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World War ll London Blitz:  Buy On Smashwords
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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: 6-1-42 to 6-29-42 I was awakened at one twenty-five a.m. by the siren. All Clear was given about a half hour afterwards. There was no gunfire in this district. At midday we were told that the Germans made a reprisal attack last night, on Canterbury. They sent fifty bombers over, twenty-five of which got through to Canterbury, and three were brought down. No news of the extent of the damage or casualties given.

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June 1, 1942

When the grip of a people upon reason and so upon a reasonable conduct of life weakens, that is, when the highest human faculty is dethroned, it is only natural that standards of excellence should become distorted. All that is required to illicit admiration for an action is that it should be positive, startling, and productive of results. The good life gives place, as an aim, to life arbitrarily ordered by the efficient or the powerful. Might takes the place of right because might gets things done, and right has ceased to have any content of its own.
In the modern world reason is at a low ebb, and the prime mover in its disappearance has been Germany. Never subjected in its greater part to the disciplined thought and civilization of the Roman Empire and never attaining the status of a nation, it has, throughout history, from Luther to Hitler, continually produced men whose notoriety depended upon qualities opposed to reason: sentimentality, conceit, arrogance, hero-worship and consciousness of inferiority (and hence jealousy); besides the cruder vices which attach themselves to these substitutes of reason, such as greed, cruelty, and a desire to take refuge in something bigger than themselves, i.e. the State. The Nationalist Socialist regime, coming as it did at the moment of Europe’s nadir of reasoned thought, and swallowing whole the bombastic unreason of Hegelian and Nietzsche philosophy, is an exaggerated example of German barbarism. It is therefore not surprising to find in it flagrant departures from what normal men have always held to be common sense.
Here in England too, unreason and oppression, though in less virulent forms, goes on almost unnoticed. Men and women who address public meetings and write books under the aegis of a Party that claims to uphold the cause of the laboring poor are continually making proposals and advocating measures that would effectively destroy any chance of increased freedom for their protege's. Here again we see propaganda pleading for a blessing upon its policy of oppression. Not that the English kind of oppression is the same as the German. It does not seek to empty men of all human prerogatives as National Socialism does, but it looks forward to a state of society in which the mass of the people will be bound hand and foot economically by a bureaucratic clique of organizers; and if the economic life of a man is outside his own control, there is almost nothing in his whole life that will not feel the omnipresent strain of a compulsion that curbs all his creative power. Examples of this can be found everywhere, indeed, the very air we breathe is impregnated with the assumption that “in this scientific age” a man cannot and ought not to want to be his own master. Take two items in last week’s Labor Party Conference: the resolutions founded on the Central Committee’s Post-War Reconstruction Report demand “ a planned society” (in a reasonable community “society” denotes the free intercourse between man and man) “with the State owning and operating the essential means of production”, or again, one of the special resolutions calls for the acceptance  “of the broad democratic principle that all children of school age shall be required by statue to attend schools provided or licensed by the state.” What in the name of reason is either “broad” or “democratic” in such a principle of compulsion? Why should a child be called “of school age” as though schools (and such schools!) were the only possible training ground for life? Have the earnest oppressors of our people ever heard of the family and the fundamental rights and responsibilities of the family?
All this bureaucratic restraint derives, not from the “scientific age” in which we live, but from a dangerous deficiency in us of God’s greatest gift to man--- reason.
To re-enthrone reason we require the common philosophy of life which we have so lightly abandoned.  We must return to truth.”
This is a part transcription from an article entitled, Oppression as Propaganda  in The Weekly Review for May Twenty-Eighth. The article is unsigned, so I do not know who wrote it; but I note it because it is saying the things that should be said. When I listen to our damn fool politicians, and our gasbags on the air, I repeatedly ask; Liberty? Where is liberty? An Englishman’s rights, what has happened to them? Civil liberties disappear daily. The present government is as collection of dictators. When I hear men like Morrison and Bevin and Cripps talk about what they are going to do to us after the war, I ask, yeah? Why do they presume they will still be in power after the war? I’m sure every one of them will get his conge. The country is fed to the teeth with petty and not so petty war restrictions but once let the war be won, then we shall no longer submit tamely to all these bureaucratic tyrannies. Morrison and Co. will be kicked downstairs, and Englishmen will resume life, as they like to live it, unplanned lives, as they individually choose them. Englishmen are orderly, but they won’t be ordered. Every man his own master. Britons never will be slaves. A planned society? Planned by whom? Bevin? Cripps? Green? Never. An Englishmen’s house is his castle. It always was, it still is and it always will be. There will be no permanently planned society in Britain.
I was awakened at one twenty-five a.m. by the siren. All Clear was given about a half hour afterwards. There was no gunfire in this district. At midday we were told that the Germans made a reprisal attack last night, on Canterbury. They sent fifty bombers over, twenty-five of which got through to Canterbury, and three were brought down. No news of the extent of the damage or casualties given yet.

