My Dear Ethel,
I must write and wish you many happy returns of your birthday and hope you will spend it happily although you will be at school work on this occasion. We have sent you off a hamper containing a cake, of Mother’s making, some Blenheim Orange apples and a few walnuts the latter will I fear rather make a mess of your fingers but somehow we could not get them cleaner, you may find a few bad but most of them peel nicely when once you tackle them.
Jack received your letters this morning, also one from Arthur and another from Auntie Pollie enclosing him a nice money present, Mother & I gave him a well bound volume containing Shakespeare’s works and I daresay May will describe your gift to him in her letter, he left Evesham by the mid-day train and would I hope reach Sandwich by 6 P.M. On Monday Auntie Lottie will accompany him to Ramsgate to help find lodgings and I hope he will find comfortable quarters. Mother & I will give you a tennis racquet for a birthday present if you would like one but it is not worth while sending it to you this term. It has been colder to-day and the roads were dry enough to cycle with comfort but we have had plenty of mud in Badsey streets of late, the high road is much better. The new bridge in the lane is about finished but they have yet to alter the course of the brook to flow under it, take away the old bridge and fill up the void and make good the road generally, it will be a great improvement when completed. Cyril has got to undertake the poultry now but I expect he will need supervision, the chicken we had last Sunday was a very nice one and when dressed weighed only 2oz short of 4lbs. I have sold Miss Watkins of Pandy two cockerels @ 3/- each to go next journey, now I think we must look out for a good dark Dorking cock.
Give my love to Kathleen and with the same to yourself and all good wishes
your affectionate Father