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.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 10, Sep 1920-Mar 1921; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J10)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Wednesday September 1st 1920.
We went to Church on Sunday morning.
Miss Potter and Mrs Stanhope, Mr Koop and Mrs Zunz came to tea. I came upstairs to fetch somthing and dashing downstairs again I feel down and I think, slightly sprained my ankle. I went to Church because I knew there would be a scarcity of choir and as it was Madame Duvivier (who plays the organ) and I were the only people in the choir. When I got back my foot had swollen in a most beautiful and artistic way and I laid on the sofa and had cold water bandages put on it and then hobbled up to be assisted by Daddie and Shortie and all of us in fits of laughter. I stayed in bed all day Monday which, except for the fact that it was a fine day, was most pleasant because nearly everyone came to see me and rained sympathy and books and chocolate on me and made a fuss of me which, as my foot didn't hurt at all and I was very warm and comfortable, I enjoyed very much indeed. Mademoiselle Reussens came and talked French with me in the morning; Mrs Stanhope came to see me and Madame Duvier who came to give Mummy a message came up to see me and sent me some books to read.
Directly after luncheon Phyllis suddenly appeared Madame Duvivier having very kindly sent up her boy to say I was in bed and would like to see her and the maid apparently having told her that I was very ill and very "impatient" to see her; she got rather a shock when she saw my extreme hilarity and before she went we had a free fight. Soon after Miss Larpent came (I had sent her a note by Mademoiselle Reussens) and was quite charming and lent me a very amusing book and gave me a little book which had belonged to Mrs Ellerman.
Miss Potter came to see me after tea and bought me some chocolates. Daddie went over to Verveviers [ Verviers ] to see the Lawrences.
I had a letter from Alice yesterday morning; she is enjoying her time in Holland very much I am glad to say.
Mrs Stanhope came to see me in the morning and then I uprose. Phyllis and her brother Mr Cockburn who has just come back from America, came to fetch us in the motor at 12 o'c and took us up there to luncheon and we had a very nice time indeed. Mrs Moore is very kind. Phyllis came back to tea with me (they sent us down in the motor) and we spent most of the afternoon in trying without much success to make riddles of the "why did the owl 'owl?" variety. After tea we went up to see Miss Larpent and it started to simply pelt all it knew so we waited till 7 o'c, which was the hour Phyllis was supposed to meet her people at the Casino, hoping it would stop but it didn't so we made a dash for it and tore down the hill shrieking with laughter the whole way and arrived here to find no one in and to be told by Marie that the motor had been here for Phyllis some time ago and they had waited a long time and then gone away; she went off down to the Casino to see if she could find them and I have heard no more. I hope to goodness it is alright.
Mademoiselle Reussens and I took the books back to Madame Duvivier this morning and then went for a little walk and then said "good-bye".
We aren't going till tomorrow now because owing to a muddle over dates Pompey has asked his other visitors to stay till the 4th so can't have us till the 6th which is Monday. Personally I am glad because it means a week-end in London and St. Martin's and possibly seeing Peggy.
Poor Mrs Brailsford is very ill, they think she has got pleurisy but she won't see a doctor which is very foolish. I am so sorry she is so ill.
Saturday September 4th 1920.
3, Buckingham Gate.
Phyllis came to luncheon on Wednesday; she had found her people alright the day before. We played about after luncheon and went to enquire after Mrs Brailsford and say "good-bye" to Mr Brailsford, the former was much better. Phyllis and I said a fond "good-bye" about 4 o'c; she is such a nice girl. I'm sorry to say they don't know when they will be in England; they go to the south of France for the winter and spring. We had made great friends and were very sorry to say "good-bye". After tea Daddie and I went to say good bye to Miss Larpent, she took me up to her room and gave me some little silver Dutch buttons which had belonged to Mrs Ellerman, she is such a dear and I was so sorry to say good bye to her but she thinks she will be in London this winter. Afterwards we went down and met Mrs Stanhope and Mummy and Miss Potter at Noel's where we remained talking and choosing knitted coats till nearly 8 o'c.
We uprose at 6 o'c on Thursday morning and had breakfast and the most amusing porter at the Lueken came for our luggage. Marie presented me with a beautiful bouquet of roses before we left; then we said a fond farewell to everyone and set off for the station with innumerable baskets of food and umbrellas and coats. The train left Spa at 8.10 and we had the carriage to ourselves with the exception of one other person who managed to find a percarious seat in the midst of our ocean of packages. We had to change at Pepinster; there was a large crowd there and the train (parts of which had come all the way from Vienna) was full when it came in; there was no room in the 2nd class so the station master said we might go in the 1st so we had a carriage all to ourselves, except for another gentleman as far as Léige [ Liège ], and were very comfortable. They were German carriages and extraordinarily comfortable, they have very wide corridors and the carriages themselves have deep seats so that when you sit back you are almost lying down, then there is one big window almost the width of the carriage so that evening when you are lying back you can see everything that goes by; under the window there is a collapseable table; there are very big racks and under them smaller racks for umbrellas and sticks.
The country as far as Léige was hilly and very pretty; Léige itself is a fine town in a beautiful situation and with the Meuse flowing through it. After Léige the country is flat and nearly all fields and avenues of poplar trees, and windmills and red and white cottages and churches scattered over the country. We saw a good many ruined houses at Louvain and one whole street was in ruins. At Brussels we saw the lovely steeple of the Cathedral of St. Gidule [ Gudula ]. We passed through Ghent and Bruges but didn't see much of them, except a beautiful Cathedral spire at Bruges. We arrived at Ostend about 1.30 and got on the boat with no difficulty over passports or customs. There was a good deal of damage in the way of broken bridges across the railway line as we got into Ostend.
Sunday September 5th 1920.
As we sailed out of Ostend we saw the "Vindictive" which was sunk across the mouth of the harbour by us during the war and which they are now trying to refloat. The sea was calm and it was quite fine but there was a strong wind and it got very misty and started to rain as we got into Dover. There were 150 Polish refugees on their way to America on the boat. It was the first time I had ever been to Dover or approached "the white cliffs of old England" from the sea but unfortunately it was so misty that we couldn't see much. Daddie dashed off the boat and got us seats in the train. We came up by Rochester and Faversham, all the English country looked extraordinarily different and un-usual. We arrived at Victoria at 9 o'c and spent nearly an hour collecting all our belongings and getting through the customs but they were very good and didn't open anything. We were very glad to get back here and get to bed. It is so funny to be back in England and hear everyone talking English; we nearly scream with excitment and say "why, theres someone English" every time we hear it!
Shortie and I went to the Stores on Friday afternoon and then to St. Martin's to get the Review (there is an article in it by Daddie this month on "Natural Beauty in Geography") it was so nice to see St. Martin's again, just going into it seems to make me feel different. We went over to the Lunch Club and saw Miss Simpson; Cousin Margaret is away down in Devonshire. We went on to Miss Wolff's and met Mummy there; poor Miss Wolff looked very tired and ill but she was very pleased to see us and very anxtious to hear all we had been doing. I had my hair cut at the Auxilary yesterday morning and did things in the house for the rest of the day.
Shortie and I went to my beloved St. Martin's for the Holy Communion at 10.15 this morning and stayed on for the next service, Mr Sheppard looked very ill and tired but he preached a wonderful sermon on the terribleness of the way we utterly ignore the fact that Christianity would supply the solution for all the problems such as the coal question which face us today and the way in which the world does not take us seriously or think that we have anything to offer; he says that Statesmen look on "the Church of England as by law established" as an excellent institution for looking after the poor and keeping them in their place. People would not think of turning to Christianity when they are in a tight corner and we go to Church for comfort when times look dark to get a little comforted but with a curious feeling that we shall be more depressed still when we get outside. We have made Christ so little and reduced religion to a series of technicalities; how if He came back He would reprove with withering scorn those who say "you shall not sit with me at the Communion Table and I will not sit with you". He met and by His wonderfulness conquered the hard man like the Prodigal Son and the selfish man like Zacchaeus but those who cost Him His life blood were the official religious people - the people who discussed whether it was the Will of God that one should eat an egg laid on the Sabbath and who for ethics gave men etiquette. How we have lost the greatness of religion, of that thing which is greater than the Churches and more beautiful than a sunset in summer. Our bodies have grown enormous through all the discoveries of science but our souls and spirits have shrunk and grown so small and we use the discoveries of science for our sins. The real work of Christianity in the world cannot be done by the clergymen because the world looks on them as official because they are paid and wear their collar the wrong way round but we have got to show the world what Christianity is like wherever we are; we must take our Christ everywhere with an intensity which amounts almost to fanatism and show the world how glorious and strong and big He is. It rests with us to give Christianity as it ought to be to men and to say to a world which is choosing the road to ruin "no, that is not the way". I stayed behind afterwards and saw him to speak to for a moment; he had masses of people waiting for him. He was charming of course.
Shortie has gone down to Streatham this afternoon to see her sister who is in hospital. Mummy and Daddie went to see Mrs Henniker. Miss Wolff came to tea and we have been showing her all our new frocks and hats which she seemed to like very much.
Daddie and I go down to Devonshire to Major Dunlop tomorrow.
I wrote to Phyllis on Friday and Miss Larpent yesterday.
There is a deadlock over the miners threat to strike. They demand that the price of household coal should be reduced by 14/2 a ton (which it was put up in May) and that they should have 2s a week more wages. The Government refuses on the grounds (1). that it is impossible to lower the price of coal without running a great many collieries at a loss and without a big loss to the Exchequer which would have to be made up by the tax payer. (2). that the miner's wages are suffient at present and more than equal to the increased cost of living. The general opinion is that the miner's leaders are working for Nationalization of the mines, which they have wanted for some time, by making private ownership impossible. There is a Trades Union Congress at Portsmouth this week and the other two members of the "Triple Alliance" (railway and transport) have got to decide if they will strike in sympathy with the miners. It will be a terrible thing and cause great suffering if there is a strike like that but it is terribly difficult to say which side is right. Public opinion is against them but people do not seem to think there will be a strike.
Tuesday September 7th 1920.
The Glen, Leusden, Near Ashburton South Devon.
We came down here yesterday by the 11 o'c train which comes by Newbury and doesn't stop till it gets to Exeter which feat it made up for in our case (we were put into another train at Exeter) by waiting there nearly ½ an hour. We got out at Newton Abbot and had a most glorious drive, of over 10 miles here by Ashburton and Holne where Charles Kingsley was born. Pompey is most cheerful and amusing and kind. This country is wonderful, endless wooded hills and moors, and glorious hot, sunshiny weather. Pompey and I went out after dinner to fish for some large sea trout which had come up the Webburn. We set out armed with wasp grubs, which is about the only thing they will take, and a torch it being very dark which is apparently an added inducement to them to eat grubs. We stumbled along a very up and down and very narrow path, covered with boulders and roots of trees. We caught nothing except branchs and have since made pretty certain that the fish had moved on up! but it was great fun. I went out fishing this morning with no luck.
I found a letter from Peggy waiting for me when we arrived yesterday which was very nice. She says she tried to get up to London earlier to see me as we went through but couldn't manage it. I have written to her this afternoon.
Thursday September 9th 1920.
Mummy sent me a letter from Cousin Gerty yesterday morning which had been written on July 7th and got mis-laid in the flat.
We went for a long walk in the morning to the top of one of the local tors known as Buckland Beacon; we walked up through the woods to the pretty village of Buckland and then on up to the top of the tor; it was a long walk but the glorious view at the top was worth it; we saw Teignmouth behind us and in front the silver streak of the Dart winding through the valley and far away in the distance what ought to have been Dartmouth and at the side miles over Dartmoor, we could also see faintly on the horizon the headland of Lyme Regis. For the rest of the day I sat in a deck chair and read and also wrote to Aunt Di.
Sunday September 12th 1920.
I don't know what happened on Thursday morning but in the afternoon Daddie and I walked over to Holne Cot to see Cousin Janie Dawson who was away but it was a lovely walk and there is a wonderful view up the Dart and over the hills from the house (which is supposed to be the birth place of Charles Kingsley).
I had a charming letter from Alice on Thursday, she has had a splendid time in Holland; as far as she knew she was going home at the end of last week. I also had a letter from Phyllis who says it is still pouring with rain at Spa.
I went fishing without the slightest success on Friday morning.
Daddie and Major Dunlop walked over to a place near Ashburton in the afternoon to see some cousins of the latter's. Finding it meant a ten to fiveteen mile walk I very wisely stayed at home and wrote to Alice and went up on the moors after tea. The wanderers returned having had a lovely walk but having found the cousins out.
Yesterday morning I fished with the usual result; slept till tea time and after tea we went out blackberrying, found a splendid place by a stream at the bottom of a field and filled our baskets.
Daddie and I went to Church this morning. There was a girl in front of us with a most lovely voice, evidently trained. The choir was mostly female but I'm afraid it beat our Spa one!
Daddie has gone over to Holne Cot again this afternoon in the hope of finding Cousin Janie there.
I have just written to Cousin Gerty and Shortie.
Saturday September 18th 1920.
After tea last Sunday we went to call on Colonel and Mrs Hankey who live at Leusden Lodge up on the hill.
Most of Monday morning I spent fishing in a dam pool where there are some very big trout - and incidentally masses of eels. I was fishing with a worm and for some reason they were rather suspicious of it so I caught nothing. Pompey and I went and tried again after tea but didn't even see the big fish.
There was a fair at Widecombe-in-the-Moor about 4 miles from here on Tuesday to which we decided to go partly because we wanted to see Widecombe itself. The Hankeys very kindly sent me over in their trap and Daddie and Pompey walked. There is a beautiful old Church at Widecombe which has a very fine spire and is known as "the Cathedral of the Moor" otherwise it is a small village with a post office, a shop and an inn. We met each other there about 12 o'c and eat our luncheon on the village green and then discovering that the sports didn't begin till 2 o'c and there didn't seem to be anything to do in the interval we walked back along the valley of the East Webburn, it was a lovely walk through the woods and then up onto the moor at the end with the added excitment of being trespassing for the first part.
I had letters from Mummy, Aunt Di and Lilly on Wednesday; Aunt Di was most amusing and very pleased because Uncle Claude was motoring to Hungerford with a friend for a week's fishing and she and Aunt Lil were motoring to Preston Manor her old home near Brighton. Mummy said nothing much had been happening except that she had been down to Medmenham on Sunday to see Aunt Aimée and Uncle Douglas there for the last time because they have sold it and bought a smaller place high up on the other side of the river. Lilly was, as usual full of sorrow for not having written before. It poured with rain all the morning but cleared up and became lovely in the afternoon so Pompey and I went down to the dam pool and had a most exciting time with a very big trout who Pompey thinks must have weighed over 2 lbs; he came back again and again to look at my worm but couldn't quite make up his mind if it was alright and at last a horrid eel, who I hadn't seen coming, got hold of my worm, I landed him and he wriggled away into the grass taking my hooks with him; there wasn't time to put on any more before tea so we went there again after tea but the sun had moved further out and the trout with it so there was nothing doing.
I had a charming letter from Miss Larpent on Thursday.
Daddie and I went to the dam pool in the morning but there wasn't enough sunshine.
We went to see the Cleaves after tea (the people at the farm, who Mrs Idie stayed with) and then went on to the post office which about a mile away. It was a glorious evening. We played coon can after Dinner (as usual) and I had a pillow fight with Pompey after it - the result of the score! - and broke a glass which was a great pity.
I had a post-card from Alice from the Hague yesterday; she doesn't think she will be going home till the beginning of next week now - having been going home since last week!
We went to the post office again yesterday morning and then on to the shop where we bought post cards and sweets.
Pompey and I tried the dam pool again yesterday afternoon but it was too muddy to see anything.
We played coon can till nearly 11 o'c last night.
I had letters from Mummy, Mrs Idie and Alannah who says she will be back in London at the end of October but wants me to go down there for the week-end sometime before then.
Pompey went off to London this morning, he had to go today but we are staying till Monday and then we are going to Totnes and then by steamer to Dartmouth where we spend the night and then go up to London.
Daddie went in Pompey's motor into Ashburton and then walked back.
I wrote a "thank you very much" letter to Pompey in which I said how sorry we were to leave and how we missed everything which lacks truth at the moment but will be true by the time he gets it; then I went over to the post office and posted it. Daddie got back just as I had finished luncheon having walked out in an hour and a half which was pretty good.
We shall be awfully sorry to leave here, the country is so lovely and Pompey is such fun and so kind.
Sunday Setember 19th 1920.
We went for a lovely walk down the Webburn to the Dart yesterday evening; they are both very full and tearing along.
We went to Church this morning and a retired clergyman who lives here preached an extremely good sermon mainly about the wonderful beauty of the world and with a good deal about the beauty of this place.
I am in the throes of packing! heaven knows how everything is going in!
Thursday September 23rd 1920.
Daddie went over to Holne Cot to see Cousin Janie on Sunday afternoon and at last found her back. I went for a walk up on the moors and then down home by the Webburn and in the course of my rambles found some white heather. After tea I went down to the river to fish for some large sea trout which I had seen in the afternoon. There were nearly a dozen of them and the beasts just sat and looked at me while I fished till I was blue in the face and got bitten all over by midges.
We intended to go to Dartmouth for the night when we left the Glen and then back to London and Daddie came back from Cousin Janie with the news that Cousin Nora (her daughter) was yachting with Uncle Oswald and Aunt Bobs and they were at Dartmouth! I was awfully pleased.
We left the Glen at 8.45 on Monday morning, motored into Ashburton and went by train to Totnes where we had ½ an hour to go ½ a mile and catch the steamer to Dartmouth; we just managed it! It was too lovely going down the Dart, a glorious sunshiny day and lovely woods coming right down to the edge of the river. Dartmouth harbour is very pretty and Dartmouth itself is a pretty little town on the side of the hills and with Kingswear on the other side of the water. We spotted Uncle Oswald's yacht almost at once and before long I saw a boat put off from it, we went and met it at the landing stage and saw that Uncle Oswald and Cousin Nora were in it; as they came alongside I said "Uncle Oswald!" and he nearly fell over with surprise when he saw us, he was awfully pleased to see us and asked us to go out fishing directly after luncheon. Then we went and explored the town and tried to get to the College but couldn't find the road. Uncle Oswald sent a boat for us as soon as we had done luncheon and we went over to the "Rosalind": I had never been on a yacht before, it is a most ripping little thing beautifully fitted up and with heaps of extraordinarily clever space saving devices. Unfortunately we didn't see Aunt Bobs because she had gone to Grove Place for the week-end to look after the children while Nanny was away. We went out fishing for mackeral in Uncle Oswald's little yacht the "Collin-a" which weighs about 9 tons; we caught about 25 mackeral and it was great fun. It was perfectly lovely on the open sea, not a cloud in the sky and lovely views of the coast and the cliffs and the woods coming down to the sea. Coming back we got beached and had to be rowed back to the "Rosalind", We had tea and dinner on the yacht and it was all ripping. We went off by an early train next morning to Torquay where we spent about three hours on our way up to London.
Torquay is an enormous place and joins on to Paignton on one side and Babacombe [ Babbacombe ] on the other. The coast scenery is wonderful but I'm afraid the place will soon be spoilt because it is absolutely overrun with people. We went straight out to Babacombe [ Babbacombe ] Bay, a lovely little bay with great red cliffs, and woods coming down almost to the water and a beautiful blue sea. There is a most attractive long low white gabled and thatched house there called "Babacombe Glen" which I coveted very much. We had luncheon consisting of lobster, bread and butter and tea for Daddie and ginger beer for me (!) at a place on the beach; then went back to Torquay and had a look round there and then caught our train for London at 2.20 and arrived in London at 7 o'c. We left sunshine down there but found a grey mist and pouring rain when we got up here. Mummy was very pleased to see us, she didn't know our train arrived so early.
Poor Shorties's sister Alice has died; she had a bad operation and was in great pain so it is much better.
