This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
Links in the text highlight images, publications, biographical information and other contextual material, including primary sources held by other archives, museums and libraries.
Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 13, Jul-Dec 1923; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J13)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Currant Hill Westerham
Thursday July 12th 1923.
Friday Jul 6th con: Julian came to dine at Princes Gate and Oonah had a man of the name of Cuthbertson. I wasn't sure whether he was rather a donkey or very nice, probably he was a mixture of both. The dance was only about 10 doors away so we walked there. I also had with me two Dutchmen who were staying with the Baroness and found them rather a handful as they knew no one and I didn't know any girls to introduce them to. Jock was there and Edward des Graz and several other people I knew. The heat was too awful for anything and there were a great deal too many people there. We got back about 3 o'c
Saturday July 7th. I left Princes Gate quite early, went to Charing X [ Cross ] and put my luggage in the cloak-room then went to Tilney Street and saw Uncle Oswald. I lunched with Jock at the Naval and Military and we went to Hurlingham to see the final of the Inter-Regimental Polo. The heat was too terrific for words in the full sunshine but the match was thrilling; the 17th won fairly easily. We tore off to get tea afterwards but there was a huge crowd and they took such a long time coming to us that I had to dash off to catch my train before tea came. I had a terrible rush and just caught the 5.35 by the skin of my teeth. I had a cold bath as soon as I got back here and felt considerably better.
Sunday July 8th. I laid in the garden most of the morning. Anne T, Sir Oswald Bosanquet and Disney Rooke came down for the day arriving by the 12.23. After luncheon Anne, Disney and I went into a hay field taking our tea and sat in a pile of hay under a tree and took off our shoes and stockings and talked. Anne and Disney weren't an ideal mixture but they got on alright. After tea we went for a walk along the foot-path to Brasted. Divine evening. They left at 8.30.
Monday July 9th. I went to luncheon with the Abel Smiths; his blindness seems better. Very good luncheon, cider and strawberries and cream. We sat in the garden after luncheon. I went to the library after tea.
Tuesday July 10th. There was a terrific thunder storm in the night lasting for eight hours and the thunder and lightning were continuous the whole time. It did a good deal of damage in different parts of the country. Phyllis Porteous came down for luncheon and tea. I took her for a short walk in the afternoon but otherwise we just sat in the garden and panted.
Monday July 16th 1923.
Wednesday July 11th. I went up to London and had the last day of Trinity College, then changed my book at the library and did a little shopping and then went to luncheon with Mrs Skilbeck and Eirene who were both very nice. It was a swelteringly hot day and I took ages to find the house which is in Maida Vale. I met Anne at Hyde Park Corner at 3 and we walked in the Park for a bit and then went back to York Terrace and from there I went to tea with Peggy and went shopping with her after tea; she was very cheerful and seems to be getting a good deal of amusement out of life. I came down at 7.18.
Thursday July 12th. Mummy went up to London partly to see Aunt Augusta who is in a nursing home. Lil and Daisy motored over in the afternoon and we went for a picnic in Limpsfield Woods which were cool and green after the heat of the roads. Lil and Daisy both took off their frocks and stockings and wandered about in pants and camisoles looking too funny for words. Lil climbed up a tree and she pretended she couldn't get down so I screamed "man coming" and she was down in an instant while Daisy was scrambling wildly into her dress! They went back between 6.30 & 7.
Friday July 13th. Kathleen came for the day arriving at 11.11. I met her at the station with picnic things and we went off to Limpsfield Woods; the walk there was terrificly hot but there was a delicious breeze in the woods. We made up for arrears of talk and ate a very large luncheon and I read my diary - Kathleen has unfortunately lost the last volume of her's. She suddenly discovered she'd lost her topaz brooch so we hunted all through the grass for it and back along the path but couldn't find it which was very tiresome. We got back here to find the de Lyndens who had motored down for tea. Kathleen has asked me to go and stay with them in Cornwall which thrills me to the marrow. She went back to London by the 9.15.
Saturday July 14th. Cousin Ruth arrived to stay for the week-end but otherwise nothing in particular happened.
Sunday July 15th. I went to Church at 10 and sewed for most of the afternoon. Daddie, Cousin Ruth and I went for a walk after tea, onto Farley Common, then to the gate of Squerryes and back through the field by Squerryes. It tried to rain in the evening but I hope it didn't quite do so because it was St Swithin's Day.
Monday July 16th. Cousin Ruth left by the 10.40. I went for a walk on Hosey Chart in the afternoon, it is covered with seas of loosestrife and the bell heather is all coming out and I found several pieces of white heather. A Captain Knight who lives near here and takes wonderful bird films came to tea. Mrs Boyd also appeared for tea. I went to the library after tea.
Wednesday July 18th 1923.
Tuesday July 17th. Uncle Oswald telegraphed in the morning to ask if he and Cousin Nell could motor down for tea that day and they arrived about 5. Mummy seemed pleased to see Uncle Oswald and they had a good talk.
Wednesday July 18th. I have been sewing and seeing what things I want to take away with me for most of the day as I am going off to-morrow for several visits beginning with Aunt Venetia at Croxton.
Croxton. Sunday July 22nd 1923.
Thursday July 19th. I went up to London by the 9.40 and first of all took my luggage from Cannon St to Liverpool Street and put it in the cloak-room, then I went to Gamage and got a pair of patent rubber soled shoes, then walked along Holborn and had a look at the shops, then took a bus to Piccadilly and changed a cheque at Lloyds, then tore up Bond Street and went to the library to change my book, then to Marshall where I didn't get what I wanted, then another shop in Oxford Street where I bought stockings, then a wild rush to Liverpool Street where the train didn't come in till a good half hour after I got there! I met Esther at Liverpool Street going down by the same train as me; it was a most odd coincidence, she wrote to me a day or two before and said she was going to Norfolk on the 19th so on the chance I wrote back and said "so am I" and told her I was going down by the 2.34 train and to look out for me if she was going at all at the same time. She was going by the same train as me and got out at the station before Thetford so we travelled down together. I got to Thetford at about 5.15, it was a gloomy journey; grey clouds and driving rain and flat uninteresting country; the only relief to the general monotony was Cambridge which looked very different to when I was last there and where we bought some very large, stale, hard buns; and Ely Cathedral which is beautiful. Aunt Venetia and Nina met me in the Ford at Thetford and brought me out to Croxton which is a couple of miles away. I haven't been here for over 12 years but it hasn't altered much and I remember a great deal of it. Patsy was here and a nice young Mr Buckley who is here to learn farming. We went and ate fruit in the garden after tea and I found a sparrow caught up in the peas with a lot of cotton twisted round his leg which was apparently broken, we got the cotton off and made him throughly drunk on neat whiskey and put him in a basket and covered over the top. After supper we played the gramophone and the piano and sang.
Friday July 20th. Nina and Patsy were very busy all the morning packing up to go to Guides Camp. We had luncheon early and started off about 12 o'c: Aunt Venetia, Uncle Dick, Pat, Nina and I in the Ford. We went throught Thetford and a very pretty place called Wymondham where there is a church with two steeples because the monks and the townspeople quarrelled about it and finally each built one. We stopped in Norwich and did a good deal of shopping, Norwich is a large and for the most part ugly town but there are one or two fine old gateways by the Cathedral. From there we went throught North Walsingham [ North Walsham ] to Mundesley which is on the sea; we had tea there and went to look at the sea which looks glorious cool deep blue and green. We went on to Trimingham a couple of miles away where the camp was. It was in a field on the edge of the sea and was lovely in the evening with the sunshine and blue sea and white cliffs and sands and a view for miles over the country but there was no shade at all and it will be desperately hot at times. Patsy and Nina were sharing a bell tent with another girl and we unpacked their things and then went and examined the camp; there were about 16 bell tents and a huge mess tent and the whole thing seemed to be extremely well organized. We came home by Cromer, Holt, East Dereham and Watton. It was a lovely drive in the evening light but the country is uninteresting on the whole. I drove the last 10 miles and my steering was more than erratic. We got back at 9.15 having been 110 miles.
Saturday July 21st. The sparrow was very lively by this time and we put him in a cage and hung him up in the garden and the other sparrows came and talked to him; it isn’t safe to let him go yet because his wing is hurt and he can't fly.
I spent the morning with Aunt Venetia and in the afternoon Mr Buckley and I went to a tennis party in Thetford which filled me with fright beforehand but it wasn't very alarming as none of them played particularly well.
Saturday July 28th.
Sunday July 22nd. I did nothing much except read and write in the morning. Mr Buckley took me for a drive in his two seater in the afternoon. We got onto the downs and drove for miles just taking whatever road we liked the look of. He let me drive and I was very glad to find I hadn't forgotten at all how to do it. We discovered we'd been 27 miles when we got back.
Uncle Dick, Aunt Venetia and I went to Church in the evening. Mr Curtis the clergyman there really is perfectly hopeless, he has been in a lunatic asylum once and sent in his resignation to the Bishop who asked him to "reconsider" it which he did. His sermons are quite disconnected and he weeps in the middle of them. There was one girl and a small boy in the choir neither in surplices.
Monday July 23rd. The poor little sparrow died in the morning, he had been most lively but I don't think a diet of bread and water quite agreed with him.
After tea we went in the Ford about 12 miles to a place called Methwold where Uncle Dick had to see about somthing on a farm he partly owns there.
Tuesday July 24th. Uncle Dick and Aunt Venetia left in the Ford at 8.30 to go to Dane End where Uncle Dick had business and they were going to lunch with Cousin Gerty. I couldn't go with them because I was leaving that day to go and stay with the Dalglishs near Ipswich. I packed and read most of the morning.
Mr Buckley was very kindly motoring us 14 miles to Bury St Edmunds to catch the train to Ipswich and save the changes from Thetford; we got there at 3 and the train didn't go till 3.30 so he suggested motoring right on to Ipswich - another 26 miles - which we did and go to the station just at the time I should have arrived by train; there was no sign of the Dalglishs or their car. We asked the porters and they said they hadn't seen the car and we waited for ages; there was a naval officer near us who had been there some time and seemed to be waiting for somthing so I got Mr Buckley to ask him if he knew the Dalglish's car; it turned out he had come to meet me their car having broken down but had of course been completely put off by my arriving in a car and not by train so we had stood next to each other for ½ an hour! He took me in his two-seater to Arwarton Hall which is 9 miles from Ipswich on a sort of headland between the Stour and the Orwell. I found Mrs Dalglish and all the children there and a beautiful old red brick Elizabethan house almost completely spoilt inside and a lovely garden with old brick walls and wide borders full of flowers. Captain Dalglish appeared a bit later which he'd been to fetch from the garage where it was laid up.
After dinner we motored over to Shotley barracks and saw the garden there which is very pretty and from there we could see the lights of Harwich on the other side of the Stour. We went on about 8 miles to see a lake called Holmsdale by moonlight but the moon was hidden behind clouds so we couldn't see much and having smoked a cigarette there we went home to bed.
Wednesday July 25th. Captain Dalglish was playing in a cricket match at a place called Wolverstone [ Woolverstone ] Park and there were to be a great many people there and we were to go but it pelted nearly all day and they only got two innings. We left there for tea and found about 40 other people having tea in a huge marquee but they had made preparations for 300. Major Berners the owner of Wolverstone turned out to have been in the K.D.Gs [ King's Dragoon Guards ] with Daddie. Two of the cricketers came to dinner, Captain Glenister & Mr Munt. We sat talking & playing about till about 11.30 when they telephoned from the barracks to say there was a fire in our direction, we went & looked and saw a huge red blaze in the sky & decided to go & investigate so Captain & Mrs Dalglish & I went off in the car and followed the fire till we came to Ipswich where we found huge crowds and a factory by the riverside on fire; the roof and the floors had gone by the time we got there and it was one sheet of flame, it had been full of lard and sugar and bacon & that sort of thing so of course it burnt like anything and smelt like a fried fish shop. It was a most magnificent sight especially as it was at night. There were a great many fire hoses turned on but they didn't seem to have any effect; it was next door to a place where thousands of gallons of oil were stored and probably a good part of Ipswich would have gone if that had caught but luckily they just managed to keep it away though it actually reached the walls. They had managed to isolate the factory by the time we left and it was like a huge furnace. We got back at 1.30.
Sunday July 29th 1923.
Thursday July 26th. The Captain said I couldn’t possibly leave that day so he sent a telegram to poor Miss Fitzroy who I was going to to say I would arrive by the same train next day as I was staying on for an otter hunt. The meet was at Holmesdale at 10 0'c, we got there to find a large quantity of people and spent a peaceful morning walking and sitting along the sides of the Holmesdale Lake but nothing happened. Major Berners gave about twenty of us a most excellent luncheon in a sort of summer house. We went along the banks of a river after luncheon till we reached a brick kiln on the of the edge of the Stour; still nothing happened and we re-traced our steps to a mill and followed the stream in another direction. Mrs Dalglish and I discovered it was 2 1/2 miles to the next point where the cars were to meet us so we returned to the mill just in time to see the cars vanish on the horizon so there we were stranded however by the most amazing good fortune along came someone Mrs Dalglish knew & gave us a lift in his car to the lake which they were making for so we strolled down there in a leisurely way and met them all panting along having found nothing. We went home from there and all more or less fell asleep for the rest of the day.
