(There is an Index of names at end of this post)
Jan 1st - More snow had fallen in the night and it was still freezing.
The snow around the school was about a foot deep..
had a nice letter from Hilary to say Lise was expecting a baby at the
end of July. Wrote back to say I would keep my diary with added zest. My
descendants did not know what was coming to them either in weight on
Jan 2nd - Still freezing but some sun in the morning on the snow. A
letter from Nora. Our grandchild was not planned. Lise came back from
the doctor and greeted Hilary with “Hallo Daddy” whereupon he burst into
roars of laughter.
Wednesday, Jan 3rd - Beastly cold fog on the snow. Birmingham had coldest since records kept.
Jan 6th - The thaw continued to-day and it was quite muggy. Michael
Collard narrowly missed an attempted bank robbery in his cousin’s
village of Banwell where a bank guard was murdered. The murderer was
knocked on the head by a shopkeeper and left lying in the gutter til the
police arrived, where it was surrounded by a crowd of hostile natives
uttering blood curdling threats. Michael retreated to the public house
to watch further proceedings from the bar parlour. You would think you
would be safe in Banwell.
Jan 8th - The main roads are now clear. I drove Mary to Oxford and then
went round the bookshops. I wanted a Loeb Odyssey, a Latin Psalter and a
Greek Testament and the Apology. Found them all. After a visit to the
Minoan room at the Ashmolean my legs gave out and I was glad to stagger
back through the Lamb & Flag to my car outside the college and drove
home to tea. I lovely day, I did enjoy myself.
Jan 11th - Train late in Reading. Met by Kay and reached school about
12. Cyril I have not seen for a year and looking better and grown much
fatter. Kay looks thin and worn out. When Kay is in spate he makes no
effort to compete so only thing is to get him on his own, which is not
easy to arrange.
Jan 13th - Oxford for lunch with Nora. Talked about Molly and Hilary,
the grandchild, which Nora hopes is a girl. Would I share a pram? This
meeting threw Mary into gloom both after and before. Nora said she is
going to join the Quakers and apparently Lise has been attending the
meeting in Bolton.
Monday, Jan 15th - Reading Alex Comfort’s Rape of Andromeda. One has, he says, to be extraordinarily lucky in our society to meet one nymphomaniac in a lifetime!!
Jan 15th - Drove Mary into Oxford and met Joan King, H.G.S. sixth form
1949-51 for lunch. Back from teaching occupational therapy in Buenos
Ayres. Remembers one thing I told them in the sixth form. ‘If you want
to marry a black man, go to Brazil.’ But has not been to Rio yet. Thinks
perhaps a beef king might do instead.
Jan 18th - To London to take Mary to see Elgin Marbles at B.M. Saw
some Greek pottery as well. Mary went shopping in Regent St while I
visited exhibition of pictures from provincial galleries at Burlington
House. By taxi to V & A, Mary to look at silver, self to Raphael
cartoons, then dug out Arthur Lane, who gave us tea in the café.
Jan 19th - Left watch* in Cheltenham for report by makers. Now going
for 40 years. If I could leave it as an accurate and going concern to
Hilary I would be prepared to send a bit of money on it.
[*A gold watch, retirement gift to John Barnes, Diarist’s father, in 1920]
Jan 21st - Miss Birch lent out of the widow to whisper that Pymonie had
been taken to the Radcliffe, Oxford, late last night with a perforated
ulcer. Last night she collapsed with diarrhoea and vomiting. Jeremy and
his friend Nick called Miss Birch at 10, Dr King was summoned, sent for
blood plasma and the ambulance and packed her off to Oxford at 60
m.p.h. with Miss Birch holding the transfusion apparatus. Miss B in bed
at 3 a.m. Jeremy has now got to run things, but her last act was to
give all her money to Miss B.
Jan 23rd - Never a dull moment! A policeman arrived with a warrant for
Jeremy’s arrest for non- payment of a £10 fine. He said he had paid and
managed to get him tol go away.
Jan 24th - Our haystack anniversary . Took Mary to lunch at Manor
House, Moreton. Chipping Camden for tea. A lovely bedding.
Saturday, Jan 27th - Letter from Hilary to say Lise had been in bed with bronchitis the smog in Bolton had been so bad.
Jan 29th - The rector arrived this afternoon to consult Miss Birch. Mrs
M had told him she was not a member of his flock when he visited her,
but he insisted on blessing her. She giggled and motioned him to go
away. He was puzzled. He said people usually thanked him.
Feb 3rd - Drove to Fairford where had lunch at the Bull, last visited
in 1950. On the way stopped at Quennington, which for some reason we had
not visited before, to see two superb Norman doorways. Looked at the
windows, which made an unforgettable impression on me when I first saw
them in 1915 or 16.
Cirencester went to Roman Museum with some good tesselated pavements.
Otherwise this Romano-British stuff is so clumsy and low grade after the
Greek that you feel you can hardly bear to look at it.
Finished reading aloud Meade Falkner’s Nebuly Coat to Mary. In Burford we saw the Nebuly Coat itself in the church in the window given by him in the Lady Chapel.
Feb 5th - Pymonie must be getting better. Jeremy told me his mother
wished me to take the two top groups together to relieve Malcolm. Was
not prepared to do this. It naturally riles me that though I was H.M. of
a school for 22 years Pymonie will not give me any discretion in this
Feb 6th - Miss Birch was asked ino Oxford that she might buy
handkerchiefs for the nurses and pantaloons for Jeremy’s offspring. When
she arrived staggering with fatigue her ghastly employer greeted her
with ‘Hallo, Molly. How well you look’ - a calculated piece of bitchery.
Feb 9th - Wish my pension was more than £480. I would retire to-morrow.
In the top group I have James B, an illiterate with bad eyesight,
Richard C, soft and getting more jumpy weekly, Kathleen, who lives in a
kind of dream and takes in very little; in the next group James H very
poor ability, Beechey ditto with appaling speech and rude and surly to a
degree, Anne B, poor ability and like Kathleen not often there at all,
Christopher O, barmy, mutters and talks to himself. These six are really
from a teaching point of view a dead loss..
Monday, Feb 12th - Birthday and good mail. Nothing from Hilary.
Wednesday, Feb 14th - Hilary’s present, Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, arrived.
Feb 20th - Dr Robinson’s car was standing outside the ironmonger’s at
Stow. As I passed it heard he wireless inside broadcasting something
about the space flight, so I knew a launching had taken place. The six
o’clock news said Commander Glenn was in orbit and a commentary would be
relayed on the third programme. After seven I listened in to the
re-entry and the recovery of the space ship and the pilot by a destroyer
in the Atlantic. The whole thing was lifted onto the deck of the
destroyer with Glenn inside it and he had signalled that his condition
was excellent. It was most exciting. He did three orbits in just under
five hours, taking 88 minutes to circuit the earth. In returning he had
to drop from a speed of 17,500 m.p.h. to float down at 20!
