Isobel Addison’s diary January 1929

  • January 3rd and 4th  Bethlehem tableaux
  • January 3rd  Billie Buchanan’s marriage
  • January 5th  go to London
  • January 10th  Mike returns to school
  • January 15th Infant Welfare
  • Jan 16th  Go to London
  • Jan 17th   See Unwin etc.
  • January 18th  return home.

Tuesday, 1st January, 1929

We began the New Year by sending Pop outside directly midnight struck and getting him to knock to come in thus securing that at dark man was our “first foot”  After breakfast and hen feeding etc., Mike went off to catch  the 10 train to Exeter to spend the day with Osman.  Pop and I and Wilfred helped Mrs. McIntyre to get the stage at the Institute ready for the Tableaux.  I was there till one and came home and had lunch and Bel and I got the afternoon tea ready after which I went up for the Infant Welfare   Had about 8 or 9 babies to weigh.  Got home at 4.15. Rachel Fletcher and her two sisters and Cameron came to tea.  In the evening Mike and I went to the institute again for rehearsal of the tableaux.  Got home about 10 and ate a huge supper and went to bed.

Wednesday, 2nd January, 1929

Spent most of the morning sewing and getting dinner cooked.  Mike was in the Happy Valley and Pop at Colway and Isobel working in the study.  They all three went to Colway in the afternoon – I had some work to do for the Tableaux and Michael and I were at the rehearsal again at night.  These days have been beastly cold – quite dry and nice really but a horrid N.E. wind which always gives me eczema and rheumatism.  Wrote to Kay, got into bed by 12 which was early compared to a few of our recent nights.

Thursday, 3rd January, 1929

Michael and Pop were again up at Colway all morning.  Isobel worked and I darned Mike’s jersey and washed my own and did various other odd jobs and cooked some dinner.  After dinner I machined the jumper I am making for myself and it took all the blessed afternoon – got tea and after tea had a hot bath and went up early to the Institute.  The show began at 7.30 and everything went alright.  Pop and Bella came to see it .  Mr. McIntyre came back with us and we had delicious coffee and sardine sandwiches by the study fire.  Mike and I had meant to go to Church early this morning but I unfortunately did not wake till 7.15, just in time to hear the church bell ringing.  I’m going to have another try tomorrow morning.  Bill Buchanan was married today to Peggy Rainey in London.

Friday, 4th January, 1929

Michael, Isobel and I went to church this morning.  I managed to wake at 10 past 6!  After breakfast and all the usual jobs I finished my jumper and cooked dinner.  Pop was at Colway.  In the afternoon I did some more sewing .  Isobel and I decided not to go to London tomorrow as arranged there was so much to do and she hadn’t started her packing.  Chris and Brigit came about 6 and we had tea.  Mike and I then went to the tableaux again.  They went very well.  Mr. and Mrs. McIntyre and Miss Helps came in for coffee afterwards and we had a very pleasant evening.  We got home soon after nine.  Chris and Brigit left about 10 and Miss Helps also left early.  I ended the day by getting all the laundry ready, both clean and dirty and by writing to Kay to explain our not going to London tomorrow.  Also had a very comforting hot bath.

Saturday, 5th January,1929

Pop and Mike left for town by the 9.16.  Isobel spent the morning working and I went to the Institute to help clear up the tableaux things.  For the rest spent a lazy day, very pleasant.

Sunday, 6th January, 1929

Isobel and I slept late.  She brought breakfast up about 9 and we spent a thoroughly lazy day – at least I did, she did some work, I did none except cook the dinner.  It was awfully cold, a leaden sky and drizzling snow and the river(?) almost black.

Monday, 7th January 1929

Weather as cold as ever – what I should call a black frost.  Everything is still leady coloured and a frozen sprinkling of snow on the ground.  I’ve written a good many of my letters today and paid some bills.  Isobel and I had breakfast upstairs and baths afterwards.  Had a visit from one of the men who sell things and Bel and I bought several oddments.  Nurse came in in the evening.  George was sick twice, she is not at all well, poor little thing.  We came to bed about 11 and now at 12.15 I am in bed and going to read for a bit before going to sleep.  Had a wire from Pop which said black fog in London.