Friday August 10th 1923.
Friday July 27th. I left Arwarton soon after breakfast to drive the 9 miles into Ipswich and catch the 10.15 train to Bury St Edmunds, however the Arwarton clocks were all wrong and the driver was very slow and cautious being Captain Dalglish's sailor servant and having only just learnt to drive so we arrived at Ipswich station at the same time as the train left it and there wasn't another till 12.25. I left my luggage at the station and set out to explore Ipswich which turned out to be a very uninteresting place as far as I could see so after walking for a bit I asked a policeman the way to the public library and went in there and with the aid of "Bradshaw" looked up the trains from Dorset to Cornwall and then read the papers and became so absorbed that I only just had time to get back to the station and catch my train to Bury.
I got a horrible pain in the train which I thought was the pangs of hunger. I changed at Bury and went on to Welnetham which is Miss Fitzroy's station. The pony cart came to meet me but when I got back to the house there was no one there because Miss Fitzroy had gone down to meet the other train and I was to have gone on it with her to lunch with some people and play tennis. I arrived at about 2.30 and didn't like to say I hadn’t had any luncheon so I unpacked and wrote some letters the pain getting worse. Miss Fitzroy got back about 4 o'c and we went to look at the farm. Mummy and Mrs Idie arrived from London soon after 5 o'c and we had tea and I, being ravenous by that time, ate most heartily which only made the pain worse and I had to leave the drawing-room on the pretext of going to unpack and went and laid down in my room and was violently sick several times. The pain - which was like indigestion - got most acute and after a time Mummy and Miss Fitzroy came up and the latter gave me soda and sal volatile which seemed to make it better. I got to bed and about 10 o'c to my intense annoyance a doctor - Dr Stiff - whom Mummy had sent for to Bury arrived. The pain had gone by that time and I thought it absurd to have a doctor for an attack of indigestion however he pumlled me all over and said I was to have nothing to eat and only milk or barley water to drink and with that departed leaving me in an inward state of fury.
Saturday August 11th 1923.
Saturday July 28th. Dr Stiff re-appeared at 8 o'c and prodded and thumped me and said I was to stay in bed all day with nothing to eat which filled me with annoyance as the pain had gone except when he poked the place where it was. He came again at 12 and I began to get faintly uneasy and to think it might be more than an attack of indigestion and at 4 in marched Dr Stiff, Sir John Broadbent and Mr Clayton-Greene; they all prodded and thumped again and then said I had got appendicitis and disappeared to have a consultation. It turned out that Dr Stiff had discovered it the night before and telephoned to them and Mr Clayton-Greene came prepared to do the operation at once but that they found wasn't necessary so the only question was whether I should stay at Bradfield and have it there which Miss Fitzroy very kindly wanted me to do or be taken up to London. Finally they decided for London as it was possible to leave me because there was no telephone or motor at Bradfield and Dr Stiff was 5 miles away. They wanted to take me up on Sunday and have the operation on Monday but I asked for the operation to be on Sunday to get it over as soon as possible so it was arranged I should go up in the morning and have the operation in the evening. Meanwhile I was to be starved and have nothing but chicken broth! What really made me miserable was the thought of missing Dorset with Anne, I was to have gone with her to Rempstone from the 2nd to the 18th and had been looking forward to it for months.
I wrote a good deal of diary and at 8 o'c Daddie came having been wired and telephoned to.
Sunday July 29th. We left Bradfield at about 10.45; Mummy, Daddie, Mrs Idie and me propped up with pillows and my feet up and feeling a terrible fool because I wasn't allowed to stand up or walk when I felt perfectly well. We came to London by Bury, Newmarket and Saffron Waldon and into London by Epping and Islington. It was 80 miles along a beautiful road and the country was quite pretty. We went straight to Sir John's house and he said he had arranged for me to go to the Hospital of S.S. John and Elizabeth in Grove End Road which made Mummy very agitated because it is a Catholic place run by nuns!
Mrs Idie got into a taxi with the luggage and went off to Westerham and Sir John came with us to the nursing home. I was carried upstairs in a chair to a very nice room on the first floor and promptly undressed and put to bed. Strange people popped round the screen at intervals and explained who they were and at 4 o'c Anne came (I had got Sir John to telephone to her) but she wasn't allowed to stay long. I was got ready for the op and made bright yellow with iodine before she came and when she'd gone I had a little rest and then something was injected into my arm and at 5.30 I was put into the carrying chair and tucked in with piles of blankets and carried by three nurses through to the Brampton Wing and along some passages to the theatre - or rather to the anasthetists room. I didn't feel at all alarmed but rather enjoyed it. I was put on a high shiny table and the anasthetist put something over my head and told me to breathe evenly and after that I knew nothing for about an hour and a half.
Coming to was the most extraordinary sensation. I saw things and people without feeling that I existed at all and then slowly I began to have some slight feeling of existence but without knowing that I had ever existed before, I felt no body and I heard my voice talking but it was a very long way away and I never knew what I was going to say and didn't for some time know that it was my voice talking. I kept saying to Nurse Hayes "I want to be real, I want to be real" she said "you are real" and I answered "then why don't I feel real?" she said "you will laugh in the morning when I tell you you've said all this and you'll never believe me" I had a brilliant inspiration and said "I know, I'm a baby just being born thats why I feel so funny" she laughed and called me a very big baby. I throughly enjoyed myself at this time because I felt no pain and talked and laughed incessantly without knowing much what I said. Mummy says I looked up at a picture of early Christian martyrs and angels and said "there's the picture" and then, looking at the nurses, "and you've come down out of it and I wish you'd stayed there". Nurse Hayes and Nurse Dundas were splendid, they laughed and talked with me all the time which was what I wanted. For a long time I thought Nurse Hayes voice was my own answering my questions; I said to her after a bit "you know you can't be me because you haven't got the same voice as me and just now when I asked you a question you said 'what' and of course if you'd been me you'd have heard what I said". The smell of the anasthetic was beastly but most luckily I wasn't sick. I became much more subdued and less talkative as I came to more and began to feel the pain, then I became very restless and threw my arms and legs about and couldn't keep still although they told me it was very bad for the wound. At last about midnight when the anasthetic had worn off they sat me up and propped me up with pillows and gave me an injection and I went to sleep.
Wednesday August 15th 1923.
Monday July 30th. I had a very good night and was given tea at intervals by my night nurse. Mummy came in to see me early in the morning and Daddie came about 11 but he couldn't stay long because he made me laugh and that made the stitches hurt horribly. I was propped up in bed with a pillow at my feet, a bolster under my knees, an air-cushion to lie on, two pillows at the sides to prevent my going crooked and seven pillows to keep me up behind. I was continually slipping down in bed and having to be lifted up by two nurses because of course I couldn't move myself at all and couldn't turn over on my side for the first few days. Anne sent me a lovely big bunch of mauve stocks and mauve sweet peas and later on a huge lot of pink roses and lilies of the valley and a pot plant came with a note from Peggy. I felt very well and cheerful and sat up in bed and read "Life's Handicap" and a detective book and did a jig saw puzzle. Matron came to see me and said by the rules of the game I ought to have spent the first day staring blankly at vacancy and taking an interest in nothing. I had a bad night and scarcely slept at all.
Thursday July 31st. Mummy had managed to get a room in the hospital so she was there all the time and Daddie came to see me again in the morning. Miss Buxton came to see Mummy and was allowed to see me for a minute and brought me lovely pink carnations. Anne came in the afternoon but they would only let her stay about quarter of an hour and I couldn't help laughing whenever I even looked at her which was extremely discomforting. Peggy came after tea and long after I was supposed to be closed to the outside world like a whirlwind in blew Kathleen, I had no idea she was in London but she was unexpectedly and had just got my letter. She was full of enthusiasm and words all falling over each other but she was turned out before I had scarcely realized she was there. She left me a mass of white and pink carnations. I slept like a log.
Thursday August 16th 1923.
Wednesday August 1st. Aunt Mabel came to see me in the morning and was so nice and brought me pink carnations and sent me fruit and books and told me all about Uncle Eric's appendicitis (I have begun to take a wild interest in the subject and it used to be quite cold before). Shortie came up for the day fearfully excited at seeing me and evidently sure I was at the point of death! She brought me some fresh eggs and also a present of cream from Baker our farmer. Daddie also come in the morning before going down to the Hobhouses near Bath and then on to the Buxtons at Tockenham. Anne came in the afternoon looking very tired and Uncle Oswald came after tea and stayed quite a long time and brought me two very pretty crêpe de chine bed jackets one pink and the other mauve.
Thursday August 2nd. I felt very gloomy because this was the day I was going with Anne to Rempstone; I was coming up from Westerham by the 8.40 and we were going off from Waterloo at 10.30. However it is very silly to think of somthing nice you can't have and I was really having a very good time in the nursing home and enjoying it enormously; the nurses were all nice and especially the three day ones, Nurse Dundas, Nurse Hayes and Nurse Darcy whom I called Pip, Squeak and Wilfrid and teased unmercifully. Nurse Dundas who was the nurse-in-charge and a first rate nurse was mainly Spanish with a bit of Scotch thrown in, she was very dark and fat and very amusing. Nurse Hayes was Irish, slim and fair with bobbed curls all round her face and beautiful features. Nurse Darcy was a probationer and Australian, her father died in Ireland only four months ago. Nurse Hayes used to say "oh you're a terrible girl" with a delicious brogue whenever I was teasing her worse than usual and Nurse Darcy used to turn to Mummy and say "isn't she bold?" which caused the latter great joy. There were no nuns nursing on my floor. I shared the floor with three priests who seemed to be practically fixtures there. Anne came in the morning to say good bye and bringing me heaps more books, she was perfectly splendid in that line. She was allowed to stay an hour. I had my egg for luncheon and have never tasted anything so perfect and delicious and ambrosial as that boiled egg after just on a week of biscuits and rusks (horrid things at any time) and tea and beef tea and chicken broth. Miss Medd-Hall came to see me in the afternoon - no she didn't, I'm quite wrong. Cecil came after tea, very cheerful and very amusing.
Friday August 3rd. I had a long letter from Anne written in the train; and was promoted to boiled fish otherwise my memories of the day are rather hazy. I used to sleep most of the morning at this time because having my own night nurse she used to get me up at 6.15 waking me by shoving a themometer into my mouth. About this time I got rid of my very hot pneumonia jacket and the slit hospital nightdress. Peggy came in the afternoon and stayed quite a long time.
Saturday August 4th. Shortie came up again for the day. Miss Medd-Hall came to see me in the afternoon and Cecil also came while she was still there and stayed for a good time. I got my bed moved right alongside the window so that I could see what went on in the road, it was perfectly delicious at night lying on a level with the open window and seeing the sky and having the breeze blowing in. Shortie inquired "who gave you your aesthetic?".
Friday August 17th 1923.
Sunday August 5th. Mrs Corry came to see me in the afternoon, she very kindly put Mummy up when she had to leave the hospital. Miss Wolff came in the afternoon having torn up from Bletchingly (near here) as soon as she heard and offered to open up South Audley Street for Mummy to go there so Mummy went there for the remainder of the week after she left Mrs Corry.
Monday August 6th. A very quiet day for me but not for most people because it was August Bank Holiday! My days passed very happily in reading, sleeping, writing and eating; I was allowed to eat what I liked by this time and my appetite was terrific. Sophie Macpherson and her little boy Stuart came in the afternoon. Mummy was with me practically all day every day.
Tuesday August 7th. Daddie came late in the morning on his way back from Tockenham. Kathleen was to come and see me on her way through London at 2.30, at 3.30 I got a telephone message that she couldn't come till 5.30 but to my surprise she appeared on the very stroke of 5.30, however it turned out that the message had been delivered wrong and she had said 4.30 and was an hour late so my mind was set at rest. We had a long talk, Cornwall and the Talbots (she'd just come from them) and tennis and golf and sunsets and orange handkerchieves and anaesthetics all mixed up together. She stayed till she was forcibly turned out, both of us protesting loudly, by Nurse Dundas and then left the orange handkerchief behind on the floor. Anne T sent me a glorious box of flowers. This was my last night with a night nurse of my own of which I was very glad. I hated having someone with me all night and there was really nothing for her to do. I had very pleasing evenings after that when everyone had gone, reading and watching the sunset and then turning up the lamp by my bed and reading - and truth to tell eating grapes - till I felt like going to sleep.
Saturday August 18th 1923.
Wednesday August 8th. Clayton-Greene came in the morning to take the stitches out, it was a very simple affair and only occupied half a minute because he only had to take out the three big purple catgut stitches that held the gauze pad over the wound in place; the stitches in the wound itself were absorbant, there were 12 of them and the wound measures 5 inches – I measured it with a tape measure yesterday. My big, thick many-tail bandage, was taken off and I was given a crêpe "spiker" [ spica ] bandage which is a very much simpler affair though tiresome to wind when taken off.
