Isobel Addison’s diary June 1919

Sunday, 1st June, 1919

Got up just before 7 and made tea and roused little Isobel who wanted to go to church with Miss Walker.  They walked to the old parish church for the 8 o’clock service and got back at 9.  I made all the beds before breakfast and Daddy and the three children left in the car for  Missenden at 10.  The post came then and after reading our letters Miss Walker and I fed the animals.  I then tidied up some things in my store cupboard and sat in the garden and wrote to Katie.  Dr. Hilton came up and just as he was going at one o’clock the others arrived back from Missenden with the day-old chicks – 12 of them.  After dinner we put them with the hen and she took to them fairly well. I then lay on my bed to rest and finished Katie’s letter and had a little snoozle.  Isobel lay on CA’s bed  reading a book and stayed there for tea feeling rather tired.  After tea in the garden I fed the hens and helped CA water the fruit trees and when supper was over we watered the lower part of the lawn and the two long flower beds.  Sonnie and I got rather wet and had hot baths and then tea in the drawing room and came up to bed about 10.45.  It has been a very hot day, real sultry and the first really airless day we have had but it got cooler towards night and there was quite a wind at 11.  We heard distant thunder several times during the day so it will probably be cooler tomorrow.

Monday, 2nd June, 1919

Got up at 86.30 and made tea and roused Christopher with great difficulty, got him up at last.  He was very fussy about a little cold in his head and didn’t get down till about quarter to 8 and had only two minutes for breakfast – very bad for him.  Isobel and Mikey went off in the car at 8.30 and CA by the 9.56.  I did the dirty laundry, fed hens and rabbits and chickens with Miss Walker.  The hen is most motherly with her chicks today.  Then read the paper which didn’t come until 10.30 and then put away all the clean laundry and played with Mikey.  He got a canary seed in his eye and was most calm and plucky while I took it out and never shed a tear. After lunch I wrote to Mabel, Nurse Bella and Miss Booth and sent a cheque to the Northampton Lace people who had sent me a selection of lace collars of which of course I chose the most expensive!  Then I went and lay on my bed and slept until Isobel and Michael came in soon after 4 and fell asleep again until after 5 and dreamt most weird dreams.  After tea wrote to Katie and fed the hens and did some alterations to my evening black frock.  Jessie made us all omelettes for supper and then Miss Walker and I went round all the animals and witnessed an amusing boy scout display in the road.  Sat in the drawing room sewing and reading and enjoying a lovely fire as it is quite cold.  CA got home at a quarter to 11  having driven out and had a punctured tyre on the way.  W3 came to bed about 12.30.

Tuesday, 3rd June, 1919

Had a parcel of rock plants from Mrs Meiklejohn and planted them in the rockery this morning.    After dinner I rested and slept until 3.15 and then Miss Walker, Michael and I drove to Harrow and bought some canvas to cover the camp chairs. Miss Gurney came up and fetched away my black evening dress to alter.  It has been a cold day, very windy.  CA got home by the 10.20.

Wednesday, 4th June, 1919

Michael and I drove down to see Mrs. Hilton after CA went, but she was out. Saw the doctor and brought Michael Hilton back to play here.  Rather a wet day, rain off and on all day.  I rested and slept after dinner.  Isobel came home at 4.15.  She was to have waited to see a cricket match but it was off owing to the rain. CA at Bristol tonight so Isobel slept in his bed.  Mrs. Sharman came up this morning and returned some books and I lent her some others.

Thursday, 5th June, 1919

Spent all morning nearly cleaning and polishing the tea basket things. They were in a state of filth.  Had a lovely sleep after dinner.  I’m getting very lazy!  Wrote to Katie, fed hens.  Mrs. van Lisselingh called.  Bel and I walked down to Carew Road hoping to meet CA but he didn’t come until the 8.20.

Friday, 6th June, 1919

CA kindly killed my other broody white Wyandotte.  After breakfast Miss Walker and Michael went down with him to the station and did some shopping and brought Miss White back.  I fed the hens and rabbits and wrote to Mrs. Hill about the goat, also to Miriam and did my bills and letters with Molly.  After lunch she and I left by the 2.28 and went to Neasden where CA met us and we went to see the U.C.S. cricket match against the MCC.  Met Mrs. Sutcliffe, Mr. Kendall, Mr. Felkin and several other people, had tea and left about 6 in CA’s car for home.  Got all my things ready for going to Rugby tomorrow.   Had supper and made all arrangements for my absence  and came to bed at 10 with a raging headache.

