the attractive lady who came and sang with actions came & talked to some of the girls up in Miss Brodigan's sitting room & was a great success.
Edith went home about 9 o'c because her sister's wedding was the next day.
After Chapel Louie, Beatrice & I were left in undisputed possession of the Club. There was supposed to be dancing but it was discovered that everyone who could play had gone home so we spent a shattering ¾ of an hour with everyone trying to coax everyone else to play & at long intervals someone getting up & playing one dance & then saying they couldn't play any more.
Beatrice, Budgett & I determined to try & sleep in a shelter over in Whitechapel so as soon as the coast was clear we dressed up in old jumble clothes & made ourselves the most disreputable objects. I had on a very dirty old pair of white sand shoes; a long, voluminous, tweed skirt; a short, much torn blue serge coat with a green woollen jumper underneath; my face was well blacked & powdered & on my head I wore a very battered black silk hat.
We went by bus to Aldgate & then walked along to the Salvation Army shelter in Hanbury St. There the Sister who opened the little grating in the door said they were full up & couldn't possible take us in. I enquired bitterly in a very imperfect Cockney accent what she supposed we were going to do and whether she meant to let us sleep on a doorstep a bitter cold night like that. She was extraordinarily nice & sympathetic about it and advised us to go to Mrs Neville's (a common lodging house full of prostitutes). We departed murmuring about the iniquities of the Government in not providing beds for people. We went next to Duval St & as we were walking along that unsavoury spot a man called to us that there was a lodging house for single women at the top of the street which was nice of him. We went, however, to the Catholic Shelter, & knowing full well it closed at 7.30, I rang a vast peal on the bell and then got a violent fit of giggles. We stood there for some time ringing the bell but nothing happened so greatly daring we went to the common lodging house not necessarily meaning to stay the night but meaning if possible to see the interior; however we were doomed to failure because it was full. The woman there also recommended us to go to Mother Neville's. We walked along into Commercial St where I asked a nice little woman where we could go, she was very kind & also directed us to Mother Neville's & told us if we couldn't get in there to speak to a constable because they were bound to find us a bed for the night. We went along to Flower & Dean St and loitered about outside Mother Neville's for some time but didn't dare go in. So then we gave up the struggle & walked all the way back to the Club (the last buses & trams had gone) eating fish & chips out of a greasy piece of newspaper. As we passed two constables on Tower Bridge one said to the other, "that's a rough looking crew". We got back to the Club a little after 12.15.
Thursday March 25th.
I went along to Maggie with some case papers after breakfast & then tore along to a Local Attendance Sub-Committee at Farncombe St. There were one or two interesting cases but only one Albion St one, however that was a woman I knew.
I went back to the Club, gave Beatrice some visits, wrote several letters & tore off to luncheon with the Waldegraves. They were all there & very nice.
I did some shopping in the afternoon and then met Esther at 27, Grosvenor Square for a drawing room meeting got up by our tame Princess, Marie Louise, in aid of the St Giles homes for lepers which are run by Anglo-Catholic Sisters. The Princess spoke extremely well obviously meaning every word she said & I take back many of the rude things I have said about her. Father Vernon who belongs to an A.C order of monks spoke most finely on the problem of pain and lifted the whole proceedings far away from the smirkings of an ordinary drawing-room meeting.
I came down by the 7.10.
Friday March 26th.
I met Edith at 11 o'c to go over to Otford & see the house her sisters have bought there. While we were waiting for the bus Mr Streatfeild came along in his car & gave us a lift to Sevenoaks Station. We found there wasn't a train for half an hour so we walked onto Bat & Ball Station & caught the train there. The house is on a sloping piece of land that has been sold in building plots but it is right at the top & goes off behind into downs & a wood. It is going to be very pretty when it is finished & the workmen were just putting the roof on. We talked to the foreman & then went & lay on the downs amongst violets & primroses and ate our sandwiches. We explored the village on the way back & caught a train to Sevenoaks which connected with the bus here.
I took Shortie in the evening to see the Ypres film. It is very finely done & gave one a wonderful & vivid realization of the horrors of warfare. There were attacks & counter-attacks, the trenches knee deep in mud, aerial warfare, mines blowing up, night attacks, tanks going into action, gas attacks, and various individual deeds of bravery that won the V.C.
Saturday March 27th.
I did nothing but read & write all day.
Sunday March 28th.
I went to Church at 8 o'c & again with Mummy at 11. The Bishop of Rochester preached a very good sermon but he got rather muddled at one moment and said Alfred the Great towered head over heels above the men of his day! We walked back with the Bulloughs afterwards and went round their garden.
Mrs Farnworth came to tea & Colonel & Mrs Norton (the Mount Everest one) suddenly appeared in a car from Tunbridge Wells. Most unluckily Daddie was in London, speaking at the Guildhouse Eccleston Square, so he missed them. Miss Tenison came after tea.
I go up to the Club to-morrow for (theoretically) the last time. If I wasn't severely putting the thought out of my mind I should become maudlinly sentimental about it.
Monday March 29th.
I went up to the Club by the 9.44 and did visiting in the morning.
Budgett had told Edith about our visit to the shelters and she was very annoyed with me about it but after long arguing we each saw the other's point of view.
I went & did C.C.H.F visits in South Bermondsey, an appalingly dull part of the world but they were nice people whom I went to.
There were very few Peter Rabbits and they played games most of the time.
I did the library in the evening.
Edith went to Maggie for the night.
Tuesday March 30th.
I went to Dockhead.
Edith, Budgett & I went to Maggie's in the morning & did indexing & collected visits. I went to see Mrs Schultz who is a war widow and has 7 children. The whole family lives in two rooms, one moderate sized & the other small, one of the beds has its head right alongside the gas stove on which all the family cooking has to be done. The sink & food cupboard are on the landing. It is a six roomed house & there are 19 children & five adults living in it. Mrs Schultz is trying to get a house at Becontree & I wrote a letter for her to the L.C.C explaining their state of overcrowding to try & hurry things up. I also went into the school & saw Miss Williams & said good bye.
I did Bushy visits in the afternoon. One of them was miles "down town", a most fascinating part of the world along the river and on the fringe of the docks. I went to say goodbye to Mrs Taylor on my way back & then met Edith at Maggie's & wrote up visits.
Tommy came after tea having been got to school for one day with much persuasion and, being under a very silly little mistress who only thought of surpressing him, had not unnaturally loathed it.
We all spent the rest of the time before supper under Miss Morris's direction watering the patch of garden she is trying to make in the front and putting cotton entanglements to keep the birds off the newly sown grass.
There was an excellent Borough Council lecture on "Grade A (T.T)" milk in the evening with lantern slides & a cinema. The girls were very interested in it.
Edith went to Maggie for the night again.
Wednesday March 31st.
I went to Southwark Cathedral which really is very beautiful.
After breakfast I went & did one or two visits, then went to the school to get Mr Lytton to fill in a Bushey form & took it to Miss Taylor's office in Old Kent Road.
Miss Macey & I did dinners.