Daddie came in in the morning on his way to stay with Aunt Ethel near Norwich. I had no visitors in the afternoon which I was glad of because I had a bad headache the weather having suddenly become very hot.
Thursday August 9th. Miss Medd-Hall was coming to see me in the afternoon but she didn't appear of which in some ways I was glad because I had another headache and slept all the afternoon. I was got up and moved on to a big invalid couch for supper; it was supposed to be somthing terrific to get up but the couch seemed to me to bear a most marked resemblance to a bed - especially as I was carried there. Nurse Hayes and Nurse D’Arcy took me one on each side to carry me and the temptation of seeing their two heads on a level was too much for me so I put a hand round each of their necks and knocked their heads together whereupon they plumped me down on the couch and started to tickle me till I screamed that I was a poor weak invalid and should have a relapse.
Friday August 10th. Shortie came up in the morning to stay a couple of nights in London and go down to Westerham with us on Sunday. Peggy came to see me early in the afternoon and we were both very foolish and made silly jokes. Aunt Madeleine came while she was still there and brought me lilies of the valley and was so nice, scarcely had she gone before in came Lady Edith Drummond, Mummy was out and she stayed hoping she would come in, Shortie appeared after about an hour and at the end of two hours when I was reaching desperation with tiredness the nurses came in to wash me and get me on to the couch and Lady Edith and Shortie disappeared to wait. They sent a message very soon to ask if I was ready and I told Nurse Hayes I must have Lady Edith back but we made a beautiful arrangement. I concealed the electric bell flex under the bed clothes and when I could bear no more one of the nurses was to come in and say I must rest. So they came back and we continued to speculate as to what had become of Mummy - as we had done for the last hour but luckily Mummy soon appeared and as soon as she was there I rang the bell and after a decent interval to allay suspicion in came Nurse D'Arcy with a face like the Day of Judgement and said the patient looked tired and must rest so Mummy and Lady Edith departed to another room and Nurse Hayes put her head round the door bursting with laughter and called me a "perfect little devil". Lady Edith is as kind as she can be but very tiring for two hours on end if one is an invalid.
Sunday August 19th 1923.
Saturday August 11th. Lady Edith came in the afternoon and brought me grapes and was very kind. Mummy wouldn't let her stay long but took her into another room. Father Hughes came to see me after tea; he was the priest next door and so nice. He and Mummy made great friends. Poor thing he got some kind of unknown germ in his spine during the war and has been ill for 5 years and they don't think he will ever get better but he doesn’t know that. He is always in pain but they say he is the most cheerful person in the hospital and goes round cheering up everyone else.
I came across a very funny coincidence in the evening. I was reading the Life of Francis Thompson before going to sleep and looking on towards the end I found that he died of consumption in the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth: not a cheerful thought to go to sleep on but very interesting.
Sunday August 12th. Sister Barbara (who was taking Matron's place while the latter was away in a Retreat) came to see me early in the morning and I asked her about Francis Thompson; she said she came to the hospital a short time after he died and could remember the excitement about it. He died in the men's medical ward - ward 5 - which was closed for re-painting this month.
Mummy and Shortie came early because we were leaving that morning to go down to Westerham - Nurse Dundas gave Shortie a lesson in doing my spiker bandage and then I was dressed – glorious sensation! and after that allowed to stand on my legs - weird sensation! all the room and the furniture spun round and I rocked and swayed on Nurse Dundas'es firm arm and felt altogether drunk, I got along as far as the passage and then got into a wheel chair for Nurse Dundas to take me a tour of the hospital, it was very amusing going along the passages because when one lies in bed one wonders what the house is like and imagines and gets one's geography all wrong; we went through the conservatory and into the Brampton wing the same way that I went to the theatre. The Brampton wing is a big airy modern building with wide passages. It was build by money left by Lord and Lady Brampton to whom the house also belonged; Lord Brampton was a law lord and was known as "the hanging judge" because he passed so many death sentences. We went first to look at the chapel which although it is on the ground floor had two galleries that can be entered from the floor we were on; it was light and clean with cream-coloured walls and bright, clean coloured bas-relief Stations of the Cross on the walls and none of the musty smell one usually finds in Catholic Churches - altogether very good. We went on from there to the women's surgical ward – ward 2 -. It was a high long room with white walls and big windows, there was a series of tables down the middle of the ward with medicine chests, statues of Christ and the Virgin and Saints, flowers, orniments and books. The patients all looked very happy. We went from there round to ward 5 on the other side but there was nothing to see because it was all dismantled and full of the painter's ladders. From a window in the passage we could see the Convent on the right and the Nurse's Home on the left. Nurse Dundas wheeled me to another window and left me there while I had a boiled egg and biscuits. I could look into the Convent garden and see the nuns walking slowly up and down; the nuns who weren't nursing wore black and white and the nursing ones entirely white - long white skirts and white veils framing their faces; they looked so pretty passing along the passages - like white-sailed ships at sea.
I was taken downstairs in the lift and did a little more exploring on the ground floor and saw the dispencery and Matron’s office and the X Ray room, the latter a nightmare of great iron apparatus and wires crossing all ways all over the room. It was long since time to start and the motor was waiting but Mummy was so deep in conversation with Father Hughes that she couldn't be got away! however finally we got her and the chauffeur was called in to help carry my chair out to the motor and I was got in with a great deal of puffing and panting. It was a beautiful Daimler from the Daimler Hire Co and was most gloriously smooth after the old Renault we came from Bradfield in! Nurse Dundas and Nurse D'Arcy stood on the steps as we drove off (Nurse Hayes was having a day off) waving their handkerchieves and pretending to cry. I was very sorry indeed to leave the Hospital, I had had a very good time there and enjoyed for the most part very much and it was an interesting experience. We came down here by Westminster Bridge, Denmark Hill, with glimpses of a wonderful view of London in the valley below, Sydenham, Beckenham, Penge, Bromley, Chelsfield and then through lovely woods down Polhill with a most beautiful view over the valley of Shoreham on the left. We turned off to the right along the Pilgrim’s Way, then onto another road lower down and then back onto the Pilgrim's Way till we re-joined the ordinary London Road at the bottom of Westerham Hill and came down into Westerham & so to Currant Hill. I was got into a chair on the lawn when we arrived and had my luncheon there. Miss Wolff came soon after we arrived, she had sent me a splendid hammock with a stand to hang it from and this was got together with the help of the chauffeur and I got into it and promptly went to sleep. Miss Wolff stayed for tea and dinner. Mrs Oliver-Jones had lent me Mr Oliver-Jones' wheel-chair and I was got upstairs in this with great gruntings and groanings and puffings and pantings and cries of "oh dear! I've left my foot behind!", "hold on, I shall have to let go in a moment" and so on. I was in bed soon after 8 o'c and slept solidly all night.
Wednesday August 22nd 1923.
Monday August 13th. I got dressed and downstairs fairly early and spent the day in my hammock reading and writing letters. Betty Nissen and a nice sailor who was staying with her came for tea. I had never seen her before because she went to Bermuda soon after we got here; her mother died the other day poor girl. She seemed very nice indeed.
Thursday August 14th. Dr Cotton came in the morning and said all was going on well, Miss Wolff came over in the afternoon and Mrs Pirie and one of her girls came over from Hayes for tea. The youngest girl got appendicitis at school there and it has turned to phlibitis [ phlebitis ] and she'll have to be in bed for eight weeks.
Wednesday August 15th. It rained in the morning but I was able to go out in the hammock in the afternoon. Daddie came home in time for dinner, he had been with Aunt Ethel and at Mrs Herbert Smith's in Didlington in Norfolk where Esther was going when we went together in the train; he seems to have enjoyed himself very much. Miss Vincent came in the afternoon and Miss Hanmer came to tea with me and brought me flowers and magazines and stayed till 6.30.
Thursday August 16th. I had a letter from Anne T asking me to go with her and an aunt to Rome in January; it would be too divine but I don't know if there is any chance of it coming off. Nothing happened in the day that I can remember except that I read almost all day.
Friday August 17th. Again nothing happened so far as I can remember except that I spent my time in the hammock devouring books.
Saturday August 18th. I had a letter from Alice in the morning in reply to mine in June congratulating her on the birth of her little girl! I also had a letter from Peggy and was shrieking with laughter over it and Shortie said "What's the matter? has Miss Peggy had an accident?"! Shortie also told me the other day that someone's parrot had died and she'd had a "post morter" examination on it!
No one came all day.
Thursday August 23rd 1923.
Sunday August 19th. Most of the family went to Church. Mrs Rooke came to see me in the afternoon.
Monday August 20th. Ernest Austin the composer and Mrs Austin and their little girl Margaret and a very clever girl called Dawn Mooney who lives next door to them came over from Wallingford for luncheon and tea. Dawn brought some of her pictures for us to see, they are amazingly good, some water colour sketches and some imaginative pictures and designs and some in black and white, quite extraordinary for a girl of 16 who has had no proper training and can't get models.
After luncheon Margaret played and then she and Mr Austin played duets and then he played some of his own things for us including two pieces based on Swedish airs which he had composed the day before. He told me that in the six months January to June nearly 11,000 copies of his music had sold, so he is very pleased. Miss Hanmer came to tea, she is delightful and one of the most intelligent people here.
Shortie went down to the library for me after tea and got me a couple of books.
Tuesday August 21st. Daddie had a telegram on Monday evening to say poor Sir Evan James had died that day so he was very upset but Sir Evan was a complete invalid and couldn't move at all by himself and hardly speak.
Betty Nissen came to tea and her father who is charming came on to join her from the 6.8 train and they stayed till past 7.
Wednesday August 22nd. Mrs Busk came to see me during the morning and talked without ceasing. I like her: she is practical and capible and very well educated. Hammock and books all day.
Thursday August 23rd. Daddie went to London this morning for Sir Evan's funeral. Dr Cotton came to see me and says all is going well and I may walk downstairs but not up for a day or two yet. Its pelting gloomily so I have been driven away from my hammock and have since tea been lying on the sofa reading. I read and read and read, sometimes two books a day and to-day I hope to get though "The Secret City" by Hugh Walpole a book of just on 450 pages. Thanks goodness I've at last got this diary written up to date, it's been a hard struggle!
Monday August 27th 1923.
Friday August 24th. It peted in the most determined way in the morning but there was one short interval of sunshine during which I went for a walk in the kitchen garden. It cleared up completely and was really lovely after tea. Miss Hanmer came about 7 and stayed to dinner.
Saturday August 25th. I did some seed sowings with Shortie in the afternoon.
Sunday August 26th. It rained and was horrid all the morning but suddenly became gloriously clear and sunny in the afternoon. I went for quite a long walk down the drive and to the corner of the road. Mrs Darkin came after tea and stayed for quite a long time talking of various things. I like her very much indeed.
Monday August 27th. The holiday clergyman here has come to luncheon to-day; his name is Graham and he was a surgeon; I haven't seen him yet. Anne T is coming over for the night and we're both going to Sandwich Bay tomorrow to stay with Kathleen and Mrs Corry. They have moved there from Cornwall because the Cornish landlady turned out most tiresome and wouldn't give them all the rooms they had taken. It will seem very funny to be a more or less ordinary human being again but I feel ever so much better now and can bend about and walk without my hole feeling as if it was going to give way at any moment.
Saturday September 1st 1923.
Monday August 27th con: I walked down to the library after tea and got some books to take away with me.
Anne arrived in a taxi from Oxford about 6.15 very sleepy. We talked a bit about Rome and went to bed early.
Tuesday August 28th. Anne came and talked to me and looked at picture papers while I dressed and Shortie murmured distracted questions about what to pack. We had luncheon at 11.45 and left at 12 to motor into Sevenoaks and catch the train for Sandwich from there. It left at 12.33 and after pottering along vaguely for some time reached Ashford where they had told us we had to change however we found that the train merely waited there and then went on again so we sat in it and ate buns and bananas and the wretched thing, for no apparent reason whatsoever, started 3/4 of an hour late with the result that we missed our connection at Minster, had to wait there a little time and did get to Sandwich till 4.30 instead of 3.30. Kathleen was visible from a very long way off arrayed in a new and magnificent scarlet jumper. The hotel 'bus met us and we got as far as the town where we stopped because I wanted some powder, Kathleen got out to get it and of course had no sooner done so than she was smitten with a brain wave and completely disappeared for 1/4 of an hour.
This is the most terrific hotel, it is right on the sea, is very large and comfortable and has just been completely done up. One dresses in absolute full war paint for dinner which is rather tiresome. We got here at 5 and ate a very large tea, Kathleen disappeared right at the beginning and we discovered she'd gone up to unpack my box which I tried to prevent her from doing with much bad language and little success. We sat in the loggia after tea and talked and giggled and quarrelled. I was shoved off to bed early.
