Wednesday, 28 August 2013

28th August 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Bellevue & D'Italie
Menton (A.M.)

I hope you have never had to pay over-weight.  The concierge always weighs my letters before stamping them.

28th August 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant,

I loved the photographs.  I suppose you want them back.  You can keep mine.

Sorry my last letter sounded forced.  It must have been the heat because I loved writing it.  It is rather difficult to be gossipy in my letters because it would all be about places and people you have never seen and might prove somewhat boring to you.

I am exactly like you when I come to a part of a letter where I think I am going to be "shown up".  I go hot and skip, telling myself at the same time not to be such a fool.

I hope when you read it, it did not justify your skipping.  After  had posted it I remembered that I had said "transmute" was a finite verb, whereas, of course, I meant transitive.

It must be exciting for you to be in Dunally.  We have lived in six different homes and every time I have been thrilled - since I was old enough to appreciate it, that is.

I believe that the two October clients actually arrive on the 24th September so that in that case the first week of October will be their second week and if that is so Head Office may thin that I can't be much help to them by staying until they leave.

A man in the drawing-room next door is playing nice tunes on the piano.

the name of the woman whose hand I am holding in the photograph is Miss Lyster, alias "the Blister", alias "All Brains And Life".  I was holding her hand because her mother, the submerged female in the front row, was afraid she would fall over backwards.

We called her the second nickname because that is how her mother described her, and if there was anything striking about such a negative person as she, it was that she was utterly lifeless and brain less.  She had a silly titter.

As regards the "Swank" photograph it was not swank that made me send it to you - though it might have been if it had  been a better one - but it was swank that made me paddle around standing up.  All the others were footling about in their canoes, colliding with one another and tipping over; so with my small mind I thought I would show them what canoeing could be.

But I do stunts in the canoe when no one is looking too, because I get bored with paddling about with nowhere to go.  Paddling standing, paddling astride of the stern, slipping out of the canoe when out of my depth for the fun of climbing back again either over the stern or, much more difficult at first, over the side (all very good for the balance) and then when I get water into the canoe, instead of going to shore and emptying it out, slip out when just in my depth, lift the canoe in the air turning it upside down, hold it there until all the water is out and then get it back right way up on the water (very good for the muscles).  

I sent it because you asked for two and that is the only one I have.

Lately I have been too broke to hire a canoe.  Three weeks ago I got slack on my saving scheme and for a fortnight I spent without keeping accounts, so for a week now I have been back on a stricter regime than before and shall continue so until I catch up with my budgeted savings.

The Haunting Female left on Saturday.  On Friday she came for her last excursion and asked if she could sit next to me in front and "be mad".  I said she might, but as I was very quiet and left a vacant seat between her and me she wasn't encouraged enough to go mad.  However, as you told me to be nice to her, I gave her a bottle of scent that the management of the perfume factory at Grasse had given me.

I expect you have noticed that all my remarks on clients are derogatory.  I call them "fools" & "idiots" and never say anything about them that isn't jeering.  I begin to wonder if I am getting misanthropic and uncharitable.  But I think that when company is forced on you that you don't like, it is hard not to let off steam to somebody.  Especially if the forcing of the unwelcome company continues for eight months without stopping and there is no one on hand to whom you can be really friendly.

I don't think I shall be able to stay the night with you before I go north, unless I get time to fix things at Haverstock Hill, because I shall have a good deal of luggage packing and unpacking to do there.  I'll see later.

Surely you won't start at school the day after you get back!

I am not in my Heaven at all.  Three of the things are *things* and one is a *person*.

Inside me I am not a bit sure of my good points - and yet I suppose I am more sure than I ought to be.

Next week I should have time to get on with "Edwy" again.  If it produces about £4,000 I shall leave the Poly and travel round England in search of material for "Robin Hood".

I am now developing more definite ideas as to what I mean to do in life.  Before I was always torn between my interests:  in writing, in socialism, in religions and in languages.  I think now that I have synthesised(?) them all.  I shan't tell you how until I have demonstrated that I am not just an idle castle-in-the-air builder by getting "Edwy the Fair" produced.

