Isobel Addison’s diary September 1931

Tuesday, 1st September, 1931

Overslept and didn’t get up till nearly 9.  Did a bit more to my dress today. It goes slowly.  Wrote some letters this afternoon.  Wrote to Miss Stevens at Swindon!  Michael did a lot of sorting of his belongings and he arranged his stamps . Rather a dull day and very wet from 6 o’clock onward.

Wednesday, 2nd September, 1931

Got up about 7.15 – another wet day. Completed by blue cotton dress today but shall probably have to take the sleeves out and put them in again!   Mike completed his stamps.  Pa very busy writing.  Captain and Mrs. Basil Hall to tea.  Mary Willmott came and played bridge with us after supper. It cleared up in the evening  and was lovely.  Poor old  Croy was rather sick tonight – I dosed him with milk, water and brandy which he seemed quite to like and it appeared to do him good.

Thursday, 3rd September, 1931

Daddy and Michael went up to town by the 10.14 and got the new little Yorkshire terrier for Chris and Brigit. They came home by the 3.25. C and B arrived soon after them and we all had some tea.  Kate and Isobel came by the 6.27. After dinner we played bridge.  I seemed to spend most of the morning preparing dinner.  It took ages to cut the beans and to do potatoes for 7 people.  We were very late to bed  Terrible deluges of rain this morning with thunder and lightning.

Friday, 4th September, 1931

Got up at 7. Isobel went by the 7.50 and Kate by the 8.20.  Chris and Mike went by the 10.14 to town to do some motor business for Chris. Brigit and I spent a good deal of time preparing dinner for tonight. Brigit also helped Pa a lot with his files. Mike came back by the 4.10. Brigit and I met them having been to Missenden to get our hair cut. Mrs. Willmott came in after tea and after dinner Mike and I went in there for a bit.  Brought Mary back to play bridge  – very late to bed again.  A very wet morning but better afternoon. Pa and I interviewed Gladys’s sister this morning.  She has been staying here and left today.

Saturday, 5th September, 1931

Rather late getting up.  Busy morning with flowers, dinner etc.,  Chris and Mike drove down to Missenden for a haircutting.  Kate and Isobel came soon after  two and we had dinner.  Miserably wet and dreary day. We all went to Chesham for the Labour Party Show.  Pa and E. F. Wise and Miss Woodman spoke. Got home about 9.30  had supper and got to bed somewhere about 12.30

Sunday, 6th September, 1931

Brigit, Michael and I went to St. Anne’s at 8, Michael was serving.  Nick and Irving came after breakfast.  After dinner they and Kate and Isobel went to Whipsnade Zoo.  They  left by the 10.14 for London.  Pa and the boys started gathering the damsons after tea but it came on to rain.   I wrote several letters between dinner and tea.

Monday, 7th September, 1931

Got up at 6.30 and cooked breakfast for Kate and Bel who both went by the 7.50.  Took tea to the others and cooked their breakfast.  Made sandwiches and thermos of tea for Chris and Brigit who left at 9.30.  Pa went to town by the 9.35.  Mike and I enjoyed (?) ourselves with about the biggest washing up we’ve ever had!  I made up beds for Mr and Miss Helps who are coming tomorrow. Did a lot of tidying.  Michael, Wilfred and Mason finished gathering the damsons and Mike and I bottled them.  Pa came home by the 6.27.  After supper we weighed off 12-lbsl of damsons and put them on the fire for jam. Came to bed rather late.

Tuesday, 8th September,    1931

CA  left by the 9 o’clock train.  I spent the morning cooking and making damson jam and arranging flowers.  Mike went for a walk with the two dogs.   In the evening he and Mary went to the flicks at Wycombe.  As the Helps hadn’t arrived by 6.30 I looked up her letter and found it was tomorrow they were to come!!  My mistake!  Anyway I’ll have an easy time tomorrow for other things. Pa got home by the last train.  Macdonald seems to have made a poor show in the House.

