Saturday, 28 March 2009

Week of 1 November 1943

Monday, 1 November

1 Pelham Place

A wet day. I did some shopping in the morning and out to a chiropodist at Chiltern Court (Miss Rushling) who made me much more comfortable. Lunched at an Earl's Court pub recommended by Lil, and went over her flat for the last time. Had tea with Enid. Mabel very tired and doesn’t look a bit well. I feel distressed about her. I rang up Anne to say goodbye, and Pips did the same by me.

The Communiqué of the Moscow Conference is out and is most exciting.


Tuesday, 2 November

1 Pelham Place – Lyd Valley House

Started for Devon at 9.30. Had a car to take me to Waterloo – expensive but very luxurious. Reached station nearly an hour before train was due to start, so got a window seat and had a most comfortable journey down. Rain most of the way, but it cleared for my arrival at Brentor where Wilma met me with Emily and the Vauxhall. They were both looking very fit. A lovely drive here with wide views of hills and moors.

This house and indeed the whole surroundings has an amazingly un-English look. Swiss or Norwegian perhaps. I am in Pippa and Oswald’s room – very comfortable, but I do miss electric light. Very good and ample tea and supper. Miss George quite easy and pleasant. I felt tired and went very early to bed.


Wednesday, 3 November

Lyd Valley House

Slept better and longer than I have done for ages. Heard Wilma and Miss George go off for milking, and when they got back Wilma brought me up my breakfast in bed – delicious porridge! I unpacked my belongings and went out about 11 o’clock. The mud is incredible, it would be quite impossible to stir out without Wellingtons.

I walked down to Lyderton Halt – three miles there and back but it felt more! A good substantial lunch. In the afternoon I helped with the work down at the new cowhouses, and after tea I went out again and watched the milking. Then came back and had a hot bath.

Altogether a nice healthy day. This place is certainly lovely but very much the back of beyond.


Thursday, 4 November

A really lovely day. I spent most of the morning in the kitchen. In the afternoon I walked to Lyddation Halt [?] and took the train to Tavistock to post a brace of ducks to Pippa. They are for Oswald’s birthday on the 6th. I got back in time for tea. Later on, Pippa rang up to know how we all were. She’s staying with Anne , and said she liked the flat very much. I rang up Mabel to know how she was but Lil answered as Mabel had just gone over to dine with Enid. They had had the report of the blood '”picture”, viz 78. Not of course so high as the last count, but probably not unsatisfactory.


Friday, 5 November

An overcast day, but no rain. Wilma and I drove to Tavistock, getting there about mid-day. We met Mr and Mrs Bawtree and the baby Jennifer, and lunched together at the Bedford Hotel. Wilma was hostess and did us top hole, with drinks before and during our meal. Afterwards we separated and did chores till teatime which we had together at Perratons. Got home about 6.30.

Miss George’s dog died early this morning and she buried him after breakfast. She was rather upset. I had hardly seen the animal as he had been ill upstairs since I arrived.


Saturday, 6 November

Colder, but a nice sunny day. I spent most of the morning doing kitchen chores, and in the afternoon helped Wilma with grading potatoes. Later when she was milking I took Emily for a scramble up behind the house to the railway line and explored some birch woods. Lovely views.

Miss George left after lunch for a long week-end which is to last till next Wednesday.

We heard on the 9 o’clock wireless that Kiev has been taken by the Russians.


Sunday, 7 November

A fine day though not sunny.

I got up for breakfast and had it well started by the time Wilma got back from milking.

I spent most of the morning in the kitchen, whilst she and Burden sawed wood with the engine.

After lunch we finished grading the potatoes, hung out the washing, etc. After tea I did an assortment of chores. Not exciting but quite pleasant and I feel very well.

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