Isobel Addison’s diary May 1919

Thursday, 1st May, 1919

Isobel went to school very cheerfully and happily, Michael drove with her.  Miss White came down this morning instead of tomorrow and inspected and admired Katie’s trousseau.  I finished all the marking jobs and began to pack after lunch and got   things very neatly stowed away.  Miss White went in the car to Harrow, also Kate when it went to fetch Isobel  and Katie drove it most of the way home.  Katie went in to see Miss Huskisson to say goodbye to her.  After tea I went on with my packing and ditto after supper.  Katie and I had hot baths and she slept in my room as Daddy telephoned to say he couldn’t get home.

Friday, 2nd May, 1919

Isobel went off to school quite cheerfully again and I fed the hens directly after breakfast.  When the car came back Katie went down in it to get some hair clasps and one or two other things.  I finished off her packing and we got the 11.12 for town.  CA and Miss White met us and we went to Marylebone for the 12.15.  Got to Rubgy  just after  2 having had lunch on the train.  Drove in a cab to the Laurels and saw Miss Dewar and Miss Turner.  Miss Dewar showed us over part of the school and Katie’s bedroom. Everything seemed very nice.  We took Katie out and walked round the town and bought her a purse and a hand-glass and had some tea and took her back to school where we left her at 4.30 and got the 4.50 train for Euston.  The car met us and we caught the 7.14 for home.  Dr. Macphail came for the weekend and was here when we arrived.  Sonnie had also got home and was full of spirits.  Michael was still awake and waiting for his goodnight cuddle!   We had supper and CA and Dr. Macphail played chess as usual!   I went to bed about 11 and started a letter to Katie She was a plucky little soul and kept cheerful to the last but it is all much worse than ever I thought it could be.

Saturday,   3rd May, 1919

Isobel and I went up by the 9.56 to town to Mr. McKechnie.  He did her tooth and looked at mine which has been aching for a week and we decided that I shall go up and have it out.  We caught the 12.35 from Marylebone home and walked up.  After dinner I wrote to Katie and packed up her watch and Miss Walker went down and posted it for me.  I did a bit of planting and weeding in the rockery and fed the hens and we had tea at 5. CA and Dr. Macphail started making a new place for the rabbit hutches, I did a bit more weeding.  Jane disappeared and we had a great hunt for her and went and told the policeman as she was out without a muzzle.  However about 7 Dr. Hilton rang up and said he had met her outside his house as he went to post a letter so Christopher and I biked down to fetch her up.   Dr. Hilton came back with us for supper.  I had a tiny note from Katie this morning.

Sunday, 4th May, 1919

I got up at 7.30 and went on my bicycle to the Old Parish Church, got home just before 9.  Another dear letter from Katie, the poor little darling must be very homesick.  Spent the morning gardening and pottering about.  Miss Walker went to church.  Dr. Hilton came to lunch, Mrs. H and the boys are at Bognor and don’t come home till tomorrow.   The three men and Christopher mended and moved the rabbit hutches during the afternoon and put them up in the bantams’ run and enlarged the run.  I wrote a long letter to Katie. After tea finished the rabbit job and helped Christopher with his drawings – and spent the evening by the drawing room fire. Elsie went out this afternoon and went to see Miss Brodie as she belongs to the Girls’ Friendly.

Monday, 5th May, 1919

Got up just after 6.30, made tea and got old Christopher up and down to breakfast in fairly good time.  He went off by the 7.59 quite cheerfully.  Dr. Macphail drove to Harrow with Isobel, Michael went with them.  I got the laundry done and fed the hens and did up a parcel of  shoes etc., for Katie and wrote her a long letter.  Also sent Sonnie’s cricket shoes and wrote a line to him. I had a letter  from Kate this morning, a delightful letter but rather miserable.  I feel these days would  never pass, it seems ages since she went away.  Miss Walker, Michael and I spent the afternoon in the garden.  Jessie went away at 3.30 to spend  till Thursday with her friend at Manor Park.  Isobel got home at 4.15.  Mrs Hilton and 3 of the children came up about 4 and we sat in the garden and Michael and I walked down the road with them to get dandelions for the rabbit.  Met Isobel in the car on the hill and drove back.  CA got home about 9.30, earlier than he expected.

