April 12th, Tuesday
The children continue the same and it is horribly distressing to hear Pinkie fighting for breath and making that dreadful screaming sound in his throat. Nootie hasn’t started to whoop but will and now I have the disturbing news that Baby has begun to cough. I suppose it will be the same in a hundred years hence but as one has to live in the present that is small consolation. I am sleeping with the children as Miss Marsh seems so done up having a cough herself so I get very little sleep.
This is my dear Nootles birthday! She is six and such a quaint character, a pretty little child with the loveliest colouring but most independent and we call her “the suffragette”! I drove into Blandford and did a lot of odds and ends and brought back Nootles cake which she had for tea in the drawing room. Their coughs continue.
I have had a most dreadfully distressing morning for to add to my bothers I hear my dear baby has the fell disease and I discover both Matty and Ethel are afflicted with “hair trouble” (ie: lice). “Douglas” has been applied to all and sundry, myself included.
April 16th, Saturday
The new cook took up the reins today and the new house maid turned up. It seems funny having to settle in and teach other people’s servants but I have had no trouble whatever all winter. H writes that he would like me to go to Aldershot to be with Maggie as he has to be away on a staff tour but I wired to ask if I should and got a reply in the negative as the Dr thought there was no cause for anxiety (for Baby).
April 23rd, Saturday
All the grass has been mown, all the edges cut and more paths cleaned. The sun in shining and the daffodils are out. Mother returned from Bath at 4.30 and I think she is better on the whole but awfully weak in the knee and rather a crock.
April 24th, Sunday
Went to service where we had a good crowd. Bessie and Matty (servants) making their first communion. How many years ago is it since I made mine which we all attended and now Father is gone and the other two are in India. I often wonder if we three children will ever be all together again but one glorious thing is that I got a letter from Ell saying his is coming home this year.
The hour is 7 but I have been up since 5.20. I sit here on the steps of the billiard room revelling in the sun, the air, the early morning shadows and the birds. How many can I hear: blackbird, thrush, chaffinch, greenfinch, robin and cuckoo, this latter for the first time. As I look across the dew-covered grass i see three thrushes hopping about with speculative airs and cocked heads but the blackbirds have been the early birds this morning and were down before them. Oh why must I go away – can any place be more lovely than this in the Spring. Now the reason for my early rising claims me and I must go into the stuffy house and pack.