June 2, 1942

Last night the R.A.F. again went out over Germany, thirteen hundred strong. The main attack was on Essex. It was only Saturday and they were over Cologne; we are surprised they can go again in such a force so soon. Maybe the tide has turned. Maybe we are now going to lick the Germans! I heard gunfire nearby about four this morning, but have no information so far as to where it was.

June 25, 1942

I dream persistently of life in America, and particularly of my early years there. It is because of my biding discontent with England of course, and these terrible later years of my life. Last night I was dreaming of the Hewetson household as it was in 1905, and I was there as a young bride, nervously trying to please agreeable strangers. Probably the dream was thrown up by present circumstances, for we are expecting the advent of a strange young girl whom Artie is proposing to bring here next week as his likely fiancee. Her name is Hilda Kane, and he made her acquaintance last year in Lanark. This spring he visited her at her home in Glasgow. She is a Catholic, twenty years old. He is coming on leave on the twenty-ninth, and he as asked to come to Romford with him, for a holiday. Perhaps she won’t come, but we shall see.
The war news is shocking. We go from bad to worse. Now we have suffered defeat again in Libya, and Rommel has taken Tobruk and this in spite of the fact that we were continually told we were holding in Libya; only last week Auchinleck said to the troops: “Hold him boys! We have Rommel in the bag!” Yet on Sunday night we were told Tobruk had fallen, and we had lost 25,000 men there. Now issue will be joined for Egypt. Awful war still rages in Russia. The Germans are not driven back. The fall of Sebastopol looks to be inevitable. The losses at sea increase daily. Churchill is in Washington conferring with Roosevelt. Laval is back in power in France, and working openly for Germany.
Defeat in Libya has come as a profound shock to public confident. Parliament is shaken. So it ought to be. What kinds of incompetents are running the country? We all ask. Isn’t it true we had a new government? As for me, the more I listen to the windbags the more disgusted I become with them and also with all men generally. I think what fools men are and I despise the lot of them as for their endless talk that is downright silly. Fools of men!
Five German bombs were destroyed over the midlands last night. We are not told where and what they list. The way the news is given to us is absurd. This is from the stupidity of the ministry of information of course. We have too many ministries, all of them incompetent, some like the ministry of information, downright asinine.

