Monday, 1 July 2013

1st July 1933 - Mary to Terrick

In bed!



Dear Old Thing

This is really rather a momentous occasion - so please excuse the pencil.

All this week (while Katie has been away with absyss (sic) on head) I've had a beastly, bloody boil coming on my chin. - So I've been doing double work - also getting & washing up tea for 6 every day as we have the auditors in - with a face twice its normal size and the ache of a thousand devils bearing at my lower jaw! - This morning was dreadful - & this afternoon I had to go over & play in a tennis tournament at school.  I got back at 8.0, had a bath had started to bathe chin.  Had to stop three times to put my head between my knees & drink neat brandy out of tooth-glass proffered by Flip!  - & in the end prostrated myself at full length with my head on the seat & everything went black!  Thank heaven Jill arrived in from tennis at the right moment - got me into bed & administered water & aspirin & hot fomentataions etc!! - But, do you know, that's the first time I've really fainted except once in church! - It was a ghastly feeling & my chin feels hellish - so I feel just like writing to somebody nice - & I hope sympathetic.  It doesn't really matter if your arn't - because it's so beautifully easy for me to imagine all the nice things you might have said & done - & by the time your letter comes back I shan't need any!

Katie has been able to come in for 2 hours every afternoon - during which time she has described in full details the lancing of her absyss, which has left a hole as big as her thumb & has to be 'plugged' (beastly word) - & if it had been a bit further up the doctor says it would have been fatal!  Just imagine it! & she's so glad my boil isn't as bad as it might have been! - you may certainly come & call for me (or was it 'her'?) at the office one day - only she looks quite nice - & it would be dreadful if you fell!

- Thank you ever & ever so much for the letter (I'm afraid this will grow more effusive than usual owing to strangely sentimental ache in throat! - take no notice) - when your reply seems ages coming I always conjure up pictures of somebody nice that you've found - which is really rather selfish, because you won't let me be a dog in the manger & spoil any decent chance of a matrimonial alliance, will you? - It would be silly if you did, because it woudl rather leave you in the lurch if I suddenly walked off with someone else - wouldn't it?  One never knows.

- Have you received the book yet? - the shop said they'd send it off today - did you find the p.c? - & are they what you meant? - I would rather have liked to have skipped through them myself - but I thought the opportunity of getting all the duty work done for you, was too good to miss.  It came to 5/- all together - incl. postage - there's no hurry - when you come home will do - it was lucky your catching me on a Friday! - I shouldn't have had a bean any other day.

Thank you for the snap - it looks a lovely place - I don't think you could have got Norah & me up there - could you? - even if we 'put your foot where your hand is' all the way? -& the postcard - I must count them & see how many I have all together - quite a collection! - & I'll put all the "lures" in one packet - to gaze at when old & grey & think how badly someone (I forget his name) once wanted me to go to Dinard!

- Oh - & by the way - there is something in your letter which must be instantly refuted & settled between us once & for all - about this momentous embracement in dining-room.  I HONESTLY, TRUTHFULLY AND HEREBY SWEAR THAT THE EMBARASSING THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE GOING TO KISS ME HAD NEVER FOR ONE MOMENT DURING HOMEWARD JOURNEY ENTERED MY HEAD - so there, Mr FitzHugh, if you find it impossible to believe I can only say that I must be a little different from your usual line in females. - which is, perhaps, happy for both of us.

- Since last I wrote we've altered our holiday again.  The latest bulletin reads:-

On Friday July 28th I go down to Norah at bungalow which we have entirely to ourselves to do as we like until following Thursday - semi-camping.  On the Thursday I go down by train to Huish in S. Devon to family for weekend - returning Monday evening.  Then on Sept 29 we board the Yomaki Mam (or similar N.Y.K) at Tilbury Docks at 10 p.m. go to Antwerp - Rotterdam & then down Elbe to Hamburg, where we spend 3 days going excursions - but as we've decided to go 1st - & have booked gorgeous 2 berth cabin on promenade deck - we shan't be able to afford any excursions - except a 2/9 one for an "aerial" (!!) flight over Hamburg - that's really what wer're going for! - & coming back we stop at Heligoland - which looks rather nice & barren - we get back Sunday Oct 8th docking at Tilbury about 6 pm - What do you think it will be like?  I don't mind what it's like as long as I go on a ship somewhere I've never been before.  We have to sign a paper saying we 'do not uphold the annihilation of governmental bodies'! - Norah told Mr George Lunn she would do her best to suppress her friends' feelings that way!

