August 25, 1908 KITEBROOK,
My dearest Robin,
What has become of you? I haven’t heard from you for a whole fortnight! I hope you have not been making any more striking suggestions to your workmen and got locked up as a dangerous lunatic. I still hope for the best however, as Harry did not mention any such disaster in his letter to Norah last week.
There were very few entries in the championships this year, only four men and ten ladies. Of course Mr. Evered and Francie won their respective cups again, though Evan made a noble effort for the men’s. I of course drew Hilda Spencer again and as there was no handicap this time she beat me 6-4 – 6-3. The match lasted hours as I managed to get to deuce in most games. It blew a hurricane both yesterday and today so it was quite impossible for anyone to play properly. The Wittses won the ladies’ doubles and Norah and I were second, receiving 15. Only one and a half couples entered in the men’s doubles, so there weren’t any. There were six couples in the mixed which was played American way, the best of three setts, with the result that Evan and Francie, Mr. Cheetham and Hilda Spencer, and the Evereds have tied; and as most of them are going away directly they think they will have to finish it at Ping-Pong in the winter or put it off till next summer.
Reggie returned from his Norway trip today. It seems almost strange that he has, as from all I can gather he has been spending most of his time crawling about on ridges which were just wide enough to sit on with one leg hanging down on each side.
Marjorie and I have been busy rehearsing in the intervals of tennis, ready for Mrs. Style’s entertainment. We are not doing the “Backward Child” after all. I learnt it up with great care and then, when I went over to Daylesford to rehearse it, Marjorie greeted me on the door-step saying “Mummie” wouldn’t let her take the part of the governess because she looked a fright! I always like to make myself as big a fright as possible in a part like that. I suppose if you are born plain you don’t mind accentuating nature’s eccentricities, whereas if you are a sort of modern Hebe you have to be careful not to injure your reputation as such. So we are doing a charming little piece called “In Two Minds” in which Marjorie is Lady Something-or-other and I am a very aristocratic maid who steals my lady’s diamonds by accident. I am also going to act “Geese” with Alice Robinson. That ought to go rather well as we both love a “dialect” piece.
Violet Causton and I had rather a disappointing time at Burford the other day. We drove to the Priory, meaning to leave our sketching things, lunch, etc. there while we wandered round the place; but we found ourselves confronted by a notice on the gate which said, “No admittance during building operations”. Violet however went in and talked to one of the workman who pointed out to her the wife of the man who had bought it and is doing it up. Violet then approached the venerable dame, who was sitting reading all amongst the masons and carpenters, and politely explained that we had not known that it was no longer open to the public. “Indeed!” replied the lady. “But you must have seen it on the gate!” Violet said we had but as we had gone so far we had thought the lady might be kind enough to let us look round, and the surly beast said “You can come just inside the gate if you like, but I don’t think you can see much from there!” Wasn’t it horrid of her! We promptly departed and betook ourselves to the Church-yard where, after examining endless tombstones and the Church, we had our lunch in a most picturesque spot by the river. Then we sallied forth to sketch the almshouses, which occupied the rest of our time. We were sitting just outside the Church gate, so we got quite excited when a veiled figure gowned in white drove up in a motor and went into the Church. We thought someone was going to be married and elope, as we had previously noticed some other people go in. Imagine our disappointment when our would-be bride turned out to be Mrs. Pepper with a party of friends!
Wednesday I have just got a letter from you–such a relief to find you aren’t locked up after all! [This letter of Robin’s is not extant.]
I wish we could have a little of your nice weather. It has been horribly windy and stormy here the last few days. Today it looks like pouring all day. I don’t know what will become of Mrs. Style’s garden fête if it does.
I am glad to hear the Stow Club is distinguishing itself so well. You really ought to have won that third match. I suppose you thought it was a certainty and got careless! Much the same thing happened to Norah and me on Monday. Miss Steinmetz and Marjorie led 5-3 and 40-30 and we won the sett.
I hope you were successful in the regatta, if you entered for anything that is. Did that persuade it to rain after all? It poured here on the Thursday but I am afraid you are far enough off to have had it different!
I am sending you my photo shortly, which I had taken when I was in London. Norah says I had better prepare you a little first, in case you had a fit on seeing it or thought it was somebody else. She says she only recognises it by the left eye but opinions differ, as the grandparents think it excellent. I tried to be taken so as to look at you but it is so awful I can’t send that one. I look a perfect fool with my mouth wide open. You would probably have the jumps too if you didn’t keep it covered up, as the eyes would follow you about and remain fixed on you in a stony stare wherever you were.
I love the idea of my little special room, only they will all be just our special rooms, won’t they? I think your taste in colors sounds quite nice! but I shall be able to tell you better when I see it, shan’t I? Well, I must stop. Marjorie will be over directly for a final rehearsal and I have a thousand things to do before then.