I found a letter from Alice waiting for me when I got back, she isn't coming back from Holland till the end of this month. I also found a post-card from Daisy and a letter from Joan Laking from America.
I went to tea with Peggy yesterday afternoon; she seems much better than when I saw her before we left. I also saw Mrs Leigh, and Rowland for a moment, he is very tall but otherwise doesn't seem to have altered much.
Mummy had gone down to Canterbury for the day house hunting.
I had a letter from Anne B the other day, they get back about the middle of next month.
Friday September 24th 1920.
Mr Wilton came to dinner last night and was most interesting; he has just come back from Teschen where he was British Commissioner. He says this war between Poland and Russia is quite a farce, one side runs towards the other to surrender and the other side thinking it is being persued runs away and there are no casualties. He likes the Poles but says they are immensely conceited and don't do much besides talking. There is a good deal of bomb throwing but as 99% of the bombs don't go off no one is much hurt; at meetings someone throws a bomb outside the building and everyone tears out very frightened. He had a long talk with Professor Mazerych [ Masaryk ] the President of Czecho-Slovakia who he says is a most able man but his authority is declining owing to his refusal to advertise himself. He told Mr Wilton that three years ago when President Wilson consulted him about Bolshevism he said "either squash them (which you can do with six divisions) or else raise the blockade and trade with them but he was against recognising Kochak [ Kolchak ], Deniken [ Denikin ] or Wrangel. The question is if you squash the Bolsheviks what then? because apparently no other government will suit Russia at the moment. The Bolsheviks really are making good in industry and getting things going again but the great difficulty is that of food, the people in the towns are almost starving, the peasants refuse to bring food in unless they are forced to, money is no good to them and they will only exchange food for things they want like clothing. The Bolshevik paper roubles are practically worthless because they have been issued in such enormous quantities and in some places they don't even bother to count them but weigh them out. The Bolsheviks can be divided into three classes, the real Bolsheviks who will have no compromise, the Jews who are "on the make" and will side with the winning side; and the owners of factories and industrial leaders who really are "making good" and getting industries going again and who get no profit from it because it all goes to the State - which last seems a most ideal state of affairs. Lenin is the master brain and the leader of the whole thing (everybody seems to agree about that) and according to Professor Mazaryck though really all the Bolsheviks are Jews he is a pure Russian.
Sunday September 26th 1920.
Miss Buxton and Cousin Ruth came to dinner on Friday night and were very charming.
Mr Wilton rang me up and asked me to go out to luncheon with him on Wednesday and on to a matinée which is very exciting.
Daddie went off to Oxford to a Congress of Philosophy in which Bergson, Professor Gilbert Murray, Dean Inge, Bertrand Russell, Lord Haldane, Mr Arthur Balfour and various other people are taking part; he is staying at Queen's College. Miss Idie went down to Hunstanton to stay with Alice. Poor Shortie was at her sister's funeral.
We did a little shopping yesterday morning, went to see Miss Wolff who was very pleased to see us and then to Day's Library who didn't show quite such obvious signs of pleasure at seeing us.
After tea Mummy and I went to see Miss Dunlop-Smith and Miss Potter, both of whom were very nice. Miss Potter had her nephew, Mrs Stanhope's son, staying with her.
Mummy, Shortie and I went to St. Martin's this morning and Mr Sheppard preached and made a most moving appeal for £1,000 for the assistant clergy fund, he says he must get it or reduce the staff because he won't have an under paid staff. He said we have been building on sand these two years since the Armistice, we expected a new world to growe up of itself not realizing that it is only through our own changed hearts that the New World can come - a world where in there shall be peace, and fellowship between English and Germans and black and white. Frankly we hadn't the power to build this wonderful thing and we don't realize or use the Power which we might have; our only hope is that we may come to realize our own weakness and impotence and - however hard it may be and however much it may cost - draw back the rusty bolt and open the door that the Christ may come in.
We stayed for the congregational singing practice afterwards.
Mummy and I went to see Lady Chesterfield this afternoon; she is a wonderful old lady and most kind and amusing.
We went to St. Martin's for the evening service. Mr Matthews preached on the necessity of some good occupation for our leisure hours otherwise we get brain restlessness which makes the realization of spiritual things so hard (most true). He recommended everyone to learn some simple trade which would employ their hands in their leisure time and interest their brains. We stayed after the service for a short service of preparation for the Holy Communion; Mr Matthews gave a little address the gist of which was, "according to your faith shall it be done unto you".
The coal strike notices were to have expired yesterday but mercifully at the last moment the miners agreed to meet the owners to discuss the question of a rise in wages on the basis of increased wages for increased output.
Tuesday September 28th 1920.
Shortie and I went to Day's Library yesterday morning and to the Stores in the afternoon and then to see Cousin Margaret at the Club; she was very nice indeed and seems to have had a good holiday. Mummy went to see Wolfie after tea.
I went to the Club today which was very nice, they are rather short of helpers at present. Miss Paton-Smith has become one of the permenant cooks there. I had a short and hectic time at the table where they take the money but without any fatal consequences I am glad to say.
Wolfie came to see us this afternoon and a very nice American Professor Wellington Jones came to tea; he was very amusing and used heaps of American expressions.
Daddie got back from Oxford at 8 o'c having had a splendid time and seen a great many interesting people and heard very good lectures. He stayed at Queen's College and they were all very nice and kind there.
I had a long and charming letter from Aunt Di yesterday and an equally long and very amusing one from Daisy who says I am the only person she wants to see when they get back to London! I had a letter from Daddie this morning in which he said he had met Mr Bevan and Anne's sister at Oxford.
A day or two ago I read a most interesting book by Owen Wister called "A Straight Deal". Owen Wister is an American and apparently very fond of us and this book is an attempt to show Americans the wisdom and necessity of being friends with us. The book is divided into three main parts; one, showing how, historically, England has really always been their friend and answering those Americans who got their knowedge of the way England has treated the United States from school history books nearly all of which he says emphasize all that is against us and pass over all that is good. The other is an answer to the question "what did England do in the war anyhow?" and shows what we did do. The third is a contrast and explanation of the different habits, customs and points of view of English and Americans. I also read a very well written essay on "Rupert Brooke and the intellectual imagination" by Walter Delamere [ De La Mare ].
While we were down at the Glen I read Mrs Webster's "French Revolution" which was fearfully interesting. It is a new theory of the Revolution, the theory being that the Revolution was engineered and produced by artificial means by a party of men - at first the Orleanists, and then whatever party was in power kept themselves there by means of "terror" and that the true "people" had no part in the Revolution which they did not want and which they loathed because they were devoted to Louis XVI who was devoted to them and had made endless reforms. She says that the Russian Revolution was made in the same way by a small party of determined men and that the rules which govern revolutions are always the same.
Wednesday September 29th 1920.
Mr Wilton took me out to luncheon and to a play today and gave me a ripping time. We went to luncheon at the Savoy, which I had always wanted to go to, and had a very good luncheon and the head waiter gave me a beautiful bunch of violets with the manager's compliments! We went to "The Garden of Allah" at Drury Lane, it is dramatized from the novel by Robert Hitchens. The story is very sad; a girl whose father and mother are dead has come out alone to Algiers soon after the death of her father and there she meets a rather odd man who seems very restless and as if he is in great agony of mind, they fall in love with each other and are married, she is very good indeed and very religious and they love each other very much. One day he confesses to her what it is that makes him so odd and sad, he had been a monk in a Trappist monastry at Tunis and never known anything of the world and then a man comes there who tells him of the world and he has a wild desire to see it all and runs away from the monastry and breaks his vows. They decide that he must go back and his restlessness goes and they swear to love each other for ever and then he goes back and the last thing you see is her standing weeping outside the monastry. There seems to be something terribly wrong and almost cruel in the whole idea somehow - and unlike Christianity but their beautiful unquestioning faith made it better. Madge Titheradge was the woman and Godfrey Teale [ Tearle ] the man, they acted wonderfully well together and were most convincing. The staging was extraordinarily well done, nearly all the scenes were laid in the Desert and they had some beautiful effects, in one scene there was a sunset, the sky slowly changed colour and then it grew dark and in another scene it gradually grew darker and darker and the stars came out; in yet another scene there was a sandstorm, the stage was almost dark but you could just see the tent being blown about by the raging wind, and an Arab struggling with a lantern, while storms of sand blew and whirled across the stage, unfortunately the "sand" was chicken meal and it blew out into the audience and got into people's noses and made them sneeze! Mr Wilton had to go to the Foreign Office and then came on to tea here. I found Madame Virgée here when I got home, she was a Miss Lowther and is, I think, the Speaker's sister. Mr Wilton has given me masses of splendid stamps, mostly of Poland, Czech-Slovakia, Upper Silesia and the Plebisite [ Plebiscite ] stamps of Murienwerther [ Marienwerder ] (not that I have any idea where that is!) mostly unused too.
I had a letter from Miss Medd-Hall this morning asking about when I want to begin music again, and from Phyllis who sounded rather depressed because she said everyone is leaving Spa.
Friday October 1st 1920.
Nothing particular has happened the last two days. I went to the Club yesterday morning and found Miss Wolff here when I got back in the afternoon but she didn't stay long.
Mr Wilton came to tea.
Mummy and I went to her Club this afternoon and looked at the picture papers and met Cousin Ruth there. Then we went to Day's Library and then to Wolfie who was out.
The coal owners and the miners are holding a conference to try and find an arrangement for increase of wages according to increase in out-put, the difficulty is to decide the datum line from which the increase shall begin. The strike notices expire tomorrow unless they come to an agreement, there seems to be a good deal of difference of opinion between the coal owners and the miners though both, apparently, really want to come to an agreement.
Saturday October 2nd 1920.
Mummy and Daddie went down to Shoreham in Kent for the day to look for houses, they found no houses but it was very pretty down there and a lovely day.
I went to the Army and Navy and had my hair cut and we went to the Public Library in the afternoon but the book I wanted was out.
Mummy and Daddie got back at tea time and Uncle Vesey, Miss Wolff and Sir Oswald Bosanquet came to call.
I wrote to Daisy to-day.
The Miners Federation have decided to pospone strike notices for a fortnight and to take a fresh ballot of the miners. The mine owners offer is a day increase when production reaches 240,000,000 tons a year and 2s a day increase when production reaches 248,000,000 a year. So the miners will vote on whether to accept that or strike. The output is now practically 240,000,000 tons a year.
I have read in the last two days two books on Bolshevism, one "Mrs Philip Snowden's "Through Bolshevik Russia" and the other Keeling's "My Five Years in Bolshevik Russia". Mrs Snowden is one of the Labour delegates who went to Russia this year to see Bolshevism at work and her book which has only just been published is intensely interesting and has caused a great deal of attention. She highly disapproves of and is horrified of the cruelty and oppressions of the Bolsheviks and their system of forced labour for everyone though it is a question of the latter or the utter break down of the economic system of Russia. She says it is terrible to see the people starving in the towns, soldiers get 100% of their food needs, children slightly less, the members of the Communist Party and officials about 75% and the rest of the people 25%. It is impossible to live on the government ration so the people have to buy from private speculators who charge enormous prices, black bread is 400 roubles a lb and white bread 1,000 roubles (a thousand roubles at the pre-war rate would be £100 but now there are 10,000 roubles to the £. The Bolsheviks have issued so much paper money that it is almost valueless and the peasants won't sell food for it). Workmen get not more than 4,000 roubles and not less than 2,000 roubles a month - enough to buy two to four pounds of white bread! The people are going about almost in rags and boots and shoes are practically unknown. There are no surgical appliances and none of the means of getting the whole industrial life of the country going again all of which evils she puts down to the blockade and to the constant wars which the Bolsheviks have more or less been forced to wage ever since they came into power. All of which is probably mostly true - and very terrible if it is, that thousands of people should starve because of different political theories of which the larger part of them are really quite ignorant. On the good side she says there are wonderful operas and plays which the people can see almost for nothing, great care is taken of and encouragement is given to Art and it is made easily accessable to the people; enormous care is taken of children who are fed as well as it is possible to feed them and as many as possible - that is about 75% are being educated. And industries are getting going again as far as it is possible. There is a great deal more that is immensely interesting in the book. Mr Keeling is a British skilled workman who went to Russia in 1914 and was in Petrograd through the revolutions and came home in 1919. His is a much more sweeping condemnation of Bolshevism from which one might gather that either he or Mrs Snowden is not quite accurate or that Bolshevism has to a certain extent "made good" in the meantime - we will hope the latter. He says (so does Mrs Snowden) that the Bolsheviks have tried to stamp out the bourgeosie which to a large extent means the competent people and the people who knew how to manage and run things, so the condition of starvation and misery to which the people are reduced may be a combination of the blockade and - in the "first fine rosy rapture" - the wrecking of all industry which they have now got to build up again - with most of the people who knew how to run things gone.
Sunday October 3rd 1920.
We went to St Martin's for the Holy Communion at 10.15 this morning and stayed on for the next service and Daddie joined us. Mr Matthews preached a very good sermon about the part in the Book of Revelation about the Book of Life with the seven seals which no man in heaven or earth could open, only the Lamb. He said that the Book of Life is the explanation of the riddle of life and only Christ can open that and explain it to us and He is the only explanation of life. He made a very strong plea for courtesy and sympathy and love in all that we did and said that some people thought they could get out of trying to make their lives better by doing some kind of work - for instance at a boy's or girl's club (here I squirmed unduly) but if by doing that they were skirting duty at home they were most emphatically in the wrong.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People this afternoon. We got there at 2.25 (the service begins at 3.30) and there was a queue of people six or seven deep nearly onto the pavement besides the queues at the side doors. It was the re-opening service after the closing for the Summer months and was packed and most beautiful. Mr Sheppard said how glad they were to welcome everyone there and especially those who, like us, are searching for the Truth but do not yet hold what we believe to be the Truth, he said we do not want in the least bit to say to them you are all wrong but we want, for them, to draw away the curtain from in front of the Figure of the Nazarene. We don't want anyone to come to those services just to hear the music and sing the hymns and to think we are going just to drag in a little bit about the Lord but we want them to come just to try and get nearer to Him and see Him as He is. He was most amusing about clergymen, he says they have taken the stage parson as the model of parsons and imagine they are all alike and some people don't seem to think are even of the male gender! He said we all want a New World and say why can't it begin but it would never occur to us to alter our own lives for its coming. We have got to lead a crusade against our own selves before we ever lead it against anyone else and the first job is the nasty sticky messy one of conquering ourselves. Wouldn't life be wonderful if it was one long Service for the People? (my remark not Mr Sheppard's and it has suddenly struck me that you can read it - in another - and perhaps more possible and more wonderful way).
Mummy and Daddie went down to Kent this afternoon.
I had a letter from Alice yesterday, very penitent for not having written before. I must write to her now.
Wednesday October 6th 1920.
Cousin Margaret and Uncle Vesey came to dinner on Sunday night.
Daddie and I went to dinner with Uncle Vesey at the Guard's Club on Monday. They have not long been in their new house in Upper Prak [ Park ]; it is very nice and beautifully done up and furnished. I enjoyed it very much.
I went to the Club yesterday morning and we had a good rush most of the time because we were two helpers short and more people than usual came in.
Daddie and I went to the Horticultural Show after tea; it was nearly all fruit and most tempting. There were grapes from the largest vine in the world which bore 1530 bunches this year and apples (the Rev: W. Wilkes) weighing 1 lb 12 oz.
Sir Reginald Tower (The Commissioner at Dantzig [ Danzig ] came to dinner last night and brought me a complete set of the news stamps of Danzig from 2 pennigs [ pfennigs ] to 10 marks. He didn't tell us anything very thrilling except that the French want to ground the Germans to powder which deplorable fact is common knowledge.
Miss Medd-Hall came this morning and gave me a music lesson; she says my time is better.
I have got a cold so had to stay in doors all day.
Mrs Idie came up from Hunstanton yesterday and went down to Bath this morning.
Miss Potter came to tea.
Kathleen is back and I spoke to her on the telephone yesterday.
I have just read Lord Frederic [ Frederick ] Hamilton's new book "The Days Before Yesterday" it is very amusing in parts but not so good as "The Vanished Pomps of Yesterday". There is one extraordinarily funny bit describing the visit of a rather sulky Rajah to the Viceroy at Calcutta which Lord Frederic acted for us at Lady Dorothy Cavendish's wedding in the spring and nearly gave us hysterics. This is it: "The ill-conditioned Rajah, though he spoke English perfectly, had insisted on bringing his own interpreter with him. A long pause in conformity with oriental etiquette follows, then the Viceroy puts the first invariable question "I trust that your Highness is in the enjoyment of good health?" which is duly repeated in Urdu by the official white interpreter. The sulky Rajah grunted something that sounds like "Bhirr Whirr", which the native interpreter renders in clipped staccato English, as "His Highness declares that by your Excellency's favour his health is excellent. Lately, owing to attack of fever, it was with His Highness what Immortal Bard has termed a case of "to be or not to be!" Now, danger happily averted, His Highness has seldom reposed under the canopy of a sounder brain than at present"! Another long pause and the second invariable question: "I trust that your Highness' Army is in its usual efficient State?" The surly Rajah "Khirr Virr". The native interpreter: "Without doubt His Highness' Army has never been so efficient. Should troubles arise, or a pretty kettle of fish unfortunately occur, His Highness places his entire Army at your Excellency's disposal; as Swan of Avon says, "Come the three corners of the world in arms and we shall shock them." A third question, I trust that the crops in your Highness' Dominion are satisfactory?" The Rajah, "Ghirr Firr". The interpreter, "Stimulated without doubt by your Excellency's visit to neighbouring state, the soil in His Highness' dominions has determined to beat record and go regular mucker. Crops tenfold ordinary capacity are springing from the ground everywhere All of which of course Lord Frederic invented but it is just the way they talk.
I had a letter from Lil yesterday and wrote to her to-day. She thinks they go to St. Leonards tomorrow for three weeks and then, oh joy! they come to London.
Saturday October 9th 1920.
We went to the Club on Thursday to ask Margaret if she could do without me because of my cold; she said she could (which was sad!) so in the afternoon we went to Hampstead Heath on the top of a 'bus.
Uncle Vesey and Sir Oswald Bosanquet came to dinner.
Yesterday morning Shortie and I went to Day's Library and did some shopping. I went down to East Sheen for a tennis lesson in the afternoon but a muddle had been made about the time and they couldn't give me a lesson.
Uncle Claude came to tea and a Mr Walsh who we had known in India. After tea Aunt Di suddenly appeared without any warning! it was delightful to see them both again; Cousin Nell also came and was very nice indeed. Uncle Douglas and Aunt Aimée came to dinner and were excessively entertaining and nice and they have asked me to go to a play with them one night and to choose any play I like. Sir Harry and Lady Emma came up after dinner and were most cheerful.
We are going down to Ashtead this afternoon which is ripping.
I have been reading "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" by J. M. Keynes; it is intensely interesting and more depressing. He shows the impossibility of Germany fulfilling the terms of the Peace Treaty and paying an enormous indemnity and the cruelty of the Reparation Commission and how in economic consequences the whole of Europe is inseparably bound up together and that if one is ruined it must react on the other.
Monday October 11th 1920.
We went down to Ashtead on Saturday afternoon.
Aunt Di and Aunt Lil were delightful, poor Uncle Claude took a gentleman to Surbiton station, forgot where he was going and took him to Wimbledon with the result that they wandered all over the country and Uncle Claude only got back a little time before we left. It was a glorious day and so pretty down there. Lilac's brother, who is home on leave from India, was staying down there and is at tea here this afternoon. He is very nice.
