April. London gummed by Americans. Entente Cordiale at 50. Mr Marcham and Len plants potatoes. Leslie Tydeman's farm. Black Mountains. Wildfowl Trust.
Friday, April 2nd
Got a £24 repayment from income tax and also apparently a rise in salary, so shall be able to afford a new dark suit for state occasions as well as giving Mary one. She has chosen a medium brown one, with which she is very pleased for cut and style, and is having it altered.
Mr Hirons back from his four-day course on atomic warfare. Wonder if he intends to go into A.R.P. full time. Shouldn't mind of he did.
Saturday, April 3rd
Shopped and chored in morning after Nora left for Psychological Congress in Nottingham, then drove over to Reading and met Mary on platform, up by 2.30 to Clifton Court Hotel. After supper we went to A Question of Fact at the Piccadilly - Pamela Brown and Gladys Cooper - a good straight play about an adopted child who discovers his father was hanged for murder and the effect this had on his marriage and his job as a classics master at a public school.
Oxford had won the 100th boat race so wondered whether there would be liveliness in the West End, but all was jammed by gum chewing American air force in civvies.
Monday, April 5th
The field was white with frost. Looking from my window at school into the walled garden, the strips of daffodils are in flower, the pear trees covered with tiny yellow buds, which catch the light, contrast with the apples' whitish grey. The eye is tired of the evergreens which have accompanied our winter journey, and looks eagerly to the chestnuts, which are bursting into tiny leaf. The grass fields opposite have been ploughed, harrowed, reseeded and rolled. They lie waiting to conceive, the shadow of trees pencilled delicately on the smooth curve of their breasts. Mr Marcham [the head gardener], Len and a party of boys are at work planting early potatoes.
Thursday, April 8th
Anniversary of the entente with France in 1904. Only wish they were more satisfactory allies.
Friday, April 9th
We broke up. For the first time I forgot to bring the form orders down to senior assembly. Slipping obviously. Also slipped in sixth form as went in with flies totally undone, however gown over my chair so hastily turned, put on that and clasped it over me like a dressing gown! Went round the forms as usual at 2.30. Had just heard Hilary a mumps contact, so said to one, "I hope you don't contact any infectious diseases!". "Same to you", they replied. Fifth form presented me with a bunch of primroses and violets.
Saturday, April 10th
Ordered a suit from Mr Wilcock, which will cost me £30, chosen blue with a diagonal stripe, which hope will look dressy for evening wear! But is a lot! He was gloomy and said wool was rising again and hoped the pound would not go the way of the franc.
Sunday, April 11th
Reading Nine Rivers from Jordan. Contains some good telegraphese. Opening verse of the Rubaiyat ("A book of verses underneath the bough...") in seven words
Come songstress desertwards
And also the classic exchange:
- No news good news
- Upshove job arsewards
Tuesday, April 13th
The third of our Comet airliners has crashed, this last one in deep water where it cannot be recovered. A great blow for the British aircraft industry. The Comets have all been taken out of service again.
Good Friday, April 16th
Set off at 10.30 for Beacon Hill. A strong wind from the north, sunny but very cold. The camp was far too exposed, so we walked down among the junipers on the south slope and found a sheltered, sunny place. Made a fire and cooked our lunch. During the afternoon we heard a cuckoo, but did not see it.
Easter Saturday, April 17th
Hilary and I started off with the caravan about 10.30. We lunched at Burford after looking at the church, arrived at Holly Bush Farm about 3.30 to find Commodore Brown, Mrs Brown and the two batty sisters all there. The commodore more of a bore than ever, but in a very smartly cut Canadian suit. He had flown from Ottawa for the weekend. Nora arrived by bus at 7.0.
After dinner we set on in two cars to see Leslie Tydeman's (Nora's nephew) farm the other side of Ross. It was delightfully situated on a slope down to a trout stream with a good approach, but the house was Tudor with additions and had been occupied by a sporting farmer. It was enormous, unwieldy, with three floors, numerous large rooms, a well staircase and central heating - which it obviously needed. Backbreaking work for whoever marries Leslie. I liked him better than the last time I saw him, but with Ted and Mary [Leslie's parents] I had no rapport whatever. However, that did not matter as we sat down eight to tea and the women did plenty of shouting.