In the afternoon Edith & I went first to see Mr Cox of the C.O.S about providing an outfit for a girl going into service, then on to the Relieving Officer of the Bermondsey Board of Guardians with the same object. One of the Relief Officers told us he is paying out nearly £1,000 week in relief & a great deal of it goes in drink. We went to see various people in Wolsey Buildings which are quite the worst buildings in the neighbourhood. We went back by Spa Road buying two penny ice cornets on the way & finding them quite excellant.
We shot off all the Peter Rabbits.
The Intermediates had their Country dancing in the evening followed by free tea & hot cross buns for everyone and then there was a service with an address by Miss Brodigan's Grey Lady friend Miss Rowntree.
Edith, Beatrice & I talked till 11.30 & Edith & I talked for some time after we'd gone to bed.
Thursday April 1st.
Edith & I went to All Saints in Lower Rd but when we got there we found there wasn't a service, however we stayed for about ½ an hour.
Everyone was in a frenzy of good byes & packing after breakfast. I helped Edith do up some dramatic clothes to go off & then went to meet Mummy at her dentist in Westbourne Grove. He was a very nice man & he only scaled her teeth but that is a beastly performance.
I went back to the Club afterwards. Maggie did a short service in the middle of dinners fearfully well but it must have been a great ordeal.
I packed my remaining things & tidied & wrote various letters. Edith left at 3 o'c. I went with her as far as Liverpool St & then went to change my book at Mudie's. I went back to the Club, had tea, said good bye to Maggie and Florrie Page & Annie Osman came with me to the station & saw me off by the 5.40.
Mummy has gone to Miss Heathcote for Easter & Daddie was going to Lady Emma but she got 'flue at the last moment & put him off.
Good Friday April 2nd.
I went to Church at 10 o'c. Rosalie is down here for Easter & she came & spent the morning with me; it was boiling hot & we sat & basked in the sunshine.
I slept most of the afternoon & then went up to the Cottage for tea. Edith, Rosalie & I sat in the garden after tea and then they walked part of the way home with me & Rosalie & I went mad.
Saturday April 3rd.
I wrote letters practically all the morning.
Shortie & I looked out clothes for Italy in the afternoon & Edie & Susey who are down here for Easter came to see me. We sat in the garden & discussed the Club & everyone connected with it inside out.
I gardened after tea & then went along to see Edie & Susey, who gave me a very nice prayer book for an Easter present.
Sunday April 4th - Easter Sunday.
I went to Church at 10 o'c & stayed on for the next Service.
I went over to the Cottage at Wrotham so that Edith, who was down there, could get home to her people. I had to walk from Dunton Green to Otford & Edie & Susey came & did it with me. It was a beautiful walk & we went & laid on the downs at Otford when we got there because there was a little while to wait for my train, & before they had to start back to Dunton Green to catch theirs.
I got to Wrotham about 3.45 and just as I had started to climb the hill to the Cottage I met Edith & Alice Penney & Hetty Cooper coming down. Edith had got a fearful throat & could scarcely speak; they said she had had it for several days & been very bad. We saw her off by the bus.
There was a huge & very cheerful party at tea because Alice Elmes had got seven of her family down. I talked to Louie for some time after tea and then went for a walk towards Golden Knob with Alice & Hetty; it started to thunder on the way & they were terrified & insisted on rushing back.
We had gramaphone records till supper & more records after supper, and then as the thunder was still going on & several of them were beginning to look pea green, we sang songs & hymns to drown the noise of the thunder.
We all went to bed early.
Monday April 5th.
Alice Penny, Hetty Cooper, Lil Shoult, Alice Elmes & I went to the village after breakfast & had lemonade in a little shop & then went to watch a football match. We were joined by Amy Lloyd, Florrie Wheddon, Cissie & Ethel and had great jokes over the football because none of us knew even the rules of the game.
I had an early luncheon & Alice P & Hetty C walked with me to the Station to catch a 1.20 train. It came in while we were still a long way away and I had a fearful run for it. However all the connections were good & I got here in just over an hour.
Rosalie came to see me in the afternoon & I walked part of the way back with her & then said good bye because she goes off at 7.6 to-morrow morning. She wants me to go to France with them in August which would be fun if I can manage it.
Edie & Susey came to tea & they & I & Shortie played whist after tea.
A week to-day we start for Italy. It seems so unreal that I'm not excited about it.
Tuesday April 6th.
Daddie & I went to London by the 10.37. We went along to the Italian State Railways & Banca Commerciale Italiano [ Italiana ] offices & saw the managers of both departments as Daddie last year by great good luck made friends with a Mr Toeplitz who is the managing director of the Banca Commerciale Italiano and he said we were to see the managers here who would make all arrangements for us. They were very nice & we planned to go by Paris, where we should have about five hours & pick up Ruby, via the Mont Cenis to Genoa where we spent the night & went on to Rome next day.
Daddie took me to have luncheon at the Wellington & then I went & left my suit case at Wolfie's, where I was going to stay for a few days, and then went off & spent all the afternoon going round the shops looking at clothes till my feet ached like anything.
I went to tea with Peggy who was just back from Egypt where she seems to have had a wonderful time & seen all the sights. She looks less tired out but is frightfully thin and does not seem very well. It was so nice to see her.
Wolfie & I talked for a bit after dinner & I went to bed early.
Wednesday April 7th.
I went out shopping soon after breakfast & got two very pretty frocks at the Galeries Lafyette [ Lafayette ] one cotton & the other stockinette & both extraordinarily cheap, I also got a woolie & some stockings & various small oddments.
I went to luncheon with Maggie at her Club, the New Victorian and we went to see "Mary Rose", Barrie's play, which is very eerie & quite charming.
I went to see Peggy afterwards & we talked for some time.
Thursday April 8th.
I went along to Aunt Lil in the morning and she went with me to help me choose a coat; we tried Reville's inexpensive section, South Molton St, Fenwick & Marshall & Snelgrove but could find nothing. She went to lunch somewhere & I went to see Aunt Bobs but she was not at home, so I went to Parnell and bought a hat, then to the Army & Navy where I looked at very ugly two piece suits.
I had a bun at Victoria, went back to Wolfie's and changed & went in a bus to Finchley to see Edith. Her throat was a bit better but she still seemed very cheap. Lil Shoult & Sister arrived soon after I did. I had tea with Florrie Miller in the kitchen and then went back & talked to Edith & Ada Tennant (who had arrived in the meantime). We discussed the problem of poverty, the difficulty of understanding people of other classes & various subjects of that sort. Edith's brother came in just as I was going. I left about 6.30 & went to dine with Peggy. When I got there I found a telegram from Daddie saying the Congress was cancelled & suggesting we went to the Italian Lakes. I was in despair thinking it meant all the Rome - Perugia - Florence part was off & we should only be away about a week. It seemed like a kind of final blow. Peggy was nicer than words can say about it. I rang up Daddie but couldn't find out much except that we would go all the same & he didn't know why the Congress was cancelled except that there had been an attempt on Mussolini by an Irishwoman the day before & that might possibly have had something to do with it.
Gus came to dinner & was in great good form. We ragged a great deal & had a very amusing time. They dropped me at Wolfie's on their way to the Berkeley. Wolfie was full of sympathy about Italy and terribly nice about it.
Friday April 9th.