March 1st. Our 1940 anniversary. Not really a very good day. The
natives are getting bored with all this reading. The seniors have to
read while I teach the junior group, who try to distract the seniors and
vice versa. Hard not to get angry and feel why do I bother to struggle
with these sods.
March 8th - Trouble taking the two groups together for an hour and a
half. Came back at six o’clock absolutely fed up to the teeth with this
job and cursing and blasting Mrs Moeran.
on smoking and lung and heart disease by Royal College of Physicians.
Feel ahead of my time, for I was trying to educate my fifth and sixth
formers on this in 1952! I wonder how many remember that and how
effective it was.
March 12th - A former conservative minister of supply came out in the
defence debate last week in favour of giving up the nuclear deterrent.
He said he did not believe it made one iota of difference. it did not
frighten the Russians and it made relations with the USA difficult
because we expected to be treated as a favoured nation viz a vis the
French and Germans. If we are against a NATO deterrent we should be
against our own deterrent. It was a case of increasing our influence by
giving up a privileged position. It was a quite useless asset. A relic
of the days of Churchill and keeping up with the Roosevelts.
March 18th - Asked Jeremy to-day how his mother was. To my amusement he
replied, ‘Much like her old self.’ It appeared so later when I heard
she had borrowed £30 from Miss Birch and was proposing to put a staff
applicant with a wife and small baby into the Jenkins cottage with no
March 22nd - Pymonie is indeed her old self. Miss Birch reports temper
appaling, everything wrong - food, clothes, children, cleaners,
Saturday, March 28th - I got my wristwatch back. It was, they told me, in effect a new watch for £7 7s.
March 30th - The end of term at last, thank God. Can’t go on like this.
Reported the art man has accepted job in village, which is to have
water put in but no W.C., sanitation by Elsan. Now because he kept her
waiting Pymonie ‘does not know if she’ll have him’, barmy as the
April 1st - started out at 10.30. Reached the Bear, Chippenham, for
lunch. To Steeple Aston. Fine grey exterior well set with vigorous
carving. East end disfigured by dreadful window of 1868. Next Edington,
well rewarded. A very lovely church. Tea with the Brownes. While Mary
was being shown the garden by old Browne, Mrs said spontaneously to me,
‘Isn’t she lovely!’. Stayed at guest house in Shaftesbury.
Monday, April 2nd - Shaftesbury a hill town with a lower town besides. After lunch Blandford, terribly crowded.
April 3rd - Sherborne. Nice town. Shouldn’t mind living there. A very
attractive house in a side street for which they wanted £5,000! Saw over
a converted cottage on way to Piddletrenthide. Puddleton was unrestored
with C15 and C17 pews. Charminster, on to Cerne Abbas. Very comfortable
Cocker’s Guest House.
April 4th - Dorchester, Weymouth, on to Portland to see a Georgian
Church of 1777, said to be a perfect period piece, but gale blowing and
rain lashing. Portland looked only fit for convicts.
Thursday, April 5th - Wet, cold, blowing hard. Dorchester for lunch, tea at Beaminster which was disappointing town.
April 6th - Lunch at Laycock for which we charged 19s. Tea at
Cirencester. Home at 6. Total trip 474 miles. Cost £20 10s;
April 7th - On going through mail found a letter from Hilary written a
week before from hospital where he had been taken with a suspected
kidney stone. This a letter from Nora to say that obstruction had
floated off and all was well.
went to Oxford to Mary’s parent to see the Boat Race on television. We
were also let in for an hour’s circus, which I hate. On the Grecian urn
of the television screen the crews rowed and rowed but always seemed to
stay in much the same place. Cambridge won easily. Where I find it
preferable to the broadcast was there was not so much comment and
April 10th - Not encouraged by our search for a cottage by our
experience in Dorset. Left to myself I would probably live in a village
and possibly quite a small one. Mary thinking of old age, which after
all one might never reach, would prefer a town.
Thursday, April 12th - To the reference library at Bristol to look at Anand, Kamakala, photographs of Indian Goticart. “The
union of male and female bodies thus became the symbol from the
earliest times for all forces, and the pleasure of the body in mating
became, under accepted religious and social forms, linked with the
sanctity of procreation and an end in itself. The concept of original
sin and sexual secretiveness never formed any part of the intense phases
of Indian culture.”
person in the beginning was of such a sort as man and woman closely
embraced. He desired a second. He caused that spiritual self of his to
fall atwain. Thence came into being husband and wife. He had
iunrercourse with her. Thence were human beings engendered.”
woman is the fire, her womb the fuel, the invitation of a man the
smoke. The door is the flame, the entering the ember, the pleasure the
Mary at Chipping Norton at 9.0. She was in one of her moods so decided
it was no good spending all day in a car getting on one another’s nerves
driving to N. Wales. We should both be miserable. This poorly thought
of by Mary. It was not her decision and so on. But why drive hundreds of
miles and share a bedroom and not enjoy yourselves.
April 15th - Lunch at Holly Bush. Walk round farm. Daffodils all out,
no buds and very few in many cases. What an awful spring, grass hardly
growing and cows all in, hay exhausted. Even potatoes are running out
and greens are a fancy price.
Weighed myself. 9 stone 10 lbs.
April 17th - Mary went home till to-morrow. Took opportunity for a
church crawl in N. Wilts; Wanborough, Winterbourne Basset, Clyffe
Pypard, Purton, Oaksey, Credwell.
April 18th - Totted up the number of churches visited from Betjeman.
Had nearly done another 100 since 1958. Total now 354 (Glos 58, Oxon 52,
Berks 33, Devon 32 four highest).
April 21st - Mr and Mrs Meara and twins came to tea. Mary and Winnie
had not met for 15 years and retired to the bedroom for a feminine
exchange of experiences, leaving me and Mr M to wait for tea. Mr M was a
dried up civil servant with a fearful cold and little to say. The boys,
15, at Merchant Taylors, were charming and full of adolescent
enthusiasm for churches so we got on very well indeed. Mary horrified by
Winnie’s appearance, due to nursing a diabetic father till he
mercifully died at 85, and Gwynne’s due to the life of a commuter on
London Transport with his father in law sucking the life out of his wife
Monday - Since we were free I would like to have made an early start
for Wales. However there was washing and Sunday’s food to consume!
Extracting Mary from Adlestrop is like trying to get a limpet off a
rock. In the end started after an early lunch - 137 miles to Aberystwyth
in time for dinner at a hotel on the Promenade.
an odd place, all slate and black rock. At one end was the inky black
ruin of a castle like a decayed set of teeth. The sun set in the sea as
we came down from the mountains we saw it turn to gold, a sight I had
not seen since the 1930s on the North Cornish coast in those magical
days before Hitler’s war.