Wednesday, 9th September,  1931

Pa left by the 10.56 for Town. Michael and I both wrote to Chris and Brigit for their wedding anniversary tomorrow.  I dyed a top for my brown woollen dress and sewed it on and donned the dress and found it most successful.  Had lunch and tidied ourselves.  The Helps arrived soon after three o’clock and we talked and walked in the garden, had tea, visited the hens etc., had supper and played dummy bridge.  Pa got home just after 11.30, Mr. Helps had gone to bed so he just went up to say How do you do. We had some tea and much talk and came to bed about 2.

Thursday, 10th September, 1931

Came down about 8, got breakfast ready by 9. Mr. Helps had his upstairs. Pa didn’t leave till the 11.30. Gladys and Michael cut beans and cooked the dinner. Mr. Helps and Gladys rested after dinner.   Mike and I fed hens and then Gladys and I darned his and Pa’s socks. Tea –  strolled about the garden and hens.  Found a sick hen and gave it oil and put it in a coop and shut up R.I.R. broodies. Got supper and afterwards played dummy bridge again. Mary looked in for a moment to tell us she had passed the first part of her exam.  Pa got home at 11.30 and we sat talking and discussing and cursing the Budget till rather late.

Friday, 11th September, 1931

Miss Helps and I had some tea in the kitchen about 7.30 – Got breakfast.   Pa and Mike went to  town by the 9.35.  I went over to Mrs. Willmott to do some packing.  She and Mary are going away for the weekend.  Miss H and I fed the hens and found the sick one seemingly  quite recovered.  Cooked the dinner and walked and sat in the garden – the sun was hot as midsummer, but directly it went in the wind was bitingly cold.  After lunch we sat and talked and read by the fire and had a little snoozle each.  The Helps left by the 3.57 for London.  I wrote to Alan Smith and paid my poultry bill, fed hens, had a cup of tea, tidied bedrooms and collected dirty laundry.  Got supper ready. Pa and Isobel and Mike got home by the 6.27.  After supper we played a little bridge.

Saturday, 12th September, 1931

Got up before 8, took tea round. Had my breakfast and got the family down to theirs. A very wet day. Nick came down about 11.30.  After dinner he and Isobel went to Oxford.  Mike and Pa and I had a quiet afternoon, I slept on the job – tea and we played bridge. Nick and Isobel got back about 7.15.  Supper, bridge, Nick left at 10. Kate came home at 1 having spent the afternoon and evening with the Helps. Very late to bed.

Sunday, 13th September, 1931

Mike and I went to St. Anne’s at 8.  A cold day but lovely and sunny.  The family did some gardening.  Isobel wrote up her electrical report.  Alan Smith and his sister to tea. I did a good deal of mending for Michael. Also mended Kate’s frock at bedtime!

Monday, 14th September, 1931

Up at 6.30, cooked bacon and tomatoes and got Kate and Bel off by the 7.50.   Took Pa and Mike tea and gave them their breakfast.  Pa left by the 9.35. Collected Mike’s things for packing – cleaned gym shoes  and did some more mending and washing for him.  Lunch – tidied, packed, fed hens, had a spot of tea and drove to Reading for the 6.8 to Exeter.  Very pleasant journey, Chris and Brigit and Marcus met us and we dropped Michael at the Griffiths, stayed a few minutes then went on to Moreton, had some tea and biscuits, talked and went to bed.

Tuesday, 15th September, 1931

I slept like a rock and didn’t wake till Brigit brought me a cup of tea. After breakfast she cleaned and I washed up and we went shopping and came in and cut beans  and got lunch ready. After lunch we sat and listened to the wireless for a bit  and when Chris went back to work we both slept – I felt I had much arrears to make up and simply couldn’t keep my eyes open.  Rather a wet afternoon and evening.  Brigit and Marcus went to the post after tea – spent a nice lazy evening.

Wednesday, 16th September, 1931

A lovely morning – bright sun and very warm.  After necessary chores Brigit and I walked to the swimming pool with Marcus – it is really a very nice affair. Bought food for lunch and went in and cut beans again (!) and had lunch. Capt. Mears came in for a few minutes. After lunch I packed my bag and about 3 Brigit and Marcus and I left for Exeter,  driven by Lester in the Buick. I had tea with the Griffs and Michael and left by the 5.40 for Reading. Mike saw me off and I picked up Pa at Swindon – he had been talking there. We got home about 10.45. Had some supper and sat reading etc., Came to bed rather late.

