12 Charleville Circus
May 13th 1914
My dear Mother
Now that I have got my lecture over for this week I have a little time to answer your letter written for my birthday. Thank you very much (and by “you” I mean the plural) for the cycle cape which will be most useful. Kath bought one that looks just the thing I want. I slipped it on, and it is nice and long, and should keep off a lot of rain.
I seemed to have quite a festive birthday, with several letters and presents all up to time. The little clock from “the rest” is just what I required, and has a pleasing rattle in place of the usual sort of alarm. It is about like a nigger minstrel playing the bones with extreme vigour. It disturbs one’s slumber quite effectually, without making one quite so desirous of smashing the whole beastly contrivance as is usual with most alarums. Mela gave me a collar box, which I had mentioned some time before as being one of my wants; a nice leather one which will be particularly useful in packing. She unwisely let out some time before the date what my present was to be, so had to put a tie inside the box just by way of a little surprise. That was the second time in a week that she had had to play that little game. On Tuesday she added to two small oak framed pictures (expected) a photograph book (unexpected) for me to collect any interesting photos of my own or other people’s. I took occasion on that anniversary, the first instalment of Chopin bound, being the valses and mazurkas.
I arranged by telephone on Saturday afternoon to meet Mela after lunch. She had not expected to be free, but all arrangements break down in that household, which sometimes turns out convenient as well as inconvenient. So after amusing ourselves for an hour in the National Gallery we went and called at the flat. I had telephoned to Mary to see if she would be in. It was not a formal call, as we knew that Mary had neither her Jane nor her teapot; but it was none the less jolly for that. Arthur was ordered to come back a little earlier, and dutifully obeyed.
Kath visited Mary this afternoon and says all the presents have now arrived and have been unpacked; but there is still no Jane.
I like the tone of the piano, which is soft-toned, and very like Kath’s. Mela could only try a few odd bars on it as she had no music.
We returned together for supper here in the evening, and I accompanied Mela to Catford on the bus on the way back in the evening. As Mrs Japp had spared her rather suddenly on Saturday, having rather a nasty attack of rheumatism and only Molly with her, we did not attempt to meet on Sunday.
The Union Castle Line agents informed Aunt Jessie that The Galeka would arrive about 8.0 am tomorrow; so Mela met her today at Waterloo, and they took the 2.10 train down to Southampton. She is awfully excited at seeing Cecil again, also rather anxious to see what he will make of things when he has had time to look round a bit. She will return from Walton on Friday. I am going down on Saturday to see Cecil, and to have some tennis if weather permits.
Kath suggested that Mela might ask Cecil to come here on Sunday if his arrangements seemed to fit that way; she will probably be coming over that day. Next week I expect he will cross to Boulogne.
I want to arrange to meet Maddock next Monday; he is coming up for the weekend to eat his dinners at the Inner Temple. My appointment for a further year at the college is secured; I hope I shall not want to use it, or at any rate not much of it.
I am glad you are throwing off your cold. The weather is not up to much at present, is it. Best love to all from.
Your affectionate son
Cyril E Sladden