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,


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