Tuesday, 6th May,1919

Isobel went off to school by 9.30 and Michael drove with her.  After breakfast I fed the hens and the rabbits and put away the clean laundry.  Another letter from Katie, more cheerful on the whole.  Mrs. Hill came up to see me to ask if we would like to buy back our  old nanny goat.  I spent some time in the kitchen – not cooking much really but I had to clean everything before using it which somewhat delayed matters.  Spent the afternoon in the garden again and wrote to Katie. Made some nice scones for tea.  Isobel got home at 4.15.  Cooked fish for supper.  CA didn’t get home till after 10.

Wednesday, 7th May, 1919

After the usual duties of the morning! I gave them cold beef for dinner again, the third day in succession!  Made a delicious salad to go with it.  After dinner we had our tea in the garden  and I then tidied myself and sat on the rockery seat and wrote a long letter to Kate – hers today is very sad and lonely and longing to be home.  Michael drove to Harrow to fetch Isobel.  I made some toasted cheese for supper.  CA didn’t come home tonight and we went to bed fairly early.

Thursday, 8th May, 1919

Cooked fish and made toast and also egg sandwiches for Isobel.  Michael went to Harrow with her.  I fed the hens  and Miss Walker made beds and we then set to work to make a beefsteak and kidney pudding for dinner and got it on by 10.30 t o boil and then had a good clear out of some of Jessie’s  cupboards.  Lud! What a mucky mess!!  Pottered round the hens and rabbits and then to Harrow where I did a little shopping and we fetched Isobel home. Had tea and wrote to Kate and also to Mrs. Andrews and Miriam Anderson.  Got supper over just after eight.   CA arrived having come by the 7.30. Gave him supper and strolled in garden – watered some plants in my rockery and came and sat by the drawing room fire  and read the papers.  It is quite extraordinary how little interest one can get up over the peace terms – fifteen years occupation of German Territory seems a most scandalous thing. Jessie came  home about 8.30 looking very bright and well for her  three days change.   I gave my store cupboard a great tidying today but didn’t get it quite finished.

Friday 9th May, 1919

I got up about 7 and made tea.  Rather a relief not to have to go down and get breakfast!  I was down in the garden by quarter to eight and let the chickens out and saw to the quarrelsome bantams.  Gathered some flowers for Isobel to take to school    for Miss Currie. She went off at 8.30 and Michael with her.  CA left by the 9.56 and is going on to Hogsthorpe this afternoon till tomorrow.  I fed the hens and rabbits with Miss Walker.  It was a lovely day, bright hot sunshine and we basked on the verandah reading the papers.  Miss White came just before 11 and I did my bills with her and put away my stores and gathered flowers for Miss White to take home.  After dinner we pottered round the garden a bit.  Miss White left by the 2.28.  Miss Walker and I sat in the garden, she sewed and I wrote a long letter to Kate.  I had none from her this morning and missed it very much. We had tea directly Isobel came home, in the garden.  Sonnie came home very cheerful about 5.30.  I gave him his tea and then did a bit of gardening, got some beastly coltsfoot up out of the rockery. Came to bed about 10 with the worst headache I think I have ever had!

Saturday, 10th May, 1919

Got up at about 7.30 and had a cold bath and dressed Michael who gave himself a cold bath first. Went down and let my chickens out.  Got breakfast over by about 8.30. Gave Gurney my messages etc.,  The  post  brought  two letters from  Katie and one from Miss Dewar,  such a comfort to have them.  I then fed the animals.  It was a  lovely day,  very warm and sunny again.  Christopher measured and marked out the tennis lawn –I wrote a long letter to Katie.   Had a parcel from Dickens and Jones on approval  –  new corsets, tried them on and returned what I didn’t want – felt a great    lady in new ones!   Sonnie went off for cricket by the 12.19.  After lunch we all tidied ourselves.   Miriam Anderson and her husband came about 3.30 and we strolled and sat in the garden.    Had tea out. They left for the 7.8,   and  I walked down the road with them.  The police telephoned that Jane had been  found and was at the police station.  We hadn’t missed her but fortunately she had her muzzle on.  Sent Elsie down for her. We had supper and Daddy arrived home about 9.  We gave him supper and sat talking and came to bed  somewhere about 11.  CA bought 2 nice little bottles ofcream!

