The Grove School
Sunday March 5th /16
My dear Father
We are all so glad to get rid of the snow, but I do wish it would get a bit warmer, for it is still very cold with us. I have such awful chilblains all over my hands and feet, and once they start really badly like that, nothing short of warm weather will stop them.
So Kath went down home for her half-term weekend; I expect you were glad to have her. I had a letter from her last night and am going out with her next Saturday, and perhaps Jack may join us too.
How is Mela’s patient getting on? She did have short notice that time, it must have been quite exciting.
The Verdun fighting is frightfully thrilling. I wish I had time to read the paper properly every day, as I should like to follow it closely. This desperate effort on the part of the Germans does prove that they are not feeling too happy, don't you think? Their losses are huge according to the newspapers.
What are the Wilkins twins feeling like now that they have waited till "March 2"! By the by, isn't that a perfect drawing in Punch about that poster? Also I thought "Mule Humour" was one of the funniest things they have had in for a long time.
We are rapidly running out of marmalade and jam. The last lot of marmalade that we shall get until the war is over came in the other day, and we were asked to be as sparing as possible with it so that it may last longer. That doesn't affect me personally as you know! I shall be sorry though when the jam gives out too, as there will be nothing sweet left at all, and I always was rather a sugar baby. I have left off sugar in my tea and coffee; we were not forced to but were asked in the sort of way that make it practically impossible to refuse. I detested it at first but shall get used to it I expect. At present I hate it without, and the other day when they gave me some with I hated that too because I tasted so usual, so I am in a parlous state!
They have cut down our meat too a lot. We have only vegetarian dishes for dinner, and for lunch potatoes, pies and vegetable stews and such things which are not entirely meat. I think no one can say we are not doing our fair share of war economy, in fact I sometimes think we are doing a bit of somebody else's too. It is so aggravating to make strenuous efforts to economize in all directions and then to see lots of other people who simply don't seem to be doing anything at all in that line.
Miss Lacey is in bed with influenza, and yesterday she was very bad with one of her dreadful sick headaches, but hear she is better today. Miss Fletcher was going to have been away for the weekend; it is a mercy Miss Lacey collapsed on Friday before she went.
Yesterday the man made up the furnace in one of the houses much too much, and the boiler got almost red hot, and there was a horrible smell and a fizzy noise, and much excitement and all the taps had to be turned on and the steam let off by the escape pipe, or else I think the boiler would have burst or something startling would have happened.
Kath suggests that we might perhaps go off exploring places where they might like to move to, when we go out next Saturday. I shall take a lively interest in their move if they leave Sydenham, if it is going to be my move too!
A child called Constance Fuller who came at half-term lives at Lichfield and went to the High School there for six years and saw was under Miss Emily Sills. Rather funny isn't it? I always seem to be coming across people here who know people some of us know; I think she is the sixth.
Crocuses were coming out in the park, but the snow spoils them. Have you anything out in the garden now I wonder?
Next term a girl is coming back here to be a mistress who was not quite sixteen when I first came to school. Doesn't it sound absurd? She was captain two years ago.
Has old Mr Baker left Badsey yet? And if so what has happened to the house? It is not very likely to let at present, is it?
Do you remember Eileen Cromie, the girl at whose house we went for my confirmation? She is seventeen today. She has gone home for the weekend and taken two friends with her. Her Mother was giving a small dance in her honour, and to entertain some Officers' Training Corps where her brother was trained, who are poked away in some corner where they find life very dull. The dance was to be from 7-12 last night, so I expect Eileen, Bluebell and Vera had a high old time.
With love to all from your affectionate daughter.
Juliet E Sladden