page - "Amelia's Diary"
from a Diary:
A TALE OF TWO LIDOS
by Simon Barber
Lady Allworthy (neé Amelia Bourne-Phipps) & her
(educated adventuresses all, and warrior priestesses, some)
encounter the World, after graduating from Songmark Academy.
Beginning July 1937 (as recounted in THE STORMBIRDS diaries), they fly
in Amelia's seaplane to North America, first to Tillamooka & Rain Island,
and across Canada. They arrive on the Atlantic Coast early in August.
"Being the twenty-eighth part of Amelia's Diaries. Having now left
the Spontoon Islands in Oceania and crossed the full width of North America,
the Storm Bird and its crew head to Europe. It's Interesting Times in Europe in 1937;
one hopes they won't be too bored" -- Simon Barber
12 August 1937
The seaplane voyage across the Atlantic Ocean begins. From Saint Johns, Newfoundland,
Amelia & her 3 friends in the Storm Bird, and Miss Jenks and her 2 brothers in a Dragon Rapide.
A risky start dodging fogbanks and then the long flight towards a small port in Greenland.
(Upload 1 February 2013)
Mrs. Phoebe Jenks and her Moroccan rescuer
Art by Kjartan - (Larger file here - 406 KBytes)
13 August 1937
A daytrip from Inquamvit, hiking to the snowfields near the glacier.
A rescue. Miss Jenks tells Amelia the history of her mother and stepbrothers.
A promise of assistance in England.
(Upload 25 April 2013)
14 August 1937
A cautious departure from Greenland. A nervous descent through fog.
Hospitality at a settlement on an isolated Iceland fjord.
Fog for an overnight stay. Medicinal brandy is recommended.
(Upload 24 January 2016)
15 August 1937
A quiet Sunday landing in Reykjavik. Meeting the Harbourmaster.
Thoughts on Molly and Miss Cabot. A good hotel, with some
exotic luncheon fare. An extra day planned, with sightseeing.
(Upload 10 February 2016)
16 August 1937
A Monday morning appreciation of a Songmark Academy
education. Amelia contemplates re-entering English society.
Aircraft are refueled. Rainy sightseeing in the valley of Thingvellir.
Checking the aircraft and weather reports before sleep.
(Upload 18 February 2016)
17 August 1937
A clear morning and an early start. Stormbird's central
engine will need an overhaul in England. Good flying
to the Faroe Islands. A short stop to refuel,
and continuing the flight to the Orkney Islands.
(Upload 29 February 2016)
18 August 1937
Changing oil and checking the mechanical evidence.
Plans made for maintenance on the 2 aircraft, upon
arrival in England. Setting up schedules. The
bright lights of Stromness, seen at a brisk pace.
(Upload 31 March 2016)
19 August 1937
Sightseeing Great Britain from a Storm Bird's-eye view.
'Lidos' are seen. A stop-off in the Humber Estuary. Some
newspapers report the arrival of the Lady Amelia Allworthy.
(Upload 31 March 2016)
20 August 1937
By seaplane to Shoreham for aircraft maintenance.
To Brighton by car for hotel rooms. A Very Helpful
accommodation bureau. Settling into the Belvia Guest House.
(Upload 12 April 2016)
21 August 1937
Morning after excuses. Out into Brighton to contact contacts.
The life-enhancing benefits of a Spontoon education revealed.
A talk with an Inspector. A short visit to the beach - long enough
for our near-misses. A walk along the sea-cliff trail and up for
a hill-top picnic. Good for clearing the air. Anecdotes of
British law. And so to Belvia Guest House beds....
(Upload 16 June 2016)
22 & 23 August 1937
Sunday morning services at the Church of England, since
Archbishop Crowley's reforms. After lunch, a picnic trip by train to
the Devil's Dyke. Return, and fishing at the Palace Pier.
Monday: To London by train,
so Amelia may begin to settle into Lady Allworthy's
estate. By taxi to Allworthy's lawyers, where Amelia's identity is
accepted, and she is shown the Allworthy portfolio. By taxi to the
estate's bank, and then a taxi to the sparsely-furnished Allworthy
townhouse for a tour. Another taxi to yet more lawyers, to begin
a defense of Amelia's claim in the judicial system. Back
to Brighton by train. "And so to Belvia Guest House beds..."