Mummy, Daddie and I went to St. Martin's yesterday morning. Mr Sheppard preached a beautiful sermon on the humanity of our Lord. I will try as far as I can to remember his own words and not try to string them together. We are not Christians with the object of saving our own souls, that old idea still goes on and will for centuries yet, but because we have seen Christ and love Him. Religion can't be taught it must be caught; you might just as well tell someone to fall in love with a person they had never seen as to tell someone to follow Christ till they have seen Him. A Christian is not a person who goes to Church; it is possible to be a Churchman without being a Christian and to be a Christian without being a Churchman. We have been so afraid to let men think Christ was a real man and really "up against it" as we are; we have been so afraid He should loose His status that we have made Him a kind of far off impossible ideal and insisted on putting Him on a pedestal and telling men they can never get up there. We don't think that He was a real carpenter and sweated and toiled but we say "He isn't really a carpenter, look at the Crown on His head and don't notice the tools in His hand". Nor do we realize that He came up against routine and prejudice just the same as we do – only worse. We seem to think He automatically chose the right path and was freed along it and never had any temptation not to do the right. He seems to have deliberately hidden His status from His disciples till they knew Him as a Man. He showed us what we can make our lives but we have made it into something odd and impossible which no natural man could do and which would make a man like a performing animal doing unatural things. He is the Master of the art of living not someone as far removed from us as a Headmaster from his youngest scholar. "I am a young Christ – I say it in all reverence - if only I can do the next thing I know I ought to do". Religion can never die, the outward forms may all be altered and quite changed but Christianity can never die - it is absurd to say it can. I have known many people try to get hold of the Ideal and never have I known anyone as they neared the end find the realization in any way less than they had expected.
I was overjoyed because Anne came into Church and sat in the pew in front of us, I had no idea she was back. We stayed for the singing practise at which they had some splendid new tunes and as we came out we saw Mr Sheppard at the door selling the Review and he winked broadly at us when he saw us coming!
Uncle Vesey came to luncheon and he and Daddie went to the zoo in the afternoon.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People and by being there a little over an hour before it started got a seat in the middle aisle. It was packed and the service was lovely. Mr Sheppard said he had been seeing if it would be possible to get the Coliseum for the services as they are so full but he found it was not possible and anyhow it would only hold about 500 people than they get squash into St. Martin's (I think St. Martin's holds between 2,000 and 3,000 people). He said he had been thinking a great deal of two things since the Armistice, one was the enormous difficulty of making peace, not only peace between countries but peace in a country too, compared with the comparative easiness of making war and the other thing was what our Lord meant by "the Kingdom of Heaven". Some people thought it was where you went only after you were dead (it is that too of course), others said it was the Church, heaven help the Kingdom of Heaven if it is the Church! He found great difficulty in explaining about it because he couldn't find the words and he [ deleted: know ] knew so little himself but he is sure the Kingdom of Heaven is a definite and real state of existance [ existence ] which our Lord discovered and which He too had great difficulty in explaining, sometimes He said it was within you, sometimes around you. He said he hadn't discovered many of the laws of it yet but he is sure the Kingdom of Heaven is offered to each one of us at least once a day and that the definite refusal of it is sin; for instance if a little child was to run out of a poor home and offer him a flower and if he was brute enough or blind enough to refuse it or laugh because it was a poor flower that would be a refusal of the Kingdom of Heaven. The acceptance of a dull job which has got to be done, or cheering up someone whose luck is out or seeing someone is in trouble and helping them is acceptance of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is also being able to see when other people are in trouble or in any need and being able to help them.
Tuesday October 12th 1920.
I broke a glass at the Club today with great intelligence and the glass cut one of the fingers of my left hand rather badly - hence this odd writing!
Aunt Augusta, who is in London for a few days, came to tea on Sunday and was delightful, Mrs Lucas and Lady Emma came to tea too and also Anne which was very nice. I am so glad she is in London again she is so nice. Margaret came to dinner, she has been having rather a worrying time at the Club because the cook is ill and they couldn't get another for about a week.
Miss Hills came and gave me a music lesson yesterday morning.
The Prince of Wales got back yesterday from his tour in Australia and New Zealand and there was great excitement in London. Uncle Douglas very kindly gave us tickets for the forecourt of Buckingham Palace so we saw splendidly. He arrived at Victoria at 12.30 and was met by the King and Queen, his brothers and sister, Queen Alexandra, the Cabinet and various other people. The King and Queen, Prince Albert, Prince Henry and Princess Mary drove straight back to the Palace but the Prince went round by Whitehall and Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] driving in an open carriage. In the interval of waiting Uncle Douglas came across the forecourt and the wounded soldiers who were there thought he was Haig (he is rather like him and was dressed in uniform) and got very excited and began to cheer him, then the crowd started too! it is very awkward for poor Uncle Douglas when that happens because he can't accept the cheers but on the other hand it looks so rude and might do harm to Lord Haig when he doesn't. Aunt Geraldine, Uncle Raymond and Cynthia were there, also Lady Dartrey; and we saw Sir Robert Baden Powell at the end and he was cheered by the people. There were dense crowds everywhere where they could go outside and the Prince was wildly cheered when he arrived at about 1.15. He and his escort drove into the inner courtyard of the Palace and we all rushed in there too. He was in Naval uniform and he stood on the steps with various Admirals and people while a detachment of the Coldstream marched round and out; then he went into the Palace and we came outside again. Everyone expected he would come out on the balcony but as time went on and nothing happened the wounded soldiers began to shout "We - want - our - Prince" this was taken up by the crowd and after a time the whole Procession came out again and the Prince drove to York House. He was looking very well and was covered with smiles and bowing and saluting right and left; he had a wonderful welcome. We heard afterwards that he only went to York House to change for luncheon and that then he drove back to the Palace and after luncheon he came out on the balcony with the King and waved his handkerchief to the people and was recieved with great enthusiasm.
Wednesday October 13th 1920.
I went down to East Sheen and had a tennis lesson on Monday afternoon. Major Porteous came to tea.
Yesterday morning I went to the Club and we had a very busy time. Kathleen came to tea and we had a good old jaw wag.
Miss Medd-Hall came and gave me a music lesson this morning.
Shortie and I went to Day's Library and changed some books.
Mummy and I went to luncheon with Lady Robson who is charming. Kathleen Robson and the son Mr Arnold Robson were there and a nice Judge of the High Court.
Anne came at a little after 3 o'c and she and I went to see the Tennant Gallery (Lord Glenconner) pictures which are lovely, then we went to the National Gallery and just had a kind of preliminary canter there and then she came back to tea here. She is so attractive and I do hope we shall be really friends.
Pompey came to tea too and seemed most cheerful and pleased to see us.
Daddie went to an Air Conference at Croydon today and went up in an areoplane for the first time in his life and enjoyed it greatly.
I wrote to Mr Sheppard on Sunday for tickets for a meeting and about his sermon on the Kingdom of Heaven and I had a post-card from him from Broadstairs yesterday in which he says "thank you so much. May we have a yarn a little later". I am frightfully pleased and excited at the prospect of the "yarn"; if ever it comes off!
We are going down to Westgate tomorrow for about a week.
Saturday October 16th 1920.
We got down here on Thursday in time for luncheon and are staying with the Ratcliffes in Cuthbert Road; we used always to go to them before the War but then they were the other side of Westgate. Westgate used to be the perfect place of my childhood and it is so funny seeing all the places again which one remembers so well, alas! one cannot see them with the same eyes now and it makes one feel rather old and sad and brings home, I think more than anything else has done, that wonderful somthing which one loses (I don't think really necessarily) with childhood.
I had a long and delightful letter from Alice before we left London and I wrote to her on Thursday evening.
We went to Sandwich yesterday by a multitude of char-à-bancs being passed on from one to another as the owners past on the torch - we being the torch. On the way we passed through Richborough the huge port which the Government made in the war and which they are trying to sell for £2,000,000. It is immensely big and very desolate looking. Sandwich is the most delightful little place, you enter it over a toll bridge by a gateway composed of two round houses with a bridge between them over the street, all the streets are very narrow with terrible twistings and turnings and the houses are mostly 17th century build of red brick and leaning very sideways with the top story overhanging the others. We ate our luncheon in what used to be the ramparts by the sea but now the sea is two miles away. After luncheon we hired a motor and drove out to the sea to see what is known as "Millionaire's Row" a collection of about a dozen big houses by the sea built on sand in an extraordinarily bleak and cold situation.
They are supposed to cost perfectly fabulous sums and they certainly are very attractive houses; there is one belonging to Mr and Mrs Leverton Harris, (who Mummy knows) which is one of the prettiest things I have ever seen, it is a very old Tudor house, approximately square, with only two floors and built of little old red bricks and oak beams and old worm eaten carved oak pillars supporting the verandah; it looked as if it had sat there for centuries but I suppose it must have been transplanted bodily from somewhere. We got back here about 6.
We have sat on the front in the sunshine nearly all day today. I have just finished "Our Family Affairs" a charmingly written book by E.F. Benson who was a son of Archbishop Benson.
I had a very amusing letter from Lilly this morning and post-cards from Alice and Daisy.
I am sorry to say the miners have voted for a strike in their ballot by a majority of over 400,000 and the strike began today. One knows very little of the real rights and wrongs of the case but it did seem that the datum line and an increase of wages from that offered such a splendid solution. Public opinion is very much against them.
Wednesday October 20th 1920.
We went to Church on Sunday morning and evening and a very good man preached for the Missions to Seamen both times. We went to tea with Mrs Hubbard and her daughter who are distant cousins and very nice indeed.
Daddie went to London on Monday morning because he had to go to various committees and things like that.
We had a furious wind, a very rough sea and bitter cold here on Sunday and Monday but the last two days it has been quite lovely.
I had a letter from Nina Melville yesterday, not having heard anything of her for 6 months, she is back at school but has got a poisoned toe.
We sit out on the front and read practically all day long. I have read "The Life of Liza Lehmann" by herself, it is delightfully written and she must have been quite charming. I have also read a thrilling Secret Service story called "The Man with the Club Foot" and am just beginning Colonel Repington's book "The World War 1914-1918".
Mrs and Miss Hubberd came to tea today.
We are, I think, staying till Monday and Daddie is coming down again tomorrow.
Sunday October 24th 1920.
Daddie came down to Westgate on Thursday. We sat out of doors as much as possible all the time.
I had a letter from Alice on Friday saying she was in London which reduced me to a state of wild excitment and frenzy.
We were coming up on Monday but the N.U.R (National Union of Railwaymen) had threatened a strike at midnight on Sunday if satisfactory negotiations for the settlement of the coal strike had not been began by Saturday; things looked much better yesterday but Daddie thought it would be better not to risk getting caught so we decided to come up yesterday evening. Shortie and I went along to St. Mildred's Bay yesterday afternoon and I visited the pools I used to prawn in and found masses of prawns and wished I was a little girl again with a shrimping net and a pail.
We came up in the evening after dinner and got here soon after 10 o'c and I rang up Alice straight away and to my unbounded joy got onto her and had a talk with her - such joy to hear her voice after over 4 months! I am going to luncheon with her tomorrow. She is in London to look after her sister Mrs Renner who is going to have a baby soon.
Daddie and I went to St. Martin this morning Mr Palmer preached and we had lovely hymns to some of the splendid new tunes which Mr Martin Shaw gives us and we stayed for the congregational singing practice after the service.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People this afternoon to my great joy. We arrived at 2.15 so got quite good seats; the Service began before 3.30 because before then there was no more room and they had to close the doors. Mr Sheppard is very depressed about the outlook; I will give, as far as I can remember, in his own words what he said. There is a terrible spirit of mistrust and suspicion abroad today people go about expecting other people to insult them and determined to get the first throw in themselves; if you expect a person to insult you and behave as if you did you may be pretty sure you will get it. What we have got to do is not to start to try and find out what is wrong in a person but what is Godlike and splendid, think of the person whom you loathe most and then think of his good qualities and think if there aren't in him qualities far finer than some which you are so proud of possessing yourself. If we followed that rule of the Master "all things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you do ye even so to them" how good and interesting and clever and charming and splendid other people would seem. The Master always made people feel at their best with Him and drew out the best in them because they always felt He was looking for the good in them; the prostitute and the thief and the publican felt that He looked right beyond their mass of Sin to all that was Godlike and Splendid in them – even though He was talking to them of their sins. This distrust and suspicion is particularly strong between class and class and that we have got to conquer and to try to see the point of view of the men we disagree with. There is hope of the settlement of these terrible industrial problems and of true peace if we will give up this infernal system of competition and substitute for it co-operation. Certain political economists of the last century taught us that competition was an economic law and inevitable, they were wrong. Mr Studdart Kennedy gives an illustration in one of his books, an old hen scratching away in the earth grubs up a fat worm and immediately all the other old hens run to her and decide that at all costs they must get half that worm not realizing that there are other equally fat worms in the ground and it would be much better to scratch Mother Earth than sister hen. It ought to be possible that every man should put in of his best and draw out a really adequiete living wage. And to employers of labour I would say look after your workmen and their needs even though it may mean loss of income to yourself. I wonder what difference these Services really make, there is this great crowd of people and a very fine band plays and the Rev: H.R.L. Sheppard speaks and we sing the old familiar hymns but what difference does it make outside to the people we live with and the people we meet? If they say at home "I suppose they'll be back for tea soon, been to a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields I think but I suppose it'll be the same selfishness and lack of forebearance and courtesy when they get back"; if they say that of us at home I ask you - not to stop coming here - but to think most honestly. I think we come really because - forgive me for talking very straight - we know we are sinners and we want strength; we can't come because it is pleasant and we enjoy it, these days are far too big and terrible for us just to come here for pleasure. Don't be put off coming if it is the very slightest help to you and try to join those who have promised to try and follow our Master. He seemed very weary and oppressed, and weighted down by the state of England and the world generally; he said a good deal about it which I can't remember sufficiently to write down here.
Mrs Sheppard and little Peggy were up in the Royal Box.
Tuesday October 26th 1920.
Aunt Mabel and Harry came after dinner on Sunday evening. Poor Uncle Eric has had a bad operation for appendicitis but is going on well. Harry is working again for his army exam, I believe they are very stiff now-a-days.
Miss Hills came and gave me a music lesson yesterday morning.
I went to luncheon with Alice and oh! The joy of seeing her again though for some funny reason we couldn't begin where we left off - at least I couldn't; four months is a long time and I always noticed when Peggy and I saw each other again after some time that we had difficulty in starting off again. She is an absolute darling and seems to be all that one wants and so utterly good and splendid. I realized more than ever the joy of those days in the Spring and Summer (which I hope will be repeated now) when we saw so much of each other and of course of the twins too. She seems to make life altogether warmer and more full of beauty. Mrs Renner was there too; she is charming. They all come up to London for good when the baby is born - probably next week.
Anne came to tea and was most interesting. She wants me to join the committee of the Far and Near Club which exists for the purpose of discussing missionary and Colonial problems from the point of view of the teaching of Christ. It is just getting started again after the War and lady members are an innovation so they have to have their committee. Lord Bryce has a good deal to do with it and Mr Sheppard is the Chaplain. Their great idea is to get young go-a-head people (it was originally started for University and public school men) and no clergyman may join the Committee. Anne is joint Secretary with someone else.
We went to St Martin's in the evening to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Lambeth Conference. The Church was quite packed and he spoke for an hour, I was a little bit disappointed; it was nearly all figures of previous Conferences and nothing one particularly wanted to know.
I had a letter from Lilly yesterday asking if I was going drawing with her among other things. I wrote to her by return of post as I had a letter from her over a week ago which I had only answered on a post-card.
I went to the Club this morning and we had a most busy morning and 120 people in which is, I think, the most we have had since I have been there.
Shortie fetched me and took me to meet Cousin Ruth and she took me to a lecture of the Lend-A-Hand Club at Morley Hall of Hanover Square. Betty Whitbread came with us, she is a charming girl, I have heard of her from a great many people and always how nice she is. The lecture was by R.W. MacKenna author of "The Adventure of Life" and it was a really fine lecture on the lines of our all being part of the community and all having great responsibilities and the necessity of real self sacrifice. Lois Yate was there and also Anne. Cousin Ruth brought me home and came in to see Mummy for a few minutes.
Daddie has gone down to Clifton today and is talking to the boys in Laurie's house this evening (Mr Carter's - otherwise "old Fluffy"!) and spending the night there and going to Bath for the night tomorrow.
The weather is cold but gloriously fine.
Peggy rang up not long ago and I told her that I had got a violent fit of sulks because she not written or telephoned for so long and requested her to apologise humbly. She screamed with laughter, said it was all my fault and refused to be at all repentant. We had a long and cheerful conversation the outcome of which is that I am going to luncheon with her on Monday.
Frank and Violet have got a little boy born about a week ago. Daddie has seen it and says it is exactly like Frank.
Saturday October 30th 1920.
Oh dear! I've been doing so much and had no time to write this devourer of time.
Miss Medd-Hall gave me a music lesson on Wednesday morning. In the afternoon I went to see Miss Wolff and she gave me a pair of beautifully brown suede shoes and silk stockings to go with them which is ripping.
I went to tea with Anne and had a really most delightful time. Mr and Mrs Bevan and Anne's sister Christina were there and the Bishop of Madras and Mrs Whitehead came to tea and seemed very nice and Anne's great friend Barbara Bentink [ Bentinck ] came in after tea and was excessively nice. Anne and I are rapidly becoming great friends and I am beginning to discover what she is really like and I think she is really truely nice.
I went on to meet Mummy at Cecil's and there I discovered Cecil herself, Cousin Amy Brazier-Creagh and Cousin Florence and Frank. Cecil is a most delightful person and I wish I saw her more often. Frank motored us home.
I went to the Club on Thursday morning and Mrs Sheppard came in that morning. Mummy fetched me away and we went to a meeting at the Mansion House for the purpose of raising money for the extension of Bedford College. The speakers were the Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress, Lord Robert Cecil, Lady Bonham-Carter, Miss Lena Ashwell and Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins. I was very glad and interested to hear Lord Robert and Lady Bonham-Carter; the former said "we don't want to stuff people's minds merely with knowledge that is collections of facts but to teach them to use their minds; Lady B-C spoke in rather the same strain, that women should have the same opportunities of training their minds that men have; she called herself an uneducated woman which, as she is supposed to be almost the cleverest woman in England and a very fine public speaker, was rather amusing; she has got a very pretty voice. Miss Lena Ashwell (who I have heard speak before) made far the best appeal as far as the extension of Bedford College was concerned. We saw the Lady Mayoress (Lady Cooper) to speak to afterwards; she is very amusing, she said Daddie was a very nice person and she was devoted to him! Daddie and I went to dinner with Aunt Mabel and Harry. Mummy went to dinner with Lady Hardinge.
I wrote to Alice on Wednesday and had a long and charming letter from her yesterday; they will probably be back in London next week in any case.
I met Peggy at Gunter's yesterday morning and we had coffee there and then walked home through the Park together and had a long talk. She has done something quite extraordinarily splendid just lately.
Mummy went to luncheon with Miss Buxton to amuse the Gloomy Dean.
I went to a Geographical meeting at the Aeolian Hall at 5 o'c. Mummy and Miss Buxton were there and Anne, Aunt Mabel and Lois Yate. A Mr Barnes showed a wonderful cinematograph film he had done of East Africa, there were volcanos and cannibals, butterflies, elephants, hippopotamuses, and gorillas and beautiful forests and rivers.
Mr Ward-Cooke and Sir Henry Haydon came to dinner last night.
I hadn't been out at all today because I have got a cold. Cousin Margaret was coming to dinner but she is in bed with a chill poor thing.
The coal strike is practically settled, the Government has given an increase of 2s a shift and the miners have guaranteed increased production. The 2s increase is till a National Wages Board has been set up to settle wages. A ballot is being taken on these proposals and the miner's leaders have strongly advised them to accept them.
