Sunday, 28 April 2013

28th April 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Friday evening 7.45

- Have just gorged much-needed meal & feel fabulously full & satisfyingly sound.

The twins have partaken themselves off in car to posh dance at Empress Rooms (I'm sure their hostess can't have known I existed!)  Mums & Mr Lingwood are playing patience while waiting for Grannie for bridge and Flip is lying on couch imbibing knowledge from the National Geographic Magazine - Mitchell, I believe is washing up and our nine one day old chickens have departed to bed down the garden. - The whole of the large suburban family having been accounted for I may tell you that in a minute I am repairing to dining-room to paint Grannie's birthday present - so you'll have to wait a bit.

Thank you very much for the p.c. - I'm not sure the person who gave you such a 'little boy' face was being altogether kind. It's so very misleading and therefore not quite fair to yourself.

Grannie has arrived and gone and I have spent 3 hours painting one lampshade - heaven only knows when I shall the the other one done.

The Treasure Hunt last Sunday was quite fun but rather too much on the same roads all the time - I'll enclose the clues if I remember - they're worth looking at.  N & I were appallingly slow in the morning, having spent an hour and a half on first clue which was the hospital - a decidedly tall yellow building! I think Mums must be a bit colour blind - & also we were searching for a "railway" high in front, instead of "railing"! However in the afternoon we won easily - have you ever seen the "Silent Pool" near Newlands Corner? It's simply perfect if you go on a week-day.

Last Saturday I went for the nicest drive I've ever been practially, in Mervyn Sprague's new M.G. (thank heavens it hadn't been run in !) We had tea at the Watermill between Dorking & Reigate - built after the style of the Clock House at Welwyn - gorgeous swimming bath for summer - I'm going again when it's warm enough - it would be lovely just to bathe & then go straight in to tea.

Mums & Mr Hodson have spent this week touring Devon in the car looking for a farm-house & camping place for family holiday - they're going for three weeks in August with Lingwoods, while Jack is in Hungary.  They don't know who to push me on to for that extent of time - possibly Grannie, unless I fit in my hols then too.  Norah & I have suggested a cruise - just for a change - but I can't help thinking of the waste of good lucre if I was sea-sick all the time! - I should demand my money back - like rain at Mentone!

- I'm not going to Aberystwyth now- except to spend Whitsun there I think - I'm really honestly going to try & work up for my L.R.A.M. in elocution & then teach it - like Elizabeth.  It's one of the things I should like to do best - but my one great great dread is that my enthusiasm will wane - you see, it's going to be such a beastly long job - and I get tired of a thing so quickly - it's laziness & inertia really - But, you keep on chatechizing (sic) me as to how far I've got - will you ? - Because I'm always starting to do something big with every sign of keenness - & then just get tired of not getting there & forget all about it - But this really may be a means of escaping from the office - so I simply must must stick it.

I had a nice letter from LOCH (Drama League) last week, saying they hoped a chance would arise for me to play for them during the cuoming season! - but I expect they write that to everybody.

N & I saw George Arliss in a King's Vacation last Wednesday - story rotten- but I'd like him in anything - we saw a most gorgeous flap-jack (flat powder compact) afterwards in a shop window _ & I said "oh I do like that" - so she said "Do you? - come in & I'll get it for you"! - So I've got it and have spent 3 days powdering my nose before friends & relations!  She is the trumpest of things - & yet sometimes she worries me to distraction.

- Well, it's about 12 o/c & I've got to be up early tomorrow - Katie has the morning off!

Love Mary

Saturday Morn 12.30

Held up at office, owing to simply teaming rain.  Jack & I, of course, have donned summer hats and no coats for first time & I didn't even dream of an umbrella! Mr Allen says "oh no, Miss Ormiston, you must certainly wait until it gives over & then take 'the car' from outside the door" (He always calls a tram 'the car', much to my annoyance).

I've had a frightfully busy, rushy-about morning, but have thoroughly enjoyed it - owing, I expect, to absence of Miss Phillips - (rain stopped - thunderstorm starting - will make a dash for 'car' & finish this later!)


have just washed, changed, 'painted my face & dried my hair' & sat down once more - I really must begin to wind this up - I fear it's rather disjointed in composition.

Mums & I are busy planning a dance-party for my birthday - it'll probably be either May 13th or 20th - can't you possibly wangle getting home by then? - oh - you must - being 19 might change me such a lot that you wouldn't recognise me - I wonder if anything outstanding will happen to me during my 20th year. - I don't think I'd mind going back 19 years, a bit! - although if I did I should probably attempt a Poly holiday a little earlier in life.