Set off for the Black Mountains. The car's brakes had practically packed up, so we had to rely on the two bottom gears. Hilary, who was navigating, took us down a narrow and precipitous lane to the Monnow valley at Pandy but by the mercy of God we met nothing, for there was no room to pass. From there we went up the Houddu to Llantthony. We had just had time to see the abbey when hordes appeared in cars and charabancs, so we went back to the bridge and had our lunch somewhat sheltered from the wind with the sound of water in our ears. We looked at the church, roofless and covered in earth and fallen stones like a London bombsite. It was still early so we took the car a mile up the Nanty Birch valley and walked up to Blaen Birch. Then we drove back, but even that was nerve racking for the driver!
I was most impressed with the Black Mountains and thought Mary and I could have a good holiday there walking if her parents' health did not allow us to leave England.
Tuesday, April 20th
After yesterday's experience I felt the brakes must be improved if at all possible and took car with Hilary down the road to Mr Morris's garage. Rather doubtfully he agreed to see what he could do. He was very red in the face and looked as if he might have a stroke at any minute. However after about an hour the car was ready and much improved in safety and comfort for the driver.
After lunch drove to Goodrich Castle, which had a lovely site up a lane. To Tintern, amazed, as before, at the size of the great church. To Chepstow. Saw over the castle on a marvellous position on a sloping cliff above the tidal estuary of the Wye.
Nora to the Manor House Hotel as Molly had taken in two paying guests from Oxford for a couple of nights - being very hard up. However the farm made a small profit last year and the milk brings in £1200 p. a.
Wednesday, April 21st
To the Severn Wild Fowl Trust at Slimbridge. Last there with Molly, Ruth and Hilary in 1950. Much enlarged, laid out in pens and made a show place.
After tea Nora walked up May Hill while Hilary and I washed racks of eggs. Afterwards we went up through the wood at the highest point of the farm from which you look out over the Severn valley, the river meandering among the glistening sandbanks at low tide, the distant escarpment of the Cotswolds and the cathedral tower just visible in the smoke haze of Gloucester.
Thursday, April 22nd
Nora went home by bus to Henley and Hilary and I started out on a big tour. We drove through Ross to Skenforth. You see the castle standing by the river from a hill. The castle was small and the restoration of the outer curtain wall, still incomplete, had occupied five masons for two years. The church was unrestored and rewarding, [including] altar tomb of John Morgan, last governor of the castle. His wife died in 1564. Four sons and four daughters in mid-Elizabethan dress were carved in relief on each side and carvings also in relief of Morgan and his wife in ruffs and he with a long forked beard and Tudor flat cap.
Grosmont Castle was fully restored, shaved and brushed, but it was a sixpenny instead of a threepenny castle. There was no shelter so we did not stay long in the north-east wind but looked into the church.
At Abbey Dore we ate our dinner on the path leading to the churchyard from the road. It was the only sheltered spot we could find. The abbey was cold, but less dirty than last time. After this we pushed up a mass of very narrow and steep lanes to St Margareth's to see a screen and loft. We finished off with Kilpeck.
Friday, April 23rd
Today we went to Hereford. It was bitterly cold but warmer in the cathedral. I liked the Norman nave, but the east end is disappointing and the brass and marble screen unbelievable. "A pity Hitler did not remove it free of charge," I said to the amusement of a spectator. In the afternoon to Eaton Bishop and then Madley, which Cyril Peach had highly recommended. This lovely church accounts for the Victorian Gothic revival. It seemed to me to represent all they tried, and failed, to reproduce. It is like Thaxted, an open and spacious church.
Saturday, April 24th
Lunch at Burford, home soon after four.
Monday, April 26th
Took my lunch to Osterly Park to see the newly opened Osterly House. I wanted to find a great house for a sixth form visit nearer than Wilton and Hatfield. This seemed ideal, Adam ceilings, furniture, carpets, etc, all within 30 miles.
Friday, April 30th
Went over to Reading in the afternoon and met Mary off the 6.22 from Liskeard and had a quarter of an hour with her in the waiting room on no. 4!
