Isobel Addison’s diary August 1931

Saturday, 1st August, 1931

After much scurrying, hairwashing, packing etc., Isobel left by the 10.14 to meet Nick and go down to Devon.  Pa and I gradually regained our breath and tidied up her trail of leavings.  Stella came about 5.30 and stayed to supper.  Mrs. Willmott and her two brothers and Mary came in for a bit.  Pa visited the bungalow before supper.  It has been a glorious day real summer, just a bit hot for my taste.

Sunday, 2nd August, 1931

Went to St. Anne’s at 8. Took tea up to Pa and he came down and had breakfast.  After lunch some of the Willmott party came and played croquet but didn’t stay for tea.  We had tea and a snoozle.  Mary and one of her uncles came in about 9.  We had a late supper and came to bed later still!

Monday, 3rd August, 1931

Got up about 7.30.  Brought breakfast up to Pa’s room.  Wilfred went up to London today with Mason.   Pa met Maurice Newton at Wycombe soon after 12.  After lunch we talked and slept!  Pa and Maurice gathered raspberries and currants and we bottled them.  After supper Pa took Maurice to Wycombe for his bus home.  Played patience and read in the evening.

Tuesday, 4th August, 1931

Got up about 8.  Isobel rang up, having come up by night from Devon.  After breakfast and hen feeding etc., Mary came in and we gathered fruit for Mrs. Willmott.  Wrote a long letter to Michael.  Had lunch and finished letter, fed hens.  Pa and I went to tea at the Wise’s , very pleasant and v.g. comforting “explosion” on so-called socialist government.  Got home about 6.30.  The Willmott party were playing croquet.  They came in and talked a bit.  I got supper – Isobel arrived by the 6.48 from town.  After supper Pa and I prepared a bag full of blackcurrants and filled and sterilized 7 bottles.  Came to bed about 1.30.

Wednesday, 5th August, 1931

Isobel left by the 7.50.  I took C.A.’s breakfast upstairs.  Wrote to Kate to Leningrad today also sent my pass book in to the bank.  The Willmott party came and played croquet after lunch for a bit.  A very pleasant quiet day.  Wilfred took his mother-in-law and family for a drive in the evening.

Thursday, 6th August, 1931

Got up about 8.  Busy morning preparing for Bess coming to lunch.  Gathered and arranged flowers etc.,  CA met her at 12.15.  After lunch we jawed and gathered flowers, packed eggs etc.,  Carrie and Nellie came to tea.  Bess left at 5.30 and when CA got back he took them home.  Before and after he and I prepared 7-lbs of blackcurrants  and put them on to boil.  Played patience in the kitchen.  Got to bed at 12.45.   Mrs. Willmott and her Michael and her brother came in about 6 and I strolled along the road with them.

Friday, 7th August, 1931

Got up in fairly decent time – didn’t do much in the morning.  After breakfast I put all the broody hens out in the first run.  Wilfred and I had a great time getting all the R.I.R. hens out into their back run.  Finished the blackcurrant jam, 12½-lbs.  After lunch the aunts came and they and Pa gathered blackcurrants and we all prepared them and I bottled 7 jars for them.  We had tea and did some more preparing and I put some on for jam after they had gone.  Michael and Mary Willmott came in and sat talking with us till midnight when Pa and I had a belated supper.  After that we came up to bed and I had a Radox bath and doctored my sore ….which meant getting into bed at 3 a .m!

Saturday, 8th August, 1931

Rather overslept this morning which was perhaps natural seeing when I got to bed!  After breakfast and hen feeding Mrs. Willmott came and I read a letter which her brother had sent me for her.  Finished my blackcurrant jam – 16-lbs and cooked lunch.  Isobel arrived at 1.30.  After lunch we visited hens and I helped her with some dyeing.  Pa snoozled by a fire in the study.  Thunder this morning but quite chilly  later on and very wet.  I boiled a piece of bacon then retired to the study and snoozled!  Had a meal about 7.30 and Isobel went to play bridge with the Willmotts.  Came to bed about one.

Sunday, 9th August, 1931

Went to St. Anne’s at 8.  Pa and I had breakfast.  Took Isobel’s up to her in bed

Monday, 10th August, 1931

Got up at  6.45 and got breakfast, but Isobel didn’t feel well so stayed at home.  I did some very satisfactory sewing for her and she did some of her mending.  A very wet day. Wrote several letters after lunch.  Welwyn called for eggs.

