All posts tagged Aunt Jet

Mon 28 Feb. 8.50 am [1944]
# SNOW COVERS WOLDS
# MUCH LETTER WRITING
# RON AND CHUMS IMPROVISE STOVE
# COUSIN BRINGS FARM SAUSAGES ETC.

Ugh! The snow is coming down like sago as Jean says, and the wolds are thickly covered this morning. It has not “laid” here so far tho’ we had snow showers all day yesterday. Father said it was freezing when he came in just now. He has gone to M[um]by. Rd. Stn. to take a woman from Anderby to meet the train. Snow shower has whitened roofs and fence tops, it looks more like staying to-day, but tomorrow (being leap year) is the last of Feb. so we should not have it long. I hope we don’t, I am past the age of revelling in snow tho’ I like to see it.

Wrote to Ron, Dennis, Frank A and Vic last night, must write to Jock sometime. Roy is taking a course for N.C.O. [non-commissioned officer] now. Still I expect Ron wouldn’t exchange his African Star for stripes. He says “No, he hasn’t forgotten how to smile, one of the fellows calls him smiler.” I think I am more pleased to hear that than about his star, tho’ we are very pleased he has that. He and another fellow have made a stove for the billets, complete with pipe, out of an oil drum and biscuit tin. They heat up stew and beans and make Oxo and toast over it and get quite warm he says.

Amy and Ken came on Wed. Ken is growing now, he has shot thro’ sleeves and legs of his suit and looks long tho’ not by any means lanky. Amy brought us p[ork] pie, saus[ages], and mince pies, they were a very nice change. She is looking well in spite of having a nasty cold a week or two ago. Auntie [Jet] had finished knitting my tea-cosy, was very pleased to do it Amy said. She is getting on with her rug but it tries her. Wish I could think of something else for her to do, it is so difficult in these coupon days and she can do so little too. Gers. came over several nights last week some over London, chiefly over flats, several casualties. Jean is at home, it is half-term (Friday and Monday.) I think she must do the work and I will sew as I am having a bout of asthma after being free for nearly three months, at least nearly so. Well I can find plenty of sewing.

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

Wed Jan 19. 10.P.M. [1944]
# JEAN PLAYING HOCKEY
# MAKING SOFT TOYS FOR SALE
# SEWING AND KNITTING TASKS

It seemed a little brighter early to-day so did some washing, however before dinner it turned very damp again, the little wind there was fell and it kept spitting with rain, and about 4 o’c came on to rain in good earnest. Jean had been playing hockey and her stockings and legs were very muddy. A mad idea to play on such wet ground as there is now. It was still pouring with rain at 9 o’c. I can hear the hump, hump of the sea so think tide is in. Father is on watch until 12 o’c. Yesterday I sent Aunt Jet some bits of cloth for her rug. She said she had not enough. Post 9D. I doubt if they were worth it. I also put 2 balls coloured cotton in, left over from slipper making, for her to knit up if she liked, as she says knitting cotton is dear and no one pays her for her dish-cloths. The time hangs heavy on her hands as being almost blind there is little she can do. I told her I wanted it for a tea-cosy as my wool one is worn out.

I have made another soft toy, an elephant this time. Jim Hall says a licence is needed to make toys for sale, and that there is a big purchase tax on them, hence the price. So I shan’t make my fortune toy-making. Still it may come in useful. They make very nice presents at any time, and children are ever with us. I have made Jumbo red eyes, don’t know if that is correct, but I recollect reading of an elephant with “wicked red eyes” and they look very effective against the grey cloth. I must make him a back-cloth and perhaps a head-square out of Emmie’s scraps of red silk. We had a letter written Jan 1st from Ron today and an A.M.L. written on 9th so that is very good indeed. The A.M.L was in answer to my letter of Dec. 23. I think that is about the quickest exchange we have had. He is very well.

I must finish off a few of my sewing jobs soon now as it will soon be time to turn out drawers and cupboards ready for Spring cleaning. I have a blouse of Jean’s to make, it’s cut out and I have just started it. Then I am determined to get my kapok quilt done, I have made a start. I have started to knit new palms and fingers to Rene’s old gloves and my cardigan is only half finished. I have a new pair of sleeves cut out ready to renovate a dress for myself. Last week I made 5 buttonholes of leather and the petals left over from Jean’s cap at Rene’s wedding. 3 for [sister] Em L’s girls, one Rene is having and one Jean took to Doreen [Hodgson]. Rene has brought a knitted tea-cosy to send to Em. It is knitted like a dress with a little doll at top with a bonnet, very pretty. They are belated Xmas presents. Eff came for “Standard” which we had borrowed, as I sent new one to Ron in mistake.

