June 28th Tuesday. M for the afternoon. Joan brought back the Merlin book from Chi. It looks superb.
Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category
June 27th Monday. G and J watching Wimbledon.
June 25th Saturday. Still can’t remember what did. Ah yes, of course. Jeremy H, very nice.
June 23rd June. Midsummer Eve and just what Midsummer’s Eve ought to be but seldom is. Also Mummie’s birthday. J looked in today with a manuscript she wants me to look at. There’s another blackbird’s nest in the front garden, in place of the one the ginger cat took.
‘Mummie’, Rosemary’s mother of course, was my great Aunt, Nessie Elizabeth Lawton, who was born in 23rd June in 1885, in Poole Dorset. (She died in 1955). She married George Ernest Sutcliff, who I knew as ‘Uncle George’ when I was a young boy, on 14th September 1910, in Longleet in Dorset. The driver-handymen (like Ray in recent weeks of this diary) were employed by Rosemary after her father died in 1966: he used to look after the garden – and her – at the house in Walberton where all the events recorded in this 1988 diary take place.
June 22 Wednesday. Nice peaceful day with no visitors. Ray had his girlfriend to lunch.
Rosemary Sutcliff never turned visitors away, but as previous diary entries have suggested, they could have a major impact on her writing. So peaceful days were very welcome. An entry like this implies that, provided Rosemary was not feeling “muzzy headed”, she would have enjoyed being free to immerse herself in her writing. Visitors were a two-edged sword.
June 20th Monday. Quite a day! Hazel W at mid-morning and scarcely had gone when Evelyn A arrived, and no sooner had Ray taken her off to Aldingbourne to her sisters-in-law than G and J appeared for tea. Am flat out with no work done at all.
June 19th Sunday. Joan and I and the pups (went) for a run out beyond Amberley taking a picnic tea with us. It was lovely, very hot. Willow warbler singing where we had tea.
Now today I have a dilemma as I transcribe Rosemary Sutcliff‘s diary for June 17th Friday. For she names a visitor who “has lost quite a lot of their looks since I last saw them, and looks rather coarse and lumpish”. This is how I have chosen to reconcile capturing Rosemary’s closely observed, evocative comments about people, with the need to protect feelings and anonymity (although I doubt that the looks-losing person in question is reading this or will do so). Since Rosemary was not writing these diaries for publication, did not publish anything from them in her lifetime, and would not have wanted to offend anyone in theirs, this is how I have decided to do it!