Sunday, 11th May, 1919

Got up soon after 7 and left Michael in dear little Isobel’s charge and bicycled over to the Old Parish Church.  Got home at 10 to 9.  Made my own and Michael’s bed.  He and Isobel had been in the garden for quite a long time and had let my chickens out for me. We had breakfast and fed the animals.  A long and much more cheerful letter from  dear little Kate – I wrote to Miss Dewar before lunch and a long letter  to Katie after lunch, then tidied myself and made some scones which were not so successful as usual!  We had tea in the garden and pottered about and I then  played five games of tennis with Sonnie  and beat him by one game.  Michael and Isobel went to bed and we  had supper and got the rabbits into their hutches and shut up the chickens.  After supper I walked in the garden with Sonnie and we both had a swing!  Then read his history with him and came to bed about 10.30 for a hot bath.  Daddie and I were both in bed a few minutes after 11, and Christopher, the slow coach, was still in his bath.

Monday, 12th May, 1919

Got Christopher up and down to breakfast in good time but the dear old silly went off without his belt and had to return so missed his train.  Isobel went off at 8.30, Michael with her.  Miss Walker went off by the 9.10 for a day’s shopping.  CA went by the 9.56 and then Michael and I fed the hens and rabbits.  I packed Katie’s  clean blouses and a box of flowers for Bessie and mended Isobel’s green coat and wrote to Katie.  After lunch played with Mikey and tidied us both and drove to Harrow.  Met Isobel and got her new school hat and also a garden hat for myself.  Posted our parcels and came home for tea.  It was a grey dull day, inclined to drizzle, but after tea it got beautifully fine.  I went with the two kiddies to Mr. Bright’s field and got tadpoles from the pond.  Came in and got them both ready for bed.  Daddy arrived at 8 and we had supper and then strained and sorted our tadpoles – such a set out! We didn’t finish till 9.30.  We hadn’t lit the drawing room fire so when the maids had gone to bed we sat by the kitchen fire and had our tea and read.  Miss Walker came in a few minutes after 10 and had some tea and talked and we went to bed at about 11 or 11.30.

Tuesday, 13th May, 1919

Isobel was ready in plenty of time for school, but at the last was in a hurry and forgot the tadpoles!  CA went by the 9.40.  I fed the animals, put away all the clean laundry and wrote my letter to Katie, also one to Christopher.  Tidied myself before lunch and after lunch wrote to Miss Dewar in reply to a most awfully kind letter I had this morning.  Went in the car to Harrow with Miss Walker and Michael.   Met Isobel and she and I went to town to Mr. McKechnies. She had her tooth done and then I had my gas and my two old stumps out – gas was jolly! But my gums were the d……….after it.  Went to Dubois for some refreshment and caught the 6.30 from Marylebone home.  Gurney met us in the car.  Sat with Mikey for a bit, had supper and rested by the drawing room fire.  My face was most frightfully sore and I slept in my chair until CA got home about 11, having d……. out.  Katie’s letter was much more cheerful

Wednesday, 14th May, 1919

Got up soon after 7, had a bath and helped Michael with his, also helped Isobel to dress. She went off to school taking her precious tadpoles with her. Michael drove with her.  Miss Walker fed my hens and I got ready and went to town with CA by the 9.56.  He dropped me at Swears and Wells where I got a cotton frock for Katie and a jersey for Michael and some blouses for Isobel, then walked back to Marshal and got another cotton frock, a white one, for Kate and  to Penberthy’s for her knickers.  Walked to Baker Street and got the 12.5  home.  Walked up and arrived just as Miss Walker and Michael were beginning dinner.  After dinner  packed up Katie’s parcel then sat by the sand heap while Michael played and wrote a long letter to Katie.  Isobel stayed for gardening and got home about 4.45  and we had tea in the garden. I then fed the hens and pottered about the garden with the children.  Mikey and  Isobel went to bed and we had supper.  Miss Walker and I got the rabbits in and lit the drawing room fire.   Pa didn’t get home till after 11.  I had a bath before he came and sat about reading the papers after he arrived  and then came to bed.  Katie’s letter again much brighter and happier – I begin to feel better about her.  My tooth has ached terribly all day.

