Feb 9th, Monday
This morning we came into possession of our first cow!!
The little Jersey from the VHs. She is so gentle and sweet and we are fearfully proud. (Wynne appears confused about the cow since on Feb 6th she states it will be a Guernsey/Shorthorn mix).
A day of howling wind and torrents of rain but I didn’t mind as I got to basket making. After 4 with much bravery we went down to tea with our parson. He has plenty to say but she is Welsh and frightfully shy. Their Rectory is surrounded by enormous laurels feet thick to the exclusion of air and sun and all views. I should go dotty but to be a parson’s wife at all would be fearful I think.
We finished my rockery today, great triumph and joy and not a stone did we need to buy having searched the place all over and finding sufficient. Seeds from Ryder have arrived, also plants from Gibson and Scotts, most exciting. Another excitement for me is that I think I am about to join the Cotteswold Field Club.
I went this afternoon to a meeting at Westbury Rectory on Rescue and Preventive Work, a very able speaker.
As one reads the papers one gets anxious as to the prospect of food this coming year. We have all been living in rather a fool’s paradise for almost as soon as the Armistice was signed many things went down with a drop to almost pre-war prices and now they are mounting higher and higher and we are having to pay sugar at 1/- a pound, rice ditto, and bread at 1/- a 4 lbs loaf. Butter is 4/4d a lb. I am wondering what coal is now for our last lot in Oct was 57/- a ton but since then 10/- has been taken off per ton at whatever the new price may be.
Feb 13th, Friday
Not feeling very merry and bright I spent a day in bed reading. I have two interesting books from the library, one Talbot House and the other “The Years of the Shadow” by K Tynan, the former by Clayton, vicar at St Martin’s in the Fields. The former is about a church house at Poperninghe and such a charming thing. There are a good many saints of God on earth as well as in heaven.
The latter is about Ireland 1912-1918, bringing a lot of remembrances but the woman is a Sinn Feiner at heart so one is not sympathetic.
Our second cow came today, and H brought me a glass of our very own milk. We are very pleased and excited.
The birds have had a glorious day for their wedding day, there was a perfect chorus and the sun was positively hot. I actually sat down on the grass watching H streaming and mopping whilst he dug turf away from the lilac standards. Our cow has given up 3 quarts of milk today and tomorrow I shall skim!! and in a week make our first butter. It is too wonderful to think of. I have the sweetest Spring Pie: violets, primroses, snowdrop, crocus, sloe, jasmine and japonica.
February 15th, Sunday
The mild weather continues and one gets more and more fearful for the late frosts. Our plum and pear trees are bursting into bloom, also peaches and apricots on the walls. Heaps of daffs will be out and then we will get a blighting frost. I have just finished writing my screeds to the children and make a copy of the weeks diary. It keeps them in touch.
A most glorious day of sunshine and I spent it pricking out in the greenhouse whilst H and Baker laboured over serious man’s work in the onion patch. We have purchased a new RJR cock and put him and 8 wives into the further pen and hope for good results. We are selling 6 or 7 dozen eggs a week thereby hoping to get square in time with our food bill which is always a big item.
February 17th, Tuesday
One long endless day of sunshine. Everywhere we find sheets of violets growing purple and lilac and I have picked bunches. After tea H and I walked down and round the domain, a ripping evening, so still and warm and every bird singing vespers. A sense of comfort and happiness filled me as I surveyed our new home and please God we’ll spend many good years here.