June 26, 1942
The B.B.C. announces that it is twenty-five years ago today that General Pershing and his first hundred American troops landed in France. Today we are told that Major General Dwight Eisenhower has been appointed Commander-In-Chief of the American forces in the European area. Daily now there is talk of a second front, attack on Germany’s Western front. Nobody says how. It is midsummer now and still Hitler stands. Moscow has published “official” figures of casualties, according to which ten million Germans were killed, wounded, or missing in the first year of Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union. Of this number, the announcement says, not less then three million five hundred thousand Germans were killed. In the same period the Russian losses in killed, wounded or missing, were four million five hundred thousand. Reuter adds that seventy percent of the wounded Russian soldiers have returned to the ranks, but only forty percent of the German wounded have so far recovered, it is stated. What frightful slaughter! What world lunacy!
My Lunch Hour Story
For lunch I served fried sliced potatoes and fried eggs; one portion of canned string beans for Ted, (my only vegetable) rice pudding, made with tinned milk and my last spoonful of sugar, and, of course, coffee.
Ted: “I don’t think much of your idea of frying eggs.”
Me: “But these are not new laid eggs.”
Ted: “I said, I don’t think much of your idea of frying eggs.”
Later I told him what anniversary this was, twenty-five years ago General Pershing landed in France.
Ted: “But with no troops to amount to anything.”
Me: “Only a hundred men, but two million followed in the next twelve months.”
Ted: “But they never saw fighting. Not to amount to anything. Why they only had fifty thousand killed all told! A mere nothing! Of course, I think, they were finally given a little bit of the front line for themselves but on the whole the American Army never got into the fight at all. What are fifty thousand casualties in a war?”
I let that topic alone. Presently Ted said: “Someone said there was a frost last night.”
I said, “Is that so?”
“No,” he snapped, “That is not so I didn’t say it was so. I don’t know if it was so. I said, someone said there was a frost last night.”
Suddenly I felt sick. How can you talk to a man like this, a man fault finding, correcting, belittling? Before going to the office he decided to change into a cooler jacket, as he started upstairs to change I said: “I’ve put your coats in the cupboard this morning.”
He said: “How are the moths faring? Is their diet good? They don’t need clothes ration coupons do they?”
This is one of Ted’s typical jokes. Now he is gone, but I’m left flat, quite flat. I know it was a badly arranged lunch, but the excuse is, I had nothing else with which to make a lunch. There are no vegetables, no fruits, and if I had not had the tinned milk there wouldn’t have been anything at all for dessert. The eggs were dubious.Frying was the only sensible way to cook them. I have got a pot of good bone broth in the pantry but as it is Friday it would have been quite useless to offer that to Ted today. Although the church has dispensed the faithful from fasting and abstinence for the duration of the war, Ted still observe all the pre-war regulations. As per usual, he is more Roman than the Romans. As per usual he is a most silly fool.
One day this week when I turned into this road from South Street and old Herbert overtook me, and walked the length of the street with me. I told him how Ted has taken to carrying a stick now, and how he has become more and more like him (Herbert) as time went on.
“Yes,” said Herbert, “so many people say. I believe there is a big likeness between us, but I don’t think I talk as much as he does, not yet, anyhow. He’s a funny fellow. You ought to hear the questions he asks people! It is quite unnecessary. He thinks up more questions to ask people than anyone else in the kingdom, I should think. You know, they come into the office, and all they want to know is, have we a house to let? Can Teddy boy tell them yes or no? No, sir. Why, he puts them through a whole damn catechism! Damn funny, I call it. You know, he only confuses the people. You see, the more questions he asks them, the more wrong answers they can give him. Then that’s wrong. So he has to put them right Blimey! I don’t bother myself! Won’t. If I don’t like people or if I don’t want to listen to them, why, I just clear off. I don’t want to listen to all their bloody histories. Nor to tell them where they ought to live, or what rent they ought to pay. Let everybody mind his or her own business and I’ll mind mine. Not Teddy boy. Lord”
It is now eight-fifteen and there is shocking news this evening. We sent over a thousand bombers over Bremen last night, fifty-two of which have not returned. Hell, hell hell.
It is eleven p.m. and Ted has just gone up to bed, but here is one last item of silliness, which I must record to finish this day. Ted came in just in time for the nine o’clock news. Afterwards he talked, some of the silliest talk I have ever heard. He was speculating as to what was most wrong with people, their hearts or their heads. This came up because of a news item that the Germans have deliberately executed seven hundred thousand Jews in Poland. Query: Why do the good Germans allow this to happen? (Yes, why do they?) Ted’s answer: because they don’t think right. He elaborated on this for more than an hour. He went back to the Garden of Eden and speculated as to whether Eve ate the apple, committed the sin of disobedience, because of a wrong heart or a wrong head. Eve, of course! Adam was the good boy and thence went on of course to his dear old subject of the will, and free-will.
What about will? Hasn’t Hitler got a darn good will, does anything shift him from it? Hence to the right education of the will, (By the Roman Catholic church, of course.) And finally to the disaster of “modern” education, by which he meant secular public compulsory elementary education.
Finally he said, “What has education done for people anyhow? A man can live without reading and writing. What’s the good of reading and writing in itself? Teach a man to read and write, then he can also forge cheques!” Then back to Adam and Eve, taken literally, because Genesis is historical fact.
Really! When Ted talks like this my mind absolutely shuts. The older he grows the more obscurantist he becomes. I cannot ever make responsive polite noises to this kind of talk. It is literally too silly for words. To me it seems ever more evident that what people need is more and more knowledge, the idea that to keep them ignorant so as to keep them innocent, is downright repulsive. “The simple religious peasant.” Ted’s ideal man! The simple fool, really. Yes and its Hitler’s ideal also. Where Hitler thinks he can make them fight, Ted thinks he can make them pray. My God! What a colossal idiot, what a bigot, what an obscurantist reactionary, I have to live with. Now I must go and sleep with.

