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.
It all sounds very gay, but it is not gay. These dinner-parties are “functions”, necessary and regrettable. I was in Cherat all day yesterday, dinner party at night. To-day we dine with the Chief Commissioner. Friday we have another dinner-party, Saturday Tennis party, mean-time Daisie has endless Red X work and the Mothers’ Union and the ‘Our Day’ work. I am to be allowed at last to wear the American War Medal I got from General Chaffee in China 1900*. Terribly shocked to hear of the death of Orlando Gunning, so sad for his wife and children, and such a good fellow and fine soldier.
* awarded in the Boxer Rebellion. If anyone has any details about what type of medal this would have been likely to be, I would be delighted to hear.
I begin the 53rd year of my life and my 21st year with my sweet companion, Daisie, I should have liked a quiet wedding evening at home, but had to go to a big Durbar at Sir George Roos-Keppel‘s so the celebration was rather spoilt, but we had our bottle of champagne last night and drank to the health of the two boys at home. Miss Key arrived last night to help Daisie look after Susanna, and be also an unpaid companion to her.
Quite settled down now and comfortable – Weather ideal, very few sand-flies or mosquitos. Daisie has no one to help her with Susanna till Miss Key comes, so is tied to the house. Mrs. Denne arrived on Tuesday 20th to run the Home for us and stayed with us till yesterday morning. She is a good sort and will do well I think.
Arrived 6 a.m. Quite cold – breakfast at the Soldier’s Home – Looking very smart and nice. Garden and bungalow flourishing. It is nice to be home again, but the first few days mean a good deal of hard work and worry, mostly on Daisie’s shoulders. Susanna is well and not troublesome.
Packing up. Motor left at 4.30 p.m., arrived Pindi Station 6.40. Our train left at 11 p.m. Very crowded and we could not get a reserved compartment. Susanna cheerful and good, but both she and mother were nearly sick coming down in the motor and didn’t enjoy the trip at all.
Daisie and I walked up Mokshpuri hill, reaching the top in an hour. Wandered about the alpine meadows there, then drove through the woods to Nathia Gully and then home to tea. We took our tiffin in our pockets and had nothing to drink, so were glad of our tea 8 hours after our last drink (at breakfast). Heaps of Monkeys. Susanna also had the luck to run across quite a lot of monkeys while she was with me.