History is never quite as real as when it is told by those who lived it. Ruby Thompson, living during the World War ll London Blitz bombing blasts history out of the realm of dry, dusty names and dates and places the reader in the midst of the terrifying events as they unfold. This is very important documentation and will have tremendous appeal to those who have an avid interest in the effect of the war on ordinary citizens.
I have just been having words with Ted. I think him
detestable, and I was so disgusted with him I told him
so. It is silly, of course. Usually I can hold my tongue,
but tonight I didn’t. I’m so tired of him, that’s why, I
suppose. This afternoon I went to the movies. Major
Barbara, Shaw’s play, is showing at the Havana, so I
went down to see it. I did not leave the theatre until
six-ten p.m. but I was back here in the house before the
news was finished. I had left the table laid, and I found
Ted eating his tea, but he began scolding me at once. He
said I should have told him I would not be here to get
him his tea. I went straight ahead and put the kettle on,
and got him some pie and cream, but he kept on and on
as though I had committed a crime. Finally he stopped I
thought he has finished but when I sat down to take off
my shoes, he began all over again.
Good gracious, I said, have you got to begin again? I
thought you were finished. Then all at once I flared, How many times in these last twelvemonths have you
found me out when you come in? He began all over again. He came and stood over me,
and wagged his finger at me, admonishing me without
ceasing, and being very rude. I resented his rudeness,
and his whole admonitory attitude. I said so. Why should
he speak to me as though I was a naughty child? I told
him I wouldn’t listen to him. That was a silly thing to
say, of course, because I had to listen, as he told me, of
course. Everything went out with his pointing wagging
finger. I just thought him silly, and so petty. He kept on
and on until I finally told him he was detestable. How
stupid of me. Finally he went out to the Home Guards.
I have been having a very trying time this week past.
Artie has been home on his seven-day leave. He returned
to camp yesterday. All the time Artie was here Ted was
extremely disagreeable. He nagged the boy. He nagged
me. Why Ted is so censorious I do not know; but he will
set himself up as a judge and he cannot refrain from
sarcasm or what he thinks is sarcasm. Three quarters of
what he must think is wit, is just plain low class rudeness.
He has talked to me daily and nightly of what he calls
Artie’s stupidities, he has condemned, the youngsters,
this new generation, twenty times a day. I am sick of his
preaching’s. God, how sick! I want to be happy and easy.
My God! Aren’t they fighting this war for us? For Ted
they are just fools. In most of his talk for Artie he just
tried to make Artie look a fool and then jeer and sneer at the boy. That is how Ted talks with the boys and with
me. He questions and cross-questions everything we
say, even an innocent remark about the weather. It is as
though he deliberately tries to make us out to be either
fools or liars or both. Oh, but it's wearing.
Today I received a letter from Eddie and after he had
read that he began instantly to belittle Eddie, and make a
derision of him. I made no reply at the time, but probably
that was a soreness that made me flare out tonight when
he began to scold me for being out. Anyhow, I am not
the man’s slave. I’m free, white, and twenty-one, and I’m
not chained to the premises. I do resent his cutting and
insulting remarks. Why be so rude? Why be so unfair?
Why in the name of God be so petty? When he comes
back I expect he will begin another harangue. I shall be
told off all over again. Well, he’s the righteous one, but
he certainly makes me hate righteousness.
August 7, 1941 Waiting for Mrs. Prior. If she does not show up by
nine-thirty I must begin on the work myself. When Ted
came in last night I was listening to a B.B.C. concert.
I did not speak, nor did he. However, he stayed in the
dining room and also listened. Later a dance band came
on the air; then he grunted and fussed, and soon went
to bed. I remained downstairs and listened the program
out. I think some of the dance songs very funny, they are
certainly clever, and mostly melodious but Ted affects to
dislike them all. To him they are modern music, therefore no good, and he says so, times without number.
This morning he rose extra early, and went into
the garden barefoot before the seven a.m. news. Then
he shod himself and went to church, of course. What
does he get out of early church? An orgasm perhaps? I
remember years ago, way back in the Bayonne years, Blanch Sivell once said to me that she didn’t know
what pleasure married people got out of marriage, but it
couldn’t possibly be more than the pleasure she got out
of Holy Communion. Why Ruby, its wonderful, its keen, I
can’t describe it but I’m, sure no lover could possibly thrill
me more! I thought her batty at the time. Perhaps there
was something in it. I’m sure love and religion is inextricably mixed and I’m quite sure religion practiced by Ted
is an aberration.
