January 1st, Saturday
The year came in warm and wet after a short spell of freezing weather in Dec, so sharp and sudden that the pipes froze. All those fine things depicted above are exactly what we had, turkey being out of the question at 3/- a lb.
Mother and Thurie left for Town. We miss them. It has been an awfully happy time and has gone without a hitch.
A day of chores. My Poggy is still not up to much, he has been down with bronchitis and lumbago and its left him pretty rotten. I get up at 6.30 to do the grates, light fires, sweep room and get breakfast ready. Martha is returning on Thursday. It is over 3 months since she left but it is very satisfactory to know that one can do without servants if one wishes.
Jan 8th, Saturday
The girls and I went into Glos. by the bus to get Pink some birthday presents. We dashed home again by the 2.30 because Mrs Ward arrived to tea. She is new, a War widow with one daughter and son. Martha is firmly established here again and full of the weirdest tales but it is very nice not to have to get up at 6.30.
Jan 10th, Monday
Such a day. We awoke to pitch dark at 7.30, torrents of rain and a high wind. All my mornings are taken up with cooking and this afternoon I’ve had a great mending of stockings etc.
This is my son’s birthday, he is 18. He is tall, taller than me, and altogether what an English boy should be. After lunch a gleam of sunshine appeared and so the whole family went for a walk to gather moss and flowers for the Spring pie.
A busy morning preparing for a Bridge party, for as I make all the cakes myself it takes some doing. We were 12 at tea, the 4 Shelleys, Sir F and the VHs, a very cheery party. We were to have gone to the Abbey tonight for a whist drive but the weather is so awful we gave it up. I am sorry to hear from Mrs Shelly that their financial situation is serious and they are either going to let or sell their house having been victims of the tea slump.
Jan 14th, Friday
I cooked the lunch and left it to Letty to look after whilst I went off to Lady Paget to lunch. I found her well and had a very pleasant visit and most delicious vegetarian lunch and much interesting conversation. She now finds herself very hard up having given away over £3000 during the War, and having given away all her clothes was dressed in the only winter dress she has left, a bodice of black velvet trimmed with black and green sequins and patched with green and blue velvet patches, a black skirt of caracul cloth and around her neck a string of moth-eaten feathers. On her head a sweet lace cap with wings and red heeled shoes on her very neat feet. We went upstairs for coffee and she showed me all the works of art she is engaged on, glass bottles and vases decorated with coloured flowers and glass lumps. She does dozens for sales besides other innumerable horrors, but I find her so interesting and when one thinks of her brilliant past she seems rather a pathetic figure stuck down here.