April 24th - We set off North. Dolgelly to Beddgelert and by a mountain
stream in a cliff pass where there were a lot of people picnicking. I
suddenly realized this was the famous Aberglaslyn gorge. Reached
Caernarvon about six and after some delay found a guest house. Drove by
the Menai bridge to Beaumaris and had an expensive dinner. The view of
the straits and the mountains was worth it.
April 25th - Drove to Llanberis. At the Snowdon railway they were
waiting to get 230 people for the train to run. We decided to drive on.
When we reached the head of the pass we parked the car and walked up the
track to Llyn Lydaw. Hardly anyone about. The great corrie to the south
lay in shadow, the mountain peak magnificent in the shadow. Started for
Bodnant Gardens near Conway. The gardens were first class.
tea we went to Llandudno, then back along the coast road to Caernarvon
for dinner at the guest house. We drove down to the quay and walked
along beside the strait. The tide was out and the sunset turned the
shore and the water to all the colours of the spectrum. From each seat
below the town wall was occupied by young lovers and though we were no
longer young we sauntered with arms linked and an occasional kiss - very
happy at a day so full of such varied beauty.
April 26th - Up Snowdon by the 11 o’clock. This was a great mistake.
The mountain was in cloud. Mary hated it. Had our lunch in the pass.
While we were there we watched three men climbing the cliffs to Glyhder
Fawr. Mary was very thrilled. Stopped at Bettys to see Swallow Falls.
They were very fine. Bed and breakfast at Shrewsbury.
April 27th - Home James! Lunch at Ludlow, to Burford. The rectory and
tennis court as in 1920. When I came out of the church Mary had found
the McLaughlin grave - Father, Mother aged 90, Rosemary who died of an
accident. The carpenter working on the altar rails remembered Martin as a
little boy and said how much he liked him. Two years ago he had been at
Burford ‘sleeping rough’. As we were leaving we met the vicar’s wife, a
hard faced woman who told us old Mr McL. left behind a lot of bottles!
and that Rosemary was killed by her nightdress catching fire. Forty
years on indeed. Mileage 568. Cost (including petrol) £15 18S 6d.
April 29th - Michael to lunch before his departure. Pymonie has now got
a school “organization adviser” to draw up a comprehensive timetable
for lessons, supervision and domestic work. This has angered all the
domestics who threaten to leave.
April 30th - New ‘adviser’ left children unsupervised in dormitories
while staff have ‘late supper’. Result pandemonium. Pymonie issues
screaming blue murder and looks like having another collapse.
May 1st - Indicate to Pymonie that I am pretty browned off with last
term. Says the lease falls to be renewed in a year’s time and she may
decide to give up the school. Think I had better give it up first!
May 13th - The educational adviser and Pymonie have had a row. He tells
her she is lucky to keep any staff, then departs at earliest possible
Wednesday, May 16th - Mary off to see her aunt at Looe. She is to stay away 8 days.
May 23rd - Drove over to Chipping Norton to get some flowers to cheer
up the house for Mary, but only managed to find some Spanish irises. Got
some Solomon’s Seal and white bluebells from the water garden. Very
excited at meeting Mary at Kingham. Drove up just as the 9.8 train got
in 3 minutes early. After Mary had told me all about the trials of Aunt
Dorothy. She had a bath. I helped soap her. We have not been apart as
long as eight days since our marriage four years ago. It was like a
May 24th - Mary said her aunt had how much more relaxed and happy she
seemed to be. What was I like? She replied that I was very gentle and
kind, very highbrow, but still I loved simple things like the
countryside and making fires!
To Stratford to see Measure for Measure.
The Duke, upon whom far more depends than Angelo, was a young actor
with a lovely deep voice and clear articulation. They had an excellent
Pompey, much like Len Hayes for his repetitiveness and inability to keep
to the point, and an Elbow with a spoon shaped nose like Mr Wick’s in
Stow. Angelo was done by a flat faced and repulsive Marius Goring.
May 25th - This afternoon we listened to the consecration of the new
Coventry Cathedral in the presence of the Queen and the Archbishop. In
1950 Sir Basil Spence visited the site and within 24 hours completed the
first plan. Twelve years later the final one is very like it. When you
first enter it the nave windows cannot be seen, only as you move forward
do they reveal themselves, green, red, many coloured, purple - youth,
passion, middle life, old age, and the golden glass of the altar oair,
life eternal. The church is intended to open out like a flower revealing
beauty, depth and richness.
Cathedral looks back to the social unity and dedicated service to
England in the war and forward to Christian reunion and the conciliation
of classes in the future. Its fleche rises over the wealthy materialist
society of the midland motor car industry to witness the non-material
values of christianity. We must leave the verdict to the future.
May 28th - Went over to Bourton to look at bungalows and give our name
to the agents. Found however at supper that Mary did not consider Oxford
accessible from Bourton and was rather exasperated. Why waste time on
Winchcombe and Bourton if Oxford not accessible? Trying to get away from
this place is like wading through glue.
Tipsy man in police court: ‘What have you got me here for?’ ‘ Drinking’. ‘When do we start?’
May 30th - Looked at a house at Nether Westcote with views across
Evenlode valley but certainly well christened Windy Ridge. Fell for the
said I was so fearfully impulsive and without any encouragement would
buy. Told her she always acted as a brake on action and pointed out all
the drawbacks but I loved her more than ever!
Saturday, June 2nd - Took Mary up to see Windy Ridge. That evening decided to pay a deposit on the house.
June 6th - I thought I would have a bath after Mary, so when she got
out I got in! It was not excessively hot. I dried myself, cleaned the
bath, and then went in and sat on Mary’s bed. Gradually I began to feel
very ill and went into my own room and lay down. It seemed that someone
was gradually choking me while someone else tightened a vice round my
chest. I took a brown pill and two soda mints. Usually these
constrictions stop if you cease doing what what has started them off,
like walking uphill, but these seemed to be getting worse. Finally I
called for Mary and told her what I felt like. She put on her clothes
and went down to the village to the telephone kiosk and rang up Dr King,
who came down in about a quarter of an hour. By that time I had taken
another brown pill and the pain seemed to be easing off. He decided to
give me a morphia injection, sounded my heart, took my pulse and said I
would be all right.
June 7th - Doctor came over in the afternoon. Said I could get up
tomorrow, but not back to school till after the weekend when he would
come to see me again. Feel jolly lucky this did not happen when Mary was
away. I would not have made it to the telephone or even reached Miss
Birch. Perhaps like the man in Pilgrim’s Progress I have received a warning.