I started out soon after breakfast, I went to Evans & Marshall to get trimming for my hat & had my shingle trimmed. Then I met Aunt Lil at Cumberland Mansions & went with her to look at knitted frocks for herself at a shop in Pont St. I met Daddie at the Travellers Club at 12 & we walked up & down by the Duke of York's Steps discussing what we should do. Daddie had telegraphed the day before to Ruby in Paris telling her the Congress was postponed & our plans were changed, however we decided to go to Rome & to telegraph again to Ruby asking her to join us. We went to the Italian State Railways Office & arranged to go another & better way via Folkestone - Boulogne and then straight through without touching Paris by Laon & the Simplon to Baveno on Lake Maggiore where we arranged to stay the night & go on next day to Genoa & then to Rome. We have only got £50 to do the whole thing on & as the tickets cost over £24 it does not seem that we shall be away long.
I tore back to Wolfie & got Ruby's address, then went to luncheon with Aunt Lil & telephoned a telegram to Ruby. After luncheon Aunt Lil went with me to look at jumpers at Bourne & Hollingworth & I got a very pretty cherry coloured silk one. After that we parted & I went to Charing Cross to arrange for my luggage to be fetched from Wolfie's. I went to tea with Peggy to say good bye & she walked back to South Audley St with me.
Wolfie was fearfully kind & insisted on taking me in a taxi to Charing X [ Cross ]. I came down by the 6.34.
Saturday April 10th.
Harry Liddell, who has been back from South Africa about a fortnight, came to luncheon. He has improved enormously, has obviously seen a little of life & become very nice. A touch of what he has acquired would do the others all the good in the world.
I went to tea at the Cottage but Edith was feeling rotton so I didn't stay long.
There was a telegram in the evening from Ruby saying she had made other plans & couldn't come. It was a great disappointment because I had been looking forward enormously to having her.
Sunday April 11th.
I went to Church at 8 o'c.
Harry & Mrs Farnworth came to tea.
Monday April 12th.
We packed & got things ready all day.
Edith came to tea to say good bye.
I am very glad to be going to-morrow but not at all excited about it or realizing it or really thrilled. I don't really take it in that I'm going. And the maddening thing is when we come back I shall long to have this time of anticipation over again.
Hotel Simplon Baveno - April 14th.
Tuesday April 13th.
Mummy, Daddie & I went to London by the 10.37 & Daddie & I went straight to the Italian State Railways Office to get the tickets; there we found they hadn't taken in what day we were going, the tickets weren't ready & no seats had been reserved on the trains. I waited there for an hour & a quarter while they got the tickets ready and then dashed to Victoria. Luckily the train was not very full & I managed to get two corner seats. Mummy & Shortie came to see us off & Aunt Mabel & Harry were there too; we left at 1.53. We passed through Dunton Green on our way to Dover & I was sized with a longing to throw myself out of the train & go home.
It was a glorious sunny day & we had a perfect crossing on a very comfortable boat. When we arrived at Boulogne Daddie went through the Customs while I dashed & got two corner seats in the through Milan carriage of the train. It was still light when we passed Etaples & the British War Cemetary with its very fine monument. We had dinner very early - in fact bang on top of the tea we'd had on the boat. There was a little man in our carriage of undefinited nationality & after Amiens we told him there was only one other person in the next carriage & he'd be much more comfortable in there for the night, and he went quite meekly! We had the whole carriage to ourselves & settled ourselves down flat to go to sleep. Great joltings & shuntings went on at Rheims when the train from Paris joined in, & we went off in what appeared to be the direction we'd come from. The train stopped almost every half hour all through the night & every time the engine let out a series of shrill, protesting whistles and all the carriages rattled & clanked together. The result was that although we were comfortable & able to lie down we slept very little.
Wednesday April 14th.
We reached Delle on the Swiss frontier about 4.15 (Greenwich time) & went on at 5.40 (Etna time) It was quite light & the beginnings of a beautiful day. There was endless looking at passports & examination of the luggage & punching of tickets all the time. The country became prettier & prettier with steep cliffs & gorges & hills & fields full of cowslips. And suddenly I caught sight of snow mountains hanging like some lovely mirage on the horizon; they grew nearer & nearer till all the Bernese Oberland was spread out before us. At Berne three fat German Swiss got into the carriage but we went & had breakfast & by the time we came back two had gone. Then followed hours & hours of the most marvellous scenery, curving in & out of valleys & along the steep rocky sides of the hills with snow mountains all around us, dazzling white against the blue of the sky. Thun was quite lovely, a deep blue lake in the foreground & tier upon tier of slightly hazy, ethereal looking snows behind, the Jungfrau amongst them. After Thun we went through the Lötchberg [ Lötschberg ] tunnel and then wound up & up the steep side of a mountain and then along looking down into the Valley of the Rhône. After Brigre [ Brig ] we plunged into the Simplon Tunnel & came out the other side at Iselle in Italy where the train stopped ages for no apparent reason. At Domodossola we went to get the 30% reduction from the railway fares for members of the Congress which still held good. The office in London had muddled things hopelessly & this was the only chance of getting it. We found an Interpreter & he explained it all & they gave us a new ticket with the reduction. He told us the train stopped 25 minutes but as we went back to it it steeped out with all our luggage & our things strewn over the carriage! The Interpreter persuaded the station master to telegraph on to Baveno about it & then as there wasn't a train till 2.45, we went to have a look at the town which was not particularly interesting. We had a very good luncheon for 1/6 each at the Terminal Hotel & afterwards went for a walk outside the town. The train actually did leave at 2.45. We were beginning to doubt both the Interpreter & Italian trains - and on the way we caught a glimpse of Monte Rosa up a side valley. We found all our luggage waiting for us at the station here when we arrived. We came along with it to the Hotel Simplon where they greeted us in English & gave us two charming & spotlessly clean bedrooms for 20 lire [ lira ] each (3/4) a night.
We had tea in the garden & then went for a walk. The lake was the deepest blue, dotted with little islands. Pallanza is opposite & all round are steep & jagged mountains still with a little snow left on them. We went up & up a winding road with all the grass full of primroses, anemones & violets.
The dining room at dinner was full of elderly English spinsters. They looked us up & down for a long time & finally decided I was a chorus girl who had run away with Pa.
We were both so tired that we went to bed at 8.45 in rooms with balconies overlooking the lake & the mountains.
Hotel Moderno Rome - Friday
Tuesday April 15th.
