Grandfather’s Journal 1916

Shortly after I had arrived at Barnet the weather became colder and one clear frosty, Sunday morning Dick came and informed us all that there was ice on Totteridge Long Pond. Mrs. Lattimer readily gave me permission to spend the afternoon with him and immediately after dinner, Mr. Creswick, Dick and I started out for the pond.  It was a short walk, as the cold made exertion a pleasure and we were soon skating over the glassy ice.  I was immediately appraised as a good skater although I had never succeeded in convincing any of my Canadian friends of that fact.  Mr. Creswick got on very poorly and it was indeed laughable to watch his attempts to stand upright.  Suddenly he fell with his arm twisted under him and we heard a sharp crack.  Nothing to laugh at this time; his wrist was broken.  We made a sling out of our handkerchiefs and started for the nearest doctor. The three miles back into Barnet seemed far longer this time and Mr. Creswick looked very white although he said the wrist was not paining very badly.  We left him at doctor Stewards and went on to  tell Mrs. Creswick what had happened. Soon Mr. Creswick  arrived in Dr. Steward’s car and we all sat down to tea.  A bright, cozy fire was burning in the grate and by the light of its cheerful blaze we all did our best to prove that margarine can really taste like butter and war time bread and treacle like pre war cake.  Our hunger satisfied we arranged ourselves  in a circle about the fire, Mr Creswick lying on the couch , Dick started the ball rolling by telling a funny story he had read and quickly everybody in turn had an even funnier one to tell.  The time passed quickly and soon I had to leave for school but with many invitations to come again and often.

When I told Miss. Sims there was skating she decided to ask Mrs. Lattimer if we could go skating by moonlight on the Brewery Pond on Monday night. Mrs.  Lattimer consented and Monday passed very  slowly indeed. Prep was finished in shorter time than usual and soon we were ‘en route’ for the pond. Miss Sims was the life of the party, which consisted of Mrs. Lattimer, the headmaster’s wife, Miss Sims , who was one of the teachers of First Form, Dorothy, Old Bill’s daughter (Old Bill being short for Mr. Lattimer), Kennedy, Moulton, myself and Hugh (Old Bill’s son). “Snap the whip” being an unknown game, I proceeded to enlighten them as to how it was done.  As Kennedy and I were the best skaters and the heaviest; I took one end and Kennedy formed the tai.  Faster and faster we went until I stopped and around they came.  Suddenly Hugh let go and Hugh, Dorothy and Kennedy went dashing toward the bank.  Hugh bumped his head but nothing serious happened and all were eager to try again.  Soon we were all panting and went and sat down on an old log in order to regain our breath .  We skated a short while longer and then Mrs. Lattimer made herself more unpopular than ever by telling us it was time to leave.  When we got back to the school we all had a cup of cocoa, said good-night to Miss Sims and hurries off to bed, or rather were hurried off to bed.

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