J9 recently returned from a trip to Florida to visit her mother and brought back these photos of “very darling decorated bikes all over the town of Tarpon Springs. All kinds of designs..too many to take pix of all of them. But you get the idea.”
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Rain and a doctor appointment took up most of the afternoon, with a brief work break for Allan.
Allan did some weeding next door to the hospital at the Ilwaco Community Building.
When I picked up my latest batch of books, I realized I’ve gotten ahead of myself with book ordering. It is not yet staycation.
I settled in to finish Goodnight, Mister Tom, the latest excellent book which I learned about while reading When the Children Came Home by Julie Summers.
It has been made into a “Masterpiece Theatre” film, which I now have on order.
I had returned Nella Last in the 1950s to the library today. There are a few passages in the notes about editing her Mass Observation diaries that may soon pertain to this blog as we go into more rainy days and then into staycation.
What I strive for: “In some sense her diary was, for her, a journey of everyday discovery and reflection’ and her pen—which, when little was happening, might resort of recording the minutiae of meals, the weather, shopping, prices and bodily complaints—was always ready to find words for whatever was out of the ordinary, or perhaps ordinary but waiting to be described in an attractive, even captivating, way.”
Here is why this blog cannot go on every day all winter:
“Virtually no one who wrote at such length almost every day, whether the day was eventful or uneventful, lively or dreary, could produce prose of sustained high quality.” [Or any sort of good quality. No matter how much having photos helps.]
A few uneventful rainy days in a row will mean that our blog posts will dwindle away from being daily. Unlike the prolific and brilliant Mr. Tootlepedal, I don’t manage a photo outing every day during staycation.
I had emailed the Mass Observation Archives when almost done with Nella’s 1950s book, asking if there could please be one gleaned from her writing in the later 1950s and early 60s. When I came to the book’s end notes, I found the explanation of why that was not to be.
I was thrilled to get a response from Mass Observation, saying:
Thank you for your e-mail. I’m afraid that there are no current plans to publish any more of Nella’s diaries, but there are two further editions of her diaries, which I’m not sure if you have read. These are “Nella Last’s War” and “Nella Last’s Peace”. There are also a number of other Mass Observation diary publications which you may enjoy. Here are just a few:
Among You Taking Notes. The Wartime Diary of Naomi Mitchison ed. Dorothy Sheridan. 1985 (Victor Gollancz). 2000 (Phoenix)
Our Hidden Lives, The Everyday Diaries of Forgotten Britain between 1945–48 ed. Simon Garfield 2005 (Ebury Press)
Love and War in London. A Woman’s Diary 1939–42 by Olivia Cockett, ed. Robert Malcolmson. 2005 (Wilfrid Laurier University Press). 2008 (The History Press)
We Are At War. The Diaries of Five Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times ed. Simon Garfield 2006 (Ebury press)
Nella Last’s War ed. Richard Broad and Suzie Fleming, 1981 (Falling Wall Press). 2006 (Profile Books)
Nella Last’s Peace,covering the years 1945–8. ed. Patricia and Robert Malcolmson, 2008 (Profile Books)
Our Longest Days – a People’s History of the Second World War, an anthology ed. Sandra Koa Wong 2008 (Profile Books)
Wartime Women. A Mass Observation Anthology ed. Dorothy Sheridan 1990 (Heinemann). 2009 (Phoenix Press)
Dorset in Wartime: The Diary of Phyllis Walther 1941-1942 ed. Patricia Malcolmson and Robert Malcolmson 2009 (Dorset Record Society)
Oh! An email from Mass Observation Archives was a huge thrill for me, and I see that I had best hope for lots of rainy reading days this winter, and that I will be able to acquire these through interlibrary loan.
To add to this list, Lorna (former owner of Andersen’s RV Park) recommends Citizens of London by Lynne Olson with this irresistible description: “It talks about 3 Americans (Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Winant—the man appointed ambassador after Joseph Kennedy gave up on Britain) who worked closely with Churchill and Roosevelt to create an alliance against Hitler. What I particularly liked was that unlike other pieces of world history, I knew a bit about all the players. I didn’t know how Britain felt about Kennedy. I didn’t know Roosevelt and Churchill were social adversaries in their mid 20s. I had never heard of John Winant.
You would so love The Churchill War Rooms. They are located in the Parliament Buildings grid. Underground. Great display of measures taken to protect the British leaders from German attacks. It provided a safe and secure environment where they could continue to run the government in the face of a major attack.
Mrs. Churchill did not like staying there, but did occasionally. To entice her, Churchill had a TEENY TINY dining room set up so she could feel some comfort in her setting. Everything else was completely utilitarian.
A story that I loved. All furnishings were obtained secretly. A noted department store furniture manager, who had retired, was called into service. Somehow the government arranged for him to be hired again by the store, thus his large orders of furniture went undetected.
It is so unlikely (because of money, or the lack of) that I will ever get to the UK again. If I did, this and the Mass Observation Archives would be my primary destinations, even more so than gardens.
1995 (age 71):
Nov 2: 12:30-5:00 40 degrees All afternoon planting new Wayside perennial plants in corn patch and mulched whole area with straw. Emptied boiler for firewood [a big copper boiler next to the wood stove that she used as a planter outside in summer]. Planted pansy plants in 3 “window boxes” [window boxes not attached to the window as that is hard to do on an old double wide manufactured home]. I didn’t get back to the job of digging dahlias. I may need to buy more straw to mulch in front.
1998 (age 74):
Nov 2: 11:00-3:00 WARM IN SUN, COOL IN SHADE I was in my “go to the store” clothes when the sun came out so I quickly changed and went out. I finished planted 703 bulbs in the various flower beds. I keep finding dahlia bulbs in all areas. Then I started replanting the plants that were in various containers. I should have 925 bulbs set aside to be planted in containers but I have to get them emptied first. Del Lord had several trees limbed. It sure opened up his back yard.