Ted is an A one eccentric. Take this barefoot practice
of his. I do not remember him going around barefoot
until the Tenafly years. I think he began the habit there.
Outside on the lawns, or in the woods or fields, it was not
so bad, a summer habit. When he began to walk about
the house bare-foot, that was different. I remember one
occasion that was downright unpleasant. One afternoon,
Mary Spencer Smith was calling; we were drinking tea
in the parlor. Then Ted came in, wearing linen knickers,
but bare footed. He bowed in his ambassadorial fashion,
seated himself in an armchair, but swinging his legs over
the side. His feet were filthy, covered with ground dirt.
Mary exclaimed at him. He expatiated on the pleasure
of going barefoot.
But not in the drawing room! She said. Why not? Well, I’m surprised Ruby allows it. I shouldn’t allow Spence to, I can tell you. But there it is, the way Ted slips in manners. He is
not a gentleman, and the older he grows the more evident
that fact becomes. He acted grossly one day this summer.
He had been working barefoot in the garden, and he then
came into rest awhile. He went upstairs and took off all
his clothes except his shorts, and these were gaping. He
came down into this dining room and began to smoke a
pipe, lolling on the sofa, opposite the kitchen door. In this little house the dining room opens directly into the
kitchen, and immediately on the right of the kitchen is
the back door. If Ted is in the dining room when the
errand boys call, he will speak to them as he chats in his
camaraderie way. Well, a young lad came with the green
groceries and Ted immediately rose, called out to the
lad, and began stalking across the room to speak with
him further. I was literally horrified. I closed the door
abruptly and I said to Ted.
For goodness sake, use a little sense! Don’t expose
yourself to strange young lads like that!
I shut the door in his face, and held it shut whilst
the boy unloaded his basket. On the other side of the
door Ted was laughing. He thought it a joke. I thought
it an indecency and madness. What would the boy have
thought has he seen this spectacle? There was Ted, a
naked and dirty old man, puffing on a pipe, and talking,
talking! God, what a fool!
Mrs. Prior has arrived. I’m glad. I didn’t want to
tackle the cleaning. She said she has had a poisoned
foot, but it is quite recovered now. Good. I hope she stays
recovered. I can clean the house but why should I?
Ted might be surprised if he knew how some of the
youngsters regard him. Mary Bernadette told me one day
last week that he made Huge Storr-Best “feel uncomfortable” and that Doreen Peel did not like to come to
the house when Mr. Thompson was at home because she
did not like him. Strange, especially when Ted thinks
himself so fascinating. Certainly his conceit grows, and
the way he talks to intelligent youngsters is preposterous. He talks at them, and as though they knew
nothing. Again behind everything, I think, lies his own
uncultured youth; his consciousness holds only the poor
cockney, with a mere elementary board school education, even if that.
Ted thinks he is being friendly. Actually he is only
being embarrassing. Oh dear! What a man! Then there is
his religion, his damned religion, and his talk of morals,
which ultimately he drags into every conversation. He
is tiresome and boring beyond words. His religion is an
obsession, and in the end he tires everybody with it, even
the Catholics. Lou Branney was here to tea on Monday.
Lou now has his commission, was on leave, and came to
see Artie. We talked of the war, of course. Lou said to Ted, I must say our Catholic papers make me sick, especially,
The Catholic Herald. I won’t read them anymore. They’re
damned awful. But with Ted, what ever a Catholic paper prints is
right. Must be, because it’s “Catholic” isn’t it? It is fanaticism, pure and simple. Franco is right. According to
Ted Franco is a Christian gentleman who fought to save
Christianity in Spain. Franco is a good Catholic, therefore
can do no wrong. Facts tell against Franco and Lou said
the more he found out about the Spanish war the more
disgusted he was with Franco and his gang, the more he
thought there was something to be said for the Republicans, for the government. Franco is a minor Hitler, or
Mussolini, a man ruthless and cruel, self-seeking and a
liar. Not for Ted oh dear no, Franco saved Spain! Oh well!
At breakfast this morning Ted wanted to be affable.
I remained just polite. I presented him with a bill to
pay. I have a bill from Stone’s for flannel and I have been
wondering how I was going to pay it. He told me he was
going to take a holiday all next week, and he thought he
would go and look at Beccles and a few other places. So! I
thought; all right, old boy, you can pay my Stones bill. So
I produced the bill, asked him to bring me pence for the
house at dinnertime, and please settle this bill. Is this for clothes? he asked.
Yes, for petticoats.
