Thank goodness Our Day is over – we all drew blanks except Galfrid who won a pony! Life is very busy and I am mostly out all day. Paton left us last Monday, we enjoyed having him very much. Dr. Farquhar (congregationalist) arrived to-day and is staying with us to give a series of Y.M.C.A Lectures. We have bought 2 cameras and have begun to take up photography again. It has been in abeyance since August 28th, 1912 (see diary). The tragic day when Galfrid and I climbed Mount Sinai and I abused him for not catching the camera as it rolled past him.
Paton of the Y.M.C.A., who we remember at Swanwick, arrived on Tuesday night and stays with us till Sunday.
Daisie had a tennis party on Saturday and so it poured all day, glad to have the dust laid anyway. What does one do when one retires after all this busy life – is it possible to sit still and do nothing? In addition to my Brigade Command I also Command this enormous station, then there is my beloved Soldiers’ Home, then Masonry, I belong to the Craft Lodge, the Mark and Ark, and the Chapter, then I belong to the C.E.M.S. and have to read papers and lecture, then I have the side shows for “Our Day” Dec. 12th. Mrs. Jarley’s Waxworks*, Mock Picture Gallery, Cocoanut Shies, Fortune-telling. It can only be done by decentralisation and I am A1. at that I believe.
* Mrs. Jarley was a character in Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop, who exhibited ‘live waxworks’, that is, actors dressed to look as wax models. The novelty was that each was ‘commanded’ to come to life. This discussion here explains how the performance became quite standard in such events as “Our Day”, a charity fundraising day.
Galfrid* has elected to go into the Navy and I am very pleased indeed – it is time our family had a change from the Army. He should go up for the exam in July 1918, and enter Osborne Sept. 19th 1918. he would then be a full-blown sailor about Sept. 1922. Osborne till 8 April 1920 and then to Dartmouth till April 15th 1922 – when he will be 17 years old and I shall be 57. Leo** will be nearly 20 years old and I suppose just going to Cambridge on his way to be an Engineer.
*Younger son, middle child
Left Cherat in motor, caught 2 p.m. train from Pabbi arrived Peshawar 5 p.m., not too hot and glad to be home – Daisie wanted to get back to her rabbits and pigeons. But we enjoyed Cherat very much.
This affair of Leo’s* is costing me a heap of money, thank goodness it comes at a time when I can just afford it – still it is sad that these financial blows always come just as one fancies that at last one has got one’s head above water. Among other trifles! Dr. Crichton Miller’s fee is £50 for a month of treatment! and now they want me to pay £50 a term for a tutor. I have cabled certainly not – why on earth a tutor? If he has rendered himself ineligible for a first rate school he must go to a second rate one, but a tutor seems to me idiocy – he wants companionship not solitude.
* I have no record of what this is about. I suspect from the rest of the diary entry that Leo, his elder son, has not excelled at school.
It was such a pleasure paying up all the bills in full. Now I owe nothing in the world to shops, except my tailor in London who likes to be owed. All my debts are bank debts with interest duly paid and instalments.