Thursday, 17th September, 1931

Pa went by the 9.55 – after washing up, bed making, hen feeding etc.,  I went to the bungalow while Wilfred did some shopping and took my parcels to Missenden.  Sent off Michael’s shoes and bathers to him and his clothes to Pullars.  Came home and fed dogs, cat and myself.  Wrote letters nearly all afternoon, Brigit, Michael, Mrs. Griff. Mr. Nicholls.a Clerk of Governors of Health Board for Michael.  Shut up broody hens.   Had supper and read.  Daddy telephoned about 10.30.  Came to bed before midnight but didn’t get there till nearly one.  Also washed Mike’s gym shorts today.

Friday, 18th September, 1931

Got up about 7.30. Breakfast etc.,  Fed hens, gathered and arranged flowers, made coffee.  Mr. and Miss Helps arrived about 11 and stayed till 12 – very pleasant hour.  Packed up Michael’s football and gym shorts to send him.  Had some lunch.   Packed parcel of forgotten knapsack for Helps’s.  Wrote several letters  and made myself a complete pair of knickers and started my petticoat.  Cooked supper, Pa arrived about 7. Nearly finished my petticoat after supper. Isobel arrived at 11.30 and Kate came by the last train.

Saturday, 19th September, 1931

Got up at 8.45 – breakfast – hens etc.,  Isobel went to meet Nick and they went to Oxford to ride and returned about 5.  Kate spent the morning in bed.  Had a light lunch in the garden. Finished my petticoat before lunch.  Sat in the garden cutting beans etc., and had converse with Kate. Got dinner ready.  After dinner played bridge.  It was a lovely morning but got cloudy in the afternoon and rained hard at night. Nick stayed the night.

Sunday, 20th September, 1931

Overslept and didn’t get to church.  Spent most of the morning, after usual chores, preparing dinner and making scones.  The wise’s and other friends of theirs to tea, a very pleasant party.  A lovely sunny day.  Played bridge after supper.      It has been a really very nice day in every way.

Monday, 21st September, 1931

Got up at 6.30.  Took tea to Kay and Bel. Cooked breakfast for them but though they were down by 7.15 they caught the train onlyjust!  Cooked breakfast for Pa and Nick and they left by the  9.35. Fed hens etc., and started on my own clothes.  Washed and ironed and dyed three coats and frocks. Wrote a long letter to Michael. Went over to Mrs. Willmott’s about 8 and read to her and talked.  Came in about 10.30.  Pa had rung saying he would come by the last train but rang later to say he couldn’t get away – he was in charge and they sat till 12 or later. He was speaking today – this morning we found the running POUND had at last got away with it – so now what’s the use of their panic legislation  which was introduced to prevent this very thing!  It has been a lovely day again.

Tuesday, 22nd September, 1931

Got up at 7 and fetched my breakfast up to my room – a lovely morning. Had a tepid bath and dressed.  Washed up, fed hens and then remade and pressed Isobel’s skirt.  Gathered beans and lunched off them and brown bread and butter – sounds rather “precious”!  After lunch started altering my blue cotton dress – I suppose it may be ready by next summer. Daddy telephoned  about 6.30 saying he would come by the last train.  I rang up Bessie.  Had a lovely fire in the drawing room and after some tea and hot buttered toast, sat and wrestled with the sleeves of my blue coat,  and then about 10 went to sleep in my chair till about 12.50 when I got tea ready for Pa and myself. He got here soon after one and we went to bed somewhere about 2.30 – anyway I am just getting there and it is now 3.15 a.m.

Wednesday, 23rd September, 1931

Didn’t get up till nearly 8.30.  Dressed and fetched breakfast up to Pa’s room.   He didn’t go to town till the 1.5. I wrote to the bank today to re-arrange my money business – also wrote to Brigit and Michael and sent the Hansards to Michael. Carrie came in about 6 and sat for an hour with me – I’m afraid I spent most of the evening sleeping in my chair by the fire and came to bed rather late.

