Sunday, July 1st
Made ten beds, heaved mattresses, put up camp and safari beds, pitched tent, obtained chairs and crockery. This took all morning without a stop. Resolved this my last eight, in future only newspaper correspondent for bed and breakfast! The boys, from Bryanston, arrived about 5 - three in my room, 4 in big room, 2 in tent, Mr Dingle, master in charge, a Cambridge blue and Lady Margaret Boat Club, in Hilary's room. Mr Dingle brought them all in a brake and had them in excellent order.
Monday, July 2nd
Felt a bit less exhausted. I got two dumb girls from 5w to help Nora with supper. They came in their best dresses, hoping to make contact with the Adonisses, but they went before the boys came back from tea! Nora gave them what she thought was a huge leg of lamb, but only the bone came out! I washed up afterwards and the boys dried. They row against St Edwards on Wednesday and my guess is they will be beaten.
Tuesday, July 3rd
Only four staff away this morning! Two back by lunch, so I decided to spend the afternoon at the flat to avoid Brigadier coming to inspect the Cadets. Somehow I felt past brigadiers! I got back in time to carve the tongue and see that the table was properly laid by the dumb chums who were helping out. Boys asked by Nora to walk in stockinged feet and last night were as quiet as mice.
Wednesday, July 4th
Bryanston beat St Edward's handsomely. Mary and I saw them from the Fawley boathouse. It was windy and most unpleasant, muggy, but cold in semi-gale.
Thursday, July 5th
Went to West Wycombe to give talk to American officers' wives at air base. When I got back I found Bryanston had beaten King's Canterbury, but tomorrow had to row against Eton - poor chaps. They were very cheerful. Anyway they will now stay to after breakfast on Sunday.
Friday, July 6th
Invigilated in morning as GCE 'O' was on during Regatta. Eton won by 1 1/3rd lengths.
Saturday, July 7th
For the first time for 22 years I saw the fireworks. Ioan asked me to go up the Mount with him and Marjorie. The place swarmed with cars parked everywhere and crawling in long queues. Everyone was making for the fair and the Berkshire bank, but when we toiled up the Mount we found only a handful of people.The display began punctually at 10.15 with a loud explosion and ended promptly at 10.45 with another. I love fireworks and it was a long time since I had seen any. I suppose I must have recollections of those at the White City when I was about 11 or 12. Coming home, I pointed a glow worm out to Wilk. She got down on all fours, stuck her behind in the air and with aid of an electric torch put her face about an inch from the ground to announce in a loud voice to some passers by 'They're copulating!"
Sunday, July 8th
The boys and Mr Dingle packed up and got off in their Bedford truck promptly at 11.0. They were taken to the fair last night but came back in good order at midnight with no excessive noise. Mr Dingle a good chap - what he says goes! We took £69 so when the bills are paid will be about £50 to divide. But think, though the money will be useful to pay for the car, it's my last eight!
Monday, July 9th
We began cleaning up the house. Grisly!.
Tuesday July 10th
Took the Sixth form, 16 available out of 26, to Osterly. It was very nice. Sat them down on the great steps (Cherry at the top against an ionic column) and gave them a second talk, following one at the school in the morning, on the magnificent and magnanimous men of the C18th. Then they went inside. Cherry and I walked round the circuit of the park and then had tea. As it was her birthday we each had a slice of iced cake! Left at 12.30, back at 5.30. A lovely trip.
Saturday, July 14th
A cold damp day. Phyllis came up, but she did not seem as tired by the Regatta as Nora. She had taken to the gin bottle while the crew were there, even so had fainted twice and almost given up. She has now started divorce proceedings. The papers had not been served on James, who was down today. He will get a nice surprize.
Monday, July 16th
The Sixth went to conference at St John's with Clem in charge [University Institute of Education, "Men against Society"]. I had intended to go over in the afternoon, but took Cherry out to tea instead as she seemed annoyed and fed up.
Tuesday, July 17th
Met Mary his evening with some raspberries and tinned milk. We talked about our difficult future. I pointed out that if this heart condition of mine got worse, I might be unable to take a new job, but able to keep ticking over at Henley. That raised the question of Nora's application for a job at Guildford. So far I had not told her about the diagnosis and wondered whether to before Guildford. Mary was disappointed naturally enough that we might not be able to do anything before 1959 ( if we survive)! Whichever way you look, it's a clotted problem!