The Lord Mayor of Cork died in Brixton Goal [ Gaol ] on Monday having been hunger striking for 72 days (he was fed a little) he laid in State in St. George's Southwark on Thursday and enormous crowds went there and in the afternoon his body was taken to Euston to go across to Cork and there were crowds along the way – some of whom we saw on our way to the Mansion House - and a procession a mile long went along with it.
Sunday October 31st 1920.
Shortie and I went to the Holy Communion at 10.15 this morning and stayed on for the next service. Mr Sheppard preached on Sin, he said "I know very little about the origin of evil but two things I do know very well, being a man, one is that sin exists in me and the other is that it matters quite frightfully. It seems to me that the flaw in the schemes of all those - for instance Mr and Mrs Webb - who propose schemes for the New World is that they leave out of their account the terribly real power of sin and pre-suppose a race of perfect people. I have studied Bolshevism and tried to find out all I could about it and they too are trying to build the New Jerusalem on un redeemed human nature. The vital thing for us all at present is repentance, in March 1918 when everything looked so black we said "oh yes, we'd better repent and go to Church it can't do any harm anyhow" we're always ready to repent when things look black and it seems the last chance but the time when we ought to have repented was November 1918 when the Armistice was signed, when we stood at the gateway of the Land of Promise; you can't go into the Land of Promise till you've got rid of your sins. What a wonderful step towards peace it would be if today the Labour Leaders and the members of the Government would kneel down together and say "Father we have sinned against Heaven and in Thy sight and are no more worthy to be called Thy children"; I see some of you smile at the idea and in proportion as it seems impossible to you is your own case desperate. There has been a re-action against the teaching of the last century that this old world was quite incurably bad and sinful and you'd better get away from it as much as you could and prepare yourself for the next world and we have gone to the opposite extreme and said that there is nothing really wrong with human nature and sin doesn't exist; these are both equally false. You say "yes but I don't approve of repentance and morbidity and introspection and all that". Who asked you to? you can't just leave your sins and let them slide, you've got to face them quite squarely once in all their beastliness and then case them behind you and go forward into the New World and it is one of the glorious rules of life that you are rid of them for ever. We must all pass by the Christ of God at the Gate of the Land of Promise and although He is just as tender and loving and ready to welcome us as the father in the story of the Prodigal Son He is also the King of Kings and we must bear the scrutiny of His eyes and there will be no getting past with all our sins and faults; we cannot swagger into the Land of Promise with the kind of "I've-never-done-anyone-any-harm" feeling.
We went to the Service for the People this afternoon; it was packed and quite wonderful. Poor Mr Sheppard was very much upset because some horrid reporter of a High Church paper had been last Sunday, stayed for the first verse of the first hymn and then gone away and written a most scathing and unkind article on the Services. Mr Sheppard was very upset, he said it was so horrid not even to stay and try to discover the underlying idea of the service; he said he would try and tell them the reason of the services and why they held them, he believes most utterly that God is revealed to us in Jesus is Joy and loves that we should be happy and these services are an attempt to bring joy into the lives of the lonely and those who have no joy and that those who do not care for ordinary church services should come there and in God's own good time find our Lord. You can have no idea how terrible it is to be quite alone, to have no pals, nothing to do in the evenings and not even a spare bob to go to the pictures with and no one to give you a word of encouragement. We want you to come here that just for this hour you may find peace and rest and hear beautiful music and catch a glimpse of that Lord Jesus and gain strength for the week ahead and that you may keep nearer Him. People say we have a band and all that just to catch people and fill the Church and then to say "look how easily I fill my big Church" if there was any truth in that or if we did it for any reason than the longing to serve one Master then indeed we should be hypocrites and false prophets. We want you to think that whenever you are in difficulty you can send an S.O.S to - me yes of course - but to anyone connected with St Martin's and we shall be only too delighted to help you. We went afterwards to see Margaret who was much better and just going out.
Sir Reginald Tower came to see us this evening; he is back from Danzig and isn't going there any more.
Daddie has been to see Lady Treowen and Lady Seafield
Wednesday November 3rd 1920.
Miss Hills came on Monday morning. I went to meet Kathleen at an exibition of pictures in the afternoon but we made a muddle about it and never met which was rather a bore.
I went to tea with Pompey who was very kind and full of fun; we ended by having a pillow fight with the cushions and I think Shortie, who had come to fetch me, got entangled in it too!
I wrote to Alice some time on Monday.
Yesterday morning, I went to the Club and we had a frightfully busy time. Margaret seemed a bit better but she looks very overtired. We went to see Miss Buck the Secretary of the Guild of Fellowship who is a delightful person, on our way home. She wants me to help at the canteen they are starting in the Fellowship Rooms on one Sunday a month and I have got Miss Forrest who used to work with me at the Club and who I am very fond of to say she will come too.
Anne came to tea very full of her little boy who she is nursery governess to in the mornings and who she is becoming very fond of. She says she was seeing Mrs Sheppard the other day and Mrs Sheppard wondered if I would be one of the Angels in the Mystery Play they do every year at St. Martin's at Christmas time. I shall love to do it.
We went to a conference of the congregation of St Martin's at the Church House Westminster yesterday evening to discuss any matters connected with the Services of the Church, music etc. There were about 1500 people there but the discussings were disappointing.
I went to Trinity College and had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall this morning. Then went to luncheon with Peggy. Peggy has become a nurse at the West London Hospital Regent's Park (Children's Section), she says all her friends practically have gone away and she can't do nothing so she is doing this five days a week from 8 till 4. (that isn't the splendid thing I said she had done). She says it is very hard work and very sad and the way the children are neglected and mis-managed in their own homes is terrible not through any lack of love on the part of their parents but through the ignorance of that love. There is one little boy in the ward who has spent 9 out of his 10 years of life in hospital - all his bones are twisted and he has ricketts - and he is the most cheerful little person always laughing and full of joy and never grumbles; this little boy led us to a long discussion on Socialism. I think it is splendid of Peggy to do this because it is terribly hard and sad work but it will open her eyes to a great deal which I am sure one ought to know.
Thursday November 4th 1920.
I went on yesterday to a Lend-a-Hand Club lecture on Czecho-Slovakia by a man who had just come back from there; he had some very good lantern slides and it was very interesting. Anne was there and I saw her for a few minutes afterwards. Daddie fetched me and we went on to the Royal Society of Literature in Bloomsbury Square for a lecture by Sir Henry Newbolt on the poems of Walter de la Mare. It was an extremely good lecture; he has a great opinion of de la Mare's poetry and he read a good many of his poems very finely; I must say they left one with a feeling of extreme depression - perhaps because nearly all the ones he selected dealt with death. Betty – who is in London for a few days – met us there; it was very nice to see her again and she was most cheerful. We also saw Mrs Inge, Mrs Hennike and Lady Hilton there.
When I got back here last night I found a letter from Alice saying she got back to London on Tuesday. I went mad with joy and rang up Belgrave Square straight off and had a long talk with her, dear thing! She can't come to tea till Tuesday because she was going to the country for the day to-day and is going away for the weekend to-morrow. The twins came up to-day and are coming to tea to-morrow which I am looking forward to frightfully.
I went to the Club this morning and we had a very strenous time for a bit.
We went to an "at home" of Lady Jersey's this afternoon. Mrs Leigh, Sir Bartle Frere, Mrs Macmillan and various other people who we knew were there. Mrs Macmillan very kindly brought Mummy and me home in her car; there was such a thick fog in the Park by Hyde Park Corner that we couldn't see the lights of the motors a few yards ahead of us and we were stuck there for nearly half an hour; when we did finally get out they told us that there was a solid block of traffic along Grosvenor Place and it was no good trying to get along there so we went along Picadilly and found it quite clear and scarcely any fog at all. There has been a bad fog all day but it has seemed to collect much more in certain places than in others.
The coal strike is over thank goodness. There was a majority against acceptance of the Government's terms in the miner's ballot but a two thirds majority was necessary to continue the Strike.
Harding the Republican candidate has been elected President of the United States.
Mrs Asquith's autobiography has been published to-day and is creating a great deal of talk and excitment.
Saturday November 6th 1920.
Betty came round yesterday morning and we went to meet Anne walking in the Park with her little boy (she is nursery governess to a little boy for two hours every morning because she said she couldn't do nothing all the winter). We met her after a long search and walked back with her to where the little boy lives and then we walked with her across the park to Marble Arch. Anne was in one of her lively moods and very funny. We left her at Orchard Street and then went to Good's and then came back to luncheon. Betty went home yesterday evening, it was very nice to have caught a glimpse of her.
I was very disappointed because Lilly and Daisy were coming to tea but they telephoned to say a little nephew was having a birthday and incidentally a party which they must go to.
Mrs Denham Parker came to dinner and she and Mummy went to "The Beggar's Opera" meeting Mrs Inge and a friend there. Mummy says it was quite charming and so well done.
Miss Hills came this morning (she has changed her day).
I went on my way out to luncheon to see Daisy who was frightfully pleased to see me - as I was to see her; she showed me her room which she is re-arranging and we talked of all we have been doing. Poor Lilly is in bed with a cold.
I went to luncheon with Miss Buxton and she took me to see "The Romantic Age" by A.A. Milne which was ripping. It is an awfully funny play about a very romantic girl who is always dreaming about the days of knights and fair ladies and wishing she had lived then and is very discontented with modern men and everything modern. One evening a gentleman comes in to borrow some petrol for his car which has broken down and he is on his way to a fancy-dress ball and dressed in a blue and silver jerkin and all the rest of it; the girl comes into the room just as he has come back to fetch something and sees what she imagines to be her fairy prince; he falls in love with her at first sight and she does the same and they meet in the woods next morning, he still in fancy dress, and he proposes and she accepts him and he says he will come to fetch her away in the afternoon when he turns dressed like an ordinary person in shooting stockings and knickerbockers; she is perfectly disgusted but he finally shows her that the 20th century is as romantic as any other and all ends well. It was extraordinarily funny.
Miss Buxton came back to tea and Kathleen came to tea too and was very cheerful. Mummy and Daddie went to tea with Miss Leigh (Peggy's "Aunt Aggie") - writing quite illegiable because I want to finish last sleeve of jumper before bed.
Wednesday November 10th 1920.
We went to St Martin's on Sunday morning and afternoon. Mr Palmer preached in the morning and Mr Matthews in the afternoon. Mummy and Daddie went to tea with Lady Hilton and Daisy came to tea with me and we had a good talk. Margaret came to dinner.
I didn't go out on Monday morning but went to see Lilly in the afternoon on the way to a meeting of the Far and Near Club. Poor Lilly had a frightful cold and was been kept in one room in a state of isolation and was feeling very bored. I caught a glimpse of Alice, who had just come back from a weekend visit to a married sister, on my way out. The committee meeting of the Far and Near Club (for which see page 70) was at the house of a member of the Committee in Egerton Terrace. I arrived at 4.30 and found Anne looking frightfully pretty; the only other member of the Women's Committee at present is a Miss Williams who is joint Secretary with Anne and seems very nice. The members of the men's committee are Mr Lunt the Secretary, Mr Bevan, Mr Harris, Mr Somthing Barclay, Mr Barclay Baron, Mr Birchell and one other gentleman who wasn't there; they all seemed excessively nice. We had a discussion till 5 o'c then tea and then a committee meeting at which we had to settle and confirm the constitution of the Club, there was a great argument about who the Club was to be for now it has been extended beyond public school and university men and we couldn't think of anything really satisfactory so we said "the membership has now been extended". When I left at ten to 7 they had just finished the constitution and had several other weighty matters to discuss.
There was a big Geographical meeting in the evening at the Aeolian Hall to which Mummy and I went. Colonel Bruce gave a lecture on the proposed expedition up Mount Everest and said what things would be necessary for it. Afterwards Professor Norman Collie spoke and also Dr Longstaff; Sir Douglas Freshfield; Mr Wood (who has been nearer Everest than anyone else) and Mr Mead (who has slept the night higher than anyone else - over 23,000 feet).
Yesterday morning I went to the Club and stayed on to see the Lord Mayor's Show from there. Alice came to tea and was charming as ever; we had a long, long talk about heaps of things, we have both changed our opinions on some subjects since we talked last - five months ago. She is a dear beloved Angel. I went back with her to see Lilly and Lilly and Daisy and I had a cheerful and lengthy conversation.
I was going to luncheon with Anne to-day and we were going to the National Gallery and then she was coming back here for tea to meet Peggy but her sister telephoned to say that she is in bed with a very bad cold - poor dear! So everything was "off".
I had a very nice music lesson from Miss Medd-Hall.
Daddie and I went to call on Aunt Aimée this afternoon but she wasn't at home.
Colonel Gurdon came to tea and so did Peggy and she and I had a long talk and became quite weak with laughter over most un-mirth provoking things. Poor Peggy! She has had so many disappointing and depressing things happen to her lately.
Friday November 12th 1920.
Yesterday was Armistice Day and the Cenotaph in Whitehall was unveiled by the King and the body of an Unknown Warrior was buried in Westminster Abbey. There was a procession to the Abbey from Victoria Station along Grosvenor Place, down Constitution Hill, along the Mall, through Admiralty Arch and down Whitehall to the Cenotaph where the silence was kept and "Oh God our Help in Ages Past" was sung and the procession then went on to the Abbey with the King walking behind as Chief Mourner. All seats in the Abbey were reserved for the bereaved. The procession consisted of the massed bands of the Guards, then the coffin carried on a gun carriage, with a Union Jack over it and a "tin hat" and a Crusader's sword on top; the pall bearers were Sir Douglas Haig, Sir Hedworth Meux, Sir Hugh Trenchard, Sir Charles Madden (who everyone thought was the King), Lord French, Sir Henry Jackson and one or two others. Then came mourners of the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marines and civilians all marching irrespective of rank. All the soldiers all along the route stood with their rifles on the ground and their hands folded on them and their heads bent down. It was a most sad and impressive procession. It left Victoria at 9.40 and we saw it pass along Grosvenor Place; there were crowds of people there and as soon as it had passed they all made for the Mall which was precisely what we were doing because we wanted to get to St Martin's, when we got to the gates at the entrance to Birdcage Walk the policemen were just beginning to shut them, everyone ran and we managed to get through and into the Mall but there the crowd was eight or nine deep all the way along and we couldn't get across the road so we stayed and saw it pass again and then got to St. Martin's; there were immense crowds in Trafalgar Square and the steps of St. Martin's was a solid mass of people although you couldn't see a thing from there. The Church was very full but we got in quite well; at five minutes to 11 we sang "The Supreme Sacrifice", then came the Silence, then we sang "God is Working His Purpose Out" and at 11.15 there was a Sung Communion Service at which Mr Sheppard gave a very good address which I am too tired to try and write down in detail.
Saturday November 13th 1920.
I went straight over to the Club after the service and we had a very peaceful time because only comparatively few people came in. Shortie and I walked home through St. Jameses [ James's ] Park; there were great crowds everywhere and several big queues going towards the Cenotaph.
Lois Yate and a friend who is staying with her and Kathleen came to tea.
Mummy, Shortie and I went to St Martin's in the evening for a service at 8.30; there was a procession round the Square singing hymns before hand, Shortie and I were going to process but we decided for various reasons not to go. Quite a big procession went out with a Salvation Army band and the St Martin's banner and the big Cross and when they came back crowds had joined them and the middle aisle was one solid mass of people. Mr Sheppard gave a very good address but he wasn't quite so wonderful as usual, I think a day like that absolutely tires him out. He said when the procession got to the door of the Church the police inspector said they would never get round the Square; Mr Sheppard said "inspector you don't know the power of the Cross" and they got round without the slightest trouble, most men took their hats off to the Cross and all men made way for it. He said we must do all in our power not to let down the Unknown Warrior. When most of the people had left the Church the band played the Hallelujah Chorus and crowds came flocking in from the Square. There were enormous crowds in the Square as we went through and as the Salvation Army band came out of the Church and went away playing there was a great rush after it and shrieks of joy. It seemed as if all those great crowds were wandering about the Square just waiting for someone to come and help them and not quite knowing what to do with themselves; a band or singing in which everyone could join or anything like that would have made a great difference. It all seemed rather sad.
I stayed in bed yesterday morning and went to tea with the Kleinworts in the afternoon. Alice telephoned in the morning to say she had a sore throat and had to stay in-doors and so wouldn't be able to come round here to have a talk so I went there early and went up to her bed-room and we laughed and played and were very foolish. Mummy came to tea and Mrs Kleinwort was very charming. The twins got in late and bolted their tea and then we went up to the school-room and having been more or less well-behaved for a bit ended by dragging Alice all round the room by the legs and then having a pillow fight!
Miss Hills came this morning.
I went to see Cousin Gerty this afternoon. Poor Cousin Gerty has been very ill down at the farm and has only been in London a few days and is up for the first time to-day. We went on to the Quarterly Meeting of the Guild of Fellowship, we arrived a few minutes late and found Mr Sheppard giving out long strings of notices, then came his address. He said, I have been accused of being very pessimistic at these meetings and giving the impression that everything is going wrong, one is so terrified that we should become sunny and self complacent, which would of course be the sealing of our doom but I think now for the first time I can be really optomistic. When I was in the trenches one night six years ago before I had any thing to do with St Martin's I had a vision or dream call it what you will it was far the most vivid I ever had and in it I saw a Church with its doors wide open and people streaming in, not for the sake of the preacher or the music, but because they were hungry for Christ and came there to find Him and then they were going out again full of love and courage and hope and strength and I believe that dream is really coming true at last here; the other night when the procession went round the square I heard a man say "Oh! St. Martin's is alright" and I think it really is true; you have given St Martin's a spirit and it is not dependent any more on preachers or music or anything like that and if all the present stuff were to go away it would make very little difference now. I have only two worrys one is finance and the other is the nasty little things members of the Guild are always saying about each other this is the kind of thing that happens someone says somthing horrid to someone else about a member of the Guild No 2 repeats it to No 3 who tells it to the person it was said of - and you can't think how long it takes to get over the smart when someone tells you someone else had said (and perhaps they never did say it) that you are a perfect beast all through. If, as I believe, the sin of evil speaking is one of the worst sins in the sight of God what is it to double that sin by repeating evil speeches to the person they were said of when you know it will wound and hurt and smart?
There was tea and a discussion down in the Crypt afterwards (the Fellowship Rooms aren't open yet). There wasn't much discussion but a few people asked questions. Anne and I sat together in Church but she wasn't able to stay for tea. We saw a good many people we knew.
Monday November 15th 1920.
We went to the Holy Communion at 10.15 yesterday morning and stayed on for the 11.30 service. The Church was absolutely packed - it was Armistice Sunday – Daddie arrived at 11.20 and found the doors locked. We didn't have the ordinary service but one specially suitable for the day.
Mr Sheppard preached a splendid sermon on the necessity of our really coming out on the side of God if we would build the New World and complete the work for which the known and unknown warriors died. He said, muffled religion never was much good at any time and it is useless now.
Tuesday November 16th 1920.
What are wanted are people who will risk all even life itself for Christ and who will stand laughter and ridicule. The life is the thing that matters and that our lives should make it easier for other people to find God. We must come out beautifully, splendidly, gracefully on the side of Christ, and take Him into all that we do. The trouble is that there are too few Christians to go round. Shall it be said of us in those dark hours as it was of the town chosen to be the birth place of Jesus of Nazerath [ Nazareth ] "He could do there no mighty work because of their unbelief"? We must all have felt that on Armistice Day and the days following there was some great power trying to pull us over to the side of God, it may be many years before such a great attempt is made to convert us again. Do you remember the message to the Church of Loadicea [ Laodicea ]? "thou art neither hot nor cold but lukewarm and because thou art neither hot nor cold I will spit thee out of My mouth". That is the trouble to-day, muffled, lukewarm religion never was any good and it had better go. We are in the twilight at the present time it is neither dark nor light but it rests with us to make it the twilight before the dawn.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People in the afternoon; it was even more packed than the morning service but even so the doors had to be closed at 3.15. They played the Dead March in "Saul" first and then a wreath was carried out to be put on the Cenotaph. Mr Sheppard said it rested with us to perfect the peace for which they died - for though they fought with the blood-stained weapons of war they really fought for peace and to conquer the powers of agression and brute force, they hated and loathed war and their dream all through was of England and peace.
