Monday, 14 December 2009

30 August 1942

No outing this morning probably on account of the ground being wet as a result of heavy rain overnight.  Out for a walk from 2 to 3.20 pm.  One ball game.  Saw Str.  Excellent Sunday supper again this afternoon.  Stewed potatoes and vegetables with a piece of meat.


From the time of my arrival on the Estate I had talked freely regarding the fact that I had become engaged before leaving home and that it was my intention to let my fiancee join me as soon as I had got together sufficient money for her passage.  The manager was going home on leave at the beginning of 1928 and proposed that Miss Simpson should travel with them on their return.  Fenton suggested that the idea at the back of FV’s mind was to procure gratis the services of somebody to help with the children.  He was probably correct in his surmise but the plan was very attractive to me as it was definitely preferable for the young lady to make the long journey in the company of the FV family than to travel such a long distance alone.  The matter was thus arranged accordingly and the FV family had already been in Europe for some time when the blow fell.  I cannot do better than to quote the correspondence which passed between the parties concerned, commencing with the letter which I received from my prospective father in law.  (The correspondence referred to will be inserted here when, if ever, opportunity offers.*)

So, as Robbie Burns says, ‘the best laid schemes a’mice and men gang aft agley’, but how often are we capable of appreciating the providence which seems at the time, to have dealt us a blow from which we shall never recover.  With now more than eight of the happiest years of my life behind me I can implicitly believe that whom the gods love, they chastise.  I can wish my former fiancée no better fate than to have had as much happiness in her second choice as I have experienced in mine.  While FV was on leave, Fenton was Acting Manager and acquitted himself in that capacity exceptionally well.  I must admit, however, after the office was closed at 5 o’clock, he and I used to fly kites, just like a couple of small boys, and to defy any semblance of authority by flying them right in front of the big house.  I am ashamed when I recall my annoyance the first time Fenton cut my kite loose in mid air having previously surreptitiously treated the string of his own with a preparation of powered glass.  Kite flying is a favourite pastime with the natives but I really do now know what they thought when they saw the manager and bookkeeper indulging in this, for us under the circumstances, high undignified amusement.  But I am afraid we enjoyed ourselves too much to worry about that.



* The correspondence disappeared during the Japanese occupation.

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