Thursday, July 19th
End of term staff meeting lasted a little over an hour, which I thought good going. My queer sixth former, Rada Barnicott, is a nuisance. "Mum", who always informs me she is an Oxford graduate, wants the girl to do history, but in my opinion the girl herself is not really interested in history as a subject at all. This came out when I asked her to write an account of Osterly Park.
The long-awaited phone call from Hilary arrived tonight. He crossed today and gets 48 hours leave tomorrow evening. His gruff voice unmistakable on the telephone from Brentwood, where he said the barracks are poor, but they will not be there long if they are to sail at the end of August.
Friday, July 20th
Went over to tailor at teatime and noticed a flowered brocade waistcoat on the counter. A customer had ordered six! He was slightly batty. Asked if he was a bachelor, he said he was only 24 and son of an eminent surgeon. Young Walker! The son or Mr Walker, who took out my appendix at Dunedin.
On my return was met by Hilary in his best civilian suit. Was relieved to see he had kept it carefully. He has not stoutened or coarsened and his hair was not unduly cropped. He said he was glad to be home. We had a bottle of Bordeaux to celebrate.
Saturday, July 21st
Shopped with Hilary in the morning and saw the Saturday eccentrics. After lunch to Cherry, sat in her room till 3.30. The poor woman has no luck. A few weeks ago her sister had a baby. She heard this morning that she had to be taken to a mental hospital to have shock treatment.
Phyllis came to dinner. She was at her last gasp and liable to burst into tears if the little boys proved troublesome.
Sunday, July 22nd
Ioan came to lunch. He seemed rather down. He asked Hilary what he liked least in the army, dumb company, lack of privacy and so on. He replied "useless work because they must be kept employed and there was no useful work to be done. Tables scrubbed and then re-scrubbed because there was an indelible ink spot." He said he found the semi-literate rather amusing, which is more than I should.
Monday, July 23rd
Nora went after a part-time job at Guildford, which she got - two sessions on Thursdays and Fridays, not to begin however till a social worker has been appointed in the autumn.
Went to see Hartley. Said I might tick over for 10 or 15 years! Told me to go on with the pills and to come and see him in September.
Tuesday, July 24th
Went over to Mary. It was a very hot day and we could lie on the bed baked, which was very delightful. Told Mary she looked like a Renoir, as indeed she did!
Wednesday, July 25th
The Governors met to debate the report. As usual they were pretty fatuous. I had to explain to Pullein-Thompson your couldn't "set" maths with one teacher, but old Denham was very friendly and said some nice things. Tom Luker is a poor chairman on these occasions, he had not enough grip, and I thought he was pretty lukewarm considering what an excellent report it was, but you'll never get any come back from this lot, so why expect it!
After tea Mr MacCarthy, whom I had invited over to tea, let his hair down. He was married again to a wife of 30 and his two daughters did not like it, so he kept his new wife at Woodstock and maintains his house at Oxford so he can come hoe at weekends. Was it a mistake to have kept them at home after his wife died, would it have been better to send them to boarding schools. I was very touched that he should have confided in me at all.
Cherry came over later. Said her sister has some lucid intervals.
Friday, July 27th
The school broke up - but quietly, in fact it was the sedatest end of the summer term that I can remember!
Saturday, July 28th
While I was shopping I met Ioan. He remarked that he had never known anyone as little changed by the army as Hilary, he must be a very bad soldier!
Sunday, July 29th
Colonel Nasser, the Egyptian dictator, has declared the canal nationalized, apparently out of pique because, after repeated abuse, the U.S. and ourselves have refused to finance a high dam at Aswan. The Arabs are waiting with some curiosity to see what the west will do. The oil is the trouble.
Have just finished The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. First published in 1940, but I missed it then and never caught up with it since. Like Dombey & Son, it gets you down - all heat, sweat, mosquitoes, flies, beetles, bad teeth, offensive breath and SIN. How that man loves sin and the Devil - he is more of a devil worshipper than a Christian. Lent me by Cherry, who of course thinks it wonderful - the Christian novelist etc.
Thursday, Aug 2nd
"You will return immediately to barracks on receipt of this." Hilary is recalled. His 3rd Div, based on East Anglia, is to move to Cyprus at the weekend, but I suppose his battalion will hang about at Brentwood for a bit. Anyway Hong Kong will be off till this Suez business is over.
