We were awakened early by my father to go to the Communion Service. It was a dark morning with a gale blowing and some very cold rain. We tumbled out and got under weigh. As we walked down to church we started discussing the time of sunrise; my father saying rather absurdly that it must have risen already, or else it wouldn't be light.
In church it was intensely cold. W offered to keep his coat on. My father expostulated and said "Well at least you won't keep it on when you go up to the Table." W asked why not and was told it was "most disrespectful". I couldn't help wondering why. But W took it off to save trouble. I then remembered that D was probably turning out this morning for Maureen's first communion, and this somehow emphasised the dreariness of this most UNcomfortable sacrament. We saw Gundrede, Kelsie and Lily. W also says he saw our cousin Joey...
We got back and had breakfast. Another day set in exactly similar to yesterday. My father amused us by saying in a tone, almost of alarm, "Hello, it's stopped raining. We ought to go out," and then adding with undisguised relief "Ah, no. It's still raining: we needn't." Christmas dinner, a rather deplorable ceremony, at quarter to four. Afterwards it had definitely cleared up: my father said he was too tired to go out, not having slept the night before, but encouraged W and me to do so - which we did with great eagerness and set out to reach Holywood by the high road and there have a drink. It was delightful to be in the open air after so many hours confinement in one room.
Fate however denied our drink: for we were met just outside Holywood by the Hamilton's car and of course had to travel back with them. Uncle Gussie drove back along the narrow winding road in' a reckless and bullying way that alarmed W and me, We soon arrived back at Leeborough and listened to Uncle Gussie smoking my father in his usual crude but effective way, telling him that he should get legal advice on some point. The Hamiltons did not stay very long.
Afterwards I read Empedocles an Etna wh. I read long ago and did not understand. I now recognised Empedocles' first lyric speech to Pausanias as a very full expression of what I almost begin to call my own philosophy. In the evening W played the gramophone. Early to bed, dead tired with talk and lack of ventilation. I found my mind was cumbling into the state which this place always produces: I have gone back six years to be flabby, sensual and unambitious. Headache again.
All My Road Before Me