June 1st, Monday
A short but sharp shower of rain refreshed us this day and I felt grateful for the young coffee. Capt House and Pink returned together as the car has been left in K for the hood repairs. All day long the engine is running and all night too now and the work of connecting up the wires is toward today but no sign of course of further lamp shades and we cant get on with our job.
I am wondering still what has become of our Post Boy, if the Police have taken a permanent fancy to his face and if he has run away! He is supposed to have forged his kipande I hear but as a rule they just fine them for that. However we’ve sent in another today. Our last Standard gave an appalling account of the locust plague, it is said that in some areas they are miles long by wide and we can see them each day flying thick over the plain. I dread their arrival up here but there is so much young maize up now that they may not come, but our heart aches for these same maize planters. To lose all one’s crop just this year seems quite too terrible and of course it means famine in the Reserves.
King’s Birthday and Electric Light.
Derby Day! How many hundreds and thousands of people’s hearts are burning with expectation today? Over the whole world there are ticket holders for the Calcutta Sweep and the (Dublin) Irish Hospital Sweep for which latter two million pounds have been subscribed, even the house of Jackson had a venture in each! Well, having failed there we have today gained in another way for today we are revelling in our Electric Light. It is an actual fact and we all sat around in the drawing room wondering if it was all a dream. We felt we had to indulge in something to drink Mother’s health and a very genuine sense of gratitude was felt by all for really its just too lovely for words.
Capt House left us today. The installing has taken very nearly a month. Our rain break continues and though was have a little it is the real June break which comes along every year up here and the days are truly lovely, warm and still and sunny and the garden is a real delight. We should be very gay this year.
Our wedding day and we have been married for 30 years! How utterly splendid its all been and how good in every sense. Pink returned today bringing with him the most disastrous accounts of the locust plague. They’ve eaten up acre after acre. It makes one’s heart ache, the whole thing on top of the starvation prices is more than a tragedy. Well, who knows, they may come here and if they do one must just put a decent face on it but I will not meet trouble. Moore was away somewhere and on his return he found his whole house eaten out, carpets, blankets, bedding etc whilst one of the Tyack boys returned from Nandi with the tale that at his home on their arrival people all turned out, leaving a small toto to look after a newly born baby and on their return found the locusts had eaten it – I cant believe this, but neither could I have believed the incident of the bedding etc if I did not know it for a fact. I hear the Dowlings have closed down this year and dismissed all their labour. It really is a frightful nightmare.
Here are two pictures of changing London. How shall we recognise the Town when next we see it. The Hotel Cecil! Once the resort of only the very rich, the place to stay at if you had the money, but fashion changes all, no one who wishes to be thought “it” goes there now, and the Ritz, Savoy and Carlton hold sway, besides several other huge caravanserai the names even of which I don’t know!
Charles de la Harpe came along this afternoon bringing with him the leopard skin he has been curing for Mother but unfortunately the native skinners had left so much fat on that the hair came off in the curing so he brought another of his own as a substitute. We couldn’t let him do this so gave him one of ours. H and I went off to Kirk. The little Padre who has been told with appropriate tact that he hasn’t the gift of tongues, read to us a sermon for over half an hour! So foolish when we’ve all got so far to go. We didn’t get back till past 2.0. We also had a special locust prayer which prayed that this country might be kept from locusts which seems to me beside the mark as it is already eaten bare from end to end.