WEEK 48: (26th Aug – 1st September 1918)

“I went to the club a.t. to a sort of election committee meeting which met to hear what a certain Flood, an election agent, had to say concerning elections. He told a lot of queer things concerning votes, how if the voter’s intention is clear the vote is good, whatever marks he may have made on it, and said headquarters disapproved of painting up remarks anywhere but on blank walls, and he…told of a “clever trick” done on Cavan, making an elector vote on a wrong bit of paper so that his vote didn’t count, that disgusted me extremely, but the rest apparently think anything is fair in elections.”

NLI Call Number: MS 32582/34
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here 
Date Range of Diary: August 10th – 26th October 1918

WEEK 48: 26th August – 1st September 1918

Monday 26th. – I went to town b.d. to the library & got the Young Step-mother. One of the books I got ordered for Tom’s birthday arrived at last this day, and I took it to him in the evening along with the Way of All Flesh which they had from Bob Clarke & which I had been reading. I was rather proud that I had been


able to enjoy it so much, it seemed to me worth 50 of Erewhon Revisited. Ben had been at Tráith Mór, visiting Midvale & bathing at the Guillamean with the 2 boys. Uncle Herbert & Uncle Fred were at Midvale, & he told how Dorothy sprawled on his lap & said asked Uncle Fred was he jealous, & he said he was & so she went & sat by him. Mamma had a fit when I told her this. I wanted Ben to go cycling with me for blackberries the next day, but they fixed up instead that he & D. & I should walk across the river for them. My horoscope came from Mrs Taylor, Mrs Coade’s acquaintance, this day. It seemed to me to leave out most of my faults & to put in a lot of


fine qualities that I have nothing to do with (I suppose I ought to have had them by rights but failed to cultivate them) but there were a good many true things in it.

Tuesday 27th. – It poured rain all the morning. Dorothea & Ben came in the afternoon to say it wasn’t fine enough to go for blackberries & we should go the next day instead, & while they were there Tash came to pay a visit. She had come home to stay, but Kitty is still at Rinn & seems not much better after the summer. Tash looks very well & says she can eat anything now. She told us about their doings & privations at Rinn & gave us some snapshots taken there of her & K. B. & D. went off to town & called


in on their way home to ask would I go to the pictures with them that evening to see Charlie Chaplin in the Life of a Dog, so I did. It was at the old skating rink, & was very full Robert & Edith White & their children & Miss Doyle were all among the audience. There was a comic story first about a young man that dressed up as a woman to pursue get to meet his young woman, & had great trouble making his trousers keep up under his skirts (he had striped stockings that came up over his knees) & the girl’s father made light love to him, & finally his trousers came down at the wrong moment & betrayed him. Then Charlie Chaplin came on & was delicious, he was in very low circumstances & could


not get a job, but he got possession of a very nice mongrel puppy that went everywhere with him, even to a dancing saloon where dogs were not allowed. He took it there stuffed into the seat of his very voluminous trousers, & there was a hole in the leg of the trousers behind through which its tail wagged & wagged & mystified people till it was nearly as bad as the donkey in Ali Baba. There was a girl in the saloon who sang a melancholy song & made the most hardened ruffians dissolve in tears on each other’s bosoms, not to mention the fat woman in the gallery, & she & Charlie finally made a match & were shown in the end leading an idyllic life in a


country cottage. He was planting seeds one by one in a 20 acre ploughed field, & she cooking in the cottage. There was a cradle which was shown to contain the dog & about ten lovely furry – caterpillar puppies, which Charlie & his wife adored & kissed – it was a beautiful finale. There was something very engaging about Charlie. Then there was a long tiresome sensational story about a Russian princess & an American officer – very unprepossessing he was – & a wicked baron who tried to part them with the help of a Chinese sorcerer of extraordinary mentality whose daughter turned to a Christian in the course of the story, amid great applause. It was 10.30 before it was over.

Wednesday 28th. – I went to town


b.d. & visited Julia Ayres. In the afternoon Dorothea & Ben came & we went across the river for blackberries. We met little girls, bringing home cans full of them, and found few ourselves though we went a long way & spent the whole afternoon at it. There was one lane where there were hedges of nettles four or five feet high between us & the blackberries, so we got well stung. Mamma had a letter from Tony that day in which he mentioned visiting the erstwhile Swiss tutor, who now has a flourishing tanning & leather business, & when I remarked on this Ben said Tony wd have done well to do something like that instead of coming home, & he & D.


agreed that neither Tony had nor none of the family had the enterprise & push required for doing a thing like that. I think Noine Dorothea might have the most of it. We came home partly by the railway but mostly by the road, & had a big tailless sheep dog in the ferry boat but he did not come near us. I went to the club a.t. to a sort of election committee meeting which met to hear what a certain Flood, an election agent, had to say concerning elections. He told a lot of queer things concerning votes, how if the voter’s intention is clear the vote is good, whatever marks he may have made on it, and said headquarters disapproved of painting up remarks anywhere


but on blank walls, and he, more as an anecdote than as advice, told of a “clever trick” done on Cavan, making an elector vote on a wrong bit of paper so that his vote didn’t count, that disgusted me extremely, but the rest apparently think anything is fair in elections. Flood was has a nice manner & way of talking though I think he is northern.

