July 1st, Sunday
The holy Sabbath once more. I had hoped so much to hear form H today but to our great disappointment no African or Indian mail came in. A good many people in church and singing certainly improving. Mrs Sewell came yesterday. She is a nice woman but an incessant talker and a weird dresser. Her tea gown last night was black and yellow Grecian style which did not exactly suit and today her costume is a tailor made of fancy green cloth slashed with black satin, the whole appearance being very much “fancy”.
I got my letter from H. He was still at Mafeking, very seedy with fever.
Had a singing lesson, a very long one and Marzials very rightly of course teazed me a great deal. After lunch at the Daniells others arrived for tennis and we had some very good sets.
July 4th, Wednesday
This day we hied us to an entertainment of a most chaste (and consequently dull) character: a tennis party at the Chamberei. Upon the lawn stood “females young and females old, females bashful and females bold”. The men of the party consisted of 4 old “nick bafflers”, Herbert Daniell and Mr Woodhouse being the young ones! This wildly exciting entertainment gave us a charming afternoon’s amusement but I was glad when time for home going arrived.
Today’s festive gaiety consisted in going to the Langton people’s Fete. We tossed for who should drive or ride and I won the dog cart seat. It was a truly acceptable win as I was dressed in a long green lawn which on a bicycle is rather poggy. There were many people, a band, coconut shies, shooting gallery and the usual accompaniments. When the band struck up Lancers we made up a set and had the greatest fun, shocking the “aristocracy” who gazed upon us with Pharasaical (sic) airs.
At 10 we all set out for the Broadstone Golf Links, Mother and Brenda rode to Spetisbury to catch the train whilst Bill and I rode the whole way and did the nine and a half miles in 5 minutes over the hour. When we arrived they had just started playing and Bill and I walked half the way with them and then returned for lunch. After lunch we lay about, smoked and snoozed till 4.30 when it was time to catch the train. As the train didn’t stop until it got to Blandford Bill and I had to walk home and let the others ride our machines.
Today is a Red Letter Day for me. I have received 2 letters from HKJ, one just before starting for Mafeking and the next from Delfontein. I am full of sorry for him, as not only has he had fever but an abscess formed on a varicose vein and he has had to have an operation. I was excited to find in his second letter 6 Mafeking siege stamps and 5 postal orders. They are most curious and most interesting.
A week of glorious sunshine and uneventfulness, but its been very jolly lying in hammocks, playing tennis and basking in the sun. It is too hot to do anything but laze.
July 14th, Saturday
Got up early and did many hundreds of flower vases. The garden is quite lovely now, hedges of lavender full out, orange lilies, scabious of every colour, rows of Madonna lilies etc. I am able to make no end of a show.
Another gorgeous day. Yesterday was the hottest day in the year. The Times put it at 95 degrees. The papers are full of horrors, nothing but War. With our troops in the Transvaal nothing much is occurring but in China things are terribly in earnest. Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Austria, Italy, American and last but in no way least Japan have all sent troops. Hordes of Boxers surrounded Pekin, all legations but ours were destroyed and now reports come of the massacre of all our people, such heaps of women and children and one cannot realize the horror of it all. The whole world is up in arms against China for just retribution and one only hopes that we’ll get it.