Tuesday,  11th August, 1931

Got up at 6.30.  Isobel went away by the 7.50. Took Pa’s breakfast up to him in bed.  Sewed Isobel’s new black frock most of the morning and also cut out a pair of knickers for myself – not very successful.  Isobel came home by the 5.46.

Wednesday, 12th August, 1931

Got up at 6.15. – awfully virtuous – had a quite  leisurely breakfast with Isobel  and she went away by the 7.50.  Took Pa’s breakfast up to him. Did all my usual chores.  Pa went to town by the 12.3.  After lunch I slept for an hour.  The old knife-sharpener man came .  Wrote to Chris and Brigit, Bessie, Miss Booth.  Had a P.C. today from Kate in Russia – the first I’ve had except the one from Hamburg.  Pa came home by the 6.27.  Played patience and read, came to bed about 12.  Cut out a really successful pair of knickers for myself today.  Pa and Isobel went to see Dr. Barber about their complaints – rather satisfactory I gather.  I here record that I had a terrible “concern” today – does it mean Isobel, Michael or possibly Kate?

Thursday, 13th August, 1931

Didn’t get up till just before 9.  After breakfast all the usual chores, hens etc.,  Collected things for washing and mending – mended black jersey.  Got lunch ready – Pa went to have his hair cut. After lunch did a lot of laundry – all my own things ironed and mended.  Pa had a snoozle on his bed and I took tea upstairs about 4.30 – then machined my outsize knickers  and nearly finished them.  Changed the furniture in Pa’s room and he put up a little shelf for Michael.  Had some supper and played patience.  Did a lot of telephoning to Isobel – she was once more a mass of variability and indecision!   Wet day, very close and muggy – beastly.   My concern grew less owing to my own putting of it away – it is in the recesses of my brain – I await –

Friday, 14th August, 1931

Didn’t wake till after 8.  Went down and telephoned to Isobel – dressed and got breakfast –  usual chores.  Finished completely, even to the elastic, my outsize pants – most satisfactory – felt awfully proud of them  and shall soon be able to make plus fours for  Pa!  Got lunch and afterwards did some more mending.   Mrs. Willmott and her Michael came in about 5.  After they had gone I cut out the pattern for my coat-frock and shall get to it tomorrow.    Pa and I supped off porridge and patience.  I went over to Mrs. Willmott’s and read to her for about an hour and a half.  Came in and had some tea and played more patience and came to bed.  Very wet day again, sheets of rain.

Saturday, 15th August, 1931

Got up about 8.15, telephoned to Isobel before breakfast and hen feeding and bed making etc., I cut out my coat ready for machining. Spent a good time gathering and arranging flowers.   Pa and I lunched off milk and cake.  Sir Charles Howell Thomas came down in the afternoon to go over various things with Pa.  Michael arrived soon after 9 and we had dinner and talked endlessly.  He looks very tired and is rather thin in the face.  Isobel was to leave London for Tintagel this morning with Nick. They were to pick up Brigit at Okehampton. It has been a very nice day though somewhat windy, quite a lot of sunshine.

Sunday,  16th August, 1931

No church today, very wet day.   Michael got his unpacking done.    I wrote to Isobel and Chris.  Mary Wilmott came and went for a walk with Michael after lunch and they came back to tea.  After tea I went to read to  Mrs. Willmott  and took her for a little walk.  Mike and I visited the hens.  Had supper.   Bessie rang us up also Chris – played dummy bridge. I came to bed rather late.

Monday, 17th August, 1931

Had breakfast about 8.30 but wasted a lot of time after it and was a bit late with lunch. Pa and Mike did some sorting of Mike’s …………..and books etc., and cleaned out his shed. Did up a parcel for Isobel and wrote to her.  Sent off surfboard.  Had a P.C. from Kate from  Moscow.  Pa and Mike drove down to Missenden about 7.30.  I got my dress cut out and the coat pinned up.  Got some supper for them and went over myself at 9 to read to Mrs. Willmott. Got home just after 11.  Had some tea and sandwiches  – played patience, came up and had a bath and got to bed just before 2!  Very bad.