I see the P.T.A. have got a whole page advert in the Daily Mirror! - Horrors - sposing Katie decided to go on the same one as us!

I liked hearing about no II Temptation - you ought to consider yourself jolly lucky if that really was only no II - or is it only exceptionally bad ones that you call "temptations" now? You wait, my lad, one day she'll really come along and you'll go completely batty & lose your memory! - I know this sounds ungrateful after your hard fight - but I know you're as human as I am - & I'm sure I shall one day. i.e. I shan't forget all about you (somewhat naturally!) - but we shall be able to discuss these with each other without first wondering what the other's thinking.

- When your last letter arrive I really thought it was about time to clear out my desk & scrap a few.  I turned out everything & every blessed way I turned there was another from you - about 23 post-cards - & masses & masses of letters - so I sent through them all simply roaring over some of the things you'd put - & all all the specially nice pages I tore off & kept for future reference - I expect you'd be surprised if you saw all I've kept.  Altogether I scrapped 84 pages !!! & kept about 6 whole letters & 16 pages & all the postcards - and they extend over a period of 5 months (with 3 exceptions I think).

Isn't it disgraceful? - but it's six to one and half a dozen to the other - & I love it!

- Oh, heavens I must stop - I've just had 4 sets of tennis at my new club - awful, dreadful, rotten - I didn't sent one ball over decently.


Mary Pleasant

Isn't this a nasty bit of work?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

21st April 1933 - Mary to Terrick

The Office


Dear Terrick - you are an old chump, aren't you? Anyway I hope to goodness you have received my letter of last Monday by now - I shouldn't like your 30 clients having to endure excursions conducted by harassed youth.  I am sorry now that I didn't write as usual - but I honestly didn't get time to settle down to a letter to you - and it never occurred to me in the slightest that you'd miss it as much as you professed you did.  It's very silly really to rely on one person's letter so much - heavens only knows why you do.  My last was, on reflection, an absolute abomination of desolation - or more precisely a disgusting exhibition of a wholly egoistical letter written by an entirely self-centred and selfish child.  It was, a bit, wasn't it? My friend of the weekend has informed me of what I am - she is horribly disappointed to think that the school-girl she once knew can have grown into such a pig-headed, unenthusiastic, entirely self-centred being - & she never wants to see me again - and it's quite true, you know, that's what hurts about it all - heaps of people have told me exactly the same thing - even Mr Bernays says I must find somebody I can like better than myself - so I must be a mess! 

- It's so difficult to know how to cure myself though - & here I go again, spouting it all out to you, hoping for a little denial from the one source I can try for it from, & thereby proving myself all the beastly things I am.

I must get something to do - 

- To come off "me" for a bit - (great effort!)

- You seem to be having a hectically busy time - It must be rather a strain all the time isn't it? I'm glad some people remunerate your congenial efforts - do you save it all?  We've been having much colder weather this week - in fact we had snow on Tuesday - & I got caught in it all dressed up in my new white hat - which I find droops horribly when moist!  jack took two snaps of me the other day before breakfast - if they're good I'll send them to you.

- In what particular way would you describe Paul's latest as a 'winner' - just looks & general smartness - or is she also all that is to be desired as regards intellectual capacity?  I suppose Paul thinks so anyhow - make him be careful, won't you?

This is a new pad I bought last Saturday - 200 sheets - so I may manage to make it last for one or two more letters to you.

- Have you any inkling at all as to when you're coming home?

The garden, at the moment, is perfect.  The apple blossom is just coming out - all pink & white - Mr Hodson is sleeping in the tent at the bottom - I should live it. - & all the tulips are sprouting.  Mummy is frightfully bucked with it - she does it all by herself, you know.

- I think I shall join the Tennis Club in Richmond.  Perhaps it would have part of the desired effect - & also I shall get to know a few more people - which, I suppose, must be also desirable.

The treasure hunt is on Sunday - it ought to be great fun if the weather keeps fine.  Did I tell you I bathed in the river the other day?  It was freezing - but the family's faces when I told them made it worth while.

Norah was full of beans last Wednesday, she's staying down at their bungalow now - running around in cotton frocks & sandals - you must go there one day - it's lovely - I'll take you.

- Fancy having two tickets for a ball & no one to take! - it makes me long for wings to fly over - I wish I got asked to more dances - I don't mind in the slightest who I go with as long as he flatters my vanity - & then I like him immediately - which is rather a nasty thing to say - but incidentally quite true - & probably mainly the reason that you & I have anything to do with each other.  I'm not at all a nice person to know really ! - So perhaps it's a good job you don't.

- Well I'll let you know all about treasure hunt etc next week - when I write!

