Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday 20th February 1938

Packing and moving – again. A heavily loaded Zephyr left Carlton Avenue at 11:30 a.m. Nice people – the Clarkes – but not my sort. Too fussy. More religious than Christian, in my humble opinion. Still they have been very kind to me. And Phillis…We kissed in the hall before I opened the door to come away. It was not the first but must be the last.

Most of my luggage was unloaded at Eastwoodbury; I return there next week. A comfortable chat with Mrs Butler, snug and warm inside Roedean. I enthusiastically showed photographs of Pat, Pat Retallack. “Yes, she looks alright” said Mrs Butler, nodding frankly, “That Miss Bridges isn’t your sort at all, y’know. No 'go' in her. Too quiet. Besides, she’s older than you, isn’t she?”

Rayleigh, Chelmsford, Colchester. (The Zephyr ran beautifully. Whatever afflicted her seems to have gone.) At 2:30 I was having a jolly good lunch in the new digs (temporary) at Butt Road. Afterwards we talked sleepily, had tea. In the evening I went into Town by bus to post my letters.

Special editions of newspapers selling in the streets. A crisis in the Cabinet over the question of friendship with Italy – which involves recognition of Abyssinia’s conquest and a loan of several millions. Crowds of promenading youths and girls thronged the pavements. I walked back to the digs. We listened to wireless bulletins regarding the Cabinet “split”. At 11 o’clock came the news. Antony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, had resigned his position in the Cabinet. “I cannot recommend to Parliament a policy with which I am not in agreement…” Mr Eden disagreed with the Prime Minister’s friendly attitude towards Italy.

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