Saturday, 7th June, 1919   A

Got up before 7 made tea and roused Isobel, bathed and dressed Michael and finished all my packing.  Had breakfast and Daddy, Christopher and Michael came down to the station and saw us off by the 9.7 for Rugby.  Miss Dewar had travelled by the same train so we met at the station and drove to our rooms at 3 Bilton Road, left our bags and went on to the Laurels.  I had a talk with Miss Turner and then Katie came, quite pale with suppressed excitement!  She and Isobel then went up to her room for her to get ready and  by 11.30 we were on our way to our rooms. We got the chocolates out of our bag and sat in the garden until lunchtime.  Had a nice lunch and went out to send a wire home and bought some bananas.  Came in again as it was frightfully hot and sat in our sitting room.  I lay on the sofa and slept for half an hour  and then we had tea.  After tea we washed and tidied ourselves then walked to the school and went up to Katie’s room and then into the garden and then on to the playing fields.  Then back to Bilton Road for supper.  About 8.30 we strolled along to school. Everyone was  in the garden and we sat with Miss Dewar and Miss Turner watching them at games.  It was an awfully jolly half hour.  Everyone seemed  very happy and jolly and we left Katie going off to bed very happily.  I put  Isobel to bed directly we got back and then went myself.

Sunday, 8th June, 1919

Dear little Katie arrived about 10 to 8  just as I had begun to dress. She took Isobel down to the bathroom and helped her to wash and dress and did her hair. We had breakfast and sat reading and talking and then got ourselves ready for meeting the others.  They arrived in the car at 11.30 having started at 7.30 and had a very jolly drive evidently.  They came in and had a wash and tidy up and oiled the car and gave her water and then we drove altogether on the Coventry Road and had a lovely picnic by the roadside. About 2.30 we drove back to our rooms and had a cup of tea and Miss Walker, Michael, Daddy and Christopher all had a wash and we watered the car again and they started home about 4.  We then rested in the sitting room and read and talked and I did a little of Katie’s mending until teatime, after which we tidied ourselves and went for a little walk.  Came in for supper and sat and talked again. Dear little Kate seemed rather desolate and sad when we took her back to school at about quarter to nine and I’m afraid I felt a bit miserable.  I got Isobel to bed and went myself at the same time but we didn’t get to sleep for a good long while, rather a lot of noise in the street.

Monday, 9th June, 1919

Got up at 7.30 and dressed.  Isobel slept till nearly 8 and we got down for breakfast about   8.30. Then got our things on and went to the Laurels.  Isobel sat in the garden with her book and I had a lovely talk with Miss Dewar for two hours till Katie was free to come.  Miss Dewar was simply a dear, so understanding and sympathetic and I felt so much better after our talk.  About quarter to 12 Katie was ready and we went off to our rooms.  We then went and bought some notepaper and bananas and when we got back I  took some photos of them  and they of me in the garden.  I then did some alteration to one of  Katie’s frocks which I finished after lunch.  We then went upstairs and packed our bags and I washed Katie’s hair  and dried it for her and we tidied ourselves and got everything ready for leaving.  Had some tea and boiled eggs at 5 and I paid my bill, then we sat and talked and laughed until our taxi came at 6.30 .Katie was splendidly cheerful, just a little brick and we left her with Miss Turner and Miss Dewar quite bright and happy.  Isobel and I then drove to the station and caught the 7.5 train.  Had a carriage to ourselves all the way, as we had going up.  We both wrote to Katie on the way home.  Arrived about 8.30, Daddy and Sonnie met us in the car.  Michael was still awake and coughing a lot but was very sweet.  We had supper and I unpacked.  Isobel went to bed and we had a cup of tea and I came and had a bath and got to bed soon after eleven.

Tuesday, 10th June, 1919

Got up before 7 and made tea and roused Christopher.  He and Miss Walker went by the 7.57 train.  CA, Michael and I had breakfast and I left Isobel asleep t ill after 9 when I took her breakfast u to her and I fed the hens and rabbits and got the laundry ready for Mrs. Letchford.  Put a tuck in Katie’s white petticoat  and packed it and her pink frock and wrote her a postcard.  Wrote to Christopher with some stamps and also a letter to Mrs. Wallis.  Spent most of the afternoon reading to Michael.  His cough was very bad this morning but much better towards  teatime. We had tea in the garden and then Isobel played with Michael and I did some weeding in the rockery. William Tildem came to see Daddy and stayed quite a long time chatting.  Isobel bathed Michael at her special request and they got over it very quickly.  I   began to water the rockery and finished it after supper.  We were out in the garden till tea and then came in and made some tea and sat in the drawing room till bedtime.

