Peter thinks the present committee is a good one and JG is an excellent man but he has not quite enough initiative. Apparently some people have been saying that Peter wanted all the power in the Club and have not appreciated all his work. too bad! Peter really has been splendid giving every thing for nothing. He is a marvellous organiser. He has been reading Shakespeare and appears particularly struck by Hamlet in which e sees himself and by Othello which he says has a marvellous plot. Sed satis de hoc: reliquos ordiamur in the immortal words of Cornelius Nepos.
Mr. Ahrnt now gives the monday lecture. I was late waiting for Prof. Hicks to go in first. They do not always remember to ring bells and kept talking until 3 when Ahrnt was made by the stamping to stop.
John Houghton had left a note for me to go to the Madrigal Society. We went and sang four. There were not many people there so it was hard work except when I shred a copy with Betty Handcock who is a great lead.
Then I went to the Chaplaincy which has been miraculously transformed painted, new lino, new cupboards, stove cleaned. A telephone has been installed which works. there is a new floor in the lecture room. everything works more smoothly since Mr. Wright became chairman of the house committee. T. Coady was playing the harmonium. He played part of “in dulce Jubilo” and asked about my “Ave Verum.” We ate toast with Joan and Shirley…it snowed back to Sedgley again and so to bed.
Tuesday May 1
Started the month badly by not going to Mass. egg for breakfast.
Rumours of Hitler’s death.
four lectures, one on the Crusades from Miss Wrong good.
French Practical dictation. Went home to do essay. Saw Mrs. Halsall on way home. What a miserable thing it is to find find what a poor opinion other people have of you. Oh dear!
Lecture from Mrs Atkinson. Who is lecturing this time Donald or Katie?
Prof. Cheney’s essay class. Fortunately he did not ask me to read mine this time. spent two hours in Christie doing Latin and French.
Tea. chaplaincy with Frank Shirley and Joan. Played Bach on the Harmonium. Ate Bread and Jam.
Shirley Joan in caf. all day. talked to Sybil Dawson for the first time She seems very nice.(My mane sake was taking combined honours English and History.)
Justin sent in a rhyme about Bernice which greatly annoyed her.
contrive a smile snooty
should you speak of her beauty.”
He apparently did it just to annoy her.
Choral We sang one of the Cathedral hymns and a new Vaughn williams piece “To the unknown Region”which seems good but hard.
Friday 5 May
Some French and Latin Prep.
I attended two lectures one very good on Maupassant from Dr. Whitehead. found I only had 3 shillings and had to go home. On the way I called At Adelphi House, my old school, saw Mother Raphael the Head. She told me now that I had left she often told the VI form she had no one left with any gumption. Apparently among other things she cannot get her records found which I used to keep straight. Miss Rosbottom, the Latin teacher went over my prose and promised me an unseen book.
(In those days to get into the Honours History School one had to have a credit in Latin. I had gone up on the non-latin side of the school so I had no Latin on entering the VI form. I had to get this School Cert. credit plus doing 4 A level subjects in the VI form and kind Miss Rosbottom took me on from Scratch.)
Mother Raphael gave me a letter from Miss Herrick to read. she had taught us English and had taken the unusual and brave step to leave her post and join the British council. She had gone to Istamboul to teach in the Council there.
Miss Deady the art teacher invited me to give my talk on the French Impressionists to the VI at Adelphi with lantern. Miss Mainfroy gave me lots of pictures and promised me an epidiascope at the University.)
I went home had some tea and got 10 shillings and a warning from my mother.
Saturday May 5
I spent the solid morning doing my talk for the international club on “Culture and civilization” will they survive if the world continues to be industrial? Have based it on my reading of F. Leavis “Culture and Environment” and Enquiries by Christopher Dawson.
At dinner Joan Graham announced she had a ticket for sale for Richard III. I literally jumped on it. I was on dinner charge duty.It was a rainy afternoon.
