Part 60: Monday, 27th June 1960 – 10.40 p.m.

A brother was born this morning at 5.20 a.m. Edith had a difficult labour, though this time, the birth, when it came at long last, was normal – not Caesarean, as was Philip’s. I suppose I had better stick to the factual record, and cut the rhetoric. A harrowing time was had by all – except E. and myself, and Alf [sic? – Sam, his brother?] & Lily [Sam’s wife] – I gather, before I was able to ring Alf [Edith’s brother] the news at about 6.30 this morning. Edith has certainly had two tough basinfuls, and this must be our lot. Sorry to write in this less than exalted strain about these tremendous events, but – well, I suppose I haven’t the stamina; and not even the energy to refer to my entry on Philip’s birth. Philip’s brother, E. & I agree, is less beautiful than P – the new arrival, Menachem (more about the name later), has a Hebraic nose. However, may he grow up to be wealthy – healthy, I mean (there is no Freudian explanation: I meant to write healthy and wise; it’s an example of “assimilation”) and wise and good, and perhaps “wise” includes “good.” One can’t recapture the emotions of one’s first begetting, but of course both children will share our love equally.

E. & I agree that the Hebrew name shall be Menahem [cf. spelling above]. I had suggested Menahem, even, on the English birth certificate, but E., understandably, jibs at this. I had thought of David Menahem (the David to commemorate the late Mr. Davidson, who was very good to me when I was a boy, and whom I admired greatly – and as an English “Jewish” name), the “Menahem” being a sort of parallel to Philip’s “Israel.” But Sam suggests “Manny”, which is, I feel, the recognised abbreviation of Emmanuel (not an O.K. name for Jews, surely, in spite of its pure Hebrew-ness), but could perhaps be regarded as an English approximation of Menahem. Perhaps Martin – Martin Menahem Witriol?

Part 59: Monday, 20th June 1960 – 6.00 p.m.

A sweltering day. I note that three out of four sentences in the last paragraph of the preceding entry contain the words “I gather”. And I who am always drumming into the kids to avoid repetition.

We took P.I. into the J.B.G. [Jewish Board of Guardians]  nursery yesterday. A bit of a shlemozzle. We had to get him O.K.’d by the J.B.G. doctor first, and when we got to his surgery, we learnt that he wouldn’t be turning up, as he felt under the weather. (I had suggested to E. she ring up the doctor beforehand; no, it wasn’t necessary. It is true we might have been let down anyway, even if E. had done as I asked & rung up, as the doctor’s indisposition was presumably unforeseen and he might still not have put in an appearance at the surgery. On the other hand, the knowledge that people would be at the surgery who had come a long way to see him, and – even more – that there was a fee to be picked up – might have spurred him to make the effort to turn up.) In the event, after much traipsing around in search of a doctor, I was lucky to get the radio doctor to come and give us a certificate of P.I.’s good health – put me back a guinea.

The nursery is well equipped, and although Philip howled after we left him, I’ve no doubt he’ll settle in happily. I suppose it’s a terrible thing to say, but the house is beautifully quiet without him. And although it’s true E. gets up to feed him – 4a.m. ish – on “working nights”, I believe I had a better night’s sleep than usual last night, with beneficial consequences today, I think. In spite of the heat, I played two of the better boys at tennis this morning, beating them comfortably, and rode 1K. (difficult) and 1E (admittedly a “better” class) quite easily in the afternoon. Yes, I know, he’s a dear little chap, may he grow up to be healthy and happy.