Jean asleep on couch. Father gone on watch. Think he is a little better to-day, but still very seedy. Seems full of cold and indigestion. Hope he is better before next week. He expects to commence his holiday on Wed. for 6 days. He had rheumatism and it rained in Aug. when he had his last holiday and he had to stay indoors most of the time. Mr Bailey got a weeks grace from Labour Ex[change] to give him time to sell out and take Mrs B. with him. He offered Father his shed for £2.10. so we are having it. It is sectional and Father says it is a gift. We are not supposed to put up a shed here but are going to risk it. Mr B. told Maddison that he paid 1/0 a week into a fund so that at his death, he could be taken to London for cremation. The Society undertakes to (no pun intended) make all arrangements and carry them thro’. Maddison thinks he is very foolish to pay all that money to be (incriminated). Ron always got on well with Bailey and Father let him know of the W[atch] Bx vacancy and he is not ungrateful.
Jean went back to school to-day, it was a wet morning, and I warned her to be careful as there was still ice on the roads. She came a cropper however against Jessies, her thigh is very bruised. Fortunately she fell away from Colleen or the double crash would have shook things up somewhat. I have lengthened her gym tunic by machining a new piece of material round the bottom and turning it up for a hem, not a false hem but a double piece all round. The material matches and the colour is almost the same shade. She wants a new one and blazer too but it is an expensive time just now, with licence, rates and now the shed. I have drawn £3 from P.O. (on demand). Didn’t like drawing any out but am pleased I had it. It will take a bit replacing tho’ if they stop 2/6 for income tax every week. Have nearly finished a mitten for Ron but don’t feel like knitting any more tonight.
Father brought 3 oranges from Halls yesterday, they will be a treat. Jean has had hers and Father gave Rene his as he did not fancy it with his stomach being upset. Have made more bread to-day, don’t know if it is the flour, but it does not rise very quickly tho’ the yeast is quite good, I try it first with a little sugar and warm water. To-day it seemed quite light, but tho’ I baked it well and it got beautifully brown, it is damp and heavy, not really sad but what we in Lincs. call “clung”. Rene says new marg. containing double quantity of vitamin D is very good. It does not come wrapped now, they weigh it at shop. I have not started of mine yet. Sugar is only 3D lb. now and we get ¾ a head per week now. I have about 7 lbs in hand as we only use about ½ lb each now we have had to do without more so long. I have got a 2/6 tin of sausage meat, want to get one or two more pink points tins to have by me. Our kitten has returned, she is funny, she keeps putting her paw up to her face as if saluting when she is pleased.
I was in the kitchen when Rene went this afternoon. “Bill” [dog] always comes into room to say good-bye and sniff the fire, so although I was not there he ran to the room and would not come back until he had sat by the fire a few seconds, Father watched him, then he came out and ran to me, pretending he was quite surprised to see me there and jumped up to say good-bye in his usual way, tho’ he would not look at me when I said Good-bye Bill before he went in the room.
Ten o’clock. I will have some Horlicks and go to bed. I shall leave the kettle near fire so that Father can get Oxo or Horlicks if he wants a hot drink and refill the hot-water bottle which will be nearly cold by 2 a.m. Had a letter from Ron this morning, they went to G[rims]by on Mon night to ice rink and found they could not hire skates, greatly disappointed. Also a letter from Mrs Wilson, they have just heard that Arthur is getting their letters and parcels after 4 months. He is in the Middle East and writes cheerfully that he is really doing something useful now and is quite happy, but those 4 months must have been very wearisome both for him and his parents. Ron had been polishing floor in sergeants mess and was rather disgusted that he should be wasting his time on such jobs when there is so much necessary work to be done.
Elsie Grantham been up for interview but don’t suppose she will have to join up as her work at home is very necessary. She is 8 months younger than Rene. I wonder when she will have to go to be interviewed. I can’t seem to realise that she may have to join something. I am pleased Jean is still at school. Tide is coming in, I can hear the waves bump-bump as they break nearly up to the bank. It is fair weather to-night. Hope the snow is all off the roof, last night it kept sliding down and it makes such a noise when all is quiet.
P.O. money here was Post Office savings, available without notice.
Arthur here was Mrs Wilson’s son, referred to elsewhere as her only child. However the name ‘Laurie’ is remembered locally and was presumably an alternative name for the same young man.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?