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1931 diary Meg

Meg’s Diary 1931

by Margaret Taylor, age 16 years
Covers January 1931 to December 5th, 1931

Meg is still at Clifton High. Takes her school Certificate exams.
Agonises over her religious calling as a missionary

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Thursday, January 1st 1931

Last night was New Year’s Eve. Dad, Jim and Alan went to a pantomime at Weston-Super-Mare in which Olive Vivian was principle boy, and her husband conductor of the orchestra. They say it was very good. After the performance there was a dance, which went on until one or two o’clock. Alan danced with Olive and the chorus girls, and has been filled with a craze for dancing. I wonder how long it will last. The man in whose car they had arranged to come back, had been to a dance somewhere else and had had too much to drink. He was afraid to drive back in that condition and so he told Dad that he had sold the car. They were therefore stranded, but luckily found bed accomodation in Olive’s digs. Mum and I were awfully worried about them when they did not turn up, and imagined all sorts of terrible things, though we told each other they were perfectly safe, of course. At last Dad rang up about 11 o’clock and relieved our anxiety.

So the most part of the family spent the last of the old year and beginning of the new one dancing in a garish hall, with a jazz band and a lot of bare-armed chorus girls. I could have gone if I had wanted but I hate dancing, and it seems such a terrible way of beginning a new year. Instead, I remained at home with Mum, and saw the old year out and the New Year in on my knees in front of the Almighty God, asking His help, strength and comfort for all in general and myself in particular for the coming year.

The others may call me a stay-at-home unsociable thing, but I am now sure that my way is best.

Goodnight.

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Thursday, January 6th 1931

Alan has just gone to a dance at the zoo. Dad wanted me to go too, but I did not want to. I don’t know if I ought to go to these social functions. Both Mum and Dad seem to think I am wrong to stay at home and not go out. I somehow think that it is not right, and tends to make one worldly and too full of temporal things.

The sermon last Sunday talked about how much more important spiritual things are than temporal ones, and it came as a great help to me. I believe that if I get into society I will lose all spiritual faith and thoughts, being too full of temporal ones. It is such a great problem whether this is true or not that sometimes I feel very doubtful if I am doing right in living a secluded life. I do hope I am, because I really want to do what is right and what will make me more worthy of the Christian faith and help me to do my bit in the world. This is so very important because it will change the whole basis of my life. But if I do what I honestly think is right I cannot go far wrong and God will look after me so long as I remain faithful to Him. The vicar in his sermon said that there was a little cripple child who had just died, and the father was very stricken with grief, for he had seen his child steadily growing weaker and weaker, and now had lost it altogether. Yet nobody else knew or cared about it. He said this was very like God, whose children we all are. He asks(?) us and is just as sad if we are lost to Him through our sins. And yet in this world nobody knows or seems to care whether God and His angels in Heaven are rejoicing over a repentant sinner or grieving over an unrepentant one.

It is a terrible problem, but I must do what I think right – God will help me.

Goodnight.

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Sunday Feb 1st 1931

I don’t think I have said that Jim is now fixed up as a reporter on the Times and Echo. At least he is not a proper reporter yet and only gets 5/- (five shillings)  a week, but he soon will be I expect. He is getting on jolly well, and likes the job awfully.

I have had rather a bad time lately with my silly old glands but they are all right again now. Mum in her letter to Auntie Tia mentioned that I had trouble with my throat and Auntie wrote back full of the idea of sending me out to Nice to stay with her for a month and cure my throat for ever! It was awfully kind of her and I should have liked to have gone but of course I cannot get out of school – especially since I am now in the midst of Certificate work.

Yvonne said quite likely she will be going down to Paignton for her summer hols camping with some friends near Broad Sands. I do hope we go there this summer. I should enjoy it immensely and I am sure the others would too. Noel wrote to me just after Christmas and said he would ask Auntie Laura if I could come down for a week some time. But I don’t expect he will remember, and anyrate I could not go down until next hols, that’s April, an awfully long time off!

Auntie Isa and Carlo went down to Devon from here, lucky things, and are staying with Uncle Ned and Auntie Ethel. They would not take Carlo into the university here so he is going to try to get through the London Matric again; he will only have two subjects to take. The only trouble is that he does not know what it is to work hard!