The school charter rediscovered in the safe of Cooper, Caldecott & Cooper after Mr Cooper's death. A bit dirty and creased but a fine great seal. It ought to be framed and hung in the school.
May. Korea, Indo China. Butter rationing stopped. Quakerwise at Leighton Park. Mr Cook's logghorea. Kinsey Report.
Saturday, May 1st
Joined Reading Public Library for which paid 10/- borough fee and 10/- deposit in lieu of rate payer's guarantee. However it is a good library.
We have had a long spring drought and a north-east wind that has lasted a month. The field is like concrete. The grass at Holly Bush won't grow and Molly had to buy a ton of hay at £12. However rain began tonight.
Sunday, May 2nd
The Geneva conference has been going on for a week. They have gone into secret session on Korea. Too early to know whether Russia and China prepared to compromise. The Americans have come out badly. After a lot of talk about being tough, Mr Dulles has failed to carry us with him and he cannot be tough alone because the sending of American troops to Indo China is unpopular. The partition of Indo China is compared to the partition of Czechoslovakia at Munich. but since neither side in Korea or Indo China will agree to unification with the other, the only solution is to recognize the facts of partition.
The communists believe we are their enemies, their philosophy says it must be so. Their actions can be explained on the theory that they want to be seen as against us as well as that they intend to attack us. They are probably on the defensive and we need not assume that they want to make war. They are blind and obstinate pedants, wearisome, rude, abominably cruel, but not mad. They cannot with their philosophy understand either their own society or ours. We must make our world the sort of place where it would be dangerous to make trouble. We must look formidable, but not seem to threaten their security. These arguments, which seem pretty sound, are put forward in an article in the Manchester Guardian today.
Tuesday, May 4th
Hilary went back for his last term at Leighton Park. Very large and rather untidy. Ties have to be worn on Sundays only, so few people wear them. Hair long, jacket for ordinary occasions too short and rather dirty. I said I hoped he would enjoy his last term, to which he replied, "What, with exams!" He certainly has been working hard these last few weeks, hope effective work.
Wednesday, May 5th
As it was the first week of term Mary came over by bus to Stoke Row.
We went to see Ewelme because I was taking the children there, then had tea in a high and cold wind at the bottom of Swyncombe Hill. Then up the lane to Long Grasses. We were followed by a car which drew up in a gap just below where we had pulled in. I wondered if we were being followed. However when we went back we found Monsieur was kneeling on top of Mademoiselle, who was lying flat on her back in the rear seat - so we need not have bothered.
Saturday, May 8th
Gave blood at the Town Hall for the ninth time. Rather held up by finger pricking and dropping blood into bottle to see if it floats or dissolves. Mine sank and disappeared all right. Don't know what the reverse shows, but one woman was turned away because of it.
Sunday, May 9th
Drove over to see Phyllis at Empshott, 41 miles. Can't make much of James. However when we were left alone after lunch he promptly went to sleep. Johnnie is talking well and is very forthcoming; Jimmie is shyer and more dependent and less secure, but he seems a great success and they are both very fond of him.
Monday, May 10th
Turned very hot and sultry suddenly. Wally and new girl, who is a plain Jane, to lunch. After put in tomato plants. Wrote to Mary about future plans. She says we must not be hustled, but must remain calm. Nevertheless we ought not to drift or to let our plans be made for us.
Tuesday, May 11th
A talk with Nora. Told her about Con and Allan and we went over the past. She is anxious to get financial independence, separate, and then consider divorce.
Wednesday, May 12th
Went over to Mary. Drove to Aldworth for tea and supper. We made tea and sat under a hawthorn hedge. Mary to my great relief said she must spare her father any publicity, but apart from that if she liked to marry someone who had been divorced that was her own affair and she was prepared to do so whether he approved or not.