The Times more bellicose than the M/G. The latter says so far Nasser has not broken the law, but as he has closed the canal for some time to Israeli ships I should think this is doubtful. Anyway having got rid of the canal base he may think like Hitler that he can proceed "step by step" and get away with it. The U.S. is supposed to be advising caution. The French are rabid against Nasser, but have they the troops available if necessary?
Saturday, Aug 4th
Donald Heath looked in at 10 and stayed to 11.30 a.m. He reports a very high failure rate among finals students in medicine. Not impressed by Birmingham after Sheffield. Says no one knows anyone else. It is far too big and depersonalized, a gigantic sausage machine. He is disappointed that the students, who are after all a highly selected group, are such clock-watchers and have little interest in the subject itself. A man flew over from Turkey to give a lecture and only 14 people turned up, not a student among them. Think what a marvellous thing a college is compared with this redbrick mass university, how lucky undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge are.
No hard news today but much speculation. A conference is called in London for August 16th. An Anglo-French plan for the canal will be put forward. If Nasser does not attend or won't accept the plan, the French and ourselves will use force to occupy the canal. There does not seem to be any sign of division in the country or parliament. We have had enough of the Egyptians and are not going to wait until the U.S. moves. If we take military action, it is thought the Russians will support Egypt short of war, which is what the Americans will do on our side. It isn't thought likely they will do more, as no vital interest of theirs is involved..... It is said the American oil interests would not be sorry to see us pushed out of Arabia altogether.
The phone rang about 7.20. It was Hilary to say he sails for Cyprus next Friday. It is only a fortnight since he came back from Germany, now he's off to Middle East instead of China!
Sunday, August 5th
Hilary arrived on the 12.34, which I met as it was stormy and inclined to rain. We had a bottle of Beaujolais for lunch. In the afternoon I persuaded him to clean his bicycle, which was then hung up on a beam in the garage against his return from the Middle or Far east. After that he had a pre-embarkation bath.
Monday, August Bank Holiday
A day of heavy showers and thunderstorms. very dull, worked on tile table and letters in the morning, weeded in the afternoon. Nora plunged in gloom, hardly said anything all day till she was going to bed when she asked if I was worried about Hilary. Did I think there would be a war?
Rang up Cherry this morning, who has an R.A.F. pilot of some kind occupying the top flat. In the air force, she says, you look at things on a different scale. This chap has his washing done each week in Cyprus because it's cheaper than in Henley!
Tuesday, August 7th
We met Hilary at the N.B.L. for dinner. He turned up in civilian clothes hoping he would be able to pack them in his knapsack. His suitcase and big kit bag had gone. We went to see The Waltz of the Toreadors by Jean Anouilh. We had to make the eleven o'clock train from Paddington and I did not want an undignified farewell while running to catch the train. Fortunately we made it in time and he came with us on the tube. We said goodbye in front of the entrance to No. 5 platform. We shook hands. I said, "Well, keep the canal open!" and he replied, "Keep the school running" and walked across the lawn to the metro to Liverpool Street, down which he disappeared. He did not turn and wave. I was reminded of our parting at the stream half way between Long Dene and Penshurst station three years ago. The soldier parting for the crusades - 20th century version!
Wednesday, Aug 8th
Mary and I set off to see Guildford Cathedral. The nave had risen about 10ft since last year, the great blue carpet was down in front of the high altar, and the white and lovely interior surprized by joy after the stark planes of the exterior brickwork. We essayed the central tower, 150 steps to its present level, but easy going. I was able to do the climb it without any ill effect. Mary went ahead up the staircase and I was overcome with affection and insisted on kissing her frequently.
I did not get home to about 11.30 to find to my great surprize that Nora had returned from London. Hilary had been kept, which was hardly unexpected, and had arrived so late that she had given him up and missed him by 15 minutes. This had upset her very much. Partings and farewells are difficult anyway. Why make them worse by uncertainty and frustration.
Thursday, Aug 9th
An atmosphere of gloom prevailed. Nora says we are sabre rattling and must not do anything to lose the support of world opinion. A fat lot of good that has been to prevent Nasser stopping Israel's shipping. Hilary leaves barracks tonight at 3.30 a. m. and sails tomorrow on the troopship Dilwara.
Sunday, Aug 12th
This afternoon Nasser refused to attend the conference, said the canal was Egypt's affair, nothing was further from their minds than interfering with shipping, 200 ships had passed through the canal in the last fortnight, the conference was "collective colonialism.".... I think the idea of forcing a settlement in Egypt is becoming less attractive. We could not control the canal without controlling Egypt and it is doubtful if we could get the oil out of Arabia in face of Arab sabotage. The Observer says today that we should make it clear we are determined to create a real international authority, pay the dues into the international bank meantime, and say definitely our troops are only there to act if our own shipping is interfered with.