June 27, 1942

All women born in nineteen twenty-three had to register today. There were over three hundred thousand of them. Hateful. The government assures parents that no girl will have to leave home before she reaches her nineteenth birthday. It is a good thing I have no young daughter to be conscripted. I should ignore the rule, and then fight it. I expect I should land in jail. These young girls have had no say in the government; why should they be taken to factories or the services? We have the servile totalitarian state now, and no mistake about it; so what are we fighting the Nazi’s for?  Churchill returned from Washington today. I hate the newspaper pictures of Churchill, Atlee, Eden, Bevin, Morrison and Co. All these fellows look so damned pleased with themselves: almost as though the war was a riot of fun for them. God!  I hate politicians.

June 29, 1942

I received a letter from Artie to say he will not be here tomorrow; his leave has been postponed until the end of July.
Rita Pullan came in to tea. When Ted went off to the Home Guard she and I had a heart to heart talk about Cuthie. She tells me Sket (also called Cuth) has asked her to tell her parents of their intentions when he returns, and so she has done so. Mrs. Pullan is most against the difficulty of the different religions, and against their difference in their ages. However Mr. Pullan has said, “Alright, and if you and Sket really want to marry, I’ll help you all I can when he comes back, with money or a job, or anything I can do for him. As for the seniority, don’t worry too much about that. Your mother was older than me, and so is your stepmother. I found an older wife no disadvantage so I don’t see why Sket need necessarily do so either.”
When I asked Rita, did Isabel know, she said, no, because Sket doesn’t want Isabel to be told, not because he doesn’t like Isabel, but because he definitely dislikes John Robbins; but she said, “Anyhow, I think Isabel guesses.”
I asked if we were to tell Mr. Thompson yet and Rita said, “No, Sket says let that wait until he comes home. Then he can deal with his father alright.”
I suppose Rita and Sket will make a match when the war is over. I shall offer no objections. Rita is a nice girl and I think she is genuinely fond of Cuthie. If he wants to marry, my feeling is he should not be prevented. Ted would hate the marriage, but if it is Cuthie’s long-standing choice I shan’t mind.

World War ll London Blitz: 5-2-42 to 5-31-42 If I had a daughter of twenty who was compelled to leave home and work in a factory, I should be frantic. This conscription of women is one of the worst features of this war.

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May 2, 1942

Here is an instance of what I can only call Ted’s blatant secrecy. When he came into lunch just now, he asked, could I take in a foreign flyer, to give him a weeks holiday. After thinking it over I said no. Then Ted fetched his cheque book, and wrote out a cheque but, he wrote it so strangely, almost entirely covering it with his left hand, and moving his hand down as the pen went. Then he carefully turned it upside down on the table to dry. Then he folded it and put it in his pocket book at once. All this play most ostensibly so that I shouldn’t see how much it was for, or who it was made out to. He’s really ridiculous. Of course I made no inquiries.
Ted did not tell me who the flyer was nor who was asking hospitality for him. I consider the project impractical anyhow. This house is literally a cottage, and there is no accommodation here for taking care of strangers. For instance, there is no way of getting to the bathroom except through my bedroom. Then there is no maid to wait at the table, and I am my own cook. There are no young people in this home, and we simply know no young men at all. Ted and I are two old people. I have all the work to do, and what with church and Home Guard Ted has practically no time. We have no car. We have no wine. Besides being inconvenient for me, the house and company would be extremely dull for the airman. So I said no, I couldn’t’ take care of a foreign flyer for a week. I really feel kind of mean to refuse, but equally I really feel I shouldn’t have been asked. Now I will do a little writing. I have been going through my assorted oddments of notes, and find I have quite a lot, more than I thought I had. So I’ve heaps of material already on paper. Good!

