December 9th, Thursday
I rushed off to B&H to have my rags fitted and H went off to Margate to spend the night with Mary. After lunch I went off to Milbank and sat with Jim S who has been there for nearly three weeks. He looks and is a wreck. I was glad to get to bed tonight as we have been on the razzle and my cold is rather a drawback.
Again to Oxford Street doing endless shopping but I am amazed to see the shops so empty. I have not met one real crush so far and when one thinks of last year and the fiendish fighting every day one is astonished but the truth is everything is such an awful price.
One thing that saddens one awfully these days is the number of ex-Servicemen one sees on the streets, selling matches, toys, chocolates etc and playing in bands. Many have the white coat and hat band of some society so one knows they are backed by something but what gave me real horrors was the sight of a wooden legged officer in a medal-ribboned tunic and a mask over his poor mutilated face grinding an organ. Luckily the people were pouring in the money but oh! it’s degrading to the last degree. Further on to my horror I saw another doing the same job, how miserable it is that there should be the necessity for these things.
I met Brenda (her cousin) at Marshall and Snelgrove for lunch and had intended to do more shopping but we just refused and drifted into the Marble Arch Cinema where for 3/6 each we were thrilled and excited for 2 hours! Then home for a hasty dinner and again to the Opera, this time “The Tales of Hoffman”. It is so many years since I saw it that I had quite forgotten the whole thing. Topsy (Brenda) had to leave before the end to catch her train.
We’ve been again to see Skippy and found him much better. I shopped hard all morning and this evening we’ve just been taking it easy. There is an amusing story going around a propos of everyone wearing so few clothes. A man seeing a little bit of fluff on a woman’s shoulder couldn’t resist picking it off. On her return home she exclaimed “why, whatever has happened. I put on a little “wooly” tonight and its gone”.
Dec 12th, Sunday
I had intended to go to the Tower Church today but alas we awoke to find heavy snow on the ground so I have to give it up. After lunch I did sally forth to the Todds but the roads were like glass and I simply crept along terrified for one might have been walking on a frozen lake.
Bitterly cold still. Shopped hard and was thankful to get in for really it was awful out, not fit for a dog.
I have been out the whole day and the condition of the streets is so vile I was glad to get home. The whole world is unemployed but when the Labour Bureau applied for 200 to clean the streets only 12 turned up. It makes one lose faith in the truth of half one hears of poverty. Lunched with Stella (Skipwith) who brought her Peggy, the sweetest child. Jim goes back tonight. He is better but I am much troubled about my friend as he is so depressed. I wish we two families lived nearer, it seems to me that one’s life is mostly spent living away from nearly everyone one loves best. After leaving Stella went to B&H to order some clothes on apro for the girls. These sorts of clothes are becoming much cheaper and I got very nice coats and skirts and an evening dress for them priced £3 and £3.10.0. Poggy was going to meet me at Blanche’s tonight to say goodbye but he has caught cold and is awfully seedy so I went alone.
Dec 15th, Wed
I feel thankful that I have my man safely home for he is very seedy and the cold is intense. On arrival we found Letty and Blake awaiting us, fires all lighted, tea ready and everything as comfy as possible. Stacks of parcels and letters and heaps of sorting and arranging to do. It seems strange after our idleness to come home to pot washing again but one will soon pick up the threads.