But now that I have discovered an object that includes all my diverse interests I feel more sure of myself.  I feel that this object is naturally my object and that any other would for me be quite absurd.  And I did not find it by thinking about it.  It just came, and afterwards I realised that it fulfilled all the necessary conditions.

Isotta Franchinis are not part of the plan, but Monte Carlo and the Lake of Geneva can be fitted in.

Yes, I have had to pay over-weight on several of your letters lately.  I was (ungratefully) most disappointed when I saw that the last did not require it.  I thought:  Huh! Only a short one this time; and then roared with laughter at the joke.

I started this letter yesterday Sunday, just after getting your letter.  this morning (mad! it seems so long ago).  It has now just struck midnight of Monday-Tuesday.

Have you ever read a book called "For Sinners Only" about the Oxford Group Movement?  I had often heard of it and thought it rather ridiculous, but now I have found it in the hotel library and hate to think that I must come to the end of it.  It is terribly badly written too.  If you can get hold of it do, and then we can compare opinions on it.

Goodbye, M.P., for the present.  Write soon.  When I see your writing on the envelope the first thing I do is to feel it to see if there's plenty of it, and when, as usual, I find there is, I drop everything and go off with a smile on my face to a quiet place to read it.

Clients have often ragged me about a letter from you, just from the expression on my face as I read it.

Love Terrick

Saturday, 24 August 2013

24th August 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Dunally Lodge
Walton Lane


Once more I ensconce myself at a table provided with pen and ink to escribe another batch of idle pages for no higher motive than self-satisfaction.  What a depth!

- Thank you for the letter which awaited my return from the noisome city and went down very will with stew and boiled potatoes!  It made fairly good reading - except that it gave me the feeling you were stumped for something to fill pages with (possibly owing to lateness of hour and exhausting temperature) - and had therefore gleaned answers from mine - which I'm not very fond of.

- I went a flaming red when you brought up the 'mountains' and bit dust for a few moments & skipped that page altogether.  - I felt it would come back to me in force - but thought it would look stupider to cross it through.  I, literally, squirmed inside - and it did me a lot of good.

We moved in most successfully last Monday.  The house still bears a slight pig-sty resemblance - and all we eat tastes of distemper - but otherwise a tremendous amount has been done, and we're gradually getting straight.  In fact when you return, (somewhere around December) it may bear quite a respectable air - the only thing we can offer our guests at the moment is any amount of hot baths!

- Curses upon the heads of the two October clients - now what happens if we never return from Hamburg - having been abducted to the white slave traffic regions? - The blame will rest entirely with you for not returning in time to dole out the 'fatherly advice'!

Thank you also for the photographs - the family (bless them!) all wanted to know the name of the lady whose hand you're holding!! - But it's quite good of you - isn't it? - The other, I felt, might be entitled 'Swank' - or did you sent it because it was the only one you had of you by yourself?  Norah went through her snaps last Wednesday and we nearly came to blows over the one she stole from you on the Glencoe trip! - I remember being furious with her then (because I thought it so dreadfully forward!) - but it is a good one - far the best I've seen.

Fancy the haunting female teaching! - what does she teach? - and how is she progressing? - at Menton - I mean.

I did receive the postcard - ('Ormiston, Richmond.' would be enough for Grannie!) - although the flat happens to be '3' !!

I believe 'my regatta man' goes by the name of 'Richard James' - any more I can assist you with?

When you come back, then, do you go home for a holiday? - (oh - yes - of course, I remember last year!) - yes, I'd love to book myself up for your one night down here - will you come back here for the night? - or will you want to see  your brother then too? - Anyhow, come here if you can - won't you? - Only I do hope it doesn't clash exactly with the day we come back - because I always weep after a week of holiday & Norah!! (Just to settle me down again!)

- It's a Sunday too, isn't it? Couldn't you stay down for the Monday night? - 
- oh - but that won't be any good because I shall probably go straight into school on the Monday - & ten it's hopeless - unless I just come out for the evening! - But anyway it's miles away yet - we'll try and settle it later.

