November 10th, Friday
It was with great delight that I prepared to welcome today my dear B (B.G.Scratchley, her old governess) and at 1.0 I went down to meet her at the station. Mrs Barnes came to lunch, driving down with me and taking us both afterwards to a concert and theatrical performance at the Club which had been got up by the ASC and Ram Corps. It began with the Band of the latter and songs and ended with an extremely well acted piece “The Ghost of Jerry Bundler” by some ASC men, Mr Barnes being one. A gruesome piece and awfully well done. We got home at about 6.30 and it was delightful to feel I had clawed in B after an interval of nearly 10 years,only once before has she ever stayed under my roof.
This mail brought the news that Jack Rutherford who committed suicide by shooting himself willed that he should be cremated and not buried. Eve writes that they tried to do this in the garden and making a dreadful failure of it ended by having to bury him there. If one tried to find “copy” for a gruesome novel one could scarcely equal the events of the past few years – the endless miserable misunderstandings, his fearful accident some two years ago, the illness which followed and his subsequent oddness and now his suicide followed by this almost unthinkable horror all go to make up a sequence of events unequalled in fiction. Poor Ethel, the girl’s life has been a sad one and now she is a second time widowed and with no means.
Nov 13th, Monday
On Friday last H went up to Town to the War Office and brought word from Mother that she had the Duke’s box for three nights, Sat, Mon and Tues, and would we go up. We could only manage today so accordingly B and I set forth, H didn’t come as it was to hear Siegfried which I don’t think he cares for. We went up by the 2.53 and on arrival I to Douglas as I cannot opera without the assistance of “Douglas tender and true” and B went straight to the flat. I arrived there at 5.30 and flew into evening kit and at 6 we dashed off because it started at 6.30. Our party consisted of ourselves, Aim, Rita and White T who all arrived at intervals. After the first act we adjourned to the drawing room where we gnawed sandwiches and cakes and smoked cigarettes. It lasted for five hours and seemed like one and at the end we took White T to the flat where Mother had a lovely little supper ready for our hunger. (see next panel).
Needless to say we didn’t arise very early. At 3 I went to Waterloo and met B there and we had a carriage to ourselves all the way. On the way home from the station she dropped me at Mrs Milroy’s where I went to the Scottish History circle. We are supposed to raise questions for debate but the circle sat round in apathetic dumbness.
Oh happy day! What a day! The annual excursion to Town for the purpose of Xmas shopping. We went up a party of 7! B, Maby, Maggie, self and three children, the latter each armed with a bag containing a portion of this year’s savings, the other part being reserved for their bank. We spent the entire day at Brixton Bon Marché and returned at 5.30. Dear babies, how they loved it. Each one went off with a grown up and bought endless presents with much secrecy, alterings of mind and endless haverings. By the end I for one was done, not so the children. The result of all these labours comes down by goods train so many are the treasures we have bought and the family Jackson are now quite devoid of £.s.d!
B and I drove into Aldershot to shop and my afternoon was spent doing endless small jobs such as flowers etc, for this evening I had a dinner party of 10. Veacock did not disgrace me and afterwards we played the usual Whisky Poker.
Up to Town again to the Queens Hall Gunner Concert. I took Maby, BG came up too but alas she leaves us today to go to Leeds to her friend Miss Brown who lies desperately ill in a home. Maby and I drove to the flat where we had lunch and then Mother and Gran came on with us. I was delighted to be allowed to take Gran. She is very fond of music and had never heard the band before and she was quite overcome, dear old darling. The programme was a splendid one and Sibelius quite rejoiced us. The Hall was crammed. We put them into a taxi and rushed for our train which we just caught. Herbert didn’t come up as we have had the sad news of Uncle Frank’s death and he was buried today so H felt disinclined to go. Poor Mother (Jackson) feels this loss very much as she is the last one left of her family. (The Sibelius piece being played was his Karelia suite).