July 28, 1908 Kitebrook
Moreton in Marsh
My dearest Robin,
I hope you aren’t absolutely melted by this time. I don’t wonder you look a little thin in your photographs if your thermometer makes a practice of being at 90º in the shade for weeks at a time! It has been pretty hot here this summer but my shadow does not apparently grow less, if I am to judge by the remarks of my friends, who exclaim wherever I go, “I have never seen you look so well, you are getting quite fat in the face!” I am quite sick of hearing about it and I object strongly to moon-faced people. I think, though, the worry of collecting a team of girls and small boys to play cricket on Friday and another strenuous effort to collect my Hens for a tournament on August 14th will reduce the contour of my countenance to its usual proportions.
What exceedingly nasty paper. The last page shows through so much that I can’t read what I am writing on this one. I hope you will be able to!
We went to the Sezincote garden party after all last week. They had the Blue Hungarian Band and they played all the dear old valses and two-steps. It was too tantalizing for words. I got nailed for most of the afternoon by Mr. D’Esté East, an idiotic old bore I have never even been introduced to. Every time I thought I had escaped him he bobbed up again to utter some foolish remark about the weather and a possible thunderstorm. The strange part was that everybody else seemed to think he had monopolized them for the day. I suppose a little of him goes a long way!
Grandfather’s visit draws to a close today and so far I have escaped the good advice which I feel sure he has been planning to give me. There are only three hours left us to manœuvre in. I shall win this bout!
We played tennis at Donnington on Saturday. May is quite the grown up young lady now and is to “come out” in the winter.
Today there is an American tournament at Stow. Auntie has made up her mind I shall draw Mr. Kelsall as a partner, but I feel old D’Esté East will be my fate if he is there. He hasn’t played for eight years till this summer and I know he’ll jabber all the time.
How odd you should have two Harry Leighs. Which have you found a nick-name for? [See Robin–July 9, 1908.]
I have got two letters to answer this time, as one arrived this morning. Generally I get yours just after I have written to you. [Only one of the letters to which Kathleen refers is extant, i. e. Robin–July 9, 1908.]
I am so glad my fireplace is really settled. At least I suppose it’s probably being done by now. I hope you won’t get so fond of sitting by it this winter that I shan’t get a chance at it!
I am so glad you are leaving the wood panelling in the room you sent me a photograph of. I am so fond of it. I got quite anxious when I read your letter this morning saying that all the inside was being plastered and then I came to the exception which calmed me down again. [Presumably the reference to retaining the wood panelling derives from the missing letter.]
I wish you would tell me which windows belong to what rooms in the photographs you sent me. I want to put the inside in the house in my own mind. Your temporary kitchen looks a delightfully cool place to cook in this weather but I dare say it isn’t. I shan’t do any cooking in the summer unless I can have a long spoon so that I can sit out under a gooseberry bush and stir from there. Anyhow, toffee and ginger breads are the only things I can make. I do sound a useless person to take on the job, don’t I! I am afraid you’ll find your luck hasn’t held this time.
I wonder if you are very lucky, really, or very contented–that’s of more use in this world, I believe. You are very determined, I know, and I am sure that making up one’s mind to do or get anything is more than halfway to doing or getting it. I wonder very much how long it will take our united determination to trample on the objections of my family. I expect your hay-making and your harvest will have to take care of itself next year, for I shan’t begin to do battle till you come home to back me up. I should be squashed at once!
July 29th We had such a thrilling tournament yesterday. Only six men turned up, so the six best girls each had one and the rest of us played ladies’ doubles in a separate division. I drew Miss Hewitt–truly inspiriting. We won our first match and then collapsed altogether. Our division was won by Peggy Fenwick and May Prichard who then had to play the winners of the other lot, Mr. Evered and Cicely Spencer, who owed and gave 30 and beat them!
Norah says she had to tell many lies about us the other day. She told Francie about herself and Harry and Francie immediately inquired about us and said she had noticed us together a great deal more than them! I think she must have gone on Mabel’s opinion, don’t you?; for she was always turning up somewhere.
I have got such a high-class selection of pianola music this time, chosen for me by Margaret Barnes. I am becoming quite classical in my tastes!
Reggie comes home tomorrow for a few days and then he is off to Norway for three weeks with two Eton masters. Geoff came down last week-end. He seems to be having a gay time in London. I really don’t see the use of having a pair of brothers if neither will take the trouble to come and play in the tennis tournaments with me. The Junction one is next week. I am playing with Mrs. Warden in the Ladies’ Doubles. I expect we shall soon get sat on by the Spencer sisters or the Wittses.
Mrs. Samuels has an American tournament next Tuesday, but as it is a Stow club day we are most of us making that an excuse, as we don’t want to risk spraining our ankles in the rabbit holes on her courts. Our only fear is that so many people will refuse that she will put it off and try again. Ask Harry if he remembers the entertainment last year and how cross I was when he asked impertinent questions about you!