Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 1920

“My Kingdom” - not for a horse, but for some fire. We are in a chronic chill the most of the time. The thermometer in the large entrance hall down the stairs, hanging not far from where a brisk fire is blazing, registers 55 degrees fah! If I were to tell the amount of clothing I am wearing during the day in my effort to keep warm, my veracity would be questioned. We can have no heat in our bed rooms, owing to coal shortage. Part of the time this diary has been written in bed, the only place we were comfortable. Last night we were fortunate above all our fellows. Our maid is deaf and dumb. We asked for hot water to fill our hot water bottles and she interpreted our wants to mean that we wanted more so she brought us two extra bottles made of stone - Young stoves we called them. - So we slept with four hot water bottles and were sorry when it came daylight. We wanted to paraphrase Harry Lauder’s song, and say we “wished it would never come morning.”

But if all over Great Britain and Wales we had such cold rooms, our splendid beds, in a measure, compensated. Never have I seen softer, fleecier, or thicker wool blankets and such downy puffs as has been our portion everywhere. Some of our party have not fared so well, but fortune has smiled on us in this respect. But enough of this!

To-day we had an early start by Charabanc for Llanberis, ‘Twas a beautiful drive through the pass, with Mt. Snowdon in the distance, snow capped and the sun shining over the top. We pass through a snow storm en route and are interested in the Marconi wires and stations. We passed Slate mines and came on to Carnarveron. Stopped 20 minutes and went through the Castle where the present Prince of Wales was investitured, when a representative from all the nations was present.

Rode a long ways beside the Irish Sea - on to Conway and passed another castle. Crossed the Conway river on a beautiful white suspension bridge. It was a beautiful day, the finest since we landed in England. We remembered the poem, learned in childhood (about the little maid of Conway), entitled - “We are Seven.” Reached Llanberis junction at 1 o’clock. The Slate quarries referred to are the largest in the world and employ 3000 men and produce 360 tons a day. The quarries are named Penrhyn. The slate is graded into four classes. Queens, Duchesses, Countesses and Ladies. Each must be of a certain thickness. If a queen is too slender she is cut down and made into a Duchess.

Many of the hotels are called Royal, Queens, King’s Head etc. Reached Chester at 3-30 P.M. after a box lunch on the train with some lemonade and ginger-ale as drink. Went to view the old city wall, King Charles tower, where he watched the defeat of his armies in 1645, also went into the council chamber where he met his generals and watched the progress of the battle on the moor.

Stopped in the stores and looked in windows. Chester is the home of the Cheshire cat said to be always smiling. We saw them for sale, made of china, brass etc., etc. for souvenirs.

Back to Queen’s hotel at 6 P.M., very tired. Had fine fresh salmon from the Dee. When we get home we will read up Charles Kingsley’s “The Sands of Dee” with new interest. We saw a Roman “Tear Bottle” in the Council Chamber of Charles II.

Chester was preparing for their Annual races - they have wonderful race tracks - use the velvety turf instead of clearing off the space as we do in America. Stables are called Mews. Will never forget the elevator at Chester (it scarcely moved) nor the women and girls on their knees scouring and scrubbing steps and sidewalks with a bucket and cloth. In America we would use a hose and the broom and complete such a task in short order.

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