Isobel Addison’s diary February 1919

Saturday, 1st February, 1919

We kept Isobel’s birthday and gave her her presents over our early morning tea and she was very delighted with everything.  After breakfast fed hens and rabbits and the three children went out and did some sliding in the Quarry.  I kept Michael in all day as his cough was rather bad.  He played in the nursery while I did a lot of mending.  Christopher biked down to Northwood in the afternoon and had some sleighing with some of his friends and in the evening went to a party at the James’s at Harrow and got home soon after ten.  Isobel and I had a very good game of bezique after tea, she plays very well.  Spent the evening reading.  I have nearly finished Martin Chuzzlewit again and Katie finished Nicholas Nickleby tonight.  Katie and I each had a hot bath before Christopher got home and then sat in the drawing room in our dressing gowns and went up to bed soon after 11.

Sunday, 2nd February, 1919

A little more snow during the night  – very hard frost but not so cold as yesterday. Had breakfast by 9 and fed the hens and rabbits.  CA was out all morning sawing wood.  I wrote letters to Jim, Miss Kelly, Edith Addison and Miriam Anderson and was in the garden a bit giving advice on the trees and wood!  Spent some time getting a good fire in the drawing room.  After and feeding my hens I did some more writing. CA, Christopher and Michael made a toboggan so let’s hope the snow won’t go all at once, though I can’t deny the fact that I long for a little warmer weather!  We had tea in the dining room and after tea I collected and packed up Sonnie’s things for the morning and got the dirty washing ready and put out the children’s clean clothes.  Chown was out so I put Isobel and Michael to bed and we all had supper and I finished off all the odd jobs for the morning. Read and went to  bed just after 10.

Monday, 3rd February, 1919

Got up just before 6.30 and made tea and got the kiddies up.  Had a great rush to get Christopher off in time for his train, 7.59.  The girls went off in good time to Harrow in the car and CA went by the 9.40.  I did the laundry and fed the hens and rabbits and Michael played very happily in the nursery while I darned stockings and put a tuck in my  own silk petticoat.  After dinner I wrote to Christopher and fed hens and rabbits and manicured my nails! And tidied myself.  The girls got in at 4.30 and we had tea and they went in the garden for a game in the snow.  I read the Little White Seal to Michael and he greatly enjoyed it.  He then went to bed and I did Isobel’s hair and washed her.  We had supper in the nursery as Daddy was in town at a Ministry of Health meeting.  Katie then did homework and I read and we both had hot baths early then waited for Daddy who arrived about 10.15.  Gave him tea and some loganberry tart and then went to bed.  Michael was awake a bit with a little earache about 11 but soon settled to sleep again.

Tuesday, 4th February, 1919

Got up at 7, made tea and dressed.  Girls off in good time.  Fed hens and rabbits and CA went by the 9.56.  Wrote to Sonnie and packed up his cane to send him and wrote to Daniel Neal for his boots.    No thaw yet, though yesterday it thawed a little but it has not been so cold either yesterday or today.  I sent Sonnie’s boots to Daniel Neal for repairs – mended my tweed skirt and darned Michael’s jersey.  Wrote to Mr. Terry and Miss Dewar.  After dinner the sun was shining and the sky blue so Michael and I went in the garden and fed the hens and rabbits and played about a bit.  Also took a good half hour to get a decent fire in the drawing room.  Mrs Meiklejohn telephoned to say she couldn’t come because of the strike.  I made Michael beautifully warm and he drove to Harrow to meet the girls.  We had tea in the nursery and after tea Isobel and Michael played very happily until bedtime and Katie and I sat in the drawing room and read and did her french composition.  Had supper.  CA arrived about 8.30 and had his supper and we sat reading the papers and talking and went to bed about 11.

Wednesday, 5th February, 1919

Heard this morning that Miriam Anderson and her husband can’t come because of the strike.  They don’t want to be held up so are relaxing in Ireland. It began to snow about 11 o’clock and snowed steadily all day.  I got some letters written and some mending done.  Gurney fetched the girls home in the afternoon in the car.  CA came home by the 9.6.  We sent his snow boots down to the station for him.

