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The Queen Mary ship

The Goodlet diaries: Week 10

This is the 10th week of our serialisation of Ealing resident Alexander Goodlet’s diary from 80 years ago. This week starts with toothache and a mysterious phone call, while the king takes a stroll on the Queen Mary ship. In Europe tensions are mounting and military muscles are flexed – and the diarist ponders whether Hitler can be trusted. To see the background to the serialisation, and the cast of characters, read our introduction.

March 1936

Sunday, 1.3.36

Slept luxuriously until 11.30 and after breakfast in bed lay until 1 p.m. Kidd and his family were here during the morning.

After lunch wrote the Mater and Ine and during tea listened to King Edward’s wireless talk to his peoples.

Went to call on Mrs Davies and, to my surprise and pleasure, found J.D. there, on a trip home from Nottingham. Went to Ealing to post my letters and so home. Mr Stanley came in to dinner, Hodges later on.

The Mater seems much better, at least on the ‘phone to-night, her voice was stronger. She has decided to come up on Tuesday.

I seem to have got a touch of toothache, damn it.

Monday, 2.3.36

The Aunts saw off the Boys this morning and Daniel and I did not arise until 11 a.m.

Joan came over to do some washing at 11.30 and after lunch I left her in charge and took Daniel up to Piccadilly to have tea in our old corner at Lyons. Called at the bank en route and drew our second last pound. Back here for a second tea, after which Daniel took Joan and Thomasina (who was in great form) home. Fuzz gave me a hell of a fright by not returning from school until 7.10.

At dinner the Boys, D. and I made merry over school reminiscences and I was sorry that Kidd, who very decently brought over some ironed washing, did not arrive in time for it.

The only news seems to be of the confirmation of the reports of Italian victories, which is a pity.

I have been suffering from an abcess on an old stump between two of my front teeth, caused by holding my pipe with them, and have had fair hell with the swine.

Tuesday 3.3.36

Up at 6.40 and saw the Boys away, then roused out Daniel and breakfasted with him. He packed up and left at 10.30 to catch the Torbay at Paddington. Had a bath (a damned cold one) and posted off a parcel Daniel had asked me to despatch for him.

After lunch the Aunts arrived and I left for Victoria to meet the Mater. Found her looking much stronger and brighter and only wish she could have had more of the rest cure.

Mr Stanley came tonight and we had a pleasant evening. The Doc. Has done me the honour to name me a trustee for Margaret’s education.

Two items of interest today are the publication of the White Paper on Rearmament, and the speech by A.F. Sir Roger Keyes telling of the Italian submarine move on Malta last September. Very interesting and illuminating.

My damned jaw is devilishly painful today, curse it.

Wednesday, 4.3.36

Up at 6.40 again and saw the Boys off and gave the Mater a cup of tea. At 10 she and I had breakfast and at 11 I went off to bed for a snooze. No sooner had I lain down, however, than a dreadful outbreak of real toothache suddenly broke out in two old teeth at the back of my gums. This lasted an hour and an half, what time I frantically stamped up and down the dining room trying to stop the ache with whisky. It died down then I hopped back to bed and slept until 6.30. After dinner I had another frantic spell and it has now died down to a low burning sensation, which, however, is bearable.

Kidd was over this evening, telling me of a new water pump he has started to invent.

Word from the Pater that he is leaving Burgos today.

Stalin of Russia has issued a plain warning to Japan of the danger of attacking Mongolia.

Thursday 5.3.36

The Mater most sportingly let me sleep on this morning, and I slept gloriously until 12 noon. Had lunch with her and the Aunts and Fuzz, who was at home sick. Then went to the bank, where I paid in 2000 Pts., but they did not work out the exchange. Back here I took Joan and Thomasina home and had tea with them.

Mr Stanley arrived to dinner and shortly after him Dad arrived from Spain, so dinner was quite like old times. He looks very fit and has brought me rather a nice pipe from Burgos.

We sailed three races after dinner, of which Kidd won two and Stanley one.
My toothache has throbbed steadily all day, but it has been more bearable than last night.

The news today is that the King visited the Queen Mary and walked over seven miles on board her, and that the Italians have bombed one of our hospitals in Abyssinia.

The Mater continues better.

Friday 6.3.36

Up at 6.40 and duly saw off the Boys and did a spot of routine work. Then went back to bed and slept til tea time. Took Joan and Thomasina home and went on to the Aunts’, where they had prepared a very charming tea for me.

After dinner the Pater and I spent three hours on the various maps of Burgos, checking positions and outlines. Then we spent another 3 hours chatting over various business problems, so that it is now 2.40 a.m. Ugh, and still an hour’s work to do and be up at 6.40.

My teeth and gums have ached diabolically all evening until a few minutes ago. Hope they don’t restart. Damn them.

Had a letter from Jeanette; she is in Johannesburg. Expects to return home in July.

I see the Italians have killed Major Burgoyne, an Englishman at the head of the Abyssinian Red Cross. Fuzz has got is colours for boxing.

Saturday 7.3.36

The Mater most decently left me to sleep on till lunch time today and I thus cheated much of the toothache fiend; but it soon had charge and up till 6 o’clock gave me an awful twisting. It is still aching dully in both jaws and I only hope I get safely off to sleep with the damned thing.

The Mater and Pater went out for a walk after lunch and I fear the Mater was a bit tired when she returned. Kidd, Joan and Thomasina were to tea and after dinner the Boys went over to visit the Aunts, while the Mater and I made the dining room ship-shape for tomorrow, when the Brighton folk visit us.

The great sensation today is Hitler’s denunciation of the clause in the Versailles Treaty regarding the German bank of the Rhine being demilitarised, and its remilitarisation today by German troops. I wonder if this will see the end of the post war bitterness and trouble?

Sunday 8.3.36

The Mater brought me breakfast in bed and I slumbered on until lunch time, when I found that the Brighton folk and the Aunts had all arrived.

Lunch went very jollily, but was spoilt for me by a most damnable onslaught of this bloody toothache. It became so bad that in sheer desperation I took the dog for a run to Ealing Post office and back and this seemed to calm it a little; but Ine advised me to get a bottle of oil of cloves, which I did at 6 o/c, or rather Buzz did it for me, and applied to the gums, did bring great relief. The damned thing is still throbbing away though.

Kidd and his family came over for teas and both parties left about 5.30. The Aunts stayed to dinner and altogether it has been a quiet and unhurried, pleasant day.

The great news is still, of course, the remilitarisation of the Rhine and I’m afraid we’re in for an awkward time as a consequence; and another bad thing is that it will strengthen Mussolini’s position.

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