August 9 1939

Loving goodbyes in stateroom.

Wednesday 9th August

All up early. Finished packing. Margs & Bibi off early. Quite het up in case we were late. Mum & I off with Monie in the car plus luggage. The rest by tube. Hellish hot & a lousy journey through the city. Arrived at last deposited luggage safely & got rid of it. Then through the barriers – saw Eileen & her mother too- & onto the ship. Made our way to the cabin & found the rest there. All up to the Smokeroom & sat. A terrific crowd- couldn’t see the boat at all – eventually time to go- said goodbye to everyone- Uncle Artie- Aunt Phine- Bibi- Aunt Ettie- Aunt Moo- Aunt Trix- Margs- Monie- Peg & Bill. Boxes of candy from Uncle Artie & Bill. Up on deck & tried to see them – very crowded, so got some men to heave me onto deck chairs & saw beautifully but very tough on the feet. Mum up too. Away, at last – waved & waved until we could see them no more, then downstairs as it was so hot.

Went straight into lunch & just sat anywhere – we are at a table with a peculiar American woman & rather masculine English female. All quite matey.

Inside Travelgram.

Down to the cabin afterwards – a four berth- rather small, but with Peggy not coming we have an extra berth which makes more room. The other lady in the cabin is rather a howl – Mrs. McKissoch – American – plump – 35-ish – very racy language & hard boiled, but friendly and amusing. Mum & I upstairs afterwards – lots of the Bulgarians from the Mauretania on board- all full of joy to see us – then who should I meet on the stairs but Nora – Sammy’s blonde of the last night on the Mauritania. All of us very matey, she travelling by herself so we all joined up. Went to the Smokeroom and talked & talked & talked- great fun. Had life boat drill. Very absurd! Out on deck & met Eileen & her Mother- chattered & was introduced to her brother Jimmy who came over on the Georgie- a funny sort of bloke. Left them – booked chairs – & tried to get tea, but none going, so Nora, Mum & I to the bar for an orange juice!

Unpacked a bit more & to dinner – Nora had to go to first setting, but we went to second. To a big table- 2 middle-aged married men opposite – very jolly- one from N/C called Murphy – two Scotch ladies- one married- two other men, quite jovial and an apparition! A large dark man with wavy black hair, curly mustachio, flashing smile and diamond rings! He sat next to me, & we talked after a while – rather amusing broken English – he is an Egyptian – a jeweller – and called William Anawati! All terribly funny. He takes 4 months holiday- has spent 2 in America- all over- & now has 2 to spend in Paris & on the Riviera- lucky devil.

Finished dinner & left the dining room escorted by William! Met Nora being pestered by a drunken Swede, so rescued her and arranged for her to come to our table at meals. Up to the Smokeroom with William and there met his friend Henry – a Swiss – very charming. He is travelling Tourist. Terribly hot, so Egypt suggested we go on deck plus drinks – Tom Collins! We all went up & stood in the pitch dark & drank & smoked- Mummy, Nora & I, Egypt and Henry – terribly funny. William got ticked off for flashing a torch, then brought out chairs from the lounge, and got ticked off for that! What a man! Mummy left us after the 2nd Tom Collins, Nora & I braved a 3rd, then Henry suggested we go through to Tourist, so we went through all first class & finally arrived there and lay on very comfortable chairs and gazed at the stars. All very romantic – especially as I sang! William then produced more drinks- Cointreau this time – very strong liqueur tasting of oranges, so I passed mine onto Henry & he very obligingly drank it.  Nora & I then decided it was time to go, so we started back. Egypt tried his technique on Nora who got quite alarmed. I tried to get Henry to go to the rescue, but he was merely amused! Then Egypt changed his tactics & transferred his affections to me, so there I was surrounded by Egypt so to speak. I found my way out though quite safely, and everything ended quite well. Back home & to bed.

Inside A Happy Trip.

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