Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Week of Monday, 19 October 1943

Monday, 18 October

A wet morning, but cleared in time for Anne and Grattan’s start. They were in great spirits. I had a very busy day, packing, goodbye visits etc. etc. and didn’t get to bed till midnight. Monty came up in the evening and brought me up some cooked supper from Esmée. Very kind. I had rings up from Bet, Wilma and Anne – very cheerful though tired. All their furniture moved in satisfactorily and very pleased with the flat.


Tuesday, 19 October

Sheepcote – 1 Pelham Place

Was up by 6 o’clock making final preparations for leaving by 10 am train which I did satisfactorily. A wet morning, clearing later. Got to PP in time for lunch. Mabel had everything so nice and such a welcome.

Enid and Lil came in after lunch. I spent the afternoon unpacking and getting straight.


Wednesday, 20 October

1 Pelham Place

A good though short night and stayed in bed till mid-day. Lunched with Lil – so happy to be back in her flat.

Paid Kathleen Hill a visit on my way back.

Rested for the rest of the day.

A violent thunderstorm after getting to bed and later about 11.30 the siren followed by heavy gun fire and a bomb. The All Clear sounded soon after midnight. Heard fire engines going along.


Thursday, 21 October

Soon after 8 o’clock Lil rang up to say her flat had been blitzed last night. She was unhurt except for bruises and had spent the later part of the night in Mr Black’s house in Redcliffe Square. I went off as soon as I had had some breakfast and met her at the flat – a shambles, but her furniture mostly intact. Enid and Mabel came in later in the morning. We came back here to lunch and then went back again. Sparkie met us and packed up, and Mrs Hagedon [?] came in and helped. We got back here with Lil’s clothes, etc. before 6 o’clock. Lil went to bed. Roddy came to see her.

Lots of phones, family and otherwise.

Anne rang up and seems settling in well, but sounds nervous about the raids.


Friday, 22 October

Another raid in the early hours of the morning. and I came down and sat with Mab till the All Clear went about 3/4 quarters of an hour later. Neither she nor I had very much sleep, but Lil had a beautiful night without a draught. She is wonderful. No sign of shock. Florence came to help her settle in to Mab’s top back room. She spent most of the day there but came down to supper. I lunched with Enid and had tea with Ethel Browning who looked very frail.

I am very tired nd went ot bed early. I am starting a cold.


Saturday, 23 October

Felt cold on the increase and stayed in bed till lunch time. In the afternoon went to the Institut Français to hear Lil’s address at the Congress of the World’s Faiths. I did not think it very arresting, and she read it which she never likes, but that was inevitable after the experience of Thursday. She looked delightful and received warm praise from the Gees [?], the Davieses, Lorent [?], and chief of all, Kathleen Hill. Lorent came back with us for tea and then Mabel and I went down to Colcherm Court [?] to retrieve Lil’s wireless, etc. A sense of desolation.


Sunday, 24 October

Cold (mine!) on the increase, but I went with Lil and Mabel to the Institut Français for the morning session of the Congress of the World’s Faiths. Very interesting. Sir John Gratt [?] in the chair, and good addresses from Kenneth Walker and an Egyptian Muslim. From there I went straight to Anne and Grattan for lunch.

Such a welcome with Sarah installed in her pram in the little front garden. The flat is most awfully nice, and they have got it wonderfully straight in the week. It really seems to want for nothing. After a very good lunch, Anne and I took Sarah in her pram through Golders Park – a great ameitz [?]. Then back for a good tea and home again by 6 o’clock. Drowned in cold!

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