Auntie Isa gave me a little crucifux when she left, and I wear it every day and it helps me to remember. I have decided to give some of my money away to charities when I can. I am trying hard to be better and worthy of Jesus Christ. Goodnight

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Wenesday March 4th 1931

Dad has just returned home tonight from London, where he has been for the British Industries Fair. He did quite well.  But the family finances  are running so low that Dad will have to get a job. He met Mr. Gilman Searle (I think) in town and got the offer of a job as a travelling salesman in the firm of which he is managing director.

It would be a rotten job – going round from door to door, but it might lead to much better things after a while. Dad’s still undecided whether to accept it or not.

Jim is getting on finely with the journalist job, and has had three articles accepted already. He can get one in almost any time he likes now; the only snag is that he doesn’t get paid for it. I am still in the third hockey eleven, but sub. for the second occasionally. The last three matches on the last three Wednesdays have all been scratched, so that gives an impression of the weather at present.

Pat has rather a nasty chest cough, but it is jolly lucky that she has not caught the measles, because nearly all the children at her school have had them this term, and Pat has been in the thick of it all the time. She is a jolly sturdy little thing.

If she had caught them it would have meant Alan and me staying away from school for a fortnight, which neither of us can afford to do as we have no time to waste with the School Cert. getting nearer every day!

I have made up my mind to beat Alan in the Cert. I ought to, being older than he, but – I’m not so sure! There does not seem much prospect of spending the summer hols at Paignton; it is too expensive, but I have not given up hope by any means.

11 o’clock!    Goodnight.

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Sunday March 22nd 1931

I see I was in the doubtful state of wondering if Dad would accept that job when I wrote here last. He has decided not to. When Dad got home that night (when I wrote last) he was not looking very fit and as he did not look any better in the morning, he had breakfast in bed. It then turned out that he had a touch of malaria and he was laid up for nearly a fortnight. He is all right now though.

Pat’s cough has also vanished and she is back at school again. Talking of school, we are in the midst of exams – the last exams before the great Cert. ones! We don’t know the results yet, but I will write them here when they are given out. We break up on Tuesday week, and then the next term will be the Summer one, and cricket will be the order of the day.

I was reading an article in the Daily Mirror this morning about the superiority of mind over matter. It is jolly interesting and very true too, as far as I can see (that’s not awfully far I’m afraid.) It said that natives sometimes die just because they wish themselves dead; they fill themselves with the will to die, and they do. If this is possible, it ought also to be possible to will yourself to live – perhaps in the dim future when we are all dust and ashes as far as our physical being is concerned, men will cure themselves just by willing themselves to be better. Anyway, this attitude was partly that taken by Christ during the healing miracles.

It is very interesting and at the same very awe-inspiring to wonder what I and the family will be doing say ten or twenty years from now. It seems foolish perhaps to worry about the future, but it is very natural and very pleasant.

It seems funny, perhaps I mean odd, to think that we are living our little life here and then spending eternity elsewhere, and yet I wonder if any of us spend one thousandth part of our time preparing or even thinking of the future, the time that really matters, when we will live, live in the true sense, and will be governed in everything by the rule, the eternal rule, of right and wrong, not that of social etiquette or the struggle for material, with which either to keep ourselves in this earth or to make our sojourn here more pleasant.

Life is such an awful riddle, yet such a beautiful and solemn one that I feel I never could solve it – God keep me on the right path to the end, which is really the beginning – the beginning of a Greater Life.

Goodnight

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Easter Sunday April 5th 1931

We broke up on March 31st, and so we are getting used to the holidays by now. Last Sunday I went out for a promised walk with Jean.

We bicycled out to Westbury where we left our bikes in the care of a kind garage man who refused payment (we only had 3d, though he did not know). We then started off walking and carrying our tea. After going some time, hunting for birds’ nests and watching two little tree creepers pecking trees for insects, we decided it was time for tea. Accordingly we mounted a gate, but finding it too windy got down on the other side and sat in the shelter of a large haystack. In the midst of our repast a boy entered the gate and drove out two of the sheep that were in the field. He did not seem to notice us, although we were in full view.

