Thursday November 12th

…I am suffering from indigestion today…consequently I did not go in School first and second hours, but went in third. Over a quarter of the house was away ‘fighting their countries[sic] bullets’ on Epsom Downs. They were indulging in a whole day Field day; consequently we had but a small number comparatively to lunch. Graham and myself had a solitary tea as for as Chiswickites were concerned. I worked like a horse to keep conversation going rehearsed football with what I hope was keen interest! At lunch Rawson was actually able to hear what I said which must have pleased him. It is a standing (though to talk of as irritating) joke that Rawson just can’t hear from where he usually sits at lunch what I am saying. He sits with his head level with the table, munching bread, and leaves the last word and is up like a flash with ‘What’s that? What’s that? What did you say?’ and often it is rather a nuisance to have to repeat one’s remarks!

I cut the Commem Singing practice for I had quite a tea-party, J.S. and Liddell came because there was a Master’s Rehearsal at 5.15, then Uncle Charles Sneffer arrived, the two parents Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Smurthwaite who had to be seen hastily in the Stall as they came to see their sons. Mrs. Smurthwaite remarked that her son had a great admiration for me! Poor Smurthwaite is doing double work as Sorley is out of School, for anyone else I should have provided a substitute but it seems such a pleasure to Smurthwaite to do everything that I only remarked I hoped that the fact of his having to do double work did not press on him unduly. But he merely beamed with pleasure…
Barrington-Ward showed me a disquieting letter from the Speaker’s Secretary saying that he was directed by the Speaker to say that he was afraid he could make no exception in the case of the School to occupy seats in the Strangers Gallery while the latter is temporally closed but J.S. remarked that the speaker was absolute and it would be no good trying to influence him, I am so afraid that it may be the thin end of the wedge, you can never tell with a Liberal Government and it was the last Liberal Government which abolished the seats. [the Scholars at Westminster have a historic right to be allowed to view proceedings in Parliament without prior arrangement or having to queue with the public for tickets]

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