He put it in his pocket. Let him pay. What does he
ever give me? Why are little gifts so important to a
woman? I don’t know, but they are. Trifles: things like
a flower, or a pound of sweets, a package of cigarettes, a
magazine, a scarf, all those little oddments, those little
casual gifts. It is because they show affection, I suppose,
a thought for you, a gift, a little gift. So I think, let him
pay my bills. He looks after himself all right. Very well,
he can look after me too. Now Au-revoir. I must go in and
see about fixing lunch.
August 8, 1941 A teeming wet morning and I have just been out to
Carlton Parade to place my weekend orders. I received a
notice from the food control office this morning that my
request to have my registration for eggs transferred has
been granted. Took the notice to Mrs. Dennis, so now I
am entirely through with Sainsbury’s; this after about
fourteen years trade with them, during which we must
have spent considerably over one thousand pounds with
Elizabeth Coppen telephoned early this morning
she is coming to tea this afternoon. Now I’ll record an
absolutely typical piece of English masculine behavior.
Last night apropos of nothing, Ted suddenly said, about
seven, that he was going out to a boxing match, held by
the Home Guards. So off he went, not returning until
about ten forty-five p.m. This was the husband going out
without previous notification given. What about the wife
in this case? I might have arranged to do something
with this evening, especially if I had known it was going
to be a free one. No, I was not informed of Ted’s intentions
for the evening until he was ready to leave the house.
Yet he rowed me abominably on Wednesday because I
went out, in the afternoon, too, when he was not at home!
With out previously telling him of my intention to go out
and my crime was heightened because I was not back
in the house before he came home. Probably he wasn’t
back until six, anyhow. He comes in when he is ready
to come in. Officially the office closes at five. Ted may
come straight home, but he may go to the barbers or the
library, or the church first but he never tells me what he
is going to do, or where he is going. He returns when he is
ready to return, and I have nothing to say in the matter.
Not that I want to have anything to say. What I resent it
that he should object to my going out at my convenience,
and returning at my convenience, especially as I had
not neglected any of my “duties” by doing so. That’s the
Englishman for you, particularly the English husband.
Perhaps the young English husbands are different;
I don’t know, but I shall hope so. Oh, how I do dislike
old-time Englishmen! Is it any wonder I long for America,
and shall long for it, as long as I live, and whether I
have any children there or not. American men treat
their women properly, and no matter what their personal relationships are. American women are equal human
beings with their men; they always were, and I guess
they always will be. Anyhow, I thank God my sons are
American. My sons won’t expect to own their wives, nor
even give them “Christian” arguments that morally a
wife should obey a husband. My sons are not Englishmen,
Ted did write me a cheque at dinner time yesterday,
and without further questions. All day he tried to be
jocular. I think he was ashamed of his Wednesday’s
outburst, his anger and rudeness and injustice; but of
course he’ll never say so, he’ll never apologize: not to me.
He might confess it in the confessional but he’ll never
admit to me he was wrong, or say he was sorry he hurt
my feelings. To write a cheque with partial good grace, that’s all he’ll be able to do in repentance or recompense towards me. I smile. I’m hard, and I only wish the
amount requested had been treble what it was! When he
so unexpectedly went out last night I set to work and cut
out the petticoats. Now I’ve discovered why flannel petticoats have gone out of favor these past years. They cost
too much. These petticoats work out at nearly one pound
a pieced, which is very expensive.
August 9, 1941 I received a note from Artie this morning to say he had
been passed for a commission. Good. He will probably go
to an O.C.T.U. before the month is out.
After much rain, today started very fine, so Ted said,
The weather was for him, and packed his haversack. He
went off by the twelve forty-six p.m. train; for Ipswich, I
think. Anyhow, he is going hiking through East Anglia.
Why East Anglia, seeing it is raided somewhere or other
practically every day? Well, my guess is he is making
for Walsingham. Next Friday will be the fifteenth, the
feast of the Assumption, and I think Ted has started
out on a pilgrimage to Walsingham, and probably, once
in the country, will travel bare-foot. He has a mania for
pilgrimages. Oh Lord! What a fool! What an utter fool.
I have been to the town twice today, and now am very
tired. First I went to Stone’s to pay my bill, and whilst
there I bought some khaki wool to make Artie some
socks. I also returned Ted’s books to the Public Library,
and bought a basketful of apples from Ives in Mercury
Gardens. Apples are in at last, thank goodness. The
paucity of fruit is very great. There’s a paucity of every-
thing, I think. When I returned to the house I remembered I hadn’t parceled Artie’s cardigan, which he asked
for, to be sent at once, so I had another trip, down to the
post office. Consequently I am terribly tired tonight. It had been my intention to cut out a frock, but I am much
too tired to do so. Luckily I’ve got an interesting book to
read, The Man Who Loved Children, by Christina Stead.
