Sunday Feb 27th 1916
My darling Mother
Thank you for your letter with Cyril’s enclosed, which I am sending on to Sydenham today.
I am afraid this snow is bad for you as you won't be able to get out in it. We have it deeper here than I have ever seen since I have been at school, and I expect it is the same with you. Seeing how much snow there was on Thursday, I thought it would be impossible for Rosie and me to have at all an enjoyable sort of walk, because even if the snow melted, it would have been so slushy, so I wrote her a postcard and asked if she would come up to tea here instead, and said I would meet her at Highgate tube station at 3.30; for I was afraid she would have a great deal of difficulty in finding the school, people usually do. She agreed to that and it was quite the wisest plan, I think. We got up here about a quarter to four and I took her to MY room to take her hat etc off, and then took her round the school in which she seems very interested. By then the fire in the parlour was really nice. We had tea at half past four, a cosy tea just to ourselves, and then we sat and talked and talked hard until seven when she said she must go. I feel I know ten times more about her now, and she certainly isn't a bit shy with me. I think we were both glad to see a little of each other and get to know one another better. She says that George is with his battalion in a rest camp at present, and that when he went back the train took them right to the very town where the battalion was resting, which was a nice surprise for them as they had expected to have to finish up with a long march. But I dare say you have heard all this from George by now. One or two girls here who saw Rosie as I took her round the school thought she was very pretty.
The storming of Verdun is rather a damper, isn't it? I hope the news from France may be better again this week. The Russian successes are encouraging, aren't they? I am beginning to take a keener interest in the Mesopotamian campaign now that Boo is there. I wonder when you will get his present and what it will turn out to be.
I think the thaw has really set in now, a great deal of the snow has vanished this afternoon; still the sky is leaden rather and we may get more tonight perhaps. Yesterday I began to wonder however long we were going to have it, for it didn't look as if it meant to thaw for days.
It is frightfully cold here and is very difficult to economize much in coal, although we were asked to do so as we have been burning a ton a week, while our normal winter consumption is a tone and a half in nearly three weeks. Despite the weather I am glad to say we have not had many colds or influenza here as we often do in the Easter term. I have had a very bad lot of chilblains this last week, feet and hands as well, but they are recovering now with the help of some very good stuff which Miss Fletcher has made up for us.
I have come to the conclusion that the pain which I had in my back the last day of the holidays was rheumatism for I have had it once or twice since and I have now got rheumatism in my right shoulder and arm, not badly of course, but is rather uncomfortable.
Nancy Hield and Freda Cameron who went in for Matric in January have just heard their results. Nancy has passed, Freda has failed. Freda quite expected to fail though, she only went in as a kind of trial trip to see where she stood. She failed in the Maths and Botany papers, but passed in the rest.
I wrote my first French letter yesterday. My correspondent's name is S Ginglingen, her Christian name I don't know until I hear from her, and she lives at 2 Rue Hennequin, Troyes. I hope she will write interesting letters, and I hope to goodness she doesn't know more English thank I know French!
Miss Crump set Joyce and me a French Matric paper to do as a test paper, and thank goodness she was quite satisfied and said that it was quite up to the standard. It was a fairly easy paper, I hope the June one will be as nice.
Madge Heath came up to school the other day to tea. She is busy nursing her mother who has been very ill but is now quite convalescent.
We shall have March in quite soon now and better weather with it I hope. We go home as I've probably told you ten times before, on April 6th, so we are over the half term now.
Rosie was very cheerful yesterday, she said she felt rather down when it came to parting with George but that she has quite recovered. After seeing him almost every day for four weeks it must have been very sad to have to say goodbye. She asked after you, and said she has meant to write to you and will really try to do so soon. Letter-writing is evidently rather a task to her.
With much love little Mother
From your affectionate daughter
Juliet E Sladden