Fri Feb 21 10. PM [1941]

Ron’s tin arrived, also cap badge for Jean. She is very pleased with it. Sent Ron chocs, biscuits (crackers 4D qr) cake and ½ doz mince pies with an apple and envelopes to fill up. Rene wrote him two labels in case he returns tin again. He put in his dirty pyjamas. Poor kid they are nearly black. He ought to get leave in a fortnight now. The ground was covered with snow again this morning, most of it gone tonight. Father went to G[rims]by. Roads not bad. Got piece of shoulder mutton from Taylor 3/3 (my ration 3/6) he had not much meat and not much choice. Am afraid there will be a lot of bone in mine. It is English.

Am reading “By Soochow Waters” by Louise Jordan Miln. It is about China. No more gloves wanted at present so am knitting socks, khaki ones. Rene did not come to dinner, Mr A not at business. I had made a nice, fry stew as I call it with her little bit of last Sunday’s beef (she had my dinner yesterday).

Recipe: I fried an onion, parsnip, and 2 potatoes in a little dripping, added flour gravy salt and pepper, let it bubble well then added hot water and stirred thorou’, then added meat cut small and covered with enamel plate and left to cook veg. over low light.

It was delicious. Jean finished it for tea as Rene did not come until later. We had pig’s fry from Mrs Browns for late tea when Father got home, very good. He went on Watch at 8 pm. It is his 24 hr day. Watch at 2. a.m. then Gby then watch 8 pm till 2 am. It is too long a day. Mr Bailey shaved himself today and talks of getting up. These new tabs for pneumonia seem to have robbed it of its terrors, he has only had it about 10 days now and is a bad subject being so full of asthma and a very short neck.

My violets are in bud both blue and white. The garden sadly wants attention but the weather is not fit.

Motto in to-day’s D[aily] M[ail] suggested by Lady Ed. Spencer-Churchill for those helping in the war effort, and who isn’t? one way or another:

Plan for more than you can do – and do it
Bite off more than you can chew – and chew it
Hitch your wagon to a star,
Take your place and there you are – go to it.

It is Jean’s half-term hol. Mon and Tue. Am pleased, it will give her a little break. She is very pleased because she got 9/10 marks for her Art H.Work, Mounties or Cow boys Crossing the Ford, as she is no artist. It was because of “good action”. She is not at all bad at making things look “alive”. Rene bought me some wheaten choc. bis. 1/0 lb and Father got some, rich tea at Hall’s. 11D lb not at all bad. Well I will put the kettle on for bottles and soon go to bed, things very quiet so far, not even many cars or mo. bikes to-night, no wind and the tide out. Must leave some fire and the kettle near for Father a cup of cocoa and bottle when he comes in.

Louise Jordan Miln wrote several novels on Chinese life having travelled to Australia, New Zealand and the Far East with her actor husband. “By Soochow Waters” was published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1929. (See website )
Lady Edward Spencer-Churchill was a great-aunt of Winston Churchill.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

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