Wednesday, 11th June, 1919

Got up at 7 and dressed myself and Michael and Isobel.  He slept very well and didn’t cough at all.  I gave Isobel her breakfast and started Michael on his and then went to the station with her for the 8.27.  The car went yesterday to have the steering wheel lightened and the pony wasn’t up here in time. Got back about twenty to nine and had tea and toast for breakfast as was horribly sick last night after coming to bed.  Fed the hens and rabbits and then Michael went down in the pony trap   with Gurney to do some shopping.  I wrote to Katie, Dr. Macphail, Miss Dewar and gathered some lovely roses and arranged them. After dinner I slept nearly all the afternoon on the drawing room sofa.  Had tea in the garden.  Isobel went to Pinner from school and had tea with Alison Robinson.  I cut Michael’s hair and made him look very nice and he and Daddy went in the pony trap to fetch Isobel home.  I began a letter to Nurse Bella and when they got home put Mikey to bed and did Isobel’s hair and we had our supper then well watered the flower beds by the drawing and dining room windows. Daddy made tea about ten and we had it in the garden and came to bed at a quarter to 11.  Michael was very fussy and naughty while we were at supper and I threatened to smack him if I had to come up to him.  He kept calling and at last I told him I had to smack him.  He first lay on his back and said No, I said I must, so he turned on his side and presented his sit-upon.  When I had given him two smacks he said “Now that’s enough” but I gave him two or three more  and then he turned over quite content and said Good night, God bless you and then went quite quickly asleep – not a tear, bless him!

Thursday, 12th June, 1919

Isobel went down in the pony trap for the 8.27.  I fed my animals.  CA left at 11 for town starting work again and going to Guildford this afternoon to turn a sod for a building scheme.  Michael and I walked along to Mrs van …………to take back her birthday book but didn’t go in as she was away in town.  I got several letters written, Miss Walker, Nurse Bella, Katie and a card to Sonnie.  After dinner I lay on my bed a bit and read but didn’t sleep.  Isobel  got home at 4.30 and we had tea and I pottered  about the garden. A very windy day, heaps of dry wood blown down, a regular hurricane and quite cold.  I got Michael to bed and Isobel and I had supper. Daddy didn’t arrive until just after 9.

Friday, 13th June, 1919

Isobel went again by the 8.27 and CA by the 9.56.  I fed the animals and then Michael and I went down and did a little shopping for Katie and met Miss White.  Had a great jaw, telling her all about Rugby and Katie and did letters and bills.  Molly left by  the 2.28.  Michael and I went down to the station with her and then played in the kitchen a bit and by himself in the study.  I slept till teatime.  Isobel had games and got home at 5.30 and Sonnie came about  6.  Dr. Macphail arrived at 10 to 7  and CA came by the  6.30 so we were all assembled  for supper at 8.  Had a game of croquet after supper and some jolly music and singing.  Very late going to bed and lights out just after 1.30!!

Saturday, 14th June, 1919

We all got down to breakfast by 8.45, not so bad  for a Saturday morning. After breakfast I sent Gurney off shopping, fed the hens and topped and tailed a heap of gooseberries for pudding.  A friend of Christopher’s came over from Bushey to see him and Dr. Macphail and I played them a game of tennis.  The boys went down with Gurney to fetch the car home and I sat by the sand heap with Michael and wrote to Katie and then went and tidied myself.  Christopher’s pal left before lunch and after lunch Daddy, Dr. Macphail and the children played cricket.  I rested a bit. Fed hens and carried out chairs for tea and started mending the old camp chairs with new canvas.  Daddy drove down to meet Mr. Inman who came to tea and supper.  We played cricket after tea and golf-croquet after supper.  Daddy got a cricket ball on his foot and it swelled up badly so we put cold compresses on it.  Mr. Inman left before 9.30.  We had some music and Sonnie went to bed and the men played chess.  It has been a lovely day, quite warm again though cold enough to enjoy a fire in the evening.