Last week I read ambassador Dodd’s Diary. He was
an American ambassador in Berlin from nineteen thirty-
three to nineteen thirty-eight. This was an intensely
interesting book. It was his private diary, not his official
one. Right from the start he could see war coming. What
struck me most in it was the rascality, and idiocy, of men
in high places, and how greatly the life of the world lies
in the hands of the giant capitalists. A few rich men do
own the earth. No wonder they are afraid of the communists. The rich men of Europe wanted war, because war
makes profits; but ordinary men never want war. As
G.B.S. said somewhere: If you take out the governments
and shoot them, then you will have peace.
For several years now I have been attracted by the
thought of communism, especially sine the Spanish Civil
War; but I have never dared investigate it, because I feel
that if I did I might be converted to it. That would never
do! Not whilst Ted Thompson and I have to live in the
same house. He condemns it off hand, in toto. Without
ever investigating it for himself, of course: sufficient for
him that the Church had condemned it. The Church!
August 12, 1941 Got no sewing done. First of all Mrs. Thomson killed
my morning. Then I went down to South Street to buy
some stationary, etc. All paper, books, etc. are getting
very scarce, and very dear. I bought two new books, a
good (and their last) newspaper clippings book, a bottle
of stick-phast and their last scrap-album. I’ve got the
album to hold my collection of dress pictures. For years I
have cut out of papers, magazines, etc. pictures of what I
consider beautiful frocks, in styles suitable for me. Some are being worn by people in the news, some by people in
advertisements, a very few from fashion notes. They go
back to the last war years, and start with a photograph
of Maude Adams, wearing a velvet gown, and my two
latest are; one, a photo of a social group in Buckingham
Palace this July, for the picture of the ensemble worn by
the Queen of Yugoslavia (a woman of my build, wearing
a figured silk dress, covered by an extremely graceful
but plain black coat, it was the coat I wanted to note)
and second, a propaganda picture about girls war work,
showing a mother and daughter chatting together, and
this to note the mother’s dress, which is a severely plain
Then after lunch I called a taxi and went over to
Parkway to pay a visit to Miss Coppen. I met her friend
Mrs. Townsend. I stayed with her until nearly eight
o’clock, and then taxied home again. I had only just got
in when Rita Pullan came, and she has only just left. So
now it is bedtime again, for I am too tired to start sewing
August 13, 1941 My guess about Ted going to Walsingham has turned
out wrong. He arrived home at one o’clock today. The
weather has been too showery for pleasant hiking, so
here he is, home again. A good homecoming, I think.
I think we were both pleased to see each other again.
Anyhow, for both of us, our nerves have been rested.
Last night I had to get up, about one a.m., guns. I
came downstairs, and heard a big bomb fall somewhere.
About four a.m. everything was quiet, so I went back
upstairs to bed. Ted said he heard alerts every night
whilst he was away. His early return put a further crimp
into my sewing. Weather has turned definitely stormy.
August 14, 1941 At the first news this morning we were told a special
announcement from the government would be made
on all stations at three p.m. by Mr. Atlee, the deputy
prime minister. We had never heard of a “deputy prime-minister,” so wondered if Churchill had been assassi-
nated, or what. At three p.m. the announcement: Mr.
Churchill and President Roosevelt had met at sea, and
drawn up, and signed, a mutual statement, about our
war aims. It has twelve points, which were ten given. I
suppose I should rather describe it as our peace aims.
Anyhow, it answers the question: What are we fighting
for? It’s good, and its clever, and it forestalls Hitler, which
is especially good. For weeks there have been rumors of
“Peace Negotiations” coming from Hitler. This asserts
again that the world will never negotiate with Hitler. I
can’t write it all here.
Anyhow, I’m sick to death of the war, and all the
war talk. This ceaseless destruction and lunacy gets me
down. We have had comparative quiet in England since
Hitler attacked Russia, but the war in Russia is too
ghastly awful. Awful! I’m not going to write it here. Let
the history books take care of that. The destruction is
frightful. I ask: where is God in this?
Marshal Petain made a very silly speech from the
Vichy this week. He is still talking to his defeated
Frenchmen about self-abasement, and the need for repentance and sacrifice. He is just a pious old fool, cow towing
to Hitler. He is a dictator, dictating his own countrymen.
