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Crowded library in Acton

The Goodlet diaries: Week 41

Visits to the library (pictured) provide some respite in week 41 from the misery of a bad cold and constant stream of bad news from home and abroad as the sense of impending conflict becomes thick in the air. Talk of conscription does not lift Goodlet’s mood. See past weeks, and an introduction, in the history section.

October 1936

Saturday, 3.10.36

Up late as usual, to learn that the man had been for the electric a/c, and so once again we are without a bean in the world. Busy until tea time and then went out shopping for the Mater. Met Kidd, Joan and the youngsters who were on their way here to tea.

Later on went to the Library and then on to the Aunts, whom I found well and with whom I had tea. Back here to dinner and have spent a pretty quiet and somewhat gloomy evening. Fuzz had a bad cold and I think that both the Mater and Buzz are blowing up for a dose also. Then there have been more bloody doings out in Palestine and altogether every outlook is pretty bloody.

I was telling Kidd today exactly where I thought the blasted Conservative gang was leading, or rather steering the country. First, mild conscription, “in the national interest” of course, then press censorship, then, “so as not to confuse the nation’s councils in these grave times”, an indefinite suspension of the Parliament Act so as to secure themselves in power for all time; and then, to suppress any manifestations of disatisfaction, Sir T. Inskip will establish special “sedition tribunals” presided over by retired army generals and the stranglehold of a vile, selfish, utterly stupid and unscrupulous political gang will bring to an end the constitution for which 800 years Englishmen have striven, worked and lived. Neville Chamberlain, Samuel Hoare, Thomas Inskip, Walter Elliot and John Simon, may their names be cursed and their memories infamous wherever there may be left in the world one spark of liberty and self respect.

I feel that only the loyalty and honesty of Mr Baldwin, with his intense sense of the glories of English life and all that goes with it, stands between the Conservative Party and this accursed programme.

Tonight the clocks go back to the Greenwich time; it seems no time at all since we put them forward.

Sunday, 4.10.36

Mater gave me breakfast in bed, after which I snoozed comfortably till lunch time. Was busy until tea, after which I went for a brief stroll to enjoy the sunset in a typical misty autumn evening.

Mr Stanley came to dinner and we had a pleasant musical evening. Really it is a tragedy that he does not get either the fame or the financial reward that his beautiful compositions merit. I hope that some day he will.

On the wireless tonight there was news of more desperate fighting in Palestine. Damn the place. Also of the tense impending clash between China and Japan. Another dramatic item was that at the very last minute the police had banned the much vaunted Fascist march through the East End of London. This is, of course, a damaging blow to Mosley but of course the beastly Communists are so cock-a- hoop that they, in turn, will stir up trouble. A plague on both their damned movements.

I fear the Mater’s cold is a bad one. Ine rang tonight; poor Margaret is sick.

Monday, 5.10.36

Up rather late to find the Mater really bad with a beastly influenza cold. Busy all afternoon and a t six took Joan and the little girls home after tea.
Typed a letter for the Pater and his request went out and procured a bottle of whiskey for the Mater. However, unluckily, her cold does not seem the kind that yields to treatment. With luck she should be better in the morning. The Boys are determined to start on their own in the morning. Confound it, I seem to have caught the damned thing myself and my nostrils feel like furnaces.

After dinner went over and spent a very pleasant hour with the Aunts who are well. Since I’ve returned I’ve been yarning with the Pater over naval notorieties of the nineteenth century.

There is a big row all round about yesterday’s affair, and everyone seems to blame the Home Secretary J. Simon.

Today Mussolini devalued the lira to 92=£ and 40=$, with many reductions on tariffs and quotas. Hope this stings some of our tariffists here.

Tuesday, 6.10.36

Woke late as usual to find that the Boys had most successfully managed their own calling and breakfast this morning. The Mater rose later and says that she feels the better for the rest, but I am afraid that her cold is not much better, nor is the Pater’s eye trouble. I too am in the midst of a cold in the head similar to the Mater and have used a succession of handkerchiefs all day. Was busy until 4 pm, when I went over to the School and had tea with them. Very good time as usual and got back here at 7.30.

Wrote JM and went down to Ealing to airmail the letter. Am making quite an early start to bed.

At the Socialist Party conference in Edinburgh there was some plain speaking on the appalling war danger all round, and the aims and policies of our present pernicious cabinet. Still more bombing and outrages in Palestine and at the League of Nations today Norway and Poland are commenting rather badly on our failure to deal with the trouble.

Wednesday, 7.10.36

The Mater let me sleep on till 1pm today, but even then I rose feeling ghastly and still do. Damn it. The Mater’s cold is by no means better, but I believe the worst part of it is over. About 4 I went down to the Library and then on to the Aunts’, with whom I had a cup of tea and spent a pleasant hour.
After finishing the routine work tonight I have quietly dozed in front of the drawing room fire.

Very little news of any kind in any of the papers. There is another lightning, unofficial strike of the LPTB buses today, which greatly annoys everyone.

Yesterday was the 400th anniversary of the death of Tyndale, who made the first pure classical translation of the Bible into English.

Thursday, 8.10.36

Breakfast in bed and lunch by the drawing room fire, and then down to the bank to get the house keeping money; rather unpleasant, too, as they were not too keen on the business. However, I got it eventually, after an embarrassing wait.

Home and paid the papers and then into Ealing to do shopping for the Mater and Pater. Got back to find friend Stanley had rung up to say he couldn’t come.

After dinner Kidd and JD turned up and we sailed three “Point” races on the new course. Kidd won two and I the last, but JD being second all the time, finished up with the best flag score. We find the new course is most enjoyable.

The news today is ominous. Russia accuses Germany, Italy and Portugal of breaking the Non-Intervention Pact and threatens to hold herself free to act as she wishes. God knows what will be the end of this.

Today there has been a big scrap in Palestine with 200 Arabs.

Friday 9.10.36

Woke in a hurry this morning at 12.30, as the cup of tea which Buzz must have very kindly put into my hand at 7.30 overbalanced and flooded me with icy liquid. Lay in acute misery for some minutes, but the only solution to the coldness and discomfort was to rise. Ugh!

Messed about most of the afternoon and after tea called on Joan and the youngsters. Found them all with colds, Joan’s being a very bad one. Met JD and with him went to Ealing, where I called on the Library and Woolworths.

Very quiet evening, but somehow it is no earlier to bed.

I am afraid the Mater’s cold is no better and her wretched cough seems to be troubling her again.

Ine rang up tonight and I believe they are to come up on Sunday.

Palestine seems a bit quieter today but the damned revolt is not declared off yet.

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