We left Baveno by steamer at 10.30 intending to go to Arona & get the train to Genoa from there but when the man came along taking the tickets we found we'd got onto a steamer for Pallanza which is on the other side of the Lake! However we got off there & walked about a bit. It is a very pretty place mainly composed of huge villas with gardens full of cammelias & wisteria. There was a steamer for Stresa after an hour so we went by that. The lake was absolutely still & we got a beautiful view of the mountains with the top of Monte Rosa appearing above them all in the distance. The boat called at Baveno, Isola Bella & Isola Supeiore [ Superiore ], the islands very picturesque & like picture-postcards. At Stresa we got into a cab & went up to the station trusting to luck there would be a train, & to our great relief discovered that a train was coming in in 15 minutes with a through carriage for Genoa. We had oranges & biscuits at the buffet & were still eating when the train came in; the little man at the buffet got so agitated over adding up the bill & giving change that he put Daddie's hat on his (Daddie's) head & we very nearly missed the train. We got into a solid mass of Lunn's tourists of the most unattractive variety & had to stand till Arona when we got a carriage to ourselves. The lake is not nearly so pretty at that end as the country is quite flat. The train ambled for miles & miles across the plains of Piedmont – very flat & uninteresting with endless poplar trees & little corn & rice fields & bullock carts & peasants working in the fields, the women with coloured handkerchieves tied round their heads. We passed through Novana & Alessandria, & at the latter had tea & saw our first Black Shirts. After Alessandria the train went through the Appenines and it was very pretty winding in & out of the mountains following the river, and – which was not such fun - going in & out of endless tunnels. Soon after this we got our first sight of the Mediterranean & we arrived at Genoa at 6.30.
We went to the Brittania [ Britannia ] Hotel near the station but they were full with the Lunn's tourists so we went to the Londra opposite which was rather in the nature of a pot house but gave us two rooms for L25 a head.
We went straight off to explore Genoa which is a fascinating place with magnificent buildings and, branching off the main streets, masses of very steep salitas with high houses on each side and washing strung across. The houses are mostly built of a yellowish stone & all have green shutters. We reached the Piazza Ferrari a big open place with palm trees and large buildings all round. We turned off down the Via XX Septembre the main street of Genoa; it is very wide with a collonade of polished granite on each side & the pavement is made of mosaic. Altogether a splendid street.
We turned off into a side street & found a little restaurant where the proprietor spoke English & gave us an indifferently good dinner but treated us as though we were his dearest friends & was wreathed in smiles.
We went down as far as the Ponte Monumentale, a splendid bridge in the form of a Roman triumphal arch which takes another street across the Via XX Septembre. All the streets were plastered with notices saying the Archbishop would sing a thanksgiving Te Deum in the Cathedral for the deliverance of Mussolini whose life was attempted by a mad Irish-woman in Rome last week.
We went back by the Via San Lorenzo passing the Cathedral which has a front of black & white marble & looked fine what we could see of it. We got in the Corso Carlo Alberto along by the docks & with many strange little streets going up from it, and finally reached our hotel in the Via Balbi by way of the Salita San Paulo.
Friday April 16th.
We took our luggage to the Station early & got good seats in the train for Rome and then went to explore a bit. We went up onto the high ground & got a very good view of the town & the docks & saw a military funeral. Our train left at 9.20, it was packed but we had seats by the window. The first part of the journey was lovely along the side of hills by the shore of the Mediterranean which was as blue as any picture post-card ever painted it. The tiresome thing was the tunnels every few yards but the line is electrified so there is no smoke or dirt.
We passed Santa Margherita & Rapallo & after that the Country was flatter till we got to Carrara where the mountains were perfectly lovely with huge marble quarries up their sides. Pisa was very disappointing, a straggling modern town & the Leaning Tower, which one can see from the train, is very small. The Country was more or less uninteresting from here to Rome - flat & with vineyards and cornfields but we had the sea nearly all the time & from one place we saw Elba & Corsica.
We got into Rome soon after 7 o'c & it was a fearful thrill as it grew nearer & nearer & finally we arrived.
We went to the Hotel Moderno which had been recommended to Edith Hanmer by a Russian whom she met at Alassio. We expected a small pot house instead of which we found ourselves in a vast new hotel on the corner of the Corso Umberto & the Via Minghetti. It is very comfortable & there is hot & cold water in all the rooms. We are paying L70 a day for room, breakfast & dinner which is very moderate for what it is but it is really more than we want.
I was dead tired & went to bed soon after dinner but Daddie went out & did a little exploring.
Saturday April 17th.
I rang up Miss Brodigan (who is staying with a friend in Rome) & arranged to meet her at 10.30. Daddie & I started out and climbed up to the top of the Monumente Vittorio Emmanuele [ Monumento Vittorio Emanuele ] which is very fine in its gleaming marble & gold & with a bronze ceiling in the top part. We got a good view over Rome & saw the Castle Sant' Angelo, Saint Peter's, the Forum, the Colloseum [ Colosseum ], the Palatine & a good many other things. We walked along the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele & met Miss Brodigan at the Chiesa Nouova [ Nuova ]. I was so pleased to see someone I knew that I nearly fell on her neck with joy. We went in a train to Piazza San Pietro where the whole mass of Saint Peter's & the Colonades burst upon us. The things that struck me most at the first sight was the cleaness of it all & the beautiful soft yellow colour of the stones, & next the perfect proportions of it all. I was not at all disappointed by the interior at the first sight as so many people apparently are. The complete bareness of the floor is a great attractive but in spite of that one does not take in the vastness of it all at first. "Ina" was a very good guide because she knows it all so well; she showed us the beautiful Pieta of Michaelangelo [ Michelangelo ], the column at which our Lord is supposed to have been scourged, the statue of St Peter with the toe worn away by much kissing (there were people passing by & kissing it all the time), the Holy Door, the tomb of St Peter, the old 4th Century Church below the present one, the tomb of Pope Pius X where so many miracles are supposed to have been worked that he is going to be canonized, the bronze doors the huge mosaics on the walls by the High Altar & many other things.
We went on to the Vatican Gallery & saw room after room of the most perfect sculpture till we were giddy. It makes one's head reel to look along the length those galleries & then to think that there are three floors of them. We saw the Borgia Apartments with their paintings & the wonderful dull gold & deep blue colouring. Then we went to the rooms painted by Raphael and to the gallery decorated by him. Then to the Sistine Chapel where we stayed for a long time looking at Michael Angelo's [ Michelangelo's ] Last Judgment & the amazing genius & perspective of the figures on the ceiling also by him. We also looked at the frescoes all round the walls, some by Bottecelli [ Botticelli ]. It is useless trying to describe all we saw in St Peter's & the Vatican Galleries because I couldn't begin to do it & we saw such a mass in such a short time that one's breath was completely taken away. The Swiss Guard are most entrancing in their yellow blue & red striped uniforms.
We all had luncheon at a café in the Piazza San Pietro & then Daddie went to call on Cardinal Gasquet, to whom he had an introduction from Sir Rennell Rodd, & I went with Miss Brodigan to the apartments of the friend she is staying with in the Via Montserrato & rested there. It is an enormous old house & her friend has one floor of it. I walked back by the Villa Farnese & the Campo Fiore [ Campo de' Fiori ] & found Daddie here as he'd had no luck with the Cardinal who was having his afternoon nap.
We went to look at the Hotel Oriente which "Ina" had told us of & which is near here & found they would take us for L50 a day for bedroom, breakfast & dinner, so we're moving there tomorrow.
Daddie went off to try the Cardinal again & I returned to St Peter's & spent a long time there till I was completely absorbed in the fascination of the place. It is a place one should go to alone & be quiet & let it all sink in. All the trippers with their guide books seem very cheap & small beside the people who came in perfectly natural to pray & make their confession I'm pretty sure I should want to become a Catholic if I lived longer in Rome.
Daddie was in when I got back having found the Cardinal & had a very nice time with him.
