Didiâ€™s Diary at Age 10, 1893
In the spring of 1893, when Didi (Ella Herxheimer Bruell) was ten years old, her family went to a resort
called St. Leonards in Hastings, England. Didi kept a diary of this 19-day seaside holiday. It is a tiny book,
measuring 2Â½ by 3Â½ inches, but the pages are filled with Didiâ€™s exquisite handwriting. Dora,
mentioned many times, is her younger sister. This diary was found and transcribed (unedited) by Liska Snyder
Click here to see original page one of the diary
We went for a walk and afterwards we went on the pier. Early in the morning, we went out shopping. In the
afternoon, Dora and I went on the sands. And in the evening for another walk.
We went for a long walk because we were going to Fairlight or Hollington Church but as it was such a long way we
found out it was too late as we had to be home for two oâ€™clock dinner and so we went on the pier instead
meaning to go after dinner. We went to West Hill and played about a good deal and Dora went home in a goat
chase. We went in a lift and I went on the beach.
In the morning we went on St Leonards pier and read some books which we took with us and when we were hungry
we took some chocolate from the Automatic machine, then we went home to dinner and had it at two p.m. After that
we went for a drive in an open carriage and picked some wild flowers in Hollington church when we got out. Then
we went home again in the carriage and eat some oranges on our way which I took in my flower basket.
Bank holiday. First of all we went for a long walk and then onto the beach which we enjoyed very much jumping
about a good deal on our way and then we bought some flowers and a newspaper which was difficult to get as it was
Bank holiday. In the afternoon for two hours in the Public Gardens which were not crowded and were just in front of
our house. Then we went home and did not go out again.
We went for a country walk near the Highland Hotel and quite unexpectedly when we asked was it the right way we
saw the hounds meet. It was a beautiful sight. Then we went to some very pretty gardens and sat down a little while
in them on a small seat. After having had our dinner we went in the public gardens and played ball there for some time
and then went home to write letters. In the evening we went for another walk and after that to bed.
I bought a paper called the Standard. Afterwards we went to Fairlight woods and when got there to the Lovers seat
and we heard a story about it which was very funny. When we came home father & mother bought us each a ball
which bounced splendidly and I walked home with father and Dora went in a bus with mother. In the afternoon we
went in the Public Gardens and played with our new balls. Then we went home had our tea and read.
Early in the morning I went out shopping. We went to the station with father and then to the post office. After that we
went to the Public gardens. In the afternoon we went on the beach and after that we read at home.
In the morning we went to the West Marina Public Gardens and played ball. We had our dinner at 1 p.m. and started
on another journey to Ecclesbourne Glen after it, it was beautiful there and there were provisions provided on our
way. We climbed about a good deal and I found some lovely large violets. After having been there some time we
thought we had better go back so that we should catch our bus which went at a qr. past five. But we were there too
early and so we went and sat in a large boat ash the boat man said we could and for a refreshment we ate an orange
which we had taken with us. Then we caught our bus and went right up to our house in it.
After breakfast we went out with mother and did such a lot of errands. In the afternoon Dora and I went on the
beach and first of all we were chasing the waves and Dora was trying to run away from the waves when she tumbled
down and her feet got wet. After that I got mine wet and so we went home to change our stockings and shoes and
mother told us not to get wet again but when we went down on the beach again we were throwing stones into the
water and enjoying it very much and all at once Doraâ€™s hat flew off into the sea and a Gentleman got it out with
his stick for her. When we went home again mother thought we had better go in the Public Gardens and enjoy
ourselves there as we had had such a lot of adventures and that she would come with us and we had some fine games
there and afterwards we went in a bus to go shopping and bought some porridge and cream for our Sunday
breakfast and a beautiful stick as well.
We went to the nearest covered seats and read some new books of ours which mother gave us. In the afternoon we
meant to go out for a walk but none of us were inclined to do so, so we read letters. I mean wrote them instead. In
the evening we went for a nice brisk walk and about catching each other and when we wanted to go home, I mean in
the game, we went near a seat and in going through the Colonades Dora danced some jigs and a gentleman [illegible]
asked about it also. When we got home we enjoyed our supper and then went to bed because we were allowed to
stay up a qr. of an hour later and mother went to be a few hours later.
In the m. I went for the daily paper but it happened that there were none. After breakfast we went to Besc. Hill
beach and for a wonder there was some sand and we read and took our balls in case we wanted them but we did
not. We made gardens on the sand, tunnels, our names and other things with our fingers. In the afternoon we went to
Gensing Garden and amused ourselves there for half and hour and when we went home on our way we bought some
nice chocolate cakes called Outheloes which we bought as Miss Jackson was going to come and see us. And we
were allowed to have each one. Dora and I one. Afterwards Miss Jackson told us the way to walk to Hollington
woods and I wrote it down.
After breakfast in the morning I went to learn swimming and mother took me, as it was the first swimming lesson I
had had. I only did exercises. Dora was not allowed to come out as she had had a powder and had to stop at home.
In the afternoon all three of us walked to Hollington woods and picked some beautiful flowers like bluebells, violets,
and other flowers. And as we meant to go away on the Wednesday after we had picked the flowers we found out
we were not going then and as the landlady Mrs. Land had let our rooms already for some other people we went into
different rooms one at the top of the house and the other at the bottom of the house. And so the fresh flowers were
just nice for the fresh room. Then in going home we found we had gone quite the wrong way to Hollington and only
had three minutes to go to the bus as mother said we had better go home in one and we bought some biscuits on the
way which were called Lunch. Then we went up to the end of London Road and changed busses at the top of Silver
hill. After that we went all the way up the Marina.