- I'm awfully sorry, really truly, old thing, I caused such mental havoc by missing a letter - it's frightfully wrong, you know, to bet just a silly old letter of mine make such a difference - honestly - I meant it - Cheer up - if you find time to - be good & please please don't count on me too much - my motives are so horribly ulterior & self-centred!! But you're a dear boy all the same - forgive me for being such a fool.  Write soon.


Mary (Pleasant?) xxx

Friday, 19 April 2013

19th April 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Grand Hotel des Palmiers
Boulevard Victor-Hugo
Nice (A.-M.)

Wednesday 19th April

Oh, why don't you write!  For the first time I feel really hundreds of miles away from London.  I begin to think that the feindishness of the two women and the tiresomness of the Yorkshire people is really only inside me.  When I go to the concierge every morning and find no letter from you I am in the mood to find everyone irritating.

Perhaps your letter has gone astray.  Or perhaps my last one did and you are still waiting for it.  Anyhow I'll send this off today.

Yesterday I went to San Remo in the daytime and made up a casino party for Monte Carlo in the evening.  One of the clients won £15, another 350 francs, another 150 francs.  Today I have sent the party off without me as I have too much to do.

I don't feel like writing much news; all I am interested in is: why no letter from you.

I have been given tickets for a ball on Saturday.  I wish I could take you to it.  I don't quite know whom I shall go with.

Work seems so empty, mechanical and aimless.  I feel like a robot moving about among the clients, a robot made out of a human being by the extraction of certain basic human feelings; like a jig-saw piece, the piece it fits into lost, and so separated from the whole picture.  So do write.

Well, I must get some work done.



Tuesday, 16 April 2013

16th April 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Road
East Sheen

Easter Sunday

Dear Boy - how farest thou? and art though passingly irate owing to inconstant correspondence of fate? or chancest it that thou has failed to mentally record the seeming inconstancy of she who weaves?

- I cannot, with truth, say I'm sorry I didn't answer yours before.  I'm only sorry in so far is it will delay your reply.  But your last letter really did not give me much to remark on, and being Easter week I was run off my legs all day (very good for me!) & on arriving home just dropped into bed, as t'were.  I was very tempted to hold forth on "marriage" once more - specially as you hadn't quite "got me". (which remark, let me add, was also very good for me) - but if I've got to try & explain I think it would be altogether more 'satisfying' (what is the word I'm looking for) in words.

Thank you for the three postcards - they made me more envious than anything has done yet - at least, not exactly 'envious' - because it wouldn't be half so nice just taking your place - but terribly "longing" to be there too. - because I'd like to have you to explain things & just make things easy for me (who wouldn't?) - although probably I can dish out just as much "Margate" as other people.  I'm afraid you over-rate me if you think I could possibly think the other half of your thoughts - my thoughts, sometimes, would be horribly disillusioning if spoken aloud - I often disgust myself.  But I could be silent, at the moment the family are trying to cure me of it - but I'm afraid I consider it one of the most worth-while-cultivating habits.  it can give such unlimited satisfaction with the advantage of not giving anything away - although, I suppose, inversely as well.  Norah discovered that long before I did.

Do  you consider me an average sincere person? - A friend who is staying with me over the weekend gave me a few qualms today - she, apparently, has a regular correspondent who is most frightfully interesting, amusing & witty in letters and constructs glorious sentences, but, of course, she informs me, is totally insincere - it reads as if she does it for effect all the time.  I wonder.  I wish I knew, but I've tried & I simply can't find out.  What would you deduct from an ordinary letter of mine, to you, if you didn't know me & had just happened to read it?  I, personally, am inclined to consider myself absolutely sincere - but I have an abhorable (sic) streak of not being sure of anything about myself.  It's probably due to extreme youth & inexperience - Heaven help me to grow old soon and sprout a little sense.

- I informed Norah of your extreme interest in her future.  She was duly flattered, but has since left job, as it was only tempory (?) - she has been preparing their bungalow for Easter these last two weeks.  Last Wednesday, instead of going out somewhere, we bought our supper (1/11½ all) and took the bedding down & ate by the light of two candles sitting on the kitchen table - returning home around 11.30 p.m.  It was gorgeous - just exactly perfect  Just being interesting to ourselves and going for long pauses without saying anything, yet saying everything (somewhat hackneyed).  The friend I have staying here at the moment I haven't seen for four years - & it's funny how I long to just stop talking for a moment and listen to nothing - that is perhaps where Norah reaches the ideal - & why you & I write 13 pages to each other every week.

