Extracts from memoirs and diariesby Ian Irvine / November 14, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Barbara Skelton poses for a modelling photo in the 1940s (photo: Getty Images)
Christmas Day, 1940. Harold Nicolson writes in his diary:
“The gloomiest Christmas Day that I have yet spent. I get up early and have little work to do [at the Ministry of Information]. Finish reading the memoranda on local organisations with which I have been supplied. Have talk with Hall about the reorganisation of our propaganda among minor nationalities in the USA. Lunched alone at Antoine’s and read a book of Pitt’s war speeches. Hear the King on the wireless. Pick Raymond [Mortimer, literary editor of the New Statesman] up at the Ritz Bar where I meet Puffin Asquith [film director] and Terence Rattigan [playwright].
“After that I have a nice dinner with Raymond at Prunier. I then go back to the Ministry, where there is a party downstairs followed by a film.
“Poor old London is beginning to look very drab. Paris is so young and gay that she could stand a little battering. But London is charwoman among capitals, and when her teeth begin to fall out she looks ill indeed.”