My talk on 'Respect & the Right Woman' stressed more the essential point of 'men' gaining 'women's' respect - a much harder thing than the reverse - so you were rather up the wrong tree - weren't you? - and I quite agree that you would have no use for your version at all!

- Have you seen Leslie Howard on the films - or stage? - He's perfect.

Wouldn't you let a chauffeur drive you to the Lake of Geneva? - you see I don't know you too well - do I?  Have you ever smoked a pipe then?  I so badly want to see what you look like!  But far be it for me to suggest your deducting 1½d per day off lunches!

Jack comes home tomorrow - we have killed the fatted calf in the shape of 3, 6 months old chickens! - to be served 'au flour stain' - He has already arranged a holiday in Norway next summer with some scouts he met in the Norwegian contingent.  - We have had some lovely letters from him.  In one he says he finds shopping quite easy - the only things he had a little difficulty in gesticulating were 'sun-glasses' and ' yeast-vite tablets'!!  - He also says it's a wonderful sight, - after the long excursions, travelling home late in the rickety train - to see Australian scouts propping up snoring Egyptians - who in their turn are propping up Singalese!  

Norah has asked Mummy & Mr. Hodson to her 21st - (bit of a blight!) - so I'm not so excited as I was!

- Isn't it a coincidence that on Sept 16th 1932 I left the Office for my super week at F.W. and on Sept 16th 1933 - I leave it again - on an even more (if not quite so pleasant) adventurous journey! - Obviously my lucky day.

- Well - I suppose it's time I went up to bed. - Please write again as soon as possible - our 'phone number is Walton-on-Thames 1190 (for future reference!) Toll Call from Haverstock - 5d I'm afraid!


Mary P.  xxx

P.S. I suppose the largest person in your heaven (or are they 'things') is yourself? - He seems quite certain of his own good points, anyhow.

(Have you ever had to pay over-weight on my letters?)

Can I keep the photograph & cut  you out?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

21st August 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Bellevue & D'Italie
Menton (A.M.)

21st August 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant,

Did you get my postcard?  I was out on an excursion and could not quite remember the number of the flat.  In the end I plumped for 24.

Thanks for your very nice letter.  After the other measly one and the postcard it was very bracing.  I realised that doubts that I had begun to entertain as to this being a great life were based on fundamental fallacies, ant that even the clients and the riviera climate were part of Nature's Big Plan!

I shall not, as you shrewdly guessed, be seeing you on the 29th.  Two fools have booked here for the first week in October.  But I shall, as things stand at present, be arriving at Victoria five minutes after you dock at Tilbury on the 8th.  So we can meet then, or better still, I'll stay the next night (9th) in town instead of going north at once, and we can spend an evening gossipping at Lyons.  Yes?

I return your photos of Dunally.  From what I can see of it it looks jolly fine.  I also enclose two of me, both in the blue beret.  I look a bit weak in the knees in the canoe, but I was trying to keep it still in a strong swell while a fool of a girl whom I nicknamed "the Blister" (her name was Miss Lister) tried to focus the camera on me.

I should have loved to have listened in to your talk on "Respect and the Right Woman".  It might do me some good, though I don't think lack of respect is a fault of mine, rather the reverse.

It is dreadful that people should be able to say: "There is a man just like Fitz". But I know it's true.  When he made my face, God saw that it was good, and started to turn it out by the thousand.

What is the name of your rowing admirer?  Just curiosity.

I am sitting in the office in pyjamas.  It is twenty past ten p.m. and I am glistening with perspiration.

Did I tell you that the haunting female is a teacher?  Rather a brainy one I believe.

Thank you for your criticism of my impressions of climbing in the Highlands, the Swiss Alps and the Maritime Alps - by the way the last are the ones here, the dead cat ones.

When you said that the Scottish mountains were too homely to be compared to a God, you were forgetting that I was only talking about them in relation to a climber in dangerous places - not to anyone in the "round and glassy and mellow" ones.  It was the ability to raise up and to kill that suggested "goddishness".  You are right about "transmuting" being wrong.  It is a finite verb anyhow.  I think  you would not object to the sun here being called "unbearable gold" if  you had been here - certainly not if you had been here six months.  Although I have been over the Equator four times it was only after about five months here that I realised the full force of what Coleridge meant when he made the Ancient Mariner talk about: "the bloody sun at noon".