Thursday, 6th February, 1919

Katie and Isobel both seemed rather colded, Isobel was coughing nearly all night so I kept them both at home. The snow was thicker than ever but it began to thaw during the day and seemed much warmer.  Isobel’s temperature was 99.6 so I kept her in bed all day.  Katie and Michael also stayed in the house.  Michael’s cold hangs about him and doesn’t seem to get any better and he coughs a lot.  Mrs. Hilton and Michael H came up for a bit in the morning.  Gurney went down to do my grocery shopping and to post a letter to Sonnie for me.  Katie and I had hot baths after Michael and Isobel before supper as the water was hot then and wasn’t guaranteed to be hot later on!  CA got down about 9 and we all went quite early to bed.  Chris Gutteridge looked in at teatime on his way out to Missenden to stay a night or two with his aunt there, and left about 6.15.

Friday, 7th February, 1919

Got up at 7 and made tea and dressed myself and Michael and tidied Isobel and her bed and had breakfast by about 8.15 and left by the 9.7 for Rugby.  Isobel’s temperature was 99.2 so I left her in bed for the day.  Katie’s cold distinctly better but she stayed at home.  I got to Rugby about 10.45 and drove to the Laurels .  Saw Miss Dewar and Miss Turner and all over the school.  Had lunch and caught the 1.49 home .  A slow train which stopped at every blessed station between Rugby and Northwood except Stoke Mandeville!  However I had a carriage to myself all the way and was very comfortable.  Smoked, read and manicured my nails and tried to make drawings of Miss Dewar and Miss Turner for Katie but failed entirely to reproduce them!  Gurney and Katie met me in the car at 4.25 and I talked straight on to Katie about Rugby until 20 to 6!  Whenever I stopped to breathe or to bite or to drink she said “Yes and what else”!  Sonnie arrived home at 6 in his new uniform looking very smart and well.  Miss White came down with CA  by the 7.30 and stayed the night with us.  We were all very tired and rather cold and went to bed about 10.  Hard frost after the thaw so the kiddies are looking forward to skating and toboganning.

Saturday 8th February, 1919             ++

Got breakfast by about 9 o’clock   and fed animals.  Christopher met a friend at the station and they and Katie went toboganning on Haste Hill and after dinner skated on the reservoir.  I wrote one or two letters and did my bills with Miss White. Chris Guttridge came  about 11 and stayed to lunch and tea and left about 5.45 . CA and Miss White did diary and letters after dinner and I fed my animals and played with Michael.  Isobel’s temperature was still 99 all day so she stayed in bed.  Christopher’s friend left about 6.30.  CA walked down to the village to buy cigarettes.  We sat up in the nursery where it was nice and warm and had hot baths and got to bed a short time after ten. Wonderfully virtuous.

Sunday, 9th February, 1919

Still hard frost.  Christopher in bed with asthma,  temperature at dinner time 101.4.  Isobel still 99 but I let her get up as she seems alright except for that.  Katie and I walked to the Robinsons to get Christine to come and skate in the afternoon.  The roads are just a sheet of ice in some places and walking was not easy, but very warming and exhilerating.  Christine came after lunch and she and Katie went to skate on Mr. Dove’s pond.  I fed the animals and then spent a little time in the garden with Daddie.  Sir Douglas and Lady Newton came in just as we were finishing tea, and their daughter, a child of 12 looking more like 16.  They left soon after 6   and Katie and I walked home with Christine.  The roads were awful, worse than this morning and we didn’t get home until after 8.30.  I carried a basket with a dozen eggs for Mrs. Robinson and felt quite proud to have got them there safely without slipping on the ice and breaking them all!   Isobel’s temp tonight was 99.8 and Christopher 101.2.  He slept a good deal during the evening but had a bad fit of coughing about 10. I made his bed and heated his bottle and got him settled for the night and sat by the nursery fire reading a bit before going to bed. Also wrote to Mr. Kendall about Sonnie.