Laurence Olivier was absolutely marvellous as Richard. He made Richard seem amusing in his utter contemptibleness and then did not portray the whole character quite as well as Donald Wolfitt last year.
Nevertheless his portrayal of Richard’s last hours and death lacked nothing. He squirmed in midnight, then suddenly relaxed and fflopped flat on the stage.
Sybil Thorndike was good as Queen Margaret and Ralph Richardson as Richmond.
Back to Sedgley. Had a milk shake in Alfs. Egg for Supper. Charge again! University students had to volunteer-you1 you! you!
After B. B. and I ate oranges in the Rockery.
Sunday 6 May Rev.Mother’s feast. St John of beverley.
We gave her a Mass, spiritual bouquet and 2 sets of tumblers.
We had lashings of ham for breakfast and jam and oranges and flowers on the tables, super! We did breakfast charge.
I did some of my french impressionist talk, then dinn
We had Rhubarb pie and Choc. biscuits for tea. Went for a little walk. Gave up on the talk in despair.
then marvellous meal salad and spam, cakes with almond paste and icing. It was Barbara’s birthday. Her cake as well.
Then to the International I was late for the committee meeting. A very baad thing! After a few minutes gave my talk on Culture. We had an interesting discussion on it. unfortunately neither Peter nor John were there. I had hoped they would be as they would have supported my view admirably, and I must shamefully confess I wished to make peter think I was intelligent. What a nasty motive!
We played some silly games later such as doing some ridiculous things with a straight face…also one where Harry asked everyone what they thought he was thinking about and afterwards they had to reconcile what they suggested with what he had actually thought.
It was Charlie Chaplin I suggested eggs. Back to College for 9.30.
Monday 7 May
I went to the French seminar to do my talk on Impressionism.
At 11.20 I had coffee.Continued work in the christie-skipping Latin set books.First lecture I have missed since the Xmas term. ( I missed three then, one latin at half term and two French to attend to talks of John McCabe.)
Had dinner in Caf. at 12.30 Went to Ahrnt’s boring money lecture.I tried hard to concentrate.I then went to Christie and after to the Chaplaincy with Mary Kay.
A GIRL TOLD US A RUMOUR WAS GOING AROUND THAT THE WAR WAS OVER.
I then went to the Madrigal society. Proctor Gregg told us if VD day was proclaimed on the morrow we would not have to do the Cathedral Service as Bradford is broadcasting in that event.
We did the Nightingale again and I went back to singing first soprano again which I find easier than second. we also sang the Bach Chorale “Jesu the very thought og thee” and P.G. asked for something cheerful to end with so all shouted page 62 which was Palestrina,s Sanctus. We enjoyed singing it. went to the Chaplaincy after.
While on the subject of chorus I must mention how I came to join it.
since I was about 13 I have enjoyed music immensely and even before that but I had never met any choral music to speak of. but at school I had gained tremendous enjoyment from singing Elgar’s “Snow”and Lullaby and Fly,singing bird ,fly etc. When I left school I felt that would be one of my keenest losses.
In the first few weeks I saw notices about the choral Society wanting tenors and basses for the Christmas Oratorio. I wanted to join but felt it would be too hard and moreover it was late to join.i had never heard of Bach’s Christmas oratorio. How strange to think I was once so ignorant. but I placed a good deal of reliance on Bach. Marie Borland haad been to Chorus but stopped because sight reading was too hard but one day I heard brenda Martin went and she promised to take me. i feel that was one of the turning points in my life. Certainly it introduced me to some of the greatest joys I have experienced. we sang “Jesus who did ever guide us”and “Let us even now go to Bethlehem”in my first week. I found the sight reading very difficult, but the joy of singing Bach! I have never missed a rehearsal since that first time.
