Excerpts from Aunt Fanny’s 1956 diary.
JULY 18 1956
I spent all day in the kitchen with Joanna. We prepared six large hams, fourteen pies, eighty four rounds of sandwiches and they demolished it all in ten minutes. Quentin forgot to eat anything, of course and so I had to take him mustard on cornflakes in the evening – he’s developed quite a liking for them. I’m going to bed early as I’ll need to make a start on breakfast at five am. Any later and I won’t have enough ready by the time the Five rise.
JULY 22nd 1956
I managed to persuade Quentin to go for a walk this afternoon to clear his head. He’s been stuck on some problem with his work and I thought it would do him good to get some fresh air. It also allowed me to sneak into his study to tidy up a little. I found a plate of roast beef (from two days ago!) mouldering in one of his desk drawers, countless half-drunk cups of tea littering every surface and at least four half-eaten sandwiches on his desk. I offered the stale remains to the children but for once they didn’t seem hungry. Timmy wasn’t so discerning, though. Better than a rubbish bin, that dog.
JULY 28th 1956
The children aided in rescuing a run-away horse earlier this week (thank goodness it didn’t turn into one of their full-blown adventures!) and so Lord Daniron himself came around to say thank-you this afternoon. Of course I had to put out one of my best cakes and it was all gone within minutes. The Lord has quite an appetite, and the Five helped too, naturally. I always bake several cakes at a time when the children are home and there was another one for after dinner thankfully.
AUGUST 9th 1956
That dratted dog! I forgot to lock the larder door this afternoon, in my rush to answer the telephone. It was one of Quentin’s colleagues who just couldn’t understand that Quentin wasn’t at home. It took me quite five minutes before he agreed to call back tonight, assuming he will actually remember. By the time I got back to the kitchen Timmy had gobbled down an entire meal’s worth of sausages. Now there will only be the meat pies, salad and two loaves of bread. Everyone apart from Timmy and I will be starving!
SEPTEMBER 3rd 1956
Thank goodness the children have gone back to school! Now it’s just Quentin I have to worry about. Our food bill has gone back down to around a tenth of what it is during the hols – thank goodness for those gold ingots – they’ve been keeping the children fed over the summer! Joan and I will finally have time to do something other than cook and clean, now. Perhaps I’ll get on with weeding the garden.