Then the other sheep with about six or seven sweet little lambs came up and started edging towards us, for crumbs I expect. Then the old mummy-sheep began to get interested and eyed us very sternly. We both began to remember all the terrible stories we had heard about mother animals getting angry and protecting their children. We did not want to hurt the lambs, but the mothers did not look as if they believed this, and as they were coming steadily nearer we rose cautiously and, going to the far end of the field, jumped from the root of an upturned tree to the peace and safety of the little road again. Now the danger was over, we began to feel brave again and say that of course they were really quite harmless, and anyrate we could tackle four or five of them quite easily. But still it is the moment of danger that counts; it is easy to be brave afterwards!

Yesterday we played tennis on the school courts with Jean and her brother Kenneth. Neither of them were much good, but I’m afraid we were not either. I have booked a court for Monday evening so I expect we will all be getting in shape soon.

I fixed up a sort of holiday club, and we play cricket and hockey on the Downs about once or twice a week. I have already played cricket snd hockey once, it’s jolly good fun.

Alan and I went to church on Good Friday, and had a very good sermon on taking opportunities when they are given us.

Dad is almost sure to go down to Paignton next week end – I do wish I was going too, but I’m afraid that there is no chance of that. I am longing to hear how Noel is getting on with his farm, it’s been rotten weather just lately, perhaps all the chickens have been drowned, and the pigs become stuck in the mud up to their knees!

It is awfully hard, now I have decided to do only what I think right, and have begun to think about whether things are right or not. Just now Jim has being trying to make me join in a card gambling game, but I don’t want to begin gambling, for if you once begin you seem to go on and on and money become a prime factor in your life, which I am trying to get rid of. It would be jolly comforting now we have such a small amount of money!

Anyrate Jim laughed at me and said something about ‘religious’, it’s jolly funny how people look down on ‘religion’. I think the best way is to keep your feelings to yourself, but it is not always possible.

Pat is having the day of her life today! She got tons of eggs. I hope she won’t be ill! We gave Mum and Dad a Pyrex dish which they were very pleased with.

Good afternoon!  (3:30)

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Thursday April 16th 1931

Last Tuesday Daddy returned from a weekend which he spent down at Paignton – lucky beggar! He says everyone down there is quite fit, and that Noel has shaved his head because his hair was getting scarce at the sides, and now he has to go about with his head tied in a scarlet handkerchief like a gipsy! It was hard luck for Dad because he went down partly to see Auntie Isa and she wrote Dad a letter which we received the day after Dad left, saying that she and Carlo had gone up to London the previous Sunday as Carlos’s exam was getting close and he was going to have some coaching.

I knew Carlo wouldn’t work down in Paignton; he needs a stick or something to make him do it, and Auntie Isa is much too slack with him. It seems from Dad’s account that he has been flirting with all the girls in Paignton, and that one girl in Bristol boxed his ears – he kept that jolly quiet when he was up here! It is a rotten pity that he does that sort of thing, because he can be quite nice if he tries; perhaps more boys are like that in Italy. I doubt if he will pass the Matric even now.

Alan and I have been going out and doing things lately with Jean and her brother Ken(neth). Mary Biddulph came back from about a week’s holiday in the country and told Jean she did not like her going out with me so often, and that if she did she, Mary, would not be friends with her any more.

This was jolly awkward, not to say selfish, and has put Jean and me in rather a tangle. Jean and I both want to make it a threesome but Mary wants Jean to herself, it does not seem possible to arrange anything and it’s a jolly nuisance because I like Jean awfully, and we are just getting to understand each other. I think it will be settled one way or the other by the time they come back from camp; they are both going tomorrow. Either Jean will not like Mary so much, or she will like her more after they have lived together in a tent for a week or so.

For the last week or so we – Alan, me, Jean, Ken – have been getting up at 5 o’clock and going scouting birds on the Downs before breakfast. It is good fun and I am quite used to getting up at that hour now, in fact I woke up without an alarm this morning. I don’t know whether we will keep it up while Jean is away at camp and Ken is working; we may go for a run before breakfast instead .

We know practically all the birds on the Downs by their appearance and song now.

We have been playing lots of hockey and cricket these hols.

Good afternoon! (4 o’clock)

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Sunday May 17th 1931

We are back in the midst of school again now, and working hard – the exam is in two months time! To continue with last time’s instalment, which I have just been reading, I am afraid we have given up getting up at an early hour now, as it is not possible in term time.  Jean is just as much friends with me now as she has ever been, but has not stopped being friends with Mary either. I hope she will keep it up without there being any explosions!

