May 1st, Sunday
“The world grows sweeter as the days grow long
And wood-birds sing the old, old song.”
This is all very true no doubt but today doesn’t give one such feeling. As usual May 1st began by being horrible but improved a little in the afternoon when I tore myself away on this my last afternoon to say goodbye to some of my old villagers.
The above has been presented to be me by my son especially for my diary and when grown up I am sure he will be proud of his masterpiece. I arose at 5.30 to get my luggage ready to go at 6 as Sharpe has to take it in the cart and then return for me. I left at 10 with much lamentation and depression but met H at Waterloo at 1.45 much to my joy and we went off to the stores and Warings to get carpets and then down to Aldershot where we arrived at 7. I felt dead tired and have caught a chill.
May 3rd, Tuesday
As the house is not free from painters and paperers one can do but little. I walked round the garden with Baker our new gardener. He is a character, quite opinionated, old fashioned, a salvationist and a radical and I have my doubts about getting on with him but I fancy with a little firm tact one will be able to manage him.
Spent a most decayed day in bed with this vile chill and fever. It is most unfortunate when there is so much to do. The furniture comes up tomorrow but I fear I shan’t be able to go up and do anything.
This floweret gay doesn’t at all express my feelings. I didn’t get up till after lunch and crept up again after dinner. Poggy was up all day at the house where the furniture has been dumped and they are doing the sorting. As he goes to Salisbury tomorrow I must bestir myself and go whether or no.
Thank goodness I have felt better today and have been up at the house all day sorting unpacking and cleaning and now tired out I go to my downey.
May 7th, Saturday
This morning as I sat at breakfast Mrs Pharo brought in the Morning Post which I noticed was all black lined and on opening it found to my horror that the King was dead. I can’t remember ever having had such a shock. The day before I had read he was suffering from an attack of bronchitis and that it was causing “some anxiety” but it was only a little notice, so that when one read today that at 11.45 Friday night he died one could scarcely believe one’s eyes. It is a most fearful calamity and the loss to the nation at this critical time cannot be overestimated. He was a great King.
May 8th, Sunday
Already almost everyone one sees is dressed in black. I have only seen 2 articles of colour today and they looked quite odd. I suppose it will be a case of mourning for 3 months. How terribly he will be missed when in these troublous times his wise counsel is so much needed with the nation in the hands of the present feather-brained and unscrupulous politicians. One wonders whether our next King will be strong enough to cope with it all. One longs for the papers tomorrow to hear more details, it is all too sudden to realize. We didn’t go to church today as we are still afraid of spreading whooping cough but I think soon it will be all right.