Monday, 10th February, 1919

Another freezing day.  Katie went off to school.  Isobel stayed in bed till about 11 – temp 99 but normal at mid-day and only 98 at night. Daddie went by the 9.56 and I did the laundry, fed hens and rabbits, made Sonnie comfortable and various other odd jobs including the putting away of some of the numerous books that are lying about the premises!  Sonnie’s temperature was 102 at dinner time but dropped to 101.4 at night.  I went in the car to Harrow to see Miss Huskisson to talk over schools and bought Katie home.  After tea, read to Christopher and made lots of spills and telephoned to the Sutcliffe’s.  Chown’s sister telephoned wanting her to  go and help nurse her mother.  Chown put Michael to bed and I helped Isobel.  Katie and I had supper in the nursery and I then made Sonnie’s bed and settled him up and helped Katie with homework.  She and I then seized the opportunity of hot water to have our baths early.  CA came in at 9.40 just as I had finished and we had some tea and discussed the evening papers and various of the days doings and went t bed before 11.

Tuesday, 11th February, 1919

Katie went to school.  Isobel’s temp is normal so she can go tomorrow.  Christopher 99 but normal at night.  CA went by the 9.56.  I fed my animals and wrote to Willie B and Miss Kelly and then Isobel, Michael and I walked down to Northwood.  Bought hair ribbons, gloves, buns, red ink and a book for Sonnie, also some tuck and looked in at the Hiltons on our way back.  She has got John and Michael in bed seedy.  We got home just at 1 o’clock.  Sonnie had got up and dressed and we had dinner in the nursery.  Chown left by the 1.32 to go to her mother.  After dinner I polished Christopher’s buttons and badges and fed the hens and then sat down and was idle for an hour, feeling very tired and rather fed up with drudgery !  Kate got home at 4.30 and we all had tea in the drawing room.  I cleared way for Jessie and then turned down beds and drew the blinds.  Got Michael to bed and washed his hair and did Isobel then did some necessary sewing.  Christopher went to bed before supper and Kate and I had ours in the drawing room and I made a new pair of garters for Michael.  CA late tonight at the House of Commons – its first real sitting.  He got home by the 10.30, had some milk by the gas fire in our bedroom.  I was awake when he came but went to sleep somewhere about 12, probably in the middle of his conversation.

Wednesday, 12th February, 1919

I got up at 10 past six to make tea and to help Christopher to get up in good time, but found him very seedy, coughing more and with a very sore swollen lip so we decided to keep him at home.  I made some of the beds and washed the tea things and did some tidying up before breakfast.  The girls started to school in good time but the car went wrong and they were delayed a bit but were not very late for school.  After breakfast I cleared the table, got Sonnie a hot bottle and boiled an egg and gave him his breakfast, fed my animals and saw Daddie off for the 9.56.  Michael was very good playing by himself and with Christopher all morning and I wrote a long letter to Mrs. Walker.  After dinner I was lazy for an hour and read by the nursery fire, then fed hens etc., got tea and cut the bread and butter and wrote to Mrs. Sutcliffe about Christopher.  Kate and Isobel got home about 4.15 and we had tea.  Isobel went to bed early.  Michael was in bed and lying down soon after 6.30.  We had supper at  7 and I made Christopher’s bed and heated bottles etc., then Katie and I had baths and were ready for bed soon after 9.    A most virtuous proceeding.  I long for a long, long sleep!  CA dining with doctors tonight.  Gurney went this morning to fetch our  trap back from Rickmansworth.  It has been all done up and is looking lovely, just like new.  CA missed the last train and had to drive out all the way.

Thursday, 13th February, 1919

Got up at 6.30 and went through my normal tea making and dressing performances.  The girls went off in the car and I attended to Christopher and fed the animals.  CA left at 9.56 and Gurney took my grocery list down and fetched the butter etc.  Sonnie got up at 11.  I did a bit more tidying up of books and darned some stockings.  Christopher spent a happy afternoon painting up his old engines.  It was a warm sunny afternoon and Michael and I spent a nice time in the garden feeding the chickens and walking through the snow.  The girls got home about 5 as Isobel had had games.  Duncan Preston came down by the 5.25.  I got Michael and Isobel off to bed and we had supper and sat talking and I altered Michael’s combinations and made quite a nice job of them.  CA arrived home about 10.30 having driven all the way.  We sat talking till about midnight then retired to bed.  Mrs. Gurney very kindly came up in the evening to help and stayed the night so as to be here in the morning.