These are two very poor accounts of his sermons and I wish I could remember more of the morning one which was really splendid.
I went to tea with Aunt Lil and meet Lilac and several other friends of Aunt Lil's there. It was so awfully nice to see Lilac again, I hadn't seen her for so long.
Margaret came to dinner.
I didn't go out at all yesterday. I was going to see Alice in the afternoon but she has got a sore throat and a streaming cold poor darling!
I had quite a tea party yesterday. Dorea Stanhope, Lilly, Lilac, Helen and Alannah came and we had great fun. Helen was quite mad and more amusing than ever. We played the piano and made a terrible noise.
Daddie and I went down after dinner to see Sir Harry and Lady Emma who are up for a week.
I had two notes from Alice yesterday brought by Lilly and a letter from her this morning and I sent her a note back by Lilly and wrote to her today.
I went to the Club this morning and we again had a very peaceful time.
Uncle Romer and Aunt Alys who are in London for a few days came to luncheon and I got back in time to see them. Aunt Alys is very fond of Joffie and says he is so well and happy with them.
Anne came here soon after 3 o'c and we had tea early and then went with Daddie to a lecture on Kenya Colony at which I am sorry to say Anne and I giggled nearly the whole time except at a few points which interested us.
Alice has rung up to say she can't see me till Thursday because of her throat. It is very tragic.
Thursday November 18th 1920.
Mummy went down to Bath yesterday morning for a few days to get some business settled up.
I had a very nice lesson from Miss Medd-Hall and then went to luncheon with Peggy and we had a long talk and went out shopping and didn't get back till 4.45 to find several girls waiting for her for tea and Shortie waiting for me. We dashed home, had tea and then went off to see Cousin Gerty. Cousin Gerty was most awfully nice and I stayed there a long time.
I had a letter from Alice this morning saying Mrs Renner's baby was born yesterday and it is a boy and weighs 9 ½ lbs so they are very happy. She also said she was very disappointed but she knew she wouldn't be able to see me to-day because there would be so much to do. It was very depressing but of course couldn't be helped. I wrote to her.
We went to see the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey this morning because it is being filled in this evening. The queue was quite short and we got in easily. The grave was railed in and covered with a beautiful embroidered cloth and then a Union Jack and all round were great masses of flowers. It said in the papers a few days ago that over a million people had passed through the Abbey and we saw great crowds when we passed by on Saturday and Sunday; the queue for the Abbey stretched along Millbank then and was twisted and turned and doubled up and I heard someone say it was a mile long and it was four or five people deep. When we came out from the Service for the People last Sunday afternoon there was a queue nearly the whole length of Northumberland Avenue right down Whitehall to the Cenotaph in one directly and on the opposite side one which started half way down the Mall and went right down Whitehall to the Cenotaph. It said in the paper the other day that over 100,000 wreaths and bunches of flowers have been laid on the Cenotaph and it must be considerably more by now; they have, I think, erected kind of stands for several yards out round the base, anyhow the whole thing is a mass of flowers nearly six feet high.
I went on to the Club and we had a very strenuous time with one helper short and a frightful rush. There was a very nice American lady there; it was her first day.
Daddie has been down to lecture to wounded soldiers in a big hospital at Shepherd's Bush this evening. He says they were mostly very bad cases and had been there for two years.
Kathleen came to tea and we were very animated.
I finished "The Grenfell Twins" by John Buchan the other day. Very good indeed.
Saturday November 20th 1920.
I had three letters yesterday, one from Mummy who seems to be enjoying being at Bath; one from Alice saying amongst other things that she was afraid she wouldn't be able to dine and go with me to the Geographical as we had arranged; and one from Mrs Denham Parker asking me to sell at a bazaar on Wednesday at the Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Hotel for the animals of the poor and to bring a friend.
I went to a committee meeting of the Far and Near Club at Lady Baker-Wilbraham's house in Elm Park Gardens at 2.30. The committee consisted of Miss Williams, Lady Parkin, Anne, Mrs Birchall and myself. Lady Baker Wilbraham is not on the committee but she was there for the meeting, she is so nice. We were mainly engaged in discussing and making arrangments for an inaugural meeting for the women's section which we hope to have at the end of January. I went back to tea with Anne; we had to simply dash because she had some girls coming to tea and we didn't get back till 4.30 and then she had to go and change; I assisted her and I think hindered her to a very considerable extent. The tea party was great fun, it consisted of Diana Hornby (who I have heard of before), two Miss Ayrs, another girl whose name I didn't catch, Lilly, Miss Britton and Joan Bentinck who is a great friend of the Bevan's and has just returned from Poland. I love going to tea with the Bevan's, Christina Bevan is so nice and they are clever and interesting and unlike other people. Lilly brought Miss Britton and Shortie and me as far as Hyde Park Corner in her carriage. Violet Britton is a member of the Guild of Fellowship and Anne was awfully nice to her there and looked after her and introduced her to people. She used to live in these flats and she was at school with Alice which is very funny.
I had a talk with Alice on the telephone this morning, she says she is very tired of being good and quiet and wants to be mad and frivol; she may be able to come and see me on Monday afternoon.
Miss Hills gave a music lesson in the morning and Lilly and Violet Britton came to tea. I hadn't been out at all to-day, there is so much to do indoors.
Sunday November 21st 1920.
Daddie and I went to St. Martin's this morning and heard a very fine sermon by a Canon Thompson who took as his text "Our conversation is in Heaven" or as someone translated it "We are a colony of Heaven" which is certainly more lucid. He quoted a passage in one of G.K Chesterton's books in which he says if he were engaging rooms he would not ask the landlady if she could cook sausages but what her fundamental views on the Universe were because if those were sound all the rest would follow.
We went to the Service for the People this afternoon. Shortie took her neice Grace, and Mrs Simpson went too. Mr Sheppard was very, very good indeed. He said, it is very hard indeed to be a Christian; a kind of idea has got about that we parsons never have any doubts - any intellectual doubts - at all, if a parson tells you that he's either a liar or has stopped thinking. I know for myself that at times I find it terribly hard to believe in the Love of God and sometimes it is utter darkness, I have found in all the lives of the good and the great that I have studied that they all had their times of doubt and darkness. There are one or two problems that have always puzzled me and which I havn't got right yet - at least not to be able to give an at all satisfactory explanation to them; one of them is innocent suffering; many of you saw this on a huge scale overseas during the war, why were all those young beautiful creatures simply massacred? and that frightful organised murder allowed? I remember one day years ago when I lived in Bethnal Green, one afternoon I simply had to pull down the blinds and draw the curtains to shut out the sight of the children playing in the streets because it was so unbearable to think that in a few years most of them would be suffering from tuberculosis or be in the infirmary of the workhouse or in jail without it seemed even having had a dog's chance. But one thing I have discovered from the study of history and that is that the suffering of the innocent is in some way which we can't understand necessary to the life of the world and it has always been their suffering which has lifted up the world and kept it's heart sound and brought it near to the light. I see the great procession of the suffering innocent all down the ages and at their head is their King and He is the Christ and on His head is a crown of thorns and on His shoulder a wooden cross. He has been through it all, the way they had and He goes with them. He was a carpenter - a real carpenter. We've forgotten that and thought so much of Him as the Son of God and put a crown on His head as He stood at the carpenter's bench and said He never really went through it all and forgotten that He did go through all the hardness and the routine and knew what it was to be good at His job. He seems far away to us at first. He is dressed in Eastern clothes and He lived long ago but as we try to follow He comes nearer to us and the Eastern clothes change and He is absolutely and utterly part of to-day. He is the only figure in history whom no man has ever made ridiculous all the sickly Victorian hymns, all the arrant sentimentality we talk has never made Him ridiculous, He simply doesn't lend Himself to it and no man has ever dared to laugh at Jesus of Nazareth. Though there are so many problems that we hard to understand we can always keep hold of and try to follow Him and to all doubts and scorn and laughter of the world there is this one unanswerable response "I myself have known Christ" and "this I know whereas I was blind now I see".
Tuesday November 23rd 1920.
Margaret and Harry came to dinner on Sunday night. Harry was in the middle of his Sandhurst exam but seemed quite cheerful about it.
Aunt Di and Aunt Lil came to luncheon yesterday and were most amusing and delightful.
I went to see the Angel Alice in the afternoon, we really managed to meet at last after many unsuccessful efforts and not having seen each other for ten days. Her throat really was rather bad poor dear. We had a most animated talk and I had to go just as we were getting really thrilled. Alice is the most Heavenly person to talk to - if only one didn't want to go on for ever!
I went to tea with Peggy and saw her in her nurse's rig-out. Pamela Peile who used to be at Wolfie's was there for tea but after she went we had a talk; poor Peggy she seems so depressed and sad and lonely.
Mummy got back from Bath yesterday evening. She says Mrs Idie is very well and happy.
Lilly dined with me and she and Mummy and Lady Emma and I went to a Geographical lecture at the Aeolian Hall by a Major Bailey who was in Russian Turkistan in 1919 and posed to the Bolsheviks as an Austrian prisoner and got employed in their secret service and was at one time employed to catch himself! and finally escaped over the Persian frontier.
I went to the Club this morning and laughed and joked in a most indecorous fashion with a very nice little Mrs de Pusy who works there.
I went to tea with Lilac who was quite charming and saw her fiancé Simon Campion who seems excessively nice. They are going to be married in June and she has asked me to be her bridesmaid which I shall love if we are here.
Shortie and I went to see Majory [ Marjory ] Hamilton (Shortie's "baby" before me) and her little girl and boy on our way home; the children – aged 3 and 1½ - are dears and so talkative and cheerful.
I was going down to the Cottage with Aunt Di to-morrow for a week but now I'm not going till Thursday morning. I think it will be great fun.
Thursday November 25th 1920.
I had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall yesterday morning. Just as we were going out of the door we met Esther coming to call on me so she came part of the way with us. She seems to have had a very good time in Paris and enjoyed herself enormously.
We simply tore home after the lesson because Shortie was going to a matinée with Majory Hamilton's nurse and I was taking Alice and Lilly to sell at a bazaar at the Picadilly [ Piccadilly ] Hotel at 2.15. They picked me up here and we all went together. The bazaar was in aid of the dispenseries for sick animals of the poor and we were selling at Mrs Denham Parker's stall. A good many people came and were quite cheerful about buying things which was comforting. The car was supposed to fetch us at 5.30 but we decided that we weren't really wanted as long as that because there were several other ladies selling at our stall so we came away at a quarter to five and drove in a taxi to Belgrave Square in the most wildly hilarious spirits. We had tea with Mrs Kleinwort who was charming then we went and sat together (Alice, Lilly, Daisy and I) in the morning room and were all very foolish. Shortie came to fetch me on her way home from Majory's.
I go down to Ashtead with Aunt Di this morning. Daddie is going down to Irthlingborough (where Victoria's husband is Rector) to unveil a stained glass window and Mummy is going to Bath. I shall be back on Wednesday.
Thursday December 2nd 1920.
I had a lovely time at Ashtead and enjoyed it enormously. I went down with Aunt Di on Wednesday morning and we arrived at the Cottage in time for luncheon and in the afternoon went and paided calls and rather luckily no one was at home. Uncle Claude came down on Friday evening. We dined with Mr Meyers on Saturday and had tea with the Ralli's on Sunday.
Uncle Claude went to London on Monday and went to stay with the Ho[--]es. Aunt Di and I went over to have luncheon with the Greys at Cobham on Tuesday. Kathleen Grey is an awfully nice girl. I wrote to Alice on Friday, had a long letter from her on Sunday and rang her up on Tuesday and also had a letter from Lil on Tuesday. Aunt Di was quite charming, I was alone with her for a great part of the time and simply loved it.
We came up yesterday morning arriving at Victoria at 11 o'c where Shortie met me and we came home here and left my luggage and then went off to Trinity College and I had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall. Nora Dawson who is staying in London came to luncheon; I like her so much. I changed and wrote to Aunt Di after she left and Alice came at 3.45 and we had a talk till 4.30 when Anne and her friend Barbara Bentinck and Peggy came. We were a very merry tea party. Anne and I went after tea to the Sheppard's house 30, Chelsea Park Gardens for the trying on of the dresses for the Christmas mystery play at St Martin's in which we are both going to be angels. There were 8 or 9 other angels and our dresses are very pretty indeed, the skirts are made of gold or silver tissue and the tops of various coloured dull brocades and cut perfectly straight and with no fastenings; we had our hair artificially bobbed and gold bands round it. Then we all went downstairs and were placed in the order we shall be in in the Church and were then told all the various attitudes we shall have to stand in and the different gestures we shall make at various stages in the music. I saw Mr Sheppard for a minute as we were coming away.
Mummy got back from Bath yesterday evening.
Alice came to see me at 11.30 this morning and stayed till 1 o'c and we discussed the Legue [ League ] of Nations and ourselves and various other matters of equal interest. Anne had asked me to ask her if she will sit on the committee of the Far and Near Club and she says she will which I am very glad of because I have been hoping for some time that they would ask her, it will be so nice having her.
Saturday December 4th 1920.
I went to tea with Peggy on Thursday and stayed ages and had a long talk with her.
Mummy and Daddie went to dinner with Mr Ward - Cooke.
I went to the Club yesterday morning and straight on from there to have tea with Anne; we discussed the Far and Near Club (Daddie has said he will speak at the inaugaral meeting of the Women's section). We went to St Martin's at 6.30 for the rehearsal of the Mystery Play which took place in the Church.
Daddie was lecturing for the Victoria League somewhere outside London last night.
I had a music lesson from Miss Hills this morning and Shortie and I went to the bank and the Stores.
This afternoon I went to tea with Alice and the twins. Anne and Christiana and Kathleen were also there and it was such a nice tea party.
Sunday December 5th 1920.
Daddie and I went to St Martin's this morning. Mr Sheppard preached and he said; it is quite extraordinarily hard to be hopeful in these days when the outlook is so black and when such terrible problems confront us and it doesn't seem as if we ordinary people can do anything at all or ever hope to find the solution of them but I think it will give us courage if we remember that our problems are also God's problems and that He is working to put things right and that He has already sent into the world the one solution of all our difficulties – the solution is already there if we could only realize it. A prominant labour leader said to me the other day "you parsons have got the solution to all our difficulties but you keep it so tightly boxed up in that old machine of yours that we can't get at it but we know its there". What we have got to do is to get back that personal intimacy with Jesus and to really get at His spirit without which nothing else is any good, its no good trying to imitate Him unless you will really know Him and become part of Him. We decide we will try to be Christians so we plung rather frenziedly into philantropics work and go to Church very regularly and are really very painstaking about it all – but somehow we miss the Spirit of Jesus. He said in His language that many would say they had sat on platforms and spoken in the pulpits and done many good works in His Name but would never have known Him. He is the most absolutely human person who ever lived and all the attributes which are truely part of humanity you will find in Him; you know how ill at ease you feel in the company of cold, unsympathetic people and how you stutter and stammer and don't know what to say, He is the same. When He went back to His old home Nazareth He could do there no mighty works because of their unbelief and coldness and I think it is the same to-day; Christ walks about the world to-day with His hands tied down to His sides. I wonder how much of that intimacy with Christ and how much of His Spirit there is in "the Church of England as by law established"? if Christ isn't the Foundation Stone of the Church then the Church had better die tomorrow.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People this afternoon and as usual the doors had to be locked a quarter of an hour before the Service began. The music was beautiful. Mr Sheppard said in his sermon I am going to speak about "the hump" this afternoon - not about that terrible despair of soul and body which some people have but the ordinary hump that we all get; really I think the hump very often comes from our thinking we are put in the world to enjoy ourselves and to get the greatest possible amount of pleasure out of life where as really we are here to help others to see that they are happy. We forget that we are only a little lower than the Angels and that we have power to rise above all the little grievances and trials of life up into the sunshine. The sun is Christ, the moon, the trees, the flowers all are Christ. Its awfully difficult when the time comes to say "I won't let this conquer me, I will overcome it and get on top of it and think first of others". Why do we so seldom think that this is part of Christianity? - it is the whole Christian philosophy; we have made religion so dry and dull and you have miss all the beauty and joy and wonder of it and the Jewel at the centre; He is the greatest Poet who ever lived. If you get out of bed the wrong side in the morning turn your bed the other way round.
I went on to tea with Cousin Gerty and she was so nice.
Mummy and Daddie went to tea with the Prains at Kew who had a tea party to meet the Marajah of Jalawar [ Maharaja of Jhalawar ].
Margaret couldn't come to dinner tonight because she went to the country and couldn't get back in time.
Tuesday December 7th 1920.
Shortie and I went out shopping yester morning, there was pandemonium in the shops and our efforts weren't crowned with much success.
Mr Caney, who is a very nice clergyman connected with the Missions to Seamen came to luncheon and Margaret and Major Dunlop came to tea and the latter told funny stories. Alice came to dinner and was quite charming and we all went after dinner to a Geographical lecture. A most amusing Colonel Dunsterville lectured on a journey he made in Persia during the war and how he with 900 English soldiers and a good many Armenians who weren't much use kept the Turks out of Baku for six weeks!
I went to the Club this morning.
Daddie had a tea party at Lowther Lodge (the R.G.S.) consisting of Nora Dawson (who I like perfectly hugely) and Sir John and Lady Millar and their daughter a very nice girl of about 24. I took Peggy Millar on to tea with Kathleen who had a tea party: and from there I went to see Alice and the twins who all seemed very cheerful.
Friday December 10th 1920.
We went shopping on Wednesday morning and then I went to Trinity College and had my last lesson this term; and then to luncheon with the Kleinworts where I stayed till nearly 4 o'c and we all sat in a row on the sofa in the morning room and Lil told us what she called "little anecdotes" most of which had little point or else we knew them already and we roared with laughter. I was going to tea with Peggy but the fog was so bad I had to give it up.
I went to the Club yesterday morning and then we shopped without much success. Uncle Claude came to tea and was charming. Shortie and I went to the Fellowship Rooms at St Martin's after tea to see the dress rehearsal of the play which the Girls Club is giving tomorrow. It was extraordinarily well done.
I have developed a mild cold and have been in-doors all day long to try and cure it and incidentally have tried to get one or two Christmas presents finished. Lil was coming to tea but she has got one of her numerous colds so she couldn't come.
Mummy and Daddie went to a musical At Home of Mrs Inge's and met a good many people they knew there and enjoyed it very much.
Sunday December 12th 1920.
Miss Hills gave me a lesson yesterday morning.
I went shopping with Anne and managed to get the wreath for the St Martin's Mystery Play at a very attractive shop in Duke Street; it is made of gold leaves and very pretty.
Harry came to luncheon and went off directly after to a football match.
I wrote to Alice who is away for the week-end.
There was a rehearsal of the mystery play in St. Martin's at 4 o'c. It was much easier this time because we had our Angel frocks on and there was singing and it really went very well. I dashed back and had high tea and changed and then Shortie and I went to the Girl's Club's Christmas Party which great fun; they did first the play when we saw the rehearsal of the other day; then the singing club did part songs, Miss West, who plays in the Church, played violin solos, Miss Doris Montrave (Miss Simpson's sister who is a professional) sang and two members of the Club danced a gavotte extraordinarily well. There were masses of refreshments and danchers, and dancing after the entertainments and everyone seemed very happy. I saw heaps of people I knew and enjoyed it enormously. We left just before 10 o'c and found it snowing fast and the ground white with snow - the first snow we have had this year.