Wednesday August 29th. We walked towards the St George's Golf Club in the morning and on the way back I met Lady Portsmouth who was staying with the Leverton Harrises who have a perfectly heavenly house here. Kathleen and I laid on the grass while Anne went to the golf club and discovered some garlic heads with little oblong seeds like oats in them; we brought some back to the hotel for Anne and Kathleen stuffed them down her throat telling her they were delicious just like grape nuts, she chewed them up & then made a fearful face and spat them out & spent the remainder of the day trying to get the taste out of her mouth! Lady Portsmouth came with Mrs Leverton-Harris and the latter asked us to tea there in the afternoon which we rejoiced at because we wanted to see the inside of the house. I snoozed on my bed most of the afternoon. We had an enormous tea with shrimps at the Leverton Harris's. Mrs L-H seemed very nice and there was a neice of her's a Miss Graham there whom I liked enormously; the latter took us all over the house after tea; it is the most delightful place that ever was. Anne & Kathleen and I rushed about screaming with joy at everything till I'm sure Miss Graham thought we were quite dotty. The house is a little old 16th century house & was brought bodily from Wiltshire & set up here it is full of oak panelling and every imaginable joy and of course has all modern conveniences quite naturally incorporated in it because they arranged the inside as they liked. It had a little chapel with old Italian statues and altar and candlestick and there is the most enchanting old carved furniture everywhere. Anne did nothing but say she was going to die of it and Kathleen that she would be sick till Miss Graham became quite alarmed and said "die, why do you feel ill?". We all sat on the bed in her room and looked at old maps and then as it was getting on for 7 o'c we decided it was time we ought to go; when we got down we discovered Mr Leverton-Harris and Lord Kintore, the latter didn't remember me in the least. We had a great idea after dinner and Anne and I made out a general knowledge paper for Kathleen with all sorts of questions about books and politics and Greek & Roman history.
Sunday Sept: 2nd 1923.
Thursday August 30th. Kathleen and Anne went off to play golf soon after breakfast and didn't get back till 2.15. I sat in the loggia reading most of the morning. Kathleen & I sat there & sewed in the afternoon and then egged on Anne to bathe and went and watched her and I paddled, the sea was perfectly delicious and the sands warm and glorious. Kathleen and Anne went to the St George's Golf Club after tea to see about a brassie for Anne. Kathleen packed me off to bed directly after dinner because I had a headache and felt a little tired.
Monday Sept: 3rd 1923.
Friday August 31st. I had breakfast in bed and didn't get down till nearly 12. Kathleen and Anne played golf with some friends of Anne’s or with Rosemary Graham, I'm not certain which. Sir Reginald Tower and his neice came to see me in the morning and he was so nice and asked me to go to luncheon there on Sunday which I couldn't do as they are 5 miles away and I had no means of getting there. Mummy had written to tell him I was here. Kathleen, Anne & I laid on the sands most of the afternoon and first Kathleen & I gave Anne a general knowledge paper & then they gave me one. We asked Anne questions about harness and Latin names of plants and French idioms. She said "crupper" was part of a horse's neck and "tuberous" was something to do with it's legs and we told her a martingale was a kind of bird that was half a sand martin and half a nightingale. My paper had questions on grammar and golf and French most of which stumped me completely. Anne and I were thoroughly happy spending the afternoon thinking of horrible conundrums but Kathleen got fed up and said "for heaven’s sake lets talk about something silly". Rosemary Graham came to tea and stayed till after 7 and we had a terrific talk about ghosts and dreams and all sorts of things and we gave her all the general knowledge questions and she knew the answers to practically all of them and made us feel the most appaling ignoramuses.
We all started on the most tremendous talk in the lounge after dinner on music and descriptive music and the appreciation of pictures and of beauty and the largeness of the universe and the distances of the stars and dreams and the likeness and unlikeness of people to one another and all sorts of other things. We went on for ages downstairs and then went up to my room at the top of our speed in case we should "break the thread" and continued there.
Tuesday Sept: 4th 1923.
Saturday Sept: 1st. I had breakfast in bed again and got down about 11. Mrs Corry and I spent the morning on the sands reading. Kathleen and Anne played golf with some people called Spender Clay and then went to luncheon with them. I rested during the afternoon. Kathleen, Anne and I went on the sands when they got back and they spent the entire afternoon wondering whether or not they should bathe and finally after endless havering decided not to. They sang part songs together which really was rather nice.
After tea we went back to the sands and they sketched and I read and then went for a walk with Anne and we talked about things in general and Rosemary Graham in particular. After dinner a nice man staying in the hotel came up and asked to see their sketches and showed us some perfectly beautiful pencil drawings of his own.
Sunday Sept: 2nd. K & A disappeared to the Golf links about 8.30. I wrote to Lil and Daisy and then Mrs Corry and I set forth to the sands where I read and made a feeble effort at writing this diary and Mrs Corry said a great many very sensible things about telling girls about sex. There were some people with a sand boat that they were trying to sail, we watched them for some time and then two of them walked by quite close and I saw that one was Alice! I called to her and she came and talked to me said she and Paul were down for the week-end and then going off to France.
Kathleen's friend Jim Neville came over from Shorncliffe for luncheon. We sat on the loggia all the afternoon and made completely silly jokes and some of us went to sleep. Captain Neville went off directly after tea; he's very nice and a good type.
We all went for a walk and K, A and I laid on the beach and talked about how Latin inscriptions thrilled us and how words and sentences repeated themselves in one's brain and the colour and rhythm of words and sentences and about beautiful words like dawn, night, water, mysterious. Anne and I had a great talk after dinner on going abroad and omnibuses and Rome; I said to her "have you been to Scotland["] and she said, "not so as you'd notice it". We used to have tremendous jokes about Kathleen's relations especially "Cousin Berty" and we used to scream with laughter whenever he was mentioned and also we teased Kathleen endlessly about her schools, whenever she said (which she does pretty often) "they used to do so and so at Broomfield" we used to say "really? but are you quite sure you don't mean St James'es?" Then there was a nouveau riche man staying in the hotel with a cockney accent and a large party whom Kathleen christened Mr Hornblower and we used to have endless jokes about "blowing his horn" and "horns of plenty". All this sounds very silly on paper but at the time reference to any of them was enough to send us all into speechless fits of laughter. We used to be nearly helpless with laughter all through meals and one night at dinner Kathleen was so overcome by one of her own jokes that she went puce colour in the face and nearly had to be removed in a choking fit.
I went to bed fairly early and Anne came up to fetch her cigarette case which she'd left in the pocket of my woolie, and stayed talking for some time till Kathleen came in and turned her out. Kathleen was quite wonderful in looking after me although, as we used to say, she treated me like a harmless lunatic who must be humoured. I found tonic shoved down my throat after every meal, I was taken up and down in the lift, I was made to rest and indeed to go to bed early and get out of bed late with the most terrifying firmness.
Friday Sept: 7th 1923.
Monday Sept: 3rd. Kathleen and Anne went off to play golf at the screech of dawn. I wrote my diary and then went and BATHED, the sea was icy but it was perfectly heavenly, I kicked and splashed and floated and felt a decent human being again. I rested for an hour afterwards by Mrs Corry's wish and then went along the sands to meet K and A for a luncheon picnic. Mrs Corry went back to the hotel for luncheon and we three sat on the sands and ate ham and chicken sandwiches and had boiled eggs and cake and became very thirsty and suggested to Kathleen that she should go and fetch us somthing to quench our thirst but she didn't seem to see it. Mrs Corry came back after luncheon and they all putted on the sands and K & A cleaned their golf clubs and made themselves very dirty and then paddled and Kathleen suddenly went mad and imitated tenor and soprano opera singers and did a Russian ballet in her bare feet on the sands.
We all went to tea with Mrs Leverton Harris and ate a perfectly immense tea and quantities of shrimps. Rosemary Graham was not quite as good as usual which may possibly have been because we left as soon as we were full of tea because Kathleen & Anne were going to play tennis with the Spender Clay's. Mrs Corry very kindly helped me to pack and then I went and laid on the sands with a book and said good bye to it all as we were leaving early the next morning. I met Kathleen and Anne on my way in and we all went into the lounge where Anne wrote her diary very firmly and Kathleen and I played the fool and I gave my head a terrific bump on a projecting corner of the ancestral oak panelling.
We celebrated the last evening by not dressing for dinner being in any case more or less dressed in our Sunday best because of tea. After dinner we counted up all the people we'd met through each other. Anne and I both got to 47 we'd met through Kathleen and I think K had met between 20 & 30 people through each of us. I went up fairly early with Anne to watch her pack and stayed for ages talking, then she got undressed and we went along to Kathleen to see how she was getting on and stayed there for some time, then Anne came down to my room with me bare footed and in her dressing gown to get a pencil for Kathleen and we started to talk again till Kathleen came down like an avenging angel and swept Anne off to bed it being 11 o'c by that time.
Saturday Sept: 8th 1923.
Tuesday Sept: 4th. We all arose at the screech of dawn and I went and jeered at Kathleen & Anne while they packed, as my own was done. We left about 9.15. Mrs Corry's and Anne's train left at 10.5 and K's and mine at 9.43 as K was very nobly going with me as far as Sevenoaks not considering me capable of travelling alone our train ambled round Kent and stopped at nearly every station. We went by Deal, Warren, Dover and Folkestone. The train stopped for ages at Dover Harbour and it was thrilling seeing the ships by the quay as we went in and then all the notices in the station with French underneath :- journaux, librarie, bibliôtheque, salle d'attente, sortie, salle à manger, salle du thé, messagerie, Billets et bagages, Télégram and so on. The Continental Boat Express came in while we were there; Pullman cars with electric lamps shining through wet window panes - thrilling, in fact so thrilled was I that I purchased a 2d packet of stationery to write and tell Anne about it because she would have what she calls "died of it". Kathleen drew a glorious picture of her having died of it and being wheeled away on a trunk by a porter. The train jogged on for indifinite ages and Kathleen cleaned her golf clubs all over an old lady, then started to sew and then we got a carriage to ourselves and smoked in a non-smoker and ate huge quantities of sandwiches we'd brought with us and bought chocolates and butter scotch and bananas. We got to Sevenoaks about 1 o'c. Shortie met me there with a car and Kathleen went straight on to London in the same train. It was raining gloomily and steadily and continued to do so for the rest of the day.
Mummy and Daddie were very pleased to see me back. I found we weren't going to Bradfield till Thursday instead of Wednesday. There was a letter from Uncle Oswald waiting for me to say they had had a cabin for me on the yacht and were going to telegraph to me to join them and go over to France but the gales were so bad that they had to put into Gosport and then Uncle Oswald was forced to go to London on business so the yacht is laid up for this year, I nearly wept. However they have asked me to go to Grove Place later on.
It was very sad to think Sandwich was over. I enjoyed it perfectly immensely and Mrs Corry and Kathleen were quite marvellous in the way they looked after me.
Thursday Sept: 13th 1923.
Wednesday Sept: 5th. I played the piano and read most of the day and slept in the hammock all the afternoon. Colonel Pirie came over from Hayes for tea.
Thursday Sept: 6th. We had an early luncheon at 11.30 and Mummy, Mrs Idie and I left for Bradfield by the 12 o'c train, it is a perfectly terrible train and takes 1 1/2 hours to reach London Bridge. We went from there to Liverpool Street and caught the 2.15 train; we went through Brentwood and Chelmsford and had to change at Mark's Tey [ Marks Tey ] and Long Melford. I wrote to Kathleen during the first half of the journey and spent the second half trying to find a pillar box to post the letter in. We arrived here soon after 5 and ate a hearty tea with less disastrous results to me than the last time. After tea Miss Fitzroy took us to see somthing of the gardens which are lovely and it was the most divine evening. I rested for some time before dinner and went to sleep and was very loathe to get up again.
Friday Sept: 7th. I spent all morning reading and writing letters and diary. In the afternoon the brake and two large horses appeared and we went off to pay a call at a place about six miles away. Miss Fitzroy has a perfect horror of motors so much so that not only will she not have one but she won't even go in one. We took an hour to reach the place we were going to call at and then mercifully the people were away. On the way back we stopped to look at the parish church of Hessitt [ Hessett ] which really is beautiful, it still has the old black oak pews and a painted reredos and the remains of frescoes on the walls and wonderful carving in the stone of tower battlements. A great many of the Saints and Angels had their heads and wings chopped off and were otherwise mutilated at the time of Cromwell. I again slept before dinner.
Saturday Sept: 15th 1923.
Saturday Sept: 8th. I spent most of the morning and afternoon in the garden reading and writing and doing coloured raffia work bags on canvas which is the great thing here, they are most fascinating to do and one can work all sorts of pictures in cross stich. I am doing one for Kathleen's birthday, it has a giraffe and a palm tree on one side and a house and trees on the other. Nina came in the afternoon; Miss Fitzroy had very kindly asked her to come and stay for a few days to keep me company. A horde of people came to tea, Lady Tudor and two girls and a Miss Hoare, not very thrilling and terrifically "guidy". We all went to the woods after they'd gone; Mummy, Mrs Idie and I in the pony cart and Miss Fitzroy and Nina on foot. My steering of the pony was a little erratic on the little paths through the woods and we crashed into a tree trunk at one place. We picked blackberries on the way back and got over 2 lbs in about 15 minutes. Nina and I talked till nearly 11.30 after we'd come up to bed.