Monday, Aug 13th
Nora very gloomy, not a smile of any kind and speaks no more than is absolutely necessary, though as soon as the telephone rings she is all charm and chat!
Went down to see the Wilk this evening and was rather horrified she seemed so ill, temperature goes up at night and she has a beastly cough. Dr says it is a virus. Can't imagine how she is going to get through the next term, poor dear. Miss Hunter has got so bad she fell out of bed the other night and could not get back. The doctor has carted her off to Battle (what a name!) Hospital in Reading for a fortnight. Nora was trying to persuade her to buy a small house on Gravel Hill with a bathroom on ground floor, but it is not easy. Even when in good health she was a woman who could never make up her mind short of weeks of cogitation and afterthoughts.
Wednesday, Aug 15th
Mary and I started for Coombe with our tea. Driving home I told her that I had opened a letter to Hilary stating that on the a journey from Dieppe to Newhaven on July 30th he said he had lost his ticket. I had first imagined that some one else had given his name. Would he refund the money? It suddenly dawned on me that he might have skipped over to Dieppe to meet Micheline from Paris. Mary agreed. She pointed out that with passports it would be difficult to use anyone else's name, that it was like Hilary to loose his ticket, that he was short of money, that it would be possible to make the journey in 48 hours from Brentwood and lastly, with much laughter, that if had "a clandestine" his father was in no position to criticize him!
Saturday, Aug 18th
Picked up Mary in the Bath road at 2.30 and we started off for our holiday. We reached Farringdon for tea and went to The Fleece at Cirencester for the night.
Sunday, Aug 19th
We had a nicely served breakfast and then left for the Manor House Hotel, Longhope. At about 3 we went back up the road to Holly Bush. We sat chatting in the sitting room and then went out to see the farm - the pigs, the garden, the poultry, the Muscovy drake's trick of catching little bits of cake, demonstrated, of course, buy Ruth, who called him Mr Gregory. We had a very nice tea and left about 4.30. It all seemed to go off very well.
To The Swan at Hay. We were shown into a dark, gloomy badly lit and scruffy bedroom with a double bed which faced the road. We went out for a stroll after a rather nasty cold supper. No one was about, the place seemed completely deserted, so we went to bed. Then the trouble started. About 11 the charas returned and unloaded the inhabitants outside (they had been to England, where the pubs were open on Sundays!), more and more motorbikes arrived, revved up and tore up and down the road. As the night wore on, the traffic seemed to get heavier and heavier. Downstairs there was a clock which chimed every quarter. Finally in the early hours the cats started up opposite. The bed was unsatisfactory, it sloped inwards and the pillows were impossibly hard. One of our dreaded hotel nights
Monday, Aug 20th
As soon as Mary awoke, "I am not staying here" I said. We had booked for 10 days, but I did not care. Mary, bless her, got busy with the AA handbook and suggested Clyro or Glastonbury on Wye. At Clyro they advised us to see the Maesllych Arms, Glastonbury. Here we were shown a room with twin beds, light and pleasant, guaranteed quiet with only farm noises, at 9 1/2 guineas. We accepted joyfully. Later Mary discovered that her pink nightdress was missing and we went back to The Swan, but Madame denied all knowledge of it and we were convinced the chamber maid had pinched it. After supper I rang up Molly three times to give her our new address because we had left envelopes with The Swan for forwarding on Mary's mother's letters. It was a slow business through a very rural exchange. Altogether it was a rather difficult day. Mary was upset and wept much when we lay together.