Thursday, 15th May,1919

Michael went with Isobel to Harrow, I fed animals as usual.  Miss Holt called for my subscription to the Cruelty to Children Society.  I wrote to Katie and also a note to Miss Dewar. After lunch Miss Walker, Michael and I pottered around the garden, inspecting the animals and the rock garden as we usually do every day at the same time.  When we fed the hens in the evening we found to our sorrow a dead chicken in Trixie’s coop, absolutely squashed flat.   No sign of shell and no sign of any other chicks – what a tragedy!  We had  tea in the garden again and lit a fire beside us to keep off the midges  which were a perfect plague.  Daddy came home by the 9.25 and got home soon after 10 – I was nearly asleep when he got here.  Tooth been beastly again all day.

Friday, 16th May, 1919

After breakfast I mixed the hen food and Miss Walker fed them for me.  I went down with CA when he went to the station to see if Dr. Hilton could give me anything for my tooth.  It gets no better and makes me feel simply sick.  He gave me some aspirin and it did get better through the day a bit.  I stayed down with the Hiltons while Gurney did the shopping and admired and envied their new hen run.  Miss White came and we did all our bills etc.  I got her a lovely bunch of flowers and she left by the 2.28.  I wrote to Katie and put away all my stores.  About 3.30 went to lie down and slept till nearly 5.  Miss Walker, Michael and I had tea in the garden.  Isobel came late having stayed for games, and the boys, Christopher and  Geoffrey Wallis were later still.   After seeing to their tea I watered my whole rockery and also the dog’s grave.  Daddy got home at 8 and we had supper and he and the boys mended Christopher’s bicycle.  I left them at it and came to bed with beastly toothache before 10 o’clock.  We lifted Trixie up this morning and found to our dismay that she only had 6 eggs instead of 12!   Either she or the rats have had them – no further signs of life.  No letter from Katie today.

Saturday, 17th May, 1919

We were all extraordinarily  early this morning for Saturday, all except Daddy.  We had breakfast by 8.15 and he had his after we had done.  I fed the animals and despatched Gurney for the shopping.  No sign of Trixie’s chickens still.  I wrote to Katie and parcelled up her swimming suit and cap to send.  After dinner pottered a bit in the rock garden, pulling up a few weeds and read a little more of R……… Michael – went to sleep on the grass till teatime.  Woke with my tooth worse than before.  The boys went a bike ride this afternoon and came in about 5.30 for tea.  After tea they played tennis and I gathered flowers and arranged them in the house.  Michael was very tired and went to sleep very soon.  He and Isobel have played in “Wigwams”  most of the day which I rigged up this morning for them out of  two old umbrellas and two dust sheets.  My toothache was awful after supper again and Daddy put a little cottonwool with diluted Lysol in the hole.  I went to bed early to forget it.  Katie’s letter this morning rather depressing again.

Sunday, 18th May, 1919

My toothache was rotten still so CA drove me down in the car to Dr. Hilton and he cleaned out the hole in my gum and put some pure carbolic in and eased it somewhat. We admired their new hen run and stayed in the garden a bit and then drove home.  Miss Walker went to church.  CA went down to the chemist’s at lunch time in the car and got me some neuralgic medicine which the doctor gave me.  I wrote a long letter to Katie and rested in the afternoon.  Got Mrs. Letchford’s washing ready in the evening  and helped the boys to get their things all ready for the morning.  We took Trixie’s remaining three eggs from her today – the other chickens died in the shell.  Two of these we sat another broody hen on and the third which Trixie had broken we tried to incubate in my cupboard.