During the last few days I have been having a great struggle with myself. It all started by Jean saying that she and her mother sometimes went to Tynedale Baptist Church in Whiteladies Road. I asked her to take me one Sunday, and we went accordingly. Lois Jenkins, who is in the choir (so are Beth Jenkins and Barbara Taylor) noticed us and asked us to come again. I did, and on Thursday last Lois asked me to come to a Missionary dinner down near the Horsefair. We went, and George Young, a missionary from China, came and talked with us. He was awfully nice, and told us about the life over there. That evening we went to a Great Young People’s Rally – a sort of climax of Missionary Week – and heard George Young, or Young George as he called himself, talk about his work, and another missionary talk about his work in the Congo. They both spoke very well, and they appealed for more missionaries, who are urgently needed in many places.

These things made me think, and I soon came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a missionary. It seems to me the best way of serving Jesus, because girls can do little at home in that line. The longer I think of it the more certain I become that that is what I was meant to do – I do not like modern ways; dancing, making up, and all the petty deceptions and insincerity of modern life. I do not like town life, and am healthy and strong. I feel that I really can do good to the world and the cause of God that way, and what’s the use of living if you cannot do that?

The only thing that worries me is that since we have gone back to school Jean and I have had a talk to Miss Allen about taking up botany – of course this was before I thought of the missionary life – and she is very keen on our doing it. She has great plans about scholarships, college, and Kew Gardens or something like that, and since I have been getting on rather well at Botany lately she has been rather pleased with me.

The sudden changes of outlook from History to Botany and then to Missionary work have made me rather distrustful of myself; but I really do believe that the present idea is going to be a lasting – life-lasting – one, and I could not change back to Botany now I have thought of the other possibility. It would be impossible to devote my life to the knowledge of plants when I knew all the time I might have been winning hearts for Jesus. The real, vital part of life is the spiritual side, but as the wordly side is the tangible, obvious side we are inclined to think only or chiefly of things we see and understand, so we miss the real vital part. Now I am trying to get to know and love God more, and although I have only advanced a tiny way I know enough not to get the relative importances mixed up again. The spiritual world is very vast, wonderful and joyful and peaceful, and I want to live in it as many of the preachers I have heard do – you can see it.

I have not mentioned any of this to anyone, but I will tell Mummy soon. I want to be absolutely sure of myself first. God guide me.

Goodnight!

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Wednesday June 20th 1931

Last Thursday Jean and I had an adventure. We had had cricket at the field and were coming home together on our bikes when Jean suddenly remembered that she had not brought her history atlas home for revision (the history test paper was the next day.) I had not remembered mine either, for we seldom use history atlases, so we decided to go straight to school and fetch them. It was then 7 o’clock, and you are not allowed to go into any classroom after 4:30, but we had to get them, so we went. By a great stroke of luck (as we thought at the time) the cloak-room door was open so we stole in, up the stairs, round by the front hall, along the new wing and into the Cert. class room. We got the books alright, and came back again.

But alas! the cloakroom door was locked and the key had been taken. We wandered around the building, trying the doors by the halls, the dining room, and the front door, but they were all locked. The key was in the front door, but that was no use as we would not have been able to lock it again. We enjoyed the joke immensely, and pretended we were burglars, but all the same we were a little funky of going down the back stairs to relate our misdeeds to Miss Bride, who lives there. At last, however, since there was nothing else to do we went down, and, thank goodness!, met one of the maids, not Miss Bride. She was a bit angry and made us promise to tell Miss Wilson in the morning. She then let us out. We told Miss Wilson, and she smiled to herself, but not to us! She said ‘that it must never occur again’ etc., and next time we forgot a book we must manage without it, or obtain leave to get it from Miss Brown or Cog who live next door to school. I think we got off very lightly . Cog would not have been so lenient; it was only because Miss Wilson is new.

A little while ago Elizabeth Bird, Ursula Biggs-Davison and I went to Berkley Square, obtained permission from the Archdeacon of Bristol (!) and rubbed two brasses in the Temple church down in Bristol. I am afraid that the rubbings were not very successful, and holes seemed to appear as if by magic (though we did rub hard). It is quite good fun, and Miss Thomas has promised to take us to do one outside Bristol some time this term.