Tuesday, 8th January, 1929

I was up in the night with George who was again very sick.  I gave her some brandy at 3 a .m. because she seemed so exhausted.  Bella spent most of the day sewing and packing and I wrote ever so many letters.  We had Capt. Hearne for George , he came at lunch time and prescribed milk and white of egg and brandy for her.  She was very poorly all day and just lay in her rug on the study sofa.  Her “curse” has come which adds to her troubles no doubt. We sent a message to the vicarage to excuse ourselves from going down there in the evening as Isobel’s packing wasn’t done and it was so beastly cold.  They haven’t been able to work at the cottages  either yesterday or today owing to the frost.  We got everything ready for the morning and got to bed between 12 and 1.

Wednesday, 9th January, 1929

Got up before 7.30 and found the study fire was still in so blew it up and Bel and I had our breakfast there. A letter from  Pop decided me not to go to town after all.  Isobel went off for the 9.16 and after seeing to George and various other items I sat in the study and did some mending of Pop’s old jacket.  Mr. and Mrs. Helps came in and he and I audited the churchyard accounts.  Capt. Hearne came about 1.30.  George is not sick any more but seems still very weak and tired and is awfully thin.  After lunch I continued my mending and wrote to Pop and to Isobel.  Mr. and Mrs. Righton and Freddie came in for a bit.  I then made up Mike’s bed and tidied his room and cooked some fish for tea.  He arrived soon after 5.30 very cheery and with lots to tell me of his amusements in London.  I spent a good time trying to clean up his school blazer and he got all his things ready for school and we came to bed in good time. The thaw has come today – it is much less cold, getting quite mild in fact for which I am thankful.

Thursday, 10th January, 1929

Michael started school today.  I spent most of the morning cooking and gave George a little meat and gravy and bread for her dinner.  She seems much better.  The vet came before lunch and left some powders for her.  After lunch by my lonely of tea and hot buttered toast, I fed the hens , packed two parcels for Isobel, one of them  being a few helibores  and jasmine and irises, then wrote to her and Katie and did some sewing and got tea ready  Gave Michael his as he was going to a Guild service.  I had mine with Chris and Brigit who turned up about 6.30.  We did crosswords after tea and jawed.  Michael got home about 10.  I got breakfast and everything ready, had a bath and got to bed about 12.30.

Friday, 11th January, 1929

Michael and I had breakfast at 7.45 and he went off to school and I gave Chris and Brigit their breakfast and they left about 9.15.  I fed the hens, made beds and gave George an outing and her medicine.  Pop arrived home about 11.30 and we sat and talked and I got lunch. After lunch I’m afraid I lazily went to sleep – the result of a nice fire in the study and a  bitterly cold day outside.  Wrote to  Mrs. Townly.  Mike got home at 5.15  and we had tea.  He did some homework and read and Pop attended to his accumulated correspondence.  I had a hot bath and got all the laundry ready for the morning.  Wrote to Lady Cable and Miss Booth, all about our Labour meeting next week, and also Mr. Nicholls about Michael getting away on Saturdays in time for his12.28 train.  Mike went to bed before 10 and I had a game of patience to recreate myself after doing the laundry and writing letters!  George seems very feeble and low again tonight.  I wish she would get better

Saturday, 12th January, 1929

After Michael had gone to school and we had done breakfast Pop and I spent a long time discussing house plans – not very satisfactory, I’m afraid I’m in a rotten mood and losing interest in it.  Perhaps presently I’ll find it again.  The rest of the morning was taken up with cooking, attending to George etc., Captain Hearne came to see her about 1 o’clock.  She is better I think but very limp still.  After lunch Marie Hooper came for a few minutes, then Stella St. John.  She and Pop and Michael went up to Colway about 3.45 or4 and I got tea ready and she came back to tea with us.  Chris and Brigit turned up just after we had started.  Mike went to play cards at the Hoopers .  I cooked sausages for C and B as they had had only a light lunch and after supper Brigit knitted and we played dummy bridge and came to bed about 12.

Sunday, 13th January,1929

Brigit, Michael and I went to church at 8.  Michael was serving.  It was bitterly cold going down.  Saw Lady Cable afterwards and she told me she couldn’t come to our Labour meeting because she had friends arriving about 7 the same evening.  She was very anxious that CA shouldn’t think she didn’t want to come!  I got a fish pie ready for breakfast very quickly when we got home.  Couldn’ t be ready to go to church at 11 so after I‘d got the dinner on its way Pop, Brigit and I and Chris walked up to Colway.  The sun had come out and it was perfectly lovely and we got thoroughly warm – had some fun breaking the ice on the big tank  – about 3 inches thick.  We came home by the Happy Valley and the paddock.  Finished getting the dinner ready and set the table.   After dinner I fed George who had been sick again this morning  while I was at church.  Wrote to  Isobel, quite a decent long letter and had about 10 minutes snoozle.  Brigit and I got tea ready and I went down with Pop when he went to church and went into the vicarage to see Mrs.MacIntyre but she was in bed with a bad cold , so I sat with Stella and smoked and talked and helped to make Mrs. MacIntyre’s porridge .  Pop came in to fetch me .  Miss Helps came in as usual after church but left before we did.  We stayed and talked to P….? a bit.  He seems to be feeling better .  He has been rather seedy and weary and depressed lately – I don’t wonder!  Miss P… is away for a week’s holiday – it seemed rather nice and quiet without her .  Came home and had supper and fed George again.  Got to bed somewhere about 12.30.

