December 16th, Thursday
I know this weather is seasonable but oh! so cold! We had to drive to the Coulsons. It was nice and cheery and after an early tea we drove home all three crammed into a tiny phaeton, Mother on the cat’s seat because she wanted Poggy to drive.
As Poggy had to go up to Town to attend a dinner of his term (31 years service!) I took the opportunity of seeing Waggett about my nose. He performed his burnings with success. I am glad to have got it all over. It hurt me this time but if it will cure my taste and smell and keep me from eternally catching cold I shall be truly grateful. We stayed at the Strand Palace Hotel, where a single or double bed and bath with breakfast and attendance included cost 5/- and 11/- respectively. Poggy left for his dinner and I went to bed.
We came back on the 11.15. Travel had an air of Xmas bustle about it and the place swarmed with children of both sexes returning home for their holidays. One witnessed affecting scenes of meetings between parents and offspring, much enthusiasm and demonstration on the side of the former which the latter received with strict fin de siècle reserve, especially that male element. The expression of disgust on the face of one young hopeful when his effusive mama wanted to tuck him up in a rug was delightful and filled me with amusement and warning as to what not to do in the future.
Dec 20th, Monday
Xmas week is upon us. I managed yesterday to do up all my cards and this morning I spent doing all Gran’s. After lunch we dressed doll,s did up parcels and various odd jobs. We have an expedition before us tomorrow, that of taking the children to Blandford to buy their Xmas presents! Oh! the havering there will be over it, we shall be there for hours!
The most perfect day, brilliant sun and all the world glistening with hoar frost so we set forth with Pinkie and Nootie to Blandford. They could hardly contain themselves for excitement and when we got in Herbert took Pinkie and I Nootle on their quests, buying 101 things to our mutual amusement. We ended up with a blow out of buns and milk and returned laden. The posts are already becoming quite exciting and cards and parcels commence to arrive.
Mother took Win into Blandford in the morning to do her shopping and in her absence I made her a tiny puzzle, it is about 2×3 inches square and has 111 pieces. We put it in a tiny blue china pot which is to go in her stocking we are giving her this year.
All morning was taken up with gathering evergreens for the house and church wreaths. I then made the pulpit wreaths with variegated holly and little bunches of everlastings, and two crosses one for the pulpit and one for the grave after which H and I did the house, hall, billiard room and dining room. After lunch I went a round with caps, shawls, and socks for the old ones of the parish. When I got back I found the Thuries had arrived. I had not seen Herman for about 3 years and find him immensely grown into such a nice thing. (Arthur, Lena and their son Herman von Poellnitz).