Thank you also for discourse on German politics - I said 'lady likely' - I'm not quite up in such things as 'psuedo-socialist' or 'ultra-conservative' - but don't bother!

The Tennis party this afternoon was so dating - practically everybody was engaged - 2 are being married in September - 1 has just had a baby - & 1 got engaged this afternoon before turning up - & she was in my form too - & is only about 6 months older than me! - these young things! - I really don't see how they can know their own minds - I think it's stupid - they just act as more fodder for the jerry-builder & his diabolical beauty-destroying constructions - Listen to grannie!! - I'm waiting for Jill to get married so I can be a bridesmaid!

Do you know, I thought perhaps you would think I had written that poem - that's why I folded it up small - because then I thought you would be sure to read the letter first.  It's just how I should like to write one - but I'll put in 2 of mine just for you to see how dreadful they sound beside it - The "When" one was written at school aged 15 - & went into mag.  The other, as seems natural, was written since school about 4 months ago - it's rotten as a poem - but one Sunday evening I really thought I was feeling like it & it just came.  I don't suppose you'll be albe to get as much out of it as I put there.

It is now 7.30 on Sunday morning - a perfect morning.  The sky is mottled with little white clouds on blue.  The sun is dazzling everything and making shady patterns on the cupboard door & Jill - who is still asleep.  Buds are just giving their morning yawns & the garden (which I've just got up to look at) just lies, a blaze of colour, and soaks it all in.

My chin is a horrid mess, I must bathe it again as soon as possible.

Last Sunday down at the tennis club I unfortunately ran into Roger Harding (for first time) & of course he must needs cling on all the afternoon - tea & all - & he talks such a frightful lot of rubbish that everybody else in the club avoids him steadily - which is most horribly awkward! - anyway his mother (whom Mummy has loathed for about 20 years) asked us all to tea - especially me - nobody would go - so I had to write & say I always had tea at the club over the weekends - which I hope wasn't too rude - but quite final - so let's pray Roger isn't there today!

- What month do you finish "repping"? - I'd give an awful lot for you to be here on Sept 1st - but I suppose it's imposs.  You see it's Norah's 21st - & they're giving a dinner & dance for 50 at Great Fosters - a scrumptious Elizabethan hotel at Egham - with most heavenly old gardens & a floodlit swimming pool - so we're all going to bathe at the end! - Oh, won't it be too too galumtious - & I'm having a new frock for it - only I haven't got anybody to go with.  If you were here everything would be topping but I'm afraid it'll have to be Jack now! Couldn't you get transferred to Brighton - or somewhere near ?

Am now just sitting in the garden in the sun waiting for breakfast - scrambled eggs!

On Sept 23rd we're having an American Tea at school - I always sell tea tickets - will you come to that? - & let me see - about Oct 12th we're giving a few scenes from the Rivals - & some Shakespeare at school - will you come to that?  - oh & heaps & heaps of things that you keep on missing - but I expect you're having a much nicer time where you are - I'm most frightfully envious.

- & it's quite time this letter was finished


         Mary P.  

P.S. Don't be too scathing about my poems, will you?  - I know how stupid they are!  & I loathe being laughed at.


At sunrise, when the woods are green
And mottled with a million hues, 
I like to run between their leaves
Through sparkling grass, without my shoes,

At noonday, when the sun is high
And filters through a haze of heat,
I like to lie beside a stream
And splash up rainbows with my feet

At sunset, when a radiant glow
Has lightened up the dying sky,
I love to stand upon a hill
And thank my God that I am I.



Desperate despair - 
A blinding, groping search
Of empty shells.
A frozen aching void - 
A thousand Hells
Rising before a brain
With Disillusion.

Defiant dawn - 
A youthful world of Hope
Raised on a radiant hill.
A splendid shining sword
Cast of a will,
Perfect product of God,
And out of Faith

Dupe of a destiny,
Common, embittered wretch - 
Rudderrless, - lost,
Staked all on a future - 
A life as the cost.
Crawling Despair flung down
Upon the Waste-heap of the World.
Desperate despair of Death.


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