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The Goodlet diaries: Week eight

The Goodlet diaries: Week eight

February 19, 2016
Ealing High Street

This is the eighth week of our serialisation of Ealing resident Alexander Goodlet’s diary from 80 years ago. This week, illness seems to strike all around, and his mother is packed off to Brighton to recover from nervous exhaustion. To see the background to the serialisation, and the cast of characters, read our introduction.

February 1936

Wednesday 19.2.36

Again to bed at 4 a.m. and again woke of my own accord this morning. Shaved before breakfast, which I had with the Mater, Joan and Thomasina at twelve.

Joan, I’m sorry to say, had a bad fall this morning on the way here.

Had a letter from Daniel; he says he has caught a bad chill, but is staying on there in hopes of clinching a job. Also a civil letter from the bank. Wrote them both.

Did an hour at the map and then had to break off to take Joan and Thomasina home. Had tea with them and returned home in a rather nice long light spring evening to get in another half hour on the map.

Then of course dinner, that accursed meal, supervened and after that washing up, and then an expedition to the air-mail at Ealing, and now tea, so it will be 12 or thereabouts before I can get to the map again. What an existence, to try and get anything done.

The Mater seems a bit better today, T.G.

Thursday 20.2.36

Slept till 1p.m. and after lunch went down to the bank. Home at 4 to find Daniel returned. He took Joan and Thomasina home, so the Mater and I had a quiet tea alone, Buzz being at his Modern languages party and Fuzz away boxing at City of London.

Mr Stanley to dinner and after that Kidd and Ernest came in and we sailed two most amusing matches, in which Kidd and E.H. were first and second, and first and second respectively. I fear Mr Stanley and I did very poorly.

Kidd and Daniel are going to try tomorrow for a job which Miss Colbourne asked Stanley to mention, heating engineering draughtsmen at £6 p.w. Should be quite a good job as far as it goes.

Friday 21.2.36

Rose at 11 and no sooner was breakfast over than the Mater and Aunts came in from house hunting and we all had lunch. The Aunts then left and the Mater, who seems desperately tired, wisely went to bed for a couple of hours. She rose, seemingly very much better, at 5 p.m. and had tea with Daniel and me.

Thereafter, he and I went out. I called on Mrs Hodges with Ernest’s pipe, and was sorry to find her looking far from well. Went to Acton and then Ealing.

After dinner Daniel went out to join Kidd in making contact with this drawing job, and returned at 11 p.m. to report that it was a complete frost. Really, it is very bad form for people to talk loosely of a job being available when it is not the case.

There was a letter from Dad today saying he is still without word from the Board. Very bad treatment.

The three City men responsible for the “Pepper Crash” of a year ago were today found guilty of fraud, a little unfairly I think, and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment.

Saturday 22. 2.36

Up at 10.30 and started work on the map before lunch, and from after lunch until 7 p.m., when I had to dress before dinner, as I was going to Miss Grundy’s private dance. I believe Daniel would have liked to go too very much. Unfortunately the Grundys did not know he is a dancing man and did not know he would have liked an invitation.

The dance went off very well and I had great amusement watching the amorous manoeuvring of all the lads and lassies, who, only a few short years ago, were in the junior forms, as I well recollect.
After the show was over I had tea with the Grundys and Stanley and did not get home till 2.30 a.m. Daniel waited up for me and we have just sat yarning away till 4 a.m.

Am beastly cold. The Mater has most decently done absolutely everything, table, fires, etc., so will push off to bed.

A letter from B.M. Hodgson of Hythe, damn it.

Sunday 23.2.36

Arose at 11 a.m. and had breakfast with Daniel. The Aunts came for lunch and we made a very merry party. After lunch the Mater and they went for a walk and Daniel and I did likewise shortly after. Kidd, Joan and Thomasina came for tea and dinner, so that altogether it has been a pleasant social sort of Sunday.

Daniel, Kidd and I sailed a couple of very jolly matches after dinner and then D. and I saw the 15 folk home. Bitterly cold it was too. The Mater went to bed early, but feels a god bit better, I’m glad to say. Poor Fuzz has had bad toothaches.

Daniel has been trying to convert me to British Israelism, not very successfully I’m afraid.

Put in two hard hours’ work on the map this afternoon, but it goes terribly slowly.

Monday 24.2.36

The Mater wakened me at 10 this morning saying that she felt really ill and had decided to call in the doctor. When he came he pronounced it a bad case of nervous exhaustion (and no wonder after these six hellish years) and insisted that the Mater go off to Ine’s at Brighton for a week at the very least, and the longer the better. The Mater telephoned Ine there and then fixed up to go off tomorrow afternoon.

Joan too has made alternative arrangements for Kidd and Thomasina during her confinement in case the Mater is not back in time, so everything is arranged all right.

Worked on the map for a short time in the afternoon and then took Joan and Thomasina home, going on to the air mail post in Ealing. Busy tonight and hope to get in an hour on the map before I go to bed.

Letter from the Pater this morning saying he is still without word from the Board. Shocking treatment, I think.

Have had damnable toothache all day.

Tuesday 25.2.36

Had breakfast brought to me in bed and Aunty Mary insisted there was no need to get up early, so I slumbered gloriously until lunch time. Both the Aunts and Joan and Thomasina were here, so we were quite a large party.

After lunch accompanied the Mater to Victoria and saw her off to Brighton, where I learned later by telephone, she arrived safely and already feeling better. Came home via Ealing and found the Aunts had most decently prepared dinner before they left.

After dinner Stanley came in and we have had an exceedingly jolly musical evening.

The only news is of the mixed reception accorded to Mr Eden’s first speech as Foreign Secretary last night and the announced Italo-German accord in case the Franco-Russian pact should be signed.