Monday, 14th January, 1929

Got Mike off in good time to school and Chris and Brigit left about 9.  I did some sewing in the morning  besides my usual jobs.  Daddy had to go to Colway with Mr.Higgott in the afternoon.  Nurse came in for her usual weekly visit to report. After tea, when Michael had finished his homework, he and I walked up to the Hoopers to return a book they had lent him – and then started down to the vicarage to enquire for Mrs.MacIntyre.  We met him on our way going up to see the V….. so Michael turned back home and I went on and sat for over an hour with Mrs.Mac and had a rather pleasant time.  Mr MacIntyre returned shortly after 10.30 and walked up to our gate with me.  Pop and I then discussed our London plans and drank tea.  Had a bath and cleaned Mike’s gym shoes and didn’t get to bed till 1.15 and as I am aiming to be at church at 6.30 in the morning I am now going to sleep.

Tuesday, 15th January, 1929

I got up at 6 and went to church for the 6.30 service, most peaceful and lovely.  Home by 9.10 and got breakfast and saw Michael off.  Had a very busy morning tidying up the house in expectation of people coming in in the evening.  Afternoon Infant Welfare had only 5 babies, very cold afternoon which I fancy frightened them away.  Got home by 4.30 and got tea ready .   Mr Jones, and Mrs. Townley came at 5 and then Michael and we had tea and after clearing away and getting the supper things ready we went up to the Institute for our Lab our meeting.  Only30 to 35 people there but all very interested I think.  Mrs. Townley and Daddy both made excellent speeches.  I took the chair.  Roger Morell and Stella came over from Dartington and after the meeting they and Mr.MacIntyre came in for coffee.

Mr.Jones had left before our meeting  to take one at Totnes.  Pop and Mrs. Townley and I sat talking till nearly 12 and then came to bed . He has to get to Exeter by 7 in the morning.

Wednesday, 16th January, 1929

Got up at 5.30 and took Pop a cup of tea. Had tea and toast with him and Wilfred at 6 and he left for Exeter at 6.15.  I then had a hot bath, dressed and got breakfast for Mrs. Townley and Mike and took it up and had a little myself with Mikey.  Mrs. Townley left for the 10 o’clock train.  I spent all morning making preparations of food for the family during my absence.  Cooked a piece of ham, made a fish pie and also a very good stew.  Brigit came about 2.30. Michael came down at lunch time as he had no temperature but his throat is still sore and he is very colded.  I left by the 5.8 from Newton to London taking Croy  with me for the sake of peace at home!  Saw Chris for a few minutes at Newton station, he being on his way to join Brigit and Michael.  I had an uneventful and quite pleasant journey and Pop met me and we got to the flat a few minutes after 10.30.  Bel had some delicious supper ready for me.  Kay came in about quarter to 12 or so and she and I slept in her flat and Pop and Bel downstairs.  It was horribly cold in London and had been snowing.

Thursday, 17th January, 1929

We slept rather late and had breakfast about 9.  They gave me mine in bed, it was a treat.  Then Kay and I had hot baths and I went with them all to see the new flat we are taking in place of Isobel’s.  It is most satisfactory.  Kay and Bel then proceeded to their various jobs and Pop and I went to see about electric fires – municipal ones at the Marylebone Town Hall.  What municipality well managed can do!  Isobel’s electric light bill from October 1st till December25th is 6  and 2/3 for a quarter’s hire of meter.  We then went on to Westminster to see Mr.Unwin   and had about 2 hours converse re our house – very satisfactory on the whole.  Tried to get lunch in a Lyons but they wouldn’t have George in the restaurant so we bought lunch and went and ate it  in Kay’s room.  It was then about 3.  Bel came in soon after and she and Pop went to pack and move her goods .  I am rather ashamed to say that I fell asleep about4.30 and slept till 7 when Kay came home.  I had a beastly headache and was awfully tired.  We all dined in the restaurant and then went to Bel’s flat and helped arrange it .  She and Pop slept there and Kate and I in here.