Thursday 29th Aug. – Fine day, not cloudless but warm & with bits of sunshine. T. & Ben & I went for a ride to Tory Hill in the afternoon. The road became unknown to me soon after we passed Dunkitt, & it was considerably hilly. We had a fine view of Tory Hill from one fork where there was a shout gate & a grassy road just in front & the


hall in the distance right over time, and I saw Holly Lake for the first time, and was surprised to find it so small. We passed a little girl on the road with her mouth and chin all purple with black berries, and Ben remarked that if you bottled her you could make blackberry jelly. We had a lot of hill-climbing to do before we came to a good place to leave the road, then we went up through a cornfield and another field full of brambles, and climbed the side of the hill through bracken four feet high and a fair amount of furze and tracts of brilliant purple heath. When we were tired climbing we sat down on a little mossy green space and had our evening meal there, thanking God that we were able to exist without tea. I seldom saw such an enormous view as we had over the plains of Kilkenny, with nearly as many cornfields as grass fields, and Mt Leinster and Brandon and Blackstairs on the right, and lovely rich late-summer colouring over it all.


But when we got to the top of the hill the view before us south was better again, with the rather dark blue grey mountains on the west & north west & the more wooded flat country. Tramore spire visible of course, & the sea, though dimly. Ben made out two good raths in the view on the north side of the hill. There is a little ruined round building on the top, with a doorway & a window place on each of the other 3 sides, and as there were a lot of dry withered branches lying about, as of furze that had been burnt a long time ago, among the heather, it struck Ben to make a bonfire of these in the little tower, so we did. They lit splendidly with the help of a little paper, & it wasn’t long


till we had it a perfect little hell. We could hardly go inside the tower when it was really raging, and we got thoroughly warmed, having been very cold before. We left it roaring & went down the hill & picked blackberries in the fields for a long time. Very maggoty they were too. Then we started home, with a lot of twisty steep downhill first & then; in spite of an attempt at something else, the same road we came out by. I was more impressed than ever by the frightfulness of Ben’s language; he can hardly open his mouth without saying bloody, & on one occasion he spoke of Trabloodymore. I wonder if Charlie Murphy approves of it. Uncle Fred & Uncle Herbert arrived


that afternoon from Cluain Meala to stay 2 days with us. They were greatly interested in our expedition to Tory hill. Its wonderful how straight Uncle Fred is compared with Uncle Herbert.

Friday 30th. – Uncle H. & Uncle F. went up to inspect Newtown in the morning & then for a walk up the road during which I overtook them on my way to visit R. Butter. She was fairly well, but is badly off for milk again. In the evening we all went to tea at St Declan’s. We Tom showed his photographs to Uncle Fred, who criticized them purely as photographs without taking the slightest interest in them as presentations of people. He seems to


have destroyed whatever power he ever had of being humanly interested in photos by regarding them solely as works of science & art. Uncle H. was much more interested in the wedding group when I showed it to them. Bernard & Marguerite turned up soon after tea on their way back from some family holidays having missed the train to Tráith Mór, and had to get tea. Ben took them to the 9 train & after he came back there were a couple of songs – The Lids Waters & Caro nico ben [sp.?], and Lord Ronald, which Uncle Fred admired greatly. When we were coming home he remarked to me that Ben had a very nice voice. Uncle Herbert took no interest at all in the music.


Saturday 31st Aug. – Uncle H. & Uncle F., especially the latter, spent the morning reforming the grass plot. Uncle F. investigated the machine & remedied what was wrong with it & cut the grass extremely well, & I cut the edges with the shears & Uncle H. carried the cut grass out to the lane in a sieve, & they both cut the edges of the grassplot straight with sticks & string & a spade, Uncle F. ordering Uncle H. about. We had dinner early as they were going by a 2 something train. “Now Herbert go & get on your bonnet & shawl.” They had free 1st class passes everywhere from Bobby Griffith. I went to the hotel a.d., saw Marie first & then had tea with Tash upstairs. She told me about the White Star League against swearing, & of her experiences being bridesmaid to girls entering the Faithful Companions as novices when she was at school. Mrs P. & Kitty were at Rinn.


Meadan Fogmair September 1918

 Sunday 1st Sept. –They came to dinner, which was late, as T. & Ben had gone for a ride in the morning. On account of that, I suppose, Ben seemed to sleep most of the afternoon except when he woke up to look at some photographs Mamma & Aunt H. & T were going over, out of the flat box. T. & D. went home for music or something, but when we had a little singing late in the evening it appeared that the piano was so out of tune that it was torture to D. and Ben to sing to it. Its very humiliating to enjoy a song and then find out that. We had some casino after tea which


was extremely pleasant.

Featured Image: Film still from “A Dogs Life” (1918) with Edna Purviance and Charlie Chaplin.  First National Pictures, US. (Image from  Wikicommons Images)