Doreen Hodgson, Jean’s school class-mate and long-term friend, lived in Skegness.

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Friday January 14. 1944
8.15. a.m
# ANOTHER DIARY BOOK BEGINS
# BATTLE OF BRITAIN RECALLED
# BACON AND HAMS INSPECTED
# MORNING STAR OVER CHAPEL POINT

This little book so small and slim,
An emblem of the shortage caused by war,
May yet contain a tale of deeds more grim
Than written in the books that went before.

I wonder what will have happened in this grim struggle before these few pages are filled. I did not intend it to be a record of war, when I started my diary, just our ordinary doings during the days of war. In spite of good intentions the war creeps in, as it has crept in and around all our daily life. So tho’ no record of battles and campaigns is kept, a little of the trend of war is threaded thro’. The second front looms ever nearer, then we shall feel the effects in this country, more than we have done since the “Battle of Britain” and how very little we knew of that down here just sheltered behind the sand-hills, while the tide of war went over only a few stray bombs that only damaged property, not people, fell round us.

Wed. night the newly-hung bacon which was just beginning to sparkle with dry salt crystals, turned wet again, I think it was the rain and humid atmosphere. Hams wept salt tears all day yesterday and even the flitches, hung in the white-tiled corner near the fire were weeping by evening. Weather has changed again, I looked out when Jean went to school and it was clear and cold, the morning star shining brightly over the Point. I hope it does not freeze with the sunrise as I put my chrysants out in the rain yesterday and forgot to bring them in, and they have been in so long it would nip the new shoots I expect. The two cats have eaten their bread and milk and are sleeping on the mat. Snip nodding upright but “The Sprogg” curled in a ball. He still coughs but I am sure he does his best to suppress it, as I put him outside if he coughs more than once. I do not think it healthy to have sick cats in the house, and they are hardy and have plenty of cover to go to.

Rene said Mrs Shales had fallen and hurt herself. She stood on a chair to reach something and it was not level and she over-balanced. Rene did not know until yesterday, she was getting over it then but had been pretty bad. Rene was going in again at night. She herself does not look too well. Think she had a chill early in the week, probably got it on wash-day, it was so cold. I am reading the book, “Bachelor in Arcady” which Aunt Jet gave Jean (she sent “The Rosary” to Mavis). It is very readable and amusing. She also gave her 5/0. Amy gave her two for music.

Flitch – side of bacon – salted and cured abdominal wall of a side of pork.

‘Bachelor in Arcady’, was written by Halliwell Sutcliffe who died in 1932. He wrote many popular novels, most of them historical romances set in the Yorkshire Dales.

‘The Rosary’ by Florence Louisa Barclay was first published in 1909. It has been described as one of the most beautiful books ever written, and the author compared to Jane Austen. It is available in the publc domain as a free e-book.

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

Thur Jan. 13 1944 9.15. PM. [1944]
# VISIT TO RELATIVES AT TRUSTHORPE FARM
# LETTERS FROM RON IN ITALY
# NEWSPAPERS RUMOUR SECOND FRONT

It has been raining nearly all day but not cold for Jan. It cleared once or twice but came on again, and is raining now I think, tubs are too full now to hear if it is running in and wind seems to be rising. It was fine and sunny on Mon and dried all the clothes, but very cold. Tues it was colder still and snowed in the afternoon but turned warmer afterwards.

On Wed Rene and I went on 9.30. bus’ to Trusthorpe. We had to sprint to catch it and but for the fact that the driver and cond[uctor] have a hot drink at Miss C[anning]‘s we should probably have been left, as it went to village while we were on the wrong side of G.ma’s. It was damp and misty but cleared before we came home. Found them all pretty well, having escaped colds and flu’ so far. Aunt J[et] looks very well again and is endeavouring to “peg” a snip rug. It helps to pass the time. She gets tired of knitting and the cotton is dear. I try to think of something she can do, but do not seem able to find anything and I am sure the hours seem very long, and she does not seem able to accustom herself to going about the yard alone with a stick except just across and back [see note]. Amy says she has been much better to live with since being here that week. So perhaps she found she would have some trials wherever she was.