Sunday, 15th June, 1919

I got up at 7.30 and got Michael dressed by 8 and made his and my own and Isobel’s beds.  Sonnie got up in good time and made his own bed. Took Pa’s breakfast up to him and then fed hens and rabbits and did a lot of tidying up in the hall and dining room.  Gurney went down in the car and met the Newtons at 11.  Jenny, Duncan, Elizabeth and Maurice.  They all sat out in the garden and Jenny and I sat in the drawing room and jawed and then round the garden still jawing till dinner time.  They left for the 2.38 train and I wrote to Katie and Pa and D r. Macphail played chess. Isobel and Christopher tried tennis but it was too hot for them so she retired to her room to read and he played with Michael.  I sat and read a few minutes and  then played with Michael and fed hens and got tea out in the garden. Elsie was out and Jessie I had sent to rest after all her labours!  After tea I got some green stuff for the rabbits, played some hymns and had a game of tennis with Isobel, Christopher and Dr. Macphail.  Put Michael and Isobel to bed and after supper fetched in all the chairs and tables from the lawn and then gave my rockery a good soaking with the hose. Christopher polished his buttons ready for the morning and we had some tea. The two men played chess again.  I came to bed about 12.  Have had rather a beastly pain again off and on to-day and felt rather sick several times – drat it!

Monday, 16th June, 1919

Had rather a job getting dear old Sonnie off as he had a bit of a  cold but he finally went with a smile on his face. Dr. Macphail went in the car to Harrow with Isobel and Michael.  I had got Mrs Letchford’s washing ready before breakfast and took Pa’s breakfast to him in bed .  After breakfast I did the Bushey laundry and gave out and put away the clean. Pa left with his bag by the 9.56, going to Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle and won’t be home until Thursday night.  I then wrote to Katie and a little note to Sonnie to cheer him up.  Michael played shop with me all the time I was writing and was very sweet and good all day.  After lunch I did a few odd jobs and then rested. Jessie drove to Harrow with Michael to fetch Isobel and I slept until tea-time. Had tea in the garden, fed the hens, tidied Isobel then she and Michael went down the road to meet Molly who came to spend the night with me.  After I had put Michael to bed I started watering parts of the garden and continued after supper till 10 o’clock.  Molly and Isobel played a little tennis before supper and Molly put her to bed while I watered.  We had a cup of tea in the kitchen about 10.30 and then came up to bed.  It has been blazingly hot all day – the hottest we have had I think, no sign of rain.

Tuesday, 17th June, 1919

I never heard Jessie come in this morning and didn’t wake till nearly 7.15, when the kettle had boiled half away.  Made tea and took some to Miss White and we all got  down to breakfast by 5 past 8.  Isobel and Michael went to Harrow and we mixed the hen and rabbit food and sorted the letters.  A most awfully cheerful one from Katie. We then fed the animals and Molly went down for the 9.56 train  and Michael with her. When he came in we started weeding in Katie’s garden but the sun was too much for us and we came in and sat in the drawing room with the sunblinds down and I read to him and we did some figures.  He was awfully sweet and good. I then wrote to Pa who was at Nottingham last night and will be at Manchester tonight, and then we gave the chickens some corn and the rabbits some green stuff and then we had our lunch.  Michael then played on the floor in my bedroom while I rested: he went to Harrow at  3.15 and I slept until they got back.  Tea in the garden, finished my letter to Katie, fed the hens  and read.  Put Mikey and Bel to bed.  She came down to supper and I then fed the rabbits and shut up the chickens.  She tidied her school satchel.  I came up to bed before 10 and had a wash and read a bit before going to sleep.  Had a letter from Miss Walker today saying she would be back on Saturday.

Wednesday, 18th June, 1919

Slept rather late again, it was after 7 when I woke. We got down to breakfast at  5 past 8 and Isobel and Michael went to Harrow at 8.30.  Had a jolly letter from Katie.  Fed hens and rabbits and got messages ready for Gurney to do.  Wrote several letters – Katie, Miss Walker, Daddy and Dr. Macphail.  Got green stuff for the rabbits and gave the chickens some corn and played with Mikey. After dinner we strolled about the garden and then I came to rest and he went to Harrow and Jessie with him.  We had tea in the garden and I fed the hens and read while the children played around.  I put Michael to bed and bathed Isobel and we had supper and sat in the garden and I read a bit and fed the rabbits and shut up the chickens and came to bed at 10.  I had a note from CA this afternoon, he seems to be getting on alright.  It looked very like rain this morning, but the clouds soon disappeared   and it was very hot, especially at night. I gathered some ripe strawberries to day and sent a dozen  beauties in a little tin box to Katie.

