Isobel Addison’s diary January 1917

Record of hens at beginning of year:

2 old hens (nearly 3 years), 1 elderly bantam, 5 hens 1 ½ years old, 3 bantam poulets, 6 poulets from Lincolnshire, 1 Mr. Bright bantam poulet, 3 poulets from Missenden

Monday 1st January, 1917 2 eggs

We began the New Year somewhat gaily with an unholy domestic row, a quarrel between Katie and Isobel being the cause of upsetting the whole household.  CA left for the 9.50 and the three children went with him as  far as Harrow to spend the day with the Andrews.  Miss White came down on the 10.55.  After lunch I fed the dogs and the hens, tidied up, and Miss White, Michael and I motored to Harrow.  Dropped her at the station and he and I went on to tea with Shal and fetched the children home, arriving here at 6.  Michael went to bed and I boiled a piece of bacon, got some soup hot for the children, wrote two letters, had supper and read by the drawing room fire.  CA got home at 11.15 and we went to bed about 12.

Tuesday, 2nd January, 1917   3 eggs

Got the hens etc., fed directly after breakfast and the three children and I went up to town with Daddy.  Drove to Lancaster  Gate and saw two hotels and took rooms in the Cleveland Court.  CA went on to the Ministry and we went back to Hampstead.  Went up to the churchyard and then walked to Swiss Cottage and took bus and taxi to Roland Gardens.  Lunch with Bessie, Harry and Joyce and got to Marylebone for the 3.20 home.  I called in on Mrs. Hilton and had a cup of tea with her and Bella sent the car down to fetch me back.  Had tea and spent a quiet evening.  I had violent neuralgia and snozzled in my chair till 10 when CA came in and we had some supper.  Annie was out with her young man and didn’t come back till quarter past eleven, saying their clocks were slow – rather a a big slowness to be  1 ¼  hours behind!

Wednesday, 3rd January, 1917    3 eggs.    K.A.

CA went up by the 9.56.  A very nice day – beyond a little  early squabble between Katie and Isobel, the children have all been exceptionally good and sweet all day.  Annie went off for the day about 12.15.  Kate and Isobel went for a drive by themselves.  After Bella took Michael out and the children played in the boxroom and I tried to sleep away my neuralgia, but it didn’t get any better until after tea.  When baby had gone to bed the others and I played scramble patience and then I got supper ready and CA arrived at 9 p.m. quite early!  We played bezique after supper but CA evidently brought the Deil home in his pocket and the game was most uninteresting as he had all the good cards and I had none.  I must record here that Michael at tea tonight was a bit grumpy and inclined to whine and when I told him to “whisht that ugly noise “ he said in an injured voice  “Luck as only speakin’ to a children!!”

Thursday, 4th January, 1917     4 eggs

A most lovely day, dry, windy and sunny. The girls drove Daddy to the station in the pony trap and then went for a little drive.  I had my usual morning.  The fish was very late in coming for dinner so we didn’t get dinner till 1.30.  After dinner Bella took Michael out and I fooled with the children. Tidied myself, fed the fowls etc., got tea and wrote to Dr. Macphail.  Sent his gloves.  After tea played cards with the kiddies. Read Oliver Lodge.  CA got home just after 9.30.  Supper, bezique and bed at 12.

Friday, 5th January, 1917         5 eggs.

Glorious day again.  Girls drove Daddy to the station and went for a drive.  I spent most of the morning in the kitchen doing things for the weekend.  John Hilton came up to play with Christopher.  Miss White came by the 11.22.  After dinner I fed the hens, tidied myself and the drawing room and got tea ready.  Miss White, Katie, Christopher and Michael went for a drive and met Shal Andrews who came to tea with me.  Isobel spent the whole afternoon from 2 until 4,15 making little fires under the fir trees with dead leaves and sticks.  She Katie and I walked down to the station in the rain with Shal for the 6.53.  Came in, played cards with the kiddies and helped to put Isobel to bed.  Supper.  CA got in about 11.15.

Saturday, 6th January, 1917      5 eggs.

A fine morning.  Campbell Andrews and Janet Froggett came to spend the day.  Miss White left at 12.  Annie and Fred were to have come for the weekend but wired to say they were prevented.  Christopher and Campbell did stamps most of the morning and helped CA with a bonfire.  After dinner went for a bike ride.  Katie and Janet went for a walk after dinner and Isobel and I made toffee – not a wartime occupation but I had a little very dark brown sugar and thought it might amuse Isobel who was a little lonely.  Campbell and Janet left about 6.30 after a game of “mink” in the garden with CA.  We played scramble patience after supper and went to bed about 12.30

Sunday, 7th January, 1917               4 eggs

Another nice day but wet at night.  CA and children spent  the day in the garden, mostly I’m afraid I was lazy and after my work was over sat reading Bleak House instead of writing letters.  We went to bed on time about midnight.