Last Saturday was Rose Day and we had a fine time. Unfortunately it was showery and we had to have tea in the hall. We decorated our class-room with red may, but it was not quite as nice as we thought it was going to be. Mary Brokenbrow played a ‘cello solo in the afternoon and two in the evening; she is only in Va and yet she plays marvellously. She has won gold medals etc. galore.

Jim has gone off on his fortnight’s holiday. He is going a hike of the West, and is writing an article about his progress every other day or so for the Evening Times. The paper is either paying his expenses or else paying for his articles; anyhow, since he does not mind writing the articles, he is getting a fine holiday for practically nothing.

Daddy is now in London where he has gone to show his latest game to the buyers at the stores. I don’t know how he is getting on yet. He is staying with Auntie Isa and Carlo, who were going back to Italy today but have decided to stay a little longer and have Carlo’s tonsils removed.

By the way, Carlo did get through the special Matric he was having a second shot at. It was jolly good and certainly rather unexpected as far as I am concerned. He said himself, however, that Italians are famous for last-minute cramming.

11:10 o’clock so Good-night.

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Friday July 10th 1931

Today a great event took place! We, the Certificate form, beat VI b in a form match. VI b had beaten VI a before, so we can beat both the sixth forms! It was a truly exciting match, which we did not expect to win at all. We got them all out for 37 (I took 5 wickets for 20 runs) and then we went in. I went in first with Frances Webb. I made 4, she made 8, and then we were all skittled out until the score was 24 for nine wickets. None of us thought we could possibly win as the last people had only made about 1 or 2 each. But we begged the last person to be careful, and hoped for the best. They played awfully carefully, but hit all the easy balls, and managed to steal so many runs that we began to get some hope of victory. Every single was loudly applauded and ‘hurrahed’. You should have heard what a noise we made when we were equal; and when we won, the noise was even worse. It was terrible waiting and expecting one of their wickets to go flying at any moment, because they were only the very tail-end you know, and not expected to make many, if any. They certainly received a great welcome from us when they did come out. Our final score was 41 – one of them was clean bowled in the over after they had won the match.

Yesterday was also a red-letter day. The French Club play took place in the Hall. I was Francet – not a very important part. Instead of being terribly nervous I enjoyed it thoroughly and it was quite a success. The making up was awful, and made you feel ever so hot; so did the farandole[1]!

Tomorrow the first, second, and colts teams are going to Cheltenham via a charabanc. We will depart at 12:15 and not get back until about 8:00 pm. I am playing for the second.

On Monday next, the 13th, the School Certificate Exam. begins, and I am beginning to get panicky. It will soon be over, thank goodness!, but I do want to do well, and yet I’m afraid I won’t. It will seem funny reading this when it is all over and I know exactly how I did!

I have told Mum and Dad that I want to be a missionary and they don’t mind at all, but think it very good if I really want to. Cog has been asking people what they were going to be when they leave school, and I have said I would like to be a missionary in China or somewhere. She said that her sister was one out there, and when she came down she would ask her to talk to me about it. Jolly nice of her, wasn’t it? Miss Allen still wants me to do science; I shall have to break the news to her gently; I’m afraid she will be rather disappointed.

Mary Biddulph has been rather ill, and has not been to school for 3 weeks or so, I don’t know how she will get on with the exam. It’s rotten luck for her.

10:30! Good-night!

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Thursday July 23rd 1931

Well, the great exam finished at six o’clock as far as I am concerned. Poor old Mary and Alan still have one more exam. What a relief! I have been working pretty hard the last week or two and have had a perpetual headache. but I will be able to slack off and get rid of it now.

It’s very funny that last time I wrote in here the exam was a black cloud gathering on the horizon.Now the storm is just passing over. I wonder if the sun will have appeared by the next time I write!

It will be rather funny to say what I think of the papers before I know my marks. Here goes :-

English. Books = horrid; essay = not bad; précis = quite nice

French. comp & story = not bad; unseen = not very nice

Latin. grammar = quite nice; unseens = horrid

History. English = not very nice; European = nice

Maths. 1st = quite nice 2nd = horrid 3rd = not bad

Botany. A = not very nice; B = nice

I have ben calculating about how I have done and I think it even chances between my getting matric: exemption and not. I’m afraid it is not very likely.

A week ago last Saturday, I played for the 2nd eleven cricket team against Cheltenham. They had six or seven subs. playing because somebody had German measles or something. Even then they beat us, though not by much. Our first beat theirs though.

