December 17th

My joy was complete when I met today at Taunton my dear darlings. I found them (the girls) on arrival in the Refreshment Room, having got there sooner than they expected. I got their reports the other day and felt very glad and proud. I think I should die if I got a really bad report of any of them.

Dec 19th, Thursday
All the children including my dear Win are with us now and the house rings with “merry laughter” and much stampeding! Win looks splendid. She has bought all her outfit and now awaits her passage which may come any day. (Win had had to stay in England for the duration of the war, and was only now able to return to India to be reunited with her parents).
Nootsie is learning milking and had her first lesson today. She is also to learn butter making.

December 20th
A day is over of which I am glad as it has been spent at the dentist in Yeovil. I had as usual 6 teeth stopped, Pink and Baby nothing and Noots two tiny ones. It was market day and a very big crowd, hundreds of little jingle carts containing farmers and their wives and all sorts of booths and treat sellers haranguing and shouting out their wares and the shops were crowded. One was actually able to buy Xmas cakes and chocolate today!

Dec 21st
On Monday there is to be a huge entertainment at the Hospital for all the staff and I have been put in charge of the tea. We cooked cakes and mince pies all day long, accomplishing 308 pieces! We are to provide for 50. I dash round the village on various errands, do up parcels, write letters, frantically finish sewing last stitches to gifts until my brain is fair mazed. I thought I was so well ahead this year too!

Dec 22nd
To Church in the morning, most awfully cold. Our sermon surpassed itself for dullness, of which I was sorry as it was on the subject of the sacrament and might have been so good but Shelley is no preacher.

Dec 23rd
By the time the day was ended I had had about enough. I went up to Hospital in the morning and arranged the tea room, set the puddings to boil and clawed in all the kettles, pots and pans, cut up sandwiches etc etc. Tore home to lunch, changed and went back again. At 4.45 all was ready, and the lions fed – they did feed, and all at length rose up stiff! At 6.0 a crowd more arrived and the Xmas tree was superintended by Shelley as Father Xmas and he did it awfully well. We had games, refreshment and dancing and really it was a very jolly evening.