Monday 8th January, 1917   4 eggs

CA missed the 9.56 so he and Kate went for the 10.36, she going to Pinner to spend the day with Janet.  We had a lot of snow during the day and sleet and rain. Christopher and Isobel went in the pony trap to fetch Katie home after tea.  I wrote several letters between tea and supper.  CA got home by the 9 o’clock  train.  We had a game of bezique after supper and went to bed about 12.30.  Campbell Andrews came over in the morning for a little while but was feeling very seedy and went home on CA’s bike at 12.  Frightfully stormy tonight , wind, sleet and rain.

Tuesday, 9th January, 1917  4 eggs

A very busy morning trying to get all the lunch started before Mrs Meiklejohn arrived.  Katie and Isobel took Daddy to the station and Katie and Christopher went to meet the  Meiklejohns at 11.22.  Had a very nice day.  Joan and my three all went for a bicycle ride after dinner.  Katie came back early to get ready to go to tea and games at the Shiells and I fetched her home at 7. The Meiklejohns left at 5.20.  I played patience with Christopher and Isobel.  CA didn’t get here till just after 10.  Supper we talked and snozzled by the fire and went to bed somewhere about 12.  A wild windy night again.

Wednesday, 10th January, 1917       3 eggs

A lovely clear frosty, calm day.  CA left by the 9.56.  Isobel and Michael went to the station with him.   Chistopher and Katie took a note for me to Mrs. Terry – I cut sandwiches.  Mrs. Coates and Ruth came in and after they had gone Mrs. Crichton.  The children and I went by the 12.12 to town to the zoo.  Had a very jolly time and caught the 3.44 home.  After tea I walked down to the Hiltons and sat and talked to them.  Got home about 7.45.  Saw the kiddies to bed, got supper. CA came by the 9 o’clock train.  Supper, bezique, bath and bed

Thursday, 11th January, 1917            3 eggs

Snow thick on the ground this morning.  It sleeted, snowed and rain mostly all day. Annie’s afternoon out.  Mrs. Cross came to see me and I engaged her to come next week, so Annie will be leaving a week before the month is up.   CA stayed in town, dining with Ll.G and Neil Primrose – didn’t get home until 12.30.

Friday, 12th January, 1917     3 eggs

The three children went to town with CA and were taken by Mr. Urwins Grant to Wandsworth to see over a munitions factory.  They got home radiant and happy about 2 p.m. and had their dinner.  Miss White came at 11.22 for the day.  I went to tea with Mrs. Terry.  Katie, Bella, Michal and Miss White drove me there in the pony trap and went on to the station.  We have no electric light and the prospect is that we shall have to go without for some days. We  find candles rather feeble for anything but reading.  CA  came home by 9 p.m. train.

Saturday, 13th January, 1917            no eggs!!

CA went to town by the 9.40 and came home about 2.30.  A rather cold and miserable day and still no electric light.  I had my usual morning and did a little tidying up in my store cupboard.  A short afternoon owing to late lunch.  After tea CA, Christopher and I turned out the famous window seat box in the drawing room also the wooden settle in the hall and made everything beautifully tidy.  Isobel spent a long time “sorting” her bedroom.  CA and I played bezique after supper and went to bed at 11 or 11.30

Sunday, 14th January, 1917       5 eggs

Got up fairly early and got my hen food ready before breakfast.  CA stayed in bed till 11.  I made curry which always takes a long time!  After dinner fed hens, cleared all the candlesticks, got tea.  Dr and Mrs. Hilton to tea.  Katie and Isobel walked home with her and he stayed and played chess with CA.  I wrote six letters after supper.  A quiet evening and bed early.

Monday, 15th January, 1917  3 eggs

CA went by the 9.56.  I made some lovely broth for dinner, and a successful baked batter pudding. Did a lot of tidying up and some packing.  Katie went out in the afternoon with Nurse Bella and Michael to do some shopping.  Annie left at 4 without so much as saying goodbye and without making the new cook’s bed.  I set the tea in the dining room and kitchen and about 5 Mrs. Cross came.  She seems very nice and I do hope we shall get on well.  CA didn’t get in till nearly 10.  The electric light returned much to my joy about 4 o’clock.

