Oct 23rd, Monday
I am on my way to Town. The carriage is horribly full and the hour of lunch is at hand. Why is the British public so shy of eating in company. They surreptitiously extract weird foodstuffs from their inner recesses and hastily and furtively thrust crumbly morsels into their mouths as though it were something to be ashamed of.
When I arrived yesterday I found Eve and Win out but Mother surrounded by her usual sea of work. I had the great pleasure today to see the Skipwiths again, such a pleasure to meet our old friends. I do so love to be here and see Eve and Win again, the latter is certainly very thin but as time goes on I hope she will improve. Eve is busy packing and goes on Friday
Rushed forth to my dressmaker and up to the High Street where I indulged in a horrible extravagance, enough silk to crochet myself a jumper, so now I must be busy!
Town is awfully full and I marvel at the hundreds and thousands of people, and this being an age of brilliant colours the streets are like a kaleidoscope. Everyone wears rainbow hues with utter disregard as to matching and toning. Skirts of crinoline shape are coming in but are not so short as last year though still one sees a lot of understandings (sic!).
Oct 27th, Friday
Alas we have seen out Eve off back to India again. It seems only yesterday since I went to Liverpool St to meet her and CG. She is so the Dr says quite fit to go out again, indeed she feels the cold so awfully it is quite time she went. After seeing her off we went to Southwark St to purchase one of the new oil lamps. It is a strange neighbourhood of warehouses and markets. Then next to Oxford Street to do fruitless shopping and home to tea.
Shopping again. I get simply mazed with the shops these days. There is such a mass of every sort of thing one is overwhelmed and heaps of things are so cheap that one feels one’s money will last forever and then you look round and find you have none!
Oct 29th, Sunday
While I write of fripperies untold things are happening with the affairs of State. Last week our Govt changed hands, Parliament was dissolved and a Gen Election is to take place on Nov 15th. LG has now become ex-Premier and Bonar Law is in his place. The country is seething with excitement and the Coalition is no more.
Alas my visit is at an end and I had to leave Mother alone as Win also left today. I left at 4 and was met at Guildford by Skppy and Peggy (Jim Skipwith and his daughter). We drove to Cranleigh where we found Stella and the boys. They’ve bought this house and Skippy has retired .
Oct 31st, Tuesday
Only one night could I stay but my train not leaving till 4.30 I inspected the garden and house all over, even climbing into the apple loft. Such a pretty little house and it has every convenience. At 3 we left and they drove me via Wonersh where the Youngs live and on whom I looked in. Dear people, it was so good to see them again. They are in charge of the Grantley Arms pub and both look thoroughly prosperous and fat! He is a regular “mine host”. I wished I could have stayed longer for there was so much to say and hear but I only just caught my train and after a journey of over five hours got home at last. (Young had been Herbert’s batman, and served with him in South Africa and after).
Wynne stuck in this cutting and the cornflower picture on 30th, writing: “Eight years ago today was the 1st Battle of Ypres and the cornflower is chosen as its emblem because they grow so abundantly on the men’s graves out there.”
The cutting reads:
ALL SOULS – to the glorious and immortal memory of the First Seven Divisions, Mons to Ypres 1914.
Oh little Force, that in your agony
Stood fast while England girt her armour on,
Held high our honour in your wounded hands,
Carried our honour safe with bleeding feet,
We have no glory great enough for you.
Oh little mighty Force, your way is ours,
This land inviolate your monument.