March 2, 1909 Kitebrook
Moreton in Marsh
My dearest Robin,
I have just got the letter [Robin–February 9, 1909] I have been hoping for which says you will be back early in April. It seems almost too good to be true that in a little over a month you will be here! Things really seem to have straightened themselves out very nicely for us, don’t they? It’s an excellent idea to build a cottage for Powell. He really sounds a most admirable person, much too good to lose. It will be very nice to have someone to do all the things we don’t want to do! And also to be able to go away is a consideration, I suppose, though I generally hate going away.
I wish our winter would condescend to go like yours. We are still having about 12º of frost each night and the ground is like iron. I am going for a ride with Mrs. Warden this morning. I expect it will be pretty cold. It is exactly a fortnight today since my last day’s hunting. It seems absurd for the time of year.
Francie Witts came here on Saturday till yesterday. We had meant to hunt at Pomfret Castle yesterday but it was so hopeless she did not even get as far as bringing her horse here. She thinks she is getting extra fat so is living chiefly on meat and apples to get her weight down. The temptation of seeing us eating plum-pudding was too much for her however and she had to join us! We went and played squash at the Barnsleys’ on Sunday till we nearly died of exhaustion.
I am afraid you aren’t very good at hymns, or perhaps you have revised them a little in your country. The “trivial round” one you (mis)quote used to worry me a good deal in my young days. I always thought it meant something quite different from what it does.
Norah came over to lunch on Saturday and played the pianola most of the afternoon. She always makes me get things she likes and then comes down, as she says, “to see how they ought to be played!”
Wednesday. I got another letter [Robin–February 16, 1909] from you this afternoon. It has managed the journey in a week less than the last one. We have got snow too by this time and last night was about the sharpest frost we have had this winter–24º! It’s too horrible. What a weathery letter this is. I wish I could think of something more interesting. I have not been shooting any more. Perhaps it’s just as well for the immediate neighborhood. If you think it will be necessary for me to resort to such drastic measures as the use of fire-arms to persuade you to take the requisite quantity of food I will invest in a neat little pocket revolver and begin to practise with it. It would be handier than the army-pattern one I tried with before that is so heavy it might interfere with my accuracy!
What a lot of calls you seem to have. Nearly every letter tells me about some dance or other. I shall expect a very gay time next winter! I am beginning to think out the programme for the Ladies’ Ball. I have got so many favorite valses now that I can’t get them all in, as I suppose there can’t be more than twenty-four dances. Mr. Joyce might strike.
Most of the household has taken to its beds with colds and chills. I expect like the Cleminsons it thinks bed the best place this weather, but it is a little trying for us. The bridge club bridged here last Thursday. There were only eleven so I had to play to make up when I got back from hockey. It was rather a sell for me. I found them all at tea and as I went into the room I counted them up and made twelve, but I found afterwards I had counted myself in too! I only had to play at a table with Mrs. Barnsley, Mrs. Richardson, and Eva Wiggin so I was not so frightened as I might have been. Mrs. Barnsley had a hat with feathers about two feet long and managed to burn the ends in the candle. We were all so wrapped up in our game that we did not notice it till Mrs. Francis came in to look at us and complained of the smell of something burning. The Barnsleys came here for the night on Friday and they and Auntie and Eva Wiggin played bridge till nearly 2:30! I call it perfectly disgraceful. I went to bed soon after 12:00 and after I had been asleep some time I was roused by a loud bang. I thought it was an earthquake at least but I found out it was only Auntie shutting her door.
Poor Mr. Oakley died on Friday. It seems horribly sad but I expect it is a good thing really, for they say he would have been paralysed if he had lived, which would have been far worse, I think, don’t you!
I had a charming letter from Artie Grisewood this morning. I sent him some of your B. C. stamps with which he seems delighted. Both he and Mrs. Grisewood have the stamp fever very badly.
The Heythrop are actually advertising five days again next week but it does not look as though they would be any good to us. Anyway, Boulters Barn is the only one within my reach. This week I meant to have had five days hunting and a hockey match. Three of the hunts and the hockey are now “off” and I suppose the other two hunts will be too. It will take several days and a good deluge to thaw us now.
I have come back to the weather again. I really think it’s time I stopped. Well, you won’t have many more essays on climate to wade through now, for if you are really going to start on the 24th of this month!! you won’t get a letter posted after next week. I shall expect to hear the name of your boat in your next letter–perhaps then I shall really feel that you are coming. I don’t believe I do a bit yet, but I am looking forward to seeing you, you can’t think how much. I have not yet had the courage to tell mine aunt when you are coming and she hasn’t asked for a long time. The absurd part of us both is that we neither of us ever ask the other anything we really want to know. We can’t help it, I suppose, but it is perhaps carrying reserve slightly far!
With best love,