Tuesday, 16th January, 1917  3 eggs

Katie and Isobel went off to school in the car.  Very snowy and cold.  CA went by the 9.56.  I finished all the packing and did a lot more tidying up.  Counted all the dirty washing and we were ready before 12 to go to the station. Got to Baker St about 12.40 and CA’s car met us and brought us to the Cleveland Court Hotel.  Everything very nice. We had lunch and unpacked and put things away.  Nurse Bella and baby went for a walk and Christopher and I went to Harrow to fetch the girls. Got home about 4.30.  Had tea all together.  Played cards and read.  Michael and Isobel went to bed and Katie and Christopher sat with me while I had dinner all alone – CA didn;’t get in until 8.30 and he and Bella went down and had dinner together.  We went to bed about 11.

Wednesday, 17th January, 1917             2 eggs

Rather a rush to get Katie and Isobel to the station in time but we managed it.  Christopher and I went with CA in the car as far as Oxford Circus and did some shopping.  Chiefly at Swears and Wells for Sonnie.  Met Nurse Bella and Michael on our way back and went to Selfridges to get him a little chair and she wheeled him home in it.  Sonnie and I bought a dressing gown for CA and one or two other things and came home by bus.  After lunch baby went out again and I wrote some letters and rested a bit and then Sonnie and I went to meet the girls at Marylebone.  Had tea and some games.  CA came in at 7 to dress for Mr. Lever’s dinner.  The children all went early to bed and Bella came down to dinner with me.  After dinner Dr. Macphail came in and stayed till about 10.45.  I then got ready for bed and CA came in at 11.15.

Thursday, 18th January, 1917          3 eggs

Not quite such a rush this morning!  I had a cup of tea and took the girls to the station and walked back  and had breakfast with CA and Sonnie.  After breakfast CA went off and Christopher, Michael and I went in for a few minutes to see Mr. Bates.  Then Michael went out with Bella and Christopher and I went to Hampstead – up to the churchyard and down to shop at Finchley Road.  Home again for lunch.  Baby went out again and I wrote some more letters.  Sonnie and I met the girls at Marylebone and we all went in CA’s car to the Ministry where we had tea in Daddy’s room with Miss White, Mr. Piggott,and  Mr. Heseltine. Mr. Stevenson, otherwise Johnny Walker came in while we were at tea and after tea we all went round the museum in the basement and left just before 6 for home.  The kiddies had supper and went to bed and we had dinner,  CA didn’t get in till nearly 8.30.

Friday, 19th January, 1917           2 eggs

Took the girls to Marylebone in a taxi and returned in it to the hotel.  Had breakfast with CA and Sonnie.  CA left about 10.15 and Sonnie and I took bus up to Selfridges     and got my case and some pyjamas for him.    Back about 12 and packed things for weekend and wrote one or two letters.  Left by the 3.20 for Northwood, picked Katie, Isobel and Miss White up at Harrow – a frightfully muddy damp day.  Tea was ready directly we arrived and we all enjoyed it and being home again.Had a quiet evening. Children all in bed by 8.  Heard tonight of the terrible explosion at Silvertown, a TNT factory – we heard the explosion here between 6.30 and 7  CA came out by the 9.25 train.

Saturday, 20th January, 1917          4 eggs

A very cold morning.  CA left by the 9.40 to go to Silvertown and didn’t get home until 6.30.   Isobel and I went in the afternoon to see Mr. Inman about our eyes, got home by 5.30.  Lizzie to tea and supper.  CA told a sad tale of desolation at Silvertown, but the loss of life is not as serious as might have been, only 30 to 40 killed outright but about 100 seriously injured, many of whom will probably die.  Lizzie left about 8 and we had a quiet evening and went to bed fairly early.

Sunday, 21st January, 1917                1 egg

Hard frost and roads like glass. Sonnie and I walked down to the Hiltons and stayed a bit.  Met Bella and Michael and walked home with them.  Spent the afternoon by the drawing room fire.  It is very nice not to have to cook especially when one can hand it over to somebody really competent as I seem to have found now.

Monday, 22nd January, 1917              2 eggs

Frightfully slippery roads, like glass.  Gurney walked down to the station with Katie and Isobel and put them on the train. Daddy left at 9.30 in his rubber fishing boots!  I fed the animals and did dear little Christopher’s packing  and some tidying up.  After lunch he, Bella, Michael and I walked down to the station  leaving Sonnie at the Hiltons on the way.  He was very cheerful and good.       Picked up the girls at Harrow and got to the hotel in time for tea.  Mr. Piggott came in at 8 with CA and had dinner and did papers.  Mr. Heseltine came about 10 with more papers.  Spent some of the evening putting hot compresses on CA’s  elbow which he seems to have hurt rather badly.  It is very swollen.