We went to St Andrew's Ashley Gardens this morning partly because Mr Sheppard was preaching and partly because we felt we couldn't face the queue at St Martin's in the snow. Mr Sheppard was extraordinarily good, he preached a good deal of the same sermon as in St Martin's on Oct: 10th. He said, we have lost the reality of Christ and insisted so much on His Divinity that we have lost sight of His humanity and thought that He was forced along the right path by the power of His Father in Heaven quite forgetting that He came up against misunderstanding and failure and dullness and routine – and chose the right every time. It was the wonderful power of the perfect human life which drew the disciples to leave the fishing boats and follow Him and no one can read another Gospel story without saying "that is how I should like to be" we see in Him what we might be and what we know we have power to become and He is the great Master of the art of living - not some strange foreigner pointing to a far-off impossible ideal which mocks us by its very perfection. Thousands every day fall in love with Christ - not with a sentimental love but strong, virile love. We have got so much in the habit of thinking He did everything "according to plan", He didn't feed the 5,000 that we might have a subject for sermons but because the people were hungry and He loved them.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People in the afternoon, it was beautiful. Mr Sheppard said in his sermon, I think one of the things which strikes me most about our Master is the way He always thought in terms of men, women and children. If we can imagine Christ walking through Leicester Square and meeting a woman it is impossible to think of Him saying that that kind of thing always had gone on and always would go on; He would look at her as a woman and not with scorn or anger but with love and the power that lay behind those words "go and sin no more" would save her. The more I read reviews and books on economy the more I think we are mad - stalk, staring mad and the only way is to think of the facts - men, women and children. I always remember what a great thinker said at the beginning of the war, if the men who willed the war had met Christ in August 1914 He wouldn't have given them any Divine theories on the wickedness of war but would have taken them over to France and shown them the corn waving in the sunshine and the happy children and men and women and said "as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My children ye have done it unto Me". I believe that class antagonism and the great question of supply and demand and all other questions which worry us today would cease to exist if we thought in terms of men, women and children and all our thinking didn't end in theories.
Wednesday December 15th 1920.
I didn't go out till the evening on Monday because I wanted to try and cure my cold.
Joan Egerton who is one of the Angels in the mystery play rang me up in the morning and asked me to have supper with them and then go to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Queen's Hall in aid of the restoration of the organ at St. Alban's Holborn. I went and Margaret was there too (Lady Mabelle Egerton is a great friend of her's) and it was great fun. The play was extraordinarily well done by the Ben Greet Players and I enjoyed it enormously.
I stayed in-doors all day yesterday too and I think I have knocked the cold on the head. Daddie was lecturing for the Royal Colonial Institute on "India and England: the true tie between them"; they gave a big dinner beforehand to which Mummy went. Alice dined with me, she had been staying with Marieka for the week-end and was rather worried because poor little John is ill being in the act of cutting his back teeth. We went on to the lecture together and sat in the front row with Mummy, Major Dunlop, Anne and Mr Bevan. Daddie's lecture was very good indeed; he said the true tie between England and India was the social one and we must take much more trouble to strengthen that and to mutually understand one another better. Lord Carmichael was in the chair and made a most amusing speech afterwards. Speeches were also made by Lord Meston, Sir Arthur Lawley; Sir Charles Munroe (late Commander-in-Chief in India) Sir Michael O'Dwyer; Sir Sombody Somthing, and Sir Somthing Taiter [ Tata ]; the latter is a great Indian business man and philanthropist. The speeches were all very good.
I met Peggy in Bond Street this morning and went shopping with her and back to luncheon. Rowland is back from France and she is feeling throughly pleased with things in general at the moment.
We met Aunt Violet in Bond Street who said that Aunt Bobs is back in London.
I went to see Miss Wolff who was very nice indeed then I went to call on Aunt Bobs but she wasn't at home.
Martial law has been proclaimed in parts of Ireland and anyone found in possession of firearms after 27th will be liable to be court martialled and shot. The town of Cork was set on fire the other night, they don't know by what party, most of the public building and the best shops have been burnt down and it is estimated that 300 houses were burnt and £3,000,000 worth of damage done but apparently no lives were lost because they were nearly all business premises and had been shut for the night.
Saturday December 18th 1920.
I went to the Club on Thursday morning and Major Dunlop came to tea and was excessively nice. We all three dined with Lord Leigh. I was rather frightened before we got there because I knew it was going to be a dinner party but I ended by enjoying it enormously. There were 14 people altogether, Lord Leigh, Miss Leigh; Lord Riddle; Major and Mrs Hussey; Mr Fitzroy Stanhope; Lady Dynavor [ Dynevor ]; Mr Rhys; the Duke of Argyll; Rowland and a lady whose name I forget. I sat between Rowland and Mr Rhys; I hadn't seen Rowland for ages and I'm afraid we were very foolish! he is a most amusing boy. Mr Rhys is Lady Dynavor's [ Dynevor's ] son and therefore Peggy's and Rowland's 2nd cousin and he is very nice. It was interesting seeing Lord Riddle [ Riddell ] who is supposed to have such a great influence over Lloyd George; Mummy sat next to him.
I struggled with Christmas presents again yesterday. Anne and I were going to a picture gallery together but she got a chill and couldn't go so I didn't go out till I went to tea with Alice and the twins.
Miss Hills came this morning and Shortie and I went to the Stores when she had gone.
Mummy and Daddie went to a luncheon party of Mrs Henniker's and enjoyed it very much.
There was a rehearsal of the mystery play in St Martin's at 4 o'c. Mr Sheppard was there and he said a few words to us beforehand to tell us how important it was to keep the beauty of it, that to speak or smile or even look at someone else might ruin the whole thing. He said what a great priviledge it was for us to be able to take part in it and that we should never do anything more sacred in our lives; unless we behaved as though the Babe of Bethleham were really there in the cradle it would spoil the whole spirit of it. We had a very good rehearsal and it will be a really beautiful thing.
Wednesday December 29th 1920.
Oh my diary!
Well to begin somewhere in the direction of where I left off. We went to St Martin's on Sunday morning before last and Mr Matthews preached on the subject of Christmas presents. We went to luncheon with Mr and Mrs Macmillan and then Alice and I went to tea with Lois Yate (I nearly wept at missing the Service for the People) there were a good many other people there.
I have no idea what I did on Monday morning but I probably went shopping or else struggled with Christmas presents.
Mrs Idie came up from Bath in the afternoon and Daisy came to tea. We had the dress rehearsal of the Mystery Play at 6.30 which went off quite fairly well. There was a platform built over the choir stalls and covered with black and white diamond pattern stuff and with a semi-circle of bay trees at the back. The Church was in darkness and then they had the kind of lighting they have on stage turned onto us from the galleries; I think the colours were blue and amber most of the time and they said the effect was lovely.
I forgot to mention that Margaret came to dinner on Sunday night for the last time for the present because she went down to her people at Bideford on Wednesday for a well earned month's holiday.
I went to the Club on Tuesday and then came home and rested because the first performance of the Mystery Play was that evening and then I was going to a dinner party of the Bevan's and on to the Bentinck's dance with them. We went and picked up Margaret at the Club on the way to the Church and also Joan Egerton who was in a state of nervous prostration.
The play went off wonderfully well and I didn't feel a bit nervous; the Church being in darkness and therefore not being able to see the people distinctly gave one confidence and also with darkness all round one forgot one was in bright light oneself. Mummy and Daddie came and thought it lovely.
I dashed home and dressed for the dance and then Daddie took me to the Bevans. It was a very nice dinner party of 12 and Esther and Peggy were there. The dance was in Harley Street and was great fun, the floor was good and the men were nice and I enjoyed it enormously and stayed till 3 o'c. then, Peggy, Rowland and I all left in a taxi together and were very merry.
I stayed in bed till nearly luncheon time the next day. Mummy and Daddie went off down to the Crichtons at Netley after luncheon (we were all going there for Christmas but I couldn't go till Friday because of the Mystery Play).
Peggy came to see me in the afternoon and Lil and Daisy came to tea and then came on to see the Mystery Play which went splendidly that night, everything was much smoother and more certain than the first night.
Shortie and I went out shopping on Thursday morning and I struggled frenziedly with Christmas presents and cards at all available odd moments. Alice came to see me in the afternoon and we had a great talk. Oh dear! I wish I didn't always want to see Alice so much because I can't see her as often as I want to.
Miss Wolff came in after tea to say she was so sorry she wouldn't be able to go to the Mystery Play (she was going with us) because she had such a mass of things to do. Cousin Ruth came and went with us and was charming. The Church was even more full than on the two preceeding evening and Princess Christian and Princess Beatrice were there. The play went absolutely without a hitch of any sort and everyone said it was beautiful and Mr Sheppard was so pleased, he came into the Church afterwards to see Mrs Idie, who used to go to St Martin's when she was a child, and was charming; he was charming to me too and thanked me so much for being an Angel and said such nice things.
There was a dinner in the Vestry Hall afterwards to which nearly everyone who had been in the Mystery Play came. We had a beautiful dinner and the gentlemen waited and raced each other round the table serving things and it was huge fun. We went on to the Swedish Ballet at the Palace (in our Angel frocks!), it was very good but not nearly so good as the Russian ballet but of cause it is a different style. I sat between Anne and Joan and we behaved atrociously and enjoyed ourselves perfectly enormously - at least I did!
Friday December 31st 1920.
I frenziedly sent off Christmas presents on Friday morning and we left for Southampton by the 11.30 train, it was simply overflowing but we managed to get corner seats. Daddie met us with the motor at Southampton and we motored out to Netley Castle. The party consisted of Sir Harry and Lady Emma, Colonel and Mrs Crichton (Sir Harry's son) and Commander and Mrs Fanshawe and their four children (Sir Harry's daughter). Mrs Crichton was delightful.
We all went to Church on Christmas morning and most of us stayed on for the second service. After luncheon Mummy, Daddie, Shortie and I disappeared up to my bed-room and according to time honoured custom opened my presents all together. I had lovely presents. Mummy gave me a clock, Daddie, a big photograph album; Aunt Venetia, a Communion book beautiful bound and worked by herself; Cousin Gerty, chocolates and a handkerchief; Cousin Nell, a beautiful misty green enamel Chinese pendant; Anne, a pair of big paste buckles; Uncle Oswald and Aunt Bobs, a perfectly lovely little gold wristlet watch on a black ribbon which I am delighted with; Alice, a Kashmir papier maché fan with a black and gold ground and blue flowers on it; Lilly and Daisy, "Irish Fairy Tales" illustrated by Arthur Rackham; Mary, a handkerchief worked by herself; Pompey, a beautiful edition of "The Arabian Nights" illustrated by Edmund Dulac; Uncle Jack and Aunt Madeleine, a most awfully pretty little hand-bag made of red and gold shot brocaded silk; Mrs Henniker, a handkerchief sachet; Miss Wolff, a pair of black and a of white silk stockings and a book of Browning's poems; Sir David Prain, "Rosina" by Austin Dobson; Anne, an absurd figure of a dachshund which moves its paws and head and ears and tail; Cousin Margaret, handkerchieves; Lady Emma, a big work bag to put my jumpers in while I am knitting them; Aunt Alys, Uncle Romer and Joffie chocolates; Aunt Violet, chocolates; Phyllis, a really beautiful long white scarf with a design in beads worked on it; Peggy, two little china figures; Lady Barrington, "Even Now" by Max Beerbohm.
There was a Christmas tree and children's party in the afternoon and the Milford Havens (who were Prince and Princess Louis of Battenburg [ Battenberg ]) came over for it bring Lord Louis Mount Batten [ Mountbatten ] and Lady Louise Mount Batten (their son and daughter) with them. Lord Louis did Father Christmas and was perfectly splendid and then he came back in plain clothes and played with the children nearly the whole time and amused them enormously and they loved him. He is the one who went to Australia with the Prince of Wales. I had a talk with Lord Milford Haven who was charming and I sat next to Lady Louise at tea and she was very nice indeed.
On Sunday it was so gloriously warm and sunny that I sat out-of-doors by the edge of Southampton Water (Netley Castle is right on Southampton Water) and wrote letters.
On Monday afternoon the Fanshawes and I went to "Peter Pan" in Southampton, it was the first performance but it was really very good and Captain Hook struck terror to the hearts of several children.
We left on Tuesday morning having had a very nice time indeed and enjoyed it very much. We managed to hurl ourselves into an overflow non-stop special train at Southampton and so had a very good journey.
New Year's Day 1921.
I dined with Captain and Lady Dorothy Macmillan on Tuesday night and we and Mr Arthur Macmillan went to the pantomime which is at Covent Garden this year. It was "Cinderella" and was frightfully amusing and some of the scenes were extraordinarily pretty. I hadn't been to the pantomime for ages and ages. It began at 7.30 and I got home just before midnight! Lady Dorothy is charming.
Mummy and I went to tea with Mrs Ward-Cooke on Wednesday.
I went to the Club on Thursday morning and Miss Simpson and I had fits of laughter the whole time over a practical joke we concocted to send to Margaret.
Ian called in the afternoon and seemed very cheerful having had a very good time at Christmas with some friends in Lincolnshire. He was going back to Chatham to his ship the "Verdun" that evening.
I went to tea with Peggy and we had a good jaw.
We shopped a bit yesterday morning and after luncheon we went to Day's Library and then I went to meet Anne at Burlington House and we saw the exibition of Spanish pictures which range in date from about the 15th Century to the present day; some of them were very fine.
Aunt Geraldine came to tea. We dined with Aunt Aimée and Uncle Douglas and had a very nice time indeed. We saw little Rosemary asleep in her cot, she is a dear little thing.
We went to the Watch Night Service at St Peter's Chapel across the road, it was a very nice Service.
Oh dear! I'm 19 and I feel terribly old. 1920 has been rather a wonderful year for me, many new and thrilling things - such as Alice - have happened and it has been a gloriously happy year with plenty of my beloved London.
Miss Wolff sent me some beautiful orchids at breakfast time this morning.
Sunday January 2nd 1921.
I had my presents after luncheon yesterday. Mummy gave me a beautiful minature chest of drawers made of various inlaid woods and with gilt mounts; it will do splendidly to keep jewellery in because it locks; Daddie gave me a little inlaid box; Mrs Idie gave me a lovely Italian gold locket with Mummy's and Daddie's photographs in it, she had had it for years. Shortie gave me a nice hot water bottle and Mrs Idie also gave me a nightdress case which she made.
Miss Wolff gave me four beautiful pairs of gloves.
Miss Wolff came to tea and after tea I went to a children's tea party and Christmas tree at Tilney Street. Cousin Gerty, Aunt Geraldine, Uncle Raymond and Cynthia, Cousin V and Brian and Sheila, Aunt Aimée and Rosemary were there and it was a very fine tree right up to the ceiling and everyone got beautiful presents.
I got a very pretty fruit and flower hair wreath and Uncle Oswald and Aunt Bobs gave me six pairs of black silk stockings for a birthday present which was extraordinarily kind of them. Daddie fetched me and we stayed till nearly 7.30 and they were very kind. The children have grown enormously. We had crackers after dinner.
Shortie and I went to the sung Communion at St Martin's this morning and stayed on for the morning service. Mr Sheppard preached a very fine sermon in which he said I am convinced there will be a great revival in 1921, I don't know how it will come or whether it can come through organized religion there are few signs that the sweeping Wind of God could blow through organized religion. Most of the real passionate lovers of mankind are outside organized religion to-day - I don't know if it is their fault or our's probably partly their's and mostly our's - We have got to make up our minds quite definitely whether we will follow Christ or not either He is the one hope for the world or he is not but if not then I ask you what other hope is there? We all know today in our heart of hearts that we must be redeemed and be born again but we simply hate being redeemed. People dislike religion so much partly because they think it is all a question of personal salvation but when the call sounds to advance everyone knows he has got to go forward and that he will go forward and he never thinks whether he personally will come through the only thought is that the cause should triumph and it should be the same in religion. When the "advance" sounds in 1921 shall we be ready to go forward risking all ready to follow our Christ though we know not where He will lead us? No one who has not feared Christianity has ever really understood it. We can have no time to waste over little things and trifles only big things matter; the little, small, trifling numerous details of ecclesiasticism can have no sort of interest for the great passionate Lover of Mankind Jesus our Lord. We must listen to the Love Song of Christ and try to understand His strange strong wisdom.
Monday January 3rd 1921.
We went to the Service for the People yesterday afternoon and Mr Sheppard preached again and he said, I used to hate Jesus Christ once. I tell you this to show you I have been through all the stages myself. I thought He was the bar to all progress and must be got rid of at any cost and I did not hesitate to speak against Him, then I went to live down in the East End of London, I wanted to get into Parliament and had ideas about "raising the poor" - I was a silly young ass in those days and I think what I really meant was to raise myself on the backs of the poor. Life was utterly different down there but wherever one went in all the dark alleys and everywhere there was always one Figure and in every place where that Figure came there seemed to be light in the darkness and then one began to think and to study His life and His amazing moral courage in the face of His enemies - we run Him down so easily and we hadn't got an ounce of moral courage - and then one tried, still thinking of Him only as a man, to lead a life in the Spirit of His words and deeds and thoughts and then one discovered that He has power to step down across the ages and come into the heart of a man or woman to-day and become altogether one of ourselves. Then he told a Russian fable by the man whose name begins with D about how our Lord came back to earth in the days of the Inquisition; he told it quite wonderfully and with such expression that it almost made one's flesh creep.
Daddie and I went to hear the carols in the Church in the evening, they were sung by the choir (which is men only) and the St Martin's Church Society (ladies) conducted by Mr Martin Shaw and they were extraordinarily good.
We went to the sales this morning - great pandemonium and very difficult to find anything you want. People say the shops have got to get rid of their things because they are overstocked and their creditors won't lend them any more.
I went to luncheon with Lilac and then to a Geographical lecture on "Plant Collecting in Northern China". Mummy and Daddie went to tea with Mr and Mrs Bevan.
Tuesday January 4th 1921.
I went to the Club this morning.
Uncle Dick came about tea-time being in London for the day and Major Dunlop, Anne and Barbara came to tea.
Mummy has been down at Penshurst for the day looking at a house.
Alice and I are going to Lois' dance this evening; my partner failed this morning which was cheerful.
I am going down to Esther and Betty tomorrow till Saturday.
Sunday January 9th 1921.
I will begin with today and work back to where I left off. I didn't go to Church this morning but spent almost the whole morning reading an absolutely charming book which Mrs Waldegrave sent for Daddie called "The Jesus of History" by Dr. Glover. Shortie and I went to the Service for the People this afternoon. Mr Sheppard was very good but I thought he seemed worried and tired. He said, I want to talk to you for a bit this afternoon about Parsons although I know its a subject which doesn't interest you. I know all our failings - perhaps better than you do - we wear our collars the wrong way round, we are often narrow minded and dogmatic and have old fashioned ideas but have you ever thought of the toughness of our job? a clergyman is expected to be at everyone's beck and call day and night, to be able to answer all sorts of questions, to have a scholarship behind him, to play football and cricket really well and to preach two excellent sermons on Sunday and often with the pepetual worry of money on him and eternally not knowing where the money for the next suit of clothes is coming from. Always we have the awful nightmare of the thought of failure knocking at our hearts; an average man can make a success but it takes a great man to know he is a failure and yet go on. The man most like Our Lord who I ever knew was Vicar of St Paul's Covent Garden for 25 years and the Church was practically empty except for a few people who loved him, he hadn't got what we call "a way with him" and so people didn't come but where ever his footstep was heard on the door steps people's faces would brighten and he was always welcomed with joy. His name was the Rev: E. H Moss [ Mosse ] and he was killed by a bomb in an air raid and then people said how terrible and what a wonderful man he had been and they had had a Saint in the midst of them but no one said it in his life time. He was far too fine an instrument for the porters of Covent Garden – he had a wonderful intellect - and he was left there eating his heart with the sense of failure for 25 years and people said "oh yes an empty Church" and never realized that the Shadow of Christ was there. If any parson can or could ever be the least satisfied with that he came anywhere near fulfilling his job then you may say all the things you like against him, our job is no less than to show Christ to men and to help them to follow in the footsteps of the Master, to present every man whole and perfect unto Christ and if any man thinks he has done that then indeed you may say what you like. Forgive me for getting so excited but I am getting so weary of continually hearing the parson run down where taken on the whole I think they are the finest set of men I know. It is very easy to criticize but much better to try lovingly to help.
