May 12th

Once again having the loan of the Penrose’s car we hied us to a wood which I saw on the road yesterday, and there in that academy picture of a place we picked flowers for an hour: primroses such as I’ve never seen, bluebells, campion, stellaria (chickweed family), orchids etc…a perfect carpet, even Ashley couldn’t beat this wood and we returned home ladened. After lunch my dear man was actually free till tea so we went off to Swanage, no, I mean Studland, where the tide being very low we gathered shells and walked a long way in the Poole direction. This place reminds me so of the old old days when we stayed, Mother, Eve, B and I at the Bank’s Arms and bathed from a tent and were almost the only people there. Alas our last day has come and I am so loathe to go, it has been a great joy and the like will never come again.

May 13th
After 10 days glorious weather and tropical heat the rain is descending in buckets. We left by the 2.56 and arrived in Town about 7.0, drove to the flat where I found Rita and Brenda and we spent an amusing evening telling bad stories.

May 14th, Friday
A regular clearance today. Mother to Worthing, Brenda to Chislehurst, Rita to 12 Onslow, Pink to school and I home! I found all well and its quite lovely to see my dear small daughters again. I should like to say confidentially how pretty I think they both are with their very pink cheeks and chestnut hair, and both so sweet and loving.

May 15th
Just a day of home jobs and many chores to try and keep my thoughts off Ell who is supposed to land at Marseilles today. Dined over the way and met there Captain Campbell, wounded in the hand.

May 16th, Sunday
Church and photography, that is how this day was spent. I am still developing my Austrian films and they are a delightful success. (You can see some of these in the 1914 June pages, where they illustrate Wynne and Herbert’s last European holiday).

May 17th
My dear Ell writes this morning that Pinkeye has broken out among the horses so that for the time he was detained at Bombay for how long its hard to say, I fancy by now he is on his way and I’m longing for the next mail. The rain is coming down in torrents and having to go to lunch with Mrs Birch, Stella gave me a lift and I came out by bus but got so wet and draggled – horrid. Capt. Campbell and they dined with me tonight and we eat strawberries!! A most fearful battle has just been going on round Ypres again this last week and the Lists are frightful, our poor men, how awful it is, they’ve never been so large before and its like a nightmare. A Zep over Ramsgate last night! poor Mary!

May 18th, Tuesday
These torrents of rain are not conducive to cheer and this morning I was horribly distressed to see poor Gordon Merriman has gone. He was killed on the 12th. Alas how sad it is , such a dear and how well we knew him, so many of the old 33rd have been wounded too: Cols. Oldfield, Kelly and Hinton, Capt. Lee-Warmer etc…one is thankful to read however that we have successfully checked their advance, the devils – talk of hatred for the English, two can play at that game, and their general tactics arouse our worst passions. The Zep that came to Ramsgate is believed to have been hit, but it rose to a height of 1100 feet and disappeared tail down. I have been gardening this evening trying to lose myself a little. Thank god I have the children but its all an awful strain on ones otherwise tranquil nerves.