May 5, 1942

I was surprised last night by a visit from Maureen Garvin, who stayed talking until after ten-thirty p.m. She began by saying she was feeling “so awfully fed up” and she must come and talk to me, did I mind?
It turned out she had her calling up papers and had been assigned to work in a factory in Wembley, commencing next Monday morning. Her hours will be from seven a.m. until six p.m. so she will have to find lodgings in Wembley. Her mother is crying and her father is angry. Naturally.  If I had a daughter of twenty who was compelled to leave home and work in a factory, I should be frantic. This conscription of women is one of the worst features of this war. Is it an act of Parliament? Yes and no. These rulings are made, proposed and passed practically immediately. There is no debate. Everything is blanketed as “for the war effort.” The British people are just as much asleep as the German people; they do as they are told. Liberty? Think again.

May 8, 1942
The war news this week is shocking. On Monday we landed troops in Madagascar, “to forestall the Japanese.” The French resisted, so we fought them, strictly for their own good, of course, but giving promises to return Madagascar to the French at the end of the war. It was an act of unprovoked aggression, entailing bloodshed, just the same. It is true the English are hypocrites.
In the Philippines Corregidor has surrendered to the Japanese, eleven thousand four hundred and seventy-four prisoners taken. On the other hand the Japanese have suffered a naval defeat off the Solomon Islands, losing in all sixteen ships. How many the American Navy has lost has not yet been told.
In Burma everything is going badly for the allies, and today there is a report the Japanese have crossed the Burma border into China. Hell, hell, hell! The stupidity of men! The damnable stupidity of war!
I am sick with the lunacy of men. I am angry. This week Parliament has been debating a proposed rationing of coal, to come into effect by June First. Actually Parliament got excited about this. Why? Because it is something that will touch the members themselves! When food is rationed the rich don’t care; they can buy the luxury foods. When clothes are rationed they don’t care, they have full wardrobes. When girls of twenty are conscripted they don’t care; they have few girls of twenty, the ruling is meant for the poor, the “working classes.” If coal and light is to be rationed, they will feel the cold, they won’t like darkness; therefore they protest this rationing. Men! Damnable men!
Some ask; Why not send the conscripted miners back to the mines? Yes, why not? Others ask; why not increase working hours in the mines? To which Greenwood replies the miners will never stand for increased hours. The ever recurring mining troubles. The opportunist Socialists and Laborers say, nationalize the mines, etc. it seems to me they are making an opportunity to wangle through this deal, which they have agitated for years. Then there is a nasty scandal over a by-election in Putney. Polling there today, with much mud slinging. When I listen to the reports of the speeches in Parliament I get disgusted. The idiotic trivialities the men talk about! Yesterday a ruling about boy’s trousers! As for the government, well, the least said the better. I consider the whole lot of them a company of duds. As for Sir Stafford Cripps he is a very promising coming dictator. Certainly ever since he came back from Russia the screws have been put on women. Blast him. As for the Labor men, Bevin, Morrison, Greenwood, oh, it is to groan. They are self-seekers, everyone. Party politics, men squabbling amongst themselves, consideration is not for the best man for the job, but the itching prestige of the peacocks. Meanwhile our young men die. Germany and Japan continue to win the war, and we to lose it. It seems to me this present government should be thrown out. More able men might be found, stupider couldn’t be. Oh, blast the politicians, blast politics, and blast war! God what fools men are!

May 11, 1942

Workmen are busy in this road, digging and making a tank trap. They are at work directly in front of Number Sixty-Four. Are the Germans expected to by-pass down this street?

May 22, 1942

It has been two years today since Cuthie was taken prisoner. Mary Bernadette was here all day long. Artie took her home about eight p.m. and then she returned here about nine-thirty in full uniform and with a kit bag and surprised us. She said she had found a note from the commandant at home telling her to report at once in camp. She has been posted in training somewhere in Sussex (promoted to sergeant) and must “clear” herself in camp, and leave for Sussex tomorrow. Artie had told her to return to this house, and he would meet her at nine forty-five and take her back to camp. Now they have gone out together, making their farewells. Artie has not proposed to her, nor do I think he is ever going to do so. My guess is that a girl in Scotland, a Miss Hilda Kane, has ultimately charmed him, but we shall see.