Mr Howard Whitbread came to tea. We all three went to St Martin's in the evening. Mr Sheppard preached on Fellowship, he said, The message of the Christian Society from the first has been fellowship, Christ offered men fellowship under the Fatherhood of God - and you can't have a real brotherhood without a Fatherhood - and long, long before the trades unions and political parties and brotherhoods offered men fellowship it was among the most sacred writings of the Church. All fellowships that exist now attack some other fellowship we want one great fellowship for all men and Christians must claim the whole habitable earth for Christ in a way that literally frightens the world. Men came to the Church of Christ seeking for fellowship and they didn't find it there and now they have gone to seek it in lecture halls and at meetings. We cannot preach fellowship to the world while we are divided against ourselves, we desperately need a passionate longing for a re-union. Re-union will never come if we go back to the past and try to discover whose fault it was that we were divided there is no time to waste in allocating the blame nor will it come by dividing up a series of conditions on which we might consider re-union – you cannot dictate to Christ how you will follow Him. In as much as ye have done it unto me if the least of these ye have done it unto Me", inasmuch as you are proud of your social position in the Churches, inasmuch as you look down on the Free Churches, inasmuch as you disapprove of and speak against the Roman Catholics you have cut wounds in the heart of Christ and those wounds will not be healed by conditions of reunion or by official utterances but by passionate longing in the hearts of men for reunion. Passion divided us and passion must bring us together again. If you really passionately desire the one Universal Church then reunion can come this year and then may we say "I will teach Thy way to the wicked and sinners shall be converted unto Thee".
Tuesday January 11th 1921.
Now to begin at the beginning. I went and met Alice at Belgrave Square after dinner last Tuesday night and she and I and her parents went on to Lois' dance which I enjoyed very much. Alice brought me home. I hadn't seen her for ages.
I went down to the Waldegraves by the 11.20 on Wednesday morning and Esther and Betty and their brother John who is at Osborne met me in the Ford at Milford Station. Mr and Mrs Waldegrave were both at home and so kind and Mr Bevan and a most amusing Osborne friend of John's called John Tothill were staying there. I slumbered most of the afternoon; after tea we went to an extraordinarily good concert in Godalming got up by the Girl Guides; a Colonel Bouverie who is supposed to be the finest amateur baritone in England sang and a lady with a beautiful deep voice sang old folk songs most charmingly.
On our way up to bed that evening we had a most heated pillow fight, the two boys against we three girls, it ended in our bringing down a large print, tearing a pillow case to shreds and covering the rest with gore shed by an unknown person!
We had great fun on Thursday afternoon, we went for a tea picnic in the pine woods and lit a big fire and sat round it in the dark after tea. It was lovely and made one long to roam and live in the open.
We dressed up for dinner and got much amusement therefrom. Both the boys were ladies and were extraordinarily good except for their lack of hair. Betty was Flora Macdonald and Esther was a Nun, and I was an Indian lady. We played Dum Crambo [ Dumb Crambo ] after dinner and then a most rowdy and rule-less card game.
It rained hard on Friday but cleared up in the afternoon and we went for a lovely walk before tea and saw a wonderful sunset. It really was beautiful, nothing but stretches of heather and gorse and fir trees on every side and blue hills in the distance and then this wonderful red sunset.
We dressed up again for dinner. Esther wore her V.A.D uniform, Betty made a splendid highwayman with big moustaches and an imperial and a mask and of course cloak and hat etc; John was an Indian Rajah with his face browned and an enormous black beard; Jerry was a Spanish dancing girl and had very scarlet lips and very black eye brows and was furious because we told him he made a very pretty girl. I was Night in a black evening dress of Mrs Waldegrave's and a long floating blue veil.
I left on Saturday morning having enjoyed it enormously. Betty let me drive the Ford on the way to the Station and I drove across Witley Common at 30 miles an hour and quite lost control of the steering and we went bumping over the common and the motor rattled and shook and I thought the whole thing would fall to peices, however we got her off and I went on quite merrily but more slowly.
I went, under Anne's wing, to a thé dansent given by Lady Tyrrell on Saturday afternoon for her younger daughter. Lady Tyrrell is a perfect dear and I enjoyed it so much.
Sunday I have already written. Yesterday morning Shortie and I went to the sales and I bought a pair of black patent leather shoes at Gerrett reduced from £3. 3 to 35 bob. I was going to tea with Peggy but Cousin Tottie was coming up for the night and they are all going to South Africa soon to join Vallie so I didn't go. Cousin Tottie duly arrived and talks quite without ceasing and is very amusing and is going to stay two nights.
Mummy and I went to the R.G.S lecture last night. Daddie made the announcement that the Government of India and the Tibetan Government have given leave for the Everest expedition and that the first one will start this year. It was in the papers in big headlines this morning and various papers have been ringing up all the morning.
Aunt Kathleen has sent me such a pretty Chinese jade snuff bottle from India.
Thursday January 13th 1921.
I went to tea with Barbara Bentinck on Tuesday, Anne and another very nice girl, who I had apparently met years ago, were there.
Yesterday morning I went to Trinity College and had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall and then went to luncheon with Alannah. Alannah is an excessively nice girl. We went to the National Portrait Society's exibition at the Grafton Galleries after luncheon; it was very good on the whole and there were some wonderful portraits by Läzslö [ László ]. Alannah came back to tea with me and Daisy came to tea too.
I dined with the Bevans and we went on to Lady Tyrrell's dance which was enormous fun. There were very nice men there and I got booked up heaps of dances ahead and had a very good time indeed.
I went to the Club this morning. Miss Simpson is very happy because Margaret is coming back on Saturday.
Mr des Gras who came as my partner to the Bentinck's dance and who was there last night came to tea this afternoon. He is in the Rifle Brigade and such a nice boy, unfortunately his leave is up on Monday and he goes back to Ireland.
Saturday January 15th 1921.
I went to luncheon with the Kleinwort's yesterday and had a long talk with my beloved Alice. I have been thoroughly annoyed with her lately because I hadn't seen her for so long, we tried to have a good fight to settle it all up but we laughed so much that we couldn't so we gave it up as a bad job.
Shortie and I went to the sales in the afternoon and got throughly tired and didn't accomplish much.
Nina came this morning to stay with us; she is excessively cheerful and it will be great fun having her.
Cousin Ruth took Nina and another girl and me to some Christmas tableaux at St John the Divine Kennington. They were quite wonderfully done, they had very good scenery and dresses and lovely singing. We all came back here for tea.
Thursday January 20th 1921.
Nina and I went to St. Martin's on Sunday morning and again in the afternoon; Mr Sheppard preached a beautiful sermon in the afternoon on "Churches". Anne and Christina were there and they came back to tea and we had a very nice and very cheerful tea.
Margaret came to dinner. I don't think she seemed quite so tired as when she went away.
Nina and I went to "the sales" on Monday morning and each bought a blouse one reduced from 63/- and the other reduced from 69/6 to 29/6.
Daddie and I went to call on Lady Dorothy Macmillan after luncheon and found her at home and she was charming. Major Dunlop came to say good bye because he was off to St Jean de Luz on Tuesday. I went to tea with Lady Helen Murray who used to work at the Club, she is a most charming person.
After dinner Nina and I went to the Monday Party which is one of the enterprises of the Guild of Fellowship. The Club girls gave the play which they did at Christmas and then there was dancing and someone recited very well.
We went to the Club on Tuesday morning and had 128 people in, the most I have ever had.
Lil came to tea and taught us to play Chopsticks.
Yesterday morning I had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall. Oonah came in to see us for a few minutes in the afternoon and then Daddie took me to see Uncle Jack who has had an operation for cataract and is in a nursing home. The operation went off very successfully, he sees better with the eye they operated on than he has done for years and he sounded very cheerful.
I dined with Lady Hardinge at the house of a friend a most amusing American whose name was somthing like Miss Gery and who has Lord Beauchamp's house 13, Belgrave Square. Harry, Lady Hardinge's boy, was there, also Lord Cecil Manners and another boy whose name I didn't catch. We went on to see "The White Headed Boy" a very clever and amusing Irish comedy wonderfully acted by Irish players who all had delightful brogues.
Nina and I went to the Club this morning and then went shopping. Mummy took Nina to tea with Mrs Crighton Stuart. Alice was coming to tea but she couldn't partly because she had a sore throat which was very sad. We have written to each other nearly every day lately.
I have just finished H.G. Wells' book "Russia in the Shadows" which is the account of his visit to Bolshevik Russia and very interesting though in many ways terribly depressing.
Saturday January 22nd 1921.
We rushed round the sales yesterday morning. Lady Hardinge came to luncheon and was extremely amusing and then we tore round sales again and then Nina and I went to Anne's birthday party where we found Cousin Nell, Aunt Violet, Uncle Vesey, Aunt Aimée and Rosemary and masses of other people. They had a very good conjurer after tea. Anne was very excited.
In the evening I went to a most amusing party given by the Bevans. There were about twenty people there including Kathleen and Barbara and a good many he male men who I have met with the Bevans. We acted charades and they were really very good because we had plots which we worked out right through the word. Some of them acted extraordinarily well and Kathleen and Christina together were especially good. I didn't get home till 12.30.
Kathleen, Nina and I have been saleing this morning without much success.
Tuesday January 25th 1921.
Nina and I went to the 10.15 service on Sunday morning and stayed on for the next service. Mr Matthews preached a really very fine sermon. We went to the Service for the People in the afternoon; it was done by Mr Palmer because Mr Sheppard was at Sandringham.
An enormous crowd appeared for tea - Sir Evan James and Miss James; Mr Macmillan; Colonel and Mrs Dunsterville and Miss Eardley – Willmott and Mrs Leslie Childers.
Margaret came to dinner and was charming.
We did a little shopping yesterday morning.
Lady Kintore came to luncheon and was most amusing.
Aunt Augusta came to dinner (she is in London for a week) it was so nice to see her and she was quite delightful and seems much better. She and Mummy and Nina went to the Geographical lecture after dinner; I didn't go because I was very tired.
We went to the Club this morning and had 142 people in which is 9 more than they have ever had before.
Saturday January 29th 1921.
On Wednesday morning I had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall. Aunt Di and Aunt Lil came to luncheon and were most entertaining. Peggy suddenly appeared just as they were going and we went out for a walk together: I hadn't seen her for such a long time. Daisy came to tea; it was the anniversary of the day when I first went to tea with the Kleinworts; We have accomplished a good deal in that time!
I went to the Club on Thursday morning and Nina went to the Zoo with a friend. We both went to tea with Kathleen and had a very amusing time and she showed us her drawings, she really is extraordinarily good.
Yesterday we went down to Hampstead to have luncheon with Aunt Geraldine and Cynthia. We bought a book on palmistry and studied it so intensely in the tube that we got into the Highgate train instead of the Hampstead and never discovered our mistake till we reached Highgate which was a little worrying. Aunt Geraldine and Cynthia were very nice.
We went to a bun worry of Anne's and Christina's which was great fun. We told everybodies character by their hands and created much merriment.
We shopped nearly all the morning and bought practically nothing.
I went to a thé dansant given by Mrs Napier a friend of Mummy's. Anne was there and it was very nice.
The Supreme Council of the Allies now sitting in Paris have fixed the amount of Germany's debt at £19,726,000,000 counting the mark at the normal value which, from the point of view of Germany's ability to pay, sounds almost humorous.
February 1st 1921.
Nina and I went to St. Martin's on Sunday morning and Mr Sheppard preached a splendid sermon. We stayed for congregational singing practise and I went to see Mr Sheppard afterwards to give him an article which he had asked Daddie to write for the Review.
We went to luncheon with Aunt Mabel, Uncle Eric and Harry and another boy were there and it was very nice indeed. We tore back to St Martin for the Service for the People and Mr Sheppard preached again very well.
Miss Bessie Mostyn and a friend of her's and Miss Buxton came to tea.
Nina went off back to Croxton yesterday morning; Shortie took her to Liverpool Street and put her into the train.
I went to luncheon with Anne and spent the whole afternoon with her and we discussed every kind of subject and she tried to make me play to her which I flatly refused to do. Alice was coming to tea with me but they telephoned to say would I go there because they didn't want her to go out on account of her cold. I went there and we had tea tetê-á-tetê together and were just settling down to a nice comfortable talk when someone came in and we weren't alone for the rest of the time which I'm sorry to say had the effect of making me in a rather bad temper.
This morning I went to the Club and we had rather a strenous time.
I went to tea with Peggy and stayed till 7 o'c and we had a long, long talk and enjoyed ourselves throughly.
Oh I'm so sleepy!
Saturday February 5th 1921.
I had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall on Wednesday morning and went to bed and slept all the afternoon and evening till it was time to dress for dinner because I was very tired and I was going to a dance that evening. Sir Harry and Lady Emma came to dinner. The dance was given by Miss Gerry the lady who I dined with with Lady Hardinge the other evening. There were only about 30 couples and it was very nice indeed and the Prince of Wales was there and appeared to enjoy himself very much. The elder Mr des Gras came as my partner. Lady Hardinge was there and brought me home.
I went to the Club on Thursday morning.
The twins and Kathleen came to tea and we all studied the palmistry book with very doleful results.
Yesterday afternoon we went to Day's Library, then to call on Miss Wolff who was out and then I went to tea with Lilac and we had a long discussion about what Church she should be married in and what hymns she should have; I struck for a Church with a short aisle because I am one of the bridesmaids.
Daddie has gone down to Sir Arthur and Lady Hardinge for the week-end.
Kathleen and I went this afternoon to an exibition of the drawings of F.H. Townshend [ Townsend ] the Art Editor of Punch who died the other day; they were extraordinarily good.
Lady Bertha Dawkins and Miss Gerry came to tea and were both amusing.
I have just read a perfectly delightful book of essays by Chesterton called "Tremendous Trifles". I have also finished Bertrand Russell's book "The Practise and Theory of Bolshevism" which is intensely interesting.
Tuesday February 8th 1921.
I stayed in bed all Sunday morning because I was very tired but still it is a depressing way of spending one's time.
In the afternoon I went to help at the new canteen which has been started in the rooms under St. Martin's. The people from the Service for the People poured down in one solid mass when it was over and we had a very lovely time for a bit; it was great fun. Shortie and I went to the evening service and Professor Jenkins preached and there was a singing practise afterwards at which we practised Blake's "Jerusalem" to Parry's setting and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to a beautiful setting of Martin Shaw's.
Margaret came to dinner. She is going to Ayéres [ Ayères ] for a fortnight with some friends on Thursday which I think she will enjoy very much.
Mr and Mrs Luling, Mrs and Miss Sayres (Winifred Sayres married one of Margaret's brothers who was killed) and Mrs Lionel Bosanquet came to tea yesterday.
Anne had supper with me and then we went to the first of a series of meetings at the Queen's Hall of which Mr Sheppard is the leader and which are got up by the Life and Liberty Movement. We only had rover tickets and there was a large queue with rover tickets waiting outside waiting till they should be let in to take their chance of what seats might happen to be vacant; we thought we should never get in so we went round to the stage door and found Miss Buck who gave us some pamphlets to sell and we went down into the arena and got splendid seats after the hour when seats were not kept. The subject last night was "the Church and Re-union". The new Bishop of Manchester (Dr Temple) was in the chair and the Bishop of London spoke a few words at the beginning, then Sir Frederick Maurice challenged the Church on it's dis-union, Clutton Brock was also to have challenged it but he was taken ill and couldn't come; then the Archbishop of York answered for the Church and said he quite agreed with all that Sir Fredrick [ Frederick ] Maurice had said he spoke very well indeed and quoted the Lambeth Conference a good deal. Then Mr Sheppard made an appeal for the collection and was most amusing. Then Principal Selbie spoke from the Free Church point of view, he spoke remarkably well and was really much the best. He said in his opinion - by far the most important thing now was that we should get to know one another better, the Nonconformists might be ignorant about us but nothing like so ignorant as we were about them. Its no good trying to make organic re-union before we know one another. He was very keen on interchange of pulpits and that we should all pray together and work together and he said we must have the Spirit of Fellowship and know and love one another before its any good trying to have the same organization. The Bishop of Manchester spoke a few words at the end. We sang Blake's "Jerusalem" among other things and it sounded extraordinarily fine sung by that mass of people. It was really a wonderful meeting.
To-night the subject is "The Church and Industry" the challenge to be given by Mr Edwin [ Ernest ] Bevin ("the Docker's K.C") and answered by Miss Maud Royden, Mr Studdert Kennedy and Dr Orchard. Alas! I couldn't get tickets, they were 40% over-applied for a fortnight ago.
Daddie took Lil and me to tea at Lowther Lodge (the R.G.S.) this afternoon and showed us all sorts of photographs and maps and took us all over it.
Friday February 11th 1921.
On Wednesday morning I had a music lesson from Miss Medd-Hall and then went to luncheon with Peggy where I stayed some time and then went to see Miss Wolff.
Shortie and I went to another of the Life and Liberty meetings on Wednesday night; the subject was "Penitence for the broken fellowship" in the Church, between nations, between class and class and between men and women. The speaking was very good and it was a very fine meeting.
Mummy and I went to see Margaret off at Victoria yesterday morning.
I went to the Club and we had a very slack day.
Mummy had a little tea party to which various people including Lady Kintore came.
I went round to Alice at Belgrave Square at 4.15 and we had a bit of a talk and then both went to tea with Aunt Lil who was quite charming. Alice is a Angel and I long to see her more.
Mummy, Daddie and I went to the Life and Liberty meeting last night, the subject was "International Relations", Sir John Simon challenged the Church and was answered by Lord Robert Cecil, Miss Ruth Rouse and Mr Runciman all of whom spoke extremely well, Lord Robert was much the best. There was a great deal about the League of Nations.
I havn't been out at all to-day partly because I have got a cold and partly because I had nothing in particular to go out for.
I am going to a play party with the Kleinworts tomorrow night which will be great fun.
Sunday February 13th 1921.
I will begin with to-day and work back to yesterday. Daddie and I went to St. Martin's this morning, it was overflowingly full and Mr Sheppard preached a really wonderful sermon on the Kingdom of Heaven; he said I spend all the time I can apart from the ordinary things of life trying to find out what Our Lord meant by "the Kingdom of Heaven"; I think anyone reading the New Testament for the first time would be struck by His insistance on that phrase; He seems to try to illustrate what He means by one illustration after another and gives them all up as inadequate. I don't think we have the least idea what He meant, there is no reference to the Kingdom of Heaven as He meant it in the official documents of the Church, we think of Heaven as a place on the other side of the grave where we think - or we're afraid - we shall plug on golden harps for ever He meant somthing which is here and now. He discovered it and He longed passionately that all men might enter therein. We look on the Sermon on the Mount as a code of God's laws which we must keep, to Christ they were the natural and inevitable outcome of His way of looking at life - as natural as eating and drinking to a hungry and thirsty man. To come to my test "blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God", we have used that for sermons on sexual purity and things like that whereas really it means "blessed are the single-minded" those who look on things - books, music, pictures and above all people purely for their own sakes and not for what they themselves are going to get out of them: when I go to see a man to get money out of him I don't see him himself I only see him from the point of view of what I want to get out of him but when I go to see someone to help them then I see them themselves. The Kingdom of Heaven is a land of strong peace and joy and it is right beside us and we can enter-in if only we will; in it self is lost altogether and there are no cross words, there is wonderful joy and great adventure there and all people seem beautiful there is great tenderness for sinners and for those who know the agony of failure because those in the Kingdom have known sin and failure. I believe there is very little concious drudgery and physical pain is almost done away with and there is great peace and calm in a peaceless and restless world. All this is ours if we will but enter. I think one of the greatest tragedies of the Life of Christ was that men didn't want Him just for His own sake, they wanted to be healed, to be released from worry, to have the chief seats in the Kingdom, and to-day men don't want Christ, they are deeply religious but they don't want Him, they want Him to give them a great many things, industrial peace, peace between the nations but they don't want Him for Himself. This is a very feeble effort to describe the sermon but it was one of the finest I have ever heard him preach. He also said, the singled minded do see God because they see the good and the beautiful in all things and all good is ultimately God.
