The Grove School
Sunday Jan 25th
My darling Mother
I believe I made a hash of my home letter last week and wrote the letter to one and the envelope to the other, anyway I can’t remember whether I ought to write to your or Father so as it is dull writing to My dear ? I will answer your letter, which came with the parcel. Thank you so much for sending the washing on, I was glad to get a clean nightdress!!
How very annoying for Mela; how long will she have to stay at Brasted?
Miss Fletcher is quite nice I think. She is at present at Somerville College, Oxford, and has been there since she left The Grove; she is very clever indeed, but of course she won’t be a Miss Lacey – at any rate not yet.
Mr Johnson’s lectures are very interesting indeed. I don’t know I’m sure where he comes from. Last Friday it was so funny to hear his criticism on Miss Grierson’s paper – he said that Miss Chubb’s and Miss Rackstraw’s papers were written clearly and carefully, but were for the most part a reproduction of his first lecture, Miss Grierson’s paper was written with a certain amount of – er – what shall I say? – original humour and well constructed ideas of her own; and was written very satisfactorily in a clear and concise way. It is most amusing to hear a mistress’s work criticised!
I am busier this term than I have ever been before I think, I have six more classes and nine more preps a week than last term, which will mean I expect an average of about four or six hours more work a week. Yesterday we had a fire practice; I was a “deader”, at least I had to go and lie down on Karen’s be and pretend to be unconscious from the smoke and of course I have to be rescued; Kitty Vander Pant (aged 14) and Elizabeth Black (13) found me, and carried me downstairs; Miss Crump and Miss Grierson looked on to see how they did it, but did not help as theoretically they were not there! Being very small it was rather a job for them and Kitty fell down once and dropped me! Miss Grierson and Miss Crump came up to me afterwards and enquired tenderly after me saying I had had rather a rough time, but I said I thought Kitty and Elizabeth had the worst of it! I’ve volunteered to be water-head for the house I sleep in, which means rushing for the nearest tap the moment the fire-rattle rings and filling buckets for dear life.
I want to know if I may ask Hester Grierson to come and stay with me for part of next holidays, please? If so what time would best suit you? We come home April the 3rd or 4th (I don’t know for certain which); perhaps if she came then and stayed till just before the wedding, or would it be better to ask her for after the wedding? I told Miss Grierson that I was going to ask you if I might ask Hester and she said it was very nice indeed of me and she thought Hester had not made any arrangements yet for next holidays. I hope not, I should love to have her. I always seem to be asking you to let me have someone to stay, but for one thing I like to be able to show you the sort of people there are here so that The Grove and Groveians are not merely myths to you! Also as regards Hester she is leaving this term and so I want to get my chance of having her before our holidays perhaps come at a different time.
I am glad May is the better for her holidays. It does not sound as if she will be frightfully busy this term. We have had the breakfast hour altered this term – to 8 o’clock instead of 7.30, isn’t it a joy? I quite forgot to tell you that last week.
I hope you had a nice meeting at Miss Kendall’s; did you get any prizes?
What are we going to give George for his birthday? I had a new bank book sent from the GPO the other day – and with it a notice saying that I am requested to sign it as soon as possible so as to prevent delay next time I want to withdraw; must I send it up to Kensington or anywhere after I have signed? I know they will make a fuss you know, because my writing is totally different from that in my old bank book. Do tell me what I must do about it.
Did I tell you Miss Platt and Miss Heins are leaving? Miss Grierson will be Senior Mistress next term and she was Junior when came! (Makes me quite ancient!) She says it will mean more work! For instance, next holidays she will have two timetables to make – the ordinary old brute that takes a fortnight and the mistresses’ duty list!
Next holidays are from April 3rd (I think if not 4th) to May 4th – just a calendar month, isn’t it lovely?
I must stop, heaps of love from your ever loving little daughter.
Juliet E Sladden