Tuesday, Aug 21st
We drove to Snodhill Castle, the scene of the Midsummer Picinic in Kilvert's Diary for 1870. Mary had begun to read him with great interest and amusement. The to Abbey Dore. Here we had lunch by the stream. It was a dull day, but it did not rain. We looked in the Abbey, then drove to Capel-y-ffin, looked in the church and then went up to the monastery where we had a very good tea, more than we needed, in the refectory. We came back by Abergevenny and Talgarth and reached the hotel about 7.10
Wednesday, Aug 22nd
We both had a good night's sleep and felt much better. Followed the road to Capel-y-ffin from Hay climbing up the side of the Cusop dingle and branching right at the New Forest Farm. The original rough track had been recently mettled right through to the Honddhu valley. The surface was good but it was only wide enough for one car most of the way and rose very steeply. The car struggled on valiantly and fortunately we met nothing. At 1500ft we reached a wide and grassy shelf with many sheep below the Hay Bluff. The car was boiling merrily, so we stopped. I tried one of Hartley's brown pills and then we started to climb up to the top of the ridge by the by a sloping, grassy track. When we reached the top it turned out to be a wide plateau. We had an easy walk along the edge until we reached a point overlooking the Gospel Pass. Here we had lunch. We walked back along the ridge to the top of Hay Bluff, 2219ft. I was jolly pleased to have made it, though I did not notice the brown pills had much effect. We came down in second or first gear most of the way for I doubted, if we met anything coming up, the brakes would stop us. We did meet a car coming up but mercifully the brakes did just hold and the other car managed to drive up on a slight verge and we edged past.
Thursday, Aug 23rd
Not a very good day so went on an architectural expedition, Bredwardine, Madley, Kilpeck; Grosmint, Skenfirth, castle and church.
Friday Aug 24th
Up to Clyro Hill, a lovely view, the Black Mountains; Brecon Beacons, the Malverns, May Hill, the Cotswolds. To Glascwm, a charming situation in a deep saucer surrounded by green and purple hills. Lunch by the side of the road, no traffic of any sort while we sat there! To Newchurch, the blue spire and the lonely tree as Kilvert described them - and Emmeline's grave, but who was Emmeline?
Before we went to bed bed bathed a deux with much laughter, a thing we hadn't done since 1952.
Satuday, Aug 25th
Mary very frustrated because she wanted to go to the Severn Wild Fowl Trust at Slimbridge. It was 175 miles, too far from here. Her frustration turned to anger and she said I did not want to go because I had seen it; if we did go and it rained I would say it was her fault! However by evening she had seen that it was a very long drive and agreed it was too far. To Crickhowell by Pont Newydd by the valley road to the reservoir. Up the track to the farm below the church. As we approached we heard a piano playing - it was a delightful surprize. Another mountain encircled coombe. The rain came down in sheets so we had to give up and drive home.
Sunday, Aug 26th
Stayed in the hotel all morning, read Sunday newspaper. After lunch to Mornington on Wye. A derelict church to which we walked across the garden of Mornington Court, a C16th farm house. While we were having supper, The mother of Mrs Derick's two maids came in to say she was worried because they were out with boys. Mrs D told us the last one she had, had two miscarriqages than had to marry. All to Mary as woman to woman. We liked Mrs D. She was highly coloured and always wore corduroy trousers, but she was extremely competent and a good cook.
Monday, Aug 27th
A wet, sunless, cold day. We started on Hereford Cathedral, but had to abandon till after lunch when Mary sighted some subscribers.
Tuesday, Aug 28th
To Clyro and Glascym - our best day so far in this dull, wet and cold August. We left the car above Glascwm and walked up through the heather on the hill. We had lunch in a sheltered grass patch in the heather and watched the sheep butting. Nine hours in the open air, wind and sun. At night we had our first sunset and the river ran gold beneath the early stars.
Wednesday, Aug 29th
To the Clyro potters and bought a cup and jug. After lunch we climbed up to Mynydd Lysian, 2173ft, but it began to rain and we had to turn back. Mary was seized with a desire to have communion with the with the mountains and rolled in the heather. This climb was one of the high spots of our 1956 holiday and at night we had a tremendous climax
Thursday, Aug 30th
We reached Molly at 12 for lunch. We had brought a bottle of claret and she had come back from Exton with lobsters! Jolly good. Took Mary to Gloucester with two dozen eggs and a bag of plums, then back to Holly Bush. She wept when we parted. We had had such a successful and lovely holiday in England for the first time since Kent in 1948 - and that was only four days!
Friday, Aug 31st
Reached Berkely Castle for lunch. It had only recently been opened and everything had been done to make a good job of it. A keep and domestic building round inner Bailey. Not spacious but good good pictures, furniture and a magnificent C14th hall with lovely wooden screen. All through, excellent medieval woodwork, never seen better.
Saturday, Sept 1st
Bitterly cold N.E. wind. August the coolest since 1924.
Monday, Sept 3rd
Home, 86 miles. Called in at Hatford and found some small white cyclamen flowering in the grass by Grandfather's grave. I guess they must have been brought by Uncle from the churchyard at Shillingford.