Both Nora Storey and I made 36 runs, and we both got our second colours. I was so bucked! 2nd colours means a red and white hat band, which is different from everyone else’s. I have always longed to have one and now I have. The only snag is that I cannot see it while I am wearing it!

We were going to play the finals of the form cricket matches against V a tomorrow. We beat VI b  by two or three runs; I have never played such an exciting game before. I hope we win, we certainly ought to.

I feel a bit guilty because I had been asked to dive for the school in the great inter-schools challenge shield match today. It was at 6 o’clock and the Botany exam was from 4-6 o’clock.

So I told Riva that I could not, as I had an exam, so she got somebody else. They did not dive very well, and at lunch Dad said that perhaps if I had gone straight down to the baths after Botany, and if the diving had not been at the beginning I should have been in time. It was too late to tell Riva then, and I had not thought of it before, but now when I heard that we did not do awfully well in the diving (we were 3rd) I feel a bit guilty. I hope it does not matter much, anyway I would have made a bosh of it I expect.

We were 3rd altogether, which was not bad, but we wanted to keep the shield.

There is some Tennis fixed for the hols. The first match is on Friday (tomorrow) week and we will play on Eberle’s court and they will provide us with lunch. I’m afraid it’s going to be too social!

Oh! . . . .  Good-night!

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Friday November 6th 1931

It is a long time since I wrote in this diary, and now the results have been out for a long time – of the examination I mean.

Results:  English, Botany, Latin, French, History, Maths, I got a credit.

Drawing: I did not (I did not expect to anyway).

So I got a credit in all six subjects and therefore also got my Matriculation Exemption.

We are now in the midst of hockey and netball. I don’t seem to be able to get on any further with those games – I am still in the third eleven for hockey and the fourth seven for netball. I have got my third hockey colours, but I’m not satisfied and want to get into the 2nd or 1st.

At school, life is very different. I’m not sure whether it is for the better or worse. Half-in-half, I think. I no longer do any French, History, Maths, Latin , and only 3/4 hour a week of English. All I do is Science, Science, Science! It is jolly nice except for the Chemistry, which is awfully difficult and we are supposed to know everything we are told about or read about, and at that rate I ought to know about thirty pages of notes and more still of the book now. As they are just composed of lists of facts and formulae which have no rhyme or reason, but just have to be learnt like a parrot, I’m not getting on very well! But I expect that Jean and I will get to understand and be able to remember the Chemistry one day.

Jean and I are ‘bottle washers’  i.e. we look after and ‘do’ the labs. Jean’s mother has been ill lately and so I had to do them alone, and in consequence have had to leave school at a quarter-to-two, go home, have lunch and be back by five-past-two! As a result my dinner only takes me from 5 to 10 minutes now!

Now it is half term or I would not have the time to write; there is not a free moment in term time. As a treat Dad and Mum and I went to see “Trader Horn”[2] a film, at the Regent. It was simply wonderful, and showed many really marvellous photos of lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes and hundreds of other animals. The scenery was superb, and the natives were very curious. A film like that is really well worth seeing and it gives you a little insight into life in Africa, and takes your mind away from the petty everyday things that always seem so big.

But somehow it also makes me a bit restless. I find it more difficult to continue this humdrum civilised existence in peace and quiet, when I know that men and women are living like that in Africa. It certainly gave me a bit of a bump coming out into the usual drizzle and damp and crowded bustle after seeing a film like that.

It’s awfully silly, but whatever you are, you would always like to be something or somebody else! Human nature I suppose; all our failings are summed up in those two useful words, and it’s very comforting!

Tomorrow, in order that it may be a really dissipated half term Dad, Mum and I are going to the Hippodrome to see ‘It’s a Boy’ which is supposed to be very funny; it certainly sounds as if it might be.

Perhaps I have not mentioned before that the reason for my doing science now is that I am going to be a medical missionary, or at least that is the latest so far, and certainly I believe it is the final decision. I am very ashamed of myself because I have been going to be, at different times, a gym mistress, a History mistress, a missionary and a medical missionary.

On looking back I see I have left out a most important thing. In the summer holidays, Elizabeth Bird invited Jean and me to go and stay with her at a house let to them in Burnham-on-Sea. We both accepted and had a lovely time there – bathing and picnicking etc. Then almost the day after we came home (we cycled there and most of the way back), we all went for a fortnight’s camp near Ilfracombe at a little place called Saunton.

