All posts tagged Mrs Shales

Friday January 14. 1944
8.15. a.m

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’?

Mon. 15 Nov. 10 o’c PM. [1943]

I did not write much in my diary last Wed. as I felt so tired and could not collect my thoughts. It turned out I had a bad head cold developing and I have gone thro’ the worst of it now and just feel seedy and tired to-day, hope I shall begin to feel like myself tomorrow. I have cut Jean’s new green skirt out and partly made it. She has been to school, but had such a lot of home-work and was so tired I did not get it tried on, however, I have taken measurements so hope to get a bit more done tomorrow. I have really finished the “sailor” doll. I made a few more stitches on his face and pulled it into quite a decent shape, made and sewed his hat on so hope baby Balding will like it. I don’t like making such tiny clothes, think I’ll stick to animals. Have cut paper pattern of Scottie dog and Rene cut the Terrier pat. so hope to try them this week. I finished sewing buttons on Jean’s cardigan tonight and mended her school bag strap so got no more of my cardigan done. I finished a diamont patn. this morning and cut out Jean’s skirt before dinner. As Rene did a big wash for me last Wed I am only doing just what is necessary this week. She has her big wash this week. It was so stormy she did not start to-day. Mr Shales is a little better to-day.

Father had to go on W.Bx. [watch box] for a while this morning, the D.O. [District Officer] was there. He had 45 out of 50 of his last quest[ions] right. It has been very stormy again to-day but not so many sleet-showers as yesterday. It has been one or two tho’ since dark. It turns very cold before showers and slightly warmer after. The whole house seems to turn cold before showers. I am writing in bed but it is so cold I shall soon lay down. It is 10.30. so it won’t seem long to 12 when Father comes off watch. There have been some very high tides again the last few days, sea came into Marsh again. The seamen’s work did not keep it out, altho’ one of Grantham’s boys said it kept the bulk of it out! Father took Mrs. Mason to Sutton [-on-Sea] last Wed. She is gone there to live with Mrs. Bryant, a relative. She gave Father a good enamel kettle and £1.

Mr and Mrs Shales were Rene’s elderly next-door neighbours in Sunningdale Drive (see Village Map), having moved into the bungalow ‘Chapel of Ease’ (built by the Ashley Hall family – see 1 Apr 1943) next to ‘Beverley’.

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