Friday, 18th January, 1929

Got up at 7.30 and got Kay’s and my breakfast after I had dressed and tidied my bed.  Then went  over to talk to Bel and Pop.  Pop and I left Paddington by the10.30 and did an awful bust in order to be warm and comfortable and came first class!  Travelled in Mr. Younger’s company as he as Director of some little Scottish railway was of course going free on a railway pass.  Found Michael pretty well – still very colded.  Pop had to go to a school Managers’ meeting at 6.15.  Miss Haliday called for my subscription to the C.P.S. working party fund.  Mike’s temp was up to 100 after supper and he went to bed and I had an amusing time reading up some old minutes of Bishopsteignton School.  Most amusing document and they call it education.  The last thing that seems ever to have been considered was the good education and welfare of the children.  Came up to bed and had a hot bath about 12 –  wrote to Kay and Isobel.

Saturday, 19th January, 1929

Michael’s temperature normal but as his throat was very sore and inflamed we got Dr. Goulder  to come and see him and he gave him a gargle etc.  Mended socks for Pop and Michael.  He came down about 11.30.  Dr. Goulder came about 12.45.  Brigit and Chris came about 5.  Pop went out to cricket club dinner.  Michael came to bed early, Chris and I got involved in a jigsaw puzzle! and were very late to bed.

Sunday, 20th January, 1929

Didn’t get up till 8 this morning.  Pop and I had breakfast alone, then I took Michael his and Chris and Brigit came down for theirs.  Mrs. Elm….? came over from Dartington about 11 and sat talking  for a bit and Pop took her up to see Colway.  I cooked the dinner and after dinner Mike and I again became involved in our unfinished jigsaw.  We completed it after tea with the aid of Pop, and Chris and Brigit and Stella who had come up to return some books .  Pop went to speak at the Newton Labour club tonight.  I cooked fish for supper and got to bed in fairly good time .  We are having a bit of a time with Croy just now as George has to be shut up.  He is a perfect terror.  But I really think the household is almost worse  to manage  than ever.  They get so irritated with him.  He certainly is d……….irritating, but seeing the thing has to be borne, why not bear it!

Monday, 21st January, 1929

Woke Chris and Brigit at 7.30 and took them some tea.  Pop and they and I had some breakfast and they left for the 8.55 train at Newton.  Then took Michael’s breakfast  up to him.  His cold still hangs on – Pop and I went up to Colway during the morning  to plan about where to plant apple trees etc.,  Very wet day and very cold up at Colway.  The cottages have got the roofs on.  Pop and Mr. Helps visited the school house this afternoon, they were disgusted with the whole place – it has transpired that one towel per week is allowed for 90 children!

Tuesday, 22nd January, 1929

Got up before 7.30 and treated myself to a cup of tea.  Took breakfast upstairs for Pop and Michael and me – pouring wet day.  Did some bed moving – cooked a hot dinner, went to the barn with Pop to settle what things were to go to London – pouring wet day.  Chris and Brigit came about 7 in their overland which they have got in exchange for the Jazz Band.  They seem very pleased with it.  I had to put back the beds I had taken down to make up their beds again!  Daddy and Chris and I spent some time again on a jigsaw!  Came to bed rather late .  Gales and rain all night.  We decided not to go to London till next week after all. Wrote a long letter to Kay and Isobel.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 1929

Meant to send Michael to school today but it was so cold and wet that we decided to wait till tomorrow.  I got Chris and Brigit waked in good time and they went off by about 9 o’clock.  Pop went to Newton and Dartington in the morning  and in the evening he was at Moretonhampstead speaking at their Liberal Society.  Wrote to Miss Bell re Nurse’s holiday.

Thursday, 24th January,1929

Michael returned to school today.  Pop and I had a busy day over sorting things to go to London especially in the afternoon when we moved the green cupboard down to Isobel’s room and got stuck on the stairs and nearly broke banisters and window etc.,  However we did it in the end having broken nothing.  It took me hours to put Isobel’s “hoards” away in the cupboard –  a wearisome job.  Michael came home very cheery – he seems to enjoy school and is glad to be back again.  Wrote to Mrs. Griffiths tonight.

Friday,25th January,1929

Did some mending during  the morning .  The men came to take the furniture for the London flat. Afternoon wrote to Bella.  The  Unwins turned up about a quarter to 4, Father Unwin   and Edward and Mrs. Edward.  Got tea for them and Father went away by train.  Got a room at the Manor Inn for the other two.  We talked plans for the house and I think now we shall be able to go ahead.  Did the laundry before I went to bed.  Sent off two parcels of clean sheets to Kay and Bel.