Frenchmen have lost their liberties. Liberty, Equality,
and Fraternity, officially is no more. Petain has substituted Family, Work, and Obedience. Fine For nitwits!
Petain is governing France by authority. Whose? His
own? Hitler’s? France is dead.
I did some sewing this afternoon. Ted brought my sewing machine downstairs, which was a great help. Mary
Bernadette Jude visiting this evening. I am reading an
extraordinary book, but very slowly. Too many interruptions for any steady reading. It is a new novel by Christina Stead, The man who loved children. Much of it could
pass for a portrait of my own husband. The likeness of
Sam Pollitt to Edward Thompson is positively uncanny. I
wonder, if Ted read it, would he recognize himself?
August 16, 1941 Ted has gone out to play at a wedding. Last night I was dreaming of W.H. This is a clear
instance of associative memory. W.H. once said to me,
Everything goes back to sex: everything. It goes back to
the foundations of history, of art, of poetry, or work, of
war, everything. It is the base of everything in life. It is the
most important thing in the world. I did not know what he was talking about but because
I was a modest innocent Victorian maid, I was embarrassed, and I suppose it was because of my embarrassment that I have never forgotten his statement. W.H.
was a formative and educative factor in my girlhood. He
thought I was older than I was. He thought I knew more
than I did, so he spoke accordingly, slightly above my
head. He impressed me, and most of his impressions
still remain. Everything goes back to sex: everything is
sex, he said. Experience inclines me to agree with him.
So here in Christina Stand’s book, she shows the
puritan prig, the moralist, the teacher, the inquisitive
questioner, the theorist, the declaimer, the idealist,
the wind-bag, the carping critic, the self-righteous, the
condemner: but she shows him as grossly sexual. She
shows him as a man who hates his wife, yet nevertheless
continuing in the use of her body. Yes: I know. Sex, is the ultimate, the foundation. It can be joy.
Usually it is a torment. Why do women despise men? Ask
any mature wife. She will give you a shrug and a smile.
All women know what men are. It doesn’t have to be put
into words. Or in very short words. Men are dogs, pigs,
and beasts. Feed the brute. Yes, and in more ways than
one. In effect: keep mans appetite satisfied and then
you’ll have peace in your life. Yes, we know. That’s why
we don’t listen to men’s moralizing and theorizing; why
we take no stock in men’s judgments. They are just noisy
children, fighting and arguing and rip-roaring amongst
themselves; but after awhile they feel hungry, and then
they quite down and go around looking for bread and
jam or lollipops and that is all that matters, their hunger. August 17, 1941 I have had my breakfast and am waiting for Ted
to come in to his. I am very tired and facing the day
with a sort of dread; a very minor dread: nevertheless
I wish it was eight-thirty this evening and this day had
been lived through. I am expecting Mother, and I wish
I wasn’t. I am so tired. I don’t want to talk with mother
all day. I don’t want to listen to and answer her stream
of unending questions. Query? Why do I hate questions
so much? Mother has been coming over regularly every
other Sunday all summer. She has been nice. We get
along beautifully together but the fact remains that for
me this is too often. It is my nastiness, of course. I do get
so tired of people!
Yesterday Mrs. Thomson came in, very soon after two
and stayed until five-fifteen p.m. She could see I was
writing, but that made no difference to her. She was
alone for the afternoon, Thomson had taken Joan to the
movies, and so she just came and planted herself on me.
She’s such a fool, and such a bore! She didn’t want to be
alone, so that was that. What I might prefer didn’t matter to her, never even occurred to her. Of all the neighbors
I have ever had she’s the prize pest of the lot. Last week got pretty well killed for me anyhow. I had anticipated
a week of solitude. I had planned to sew, to write, to
read, not to cook, and to sleep and wake, as I wanted.
Instead, the weather turned bad and Ted returned home
at midday on Wednesday and has been under my feet
ever since. He has been amiable, but it was goodbye to
all my private plans. It meant three meals a day again
and God! I am tired of cooking and clearing away meals!
I hate getting up and going to bed on his schedule. Mrs.
Thomson popping in every day, and several times a day,
till I wish her to blazes! Now today to spend with Mother
more meals, more boring talk! Yes, here I am, grumbling
away like mad. I know. Oh, I am tired, tired.