Mussolini arrived back from Tripoli in the evening & when we went to the Piazza Colonna about 8.30 we found an enormous crowd outside the Parlamento shouting & clapping & evidently expecting him to appear, however after a time a message of some sort came & they all dispersed.
Sunday April 18th.
I woke up with a raging headache & feeling rotton. I went before breakfast to the Piazza del Popolo to hear Mass at Santa Maria; there are several churches there & I went to the first one I came to which was very uninteresting inside & very tawdry. The Server suddenly popped out in the middle & took the Collection going on with his responses while he did so! I went back in the bus to the hotel, ate half a roll & some coffee & was violently sick as soon as I got up to my room, so I came to the conclusion that I'd got a touch of sunstroke the day before.
After breakfast we moved our things to the Oriente & then went to meet "Ina" to go on a luncheon picnic to Frascati. We bought two bags of luncheon at the Station; they each contained some beef, some sausage, two rolls, cheese, figs stuffed with nuts & an apple. We met Ina by the train for Frascati after a great hunt for the right spot, we went past St John Lateran, across the Campagna & then up the hill to Frascati which is about 12 miles from Rome. We went up through the town after we left the train, through the gardens of the Villa Belvedere and then through the woods filled with anemone uppermost a little magenta circle & here & there a glorious blue flower & a magenta coloured anemone. It was too lovely absolutely carpeted in parts with blue & magenta & the anemones ranged through every shade from white to deepest wedgewood. We passed through an ilex grove & across a stretch of downs & then sat down under a wall & ate our luncheon with a glorious view of the Campagna stretched for miles & miles like a sea beneath us, Rome in the middle dominated by St Peter's; far away to the left we could see the sea & over our right were the Sabine Hills in the most lovely soft blues & greens with drifting cloud, shadows & Tivoli perched on them; on the left was the line of the Alban Hills on which we were. After luncheon we went on through more woods still thicker carpeted with flowers, till we walked on Roman pavement & saw the ruined villas & theatre of the Roman town of Tusculaneum [ Tusculum ]. The mountain is about 1200 feet high but we didn't go right to the top. It would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful place with the Corsican pines, the Ilexes, the woods, the flowers & the wonderful view, and in addition delicious mountain air. We had to start down almost straight away & we picked bunches of anemones & cyclamen as we went. Our train which left at 4.20 was simply packed & another which we had to change into at the bottom of the hill was even fuller. "Ina" & I took it in turns to sit on each other's laps all the way back.
She took us to tea with two English friends of hers. Contessa Capello [ Campello ] (who married an Italian, now dead) & Miss Lister. They live in the Via Monte Tarpeo which is built on the sight of the Tarpean [ Tarpeian ] Rock from which the Romans with that pleasantness which characterized them, used to hurl their prisoners. The Contessa I thought faintly tiresome but Miss Lister was nice.
On the way back we looked down from the Capitol at Old Rome & got a bird's eye view of the Forum, the Colosseum, Caesar's house and the Arch of Trajan. In the square of the Capitol is the enormous bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius made during his lifetime.
After dinner Daddie & I went in a bus to the Piazza del Popoli & walked back by the Via Babbuini [ Babuino ] & the Piazza di Spagna. There were crowds of people in the streets.
Monday April 20th.
I went to Mass at the Gesu Church which is the Church of St Ignatius & very fine.
Daddie went off to the Vatican soon after breakfast to see the Pope's Maestro di Camera, Brother Clancey.
I went to the Church of St John Lateran & explored it thoroughly. It, like St Peter's has a magnificent great empty floor space. There are beautiful 14th Century mosaics on the wall of the transept, unfortunately rather mixed up with Victorian enlargements. Under the high altar are what are supposed to be the heads of S.S Peter & Paul.
I went on up the Via San Giovanni to the little old church of San Clemente which has three different churches one below the other. I went into the present one but found it was impossible to see the whole thing without a guide. I came back past the Colosseum. Daddie was in when I arrived & we went off to Barclay's Bank in the Piazza di Spagna to see Duncy Balfour who is the manager there. He greeted us straight off with "hello Sir Francis, want to see the Pope?" He says Cardinal Gasquet has just had a bad illness & is very old & feeble & that card he gave Daddie wasn't much use. However he had Cardinal Gasperre's [ Gasparri's ] nephew working in the bank & we had him up & talked to him & he is to tell the Cardinal that Daddie wants to present the Everest book to the Pope (who is very keen on mountaineering & they think probably he will arrange a private interview.
Duncy says there was fearful excitement the day of the attempt on Mussolini; the people have made up their minds the English are jealous of him & that it was an English plot to kill him. There were great crowds everywhere & they had 50 soldiers in the bank to protect it.
We went up to the Pincio & got a good view of Rome but the gardens are disappointing. We found a restaurant there & had a most excellant luncheon but it was quite horribly dear, L59 for just two dishes for the two of us & that didn't include the tip.
We walked along to the Borghese, which also I thought disappointing, the inside is very florid & the statues are quite swallowed up in the floridness.
We returned here very footsore & weary & I rested for ½ an hour. Then we went to tea with the friends Miss Brodigan is staying with in the Via Montserrato [ Monserrato ]. One is called Signorina Perrazzi & the others name I couldn't grasp but she lectures on Philosophy & Pedagogie at the Teacher's Training College of Rome. They were both delightful but the one whose name I don't know does not speak English which made conversation difficult. "Ina" was leaving for England & the Club early next morning. I nearly wept at saying goodbye to the one familiar face here.
We came back by the Colosseum which has been so terribly mutilated inside that it is hard to realize what it must have looked like but it is very impressive for its great height & size.
I went to bed directly after dinner. It is very hard to sleep here because there is a cobbled street with trams just outside; a Church bell next door clangs every 10 minutes from 5.30 onwards.
Tuesday April 20th.
Daddie & I started out a little before 10 o'c & went to the Banca Commerciale Italia to get letters, there were none for me but several for him including one from Toeplitz the head of the bank asking us to stay with him in Milan which is nice.
We went on to Barclay's & saw Duncy who had up Cardinal Gasparri's nephew who said the difficult was to arrange the interview in such a short time. He went off & wrote a letter in Italian for Daddie to sign asking for an interview; it was a glorious letter saying he bowed low in humilitude & servility before the Lord His Holiness the Pope. Duncy said to be very careful the next day (the birthday of Rome) to salute all wandering bands of Fascisti carrying colours because otherwise they were apt to take it as a deliberate insult & be very rough & at San Reno they had knocked down an Englishman & injured him badly for not taking his hat off to some stray flag or other. He says they must have shows & excitement provided for them & that is why Mussolini advertises himself so much.
We went on to see Santa Maria del Popoli which has one very beautiful marble chapel, then we went to the sculpture part of the Capitoline Museum & saw the Dying Gaul & the Venus about to bathe.
We went to luncheon with Contessa Campello & Miss Lister. I liked the Contessa a great deal better this time; they were both extremely kind & gave us an excellant luncheon. Miss Lister told us that before Mussolini Italy was on the verge of revolution & it wasn't safe for a woman of the bourgeois to go about alone in Rome, they were pushed off the trains & insulted everywhere. She herself saw men in the Corso attack a disabled officer break up his crutches & tear off his medals. These are the same people who are now so patriotic that they knock down people for not saluting their flag!