Monday, 23rd June, 1919

Sonnie went off rather unwillingly poor old Dear and not much more cheerfully than last week.  I got all the laundry done, Isobel went off to school all right and CA and Miss White left by the 9.56.  Miss Walker returned, Gurney went to meet her  at Watford with the pony trap as the car had to be at the garage still.  Michael and I walked down to the Hiltons and I left him there while I went to meet Isobel at the station.  We had tea there and then walked home arriving a few minutes after Miss Walker.  This  morning I washed Miss White’s white woollen jumper and two of Michael’s jerseys.  The jumper gave me much anxiety  owing to stretchiness!! But began to look better as it dried.  Dr. Hilton came in for a few minutes before lunch.

Wednesday, 25th June, 1919

I went up to town with CA by the 9.56 and Mrs. Hilton came with us to help me to buy a garden party frock.  We went to Debenham’s and were very successful. Then we went to Peter Robinson on her account and then walked down Regent Street a bit She left me to catch the 12.35 home  and I bought myself gloves, stockings and combies for Kate and then on to Penberthy’s where I got some white woven knickers  for Isobel. As I had time I went back to Debenham’s and got myself a bathing costume, also a jersey and caught the 2.15 home.  CA today went and “kissed hands” on his appointment as Minister of Health.

Friday, 27th June, 1919

Miss White got here about 10.45, bringing my frock with her – great excitement.   I put it on at once so as to get accustomed to it!  She and I went up to town by the 2.12,  met the Hiltons at Marylebone and gave them a lift to Shoolbred’s and then went on to the   Health Ministry.  I sat and smoked in Miss White’s room until CA was ready and about 4.30 we drove to the palace.   It was a dull grey day but rather nice and the garden party was quite interesting  Both Pa and I were presented to the King and  Queen and Princess Mary.  They are quite ordinary people and George has quite a cockney accent.  Princess Mary is extremely pretty with a really lovely colour.  I managed to bob my curtsey and shake hands without feeling the least bit nervous, in fact I felt as though I was on my own little lawn at home.  We met a lot of interesting people and had some strawberries and cream and a cup of tea.   Left about 6 to catch the 6.30 train home and picked up Dr. Macphail at Marylebone and got home about 7

Saturday, 28th June, 1919

Got up at a quarter to six, made tea and dressed and roused the others.  Dressed Michael and Isobel an gave them all their breakfast at a quarter past seven.  CA, Dr.Macphail Isobel and Sonny started for Rugby at a quarter to 8.  Miss Walker, Michael and I then had our breakfast and I fed the animals and gave Gurney my shopping list and wrote to Katie.  Gave her a long account of the garden party. Then we moved the chickens, putting the older ones in the bigger run where the ivy and others used to be and the little ones with their mother hen in the larger chicken run.  Spent all the afternoon playing with dear little Michael in the sand and made him a garden with flowers and bits of green.  Had tea and fed the animals and then sat reading the papers. When Michael was in bed Miss Walker and I had supper and then went up to shut up the  chickens and feed the rabbits.  The family arrived back at ten minutes to ten having had a very jolly day but all very tired and CA and Isobel distinctly grumpy!   Isobel went to bed and had her supper there and I gave the others theirs and washed up and cleared away afterwards.  Sonnie came to bed soon after ll and I came before

Sunday, 29th June 1919

I left everybody to sleep but Michael and I were down by quarter past eight and had fed the hens and rabbits by 9.  Miss Walker and I and he then had breakfast and the others dribbled down by degrees and we got breakfast finally finished somewhere about 10.30.  Walked round the garden and played with Michael in the sand.  Did a lot of tidying up and wrote a long letter to Kate.  Miss Walker was at church in the morning.  It was fine sunny and warm before breakfast but turned very cold, grey and windy later on.  After dinner CA and Michael went down to meet the Heseltines and we had a delightful visit from them,  though Mr. Heseltine attempted too much in the wood sawing line and had a nasty faint attack.  They left by the 6.14 and then Dr. Macphail and I went down to the Presbyterian church where we had a very fine sermon from Mr. Coates.  There is a splendid appeal from General Smuts in today’s paper pleading for “mercy, pity and forgiveness”.  He has signed the Treaty so that we may have PEACE but he believes the treaty will have to be much modified and that no true peace will come unless it is “in spirit and in truth”  I am so glad that at least one at least of our signatories can give utterance to such noble sentiments.  After supper I cleaned Christopher’s buttons for him.  CA and Dr. Macphail played chess and I read the Spectator (which is very Spectatorish this week) and played with Jane.

