Pastimes

It took the Harris family approximately one month to travel from Canada to Japan. As Milly’s diary entries attest to, much of the family’s vacation time was spent in transit. With several hours to a few nights spent on a train or many nights aboard a ship, it was necessary to find ways of passing the time while waiting to reach one’s destination. According to Milly’s diaries, some of her favourite travel pastimes include the following:

reading

"Breakfasted in bed, the 2nd breakfast is at 11 o’clock, tea at 4:30, and dinner at 6:30, uncomfortable hours.  Sat on deck and read “The Fellah” by Edmund About, very far fetched but clever in many respects. Nothing to do or see so turned in very early." 

Milly Harris diary entry, February 2, 1900.

Photography

"We had tea in our own room and I did some photographs in the evening. My little camera I like. The pictures are small. It was a pity I was so short of film in Palestine." 

Milly Harris diary entry, 1898.

Milly standing with her camera.

Playing or Watching Games

"Miss Rose and I sat together on deck reading and chatting and walking later. The men were playing cricket and after they stopped Miss Rose Miss Dashwood and I had a go. The Captain [?] fielded for us we challenged them to a match on Monday." 

Milly Harris diary entry, January 15, 1897 en route to India.

" We were all lazy and did nothing but rest, spent a pleasant afternoon doing puzzles and tricks...The evening we passed in the same way, had fun trying to see how many articles we could write down after looking at them for 3 minutes, then talking hard for 3 minutes, then writing them down at the same time. We had 29 things and 20 was the most any of us could remember. Played telegrams and did tricks. One of the best missing word lists I have seen was,

“A ------ stood in his ------ grey watching the moonbeams ------ play on an old beer keg and I heard him say, ‘Thou ----- the brave and ----- the strong.  To Thee the ----- of battle belong and the leaves in their -----   took up the song’  ------,  ------, ---------,--------.” 

Milly Harris diary entry, February 18, 1898

Dancing

"In the evening there was a dance. Music provided by a fiddler from the 2nd class who could only play waltz...Ted dances very nicely and I danced with him three times but did not feel inclined to partake of the gaiety offered me by others." 

Milly Harris diary entry, August 15, 1898, on board a ship headed for Montreal.

Writing

"Left the Jajerhorn at 7:30 after being called at 5:30 by accident. I employed the leisure time by writing letters and took the train to Vienna."

Milly Harris diary entry, May 11, 1898.

A travelling writing case.