February 23, 1909 Kitebrook
Moreton in Marsh
My dearest Robin,
I hope it’s still going on thawing with you [see Robin February 3, 1909]. I have not seen any reports in the papers about excessive cold, so I hope it hasn’t changed again. It’s perfectly hateful here–a sharp frost each night and brilliant sun all day! I have not hunted for a week! I hope to go to Farmington Grove on Friday. It’s rather out of my beat but nothing is meeting anywhere near this week.
I went to Sezincote Warren last Saturday and paced solemnly up and down the training ground by myself for nearly an hour. Then some half dozen North Cotswold souls and the hounds turned up and after gazing mournfully at each other for a few seconds we all turned dejectedly homeward. I tried the beagles in the afternoon but it was most depressing–no hares, no scent, and a most select company! Norah and May were out for a little but soon went home. After that we hunted in couples: Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt, Mr. Gott and a Miss Ford (staying with the Hewitts), Miss Hewitt and Mr. Norton, Mrs. Kelsall and a Stoneman girl, Mr. Kelsall and a spaniel, two farmers, Mr. Wingfield and a horse, his two terriers, Johnnie Leigh and myself; while Mr. Eustace panted about all over the place, got stuck in hedges, fell into ditches, and collected all the thorns he could. It was thoroughly exciting, my first and probably last beagling experience of the season! I accepted an invitation, several invitations, to tea with the Kelsalls but took fright at the last minute and fled for home.
The Ladies’ Ball is practically fixed for April 16th. I suppose I mustn’t say that you must come back for it, but I shall think it! I am sure it’s going to be possible, isn’t it? It’s just thawing on purpose and I know Powell will look after everything and do things quite well without you if you explain to him how important it is that you should come home to dance with me while he does the work! I shall make out such a nice programme, and it might even include the antiquated “Choristers”, and we won’t care how much people talk. As a matter of fact they talk so much now whenever it occurs to them to think of us that their tongues would drop off if they worked them any harder!
Perhaps you had better not pay any attention to this page, because of course I mustn’t put temptation in your way! and I don’t want you back a bit till you have done absolutely everything you can think of that wants doing; and in that case I should think I might as well go to Switzerland again in May and possibly join Mrs. Warden in Norway in July for fishing (which I loathe) and after an autumn in Spain with the Grisewoods (they are always going and never go) return here for another season’s hunting. You might let me know soon, to save the horses being sold.
I don’t like my poor Byron being squashed in that way. I am sure he knew what he was talking about and I love him.
What an enormous family of Thomson children there must be. Mrs. Everybody seems to have started life as a Thomson. I shall have to be very careful what remarks I make. I never do remember who’s related to who, but perhaps if everybody is related to everybody else it simplifies matters.
Did I tell you I saw a lot of views of Kelowna and the surrounding country the other day? Norah has got a book of them. It looks a most fascinating spot and I do love scenery. Mr. Barnsley and Auntie have just set forth to motor to London. I should think they would find it rather cold. They wanted me to go too but even the joy of the drive wouldn’t make up for an unnecessary day in London. Auntie returns by train tonight–if they get up in time to catch it. She is going to see the old great aunt who is not well enough for us to stay there now, which from my point of view is a good thing! I heard from Granny yesterday asking when you might be expected back. I suppose the family thinks you will burst upon it like a bombshell! Mrs. Godman has asked me to lunch on Thursday on my way to hockey. I thought there must be something at the bottom of it and as soon as I accepted she proceeded to explain that Miss Verney was anxious to play and it would suit very nicely if I drove her up.
The bridge club holds its meeting here this week. I am sincerely hoping the numbers will be even, for I don’t at all want to play to make up. Fortunately it is on Thursday so I shan’t be back from hockey in time to get much of it.
Eva Wiggins comes here Thursday for a few days. She was here about this time last year too, do you remember?
I am very busy writing to all the printers in the country for estimates. I think I told you I have been made to accept the post of assistant editor of the magazine they are just starting where I was at school. The editor has decamped to Egypt and left me all the work to do. The first number is to appear at Midsummer and I have stipulated that my term of office shall end then. I tried to get out of doing it, but as I have been urging them to start it ever since I went to school there and promised to edit it when they discussed it two years ago, I could not very well escape altogether, as of course I could give no reason. I wish they had started it before because if I had nothing else to do I should have rather enjoyed it.
Norah says Mr. Scott is going to give a dance in August when his house is finished. You had better tell Harry to buck up and come home for it! and if he would kindly bring Norah out in the following spring it would be very nice. I am sure I shall get tired of nothing but Thomsons!
There is no news so I shall be forced to stop. I shan’t have many more letters to write, shall I? Just fancy, in seven little weeks I may be talking to you instead! It’s almost unbelievable to think that the whole year is almost over and that I am really going to see you again soon. Oh, you must be back for the dance. I believe you will somehow. Still, you mustn’t come if you oughtn’t to, if you can make any sense out of that. I dare say we shall dance there together again someday before we are old and grey-headed.
Well good-bye for a little bit longer.
Ever your loving