White Hart Hotel, New Plymouth
Saturday May 26th 1906
My dear Father
I have your letter of April 4th to answer which was sent on here from Petone. I am sorry not to be able to see any thing of the Gilpins, I would have tried to see them if we had been at Petone, I expect the “Waiwera” is in by now but I have not seen her arrival notified in the paper. Wasn’t it funny our meeting Mr Byrch & Jack the other day on our way from Napier. I wonder whether he will find a suitable place up there to purchase, I told them I could highly recommend the climate of Hawkes Bay if our fortnight there was a fair specimen. I think Mrs Byrch & the girls would prefer it to the Kimberley district.
I am glad Cyril won a prize at the sports, he is starting early to collect household appliances! I am glad Jack was to get a few days at home at Easter. I am sorry he had not been very well & hope the little holiday did him good. By the time you get this you will have Arthur at home again, I hope he will feel fairly satisfied with what he does in his exam, I know one never does & I suppose never can feel entirely satisfied. I was glad to get Mother’s letter of April 19th this morning & to hear Aunt Susan is so much better, it certainly is wonderful what recoveries she makes. I often wonder how the poor Fields are getting on, it is sad for them both being in such poor health.
What an interesting pageant that ought to be at Warwick, I hope the weather will be fine, if so I expect you will enjoy it.
This is a very nice hotel. Auntie thought of looking out for a boarding house here but the hotel people have arranged to take us on very moderate terms if we stay not less than three weeks, so as they seem no nearer getting a servant at Petone Auntie has decided to stay on here for a bit, it will be nice to see a good deal of Lewie & Francie & there are nice walks about which we can take. I think Lewie is the most like Uncle Dilnot of all the boys & yesterday I saw him look so like Jack. He says I am like Mother & he could have picked me out on the station platform from my likeness to her. Of course he knew her at about my age. I am sure you would admire Francie, she is very charming & is sensible & practical besides which doesn’t always follow. They have a nice little house in a fair sized garden, just now of course there are not many flowers but they both seem to be gardeners as far as they have time. Francie has a little niece of nine years old, Mary Potts, who lives with her & goes to school near. At present she is having holidays & is at Bell Black but when she is there Francie find her a help, she plays with Margorie out of school hours.
Aunt Lottie & I have been for a walk in the recreation grounds this morning & we are writing now before lunch. This afternoon we rather expect Mrs Cornwell, Francie thought she would be in town & would call.
Your roses ought to be in full bloom when you get this letter. I hope the fruit prospects are good & that you had no late frost.
With much love to you all I am your loving daughter
May E Sladden