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.
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
Both boys write cheerfully from their schools and seem to be doing well. I hope and think that Leo will do well at Haileybury. He does not seem to be brilliant and his reports are bad, but he has depth of character and I am not afraid of his success in the end.
At last! P&O S/S Moldavia, 4 berths first class, comfortable but small. Knightley and Ada, Emily, Vincent, Lou and the 2 boys came to see us off at Liverpool St. 10.25 a.m. rainy and cold. Sad farewells with the 2 boys who are old enough now to understand and who are nice enough to love their father and mother – Not for tips anyway as we gave them nothing.
Susanna is better, we were afraid she might develop measles and she had croup the other night. Very calm but cold. All lights out and all sorts of manoeuvres to baffle the German submarines. We were warned to have all our warm clothing ready at night in case we had to take to the boats. Such a sound restful sleep after all the turmoil.
Left Green 3.36 p.m. to Paddington, Galfrid on the same train – nice boy and looking very well. Arrived 4, Ilchester Gardens at 9.0 p.m. Galfrid’s box lost. Dora and Bettie here and my dear Leo looking cheerful and nice.
Newton Abbott to see Mr. Bayliss about Galfrid. Soldiers looking smart and quite decent officers. Daisie is working herself to death packing, with an awful influenza cold and a bad toe.
Arrived Serqueux about 11 p.m. nothing doing. Abbeville 4.10 a.m. cold, but fine night and blue sky, had some difficulty getting men off, the train daren’t wait long, and they sleep like corpses. Arrived Boulogne 7.30 a.m., snowing hard – I have a heap of officers and men as passengers and 25 trucks of ammunition and supplies. Had to stay all day in Boulogne at the Bassin Loubet, took a long walk out to the very end of the big breakwater, which is right out to sea. I saw the French passenger steamer which the German submarine torpedoed – sunk in harbour, but on sand and quite repairable. Saw the Channel boat leaving and it caused me no extra heart-beats because Daisie is this side of the Channel, and that’s all I care about. These trips are very expensive. I have to pay for any food and guests, meanwhile I pay for my food and lodging at Rouen all the time, for Daisie’s food and lodging at Havre (she certainly is not extravagant) for Leo at school, Galfrid at Ridley House – then interest on debts, premiums on policies – Thank goodness my pay just now is liberal enough to cover it all. The stores accumulated here at Boulogne, are enormous and if the Germans did push us back we should have to destroy them. Our Naval Victory yesterday sinking of the Blucher, was grand. I expect the Germans will try something tremendous to-morrow, because it is the Kaiser’s birthday. it may never snow enough to need them, but I see heaps of steam snow-ploughs and bob-sleighs – foresight.