At the end of term we performed the Oratorio in the Whitworth Hall with an organ and Orchestra. I don’t think I have been so happy or excited since I was 9 years old. Then I was in a ballet class and we gave a performance in a theatre in a town in Berkshire. that started mu reading lots of books about Theater such as Karsavina’s Life and James Agate 9 books of criticism called Ego 1 etc.Noel Coward “Present indicative ‘ Everything wentwell except the gloria chorus always a weak spot.
Later Accrington asked us to perform there and so we had more rehearsals and by a stroke of luck it was decided the performance would be on friday March 3rd. which was half term. but I thought I would not be able to go as PG was taking only a small specially selected chorus. What chance had i a first year, not a music student, without a brilliant voice? However PG said he had 2 vacancies for and asked if anyone was “Dying to go.’ I promptly shot up my hand and he told me to give my name to John and go to the dress rehearsal. Yes, I went. It was even more marvellous than at Christmas. We now knew the Oratorio as ourselves and were very good, even the Gloria went like a shout to Heaven. Everything was marvellous, wonderful. I almost cried with happiness afterwards. nothing has ever given me greater pleasure than being included in that performance. Perhaps the most wonderful part was that I was not alone in my enthusiasm as at school, but only one of many and we all felt the same about it.When it was over we all wanted just to start again. We just grinned and laughed at each other, afterwards I sat in the train with Nancy Sutton, an awfully nice dark haired girl, John Haughton, John Parry, a medico-theolog,, Pam McGilivray and others. We had an uproarious time. We sang several chorales to the astonishment of an airman there, then we told silly stories and jokes. what a jolly lot the music students are. I got the 11.40 bus, home at midnight. but heavens what a wonderful night.
We also did another concert for the Music Club anniversary. we sang “Falmouth” by Woodman. “Draw on sweet night by John Wilbye and “Haste ye nymphs” by Handel. Sa’ad Harrar was in the Orchestra.
It is such a great experience to sing in a chorus like ours. One lets off a great deal of ‘steam”.and you can do really difficult works as you have four voices and really intelligent people who can sight read well. Contrasted with school. there is no holding back to learn separate parts. We [lunge into the work straight away and doing this gives a wonderful feeling of power and achievement. you get the joy of hearing the music well performed and of having been an integral part of the body which achieved it. the chorus develops a wonderful corporate spirit. everyone is friendly, PG calls his students by their first names and this is done in no other university department.
Saw Mother Raphael on the way back.She said that the war was over but V day not declared. All the shops and houses were draped with flags including Sedgley.
M.M.Placida announced that we could go home after supper until Thursday. I got home for 9 o’clock, listened to the News. V Day tomorrow . I mended two pairs of stockings, wrote out a Latin prose and went to bed about midnight to start my Maupassant.
TUESDAY MAY 8 V-Day. (Picture of Bells and Morse V sign )
got up 7.20 Breakfast. Went into the Union for lectures. Prof Hicks did not turn up and soon the Faculty of Arts closed and it was said no more lectures.Bells were ringing. I went to Mass and came back to the Union for coffee. Margaret made Justin and Bernice make up their quarrel. It is V Day unconditional surrender. It was raining torrents and I went home. Chops for dinner. In the afternoon i did a little french, heard Churchill announce the end of the War also had a bath and washed my hair. Tea. then met Bernice in Town. Then the weather had turned fine. we went to a lecture by M. Paul Vercours on “La conscience francaise.” I understood it better than any french lecture hitherto. Then we went to the Union to the V dance. Met Margaret, Joan & Shirley. we soon saw Harry and then a boy in a red pullover and green trousers, apparently a Pole drinking alcohol.
People were letting off fireworks everywhere. It was dreadful until I got used to it.
I danced for 3 hours with a man who had been educated in Russia, gone to France, and fought in the Spanish Civil War then did a degree at Manchester.
We talked of Atheism, Catholicism, Sedgley, T.S.Eliot, Auden Spender, Diaries, Wine , French Impresionists, human conduct and happiness, Spanish, French, Latin, even History and practically every subject under the sun.
