July 20, 1908 KITEBROOK,
My dearest Robin,
Many thanks for the photo of your sitting room which I got a few days ago. It looks so nice and cozy. I suppose it was specially dusted and tidied up for the occasion! [This and other references below are to Robin–June 30, 1908.]
I arrived home on Wednesday after being away since May 1st except for about ten days. It’s quite nice to get back again.
We tried to go to a tennis party at the Moons’ on Friday but by the time we got to Over Norton we were about drowned by a thunderstorm and had to turn back. A few souls came to play here on Saturday. Mr. Richardson and a friend of his had some tremendous setts against Mabel and Francie. Eventually the ladies won, I think. I have never seen the King take so much exercise. He had to fly about the court, as his partner was very fat and had a game leg. I am sure it was very good for him!
Only Mrs. Witts is going to take the name of Waddingham, not the girls. I think poor Francie will envy her old self very much, especially as there seems some idea that they won’t have a motor after all and they can’t drive their horses any distance; so I don’t see how we are ever going to see them at all after they leave Stow, which they expect to do before Michaelmas.
The other day I was quietly sitting in the train waiting for it to leave Paddington when I suddenly received a shower-bath of soda-water. A girl at the other end of the carriage had got a luncheon basket and I suppose thought it would be better to risk drowning me than herself when she opened her drink. I was deeply buried in a book and did not notice what was going on until I got deluged, so it was rather a shock! She and another girl both rushed at me and mopped me up with their kerchiefs. It was so comic I could do nothing but roll about with laughter.
I am trying to get up a “Hen” tennis tournament on Friday. It’s quite impossible to have a mixed one this year, as far as I can see. Even the Hodsons won’t go round us all! I know half the “Hens” won’t like it and they’ll all fight, so we ought to have an exciting time.
July 22nd There was a huge crowd at the club yesterday. It is becoming quite a fashionable resort! It is quite difficult to get a court. The Bryants were there. I think they are awfully nice, the two girls at least. I haven’t seen Mrs. Bryant yet but they are all coming over here this afternoon.
My hen tournament has fallen through for the present. No one could or would come!
I don’t know that I much like the idea of travelling in your cabin trunk, though perhaps it is better than the hold!
I hope you have been able to find a spot for the pantry by now. It does sound rather necessary.
There is a large garden party at Sezincote on Thursday which I am trying to escape to play in an American tennis tournament at the Junction. I am at present making careful enquiries as to who is going to the Junction to see that I don’t stand too much risk of drawing one of Mrs. Sammy’s treasures as a partner.
I am so glad my fireplace has become a reality. I don’t think you need worry about the barbed-wire fence, for I am afraid I am a very prickly person. Perhaps you haven’t discovered that yet, but when I am rubbed up the wrong way I have a very nasty temper, as most of my relations would be able to tell you.
I hope the lady has reclaimed her precious tea-cups. I don’t think she can have valued them much or she wouldn’t have left them to the tender mercies of a man to dust for four years!
Mind you choose nice colors for the house, because I have a very easily offended eye and never think things go together which other people like!
We got another spell of summer after a fortnight of horrid weather. It is going to be grilling today. Grandfather is honoring us with a visit. He arrives today for about a week, unless he gets ill. He generally does when he comes here and has to dart home at a moment’s notice. I do hope he won’t read me any more lectures. I couldn’t argue this hot weather. I am not good at it at any time!
Yours with love,