Monday, 19th May, 1919

Got the boys up in good time and gave them their breakfast and saw them off.  Isobel went away in good spirits.  I did the laundry and  saw CA off for the 9.56.  Fed hens and rabbits and put away all the clean linen.  Miss Walker and I began a bit of tidying up in the house.  My tooth still rather bad but getting better I think.  The “incubating” chicken was ‘needless to say’ dead this morning!

Tuesday, 20th May, 1919

Went down to the doctor again and had some more carbolic in my tooth.  This ought to finish it.  It is really getting a little better at last.  Miss Walker and I started some more tidying up.  Mrs. Coates came in for a short while and we finished my room after she had gone – all the drawers are beautifully tidy.  Mrs. Meiklejohn came down to tea  and I walked down with her to the Hiltons about 7 and she left for home at 7.30 and I came home.  I felt rather seedy today, my beastly old complaint again – drat it CA came by the 9.2

Wednesday, 21st May, 1919

Isobel off to school as usual and we did all our usual jobs.  Miss Booth came down about  and spent the afternoon and left by the 7.30 train.  CA was to have come by the 7.30 but didn’t get till the 9 p.m.  I felt beastly sick and seedy all day but  have begun my old bismuth medicine so hope it will clear things up.

Thursday, 22nd May, 1919

Miss Walker, Michael and I went to town with CA by the 9.56. Shopped at Swears and Wells, Liberty and Marshall, Dickens and Jones and Debenhams and lunched at  Dickens.  Caught the 3.44 to Harrow and met Isobel there and drove home with her.  Had tea, fed hens and had a quiet evening. I felt awfully seedy in town once or twice but better after we got home.

Friday, 23rd May, 1919

Miss White  came down as usual and we did all our bills etc. After lunch lay on rugs and cushions in the garden and slept! Feeling rotten.  Miss Walker, Molly and Michael drove to Harrow to meet Isobel and Molly went on to town.  Christopher having a field day and night in Epping Forest tonight.  After tea I watered the rockery very thoroughly.  Dr. Macphail arrived about 7 and helped me to finish it.  CA came by the 7.30 and we had supper.  After supper the two men played croquet .  I lay on the drawing room sofa feeling very seedy.  Went to bed about 11.

Saturday, 24th May, 1919

After breakfast I mixed the hen food and saw the two men have their breakfast.  Dr. Macphail and Isobel fed the animals for me and I lay on the sofa feeling very rotten.  Sonnie arrived home about 11 very hot and dusty and grubby but very sweet.  He had coffee and sandwiches and a bath and we went in the garden.  The men played croquet and just before lunch began to cut off the lower branches of the oak tree at the end of the lawn.  All the oak trees are simply swarming with caterpillars and are being absolutely denuded of leaves.  After lunch I wrote to Kate and arranged flowers in the drawing room and then went to lie down.  Dear little Bel insisted on bringing me my tea upstairs and after tea I got up and went to the drawing room sofa.  Came to bed early.

Sunday, 25th May, 1919

Got up and made a bath meaning to come downstairs but felt very seedy and went back to bed and felt rotten all day until teatime.  Mr.  & Mrs. Carr turned up for lunch.  Dr. Hilton came to see me  in the morning and CA went down in his car to et me some medicine at lunchtime. The Carrs left after lunch.  Mr. Fellin, Chrisopher’s housemaster, came to tea and as I felt much better he came up to see me and we had a nice talk.  CA took him to the station at 7.  I felt heaps better in the evening, no more pain.

Monday, 26th May, 1919

Christopher got up and went off in good time. Isobel and Dr. Macphail went to Harrow in the car and CA by the 9.56.  I felt better but still had more pain.  Dr. Hilton came up about 4.  I wrote to Katie and snoozled but didn’t feel inclined to read.  Felt much better in the evening.  Miss Coates came in and sat with me for half an hour after tea.  CA stayed in town tonight –  the Housing Bill is on.

Tuesday, 27th May, 1919

Felt ever so much better but stayed in bed all day. The doctor came about 11.  I read and wrote to  Katie and to Miss Dewar and snoozled.  CA came down in his car at 4.15 and had some tea beside me and left again at 4.35!  Awfully nice to see him – he had to stay in town again tonight.  CA got his third reading for his Housing  Bill.

