My dear Kathleen,
I have just seen Judy into bed & rubbed her with Roche & must now write to you before I go to bed myself.
We were glad to have Father’s letter this morning also quite a cheerful one from Ethel to Betty. I am afraid Mother’s recovery can only be slow but the temperature really seems to be keeping lower so I do hope she will get on now. I was glad Ethel herself sounded so cheerful, she said she is getting brown & fat, she eats so much “pure greed you know”! I am very glad Father has had these few days away, he will like seeing all of you, & the change will cheer him up. He was, naturally, rather inclined to be dispirited at times about Mother. I suppose Dip is staying over the weekend at Deal, I do hope he will come back feeling better. I was rather afraid from the first account that he was in for a nasty cold. Judy is really getting on very well, she gets up to breakfast now, except when she sleeps late, in fact she does everything as usual & is out of doors as much as possible. Dr Jones changed her medicine when he decided that it was whooping cough.
We have had our time well filled since Father left. On Thursday Mrs Byrd took Judy for a drive to Evesham & along the Worcester road. Mrs Byrd is a “safe” person, not afraid of coming near Judy. I was rather worried on Thursday because Marjorie thought some of our children’s parents – the fussy ones – would object to my coming to school straight from being with Juliet, she said the fact that we had mumps here had got out & some of them thought that risky. Dr Jones had said that my long ride up made it quite safe – I suppose I should shake off any germs on the way - & Dr Harthan said the same. However we thought it best this time not to hide it from the parents, but to tell them all straight out, so on Friday in drill time I went round & saw most of them & told them what the doctor’s said, & they all took it like lambs! It was a great relief to me & to Betty, it would have been too stupid to have isolated ourselves from each other, & of course quite useless too since I had started going to school before we knew it was whooping cough. It is a mild attack though no doubt when she was really poorly was the beginning of it.
The servants spring-cleaned the kitchen on Wed. & the dining-room on Thurs. & Friday. On Friday afternoon Alice went for a walk with Judy. Yesterday aft. Judy & I had quite a nice little expedition we took tea in your thermos, cycled to the top of Snowshill & sat & ate our tea in a field up there with a lovely view before us. It was a lovely afternoon, a trifle windy, but that didn’t worry us much, we both quite enjoyed it, & have had good appetites ever since.
In the morning Judy helped Brailsford put up the tennis netting, she wants to have tennis with Muriel. Hildegarde was here for several days last week. I met her in the street, but she was out when I went across to see her. Muriel has not had whooping cough, so she doesn’t come too near Judy indoors, but she doesn’t mind being with her out of doors, so they can have some tennis.
This morning I went a short cycle ride with Judy instead of going to Church, the Territorials came here to Church & I didn’t much regret missing the usual hymns – nor the sermon. Alice & I both went to Church this evening while Judy kept house alone. Louise has gone to her friends in Evesham for three days. It will do her good to have a little holiday she has been having head aches the last few days. Alice seems quite well again.
We are living in the schoolroom, the dining room carpet has gone to be cleaned & won’t be back at any rate until tomorrow. I quite like being in the schoolroom when we are such a small party.
It has rained here off & on this afternoon & this evening & I hope it will go on all night. I took the roll of photos back to the News, Mrs New was out, but I expect to see her on Tuesday. Mrs Rowland has asked me to tea & she said Mrs New was also coming.
I expect you & Father have talked about Norway, I do hope you will mange to go. Have you heard that Norah is going there with a friend?
What do you think of Boo’s new plans? I suppose he will probably join you when Arthur leaves. Mother wrote that it would be sad not having his cheerful face at home so much as we have had, she will miss him very much, & so we all shall, however I hope he will get decent holidays.
School is more normal now than it was with two more of my children back, having three away does rather reduce the work, though it will make a horrid muddle when they do come back. Their whooping cough seems to be about like Betty’s, very slight, none of them are at all ill.
I must go to bed now. Much love from Betty & myself
your loving sister
May E Sladden
Clara Byrd has gone to Llandrindod for three weeks or so. We had Mrs Byrd in to tea today as she was alone, & Father being away it was a good opportunity.