Friday, 14th February, 1919

It was nearly 7 when I got up consequently we were a bit rushed.  The girls and Michael and I had our breakfast and they went to school.    It had thawed in the night and then frozen and the roads were like glass. The car skidded badly before they got to the hill so the girls walked down for the 8.50.   I gave CA, Duncan and Christopher their breakfast and saw the two men off to the station.  It had by then already begun to thaw again and was much warmer out of doors than in the house.    I fed all my animals and wrote to Chown and Mrs Sutcliffe and to Jessie’s niece about a maid.    Miss White was here and we did all my bills and she left by the 1.30.  I played shops with Michael and we went in the garden a little and we fed the hens.  I took ages to get a good fire in the drawing room.  The girls were very late home.  The whole school having been kept in because 2 or   3 girls had spoken in Hall.  They missed the 4.30 train and had to wait half an hour for the 5.9 enough to give any of them colds in this cold raw, thawing weather.  Other girls had to wait till 5.30.  CA was to have come by the 6.30 but didn’t get till the 7.30 when he had a large bowl of bread and milk and we all sat reading by the drawing room fire and went to bed in good time.

Saturday, 15th February, 1919

We managed to have breakfast about 8.30 and I made some beds and washed the early tea things and tidied up the rooms.  The children got their skates ready though it was thawing fast.  However the ice on Mr. Dove’s bond was bearing and Daddy took the three of them there for a bit.  Michael and I seized a few moments of sunshine to go and look on for  a short time.  In the afternoon CA had to go to Shoreditch and Christopher went with him and they came home at 5 with some nice TUCK! I fed my hens and got a good fire in the drawing room and tidied myself and then Katie very kindly took charge of Michael and he played in her room for an hour while I wrote to Mrs. Meiklejohn and sat and read by the drawing room fire.  Poor dear little Isobel was very cranky all day, partly with disappointment at the thaw.  Michael has not been himself for some time and last night his temperature was 101.4 for no reason that I can make out.  Tonight it was 101.  I put him to bed early also Isobel and began to go to bed myself at 9!  Got in about 10 but had to get up to put out Sonnie’s light as he was after me!  Anyway I am trying to go to bed early just now!

Sunday, 16th February, 1919

A very wet misty day.  Got up about  7.30 and we began breakfast before 9.  I left the family to finish and went to make beds and tidy bedrooms and wash early tea things.  Daddy and I washed and dried the breakfast things and I fed the animals.  Then we had a bit of a sorting of books and got some put away and rearranged. After dinner I cleaned and sponged Kate and Isobel’s gym dresses  for tomorrow and prepared the dirty laundry for counting.  Lit the drawing room fire and got the tea ready.  After tea played and sang hymns.  Put Michael and Isobel to bed early.  His temperature 100 and hers 99.6  Katie went to bed at 9 rather tired and I soon followed her.  Sonnie came at the same time.  I got all the washing ready for Mrs. Letchford before getting into bed.

