Oct 26th 1913
My dear Kathleen,
Ethel got back yesterday, very cheerful & chatty about all her doings, she got a lot into the time. I was much interested in your account of how Mela had proved equal to an emergency & I can imagine how proud Cyril was of her. How fortunate she had had her nurse’s training. She must have won golden opinions from the family.
You will enjoy having Mary next week-end, how lucky that it will be your half-term. It will be ours too, I haven’t anything special in view this time, but a spare day at home is always welcome.
Aunt Polly has quite settled down here for a stay of a fortnight or so I think. She is a delightful visitor, always happy, & ready to do anything. This morning she trotted round & made beds with me before Church. Yesterday morning she asked for a job, so I brought her apples to peel, a shabby lot, but she was quite pleased to save their lives, & Mother, from her room, heard her singing away to herself as she did them. Then she came & talked to in the kitchen while I cooked until Mother was ready for her walk.
I am writing this in the dining-room while Father & Ethel are at evening service, Mother & Auntie are having a happy time together in the drawing room reading the Lessons & talking I think.
On Thursday Auntie took Mother & me for a drive, we went round by Weston & Willersey, it was a nice day though the hills were not clear.
On Friday they drove up to tea at Mrs Slater’s where I joined them, they first went to look at the R.C. Church which Mother hadn’t been into. They had the ceremony of conservation there a few weeks ago, which means that it is free from debt.
Yesterday afternoon as it was still lovely we had another drive, round by the Fish & Anchor. Auntie means to give Mother several drives while she is here.
Today it has been wet so perhaps the weather is breaking up. Arthur & Mary had at any rate one fine day at Eastbourne I hope. I do hope it will do Arthur good, Ethel says he is not eating or sleeping quite satisfactory. I am very glad his thesis was accepted, it will be a relief to him to know that that is done with.
Dr. Harrison has slight blood-poisoning, we hear, caught it is supposed from a patient, Mr Macdonald, who used to be Dr. Leslie’s dispenser & who played the violin at dances etc. This poor man had an insect bite which brought on blood-poisoning & septic pneumonia & he died about a week ago. Dr. Harrison attended him & took great interest in the case & they think he must have caught it. Fortunately he is a healthy subject & having taken it in its early stage I hope it will not get serious. Father saw Dr. Harthan who said he has to go every hour to the Cottage Hospital for treatment.
I am reading “Alice for Short” having begun it at Folkestone, Dr Morgan is certainly wonderfully clever at drawing characters, & his original style is most telling. It is a long book & I don’t often read much in the day so have rather got into the habit of reading a chapter or two in bed before going to sleep. (This needn’t be blazoned upon the house tops!) I seem to thrive upon it & really don’t seem to need so much sleep as many people, any way I won’t do it when not advisable, nor to too great an extent.
Monday I didn’t finish this yesterday & left it to finish this afternoon after reading your letter to Mother. We had a good deal of rain yesterday, but, today was bright again & as Mother had a G.F.S. meeting to go to in Evesham she & Auntie & Ethel all drove up & while she was at the meeting Auntie & Ethel looked at the Churches etc. I stayed at home & finished sorting the Blenheim apples, a job which Brailsford once said he was going to do, but never did, & there were so many rotten ones which were spoiling the rest. Father means to sell them as soon as possible.
Ethel has come home ready to grapple with the problem of how to improve the servants. They need it badly, but Clara has possibilities, the other one I am afraid is rather hopeless. Mother is beginning to think that if such a wonderful thing happened that she heard of a likely cook through any friend, she would give her notice. It would give me great pleasure if one of our servants were given notice for inefficiency – I think they are too often allowed to give notice themselves – but Mother doesn’t want to run the risk of being without for the winter time, & after all she does the washing fairly well, though in a very muddly way, & she can cook some things well if she doesn’t forget to do them!
I must run & post this now & do my school work.
Much love from May