My dear Kathleen,
You must have had a very full time this last week or two with Mary staying, & several engagements with Dolly & Aunt Lottie, the worst of it is that one’s work does not slacken for these times, at least I don’t suppose yours has.
I have been rather lucky in having fewer children this term, I find it made quite an appreciable difference in the amount of work & I have been glad of the extra time – not for going about – I have had very little of that – but for all the little things I find devolving on me just now, and it is extraordinary how much there is – not that the servants don’t do their part, they have both been really very good, Louisa is a jewel, I am getting quite fond of her, Alice is not always quite so easy to manage, still I try to be very tactful & we have got on very well. They are both delighted at the idea of getting Mother back, & there will be great preparations tomorrow & next day.
I do hope they will be able to come on Tuesday. Father will go to meet them at Stratford, we had quite good news from Ethel again this morning. Father has quoted Dr Paul’s report in his letter to George. We shall of course have to take very great care of Mother for a long time – always in fact – she will have to have frequent drives this summer, Father suggests she ought to have one every week.
Betty went off very cheerfully on Tuesday, she wrote that she had a lovely time at Oxford, & says she is “getting on swimmingly & work is awfully nice.” Her little affairs came on three days before she went, but it was very little & she didn’t feel anything more than a slight head ache & back-ache for a short time. She really seems very well & says she hasn’t felt so well for a long time.
Dr Paul called at Father’s office on Friday, he had motored from Malvern where he was staying, Father was out, but hearing he had motored on to Broadway he rang up the Lygon Arms & found him there, he asked him to come back through Badsey & have tea, but he had an engagement & could not. He enquired after Mother, you saw him I believe at the Belgrave, but he came after I left.
Yesterday I went to Stanway woods, Mrs Slater & Marjorie were giving a picnic, we were over 30 of us, the majority bicycled & they had a brake as well. The weather was pretty good & we only got a few showers on the way home. It was quite jolly & very nicely done. I have asked Marjorie to tea here tomorrow, it is ages since she has been, but with whooping-cough in the house I couldn’t very well ask people unless they expressly said they didn’t mind so we feel we have been rather like chrysalises, but hope to burst forth soon.
Dolly will come I think on 25th if we can’t have her then she would have to go back to Folkestone, I think unless Mother should be not so well again it will not do her any harm if Dolly comes then, Aunt Lottie might come a few days later if all is well. Ethel & I & Father too, will be dragons in our watchfulness over Mother to see that no one worries or overtires her.
I have been looking at “Highways & Byways on the Cotswolds’” & I think the South-east part of the Cotswolds will probably be the best part to choose. Marjorie says about Birdlip is very nice, it is very high up & bracing. I think it would be a splendid way for you & me to go over there one day when you came home & see about rooms. I should like to have at any rate a few days there if possible, & you ought to have a fortnight at least if you are not going anywhere else. I expect we could get very moderate lodgings if we go & hunt for them. Birdlip itself is a place where people go & stay for holidays, & I daresay lodgings can be got in other places close to. I will get a G.W.R. list of lodgings etc in their districts. I don’t know whether Aunt Lottie is thinking of “standing treat” altogether for Dolly’s & my Paris trip – anyway I expect I shall pay my fare, but I don’t suppose it will cost me so very much, so I hope to be able to manage a short time in the Cotswolds as well.
If we had had our full complement of pupils this term I should have been quite well off. Marjorie & I calculate that the loss to each of us is just about £10. If it were any place but Evesham I suppose we should send the bills in all the same – the necessary notice not having been given – but we both agree that being Evesham it would do our school no good to demand our legal rights, people would be so horrified & we should lose the children altogether. Besides we neither of us care to get pay for work not done.
I hope Arthur managed to see a good deal of Mary, it was very nice Dolly & she being able to go about together. Poor chaperone, I hope you weren’t kept up very late any more! I suppose Mary had been introduced at Addlestone by this time, I expect she would get on quite well with Aunt Fanny.
Brailsford is very successful with the poultry in the way of making them lay, we have had a splendid lot of eggs, & they are still laying well. Eggs have just gone up to a penny each, I don’t know whether it is worth your while to have any sent at that price, I expect they will be down again before long. Let me know if you want some.
Alice has quite a large sum to hand over to Ethel when she gets back, she keeps the poultry accounts, & I hope Sharp is being “caught up fast”. The housekeeping accounts are most satisfactory, I only want one more weeks money to have paid up every one all round - except the bakers – to the end of May. I should like you to see our nice small process bills, nothing ordered except what is really needed - & that soon! Alice is very good about economizing - & it is not false economy either.
Father says he owes you a letter, but as I am writing he has written to George today & will write to you soon. Jack might like to join the Cotswold party for part of his holiday, I think we could have an awfully nice time there walking & cycling. Father has made no plans yet, but he might perhaps like a few days there too. We are hoping for a fine day on Sat. for the Fountain opening. I think you will like the fountain, it is really very nice – just the right thing for the place.
On Wed. the Evesham fete for the Church Schools comes off, it was postponed from last Wed. because they were afraid of the weather & then the afternoon turned out fine & warm! They will be sick if it is wet next Wed:
Eleven o’clock, I must go to bed – much love to you all your loving sister
May E Sladden