Monday, 17th February, 1919

Jessie work me at 6 but I slept on and woke at 20 to 7 to hear my kettle cracking  – it had boiled itself dry!  However no damage was done and I made tea and dressed and got Sonnie up soon after 7.  He was down for his breakfast before 7.30.  He went off very cheerfully in the car for the 7.59.  Katie was ready to begin her breakfast at 10 to 8!  All felt very virtuous at being so early!  She went off in the car to Harrow.  Isobel in bed with temperature 99.4.  Michael normal in the morning and 99 at night.  I got all the household laundry done and fed my hens and saw CA off for the 9.56.  A wet day, been raining all night and rained all day, hardly any snow left by night.  I made the beds in my room and did Isobel’s hair and made her comfy and put away all the clean linen.  Then washed a shawl, a vest,  2 jerseys and 2 woolly jackets and all the hair brushes.  Had dinner, played with  Michael, fed hens, tidied myself, mended he big white Shetland shawl.  Katie home by 4.30, had tea, wrote to Christopher and read to Isobel and put her and Michael to bed. Her temperature tonight was 99.8. We had some supper and sat by the nursery fire.   CA late at the House and a very wet and windy night.  CA came by the 10.30.  I had been asleep for about 5 minutes and woke up as he came into the room.  Isobel woke and was very restless .  She had had hardly any sleep at all up until then.  A young thrush flew into the nursery tonight   and we kept it in a cage as it seemed too stormy to put it out.

Tuesday, 18th February, 1919

Got up just before 7 and found to my great disgust that the whole place was thick with snow again.  It made me feel as though someone had taken a mean advantage of me while I slept.  It was utterly unexpected.  I made tea and dressed myself  and Michael.  We let the thrush fly away in spite of the snow and the poor thing seemed very joyful to go.  Isobel’s temperature this morning was 99.  She had very little sleep all night and spent all today in bed.  CA left by the 9.56 and I fed my animals.  Made Isobel comfortable and wrote some letters.  Miss Kelly,  Miss Ziegler and Lady Worthington Evans, the last to refuse an invitation to dinner on Saturday night.  I can’t see ourselves turning out to trail up to a dinner in Grosvenor Crescent! Neither could CA!   After dinner I lit the drawing room fire, fed the hens, tidied myself and got the tea ready and toasted and buttered buns.  Mrs Meiklejohn arrived with Katie just after 4 and we had tea and Katie had her music lesson.  Mrs. M left for the 7.8, walking down to the station.  I wrote a letter to Mrs. Harper about the girl who can come on Saturday to take Chown’s place. Then bathed Michael and Isobel and got them to bed.  Kate and I had supper in the nursery and she went to her bath soon after.  I wrote to Miss Huskisson and to Sonnie.  Michael woke about 11 crying and complaining of aching  in his legs.   He said they “ache like the billy-o”.   I sat with him by the nursery fire till 11.30 then as CA didn’t come in we went to bed.  I was awake at 5 to 12 but never heard CA come in at 5 past.  Woke just to say goodnight and had a little gossip.

Wednesday, 19th February, 1919

Michael was very wakeful and restless all night with his poor little legs aching. I woke Katie at a quarter to seven with a cup of tea and she sat in bed stewing geometry for her exam to day.  I made Michael’s bed before breakfast and washed the early tea things, gave  Kate her breakfast and saw her off for the 8.50 and gave Bel and Michael their breakfast and had my own.  Mixed the hen food and saw Pa off for the 9.56.  Fed hens and rabbits, made Isobel’s bed and did her hair and tidied the room.  Dr. Hilton telephoned before 9 that he w as home, demobilized.  We WERE so glad to hear it.  I read all morning to Michael and the Dr. came up just before one to see them both.  After dinner I read to Mikey again.  The old gas man from Watford came to see to the gas stoves  and kept me on the go till after 3.  He was very talkative but most entertaining – a very honest, clear eyed old man with some very nice ideas and the style of a “Local Preacher”.  After he had gone I fed my hens and rabbits.  Stanley brought his gramophone up to my room and gave both of them a concert.  I packed up Sonnie’s sugar for Mrs. Sutcliffe and sent it off.  Katie came home and we had tea in my room with the two little invalids.   I then read to Michael again and put him and Isobel comfortable for the night.  Bathed them and made their beds and gave them supper.  Katie and I had ours in the nursery.  I rang Christopher up before supper and had a little chat   with him.  We had baths soon after supper  and then sat by the fire and had some tea.  Katie had four cups and was in what she called a “giggly mood”  and we both sat and roared with laughter at nothing.  CA didn’t get home until the last train.  I had quite a good sleep before he came and felt quite wakeful when he arrived.