We went on to give the introduction which Mrs Vincent had sent me to her sister Contessa di Sylva who lives in Via Piacenza but unfortunately she is away in France.
We went from there to the Belle Arti Exibition which corresponds to an Academy. There were some extraordinarily nice things there and they had handwork besides paintings & etchings. We looked at the Burne-Jones mosaics in the American church & then went in a train to San Paolo fuori le mura which is about a mile beyond the walls of Rome & is really a modern copy of the older church which was burnt in the early part of the 19th century.
There is an enormous bare interior with a floor of different coloured marbles and double rows of huge polished granite columns brought from Baveno. Under the high altar are the bodies of St Paul & Timothy. There are two beautiful green malachite altars given by Nicholas I of Russia. In the monastery itself are perfectly lovely little 13th century cloisters made of alabaster and ornimented with mosaics.
Daddie went off to hear the poet Ratti giving an oration at the Augusteo on the place of Rome in the World, & I went to see the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore which is very like San Paolo fuori le mura. The roof is guilded with the finest gold brought from America by Christopher Columbus, & there is a magnificent marble chapel called the Borghese Chapel. I walked back to the hotel.
Wednesday April 21st.
I went to Mass at a church round the corner.
There was great excitement over the birthday of Rome. Daddie & I went out about 9.30 & found the Piazza Colonna full of people & bands of Fascists marching by with flags & colours. Most of the men salute the colours by putting their right arm straight out in front of them which is easier for you than taking your hat off but very apt to injure your neighbour. We thought they were all marching to the Piazza del Popoli so we went down there but found it completely deserted. We walked along to one of the bridges over the Tiber & found a good many people & more Fascisti there.
We made our way to the Pantheon which is an old Roman temple turned into a church. It is circular with an enormous portico & one opening in the middle of the ceiling to let in the light. Raphael is buried there & also Victor Emmanuel I, the first king of united Italy.
We went on from there to Santa Maria sopra Minerva which is supposed to be the only Gothic church in Rome but precious little of the Gothic is visible. Michaelangelo's [ Michelangelo’s ] figure of Christ is there, & there are some very fine monuments.
We came back to the Piazza Colonna & found a vaste crowd and soldiers lining the Corso Umberto. We waited for an hour but nothing happened except that a few bands of Fascisti arrived. It was disappointing because we had hoped to see Mussolini
We are getting very tired of seeing "Viva il Duce" Viva Mussolini" scrawled on every wall & his picture everywhere and appeals to the Fascisti to do this or to do that plastered up all over Rome almost every day, and proclamations saying Mussolini is the saviour of his people & the badge of Fascisimo & the Cross of Christ go together.
We had luncheon at the hotel & then went to see the Campo di Fiore, the flower market, which is only open on Wednesdays but there was nothing on as everything was shut for the birthday of Rome.
We went next to the National Museum up by the Station but that also was shut so we went back to the hotel, made ourselves tidy & went to call on Professor Orestano who lives in Via Brenta the new part of Rome over by the Viale Regina Margherita. He has a very nice flat there very like the American flats. He is the Rome President of the Moral Education Congress & is a very nice little man; there was also a nice Norwegian professor there who studies the question of how best to teach history. We looked at the extraordinary new houses that are being built as we came away; they are all & every shape like some wild picture of Rackham's or Dulac's, and have pictures painted on the walls.
We listened for a bit to the band in the Piazza Colonna but there was too much crowd to be able to hear much.
After dinner we went out to see the illuminations. All the inside of the Victor Emmanuel Monument was lighted up & the white of the marble & gold of the mosaic gleamed from a long way away. The Capitol was all brilliantly illuminated & the water of the fountain had been made blue by the hidden blue lights.
We went round to the Tarpeian Rock and looked over at the Colosseum which was lighted up by tremendously strong yellow & red searchlight. It was beautiful standing out in the surrounding darkness. The Arch of Constantine was also illuminated but on the far side so we couldn't see it.
Thursday April 22nd.
I went to Mass at a near by church.
We went to the Bank for letters after breakfast but there weren't any which was strange. Then we had a thoroughly wasted morning. We went to the Italian State Railways Office to see about getting back the money on our tickets. They sent us to the Station & we got into a train which took us miles round by the Piazza Regina where we went yesterday to see Professor Orestano. The Station said they would have to take off 20% for giving us money back on tickets not used & as the concession was 30% that wasn't much use so we went back the way we had come to Professor Orestano to see if he could do anything about it but he was out, so then we went to the Banca Commerciale Italiana, saw the manager & told him we were friends of Toepliz the managing director, & he said he would see what he could do.
We had a nasty but filling and cheap luncheon at a little restaurant off the Via Nazionale and then went in a very rattling bus along the Appian Way. We passed the Church of Quo Vadis & the catacombs of St Calixtus [ Callixtus ] & got out at the Church of San Sebestian [ Sebastian ] which is built above the place where the saint was buried. A charming Capuchin monk took us through the catacombs & it was one of the most awe inspiring things I have ever done; we wound in & out of endless narrow passages by the light of flickering candles & with the monk ahead in his brown habit. All along were triple layers of tombs hewn in the walls, some of them containing bones & skulls; at intervals there were holes in the walls for lamps & in one or two places the original lamps were still there. Above & beneath us were more galleries of tombs & at one place we came to a skylight 45 above where we were standing. The most extraordinary thing of all is a discovery excavated within the last few years of the house of Hermes where St Paul lodged & where their bodies are supposed to have been buried after their martyrdom. It is as completely fresh & new as though it had been built yesterday, the exterior is made of perfect little bricks & inside are two rooms, one with mural paintings in very good designs & the other with a most beautiful ornimented white plaster ceiling as fresh as though it were just finished. On the outside are mural paintings of the Good Shepherd & grape vines. This was one of the most interesting things by far that I have seen in Rome. Alongside the house was a flight of steps leading down to a spring of water where baptisms took place. Above was a room lined with small pieces of the wall which were found during the excavations and on all of them were the names of Peter & Paul, "Peter & Paul pray for us" etc.
We came out and walked along the Appian Way to the Tomb of Caecilia Metella the wife of Crassus, a large round building now a museum.
We came back in the bus as far as the Colosseum & got out there & walked along to the Church of San Clemente where an Irish Dominican monk showed us over; there is an older church under the present one which was only discovered in 1857. It contains some very lovely frescoes including the earliest known one of the Madonna & Child (Byzantine) and the Crucifixion (9th century). Underneath this church again is another layer with a Roman house believed to have been the house of Clement, Bishop of Rome & mentioned in St Paul's Epistles. There are two rooms, one with the remains of the original ceiling very like that at San Sebestian [ Sebastian ] but nothing like so well preserved. It is very probable if this is the house of Clement (& there doesn't seem much reason why it shouldn't be as Constantine built the Church above the spot where the house stood) that St Paul visited it frequently. Beyond the house is a bit of the Roman Wall built in 500 B.C; it is made of enormous blocks of stone fitting together quite perfectly without morter. It is very high – or rather deep - and completely undamaged. On the other side is a very complete temple of Mithras the Sun God. In the middle is a column carved with representations of Mithras slaying the Bull, & as the rising & setting sun. At the back is the altar & the place for slaying the bull. It is thought that the sect of Mithras which was very powerful in the 2nd century, got the house of Clement away from the Christians & built a temple there & that the Christians in their turn got it back at the time of Constantine.