Eté is été all right.

Certainly you would have to sit next the driver from Monte Carlo to the Lake of Geneva, but what makes you think I am the sort who would let a chauffeur drive him.

I roared over your picture of me shouting down the speaking-tube to you.

When I was comparing  your beauty favourably with that of all the women at the Monte Carlo summer casino, I wasn't using quite the right word.  I meant "loveliness".  I don't know what the dictionary says, but to my mind the difference between beauty and loveliness is that beauty (as per proverb) is skin-deep, whereas a lovely face is one that is shined through from within.

One can't be fully lovely until one is about 24 or 25, so finish your training.

Your face is certainly not "the most ordinary thing about" you - I didn't know you when you were fat.  When I first knew  you your hair was the most ordinary thing about you, but now that you have had it waved it takes a creditable place among your excellencies.

I shan't smoke a pipe till I am a lot richer, if ever.  My father and brother each spend a shilling a day on tobacco.  If I had to find 7/- a week for that, it could mean giving up:

Theatre seat                                    3s  6d
Cinema                                             2s  4d
"The Observer"                                     2d
"The Listener"                                       3d
1½d off Week-day lunches                  9d
                                                             7s   0d

Life wouldn't be worth living.

I can now understand Paul's letting me know when a fortune-teller told him something he wanted to hear.  A fortune-teller has just told my mother that her eldest son is going to make a great name for himself.  Watch me!

As soon as the crowd and the heat go I will get on with "Edwy".  I think I have the true instinct for drama.  Do you remember my telling what I thought the one week point of "Richard of Bordeaux"?  Well, Ivor Brown in this week's Observer says exactly the same thing.  At the moment I am wavering between three alternate versions for a short passage in my last act.  It is difficult without practical experience to know which will "get over" best.  

No more paper.

There are Seventh Heavens, one inside the other.  My heaven contains four things and I am going to find them all.  "Keep your highest home holy and follow the hero in your heart."

Love and a lot of kisses,


Thursday, 15 August 2013

15th August 1933 - Mary to Terrick

9 Cardigan Mansions
Hill Rise
Richmond.  Surrey.
Tuesday 8.15pm

Dear Old Thing,

Today has been the busiest day I've had for months - all holiday work crying to be done - phone ticking every minute - and jobs taking three times the time you allow for them.  I fell asleep in the bus from Hammersmith - and arrived on Grannie's door step dead to the world.  The first thing they waved at me was entirely unexpected epistle from your gracious self - it (just the warm friendly look of the envelope) cheered me tremendously - they teased me about it all through supper - and here I am!

I was going to write this evening anyway - just because I wanted to so badly - but now I want to even more.

Thank you for such a long one - especially as it wasn't deserved and you must be 'dead to the world' too, I should think!

I had a most gorgeous time down in Devon.  We 'prawned' every morning - and on the last day hired a motor-boat in Salcombe and spent 2 hours in it in the morning and another hour in the evening.  Oh Fitz, it was scrummy!!  I sat on the very front with my legs dangling each side & no shoes on, and coming back we anchored off a darling sandy cove and swam in & lay on hot smooth rocks, bust baking!   - I must go back someday - and in the evening there was a terrific ground swell on and I just went straight up on to the top of a wave and bumped down again, until Mummy (who hated it!) told me to sit back in the boat with them - and the moon was round as round - a disc of slow burnished copper pouring across a molten sea ringed with stark ridges of mangled rock ( not too good - but change it for yourself!)  It was pure delight and my heart bumped hard inside me, and bubbled up into the back of my throat!

- I also went for a walk along the cliffs to Hope with Mr Hodson.  He grew cynical about a very young couple we passed with a dreadful contentment written all over them - but I loved them, because I knew so much more about them than he did - & he's a fool anyway.

I came home on the Tuesday - & had a lovely conversation in the train with a girl of about 17 - who had never been to London before - she was going to her first situation in Kensington! - we spent hours wandering round Paddington looking for the woman who was supposed to meet her - she was most pathetically grateful and looked so 'country-mouseish' &  valiant!  I wonder what 'they'll' make out of her - after London has juggled with her Devonshire soul?

