October 15, 1908 5 St Mark’s Rd
My dearest Robin,
We came here on Tuesday and ever since then I have been trying to find a few consecutive moments to write to you; but intervals seem rare between racing beside Granny’s bath-chair (why do bath-chair men always go as though they were training for a Marathon race?), shopping with one of my aunts, and holding animated discussions on photography (which I know next to nothing about!) with my grandfather. I had resolved to have “letters to write” and stay in this afternoon, but not a bit of it. I was shipped off to “do” Stratford with a girl I had hardly seen before. I had “done” Stratford before and so had the other girl. I wanted to do Coventry instead, but the trains were not at such a convenient hour so Stratford it had to be. I really enjoyed it very much. I love Shakespeare’s old trophies and his garden; and the Church, of course that was being restored. Churches always are when I go to look at them!
We came here so that the aunt who lives here might go away for a few days, but Grandfather developed a bad attack of asthma at the thought of her going and also as a result of his pig-headedness in gathering his own apples, so that the poor dear has had to stay here and nurse him. He was only saved from a bad attack at this time last year by the fact of there being no apples!
I am so sorry the foal did not win the cup, I was so hoping it would. I am glad Tess and the foal got second prize. It’s very creditable, even if there were only two in the class! [Most of the references in this letter are to Robin–September 23, 1908.]
It is horrible to think you have had snow in the hills already. It is still quite hot here and we haven’t even begun frosts at night. I hope you had nice weather for the tennis matches and won them. You must be becoming quite professionals!
The Stow hockey began to-day. I received a letter of abuse from Mabel when she heard I should be away.
You seem to be getting quite civilised with your tennis courts! I wonder what an earth court is like to play on? I suppose it makes rather a fast game. Yes, I expect you will have to play on our court next year, to begin with anyhow, or to end with. It all depends when you come back, doesn’t it? You ask me when you are to come, but it can’t be before their precious old year is up, the end of March I suppose; and after that . . . well, after that I want you, but then I always want you, Robin dear, and I expect you must decide when that farm of yours can spare you and for how long it can spare you! We will insist on being “officially” engaged, for as far as I can gather everyone knows all about us already, so it really can’t make any difference and would save us a lot of bother, wouldn’t it!
I wish very much there was a chance of Norah going out too, but I don’t suppose there is, yet at any rate. I can’t quite make her out. Sometimes she says she will envy me very much for going out and at others that she should not like the life at all, which isn’t like Norah, for she generally makes up her mind and sticks to it.
I hope the “Pirates of Penzance” will be a success. What a long time ago it seems since they did it at Moreton! How could you expect me to march into the room before my elder and better!, though if I had known perhaps I might have done. I wonder why you did not politely offer to exchange seats with my aunt when our respective relations would hold lengthy conversations across you. I expect Harry will make cutting remarks about the man who takes his part. One always does if one has played the part oneself.
I saw Mrs. Stubbs and Daphne at the horse show last week. Daphne is looking for a hunter. She said she had tried several but she does not seem to have met with much success at present. They expect to get into Lemington the end of this month.
I went out cubbing at Sezincote on Friday. It poured with rain most of the time and we chased each other round and round the same few fields about six times and killed two cubs.
Geoff came down for two nights and we got along quite amicably. He has now gone back to Cambridge. The Wittses have left Fosse Cottage and are now at Naunton Inn waiting till Guiting is ready for them.
I should think you mean to live on plum jam this winter, if you are going to get through 150 pounds of it! [See Robin–September 18, 1908.]
We go up to London on Monday to stay with my great aunt for a week and hope to go to a lot of theatres. We have at last got tickets for “Jack Straw”, in which a friend of mine is acting. She was very good in a piece we once did at school.
Ever your loving,