Monday, 30th June, 1919

Poor old Christopher was very asthmatic during the night so I didn’t wake him this morning.  Isobel went off to school at 8.30 and Dr. Macphail with her.  I got all my  beastly laundry done and hens fed and went down to see Mrs. Coates for a bit and had a pleasant talk with her.  Dr. Hilton came in while I was there complaining that he had nothing to do!  CA didn’t get home until the last train tonight.  Christopher slept almost all day and was much  better at night.

Royal Garden Party

Letter to Katie at The Laurels  boarding school, Rugby.

To begin with when Miss White arrived here at 11 she brought my new frock with her as Debenham’s asked me to have it fetched so as to get it here in time.  I put it on almost at once so as to get thoroughly accustomed to it and had a great time deciding which of my pearls and which brooch to wear – I finally decided on the long pearls and my favourite diamond brooch with the pearl in the middle.  Miss White and I left for Town at 2.12 and Daddy’s car met us and we went to Dickens and Jones where I bought a parasol as I wanted to have something in my hand  and didn’t want to carry a bag.  It is a dark blue one the colour of my dress and will do for either a sunshade or brolly like those old green ones.  Then we went to the L.G.B. (or rather I should say Health Ministry!) and I washed my hands in Miss White’s room and had a cigarette or two till Daddy came in from the House of Commons.   Then we entered the car with Cooling  (?) clearing the way and Miss White escorting us!  We drove to the palace and went in at the most select entrance – the one for Ambassadors and Ministers only – all the duchesses  and other “common herd” went in at the main gate!! We walked through long corridors and came out through a window on to a terrace and descended to the lawn where there was a small crowd of people.  It didn’t seem many people because the lawn is so enormous, but I suppose there were some hundreds of people.  The first person we met was Lord Stamfordham who is I think the King’s Private Secretary – a dear old gentleman, rather short and dowdy  with a grey moustache, very kindly and pleasant.  He and Daddy got talking about honours for some medical man, rather confidentially, so I humbly stood aside and felt rather out of it, but pretended to be quite at my ease! and stared at all the people.  They were arranged about in crowds all trying to get a glimpse of the King and Queen who were walking around in two separate parties with their attendants.

Royal Garden Party 1919
Royal Garden Party 1919

The idea was that they walked through the people and Lord Sandhurst, for the King, and Sir Harry Verney, for the Queen, called people out to be presented.  It was amusing to watch people who were keen to be presented trying to get to the front and even pushing in order to be seen.  Lord Sandhurst called Daddy out and I, not wishing to be presented, retired humbly behind some other people, but I was beckoned out and had to go quite a good step acrosss the grass and was introduced to George, I bobbed my curtsey, and shook hands and felt to my surprise, quite unconcerned!  Just like shaking hands with anyone on my own little grass plot at home!  We talked about housing and the cost of it for quite a few minutes and then when he seemed ready to go on Daddy bowed and I bobbed and we retired quite gracefully!  I thought that that was all, but presently there was another stir and we heard it murmured that Mary was coming and again Pa was beckoned out and I, in spite of my retiring, modest disposition, was called from behind and had to go through another bobbing hand-shaking performance.  Mary looked very nice.  She was dressed all in blue – hydrangea blue the papers call it – rather bright – she has a very nice face and her eyes looked kindly.  After she had passed on Mary followed.  Such a pretty girl, her portraits are not a bit like her.  Her colour is lovely – a sort of sun-tanned pink and she had a pink frock which exactly matched her face.  She really looked most awfully sweet – a bright smiling face and laughing blue eyes, rather shy looking.