About six we started off for a walk but a vast deep purple cloud appeared with distant rumblings. We returned hastily to the car and waited for the first raindrops to fall. By the time we had got to Aldworth the storm was in full blast. We pulled the car up against the pub and waited for the rain to penetrate the roof. The thunder grew louder and nearer. Finally there was a hiss, a noise like steel being cut, then a loud explosion. Something quite close had been struck. When the rain became less tropical we started back to Reading. Near Basildon part of the field had been washed across the road and we met firemen and fire engines. At Tilehurst we came to floods through which we crawled cautiously in bottom gear. A collection of bums were paddling in the flood, apparently hoping for big money when a car stalled, as a number had done. We got home without further difficulty, but as I said to Mary these things do always happen to us.
Thursday, May 13th
Butter and margarine to come off the ration this week for the first time since the spring of 1940. I have occasion to remember the date because the elderly maid who brought up Mary's and my breakfast on our "honeymoon" apologized for the fact that the hotel could only supply us with pats of margarine.
Today the headmaster of the Modern School rang up to say our sports days coincided. Did I want the Mayor. I said that as far as I was concerned he could have the Mayor!
Monday, May 17th
Hilary Daniels, or Wray rather, came down yesterday. She told us about tablets called "Oblivion", which she got at a chemist's to take before acting as chairman at an important meeting. They are guaranteed to make you free of all nervousness!
Last night went to evening service at Leighton Park. The H.M. and speaker sitting alone on the platform looked very exposed and lonely. We had hearty gruff hymn singing, two prefect-read lessons, but after everything there were long pauses Quakerwise, which I found a bit awkward!
Tuesday, May 18th
Today Mr Jowett arrived late. He said to my surprize that there was a railway strike in the western region. It appears some drivers at Newton Abbot struck against having to go to "lodging turns" and the Bristol and London drivers came out in sympathy. The M/G revealed the fact that engine drivers will not deal with engines which used to belong to other companies! Such are the obstinacy and stupidity of the men under nationalization.
Wednesday, May 19th
A long governors' meeting. Mr Cook, though a nice man, was seized with logorrhea and as chairman of the house committee started by going through all the leavers with suitable and unsuitable comments. He followed this up with price list of the local boys' outfitter and got on to the girls' when old Denham managed to stop him by saying the governors could not ask him further to tax his physical strength. Quelle delicatesse!
Went over to Mary. Tried to discuss future, but as usual got nowhere. She won't consider a holiday in England and I don't want to spend money going to Switzerland.
Friday, May 21st
The railway strike goes on. Nora travelling daily by Southern to Waterloo to course at Hampstead. Much fatigue and frustration. Met on 10.40 and brought home at 11.00. However was late as I was having a wrangle with Mary about the future. She wants to preserve present position until her parents die, and when will that be?
Saturday, May 22nd
Picked up Mary at 5.30 and drove to Queen's Hotel, Newbury. Our old room 14. After dinner, which was good, to cinema to see English film about three men castaways and one girl on desert island. A poor film, but as Mary said, even a poor English film better than a brassy American film.
Reading Reading the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female. Most enlightening on the importance to men of psychological factors compared with women.
Tuesday, May 25th
Rather impressed with the difficulty of relations with Mary. When you think you've got somewhere you find you are back where you started!
Wednesday, May 26th
Sports Day - a lovely sunny afternoon but windy. The bees took advantage of this to swarm, so when the racing started I was stuck under a hawthorn bush, cursing! They absconded later.
Nora had a fine social afternoon talking to all and sundry. Among sundry, Mrs Waller, sister-in-law of Mary's Tanganyika Waller, whom she invited to tea, to my annoyance. A connection with any Wallers is the last thing I want. Funny she should pick on this particular parent, but it would happen.
Thursday, May 27th
Kinsey says that in the following ways men and women differ.
- Females much less aroused by seeing opposite sex whether clothed or naked
- Less interested in photographs, drawings, paintings of nude. Males cannot understand why females not aroused by this material.
- Erotica also
- Females not aroused by observing male genitalia to extent males aroused by seeing female genitalia.
- Males start by genital manipulation. Most females prefer to start elsewhere
- Cinema appears to be more erotically stimulating for females
- Observing sexual action stimulating for males rather than both
- Males again for observation of undressing
- Promiscuity male rather than female
- Sexual side of marriage as opposed to home, children, security, more important to male.
Anyway about 40 per cent of American females appear to have premarital coitus.
