Monday, 30 September 2013

30th September 1933 - Mary to Terrick

On Board

Terukuni Maru

30th September 1933

- Have you run out of note-paper too, then? - It's much more economical because it was about the first letter I've had from you with only the blue stamp on. - so I thought perhaps it was to say "Starting for England today - leave all news until I see you" - But I somehow knew you wouldn't be coming yet - I won't rely on anything now until you're actually here. - and even then I don't see how we can arrange anything - because I go into my nunnery on Oct 9th - and I positively shan't have any spare time when I start there.  I'm going to try for B.A. - probably on Latin (!!), English, Geography & one other subject - have to take Latin for an arts degree so have got to start from the very beginning & slog at it - I hate it too - isn't it a curse?  (Go on - tell me it's a delightful language & will be frightfully useful to me later!  I know!)

What have they sacked the rep at Nice for? Poor old thing.

- By my Highland Hotel p.c. I wasn't necessarily referring to anything that had already "gone agley" - but you never know what plans may. (Still cryptic?) - (perhaps you're not old enought to understand!)

- Listen - about my feeling of 'instability' - (I've wanted to put in another spoke for some time - although I believe I've told you all this before)  You know sometimes in your letters you fill several pages on such entertaining topics as 'what you know, feel, think or imagine about me' - 'your good will & intentions towards me' and 'you and me' - well, somehow I don't think you should - you see my troops are a bit young and haven't really experienced any defence work before; and when you say that I can see my opponent hasn't 'advanced a foot' upon them it just shows you can't realize how weak some of my defences are.  The one thing I find it impossible to train them in is 'self-confidence' (so absolutely essential) - and if my opponent continues writing them little private notes to the effect that in the end they'll find they want to give in to him - whatever strength they had is apt to become a little undermined - and they begin to leave me (full of a steady purpose) feeling a bit stupid and not knowing how to escape graciously.  Can you feel it a bit?  In a hand to hand fight I find I am learning to be a match for anybody - but when my delightful opponent attempts to speed up the attack by letter-arbitration and auto-suggestion on paper he removes so many of my defences before we actually come to mortal combat.

- So now, dear old thing can you see what I mean?  Please do - & don't think me silly - I love your letters - I've never had letters from anybody before that I enjoyed so much - & it's  because I like them so much that I imagine I like you - and that's where I'm wrong because I didn't like you nearly as much before you went away - & vice versa you probably like me better just through my letter which is so much nicer than myself - I'm a bit afraid for us both when we are faced to realise what horrid people we really are!!

So whaddya think about that? -  & thank heavens I've got all that off my chest.

*          *          *          *

- As perhaps (with your usual integrity) you have already gathered - I am writing this 'on board'.

- We sailed from Royal Albert yesterday evening at 10.0 - we were scheduled to start at 9.0 (owing to tides) - and at 9.0 they pulled in gang planks etc. with ah frenzied Miss Eastman on board who was forced to enter the Captain's cabin unaided and upon her two fair knees beseech him to replace gang-planks etc until the postponed arrival of her co-mate Miss Ormiston - who, having dined sumptuously at a low Lyons, drove up ½ an hour later escorted by the police who informed her they had held up the boat especially for her and would she please hurry.  

- I've never been so choked with embarrassment in all my life - I fell over my skirt and gulped several times as Norah escorted me to our cabin in a white heat temper (quite justifiable!) and there left me! - oh - it was horrid - but now seems to have a slightly humorous side.  You see they said on the ticket thing - sailing about 10.0 - & I thought ½ an hour early was ample - curse it!

But now we're having a lovely time.  The ship is wonderful (miles of it!) and our cabin is sweet.  I slept like a top last night - but N. didn't because of the noise of the engines.

- Today we were held up 3 hours at the mouth of the Scheldt owing to fog.  But I didn't mind a scrap.  (I went to sleep again in a deck chair!).

- There was a race-meeting - you know- dice & wooden horses - & Norah & I bought the winning horse in three successive races !!!! - & won, all together 33/- !! - Beginners luck.

- We have just arrived in Antwerp (5.45p.m) - from here it looks rather drab. - We're dancing this evening as well (Whoopee!)  - Quite a lot of people on board - half of them passable if a bit 'sissy' - and the other half from Lancashire.  - But one always gets the latter half - doesn't one?

You remember Chewcud & Daisy Bell?  Norah thinks one of the men is just like you - but I hope she's only being 'catty'!  Thank you for the photograph.

- I danced at the Empress Rooms last Thursday - Mervyn got up a party of six.  It was gorgeous - wonderful floor.  It was a terribly foggy evening & we had to drop one of the girls at Northwood!  - So what time do you think I arrived home?  It beat all my records hollow - 5.45!! - We simply had to crawl all the  way with one eye on the curb - & spent 3/4 of an hour in the H.P Estate Harrow - continually following roads that ended in piles of bricks!  But it was fun.

- I'm afraid, you know, I'm not really the nice young person you imagine me.  I seem to have grown up tremendously in the last 6 months - if 'experiance' makes one grow up - does it? - The more men one comes up against - & the less experienced one is - the more one realizes what dirty - or inane lives some people lead.  - I think men have more opportunity to be dirty than women - do you?  - But I suppose the virtue lies in how they drive home to one the cleanliness of the clean ones.  - But isn't it strange what fascination 'dirt' (in small quantities) can have?

(Let's shift the conversation a little higher!)

*          *          *          *

I was glad about your 'God'.  You call it 'anti-Christian' - does Christ come into it then? - It seems strange to think that up to the time I met you & Mr Hodson I said my prayers to somebody every night.

- Of course, I still do on certain occasions (mainly 'Thank-you' or 'Please' ones) - but the whole business suddenly became too complicated for me - I know in myself what I believe now - but I don't know if it's satisfactory or not.  I've made it so difficult for myself. But I'm pleased about you - find something  & tell me about it - will you?

- I've got 'For Sinners Only' to read this week.

- I really must stop this & go and have my bath now - Norah is cursing me for writing all this - but you did need a long one - didn't you? - & I haven't had to think of anything to write this time!

- My love until I see you

- Your at-the-moment-entirely-self-confident 

Mary Pleasant 
                 x x x

& Heaven defend same.

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