Monday, June 11th - Dr King came in with his peculiar boxer-whippet
mongrel bitch. I asked him whether I should live in a bungalow or a
house. He said decidedly bungalow. After he left I suggested we might
build a bungalow at Nether Westcote. Mary said it was too cold and too
isolated. She did not want ‘to live in a field’ even there was view. I
called off the purchase of Windy Ridge.
June 13th - I taught in morning, cuffed James H and threw him out.
Psychologically satisfying and physiologically dangerous. I don’t think I
can go on here long, poor indeed though I shall be if we leave on £12 a
week. I grow to dislike Pymonie and her bad temper and arrogance more
and more. She has no better idea of dealing with adults than an ourang
outang and her treatment of Miss Birch is disgraceful.
Saturday, June 16th - Reading Times today when I saw a paragraph “Climber killed in Cairngorms”. It was Con’s friend Allan.
June 25th - Letter from Nora enclosing letter from Con to Hilary. ‘He
had reached the summit and they all had a view of incomparable beauty.
“This is another world,” he said. His face was peaceful and seemed to
smile.’ Felix opportunate mortis!
June 27th - Mary went to Oxford. I had just finished lunch when Molly
knocked on the door. We went up to Westcote and had a look at the
building plots. Hope we don’t suffer too much from the aerodrome. Still I
expect we shall get used to it - like trains. Molly left after tea and
I went up to The Talbot and bid for the plot. It went to £350 and I got
it for £375. Felt very excited that we have somewhere at last and for
the first time to possess a piece of England’s green and pleasant land
looking over a Gloucestershire valley.
June 28th - Not for long was I happy and excited. Mary came back from
Oxford in one of her most difficult moods. Said she had not realized I
was going to bid. She thought we were still going to wait and see if
something turned up. I said we had discussed it all. ‘All I cared for
was a view. What she wanted was warmth, comfort and a garden’.
July 10th - To Moreton to see ‘specialist’ who turned out to be a G.P.
who worked the electrocardiograph. This was clearly a new toy. While we
were waiting for him Dr King read the book of instructions and fitted
the leads together. The strip is be sent to Dr Buzzard in Oxford who
will notify Dr King of his findings.
this we called at a firm of architects with the curiously opposed names
of Pyle and Saint. We saw neither Mr Pyle nor Mr Saint but a very alert
and knowledgeable young man called Hardman, who impressed me
favourably. I think we should employ them rather than the sporting gent
we saw yesterday who seemed I thought too eager to get the job. Mr H
said building a house should be fun. Hear! Hear!
July 11th - The lowest rung of the educational ladder! Michael made
some remark Christopher O did not like, so he flung his books in the air
and ran screaming out of the room up to the first floor lavatory where
he howled like a dervish.
had not been to Little Risington church for 40 years. The only change,
significant enough, was an R.A.F. wargrave cemetery for those lost from
this aerodrome on the ridge above us. Battle of Britain pilots of 1940
down to the toll of accidents in the 1950s and two graves still covered
with dried up wreathes and bedraggled cards side by side - a continuing
toll of young men in their twenties.
told Mary I intended to see Mr Hardman to-morrow and ask him to prepare
sketch plans. This set off another argument. We had agreed that we
would like a small town near shops (Yes, but we had been looking for a
year). It would be isolated. I would be bored. It was too windy; There
were the aeroplanes.To whch I replied why leave it till now. It’s too
late. You should have said all this before I bought the plot. It was a
good site. I would be happy there if she would make the best of it.
Wednesday, July 18th - Mary getting on quite well with her driving lessons. Can now manage most of the simple gear changes.
a life of Curzon by Leonard Mosley - very good. He believed in marrying
for money. A tragi-comic figure - foreign secretary one minute,
engaging house maids and going through weekly household accounts next.
The last of the hereditary aristocratic figures, predestined rulers of
Britain and her Empire, he saw the supreme ambition in life denied him
and the egregious Baldwin become prime minister - to our ultimate cost
and near ruin.
July 22nd - Russians are saying they are going on testing. Looks as if
both sides are discovering or have already discovered an anti missile
missile. We shall soon have to make our minds between two choices - de
Gaulle’s that all sovereign states should try to ensure their defence
unaided by trying to develop nuclear weapons as long as others have
them, like ourselves; and Kennedy’s that no power is any longer self
sufficient in defence and that Europe and America could achieve a new
interdependence but this can only be achieved by a military executive
control of the nuclear power. The advantage to us all to restrict the
possession of these weapons would be enormous.
July 28th - Woodward* arrived at 11.15 at Kingham, neatly attired in
soft hat and umbrella. I took him to Bledington, which he did not know
and liked, then to Stow, to Oddington old church and to the cottage to
see Adlestrop. He talked away at lunch very interestingly about Oxford
worthies, Greece, his experiences in the first war and made a very
charming guest. Was delighted to be able to acknowledge a little the
debt I owed him as an undergraduiate at Oxford.
*E. L. Woodward, Professor of History, diarist’s tutor at Keble College, Oxford
July 30th - Went up to Dr King to hear Dr Buzzard’s report. Dr King as
usual very uncommunicative. They don’t think it is thrombosis or that
the heart muscle is damaged.
Aug 3rd - Met Mary off the bus. She was upset, everything was wrong, my
visit to the architect alone (to which she had agreed), the black
currants were not topped (never do this anyway), I had shredded the red
currants (unnecessary) and so on.
Aug 4th - According to Wilk, Marjorie Hunter’s mental condition bad -
alternates between misery and aggression. Has now a friend coming to
stay. This friend, still according to Wilk, old man Hunter wanted to
marry when Marjorie’s mother died but brother prevented it. He did not
want a step mother of his own age, so Marjorie had taken on this soured
and disappointed old man. When her father died Marjorie gave some of his
money to this friend. This again annoyed the brother so he left all, or
nearly all, his money to found scholarships and hardly any to his
sister. What a ghastly story, like something out of Mauriac!
Aug 6th - It turned out one of the coldest August bank holidays this
century and at tea time a steady deluge started. We stayed in all day.
half past nine it was blowing a gale and there was torrential rain. A
knock on the door. Jeremy with a little bit of paper in his hand with
two telephone numbers on it. Hilary had just rung to say Lise was in
hospital, the birth was difficult and they might have to perform a
caeserian operation. I could ring in 45 minutes. I got through to Hilary
without much difficulty. He was in the next door flat. Lise had gone
into the nursing home last Wednesday, but the birth had begun then
stopped after the membrane had burst. They had sent her into hospital,
foreseeing trouble, on Saturday. He had been to see her and she was
cheerful and comfortable. By this time I was in a bit of a tizzy, but
Hilary seemed very calm and confident. It was a wild night, wilder than
the night Hilary was born.
