July 5, 1908
39 Elm Park Gardens
My dearest Robin,
Thank you ever so much for the photographs. They are delightful, the little garden with the laburnum is quite sweet. I feel as though I knew quite a lot about the place now! and shall be quite equal to answering the questions of my relatives when I have another bout with them. They arrived four days ago but, as I have been out from breakfast time till midnight each day, I have not managed to write before. I like Tess, she looks quite a dear, and there is one rather good one of you too.
July 8th As you will perceive I did not get far on Sunday but no sooner had I started than Great Aunt requested Aunt to read her a sermon and I found I couldn’t write to that accompaniment.
I arrived here (Eastbourne) on Monday and all yesterday was spent in watching the Devonshire Park tennis tournament, in which the people I am staying with are playing. They wanted me to play too but as I have only played about four times this year I said I wouldn’t, which was just as well, I think, for I played a little last night and couldn’t hit a ball! Margaret has just gone down to play now, but as it’s trying to rain I thought I would employ myself writing to you instead of going to watch her.
We had quite a gay time in London. I went to five theatres last week! We spent a long and happy day (from 3:30 to 11:00) at the Franco-British Exhibition and even then did not see half there was to see; and amongst the things left unseen was the hall of Canadian Exhibits, which annoyed me. We went all through all the different Australian Colonies and by that time the others were tired or bored and assured me that Canada would be just like them so we had to seek pastures new in the shape of the “Flip Flap” and the “Spider’s Web”. I daresay the Evesham Journal has described them all to you, so I won’t.
Is Miss Violet Stubbs a cousin of yours? I expect she is as she hails from Nuneaton. I saw her at the Horse Show at Olympia. She was riding in the pony class the night we were there.
Reggie came up to London on Friday for two nights, so I had to prolong my stay instead of coming here on Friday. He has gone into camp now, hence the bad weather!
We have at last discovered Geoff’s whereabouts. He is doing two hours drill at the Tower each day, which sounds interesting! I dined with him on Thursday and he took me to the “Mikado” after, which was rather fun.
We went to the “Merry Widow” again. I just loved it, I wish you had been there. I hadn’t heard the valse since the Prichard’s dance. It’s a very silly piece, though really in fact all plays are, I think. People couldn’t get in such idiotic muddles in real life! If you saw me speaking to anybody else you wouldn’t immediately think I didn’t care about you any more, would you? Anyhow you would, I hope, lay the matter before me, instead of asking the opinion of all your friends and acquaintances first. According to books and plays too you always believe your friends’ nasty remarks instead of the one person you ought to believe because you think its bound by its promise, which is absurd. You would know what the truth was whatever the words might happen to be, wouldn’t you? I am sure I would with you. What nonsense I am writitng! Please forgive.
I think its very rude and hard-hearted of you to laugh at my misfortunes in Switzerland. Why, it’s just a mere matter of luck that I am here to write about it.
I will send you some photographs of mountains soon to compare with yours. Mine are much more imposing! and they have come out rather well too, in spite of the remarks made by the Canon we met at Grindelwald.
I asked Grandfather to send me two snapshots (one for you and one for me) and I have already received them and a promise of more. I am waiting till I get them as he says they will be better, if that be possible! I am afraid I may have to wait some time as he has been ill.
We had a terrific thunderstorm on Friday night, the worst I have ever seen, I think. I love them as a rule but I was terrified that night and I haven’t minded them since I was quite a small kid. My room was as light as day for about an hour and the thunder was deafening. I expected to find all the houses heaps of ashes in the morning.
Marjorie was up in London last week and the wicked creature never let me know, although she promised to. I heard from her this morning saying she really hadn’t had time to bother about coming to see me.
How is the house getting on, I wonder? It looks so nice in its photgraphs now, that I can’t think what you can be doing to it except putting in my fire-place. I shall expect a photograph of that before I pack up my traps and come!
The girl I am staying with was quite surprised at the photographs. Like everybody else she imagined British Columbia a vast and tree-less desert. I am really quite raising the standard of education amongst my friends! I think I am going home on Monday, to practise up for the tennis tournaments I am afraid I shan’t get a partner for the mixed doubles. They seem extra scarce this year and Reggie, on whom I had been counting, is going to Norway then. Oh, why aren’t you here! Perhaps you will be next year for I am sure I shan’t be carrying out your tea to you in your hay field by that time in spite of your letter to that effect. [The reference may be to Robin’s missing letter of early June. See Kathleen–June 24, 1908.] I am afraid the family won’t be so easily vanquished.
Ever your loving