Friday, May 28th
Bought some salmon to take on supper to see azaleas at Hambleden, but by five o'clock it was pouring with rain, so had it in the flat and had to be content with visit to the new Reading housing estate, which is very well laid out with continuous terraces - instead of semi-detached - and blocks of flats in different brick, roof and wall and door colours. Most impressed. The only snag: no communal buildings with exception of one school and a pub.
Saturday, May 29th
Watched a girls' tennis match. No end of attractions (see Kinsey, point 1)
Monday, May 31st
Handbrake gone completely. Garage says new linings and brake drums required, £10, and £5 for new king pins on steering!
More Kinsey! Response in the female may depend more on uninterrupted pressures and continuous rhythmic stimulation than prolonged petting.
Bid him march boldly, and not grant one leisure
Of parley, for 'tis speed augments the pleasure.
June. Phyllis Auty. Stonor. Frogmore Mausoleum. Hilary reads the lesson. U.S. cancer survey on smoking. Church crawl with hysterics.
Thursday, June 3rd
Phyllis had been to St Hilda's to attend the opening of a new building by Princess Margaret and came for the night on her way back to Empshott. Full of good stories about her contemporaries, including a Capt Petty. He used to stay with two floosies at June.he Mitre when visiting his daughter at St Hilda's. On one occasion he turned up with a couple of prostitutes to take Phyllis and Rosalind [Hill] out to drinks and relieved himself at St Hilda's entrance! In the end, a floosie he was taking on a sea trip pushed him into a swimming pool and he broke his neck.
Said marriage ought to be for a five year contract, renewable if desired!
Saturday, June 5th
At 2.30 went to see over Stonor House, a privilege visit arranged by the National Trust. Luckily we arrived early as already about 70 people waiting and three chara loads expected from London. Divided into two parties, Lady Stonor one, and Fr. Julian Stonor, a charming but rather precious priest, the other. In latter. Reminded me a bit of Brideshead Revisited. A warren of very dilapidated passages and an C18th library full of disused volumes with no light. Some fine C18th rooms with plaster ceilings and four-poster beds, all very much lived in. A sizeable dining room and off it a little intimate dining room with John Piper pictures. Numerous unnamed Stonor portraits from Elizabethan days and a superb Stubbs lent by Mr John Evelyn from Wooton.
The present occupant a rather florid and over-fed looking individual in early forties, the heir to Lord Camoys, who married an American and lives, aged 70, on Long Island. Apparently Lady Camoys moved most of the furniture to Long Island, so the Hon. Sherman Stonor has had to pick up stuff as he went along! In this he was helped by Queen Mary, who discovered some that had been at Stonor in dealers' hands.
The best thing is the marvellous setting of the redbrick Tudor house among the beech woods of the deer park, completely remote in this sheltered valley of the Chilterns - and next the mixture of shabbiness and smartness, of repair and decay, of comfort and discomfort, of day-to-day living and long disuse - two grey top hats hanging in the hall,which had just been to Epsom, and shelves of C18th sermons that had not been opened for generations.
I met Hilary coming up the hill on a merit half and we set off for Windsor to see the Frogmore Mausoleum, which is only open this one day of the year. While slowly moving up the granite steps towards the huge gunmetal doors one had time to read the Latin inscription over the door; Here rests what is mortal of Prince Albert..... Dearest, at length I shall sleep with thee and rise with thee in Christ. In the middle is the enormous tomb of marble and granite flanked with huge bronze angels. The figures of the Prince and Queen can hardly be seen from floor level. Various figures, also in Carrara marble, in the ambulatory, mostly of single figures, but one also of the Queen leaning over Prince's breast and gazing on his face. He is clad in an extraordinary, archaic get up, cross gartered and bare kneed, as though about to play Macbeth.
I wanted to see the Mausoleum, but as Cicero said when Caesar came to dinner, "Once is quite enough."
Wednesday, June 9th
Nora and Miss Boselli had been in for tea but left for a night at Miss Markham's in Oxford. Mary came over by bus and we had tea in a café by the river for which we were charged 4/-! This June has been awful, storms and gales, rain, thunder and lightning. We walked down Remenham Lane and up White Hill by a path I had never explored in 20 years. Arrived at the White Hart for dinner rather damp. A nice dinner, but cost 15/-. Then we went back to the house. We went up to my bedroom. Mary took all her clothes off and lay on my bed for a light bath on her shoulders and back and a massage.