(Upload 30 April 2017)
24 August 1937
Tuesday: Early away from Brighton, by train to London. To the
Allworthy townhouse, where Amelia requests a set of keys. Amelia &
her team begin a quick-fix on a touring car in the garage, and examine
the abandoned townhouse in detail. Fragments & clues about the
Allworthy's departure. Off to lunch with Amelia's brother, at his club.
Gossip about the Allworthys & about current English political culture.
A decision is made to take the touring-car towards Brighton.
A stop is made in the county town of Lewes, where the
car is stashed for repairs and to hide it in reserve (& away
from assassins). They take the train 8 miles to Brighton.
Good news in a letter from Miss Jenks.
"And so to Belvia Guest House beds..."
(Upload 30 April 2017)
25 August 1937
Wednesday: A sunny day, with bathing costumes in valises.
By bus, east to Saltdean, sightseeing on the way, to meet Miss Jenks at
the lido (a elegant modern recreation complex for swimming and sunning).
Much seeing and being seen in swimsuits: Lounging & swimming laps.
Miss Jenks arrives to join in, and after lunch, invites them on a walk
to her family's estate a couple of miles away. More talk and views
of how the dorm is situated. A hospitable invitation is made to
the dorm, and accepted. Miss Jinks escorts them on yet
another path to the bus route on the coast road.
"And so to Belvia Guest House beds..."
(Upload 1 June 2017)
26 August 1937
Thursday: A day of risks and ruses...Including shaking
tail away from the Belvia Guest House. Stopping by
the town shops in Lewes: To check on the condition
of some of the portable Allworthy Inheritance, and to
purchase some classy clothes to further camouflage
the party. Lunch at a safe haven. A stealthy trip
to Shoreham to check another traveling asset,
and news misdirecting... and news ominous.
(Upload 20 June 2017)
27 August 1937
Friday: Amelia & crew realize that they
may be the target of enemies with arcane skills
and vengeful motivation. The incidents with village
populations disappearing before or after the Storm Bird's
arrival have become too many to be coincidence. They
determine to continue to be secretive about their actual
itinerary. Having planned their travels to investigate
the situation at Allworthy Industries headquarters,
the crew relaxes the rest of the day with
the Jenks family, hiking and touring
the countryside near Brighton.
(Upload 8 August 2017)
28 August 1937
Saturday: A farewell...with Letters
of Introduction. A stop in Lewes town, to
pick up the refurbished sporting rifle, and
the re-tuned Bently touring car. A drive to London
to confer with Amelia's lawyers, who show that all is
not well with Allworthy Industries; the managers seem
unworthy of their hire. For the evening, since the
Allworthy townhouse is likely watched, the crew
check into a hotel in Soho district. We are
introduced to the books of W.D. Pontoon.
A cafe dinner is in the offing.
(Upload 27 September 2017)
* 29 August 1937 *
The previous evening in the Soho district of
London, beginning at a coffeehouse. Maria critiques
an Italian-language newspaper of subtle editorial direction.
After, a stroll in Soho - with memories of Spontoon Island.
To a 'grill room' and an excellent dinner. Familiar faces
are seen at the bar, with familiar modus operandi...
Tips about Songmark Academy are traded for
a tour of an after-hours hangout in Soho.
A cautious & respectful time is had by
all. A safe return to the hotel, and a
good sleep. Sunday is a 7-hour
pleasant drive towards
* (Upload 12 December 2017) *
** 30 August 1937 **
An indirect approach to Miss Millwright's
home town in Yorkshire. Discussing Furturist Italian
cuisine, and roadside scenery seen. Lunch talking
and lunch eaten. An unfortunate road accident
discovered, Songmark first-aid; police called.
On to Ilkley, where they meet-up with Miss
Millwright at the town lido. They visit her
parents, and answer questions about
Songmark Academy. They will be
driving her to the airport on the
morrow... And perhaps answer
more questions without her
** (Upload 28 December 2017) **
*** 31 August 1937 ***
Miss Millwright joins them in the morning for pre-travel
shopping in Ilkley town. They stop by her home to collect
local area maps, and to say a farewell to Miss Millwright's
family. On departure, they shortly find that their good
deeds of the previous day have indeed published
their location: Their enemies have a surprisingly
observant search! While the small local roads
in the valleys have trees and many small
farm buildings providing cover, their
general path is being anticipated.
The upper slopes of the valleys
are sparser grouse-hunting
land, with less cover. They
will have to prove more
nimble & resourceful.
*** (Upload 21 February 2018) ***
at Songmark Academy (circa 1934-37)
Art by Fredrik K. T. Andersson
Songmark Academy Art Archive