I spent last week at Auntie Bee's at Whestone - very nice - although slight stain as she would try and push me onto cousin Gilbert - who would have been much more inclined to take me out if he had been allowed to suggest it himself! - I went to a tennis party at Reggie's on Saturday - he knows more about himself than I gave him credit for, coming home we discussed 'women' - and I think, for a moment, he actually forgot I was one - which is one up to him - he's pathetic in his simplicity and realizes his own weak points far too much - I like him - when he's like that!!  You would have laughed to hear me solemnly exhorting the way the "right" women expected to be treated! - and how much 'respect' counts - and the stupid inevitableness of crude 'necking' with anybody in 'necking' distance! - I believe he heartily believes I'\m a reliable authority on these matters!! - Well, so I am.  I think it would be a good place to collect my notes on the subject - and file them for future use - do you think they'll keep for 7 weeks?  (how!)

The family come home from Huish late next Friday - I'm going to to them at 'Dunally' on Saturday afternoon - for keeps! - I enclose 3 snaps of new house - not too good - see backs.  I'm sure you'll like it.

Where, by the way is enclosed snap of you in the blue beret?  I always turn everything out in the vain hope you've sent me some photographs - & you've forgotten to put it in  - I am cross - send me two next time - nice ones of yourself, because now when Mummy says 'Look, Mary, there's a man just like Fitz!" - I have to say "Is he?"

- You know I told you about the two rowing men Jack brought home one night to sleep on the drawing-room floor? - Well, I had a most unexpected letter from one of them last week - saying he had rung me up to ask me to go for a swim with him only to learn I was away!  Great thrill!  Also Mervyn is coming to Norah's 21st on Sept. 2nd - (I thought I'd get them all over in a lump!)

I stayed last night with Norah - & we lay in bed this morning and planned about going off for our week in Sept.  - So far we're picking you up at Victoria - or wherever it is and taking you and all the family down to see us off - but as it'll be rather a squash in the car we haven't quite decided yet whether Norah or I are going to sit on your lap!! - I think perhaps it had better be Norah!! - But you probably won't arrive at all - if I know the Poly.

What luck for Paul! - I do hope he doesn't make a mess of things - come home soon and knock lots of your spare common-sense onto him!

I leave the office on Sat: Sept: 16th Whoopee!!   Allen & Katie always thought I was cut out for teaching!! - 'and I never considered it really fair to the firm, Miss Ormiston, putting you in the office' (!!!)  I haven't been to Kings for an interview yet, but hope to go sometime next week.

- I like your Swiss mountains v Scottish.  It felt a little too big for its boots if you'll forgive be daring to criticize!) - an 'unbearable gold'? (perhaps) - 'transmuting'? - but I like 'the people and their low lilting English' (much nicer)   - Personally, (now don't smile sardonically) comparing the two, I think I should probably 'feel' the 'God' in Swiss mountains - but I think the startling comparison would be felt more in that Scottish mountains are more men's equals - I don't feel there is a 'God' about them at all - they're too round and grassy and mellow - they inspire a peace and contented communing feeling - compared with the 'Jehovah'-like, magnificently superior uncertainty, of your Maritime Alps - Forgive me if you think this is just what you meant - it's not quite what you said - & I don't know much about these things anyway!
(in the margin next to this paragraph is written 'Please excuse - I meant something but I haven't explained what too explicitly!')

- I loved the bit in your last letter (I liked all the bits about "me", by the way!) about the Monte Carlo Casino d'Eté (in èté don't the accents vary? - one 'grave' & one ' acute', I mean?) - I should simply love to see it - but I'm afraid it's just the sort of place I should use the wrong fork and drop my ice spoon -& be covered with confusion every time I was asked what I wanted - (or didn't like what I'd got !!) - But I'd like to just sit & look and watch other people - I'm very much afraid you must be getting a bit hazy as to what I look like too!  Not even my Mother could call me 'beautiful' - I have always considered my face the most ordinary thing about me - except being fat! - Given an opportunity to exhibit my teeth and wriggle my eyebrows I might get a few to stare - but not, I fear, at my unsurpassed beauty of feature! - so perhaps you'd better find someone who really is - in case 'Edwy' is a success!! (I could suggest one or two).