Sunday, Sept 9th
Two letters from Hilary. He is in a wire perimeter near Nicosia living under very uncomfortable conditions, eating sitting on the ground. They are being employed in "security", but he says the Cypriot police know beforehand which houses they are going to search and the inhabitants usually already have the door open! There is no NAAFI, but they have a char wallah who has made tea for British troops for years and has fetched up here in Cyprus from Pakistan.
We were listening to the news when Phyllis rang up and Nora had to go down and see her. She has had a great row with James and has failed to get legal aid for a divorce.
Nasser has rejected entirely the 12-nation plan. Parliament is summoned for Wednesday, so we shall hear shortly what the government intends to do.
Tuesday, Sept 11th
Second day of term. Got on rather well for new school year, fewer urgent problems than usual. Cherry seemed pretty ghastly, chalk-like, smoking hard, with a nervous gesture of the hand across the mouth. Oh dear! Oh my!
Suez building up to crisis. Heard today the company has told pilots they can go at the end of the week.
Wednesday, Sept 12th
Nora went over to Cambridge. Mary came over to tea and stayed the night. Today the great debate on Suez, an occasion! Eden surprised the opposition by telling the house that France, America and ourselves have formed a canal users' association and are going to send ships through the canal without pilots. This seems to be the equivalent of daring Nasser to stop us. The opposition very against the government because they won't rule out the use of force and promise only to act through the U.N.
Saturday, Sept 15th
Nora very critical of government along M/G lines. When I said her livelihood was at stake, she said her son's life was at stake. Obviouly sees Hilary killed in Egyptian war.
Took Cherry out to lunch. She had taken so much dope that she couldn't keep awake or understand what I said half the time. A bright prospect with term one week under weigh. She said she couldn't bear seeing me everyday and ought to get another job. Assured me she would not have another break down as last autumn, but shouldn't be surprized if she goes on at this rate. Her sister, poor wretch, is no better and is still having shock treatment and being put into insulin comas.
Sunday, Sept 16th
The Americans have said they will provide oil to supplement a) what we get through the Syrian pipeline and b) what we can have round the Cape. the plan seems to be to let him stew in his own juice while we go ahead with the lengthy (and probably otiose) job of appealing to the Security Council....
Mary C rang up tonight to say she wouldn't be coming to school tomorrow. Don't wonder, poor dear,in the state she is in.
Monday, Sept 17th
Cherry rang about 6.30 to ask me to go down as "the professionals", i.e. doctors, were unobtainable. She was sitting in a kind of daze in front of the gas fire and seemed hardly able to speak. She said she had sat there all day and done absolutely nothing, she was so depressed. Said she would commit suicide if it wasn't so much trouble to arrange!
Tuesday, Sept 18th
Cherry came back to school and seemed better
Friday, Sept 21st
A letter from Hilary. He is rather more comfortable. They have a marquee and tables to eat off. The camp is in a sandy plain which he believes will flood in the rains. They drive over the mountains to the north [to Kyrenia] to bathe. Harding has inspected them. He refused to go on church parade and nearly got into trouble. The paratroopers are next to them and the French some distance the other side.
Sunday, Sept 23rd
I lent the field to a meet of archers. Masses of cars turned up and by 2 o'clock the air was full of the impact of arrows on butts. As we looked from the top of the hill, the flights momentarily caught the sun and left glistening streaks. Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt.
Phyllis brought the boys up. She likes to be in everything. Nora said last night she uses her as if she were a basin to be sick in; pours out all her troubles and then leaves her till the next vomit!
Monday, Sept 24th
Nora had a letter from Hilary. He had been on guard at the prison where three Cypriot terrorists were hanged. He said it was ghastly, the tension terrific. Four of his lot, but not himself, had had to dig the graves.
Saturday, Sept 29th
I set off for Winchester for a reconnaissance, but it was not one of my better days. I got to Reading in good time for the 9.10, but wondered why it was late. Then I realized I was waiting for it on the main platform and it had already gone from the bay - a confusion of platform 1 and platform 4.This cost me a wait of an hour and a half. However I got the trip with the Sixth screwed down, which is something.
Nora tested Johnnie while I was away and found he was hardly grammar school level - rather a blow to Phyllis.
Sunday, Sept 30th
Went over to school this morning and found Hilary's Latin result had arrived. He has passed - hurrah - so pleased, thought this would make it easier to decide what to do next.