The afore-mentioned friend is trying to persuade me to return to Aberystwyth with her, go to the University there for 3 years, get my B.A. & then teach.  I think Mums would let me if I just said the word - but my conservative & highly unoriginal streak just won't let me take the plunge - the chief drawbacks being (1) Living away from home & with sometimes trying friend. (2) I'm too lazy, have no faith in myself & three years is a long time. (3) No Norah.  But it's an idea.

Our party last night went of fairly well - my cousin Verney came out with some rather bright games - have you ever played Honeymoons or Statues (posing as a couple from loving photograph?) They're both most entertaining.  My new frock met with great success - I'll try & get somebody to take a snap of me in it - & my new black & white ensemble - & send it to you.  If you're still interested in my clothes that is! (you'll have to pretend now, anyway)

Melvin Sprague came in his new M.G. sports car.  He's only had it 2 days & I'm going out with him to try it next Saturday afternoon - thank heavens it won't have been run in by then! - our treasure hunt is next Sunday - it ought to be great fun if the weather is fine.  Mums is using our car to take the food down so we've got to fit in with other people.

- Do you know yet when you're coming back? - won't it be a phenomenon when you do come? - What can we do to celebrate occasion - go up in an aeroplane? 

- Funnily enough I've quite enjoyed writing this - I thought, having nothing to pass remarks on, it would only come to a 2 page one - but it's not so bad is it?

- Oh - how I'd love, love, love to be out there in the sun.

- My love and "enviousings" to 'Margate'

Mary Pleasant xxx

P.S. There's not the slightest need to complain about the various fairies invited to your christening

P.P.S. My friend, who considers herself rather up in these things, thinks I am, owing to such letters etc., an ideal example for the physcologist (sic) of the female sex, from the age of 16 - 20.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

9th April 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Brice
Rue du Maréchal Joffre

Dear Mary Pleasant

You ought to be here.  I wrote you a postcard yesterday while on the Laghet and Cap Ferrat trip, but forgot to post it as I could not find a box right away.  The place where I wrote the last part of the card was nearly perfect.  I was sitting on a wooden seat in a garden of green lawn and red earth and multicoloured flowers, "Nirvanic" with scents and the humming of bees; and looking straight over the blue Mediterranean, calm as a pool, nesting lazily in the the sun; and out of the hotel just behind came the sounds of a violin playing just the right music.  The only thing there to remind you of the vulgar world was the occasional sight of the clients mooching among the flowers, like Stephano and Trinculo on Ariel's island.

When I was christened one of my fairy-godmothers when her time came to give me a blessing said that I should spend my life in the most beautiful places of the earth, and then the wicked old fairly whom my people hadn't invited added nastily: "And he shall have to take with him a troupe of common-minded people who at best will make trite remarks and at the worst will ask him to "give them Margate"".

Why weren't you there, sitting beside me silently on the seat, thinking thoughts that were the other halves of my own?

It was a gap that I tried to fill by cramming a few more words onto your postcard.

I do wish I could be there for your treasure-hunt! And to bathe and pick primroses.  There is still hope.  The Asst. Staff Manager came down with the last party and I told him I wished I knew where I was going.  After he got back to London I got a letter from the Staff Manager telling me that I should be here over Easter and thereafter until instructions reached me.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

4th April 1933 - Mary to Terrick


Dear Terrick

- This is really dreadful - I got in at seven - read your gorgeous letter (I loved every bit of it) - ate my supper with great speed - and long before I have had time to digest it properly here I am lying full length on my bed upstairs (they're playing bridge in the drawing-room - & it's much too distracting) writing to you again - as if my life depended on it! and I'm sure it would be much more satisfactory if I waited a bit longer - specially as I'm writing to a person like you!  But, you see it's the middle of the week I can't pick my letter writing times (I must find some excuse!)

- Yes - it was an exceedingly nice letter - I love your trying to be impersonal - it makes me so quizzy - please what did you "hope that I might-"?

Three cheers for your temptation! - though I must say, if it really was just like you said it was, I can't possibly imagine why you didn't fall - even temporarily - because you won't make me believe (all those miles out there) that you're deeply rooted enough here! - you go up all the more in my admiration because I'm sure I couldn't have stuck it out if I'd been in your place - and things are hardly fair as it is - because I shall never have an equivalent chance to show you what I'd do!!

Poor Girl, I should have been cross - the nicest male within radius - and with all her feminine whiles and charm - oh - & moonlight etc. (lucky dog) all she gets is a scornful laugh - metaphorically speaking.  You know it's very difficult to decide which party deserves the most sympathy!

