Got up early before 6 o’clock and went for bathe in the sea baths with Ernie. We were first in and I swam pretty well. Had walk along North Sands in the morning and spent afternoon on the sea front reading. Read Barry Pain’s1“De Omnibus”2. Grand day. Posted little Navy book to Uncle George. Walked round with Hilda at night and she bought a bathing costume for me. Had walk with Ernie later to the south side of the harbour. Had chips3 for supper.
De Omnibus has long been out of print but may be found at various on-line locations including at archive.org; a digitised (by Google) copy from New York Public Library. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library. ↩
For the benefit of American readers, “chips” does not mean the food more usually known as “crisps” in the UK. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not correct to consider British chips analogous to French fries either. Wikipedia has an explanation of sorts on its French fries page. ↩
Got up about 8 o’clock. Walked round town and sea front. Read a bit of Omar Khayyam1. Walked round The Braes2 in the afternoon. Had walk with Hilda and Ernie at night. Saw Ernie’s shop and got a few things there. Spent a pleasant day. Had walk with Ernie at night.
Omar Khayyám (1048-1131 A.D.) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy and music. It is not clear from this diary entry which of his writings had engaged ALL’s interest, but it may have been his most famous work, The Rubáiyát. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library. ↩
“The Braes”: Kinkell Braes, near the site of a castle which was a noted venue for conventicles in the period following the restoration of the House of Stuart. The Braes are now occupied by modern structures including a caravan park and camp site (position of map marker).
ALL evidently visited the Braes on several further occasions during his 1915 visit to St. Andrews.
Got up about 7 o’clock. Drew pound at the bank and wired to tell Ernie I was coming. Got the 10.30 train. Uncle George travelled with me as far as Newcastle. Edinburgh express late and I missed the connection at Edinburgh. Walked round centre of the town. Had a cup of tea. Went up Scott Memorial1. Fell in with a little chap who invited me to have a drink. Arrived at St Andrew’s2, at 6.20 and Hilda met me at the station. Had walk at night with Ernie. Very nice clean town.
Went to St Andrew’s.
The Scott Memorial (B) is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott which stands in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station where ALL would have arrived from Sunderland (A) and caught his train to St. Andrews. ↩
St. Andrews (C): a town on the east coast of Fife in Scotland, famous for its University, and for golf.
Missed chapel in the morning through sleeping in. At chapel in afternoon and at night. Second Sunday of Anniversary Services. Fairly successful. German submarine reported lost. Had usual walks. Billy Harrison and his Mrs. at chapel at night.
At work as usual. Finished about 2 o’clock. Saw funeral of soldier from infirmary. Went down to Jenny Mason’s with Joe at night and took refrigerator1 to Wanless’s. Met Charlie and Willie Whittaker afterwards. Rather wet and unsettled.
Refrigerator looks a straightforward interpretation of the shorthand outline, though it is not the form given in New Era Pitman’s dictionaries; but it would have been a new word in 1915 - ALL himself had two shots at the outline in this entry. If correct, it would refer to some kind of commercial equipment, not a domestic fridge as we know them. ↩
At work as usual. Called in the town at dinner time at Hills’ to see about a new typewriter ribbon. Called at Stewarts’ at night to get jacket altered. Played, and Charlie sang. Wrote up diary and shop books. Had walk with Joe.
Father bought some chickens. Mr McKenna1introduced his new finance bill. Lemberg2in danger.
“Mr McKenna”: Reginald McKenna, 1863 – 1953, MP 1895 – 1918, Home Sec. 1911 – 15, Ch. Of Exch. 1915 – 16; issued second War Loan June 1915, at higher rate of interest than first (which was made convertible to second); this is said to have committed the UK to higher rates of interest than elsewhere, not only throughout WW1 but during the inter-war Depression. The “McKenna Duties” of 33⅓% on luxury imports, “to finance WW1”, lasted until 1953. McKenna married a niece of Gertrude Jekyll. He was Chairman of the Midland Bank (now owned by HSBC) after 1918. ↩
Lemberg: the Ukrainian city of Lviv (Ukrainian: Львів, Polish: Lwów, Russian: Lvov, Latin: Leopolis, or German: Lemberg). The battle of Lemberg, 20-22 June 1915, was a short-lived Russian attempt to defend the great fortress of Lemberg against advancing German and Austrian troops during the aftermath of the great German victory at Gorlice-Tarnow. ↩
At work as usual. Busy all day. Finished in decent time. Tasted† an egg from the hen and it had a chicken fully formed but dead in it. Played the piano and Charlie sang most of the night. Had walk last thing.