Saturday, 26th January, 1929

Mr. Unwin turned up about 9.30 and he and Pop went up to Colway.  Mrs. Unwin had gone for  a walk by herself.  I got the dinner well on then Wilfred took me up to Colway and we discussed the site.  It was bitterly cold up there.  Michael got home about 1.15 and Mrs Unwin came back for lunch.  After lunch she again insisted on going for a walk  and Mr. Unwin and Mr Higgott went to view the cottage.  Michael went with them and Pop and I went later walking and we finally fixed on the site and walked home to tea.  Mrs. Unwin came in about 6 and Chris and Brigit about 6.45.  I cooked some supper – a very excellent fish pie.  After supper we talked house and other matters.  The Unwins left for their pub about 11.

Sunday, 27th January, 1929

Mike and  I went to church at 8 – a very cold morning.  Had breakfast with Pop – Michael took Chris and Brigit’s up to them in bed.  The Unwins came round about 10 and left for London at 11 in their car.  I got dinner and also got tea on the way to preparation and after dinner wrote to Kay and slept a bit.  Pop went to church.  Michael and I had hot baths before supper.  Did some darning of my own of stockings in the evening.  Came to bed just before 11.  Quite early for once!

Monday, 28th January, 1929

Got up at 6.30, dressed and had a lovely cup of tea. Took some to all the others and succeeded in getting them up.  We all five sat down to breakfast by quarter to 8.  Mikey got away and Chris and Brigit left almost directly after him.  Pop had to meet County Council officials at  the school – Evidently an imposing body! Including the great Mrs. Batting  who ran Pop down because of his pamphlet on Devon schools but who today said “You were right Dr. Addison, it is entirely owing to that pamphlet that they are making a survey of all the schools and are finding  out how utterly scandalous the conditions are.”  I spent the morning sewing and cooked fish for our lunch.  Dr. Nixon of Chippenham called on Pop.  After lunch he was out with Mr. Gale and I had Nurse for her weekly visit.      Wilfred took me to Newton to meet Michael there and we went to Warren’s to order a suit for him.  Got home at 6 – had tea and Pop went to a church council meeting .  Michael did his homework and I darned stockings, came to bed about 1.30 had a nice bath.  A perfectly filthy day, howling wind and rain and bitterly cold.

Tuesday, 29th January, 1929

Woke this morning to a real balmy Devonshire day, damp and misty but deliciously mild.  Did some more darning this morning and sorted various things for washing.  Made some rather luscious potato soup for our lunch.  Sorted all my accounts and Pop addressed envelopes and wrote out  the cheques for me – about 30 bills amount to about £100.  Had Infant Welfare in the afternoon – 6 babies – very satisfactory all of them and one or two who had not been gaining, or had lost, had picked up and put on weight.  Got home at 4.30 and wrote a birthday letter to Isobel – had tea., wrote to Jenny to thank her for a most efficient bread  knife which arrived from her this morning – also at last got off my mind a very long letter to Maggie.  Signed all the cheques Pop had written out and felt altogether that a great load was off my chest!  Michael seems to have had quite a successful day – I think he is doing well at school just now – he certainly is very interested in his work.  Walter, the head gardener at Lindridge , who is being dispensed with came to see Pop about buying our walled garden and paddock with a view to market gardening.

Wednesday, 30th January, 1929

Rather late waking this morning but got Mikey off in plenty time.  Pop went up to Colway during the morning.  I gathered a few flowers and packed  two separate boxes for Kate and Isobel.  Mike came home to dinner and he, I and Pop went to Colway afterwards to meet Mr. Higgott and take some levels.  I washed one of my cardigans and four pairs of stockings.  Got the tea ready.  Chris and Brigit came about 6.  Had supper  and played bridge. I had fortunately cooked  a good big piece of ham during the morning!

Thursday, 31st January, 1929

Michael and I had our breakfast together .  I took tea up to Pop and Chris and Brigit  and they  had their breakfast afterwards and left for Moreton about 9.  Pop went up to Colway again during the morning.  I sorted all the blankets in the house for washing and cleaning which meant the undoing  and tidying again of 7 beds.  Started on nursing accounts before lunch and continued them after lunch   till tea-time.   Michael had a merit holiday  and came home for lunch and he and Pop spent the afternoon up at Colway .  Very late to bed – it is now nearly 2.30 or so.