At about 10.30 we went down. We had heard the King’s broadcast at 9 in WDH. We waited for ages in the hall and at last a party assembled, as it appeared that half the :Union was going to a
Albert Square. Joan, Bernice Shirley and I were with Sydney and another boy and eventually reached Albert Square, after seeing the Palace Theatre, the Tatler etc. floodlit in green, red and white, there we danced the Hokey Kokey,, heard music, shouted for the mayor and for speeches from little men who appeared on the balcony of the Town Hall.
We also gave the college yell.
“We are the ‘Varsity
first in War, first inPeace
first in the hands of the local police
M-A-N-C-H-E-S T-E-R ! Manchester!”
At 12 o’clock when the war officially ended the whole of Albert Square gave roaring cheers, then sang “God save the King”The floodlights went out and we all went home.
When I got home about 1.30 my feet were so tired I could hardly stagger upstairs and I was dying with thirst. I drank some milk, ate an orange and some rhubarb and read the paper in bed. Then went to sleep about 2. stayed in bed until about 10.
Wednesday May 9th V+1 day
Read a novel all day. Mummy and I went to Town,walked around, saw the decorations, also Ivo near the International Club. then went to the Opera House to see Ralph Richardson in “Arms and the Man”
It was very funny and most enjoyable. Afterwards we saw a lighted tramcar, like Blackpool illuminations. Went home and had a victory supper Salmon and Peas. Heard programme about Churchill. did some Maupassant until12. Bed.
Got up at 6.10
to Mass and H.C. egg and bacon breakfast. Stripped bed, packed case. arrived at the Union about 9. Messed about until 9.30.
Latin got syntax note. Half way through the lecture the Holy Name bells started ringing. Why cherley said he was doing his best against unequal competition.
At the next Lecture Max Beloff called the Register. as he sent round the paper he said “We seem to have several undesirable people in the class, presumably referring to French Students who wrote eperil Vinaver “per ardua ad JCR and drew skulls and cross bones.
Miss wrong gave an amusing lecture on French Political History.
Dr. Redford took his reister. When there were hardly any replies he asked if he had the wrong register or if we were still getting over V-day?
Lunch stayed in caf. until 3 bill Yae and Mary Wilson there. Tea at 4 saw John and Bernard McCabe, then Choral. The Cathedral broadcast is cancelled as it is V week. Instead we did Vaughn williams and did PG slave drive.
Friday 11 May
Spent the morning until 11.40 in the Central Reference Libaray preparing French. Skipped Latin. Lunch in the Snack bar of Women’s Union, marvellous coffee. Dr. Whitehead’s french lecture was really a lecture in Architecture. Ice cream in Caf, followed by
a lecture by Prof. Vinaver on voltaire. Excellent! I got a book from the Library, met Barbara Seaman in the basement, we went to the Seminar and talked, then bought stationary in the Union. I tried to geta ticket for the Chancellor’s Installation but was too late.
Saw joan and Shirley in Caf. Shirley brought an iced cake.
She also said she would take us for a drive in a car when the basic petrol ration returns. I played Bach on the Chaplaincy Harmonium. then we talked in the Common room. Shirley gave some marvelous imitations of Ronnie Land. Met M.R on bus coming back to Sedgley and studied in the garden.
Saturday 12 May
I prepared something for my essay on Barbarosa. went home. Did some Maupassant. glorious Day. Had to be back at sedgley for 6.20. Just did it. the bus was stiflingly hot. Met an Irishwoman from Dublin on the Eccles bus. she had only been over 3 weeks and wanted to get to Belle Vue.
We were on charge. Then I played some Handel Messiah and then studied Maupassant in the garden.
Wrote up my diary and so to bed.
Sunday 13 May
We had a terrible thunder storm during the night. got up feeling tired and exhausted. We had a missa cantata of the Holy Trinity in thanksgiving for victory. breakfast Spam. we were on charge and made beds.
