April 15, 1908 Kitebrook
Moreton in Marsh
My dear Robin,
I was awfully glad to get your letter [Robin — March 27, 1908] which came just after I had written to you [this letter of Kathleen’s is not extant]. You poor thing, you do seem to have had a bad time of it going out! And there was I thinking how nice and calm it was, for Sunday was the only windy day here all that week, though we have had lots since. Tomorrow is to be our last hunt. The season was supposed to finish last Saturday but they very kindly gave us two bye-days at 8 a. m. this week, at Churchill Monday and Broadwell tomorrow. It was a huge effort to get up at 6 o’clock, but once out, was very nice though the thermometer was still below freezing when I started! We had a run across the old familiar tracks from Bold Wood to Milton Quarries.
Tomorrow when we have done with hunting we take to our hockey sticks and have our last practice. I don’t think there will be much of us left by nightfall. We had a match at Cheltenham on a grilling day last week which nearly killed us all.
Geoff seems to have decided on a plan of action at last. He is going back to Cambridge to finish out his time and try for his degree and going into the army that way. It seems a pity he has wasted so much time.
I believe we are going to Switzerland about the middle of May. Norah and Miss Wiggin are both coming with us, so it ought to be rather fun. We can’t make up our minds where to go. It must be somewhere fairly high and bracing to suit Norah, but we don’t want a very cold place so it’s rather difficult. I think Interlaken will be one spot but we can’t stay there all the time.
A very aristocratic village concert is coming off at Chastleton House on the 24th where all the local celebrities will appear. Mrs. Style is singing, Marjorie playing her violin and singing duets with Mr. Schofield, and Norah is to accompany them and play a duet on the piano with Violet Richardson who is very young and timid. I am acting a duologue with Mrs. Richardson (hopeless!!) and another with Violet Causton and the Richardson’s butler is giving a gramophone performance so there will be lots of variety!
Mr. Richardson is now allowed to resume his Sunday afternoon game of billiards!! Evan came to dinner last night and he and Geoff played 1000 up which took them from 9 till 1.30. They are having another bout tonight so Evan is going to stay here as they found the pony sleeping soundly last night. Geoff says he means to play till it is time to start for the meet tomorrow.
I was sorry to hear poor old Nunnie has been so ill. Geoff brought home a very bad account of her one day but I saw Daphne a few days ago who told me she was much better. I am so glad.
We are off on a visit to Leamington shortly, and also to the Great Aunt in London before we go abroad.
Many thanks for your warning which is receiving due consideration! It does not seem to have struck you that if I had been there to sit on that hearth-rug and receive it in person it would have been rather late! The good people have ceased from their efforts since you left and Mrs. Barnsley has had another attack of the “flue” so she has not been able to give me any more good advice. I think, after your letter, the thought of the terrors of the journey will do all that is necessary.
The man who came down from the Orchestrelle Co. advised me not to get a pianola-piano but a new ordinary piano and keep the pianola I have got, he says they play much better. He promised to choose me a nice one and it is to come this week. It was so funny, before he came we could not decide what we should do with him as he came by the 12. train and did not leave till 3 o’clock so would of course want lunch. Aunt Fanny who had seen him in the shop said he was much to big a swell to have it in the servants’ hall and we didn’t think we wanted him so it was arranged he must lunch by himself after us. However he turned out quite a nice sort of person and we were all able to take the meal together quite amiably! Of course Auntie discovered all his family history in about five minutes in that solicitous little way of hers. The only thing that worries me is that I shall never dare go to the shop again because I sha’n’t know whether to pretend I don’t know him or to shake hands with him!
I hope you found everything has been going all right while you have been frivolling in old England. I suppose you are furiously busy now. Norah is awfully jealous because I have heard from you and she has heard nothing of Harry yet! The Jelby has gone at last, it seems quite a relief to the neighborhood! Norah is going to a small dance at the Hodsons next week–six couples I believe. We are so relieved the numbers would not stretch to us!
I was second in the word-making competition and won six shillings which Geoff insisted on my returning to the mission.
So much for my doings. My thinkings, which you enquire about, are harder to cope with. For one thing I believe my mind (such as it is) is a blank half the time and for the other half some of its wanderings might be expressed thus (to quote myself): “Another sun is set another day Is o’er–an atom fled to swell the past Eternity:–and we? The dawn comes yet a little nearer us as darker grows the night!”
It seems odd to think that when I am struggling up in the early hours of tomorrow you won’t have finished with today!
Lawry has been riding one of Mr. Eustace’s horses lately. Mrs. Wingfield says she never rode “Harry’s” till after they were engaged! They are quite monopolizing the public eye now.
I hear the alterations at Lemington Manor are to be begun shortly. Daphne says they hope to get in about September. I heard a rumour that they were building a ball-room amongst other things, I forgot to ask if it was true.
I seem to have meandered over a good deal of paper without telling you anything very thrilling. I hope the quantity will make up for the quality!
The Bryants have returned to Quar Wood, they say they are quite tired of perpetual sunshine. I wish we could have a little of it.
I must betake myself to the learning of plays. I shall have to spend the next week flying to Stretton and Chastleton to rehearse.