November 1st, Monday
The weather continues most vile. I have arisen from my downy but feel a worm and H is worse. Being All Saints Day the household has been astir since 8 attending various services. Mary has just been in after midday service but only had time to put her head into the room and breathlessly exclaim “I mustn’t stop, district meeting” and banging the door behind her she leaves behind an atmosphere of extreme parochiality. Tonight she has a chill on the liver and sat at dinner taking only a little soup and sighing over the other dishes, especially the cheese soufflé which she reluctantly had to pass by.
I went this afternoon to the town intent upon the Chrysanthemum show. We all duly inspected everything there was to be seen, a very good show with a predominance of single ones which are so much in vogue now and which I think so much less stiff and prettier than the great mop heads. Mary is still in bed and quite unapproachable.
Mary up and very querulous, poor one. Tomorrow we are off to Reigate.
Nov 5th, Friday
Punctually this morning at 7 the Guy Fawkes children arrived singing their quaint song and getting pennies! Left at 9.40, spent long day shopping at the stores, and went down to Reigate at 5. Found all well, Tom (Jackson) not back yet but Grace surrounded by children.
Nov 7th, Sunday
Such a wonderful household this, the Toms, deserves describing. To begin with Tom and Grace have acquired 6 children and that alone gives a clue to what follows. I look upon Grace with admiration but she is a regular Mrs McCawber and when I realize the amount of work she gets through I also realize how lightly my family sits upon my shoulders! It’s children, children, children all day and night with her. She washes, dresses, sews, teaches and walks with them the livelong day and Tom reminds me of a Caldecott father surrounded as he always is by a dozen or two. All the children attend breakfast, lunch and today tea, being Sunday, and at this moment Grace is putting no less than 3 to bed herself out of pure love of the thing for they keep two nurses and a governess.
Left Reigate and spent night at Springfield
Nov 9th, Tuesday
To Stowmarket today. (They appear to be on a tour of Herbert’s siblings). Charlie (Jackson) was awaiting us with the railway bus and rode a mile or two to their house where we found Heather, Freda and Gladys on the doorstep. This is a charming old house containing many rooms, rambling passages and useful cupboards. It is just the sort of house I should love to inhabit when we retire, especially as rents are low and living in these parts cheap.
Nov 10th, Wed
Today we walked to Stowmarket but it is rather a dull town, modern looking and dirty and after lunch we walked a mile and a half to their church. I am afraid if I lived here I should be mostly heathen as such a walk over feet of mud every Sunday would be the death of me. I went all over the kitchen premises this morning – like a rabbit warren with wash houses, bakery, brew house and the like.
We have been for two quite respectable walks. At 11 we walked through the fields to see Badley Church which we found lying in a remote hollow away from all habitation looking desolate and deserted. I felt quite melancholy when on entering to see signs of past prosperity and innumerable tablets and memorial. One epitaph was so quaint that I copied it and here insert it in its original spelling. After lunch we walked to Comb Church but there is little of interest in it having lately been “restored”.