December 27th, Saturday
An early lunch today and off to the Panto for which we had the Duke’s box again. At 12.30 we all crammed into a taxi and drove to Drury Lane. Cinderella is on this year and I think its quite as beautiful as it has ever been and very amusing and clever. Florence Smithson is Cinderella and is rather improved, not quite so much of an ass as formerly. Will Evans, Lupino funny as always, and new man du Calion most entertaining. I laughed a great deal but to my mind no one ever has come up to old Dan Leno, or is it that one found it easier to laugh in those days? I hardly think that can be so for he was a Prince among comedians. the colours of the costumes and scenery were perfect. At the interval we all went and had tea in the drawing room , a not unwelcome break as the performance last from 1.30 to 6.0! The house was densely packed and I hear there is not a seat to be had. We got a taxi after much trouble. The streets at night now are so brilliant again, so different from last year’s utter gloom.
My family is indulging in colds, an almost unavoidable disaster in Town where every shop and place of entertainment is so boiling hot and the weather winter. Poggy kept to the house today very wisely owing to a return of lumbago and neuralgia consequent of the said cold. I meanwhile took the three (kids) off to church at the Tower, where I always love to go and where “the spirits of the departed” are so present. It is a nice soldier service too and the Padre who came out afterwards to talk to us is so nice. We are going on Thursday to see the old place under his guidance. After lunch I and Noots went off to see poor Gertie who is in the Nightingale Hospital under treatment for a month. We went all the way on the top of a bus, a way of getting about I like best!
A very busy day and out from 10.30 until 6.0. H and I went off to the City to try and buy a drawing room lamp but found that they were all so awfully expensive that we returned to the Aux Stores and found a much cheaper one. The children meanwhile had gone off with a packet of sandwiches to spend the day at the Zoo. We joined them there and had lunch but alas it poured with rain as it nearly always does so we could only hurry from house to house. Many of the poor animals had to be shot during the War on account of a lack of food and many died from food difficulties of the right kind but they are gradually getting up their stock again.
December 31st, Wednesday
When we first came to Town we tried at once for seats for Peter Pan and were told that all seats were engaged for the next six weeks. The children were dashed as it was their particular wish to see it again. We happened the other day to mention it to Blanche Gray and a few days later she rang us up, indeed came over to see Mother to say she had procured seats and would we all go with her. So we all went to her to lunch and afterwards to this Play which is Immortal to grown ups and children alike. We missed Pauline Chase, but Renee Mayer was very sweet as Wendy and if Peter was somewhat disappointing the whole was so delightful that we felt entirely satisfied. The house was crammed with children, some so tiny that wails and shrieks resounded when Nanna the dog was banished from the Nursery. It is a mistake to take such tinies (sic), they only cause disturbance to others. We had tea in the theatre and ate chocolates, this time with no ill effects for I remember well the last time we saw the play some 5 years ago the chocolates made the whole party sick in the night. We got back about 6 after which we spent a strenuous night seeing the New Year in. We played games of skill and chance till 11.30 when we removed to the dining room where we had a lovely supper and drank champagne, drank to the King, then our hostess and then absent friends and last but not least Mdle!! At 12 we opened the windows and from outside there came prolonged and loud sounds of rockets, hooters, church bells and shouting. We all turned out on to the pavement, Mother included, and I and the children danced round in a ring with many shrieks and squeaks. The bells and hooters went on for quite a long time though our street itself was quiet and so ended 1919. A year of unrest and much badness. Peace is signed and yet how very far we are from it, for in many parts men are still fighting and the Labour question is still much vexed. To look at the shops you would never think we’d been at War but prices are very high of course and food though plentiful is very expensive. However thank God we are better off in this country than most and in no way can we or may we complain.