"The sheer voluptuousness and triumph of shutting a door, which closed for an hour or a night excludes the world." The door was shut, the candlelight showed the roses on the chest of draws and the clothes heaped on the chairs. Joy needs the feeling that time does not matter and that its flight has stopped;
The lamp's last tremulous light can never fail us,
This fire shall burn forever still untended;
We shall remain - no moment can assail us,
Our wealth of silence cannot be expended:
Eternity must pass
Ere you may cry "Farewell!" or I "Alas".
Thursday, June 10th
Went to supper with Mr and Mrs Wilcock (see May 26th). Apparently a businessman who after the war went up to Wadham and took up teaching. Odd! He came from Chingford and had been to the Moneaux Grammar School at Walthamstow. A nice man and interested in books and history - a rare thing in Henley - so we got on well, though I was very tired after lack of sleep.
Friday, June 11th
The car done and the brakes done, but doubt whether they are really a great deal more efficient.
Saturday, June 12th
Started off at 10.30 for Stow-on-the-Wold to lunch with Lettie. Hadn't seen her for four years, but she was just the same, though a good deal thinner. Her hands seemed more affected by arthritis. Had lunch at the Talbot and then went in my car and sat in the Snowshill lane under the thickest beeches we could find, as it poured and poured. I had imagined a lovely June day, but things never turn out as one thinks.
Sunday, June 13th
A green world, the wettest June for 50 years. Went over to Leighton Park evening service. Hilary read the first lesson and jolly well too. He has a fine deep pleasant speaking voice and you could follow every word. Wished him luck in his Advanced G.C.E. which begins tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 15th
A letter was waiting from Donald Heath to say he has been awarded a Leverhulme research scholarship by the Royal College of Physicians worth £1000 a year and tenable for three years..... So he was a man of destiny after all! There were seven on the short list, 2 from Cambridge and London, one from Oxford, Liverpool and Sheffield.
Friday, June 18th
Day started badly with the car starter engine seizing. However, Nora got off rather late for selection at Witney. I was doing mine here. Bad luck pursued me, for the rather dumb Latin staff had misread the regulations for the June O Level and the candidates, who were expecting Virgil, got a Latin prose. This tough on boss-eyed Smith, who depends on it for exemption from Responsions.
The interviews over borderline candidates [for entry to Grammar School] had their moments. One boy said he wished to be an evangelist! Professor Count Roberto Weiss brought up his daughter Victoria. When asked by fat old Miss Markham, the psychologist, what she did at Whitsun, she replied, "Visited my brother at Eton." Another parent turned out to be "Mr Charles", the head waiter at a luxury hotel, under whom Mrs Clayden had worked as a plongeur.
Mary and I decided to go to Brunnwald again, by Holland and the Rhine, 3rd class.
Saturday, June 19th
Visited Aunt. Nora took her for a drive, but we were seized with laughter when she said she couldn't listen to the wireless before going to bed as the music made her toes twitch!
Sunday, June 20th
A better day with clouds and some sun too and a pleasant breeze. The wild roses cover the briars in pink and white and the grasses are in flower and very tall because of the rain. The whole landscape is green.
Heard that a Swissair plane from Geneva on the night flight to London ran out of fuel and came down in the sea two miles off Folkestone. There were only four passengers, two were drowned, the crew and two others were picked up. A good thing I have agreed to go by rail and sea this summer, as this is the plane we have used twice to come back on.
Tuesday, June 22nd
Have been reading Southern's The Making of the Middle Ages. Of the changes in this period he writes:
These changes are hard to define and the connections can more readily be felt than explained. Indeed, in a strict sense, these changes defy definition and the connection between them cannot be explained - it can only be exemplified in the lives of individuals. At the deepest level of experience, in intimations of the nature of God and the economy of the universe, in new insights into the powers and powerlessness of man, the changing scene of history has its focus and its justification.