Reverend Mother gave a talk at 10 chiefly addressed to girls on teaching practice. i did some Maupassant. dinner left me feeling hungry. had a milk shake at alf’s after being closeted with Sheilah trying to salve her conscience about going out to see Frank while pretending to be going out to the Inte
Went t the Central Ref. after doing tea charge. Sat opposite a boy who looked like Peter…i did reading for essay on fred. Barbarossa.
Met Shilah at 8 at Sedgley after coffee at Alfs. gladys round and agnes McColgan and an altar booy were there.We talked in the rockery, then bed.
Monday 14 May
Went to Christies to continue essay. got TS Eliot’s “Family Reunion” out. 11.30 decided i must go to Latin as I missed 2 last week. did unseen Virgil. One boy signed the attendance sheet “Antonius Crosbius minor Grescius” normally he is A. Crosby.
dinner in Cafe with B.B. and M and 2 french students. Betty got two letters from Stonyhurst boys she met on V day. they sounded rather sweet.
Hicks gave a lecture instead of Arhnt Hurrah! He will take the only available lecture next week–again Hurrah!
Wrote a note for Bernice. went to Christie. saw bernard McCabe there. did part of a latin prose.
Went to Madrigal Society. Sang “Her sweet voice” and “Alas my heart. both very nice.
Joan and Shirley at the chaplaincy. Made a visit to the holy Name.
Tuesday 15 May
Walked down to the Central ref. Met John near the Museum.
bought a copy of TS Eliot at Jardines and some chocolate.
Slogged for one and half hours at essay. returned to Coll. Caf closed. Refectory open for teas but they stopped serving as our turn came. Met Joan , shirley & Mary, went to the Chaplaincy. Justin & Bob Grant there. Had tea played table tennis. took joan my pyjamas and scarf for a laundry exam.
Wednesday 16 May
No lectures as Lord Wootton was installed as Chancellor.
Betty and I went to Central Ref. at 9.45 Worked on essay until 12.15. Shilah recommended Ridgways cafe. We were all short if money and wanted a cheap place. We had Spam chips bread and butter cake and coffee 2.3 plus tip 2s.6d. I didn’t call it cheap.
( I had 10s. a week for all my food and bus fares, toothpaste etc.)
We walked up to the Chaplaincy. Met Bernard and Robin Dodge on the way. the Union ws open.I attempted unsuccessfully to do some Daudet, played table tennis and attempted to phone Domski. tony mottram and Gordon Ireland came in and pulled the piano to pieces. Margaret came. We ate apricot jam sandwiches and biscuits for tea.
talked at night. My conscience told me I had not done as much work as i should have done so at 9.30 I desperately finished a Maupassant story.
thursday 17 May
inters (intermediate exams) are only 3 weeks off. I did some Cornelius Nepos, a french prose as well as attending 5 lectures and washing 3 pairs of stockings, so I have worked today.
Bernice got me dinner sausage rolls to eat from12.30 so that i would be in a fit state to cncentrate on economic history.
We had a slogging at “Towards the Unknown Region” Pg suggested performance onJune 28. Taable tennis at Chaplaincy julie there.
Friday 18 May
did “Le Pape est Mort”. Latin unseen back. did 2 others. stiff work.found the Pape was the wrong story. I had not prepared “Les trois masses basses which Dr. Whitehead did and so was silent uneasy and unhelpful.
Prof Vivaver gave the 2nd Voltaire lecture on “Zadig”Very good and interesting.
Saturday 19 May
We soon found no work to be done this weekend. We had to spend it moving chairs and tales form Howe, selling tables etc. also getting places on the stage.
Went home. daddy read “Les trois masses which he finished and found very amusing. Had to be back at Sedgly at 6.20. Went to confession.
sunday 20 May Whit sunday and College day.
We were called at 6.50. communion at 7.50 followed by breakfast in the English room. ham.