We walked up from San Clemente to St John Lateran, got a train there & went to see the wonderful statue of Moses by Michaelangelo [ Michelangelo ] in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli.
When we got back to the hotel we found a letter from Dunky saying Daddie was to have a private audience with the Pope the next day at 12.45 which was good. As this had been arranged we decided to go to Assisi for the day on Saturday instead of Sunday & on to Perugia for the night that same evening & then to Florence the next day.
Friday April 23rd.
I went to Mass.
Daddie & I went to the bank for letters & I got one from Kathleen saying she has had a wire from Anna saying she is arriving to stay with her in India!
We went to see the manager again about our tickets & they are sending in a claim to the head office of the railway in Florence.
After this we went to the National Museum & dashed round looking for the headless & armless Venus of Cyrene. We found a lady who certainly was headless & armless & very beautiful but were not sure if she was the right one. Then we came back to the hotel for Daddie to get ready for his audience with the Pope. We went in a slow little cab to the Vatican, Daddie in full evening dress but people here are so used to it that they take no notice!
I left him there & went to St Peter's and wandered about it for some time. It was almost empty, being the middle of the day, and it is terrifying when its enormous size begins to dawn on one (which it does not do the first time one sees it).
I went on to the Vatican Picture Gallery which is small but has some great masterpieces, including Raphael's "Transfiguration". Outside St Peter's is a notice saying "Ladies indecently dressed, entrance is prohibited" & there are two men at the door to see that they are all right!
I came back here & found Daddie who had had a splendid time with the Pope. He had kept him talking for 20 minutes, knew all about the Expedition & was most interested & at the end gave Daddie a medal. It all sounds exactly like the description of some medieval court with people of all nationalities waiting about in the anti-rooms. We went to see Dunky & tell him about it & he was very pleased & interested. Then we had tea at a café in the Piazza Colonna and afterwards climbed up the Janiculum to Garibaldi's Monument where there is a beautiful view all over Rome & away to the Alban & the Sabine Hills & we could even make out the Villa we passed by at Frascati. We came down, crossed over the river & walked up onto the Aventine past the Villa of the Knights of Malta & went to see the little Church of San Sabina which has wonderful carved cypress wood doors of the 5th century, & in the garden (shown us by a most cheerful monk) an orange tree planted by St Dominic & smelling too delicious for words. We passed by the outside of the Church of St Prisca built above the house where St Paul lodged with Priscilla and Aquila, and also the beautiful church of Santa Maria Cosmedin with its 12th century tower. There was a good view over the Palatine.
While we were at dinner a perfectly charming young Contessa, a friend of Mr Toeplitz appeared & said she had had a telegram from him that morning asking her to look after us but alas! we had to tell her we were leaving early the next day. She came back for us in an hour & took us to the theatre where we saw a more or less indifferent musical comedy. She is a Venetian, a widow & quite delightful. It is very sad we did not see her before because besides being so nice she could have taken us to all sorts of things like the State apartments of the Vatican. I discovered afterwards that the musical comedy was "Katja the Dancer" which is an English thing & was on for some time in London, so our only Italian play was English!
Hotel Palazzo Perugia
Saturday April 24th.
We left Rome at 8.45. I got up at 7, having got to bed at 1 the night before. I wasn't awfully sorry to leave Rome I don't know why. The train went at first across the Campagna which personally I think is over rated except at a distance. Soon we got into the hills & then there was a lovely wild bit with a torrential river cutting its way through the rocks, & all the railway banks covered with pale pink & magenta orchids, grape hyacinths, the little cyclaman & many other flowers. We passed the beautiful old medieval towns of Narni, Terni and Spello perched high up on the hills. Foligno, what we could see of it, was uninteresting. The valley of Spoleto surrounded by hills is very pretty.
We arrived at Assisi Station a little before 1 o'c and went the two miles up to the town in a fearfully shaky & rattling old motor bus. We got out at the Porte [ Porta ] San Pietro but our entrance into the town was not good because Daddie, having previously in the bus held a bottle of Chianti & a bottle of water upside down so that their contents trickled all down my leg, got out & shot the whole lot out before him!
Assisi is a very wonderful little place because beside its austere beauty it is completely filled with the Spirit of St Francis perhaps partly because it is so little changed since his day but whatever it may be you feel as a young Italian in the train said to live as though you were walking on holy ground. We went first to the huge church of San Francesco but found it shut till 2 o'c so we bought post cards & then walked along through the town with its narrow winding streets & little grey houses to the Square or market place & then up to the Cathedral. The exterior is very beautiful but the inside had made recent additions & is florid. It contains the part where St Francis was batised because the Cathedral was built just before he was born.
We walked out of the town & found the whole hillside covered with little pale yellow orchids smelling faintly of orange blossom. We also found the magenta anemone, a dark purple orchid & a few grape hycinths. Below us was a rushing muddy river with a broad pebbly bed & above & around there grey hills, so like the hills & the rivers of India. Away on the left were the plains of Umbria & above us on the right Monte Subisio [ Subasio ]. Altogether a most lovely spot, & St Francis' love of nature was completely explained. We had plenty of time so we laid in the sun & I thought of St Francis & wondered where he had preached to the birds & what things he had thought as he looked at that very same view. It is impossible to describe how completely his presence fills all that place or how perfect it all is. One should go there either alone or with someone who thought the same ways & stay a long while & become steeped in the spirit of the place.
We went back through the town to San Francesco which is two churches one above the other in the steepness of the hillside. The lower one is very dark & mysterious and both are completely covered with frescoes mostly by Giotto & including the famous one of St Francis preaching to the birds. Both are lovely - infinitely more so than the Cathedral. They are built above the spot where St Francis was buried & his body was discovered there (hidden by Brother Elias) in 1818. We went from there to catch the bus & through its being late alas! had no time to see Santa Maria degli Angeli which is built around the Portiuncula [ Porziuncola ]. It was a barbarous way to do things to rush through in a few hours, & I know now that I would rather see Assisi than Rome. I watched it from the train till it vanished from sight. We got to Perugia at 6.15 & came in a funny little train from the station which took all the luggage & wound up & up the three miles to the town. We went to the Belle Arti Hotel but they were full. The nice porter of the hotel took us to several others which were all full, till we got two small rooms at the Palace a vaste & expensive place full of English & American. We are paying L55 each for dinner, room & breakfast.
I went upstairs directly after dinner to write my diary & go to bed. Thank goodness it is quiet here; in Rome a church bell started at 5.30 a.m & went every 10 minutes after & then there were unending trains & motor horns. How I want to go back to Assisi & stay there a long while!
Hotel Berchielli Florence Sunday April 25th.
