Week 44 rather bizarrely sees Goodlet registering his regret over the abolishing of the cutlass. A haircut, not with a cutlass one would assume, and a road accident he witnesses, provide a domestic background to the war noises continuing to rage on the international scene. See past weeks, and an introduction, in the history section.
Woke sufficiently to drink my tea when Buzz brought it in this morning and so avoided accidents.
Up for lunch to find Ine here on a day’s visit from Brighton, which was rather jolly. In the afternoon, fell asleep before the drawing room fire and did not go out until nearly tea time, whereby I missed a really beautiful day. Went to Ealing and had my hair cut and feel very much the better for it. Kidd, Joan and the girls were along to tea, so we were quite a family party.
I saw them home afterwards and went on to the Library. The Doc. arrived before dinner and he and Ine stayed until 11, so we had a most jolly family evening. I thought they both looked very well. Busy on routine till 1.15 and have since sat before a darned good fire in the drawing room.
The news today is the usual mix-up. Russia has bluntly thrown down the gauntlet to Germany and Italy over Spain and the three of them are now engaged in a bluffing match of threats of action, both Russia and Italy saying their respective fleets will stop the other on the coast of Spain.
Then, in Berlin, the Hitler-Grandi rencontre goes like a mutual cooing match and today Germany freely acknowledges the Italian conquest of Abyssinia!
France is keeping icily aloof and so, I suppose, are we, but one can never be sure what our Tory gang is up to.
What a world though for a British statesman to contemplate, with three or four mighty powers all gone completely state and, a kind of perverted Shintoism which places the power and profit of the state above the individual good, and even above the good of the national character.
Germany, Russia, Italy and perhaps worst of all, Japan, God knows what’s to be done with them; if only they could be led into destroying each other it would be a God’s blessing. I learn today of Japan’s calm and fixed intention to drive us out of India and all the East.
I see with regret an Admiralty Order abolishing the cutlass, except for ceremonial occasions, Damn.
Slept until lunch time in spite of breakfast in bed. Found Kidd had been over to spend the morning with the Mater and was sorry to have missed her.
Busy after lunch helping the Mater on routine jobs and then went into the bathroom to have a bath; but, getting absorbed in a book, the water became so cold that I did not take one after all. However, as the Mater sent in my tea I spent a very pleasant afternoon.
Dinner was early, so it has been quite a long, pleasant evening by the fireside.
…This afternoon there was a very heavy hailstorm and since then the temperature has been unpleasantly cold.
The wireless gives news of heavy gales at sea.
Very quiet day. Up late as usual and then pottered about after tea, when I went over to the Aunts’ and spent a very pleasant time with them.
After dinner went out for a short stroll but met no one I knew.
Very little news of any kind, save of the damage and casualties all over the place from the tremendous gale raging.
I have been talking over financial conditions and prospects with the Mater and God alone know how much longer this mad existence can go on.
Up at lunch time feeling tired and utterly spirit weary, God knows why.
Pottered about all afternoon and went to the Library after tea, to find the book that I wanted had been given away. Got out Pamela Frankau’s Four people and found myself much fascinated by it. How I admire people who can make a living by writing, and also that queer ability some folk have to hit the bright spots of life so consistently.
News today is various. There is a proper row in the Cabinet over the Nuffield affair and Sir. S. Hoare and that puppy Duff Cooper are said to be planning the abolition of the Air Ministry and the absorption of the RAF into the Navy and Army.
Then the Japanese have arrested, tortured and finally releases without apology several of the Medway’s men at Formosa, for alleged spying. There is trouble.
Up late again and as weary as ever. Messed about until after tea, when I went over to see the Aunts. Had another cup of tea with them.
On my way home I saw a very bad motor accident at the corner of Warwick road on the Common, where two cars collided, one being rammed broadside on by the other and overturning in the most horrible manner. It was righted by the crowd, who fished someone out, and fortunately he did not appear badly damaged.
Tonight went to Lyons, where JD and I took coffee together. Expect to get to bed in reasonable time.
Had a talk with the Pater tonight on the financial position and have decided to miss going to the bank tomorrow to give something a chance to turn up.
The principal item of news today is the sudden death from heart failure of Commodore Sir Edgar Britten a few hours before he was due to take the Queen Mary to sea on her passage to America. Captain Peel of the Berengaria took over the ship.
Up late as usual to find that the Aunts had left me a packet of cigarettes when they came this morning. Busy in the afternoon and after eta went shopping for the Mater in Ealing.
Mr Stanley to dinner, and the usual crowd in to yacht afterwards. Two extremely good races, JD winning one and Stanley the other. To Horn lane as usual, and shall be earlier to bed tonight.
Not much news. Parliament reassembled today and it was announced that Walter Elliot is to be the new secretary for Scotland and W.S. Morrison takes his place as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. The Admiralty announce a new Supplementary Reserve for yachtsmen, and it looks a very good thing, for the lucky ones.
The Spanish Government seem to be hardening their resistance to the Rebels and a good thing too, but it is all a horribly bloody business, unnecessarily so.
The Mater’s cold seems a whole lot better.
Up as usual and breakfasted-cum-lunched at the drawing room fire, where, in fact, I sat and dozed for over two hours. After tea wrote Daniel and sent off JM’s Weekly Times.
Paid a hurried call on the Aunts and found them quite well. Found when I got home that Kid had been home here to say he had landed a new job, more lucrative than the present. Somehow I feel it is making a rather risky change, but I suppose he kens his own ken best. Went over after dinner to congratulate him. Got back in time to take Miss Hodges home, and that’s about all.
Unhappily I had a quarrel with the mater tonight, just about nothing at all. Really I will have to keep my tongue in better order; I am getting as bitter and fed up as some crank.
Mollison the airman landed at Croydon this morning after a record breaking flight of 13 hours from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. A wonderful trip and a damned silly one.
Had barely scrambled into bed than Buzz came in with a cup of tea and while drinking it I started reading instead of getting a spot of sleep; so that, when the Mater came in to tell me that a cheque had arrived and the Pater wanted me to go down to the bank, I felt absolutely ghastly.
However, there was no help for it and I made the trip getting drenched and chilled in the process.
After lunch was busy shopping and went to Ealing and on to the Aunts’, where I had tea. Made a call upon Kidd and Joan and the former walked home with me. This evening have spent some time making a new regulator for the Rocket, to which I have done nothing for far too long.
Have rather a cold and feel a bit under the weather. The body of Sir. E. Britten was buried at sea today off I.o.W from the Calshot, which I was aboard of in 1933.