Thursday, 24th September, 1931

Got up soon after 8.  Mrs. Willmott came about 9.30 for me to read her letters to her and I walked back with her.  Kate telephoned about 2.30 that she would come home by the 6.27.  Today I actually finished my blue dress and put it on.  The dress is all right but the coat not very satisfactory.  Gathered beans and cut them and got some supper ready.  Kate got here just before 7.30. After supper and washing up I got breakfast things all ready and darned  some stockings and mended Kate’s knickers. Got to bed in pretty good time.

Friday, 25th September, 1931

Got up at 6.45, took some tea for Kay and myself to her room. Cooked bacon and eggs and got Kate off safely for the 8.20.  Made beds, fed hens, pressed my best frock and generally tidied up home affairs in preparation for going to Swindon today.  Pa got home about 3.45 and we started for Swindon about 4.45.  Got to Mrs. Beck’s at 7. 15 and went on to N.U.R. Hall – had some tea. Concert, speeches etc., all went very well.  Got back to Mrs. Beck’s about 11 and had some supper.  Pa went to bed and I sat and talked to Mrs. Beck until Mr. B. came in about 12.30    when we talked more – they are very depressed – I don’t wonder.  There is such a strong feeling that they have been betrayed by the men they trusted and who can they trust now….

Saturday, 26th September, 1931

Got up a little before 9.  After breakfast Pa went to the office and Mrs. Beck and I talked and washed up and then went out to shop. After lunch Pa and I drove to Rodbourne to see Mr. Palmer.  He is afraid he has lost the sight of one eye – his wife is slightly better but his whole position is pathetic beyond words.  We drove on the South Marston, Stratton, Stanton and Hullavington and Highworth, paying calls. Had tea with the Thomases and then our meeting in the market place.  Great enthusiasm, but again that terrible sense of betrayal which makes one unutterably ashamed –   got home by 11 found the girls not long arrived. Had supper and talk.  Came to bed very late.

Sunday, 27th September, 1931

Went to St. Anne’s at 8.  Got breakfast for Pa, Kate and myself. Isobel stayed in bed till late. Rather a dull day as regards weather and unpleasant as regards other matters. Wrote to Michael.

Monday, 28th September, 1931

Got up at 7 and got Kate’s breakfast. She went by the 8.20 and Pa by the 9.35. lsobel stayed at home with a bad head.   I cut out and made a pair of knickers for Isobel today.  Sent Michael’s jersey to him but on the whole spent rather an idle day.  Pa came home by the 10.40.  The Tories and Liberals are still quarrelling over whether or not there shall be a General Election – all intrigue and expediency – no sincerity and no real desire for social good – this is the sort of thing that makes people talk of politics as “ dirty” work – hateful –  Mary Willmott came over while Isobel and I were having supper  and arranged about going to church in the morning.  I have promised to be at her house at 6.45 a.m., it is now 3.30 a.m. and I am only just ready for bed!

Tuesday, 29th September, 1931

Needless to say I did not wake to go to church! Spent all morning arranging flowers and getting the rooms ready for our Labour Women’s meeting.   Isobel fetched Mrs. Wise for lunch.  People began to arrive about 2.30. A lovely day and a very good meeting.  Miss Woodman spoke, I took the chair. Isobel fetched Carrie and Nellie and took them home – also Mrs. Wise and some others and the tea things.   Kate got home about 4.30 with a very bad cold.  Miss Woodman and Mr. Aplin stayed to supper and went on to another meeting.

Wednesday, 30th September, 1931

Got Isobel off by the 8.20 for Town. Kate had breakfast in bed. I started doing Isobel’s coat. Cooked fish for lunch and did more sewing.  Wilfred drove me to Swindon and we met Pa and Mr. Williams of Don Valley and Mr. and Mrs. White at the station there and drove to the meeting.  A very good crowd. After the meeting we went to Mrs. Beck’s and had a delicious supper. Got home  soon after 12.30. Found poor old Kate asleep on the sofa! Had some tea and came to bed.