Tuesday, 18th August, 1931

Got the coat of my dress machined up this morning and pinned in the sleeves – not very satisfactory fit.  Probably have to come out again.  Chris arrived at 11.30 having left Moreton at  5 a.m!  Gave him some tea and sat in the garden talking.  A glorious day, hot and sunny, real summer.  After lunch they played croquet and I prepared dinner for evening meal.  Mr. and Miss Collins called and we had tea in the garden. Mary  Willmott and two friends came and played croquet.  Stella arrived about 7.30.  After dinner we played bridge and Mary joined us.  Kate arrived at 11.40 feeling very seedy.  We fed her and talked for ages  and got to bed somewhere near 2.30 or 3.

Wednesday, 19th August, 1931

Pa left for the 9.1 and Stella went just after 9.  Mike and I had breakfast, took Chris tea, gave Kate hers in bed.  Chris came down and had his. Washed all the various dishes, made beds, fed hens, sat with Kate a bit. Lunch and wrote to Isobel.  Kate slept  nearly all afternoon.  Cooked a little fish for her tea – had our tea.  Mrs Willmott came over to have a letter read and Kate got up and had a bath and came down for a little while.  I tidied rooms and made my bed which she had been in all day.  The boys and I had porridge and cream for supper.  I went and read to Mrs. Willmott for an hour or so. Came home at 10.30 and saw Kate and gave her and Chris a cup of tea. Collected Mike’s things for going away tomorrow.  Poor old Daddy didn’t get home till the last train.  Chris and I sat talking to him while he ate fruit and cream   and we had tea and ham sandwiches! And we came upstairs at nearly 3 a.m.  Having had a hot bath I am writing this at 4 a.m.  I must have the boys’ breakfast ready by 8.  Nothing very satisfactory re Cabinet.

Thursday, 20th August, 1931

Got up at 6.15.  Took tea and got boys’ breakfast ready.  Isobel telephoned the sad news of poor little Robert’s death.  Kate and Pa came down to breakfast.  Got sandwiches ready after boys departed about 9.15. Did a lot of fitting to my coat this morning.   Wrote to Brigit  and to Isobel.  Sent Michael’s comb which he had left behind. Kate went to town by the 3.6. Pa and I had a meal at 6 and he went to town for a Cabinet at 6.30 and didn’t get home till 11.45. We ate bread and milk and sat by the fire talking  There is an awful mess up going on politically.

Friday, 21st August, 1931

CA left by the 9 a.m.  Had a busy morning sewing, writing and sorting clean and dirty laundry and a correspondingly lazy afternoon, read, slept a bit, packed parcel for Michael of things I had washed in the morning.  Prepared dinner.  CA got home at 6.30.  Nellie came in about 6 and stayed a bit, Wilfred took her home. After dinner CA and I went and shut up about 9 broody hens.  This has been another windy day with some rain.

Saturday, 22nd August, 1931

CA went up by the 8.20 for another cabinet.  I got up nice and early and got the beds made and rooms tidied before breakfast. Fed hens, gathered and arranged flowers, did some preparation for dinner and pinned my dress together satisfactorily.  Got lunch ready.  Katy arrived at 2.15.  CA got home soon after 6.  We talked 19 to the dozen and heard all his tale and all three let ourselves go on the subject of Bankers, Ramsey and Snowden.   Had dinner, went and shut up hens and sat in the study still talking!   De la Warr rang up from Hamburg – we heard him quite plainly, it might have been London or even Missenden.

Sunday, 23rd August, 1931

Went to St. Anne’s at 8.  After breakfast did a lot of ironing for Kate. Wrote to family and to Miss Helps.  Daddy went up to town for a cabinet at 5.20.  Kate and I not being able to wait till morning for news went up to the flat by the 10.14.  Had tea and sandwiches and talked with Daddy.  Got to bed about 1.30 a.m.

Monday, 24th August, 1931

Got up soon after 7 and got the breakfast.  Kate went off at 9. I cleared up and made beds and Pa came with me to Marylebone for the 10.5.  He then went on to the office to clear up his papers there.  I called at the bungalow on my way  home and told them all the news.  Daddy telephoned about one saying Ramsey was going to form a National Government – this of course puts the lid on him  and for the Party’s sake it is the best thing he could do.  He and Snowden and Thomas will all presumably be in it – so we shall be rid of these old men of the sea.  The dogs and cat and I had lunch and afterwards I did some mending for Kate.  Wrote to the family at Tintagel and got supper ready.  E.F. Wise rang up from town congratulating CA on his stand and I had a pleasant few words with him.  Pa got home by the 6.27.  We had supper and talked.  Kate rang up.  Came to bed around 12 or a bit later.  Anyway it is now 1.45 a.m. and I am just going to get into bed having had a bath etc!

