My dear Mother
You will begin to wonder when Ethel or I are going to write, but you know how the days slip by. Today however is rather an off day, we thought we should have to make cakes this afternoon as the soldiers from Abbey Manor were to have come to tea tomorrow, but as the weather is so unsettled, we have put them off. So we have been doing raspberry vinegar instead, we picked the fruit yesterday after I got back, there are such a lot and they take so long to pick. Marjory was coming over to tea this afternoon but did not turn up, there have been such heavy showers at intervals. She was rather worried at seeing an advertisement of Lanesfield to let in the Evesham paper last week. We didn’t know it was quite so decided as that, that the Horsfields were leaving. Marjory consulted Father at his office on Saturday and then wrote to Mr Cox saying we should like to rent the school from the Governors, and now we must wait till the matter is brought up at the next Governors’ meeting. I can’t help thinking they won’t let the house very easily and may be glad to let the school, but I hope they won’t increase our rent.
Wasn’t it nice hearing from Cyril so soon. I wonder how far he is now, evidently the last letter was posted at Gibraltar. Mela wrote a card to say she too heard on Monday morning and was delighted at getting a letter so soon. She was looking well on Sunday, had more colour than when she was at the General, it wasn’t very fine for her but she sat in the summer-house and got all the air she could. She was very cheerful, evidently conditions for the nurses at Bournbrook are better than at the General. She likes Miss Holtham very much. She sleeps in her room.
We had a Belgian Committee meeting last night and decided that the Wygaerts must go, the man has refused to work since the scene with Ethel last Thursday, and Mr Jones wouldn’t take him on again now even if he wanted to go. Mr Allsebrook and Mr Binyon both came to the meeting. They thought the man ought easily to get work in a munition factory and Mr Allsebrook undertook to see him today and find out if he had heard of any work and tell him we could not keep him more than another week or two. Then Ethel and I will have to see Mr Byrd before we get another family down. I hope he will go on letting us have the house.
Aunt Lottie went off yesterday, we think she enjoyed her visit in spite of all the washing – or rather drying up she did! She really was quite a help, though now of course we feel freer with no visitor and the amount of washing up is very small.
Ethel didn’t go to Evesham this morning, but sent her eggs up by the postman. Louisa washed on Monday and came half a day yesterday, but not today. Ethel has now gone out to see about getting the children taken up to Evesham on Saturday for the tea. I daresay someone would drive the little ones up and the older ones could walk. May Openshaw came back on Monday, it is a relief to have her again. One of the cows is only being milked once a day now and will be dried off in a day or two, so there won’t be much, if any, more butter to make. I am glad Judy is going to Folkestone, you will like having her and Auntie was glad I think that she could come. Father talks of going on Friday to Eastbourne. He is writing to Aunt Lizzie today and will write to you tomorrow. Did you see in the paper that Dr McNicol has got special mention and the Military medal for his services at the front? He is on leave now for a month and is staying at the Horsfields. He was near Ypres and May told me he was once from Saturday night till Tuesday bringing in wounded under fire without any rest.
Father and Ethel send love. He is sending you Mary’s letter which he forgot to send before. I am glad you had a nice little stay at Sydenham and now I am sure you will enjoy yourself at Aunt Lizzie’s. Give her my best love, please, and tell her I still feel the benefit of my nice visit to her at Easter. I hope she is keeping well and isn’t bothered with nose-bleed any more.
With much love to yourself.
Your loving daughter
May E Sladden
PS – We are really getting on quite well, you mustn’t worry about our being over-worked, we manage quite well. My love to Marian if you see her, and say I am meaning to write soon.