Thursday, 20th February, 1919

Got up at 7.  Michael and Isobel both had good nights and were much better this morning.  Katie got off in good time for the 8.50 and after giving the two invalids their breakfast CA and I had our own and he went by car to Harrow leaving here about 10.  I fed my animals  and then made the childrens’ beds and tidied them up and spent about an hour playing the gramophone for them.  The old gas man turned up and put a stove in the little dressing room and when he had gone I began to move Christopher’s things and ended after dinner by making a most charming little bedroom of it.  I fetched a small chest of drawers from the box room and washed it thoroughly – moved all his books and ornaments and hung his pictures.  Then fed hens and read to Michael.  Katie got in at 4.30 and we all had tea in my bedroom.  After tea we had another gramophone concert.  Then I bathed the two children and gave them their supper and settled them up for the night.  I rang up Christopher and had a little talk with him and had our supper in the nursery.  Katie practised and I read.  I have finished ? and ? and am now going through Nicholas Nickelby again.  CA again late at the house.  They telephoned just after 10 from the House to say he was staying in town the night in order to breakfast with the pm tomorrow morning.  Katie and I were both in bed before 10 and read a bit.  She slept in her Daddie’s bed as he was away.

Friday, 21st February, 1919

Katie went to school by train and Gurney drove down in the pony trap to meet Miss White at 10.30.   Isobel and Michael still in bed.  I moved Christopher’s clothes and put the finishing touches to his little room and when Miss white came we looked  out all the bills etc., and we got them paid.  We had lunch up in my room with the children and she left by the 1.32.  I lit the fire in the drawing room and fed the animals. Dr. Hilton came up to see the children and thought Isobel could get up tomorrow but Michael must say in bed yet and is to have oil in his ears preparatory to having them syringed. Christopher arrived home by the 4.30 from Harrow and we all had tea in my room.  Mrs. Gurney very kindly stayed the night so as to help us.  She is really a little brick and I don’t know what I should do without Jessie and her.  I got my two invalids bathed and settled for the night and Katie, Christopher and I had our supper .  CA came by the 8.20 and had supper and we all sat jawing by the drawing room fire and went to bed soon after 11.  Sonnie is very pleased with his new room and went to bed quite decently early in consequence.

Saturday, 22nd February, 1919

I got up just before 8 having had early tea in bed.  We had a great morning tidying up and were busy all the blessed day.  Isobel got up at about 11 and we began to move her old room as she is going into Christopher’s.  After lunch Jessie went down to the station to meet Mrs. Honeyball who bought her daughter , Elsie, to help in place of Chown.  They didn’t arrive until teatime .  A very nice woman, just the sort I like.  Elsie, rather shy, naturally, and probably very homesick poor girl.  We got the greater part if Isobel’s room done and she will gradually clear the rubbish and hoardings from her own room now she has moved!  Daddy, the two big ones and Gurney and Stanley brought down  part of a beech tree to make wood for next winter.  We sat up in the nursery in the evening.  I got the two little ones settled early for the night and we had supper early and all got to bed in good time – very tired – at least I know I am!

Sunday, 23rd February, 1919

Isobel woke full of spirits and was dressed and out in the garden before breakfast.  We got breakfast by nine and afterwards  I mixed the hen food and helped to make beds and then fed hens and rabbits.  Spent nearly all day in my room with Michael.  It was a nice morning, mild and sunny, but turned cold later on.  CA kindly killed two of my old hens for me.  I got 12 eggs today, ten of them from 12 hens.  Mrs. Honeyball left after lunch and Kate drove her down to the station with Elsie to see her off.  Dr. Hilton came up about tea time, we had already got Michael’s ears syringed and he examined them and found them not quite right, due probably to all this beastly catarrh he has.  Dr. Hilton had tea with us and stayed talking to CA a bit.  I put Michael early to bed, also Isobel and we all had supper early.  Rather an unpleasant evening owing to disputes about the hot bath – but I don’t want to remember it and only note it because it happened.