In the morning I had my second swimming bath at about 10:30 A.M. and I could swim a little then. That took up a
good deal of the morning and so we went home to rest. In the afternoon we went in the public gardens for some time.
And after tea we went for a nice walk up by the Highlands Hotel and we came through the colonades in coming
home and bought a milk loaf and an oaten cake.
Dora and mother had a bath on this day and so I could not have swimming lesson. And when Dora came home she
had to rest while I went erranding with mother. After that I came home and rested as well. In the afternoon we
chased the waves as we called it and then went into the Public Gardens for a little while. In the evening we went for
another walk to the St Leonards Public Gardens it took about a qr. of an hour to go to them and they were so pretty.
And when we came home we bought an oaten cake again like the day before and had it for our supper. When we
went to bed we soon got to sleep as we [were] tired from the walk.
In the morning I had my third swimming lesson and before it we went & bought some presents to take home for the
servants. In the afternoon we went on the beach to chase the waves and mother went to have a hot bath for her
rheumatismas. But we found that the tide was gong out and so we went on the rocks and found some tremendous
large star fishes there and brought some home for our landlady Mrs. Land to dry as she sent them away to some of
her friends in London and made nice ornaments of them herself in cases for the drawing room. And Miss Land her
daughter dried one for us which was very big. After we had brought four home we changed our shoes I forgot to say.
I tumbled on the rocks and made my dress in such a mess besides cutting my hand. So Dora had to brush my dress
until it was quite clean. And that took her such a long time that we only met mother near the Sussex and that was
quite near our house. In the evening we went for a nice walk and looked out the way to go to Hollington but we did
not find it, we went another pretty way instead. And we went through a field where we saw the hounds meet the time
that has been mentioned already. And the sky was quite blue and beautiful the whole evening. When mother had
come home from her bath she had changed some chocolates at a shop where the people had given her different ones
to what she wanted and that time she only got seven back and the other time there was nearly half a bag full.
We had breakfast at eight oâ€™clock that was half an hour earlier than usual and directly after that we went to the
baths for me to have my swimming lesson. Mother had had such a lot of trouble with the swimming teachers that she
said that would be my last chance and so I made the best of it but afterwards the woman said the next lesson I would
have would be on my back and so mother asked her if she would be early again and so she said yes, then mother
said I might have another lesson and I was delighted about it. After that mother did some erranding and then we went
to a china shop and looked in there and we saw two clergymen laughing, the one telling a story and the other laughing
and so mother went in to ask the price of them and the man said 2 gui. for the larger size and 80 shillings for the small
couple. And so mother said she would come in again on Tuesday and see if she wanted it then. And so we went out
and then mother told us to walk up and down whilst she went and bought a chicken from London Road and as it was
so drafty there she did not want us to go with her. So whilst we were walking up and down we went to look at the
shop again and see the clergymen sitting together and whilst we were sitting there or more likely looking, there came a
lady and she spoke to us and said she had a picture of it and that it was called A Good Story and afterwards we
looked at another part of the shop & a gentleman pointed to some little goblins there which looked very funny and
then he spoke to us and said hoe do you like those and what about these, arenâ€™t they funny? pointing to some
niggers tied up in handkerchiefs. After that we went home and had half an hours rest. In the afternoon we went to
Hollington and picked bluebells, [illegible], violets and blush. Mother was rather tired when we got there and so she
sat on one of the banks to rest whilst we looked about for flowers. Afterwards when our baskets were nearly full we
wet home and when we got there at last mother was so tired. Then after we had had a good tea we arranged all of
our flowers and they did look so pretty. Afterwards we ate some rubabe [rhubarb?] and then mother said she would
go to bed with us because she was so tired.
After having had our breakfast at 9 a.m. we went to one of the covered seats and read there for about half an hour
but as the sun was not out it was rather cold and so we went for a walk and then into the St Leonards Public
Gardens and went to a nice shaded place to read and whilst mother was reading Dora and I went about to look at
different places. Afterwards mother came with us and we looked at the gold fish and ducks in the pond and then
went and sat in a sunnier spot. Afterwards we went and saw the people coming out of church. When we had had our
dinner we stopped at home and wrote letters. And after tea we went out for a walk.
In the morning we bought lots of different kinds of presents consisting of studs, a pencil in the shape of a nail, a
broach, a vase, a stick, two pin trays, a picture, two mugs and that was about all. In the afternoon we went on the
beach but we soon got tired of that as there were no rocks and so then we came home to ask mother if we might
take off our coats and she said [we] might if we went in the Public Garden but not unless. And so we went in the
Public Gardens and [played] ball there for some time till a policeman came by and said to Dora you are a splendid
catcher because she was not catching at all. And afterwards when the bus came up to the corner of the road and we
gave the horses some sugar then the men said they would tell the horses our address and that they the horses would
always come to us. When we had had our tea we went out for a walk with mother. When we did go out we forgot a
letter which mother had written for father and so we went back for it, posted it, and then went for a nice walk and
climbed up some banks which were on our way. Then mother told us some geography which we were supposed to
remember for the next day. When we went home we went down some steps by the Sussex Hotel and then when we
got home we had to go to bed because it was 5 minutes past our bedtime.
In the morning I went to have my bathing lesson and the woman was about half an hour late but I had a very long
lesson all the same. When we were on our way home we bought some outhelos and a few other things and then
mother went home to pack whilst we rested and then after that we packed as well and brought up the things that had
to be packed. Then we had a very nice dinner.
LETTER DIDI WROTE TO HER MOTHER IN 1895 RETURN TO HOME PAGE