Sunday March 18th /06
My dear Father
We have to post our Frisco letters from here this time as it will be too late when we get to Rotorua. Your last letter arrived March 8th, it was nice to have your news & I was much interested to hear of the successful result of the election at home.
I have got rather muddled as to whether it is your turn or Mother’s for a letter, I seem to remember writing to her last, but according to my letter book it was you I wrote last to, & I think I must have forgotten to put it down when last I wrote, anyway I hope Mother won’t be very much offended if I have made a mistake. Give her my love please. Auntie also sends love & a message that she intends writing to her next mail. We are having a very pleasant time here, it is so nice staying at a really good hotel, the weather Friday & Saturday was none too good but it might have been much worse. Today is quite fine, we went to the Cathedral this morning, it is within three minutes walk from this hotel , it was a nice service. Afterwards we had time for a walk over the hill on which part of Napier stands. Uncle says that hill was probably once an island & formed a nucleus for the debris brought down by rivers on which the lower part of the town stands. Since dinner I have been sitting on the balcony overlooking the sea & now having finished my book I must get the rest of my letters written. We have to make a very early start tomorrow by coach – 6.20 from the hotel so must pack up tonight. Frank made us out a sort of time-table for the trip from here to Auckland, he has been it not very long ago. Tomorrow night we stay at a place called Tarawera en route for Taupo where we ought to arrive at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, stay the night, see the sights Wed. morning & in the afternoon drive on to Wairaki where I think we shall stay till Saturday as there seems a good deal to see. Then we think of having a week at Rotorua which will bring us to Auckland Mar. 31st. There we shall stay over Easter, come down the Wanganui river during Easter week, get to Marton for the week end & to Masterton in time for the wedding which I think is to be about the 25th. We thought it would not be worth while going to Petone & back again to Masterton, so the others are going to bring up with them our “wedding garments” which we have left ready packed.
Frances Sladden has not been well lately, so is coming with little Marjorie to make a good long stay at Petone while we are away, that means we shall not fit New Plymouth in this time, but we shall go up there I think later on when it suits them. We have let Bernard know when we expect to be at Rotorua & I hope he will manage to get down to see us. Frank is talking of going a trip over to the Petorus Sound at Easter, & when we left Uncle & Auntie Bessie were vaguely proposing going somewhere for Easter perhaps to Nelson, I told Maidie how Ethel left you & Mother up to carrying out those sort of suggestions, but she seemed to think that pressing it would only make them say they wouldn’t go! I expect Uncle would be all the better if he took a holiday sometimes, he seems hardly ever to get away. I should say it is partly because he feels he doesn’t know what to do with himself when he does get away. The sweet peas had grown a great deal by the time we got back but were not yet in flower when we left again. Napier is a very good place for flowers, there are such a lot of beautiful flowering shrubs in almost every garden, the public gardens are very pretty, they lie in a sort of basin shaped hollow & the sloping flower beds among trees are very pretty. Geraniums grow to a great height here one seems hedges of them growing wild apparently & though the bloom is really over now one can see how beautiful they have been. I got six such night post cards the other day of birds & flowers of N.Z. They will be interesting to keep as a reminder of the various kinds we have become acquainted with. I shall not send them by post but exhibit them when I get home. By the way I sent off the photo that Mr Byrch gave me for you of their house & hope it will arrive safely. There are still a few more p.cs. of Nelson I want to get. We couldn’t get what we wanted there. Some of the west coast etc. that I got the other day I will send off from here. It is impossible always to post them from the actual places but I daresay Ethel will be satisfied if N.Z. post cards come from N.Z. Auntie Lottie wrote to Mr Edward Haynes a week or two ago, it would be nice if we can see him on our way back.
Birdie is I suppose on the way back from Sydney now, she ought to get to Wellington next Wednesday, they had letters from her last week. It is nice that she has had this trip as the two other girls have both had one with us. They say how lucky they are to have had such a nice outing when I think of my good fortune in having ten times as good a trip & seeing everything where they have only seen a bit I sometimes wonder whether it isn’t all a dream!
My love to everybody, double portion to those I haven’t written to, they must hope for a letter next time –
Your loving daughter
May E Sladden