Tuesday, 25th August, 1931

Pa went up to town early to meet Henderson etc.,  Finished Kate’s two blouses and a petticoat and felt very proud of my handiwork when it was all ironed and folded!  Wrote a long cable to Isobel.  Pa got home at 6.18.   Had the unpleasant news that he must go with other outgoing ministers to Buckingham Palace tomorrow morning. Did endless telephoning to try to get out of it but all in vain!

Wednesday, 26th August, 1931

Pa went off by the 9 train for his flummery business at Buckingham Palace.  After my usual chores I sat in the garden and finished off Kate’s black petticoat.  Had lunch and got ready for going to Swindon.  Pa telephoned that he couldn’t get back here so I went to London by the 3.6 and met him at the flat and we got the 5.15 from Paddington.  Dunstan White met us at Swindon. A very enthusiastic meeting of delegates at Milton Road.  After it was over we two and Hastings went next door to the Seymours who gave us a most excellent supper.  We caught the 12.40 train and Wilfred met us at Reading.  Home soon after 2.30.  Had tea and got to bed by 4!

Thursday, 27th August, 1931

Got up at 7.30 and got breakfast and brought it up to Pa’s room. Then had a bath and dressed.  Pa went by the 9.55 and after hen feeding etc., I spent the whole morning fitting and getting my new frock pinned right and did some of the machining.  Had some lunch and fed dogs and returned to my frock.  Pa got home at 4.30 and we had tea in the garden.  Liz and Carrie came over and Wilfred took them back when he went to meet Kate at 7.12. De La Warr rang up to say he was joining   with the Macdonaldites – very disappointing – but as he is not really a socialist it is just as well.  Kate and Pa and I thoroughly discussed the political situation – rather overheatedly at first but calming down to reasoned argument in the end!!!  We also played dummy bridge and came to bed at 11.30

Friday, 28th August, 1931

Got Kate off in good time for the 8.20 train.  Took CA’s breakfast to him in bed. Made beds, fed hens, washed dishes etc., and went on with my dress.  CA went to town by the 12.3 to lunch with Sir. Wm. Crawford and to go on to the meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.  After lunch I did some more sewing and made a beef and ham roll in preparation for the return of the family tomorrow.  Prepared dinner.  CA got home by the 6.27. After dinner and much talk we sat by the study fire and played patience – they seem to be preparing a pretty socialistic programme  and I do hope that they will put some real vim into it.  Started treating my toes tonight.

Saturday, 29th August, 1931

Got up soon after 7 and cut out a petticoat and pair of knickers before breakfast. Fetched breakfast up to CA’s room.  Spent a good bit of the morning on my sewing.  Sat in the sun in the garden and cut beans for lunch.  Kate arrived at 2.15 and we had lunch.  I tidied and went over to see Mrs. Willmott for a few minutes.  Kate and I arranged flowers.  Two Keighley brothers turned up for tea and left about 6.30 or 7. Did some more sewing and sat by the study fire. Had some supper.  Isobel and Mike arrived from Cornwall by the last train – I finally got to bed about 3 a.m.

Sunday, 30th August, 1931

Michael, I and Wilfred went to St. Anne’s at 8. Had an “economy committee” in the garden during the morning.  Not much result!  Ashcroft came to tea and supper.  Wrote to Chris and Brigit.  Chris rang up in the evening.

Monday, 31st August, 1931

Got up just after 7.  Kate and Isobel went by the 8.20. Took CA and Michael a cup of tea and they came down and had breakfast about 9.  Fed hens, made beds, read papers and prepared lunch but I don’t seem to have done much else yet I thought I was very busy!  After lunch did up Kate’s Pullar parcel and did egg accounts for August.  Welwyn called for eggs. Stella came about 6. Mrs. Willmott and Mary also came in. Pa and Michael called at the bungalow.  After supper we played bridge and Stella left just before 10.