Mr & Mrs Butt took us and luggage down there, and then came back to fetch us at the end of the fortnight. We had a glorious time! I meant to copy our log in here, but I don’t know if I will be able to as it is rather long. It would certainly be worth it if I did though. I will try and see if it is possible.

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Saturday December 5th 1931

It is nearly Christmas time again. How the years fly! Before I know what’s happened I shall be twenty-four or five, though I certainly cannot imagine myself at that age. I wonder if my life is going to be all that I am hoping and scheming now, or whether it will not be a useful one, and I will not feel staisfied when I am called to leave it .

I’m reading about Paul now both at home, school and Sunday school and he sets me a very glowing example. It helps me a great deal to read about him and what Jesus said about leaving everything for His sake. I love to think of myself as God’s servant here, with no will but to do His will. But I have not found the secret yet because, although I really feel my prayers and my reading, yet in my daily life God has very little or no part. I am trying hard to make this better, and am beginning to realise that you have to fight to resist ‘the world, the flesh and the devil and the pomps and vanities of this wicked world’. I’m afraid I am terribly bad and I sometimes feel an awful hypocrite because I sit and watch other people, even my own family, and think how lucky I am to know God better than they do, and I look down at their worldliness, sometimes, and I’m just as bad as any of them and much worse for thinking I am better. It is awfully difficult not to judge people as Paul said we must not. And of course we are not all in a position to judge fairly, only to upset other people’s notions by our own. And yet I find myself saying often ‘I don’t think ____ is much good at hockey (or something)  and probably anyhow she is much better than I am.

Yesterday the cadet rangers were invited to go and watch the dress rehearsal of the Senior Boarders’ Play, Daddy Longlegs[3]. It was better than I ever thought a school play could be. Jill Borrett (daughter of the famous Marie Studholme[4]) was the heroine and Meg Hutchinson was the hero. They were all awfully good. I had read the book, and that made it even more interesting, especially as it was a long time ago, and I had forgotten how it ended exactly.

Tomorrow I am going to tea with Miss Glover, the teacher of my class at Sunday school. Lois Jenkins was invited too, but she cannot come, so I am going into the dragon’s mouth alone!

Exams loom large on the horizon and I am beginning to get into a panic, for I don’t know anything! It will be a dreadful cram at the last minute, and I hate that.

Jean and I got our rewards (or wages) for doing the laboratories this term. I was staggered – we got £2-10-0 each! I am going to give 10/- to Alan, and I’m not sure about the rest yet!

Goo, I’m tired, Good-night!

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[1]          (From Wikipedia) The farandole is an open-chain community dance popular in the County of Nice, France. The farandole bears similarities to the gavotte, jig, and tarantella. The carmagnole of the French Revolution is a derivative.

[2]          (from Wikipedia)

            Trader Horn is a 1931 American adventure film starring Harry Carey and Edwina Booth, and directed by W.S. Van Dyke. It is the first non-documentary film shot on location in Africa. The film is based on the book of the same name by trader and adventurer Alfred Aloysius Horn and tells of the adventures on safari in Africa.

[3]          Daddy Long-Legs is a 1912 epistolary novel by the American writer Jean Webster. It follows the protagonist, a young girl named Jerusha “Judy” Abbott, through her college years. She writes the letters to her benefactor, a rich man whom she has never seen. This book was Webster’s best-known work. It was made into a stage play and a 1952 British stage musical comedy called Love from Judy,[1] as well as films in 1919 (starring Mary Pickford), 1931 (starring Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter), 1935 (a Shirley Temple adaptation called Curly Top) and a 1955 film, Daddy Long Legs (starring Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron). The latter two film versions departed considerably from the plot of the original novel.

            In Japan, Daddy-Long-Legs was made into a musical anime TV special in 1979 by Tatsunoko Productions, directed by Masakazu Higuchi of Superbook fame. The Tatsunoko TV special was released, dubbed in English, on home video in the United States.

[4]          Marie Studholme (1872 –  1930),was an English actress and singer known for her supporting and sometimes starring roles in Victorian and Edwardian musical comedy. Her attractive features made her one of the most popular postcard beauties of her day.

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