- I'm fed to the back teeth (the false ones) with the P.T.A. - do you think it would have any effect if I wrote & asked them to let you come back? - just to see my new frock before it gets worn out? - They'd know which one I meant because I'd put 'that one with the charming smile - clean teeth and authoritative swagger, who you employ to sit behind glass partitions and entice young & innocent female clients to become a permanency upon your booking list' - and of course I have only to add 'he speaks German and is possessed of greater common sense than one would think of on looking at him' - for them to write back at once and say 'Dear enticed female client, we are well acquainted with the young rep. in question - but owing to his being more valuable to us than rubies (due solely to the clean teeth and other charms you mention) we are detailing him to the Fijii Islands immediately - where - we are confident, he will add greatly to the already large feminine clientele travelling on our books.'

- What do you think?

We're having a motor treasure hunt the Sunday after Easter - no hope I suppose?  We spent all last Sunday picnicing - boiling our own kettle & picking primroses in the most heavenly thickets where the sun poured in thin streaks through on to their yellow patches - you would have loved it, dash it! - We want to go to the sea next Sunday & bathe - but what I miss so much on these occasions is a kindred spirit to see and feel the same things as I do.  You insinuate (with many apologies) that you've met your fate - well I've met a correspondent whom I wouldn't believe could have existed.  You're my perfect person to write to, and to write to me - so perhaps, really, it's nicer having you where you are - except that this way we have to miss such a lot out.

- You see, I've still got to explain to you why I dislike you being personal - it's quite a sensible reason too!

What is Paul thinking of? - you men make me want to laugh one minute and weep for you the next - fancy kissing a girl in Hyde Park when he has only known her about a month! - Do you think he's just bowled over by outside? Look after him, won't you? It quite worries me to think there may be thousands of silly fools all over the place getting engaged to people's outsides.  Marriage, as an institution, needs scrapping altogether at the moment, and starting again on a new and completely different basis - we look at it from absolutely the wrong angle.  It's purely physical through the spiritual- and marriage without either one or the other shared mutually is only half-witted.  And it's no use delving for the spiritual behind the physical, because our senses are so essentially far & away bigger things than our bodies.

- Oh, Mary, what are you gassing about? - Sorry - it just came - but I could really go on quite heatedly for hours.

People expect such a terrific lot from it before they're married - and then give it nothing substantial to thrive on afterwards - so it just dies and you get the world fuller & fuller of battered children who can't believe in the depth of anything, and dither about on the surface of life giving nothing, getting nothing out of it and dying off exact replacas of their forefathers.

- For heaven's sake shut up child, he's thinking how really very young you must be, - anyway, I'll improve on next page.

- This is the last piece of paper I've got - & it's really time I had my bath I suppose.

I'll give Norah your messages tomorrow - she hates the job, though really - one nasty little man called Tüm bosses her about from morning till night & puts her back up - & Norah with her back up, you know, is worse than the Devil!! - But she still likes me - which is all that matters these days.

- This week I have been working like a navvy - oh I had a 5/- rise last Friday!!! - so I'm now the proud & thankful earner of 25/- per week! (Norah gets £3!!) Katie (Phillips) has her brighter spots (such as an emerald green jumper with orange stripes) - but she's simply obsessed with people falling under tube trains and the remarkable dishonesty of the world in general - especially those people whose eyebrows meet in the middle!! (mine are inclined that way - so I'm getting a bit worried in case she notices and starts locking her pursebag and Daily Mirror up!)

My new dress is a sort of grey background with small black & red ovals on it - with slit shoulders, high, straight neck & sash round the middle.  I've also got a new black & white check skirt & my pyjamas (which I'm longing to wear - but can't find a special enough occasion) are stunning!

- I didn't have to actually go into the Guildhall - but I would simply love to go over it one day - are there really dungeons? - couldn't Renny take us both when you come back one day?

- Well - I must hie myself to the bathroom - or the water will be cold.

- I'll leave this space in case I think of something worth escubing, when submerged beneath the embalming ?? somnambulance of hot water.

*   *   *   *   
- No - I'm afraid it didn't - In fact I forgot all about you and this and just thought other thoughts.

At the moment I'm in bed & have just consumed 2 cakes and imbibed a cup of lukewarm tea, consequently my bed is full of crumbs - Jill is saying her prayer & sends her love.

- What I'd give to be canoeing across your 'blue breadth of sea without a break'

- Grannie's just come in to kiss us goodnight - & has made the fabulous remark that I must be 'very fond' of you to write this much every week - I am covered with confusion 'as with a mantle' and hastily say 'oh, no I'm not' - most emphatically - but they'll never understand.

Love Mary

P.S. I shouldn't take any notice of Paul's 'eye on the middle-distant future' - specially if it's Brenda!

P.P.S - I wonder how the new rep at Fort William is Faring?