Mummy and Daddie went to luncheon with Lady Hylton.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People where Mr Sheppard preached again very well.
Miss Larpent is in London and came to tea and seemed very well and was charming.
Monday February 14th 1921.
I had a perfectly ripping time in the evening at the Kleinwort's theatre party. I went round to Belgrave Square and they took me with them to the Berkeley where we dined.
The party was composed of Alice, Lilly and Daisy; Mrs Renner, Mrs Bennett (their eldest married sister) Colonel Bennett, Mr Bridgeman, Sir Fowell Buxton, a boy whose name I didn't catch and Mr Blackburn a great friend of the Bevans who came with me. We had a very good dinner and then went to see "The Betrothal" by Meatternick [ Maeterlinck ]; it is the sequel to "The Blue Bird" and I thought it was quite charming. Gladys Cooper was the heroine and was really beautiful in the scene where "the Littlest one of All" in the abode of the children-that-are-to-be discovers that she is her mother. "Light" had an extraordinarily fine face, I don't know who she was but she was well suited to the part.
Lilac came to tea this afternoon and was so nice.
I have just finished another delightful book of Chesterton's called "Heretics".
Wednesday February 16th 1921.
Shortie and I saw the King and Queen going to open Parliament yesterday morning; there were enormous crowds all along the Mall and the soldiers all along the route were back in their scarlet uniforms. The gold coach looked very pretty in the sunshine but I am sorry to say they have done away with the cream-coloured ponies.
We had rather a quiet time at the Club.
Kathleen came to tea and we screamed with laughter most of the time.
I had a lesson from Miss Medd-Hall this morning. Anne came to luncheon and Kathleen came round after luncheon and we went to the Marble Arch cinema and saw "The Admirable Crichton" very well done but extraordinarily funny in parts where for instance the scullery maid polishes the library fire-place while the butler dusts the book.
I went to tea with Peggy and stayed a long time.
Saturday February 19th 1921.
I went to the Club on Thursday morning and to a very nice tea party of Anne and Christina's in the afternoon to meet the two Schwedes girls, who are giving a dance on the 24th to which I am going with the Bevan's and the Kleinworts, Helen and Lettice were also there, Helen as sprightly as ever. I stayed on after all the others had gone and we played about and were very foolish.
Lady Hardinge came to dinner and was most amusing.
Yesterday morning Miss Hills gave me a music lesson and then Mummy and I went to a lecture at Miss Wolff's by Sir Percy Scott who told us how to read the gas metre, how to repair electric bells, what to do when the electric light won't work, and various things of that sort.
Shortie fetched and she and I went to St Martin's for the 1.25 service at which Mr Sheppard gave a beautiful address.
Alice came to tea with me and we had an animated talk about various things.
I went to dinner with Mr and Mrs Buxton (Miss Buxton's sister) to meet their nephew a nice boy who is going with me to the Schweder's dance.
Shortie and I shopped this morning and I got a pair of silver evening shoes at Rayne's for 25 bob.
Daddie and I were going down to Twickenham to see Sir Evan James this afternoon but we telephoned down and found he was out so we went to call on Cousin Gerty who was also out.
Sunday February 20th 1921.
Shortie and I went to the Holy Communion at St Martin's at 8.15. I was going with Anne to Grosvenor Chapel to hear Bishop Gore but when we got there Christina came instead because poor Anne was in bed with a cold. Bishop Gore preached on the Ten Commandments but it really came to the same subject as Mr Sheppard's sermon last Sunday. Christina and I went to Church Parade in Hyde Park afterwards, there were crowds of people, it being a wonderful day, and it was most amusing, we met the Kleinworts (by arrangement) and walked up and down with them and met Lois who had just been to see her fiancé off to India, and various other people who we knew. Daddie met us and walked up and down with us for a bit and then we all went home.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People in the afternoon. Mr Pym the Head of Cambridge House preached because Mr Sheppard is away for a few days holiday.
Mummy, Daddie and I went to tea with Uncle Douglas and Aunt Aimée who were very nice and saw Rosemary who is a perfect little dear with a fascinating smile. Daddie and I went to see the Kleinworts after tea because Daddie wanted to see Marieke before she went back to the country. Alice and the twins and I had a good talk.
Tuesday February 22nd 1921.
I went to luncheon with Aunt Lil and Aunt Di yesterday which was great fun and they were charming. I went out shopping with Aunt Di afterwards and then we went to call on the Kleinworts who were all out. Lil came to tea with me and was so nice.
Mummy and I went to the Geographical lecture in the evening. Daddie made an announcement about Mount Everest which is occupying all his energies at present and then Mr Hamilton Rice an American gave a lecture on the Negro and Orinoco Rivers in South America with very good slides. I sat next to Lois, Miss Larpent was also there.
I went to the Club this morning and to tea with Lilac.
Miss Gerry came to luncheon and brought Mummy some beautiful tulips.
It has been too wonderful and heavenly for words Sunday, yesterday and to-day an absolutely clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine. I long to be in the country and it made me wild and hilarious.
Friday February 25th 1921.
I had a music lesson from Miss Medd-Hall on Wednesday morning and then a singing lesson from a nice Miss Hall who teaches at the College; she says I have a voice but no idea how to use it.
Anne and I went out shopping together in the afternoon and then both went to tea with Peggy and I stayed on ages after Anne left.
Miss Larpent came to dinner and was charming and Lady Emma came up after dinner.
Daddie went to Clifton for the night for a College Council meeting.
I went to the Club yesterday morning and came back and went to bed to rest before I went with the Kleinworts to the Schroeder's dance. I met them at Belgrave Square and went on with them to Claridges' where we dined. We were a party of 14 composed of - Alice, Lil, Daisy, Mrs Bennett (their eldest sister), Sylvia Harrison, Joan Beasley-White and me, the men were:- Captain Bennett, Mr Rappel, Mr Brandt, Mr Robson, Mr Mercer, Sir Arnold Wilson and Mr Barnes (Mrs Buxton's nephew) the two latter were both my partners because one of the Kleinworts' failed. We had a ripping dinner and then danced a bit afterwards in the hotel dancing room before we went on to the dance. The dance was in Portland Place; I was really supposed to be with the Bevans so I waited for them in the cloak room and went up with them. There was a great crowd when we first got up but it became less crowded after a time. Peggy was there and Alannah and Lady Hardinge and Barbara and several men I have met before so I had a very good time and enjoyed it thoroughly. The Kleinworts brought me home and we didn't get back till 3 o'c.
Miss Hills gave me a music lesson this morning and Daisy and Lois came to tea. I can't quite make out Lois she seems to be in a very jumpy nervous state of mind partly I suppose because she misses "Rowly" her fiancée.
Mummy took Miss Gerry to tea with the Dean and Mrs Inge this afternoon.
Saturday February 26th 1921.
Alice rang me up this morning to say she was very sorry she couldn't come to tea this afternoon so I suggested we should go for a walk in the Park, I met her at Belgrave Square at a little before 12 o'c and we went to Harrods and then into the Park where we discussed the Universe and ourselves and were just getting well into it when we met the twins so the Universe remained unsettled except for another few minutes talk after we met Shortie.
Cousin Tottie came to luncheon; she goes to South Africa on Thursday taking Bengy and Dormy with her Cousin Dick and Val having already gone.
I went with Uncle Vesey this afternoon to see Princess Mary presenting colours to the territorial battalions on the Horse Guards Parade, it was a very pretty sight.
Monday February 28th 1921.
I went with the Bevans to Grosvenor Chapel yesterday morning to hear Bishop Gore on "Humility" - very good indeed; he said servility was always thinking of what other people thought of us and acting on that but humility was knowing ourselves as we are. Anne and I went on Church Parade afterwards and met Alice and Lil and Daisy and walked up and down with them.
Shortie and I went to the Service for the People in the afternoon and Kathleen met us there and came with us. Mr Sheppard said he heartily disliked people who gave him good advice and he was sure we all did, many people looked on Christianity as good advice but it was not good advice it was good news. Just at the moment when we see the hopelessness of our own efforts and say "wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" comes the voice of Christ "Lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world".
I went to tea with the Kleinworts and Kathleen came after tea. I had to see good bye to my Alice because they go to St Leonards to-morrow or the next day for a month. I stayed till 7.15 and had a long talk with Lil at the end.
Mummy and Daddie went to luncheon with the Lulings at Wimbledon yesterday and went to see Lady Barrington afterwards.
I went for a walk in the Park with Daisy this morning and just met Lil on the doorstep going in and said a tearful farewell to them both.
Anne and Barbara and I went to Soho this afternoon and Anne bought a pair of silk stockings in Berwick Street – a most amusing street with stalls down each side and all the people called me "dearie". We behaved very badly, we passed a funny old antique shop and we both promised Anne 6d if she would go in and ask if they had a pair of Queen Elizabeth's shoes so in she marched and they said they hadn't got any so she ask if they knew where she could get them and they suggested Clarksons! Then we offered her more sixpences to go into a shop and ask if they would buy her teeth so in she went but of course he asked her to take them out and let him look at them so she fled hastily saying she would return another day! they both came back to tea and Kathleen came to see me after tea.
Wednesday March 2nd 1921.
Lois rang up yesterday morning and said would I go out with her, I said "yes" and she came here a little after 11 o'c and we went and watched the King going to a levée and then walked up St. Jameses Street and along Picadilly and Knightsbridge to Harvey where she bought somthing and then we walked through the Park to Hyde Park Corner where we met Shortie and I went on to the Club. Margaret was back looking much better having had a lovely time and enjoyed herself greatly and seemed very cheerful.
Lilac, Lil and Kathleen came to tea and we had a very merry tea party and they all stayed till nearly 7 and Lil till just 7.
Alice rang up this morning, they are going to St Leonards on Thursday.
I went to Trinity College this morning and had a music and singing lesson. The singing mistress is very nice, she says my ear has improved since the last lesson.
I went to luncheon with Peggy. Lady Tyrrell came to tea and brought a very nice Mrs Hilliers with her.
A conference is going on in London at present between the Allies and Germany about the reparations question. The Germans have made their counter-proposal which is that they should pay £7,500,000,000 in 30 years instead of the Allies' demand of over £11,000,000,000 in 42 years. Lloyd George interrupted Von Simons in the middle of his speech yesterday and said his proposals were absurd and it was no use going on. They are beginning to talk about "penalties" for Germany such as deferring the time of her admission to the League of Nations if she asks to come in - as if the whole point wasn't that all nations should come in in friendship. It all seems a hopeless muddle.
Friday March 4th 1921.
I went to the Club yesterday morning but left early to go and see Cousin Tottie and the boys off to South Africa They went from St Pancras. Mummy and Daddie, Aunt Mabel, Cousin Florrie and Cousin Lionel were there. Cousin Tottie is a dear little thing; it is a dismal process seeing people off. Mummy went down to Tilbury with them.
I went to tea with Joyce Anstruther, there were 5 or 6 other girls there including Helen who appeared to be in greater spirits than ever. It was very nice.
We were going to a musical party of the Duchess of Somerset's in the evening but Daddie was dining at a big dinner and Mummy and I were both so tired we didn't go. Mummy and I went to luncheon with the Duchess to-day; there was a very nice neice of hers a Miss Dundas staying there and she and I went to a cinema in the afternoon and then I went to tea with Kathleen and we made limericks and I stayed till after 7.
The Kleinworts went to St Leonards yesterday. Lil and Daisy rang up to say good bye in the morning.
Daddie is dinning at a Royal Colonial Institute dinner to Lord Reading this evening.
Mr Harding becomes President of the United States to-day.
Saturday March 5th 1921.
Kathleen and a friend of her's and I went to Soho this morning and had a very amusing time.
The Guild of Fellowship quarterly meeting took place this afternoon. There was a service first at which Mr Jenkins gave the address and then there was tea and a discussion in the New Rooms - I found Anne when we got into Church and she came and sat with us and then we went down to tea together. There were heaps of people there and a good many I knew. It was enormous fun, I love those meetings, everyone is so cheerful and friendly.
Monday March 7th 1921.
Shortie and I went to St Martin's at 10.15 yesterday morning and stayed on for the next service. Mr Sheppard preached a beautiful sermon on the Prodigal Son; he said the Prodigal wasn't repentant when he first decided to go home but his money had given out and he was starving and then he remembered how many hired servants of his father's had plenty while he starved. It was that one homeward glance which gave God this opportunity and He ran to meet him and kissed him and it was the kiss that did it. People and hymns which speak of the pity of God make me angry, a stony, passionate man like that would never have been won by pity, you can't change a stony man or woman who is doing the wrong thing by saying "oh poor dear!" only love can do it and it was love that won the Prodigal, love which put all the past behind and seemed to take no thought for it – though the man himself will have his own hell later on when he realizes that love and his own vileness and unworthyness. I know of nothing so humbling as the Love of God. This isn't the we treat our prodigals, we isolate them and refuse to recieve them back or say we must teach them a lesson and have some assurance of repentance before we take them back; I don't know whether that is necessary in our human relations, it is possible that it is but one thing I do know most mercifully it is not the way God threats them. It takes over a hundred people to understand many aspects of the beauty of a thing like a sunrise, how many generations and how many people black and white and yellow and all colours, therefore, must it take to understand the Love of God?
We went again in the afternoon and he preached again but he wasn't so good, it was on the evil of prepetually criticizing people and urging us always to look at the good and the lovely in people. He told a most amusing story of a clergyman who always used to put up a notice outside the Church who the preacher would be on the next Sunday and what the subject would be and one week the subject was "What will sinners find in Hell?" and underneath was written "a warm welcome and no collection"!
Tuesday March 8th 1921.
I went down and helped in the canteen after the People's Service on Sunday. I think it is doing quite well, we had 145 people in.
Margaret came to dinner and was very nice.
We went to see the delegates going into the Reparations Conference at Lancaster House yesterday morning, we were too late to see the Germans but we saw Lloyd George, he walked through with a good many other people with him and the crowd rushed round him and waved their hats in the air and cheered.
Mummy stayed till they came out a little before 2 o'c and saw Foch and all of them.
Frances Whitehead, Joyce Anstruther, Kathleen and Anne came to tea yesterday. We went to the Geographical meeting in the evening; it was a special Everest meeting and most of the members of the expedition and people who are making the arrangements – Professor Norman Collie, Mr Harold Raeburn; Dr Woollaston; Mr Finch; Captain Mead; Captain Nowell; Colonel Jacks; Colonel Howard Bury and Daddie spoke.
I went to the Club this morning and Daddie and I have just been to the Horticultural Show which was quite lovely.
The Allies have refused Germany's offer and Allied troops are marching to occupy Duisburg, Dusseldorf and another place whose name I forget. Germany has appealed to the Assembly of the League of Nations.
I had long letters from Alice and Lil yesterday.
Thursday March 10th 1921.
I had a music and singing lesson yesterday morning and then went to luncheon with Peggy who seemed quite cheerful.
Shortie and I did a little shopping in the afternoon and then I went and had tea with Margaret at the Club and took her on to a lecture at the Royal Society of Literature by Walter de la Mare on "Imaginative Prose"; it was awfully good.
I havn't done much to-day. Uncle Claude came at tea-time and Mummy and Daddie were out so he had tea with me which was very nice. Mummy and Daddie went to a tea party at Buckingham Palace and Daddie had quite a long talk to the King and Queen about Mount Everest.
I finished "The New Jerusalem" by Chesterton the other day; it is a most delightful book full of all kinds of things besides descriptions of Jerusalem and the peoples thereof. To-day I have finished "George Bernard Shaw" also by Chesterton, mainly a critiscism of his plays and an explanation of him and his philosophy very cleverly written.
I am going to the Whitehead's dance this evening.
Miss Buxton came to see us yesterday and brought Mummy a little Dresden china orniment and me a beautiful big brown and white ostrich feather fan.
Saturday March 12th 1921.
The Whitehead's dance was great fun there were a good many people I knew there and I enjoyed it very much. Mummy came and my partner was Mr des Gras.
Mummy, Daddie and I went to luncheon with Cousin Aimée Brazier-Creagh (Cecil's mother) at the Sesame Club yesterday.
I went to tea with Kathleen.
Mummy and Daddie dined with Miss Gerry last night. I dined with Miss Eileen Younghusband and retired to bed early.
Margaret and I were going to see the tapestries at the Victoria and Albert Museum this morning but she couldn't get away from the Club till 12 by which time it was too late to go so we went for a walk instead.
Kathleen, Anne Talbot a friend of her's and another friend whose name I forget went to "The Charm School" this afternoon. We went in the gallery and having stood in a queue from a little after 1.15 got into the first row of the gallery and saw and heard everything splendidly, I had no idea one saw so well from there, I think its a first class idea to go there. It was a very amusing play and very well acted. Owen Nares was the hero and Sydney Fairbrother was also in it and very good.
Sunday March 13th 1921.
Daddie and I went to St Martin's this morning and Mr Sheppard preached a very fine sermon but it was unlike his usual sermons. He was speaking to those who had lost their faith during the war and he said before the war our religion was just strong enough for the days of sunshine and happiness and we had never really had to think things out and then came the earthquake, it is an easy matter to go on believing in God and goodness when the earthquake is at the other end of the world but its quite another thing when the earthquake is under your feet. We had to face the fact of all the cruelty and suffering in the world and wonder why if God was Love He let it go on; this wasn't a new problem anyone who has faced the facts of history has come up against but the trouble with most of us was that we had never tried to think things out for ourselves. The only thing to do if you are out in the wilderness is to follow the highest good you can see and try to live up to your own best ideals and never, never let go of your sense of right and wrong and then ultimately whether in this world or in some other world you must come to God because God is goodness and all goodness must lead to Him.
Shortie and I went to the People's Service in the afternoon. Mr Sheppard started off by speaking about the hump. He said, I had the hump myself to-day and there are two ways of curing the hump either you can sit down and give way to it and let it have its way and it will go – after a time - or you can butt into it and charge right through it and get it out into the sunlight once more. You know I have a theory about the Kingdom of God, I think it is offered to us at least once and often more every day - for instance my little girl Peggy brought me a drawing yesterday which had taken her a great deal of time and trouble to do, and she was offering me the Kingdom of God. You must see things from other people's point of view and forget all about yourself and what you want and then you will be able to recognize the Kingdom of God and to accept it.
He also said in the morning, we must be disinterested seekers after the truth not desiring our own comfort but only that we may know the truth. And also he said that the most outstanding fact in our Lord's life was His amazing faith in God and His goodness.
Wednesday March 16th 1921.
Directly after breakfast on Monday morning Daddie and I went to the Army and Navy Stores to try and see the stores for Mount Everest before they went off, they had left there but a man from the Stores took us to a warehouse on the Thames where they were taken to be put on a barge to go to Tilbury and we saw them there, stacks of cases with every kind of provisions in them.
Peggy came to see me about 12 o'c and we had a good talk.
Anne came to luncheon and I teased her frightfully and we went to a matinée of a thing called "The Human Touch" for which Mrs Henniker sent me tickets; It was an anti-vivesection propaganda play and not very good though well acted. Anne and I giggled loudly all through the love scenes and made weird noises trying to surpress the giggles!