Dad's 1935 Diary

finished reading Genghis Khan and started reading Omar Khayyam

Monday 20

Got up at 6:00 & mugged my poems. Painted my desk lamp. Read during my spare time. Did 4 periods Manual in the morning. Have almost finished the chair. Old Andy came in & bucked to me while I was in Manual. Wanted to know when, where and why I was going home (?) He’s a funny guy. Mlle piled plenty of homy on us today. Will have to get up early.


Sunday 19

Up at 8:00. I had a rotten nite. Didn’t get to sleep till 2:00 A.M. Was wide awake till then? Walked up with Dye & Bayles. Afterwards Newton & I went to find Riddle’s grave but couldn’t find it. Then we came back and went to Senior Church. A judge spoke. Used such hefty words I could barely get the jist of the sermon. Had a little headache so I snoozed all afternoon. John’s letter came today. He got a 200 $ scholarship to an Art School there. Pretty good.

Saturday 18

Our team was supposed to play the soldiers but they didn’t come up. Our teachers played the Wyneberg teachers. We got licked some 7-0! When wil they learn? I went to the buzz with Beep & bought some paint & a new frame for Joan’s photo. Came home and painted my binoculars again. Ozzie was here. He looked at the funnies all afternoon. All the rest went for a picnic. I stayed here. After dinner I signalled to Brush & Bayles who were over on Witches Hill. I heard a lot of yelling on the khud so I went and investigated. The 9th (Joan’s Std.) were having a party at the C.C. Saw Joan. They were playing 3 deep. There were an awful lot of parties on today. I watched the 9th for a while and then came home.

Friday 17

I went to the buzz for some odds & ends. Fooled about in the morn. Nothing to do until mother gets me some more books. It feels rotten when you don’t have anything to do. There was a big C.C. Concert on this P.M. but I didn’t feel like going. Just lazy. I get plenty of sleep but I can barely get out of bed in the morning. Get up 30 mins. after the rest have eaten. My grub is always cold. Haven’t had any letters for ages. So I’m not writing until I get some. Ellis hasn’t written for an age, but he has plenty of work so he’s excused. No parties on these days. I’m waiting for sale day… Very windy all day but not dusty. It’s getting plenty hot up here now. I wonder what it’ll be like in the plains?

Thursday 16

Finished painting the trunk. I have some trouble about the trip home. After Palestine the Patterson’s don’t know which way their going. So we can’t make any arrangements until he knows definitely which route he’s taken. Still, since it won’t do any good worrying, I have to sit still and hope for the best. German went off O.K. We sang songs. We do one week grammar and one week memory work. This last is the easier but it takes more time. I finished “India Calling”. I had a headache so I couldn’t do much carpentry. Skipped typing. David said I could take a holiday.

Wednesday 15

Washed windows. Set the clock for 6:00 and got up at 7:30. The Franks and Langs came up. Did some gluing in Manual after German. 2 of the Masters in the new Public School in Dehra Dun came in. I could barely understand what they said. We were supposed to have a hockey match today. However there was none but I went and played with the girls team. Read in all of my spare time. In school today Ernie wanted a girl to write to so I gave him one of Martha Welle’s friend’s address. I hope he likes it. I haven’t written to her so I don’t know what she’s like. Dad brought the trunk back with the keys fitted. I have painted half of it blue. It will be blue with black trimming. Old Jonah said G.G. to me. I was funked she was going to kiss me but she didn’t.

Tuesday 14

Read all day. Did 1 period of Carpentry. After German came home and continued reading. I wrote to Ellis again. I bet he is peeved at me for being so frightfully prompt. He is an I.C.S. judge. D.S. judge over the 24 Parganas in Alipore. He lives at 7/2 Short St. A fat Englishman. He’s been a friend of the family’s for about 14 yrs. and a grand friend he is too. I tell him all my troubles. He keeps them to himself only he sometimes makes rather embarrassing remarks about what I’ve told him about my girlfriends. Still, he’s the best friend I’ve had. He is single and his dog “Vic” is the only girl he loves. He and Dad “roast” each other every time they meet. Dad gets it for not dressing well enuf and Ellis gets it for his manners and for being fat. Still they manage to get along peacefully on the surface.

[So interesting he wrote this as if someone else would read it! And love the description of relationship between his dad and Ellis. Not sure what I.C.S. stands for – Indian Civil Service? – but Googling it found this background on Ellis:

(1894) Chief Justice of East Bengal. Son of Rev. Herbert Ellis. Educated at Manchester Grammar School, and graduated from Queen’s College, Oxford (1917). Entered ICS in 1919. After having served as Sub-Divisional Officer in various districts, he became Additional District and Sessions Judge of Jessore (then part of India, currently in Bangladesh), Chairman of Conciliation Board (1938), and Special Officer of Air Raid Precaution (ARP), Bengal (1942). Became Additional Judge of High Court, Kolkata, (1944-47), Judge of High Court of East Bengal (1947-53), and Chief Justice of East Bengal (1953-54). Temporary Governor of Purbo (East) Bengal (21 September – 22 December 1954) when Iskander Mirza was Minister. Presided over inquiry into police firing during 1952 Language Movement. Knighted by British Government in January 1953. Served as Officer on Special Duty, Government of Pakistan (1955-57). Born in Farsley, near Leeds, UK.]

Monday 13

Got up at 7:00 and mugged till 8:00. Went to the buzz for a toothbrush and got a brass dish soldered together. Came back to school for one period of typing. The Inspector was prowling around school but didn’t come into German class. I did a little gluing on my chair. I want to make a box when I’m thru with the chair. I bought some paint for the steamer trunk but have to get a key for it before I can paint it. Only a month left. I go on the 10th – right after 10 day holls. Mother just sent Mark’s pants to be patterned. He’s getting worried about them. Paid Newton for what I owed him on the hike – 1-11-3.

Sunday 12, Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. I wore a nice big pink rose to Kirk. Joan had one of those big floppy white hats on and didn’t look half bad. It rained after lunch. I got into bed and read until I fell asleep. John sent us all some funnies, but no letter this time. I am reading “Sunrise Over India”. It is written by a woman who just came to India to see it. So it has no prejudices against the “Hoi ploy” of India. My knee is not as swollen now but I am a bit worried about it. It hurts when I change its position. The other day I gave Lee a whole lot of stuff for his Indian stamps. I have quite a few native states now. Mother put up some new curtains in my room. It is a “chuddar” [a large shawl worn by Hindu womenquartered. It looks quite nice.

Saturday 11

Our girls played Wynberg in hockey at 8:30. Both our teams got licked. Joan was over there as a cheer leader. She looked very nice all dressed up. Came back for lunch. Osmonde Barrick persuaded me to go to the show with him. We went to 2:30 “Student Law” at the P. Palace. Lal was there too. Began to rain just as I got home.

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