Sunday Sept: 9th. Nina and I found the remains of a straw stack in which we made ourselves splendidly comfortable all the morning. N went off to church with Miss Fitzroy and Mummy in the afternoon and I returned to our straw stack and wrote letters and slept. After tea Miss Fitzroy and Nina went for a walk and I rested.
Monday Sept: 10th. Nina and I sat under a tree in the garden all the morning and made spasmodic attempts to write letters. Some people called Cooper came to luncheon, Papa and Mama and Daughter. Daughter very pretty, lovely skin and big eyes, very nice indeed, also intelligent - terrified of us at first but recovered by degrees under a never ceasing fire of questions from Nina and a benign silence from me. We three went blackberrying in the afternoon. Miss Cooper opened up considerably, she said country girls were much more intelligent than London ditto and I said Londoners were much more interesting than country girls and we both got quite animated and Nina ran round stuffing in a remark whenever she could find an opening. All the others came out for tea and we had a picnic and made a fire and boiled a kettle and were bitten to bits by harvesters but enjoyed ourselves very much all the same. Miss Cooper took about half an hour starting the car when they left because she'd left it just on a bit of hill and of course the engine had got cold so every time she started to go found before she had gone more than an inch the engine stopped I hovered about giving her good advice till she must have longed to run over me and Papa shoved wildly behind shouting "keep it up, keep it up, don't stop, go on" whenever she had stopped the engine.
Tuesday Sept: 11th. We set forth in the brake about 12 o'c to go for a picnic luncheon to a place called Hardwicke [ Hardwick ] four or five miles from here. It used to belong to a Sir Gery Cullum but he died a little while ago and there is a big lawsuit going on about it so it is empty at present. The gardens are well kept up meanwhile and are quite lovely, the best bedding I have ever seen, enormous masses of flowers of all colours with stretches of turf and lines of yew trees between. There are acres of glass houses and some extraordinarily fine cedar and other trees; the house itself is very long and big but not particularly pretty except from a particular angle when you get the red roofs and tall chimneys. We ate quantities of sandwiches sitting on a stone seat in the garden and then went and explored through a shrubbery till we came to the kitchen garden enclosed in a huge old red brick wall. Miss Fitzroy and Mummy went on along a path through some woods and Nina and I laid down on a stretch of grass and went to sleep; we found masses of mushrooms and ate some raw and felt very bad inside afterwards. We got back in time for tea.
Wednesday Sept: 19th 1923.
Wednesday Sept: 12th. Nina and I went out mushrooming in the morning and got simply masses of them. In the afternoon Miss FitzRoy showed us the contents of a trunk containing things from all over the place. There were two most beautiful knitted coats of the 15th centuary, one was blue with a design of silver and gold lilies on it and the other carmine red with a design in gold, they were done entirely in very fine knitting and might have been two very expensive and beautifully made coats of the present day. We sat in the garden after tea.
Thursday Sept: 13th. Nina and I were let loose with the pony cart in the morning, we went along the main road for a short distance, then came back here and got into the woods and did some exploring and landed on the main road again and having gone along that for a bit returned home.
Nina left in the afternoon and I drove her to the station which made everyone prostrate with terror because of some silly and quite untrue idea about the pony pulling.
Friday Sept: 14th. Nothing much happened in the morning. I did raffia work. Miss Willmott arrived to stay the weekend after luncheon. It was extremely humorous to see her again after all the excitements of Warley. She was very amiable and so were we. We went to tea with some people called Mercer who live at Hawstead four or five miles from here. The country on the way was really pretty but mostly it is extremely dull about here. Mr Mercer, a very nice old gentleman is vicar of Hawstead and had his sister staying with him, she was a tiresome old thing and would make absolutely aimless remarks the whole time; she lived near Maidstone and knew the Kleinworts. We went over the church after tea, it has beautiful old monuments and is very little spoilt. Miss Willmott knows a great deal about archaeology and she and Mrs Mercer were most interesting talking about it. I was very tired when we got back.
Saturday Sept: 15th. Mummy and I had a fearful arguement before breakfast because Kathleen was going to stay with me at Currant Hill on Wednesday and I said I thought of going back on Tuesday or Wednesday, Mummy said I couldn't travel alone and she must cut short her visit and go with me which I said was perfect nonsense; then I said I wondered if Miss FitzRoy would let Kathleen come here which Mummy hailed as a brilliant idea and things were left in this state of uncertainty. I did raffia work in the garden all the morning. The rest went off to have tea at the house were the Gunpowder Plot was hatched but I couldn't face another prolonged period of standing about so I stayed at home and played the piano.
Sunday Sept: 16th. Miss FitzRoy, Mummy and I went to Church; Miss Willmott being a Catholic remained behind. It was the first time I'd been to Church for two months and I can't say I found it very enlivening, however we came out before the sermon.
The great Kathleen question was settled in the morning by Mummy casting flies over Miss FitzRoy and the latter rising at once and saying of course K must come here. She really is the most remarkably kind person.
Thank goodness we went back to ordinary time at midnight, not that I don't like summer time much better but because Miss FitzRoy regards it as an invention of the devil so she keeps to the old time and all the clocks were wrong even by the old time so there was endless confusion, also of course all meals were an hour later so breakfast was at 10 (it continues to be that even now) luncheon at 2, tea at 5.30 and dinner at 8.30. I sat in the garden and read in the afternoon.
Monday Sept: 17th. I didn't know Kathleen's address as she hadn't written so I telegraphed to Mrs Corry and asked her to telegraph on to Kathleen. We started off directly after luncheon to go to the Coopers who live seven or eight miles away so it took us well over an hour to get there in a waggonette with a pair of slowly trotting horses. They live at a village called Pakenham and have a pretty Georgian house with big low rooms. Miss Cooper was at the village hall when we arrived so her brother who is in the navy took me down there and I helped to hang up curtains. Then we returned and fed the chickens and had a gigantic tea and departed. I like Miss Cooper so much. We left Miss Willmott at Thurston station on our way back and she got a train to go back to Warley which was a great relief because a little of her goes a long way although she is very interesting at times.
Miss FitzRoy and I were both sitting in the drawing room when dinner was announced when Mrs Idie came in and said "can you tell me where her ladyship is? Shes never come up to dress", we searched the whole house and there was no sign of her, then we started on the gardens with electric torches and whistled and shouted but there wasn't a sign of her, more and more people joined in with lanterns till we had the butler and the boy, the housemaid, Miss FitzRoy's maid, the cook with her dog on a lead, the coachmen, three farm men and Miss FitzRoy & myself while Mrs Idie and the kitchen maid guarded the front and back doors. We began to get thoroughly alarmed thinking her leg had given way and she had fallen somewhere and was unconscious, although it was a moonlight night it was very dark under the trees and took a long time to search everywhere. Suddenly someone shouted "all right!" and Mummy came walking quite calmly up the avenue and enquired if we'd dragged the lake; it turned out that she'd gone to meet Miss FitzRoy, thought she'd gone into the woods so went there and taken several turns and got lost in the darkness, finally she found her way out of the woods on the other side and got to a labourer's cottage and he brought her home by the road which was three miles round because she couldn't face the woods again. She didn't get back till nearly 8.30.
Tuesday Sept 18th. Aunt Venetia and Uncle Dick appeared just as we'd finished breakfast. Uncle Dick went with Miss FitzRoy to look at trees and they were caught in a thunder shower & soaked. He had to leave early to keep an appointment in Bury but Aunt Venetia stayed on & she & Mummy had a terrific jaw wag.
A telegram came from Mrs Corry saying she didn't understand my telegram which had been a masterpiece of conciseness and brevity but she gave Kathleen's address so I telegraphed straight to her. Plague take the girl for not letting me know her address.
It rained intermittently all day which was a bore because we were going to have a blackberrying picnic.
Mr Halline motored Nina and Patsy over to fetch Aunt Venetia after tea.
Kathleen telegraphed to say shes coming so thats all right.
Daddie wrote to say poor Shorties got a clot in her leg & Dr Cotton is keeping her in bed. I hope its not bad, clots are very nasty things. Its very lucky we weren't going back to C.H.
Wednesday Sept 19th. I sat in the garden writing my diary and doing the eternal raffia work all the morning.
The poor old Modern Girl at luncheon again. I'm getting so tired of her!
We've just been out in the pony cart but it started to pour with steady persistancy so we came in.
There has been the most terrible earthquake in Japan followed by typhoons, tidal waves and fires. Tokio [ Tokyo ] and Yokahama [ Yokohama] are almost completely destroyed. Millions of people are homeless and over half a million dead. Italy has been doing her best to go to war with Greece over the murder of some Italian officers who were on a mission to Greece and are believed to have been killed by brigands. The Italian fleet bombarded Corfu killing 15 civilians and then occupied. Happily the whole things has been referred to the League of Nations & is being peaceably settled.
Tuesday Sept: 25th 1923.
Wednesday Sept: 19th con: Kathleen arrived at 8.15 clutching her Sunday hat in a paper bag and looking more dead than alive having come all the way from North Wales and lost her suit case on the way.
I packed her off to bed directly after dinner and shoved hot water bottles and night gowns at her and was very firm and got a little of my own back for the terrible firmness she treated me with at Sandwich.
Thursday Sept: 20th. Next morning I got up and went for a walk and then at 9.30 went to wake Kathleen who, to my great annoyance, I found calmly lying in bed reading a book. We went across the fields to the blackberry place after breakfast and simply gorged and came near to bursting point as we'd already been given two peaches each by the gardener.
We tried in vain to get the pony cart in the afternoon to go to the station and see if K's box had arrived. So we strolled rather disconsolately down the Avenue and came to the Church and went in to look at it and played hymns and chants on the organ. After tea we went for a walk on the road and had a great discussion on Egypt because Kathleen wants to go to Cairo this winter.
Sunday Sept: 30th 1923.
Friday Sept: 21st. Kathleen's box was brought up from the station before breakfast so after breakfast we set out for the woods with a good deal of Cook's literature about Egypt and several old letters from Anne to both of us which we read aloud and chuckled over. We had great discussions on how to get to Egypt and looking up steam ship sailings and seeing which were the cheapest lines and where they sailed from. It started to pour and the rain ran down the pages of what we were reading and made all the ink run and then we stood up under the trees and the rain trickled down the backs of our necks and the tips of our noses and we got soaked but luckily we had on our Burberrys and 'Sentums so were dry by the time we got back to the house except for our shoes which simply oozed water. We went to look for mushrooms in the afternoon but didn't find many. K played the piano after tea and I came up and rested and then we did a bit of diary reading; there was a good deal to do because we'd had none since the end of June. We played at copying different people's handwriting after dinner. I've left out a large bit of the afternoon. After luncheon there was a great discussion on the Modern Girl and her wicknedness by Mummy and Miss FitzRoy with Kathleen & me backing her up and no one listening to reason at all and all becoming very heated. K and I got away after a bit and by way of letting off steam decorated some of the big game heads on the staircase with boudoir caps, cigarettes, mufflers and hot water can covers. Then we went across the park wondering why the older generation was so intolerant of the younger one and refused to try and sympathise with them or see their point of view. We discovered a marvellous patch of blackberries and stuffed, then we went on till we came to a field and a pair of horses ploughing, we sat on a tree stump in a bed of nettles and watched them and talked about people who were physically attractive or repulsive and had great jokes about Geraldine Boyle.
Saturday Sept: 22nd. I played the piano for some time after breakfast waiting for Kathleen to come down & go out but she didn't appear so I went off by myself and walked through the fields and sat on a fence smoking and then came back. Kathleen leant out of her window like Sister Anne and inquired indignantly where I'd been and I replied with dignity that having waited ½ an hour for her I'd gone for a walk. I went up to her room and we did diary reading till luncheon time. In the afternoon Mummy and Miss FitzRoy went off in the wagonette to Cockfield to look at the Church and pay a call. We didn't go because Kathleen discovered the wagonette jolted me so she went & told Mummy she didn't think I ought to go in it and Mummy agreed. We went back to the tree stump and Kathleen sketched the ploughed field and the horses. Like an idiot I took my diary and not my fountain pen so I couldn't write it and instead wrote a letter to Anne T in shaky pencil on the back page of the diary. The plough boy came up and talked, asked how we liked Bradfield and if we were there on our holiday. We said afterwards how we wished we'd said we were two servants who'd got a holiday job at the hall and he might have asked us to walk out.
After tea we wrote letters and did more diary reading.
