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

No comments:

Post a Comment