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.
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.