Sunday Sept: 23rd. We went for a walk in the woods but it became very black and started to rain so we came back and soon there was a tremendous thunderstorm with folked lightening and thunder right over head & torrents of rain. The rain suddenly started to come in through the roof onto the passage by Miss FitzRoy's room, we rushed with jugs and basins and hip bathes and Miss FitzRoy & Kathleen both got soaked down the backs of their necks from just standing under the leak a moment to shove a bath under the place. It cleared up after luncheon and K and walked down the avenue and watched the motors go by and then went along the road for a bit and in at a gate and across a field which led us to our beloved stubble field and the blackberries. We talked about when we were children and the books we used to read. We also invented a very good game, each person in turn said the name of a poet and then both had to quote from him. We sat on the edge of the field and made little bowls and things of the mud and were very dirty and happy.
We all went to Church after tea. Mummy wouldn't let us sit together because she thought we'd giggle which made me very angry. I came out before the sermon because I find standing and kneeling very tiring. K came out too thinking I'd suddenly been taken ill and said "wouldn't you like to sit on the tombstone and rest for a bit!"
Monday Sept: 24th. A glorious day. Mummy and Kathleen had a prolonged rough and tumble before breakfast, then there was great excitement because Miss FitzRoy had planned an expedition to Bury, I said I didn't want to go because it was a long and jolty drive and there would be a good deal of standing about when we got there however that was no reason why the other three shouldn't go, then Mrs Idie said Miss FitzRoy's feelings would be hurt if I didn't go (perfect nonsense) so I got the wind up and said I would go, Kathleen said I wasn't to go on any account then Mummy said no one should go. Then Miss FitzRoy came out to me in the garden and asked me what I'd like to do and said of course I wasn't to go unless I felt up to it so I said I thought I'd better not go and then in the end the whole thing fizzled out because the coachman sent in a message to say the horses had been shoed and couldn’t be used that day so it was a storm in a tea pot all for nothing.
We got some mud from the field and took it to a tree trunk and kneaded it till it was like dough and then started modelling a face of it; it was the most enthralling occupation and I continued all the afternoon while Kathleen did her contribution for the D & S [ Daub and Scrawl ] and did quite a presentable face about life size but flat because we had no means of sticking it up to do the whole of the head.
We went for a walk after tea through some other woods and across a ploughed field and a field of clover and then sat on a gate for a long time and said how good it would be for us if we could see ourselves as we really were with all our little rottennesses and how very much less nice and less enthusiastic we are than we used to be and how one felt when things were going well that somthing bad would be very good for one and one would bear it so well and then when somthing did come one always felt no matter what it was that it was the one unbearable thing. I said very solemnly "why does it leave such a much worse taste in your mouth if you put your foot in it?" ! which was as good as Daisy's "I shall feel as if I had one foot on the shelf".
Kathleen shoved me off to bed early and then came and took my book away so that I shouldn't read in bed, however I had another book and read that not because I wanted to but because I wasn't going to be done in like that.
Tuesday Sept: 25th. We got up and went out before breakfast to get clay to do our modelling with and we modelled in the garden all the morning. Kathleen did a delicious little old lady in a crinoline and I did a big head which refused to go right so I gave it up and started on a small one and became completely enthralled by that. A Miss Fryer came after luncheon to go blackberrying. She was about 25 and quite nice but not particularly interesting. We went to the big blackberry place and picked quite happily for a time till it started to rain and we had to go to the woods for shelter. The others went on picking when the rain stopped but I laid flat in the grass and nearly went to sleep. Miss Fryer left by the 5 o'c train and we found we'd picked over 15 lbs of blackberries which was pretty good for what you might call 3 ½ people in about 1 ½ hours. It continued to rain after tea and K and I had a big diary reading.
Wednesday Sept 26th. Felt miserable at the thought that this was K's last day. Great excitement over plans in the morning because Mummy wouldn't decide whether I should go up to London with Kathleen on Thursday and then to Ashtead if they could have me or else to Currant Hill for a day or two or wait and go with Mummy when she left as she wouldn't let me travel alone. I wanted to leave with Kathleen and she'd written to Mrs Corry to ask if I could go and stay with them till Monday but Mrs Corry couldn't have me because she was expecting someone else which was a good thing in a way because finally it was decided I should stay on.
We went through the woods for some distance and found a seat which we sat on. An awfully nice Major and Mrs Daniel came to luncheon and he took K & me out to see his new Austin after luncheon and showed us all over it. It was so nice to get a breath of cheerful modern countryness. When they'd gone we set out with sketching materials and clay and K sketched big oak trees and haystacks while I tried very unsuccessfully to model her face on a small scale. After tea we went though the woods in front of the house to the other ploughed field and sat on the edge of a gravel pit and threw stones into a rabbit hole and talked about ghosts while it slowly grew dark. Then we went across the clover field and what with laughing and not being able to see landed in a perfect sea of mud by the gate. We came back by the oaks and the haystacks and Kathleen did some of her packing till it was time for dinner. I was pushed off to bed early of course.
Ashtead Wednesday October 10th 1923.
Thursday Sept 27th. Felt more miserable still at the thought of Kathleen leaving. She finished her packing before breakfast and then we went for a walk: beautiful morning, wonderful sunshine and shadows. She left by a 11.22 train. I went with her in the wagonette to the station and then came back and did modelling for the rest of the day feeling vague and lost without her.
Friday Sept: 28th. Mummy and Miss FitzRoy went on the famous expedition to Bury starting at 12.30 and getting back at 6.15. I didn't go but wrote and modelled and read. A bat got into my bed-room in the evening and it took Annie and John ages to get it out.
Saturday Sept: 29th. A Mrs Elwes and Mrs Perara came over for luncheon; the former was fat and cheerful but the latter was shy and scarcely uttered. The nice Cooper girl and her brother and a Mr Norman in the navy and Miss Geaghan who was engaged to Mr Norman and a Miss Bostocke all came in the afternoon and we went for a blackberry picnic which was really great fun. All the Cooper party were young and cheerful and the genuine article and Miss Cooper and I were very rude to each other which was a great relief to the feelings.
Sunday Sept: 30th. Miss FitzRoy and Mummy went to church with laud worthy frequency. I remained behind and played the piano and wrote diary.
Monday Oct: 1st. We were leaving on Wednesday and going to Croxton for a couple of nights but it was changed to Thursday because they were all going to London to take Nina to King's College and wouldn't be back till late on Wednesday. I spent the day trying to model my own face with the aid of a minute piece of looking glass. Mrs Idie said "It's got a very nice face, its not a bit like you".
Tuesday Oct: 2nd. Miss FitzRoy’s great friend Miss Thornhill came over for luncheon and we went blackberrying after luncheon. I had been walking about most of the morning looking for mushrooms and then I stood too long picking with the result that I got all sorts of strange pains inside and felt very sick and could scarcely walk home and I've got pains inside if I walk or stand about ever since, horrid bore. However 3 ½ (counting me as ½) of us in 2 hours picked 27 lbs of blackberries.
Wednesday Oct: 3rd. I spent the day finishing up things, finishing off raffia bags, finishing off modelling, finishing books and collecting things to pack and writing letters.
Thursday Oct: 4th. We left soon after breakfast to catch the 10.27 train. Miss FitzRoy came with us as far as Bury because she was going out to luncheon with some people beyond Bury. We went in the wagonette and it poured on the way to the station and we couldn't all put up umbrellas because of the wind & putting each other's eyes out and so got thoroughly wet. I felt quite excited at going in a train again and really quite alarmed at the speed it went after a month of nothing but horses. We all went different ways at Bury. Miss Idie to Hunstanton to stay with Alice Blyth and Mummy and I to Thetford. Aunt Venetia & Uncle Dick met us in the Ford & took us out to Croxton where we found Pat. Pat and I went got a walk after luncheon but otherwise took it easy for the rest of the day and went to bed early. Miss FitzRoy was very sad at our going; it must be very lonely living by herself at Bradfield.
Saturday Oct: 27th 1923.
Friday Oct: 5th. Pat and I sat in the garden doing raffia work most of the morning. Mrs Heseline [ Heseltine ] and a cousin came over in the afternoon. Mr Heseltine was away and she came to see Aunt Venetia because they are trying to get a separation. Pat leant me some phamplets on venereal diseases which I hid under the bed clothes and read till nearly midnight.
Saturday Oct: 6th. We left Thetford at 9 somthing and had a very good journey except for a poisonous woman who would pull the window up. We got to Liverpool St at 12.40 and went across to London Bridge because I was going to Ashtead and Mummy was going back to Westerham. We had some luncheon there and Kathleen met me very full of excitement because she'd just got a job which consists of instilling French, history and literature into Mrs Webster's (Anne’s aunt) two girls for two hours every morning. My train left at 1.53 and just as it was going I persuaded Kathleen to leap in so she came down to Ashtead with me and got a train back almost at once.
Uncle Claude and Aunt Di and Aunt Lil were all at the Cottage and a very nice Mr Ionides a Greek was staying there. He looked exactly like a caricature of a war profiteer in "Punch" but he was charming all the same.
Tuesday Oct: 30th 1923.
Sunday Oct: 7th. Aunt Di went to church but the rest of us stayed at home. It was a lovely morning and I sat in the garden. A Colonel Riccardo [ Ricardo ] appeared; he was very amusing and fearfully keen on all games and had ridden in the Grand National. He and Uncle Claude and Mr Ionides practised mashie shots on the lawn and had great arguements as to how one should stand. Miss Ionides came for luncheon and tea. She is so nice. Colonel Riccardo returned in the afternoon for Bridge and remained till 8 o'c, we all became vaguer and vaguer in our conversation and wondered if he was ever going!
Monday Oct: 8th. Mr Ionides and Uncle Claude went to London. Aunt Di, Aunt Lil and I went into Epsom after luncheon and carried on a complicated campaign of shopping. I rested most of the evening because my interior was behaving rather badly at this time and I got pains if I did anything at all.
Saturday Nov: 17th 1923.
Tuesday Oct: 9th. Uncle Claude wasn't feeling very well so he didn't go to London. Mr Ionides and Aunt Di went to call on the Rallis who were in London so they came back & joined Aunt Lil and me and we went over some bungalows which are being built in the field by Mr Mears; they were very nice but they only had 2 living rooms & 4 bed-rooms and they are asking £2500 for them which seems enormous.
Wednesday Oct: 10th: Mr Ionides left in the morning and we did nothing in particular all day as it rained a good deal.
Thursday Oct: 11th. We all went up to London for the day which was a quite overwhelming excitement for me. Anne met me at Victoria and we went to the Times Book Club where I changed my book and ordered Masefield's Collected Poems to be sent to me as soon as published. The we went back to York Terrace and sat there and talked but were not particularly intelligent on account of not having seen each other for so long. I went to luncheon with Kathleen and spent the afternoon there then met Aunt Di and Aunt Lil at Victoria at 4.30 and got back to the Cottage between 5.30 & 6 feeling absolutely dead.
Friday Oct: 12th. Uncle Claude was still not well and didn't go to London. We did nothing in particular all day.
Saturday Oct: 13th. They very kindly asked Kathleen down for luncheon and she arrived soon after 12 and we went for a walk by the lake and discussed the little Websters and whether she could with any decency ask for three days off to go and stay with the Lomens for Newbury races. After luncheon we went towards the farm and made friends with a horse in a field and talked about the awful inadequacy of our knowledge of anything. She went back to London about 4.30. Aunt Di and Aunt Lil went to tea with Miss Denshire so Uncle Claude and I had tea together and talked about books and first editions.
Sunday Oct 14th. Colonel Riccardo came over in the morning and was most amusing. Mr and Mrs Ralli came to luncheon and played Bridge all the afternoon. I took Timmy for a walk and wrote letters, then we had tea and they played Bridge again. I was leaving on Monday but in the evening Aunt Di said "can't you stay till Tuesday?" So I rang up Anne and told her I wasn’t coming till Tuesday and asked her to send a post-card to Mummy.
Monday Oct: 15th. We all went to luncheon with the Rallis. Mrs Wingfield and her sister were there and we had a perfectly excellent luncheon and Aunt Di who was banting kicked over the traces completely. After luncheon they talked jumpers and the education of children and some of them played Bridge in a half-hearted fashion. At dinner Aunt Di, Aunt Lil and Uncle Claude had an animated discussion as to who I should marry!
Tuesday Oct: 16th. I left in the morning with a very overflowing box and innumerable small parcels which I deposited in the cloak room at London Bridge and went on top of a 'bus to Oxford Street which took 3/4 of an hour. I went to Selfridges to get some mantles for the "Aladdin" lamp and then went to York Terrace Anne was out when I got there but she came in before long and we had a sort of desultory talk. I stayed for luncheon and we talked aimlessly after luncheon. Anne had to go with Mrs Bevan to the doctor at 3.30 so I walked along there with them and we began to get really intelligent in the doctor’s waiting room when I had to go. I met Margaret and Mrs Adam on the way to the station. It only took ¼ of an hour by tube to London Bridge so I had ¾ of an hour to wait for my train. I arrived here at 6.9 and found poor Shortie in bed and very bored with it but very pleased to see me.
Wednesday Oct: 17th. I had a great sorting and re-arranging of things and was with Shortie a good deal.