- Oh - but I would love the lake of Geneva too! - take me as her chamber-maid - will you?  I'll sit in front with the chauffeur in a becoming cap & apron -  just so's I don't miss the things you want me to see you could leave off holding her hand for a moment & shout it down the speaking-tube!!  How romantic!

That'll have to be after I leave school though - I do like men to drive their own cars, though, so I think you'd better have something less expensive than an Isotta Fraschini - don't you?  - & can't  you smoke a pipe?

- Please finish Edwy as soon as possible - 

This letter has become as long as this solely because there's nothing & nobody to stop me- sorry if it's too rambling.

- I want to go for a walk with somebody - will  you come?  Just up to the Park and back and look down on the river.  It's just been raining & is beautifully fresh and 'smelly' everywhere - do come - it won't take me a minute to slip on my coat - & nobody'll notice I've gone - 

- A sure sign it's my bed-time!

- My love to the haunting female who seems to deserve more than she gets!  - Tell her, from me to try a little 'personal flattery' - she might get a little change out of it anyway!  Be nice to her.



P.S.  Why 'Seventh Heaven' - were there seven once? - I've only got one

Monday, 12 August 2013

12th August 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Bellvue & D'Italie
Menton (A.M)

12th August 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant

I hope you have had a good holiday.  It sounded lovely.  I am very sorry I have not written before but I am in the thick of the high season.  My busiest week has just finished, numbers drop a bit next week.

The Haunting Female is here.  I think she believes it's dogged as does it.  She never gets flirtatious or coy or even personal, she just sticks to me like glue wherever I go: Bathes when I do and when I have to leave the others in the water in order to get some work done she comes out too.  In the motor-coach she squeezes into the front seat beside me leaving her friend to sit where she likes.  However I have told her I like to be quiet when motoring so she sits still without saying a word and I forget about her except when I come to stretch my legs.

She is causing a great deal of jealousy among the party!  I am the only young man among twenty women so it is only natural.  They come to me and libel her behind her back, and one girl cuts her and another is rude to me after having made crude efforts to make me affectionate in the bus.

A year ago I should have revelled in being a centre of female attention; and now it merely amuses and irritates me, and none of them gets tuppence worth of change out of me.

I finished "Harold", picked up several useful tips and went on with "Edwy", but the rush week caught me eight pages from the end; so I shall have to wait now until August is over.

At lunch time on the beach after bathing I am reading a French book on the feudal system for "Robin Hood".

Here is a photo of me and some of the party in a cafe on the Grand Corniche.  The beret was sent me by some clients after they got back home.  It is a terrifyingly bright blue.  Only seven more weeks and I shall be home.

Paul's departmental boss in Head Office has gone on holiday so he has been suddenly recalled from Keswick, much to his delight.

He also was  trying desperately to get Brenda to go there in the first week of August and even went to the length of getting his mother there as chaperone.  But she couldn't manage it.  Two days later he was recalled to London and is now in the Seventh Heaven.

Most of the party left today, I am glad some more are coming tomorrow because the people who are left are divided into two camps which are at this moment at opposite corners of the lounge whispering among themselves.

Two people sat in the sun too long on their first day and were in bed for two days.  Now they look like new meat.  This week has been terribly hot especially in the evenings.  The day before yesterday I had a moonlight bathe at midnight - followed of course by the Haunting Female.

She has decided to say a third week.  I suppose she sees it is going to take longer than she thought.

It is too hot to stay in the hotel now.  As it is nearly nine I think I shall go to the open-air cinema if they have changed the programme.  I shall have to be slippy or the H.F. will be close behind.

Have washed a shirt and two collars, and bathed, and I must now finish this letter and start my accounts.

Yesterday I picked up in Cook's Office and L.N.E.R. booklet on Scotland with ripping photos.

