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29 June 2012

18 June 1942: calendulas


18 Thur. Very mild, pleasant sunny morning but dull and cloudy later. To butchers also bought fish at Merton. Also bought some very choice calendulas in pots. Ellen Feihn called also Alan Spooner.

Photo: field marigold or calendula - from Latin kalendae or first of the month - presumably because they are in bloom at the start of most months.

17 June 1942: watched cricket

17 Wed. Very mild, some periods of pleasant sunshine. Shopping in morning. Cycled to Mitcham Green an saw half an hours fine cricket. First time I have been there for a great many years. To water dear Mother's grave.

27 June 2012

16 June 1942: a rose for the butcher

16 Tues. Mild, heavy clouds, a few gleams of weak sunshine. To butchers, had a talk about roses with the manager and took him a Duches of Argyle rose for him to see. Aunt Liza called.

15 June 1942: dark day

15 Mon. Very cool for season, very dull half-dark mid-day. To Merton to cats meat shop. Work in garden. Letter from Uncle Tom: replied.

26 June 2012

14 June 1942: 7 unexpected guests to tea

14 Sun. Mild, very heavy clouds and a slight shower, small amount of weak sunshine. Some exquisite roses out to-day. Unexpected arrival of visitors to tea including Dad, Alb, Lily and the baby, Mrs.Jones and Nellie from Basingstoke and Ron Cooper.

24 June 2012

13 June 1942: bought fish, twine & ink

13 Sat. Mild, mostly dull and cloudy. To Merton; bought fish, twine & ink. Did quite a lot of work in the garden. Duchess of Argyle rose out; a most outrageous colour for a rose - brownish terr-cotta edged with orange. George Howarth - vermillion - fine!

12 June 1942: unwell

12 Fri. Cool for time of year. Very dull, rain all day. Did not go out - unwell.

11 June 1942: book... garden...

11 Thur. Mild, some sun but little power in it. Did some shopping locally, also took a book back to Edie Bennett. Had a talk to her and saw her garden; very nice.

23 June 2012

10 June 1942: keep the aspidistra flying

10 Wed. Mild, very heavy clouds, chilly wind. To shops in morning also to Merton to buy cats' meat. Divided up the big aspidistra and potted up to make two fine plants and gave some to people next door. Aunt Liza called. Wrote letter to Harold Marshall.






1. Fred wouldn't have known this but, to quote Wikipedia: 'Aspidistra was a British medium wave radio transmitter used for black propaganda and military deception purposes against Nazi Germany during World War II. At one time, it was the most powerful broadcast transmitter in the world. Its name - after the popular foliage houseplant - was inspired by the comic song The Biggest Aspidistra in the World, best known as sung by Gracie Fields. The transmitter was built in 1942 near Crowborough in South-East England.' 
2. My own title for this entry, 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying', was the title of a book by George Orwell, published in 1936, a socially critical novel  set in 1930s London. The main theme is Gordon Comstock's romantic ambition to defy worship of the money-god and status, and the dismal life that results.


9 June 1942: a quiet day gardening

9 Tues. Very mild, heavy clouds. To do shopping locally. Did an afternoon's work in the garden. Sowed flower seeds.

8 June 1942: friend, fish and grave

8 Mon. Rather warm, cloudy but some periods of moderate sunshine, fresh breeze. To Merton to buy fish, walked home with Alan Spooner. To water dear Mother's grave in evening.

7 June 1942: visitors and roses

7 Sun. Rather warm, bright sunshine, fresh breeze. Chas brought little Gwen, gave her some roses. Audrey Chiled called. To Holland Gardens in evening but not many roses out. Met Len & Emily Garrod. Madge called.

6 June 1942: 118 degrees F in the sun

6 Sat. 82 in the shade 118 in the sun, glorious. Did all the usual shopping, saved time by doing some of it by cycle. To Tolworth in evening. Dad is still there, so is Mrs.Jones: saw little Anthony.

