My dear Kathleen,
I have just been writing Aunt Lottie a long account of the Coronation festivities, it seems quite long ago – at least too long ago now to go into details about to you, especially as I shall be seeing you I suppose in less than a week. The dinner & tea went off very well, also the children’s sports etc, by the time night came I felt rather like one big ache all the way down, but was rested by next day, & we all set to work merrily over the cleaning up! The committee men all came & worked well at dismantling the barn & several women washed up hard so the end of the morning saw something approaching order.
I am very glad you were able to have the little Judy for so long it must have been jolly taking her to Portsmouth.
You will want to hear about Mr & Mrs Williams’ visit, I went & met them on Tuesday by the 6.5 train – had a slight shock at finding him so short & “tubby”. They seemed quite easy to get on with from the first, they were delighted with the house & garden, quite keen on croquet, & interested in the Churches & neighbourhood. On Wed morning when I got home to lunch found them all – Mother too – gone over to see Wickhamford having already done Badsey Church. That afternoon Arthur came over from Birmingham & stayed till the 8.5 train. Mrs Ashwin & Muriel came in to tea & croquet & we had quite a nice afternoon in the garden. On Thursday morning Edith Young took them for a walk, & after lunch Father took all three visitors a drive in Brewer’s trap to Broadway & Stanway. That evening came our grand “coup” – a dinner party “wif style”!
You will see Edith tomorrow & hear about it from her otherwise I think you will have heard nothing about this unusual occurrence. It happened like this. Father thought he would ask Mr & Mrs Allsebrook to dinner to meet the Williams but of course after a little humming & hawing they declined, meanwhile Mr Barnard & Dr Beresford Jones had been asked to make the party more even, & both accepted, then Father thought they would ask the Oliver News & they accepted at once & asked if they might bring a man friend with them. So there were a dozen of us! The wonderful part about it was how little Mother worried about the waiting etc & there was no need for everything went quite well. Edith Knight came in to wait & she & Alice managed splendidly, & Annie did the cooking very well. Mr Barnard was a great asset, his flow of interesting talk & amusing stories seemed endless, but most other people talked away too so that there was a buzz of conversation practically all through dinner. We had afterwards one table of bridge & one of whist, the rest, Mr Barnard among them, talked & even the bridge table sometimes found themselves listening. We sent Edith in with Dr B Jones & she got on pretty well with him.
I hope you & Edith will have a good time tomorrow, she was so pleased you could go. We shall have to talk over holiday arrangements directly you get back. I have just had an invitation from Miss Owen to go there for a fortnight from Aug 14th, she says Collins will be away part of the time for her holiday & will be quite happy about Miss Owen if I am there, so I think I must try & go at the time she mentions. That would mean you & me going away together for a week or ten days before, & possibly Father & Jack might join forces later on, but we can thoroughly discuss the matter when you come home.
Ethel is going to Folkestone the day after the Flower Show, the 26th & will move on to Deal when Father & Mother go for the wedding, but she wanted to have a few days at Folkestone with Judy & Boo. I expect she will stay with both Aunts at Deal so she will probably be away about three weeks.
Father won’t stay longer than the Tuesday after the wedding I think at Folkestone & Mother has no present intention of staying longer, though perhaps she may be persuaded to if it suits. I have quite given up all intention of running down for the wedding, but shall hope to try & fit in a week-end at half term to see Bessie Sharood. I am sorry our plan of a tour with Jack must be abandoned, but we might manage something of the sort another year. I hope he won’t get too much fagged out before the end of August.
I went in to see Clara Byrd yesterday, she had one of her bad throats again & was very down. I think she wants a change badly. A wild idea crossed my mind that you & I might see if it would be possible for her to join us somewhere, that of course is a mere suggestion. I don’t know if it would be feasible, & I haven’t mentioned the idea to any one.
Much love from May
Ethel has decided to have her Swiss muslin made up again for the wedding so won’t want you to get her a dress.