We were on charge nearly all weekend. At 11 we had High Mass , 3 priests and altar boys. this followed by dinner including peach tart,tea and biscuits, then Charge and we changed for the afternoon. We took positions on the stage then went away. I did a little latin then went back and waited ages before we were called in for speeches. it was Rev. Mother’s golden jubilee and the girls gave her a ciborium ( a cup to hold the hosts). We gave her £20 then sang hymns and had tea- ham salad and super cakes,
It was raining but we decided to go to the International. We heard records of Tchaikovskis 5th. Margaret Boyle gave a report of the Club hike.we had some dancing. I danced with Peter.
Peter Meisl is one of the most beautiful people I know. This adjective really suits him though it is usually applied to girls. He is a little over medium height, well proportioned with a nicely shaped face, beautiful blue eyes and curly brown hair. Nice character with an immense store of knowledge but is not obtrusive with it. he is very delicate where other peoples beliefs are concerned and by his fairness and looking at both sides of the question makes an ideal chairman or question master. He has a gift for organizing things. He is good humoured patient and careful not to hurt peoples feelings.
Monday 21 May
Prepared the essay on Fred. Barbarossa. We took a reel of film in the garden before dinner. I did some more work on my essay and went to a concert at 3. the Sedgley Musical society did the Jackdaw of Rheims illustrated by slides. then we had some scenes from Macbeth. Moira O’Neill was good as Macbeth and Mary Stucky was marvellous as lady Macbeth.
Another party tea Spam salad, jelly cakes and part of the huge wedding cake made for old girls with Sedgley stars on it.we danced at recreation. had pone call from Betty’s sister Eileen who said she was coming tomorrow.
Tuesday 22 May
Eileen didn’t turn up.
Hicks gave first lecture an
d mentioned making buttons. this rather amused me as Bernice had heard that John was now working in a button factory.
Max (Beloff) gave a boring lecture.
Mlle. Mainfroy gave us a dicte.
I wrote my essay in Christie.
Tea with Joan, Shirley. Went to the Chaplaincy. Played table tennis. Frank and Tony Delahunty there. Mary Gantley asked me to play and sing in a concert. We walked back.
Wednesday 23 May
Lecture on the Revolution of the 5000 from Mrs . Atkinson.
Prof. Cheney gave me back an essay on trade routes.B- and another to do curse him. i wanted free time to revise.
He showed me a book written in manuscript about 1100. It was a copy of St. Gregory’s commentary on Job and he just kept it in a drawer in his desk.
Went to Christie for an hour. Did Maupassant’s ‘La Peur”.
We bought birthday cards for Tessa and Mary and returned to Sedgley rather annoyed with each other as Betty had bought a card for Mary saying “You are 4 today”We had a huge tea roll,butter bread,trifle and all manner of cakes.
I had obtained a commentary on TS Eliot from Central Ref. library for Mother Cecily, but she had gone to London.
Thursday 24 May
Dr. Redford gave a most amusing lecture. He talked of Jingoism.
Afterwards I went to snack bar for lunch.thenBernice and I went to the library.We have been voting for President of the Womens Union all week. We have been canvassing for Stella Pear against Dulcie Joule. We dont know Margaret Horrocks.
I did a french prose in rough and then went to Mlle. Mainfroy’s composition class. Had tea and did a little morre Maupassant.(Justin and Bob Grant seem to have developed a craze for squash.)
Betty Hancock took choral as PG was away. We continued the ‘Unknown Region.’ I turned the pages for Mary Taylor.
Afterwards played table tennis in chaplaincy.
Friday 25 May
Did the beginning of a french story ‘LEs Perdreaux’ Dr. Whitehead finished it. Whycherley revised.
Rather strange just one month has passed since I last wrote this diary.
In afternoon I finished off some work in Christies. Had tea with Vin Brady.Bernard McCabe was in and brought me a book on TSEliot that I had lent him.
