September 11, 1908
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
I hope from now onwards you will get letters more regularly from me, as I shall be at home pretty well all the time and at last have a room to sit in in the evenings. It hasn’t got all its doors yet but that doesn’t matter. All it has got at present is my desk, an armchair, a small table, and your fireplace and I can get along pretty well without anything else, though it possibly might strike you as looking a little bare. I expect the whole house will look somewhat uninhabited till you come out, as I am certain that no man can furnish a house to make it look the least bit like any house looks that has a woman in it, as they say out here; and it’s just the part a man can’t do that gives a charm to a room that appeals to nearly all batchelors, out here, at any rate. Not that I am trying to make out that batchelors have a rotten and uncomfortable time out here. Personally, until I aspired to higher things I was very comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed myself; but it occurs to me now that I have been missing a whole lot and didn’t know it, which is probably as well, as if I had asked you two years ago very possibly you would have had quite a different answer for me; and even if you hadn’t, we should have had longer than ever to wait and, Kathleen, I don’t like waiting a bit. I wish for just one reason that I hadn’t proposed to you last winter. I should like to come home and do it this winter. You managed to make me very happy when I was home and I will try to do the same when you come out here. I have done a whole lot of thinking since I saw you last and I expect you have done the same. I should so like to know your thoughts. You must tell me one of these days.
I played in two more tennis matches last Saturday and Monday. We won one and drew the other, but it was a moral victory as we got many more games that they did. My partner and I got through both days without losing a set, which doesn’t say much for our opponents. I managed to break my racquet at the finish, which was rising five years old so it was about time. I got a new one anyway, though it’s hardly worthwhile now when I can get a new one in England next year.
Harry and I went to a show in town the other night called “The Toymaker”. It was quite a large travelling company such as seldom gets down here and was quite good. Just at the end it dawned on us that it was really “La Poupée”, though considerably altered. We kept wondering where we had heard the music before and why the “Toymaker” was allowed to use such a lot of music that we knew belonged to something else. A Brainy Pair, aren’t we?
The weather is absolutely glorious again and I am getting in my second crop of hay, so I hope it will last. It isn’t a very big job and about four more days will see it through.
I have made another and much larger lawn The former one came to nothing, as I made it before I thought of moving the house and after it was moved and its original site became lawn the former one was on the wrong level and has had to be covered up. I have a decent roller at last, much better than the one I sent you a photograph of with me at the end of it.
The carpenters are back again putting in window frames, doorjambs, shelves, etc., etc., and generally finishing things off. In a week pretty nearly everything will be done except staining or oiling or varnishing or painting the woodwork inside. I haven’t the least idea yet which I shall do or which would look best and it is rather important. I have more confidence now seeing that my taste in colours for the outside of the house at least sounds all right to you.
I don’t know which is the best time of year here. Last May and June I told you they were the months that I thought were about the best months in the year. Now I believe September is, not too hot, cool enough for a fire in the evenings, no more mosquitoes, and lots of good things coming ripe in the gardens. The last item was an after thought and sounds rather gluttonous. It was probably prompted by the fact that it is getting near supper time and, as I mentioned before, I go without afternoon tea these days. [The letter in which Robin mentions going without tea is not extant.]
Thank you very much in anticipation for your photograph. [The references in this paragraph are to Kathleen–August 25, 1908.] I like to know before hand that it is coming, not for Norah’s reason though, by any means; but it gives me something more than usual to look forward to and I have told you before how much I have come to count on your letters each week. I had a long and most amusing letter from Daphne the other day. Her comments on “Trial by Jury” that came off at Easter and the people who took part in it were distinctly good. I don’t suppose they will be at Leamington Manor till hunting begins. I wonder if you will see much of Daph this winter and if you do what you will think of her. You will either like her very much or dislike her intensely, I am not quite sure which. Personally, I think she is awfully nice, which always strikes me as rather astonishing as she has had the most remarkable bringing up. At one time I thought she was a terror and would always remain so, but I saw quite a lot of her last winter and quite changed my mind. Nearly all her best friends are on the wrong side of thirty so I expect there is something about her that younger girls don’t like. I shall be interested to hear one of these days what you think of her.
Yours as always,