Duchess of Rutland
Duchess of Rutland

After that we wended our way to the tea-tent and met several people on the way.  Mr. Short the Home Secretary, whom I liked very much, a man with a comical, clean shaven face and a tortoiseshell rimmed eyeglass in one eye.  Daddy also introduced me to Joynson-Hicks, rather a little bounder, Sir Edward Carson who has a delightfully humorous face and a jolly twinkle in his eye – so different from what one somehow expected – also his wife – Sir Auckland and Lady Geddes and the latter I had met at Harrow when she and I called on each other.  He has a hard cold face and cold eyes, I didn’t like him much.  When we got to the tea tent we met Sir George and Lady Purley – he is Commissioner for Canada – an insignificant looking little man with a greyish black beard and a rather podgy wife – both awfully nice and pleasant.  We talked to them while we ate strawberries and cream and drank tea.  Then we strolled  around again and met Mr. and Mrs. Illingworth, both large and stout, she with a rather decollete black dress and a very unnaturally white face –  powder I think!  He is Postmaster General.  Sir Joseph and Lady Mackay – he is shipping Minister and Lord and Lady Inverforth.  He was Andrew Weir and is now at Munitions.  The Mackays were very scotch and awful nice – he has a most charming face.  The Inverforths were large and stout like the Illingworths and she had a red face which had been well powdered to keep her colour down and in consequence had taken on a pale mauve hue – both were very nice and we had quite a pleasant talk.

ladies at the Royal Garden Party 1919
ladies at the Royal Garden Party 1919

After that we came away and left by the way we came in in company with the Chilean Ambassador and their suite, a crowd of men and women chattering like magpies in Chilean, I suppose!  The women all dark – rather pretty and all dressed in much the same shade of deep pink.  We drove straight to Marylebone where we met Dr. Macphail and came home by the six o’clock train.

Ladies from Pinner Royal Garden Party 1919
Ladies from Pinner Royal Garden Party 1919

Gurney met us here and we came home and jawed garden party to the family.  When Miss White and  I were going up in the train some people came in at Pinner.  They were very much got up – an elderly lady in palest blue chiffon and a bright royal blue dust coat and a young girl in white chiffon covered up with a fur coat , and carrying a pink silk scarf and with a large white hat with a single rose in front.  The Mother’s hat was trimmed with rather soiled white ostrich feathers and pink roses and altogether they looked a bit shoddy and sort of “pinned together”.  There was a stout little father who looked a bit crabby but rather sat upon and an older girl not so smartly dressed as the other.  I said to Miss White at once “They are going to the garden party”.  They sat down opposite us – we were facing the window and had it open as I wanted to be cool and not arrive with scarlet cheeks!  The lady, directly she sat down asked her husband to shut the window and I said “Oh please don’t, I’m so hot”.  So she said “It’s for the smuts – I am going to Buckingham Palace and I can’t have smuts on me” So I said, very quietly “So am I and the smuts won’t fall on you, they’ll fall on me because I am facing the engine”.  She looked very grumpy – but I closed the window half – I couldn’t help laughing at her being so ready to let everyone know she was going to the garden party.  I expect she thought that I, in my dark frock was not nearly smart enough to be going there!  I didn’t see her when I got there though I couldn’t help wishing she was in the crowd when I went to make my curtsey to George!  The daughter looked so sullen as though she had been dressed then told not to move for fear of displacing a hair.  She never stirred but sat on the edge of her seat staring gloomily before her.

Now I think I have told you all about it – but I seem to be rather writing against time because I want to send Stanley down to post this early at the Post Office.  I don’t think there are going to be any peace holidays till August.  I hope you will get to sleep with Bobs next term, only you mustn’t make each other miserable – you ought to try and cheer each other up!  Daddy is going to talk to you about my coming for a weekend – as the holidays are so near it hardly seems worthwhile coming up for more than a day, especially as rooms are so hard to get, but he will talk to you soon about it and we’ll see what you decide with him!  I think a day would do don’t you?  It will be so lovely to have you home again my darling, you can’t think how much I am looking forward to it – it is just scrumptious!  I wrote to Miss Dewar on Wednesday so she will know in good time about Daddy coming.  I gave Jessie your message and she was very pleased, got quite red and her eyes  swam a bit as usual, and she sent her love to you.  Miss Walker’s neuralgia is better and she is much more cheerful. She sends you her love and thanks you for your “kind enquiry dearie”.  I must stop or this will be late for the post.

God bless you my own darling Katie.  Ever so much love and heaps of kisses dear from your always very loving Mother.