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Vicki Washuk World War ll Blitz  Buy On Smashwords    Also   Buy Diary's Here:
I am the great-granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson. 
Recently I started re-reading the World War ll journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not published and shared with the world. These diary excerpts are not the entirety of what is published in print and kindle.
Ruby grew up during a time when education was just beginning to be encouraged for both upper and middle class women. During the late 1890's Ruby explored many radical political ideas of London, England. She met many famous people including the writers George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats. 
5.0 out of 5 stars A choice pick, not to be overlooked, November 6, 2011 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

World War ll London Blitz Diary: 8-13-41 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.

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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 assassinated, 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 then 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 it’s 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. 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.
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, ‘til 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 dinnertime 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 war.
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 rest pair, 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 early.”
“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 talking.
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, 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.
September 1, 1941
An “alert” is sounding. This is the first daylight warning for about two months. I have just got back from the library, so I am lucky to be inside the house. Last night Gerry was over. We had just gone to bed about eleven thirty p.m.; no alert was sounded, but we heard the German engines throbbing over, and then the guns; not immediately near, but about Upminister, I guessed. We did not come downstairs, but I felt simply awful. I began uncontrollably to tremble, and to feel sick in the pit of my stomach. I began to pray! In danger everything primitive asserts itself, and one prays by instinct. All my soreness against Ted vanished. I thought why do I get myself so wrought up for things that don’t matter? Ted is as he is, and I love him as he is. I do. I can’t help myself.
So this morning I am serene again. Moreover, I am not as nervous now, with the alarm given, as I was in the night without it, because it’s daylight I suppose. One feels so helpless in the dark. The very darkness itself is terrifying.
September 2, 1941
It is a quiet night. Mary Jude in this evening, bringing the latest Vogue. I have received a disturbing letter from Artie. He writes that, after all, he is contemplating becoming engaged to Edna Renacre. I feel stunned.
September 3, 1941
Ted is out to the Home Guard. This is the second anniversary of the start of the war. At eleven this morning we entered on the third year of this war. I heard guns in the depth of the night, but no alarm was given. All day planes have been flying overhead incessantly. The news today tells that we bombed Berlin very heavily last night; so I expect London will receive a bombing tonight. God help us! The news from the Russian front is terribly momentous. A tremendous battle for Leningrad is expected now, and my even have begun. The Russians are fighting magnificently but, regardless of their own awful losses, the Germans press on. Oh God! Save the world!
September 7, 1941
Edna Renacre came today. In the evening she herself broached the subject of her engagement to Artie. She asked us what we thought about it. Ted answered her. I felt sick. She stayed very late, leaving us with the idea that the engagement is only prospective, not definite, and it was left that she would come with Artie “to talk it over.”
There was news on the wireless of the death of President Roosevelt’s mother, Mrs. Delano Roosevelt, today, within two weeks, of her eighty-seventh birthday.
September 8, 1941
A letter arrived from Artie, in acknowledgement of the letters we sent him last week, saying he despises himself. Why? How has he compromised himself with this girl? She is a very clever and determined miss, and she has nailed him anyhow. He writes, he is in very deep, and has given her a ring. She wasn’t wearing a ring yesterday, nor did she ever mention a word about one, which is a great slyness I think. Artie writes he expects to be home on the eleventh for forty-eight hours. I have written asking him please to see us, his parents, before he sees Edna. I pray God we may get the boy out of this engagement.
September 9, 1941
I went to the hairdresser’s. I went to the Floral Hall, so as to be entirely among strangers, so as to be able to think. The long operation of shampooing, setting, etc. always gives me a quiet space for uninterrupted thinking, and in times of stress can even sooth my mind. This advantage is now lost at Miss Young’s because she knows me too well, and will chatter.
I can’t say that I have cleared my mind at all today. I feel downright sick about Artie and this disastrous affair with Edna. What can I do? This girl has stalked him for two years, and now finally she has snared him. Can we get him out of her trap? I’m afraid not. She is not a bad girl, but Artie could never be happy with her. He hasn’t even been happy in a friendship with her. In marriage he would be miserable, both of them would be miserable. It is this girl who is determined to marry Artie, and her desire and determination to do so has been obvious from the beginning and to everybody. She is just a plain man-hunter. She marked Artie for her prey, and she has never let up from the chase. Now finally she has caught him, or almost. What can we say or do to prevent her marrying him in the end?
September 11, 1941
Artie arrived at dinnertime. His father and I had a most serious talk with him. It appears, she asked him for the ring! He had not realized that an “engagement” means an engagement to marry! He has not proposed marriage, and does not mean to do so. On his father’s advice he is going to tell the girl outright that there is no engagement. Ted will give him the money to pay for the ring. So that the girl may be reimbursed for her outlay—she bought it herself! Ted is buying the ring from the girl. It is not to stay in her possession. I have phoned the hospital and asked her up to tea. Ted will bring home cash at teatime, and the matter is to be settled this evening.
September 13, 1941
We had an awful to-do here. Artie is certainly a fool, but Edna is a very crafty, wise woman. She plays tricks, the tricks of the schemer. I cannot write down the whole to-do, it is too involved, and besides, it makes me sick. The girl refused to part with the ring, though at first she agreed to do so. She understands that Artie has not proposed to her, and positively there is no engagement.
Last night she was invited here to tea again, and accepted the invitation; but after Artie had gone to meet her, he rung up and said they would go to the movies first, and be in for evening coffee afterwards. Well, they never came in, and at eleven fifteen Ted and I went to bed. About eleven thirty they came in, both of them, so Ted got up and went downstairs, with cash and chequebook, thinking then to settle the ring business. But no! Whilst Edna was in the kitchen making coffee, Artie told his father that she wouldn’t part with the ring, that she would keep it, but she understood that Artie would not pay for it. Well, I could understand that. I thought she wanted to keep it to save her face with her own people.
Ted remained downstairs until they left for Artie to take the girl home. When Ted got up at six thirty this morning to go to church, he woke me and told me, “Artie isn’t in the house. He’s never been home. His bed hasn’t been slept in.”
We were alarmed! My dread was that this girl, who had been foxy enough to buy herself a ring, had also been foxy enough to procure a marriage-license, and Artie had stayed away all night because he hadn’t had the courage to tell us so, that they were going to be married this morning, and that they would not return until he brought her in as his wife. This was an awful thought!
Well, we waited until after nine o’clock and no Artie. At nine thirty I decided to ring up the hospital. I did so, but could not get through to Edna. I was told she was in the hospital, and was asked would I give a message. I replied, yes, and it was a very urgent matter. I said. “This is about a missing person. Will you ask Miss Renacre where my son is?”
“Does she know him?”
“Certainly. I think she’s trying to kidnap him. He took her home last night, but has not returned to his home. Where is he? As he is a soldier on leave, this is urgent. Please ask Miss Renacre where she saw him last, and to let me know at once.”
She did not telephone, but soon after ten o’clock Artie came home. I said, “Artie I’ve just been telephoning the hospital, making inquiries about you. I couldn’t get Edna on the wire, but they told me she was in the hospital.”
“It’s a wonder I wasn’t there too,” he said. “Edna gave me a drink last night, and it made me sicker than I’ve ever been in my life. I think I’ve brought up everything I’ve eaten for this past week. It’s a wonder they didn’t call the ambulance! And then I passed right out. I didn’t know a thing until I woke up this morning and found myself on their sofa.”
Now then how’s that for a trick? Artie assures us there is no engagement, that he has not promised marriage, nor has he seduced the girl. She will not let go. All right, we say, let her sue.

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