Aug 7th - We had finished breakfast when Mrs M appeared; ‘It’s good
news,’ she said, ‘Hilary has rung up; You have a grandson, Nicholas
Hubert. He is very large, 9 pounds.’
am highly delighted. I wanted a grandson to carry on the Barnes name
and I am much complimented that his second name is to be Hubert (though
where Mother and Father got it from in 1900 I have no idea). Later I
went up to Stow and sent a greetings telegram, ‘Welcome Nicholas Hubert.
Every sense weight off. How clever Lise. Congratulations Hilary’.
told the Wilk it was odd she should have been about when Hilary’s
brother died in 1935 and when his grandson was born in 1962. She quoted
the Cambridge don on eternal life, ‘Well, there’s nothing so rum it
might not be true.’ Also at Stow I tried to get a bottle of Asti
Spumante at Buffery’s but they had sold the last two bottles, so we
drank his health in Hock at 1.10 p.m.
left by bus from Chipping Norton. She said she thought Mary was
suffering from nervous strain brought on by my illness. After supper
went over plans with Mary, but she was as gloomy as a wet Sunday. Could
not get a smile out of her.
Rang Molly and told her news of great nephew!
Aug 11th - To lunch at Bainton Road with Mary’s parents - their 58th
wedding anniversary, married at St Peter’s in East, to station in a
growler and train via Bletchley to Cambridge and Norfolk for honeymoon.
Aug 15th - A Mr and Mrs Wood turned up next door, but as Michael says,
‘They won’t stay’. Pymonie had told them they might occasionally have a
very disturbed child to sleep in the cottage. When they arrived today
they found they were only to have one bedroom. The other two were to be
occupied by three old lags. The man is an English graduate from St
Peters Hall, the wife a very bouncing and bustling person who quite
clearly will not get on with Pymonie for long.
Thursday, Aug 16th - Mr John Holland, the postman, came in to take off the honey. He estimated it about 100 lbs.
Scott has ordered that his children shall not visit him on his death
bed nor see his body after his death if this can be avoided. He
remembers his mother’s death. This is sensible for these memories of
relatives ill or dying are those which are hard to forget whereas it is
better to remember them sharing activity and in health.
Aug 18th - ‘Moonlight Harry’, as Michael calls Mr Wood from his
propensity for midnight wandering, by a stroke of genius or good luck
has got rid of the boys in the cottage. He told Pymonie that he had only
been married for a year and it was not very suitable to put adolescent
boys in the next bedrooms to them. As anything to do with sex is meat
and drink to Pymonie, this went down well with her.
Aug 22nd - Mrs M has departed for Germany. it is reported that mother
of Jeremy’s child has been divorced and is remarrying an American but
the American does not want Jeremy’s bastard, so Pymonie is going to
bring it back to England.
Aug 24th - Started for a trip to the chalk downs about 11.30. For a
long time Mary has been anxious to return two small pieces of furniture
to the Wallers at Tisbury between Shaftesbury and Wilton. By chance we
went to a country hotel at Wilton kept by Polglaze [schoolboy
contemporary of the diarist], on whom I called at The Ship, Meer, in
1956. I did not expect to see him and asked if he was his brother. He
was as stuffily snobbish as before. Set off for Tisbury and William and
Marjorie Waller in their water mill. I was left with William, who never
draws breath. In one short gap I asked him how Marjorie was. He replied
that they managed to find a method of continuing to live together
without too much friction. When he left shortly I learnt the
explanation. Marjorie has a ‘touch’ phobia. She will not touch anyone or
allow anyone to touch her (including William). She has to perform
numerous compulsive washings and will not allow William to undo or
unpack any of the trunks and baggage brought back from Africa 18 months
ago. Physically Marjorie has gone completely to seed and looks a fat and
shapeless old woman. William quite a nice chap if only he would not
talk quite so much about himself.
Aug 26th - Got off (just) at 10 for Tewkesbury. Service in the Abbey,
then lunch at the Hop Pole, duck, Mary’s edible, mine not. A British
Legion evensong, lovely congregational singing of the National Anthem
and O Valiant Hearts,
which I had not heard since I left Henley. The acoustics in the Abbey
marvellous for the Last Post and Reveille, which were most moving, and
the organ.I thought the Norman soldiers and Plantagenet knights in the
windows would stir at the bugle’s notes, waiting, as the hymn said,
for the last clear trumpet call of God - but if they did not stir they
would have understood. A very memorable experience.
Aug 30th. To Holly Bush yesterday. Woken up this morning by crowing of a
bantam and clucking of hens, followed by the hum of the milking machine
and the clattering of pails.
Wednesday, Sept 5th - The fourth anniversary of our arrival at Adlestrop. Did not celebrate it.
Saturday, Sept 8th - Hilary’s 26th birthday. Posted a letter yesterday with £6 towards pram.
Sept 9th - My first chore to take the niggers to church - 15 turned up.
The old rector told a tale of how the vicar cured Auntie by laying
hands on her. Found I was to take the middle group and the dum, the
latter for 12 periods - struck at this. The new man to take the odd bods
from Biggs to Christoffer P., which will be nice for him. A typical
fast one by Pymonie.
Birch reveals that Mrs Wood says the real reason they don’t want the
boys in the cottage is because she and her husband quarrel so much. Once
she threw all the crockery on the floor and left it lying there for
some weeks because of a disagreement about washing up! Might have known
there was something against them, as always here.
Sept 10th - Mary had some speech with Mrs Wood next door. What a job!
was her attitude. Nothing for her to do - and the muddle. Today the
children have diarrhoea from plums and apples. Townsend observed tearing
up newspapers because the other had run out and Pymonie had gone off to
Lavenham with the key of the household cupboard and all the rolls! They
cannot understand after the position I had been in I had ever stuck it.
Sept 15th - Started for Waddesdon Manor between Bicester and Aylesbury.
Hideous imitation of French C15 chateau built in 1889. He (being Baron
Ferdinand de Rothschild) was a great collector of C17 and C18
furniture, carpets and china so erected the house to hold the interiors
he bought from Parisian palaces which were being demolished.
Sept 19th - Took Mary to see Aynhoe House. This year it has been turned
into a home for retired but well-to-do old people - £20 a week average -
by an organization for renting stately homes for this purpose. The
house nevertheless still had great charm and dignity and was a relief
Sept 20th - Tonight at conclusion of Commonwealth Conference Prime
Minister gave a very good and educative talk on our (now inevitable)
entry into the Common European Market. Fault of government has been not
to inform and instruct the others on the immense importance of this step
for our future - and we must look forward to the future, the old empire
and commonwealth has gone and nothing can call it back.
Sept 23rd - Cyril and Kay to lunch. Cyril told me his cousin Evelyn
Gifford had died recently in Edinburgh, made arrangements to be flown to
London and then taken by train to Chittlehampton in Devon. She invited
her relatives in the London area to “prayers at Harrods”!