May 23, 1942

Artie left on the eight forty-six train this morning. He has to report to Dumfries before midnight tonight. This has been an embarkation leave, though there is a slight possibility we may see him again before he leaves for “abroad”. He says if he has to get a tropical outfit he will probably be given further leave in which to acquire it; in which case he would come home and get his outfit in London. I do not know whether I want this or not. These recurring farewells are too harrowing.
I am very tired. Ted is being particularly tiresome; some of his silly talk exasperates me to the verge of screaming. I consider him an utter fool. I keep quiet. To talk back to him is only to give him further openings for his boring platitudes, his endless criticisms and instructions. Oh, he is an ass!

May 24, 1942 — Whit Sunday

I went to the eleven o’clock mass. Ted was at the organ. It is a showery blustery day, but pleasant between showers. When I wakened I was dreaming of Tenafly. I have been dreaming much of America this spring. Last nights dream was of trying to find our Tenafly house. I was wandering up and down Knickerbocker Road, looking for it, but could not find it. At last I spotted it. It was in ruins, roofless, and with water flooding in from the porch, which was submerged. Some alterations had been made to it, and I was trying to figure out the original lay out. “Yes, this was the drawing room, and here was the library” I was overcome by a sense of desolation, knowing nothing could be done, it was past restoring.
So I awoke. In dreams we find the truth. That home is beyond restoring. All my Tenafly life is in ruins. The past, to which we can never return. I have no home. This house isn’t home to me; or Romford, or England, but five twenty-three is destroyed. Tenafly is a dream. I have nowhere to go. I am lonesome, my God, how lonesome! Sitting through the mass this morning I thought, no, I don’t believe a word of this. I don’t belong. Nothing can make me belong. I try to come in but I cant. I can not. Not belonging. Lonesomeness. Oh, I’m terribly weary.
It is seven o’clock now and Ted is out playing Benediction. He is on my nerves most frightfully. My fault of course, but oh, I’m weary, weary, weary.

May 27, 1942

Cold and blowy and Ted is detestable. I could write that on every line of this book to the last page and the statement would not be overemphasized. Marriage lasts too long. I could keep on saying that too and not overstate it.
I do not hate Ted but I detest him. I do not hate him because I do not feel any desire to destroy him; what I desire is to escape him. He is so repugnant to me I do not even want to see him anymore. With the ugly gray beard he has grown this winter he resembles an old Jew Rabbi more than a decent Englishman. For years he has theorized about how my family must be of Jewish origin, but in today’s actuality he himself looks like a specimen of Whitechapels Jewry more than anything else. However, I don’t care about that. Anyhow, if he were one hundred percent Jew he would most likely be one hundred percent kind to his own. As it is, he is one of the meanest, most cantankerous, most spiteful, most sarcastic, most petty, and most vindictive men, anywhere. Yet he acts religious, and the world considers him religious, which is a joke. I live with him. I know exactly the gauge of his religion. I say there is no real love in Ted Thompson, neither for God nor man. He is a religious fanatic; religion is his hobby, but of real religion, as I conceive it, he hasn’t a particle. He is a hard self-willed and cutting man, and in intimate life he is intolerable. I long to get away from him, to be free. He hurts me too much. It seems to be his pleasure to hurt me. The more he can deride me, prevent me, and belittle me, the happier he is. It’s a queer disposition to be cursed with. Secretly he must feel terribly unsure of himself, else why this everlasting urge to prove himself better and wiser then everybody he comes in contact with? I can’t feel sorry for him if that’s his trouble, and enormous inferiority complex. He has hurt me so much in the course of the years, by every mean he could happen on oppressing my personality, wounding me in my deepest sensibilities, deriding me in my tastes, insulting me in my opinions, I can no longer care what happens to him. If he suffers, all right, let him suffer.
Usually I can keep quiet. Silence is my best protection. Occasionally I speak out, as yesterday; only that’s a fatal mistake. However, I said to myself today, “I will not be doomed, I will not be made miserable, let this nagger, nag, if that is what he must do, but I’ll be happy in myself in spite of him. I can’t get away from his presence, but I can shut my mind to him, and by God I will!”
So I’ve been out and bought some loose leaf notebooks and some sermon paper, and I am going to work at my writing no matter what, and be damned to him. I am all a simmer again with this heroine, and I’m going to work at it come what may. Ted be damned. Mother once told Ted he was a sarcastic devil, and that riled him. I suppose he thought she misjudged him. Anyhow he resented the description. It was a true one, and it is still true he is a sarcastic devil. He is thoroughly disagreeable and insulting person and I’m weary to death of him.