Later we heard Jane Marsh talk on Communism, she was rather obviously not well educated. She said she had never thought of politics when our age. Unfortunately she had 2 habits each of which is inoffensive apart but which combine to offend the toughest susceptibilities: wearing blue bloomers to the knees and crossing her legs.
Moreover she did not know her Greek History and gave false accounts of the history of Philosophy. she said that she strongly suspected that the ‘carpet bag ” methods of the American Civil war were used in the wars of Greek Independence.
Unfortunately she did not allow one to reply to her and thus always had the last word.
Afterwards we went to the Chaplaincy and played Table Tennis with eric and a friend of his.
Julie made some coffee but threw it away.
Joan Ince rolled the margarine into a ball which she threw on the kitchen floor.
Later Mary and I went to the history dance which was combined with the Mechanical Engineers. I dances the first two with a Mech. Eng. then saw Harry Schofield at the door. Great shock as he did Textiles.
We talked to him about crime. He maintained that if all penalties for murder were removed the number of murders would increase enormously.I disagree on the ground that very few people really would murder except those who are so desperate they will do it despite knowledge of heavy penalties.
Harry though our views were due to our innocence. He likes to pose as a very old man, but is in reality childish.
He expressed great interest in JCR. I took him up.He disturbed couples by jumping over chairs. We sat down. He made insulting remarks about black out curtains. Then we danced on the carpet and finally descended. I then left him as he went to the bar , I was talking to Miss wrong while refreshments were handed round. Afterwards I danced once or twice with the MC. At the time he seemed a nice boy but I have now forgotten him. I was then forced into a dance with albert Tawil whom i loathe and then we left.
Saturday 26 May
Should have been the Sedgley Party but wasnot, so unexpectedly I went home.
got a book on modern poetry and a volume of TS Eliot.
Returned Sedgley 6.20 for chapel. Dirty lettuce for supper. Glorious weather.
Sunday 27 May
At the club John Lewis gave a talk on vivisection which was interesting.
Sa’ad Haffar said that he was loved by 2000 girls in Manchester, and we as possible candidates for his affection must accomplish divers tasks.
Bernice was to write a sonnet to him in french, each line starting with a letter of his name. this idea intrigued me and I wrote one which i gave him in highly flowery language starrting
Sa’ad Haffar est l’homme que j’aime, and including such words as ‘mon amant’, ‘bien aime”. Unfortunately instead of reading it on the spot for the joke he put it in his pocket and forgot it until later in the week.
Monday 28 May
Mass and holy Communion. (will power)
Bernard came to our table at dinner time, also Teddy Usher who told us some enlightening things about ‘the Hollow Men”.
He put forward the theory that Eliot was referring to straw dogs which were burnt in China in the same way the Jews sent the scapegoat into the desert.i.e. as a means of freeing themselves from their sins. Thus men in the modern world although they are egotistical and think themselves the important thing are in fact merely unwitting means as is the scapegoat or the straw dog.
I met this idea today in Louis Macneice “An eclogue for Christmas” if I interpret aright.
“It is time for some new coinage, people have got so old,
Hacked and handled and shiny from pocketing
they have made bold to think that each is himself through these accidents, being blind
To the fact that they are merely the counters of an unknown mind.”
In the ensuing conversation, perhaps as a result of this Teddy described Betty’s hair as straw
In ‘Ash Wednesday’ I noticed a line
“O my people what have i done unto thee’ which I recognised as a quotation from ‘the Reproaches’ sung in the Good Friday Mass.
We had a long argument about whether they were called Reproaches or not.
Bernard said no and his missal in latin gave them without any heading. Strangely enough no catholic seemed to have heard of them.
Bernard recommended reading all Maritains works and James Joyce “Ulysses”.
After Hicks lecture I suddenly remembered that it was the History Tea in honour of Prof. Cheney’s arrival. I sat next to rosalind Wrong or rather she to me. she was most amusing.