Had 2 letters from Ron to-day. I was writing to him after Jean went to school and it is still dark until nearly 9 indoors, Father went to bed when he came off duty at 6 am after making tea and having his porage. While writing I thought I heard someone coming and as no one knocked went to door. No one there so went to front and to my surprise found letters at 8.45, usually it is 9.45 or later. Perhaps as it was so wet, the Anderby postman dropped them in. Ron’s letters were dated 21 Nov. and 12 Dec. so not very recent. They were the ones saying he had received greetings cable for Birthday (Nov 26) and Xmas parcel. We had heard all this before. His letters were very interesting this time. One very funny. When putting away his washing the vest unrolled and it was a ladies! His pals were much amused. He had seen the laundress and she had promised to retrieve his for him. He gave us a nice little word-picture of the room where he was sitting up in bed writing, some of his pals reading, some just smoking and one packing parcels, another one, like him, sitting up in bed writing. They are a decent lot together there I think. He sounds quite resigned if not exactly content. His parcel arrived with everything quite safe and undamaged. He is very pleased with Writing Case.

Papers are full of sec[ond] front and invasion lore. The many new air-bases in Britain are ready for use, and are to be the invasion bases. There are such a lot within a few miles of us that I fear we may see more of the war than we have so far done. I am not looking forward to the start of sec front. It might mean moving off the coast too. Ke[ith] and Ma[rion] were on bus’ when we returned last night. They had been to Legbourne. Said there was snow there. Hope we don’t get it. The winter has been mild so far. Amy had a lot of ‘Wannias’ out. I noticed a flower on one of mine. Fred was having to help a neighbour to thrash so he could get help in return. Labour is scarce. Was grousing (the farmer’s privilege) because he has to grow sugar beet. Would not mind if all had to but some get off. It is the same in everything. Ken belongs to Young Farmers League or Club. It will be good for him to get about and mix with people I think. He is a nice quiet boy.

Heard from [sister] Em L. Gl[adys] had a son on Jan 4. They are pleased as they have two girls. So E has 4 Grand-d[aughter]s and 2 G.sons now. Jean is wanting to go to bed so I had better make an end, indeed I’ll have to as my new book is in the other room. Jean and I are in kit[chen] tonight. Amy tells me Aunt Fanny says Mother used to write poetry. I have a stiff covered ex[ercise] book with poems in her writing. I wonder if she wrote them. I remember my father reciting one of them once.

This began on S. Swithin’s Day in a shower of rain.
It ends in January of another year and still it rains
But sunshine has heightened many days in between
And this year’s wheat grows fresh and green.

‘Across and back’ referred to visiting the outside toilet, across the yard from the farmhouse.

Legbourne village is near the town of Louth (see East Lincolnshire Map).

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

Oct 15 Friday 10. 45. P.M. [1943]
# DIARY RESUMED AFTER THREE WEEKS
# GRANDMA’S TROUBLE-FREE VISIT
# CANTAKEROUS AUNT JET A CHALLENGE
# CHEERFUL LETTERS FROM RON

“We don’t miss anything in the world as much as we miss our burdens” from Palludia by Anna Robeson Burr.

We seem to have been very busy since I last wrote in my diary. G.ma came on 27th (Mon) in the afternoon. Rene and I had washed in the morning. She stayed until Friday aft. She is very quiet and eats so very little. I was pretty well while she was here but in bed until tea-time on the Sunday. Oct 4.

Went to Trusthorpe on Thur. (Jean and I) and Aunt J[et] came back with us vowing she was so ill-treated she would never return. Aunt Fanny Robinson was there but even that did not keep her at home. Aunt F is nearly 80 and getting frail but not blind like Aunt J. She has a nature too, very much different. I can see now that mother was much more like her in many ways, tho’ she was always thought to be most like Aunt J in looks. Aunt J is very trying, and after a week of her we took her back to Amy yesterday, indeed she refused to stay any longer tho’ I would have kept her over the week-end if she would have stayed. I could not cope with her long tho’. Poor Amy, no wonder she seems apathetic at times.

Aunt Jet with late husband Tom

Aunt Jet with late husband Tom

Aunt J is cantankerous and cross-opple-ed and even worse, but I think her mind is warped or gradually weakening. She eats far too much, Jean and I reckoned up one day and she had 9 meals and snacks in the 12 hours 8 a.m to 8.p.m. Still we got along as well or better than I expected, as I am a bit irritable and crotchety myself at times. We had a “fratch” or two when I got my foot in it, and when I did I put in a few words for her to think over at leisure, hoping they might react to Amy’s benefit. One tea-time, after getting it ready an hour before time, I had to re-sugar and re-milk her tea, still it wasn’t right, it needed more sugar (she had a whole lb in her tea and malted food in the week) more hot water and more milk still. Says me, “Your cup is full now” but it was “too hot to drink” so much exasperated I said, “Blow on it then, or wait until it cools”. She shut up, got her tea quite amiably and finally remarked to Rene, “what a good cup it was”, almost upsetting Rene’s equilibrium. Still, it was queer how I missed her last night and to-day, which is probably why the quotation at the beginning of to-day’s entry struck me when reading tonight.