22 June 2012

5 June 1942: sun, roses & polyantheus

Polyantheus - a common name
 for the genus Primula (primrose)
5 Fri. Very warm, glorious summer day. The rose at the front door is splendid. Also more roses out in back garden to-day. Divided out and planted up a long line of polyantheus. Had a talk with Mr.Honor; saw his garden and he gave me some seeds.  Did all the usual shopping in the morning. The garden looks nice.

19 June 2012

4 June 1942: clocks two hours fast

4 Thur. Very warm; the sun shone in a blaze of glory all day long. To Merton to buy fish, haricot beans and ageratum plants. Planted latter on dear Mother's grave in evening. Mr Winsley gave me some chives plants, also planted. The clocks being two hours fast it is still twilight at a quarter to midnight.

3 June 1942: perfect weather, bombs

3 Wed. Warm, grand sunny day, perfect. To do shopping in morning. Some gardening in afternoon. First rose out in back garden is "Night" a dark red one. Flew 34 ins. model on Common in evening. Good results. Saw Donble(??) with his wife and little girl who launched my machine successfully. Raid warning from 2.40 to 3.0 a.m. Distant bombs and gunfire. 

15 June 2012

2 June 1942: bike, graves, gardening

2 Tues. Very mild to rather warm, much warm sunshine; a lovely day. To Merton to buy cats' meat', also a length of speed gear cable for my bike which I fitted later. Watered the graves. Did some gardening. 

14 June 2012

1 June 1942: a long walk for herrings

Climbing Mme Edouard Herriot
1 June Mon. Very mild to rather warm, some pleasant sunshine. Unsuccessful walk to Merton thence to Morden & bought some herrings. The climbing Mme Edouard Herriot rose is superb to-day. Alan Spooner called in evening.

Note: photo from
 www.davidaustinroses.com

31 May 1942: biplane model

Sun 31. Very mild, showers but some genial sun between whiles. Little Gwen called before going to Sunday School. To Wimbledon Common in evening. Walked up the Downs with Mr. & Mrs.Edie Bennett. Saw some modellists; one with a very good biplane.

5 June 2012

30 May 1942: Henry(78) weds Ethel(38)

Sat 30. Heard cuckoo. Very mild, cloudy, windy but some periods of genial sunshine. Dad, Alb, Lily, Mrs.Jones, not fogetting young Anthony came to lunch and then with Ciss to Uncle Henry's* wedding. He is 78 and married Ethel Killick 38 at our church. To do shopping locally and at Merton in afternoon. In evening for a nice cycle ride to Old Morden.

*Note: Henry died later this same year, on 8th Nov.

29 May 1942: Cannon Hill Common

29 Fri. Mild, heavy clouds, showers, some weak sunshine. Sharp flash of lightning and crack of thunder midday. Did all the usual shopping locally and in afternoon to Merton to buy cats meat. Walk on Cannon Hill Common midday. The country looks green. 

28 May 1942

28 Thur. Mild, mostly heavy clouds and showers; extremely boisterous. Did shopping at Merton and Morden on my bicycle. Planted seeds in garden in evening. Alf called later.

27 May 1942: Fireguards' lecture

27 Wed. Mild, dull and cloudy, rain setting in at early evening. In morning to butchers also to Merton to buy fish.  In evening to hear lecture to "Fireguards" at Merton Fire Station on how to deal with fire bombs. Repair to clothes post at end of garden, re-set & stayed it.

Note: link to BBC - WW2 People's War - Fireguard stories

1 June 2012

26 May 1942: Uncle Tom ageing

26 Tues. Mild, heavy clouds, rain later, less wind. Uncle Tom called in morning, he is 81 and is beginning to look his age. Gave him a few things. Out afternoon to do a bit of shopping. Aunt Liza called.

25 May, Whit Monday 1942: sprawling

25 Whit Monday. Mild, heavy clouds, very boisterous chilly wind; deluge commencing in early afternoon. On sudden gust of wind sent me sprawling across the garden. Stayed in and played pin board and dominoes with Ciss.