Marshgate House, Richmond, Surrey
8th February 1914
My dear Eugénie
Thank you and Julius for your good birthday wishes.
Fanny dined with me but did not bring any of the little girls with her, they are settled down to lessons again, so she was wise not to disturb them, and the boys have gone to their respective schools. I had one present I liked so very much, it was an old gilt frame given me when I was a girl by Evelyn Gardiner, it had turned very black but was very strong, so Mary had it re-gilt and made like new, dear Anna Gaby’s photograph had been in it for a very long time and had almost faded away, but I found another in my album, a very good one, so now she is on my chest of drawers with other dear departed ones. Henriette brought better news of Monsieur Gaby but lately he had not been so well, he lost an old friend some little time ago who used to see to all his business matters for him and now Monsieur Bergeon looks after them. Last Sunday when Arthur and George came, I was in bed with a headache so I did not see them. I thought perhaps it was Arthur’s farewell visit before his marriage. I am glad Aunt George sent him a nice cheque. I was in bed again on Monday but since then I have been about again, and as we have had some bright afternoons I have ventured out in the afternoon again. Henriette and I spent Wednesday afternoon at Pembridge House, Fanny had invited the Misses Davenport, they played some duets very well, Henriette sang several songs, Fanny accompanying her. Fanny played solos and Eleanor played 2 short pieces on the cello, I think. Fanny means to have several musical afternoons, but this week I think she is going to Bognor to stay with Mrs Curtis, I hope she will have better weather for this afternoon it is pouring with rain. Anna has moved into a little flat, her address is Villa des Etrangers, Avenue Riviera, Menton, Alpes Maritimes, France. They were not being so well fed at the hotel, she engaged a servant but she was ill and could not come in, her cousin came for a few days and then she had to go and Anna and Nurse were doing the cooking between them, they are on a second floor and underneath them are some English ladies, they have the use of the garden so that will be very agreeable for Dalgarno. Quite lately I had the pleasure of forwarding 2 letters from Joe. I think he must now be back at Mboga.
Fanny, Charlie, Miss McCully, Mr & Mrs Westcott had supper with us on Friday. I did not want to keep two Christmas puddings for Easter so we had one then and for dessert I was able to get some beautiful Cape peaches for 2d each, when Harry saw them he thought I had been doing something extravagant; we had cards and music after supper.
Have you found two servants yet? I have not found one but I have heard of one through a lady who takes a great deal of interest in the girls of a village near Reading, this is not one of her own protégées but one she heard of through a friend, I have also told Susie Butler of my want for she does a great deal in the “Girls’ Friendly Society” and might be able to help me, I would keep Cook’s friend, who is standing in, but she will not stay thinking it too far to go and see her sister somewhere near London. I am glad you are enjoying some parties. I ought to have gone to a concert last week but gave it up as I had not been well and gave my ticket to Olive Guthrie so Henriette went with her. I have had letters from Fanny but have not seen her for some time, both Moalie[?] and Charles have heard of something to do so I hope they will soon start again.
With mine and Harry’s love to you all.
Your affectionate sister
Mary Anna Robinson