Thursday Nov: 29th 1923.
Thursday Oct: 18th I played the piano and did some more tidying up and read and talked to Shortie.
Friday Oct: 19th Nothing in particular happened all day.
Saturday Oct 20th. Aunt Ethel arrived to staying. She was coming at 6 somthing but we got a frantic wire to say she'd got out of the train at Hither Green instead of Dunton Green so she didn't get here till after 8 o'c!
Sunday Oct: 21st I went to Church at 10 o'c. Robin came down for the day, he is a nice boy and very intelligent. He has just got a mastership at Wesminster [ Westminster ] as a result of taking a first when he left Oxford.
Monday Oct: 22nd. Daddie and Aunt Ethel went to London for the day.
Tuesday Oct: 23rd. Mrs Currie's married daughter came in the afternoon bringing her baby for Shortie to see which excited the latter very much. The Canon came too during the afternoon & Mrs Trench to ask me to take charge of a competition part of the time at the W.I bazaar.
Wednesday Oct: 24th. Aunt Ethel left by the 10.40. I went down to the bazaar about 4 and took over the competition from Mrs Trench, it was a large board covered with squares numbered from 1 to 115 you paid 6d for a square & under one was a 10/s note. There were masses of people there, all the local ones and others from further away. Miss Deane came to me and said Miss Hanmer was very tired as she'd been there all day and asked if she could come up here to rest, so we came back here and she stayed for a long time and was awfully nice. We went back to the bazaar about 7 but it was practically over by that time, they hoped to make £100 and they made over £170.
Saturday Dec: 8th 1923.
Thursday Oct 25th. There appears to be no reason in the nature of things why I ever should get this diary written up to date.
Dr Cotton came in the morning and said I was getting on well and could go for walks.
I went to the Brownies in the evening but didn't stay for the games.
Friday Oct: 26th. I didn't go out all day but played the piano and read and sewed.
Saturday Oct: 27th. Mummy, Daddie and I went to tea with the Miss Liddells who were both nearly driven mad by Fair Island jumpers which they were making.
Sunday Oct: 28th. I went to Church at 10 and in a burst of virtue stayed on for the next service.
Monday Oct: 29th. It was a glorious day and as Shortie's six weeks of keeping her leg up were passed we hired a car and took her for a drive and incidentally returned some long overdue calls. We went up the road to Kent Hatch to Crockham Hill and called on the Melcham [?] and then the de Rougemonts and then came back the other way over Hosey Chart and called on Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer. Everyone was out.
Tuesday Oct: 30th. I went for a walk on Hosey Chart in the morning, it looked too lovely with all the autumn colouring, vivid reds and orange and yellow and brown. In the evening I went to the library and found that my knowledge of the alphabet had grown very rusty with disuse.
Wednesday Oct: 31st. I went for a walk in the morning. Esther arrived to stay by the 5 o'c train. It was so nice to have her.
Thursday Nov: 1st. We copied music and played the piano and talked all the morning. It poured with rain so we couldn't go out.
Hilary Bonham-Carter came to tea and Miss Hanmer came after tea to say I needn't go to the Brownies as they had enough people, however Esther and I walked down there at the end and saw them. We had dinner early and then met Hilary and went to the cinema and saw very wild Wild West films.
Friday Nov: 2nd. A lovely day. Esther and I went onto the Chart and smoked and ate apples and discussed people and things. Esther left by the 2.40 to go to Wierton for the week-end and I was very sorry when she left.
Saturday Nov: 3rd. The de Lyndens motored down about 12 o'c and we motored over to Penshurst and had a picnic luncheon by the road side there and then went on to Knole and saw over the house which is Elizabethan and vast and quite beautiful though I think in some ways I like Penshurst better. We all came back here for tea and then they returned to London.
Sunday Nov: 4th. We went to church in the morning. It was a most beautiful day and I went for a walk along the foot path to Brasted in the afternoon.
Monday Nov: 5th. Mummy and Daddie both went to London. Miss Violet Liddell came and had tea with me as she was down in the village for a committee meeting. Miss FitzRoy and Monk arrived to stay by the 6.8.
Tuesday Nov: 6th. I went for a walk in Squerryes in the morning; It was looking too lovely for words and I collected a lot of red blackberry leaves to day.
Mummy, Daddie and Miss FitzRoy went over to Knole directed after luncheon and Miss FitzRoy was persuaded to go in the 'bus which poor thing she hated.
Miss Deane came to tea and as the rest of the family weren't in she and I had tea together and had a most interesting talk about poetry and books and I lent her Masefield’s Collected Poems which I'd just bought. The others came in just as Miss Deane had to leave for the library. We went down there together.
Wednesday Nov: 7th. I went on to Hosey in the afternoon and admired the view seated on a tree stump. We had quite a considerable tea party, Colonel and Mrs Tenison and old Mrs Leveson-Gower and her daughter-in-law. Mrs Leveson-Gower said that when she came to live in these parts 60 years ago there were no small houses at all, only places like Titsey and Squerryes and Chevening.
Thursday Nov: 8th. Miss FitzRoy and Monk left by the 10.40. Aunt Mabel arrived soon after luncheon to stay the night for a bridge tournament at Chart's Edge organised by Miss Liddell in aid of the Women's Unionist Association. She had to start off for it very soon after she arrived. I walked up there with her. She got back about 6.30 having won the tournament and bringing the 1st prize in her bag! We teased her a great deal about it.
Monday Dec: 10th 1923.
Friday Nov: 9th. Aunt Mabel left by the 10.40. Dr Cotton came to see Shortie and said she had done a great deal too much, had got a new clot in her leg and must go to Sevenoaks Hospital and have an operation or treatment.
Saturday Nov: 10th. This was "Remembrance Day" and Flanders poppies were sold everywhere for Lord Haig's Fund for Ex-Service men. I sold at the station and along the road by the station all morning. Hilary Bonham-Carter who was organising it came to luncheon. Miss Bartlett came to tea. I went to the cinema with Hilary and young Mr Farnworth and then back to supper with the former. Colonel Bonham-Carter was very busy counting the contents of the boxes, they made £31.10.0 which was really extraordinarily good because it was only £9 last year. My box had had £3.14.0 in it which was the next best after Hilary who had over £5. Most people were splendid about buying especially carters and lorrymen.
Sunday Nov: 11th. There was a special Armistice Day Service at the Church. It was disappointing and inadequate in many ways, much too much emphasis on "our Glorious Empire" and besting the enemy and practically none on working for peace so that all that sacrifice and heroism may not be thrown away. Mr Archibald Hurd gave a very good address. The guides and the cadets and the Red X [ Cross ] nurses were there in their uniforms and everyone who had any wore their decorations.
Monday Nov: 12th. I practised most of the morning. Mummy and I took Shortie over to the Sevenoaks Hospital in the afternoon. The very nice surgeon Mr Sichel took us over the hospital, it has not long been built and has all sorts of new dodges like windows that open in a strange way and rounded corners where the floor and the skirting board meet and no carpets on the floors and gas fires everywhere. Shortie had to have a private room because the women's ward was full. Mr Sichel examined her leg and recommended electric treatment. Mummy and I went back along the Pilgrim's Way because we were meeting Daddie at the Coopers and having tea with them. Mr Paul Cooper is supposed to be the best craftsman in England and he showed us some of his silver work and jewellery which is quite facsinating. He mixes stones of different colours in his jewellery and gets lovely effects. We missed the bus and had to walk all the way home but luckily we had a torch as it was pitch dark.
Tuesday Nov: 13th. I went to the library to help Mrs Busk sort and get ready the books and Daddie and I both took down some new books to give to the library. I went to help there as usual after tea.
Wednesday Nov: 14th. I went to London by the 9.38 and tore straight off to Trinity College for my music lesson very glad to begin again after this long interval. From there I went to the Times Book Club and got a new book and then went to meet Mummy at Sir John's. Sir John overhauled me and said I was remarkably well. He said "how often are you coming up to London?" I said "once a fortnight" he said "that’s not enough, can't you come up once a week? it very bad for you being down in the country seeing no one and hearing nothing". Treading on air on account of this conversation I went to luncheon at Culford Gardens to see Julian before he went off on this naval world cruise which will mean his being away about a year but he ought to have a glorious time. Cousin Florrie, Cousin Lionel and Barbara were there all very excited and flustered because Arthur, who has been engaged for some time, was going to be married on the 30th. The talk at luncheon was mainly of bridesmaid's dresses and Cousin Lionel's trousers.
From there I went to see Kathleen who flung open the door like a tornado. We talked for a bit and then went to P.J and I bought some brown tussore to make a petticoat and then up Sloane Square to Cutt to look at wools, a haughty damsel said you can scarcely expect me to undress the window for a pattern. I went back to Sloane Gardens with Kathleen and collected my music sachel and had a hasty cup of tea and then went off to catch the train.
Thursday Nov: 15th. Practised most of the morning and after luncheon went off to Sevenoaks to see Shortie. It involves two changes to go 7 miles! Shortie looked very well but was horribly bored. I went to see a girl in the ward who had appendicitis and comes from Westerham.
Friday Nov: 16th. Cousin Maud died on Wednesday, she had been ill for a long time and couldn't do anything for herself and had to have a nurse with her always. Mummy went down to Gyldernscroft on Thursday.
I went to tea with Betty Nissen and found her and Hilary Bonham-Carter trying to cook as the cook was away. We had a sodden liquid mess with a darker mess in the middle which was Hilary's attempt at a sponge roll for tea.
Saturday Nov: 17th. I was very busy all day practising and doing other indoor things.
Sunday Nov: 18th. I went to Church at 10 o'c. Daddie and I went to Squerryes in the afternoon, there were all the Smith girls and hordes of other girls there and we played ping pong. Lady Sybil asked us to stay to tea, Daddie left and I stayed.
Monday Nov: 19th. Cousin Maud's funeral took place at Fawley, Mummy and Daddie went and stayed the night at Remenham.
I went over to see Shortie. They thought the electronic treatment had softened the clots a little.
Tuesday Nov: 20th. I went up to London by the 12 o'c train to go and stay with the Waldegraves. Kathleen met me at Waterloo with some things she'd bought for me and stayed with me till the train went - and very nearly after it had gone!
I bought Hardy's new play "The Queen of Cornwall" at the station. I arrived at Ascot at 4 o'c and Esther met me at the station and we walked up to the Knoll (I'd sent my luggage in advance). Esther had to tear off to a theatrical performance rehearsal directly after tea and Mrs Waldegrave was out so I unpacked and then knitted till Mrs Waldegrave came in and she and I talked till Esther came back.
Wednesday Nov: 21st. We knitted and talked and read all the morning. A nice intelligent girl who knew a good deal about modern poetry came to luncheon and stayed most of the afternoon. After dinner we had a great arguement about the difference between wisdom and knowledge and about bodies which Esther said should be ignored as much as possible and I said were nice things to be looked after and well treated and taken into account.
Thursday Nov: 22nd. We walked down to the hospital in the morning taking some groceries for Pound Day. Two ladies and a girl came to luncheon. They were all more or less narrow and uninteresting. I gardened with Mrs Waldegrave most of the afternoon. Esther played and sang a great deal after tea which was nice.
Friday Nov: 23rd. I helped Esther to lengthen an evening dress most of the morning. Jock came over from Camberley for luncheon and remained to tea as they say in the Court Circular. Esther told his hand which he enjoyed very much, she was excellent for character but not so good for events. We had great arguements about politics and character and people. Esther went off directly after tea to her rehearsal and Jock left soon after to catch a bus.
Mrs Waldegrave and I had one of the nicest talks I've ever had with anyone. She asked me if I thought Anne was likely to become a Catholic, I was rather surprised as I didn't know she knew anything about it but I told her I thought it was more or less unlikely now. Then we talked about Catholicism and various forms of Christianity and Eternal Life and solitude. Mrs Waldegrave, like Aunt Augusta, has a marvellous capacity for seeing and appreciating all points of view. Esther came in in the middle and soon after the extraordinarily nice and intelligent and refreshing General Secretary of the International Y.W.C.A. Miss Nivin [ Niven ] arrived. She was very interesting during dinner telling us about the state of various countries in Europe and after dinner she played the piano extremely well and I made the acquaintance of Chopin's 15th Prelude and was thrilled by it.
Saturday Dec: 15th 1923.
Saturday Nov: 24th. Esther helped me pack after breakfast and I sent my box by carrier to the station and had a great arguement about paying for it. We mended music all of the rest of the morning and went into Sunninghill to buy some music binding stuff.
