Part 62: Monday, 25th July 1960 – midday

The first day of my holidays. Max up about 2p.m. [sic] A good hour or more before we could get him off. Philip up about 6.30. E. up with him, filling me with guilt feelings, I up about 8.00. Unless I attempt to “do” anything over the next six weeks’ holiday, I shall probably go down to the grave with my “Jewish Literature and Jewish Dogma” article unwritten (chance for you, Philip or Max, me lads). It is comforting, at least, to think that I have had a score of articles, paid for, in print; however much I may natter about what I could do or would like to do or wish I could do or regret I shan’t be able to do or make excuses for not doing – at least, I have done something. Fuit Troja, but at least fuit – better fuit and non est and nunquam erit than nunquam fuit.

Mr Watson, our next door neighbour, died of cancer in the night. Both fine, typical middle-class English people. He tall, slim, a civil engineering contractor, I believe, worked a lot overseas. She good-neighbourly to us (“can I do some ironing for you, the iron’s on” to me while Edith was in hospital). How many of “our people” would make the offer – that I didn’t need to take advantage of it is besides the point – would it occur to E. to make an offer in similar circumstances, I wonder.) She knew, apparently, of his condition; only yesterday morning, while mowing her lawn, she called out “little and often” cheerfully to me.

Sam [brother] has subsidised me with £50 and another £50 to come. My net income, before deduction of tax, is over £1300, but we can’t keep on an even keel. Thames and Hudson owe me £24 odd, but I have no further translating commissions. If I had another “God’s Wilderness” job – a “G.W.” job per year – I could, with my one evening a week’s teaching English for Foreigners at Southgate, get by.

One Grunwald, 34, got five years. A cause célèbre. He a refugee, deeply orthodox, lavish supporter of the Jewish clergy, sentenced for fraudulent conversion. Al tismach binpol oyvicha, but I do rejoice, to my shame. Why, what had he done to me? I suppose it’s simple envy of “righteous people” coining it and living in luxury, while I am condemned to a life of genteel poverty. Not, I hasten to write, and as I can never say too often, that I complain – abee gezind. [Yiddish – As long as you’re healthy]. As I told Sam, I feel mean about him. The £100 he’s given us would have given him and Lily a week’s rest at a top Jewish hotel in Bournemouth.


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