August 19, 1941 I went to the movies this evening, for the first time
since July a year ago. A special government film is being
shown everywhere this week, Target for Tonight, showing
a real crew in their Wellington Bomber, making a raid
over Germany. At dinner time Ted asked me whether I
didn’t want to go and see it; so we met in the Havana at
five-twenty p.m. like pre-war days, and saw the picture
together. It gave me a very eerie feeling. The fighting in
Russia is giving us in England a respite. Just the same
we are warned daily to be prepared for the resumption of
heavy attack, and to expect this winter to be even worse
than last. Have I noted the meeting of Roosevelt and
Churchill at sea? Anyhow let the history books take care
of that. I’m too tired to write about the war, the damned
August 22, 1941 Ted is playing benediction tonight. I have been to Aves
this afternoon and had my eyes tested. As I thought, my glasses need much correction. Eyestrain probably
accounts for much of my tiredness of late. Certainly I
have been aware of my eyes troubling me, especially
after a spell of knitting or sewing and after the movies. I
have arranged for three pairs of spectacles, as per usual;
two, in duplicate, for reading, writing, sewing, etc. and
one helping to wear at the pictures, or out riding, and so
on. I still do not require glasses for constant daily use,
walking about, I’m very glad to say. I am naturally long-sighted, and Aves says my sight is very good for my age,
and has not failed or deteriorated more than it should for
my years. So that’s good news anyhow. Now I am going to
listen to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, so Au-revoir.
August 29, 1941 I am weary, impatient, melancholy. When Ted came
in for dinner he brought his moneybag along; finishing
lunch early he went into the parlor and started playing
the piano. Naturally I assumed he had finished work for
the weekend. I also thought he had lit the parlor fire.
It is a blustery autumn like day. When he came back to
the table for his coffee he commented on the rain and
dullness, and I agreed, saying It is really cold enough for
a fire today?
He said, Yes, why don’t you have one? I’ll light one in
the parlor if you like.
I said. Oh, would you? That would be nice. Thanks. So he went in and made a fire. He came back to me
full of grumbles. He said, Why don’t you think of these things earlier? It
could have been burning up all this time! But you always
leave everything to the last minute! Can you remember to
take the gas poker out in ten minutes? Can you do that
properly? Or is that too much trouble for you?
I laughed at him. I said, Look here, I didn’t ask you
to light the fire. I know you didn’t. But you should have done. You
wanted the fire in there. Why didn’t you say so?” I said, I thought you had lighted it. I thought you were
home for the afternoon. He said, Well, I’m not and you have no business to
think. If you wanted the fire you should have said so. You
only say what you don’t want. You should have told me
Look here, I repeated. I did not ask you for the fire.
You offered to make a fire, and now I am very sorry I
accepted your offer. I won’t another time. Stop scolding.
I’m not scolding, he said, I’m teaching you. I’m
educating you. And with that he scowled, pulled his hat
down with both hands, and went out the front door, still
That is impertinence. Why should he “educate” me?
Who the hell does he think he is, anyway? All that fuss
about something he offered to do voluntarily. I guess he
is in a scolding mood. Oh gosh, I’m tired.
I’m feeling down anyhow. I’ve received American
letters this week, one from Mrs. Slocum, one from Lillian
Berry, and one from Eddie’s wife, and one from Charley’s
wife. In the end such letters always distress me. They
rouse all my longings for family and friends and the dear
American life and ways. I can get along much better
when I don’t hear from America.
When Ted came into tea he said, I’m sorry I scolded
you so much, but I had to, for your own good. What an apology! It is still the same impertinence.
He is not my keeper, not my superior in any way at all.
Why, Oh why, must he indulge his mania for instruction
and correcting other people? Why his perpetual criticizing? I’m so sick of it, so sick of him. Now he has gone
out to church, Friday Benediction. What a man!
I don’t want to be perfect, or to live the perfect life.
Nor do I want him to be perfect. I can let his imperfections slide by without comment. Why can’t he let me
alone? Above all, why can he never excuse me, never
defend me? Oh God, I am so tired of this tiresome man.
I want to be easy. I want to be happy.
I left the wireless on at teatime, to cover up any need
for talk. Reginald Foort was playing waltzes. When I
heard the old Destiny waltz I thought, yes, that is what I
want. I want ease, grace, pleasure, happiness, and love. I
want to laugh and to be gay. Ted’s everlasting pinpricking
fault finding gets me down His everlasting moralizing.
Oh, life with him is an awful strain. Well, he’s gone to
church: my saint. As I read the gospel Jesus prefers the
sinners to the saints every time and so do I. I am sick of
Ted Thompson, literally sick of him.