I left about 2 o'c and Esther went with me to Ascot station; we tore along not being sure of the time and then had ages to wait for the train. There was a fog when I got to London and it looked thoroughly nasty. I went to Upper Berkeley Street as I was spending the week-end with Peggy. It was lovely to see her again but the poor thing had got a streaming cold and felt very sorry for herself. Mrs Leigh was in Paris with a dying brother-in-law and Mr Leigh looked very ill and has had trouble with his eyes. Peggy and I talked till it was time to dress for dinner; Rosemary Cohen came in and sat with Peggy while she dressed. A cousin of Peggy's Courtney Parker and a nice boy whom I've never met before Clive Halliday by name, came to dinner and then we went to see "Outward Bound". The scene was in the saloon of a ship and all the passengers were dead but they didn't know it at first and only began to realize it by degrees and then they arrived at their port and the Examiner came on board and they were examined and sent to heaven or hell. It was very uncanny in parts but wonderfully well done and gave one furiously to think. The audience was amazingly silent and obviously very much impressed. We went on afterwards and danced at the Berkeley and had supper there. Poor Peggy was absolutely speechless with her cold by the time we got home.
Sunday Nov: 25th. I had breakfast in bed and then went to High Mass at All Saints Margaret Street. It is of course very high and the singing is almost unimaginably lovely the finest choir I have ever heard. The whole service was beautifully done and very impressive, Peggy was sitting up and taking notice by the time I got back but had decided to remain in bed all day to try and cure her cold. Mr Leigh and I had luncheon together and then I went up to Peggy and we talked. Jock rang up and came to tea and Peggy's friend Jack Batty came to tea with her and we had great jokes because there was only one tea tray between us so we spent our time running backward and forwards between the two rooms in search of things to eat and drink. Jock and I discussed "Outward Bound" which he'd been at the night before too and of course talked about politics.
Peggy and I became involved in a most thrilling talk before dinner but Blackburn arrived for dinner just as we were well away. Blackburn, Mr Leigh and I had dinner together and discussed ways of pulling the leg of the Bevan family. Peggy and I got started again after dinner & again Blackburn came up in the middle and we had a long discussion about God and religion and B said he'd never been able to believe in any sort of God; then we drifted off into Communism and politics and during the latter part Peggy sat up in bed looking highly intelligent and not listening to a word we were saying.
Mrs Leigh got back from Paris very tired about 11 and described all the illness of poor Mr Parker till past midnight.
Monday Nov: 26th. Anne T rang up in the morning and I went round to see her; awfully nice as it was the first time since Sandwich. She went back as far as Upper Berkeley Street with me. Peggy came down for luncheon. I went to see Kathleen after luncheon and found Mrs Gwynne James and Lady Lawrence there and there was a great fustle over Mrs Gwynne James' departure to catch her train. Kathleen came back to tea at Upper Berkeley Street. Very funny to see her and Peggy together. Peggy and I had a long talk about Alice and again went to bed in the middle of the night.
Saturday Dec: 22nd 1923.
Tuesday Nov: 27th. Peggy went off to the hospital directly after breakfast and I left soon afterwards and did some shopping and also went to Trinity College and asked Miss Medd-Hall to change my lesson to the Wednesday after. Then I went to St Mary Woolnoth Church by the Bank station where Walter de la Mare was speaking in connection with the Zenith Society founded by Daddie. He spoke quite delightfully on Ralph Hodgson & read the "Song of Honour" extremely well. He came with Mummy, Daddie and me to luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel. He is the most charming person and talks to one as if one was the person he had always wanted to meet.
I went to see Cecil at her shop in the afternoon and found Cousin Aimée and a lot of other people there. Cecil had heaps of pretty and attractive things and said she was doing well in Christmas presents. I had tea there and came down here by the 5.44.
Wednesday Nov: 28th. I practised most of the morning and went over to Sevenoaks to see Shortie in the afternoon. She was feeling very bored and so was very pleased to see me and very surprised because she thought we were all in London. It was snowing hard when I left.
Thursday Nov: 29th. I went to Brownies in the evening. Miss Deane was ill in bed so there were only Miss Freeman, Joicy Smith & Betty Nissen there. The Brownies were quite unmanageable in absence of Miss Deane; it is wonderful what an effect she has on them.
Friday Nov: 30th. We all went up to London for Arthur Liddell's wedding. I went to All Saint's Margaret St. for the St Andrew's Day service. The singing was beautiful, an unaccompanied Mass for four voices by Byrd. I went to Cecil and picked up a parcel, then went to the Times Book Club to change my book and also did some shopping and then tore off to St Michael's Chester Square expecting to be late and arrived 1/4 of an hour too early. Arthur has married a girl called Beatrice Hellus-Drake who lives at Eastbourne; she looked very pretty and had a lovely wedding dress of very pale pink velvet. Barbara & Bridget were bridesmaids but their dresses weren't very pretty. Nina and Patsy were there and they went on with us to the reception which was at the Hotel Rembrandt where all the Liddell family was assembled with the exception of Maurice who couldn't get leave from Marlborough. Nina, Patsy & I left together and went to Harrods where I got some more Glitter-wax then Nina went back to King's College and Pat and I went to the tube she to the Post Office and I to the Bank and I came back by the 5.44.
Saturday Dec: 1st. Anne T came down for the day arriving at 11.11. We played about with Glitter-wax, making flowers and things and read articles from the "New Statesman" most of the morning. After luncheon we went for a walk along the footpath to Brasted and played the game of comparing people to trees, birds, stuff, flowers etc. Mummy and Daddie went to tea with Miss Colville so Anne and I were alone for tea. We talked about Kathleen and great friends and "half greats" and discovered we both got very bored with the halo with which Kathleen had invested the other which made us roar with laughter. We came upstairs and Anne gave me ear tests on the piano and nearly had a fit at my lack of ear. She stayed to dinner and left by the 9.30.
Sunday Dec: 2nd. I went to church at 10 and for the rest of the day practised and read.
Monday Dec: 3rd. Mrs Idie and I went over to Sevenoaks in a motor in the afternoon to fetch Shortie home. She was very pleased to come back but not quite so pleased when she arrived here and found Dr Cotton and a man waiting to carry her upstairs in a carrying chair!
Tuesday Dec: 4th. Betty Nissen and a friend came to tea and they came with me to the library after tea which was a most lucky thing as we found Mrs Busk and the school master frenziedly grappling with an immense crowd of people.
Wednesday Dec: 5th. We all went to London. The train was late owing to a slight fog so I missed 20 minutes of my music lesson. I was staying the night with Margaret Adam so I left my book at Manchester Square when I left Trinity College and from there went to luncheon with Kathleen who seemed to be in radiant spirits but I had to leave directly after luncheon to go and meet Daddie at St Margaret's Westminster for the wedding of Audrey Meakin who married a Mr Devereux. The Church was very full and there was the most glorious singing especially of an anthem by Handel. We met Kathleen & Oonah there and all went on together to the reception in Princes Gate where we met Mummy and found the most horrible crush in which it was quite impossible to move or do anything. I went from there to see Miss Wolff who was desperately busy and looked very harassed. Then I went to Manchester Square and found Margaret and Sylvia Trollope having tea. We played Mah Jongg [ Mahjong ] after tea; I'd never played before and thought it was quite a good game but you spend most of the time getting the tiles ready to play and then working out your score at the end. Margaret and I went to a cinema after dinner and saw "The Merry-Go-Round" a film of Vienna before and during the war. It was very well done and was very depressing on the whole. We talked for ages after we got back.
Thursday Dec: 6th. I went to the library after breakfast and then came back for Margaret and we went to the H.M.U.H [ Home Mission Union Helpers ] committee meeting that went on quite interminably. I left at 12.30 and went off to the Chelsea Poly to meet Anne and we walked back along King's Road; there were crowds outside the Town Hall where voting was going on for the General Election. We talked politics all the way back, Anne had come to the conclusion she was Labour. Mr Talbot was at luncheon; he is very nice and we talked about books. I walked back to the Chelsea with Anne after luncheon and then went to see Kathleen. We went to P.J and then walked miles to a shop that was shut when we got there so we went back to Sloane Gardens and Kathleen changed and we walked along Sloane Street and I took my watch to Dibdin's as I'd stupidly washed a pair of long gloves with it on and got it full of soap. Kathleen and I parted in a bus, I went to Manchester Square and collected my box and had a fearful rush for the 5.44.
Friday Dec 7th. I practised a good deal. Kathleen Hanna (who was Gray) and Major Hanna came to tea. He was at the anti-aircraft school on Westerham Hill and they are both so nice. They are going to live at Camberley as he has got into the Staff Collage.
Saturday Dec: 8th. Miss Thrison came to tea. She is very attractive and very much "on the spot". Her brother has just married Ruth Henbury the Fraser's [ Frasers' ] great friend.
Monday Dec: 24th 1923.
Sunday Dec: 9th. We all went to Church and the Diocesan Missioner preached a very fine sermon. Daddie and I went to call on the Abel Smiths and found them both looking rather miserable with colds in their heads.
Monday Dec: 10th. Nothing happened all day.
Tuesday Dec: 11th. I went down to the library in the morning and helped Mrs Busk get ready the books and then went again in the evening and helped at the library.
Wednesday Dec: 12th. I went up to London because Miss Medd-Hall said she would give me a lesson at the Wigmore Studios to make up for the one I'd missed. However when I got there I found she hadn't booked a studio for the time she'd told me and after waiting 1/4 of an hour I left and afterwards discovered she'd forgotten all about the lesson! I did some shopping and changed my book at the library and then went to luncheon with Aunt Bobs, she was out when I arrived but soon tore in very busy with shopping; we went and had a very good luncheon at Marshalls and she made me make out a list of presents I wanted for Cousin Nell. After luncheon we went to Debenham and she chose frocks and suits for the children. Then she walked with me as far as 15, Henrietta Street where I was going to see poor Margaret who'd had an operation for appendicitis. They kept me waiting ½ an hour having apparently forgotten I was there, however finally I was taken up and had tea with Margaret; she looked very well and was extremely cheerful and we discussed appendixs the whole time as it seemed to be the subject which really thrilled her as it did me when I was at the nursing home. I came down by the 5.44 more dead than alive and went to bed for dinner.
Thursday Dec: 13th. Brownies in the evening. Miss Deane and Miss Hanmer were back and they all behaved like perfect little angels in consequence!
Friday Dec: 14th. I went to luncheon and tea with Betty Nissen and we tried to do modelling in the stuff her father uses which is a kind of wax; it is much more difficult to work in than clay I think. We also play Mah-Jongg and got very muddled with the scoring.
Saturday Dec: 15th. I read and practised all day.
Sunday Dec: 16th. I went to Church at 10 o'c and then as it was a lovely day I came back and got an apple and went up onto Hosey Chart and sat on a tree stump and ate it. On the way back I met Mr Giffard, Miss Deane, Miss Hanmer and Miss Colville and the Miss Liddells all coming back from Church.
Monday Dec: 17th. Daddie went up to Glasgow for a couple of nights to lecture to a literary society and Mummy took Mrs Idie and Mrs Simpson to London for the day to see the shops.
I got an awful shock by the post in the form of a letter from Anne who'd just got back from Scotland, saying they were going to live in Brazil in February and that Bettany had had a bad accident and several minor horrors, I wrote off in great excitement not knowing whether she was pulling my leg or not. I spent the day practising and reading.
Tuesday Dec: 18th. I went to help Mrs Busk at the library; there was a huge box of books from Maidstone from the Carnegie Trust. I went to help there after tea.
Sunday Dec: 30th.
Wednesday Dec: 19th. I went up to London for the day to see Anne and found the letter had been a leg pull from beginning to end and she'd spent a happy Sunday afternoon composing it! We went out shopping, first to Lyons and then to Marshall where we met Anne T's friend Diana Hornby; then back for luncheon. Anne told me a Russian Princess who had had a great deal to do with Rasputin was coming to luncheon and was quite lovely though a little passé. When I got down I discovered Mr Bevan's old governess who was of a remarkable plainess! Anne and I went up to her room and talked after luncheon and then I left to go to tea with Lil and Daisy. Lil was very pleased with life and very full of all she'd been doing. Daisy came in looking dishevelled as she'd spent the entire day having her hair permenantly waved. I came down by the 5.44.
Thursday Dec: 20th. I was very busy finishing off Christmas presents. I went down to the Brownies and found no one there except a Guide who comes to help sometimes. We waited for some time and finally Miss Hanmer appeared but it turned out she’d come for a W.I meeting and there were no Brownies. She was very much amused by a Christmas card I had sent her supposed to be from the Wolfe Aylwards some people here whom she dislikes extremely.
Friday Dec: 21st. I spent most of my time doing up parcels and going to the post.
Saturday Dec: 22nd. More parcels and running to the post.
Sunday Dec: 23rd. We all went to Church at 11 0'c and the Diocesan Missioner preached a very good sermon. Daddie and I went up to Hosey in the afternoon to tell Miss Colville the A & N had left all her groceries here by mistake. She wasn't at home so we went to see the Foxes. He looks dreadfully ill. I took Mrs Idie to the carol service in the evening. It was very nice, I love carols.
Monday Dec: 24th. Miss Colville and her brother came in the morning to fetch their groceries. I did up and sent off last parcels and cards (which probably never got anywhere till long after Christmas!) and also finished off family presents.
Dr Cotton came and said Shortie might get up and walk about on this floor.