Wednesday, 8 May 2013

8th May 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Christchurch Rd.
East Sheen


It isn't to be different - but because a beginning is never adequate when you're writing this kind of letter - it leaves you formally stranded and takes a lot of getting over, - when you're meaning what you're saying - as I am at the moment.

- I'm afraid this is going to be a bit personal too. - I have told you before that I'm one of the world's worst for emotionalism - haven't I? - Quite ordinary things seem to hurt me out of all proportion or else send me into ridiculous heights of bliss. - & (the greatest of drawbacks) in either case it usually finds it's expression in tears - when anything is particularly beautiful, magnificent, loving, pathetic, tragic or disappointing I immediately feel something get bigger inside me and I run over with it all in the most degrading manner possible:-

- I had written you a horrible, unworthy letter, followed by, what, afterwards I thought, must have been another, disclosing my most hideous lack of self-control and unlimited amount of self-pity - you didn't answer either for ages & ages - so I'd absolutely decided you'd at last decided what a really empty conceited shell I was (you don't even know what a beast I can be yet!) and weren't going to take any more notice of me - I spent the weekend with Norah - & every time your name was mentioned, went a delightfully deep cherry pink - (my conscience coming out!) - so when Jack brought up your letter to the office this morning for me to scan hurriedly while making the cocoa I honestly felt quite sick! -

Oh, my very dear acquaintance, how could you be so positively 'setting-of-all-things-to-rights' in 6 blissful pages? - Four heart felt tears dropped into the hot milk in thankfulness; I cut my finger on the bin in 'emotional extremis'; and sniffed in paeons of praise to heaven over the cups! - Take this with a small but substantial pinch of salt & you'll get the actual facts - but thank-you over & over again for being so kind and such an unintentional samaritan to a snivelling child who considers she'd rather good at presenting a sensible, matter-of-fact face to the world.  - If I'd lost the first male friend I've ever tried to make simply through my own stupidity - I shouldn't have had the heart (not the same one, at least) to try another - in the same way - I want this to be such a successful friendship (I nearly put 'experiment') - please - old thing - I don't want to marry you in the slightest - & I don't love you - but I have a tremendous respect for you - and would just like to sit under a tree with the sun coming through for hours & hours & talk to you - and when there was nothing else to talk about just sit and listen to nothing - so only you or Norah, would do. - Sometimes I wish quite different things - but only for moments when earth smells damp and the lilac's coming out & I'm a bit light-headed! - Nature in the new always goes straight to my head - & I live in such a constant fear of acting like a fool, that I do say things I don't mean at all. - Can you understand? - or do I tax your imagination too much?

- Poor lad, he must be a bit sick of all this - now for a little of the other me!

- Mummy is giving a garden party on my birthday! - She's invited 50 dear old things from the parish, work-party etc. - whom I shall probably have to recite to:- "I remember dear little Mary when she was so high"!  - It's a matter of fact I rather revel in old lady's - flattery again, you see! - But in the evening Mummy is taking Norah, me and Mr Hodson to the theatre! Whoopee! - if only you'd come home you could come too! - BUT when you do come you've got to spend a long weekend here - and then - oh boy! - I don't expect it'll be nearly as nice as I imagine it - or you either, for that matter - & I shan't know what to say or do - oh dear, isn't it difficult?

- But you will come, won't you? - any weekend you like. - Mums & Mr Hodson will be away the May 26th weekend - so it would be rather fun if you came then & helped me look after the family! - only the car won't be home - blight.

- On May 18th I'm doing my League of Health & Beauty stunts in Hyde Park! - on June 17th N & I have booked our seats and car park for A! - & for our summer holiday we've decided to go to some nice English hotel right on the sea & sand - miles from anywhere (?) and just lay in the sun (?) for 14 days! - we shan't go Poly. - I find it a little risky! - & I simply couldn't manage 2 - although I suppose I've got 87 to come yet. (I think, as a matter of fact I'm 89 aren't I? - so you must be in the 90s by now).

- You know, it was a coincidence you quoting Shakespeare, Sonnet CXVI (did you have to look it up?) - because I've never had anything to do with Shakespeare's sonnets up till now - & it just happens, for my first elocution lesson this Friday, that is the actual one I've got to learn up! - It made me smile in my beard - & now I'm much more interested!

Mr Bernays was a dear the other Sunday - only he will call you Cuthbert & annoy me! - I hope he's coming on the 17th too - but I don't suppose he'll be able to manage it.

- I'll enclose some various snaps of family - hope you're duly impressed - but remember to return them won't you?

-Well - I must learn my sonnet - it'll be quite easy now!

- Please, please come home soon - I think I must be forgetting, you know!

- Thank you, again, for your last letter - & please write again soon - I think I like you sentimental.

- Mary Love Pleasant (sorry my family name - when loving)

P.S. I'm sorry I've left the snaps at Norah's - I'll let you have them next round

P.P.S. Did she enjoy being initiated as "90"?

(I hope this letter isn't too kind - is it?)

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