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Alexander Goodlet

The Goodlet diaries: Week one

This is week one of the diary entries of Alexander Goodlet of Ealing, 80 years ago. This week he writes as the new year begins; and it brings yachting, school reports for his brother, news of a bombing in Sweden and disasters at sea. Have you read the introduction?

January 1936

Wednesday 1.1.36

Although I promised to accompany the Aunts home this morning and be their “First foot” I am afraid I just lay like a log until 2.30 in the afternoon. Roused out then and after tea accompanied Joan and Thomasina home in a foul rainstorm.

Then on to the Aunts’, where I was after all in time to be their first foot. Had a very jolly tea with them and arrived home soaked to the skin.

The pater has been in bed all day with a chill but got up for dinner. Mr Kerr rang up and I spoke to him; he has a most pleasant voice.

The Pater had some schedules for me to type after dinner, so I was busy on one thing and another until 11.30. Since then I’ve written a long letter to Jeanette, but that is about all and it is now 4.50. No model making and no drawing and, as for the Pater’s map, Lord knows when it will get started.

Thursday, 2.1.36

Up at eleven to have breakfast with the Aunts who were in, but staggered back to bed and slept until 2.15, which barely gave me time to get to the bank. On the way back I called in at the Science Museum to examine the Rocket and was delighted to inspect also the splendid full size replica that Stephensons built for the Museum. I see they presented it in 1934, so it must be a long time since I was last there.

Mr Stanley came to dinner and the Yachting circle turned up afterwards. We sailed two most exciting matches under the New Year rule amendments and greatly enjoyed them. Walked to Horn Lane as usual.

Buzz’s report came in today and while praising his work as usual his form master J.F. makes a piteous complaint that he is icily aloof. What a comment from an alleged hard case school.

Once again it is 4.30 am and although I have oceans of work to do I am too tired for it.

Friday, 3.1.36

Slept like a log until 12.30, and after lunch again until 5p.m. Rose then with a splitting headache and have not entirely lost it. Did some shopping before dinner and after dinner went over to the Aunts, chiefly I confess for the malicious pleasure of witnessing their reaction to Buzz’s report. It exceeded my wildest dreams, their fury being unbelievable. Had a pleasant time and got home by 11.50.

Very little news of note. It has been established that, after all, none of the Swedish detachment were killed in the bombing of the Swedish Hospital, but were nevertheless badly wounded. Rome’s impudent avowal of the deliberate nature of the dead has exasperated the Swedes.

Both the mater and Pater seem much better today.

Did I previously note that a big I.A. line, the City of Khartoum, was wrecked on Tuesday evening?

Saturday 4.1.36

Another very poor start and was hardly dressed when the Aunts and the D’s arrived for tea.

Afterwards went down to Ealing with A.J., where we separated, she shopping and I to the library and the Post Office to post Jeanette’s letter. Also to Tann’s to confirm the order for that wretched paper for the map. Met Adamson, his wife, baby and mother in Ealing. They seemed very prosperous.

After dinner over to the D’s at 15 and spent an amusing evening with them and Howard, mostly taken up with the discussion of the joys of anticipation as opposed to the disappointment of realisation.

Home at one a.m. and after tea with the Mater and Aunts, who are stopping the night, sat discussing the P.S.F. with the Pater. He leaves for Paris in the morning and on Monday has the momentous meeting with Beau, on the result of which much hinges.

So here it is 4 a.m. and another hour till I’m in bed. What a week.

Sunday 5.1.36

Worked until 7.30 a.m. on gear for the Pater and only tumbled into bed as I heard the Mater arise. Up again at 10 to bid God speed to the Pater and then back to bed, where I dozed uneasily until 6 p.m. The Mater and Aunts brought me tea and lunch in bed.

Mr Stanley came to dinner and the five of us had a most charming evening. I walked to Horn Lane with him.
The Mater rang up Ine, and the Boys return tomorrow. Poor Doctor has the flu.

I sent off Buzz’s ticket forms to be signed at the School.

Monday 6.1.36

A slightly better start and down to the bank at (-).30. Thence to Victoria where I had an hour to spend waiting for the Boys. Saw L.B.S.C. 4-4-0 2045 and 4-4-2 tank 2005, both looking very smart. Also old L.B.S.C. E.0-6-0 1660 and L.S.W.R. 4-4-0 416. Ugly brute. S.E.C.R. 4-4-0s 1415 and ? Also “Lord Howe”.

The Boys duly returned looking very fit and cheery after their holiday. After tea I saw Joan and Thomasina home and went to the Library and W. Ealing.

Have been very busy tonight writing letters and preparing forms and cheques for the boys. Nearly £40 signed away. A bad wrench, and especially at this time of the year. Sent Basil Fehr 7/6 for Wuss’ licence.

Not much news. I see another Swedish Hospital doctor has dies of his bombing injuries.

The Mater had a letter from Jock.

Tuesday 7.1.36

Again to bed about 6 a.m. and so of course slept like a log until lunch. The Aunts and Joan and Thomasina were here. Afterwards the former and the Mater and Boys went off to the flicks and Joan and Thomasina home. I went round to the School for teas and Mr Stanley and I came back here for dinner. The Aunts were here too and it was a good evening. Mr Stanley played us some of his new tunes. Walked to Horn Lane with him as usual.

There was a letter from the Pater this morning saying that Beau is to hand in the subscriptions in London this week and that he will probably have to be present; so he may be back tomorrow night. Also a letter from Daniel.

Fresh shipping disasters are reported today as a result of the gale and I note that 20 British seamen have lost their lives in the last ten days of bad weather.

Italy’s campaign seems to be at a standstill.

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