My dear Mother
I will post you a letter by tomorrow morning’s post so that you may get it on Sunday. I was sorry you caught a little chill, it spoilt your first days at Eastbourne I am afraid. I do hope you have quite got over it now. Aunt Lizzie had quite a large number of visitors. Father told us about “the old lady”. It has been wet here almost all day and is pouring with rain now, the glass has got very low. I hope it will clear up before Monday, it would be so tiresome to have to put them off again, and each time it means making arrangements about having them fetched.
We heard yesterday from the Vicarage people that Willie Barnard has been wounded in the arm, they thought not badly. He is at Halifax so I expect Phyllis would go and see him. The Belgian man hasn’t found work yet. I wrote to the Refugee headquarters yesterday asking if it would be best for him to go up to London to find work. He is of course getting short of money. Ethel got such a splendid lot of eggs for the wounded last Wednesday; she got Miss McDonald to ask the school children to bring an egg each to school on Tuesday and they sent along 195. Adjutant Pope nearly fell upon Ethel's neck with delight. It was Willie Marshall who suggested the plan to Ethel and she had heard of it being done in Stratford. Brailsford looked after the house on Wednesday morning while Ethel went to Evesham. We have got on quite well this week with Louisa here on Tuesday and Friday afternoons and of course tomorrow afternoon. She can do all the necessary cleaning in that time and the house is very tidy and clean. In the holidays it will be quite easy for me compared with term time. Ethel and I neither of us want to get a servant yet, and Brailsford even more emphatically doesn’t want one. If we girls are all four at home we can take turns each week, two by two, to be responsible for the work. School breaks up on the 29th, a Thursday. I expect you and Betty will be coming home about then. Betty wrote asking for some flowers to be sent today for a function they have on tomorrow. Fortunately Ethel cut them before the heavy rain, and she packed her a lovely boxful. A good many people came last Sunday to look at the roses. They are still very pretty, though past their best. Maud Cull is to be married tomorrow – a regular hurried war-wedding. Her young man, who is in the Triumph Cycle Works, is going out to France as cycle repairer and wants to be married before he goes. Did Father tell you we hear that Queenie has left her place and gone to her sister’s at Chatham? I am afraid that is the end of poor Queenie.
Father is much annoyed by the Naval Correspondent’s article in The Times today; he writes in a pessimistic and carping strain. I hope Aunt Lottie won’t be upset by it. Lord Curzon’s speech seems to have alarmed her a good deal. I don’t know whether she has sent off her box yet, it hasn’t arrived.
Cyril’s letters to Kath and Mela were very interesting, he was evidently enjoying the voyage, and one only hopes some day he and Mela may be able to travel together a little in happier circumstances. I am so glad he saw the sun rise behind Gibraltar Rock. I remember so well what a wonderful sight it was – rather strange he and I should both have seen it at sunrise. I expect Aunt Lottie will remember it. Give her my love, please, and my kind remembrance to Miss Costabadie.
With much love to yourself.
Your loving daughter
May E Sladden
PS – Mrs New and Miss Roscoe were sorry to miss you. They called on Monday just as we were in the thick of raspberries and currants for jam! However, they took us as we were, and we gave them tea and showed them the garden and they said they had much enjoyed themselves.
Saturday – The enclosed letter to me from Arthur came this morning. You will like to see it.