A,  Tuesday, 23rd January, 1917              1 egg

Bella took the girls to the station and after breakfast I spent a fairly lazy morning, though I got one or   two letters written.  Bella took baby round to the Bates about 4 and I went and met the girls.  Brought them here to tidy them then we went to the Bates for tea.  Back about 6.30.  Helped to put them to bed – dinner. CA home about 8.30.  Felt rather seedy and tired today and had my beastly pain in my chest in the evening.  Poor old CA had to have his arm in a sling all day.  I bandaged it up with belladonna and it was a bit better at night.

Wednesday, 24th January, 1917            2 eggs

Bella took the girls to the station this morning.  Miss White came to do papers with CA.  Miss Booth came to see me.  She left about 11 and I dressed and met May and Margaret at Kings X.  Shopped  and ordered my spectacles.  We lunched at Prince’s in honour of Kenneth’s investiture with the Military Cross.  Willie and May, Kenneth and Kathleen, Daddy and I, Archie, Billie and Margaret Buchanan and Archie Jennings.  Kenneth and Kathleen went after lunch to shop and the rest of us went to the Ministry and saw the museum.  Then Archie and Billie went off and Daddy’s car took Archie  Jennings and me to Marylebone, dropping May and Margaret in K….Street.  Had some tea –  Marylebone – met the girls and came home in a taxi.  Felt horribly ill with pain in my chest, faint and sick.  Dr. Macphail came to dinner and CA got home after 8 and had dinner up here.  Had a very nice evening. CA’s arm rather better.

Thursday, 25th January, 1917           3 eggs

CA’s arm much better and able to go without the bandage.   He is going to Barts today to have it massaged.  Bella took the little girls to the station.  Michael and I walked across the park with CA to Hyde Park Corner where his car met him. We got home about 11.30 and he went out with Bella and I rested.  After lunch I went to Whiteleys to see about Mrs. Hilton’s watch.  Nurse Bella and Michael fetched the girls home.

Friday, 26th January, 1917          2 eggs

Bella took children to the station and I went with CA at 9.30 to see Sir James Mackenzie .  He said the muscles of my heart are exhausted and I am to rest and take things easy – darned nuisance.  Bella, Michael and I met Miss White at Baker St and went home by the 12.7.  Had lunch.  Dear little Christopher joined us and was very happy to be home again and very sweet and good.  After lunch unpacked and fed hens. Rested.  Mr. Moore arrived with the girls for music lesson.  CA came home by the 8.20.

Saturday, 27th January, 1917            1 egg

Katie, Christopher and I went down in the car to Northwood and did some shopping.  Walked back and called in on Hiltons on the way. CA met us on the way home.  Hiltons came to supper at night and Dr. H and CA played chess .  They left about 11 and I came to bed.

Sunday, 28th January, 1917          3 eggs
Bitterly cold again.  Fed hens and pottered about.  Spent all afternoon on drawing room sofa and snozzled while Sonnie did meccano.  Sang hymns after tea. Quiet evening and fairly early to bed.

D  Monday, 29th January, 1917            2

Children all went off to school. CA killed our last two cockerels and went up by the 9.56 train.  I fed hens, packed, did washing and Bella,  Michael and I came up by the 12.12.  Miss White and her brother and CA all came for lunch and stayed till about 2.45.  Shal Andrews and Frances came in and Shal stayed till 4 when I went to Lancaster Gate with her.  Bella and Michael met the little girls.  I felt very seedy and had a lot of pain from tea time till dinner time and again during the evening.  Very sick and went to bed about 11.  CA was rather late home, about 9.

Tuesday, 30th January, 1917           3

Miss White came after breakfast to do some work with CA.   Bella, Michael and I went out together.  I  saw Mrs. Bate for a few minutes and we then did a little shopping and got home about 11.   Bessie came in about 11.30 and I walked a little way with her when she went.  This is Isobel’s birthday but we are keeping it until Saturday when we are all at home together.  I bought her a pot of daffodills and a few chocolates this morning  just to be going on with.  I spent all afternoon on my bed. Bella met the little girls and they brought my tea up to me.  Felt much better for the rest and had only a little pain at night.  CA got in about 8.30.

Wednesday, 31st January, 1917      5

Bella took the girls to the station again and after breakfast Miss White came.  She, Bella and Michael all drove over to the Ministry with CA.  I wrote some letters and rested and was thoroughly lazy until dinner time. At 3 I went to Whiteleys but got rather a pain so had to come back without finishing my shopping.  Bella and baby fetched the girls.  I had tea upstairs and felt better.  CA got in about 8.30 and we spent our usual quiet evening!