To-day Jean has collected the cards. We are asked to send them for salvage to make munitions, a gruesome end to all the messages of peace and good-will. Some of them are so beautiful we are loathe to part with them. It has been very cold and raw to-day a sharp frost turning into a damp atmosphere and at last to a sleety wet rain which, however, did not last long. I did a big wash, Rene helped me with part of it. Part of the day there was a little breeze and more got dry than I expected, most of the others are partly dry. I have got the big clothes-horse down and filled it, one lot almost dry now. It had to be scrubbed as the oil-stove seems to make a mess of it. Father went to Dr M. for medicine on Sat. Dr. says nothing very far wrong with him but best to go before too bad, thinks it was a touch of bronchitis again. As he is on the “Panel” now he got his prescription made up at “Boots”. Jean very sick Sat. night, seems to be going about. I was in and out of bed until I was shivering and at 4.30. a.m. I came down to get a drink of milk for her as I thought she would be so faint. I put kettle on the stove to fill up our hot water bottles (Father was on watch 2 a.m. to 8 ) and then lit the kit. fire. I put McL. Stomach Pd. in milk and a teaspoon of brandy and the sickness settled and she went to sleep. I went to sleep too and was thankful the fire was lit and kettle on bar, as it was 10 to 8 when I got downstairs in my dressing-gown. I just had time to dress and get tea pot ready when Father came. Hallgarth who is usually late was early for once, as I was late. Still it was Sunday morning and nothing spoiling. Jean stayed in bed until dinner-time and only had tea and toast until Tea-time then had Oxo.
It was a beautiful bright winter day and after-dinner I walked to Wigg Lane to see Harriet. J[ack] was very affable and insisted on me staying tea. They had a lovely trifle, sponge-cake, jelly fruit and custard. Their Xmas cake was about 3 times the size of ours (their family is too) and was very good tho’ no better than ours. It was decorated with pink and wht. icing but no almond paste. Jk gave me a slice to bring home and H sent Jean 4 bars of choc. Had a letter from Ron to-day he is coming home on Wed again if all is well. Father is on bx tonight until 2 am. Jean is on couch, expect we shall soon go to bed. It has looked very like snow to-day, I hope we don’t get as much as the last two years. I don’t like snow. I have a lovely blue anemone in the garden and the foliage on the others is a vivid green, rather like curly parsley. One or two primroses are in bloom, I thought of what Jean said about the spots on her face, “it must be the spring”. I shall have to turn my chrysants out this week, they have lasted well. I have two little flowers, yellow chrysants, in a flower pot (rooted), so perhaps they will last until I can find enough primroses or snowdrops.
Jean had Xmas card from Sheila and Pam Smith, they are in the Scilly Isles now, at least I expect so. Grandma walked to Charles’ and back on Xmas Day for dinner and tea, as she is 82 or 3 and it was very cold it was rather an event. It must be a good mile each way I should think. Mr Eden returns from Russia to-night. Mr Churchill is in Canada to-day, returns to U.S.A later. Father went to Tetford to see if Gavin had a suitable car a little larger than ours but made no bargain.
“The Panel” referred to a medical insurance scheme.
“Boots the Chemist” was in Skegness. The Chemist in the village was Meadows’, near ‘The Pullover’.
Maclean’s stomach powder was a well known product.
Oxo drink was made from Oxo gravy-salt cubes.
Jack Harness, Harriet’s husband, was meant here (see 28 Nov. 1940).
Charles Hill was meant here (see 16 Dec. 1940).
Anthony Eden was the British Foreign Secretary.
Winston Churchill and US President Roosevelt had been attending the first ARCADIA Conference on strategy in Washington in late December 1941. Churchill addressed the Canadian Parliament on December 30th.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?