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The Goodlet diaries: Week 17

Week 17 of our serialisation of this 80-year-old diary of local man Alexander Goodlet deals with a Canadian goldmine disaster, disturbing news from Austria…and the continuing financial worries at home. You find out more about Goodlet and the cast of characters in his diary in the introduction.

Monday 20.4.36

Actually to bed at 3 am, a great improvement; which did not, however, prevent my sleeping like a log until 1pm. After breakfast-cum-lunch did some housework and then out in an hour turning the wheels for the Rocket, and this time made a really good job of them. Then busy till six typing letters for the Pater, and thereafter to Ealing to post them, meeting LH en route.

Just before dinner who should walk in but Mrs Lee. She had dinner with us and chatted away about old times. I saw her off at Ealing Common about 9 and since then have been busy on routine work; but hope now to put in 3 hours on the Rocket.

The wrangling is still more acrimonious at Geneva and Eden is now making threats. I hope he is prepared to implement them.

I half anticipated that this would be a terrible day with the creditors; but no.
Eddy rang and invited me to dinner.

Tuesday 21.4.36

To bed fairly early, feeling desperately tired and cold. Actually I think I have a very bad cold on me. Woke at lunchtime still feeling under the weather.

The Pater came in at lunch time and produced a cheque he had raised, which, albeit a terribly small one, enabled me to go to the bank and draw some housekeeping money. Which is a tremendous relief.

Went to the Science Museum and had a look at the Rocket and was considerably annoyed to find I had made a mistake on the firebox of mine. Home again and then paid a visit to the Aunts, whom I found well.

After dinner started on lettering the map and find it a considerable job.

Hoped to do some model making after midnight, but the Pater and I started yarning about old Caley Railway days; so that’s off, as it is now 3 am.

Today is Budget Day and it is a very stiff one. People may now, too late, see some of the advantage financially of collective security.

Wednesday 22.4.36

Up at lunch time and had just settled down to the map when Joan and the youngsters came in; so there was a long pause while we had tea and I saw them home. Worked on it however from 6 to 7.30 and again from 9.30 till eleven.

The Budget has had a deservedly chill reception and on the wireless tonight Major Attlee soundly criticised it.

Letter from Daniel.

Affairs are still at an absolute standstill and one doesn’t know what to think about it all.

My poor Rocket ne va pas. Damn.

Probably the news that excited the most interest just now is that of the three men who were trapped in a Canadian gold mine by fallen earth on Easter Monday and to rescue whom the most tremendous efforts are being made. One of them has died and it is touch and go for the others.

Thursday 23.4.36

Up at lunch time and in the afternoon went out with Fuzz and had a hair cut. Afterwards typed letters for the Pater and made a flying visit to Ealing to air mail them.

Kidd came in after dinner, and also Eddie Baden to join the Club, and we gave him a lesson in sailing. I fear he found the game a bit difficult.

However, it has been a pleasant evening. Kidd shewed me a drawing for a novel and ingenious cylinder he has invented. Also, he gave me a charming message from Colonel Henvey he had for me through Adamson. It is pleasant to think one is not entirely forgotten.

The news today is sensational. This time it is Austria which tears up treaties and reintroduces conscription with a flourish. Everyone wonders what Sir A. Chamberlain is doing knocking about there.

The men have been rescued from the Canadian mine.

Friday, 24.4.36

Up rather late, which was stupid as it was a most heavenly day, really the very finest one this year. Busy on various jobs after lunch and before tea strolled down to the Library and back. Was fortunate enough to secure Sawdust Caesar, the sensational Mussolini book. Also, a life of Canning.

At 7.30 went over to dinner at Eddie Baden’s, which was very good and the evening a pleasant one. Met there a curious Irishman, Sinclair, an Anglo-Catholic priest. Had several whiskies and felt much better for them.

Home at 1 am and found a letter from Mrs Fehr saying that Wuzz had chosen to go with the scriveners.

Holman left for Paris to try and bring some daylight into this nightmare of suspended action.

Saturday 25.4.36

Read Sawdust Caesar until 6 am, so naturally rose at lunch time feeling mangled.

Walked over to the Aunts’ and had tea with them. Home again and listened to the wireless. Joan came along at dinner and after it I took her home.

Back here again, I started again on the map and was sure I was going to make an end of it; but after six hours’ work I am still not at and end of it.

Today the Arsenal football team have defeated Sheffield United by one goal to nil to win the Football (association) Cup.

I am terribly sorry to learn that the great four-master Herzogin Cecilie has gone ashore after leaving Falmouth en route for Harwich, at the successful end of her grain passage from the Australias. She is said to be a total wreck. RIP.

Am not feeling well.

Sunday 26.4.36

Rose at lunch time, for which the Aunts were here, and after that shaved and dressed and took the Mater and Aunt Jessie to the church in Acton, where the christening was duly performed by Father Gerard. Everyone returned here for the teas, which although very simple was quite a success.

The party broke up at 6pm and from then till dinner was busy on school forms, tickets etc., for the Boys. The irony of it, when one does not even know where their fees are to come from, or when.

The Aunts left after dinner and the Mater, Pater and I are listening to the BBC Gallipoli memories. It is extremely well done. I, 15 & 16, lived all through that time and never lifted a hand in war.

It is said that the Herzogin Cecile may get off after all. Grant that it may be so.

Have written Mrs Fehr. Holman has been on the ‘phone, but I know no details.

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