Cheney gave an address on the correct use of words in essays and lectures which rather amused Redford who said if we were all as careful as Cheney we would never get anything done.
When the end was announced I muttered to myself “This is the way the world ends (3 times) not with a bang but a whimper”.
Miss Wrong then made the astonishing remark “do you know what a prickly pear is?”
Obviously she is acquainted with “Ash Wednesday” Unfortunately I was too dumbfounded to reply.
In Caf. B. & B. were with Robert Markus’ crowd. Bernard had left for Middlesbrough.
I returned to Sedgley alone and chewed toffees and read Edith Sitwell’s criticism pf Eliot, which I thought very penetrating. Went to Benediction gave Mother Cecily some books on Eliot.
Tuesday 29 May
By today my will power defeated. i lay in bed.
I gave in a nasty latin exercise on turning parts of Hannibal and Epaminondas into Oratio Obliqua. Betty had practically done it for me last night in the library. Eileen did not turn up again and Betty had left her writing case at Victoria. A disheartening day.
Wednesday 30 May
Essay on Barbarossa returned. I lunched with Marie Gormer and Pat’s crowd in Snack Bar.Went to Central Ref. to start essay on Crusades and slogged on books in French.
Phoned Mama who met me in Town having brought some raisins for the Sedgley party.
Sent PC to aunt Annie about the broadcast.
Thursday 31 May
Corppus Christi. We went to the Priory for Mass and H. Communion. Liver paste for breakfast.
Dr. Redford gave his last lecture, an awfully good one.
During this week I think I spent practically every spare minute swotting Maupassant.
At night Dr. Knights lectured on Eliot, a magnificent lecture which inspired me to write a huge letter home chock full of eliot quotations.
Mother cecily asked me to sit next to her and share my eliot with her, thus I was mixed with the hierachy. She also asked me to contribute to the discussion to prevent Dr. knights taking away the idea that Sedgley was altogether dumb.
Julie Lynch and Joan ince (English hons. students form the university) came.
Dr. Knights talked about “The Hollow Men” and “Ash Wednesday” also “A song for simeon” “Triumphal March” and the rour Quartets of which only the first is in my volume. Julie was absolutely thrilled. We went to bed enraptured. A splendid evening.
Friday I June
Did not get up.
Dr. Whitehead in his last set books lecture did the first three stories in Maupassant. In the afternoon he gave a literature lecture on Maupassant. truly excellent. He compared Daudet and Maupassant with real psychological insight.
Then I took Sister Vincent (a student in the sisters of Charity who wore her white winged habit) to the drawing room to hear the Sedgley broadcast. Lyn Lewis came in to hear it. The singing was very good but spoiled for me by the rotten wireless.
Later we went to Caf. Justin and Tony Delahunty were there, later Frank Coombs with a new girl June Terry.
I went to Christie to look for a book on the Crusades, came back to the Union and found B.& B. in the Reading Room.
Sfter a while we went to get ready for the Ambrose Barlow party. We saw rita pardon there (an old Adelphiite). Wore floral silk.
(only comment on clothes I have noticed. SC)
At the A.B. there was a table tennis party. The only remarkable person there was Coady who came up to me to ask why I had never brought my record of ‘Ave Verum’ which I had promised him some time before (in the organ loft) to bring.
He told me a lot of unobtainable records could be found second hand in Gibbs bookshop, Mosley street.There was plenty of food and the rest of the evening was taken up by desultory dancing and charades. Not too good. I would have preferred and evening with a book.
We returned to Sedgley in time for me to devote an hour after lights out to Maupassant thus partly appeasing my conscience.
(Lights were turned off at the main at 10pm in sedgley College. I found this agonizing as I suffered form sleeplessness and needed to read rather than lie in bed wakeful. I often solved the problem by standing in the toilet block where there was a tiny night light .)