Oct 4th - Struggling day by day with the barmy, the rude and the stupid
it is difficult to look around. Yet when I go for a walk sometimes
after coming out of the smell and the noise I am amazed at all the
beauty around in this place, the lawns, the trees, the golden stone, the
distant views of hill and ridge, the quiet and the peace.
Oct 6th - Yesterday some juniors taken up to Dr King as they had marks
on legs and anus. These diagnosed as burns, so I guess Christopher P
and Arthur etc have been indulging in a little clandestine torture. The
victims will not give away anything, which is unusual among this lot.
went to see the American Museum at Claverton Manor just outside Bath.
It was very enjoyable, consisting mainly of a number of rooms set out to
illustrate various periods and states from the 17th to the mid-19th
centuries and from New England to New Orleans. This June a replica of
George Washington’s home and garden at Mount Vernon has been opened. I
was very set up with the whole thing - as I said to Mary I never
believed the Americans were so civilized.
Oct 7th - The great world seems much neglected in my diary. In Cuba
Russians propose to build a base for their fishing fleet. U.S.A. not
getting the backing from Europe in its attempts to stop this.
Gaitskell has made a long speech to the Labour Party advising it that
entry to the Common Market is a difficult choice to make and under
existing conditions it should not be made.
the U.S.A. federal forces have had to be used in the State of
Mississippi to protect a young Negro against attack when he tried to
enrol in the state university
Oct 8th - Mary’s friend Gym called in to tea bringing her father aged
80+. He was an active old man and apart from deafness had all his
faculties - and more. He was a non-stop talker full of wise saws and
improving stories. A Baptist elder, he clasped my hand and shook it
repeatedly and I could not get it free. Soon after tea was over he
commenced a long discourse on how to grow tomatoes. I retired to teach.
Sunday, Oct 14th - The Observer,
after Gaitskell’s speech that those economists whose judgement he
trusted thought there was nothing in joining the Common Market, asked
leading economists for their views: Against 12, Evenly balanced 18, In
favour 49, Non-committal 4.
The Conservative Party conference voted almost solid for joining. This a great success for Macmillan.
Oct 17th - This afternoon was so lovely and warmer than most of the
summer that we decided to take our tea to Roel to make perhaps our last
fire of the year. I left by the back drive. On reaching the white gate I
saw a car drawn up blocking the road side. The occupants were in the
park, the man lying flat on his back and the girl on top of him. They
were some distance into the park and it seemed less trouble to turn the
car round and go back rather than wait while they disentangled
themselves. However just to let them know I had noticed their
obstruction I blew my horn as we re-passed them. The man raised his head
and to my surprize and embarrassment and to Mary’s amazement it was
Leslie Bennett! with presumably the unpleasant village girl he was with
when we met him some months back in Stow.
Oct 23rd - Yesterday heard Kennedy had summoned leaders of Congress and
would broadcast to the U.S.A last night. He told the country Russia was
building moderate range rocket sites in Cuba and shipping jet bombers
there. He ordered the U.S. Navy to blockade the island and stop and
search all shipping for arms. As I write therefore Soviet ships are
steaming towards the naval screen where orders have been given to sink*
any ships that refuse to stop. Both parties have said they will raise
the issue in the Security Council, which has a Russian chairman, and
after the veto it will go to the assembly. Kennedy stated the Russian
ambassador had lied to him and he had absolute proof that that in spite
of his denials the launching sites are being built.
*Wrong - this was an interpretation by the journalists.
Oct 24th - The papers this morning carried aerial photographs of the
sites. The experts in the U.S. say they could be operational by
Christmas. By acting with swiftness and secrecy the Russians hoped, I
suppose, to breach the early warning system in the Arctic and Europe.
They must have thought they would get away with murder. No President
could sit by and allow this to happen.
Over to Stratford to see the Dream. Did
not think it as good as the 1959 with Vanessa Redgrave and Charles
Laughton. Shakespeare at Stratford, with so many schoolchildren present,
always seems ‘a possession for ever’. When I am gone Nicholas Hubert
may come, laugh at the rude mechanics, enjoy the fairies and be
enchanted by the poetry of the English countryside. Told Mary it is 20
years ago since we came there and now we are elderly. ‘Never mind’, she
said, ‘We laugh just as much now as we did then - perhaps more.’
pm. Mr Krushchev suddenly goes on the air in Moscow and offers a summit
meeting. Speculation that ships have been asked to wait.
Oct 25th - Things are cooling off. One tanker has been let through the
blockade, 12 other Russian ships are believed to have turned back. Mr K
has offered to make no further arms shipments for two or three weeks to
allow negotiations to start. There are supposed to be 30 rockets in
Cuba, each capable of destroying an American city and reaching it in 4
minutes. Kennedy feels he has been deceived by deliberate falsehoods and
is in no mood to give any ground until the rockets have been removed.
people are comparing American bases in Turkey and Pakistan with Russian
in Cuba. In my opinion a false analogy because it neglects past
history. Also some criticism of the President because he did not consult
his allies or U.N., which would have meant endless delays and
stonewalling. The P.M. said today the Americans have acted with studious
moderation and nothing must be allowed to split the alliance.
Oct 28th - Mr K has climbed down! He now offers to dismantle and remove
rockets under U.N. supervision. The world begins to breathe a little
more freely. It looks as though the president faced with a choice of (a)
doing nothing (b) invade Cuba c) blockade and strike at the sites from
bases in the U.S. (d) blockade only, chose correctly. He was convinced
he must leave the Russians in no doubt about U.S. resolution. They must
be shown the U.S. was ready to risk nuclear war to protect its vital
interests. If it did not act over Cuba in its own backyard why should
the Russians expect him to risk war over Berlin.
Saturday, Nov 3rd - Cheltenham after morning in bed to see Noel Coward’s ‘Present Laughter’ at the Little Theatre. Very good. Mary laughed till she cried.
Nov 8th - I sit and contemplate Group III, the ‘Jumpers’, whom I take
most. Jonathan is a pleasant looking little boy until you notice that he
is talking to himself and has a far away look in his eyes. David is a
pale creature with a short upper lip which gives him a rather sneering
expression. He is quick to complain in a whining tone; his parents
cannot control him. Heather is a coarse red-faced girl even at 11, with
small eyes and a giggle. She never knows what her mother’s name will be
as she adopts those of the ‘uncles’ with whom she happens to be living.
James is a small blond rather stupid boy. His father called him a rat
and made him sleep in a shed outside. He has nowhere but an institution.
Christopher mutters uneasily and is often lost in his own fantasy.
Michael has a pleasant open face. The illegitimate child of a Canadian,
his mother is in a mental hospital. He is a fearful talker anxious to
gain attention. He and Christopher are the best informed of the group.
M to-day told Miss Birch ‘Mr Barnes does not have any favourites.’
