Rest, fluids and warmth, in that order. Our dear friend Mrs P has come down with pneumonia, and there isn’t much else that anyone can do for her. She’s in York Hospital at the moment, stable after a frightening weekend when her chest fluttered feebly through 48 hours and we thought the worst might happen. But she is, as she herself would put it, a tough old bird, and thank goodness for that. The worry hasn’t passed, but there are glimmers of the woman we know and love and, fingers crossed, she’ll be bossing the staff nurse around soon and sent packing home to Acomb.
What with worry over our old friend and the combination of a new term and awkward hospital visiting hours, it’s been a bumpy few days. There’s not been a lot of sleep, or a lot of calm in general. Add to that the grey skies and near incessant rain, and it’s enough to drive anyone round the bend. Thank goodness that it’s Mrs Thistlebear’s party this week: some time spent making things is just the medicine I’m after. So I’ve prescribed myself some fabric, in easily swallowed doses. There’s been some stitching – six pot holders, the top of a starry table runner – but mostly there’s been cutting. Nothing fancy: squares for little make-up bags, rectangles for larger sponge bags. A growing pile of snippets to turn into birthday cards. And lots and lots of scrappy strips which are the start of Ben’s going-away quilt. I want to include as many different fabrics in it as possible, so that he’ll remember all of us each time he uses it.
I know that it’s only sewing – and mostly only cutting out at that. But what else can I do when it’s not quite time for bed and my thoughts are too distracted to settle to a book? I’m not just cutting; I’m making order out of chaos. I’m planning for the future: a future that brings all the things we hope for. Hot pans full of meals. A table to sit around, and eat. And Mrs P, home again and well enough to join us.— January 10, 1932