Thursday, June 24th
Yesterdays M.G. contained a dispatch from Alistaire Cooke with the findings of the American cancer survey of 200,000 men between 50 and 70. It was begun in 1952 and was intended to end in 1956, but the results were so striking that the findings were published this year "to save life." Smoking is tied not only to lung cancer but also to heart disease. Men smoking over 20 cigarettes a day have a death rate between 54 and 60 twice as high as non-smokers. Curiously, pipes and cigars are found to be harmless.
Wally has stuck his neck out again. A cadet officer came to a demonstration on Tuesday and told the boys "to shoot the buggers down", while a demonstrating NCO had only one adjective, bloody. Wally then wrote a letter of complaint and I had the Brigadier on the phone for half an hour last night telling me he was sanctimonious! I should have thought though by now Wally should have learnt that it is better not to put too much into writing.
Friday, June 25th
Keble dinner. Found Canon Covey and changed in his room, having great difficulty with my tie and having to call clerical assistance in the end. Not good at that! Sat between V.L. Griffiths and George Day. The Bursar was drinking hard at the head of the table and ended up with champagne. We had hock and port.
The speeches were rather inaudible but the President, the Bishop of Lewes, was much better than the Q.C. last year. Told the story of an Irishman who knocked down a man for saying the Pope was at the bottom of all the trouble. "Why had you not more tact? Didn't you know Paddy was a Catholic?" "Yes, I did, but I didn't know the Pope was," replied the man.
Went into the J.C.R. and from a conversation with J.H.P. found he had been lunching with Phyllis and knew her name was McBurnie. Therefore has clearly discovered identity of Jimmie. What's the next move, if any?
On the Downs on Wednesday. Mary and I were indulging in the pleasure of comparing today with the war years. No car, the bicycling (from Moreton to Stratford), the busing and the dark and crowded trains. The continual struggle to get food to take out, or find meals if one didn't The points for tinned foods and ration books, which made it so difficult for the unmarried who had to be continually moving round at four day intervals. We particularly recalled the horror of feeding at Stratford-on-Avon. In one way the fourteen years since 1940 seem to have passed very quickly - till one thinks of all we have survived, endured, lived through in terms of difficulties and frustrations.
Sunday, June 27th
Decided best thing to ring up Phyllis and tell her what I had learned at the Keble dinner. She was very surprized. though she had been rather astonished by J.H.P.'s friendliness. He apparently made a point of sitting next to her at lunch and had taken her to the theatre. I hope I did right, but feel as I begun the adoption by introducing J to Phyllis I don't want it to go wrong now. It would not be fair to Phyllis to leave her in the dark. She said she had considered asking him down next term - soon he would be taking Jimmy to the zoo! However, if he turned up he'd get a very dusty answer - Knowing Phyllis, I bet he would. I don't see why, after having done so little when J became pregnant, he should then butt in again after he discovered what happened. He has other children.
Hilary over to tea. Thinks in the speech competition he will speak on education "as people in the public schools know so little about state education."
Monday, June 28th
A busy day. Decided that as Latin paper only 45 minutes would go on church tour after all. We started soon after 11 o'clock and visited Swyncome - C11th. By the time we got out of the church after my little talk it was 12.30. We had our lunch and the driver went off to Nettlebed with the bus to get his. Ewelme - C15th - we finished about 2.30 and went to Thame, C13th and C15th. To Rycote chapel and house. The extraordinary pews, C16th and C17th, were still there for them to see. Of course they insisted on going up the tower and then a girl - the head girl [Vera Emmerson] - found the staircase was dark and got hysterical and I had to go up about three times to winkle them out. We finished up at Chislehampton, where Mr Peers was waiting outside the church. He came in with us, which was slightly embarrassing, while I said my piece and then took us to the house to show us the hall and the silver gilt communion plate and service books, all provided by his family at the time the church was built - 1763. I asked him if his family made their money in India and sure enough they did. I thought he was a very nice man - rather different from old Lord Saye & Sele, who came to the school this month and said he would not give us a reduction if we visited Broughton Castle!
A bad show about the night flight from Geneva. The pilots have been sacked, for they did not see that the plane was properly fuelled before leaving. There was no technical fault - it just ran out.