Father is on watch, Jean and I are in bed, Jean has been to L.G.B. [Girls’ Life Brigade G.L.B.] and I am very tired. We are relieved to have had 7 letters from Ron this week, latest dated 21 Sep. Very cheerful too.

Anna Robeson Brown Burr was an American novelist/ essayist. ‘Palludia’ was published by Duffield & Company, New York, 1928.

Aunt Fanny, née Thorpe, Robinson, the widow of George Albert Robinson, was the eldest sister of May’s mother and Aunt Jet.

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

Tue July 20 8.30 P.M. [1943]
# CORNED MUTTON TO REPLACE CORNED BEEF
# SEA DEFENCES DAMAGED BY WEATHER
# A VISIT FROM COUSIN AMY
# REPORTS OF SUCCESS IN SICILY
# ANOTHER NEPHEW TO WED
# MORE GUESTS EXPECTED

Jean stayed at Jessie’s for tea on Thurs. Had ham she says. Friday morning Father and Jean got their breakfast and brought mine before going on watch and to school. I rose about 11 o’c. Father had taken cinders out so I took mats up and sw[ept] and dusted leaving mats for Father to shake at 2 o’c. By then I was crocked up again. I let Father go to but[cher's] cart with Peter and Pe. let me have 2 tins corned beef. Said they were the last. After this it is to be corned mutton. I have heard it is very good. Expect we shall soon know. It is very misty and damp to-night, yet strange to say I feel better this last hour since the fog thickened (it was hazy all day) than I have for some days. Perhaps it has turned colder. Tom and Rene called a while since and he said it was the weather he loved with the mist wrapping round like a blanket. Well he is welcome to it, but I don’t like the clammy feel of it. Says the sea has come in up to Cousins’ bungalow again. The workmen are busy putting “kids” in the broken bank. Father says if they run a couple of rows of barbed wire across the gap it would be quite as effective! We did not have a gale with these tides so they were not so picturesque or so destructive as the Apr. tides.

I stayed in bed Sat morning and Jean brought me a letter up just before ten a.m. It was from Amy to say she and Aunt Jet (Ken came too) were coming in Tagg’s car about 12 o’clock. I got up at once and we got the oven started and cooked Sunday beef with York[shire] pud, rice p[udding] and stewed log[an]berries. Also new potatoes but we had no sec. vegetable. A. said she was bringing provisions. It proved to be tin[ned] beef and cooked bacon and some bought tarts. She had been out day before too. We managed alright and dinner was cooked in good time. Jean had got on pretty well downstairs. Father went to Hall’s for groceries and got me some cake too. I dusted down the stairs and made beds as soon as I was dressed. Room was clean as we had not been in since Wed. when I cleaned it well. They all looked fairly well, indeed very well. Aunt J is about as usual, never content but rather more frail I think. Jean managed to get Ken to the sea after dinner, but she says he is very shy. Rene took a snap of us sitting on the seat by the back door. It was very hot there in spite of the cold wind. Ken is making a rockery and took several bits of my rock plants to set on it so hope they grow.

We have a third of Sicily in our hands and a lot of prisoners. Catania still holds out. I wrote and sent a letter to Ron on Sunday. I wish he could get it by next Sun. Jul. 25 as it is the anniversary of his wedding. I must write to Emmie too this week. It doesn’t seem possible that a year has slipped by so quickly. Norman [Lammiman] is to be married next week. He is 21.

Gladys brought Eileen down this afternoon. She came with her G.ma [Harriet] Sunday night too. She is a sweet little babe and grows fast. Spot came too and Bill nearly wept when Father stroked her. Gl. brought a letter about two ladies who want to come on a visit. I wrote an answer for them to send back, though I would have preferred to deal directly with them. I set £2.2. a week for 1 b. room with 2 beds and sit. rm. and attendance. If they come it will be a little towards the rent. I can only do with them when Jean is at home in the mornings to help and she is only home from Fri. Jy. 23 to Tue Aug 17 so we’ll have to make our fortune quickly if at all! A lot of the mist has cleared. We are going to bed. Father on watch until 2 a.m. We are expecting Elsie Russell and friend some day this week.

‘Kids’ were bundles of thorny sticks, usually cut from hawthorn hedges. They were used to hold sand to build dunes with marram grass to form sea defences. ‘Kidding’ was a related local expression for collecting material for firewood sticks.

Frank Tagg was a farmer in Trusthorpe.

‘Spot’ was Herbert and Annie Faulkner’s (Eileen’s parents’) dog.

Elsie Russell was Emmie’s cousin.

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