I have been glutting my eyes with the description and pictures of the Moor of Rannoch and the Road to the Isles, and forgetting the heat and the bright colours and the Latin faces of Mentone.

Everything here is pretty-pretty, like the decoration scheme of a nursery: sky, bright blank blue; houses, splashes of yellow; people, copper with black hair dressed in vivid reds, blues and yellows; the sun, an unbelievable gold; the flowers all the most startling of hues.

Give me a highland sky, gentle blues and whites and ruddy golds melting into one another and changing and transmutating and draped with mists that wave and dwindle as you watch them; give me the fine fresh air instead of this constricting atmosphere; give me the soft purple of the heather, the dove grey of the grasses in June with the dew on them, the rusty browns of the grasses in autumn; the  fresh ruddy faces of the people and their low lilting English.

When I used to go climbing alone in Switzerland I used to think that the mountains were like Jehovah of the Old Testament, a just god but merciless.   As long as one kept to the narrow way and was bold and sure, you were taken up to the summit and the world was spread out at your feet.  But turn aside from the right way, tread with hesitating foot, put your weight on weak holds and you were dashed down unemotionally, pitilessly

But the god in the Scottish mountains inspires you with thoughts of beauty and glory as you climb up and even if you turn back, and if you fall fatally would seem somehow not to be throwing you off but to be claiming you, taking you from the world to his bosom for the love you bore for him in wanting to climb him.

Climbing here in the Maritime Alps is like being a flea crawling over a dead cat.  The mountains are just piles of rock, nothing more.

I must stop now or I shall miss the post.  Write a good long letter this time.

Love from



Sunday, 4 August 2013

4th August 1933 - Mary to Terrick



Dear Fitz

Have just sent you p.c but feel it is inadequate.  Thank you for your letter which they forwarded on to Norah's where I went last Friday.  "Saunton" is let for nine months.  The family are staying down here for three weeks, I think - & then we go to 'Dunally' - next week from Tuesday 8th until Sat: I'm at "Crinarn", Great North Rd. Whetstone. N.20 - & then at Grannies for weekend - 3 Cardigan Mansions, Hill Rise, Richmond, Surrey. - If you write again perhaps it had better go to Grannies - anyway up to Aug 19th.

- This isn't going to be a nice letter so don't get all comfortable & intelligent! - I'm not sure about Inter & Finals yet.   You have to take 4 subjects in each - French, Geography English & Zoo. (?) if poss but I don't know yet.  I told Allen I was leaving & he said "I always told your mother, Miss Ormiston, that you shouldn't come here" - but I got a few things off my chest at him & I don't feel so bad now - except that Katie is probably crowing like a hog at the moment ! (metaphorically !) Still, it's worth it.

Our new bath has two taps, I'm afraid - but I saw a simply perfect house (white - with flat roof) upon the cliffs in Torquay last night - it was perfect.

 - I don't expect I shall start at school until after our trip through the dangerous ports of Europe!

Norah is a dear - I like her so tremendously - she can make me feel quite different from anybody else.

 This camp is about 2 miles from the farm where Mums & I sleep - Mr Hodson comes & fetches us at 8.a.m to bathe before breakfast in the cleanest water I've ever seen - mile out you can still see the grey shingle at the bottom - & the pools in the rocks are unbelievable in colouring & cleanness! - I paddled all over them this morning - I've never seen proper rocks before - & then sat on one & read in the sun - it was heavenly - & came back & sun-bathed & then swam about 100 yds out to another rock - I do wish someone like you was here to do all these things with me.

- The sun is beeming down heat in long waves on my back & a breeze is blowing hair into my eyes - so think I had better go tot sleep while the family are away shopping.

Write soon - sorry this is so skimpy - but appreciate the letter there is.

 - looking forward tremendously to "Edwy"


Mary P.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Early August 1933 - Postcard from Mary to Terrick

Sorry no letter - can't concentrate- spent first part of week with Norah on river - perfect.  am down here with family (they're camping for 2 weeks.) for weekend.  Gorgeous place - have never been anywhere like it before - rocks & pools & walls & mellow fields.  Just bathe & bathe - beautifully brown - wish you were here  M.P.O.