Wednesday, 28th May, 1919

I got up  after breakfast and came down just before 11.  Dr. Hilton came rather unexpectedly!at 11. Sat in the garden and altered a frock of Isobel’s.  After lunch Mrs. Walker and I cleaned out the chickens’ little run and prepared it for a poulet with pot eggs in order to be ready for day- old chicks on Saturday.  We made the bantams’ old run  nice for the yellow hen and her chicks.  I then rested for an hour on my bed.  Got up to  pack CA’s dress clothes and send them off and then sat in the garden again.  Bel got home from school at 4.15 and Mrs. Hilton and Judy came to tea with us in the garden. After she had gone Mrs. Coates came for a few minutes.  I fed the hens and after Michael was bathed Miss Walker and Isobel went to Mr Bright’s field to get pondwater and tadpoles for her newt.  Had supper and Bel went to bed and Miss Walker and I shut up the chicks and rabbits and gave Jane some exercise in the garden.  Went to bed at 10.  CA got home at 12.15 having got a lift from the station by some people who live at Braconshurst.

Thursday, 29th May, 1919

Felt awfully well and got up for breakfast and gave CA his in bed.  Isobel left for school and Mikey with her. After breakfast CA killed two of my white wyandottes.  One had been eating eggs and the other was broody – a most extraordinary, fierce beast!  “Miss Laurie” seemed no better this morning but she was quite pert and happy seemingly so we put her back in her run.  CA went off by the 9.56.  Miss Walker, Stanley and I caught the remaining three Wyandottes and put rings on their legs and put them in the big run with the poulets and cock in order to give their run a good airing and disinfecting. Came and lay down on my bed after lunch   and then tidied and Miss Husskisson came back in the car with Isobel to tea. Had a very nice talk and Isobel and I walked to the station with her.  Came home and had supper and then watered the rockery.  CA came by the 8.20 and helped me to finish it.  We came in about 10.  I made tea and took it up to the bedroom and read the papers and jawed.

Friday, 30th May, 1919

Down to breakfast very punctually and took Daddy’s upstairs to him.  Isobel and Mikey went to Harrow and CA by the 9.56.  Miss Walker and I fed the hens.  Had a lovely letter from Katie, full of fun and very happy.  Miss White came about 11, also my new dress from Debenham’s.  Did all our bills etc. The yellow hen left her chicks this morning and was wandering round her old run so I put her back and she seemed very contented to go.  I gathered some rhododendrons for Molly before lunch and she left by the 2.28.  I then put the rabbits out and came to lie down and started a letter to Katie, fell asleep and slept till 4.30.  Miss Walker and I had tea by ourselves as Isobel was late having game.  She and Michael arrived from Harrow about quarter to six and Sonnie soon after six.  I wrote to Katie after tea and when the children had had theirs did some weeding in the rockery.  CA got home about 7.30 and we had supper and after it he and Sonnie sprayed most of the rose trees.  I made out my Saturday shopping list and got everything ready for an early start in the morning as I mean to go to town to do some shopping with Isobel.Came up to bed about 10.15 and had a hot bath.  Christopher and Daddy also had one and we settled to sleep some time before midnight.

Saturday, 31st May, 1919

Got up and made tea and roused Sonnie and Isobel.  Took CA his breakfast in bed.  Isobel and I left by the 9.5 for town and shopped at Daniel Neal’s and in Regent St., I got her a coat, a frock a hat and shoes and myself a very charming black hat at Liberty’s and a rainproof coat at Marshall’s.  We caught the 12.35 home and Gurney met us in the car.  After lunch I rested and wrote to Katie and altered  one of my overalls.  Daddy went to “cut the first turf” for the Ruislip – Northwood  housing (?) scheme and didn’t get home until six.  We had tea in the garden and I fed the hens and did a bit of weeding.  After supper Miss Walker and I went along the road to gather dandelions for the rabbits.  I then gave my rockery a good soaking with the hosepipe.  Came in about 10.30 and sang some songs with Christopher and came to be about 11.