“We had some songs from D. and Nancy, & Deens told ecclesiastical funny stories – one almost a clerk who used to lead the hymns in some very street dissenting church, & when he got false teeth the congregation objected to his leading the hymns, saying it was instrumental music.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/33
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: December 10th 1917 – August 4th 1918
WEEK 42: 15th – 20th July 1918
Monday 15th. – Fine morning, the sea still very rough, but it was warm, & I had a lovely bathe in big waves. We walked up & down the strand admiring the sea [Superscript: with Teddy] but didn’t go further. Teddy would not come into the sea with me but stood whining till I came out. Miss S. talked Irish to me nearly the whole of dinner time, & I nearly died. She was going to Portlaw, to Woodlock Convent, on the mailcar that afternoon, & I was going home. I had a much easier ride than coming, with the wind nearly behind me & the down grade from Kill to the Sweep. [Short hand text here]. I got home in two hours exactly, at 6 new time. Nancy & Bob Clarke came to Dorothea’s this day from
Cork, B.C. to spend a week there & Nancy longer.
Tuesday 16th. – Nancy & B.C. paid us a visit in the morning. He is dark & very nice-looking if not handsome, with lovely black eyelashes & nearly black hair & a nice brown skin & a good profile, but is not very tall & his right arm is still nearly useless though its 2 years since the accident wound. He is pleasant enough, indeed he talked more then than I heard him do any day afterwards, but I suppose he thought he must – but many men would have been quite capable of saying nothing. He says it is true that Orange drummers drum with their wrists till they are all bloody – á propos of the 12th of July procession.
Wednesday 17th. – Wet day. I went to tea at St Declan’s & Mr Deens was there as well as the rest, to take leave. He was going out to France to do Y.M.C.A. work for 4 months the next week, and he was far
from well yet after all the beastly inoculations he had had. Bob Clarke was telling him some of the hardships we he had when he was stretcher bearing, & when Deens confessed that one of his chief anxieties was wondering how he could get his clothes washed, B.C. said he wd have to do it himself when & how he could, & if he couldn’t wash them for a few weeks at a time he would only have to brush them – underclothes he meant. It sounds very suggestive. We had some songs from D. and Nancy, & Deens told ecclesiastical funny stories – one almost a clerk who used to lead the hymns in some very street dissenting church, & when he got false teeth the congregation objected to his leading the hymns, saying it was instrumental music. He went off at 9, & B.C. went & had a bath then, & while he was gone Nancy told us about his aunt & sister in Bangor
that he lives with – horrid people evidently. She also describes in her most “I nearly died” manner household of friends of Bob’s that he once took her to visit.
Thursday 18th. – We had a visit from Mrs Callender a.d. Dorothea & Tom & Nancy & Bob came to tea. Nancy had a very pretty white voile blouse with amber beads round her neck, & looked lovely, but I wish she wouldn’t romp so with Tom. Its very self conscious romping. B.C. was rather more cheerful than the night before but still I don’t think he talked much. There was some singing – Dorothea has a song called “The Lido Waters”, which is very good if only the words were a trifle better. They explained to me that music should never be written for words, which I suppose may be true, but it leaves such lovely songs never able to be sung, such as A dreary lot is thine, fair maid, & Brignall Banks etc etc.
Friday 19th July. – Very fine warm day. They made up an excursion to Woodstown in the afternoon, Mamma, Dorothea, Bob & Nancy on a car & T & I cycling. It was a lovely ride, Glenbower looked exquisite & the fields were not parched and it was warm without being oppressive & the world was looking its best. We got there a trifle before them, & went to the south end. We sat there for a while & Tom & I bathed. It was warm and nice but very soft underfoot of course. B.C and Nancy and Dorothea paddled, B.C & Nancy like this
only that Bob was further embellished by having thick black hair all down his legs. They went about like that for ages. We went down to the cottage by degrees, & had tea there on the sandhills. The place was not changed by a hairsbreadth since last year & looked divine. Bob says he & Nancy are going to take the name of Clarrington when
they are married, which seemed to me a good idea, & their motto is to be “Unashamed” – which seems to me more suitable to an engaged couple than to a married one. We walked up the road then & met a beautiful friendly St Bernard from the hotel, & then started back. There are two swans on the pond at Glenbower now.
Saturday 20th. – We had the little Callenders all the afternoon; their mother being away somewhere. M I visited Charlotte Bell in the evening.