Favourites!! It would be truer to say Mr Barnes dislikes the lot truly
and indifferently (as the Prayer Book says)!
Nov 11th - At church this morning it being Armistice Day Mr Potter
essayed to play God Save the Queen, but made a hopeless hash of it -
more wrong notes than right, fearful discords.
Nov 15th - Children always asking to go out, ostensibly to lavatory but
actually sometimes to pinch other people’s things. Pymonie’s solution
(a) a bucket in classroom (b) general announcement that if anyone makes a
puddle she, Mrs M, is to be sent for and will come with a mop. No one
asked to be excused!
Saturday, Nov 17th - Weather turned colder earlier than usual. Cold made Mary abandon nightdress for pyjamas!
Nov 19th - A severe frost. At eleven Mary brought in some clothes that
had been put on the line. They could be leaned upright against a chair;
they had been frozen solid.
Belgium one of these deformed thalidomide babies was given a dose of
sleeping draught provided by the family doctor. The parents and the
doctor were put on trial and the jury brought in a not guilty verdict. A
long correspondence followed in the Times -
bishops, doctors, lawyers, mothers and all sorts - and a lot of cant
has been written. The more liberal lawyers point out that you obviously
need degrees of murder and manslaughter so that juries have not to bring
in legally perverse verdicts to satisfy their own consciences.
other side say we must preserve a human spirit, ‘however stricken’,
euthanasia is a form of selfishness. Deformed children bring out
qualities of compassion and virtuous exercise.
we choose other terms, as one writer said, and ‘reinstate the idea of
mercy as a virtue in its own right and as a guide.’ ‘Be ye merciful as
your father in heaven is merciful.’
Nov 21st - Very surprized (and Mary rather horrified) by letter from
Hilary suggesting that Lise should come down by bus with Nicholas to
Banbury where I should meet them with car and transport pram in boot. I
would not travel with a four month baby at this time of year. However
must show willing and keep our fingers crossed.
Nov 24th - Over to architect to open tenders. Disappointing. One £5000
and the lowest over £4000. Said this no good, whereon architect
suggested a small builder at Little Compton, so we are going to try him
and see if we can get the cost sweated down to £3500.This set-back
stirred up all Mary’s feeling against the project. She took again the
Nov 28th - A letter from Hilary. Operation Nicholas from Banbury laid
on. Telegram to be sent in case of fog in Lancashire. Lise says she
would not want her worst enemy to trek to Bolton.
Dec 1st - Mary suggested we should see Arthur Harris. He thought from
the cubic capacity £4000 not unreasonable. When he had ‘cubed’ our plan
at today’s rates made it £4,194!
Dec 3rd - Science marches on. Heard for the first time in a letter from
Hilary that there are ‘disposable’ nappies so went to Stow in the fog
to get some wearing a duffle coat and blue knitted ski cap. Unless some
change occurs in 24 hours it does not look as if we shall see Nicholas
Hubert on Thursday. Visibility in Manchester reported almost nil.
Dec 5th - Frost last night 12°; Beauty in the park. All the trees
sparkling in the sun. The fog continues in the Midlands and very bad in
London, where police have been issued with masks and hospitals warned to
have emergency beds ready.
morning Arthur asked to write down some birds he might have seen around
the school. Suggested ‘parrot’. Compared with group II, group III are
positively highbrow. Malcolm, a dirty and untidy obsessional type is a
thief. When he asks to go out, the others call out at once, ‘Don’t let
Dec 6th - Everything went very well. The bus at Banbury was early. By
the time I arrived Lise was out of the bus with the pram and waiting. My
first sight of Nicholas Hubert was of a very alert and blue-eyed baby
in a light blue pixie suit with a little pointed hood. He looked
charming. Lise put him in the pram and while a large policeman held up
the traffic we crossed over to the car. The run home going cautiously
over icy patches was easy for the fog had not yet come down and we were
in the cottage by four. Nicholas seemed well advanced and he looked
round in an interested manner at the inside of he car. After he had been
in the room for a little while he gave his first smile. Later when we
had our tea we saw him bathed and out into his dressing gown. I was
delighted with him.
Dec 7th - Nicholas was obviously puzzled by my appearance in the
bedroom this morning. My voice was like his father’s, but there was
something not quite right. A false father!
Dec 8th - Took Lise to the meet at Evenlode. She was interested in
‘this side of the English way of life’. Lise was delighted to see the
Cotswold towns and villages again and she complained of the complete
lack of any beauty in Bolton and the apathy of the people. Poor girl,
she has married into England only knowing Oxfordshire and she is is
landed in a decaying cotton town of the Victorian industrial revolution.
is a model visitor and apart from a few squalls when out down at night
has been no trouble. He is an engaging baby with his lovely skin, auburn
hair, large blue eyes and ready smile. This is the first time he has
been on a visit except for a trial trip to a friend’s house in Bolton
and has been a great success.
Dec 10th - Invited Molly to meet Nicholas and Lise. She gave Lise some
plated spoons and forks of father’s engraved with a B, which was
Dec 11th - Had the second lesson off and drove Lise and Nicholas to
Banbury. The coach came in punctually at 12.10. It was nearly empty and
the cot could be placed on a seat. They will be in it till 7 o’clock.
When held up to the window Nicholas laughed at me through the rather
have enjoyed seeing him. Lise is a splendid person. She has great
courage and is quietly efficient with the baby. She is intelligent and
beautiful and has social gifts. Not only has she landed up in Bolton,
but she has by no means an easy husband, very glum and silent at times,
and not prepared (as always) to take trouble to please other people.
Dec 14th - Macmillan to see de Gaulle next week, then the President in
the Bahamas. De Gaulle is determined France shall have her own nuclear
weapons. He distrusts the ‘Anglo-Saxons’ and does not want G.B in Europe
except on his terms. The U.S. government wants Britain in a European
confederation. Therefore it thinks the ‘special relationship’ of the war
years is played out. U.S. wants to prevent spread of nuclear weapons,
but is prepared to supply ‘Europe’ with a ‘European’ deterrent once G.B.
Dec 18th - Architect has worked out a more compact plan cutting down
size of sitting room and simplifying back. Got the cost down to £3,440.
Dec 22nd - Bahama Conference finished. We to have Polaris weapon but so
are the French. Day of ‘special relationship’ over. Informed but not
consulted. It seems a pity that we are trying to keep up with the U.S.
as a nuclear power for we shall be so only in name and at great expense.