May 29, 1942

It was as I anticipated. Fortunately I was allowed to fall asleep when we first went to bed, so when Ted touched me and wakened me for loving, my flesh and my nerves responded to him without my anger and coldness having first to be dispersed. This morning, of course, we are both in better mood. Man’s “love” pure - sexuality.  What a woman craves is desexualized love, tenderness, sympathy, friendliness, and loving kindness. This ineradicable craving for pure true love!
Mrs. Prior was here today. Mrs. Cannon calling this afternoon and Rita Pullan came to tea. Last night Dorrie Stanforth was here. I thought I was finished with visitors for a while now that Artie has returned to camp. So no free time today.

May 31, 1942, Trinity Sunday

I did not go to mass. I did start, but had only gone a few yards down the street when rain began to fall, so I turned back. I was not sorry to do so. Mass bores me. I can’t help it. I just don’t believe. I can’t. The one o’clock news gave me startling information of a huge R.A.F. attack last night on the Rhineland and the Ruhr, but mainly on Cologne. Over a thousand bombers took part. Later this evening the B.B.C. said twelve hundred and fifty bombers attacked. The attack lasted only ninety minutes and over one thousand bombers were concentrated in the Cologne area. The air ministry described the raid “an outstanding success” and bomber command has received the immediate congratulations of the Prime Minister, who speaks of it as the herald of what Germany will receive “city by city” from now on. God help us all!

World War ll London Blitz: 4-8-42 to 4-29-42 Mrs. Jude was here today. To lunch, remaining until four o’clock, and then back again this evening, to telephone Mary. She has received a letter from Mr. Jude, written in pencil, from Malta. Malta! Of all places in the world, she thinks he has been torpedoed again, and picked up and put ashore at Malta.

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April 8, 1942

Mary Bernadette came in to tea tonight. She had just returned from town, where she had said goodbye to Hugh Storr-Best and returned him his ring and “all the doings.”  She told me he had said she had broken with him because of Fred Thompson (Artie). She denied it. I think Hugh guesses right. I think Mary does want Artie, but whether Artie wants her, that’s another story. I don’t think Artie wants to be serious with any girl.

April 9, 1942

Mrs. Jude was here today. To lunch, remaining until four o’clock, and then back again this evening, to telephone Mary. She has received a letter from Mr. Jude, written in pencil, from Malta. Malta! Of all places in the world, she thinks he has been torpedoed again, and picked up and put ashore at Malta.

April 18, 1942

It is my birthday. I am fifty-eight today. I can’t believe it! Ted gave me three boxes of Turkish cigarettes. These are now extremely hard to come by. Amongst my letters was one from my cousin Will Searle. This pleased me more than any. They were blitzed out of Whitehall Place, and now are living in South Harrow. Young Will, now married, is in the police and stationed at Dorking. “We’ve lost our home,” writes Willie, “but are thankful to have our lives. You can always get another home.”

April 19, 1942

I found Mother in the back garden when I returned from High Mass bringing Mary Bernadette with me. Mother came loaded with goodies, of her own making. She brought me a fruitcake, (war recipe of course) a mince pie, (the last of Christmas) a jar of yellow plum jam, and a jar of chutney. She also brought a half-pound box of Fuller’s Candies, which she must have been hoarding for some time. She also brought me a great surprise. She handed me a little jewel box containing Auntie Lizzie Hext’s black pearl earrings. Minnie sent them to me. Will Hext gave them to Minnie when Auntie died, but it seems Minnie considers them “too old” for her to wear, so Mother asked her to give them to me. So Minnie wrote to Will and got his permission to part with them and here they are. I am so pleased. They are beautiful pearls in themselves, and I like them also because they were Aunties. I loved Auntie Lizzie. Several callers including Dorrie Stanford, Mrs. White and Daisy and this evening Mrs. Jude came over. I am tired now after a very nice day.

