Monday, 11 March 2013

11th March 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Thank you so much for all the post-cards - they cheer me on until "the" letter arrives on Fridays.

The Garden
Saturday Morning 10.00

- Oh, Terrick, what a beastly blow - and damn, damn, damn too! - That's what comes of counting one's chickens.  I had planned the most wonderful picnics to share again when I should really have someone to talk to - and now it'll mean just going with the others without anybody! - But still, I got the looking forward until you do come back.

Thank you so much for the letter which I read in bed this morning - I've got the morning off because of ?? & dance last night - and now I've helped Jill with the beds and am sitting on the wooden seat in the garden in the most glorious sunshine.  The trees run parallel in three lines from where I'm sitting, and with their white trunks, black branches just aching to burst into bud - blue-hazy-spring-morning sky & green grass in between - everything is quite perfect. - oh you must come back in the real spring to see our apple-blossom - & me lying on my tummy in the orchard reading a book & eating an apple - heavens - how I ramble - but you see I'm full - perfectly, gloriously & completely full with realization and imagination of beauty behind everything and god everywhere - the grass in its wetness, the birds kicking up an awful fuss on 6 square inches of water - crocuses opening - and the sound of the Hoover from Jill doing the bedrooms!

- Here's Mums back from shopping - must go - as we're just oging up to town to buy a new coat & hat.  Will be back soon - when perhaps this will grow a little more circumspect!

*   *   *   *   

Drawing Room 7.45pm

Now I'm feeling much more practical.  Everybody has gone off to see Harold Lloyd in "Movie Crazy" - + Lingwoods - but as I unfortunately prefer a arm-chair - the fire - and writing to you, I've stayed behind.  I have done heaps of interesting things today.  My new coat is grey (very ordinary - big collar & belt) - new hat grey - brim lined with blue - new shoes - court - black patent - and I've bought dress lengths for 3 summer frocks - & a piece of black & white check tweed for a skirt - I do hope they'll asll look as nice when finished as I think they're going to!  This afternoon we went to see the crocuses at Hampton Court. - It's "Crocus Sunday" tomorrow.  The sun simply blazed down and brought everybody out of doors in the new Spring hats they'd bought in the Sales and meant to keep until Easter.  Babies - perambulators - cameras & colour parading up and down the gravel walks - the blaze of crocuses was indescribable - and I couldn't help wondering what old Wolsey would have thought of it all - specially "the maze" which, on the outside, sounded like a glorified swimming bath!  The imperturbility (?) & gracious longevity of trees always strides me in historical places - they always make me feel (just as crowds of people do) the amazing simplicity of life taken generally - just living, loving, & dying - with beauty & comfort - why have we added such a lot of unnecessary hummings? But I expect it would be horribly dull without them!

- Gracious that page was quite as bad a as first!

The dance last night was rather a first - 99% due to appalling cock-sureness (the unfounded kind) of partner - he'd hired a car because he hated me driving etc. - so all the way home I talked about everything under the sun - he must have thought I was going silly! Poor lad - I do despise him so - Mervyn was all right - but kept on arguing with Roger, with me in the middle! - But I did remember to thank Roger for taking me - anyway - only never again.  Reggie has never taken me to a dance - so Roger was the second - & perhaps when I've been able to enumerate 88 people who have done so, I'll make up my mind to settle down behind my aspidistra, + cat & knitting, to reflect on the amazing similarity of the male sex!

The "simple but interested" was quite my own - one day I shall only be "simple" - you know - go about with a vacant expression & my tongue hanging out.

- On Thursday I crawled, like the miserable coward I can be, to the dentist's chair - ready for anything. - He tugged & pinched & scraped here & there for 2 minutes - chucked me under the chin & said "Perfect - come again in June" - I sat in the chair for 2 more minutes stunned with reaction - & then leapt down steps and positively danced along Richmond High Street to hairdressers where I spent 5/6 on hair (I thought it would be looking so nice for you coming back! Irony!) and went home in high spirits.  Lo you won't be nauseated just yet with me toothless on my way to bathroom next time you come to stay.