The money could be put to better use. We are going to spend millions of
pounds to duplicate the American fleet in the name of an illusory
independence. How could we ever use these weapons against Russia or
Eve, 1962 - Freezing hard with an icy breeze. We went up to how to get
some meat, when Mary suggested that as it was sunny we should have lunch
out. We drove to Broadway, where we had a rather expensive lunch and
then came back via Snowshill. The view from Stanway Hill were lovely,
the Malverns were veiled in the haze, but the sun was shining over the
Christmas Eve in Walthamstow when I was a boy presents from clients of
the bank to Father, the Manager, arrived – a brace of pheasants, a
Stilton cheese in a basket, tinned food and pickles and an inevitable
and nasty hare. This it was arranged should be passed on to Mr Clay, a
colleague of Father, and on Christmas Eve he duly arrived to collect it.
I could never make out whether whether it was supposed to be a present
purchased by Father or its real origin, and the horror with which Mother
regarded it, was admitted. Sometimes Father, I believe, went up to
Leadenhall Market where at a late hour turkeys were sold off at very low
Christmas trees were introduced about 1840 but some other Christmas
customs were no older than my parents' childhood in the 1870's.
We never had a tree nor were we told much about Father Christmas and in
consequence hung no stockings. As a small boy my presents were so
numerous and so bulky, some from Father's friends, that there would
hardly have been room even in a pillow case.
For some days before Christmas Mother bought sheets of coloured paper
from which we made paper chains to hang from corner to corner of the
nursery. Pieces of holly were stuck behind the pictures, but I don't
think there was ever much mistletoe about. Christmas was still a
religious festival. The enormous modern advertising exploitation had not
There were no street decorations or illuminations which attract crowds
to the West End to-day. Nor did the commercial softening up of the
customers begin with the arrival of Father Christmas in the big stores
six weeks earlier. The Crib with its figures was still ecclesiastical
and confined to the Roman and Anglo-Catholics. Today it too has been
taken over by commerce.
had 53 Christmas cards this year compared with 61 last year. Snow,
holly, Father Christmas 23; Religous 13; Places 5; Animals 3;
Charitable 6; Misc 3.
Day - A very hard frost -14°. I spent some time cutting a tin shield
for the car lamp so that it would not be blown out if I put it under the
car bonnet in the open at Oxford and it was as well I did. We reached
Mary’s parents in Bainton Road about 12 o’clock with the boot filled
with Pymonie’s logs from the stable!
turkey and Christmas pudding with Bordeaux blanc we took in with us,
followed by a glass of port. After the Queen’s telecast - what she said
was suitable but she was solemn as an owl and her eyes likes currants
in a bun - we went out and removed the logs. I was able to get the lamp
to go under the carburettor.
started back at 9 o’clock. When I went out the while car was a mass of
white frost but the lamp was still alight and to my intense pleasure the
engine soon fired.
Pierce house was too large to keep warm. I wore two sweaters and my
leather jerkin. Mr Pierce reclined in front of the fire covered by a
blanket. He had got very thin in the face and shaky on his feet. but Mrs
Pierce was as good as last year and cooked the dinner. Mary and I
As soon as we got in we had a hot drink and went to bed. We lay together and were very happy and successful.
Boxing Day - Breakfast in bed where I stayed till lunch reading wrapped in shawl and wearing gloves.
Thursday, Dec 27th - Three or four inches of snow but warmer a bit. Stayed in bed till lunch reading. Have got Shropshire Lad illustrated by Agnes Miller Parker. [Quotes Verses XXXIX - LX]
Dec 28th - The Polaris deal is such a humiliation for the government
that it might endanger their plan to take Britain into Europe. The
Conservatives are angry because Britain will be without nuclear weapons
from 1965 to 1969. When Polaris has become operational it will be placed
under NATO, i.e., American command. Britain now ranks with but after
France. De Gaulle will probably reject the offer and her nuclear weapon
will be nothing but a nuisance but it will be her own weapon and the
only one not under the control of the U.S. or Russia. This is not what
the Conservatives want for Britain. The government are in a dilemma -
either in Europe or a satellite state of the United States. To choose
neither will let us slip still further down the ladder.
Dec 30th - A great blizzard swept the country last night. When we got
up snow was piled high against the doors and had drifted in places to
several feet. The milkman, who appeared to have fortified himself with
strong spirits (I don’t blame him) drove up at 4.45. He had been dug out
Dec 31st - Five people buried in their car between Weymouth and
Dorchester. When car was discovered beneath the snow yesterday, two
dead, rest unconscious. Other is a bus who took refuge in a café had to
be rescued by helicopter as young baby with limited supply of dried
milk.Our milkman arrived at 6.30 p.m. baker at 8.30 while we were having
American Museum - Oct 6. Barnes, Molly - Apr 15, June 27, Dec 10, Bennett, Leslie - Oct 17, Birch, Molly - Jan 21, passim. Blizzard - Dec 30, 31, Browne, Mr & Mrs - April 1. Churches visited - Apr 18. Collard, Michael Jan 6, Aug . Comfort, Alex - Jan 15. Common Market - Sept 20, Oct 7, 14, Dec 28. Con Dart - June 16, 25. Coventry Cathedral - May 25. Cuba - Oct 7, 22-25. Curzon (Viscount) - July 18,
Heart attack - June 6. Hilary - Feb 12, Apr 7, 19-22, Aug 6, 7, Nov 21, 28, Dec 3. Holland, John, Aug 16, House hunting - Apr 3, May 10, 28, 30, June 27, 28, July 10, 11, Aug 28, Nov 24 Dec 1, Dec 18. Hunter, Marjorie, - Aug 4. KamaKala - Apr 12. King, Dr - June 6, July 10, July 30, Oct 6 King, Joan - Jan 15. Lane, Arthur - Jan 18. Lise - Aug 6, Nov 21, 28, Dec 6-11. Little Risington - July 11. Nora - Jan 13,
Peach, Cyril, Kay - Jan 11, Sept 23. Mary - almost every entry. McLaughlin - Apr 27. Meara, Gwynne & Winnie - Apr 21. Moeran, Jeremy - Jan 21, 23, Aug 22. Moeran, Pymonie - Jan 21, 29, Apr 30, May 1, 13, June 13, Aug 22 Feb 5, 6, Mar 18, Apr 30, June 13, Nov 15,
Nebuly Coat - Feb 3. Nether Westcote - May 30, June 11. Nicholas Hubert - Aug 7, Oct 24, Dec 6-11. Nuclear weapons - Mar 12, July 22, Dec 14, 22, 28. Pierce, Mr & Mrs - Apr 7, Aug 11, 20, Dec 25. Scott, Peter - Aug 16. Space flight - Feb 20. Smoking - March 8. Stratford - May 24, Oct 24. Tewkesbury - Aug 26. Thalidomide babies - Nov 19. Wales (North) Apr 12, 23-27. Waller, Wm & Marjorie - Aug 24. Watch, gold - Mar 28. Wilkinson, Marjorie, - Aug 4, Aug 7, 19, 20. Wood, Mr & Mrs - Aug 15, 18, Sept 10, 11. Woodward, E.L. - July 28,