April 25, 1942

All this week my thoughts have been dwelling in the memories of my girlhood. I expect Auntie Lizzie’s earrings thrust them there. Particularly I have been remembering my life in Head’s, my walks up Sloane Street, the Boer War and the dance at Blankheim House, Pall Mall. I ought to write this out. I don’t but I should. When am I going to do my writing? Oh when?
When I have leisure? Perhaps. When I have leisure I shall probably be incapable. As it is I am already aware of the failure of my powers. I am sure I was born with the temperament and the mentality of a novelist, and with the easy facility of composition necessary to do the actual labor; yet I don’t write. I only dream about writing. Why am I such a dud?

April 28, 1942

The war is getting worse and worse. There were heavy raids on Bath last night.

April 29, 1942

A hurricane is blowing. Our garden fence blew down today. This is the windiest day in years. If fires are started tonight then heaven help us! There was a heavy raid on Norwich last night, many fires, many casualties. An alert was given here this afternoon, about three o’clock, but the all clear sounded about twenty minutes afterwards. Just as the sirens went, Isabel Robbins called, with Jan. She brought me a half-pound of tea, most acceptable.
I received a letter from Doris this morning. It was posted in New York on February Eighteenth, no wonder I look in vain for letters. She tells me Kay had a daughter in January.
Tonight Mrs. Owlett is coming in. Yesterday it was Miss Coppen. Where is my precious private time?
I have begun to read, The Life and Letters of Edward Thomas by John Moore published in 1939. John Moore’s book annoys me. After recounting Thomas’s love affair, he begins his chapter, Marriage, with the sentence; There were no reproaches between them, which is a preposterous statement to make. Thomas had a free-love affair with a girl named Helen Noble. It had begun on her twentieth birthday. They became lovers that day, writes Moore. That was in July 1897. From then on they had sexual intercourse whenever they could. Both of them were very young, neither of them telling their parents. Mrs. Noble did not like Edward so Helen left home and became a nursery governess; but her employer, a Mrs. Andres found out about her love affair, and there was an unpleasant row between Helen and her employer. In consequence Helen had left the Andrew’s and taken a new job as a sort of general help, with a kind and tolerant and slightly bohemian family who were already her friends and knew of her relationship with Edward. Here she was happy and at home; and Edward was made welcome too and allowed to come and see her whenever he liked. The name of this family was Logan. What sort of people were they to take in a girl of twenty, knowing she was quarrelling with her mother because of her “friendship” with a young man? They must have wanted a cheap servant extra badly. Well, At the beginning of the summer term of 1899 Helen wrote and told him (E.T.) that she was pregnant.
So says John Moore, there were no reproaches between them. I should say not! They had been sleeping together on and off, in houses, and in woods and copses, for two years. They were lucky the girl wasn’t pregnant before!
Moore goes on; the lovers decided that at first they would tell nobody except Mrs. Logan; and they were rather surprised and disappointed when Mrs. Logan, whose Bohemianism was of the refined and ladylike sort, strongly advised that they should marry and make a clean breast of it to their parents. Marry, said Mrs. Logan, a trifle disconcerted and marry soon! So on the Twentieth of June, 1899 they were married at Fulham Registry Office. Edward then returned to Oxford and Helen to her job.
Really now! No reproaches! This is the kind of writing that annoys me excessively. A man writing, and talking about what he doesn’t understand, a man's verdict! Gosh! What a situation! Moore says calmly, there were no reproaches between them. I should think not indeed.
See, this is why I want to write. I want to put down women’s verdicts on women’s affairs.
As I walked through Romford market again I had the shudders again. These people, these working class people, their voices, their accents, horrible! Affairs ought not to be that way. People are poor, working class; they ought not to be condemned to illiteracy, to bad grammar, poor voices, and poor manners. All the citizens of a country deserve a good education. I think of Mrs.. Highman telling me one of the glories of America was the little red schoolhouse, free education for everybody, as much as they could take. American public schools yes, those are the right schools. They produce Americans. Ladies and gentleman and lower classes don’t populate America as England most damnably is, but by Americans Good Americans as they say, “Are you a Good American?” Yes, by God, I am. Well I seem to be raving, so I’ll shut up for tonight. Au-revoir.