Ecole Normale d’Institutrices
March 23rd 1901
My dear Kathleen
Very many happy returns of your birthday, you will enjoy spending it at home after being away so many years. I have not heard what we are giving you. Many thanks for your letter, I am beginning this during a spare hour this morning & will write to Mother this afternoon so I hope you will get it on Monday morning. I have plenty of spare hours at present as it is examination time & I have no lessons to give & not many to go to, it makes the time go rather slowly & just now I would rather it went quickly, you can imagine how much I want Thursday in Holy Week to come. The girls will go away on the Wednesday, but I think most of the governesses will not go till Thursday, Mlle Varlet goes to Paris as she lives at Reims so I may be able to have her company to Paris.
I wrote to Miss White yesterday for Easter, in hopes that the letter will arrive somewhere about the right time, perhaps this time I shall get a reply, I am glad she is really coming back in June & that you will probably see her. If she stays at Windsor till the end of July I may very likely be able to see her on my way home. If I wanted to I think I should be able to come home a little before the school breaks up as I expect I shall not have any lessons to give after the brevet exam which begins I believe July 8th, & I don’t think there is very much done after that. How late the Easter holidays are at Clewer, but the term began late if I remember right.
George seems to be developing quite into the “complete letter writer” that he often talks about, the last letter he wrote me was a very nice one. You will have a sudden influx of boys on the 3rd & I suppose Jack will arrive at the end of the week. You & Ethel will have your hands full, but I expect you will both enjoy it, it will be a change of work for you & Ethel will feel it nice to have the house full again. You will be at home for the census next month, the French census is to be taken tomorrow, we have each just received our papers which we have to fill up ourselves. I don’t know how often it is taken in France, no one seems very clear on that point, it seems strange that it should be almost at the same time as the English census. There are all sorts of questions to reply to among them “Etes vous célibataire, marié, veuf ou divorcé?” & “Savez-vous lire et écrire?”
It is such a lovely day today, it is such a treat to have bright sunshine, I hope it will be the same tomorrow, if so I am going with Mlle Varlet & Marguerite to the forest where I have never yet been, Mlle Varlet has been making cakes this morning I believe to take with us, as we shall spend the whole afternoon there. I am writing this by my open window, basking in the sunshine. I wonder whether your bête noir is as bad as mine, he couldn’t be much worse! Did you see Ruth on Thursday? I wonder sometimes whether she remembers that I still exist, it is ages since I heard from her.
It is 3.30 now & as I really have no more news & want to go for a walk I will stop. Give my love to Betty, I know how glad she must be to have you at home.
With much love & all good wishes for your birthday
from your loving sister
May E Sladden