We went out directly after breakfast & found it pouring in torrents. We went up the Corso Vanucci [ Vannucci ] to the beautiful Palazzo Communale [ Comunale ] which we walked into but were greeted by a man who said the museum was shut till 10 o'c, however he was awfully nice & took us over a great deal of the other part and showed the various municipal rooms & pictures & some very fine furniture. He told us all about them in Italian but it was quite easy to follow. We went next across the Piazza Municipio with the Palazzo on one side & the Cathedral on the other & a big fountain in the middle.
The Cathedral is very nice outside & has an open air pulpit put up for St Bernardino to preach from. The inside is not at all equal to the exterior.
We went next to look at the beautiful little carved & sculptured facade of the Chapel of St Bernardino.
By this time it was 10 o'c so we went back to the Palazzo Communale & looked at the picture gallery which is entirely composed of primitives of the Umbrian School and unluckily we hadn't got time to stay & look at them properly.
We went next to the Collegio del Cambio which turned out to be much the best thing in Perugia. There were three quite perfect little rooms with carved & inlaid walnut pannelling & stalls, & frescoes by Perugino, & Raphael at the age of 17.
From there we went to the Chapel of San Severo & saw a frescoe by Raphael painted when he was 17 and below it a row of Saints by Perugino. We wandered about for a bit up & down little narrow streets and looked at the terrific walls of the town which is built on three hills & seems to be at an angle of about 45 degrees in some places. Finally we landed back in the Piazza Vittoria Emmanuele [ Emanuele ] & as it had cleared a bit we had a good view of the Umbrian Hills straight ahead but it was very misty over towards Assisi and we could only see the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli down in the plain.
We had luncheon at 12 & left in a kind of communal hotel bus for the station which looks as though it was only a few hundred yards away but the town is nearly 1,000 feet above it so the road curves round & round in spirals. It was lovely when we left & we had a last glimpse of Assisi.
We passed Lake Trasimeno soon after leaving Perugia. Unfortunately it was grey & angry with white crested waves; the hills behind half hidden in clouds made it look rather like a Scottish loch. We didn't pass anything else specially interesting but there were wonderful effects of light and shade now & then with the hills deepest violet-blue & their tops plunged in inky black clouds, while the plain caught a shaft of brilliant sunshine.
We reached Florence about 5.15 and came to Bechielli's [ Berchielli's ] Hotel which had been recommended to us & is on the river near the Ponte Vecchio. They propose to charge us L65 a head en pension.
It had become a perfect evening with fat white clouds so we went out at once, across the Ponte Vecchio which we decided was not so pretty as Pulteney Bridge at Bath, & then to the Duomo which is built entirely of white, green & red marble & is glorious outside but the inside is very disappointing, white painted walls & plain stone pillars. We went to the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza where Savanarola [ Savonarola ] was hung & back past the Uffizi Gallery in pouring rain.
I unpacked & wrote before dinner.
This place is completely full of English people of the most hotely & uninteresting kind.
Monday April 26th.
Daddie & I started off by an 8.45 train to go for the day to Siena which is 60 miles from here. It was raining when we started & it continued to rain most of the way there. The country we passed through was pretty but not very thrilling. We made straight for the Cathedral when we arrived because all churches start at 12. I think it is the most beautiful church we have seen so far. The outside is entirely white marble with deep lines of black marble. There is a glorious west front of pink and white marble with much carving & figures & lovely pillars by the doors. The pink marble has faded & the white has turned soft buff colour till the two coloured melt into each other. The interior is partially Gothic & very fine with huge black & white pillars, and a marble floor with inlaid figures most of which is, however, kept covered up. Behind the high altar are splendidly carved choir stalls. At the side of the church is the huge church they started to build in the 14th century intending to turn the present one into one of the transepts but they were not able to finish it. We went next to look at the Municipal Building in the Campo with its high tower. A most attractive medieval building. It was simply pouring so we ate our luncheon, which we had brought with us, in another sort of public building with a deep porch & beautiful carved marble benches & a carved & painted ceiling. It stopped raining later on & we went over St Catherine of Siena's house in the Via Benincasa. They show you the little cell-like room in which she lived & the stone pillow on which she slept. All the other rooms have been turned into chapels & have frescoes by various artists illustrating incidents in her life. She is certainly one of the most attractive of the women saints. We went next to the huge brick church of San Domenico in which she is supposed to have wrought several of her miracles. The proportions of the interior are very fine but the walls have been painted black & white in imitation of the Cathedral & that just gives it rather a shoddy look.
I went into a shop which had "English Spoken" in the window to buy post cards but "English Spoken" were the only two words of English that the shopkeeper knew & he evidently considered it a huge joke!
We got back here at 6.30 to find torrents of rain. It is very sad.
Tuesday April 27th.
We went out soon after 9 o'c in pouring rain to the E.N.I.T office to see if there were any letters for us but there was nothing which was sad & depressing. We went on to the Pitti Palace but found it didn't open till 11 o'c so we came back & went to the Uffizi which was open & we spent most of the morning there. It is an enormous place round three sides of an oblong and full of course of masterpieces in bewildering profusion - quite useless to try & describe all we saw. We tried to get into the Palazzo Vecchio but it was "chiuso" as everything seems to be so we went up to the Duomo and looked at the bronze doors of the Baptistry & the mosaics on the ceiling. After luncheon we went to the Pitti which used to be one of the palaces of the Medici & is heavily carved & guilt in the late 18th Century style which I dislike intensely - however the pictures were glorious. We saw Raphael's Madonna of the Chair; Sir Peter Lely's Oliver Cromwell, a beautiful Madonna & Child by Murillo and high up over a door a most perfect picture of St Francis by someone beginning with R. There is a whole section of the gallery for portraits of artists by themselves; they have there the famous ones of Raphael & Sir Joshua Reynolds, three of Rembrandt, besides a good many modern artists. There are in the various rooms tables with most wonderful inlaid tops of marble, porphry [ porphyry ], malachite, lapis lazuli, jasper, sardine stone & many more whose names I don't know.
We went to tea with "Ina's" Aunt, Miss Wanchope who lives in the Via Vittorio Emmanuale [ Emanuele ]. She is a nice little old lady & lived for some time in Rotherhithe. There was another most amusing old lady, a Miss Macdermid, there who knows Italy very well & told me lots of good stories. We tried to see the Museum of San Marco with the frescoes by Fra Angelico on the way back but of course it was shut.
We dined with Dr da Filippi [ de Filippi ] out at Settignano about three miles from here. He sent his car to fetch us & in it were a Mr & Mrs Bramly who have been in Egypt a great deal. He was delightful & she was a nice woman but not so easy or entertaining. Dr da Filippi has a pretty villa full of things collected all over the world, and with what must be in the day time, a glorious view over Florence & the opposite hills. There was a Russian lady there with a most interesting face, she escaped from Russia after the revolution, losing everything of course & is now Dr da Filippi's secretary. She told us awful stories of escapes & imprisonments & was very bitter. We had a most excellant dinner & the whole thing might have taken place in any English house which was in a way a little sad except that it was such a nice evening in itself.
Coming back all the town & the hills were flooded with brilliant moonlight and the cypresses stood up black against the sky.
Dr da Filippi's villa used to belong to Dr Annuncio.