Monday, 24th February, 1919    A Childrens’ half term holiday, a nice mild day and very sunny in the morning.  Michael’s temperature was only 99 so I dressed him and took him in the nursery in the sun and kept him there all day.  I got two or three letters written between times and did various other odd jobs and spent a good afternoon  reading to Michael while he rested.  Isobel did one of her examination papers. They have all been most awfully good and sweet all day, no quarrelling to speak of!  Katie had a ride in the morning and Sonnie biked down to Northwood to buy tuck in the afternoon.  We got Michael and Isobel to bed before 7 and had our supper  in the nursery – all went early to bed. I did the dirty laundry early this morning and Katie fed the hens and this evening she helped me to put away the clean and to get Mrs. Letchford’s ready.  It has been a busy day.

Tuesday, 25th, 1919

Got up at 6.30, made tea and got Christopher up and gave him his breakfast and got him off in good time   for the 7.59.  He seemed very white and not well but I hope it was only early morning “qualms”  The girls left in the car at 8.30 and CA went by the 9.56.  I fed my animals, wrote some letters and dressed Michael.  The doctor came and Mrs. Hilton was in for ½ an hour.  We had our dinner in the nursery and I played with him, fed animals and wrote another letter or two.  Mrs. Meiklejohn came by the 3.20 and walked up. The girls arrived about 4.30. We had tea and they and their music lessons and did homework.  I put Michael to bed.  Mrs. M left for the 7.8.  I gave her a dozen eggs.  Gurney brought our new gramophone from Harrow but they sent no needles so we couldn’t play it!  We had supper in the nursery and read a bit and had hot baths and I wrote to Miss Huskisson. CA telephoned that he was staying in town the night – his Health Bill again, put off owing to Miner’s Bill – but he thinks there is going to be a compromise about the coal strike which is merciful hearing. Katie slept in his bed and we got to bed finally soon after 10.30.  Mrs. Coates came up after lunch and we arranged for her to give Katie some coaching in French three times a week.

Wednesday, 26th February, 1919

I was disgusted when I woke this morning to find it was actually trying to snow again. There was a faint  white on the roof of the verandah, however it soon melted away and changed to rain and continued being cold all day.  Katie and Isobel got off to school in good time.  Gurney brought back the gramophone needles from Harrow and I spent most of the day playing it for Michael and got one or two letters written in between times.  I couldn’t take him out because it was so cold and sunless, but he was very good and happy all day in the nursery.

Thursday, 27th February, 1919

Katie was so tired this morning and said she felt too seedy to go to school so she spent all day at home and spent most of the day reading by the nursery fire and playing the gramophone for Michael.  CA left by the 9.56. Isobel went off to school quite merrily in spite of going alone. I got a few letters written but felt awfully tired and had a violent headache and neuralgia all day and was very idle on the whole.  Isobel got home about 4.45 having stayed for games and was brighter and fresher than I have seen her for a long time, full of spirits and with sparkling and glowing cheeks.  I got Michael to bed fairly early and then Isobel.  CA came home by the 7.30 and he, Kate and I had supper in the nursery.  Poor little Michael has had some diarrhoea today – maybe it’s only his grey powders from Sunday night just taking off!  He has been awfully good and sweet all day and on the whole looks better, but he is very thin for him and still doesn’t seem to have any appetite.  We got to bed before 11.

Friday, 28th February, 1919

Katie still at home with a very grubby tongue  so I gave her a pill!  Isobel went off  to school very cheerily and CA left by the 9.56.  Miss White came down and we did my bills and she took down one or two letters for me.  It was a lovely morning, mild and sunny so I took Michael in the garden well wrapped up.  It is the first time he has been out for two weeks.  I pulled a few weeds up on my rockery. Katie went down in the afternoon at teatime to Mrs. Coates for her first French coaching.  Sonnie got in at 5.45 and we gave him tea and played the gramophone to him!  Katie got in soon after 6 and seemed to have enjoyed her French.  I put Michael and Isobel to bed and we had supper soon after 8 as CA had not then arrived – he came about quarter to nine, very tired .  We didn’t sit up long and all got to bed quite early.