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Friday, 8 October 2010

1952 August

August. Cuckmere Haven. Long Man at Wilmington. Ditchling Beacon. Regency Exhibition at Brighton. Edith Evans, Miles Malleson and Michael Redgrave in "The Important of Being Ernest".
Saturday, Aug 1st
    Rained in night. Started in earnest about 10 o'clock and by afternoon simply poured down. Hilary arrived about 2.30 like drowned rat.
Sunday, Aug 3rd
    Dug hole! Took our lunch over cliff and watched gliders. Site dried up into hard mud, no more dust, thank goodness.
Monday, Aug 4th
    To Wilmington, up a lovely flowery track to head of Long Man. High wind and heat. Site clearing. Amused by "master camper" in white cap who spent all his time on fire and hardly left the site, and "the Buddha", a cyclist who sat cross legged outside his tent all day.
Thursday, Aug 7th
    Rain, close and cloudy. To Battle to see abbey. Struck a queer guide; appealed for money as a student at the end. Asked him where, replied training to be a Catholic priest with the Jesuits. Glad to have seen such an historic site after so many years.
Friday, August 8th
    Dull at first. To Lewes, crowded owing to races, to Ditchling Beacon, high wind, very cold, visibility poor. Then to Brighton and Regency Exhibition. This excellent, especially kitchen with its gleaming copper batterie de cuisine and the Dining Room with its table set out in glass and gold plate and centre ornaments. King's bedroom with a concealed door leading up to Lady Coningham's apartments.
Saturday, Aug 9th
     A very rough night. Ritirata broke down. The sea surged high over the pebbles and broke high up on the cliff. The spray came in fine clouds over the seawall.
Sunday, Aug 10th.
    Another rough night. Nora left for home in the 3.26 train.
Monday, Aug 11th
    Muggy and wet. To Eastbourne to see The Importance of Being Ernest, a good film with all the stars, Edith Evans, Miles Malleson, Michael Redgrave. Coming back went up to Beachy Head. My first visit at 52 but well worth it.
Wednesday, Aug 13th
    Our unlucky day! Started off with a supposed puncture, which after delay of about 40 minutes at Seaford turned out to be defective valve. Went well to near Chiddingfield when the caravan began to drag. Being without experience I supposed it was the car and did not diagnose burst until the passers by gesticulated. Both outer rim and tyre ruined. After some walking  discovered a small garage, but they failed to find a new tyre of the size in either Godalming, Guildford or London. Decided to leave van jacked up in among some new houses and go home. It was, said Hilary , "our finest hour".
Thursday, Aug 14th
    Drove to Paladin Caravan Co to pick up tyre.
Friday, Aug 15th
    Off at 8.30 to fetch van. Got home for tea.
Saturday, Aug 16th
    [The Diarist left for a fortnight in the Swiss mountains with Mary, while on the same day a German boy came to stay in Henley, "Not preposessing, fat and not interested in anything much, queer chap" says Diary entry. Rudiger "the Rude" left a few hours after the Diarist's return from Switzerland, to the latter's relief]

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