-I've done my best for Scheme - but mostly I'm afraid N.B.G. - everybody's too poor to spend 5/- and risk other people being too poor. - I think the places where it'd go best would be on the counters of small doubtful shops - or public bars - places where you find gossips who'd all persuade each other - But I was thinking the other day - I wish you could find something really proper (not infra dig I mean) to start - & then you could have me as your secretary - or Norah - because I've just started shorthand - N's teaching me 0 & I might be good by the time you could afford me!  Miss Phillips (office) dissolved me into tears last Wednesday (first time for months) - I knew she'd hate me starting shorthand because she's so frightened I shall take her place - so for ¾ of an hour she went at me soundly telling me I would soon get fed up - I could never learn without proper tuition  I should always be going out instead of working at it as all we girls were flighty & flirty & talked of nothing but "Boys" all the time & never thought of anything but spending money & going to pictures etc: etc: - & I should have left school 2 years earlier & gone to Pitmans if I had wanted to get on! - oh the pig - I hate her- she's only 34, but horribly soured - & like a fool I simply sit there without opening my mouth, because I don't know what to say & know I should blush if I did! - oh, I am a coward - but thank heavens it was Norah's evening 0 she was a great help - & I simply must get on with shorthand - just to spite her!!

Parts of your letter were beastly - & made me squirm inside - probably with a guilty conscience - perhaps my head's getting rather turned - I know I'm just the sort of person to whom flattery is fatal!  Lots of things I say, or write, I wish I hadn't afterwards & I always think of myself first.  I'm afraid I like to ticking me off because it makes me feel wormish (which is so good for me) & adds ten times to my looking up to you - & the people one looks up to one always likes best. - so stay there, won't you?  Do you play tennis well?

There's not need to sniff at Mr Bernays like that - he's a far better man than you will ever be - & will probably die leaving much more good in the world than you've ever attempted.  He's not a clergyman - he's a bit of God - which is a much more praiseworthy ting - & I talk to him just like I would to you - so now I don't mind what you make of him as long as you don't think of him as a "clergyman" - because he happens to be one of my friends - & I'm afraid the fact that your father is marrying you makes no difference to the one that Mr Bernays is marrying me - I'm going to have several marriage services in fact, because he tells me that's the only time I shall be able to choose my own hymns - & I've always longed to do that.

(you knew I would snatch at this point in your letter didn't you? - I believe you only put it in just to see if I would rise to the bait - about Mr Bernays - I mean - I am a fool).

Mr Hodson has told me what Hedonism means - I must be frightfully "Hedonish" - so really I'm a bit of a hypocrite to preach Salvation - ain't I? - But don't try to improve too much , because now when I think of you I can only remember the nice bits - distance & time lend enchantment - you know - & you interest me in so many ways that I'd forgive you most of the things I don't like in you! - It's funny now much closer you are when you're miles away - you see I just let my imagination fun away with me - that's why I have to pinch myself sometimes & remember all the nasty things - otherwise my thoughts would be dreadfully bad for me. - I'm so easily co-erced from the practical & sensible things in my life.

I don't know what you'll think of me when you've waded through all this - or perhaps you're used to being disappointed in my stupidity - but please remember while you're trying to improve on other things (are you?) I'm trying to stop myself being "cheap" in longing to be original & being a "poseur" as a means to an end - but I shall only try with you - because nobody else minds - or perhaps they never notice it.  So please pull me up when I err - won't you?  Because I admire sincerity so much in other people that perhaps there's still hope for me.

Sometimes I feel you're so grown-up that I'm too young ever to understand your way of looking at things - which is perhaps just as well.

My book is still in my brain - but it looks worse & worse every time I think of it - I'm afraid It'll never reach paper, I'm too lazy & have no faith in myself.

- Please when can I see "Edwy"?

This week I'm going to see "Romeo & Juliet" - have you ever seen it?  I've always wanted to.

- Don't you think you'll be back till September now? - heavens - I shall leave off writing all together - I loathe this "one-a week" business - it's so unsatisfying - & when you do come back I shall have forgotten what you're really like!

- Your sister looks topping - there's a family likeness - I should have loved to meet her.  Is she tolerant of the young?

- Poor old Paul - I think he needs you to look after him - how queer.

Please excuse this paper - it's my book from school - but it was what I had most of!

-The family are not back yet but my conscience is pricking for the inane length of this - but I have enjoyed it - I do wish you wouldn't keep them, though.  You've no ideas what pangs of anxiety I get from the thought of them all congregated in their unnecessary numbers - containing such a load of rubbish - why do you?  They're no earthly use - 

I wish I had a soul above the pettynesses of this life - and a mind that was wholly sincere - does everybody put obstacles in their own way?


Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S. Are you sentimental?

P.P.S. How does one get pneumonia?

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